Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Still jogging!

It's hard to believe, but I have kept up with jogging!!!  Rounding off my 4th month of jogging I feel I might be getting the hang of it, because the first few months sure didn't go as planned.  One thing was for sure, I knew I wanted to do it and I was going to figure it out no matter what I had to go through.  It seems so silly, it should just come naturally but it didn't for me.

In the beginning (ok, couple of months) I experienced extreme leg pains, to the point it was even affecting me when not jogging.  I read every article I could find and they all seemed to provide different information.  But after a while I saw the same pattern, shoes, terrain, and stance.  Well, shoes (Asics Trail Tambora 3) were taken care of for my birthday, and as far as terrain, I do my best to jog in woods, asphalt, or stone paths versus the sidewalk.  But this wasn't enough.

I turned to my stepdad who is an avid jogger and he said I needed to think about compression, wrapping my legs to help with the pain.  Well, I unfortunately don't have time to wrap my legs, see, I squeeze jogging into my schedule twice a week and it can't take up anymore time than it already does.  Then I remembered when researching shin splints and tibia pains, they kept mentioning compression socks or sleeves.  They're expensive but luckily I received an Amazon gift certificate for my birthday and I knew just what to buy.  Being that I order from the UK and have it shipped to The Netherlands you can't always get the exact item you want, so I ended up with men's compression socks - but hey they still do the job.  I love them, from the moment I put them on I knew they were going to help.  Too bad it takes 5 minutes to get them on, they are soooo tight, probably could have gone with the next size up.  Besides the socks I ordered support soles for my shoes but after a couple uses took them out and never thought about them again.  (BTW, I use 2XU Men's Compression Performance Run Socks.)

Now that the socks were helping I felt I could start making progress.  Yet still I was experiencing pain while jogging, and I knew this just wasn't how it was supposed to be.  But who is supposed to teach someone that doesn't want to spend the money for a trainer, I'm a beginner and didn't want to invest anymore money than I already had.  I went back to the articles I had read about stance and thought I should just try something different, even if it was for one session.  For some reason it was pounded into my head to jog heel to toe, maybe that's because it's how we walk.  So when these articles said to land on the middle of my foot or even my toe, I thought they were crazy.  But I tried it.  Instant relief, wow!!!  After this point I had already been jogging with injuries, so it took a while for the pain to go away and the muscles to properly start building.  I used to ask everyone, why do I only feel it in my calves and lower legs when I jog, and no one could answer me.  Now that I land midfoot instead of on my heel, I can feel my thighs and abs working, yes!

It's been a couple weeks since I adjusted my stance and I finally feel I am making progress.  The only other thing I had to work on was my playlist.  I had been using a couch to 5K program but since I don't have the time to jog 3 times a week it wasn't working, plus the music sucked and didn't motivate me at all.  I decided I needed my own music but since I still walk & jog in intervals I couldn't just let the music play on, I wanted it to change per activity like the program I had used.  So I searched out an MP3 cutter, and now adjust the songs to the amount of time I want to jog or walk.  It's simple, fast peppy songs mean jog, and slow songs mean walk, I even added a warm up & cool down.  It's been really motivating.  And as I improve I adjust the length of the songs, I trim off walking time and build up jogging time.  I hope to one day be able to jog for at least 20 minutes straight (have to set small goals and be realistic).

Needless to say, I enjoy jogging and pushing myself.  Telling my body to just hold out and keep running because the song will eventually end, ha-ha!  (I'm only up to 3 minutes at a time.)  And besides everything I mentioned above, I still tote my dog along for company and use Endomondo to track my results.

Any of you have any jogging tricks to share?

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wishful Thinking

About a thousand times in my blog I've mentioned that our apartment in the center of (downtown) Eindhoven has been for sale for roughly 3 yrs.  I try my best not to get my hopes up (see we want to move, we don't have to move - which affects the asking price) but occasionally I let my mind wander.  What kind of house would I want if it was even a possibility?  Using Funda (a housing website) I look around at our options and try to decide what suites us best.  I generally lean toward the older homes from the '30s, they seem to have a lot of character on the outside.  But knowing myself I would want to gut the inside and make it completely modern.  Once in a while I look at the newer houses, but the "modern" way of building here in The Netherlands seems to lack charm.  Being that we've lived in the busy part of town for around 9 yrs, it makes us start to think a quiet neighborhood isn't for us, which means a townhouse in the city.  What happened when that crossed my mind, the worst... I started daydreaming about how I would decorate it!  Ahh, that's sooo not like me.  But what did I end up with... love these terms... rustic industrial chic.  Curious as to what that looks like, thanks to Pinterest I already have lots of great ideas.  I must admit it's awfully neutral for someone who loves bright colors, but I figure I could add pops of color here and there.  Now just to get a house, and the money to afford such unique quality furnishings & finishing's!


Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nature Helps

My head has been swirling lately, and to be honest the creativity has been temporarily sucked out of me.  Why?  My kindergartner (group 1) is having a hard time adjusting to full school days at her new school.  There are a lot of tears and stomach aches, and I don't mean just her.

As my husband took her to school this morning (trying anything to help), I wanted to just stay inside in my pajamas and give into the sadness.  But we all know that's not the answer.  So I turned to nature, it's beautiful, calming, refreshing, and above all it makes my dog happy.  And it's nice to see someone in the house happy. 

We went for a wonderfully long morning walk through farm land here in the middle of Eindhoven.  And I thought I'd share some of the pics I snapped along the way.

And if any of you have any tips on dealing with children & school separation anxiety please leave a comment!




Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Irrland - Germany

This summer we had a weekend of fun family activities in Germany.  Besides Movie Park we also visited Irrland.  It's a huge park, I mean massive!  There's everything from swimming pools & slides to mazes & bouncy houses.  And it only costs €5 per person!!!  There is no way to truly experience the park in one day, but due to the low entry fee and the fact it's actually not so far from Eindhoven we'll definitely return.

We set up shop in Irrland North, in a centralized spot so the kids could find us.  Since there is limited food in the park we brought out own.  Almost every table includes a bbq grill, so we were sure to stop off at the grocery store on the way.  We made a day of it, eating, drinking, and playing at our leisure. 

Things to keep in mind, again the place is huge.  Be sure to rent a wagon to load all of your items in because you can't just pop back to the car.  And the walk from one section to the other is quite long.  Like I said, bring your own food.  You can buy drinks there but if you've already packed food you might want to pack drinks also.  There is tons there to rent, from little boats to bikes, so be sure to bring cash.  Don't forget your towels & bathing suits, because someone is bound to go in the water.  And bring sunscreen too, well, that's if you're going in the summer.  Most of the park is out in the open, and nobody wants to go home sun burnt.  Get a map on your way in because finding your way around at first can be overwhelming.  There are plenty of bathrooms, loads of parking, and endless activities.  There are also two towns close by if you do happen to forget any supplies.  Also, if you visit their website there is a great virtual map, my daughter loved looking through it before our trip.

We highly recommend a day (or two) at Irrland!  (FYI - it's also great for b-day parties.)

(Wish I had some original pics from the park but they're all full of family & friends, and I doubt they want their pics plastered on my blog!)

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica