Category Archives: Thoughts

Our Weekend – Week 20

This weekend was another long weekend, and we spent it in Italy watching the Giro d’Italia! 😀

We flew to Rome on Wednesday evening, and met Jason’s mum at the airport. Jason got an early birthday present from me (Sofi) for the trip: a nice Paul Smith canvas bag with a cycling print. He really loved it! 😀

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On Thursday we spent the day trying to see as much or Rome as possible. Jason had never been before, so he wanted to see the main things before we headed to our next destination in the evening. We started at the Colosseum and then worked our way through the sights of Rome, Apart from the Fontana di Trevi, which was under renovation, everything was spectacular, and the weather really helped make Rome look pretty. After some lunch, we headed to the Vatican City, and went in St. Peter’s Basilica. Jason thought the Vatican was huge, he had seen it on TV and in films, but was really impressed by all of it.

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After having had enough of Rome, we got in our hire car (a beautifully-white Fiat 500) and headed to Fiuggi, where we would be watching the Giro. It was only an hour’s drive and we arrived at a town that was dressed in pink and all ready for the Giro. In the evening we went for dinner and had a stroll through town.

The next day I went out for a very early morning run. I really can’t sleep for long in the mornings and I usually go up at 6 as my body clock is set for that and ultimately I wake up about that time. I don’t mind though, since I love going out in the early morning in a new town. Cycling is a great way to experience a new place and so is running. You just let your eyes take you around a new place and it doesn’t even feel like you are exercising 🙂

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After that we had breakfast and walked around town again, taking pictures of all the Giro displays that were in every shop. By now, they had also put up the barriers for the finish line (which was almost directly outside our hotel) and some of the sponsor tents. We walked to the only real tourist attraction which is a site where they have fountains where you can drink Fiuggi Water. It is natural water which has healing properties.

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After that we went to the hotel across the road and spent a few hours in the spa 🙂 Then we went for lunch before finding a good spot to watch the finish. We decided to stay at the 75 m mark. The atmosphere was great and so many people were there to watch. Even though it is a long wait there are so many things to look at and it never gets boring just to stand around for hours. You can follow the race on big screens and see when they are getting close.

They finally arrived and we saw an Italian rider win the stage, which made the crowd happy. We stayed to watch the podium ceremonies and even got Elia Viviani’s autograph on Jason’s mum’s Team Sky cap. In the evening we just went out for a nice walk and an Italian dinner.

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On Saturday morning me and Jason woke up early again and went for a run. We were trying to spot where the teams had been staying overnight. It was a bit early to see any of the riders but some mechanics were out working on the bikes.

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After breakfast we checked out of the hotel and drove up to the old town to watch the start of stage 8. After checking out the start village we went to the car park where the team buses would be and hung around there. It is a great opportunity to see the riders getting prepared. We were going to see if we could take a picture with Tobias Ludvigsson, the only Swede in the Giro. He cycles for Team Giant Alpecin and his coach lead one of the rides at the training camp Jason went to a few months ago. Tobias was really friendly and let us take pictures and chat with him and he also gave us some signed team caps 🙂

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Then we went to the Tinkoff Saxo team bus to try to spot Alberto Contador, who is the current leader of the Giro. I had a team cap that I was hoping he would sign. I wasn’t too hopeful that he would actually have time or interest to do that since he is very in demand and needs to focus on the race. He unfortunately suffered an injury on stage 6 where he dislocated his shoulder. You could tell that he was suffering and needed help putting his rain coat on. It is really impressive that you can go on riding with an injury like that. His goal this season is to win both the Giro and the Tour and he is obviously very determined to do that. When he came out of the team bus he did an interview for Eurosport, and we were next to the interviewer. Jason’s mum was even under the umbrella the interviewer was standing under, right in front of Contador. Just as he was about to leave, Jason used his best “por favor Alberto” and managed to get Contador to sign my cap! 😀 😀 I like Contador because of the way he rides, and Jason always compares his style to mine. He is a really good climber, and I try to be as effortless as him when I climb hills and mountains.

