Green Smoothies & Poffertjes

Today marked the first day of my Green Smoothie Adventure. I signed up for a 30 day green smoothie challenge that officially starts tomorrow but since I already bought all the ingredients yesterday, I made my first green smoothie this morning. I must say that there is something scary in adding a hand full of spinach to something you are acutually planning on drinking. Today´s smoothie was very good however. I just mixed 2 cups of spinach, 2 cups of peach, 2 cups of water and 1 banana and it was delicous. The only hint of spinach that remains after blending is the green color. The abovementioned amounts make more than 2 servings so there is still plenty left for tomorrow´s breakfast. I have decided that I am going to use the green smoothies to substitute my breakfast. Nothing more convient than breakfast to get my servings of fruit and veggies.

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For lunch I had grilled cheese sandwiches. They are really my favorite lunch and they are super easy to make. In an attempt to make my lunch a little healthier I added a bunch of grapes.

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The rest of this day has been so lazy. I should be studying for my tests this week but for some reason I cannot get my mind to do it. Instead I am perusing blogs, researching whether I could move to the USA, checking prices of a Fitness Instructor degree and I just found out that I can move to France without having to obtain a visa (always very nice to know!) My progress in studying, however, is about 10 pages. I does not help that my cat Bakso is not giving a good example. That guy has been sleeping on the couch all day.

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Although I totally forgive him because he is so cute. Right now he is watching out of the window in search for birds. Maybe I should follow his example and actually do something..

For dinner I had poffertjes. I think these are typical Dutch because I have never really seen them somewhere else. Poffertjes are basically mini pancakes which you eat with butter and powdered sugar.

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Certainly not the healthiest thing to eat but I really don’t like cooking when the boyfriend is away. He was supposed to come home tonight but he called me this afternoon to tell he would stay overnight at at friend’s house. Bummer that he is not here but I hope he has lots of fun. Well back to poffertjes. I usually just buy the pre-made poffertjes because they requiere a special pan to make. You just microwave them for 50 seconds and dinner is ready. To make up for the sugar I drank my leftover green smoothie for dessert. Still good!

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This evening I went to the gym for a Grit class. The picture was before class when I still had hope that it would not be that bad. I was not really excited to go but I am still glad I went. My friend teaches that class so it is nice to see him there. Yet again the class was full of burpees. Although they are absolutely no fun whatsoever they are really great for endurance. The people in the class are really enthusiastic and there is a lot of high fiving in between tracks. Really great for when you are not realing feeling on top of your game like I had today. Usually I only do Grit once a week but since I want to do it with the boyfriend we are also going on Wednesday. Hopefully I’ll do better then! Now it’s time for me to sleep because all the exercising has left my tired.

Week 13 recap + Week 14 schedule

As far as my goals were concerned this was not a really good week.
1. Cook every evening except Thurday
I did manage to cook everyday this week so that was nice.
2. Go to the gym three times
I did not get to the gym three times. I realize more and more that I don’t like going to the gym on the weekends because there are only 4 classes and the gym closes at 4. In weekends I usually work out after 4 which means that I rarely go to the gym on either Saturday or Sunday. The only day I got to the gym was Thursday when I went to a Grit class with my mom.
3. Make 3 things from my pinterest board
One thing I managed to make. And it was not even very difficult. And they were not good. I used Strawberry yoghurt and raspberries but that combination was just to sour. Next I´ll try plain greek yoghurt and strawberries.

Despite the goals I did not manage to achieve, my week was pretty good overall. I had so much fun with the boyfriend on Monday and Tuesday when we went to Amsterdam.  I really hope to have more short trips this year! This week I really found my mojo in terms of running. I signed up for two races and pick out 4 other potential runs I can do if I feel fit enough. I hope to continue this upward trend and maybe even run my first full training 5k next week. Even the weather is great, spring is finally coming! At this moment I really feel very good so my schedule for coming week is going to reflect that!

