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Dumped on again

Sunday, March 24, 2013

We woke to yet another snow dump this morning. I'm trying to be more positive about things beyond my control so decided to focus on how pretty everywhere looks in the snow, rather than how cold it is and what a hassle it is to drive in! Here in Belgium, the bike lanes have all been gritted but not the roads ....... shows where their priorities lie, haha! We had a quick walk round the park, before having to dig our car out of a snowdrift before we could drive home again.

Apparently, the last time it snowed this late in March was 1952, and this is the coldest March since records began in 1833!

I have been to the gym this morning and renewed my membership. I let it lapse when it ran out at the end of Jauary - I had visions of jogging along canal paths in my shorts and Tshirt by now, hohum. I ran yesterday, first time in 2 weeks due to an achilles injury, but my ankle still doesn't feel right so I have decided to leave the running for now and use the gym to build up general fitness.
Membership includes use of a very nice pool with sauna/steam room so I plan to make good use of that and rest the ankle for a while.

One last photo to remind me that spring will come eventually. Taken at the Keukenhof tulip festival last April emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEACHWALKER 3/26/2013 1:25AM

    Good for you on the gym membership! Sounds like it will do your ankle good to stop with the running for now.
Love that boat pic! Snow can be pretty in pics! Sure has been wacky weather everywhere! I hope you get a break soon!
I love tulips!!! emoticon

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UNSWEETMAMA 3/25/2013 11:58AM

    The pool with sauna/steam room sounds great - and warm

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CATHEMARIE 3/24/2013 10:52PM

    Wow, you are there for a historic event!!


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MADZI88 3/24/2013 3:50PM

    God never sends the winter without the promise of spring. It'll be here before you know it!

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MELMOMOF4 3/24/2013 1:32PM

    yeah we got snow lastnight and going to be getting more. I am so ready for spring

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WILSONWR 3/24/2013 1:19PM

    That is crazy weather! Hope it warms up soon!

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LIS193 3/24/2013 11:06AM

    The weather in Europe is crazy! I spoke to my mum on Terschelling yesterday and she said it didn't get above freezing all day.

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ELLENIRENE 3/24/2013 10:37AM

    and here in SD, we are so dry, we would even welcome a big snowfall--anything for moisture

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JACKIE542 3/24/2013 10:11AM

    Good for you for being positive, the pictures are beautiful. So since this is the coldest March since 1833, maybe you will never have to experience this again.
I would be in the sauna at the gym all the time, lo.
Tulips are beautiful, I have a few. Take care Dawn. Hope you continue to make this a great day.. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/24/2013 10:14:22 AM

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HOLLYM48 3/24/2013 10:02AM

    Great pictures of the snow, even though we are all very sick of it!
Wonderful picture of the tulips at the end too. Love them.
Good job in renewing your gym membership and making the best of the snow situation, Spring will come and hopefully soon. Here in Minnesota there is still a lot of snow on the ground too so I feel your pain!
Have a great Sunday.

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/24/2013 9:42AM

    Good job coming up with an alternative plan when the running bits need recovery time. Spark on! Spring... hurry up... for all of us in the Northern hemisphere (got snow in Nebraska, center of USA, too).

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DR1939 3/24/2013 9:39AM

    When we were in Bruges several years ago we were amazed at the number of bike riders.

Americans' perception of Belgium is snowy and cold due to the weather during the Battle of the Bulge during WWII. Of course that was at Christmas but memories do get separated from their backstory.

We are expecting a small amount of snow today and tomorrow, 2 to 4", but that is not unusual for southern Minnesota. We usually have flurries until early April and our last freeze usually is just before Mother's Day in May. I'm with you, I hate it so late in the season. It's time for spring!

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PUDLECRAZY 3/24/2013 9:37AM

    I'm with you, Dawn. We are in charge of how we feel. We are due for the snow tonight, so I have decided to enjoy the beauty. Our last snow was the prettiest we have had for years; stunning actually. And if it is going to be this darn cold anyway, I prefer the beauty of snow to the bleakness of March.

Thank you for the great photos. Oh boy, am I ever looking forward to tulips!

