dinsdag 29 juni 2010

Cheating throughout the Century – part 1

No, this is not a post about marital infidelity in the last 100 years. It is a recap of the bike ride I participated in two weekends ago.

As you know, I have been training for a 100+K bike ride for a while now and last weekend was D-day! They Boyfriend drove me and my bike to the start of the bike ride. The weather was cool, which was good, and the forecast had sad rain, which was not good.

Anyway, after registration I was soon off on my 115k bike ride! The Boyfriend would drive somewhere so we could meet after about 25k. Before you read on I must warn you that the pictures are hilarious. The Boyfriend is very good at snapping pictures from such an angle that I look totally weird. And I guess the helmet didn’t really help either.

The course was very beautiful and luckily there wasn’t too much wind. We cruised through fields, some villages, the forest,  up and down hills.


First meet-up with the Boyfriend I almost passed him. He was parked somewhere and I was going downhill (finally!) and there was lots of water on the road because it had just rained. Luckily, I missed that rain!

Then, we looped back to the city we started for the first official rest stop. However, I got lost… I was just following the signs and at a certain point I thought, hey, I think I have been here already… But I didn’t thing much of it, because we the course crossed other parts of the course all the time. But then I came to a turn I really recognized and I was not gonna go there again! There were more people with the same problem, so we decided to ride the course backwards for a while. Then we came to a crossroad and I had the choice of going uphill, further backwards on the course or….just follow the road sign indicating that the village I was supposed to go was 14k the other way. I decided to do that because the first official stop was supposed to be at 50k and I would already pass that. So, I cycled a bit and somehow ended up on the course again! The other (faster) bikers, who did go further back on the course, caught up with me later. So I was very glad that I did not make all those extra miles.

Just before I came to the rest stop we had a downpour. The water was leaking into my socks and it was freaking cold!! The sound of the drops falling on the helmet was cozy though… :P

Here I am at the rest stop. You can see that my sleeves (cotton shirt that I wore underneath) were totally soaked, brrrr!!



I put on my jacket and off I went again. After about 10k I met the man with the hammer while going up a mean hill in the forest. But, I kicked him in the butt and moved on. I did silently wonder when he would come back though…


He came back about 5k later. I was exhausted, thinking we would finally arrive at my hometown soon for the next rest, when the course said I was supposed to go down a street and from there up another one I knew was pretty steep, leading up to a spot just a couple of 100 meters from where I was then. I figured that after my little detour I deserved to cut off a few, so I skipped the hill (one of the toughest on the course).

I met with the Boyfriend and was seriously considering turning around and going home…

to be continued….

woensdag 16 juni 2010

Control freak

I have to admit it: I am a control freak. And to be honest, I don’t mind! But sometimes it would be nice to be able to let go of things a bit more. For example, take this blog: I have committed myself to a lot of regular features already, and I still have a hard time putting up 1 post a week! Somehow that doesn’t really match, does it? The problem is that it always leaves me feeling guilty. For example, I was supposed to do an evaluation of my May- Daisy Do Challenge (it didn’t go as well as I hoped as you may have noticed) and start my June challenge (still no idea of what that could be) and I haven’t done a weekly review in weeks (some days are just not so interesting to talk about). I also am not up to date with my PhD chronicles (though last week was cool!) and I somehow would like to write about other things as well (about my Bucketlist for example). However, I already spend most of my workweek feeling like I am always behind and I don’t want my blog to become another one of these stressors.

So, I have decided to let go of the freakiness. Well, at least the control part of me being a freak and I am just going to change this blog a bit. I thought about what it should be: a place for me to put down my thoughts and document my life. I could also start a journal but online is much more fun, especially because it is easier to include pictures etc. I also thought about changing back to Dutch because of the journal-part. But I like writing in English and, don’t be offended now, I also prefer other people’s blogs in English. Somehow Dutch blogs are kind of boring, or maybe we Dutch people are just boring. Hmmm….that would explain why I still don’t have any readers that stick.

Anyway, from now on I will just write about whatever I feel like. The regular features will not be as regular anymore, but only when I feel like writing them. I am quite busy at work now and with the summer here I just want to have fun and enjoy (that is why I put up our Camp Sunshine), so I don’t feel like also adding challenges that help me in my personal growth. Letting go and just having fun is the best challenge I could give myself anyway.

By doing this I hope that blogging will become more fun for me, and really give me the opportunity to express myself. Phew, that feels so much better! So, now I am going to make myself another cup of tea and I may or may not decide to bake some muffins.

‘Till next time, folks! I am leaving you with a random picture again.

Sometimes I like to browse to my folders with pictures and I found a vacation picture of our camping trip to one of the Dutch isles (yes we have those) two years ago. We had a tiny tent and when it rained we were locked up in it, awful! But I do have fond memories of that trip. Here I was heating up soup outside in the drizzling rain.


dinsdag 15 juni 2010

Camp Sunshine

Hello everyone! I have a great idea to get as much out of the summer months as possible. To be honest, it’s based on a Flylady thing, but I filled it in to my own taste.