Week 14 schedule:
Monday – late evening Grit class
Tuesday – low impact Body Balance class
Wednesday – Grit class with the boyfriend
Thursday – rest day
Friday – 4,5k – 5k run
Saturday – rest day
Sunday – 5k run

Other plans coming week include a visit to my parents on Thursday and Friday, and tests on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. After the last test on Friday I hope to plan some nice things to do with friends to wind down before university starts again on April 7th. My goals for next week are thus the following:

1. Plan something fun for the weekend with friends
2. Partake in the first week of the 30 day green smoothie challenge which starts April 1st (you can still sign up and best thing: it’s free!)
3. Try 2 new recipes

What are your plans and goals for coming week?

I feel those burpees, spring weather and a timerless run

After my Thursday Grit class I felt fine. Tired, but fine. Yesterday I still felt fine and I was beginning to wonder whether I had even worked hard enough during class. But now that I am writing this I know that I did enough. My legs are sore and my shoulder muscles are tight. Nothing feels better than the soreness after a good workout! After back to back workouts on Wednesday and Thursday I decided to take the day off yesterday. My mom, who had spent the night Thursday evening, the boyfriend and I went to have breakfast at IKEA, where they serve €1 breakfast before 10.00. Nice and cheap way to start the day! We hung around at IKEA for a couple more hours afterward, browsing the products and my mom treated my to some things I needed. Always nice to have your mom come over haha!

My mom bought me some plants, so we spent the rest of the afternoon working on our little garden. Altough its tiny it still took about 2 hours to get it in its current state. We managed to clear away bags of garden waste that we had left in the backyard because they were to heavy to carry through the house to the trashcan (you can only access the backyard through the house!). I feel so much happier looking out of my window now.

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The rest of the day, after my mom left around 5, I just hung out on the couch. I was really too tired to do anything else.

This morning the boyfriend got home aroudn 5.30, interrupting my precious sleep, haha. I decided to get back at him by just watching tv when I woke up again at 9. Since our bed is behind our couch in the living room there was really no other place I could go. Unfortunately he slept through everyhing ;). Amazingly he was ready to got out with me to the Saturday Farmers Market around 12. We bought some purple grapes and some fresh rapsberries. I hope to use the raspberries for a snack I want to make tomorrow.

Spring has really started here and the weather is great. Hopefully the higher temperatures will last. Two weeks ago we also had some nice days but all hopes of spring were then crushed by days of rain and hail. We walked by this pretty tree on our way to the farmers market. Everything is starting to bloom :).

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This afternoon I really had to do some studying. I have three tests next week so it is not all fun. Disadvantages of being a university student.. I decided to sit in our kitchen/office because the desk there gives you a great view of the street in front of our house. When I was about 45 minutes into studying I saw two girls running in tanktops(!). Two days ago I ran in long leggings and double layers because it was so cold. Originally I had planned to run tonight after dinner but the weather was just too good to not go out. Since my phone was out of battery I could not take it to measure my distance. I decided to just go and run for half an hour. Although I don’t know for sure I think I ran about 4.5k and the best thing is that I did not stop once!

We both did not really feel like a long cooking session so we decided to heat up some pasta sauce and cook some raviolli to have for dinner. With a little parmesan cheese it was truly delicious. I love pasta! Lucky for me the boyfriend loves it too.

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After dinner I did Neila Rey’s 90 Days of Action day 3 workout for a quick ab session. My abs are not very strong; with many ab exercises my back arches off the ground which mean I can not use my entire range of motion. Luckily there will be some more ab workouts in this 90 day challenge.

Right now I am in bed relaxing and I will probably be going to sleep early since the clock goes one hour forward tonight. Goodbye one hour of sleep. I still think that we are pretty lucky here in Europe that they change the time overnight between Saturday and Sunday rather than overnight between Sunday and Monday. At least I get to sleep out as long as I want tomorrow!

