Monthly Archives: March 2015

Our Weekend, Week 13

Another week down, and for us it was another weekend apart 😦

Sofi has been at home, still nursing a cold and looking after our friends’ dog, and I have been further south in Sweden for a training camp with our cycling club.

The training camp was from Thursday to Sunday, with three days (Fri, Sat, Sun) of organised rides. I took the train after work with Evan on Thursday, and then we settled in before having dinner and finding out what was going to happen over the weekend in a bit more detail.

We had decided to ride with the race group, because Mattias Reck, trainer for Team Giant Alpecin (the guy who also spoke at the seminar at Chalmers the week before), was going to do a session with that group on the Saturday. So our Friday ride was a 110 km ride with 7 tough climbs on Hallandsåsen (a ridge in that part of the country). (The other groups did a 100 km flat ride on the Friday and were tackling the climbs – either 5 or 7 over 50 km or 70 km respectively – on the Saturday.)

The group we had was really good and the roads and climbs were fantastic. I had only ever ridden here once before (when I cycled 258 km from Gothenburg to Helsingborg in September), so for me it was nearly all new! I really enjoyed the climbs, and especially enjoyed my new bike, but I couldn’t push myself as hard as I had hoped because I was still feeling the after effects of my cold, and couldn’t get my pulse over 170 bpm (my max is just over 190 bpm).

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On Friday evening (after a recovery sauna and shower) there was dinner and then a quiz, which my table won!

On Saturday Mattias came down in the morning and told us the plan for our ride. He is really enthusiastic and, as a coach to some of the best sprinters in the world, he really knows his stuff. The plan was simple: cycle hard! We were going to do lots of speed work with some sprints thrown in (as attacks). We ended up doing 130 km on some great roads.

After the last tough interval of speed and sprints, we had a very steady climb, which I did at a nice steady pace with Mattias, giving me a chance to speak to him and listen to more of his wise words 😀

I felt much better during Saturday’s ride, although once we reached top speed and when I did my sprint attacks, I could feel I was still lacking some aerobic capacity, but otherwise I had no troubles. But I will say that Reck wrecked us #getRecked 😀

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After dinner on Saturday, Mattias held a talk. He discussed how he and the other management work at Giant Alpecin, and then discussed how his riders train and how he can monitor them and so on. It was really fascinating, just like it was the week before. He clearly has a wealth of knowledge and it would be interesting to have an even longer presentation by him.

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Sunday was a wet day, so instead of cycling, me and Evan decided to get an early train home 🙂 Once I got home, me and Sofi went into town to the new Specialized store that opened this weekend and I bought her two new pairs of gloves (and we both got a free water bottle for checking in on Facebook), then we had lunch at Vapiano before heading home to spend the afternoon resting and recovering!

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I definitely need some rest now though, as my cold was holding me back and I want to be better when I’m cycling in England next week with Sofi, my dad, and my sister 🙂


 

So what did I (Sofi) do at the weekend? 🙂

I was at home, taking care of the dog, and just trying to take it easy. I was ill at the beginning of the week and when I went back to work on Thursday it was because our third year students were having seminars the whole day and I was one of the persons leading one of the groups 😦 So Thursday and Friday were a bit tough since I was still  ill.

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On Friday my friends Sanna and Srdan came over and I cooked them a nice meal and we talked all evening.

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On Saturday I met my friend Malin for lunch, we then went to Hagabadet (a very nice spa in the centre of Gothenburg, and they have opened a mini spa opposite us now as well) for an afternoon of just relaxing in the sauna and in the pool. We both bought magazines to read as well but we had too much to talk about so we didn’t read them at all 🙂 After a few hours there we came back to my place and took the dog for a nice long walk. We then made a delicious dinner, a vegetarian bun cha. We talked and watched a film and then that day was over too.