For the whole summer we are going to camp! Not literally, but I am going to pretend that our apartment is a cabin and the goal is to have a lot of fun instead of spending the whole summer doing chores etc. Because I tend to say to myself: hey just finish all this and then you get to play I usually miss out on a lot of sun. Once I finally get to go outside the sun is often gone. I want to encourage myself to live a little bit more freely instead of my usual duty-calls attitude. Therefore, the name of the camp is Camp Sunshine! Here’s the idea:

I do go to work, but will try to make it more fun: go outside on my breaks. Maybe wear my bikini underneath my clothes to work, just because of the idea. When at home, the Boyfriend and I quickly do the basic things that need to be done and then every day there is a camp activity.

Camp activities can be anything, as long as they are fun. They can range from a walk in the park or eating on the balcony to a full day out. The Boyfriend and I made up a huge list of stuff we like to do that are fun during summer (good and bad weather), so we won’t be like ‘I don’t know what to do!’ when we finally get to doing something fun after a long day of work.

Here are our/my camp activities so far:

4-6: lunch outside during my lunch break at work. Enjoy the sun!
5-6: visit the smallest city in the Netherlands (it has only 3 streets, but does have city rights!) which is very cute and old. The Boyfriend had never been there and I took him there as a surprise. He really liked the place too and we are planning to go there more often.






Will make more pictures to give a better view of the place next time!

We also bbq’d with my parents at night.

6-6 went on a bike ride to train. The weather was gorgeous so I really enjoyed it.
7-6 another bbq, but this time at work.
8-6 run in the rain. I was planning for another rest day after my tough workout on sunday, but I really felt like running. So I did! The last k it started to rain really really hard and I got soaked instantly! I was feeling hot because of the running so I didn’t mind and just enjoyed it walking home. People were finding shelter underneath a bridge and looked at me like I was crazy when I just continued, haha!
9-6 made myself a special breakfast, see my last post
10-6 I left all my household chores for what they were when I got home and just sat on the balcony reading for a while.
11-6 don’t remember!
12-6 sat outside and I made a trip to the library to get fresh books
13-6 another bike ride. I bailed out after 37k because I wasn’t feeling going further (physically), but I still had fun while it lasted. Also went to play pool downtown with the Boyfriend!
14-6 dinner on our balcony.

I will try to blog about future camp activities on a regular basis. There are some pretty awesome things on our list!

Got to go!

woensdag 9 juni 2010

Breakfast pie

The other day I made myself a special breakfast. I actually made it again today, which reminded me to make post about it.


I saw the recipe here and adapted it a little. I used a kiwi instead of strawberries. Next time I would probably pick a sweeter fruit because they didn’t really match very well to the taste of the rest of the bowl. Today I used pineapple and it tasted much better! I also think coffee flavor would probably taste good.

Here is what I did:


  • 1 banana
  • 1 kiwi or something like that, chopped up
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • baking powder, just a pinch
  • 1/2 cup milk (divided in two equal parts)
  • 1 1/4  cup Frosties


Mix flour, baking powder and half of the milk and use it to marinate the fruit. Put it in an oven-proof bowl. Then, crush the frosties in a plastic baggie and mix it with the rest of the milk. Add a little more milk if necessary to make it chunky. Spread over the fruit. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 min in a preheated oven at 210C. Remove foil for the last 4 minutes to let it brown. Enjoy!

It was like a breakfast pie! It was really good and I am definitely going to make this again in the near future! It is a little bit time consuming but it’s worth it on days I feel like I deserve something special.


ps: Sorry for the bad light in the pictures. It was kind of hard with the sun shining through the window and I am too lazy to photoshop them.

zondag 6 juni 2010

Polar bear on the road

I wanted to do a post on my bike ride this weekend, but I didn’t take any pictures even though the whole trip was very beautiful. I guess I was focused too much on the biking to get off my bike and take pictures. It was a tough trip even though it started pretty good. I did over 75k and until 45k I felt great! From then it was downhill however, I kept slowing down and everything started to hurt. I was also running out of water and feeling dehydrated. Next time I really need to bring more or take more time to fill my bottles up on the road. After about 58k I was wasted. I called the Boyfriend and he gave me a peptalk, really making me believe that there were no hills coming up anymore. Even though the sign said 17, I ended up doing almost 20k to get home and there were a lot of hills, but luckily they weren’t as bad as when I biked on them coming from the other direction. And I made it home!

Instead of pics of today’s trip, I decided to entertain you with some pictures of animals I encountered on my way on other trips and some other random pics. One day the Boyfriend and I went out to get some coffee in a nice place and to see if we could see some lambs. Unfortunately they didn’t have little lambs anymore, but the sheep were still cute:




And isn’t my cappuccino served in a cute cup? It’s traditional Dutch china, I think it was especially seen on farms.


Two weeks ago I was on a bike trip and I saw a polar bear! Seriously, I stopped a while to rest a bit. There was a bench in the shade with a statue in front of it:


The plate on the said that it was from operation Polar bear or something like that, and had something to do with WWII.

That same weekend I was walking 20k with my brother and on some dyke we encountered this Mammoth! I have no idea what this statue was doing there, but it sure made me laugh.