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We then saw the riders start the race before having lunch and exploring the old town.

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In the afternoon we drove to the coast near Rome and relaxed near the sea with an ice cream. After that we headed to our hotel for the night, where we had a very lovely last meal in Italy. In the morning we had a very early start to get to the airport and fly back home.

We had a wonderful trip, and we both love Italy not only for the food but the scenery (and cycling) as well. We were inspired by our long weekend in Italy and made spinach and ricotta ravioli for dinner on Sunday and a delicious melanzane for dinner tonight. Tomorrow is Jason’s birthday and it will be more Italian food then as well!

This week we won’t ride much because it is the Gothenburg Half Marathon on Saturday. But after that we will be back to riding again.

We hope you all have a nice week!
/Sofi and Jason

Our Weekend – Week 17, 18, 19…oops, lots to catch up on

So, we have been even worse at blogging lately. We really don’t know where our time goes at the moment, but it clearly isn’t going to our blog to share our love with all our followers. We’re sorry about that! So here is a catch up for the last THREE weekends. 🙂

It is now spring in Sweden, and we have both recovered from our colds. It also means that we have more hours of daylight and are able to ride and run in the evenings, when we can. So this is what we have been trying to do lately. Our focus is a bit more on running at the moment, as we are running Göteborgsvarvet (the Gothenburg half marathon) in two weeks’ time.

Week 17
So two weeks ago (week 17), we went for a 13 km run over both bridges in Gothenburg to try and find our running form again. (Jason’s run, Sofi’s run.) It turned out to be quite a windy run, but we came in with an average of 5:25/km, which is Sofi’s target pace for the half marathon. On the Sunday I (Jason) went for a nice bike ride with my club, HCK. Then we relaxed in the evening, eating homemade scones, and prepared for the short work week to come (the Friday was a bank holiday).

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Week 18
I actually took the Thursday (April 30) off work, as I was wanting to cycle down to Skåne because we were going to be there cycling over the weekend. The weather was against me though, so I managed 130 km in the wind and rain, and had to throw in the towel once I got to Falkenberg (just over half way). I had cycled in the rain for over 4 hours, so I was pleased with my perseverance, but I was probably risking another cold (if not hypothermia) if I carried on. Sofi was able to leave work early, so took an earlier train than expected so I actually got on the train she was on at Falkenberg! Once we got off the train, I was saddened to see that further south they had blue skies and dry roads…oh well, there’s always next time! 😉 But my main thoughts were on cleaning my bike, so I did that once we got to the house and she looked much happier afterwards, chilling by the lake.

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On the Friday we went to “kosläpp”, which is where the cows are released from their barns for the first time since winter. It is quite a big thing in Sweden, and it always attracts a lot of people (but that could also be because of the cinnamon buns and milk you get for attending). The cows are always happy and even jump around. It was my first time seeing it, so I thought it was really fun (despite a fear of cows). After we got back home, I did a 50 km ride against the clock – this is my little time trial/test route where Sofi’s parents live. My legs were knackered from the ride on Thursday, and it was a bit windy at points, but I averaged 33.5 km/h and was really happy!

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On the Saturday me and Sofi cycled around and over Söderåsen, a big national park just south of Sofi’s parents’ place. Sofi suffered in the head wind, but did well up the hills! There is a big ravine in the forest, and we wanted to see it, so after a short food stop, we cycled up there and took some photos before heading home. This time it was Sofi’s turn to throw in the towel, as we were doing a sportive ride the next day so she jumped in the team car 18 km from home (OK, so we called her dad and he picked Sofi up, but it was like our team car) 😉 So she did 83 km in total, but I soldiered on the whole way back and did just over 100 km.

