Rachel
This is my fitness diary and my source for inspiration. I'm a Californian living in Oslo, Norway.

First hours in Amsterdam

I wrote this in the first hours of my ten day trip. I appreciate collecting all the small thing and writing them down, so I can come back later and see how I felt in that moment. 

Rainy train stop, tram to Alec’s neighborhood, a decorated charming sitting area near his apartment. A design minded apartment, meeting nina, her warmth and friendliness and i already love her. An apartment filled with things (not minimalistic like in Scandinavia) - photos, trinkets, lamps, plants, pillows, pictures, art, books, stroopwaffles and nuts out on the table. Bicycling to Boom Chicago, seeing the other bikers, all the different shops out, I want to try everything and go down every street. Seeing the comedy show, Americans making fun of America, crowd participation, roasting of Sam Super leaving the group. Fresh hummus and falafel for dinner, oh man how I have missed both. Alec is friends with the bartender and we get free drinks, he knows everyone. Talking with nina about Macedonia, visiting California, conflict in her homeland. Bicycling home and seeing the moon above the still canals, empty streets. Cycling through the Rijks museum and seeing exhibits waiting to be explored, cycling past the I (am) Amsterdam sign. Families, grandmothers, children, men walking around at 1am to eat or from eating their meals during Ramadan. I love this city.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The math from today’s run:

- HILLS UGH
- Heat (28 degrees Celsius)
+ resisted the urge to turn around after 20 seconds
+ the panorama feature on my phone
+ my new trail shoes

= 2.5 miles, 11:31 min/mile

The complete guide to working out before work – Quartz

I begin full time work in August and I want to work out before I get to the office. I will try out some tips from this article, and I hope to manage 4 or 5am wakeups….

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Meanwhile in the Netherlands, I RAN TO A WINDMILL.

(I think mile 4 was a miscalculation by Strava, never in my life have I ran that fast and I did not run like the wind that this windmill needs)

Saturday, 12 July 2014
Two miles in Vondelpark, 8:30 minutes per mile, where I saw:

young people exercise groups
old people exercise groups
running clubs
yoga groups
pregnant women exercise groups
run with logs groups??

It is HOT in the city. I had planned to run longer, but these runs are more for my touristy curiosity than actual training. Now to the beach and an evening with my brothers and friends!

Two miles in Vondelpark, 8:30 minutes per mile, where I saw:

young people exercise groups
old people exercise groups
running clubs
yoga groups
pregnant women exercise groups
run with logs groups??

It is HOT in the city. I had planned to run longer, but these runs are more for my touristy curiosity than actual training. Now to the beach and an evening with my brothers and friends!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Today instead of a run: a 20 km ride out of the city center to the village Dugerdam after reading about it in the guidebook ‘Get Lost In Amsterdam’. It is a hot day, so I was sweating bullets navigating the city, around other bikers, over bridges, and finally through the fields to this village. It was a mix of boats, cottages, swimmers, farm animals, and other tourists. Gusts of wind out there helped, and by the time I came back I was parched, so I stopped at this windmill that is also a brewery.

2 hours cycling + 15 push ups

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Day 2 in Amsterdam and my first run since the half marathon. It felt fantastic to get out and moving after a delicious lunch of sandwiches and a lemon curd zucchini cake at The Last Crumb (De Laaste Kruimel). That plus chocolates and cheese we bought as gifts for tonight, with a little taste for ourselves made me hanker for some exercise.

Alec lives in southern Amsterdam and I wanted to look at house boats so I just found a path where I could. It was raining but I love the people, boat, and city watching I got - tourism and exercise rolled into one.

I am excited for the World Cup game tonight - go Germany!

I am very satisfied with Strava too - it has been better than Endomondo so far.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Yesterday’s hike to Kjerag, a boulder wedged in a crevice overlooking the Lysefjorden. It was an incredible view and I was terrified standing on that rock!

Sunday, 29 June 2014
A lazy Sunday in my backyard: sunshine, grilling, Norwegian strawberries, gardening, and Netherlands vs. Mexico

A lazy Sunday in my backyard: sunshine, grilling, Norwegian strawberries, gardening, and Netherlands vs. Mexico

Friday, 27 June 2014

I love Skype, and how I stay connected to my family in California and now Jens in Trondheim. This video got me teary. 

Thursday, 26 June 2014
"You can either spend your time or invest it."

Chip Kelly

Use your time investing in the things you love. That means less TV, less Facebook news feed, even less tumblr. 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Tromsø Half Marathon

This was a different experience. The first time I flew less than 24 hours before running, starting at night (22:30), and racing in cold weather (6 degrees Celsius and windy). Here’s a gorgeous aerial photo of the types of views I had:

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I arrived at 11:00am and since I wanted to save my legs, my friend Scott and I lounged around all day. This turned out to be wonderful and needed, so I took naps, watched news and TV, and watched the World Cup while first Scott warmed up and then myself. We got a smidge of sun during the day, so we imagined what it would be like to have it at midnight!

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I started to get nervous right before the race - it has been two years since my last half marathon, and my training these last few weeks have been off with turning in my thesis and starting work. I had not run in the previous six days before the race!! Thankfully SATS (a Norwegian gym) had a dancey, fun warm up and that cooled my nerves. The picture below is not mine, and it is of the marathoners, but this is where we started as well. 

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I fulfilled both goals of mine, the achievable and the hopeful: I ran the whole time and I ran under two hours! Here are my results:

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My biggest weakness while training was too much, too soon. So I took the first kilometers slowly, plus there was a lot of traffic leaving the city. I checked my watch and saw I had been running for 20 minutes, and felt warmed up - but what was my mileage? I saw a sign saying 7km, and thought, “wow this is going fast!”. I remembered after a little more time that the signs were counting down, and that sign was for the 10km race earlier. I saw another sign for 17km, and then got a better sense of my pace.

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The scenery was magnificent. It looked like the end of the world, and since I was running on a flat road I could afford to look around. Other cliff notes:

  • I followed a girl with a strawberry beanie for a bit
  • A head wind from km 5-11
  • Halfway I realized I could maybe make 2 hours?
  • Saw my friend Scott while running and cheered him on
  • Norwegians or locals yelling heia and I appreciated their cheering
  • By km 15 my legs and knees started aching
  • By km 18 my feet started hurting

Thank you happyhealthycook for mentioning the book Running with the Mind of Meditation. Although I just started reading it, when things were getting tough, I thought about my breath, the way my body was working towards my goal, and that I could do it. My meditative mindset got me through the race. 

I am proud that I pushed myself the last five kilometers, and achieved my goal, finishing in 1:59:31. I hobbled to the hotel after, and instead of a midnight sun we got midnight light. This photo was taken near 1:00am!

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My bed felt wonderful. The next day my knees hurt badly but I managed to walk to the Arctic church. 

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All in all I wish I had trained better and more for it, but it was a great feeling being around so many other runners who had trained hard for the same goal. My next race will be a trial or maybe even a mountain run!?

 
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