Reaching goals and Sushi

Yesterday and today have been great workout wise. Yesterdag evening the boyfriend and I went for a run. The original plan was to run to the gym, go for an hour of Poweryoga and then run back. He did not feel like going to the gym and by the time we finished dinner it was really too late to make the class anyway. Instead we decided to wait a bit for the food to sink in and then go for a run. I had decided to go very slow and try to maintain pace throughout the 4k run I had planned. The boyfriend agreed to run the same distance but we did both run our own pace. In practice this means that within 2 minutes I could not even see him anymore. So much for running together, haha. Maintaining my pace worked out really well. Without any problems I reached the halfway point. Despite the fact that I did not feel out of breath or tired I did walk for some 5o metres to add a little bit of an interval. The second 2k was just as easy as the first. The last 300 metres home I upped the pace to see what I still had left. Appears that I had quite a bit. Despite all the energy I had left I felt that I’ve found a pace  in which I can run for a long time. It might be slow but I am still running. After reaching the 5k I am going to work on lowering my pace time but sofar I am really happy with my progress. Especially since in my last run on Sunday I barely managed to do 3k. This distance is the longest I have ran in over a year so excellent progress. Maybe this time I finally run that darn 5k!

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I was really happy with my run. The one thing that I did not enjoy was the serious belly ache I got after the run. I needed some food but there was nothing substantial to be found anywhere. Fortunately I managed to get to sleep quite fast.

This morning I had a test so I had to leave quite early but this afternoon was filled with fun! My mom arrived around 3. She lives about 2 hours away (which is a lot in the Netherlands!) so she came to stay the night. She is currently crashing on my couch ;). My mom is really a great example for me. She has been working out regularly for the last 7/8 years and she has pretty bad ass strenght. One of my goals is to be just as strong as her (and maybe just become a little bit stronger!). When I go home I workout at her gym but today we went to my gym. One of the best classes at my gym is the Les Mills Grit class. It is 30 minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) and absolutely killing. This week was a mix class were two previous releases were mixed because on 12 april the new release will be introduced. The last couple of weeks before the new release they like to mix things up to keep the muscles guessing. This class was filled with a lot of jumps and burpees. I love to hate those but they are super exercises for endurance. We were both pretty tired after the class but I am glad we went to burn calories because we went out for dinner tonight.

My mom’s birthday was a couple of weeks ago and since she did not know what she wanted for her birthday the boyfriend and I decided to treat her to dinner as a gift. Two streets over there is Chinese/Japanese kitchen fushion restaurant where they also serve sushi. I have never tried sushi before and since it one of the things that I really want to try this year I thought this to be as good a time as any to just try. Since it was an All You Can Eat type restaurant you could order 5 items per person per round. In total you could do 5 rounds as long as you stayed within 2,5 hours.

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I tried three types of Sushi: a tuna role, a crab role and chicken role. Unfortunately I don’t really like sushi, but I am glad I at least tried to eat everything. Fortunately they also had about 80 non sushi dishes so there was enough for me to eat. I did really like the fried octopuss rings. They were jummie!

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I was getting full after only a couple of dishes but luckily I had room enough for some banana icecream with sprinkles. Never eat icecream without sprinkles! Sprinkles make everything better!

Mini Haul and exciting news

Yesterday was my second day in Amsterdam and I knew I could not leave without doing some shopping. Now that I am back into excercise and running there is one thing that I really miss: more workout clothes. Up until yesterday I owned only one sportsbra and one running tank and I always seem to forget to wash those just when I need them.  I would be wise for me to buy them in Amsterdam because the choice here in Groningen (Northern Netherlands) is limited. My mission was therefore to at least get my hands on a new tank top and a new sport bra. H&M is one of my favorite stores to go for workout gear. The quality is good and is much cheaper than Nike clothing and they have rapidly changing assortment of clothes and colors. If I go there next month they have totally different stuff which makes it fun to see what’s new. I managed to score both a new tank and a new sportbra. The tank is neon orange and I love it because orange is my favorite color! Trying it on made me so happy that I knew I had to have it.

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I also found a cute sportbra in neon pink/silver. Both were really cheap, the tank was €10 and the bra was €15. That is less than 20 dollars for the two items!

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Since I am getting back into running and want to stick with it for the long haul I bought two beginners running guides. I started reading one last night and it has ton of great tips for runners and also has some great motivational stories and events in the back. I might even get some great ideas for races I want to participate in. The other guide is pretty large and also feautures apps and workout gear that might be useful to invest in. I have not gotten the chance to read that one but I really makes me eager to go out there and run again (and I will, tonight!).