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On the Sunday we woke up early to cycle FIK Trampen, a 100 km sportive that was starting near Sofi’s parents’ (it is a good area for cycling, as you can probably tell – that’s one of the main reasons I like going down there so much…that and the team car and carers – well Sofi’s parents looking after us anyway). We started the ride just before 8 a.m., and it was 3°C when we started…a bit nippy! The longer we cycled, the warmer it got. Sofi was still really struggling on the bike though, and after 45 km, we considered heading the short way back to the finish, but Sofi decided she would rather try and find her form again, so we carried on. After a few km though, Sofi got a puncture in her rear tyre – her first! 😀 After fixing her puncture, we carried on and Sofi seemed much stronger, but we still kept the pace steady just to be safe. After 80 km we stopped at a food station and decided if we would finish the ride or not (we were a few km from the part on the course nearest her parents’, so it would be easy to get a lift now). Sofi wanted to finish though, and I wanted to help her do that. So we told her dad when we would be finished, and we carried on riding. It didn’t get easier though, despite having strength, Sofi saw the distance marker on her Garmin nearing 100 km and was wondering why we weren’t near the finish – that made her lose focus, motivation, and seemingly all capability to ride her bike! But we kept going until Sofi’s dad drove past us and pulled up ahead of us. Sofi wanted to give up, but me and Bosse, her dad, told her it was max 3 km to the finish, so realising he wouldn’t let her in the car she carried on, and even found her legs again for the last 3 km! She was totally finished once we arrived at the finish though.

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I was so proud of her for wanting to carry on, and she showed such stubbornness perseverance and strong character. 🙂 Oh it was about 20°C when we finished, so the weather was nice! My power meter ran out of battery though, but the figures would have been low anyway. (My ride, Sofi’s ride.) We then went back in the car, and after some lunch and a shower, we got on the train back to Göteborg…where we then had to cycle 5 km home, but it went well and we weren’t totally done in.

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Week 19
Last week, at last…makes me wish I wrote these all at the right time so I didn’t have to do them all at once! Last week was a big recovery week for both of us following our exploits over the long weekend. We both trained on Wednesday though, I had a very easy recovery spin of 40 km, where I kept the power low, but put in one interval just to feel the legs. Sofi did a nice 8 km run with an average of 5:18/km, so a tad quicker than her target race pace. We both felt a bit drained all week though, so rested while we could. I also got a Giro care package from my mum – two magazines to read as prep for the Giro, and my racing license came as well! So it wasn’t too hard to rest with the magazines to digest.

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At the weekend though, it was back to Skåne, but this time to Helsingborg to run a 10 km race called Springtime with Lisa and Tommy. My sister Jasmine had also booked flights over fairly spontaneously, so she would be there as well 🙂 We arrived on the Friday and carb loaded with a delicious pasta meal we all made together.

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The race was on Saturday afternoon, so after a chilled morning collecting our numbers and buying some bits for the evening, we went to a lovely salad bar called Holy Greens and bought some salads to have for lunch. I also had a beetroot juice to boost performance! Then it was race time! It’s quite funny looking at me, Sofi, Lisa, and Tommy together before we go for a run because we have different amounts of clothes on – it was the same when we ran the seeding race in March. I always have the least, then Sofi, then Lisa, then Tommy. This weekend, it looked like I was dressed for summer, Sofi and Lisa for spring/autumn, and Tommy for early/late winter!

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The race was quite a tough course, and me, Sofi, and Lisa had originally said we would start together, keeping 5:00/km tempo, and dropping each other if the others got tired. After 1.5 km of flat, you run uphill for 1.5 km, so that was when the gaps started to form between us. I hadn’t expected it to feel as…nice(?) as it did, but I loved keeping my steady pace and picking people off left, right, and center as I went up the hill. At the top of the hill, the gaps between us had become a bit larger, so I pushed on and upped my tempo a bit because it was nice to find some running form again! There were still a few steep hills though, but I did my best to bounce up them and get them out the way 😉 After the last hill, it was down and then flat past Lisa and Tommy’s place (where my sister was cheering us on from), so I upped my pace a little, but couldn’t squeeze out much more. I was running next to/behind/in front of the same guy all the time, so we exchanged a few words of encouragement and pushed on to the finish. I finished in 47:23, and was really pleased with myself. Lisa came in 2 mins later, and Sofi another 2 mins after that in 51:31, with Tommy another 2 mins after that! How funny! We were all really pleased with ourselves, but I think Sofi was disappointed with her time, but she seemed to recover the best the next day, so maybe she had more in the tank than she realised. But she can run a fast 10 km on a flat course – this was good training for the half marathon, and she was well over her target pace! 🙂