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Spring is in the air!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Spring is in the air, though the snow is on the ground
Spring is in the air, though you have to look around
And I don't know if I'm being foolish
Don't know if I'm being wise
But it's something that I must believe in
And it's there when I look in the skies.....

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

It's still cold and snowy - but the emoticon is out today!

Spring is definitely in the air. It's traditional in my family to complete spring cleaning the house before Easter Sunday. This year Easter is very early, so I need to get on with it! (Mantra - "Think of the exercise calories...") After reading one or two blogs on here yesterday, I decided it would be a good idea to extend that spring cleaning to my body.

My healthy living journey has ground to a halt over the last few weeks. It's time to re-assess and kick start my efforts. This morning I have edited my Spark Page and reset weight and exercise goals. I am about to spring clean the kitchen cupboards - anything that is past it's "best before" date is heading for the bin. I was shocked to discover I have spice jars dating back 10 years - and don't ask about the expiry date on certain items in the medicine cabinet! "Stuff" that was bought in a moment of weakness, which has no place in my cupboards, will be deposited elsewhere, either bin, bird table or charity food collection.

I also plan to spring clean my body with a 3 day detox - no caffeine (not a problem - I drink very little coffee/tea), no alcohol (ditto caffeine), no processed food and - my achilles heel - no sugar. I got into the habit of eating like this a few years ago and felt great, although it was hard for the first couple of weeks.

I'm off out for a little walk in the sun now, before it disappears! (There are thick grey clouds rolling in, but I'm deliberately not looking in that direction). Ah, I love spring! *hums jaunty ditty whilst pulling on thick coat, hat 'n scarf and lacing up furry boots*

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNING-TURTLE 3/22/2013 11:09AM


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DR1939 3/21/2013 8:06PM


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LIS193 3/21/2013 12:50PM

    Yeah! for sunshine!

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UNSWEETMAMA 3/21/2013 12:06PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JACKIE542 3/21/2013 10:04AM

    Loved your cute poem. Yay, the sun is out!
I did most of my Spring cleaning, just need to clean the carpets. Easter is so early this year.
Hope the sun stayed out for your walk today.

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WILSONWR 3/21/2013 9:15AM

    Sounds like your Spring cleaning is coming along well. Good luck!

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PUDLECRAZY 3/21/2013 6:03AM

    I have enjoyed seeing patches of blue the last couple of days. It had been a very gray couple of weeks, I am tired of the cold, though. The birds keep giving me hope singing their morning love songs.

It WILL feel like spring; I know it will!

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TRYINGHARD54 3/21/2013 5:56AM

    I like spring to..... emoticon

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1st day of spring......

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

......and still it snows! I know us Brits like to bang on about the weather and rarely manage a conversation without mentioning it, but this is getting ridiculous. I can't remember a winter as long as this. Today's view from the window....

This time last year, we were under a "hosepipe ban" due to drought conditions. Someone up there is surely having a laugh!

Just found out it's International Happiness day!!! No more grumbling about the weather from me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSONWR 3/20/2013 7:00PM

    You've definitely had your share of snow this Winter (and Spring...)!

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ANDY_54 3/20/2013 6:58PM

    Oh first day of Spring, surely they jest! We're cold here, too. Hope it clears soon so the flowers can come out! Happy Happiness Day, lol. emoticon

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LIS193 3/20/2013 2:45PM

    Happy first day of spring and International Happiness day!
(I'm married to a brit - lots of moaning about the weather!)

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UNSWEETMAMA 3/20/2013 11:43AM

    Wishing you some emoticon

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JACKIE542 3/20/2013 10:28AM

    I think it better be a very beautiful Spring, when it does come, hopefully very soon. emoticon

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RUNGRL2013 3/20/2013 10:22AM

    I saw sunshine here for about an hour today...I feel your pain emoticon

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BARCONIUS 3/20/2013 10:20AM

    That's what my neighborhood looked like yesterday, only less green and more asphalt and concrete. This too shall pass.

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    It is supposed to snow tonight or tomorrow night here in Georgia, USA, considerably south of you.