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My Sunday was spent with Jason when he got home from his training camp ❤

 

We hope you all did something fun this weekend!
/Jason and Sofi

 

Tabbouleh and Houmous

We rarely eat or make Greek or Turkish food. However, tabbouleh and houmous are two very fresh and delicious dishes that are easy to make and which you can eat different things with. We ate some falafel with ours. We didn’t make the falafel ourselves this time since we didn’t have enough time (too hungry 🙂 ) but we have in the past. And we would recommend you make your own even if it is a bit of work.  Continue reading

Our Weekend, Week 12

Oops, we’ve been a bit quiet on our blog lately. This weekend and the last half of last week I (Jason) have had a bad cold, which Sofi started to feel symptoms of on Friday. So we have been feeling sorry for ourselves rather than sharing our love on the blog! Sorry about that. Our week last week started out well – we ran twice and I got a ride in as well.

My cold started on Wednesday night after I got home from a really fascinating seminar about cycling at Chalmers University in Gothenburg. The title of the seminar was “Become a better cyclist through scientific training and better equipment”, and the speakers came from various walks of life relating to cycling and training, but certainly the two most interesting speakers were the two coaches from Team Giant Alpecin (one of the top teams), Mattias Reck and Teun Van Erp. They made professional cyclists and the training they do more understandable, as well as how they are able to coach them and predict which of their three big sprinters will perform best after a particular distance or a particular amount of climbing in a stage – really fascinating to see the power output differences from these different things!

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I felt my cold once I got home – that uncomfortable scratchy throat feeling. I hoped some tea with honey before bed might help, but when I woke up the next day it felt like I had been hit by a train! Sofi, being the sensible and caring soul she is, told me to stay home and rest. I did just that, but hoped that I would be better in the afternoon and could take my new bike out for a spin (it is waiting to be ridden by me 😦 ), so I changed my wheels and brake pads, put on some bottle cages and some Garmin sensors (new speed sensor on the wheel hub, and my Garmin Vector pedals) and mounts. I could tell after doing those small little things I wouldn’t be better.

Friday was a total write off as well, and when Sofi got home, I could tell she was starting to feel bad as well. That was not a good thing – Lisa and Tommy were coming this weekend because we were all running a preliminary 10 km race for the Gothenburg Half Marathon in order to improve our start groups. (If it’s your first time they put you in the lower start groups, and that’s never cool!)

Lisa and Tommy came just after lunch, so me and Sofi bought fika for when they got here. (See how unwell we were – usually we jump on any chance to bake!) After fika, we went to one of the shopping areas south of Gothenburg to pick up our start numbers and to browse a few shops. Then it was back home and time to think about carb loading 🙂 After much discussion we decided on a salsa di noci (walnut pesto) lasagne, with the sheets made of spinach pasta. It was absolutely delicious!

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On Sunday we had a bit of a lie in – the race didn’t start until 13:00. We then had breakfast and a small lunch before getting ready to leave. It was much colder on Sunday than it had been the rest of the week, but that usually isn’t too bad if you’re planning to run at pace. However me and Sofi were still not feeling too well and I think I spent about 20 minutes blowing my nose and clearing my throat before I left (mainly so I wouldn’t do it on the people behind me during the race!).

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I was planning to run the quickest, then Sofi and Lisa were expecting to come in together a few minutes after me, and then Tommy a few minutes after them. There was quite a strong wind blowing against us for a lot of the course, which made things tough, and the cold weather made breathing a little hard. I ran it at 46:04, which was just over my goal, but I could barely breathe on the last few km and I couldn’t get my pulse up or sprint at all. Sofi got a stitch and pain in her foot so told Lisa to go ahead after 5 km. Lisa came in at 49:49, which is what they had both planned to run (sub 50′). Sofi came in a couple minutes later at 53:30, and Tommy came in at 56:49. I think we should all be proud of those times (that’s actually my fastest 10 km, although I know I can do sub 45′). Sofi was disappointed, but she did very well considering she has only run twice (both times last week) before the race, since injuring herself at Christmas, and she did have a very bad cold.

