WRD: Week 5:2021 Groundhog Day Continues

Another extension of lockdown!

Ok Seriously you guys. This is getting so old. I know. It’s important we stay home, mask up, don’t travel, don’t see people, work from home, etc. But I’m so, so disappointed in how things have been handled here in general. I feel like we are doing NOW what we should have done from the start. And now the whole vaccination thing here in Europe is a giant disaster. As of Feb 4th, out of a population of more than 17 million people, only 300,000 have been vaccinated. We are totally behind the government published schedule. I am not hopeful at all that I will be vaccinated before October. I suppose if it does happen before then it’s a bonus? #glasshalfful

if you know, you know.

A new GP

I thought it would take much longer, but after a week of calling doctor’s offices and going back and forth with my own GP and the prospective GP in my new neighbourhood (and getting NOWHERE), I was actually accepted by another GP NOT in my neighbourhood. I’m still really angry about the situation, but I’m going to let it go very soon; it’s sorted now.

Friday I walked up to the new GP’s office and filled out the sign-in form. It’s not too far from me, about 20-25 min walk but much faster if by bike (10 min) or car (5 min).

Luxury Problem

I didn’t talk about it last week but I also have the luxury problem of receiving a stimulus check but not having the ability to cash it. Last year I switched banks to the only one cashing international checks for their customers, and as of Jan 1st they have also stopped. I do not know the exact number of US citizens living in The Netherlands, but it’s more than a few.

As I’ve lived here for 26 years I have no US bank account, nor do I have a real need for one. I file my taxes like I’m required (though pay tax in NL and earn below the threshold) and I never get money back from the IRS. Well, I have; a couple of times I received a check for $6 as a “refund” and I jokingly kept those on the team bulletin board at work (a check from the US Treasury in our company’s Treasury Dept.

Last year I was able to cash the check through my new bank. This year I have to actually open an account in the US. A Major operation, trust me. And to do that I need all sorts of documents, including a copy of my social security card. Welp, I wouldn’t even know where that would be, even less so with the recent move. This involves forms to be sent and… I have to include my newly obtained original passport. Stay tuned.


Snowmageddon 2021 has finally reached the Netherlands. I didn’t believe it but the weather predictions were true. We had a ton of snow from Saturday evening onwards and Sonsbeek park has turned into a Snow Vacation Park.

M-J and I planned on passing out GroenLinks political party flyers on Saturday but had to change at the last minute to Sunday… which was quite the trudge through the snow. Still, it was fun and a great excuse also to get a hot chocolate along the way.

I’m glad I was able to locate my Dr Martens to get through the snow…

Time for the Weekly Run Down

Deborah and Kim are the amazing hosts for the Weekly Run Down! Feel free to join in as well to wrap up your week in fitness!


Plan vs. Actual

Monday – 3.25KM walk, GLI gym 1 hr intake – no workout (appt w/different PT), 3.5KM biking
Tuesday – 3KM walk (office day) to and from train station
Wednesday – 3KM walk, W6R1 run, 6KM, GLI 1 hour, gym 55 min
Thursday – 2.22KM walk, gym
Friday – 2.75KM walk, W6R2 run , gym 55 min
Saturday – 2.5KM walk, parkrun in Alkmaar 5KM, 17/17 Dutch parkruns done!
Sunday 2KM walk, long run W6R3, 1.4KM w/u walk, 10KM run (!!!)

Weekly Run Down Blogger Linkup
Join us for the Weekly Run Down!

Week 5 In Review

Monday – 5.81KM Treadmill walk
Tuesday – RPM 76, 6,5KM Treadmill walk
Wednesday – 6KM Treadmill walk
Thursday – Bodypump 93, 5KM Treadmill walk
Friday – 7.23KM Walk (outside, finally!)
Saturday – 7KM Treadmill notparkrun (1KM w/u, 5 KM running, 1KM c/d)
Sunday – Unrecorded walk in the neighborhood; maybe some steps later


Not much to say, except I only got one run in this week, 7KM on the treadmill. Weather was not permitting so I did what had to be done. I did not manage the 36 minutes in one go. Next time!


The combined stress at work and weather issues we had this week kept me indoors for my steps this week. And I was already thinking about changing my steps up (I did and mentioned it in my last post about my February goals)

I didn’t even get a photo of my walk Friday ( I was immersed in listening to my most favourite PJ Harvey Album).