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Then other exciting news: yesterday evening I signed up for two races. The first one is the Culemborg City Run 5k that I have talked about in my post about training for my first 5K. I knew I planned on doing it but yesterday I decided to just sign up. That makes it a lot harder to back out. The race is on Monday April 21st, the Netherlands has a second Easter day, and is in the city where my high school was located so I should be fun to go back there, as I haven’t been there for a couple of years. Although that race is exciting in itself, as it is going to be my first race, I immediately did something even scarier by signing up for a 10K. Whoops… When I was in the Nike store yesterday I saw a flyer for a women’s running event that they organized last year where 20,000 women participated in. This year they are going to organize the race again. The race is called: We Own the Night Women’s 10K.

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The race is ran partially in darkness and women are participating in 5 European cities at the same time. Since it seems like such an awesome experience to be part of I decided to just be crazy and sign up for it. Included in the fee is a tshirt which all participants need to wear to the race so that everyone is really part of something big and unique! While I signed up I needed to pick my level and I chose beginner. This means that I also go a beginner 8 week running schedule which is hopefully really going to help me in finishing that race. I must say that signing up for the races really makes me very excited. I know that in a 2 weeks there is local 4,6k race which I might participate in. I do however not have to worry about signing up just yet as you can only sign up on the day of the race itself. I am going to try to be ready because I don’t know if I want to wait until April 21st for my first race!

Week 13 – Goals and Schedule

Since this blog is mainly functioning as my outlet and as a way of inspiring myself, it seems like a great idea to set myself some goals each week. I am a list person so any goal type oriented thing makes me really eager to cross things off! Since I am now mainly focusing on running because I want to run my first 5k next month, the majority of my exercise routing consists of running. Monday and Tuesday have already passed, and since I have been away from home  I did not exercise and I also didn’t eat very healthy. I have three goals for this week:
1) Cook every night (except for Thursday when I am taking my mom out for dinner but I will pick something healthy then.)
2) Try 3 new healthy snacking options from my pinterest board
3) Visit the gym three times

I know that when I cook I eat way less that we eat take out or get a pizza. I really don’t eat a lot at all for dinner so I tend to overeat quickly when the portions are not up to me. In combination with the healthy snacking I should get rid of some of the bad stuff I at in the last two days when I was away from home. The last goals is mostly there to make sure I go to the gym instead of going for a run all the time.

My schedule for the rest of the week is the following:
Wednesday – Run to the gym, 1 hour of Poweryoga, run back home (4km total)
Thursday – 30 minute Gritt class
Friday – rest day
Saturday – Neila Rey’s 90 days of Action day 3 (which is an ab workout) + 3,5 – 4 km run
Sunday – 90 days of Action day 4 or a short run

Hopefully I manage to complete everything and up my running mileage!

Trip to Amsterdam and nice food

Today, Monday,  is Amsterdam day! I am really excited to be gone from home for two days. I might only be a short trip but it are trips like these that are the most fun because you really get to do things other than the normal stuff! We woke up at 8 and we could be fairly laid back because we had more than an hour before the train left. The train ride to Amsterdam is about 2 hours so not that bad. For breakfast I had a banana and Caesar chicken sandwich. Around 11.30 we arrived in Amsterdam. We were both fairly hungry so we went to get a Subway sandwich. Normally I’d go for the a Chicken something sandwich but since we were splitting a large sub I decided to try the Steak and Cheese (the boyfriend’s favorite!). It is actually pretty good! With all the veggies on it, it was a healthy option as well.

Plans were to go to the Apple Store to get the boyfriend’s laptop fixed. Unfortunately my sense of direction left me hanging since we walked in the opposite direction of where we needed to go. Well, at least we did some walking and some sightseeing. Normally I would have researched every minute of this trip but I decided to be a little bit more like my boyfriend by just going with it. I must say that I quite enjoy not knowing where we are precisely going. We got the chance to walk along a street known for its many market stands. There wasn’t anything I would really want to buy but it was fun to see it. After checking the phone for some directions we decided to walk to the Apple Store because that laptop was getting heavy in the backpack. Apparently you have to make an appointment to get a laptop checked out which meant that we had been carrying the thing around for nada. We have to go back tomorrow which kinda sucks. After that failure we decided to do the fun thing were actually came to Amsterdam for: visit the newly renovated Rijksmuseum which harbors many great Dutch paintings.