After the race we went back home and showered, and then Lisa and Tommy headed back to Helsingborg. Malin and Evan then came over to watch Milan-San Remo. After watching the cycling, Malin and Evan headed home as well, and then me and Sofi crashed on the bed. I think we both knew that our colds were going to come back with a vengeance after the run, Sofi’s more so than mine. Yesterday was another day spent home sick, and today will be a similar story, although I think I might head to work, as I feel better.

We hope you all had good weekends and were able to stay healthy and cold-free!
/Jason and Sofi

Our Weekend, Week 11

This weekend was quite long. Sofi came to England Thursday evening, and we went straight out for dinner with my family, at a nice Italian restaurant in Woking. The food was great, but it was especially nice to have everyone (most people) together!

On the Friday me and Sofi cycled to see my mum in Sunninghill before she and Jeremy went up north for the weekend. We had a nice lunch and fika with them 🙂 My dad then met us in Sunninghill and we cycled back to Woking through the army ranges near Farnborough. It was a lovely ride with great weather 😀

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In the evening me and Sofi made dinner for my dad and Lesley, and Jasmine and Nick. We made melanzane for starter and then made gluten-free pesto pasta for main. (Recipe for gluten-free pasta will be up soon.) We then had rum baba for dessert, with a gluten-free sponge my sister had made – delicious!

On Saturday we had a nice ride to Seale. It was me, Sofi, my dad, my sister, and Iain (one of my dad’s regular riding buddies). It was a fairly cold ride, but my sister did really well and our average speed was much higher than the weekend before 🙂 We stopped at Seale Tea Rooms, and had a nice warm drink and some cake – that’s the main reason for riding a bike though, isn’t it!

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After our ride we packed and then headed to Harrow on the Hill, where we were staying for the wedding. The Saturday was the traditional ceremony in a mosque, which was interesting to experience. Neither of us had ever been to a Muslim wedding before, so it was nice to see how it was similar and different to what we consider “normal” weddings. After the ceremony we had a nice Indian meal in the mosque. For me, it was really nice to hear what people had to say about my friend Sameer, as I could only agree with all the nice words that were said! 🙂 Neither of us had met his bride Madiha before, but she seemed really lovely and people only had nice (if not nicer) words for her too.

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Sofi in a nice Indian shalwar kameez 😀

After the ceremony was over and most people had left, we went back to our hotel to change before heading to the local pub for a drink and to talk. (Sofi hasn’t been able to talk to me face to face for a week, so she had a lot to say! 😉 )

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The wedding reception was on the Sunday and the invitation said “13:00 sharp”, so we were there at 12:55 and were surprised to find we were the first people to show up! After speaking to the caterers, they said most Muslim wedding receptions start 30-60 mins later than advertised. So we waited for more people to come before we went in 🙂

Both Sameer and Madiha’s families were very hospitable and caring, and looked after us (as the only real outsiders) during the whole weekend. It was really nice to get to know some of them and find out more about both Sameer and Madiha this way too. Sameer and Madiha looked great, and we were the first people to get a picture with them as a newly-wed couple (mainly because we had to leave to catch our plane back to Sweden).

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We hope they have a wonderful honeymoon and can’t wait to invite them over for dinner once they get back to Sweden.

It was a great weekend, and a great week as well. Today we went for a run after work and then made our quick Asian salad. Not a bad start to the week 🙂

We hope you all had nice weekends!
/Jason and Sofi

Oven-Baked Portobello and Chestnut Mushrooms with a Goat’s Cheese Sauce

Tonight I felt like eating something with pasta that had a lot of flavour. Since I love goat’s cheese and mushrooms I decided to make a goat’s cheese sauce and bake some mushrooms in the oven. I made my own pasta since I love fresh pasta, but you could use whatever pasta you want.
Continue reading

Our Weekend, Week 10

I suppose this post should be “Our Weekends”, seeing as I am in England and Sofi is still in Sweden, thus two very different weekends.