Strength and Spin

Got a ride in on Tuesday with the hubs working out on the treadmill. One of my old favourite RPM releases, #76. Made me miss the gym all the more. Don’t get me wrong; I am so, so grateful to be able to work out at home, but I miss class. I miss my workout buddy Vincent (ok I still have Ron, haha!) and I miss my instructors (like Anne). *sigh*

RPM with Vincent back in March 2018

Did body pump finally on Thursday, release 93. This one I hadn’t done and I will give it at least one other try to decide if I like it or not. I did like that we didn’t need the bench; my living room is big enough to do bodypump but not having to get the bench out is a bonus. I pretty much chose it because of the chest track featuring 30 Seconds to Mars. (not ashamed to admit I am sucker for Jared Leto)

Home Improvement

Still working on the room downstairs; Ron finished smoothing out the walls and putting a base layer on; I painted some of the light gray (it’s actually called “concrete”) and the dark blue (called “night blue”. or what I would call “midnight blue”). Ron’s done the top bits, the ceiling and touching up the beams. I also have done the frames for around the doors. We are getting there!

looking darker on the wall vs. the bucket…
getting the smaller bits around the door
ok. when it’s dry it’s not too dark!

It’s a challenge with the paint now because we aren’t able to go to the store to look at the color. We just have to order based on how we see it online and hope for the best! Thankfully we are not disappointed.

wow. this color is amazing!
first coat of the “color” wall

We’ve ordered an adjustable desk that should arrive in a couple of weeks. Of course it’s delayed due to covid and everyone working from home!

Stats this week:
Walking 23,31KM
Running 7 KM
Bodypump 1x
Spin bike 1x RPM
Total steps: 70,761* (avg daily 10, 108)

*as of writing

That’s a wrap!

How was your week? Did the weather prevent you from outside activities this week? Do you miss the gym? Do you like walking/playing in the snow?


  1. Darlene says:

    I’d say that you had a pretty active week. Glad to hear that you resolved the GP issue.

    And you are lucky to have a treadmill. I get outside no matter what but on days I cannot, the bike is a welcome diversion.

    My hubby is not into DIY projects and I no longer have the time….so it is what it is and hopefully we can find someone to re-do our kitchen this summer or fall.

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Darlene! And definitely yes, happy to have the treadmill, just still not “in love” with it. I would rather get on the spin bike. And as far as DIY goes, Ron is running out of patience and I’m less worried about it. I mean, we are going to live here for a while hopefully and it takes time to figure out what you want to do. We would definitely hire someone to do our kitchen though (and that will happen here at some point, in a few years). Those really big jobs are not for us. I think we’ve maxed out our abilities on ceilings and drywalling and mudding rooms!

  2. Lisa says:

    Sorry that the vaccine stuff is such a mess there! Hopefully things will get more organized and you will get it sooner than you expect. Glad that you were able to find a new GP!

    1. Renée says:

      I hope so too! Thanks Lisa!

  3. kookyrunner says:

    I think you had a super active week! Well done on all of your workouts :)

    That’s great news about the GP! I was so angry for you after reading your blog post last week so happy to hear there was a positive resolution to that issue.

    The vaccine rollout seems to be a mess everywhere – sigh :( LEt’s just hope that they can use the next few weeks to really get things on track.

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Kim! And yes I think the new GP will be much better. Appreciate that you were feeling it with me. Hopefully you guys get your vaccines soon. I’m hoping for September latest so anything before then is a bonus.

  4. Liz Dexter says:

    Great colours! We didn’t have snow last week but it’s coming again now – wah! I have cut down on my monthly distance goals as it was making me stressed rather than acting as a resource: I will run when I can and what I fancy for a bit. Hope you don’t get too much of the Beast from The East this week.

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Liz! This storm has completely cut down steps and running! I think I let go of my step goal of 10K per day just in time.

  5. wow what a pain with your stimulus check! Who knew? I am always so impressed with all of your DIY abilities we are so not those people although I am always envious of them. Way to fit in all of your workouts on top of that!

    1. Renée says:

      Indeed a pain! I already went through getting a new bank account here for the last check! And that was a funny situation because I couldn’t go to the bank, I had to do it on a phone. And you could only use an android phone to start the process! So a friend first sent me an old phone and I had to go through several steps (including waiting for the mail to get a code…) just to be able to use the app on my iPhone! *sigh*

      believe me I am impressed with my DIY abilities as well haha! I never knew (nor wanted to ) I could do the things we’ve managed!

  6. Wendy says:

    The vaccine situation is a mess here too. Illinois is the 4th worst in the US, so there you go. My FIL finally got his on Friday and my parents go tomorrow. Hopefully you’ll get yours soon.

    I feel you on Groundhog Day and my glass is most definitely not half full. I don’t even go there…:p

    1. Renée says:

      really, the 4th worst??? My friend in NM (who got her shot) said they are doing really well there and I’m thinking how so?? None of my parents (step included) have been invited to get their shot. It’s so upsetting. I worry most about my dad.

      the only half full glass around here is my wine glass ;-)

  7. therightfits says:

    i’m glad you got the GP sorted out! The vaccine rollout in MInnesota hasn’t been great either. Interesting about needing a US bank account and how complicated that is- wow! Good luck!

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks! sorry to hear you guys are struggling in MN as well. And indeed trying to cash a US dollar check anywhere outside of the US is pretty difficult. We don’t use checks here (sometimes in France, the UK uses them as well) for the most part and banks don’t get a lot out of cashing them for customers. So now the 25K Americans here in NL are just out of luck (unless they have a US bank account still).

  8. Birchwood Pie says:

    I am 100% stuck indoors for workouts for the foreseeable future. Oh well, that’s February. It’s always frustrating when your goal for the month is “just get through this month”. You’re doing an incredible job of still getting your workouts in.

    1. Renée says:

      Ah thanks. And actually I find it a very reasonable goal to ” just get through this month”. :)

  9. Jenny says:

    Funny, because I would have thought the Netherlands would be way more organized than the US as far as vaccine distribution and just virus control in general- shows how much I know! Sounds like you had a good week in spite of everything- good luck getting that check cashed- it does seem like a perplexing situation!

    1. Renée says:

      oh man I thought we would have been more organised too but we are lagging behind almost all other countries in Europe. And the way the situation has been handled here is less than ideal. It’s so disappointing. Thanks – the check situation is ongoing… :D

  10. Kim at Running on the Fly says:

    Great news on the GP! As you probably saw, I had to spend some time with Milly recently. She got my two last runs, but I’m still trying to get outside for some walking, even if those walks have to be just 1-milers. I love all the filter-magic you create with your pics ;-)

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Kim! Yes many of us are indoors on the ‘mill. luckily it’s not that often right?? And I am enjoying the filters too :)

  11. Coco says:

    I’m so glad you found a new GP! I really hope you like her! I love walking in the snow — but not when it turns to ice because people don’t shovel their sidewalks. Luckily our snow doesn’t usually last very long.

    1. Renée says:

      I hope I like the new GP too! Can’t really be worse than the old one I hope?? We don’t shovel here either by the way, or we do but then not at the right moment so it gets icy. I actually asked my neighbors what the protocol is – ha! We don’t have a snow shovel and I’m not buying one for a few days every 6-10 years. I did have to pretty much stay indoors though the first several days as it was just too treacherous.

  12. runswithpugs says:

    Things are a mess here, too. I don’t know the answer.

    Be careful in all that ice and snow! It’s so pretty but can be so treacherous.

    The hoops you had to jump through to get your checks cashed! That’s insane! I don’t know what everything has to be so extra difficult all the time.

    Do you have an ETA on house completion! It looks so great so far!

    1. Renée says:

      I had to stay in several days because I just didn’t want to go out in the snow. Oh and the check cashing scenario is only in stage 1 right now! I just mailed my passport away with all the pain in my heart…

      I think this summer we’ll be much further on the house, but … a 100 year old house is never really done!

  13. Happy you got a new GP. What a mess! Ugh, and then to add the stress of the check situation. I know what you mean about the snow. Same here. :-) Be careful and stay warm!

    1. Renée says:

      Yeah it’s been quite challenging with different situations lately! And hopefully our snow is gone soon. Apparently it will be warmer soon… good, because I definitely won’t run on this stuff right now; not taking risks !!

  14. I really do not like Winter, cold, gray, and snow. Mostly I do my best to embrace it though — what else can you do?

    Congrats on the new GP! Glad it wasn’t as painful as you thought it would be — no doubt it’s a sign she’s the right one. I think it was a female?

    I’ll bet that stimulus check would really come in handy. Can’t imagine how frustrating that is!

    Hopefully the weather is much nicer this week & you can get out to run.

    1. Renée says:

      Embracing it all is the best we can do!! When the sun shines and I can get out to walk then I am happy!

  15. Marcia says:

    Wow! Does anywhere have the vaccine process sorted out? I’m not holding my breath for mine. It’ll be a looong time. My mom hasn’t even gotten her vaccine yet. Glad the paint colors are working out for you so far. I can’t believe you all got snow too! While it was fun to be in Chicago for the snowstorm, I’m really grateful to be in Florida now!

    1. Renée says:

      Apparently a few countries have gotten it right with the vaccine but mostly not! I’m most concerned for my parents/ people older than me and my friends who have issues. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want mine sooner just because I won’t go to see my parents without having had it. In fact I won’t be going anywhere. Well right now we are “strongly advised” not to travel unless essential. But I do believe I’ll be spending my summer holidays here in the house…

      The snow is still here too! I wish I were somewhere warmer! My friend in Palermo sent me a screenshot of the temps the other day… UGH to be in Sicily right now!!

  16. I’m so happy you were able to find a new GP. That’s got to make you feel better.

    Your new home is really coming along nicely. OMG, it must be so hard to pick up colors based on online pictures. I’m not surprised that desks are on backorder with so many people working from home.

    I miss the energy of being in a gym. It’s just not the same alone or virtual.

    1. Renée says:

      Definitely feel better knowing I have a new GP. And I have time now before I need to speak with her about my hormones. It is really hard to pick colors online!! It could have gone very wrong ha! I also really miss the gym; I will still workout at home but I’m definitely going to look into a gym again when we finally reopen. It really isn’t the same. :(

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