Make Today a Great Day

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LOSE4LIFE47 3/20/2013 9:57AM


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The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lots has happened over the last week. My daughter had her 14th birthday emoticon (can't believe my baby enters high school this summer). It's the first Belgian birthday that we've not had snow. Quite the opposite, it was a summery 18*C/65*F emoticon and she mused that this year she could have had the bouncy castle in the garden that she dreamed of as a 6 year old....

We celebrated Mothering Sunday at the weekend, especially nice as my son was home for a few days so I had my entire family with me. That made me very happy. We ate lunch out and generally enjoyed each other's company.
Yesterday, I said goodbye to my son again and put him on the train back to London. I also said goodbye to my husband who flew off to Madrid for the week. The first flakes of snow began to fall..... emoticon

....and today we woke up to a deep covering again with temperatures back well below freezing.

I had the worst white knuckle ride ever to drive my daughter to school. The roads were sheet ice and despite everyone driving extrememly slowly, there were several scary moments with cars around fish tailing and sliding off the road. emoticon I had just got home after an hour on the road (usually takes less than 15 mins) when the phone went - school, to say lessons had been cancelled as hardly anybody had made it in, so I needed to collect my daughter! EEEEEK! emoticon So back out onto the icerink I went.

It's turned out OK, the sun came out at lunchtime, the snow has started to melt, and we were able to enjoy a beautiful walk through the woods together - albeit a chilly one.

Other musings.....
emoticon I had been quite happy with how my race training was going. I completed a fantastic long run a couple of weeks ago and have been out doing shorter 30 min sessions since. On Sunday, I set off to run a gentle 10K - less than 10 minutes in, my left achilles twanged and that was that. I hobbled home and spent the next 2 days limping. It has eased off a lot today, but I'm nervous about going out again too soon and causing more problems.

emoticon I was touched that so many friends had commented congratulations on my 1lb weight loss this week, although amongst the "aw that's so nice"s I was sheepishly having to admit to myself that actually, it's the same 1lb that I have been putting on and taking off since Christmas. I'm really not in the zone at the moment, and I'm not too sure how to get back there. I had lost a total of 17lbs before Christmas and was feeling very happy with myself. Slowly, most of that has crept back on and I feel so disappointed with myself. But not surprised. This is my usual pattern. Bah! Why is it so hard? emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSONWR 3/14/2013 7:52PM

    Hope the injury is just a minor one!

As far as the weight gain, it is hard to keep the momentum going. I had lost 45 pounds in 6 months and I felt energized every day. As the holidays began, I found myself snacking more and more. Once the energy started dwindling and some of the pounds came back on, my motivation started going down also. Now that I started another 5% challenge and have some started "re-losing" some of the weight, I feel so much better and I'm beginning to get more energy again.

It sounds like you've been exercising enough, so I'm sure it's just getting into the bad eating habits again. If you're not "tracking" your food, you might want to start again until you get the calories under control. As you start having more weight loss, your motivation should get stronger and stronger.

We're in this together! If you ever need any help, just let me know! I'm always there for support!

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JACKIE542 3/12/2013 2:06PM

    Glad that your daughter had a good birthday, and that you were able to spend quality time with your family on Mothering Sunday.
The pictures are so beautiful, too bad you had to drive on those icy roads twice, sure glad that you are ok.
I would be careful with that foot for awhile, I agree with beachwalker, maybe walking for a bit.
Don't be so hard on yourself about the weight, I was a slow loser too, I still say it helped me keep it off better. I also gain in winter, so happy it's warm here, now I can go for more bike rides and hikes.
Hope you have a good day. emoticon

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1BEACHWALKER 3/12/2013 12:50PM

    Loved the pics! Hope that spring comes quickly for you! No more snow!!
Sorry to hear about your Achilles tendon! I had a tendon in the back of my knee go bad on me in a minor fall in December and it took about 2 months to stop bothering me. Still get a twinge now and then. Maybe you ought to not jog/run, but walk slowly for a couple weeks and see how it goes.
I know the feeling about slow weight loss and have been doing the 2 pound cha cha for what seems to be forever-up and down, up and down! I have been trying to figure out the magic formula=more exercise or less food, WHAT?! Now going to ride bikes, hope that will shake things up a bit!
Hang in there! emoticon

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LIS193 3/12/2013 12:17PM

    Ouch on the achilles heel.. Hope it will heal quickly.
Glad the snow held off till after your DD's birthday! It made up for it, didn't it? Scary drive to school.
Hang in there spring is around the corner!