Like we have mentioned before, we are going to a wedding next weekend and that wedding is in England. So I thought I would come here a little earlier so I had time to spend with my family and get a few rides in on the poor English roads as well!

Along with me and Sofi, my sister, Jasmine, was also successful in the ballot for the RideLondon-Surrey 100 in August, a 100 mile (160 km) ride on closed roads in London and Surrey. So this weekend was also perfect to get my sister started with her bike training in preparation for that. Yesterday she joined me and my dad on a nice 30 km ride through the lanes. After the ride we caught the end of Strada Bianche (I was pleased to see another Etixx Quick-Step victory) and then headed to town to buy some bits. We then went out to an Italian for dinner as Lesley (my dad’s girlfriend) was running the Surrey Half Marathon today, so her and her friends were carb loading, one of my favourite pastimes 😀
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Lesley’s half started at 09:00, so me and my dad spent the morning planning where we could go and watch her on the route – it was on closed roads, so perfect for the runners, and an opportunity for us to try and race to our chosen spots to see her on other roads 🙂 We saw Lesley five times along the route, and covered 35 km. She looked strong and cheerful throughout, and came in at 2:09 – just under her planned time! 😀
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After seeing her near the finish, we rushed back home because Jasmine was waiting to ride with us. We put her on Sofi’s bike today (I brought it over to leave for when Sofi and I come at Easter), which was a better fit than my dad’s bike yesterday, and I think she preferred the colours as well! We had planned to go to a lovely tea room in Seale (where WyndyMilla bikes are based), but the sun went behind the clouds so we thought we would stay closer to home as it got a bit nippy 😦 We went a bit further than yesterday, and because Sofi’s bike has a compact, Jasmine was able to spin a lot more, which seemed to keep her going better. (My ride, my dad’s ride, Jasmine’s ride.) It was the first time in over 15 years I had cycled with my sister this weekend, so it was really nice! And it was great to get her started on her way to conquering 100 miles in August 😀
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Tonight both my grandfathers are coming over, as well as some other people, for a nice roast dinner. I’m still feeling a bit cold from the ride as I write this, so some warm food, sitting by the fire, and being with family will be a nice way to spend my evening 🙂

Next week I will be doing some work (I’m very fortunate to have a flexible role and be able to do most of my work from home…and abroad), and lots more cycling.


So, I am still in Sweden and like Jason wrote I will go to England on Thursday. My weekend has also been very busy. On Friday after work I went out to have dinner with some friends. I had booked a table at a new restaurant, vegetarian since 3 of them are vegetarians (and now I am sort of too). The food was very different and we shared a few different dishes. They had really tried new combinations and there were many different types of dishes. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to take a single picture. Everyone thought it was good (except Martin who wanted meat 🙂 ).

On Saturday morning I had a very early start and went out for a morning walk. At 8:40 I was all ready to take the train to my parents. I baked a pie and then Tommy’s (my sister’s bf) parents came for dinner at my parents’ place. They all liked my pie. 🙂 It was delicious! Then we just spent the evening playing games and talking.
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On Sunday morning I was going out for my first run in 3 months. I am seeing my physio on Tuesday again and I needed to see if there had been an improvement. I have not been able to run more than 2 km and then felt the pain in my leg. However, today I took it really slow and managed to run 6 km without feeling any pain. So I am hoping it is going to just keep getting better. It is really frustrating to not have been able to run. Now I just need to be careful so it doesn’t start hurting again. I have difficulty doing that though 🙂 my patience isn’t very big. The weather in Skåne (south of Sweden) today was gorgeous, warm and sunny. Spring might be here!

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I then went with my dad and brother to see my grandmother. In the evening I took the train home again and now I am ready for another week of work.

Have a great week everyone!
/Sofi and Jason