Okay, that’s it!

Chronicles of a PhD candidate: part IV


The week stared off in a horrible way. Monday I was forced to take the day off. There were some problems in the family I don’t want to talk about (done that enough in the last couple of days) which forced us to take care of some stuff. But the whole situation added up with the tiredness of last week plus sleep deprivation from my girls night out left me feeling like a ghost for the first half of the week. At first I was feeling guilty but later I decided that it was no use. What’s happened, has happened. So, I just tried to catch a little sleep and just take it from there. Luckily I worked from home Tuesday and Wednesday so that helped me to take it easy and recuperate.

Thursday it was off to the U. again. I spend most of the remaining two days alone, all my room mates seem to have vanished. But that was ok. I decided to divide my todo-list up into a whole lot of mini-tasks. I really felt sort of defeated the whole week and even though the mini-task list was 4 pages long, it gave me the courage to get started and keep going because I would be able to cross something off the list real soon.

The weather was gorgeous, so I spend several of my breaks outside, enjoying the sun. It is actually part of new game, but more about that later.

I ended up doing more than expected this week, including starting with most of the acquisition for my new, and last, study. Yay! Acquisition meant sending many e-mails that all said: Dear mr/mrs X. I am doing a study and would you please please please participate? It would be great because I really just need someone, anyone, I don’t care think you are very awesome and have a lot of useful stuff to say about the subject. Pretty please again? Daisy.

So, it wasn’t such an interesting week. I’ll try to make it sound better next week, haha.

woensdag 2 juni 2010

Chronicles of a PhD candidate: part III


Another week passed. Wow, did that go fast! Unfortunately I didn’t have such a good week as last week, but that was ok. I could afford to take it a little easier even though I would have liked to get some more stuff done.

I felt sleep deprived and demotivated all week. So, on Friday I bought myself this:


That’s right, a Havenly Hazel! It is a capuccino with some kind of syrup in it, topped with lots of whipped cream and sprinkled with hazelnut pieces. De-li-ci-ous. It’s like giving myself a little present and always makes me feel better. It’s good to be nice to yourself every once in a while. And the fact that it has caffeine AND lots of sugar helps too. Good thing I don’t do calorie counting because this thing would probably get me worried haha.

The week ended like it should: going out dancing with a friend. We went to a 70’s, 80’s, 90’s party and danced our asses off! Had a blast.

Chronicles of a PhD candidate: part II

29 weeks to go:


Meet Paul and Paul. This cute gayish couple is my new mascotte. The boyfriend shot them for me at the fair. Ok, he shot something else and then I could pick a prize. They had name tags which looked like not all the bears would have the same name. So I was like, hey this one is called Paul! And the other one is called, let’s see….Paul!

Anyway, they now sit in front of my screen all day, encouraging me to keep going. It helped because I had a greatly productive week! I had a meeting with my Prof and he acted less scary than usual. I even managed to interrogate him a little about his private life. It was cool to find out that he is exactly like other guys and turns into a bright-eyed little boy when you bring up their favorite subject. The rest of the week was uneventful and ended in me finishing several projects and sending some of them in for feedback. I had been working on them forever and thought I was never going to finish, but I did!

For next week I don’t have any urgent, must-be-completed-yesterday projects! Woohoo! Now I can finally try to catch up on some other stuff.

dinsdag 1 juni 2010

Changing things up: a new challenge!

After running several races and since having a colleague who loves biking, I got inspired to start biking again. In highschool and part of college I used to bike a lot and really enjoyed doing it. However, for the last couple (ok, more than a couple) of years I have been slacking on it, scared of the eternal wind in this country. The times I did go I asked way too much of myself so it always turned out to be an exhausting experience. Not so much fun.

I thought about it and decided that I would have to start on an easy level and then work towards a set goal to keep me motivated. So, about a month ago I picked a race and started my training. At first it wasn’t much of a training because I still had races to run and because it was just to freaking cold.

Ok. Let’s get to the goal first:

On Saturday 19th of June I will bike 115 hilly k’s in the Jan Janssen Classic. Jan Janssen was the first Dutch winner of the Tour de France. Technically, the J.J. Classic is not a race because there are no time measurements and you can can start within a certain time period and that’s it. I would really have liked to do the 150k, but next to the bigger distance, it would also mean a significant increase in the amount of hills. And after a few trainings I can confirm that I don’t have enough time to train for distance AND a lot of hills (I saw the route, and it is mean). So I decided for the 115k which is also more flat.


Don’t be scared that is just my kick-ass look, hoping to scare the hills away.

Onto the training so far (you can also check my excercise log):

- 20k somewhere end of april
- 35k on hilly roads, half May and in the same week:
- 56k got lost and I don’t do the 10% max increase-rule. I felt it though
- 64k on hilly roads.


For the remaining time my plan is to bike each weekend and alter building up distance with the same 35k route I biked before. Last weekend I didn’t bike, unfortunately. But I still have a couple of weeks to train left.

So, wish me luck I am definitely going to need it. But most of all I am looking forward to biking more because I feel so happy every time I am on that bike…well, most of the time haha.