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A much needed long one!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

What a difference a week makes! Last weekend's snow melted quickly on Monday, and although it has been decidedly nippy it has been dry all week. My good intentions to run regularly went out of the window with the bad weather but this weekend I decided it was time to get things back on track. I've done a fair bit of running in the past, sometimes running races where I've been woefully under prepared, so I know that I have the mental ability to get myself from A to B. I decided today to "go for it", to run slowly but steadily and see how far I could keep going for.

I got up and faffed, as is usually the case on long run day. That bit where you have to get out of the door is a HUGE obstacle for me. Once I'm out its usually ok but that door step. Wow. What powers it has.I porridged and faffed some more; cleaned the kitchen, washed the floor. By 10.30 it was now or never.

Right from the start I decided on the run/walk strategy trying to keep within 13 minute miles, which meant I had to run quite a bit of each mile so couldn't pretend I was out on a country walk. It was too cold for that. Thankfully no wind, but cloudy, dull and cold. I've had enough of the cold now emoticon

The miles gradually passed. It's not a very interesting route, going down the lane, through the woods, along the river, up the lane, through a housing estate, along the main road for a mile (slight uphill!!!), down a lane, keep going to the river, over a bridge and up the lane, but it's better than running through town or on busy roads. There was hardly any traffic apart from the uphill mile. A couple of horses, some cyclists, a handful of other runners and a few dog walkers was the total audience I had.

I got round it, running some of every mile, though the hill was walked and the last mile was hard going.
1) - 1m - 11:48(11:48/m) - 141cal
2) - 1m - 12:02(12:02/m) - 141cal
3) - 1m - 12:30(12:30/m) - 140cal
4) - 1m - 12:04(12:04/m) - 146cal
5) - 1m - 13:31(13:31/m) - 132cal
6) - 1m - 12:10(12:10/m) - 146cal
7) - 1m - 12:42(12:42/m) - 141cal
8) - 1m - 14:11(14:11/m) - 128cal
9) - 1m - 12:48(12:48/m) - 137cal
10) - 1m - 12:22(12:22/m) - 141cal
11) - 1m - 12:19(12:19/m) - 143cal
12) - 1m - 12:56(12:56/m) - 137cal
13) - 1m - 13:20(13:20/m) - 129cal
14) - 0.02m - 17(12:31/m) - 4cal

13 miles done emoticon . I had expected to be out for 3 hours and got home in 2.44 so I was very happy with that. Tomorrow I shall be back to following the schedule so that I can build up to running the whole way and hopefully knock a few minutes off the total time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIME2BLOOM4ME 3/4/2013 12:14PM


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BESSHAILE 3/4/2013 9:15AM


And boy do I know what you're talking about with the ... "Out The Door" issues. For me it's the Left Turn Out of the Parking Lot at work - If i turn left I go to the gym.

Congratulations on making it out the door.

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WILSONWR 3/3/2013 10:23PM

    I'm impressed! You're doing fantastic!

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LIS193 3/3/2013 7:37PM

13 miles! You are doing great!
I hear you about faffing... I'm good at that too :)

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JACKIE542 3/3/2013 3:50PM

    Wow! 13 miles I thinks that is a great run and you got home sooner than expected, and you already cleaned the floor, now all it needs to do is warm up. All good for today. emoticon emoticon

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RUNNING-TURTLE 3/3/2013 2:58PM

    emoticon I haven't braved running let alone running outdoors. I can't wait for slightly better weather so I can go on my walks/jogging with my well now 2 year old. We love the country, but can get boring sometimes. Glad you eventually got out anyways and are very proud of yourself for doing so.

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CHICCHANTAL 3/3/2013 2:51PM

    Now when I can run the 16 miles I walked yesterday, I'll feel I have something to brag about! There's nothing like a good pipe-opener, is there?

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NEEDBU66 3/3/2013 2:36PM

    The good thing I saw is that the floor got mopped. Maybe lolly gagging around is a good thing!!!

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