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The museum had the honor of hosting Barack Obama just this morning! I have stood where Obama stood just hours before. Probably the closest I will ever get to the man. The museum was really interesting, but the massive overload of information meant that we had to get some snacks before continuing. There was a cafe (way overpriced) in the museum were I got some orange juice and a slice of apple pie. Its ‘mini-vacation’ so its fine!

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By the time we got out of the museum it was nearly 4. Since we had agreed to eat at my aunt and uncle’s house at 6.30 we had some time left. The hotel we are staying in was not to far away so we decided to check in and drop our bags. This hotel is pretty! Really one of the nicest hotels I have ever slept in. Luckily this night is free (the boyfriend won this hotel stay at work) else we students could not have afforded it. After a 10 minute break we had to leave again since my aunt and uncle live on the opposite end of the city center. We arrived at 6.30 sharply. My uncle cooked a really nice dinner. Some noodles with veggies and a nice sauce. As dessert we had coffee-ice, which I could have skipped cause that is probably loaded with calories. As a thank-you for having us for dinner I had brought some of the Nutella energy bites I made Saturday. Of course I couldn’t resist and I ate a couple of those. I hope they don’t mind. Around 10.30 we left since I hate the dark especially in a city I don’t know. Luckily we were at the hotel in no time were we are not enjoying the comfy bed. I better get some sleep now! We want to do lots of stuff tomorrow! (Oh, I might have or have not just finished a bag of crisps. Oops..)

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Jirrine, never looking in the camera, huge fan of apple pie

Lots of hail and a little bit of running

Since yesterday was a rest day I felt eager this morning to go outside for a run. Everything was so pretty outside when I woke up! Although a Sunday I was up quite early as my boyfriend had to leave for a football match (soccer!) and I decided to get up as well. Since I wanted to lounge in bed for a while before truly enjoying the weather outside I made the deal with myself to go running around 12. I should have known then that was a dumb idea. After a finishing a very good book and some more surfing on the web I peeked outside. What do you know, no more sun. It got ever worse 5 minutes later as there was heavy thunder coming over. Despite all the ruckus it remained dry so I just hoped for the best. And yes, another 5 minutes later and the sun shone again. No time wasted there, a quick change and outside I went to repeat the same run I did Friday. That run had felt comfortable and very doable so I just wanted to do it again to see how it went now.

Only 3 minutes in it started to drizzle. No biggie, a little rain is not going to kill me. 7 minutes in I felt that my stomach was too empty. I always get an ache in my stomach when it runs on little fuel. At the halfway point that drizzle turned into a full out hailstorm. And it hurt! It was no use walking though, because this was the farthest point from home, I might as well just run back. I almost made to my door but I had to stop running briefly two times. The combination of a wet sweater and my empty stomach was no fun and I just had to stop for a breather.

When I arrived home I felt so disappointed: Friday the run was excellent and I felt great about it and now only 2 days later I am struggling again with the same run. But now I realize that I should not be unhappy about it. Although I knew that I would probably get rained upon I still went out and ran. I am just going to keep on trying to run that damn run until it feels good enough to go a little bit farther. Needless to say this run was a little bit slower than Friday’s but a run nonetheless. I run with a Nike Plus sensor in my shoe, which I love! As long as it is connected to my phone it tracks my runs perfectly. These are today’s stats:

The rest of the afternoon was pretty lazy. I did manage to eat some lunch! Just a quick grilled cheese sandwich with a cup of a tea and a kiwi. Meanwhile checking out Run Eat Repeat. Damn she inspires me!

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And I managed to hang out with this guy, my little furball. He seems very happy to be with me.

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For dinner I faced a little bit of a problem. We were planning to eat broccoli with some meat and potatoes but I forgot to pull any meat from the freezer. Since I really don’t like to defrost meat in the microwave and we had nothing really edible on the house we settled on eating grilled cheese sandwiches (again..). But for dessert I am now greatly enjoying a pineapple banana smoothie. See how happy I am? I just threw a small pineapple, 1 banana en some milk in the blender and voila, nice shot of vitamins.

IMG_2295It not too late yet so we might go out for a little post dinner walk and then settle in for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow we are taking an early train to Amsterdam for a little trip. Have a nice night!

Jirrine, pineapple-lover, already-in-pajamas-at-7

Fresh produce and Nutella Energy Bites

Today is a really pretty day so I ventured out with my boyfriend to stock up on some fresh fruits at the farmers market. On the way there we decided to go to a new biological store that opened up a couple of weeks ago. Since we planned on making some delicious but healthy snacks this afternoon that store seemed like the best place to find the ingredients. I am fairly new to healthy snacking so everything is still done by trail and error but it is fun to try some new recipes rather than always eat things from a box. In the city where I live healthy and biological food is sometimes still considered to be alternative and I did not really know what to expect upon entering. I was really surprised by the store. It is really beautiful! They have a lot of ingredients that are not available elsewhere in my city so that is a big plus. And despite the rarity of the products most were really affordable. For today’s recipe we needed flax seeds, chia seeds and hazelnuts. The flax seeds and hazelnuts were available for a good price but man those chia seeds are expensive! Apparently there is a really high demand for chia seeds worldwide which means that the prices are quite high. Since I don’t even know if I am going to like the entire seed business I decided to stick to flax seeds this time. It did however really like the store so I will be going back there. Especially since it is only a 2 minute walk! At the farmers market we bought a little pineapple and some cheese. I love cheese, and the most convenient thing about fresh cheese is that they can cut it just the size you like. Which means, I get just enough to last us a week so that we can try something new next week. Both me and the boyfriend really like fresh products and we hoping to making a trip to the market a weekly thing.

Yes, that is cat and a pineapple

Yes, that is cat and a pineapple

This afternoon we proceeded to make Nutella Bites. They are basically just balls of Nutella, oats, honey, hazelnuts and flax seeds. I am pretty excited as they are very quick and easy to make. And they are absolutely delicious! We made an entire plate of them so we have enough chocolate heaven to last us for a week.

Nutella Energy Bites

I do not really have plans for the rest of the day, except for some leftover pasta from last night and perhaps an extensive session of surfing the internet. Tomorrow it is workout day again. I can’t wait!

Jirrine, nutella-lover, cat(s)-owner

Training for my first 5k

Yesterday it was a miserable day weather wise. The tons of rain falling from the sky made my choice for staying inside and being a lazy couch potato very justified. One of my recent favorite things to do is skimming fitness related blogs. I get so much inspiration from reading all those people that train for and accomplish their running/fitness goals! With every blog post I read I felt more miserable about the rain outside. I want to exercise, I don’t want to create any excuses for myself anymore. Before I knew it several hours had passed and what do you know: it stopped raining. Within 3 minutes I had changed into my running clothes ready to head outside. Best choice I have made all day! I was so nice to go and do it. I am currently training for my first 5k and hope to finally accomplish one of my goals. When running last year I had enthusiastically signed up for a race only to be half prepared on race day and seeing my dreams of finishing vanished into thin air. But this time will be different!

Right now I training both inside and outside. Last Tuesday I managed to do a 21 minute run on the treadmill. I have never been able to run that much all at once. However, all the conditions are different outside. With the help of Map My Run I created a small training route that I can use to measure my progress. My goal for yesterday was to run the smallest of the loops, a small 3,2 km all at once. This small loop equals about 22 minutes in running which is the same amount of time I can pull of at the treadmill right now. And you know what? I did it! I am so damn proud of myself for finally pushing through and running it. Here is the proof:

Run of 22 March
The race I want to participate in at the end of April (the 21st to be precise!) so I still have enough time to properly train for my first run. I feel very confident this time and I am ready to finally cross that finish line and be a runner. Now  I am going to head out to the farmers market and stock up on some fruits :).

Jirrine, believer, runner