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After some recovery food and showers (and me watching the Giro!!!), we prepared for some friends of Lisa and Tommy to come over for dinner. Dinner was really nice, with a couple of salads and some barbecued food, as well as a few (OK, a lot) of drinks. We then played some fun games before the night was over and the beds called for our tired bodies!

We woke up on Sunday after a lie in and had a nice breakfast before heading north of Helsingborg along the coast for some sightseeing. The weather wasn’t that kind though, and we were being blown around the little village we stopped in, Arild. We then went to Flickorna Lundgren for lunch, and I had the most delicious vegetarian sandwich (mostly salad though!) I have had in a very long time!!!

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After that we went back home and hung out before me and Sofi got the train back to Gothenburg. For dinner last night we made a simple tomato soup and caught up with the highlights from the Giro and the football.

 

This week is another short week, as Thursday is another bank holiday. What are we doing this week I hear you ask??? Going to Italy to watch the Giro!!! We’re flying to Rome on Wednesday evening and meeting my mum there, then after sightseeing in Rome on Thursday (because I’ve never been), we’re driving to Fiuggi to stay there for a couple of days because Friday’s stage finishes there and Saturday’s stage starts there. I hope we share our hotel with a team! Expect lots of pictures – we are planning on running while we’re there, so maybe an evening run on the Friday and a morning run on the Saturday are perfect for spying on the pro mechanics 😀

We hope you all have a good week, and we’re sorry for neglecting our blog for so long!
/Jason and Sofi

Our Weekend – Week 16

So, we skipped one weekend post 🙂

Last weekend we were both not feeling well and spent the weekend mostly indoors. We managed to get out to have a birthday dinner with Malin and Evan, but then we recovered on the sofa the rest of the weekend. And the rest of this week has been all about illness and recovery as well 😦

This weekend has been a little bit better and today we could finally go out for a short ride in the sunshine.
DSC06952On Friday we met our friends Sanna and Srdan after work. We went out for dinner and afterwards we went bowling. That was great fun! Neither of us were especially good but we had a good time and that is what matters 🙂 Jason got the most points and then it was quite even between the rest of us.

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On Saturday we went to town to have brunch at Le Pain Francais. It was Jason’s work that had invited all employees and family. The brunch was delicious and I always eat too much 🙂 After the brunch we walked around town and different shops. When we came home in the afternoon we were both really tired so we just made some food and relaxed. We have also started to grow some sprouts and have started with alfalfa 😀 We’ll use these in salads and other dishes, and hope to grow lots more varieties as well.

And today, like I mentioned before, we went cycling. The weather has been warm and sunny for a couple of days and today was the same. What can be better than to get out and get some exercise and enjoy the sunshine. We took one of our favourite routes down the coast to Särö. After cycling there and back (60 km) we had some fika in the sun before coming home again.

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Now we are watching the Amstel Gold Race and enjoying what is left of this Sunday.

Next week we both hope that we will be back to training as normal again. We are both running the half marathon here in Gothenburg in one month and it is about time to get started on the training! We are also hoping that we will be able to do some nice rides as well next week.

Until then, have a great week!
/Sofi and Jason

Our Weekend, Week 14 – Easter

So we arrived safely in England and have enjoyed our Easter weekend. 🙂

We arrived Friday evening, after a nice start to the day in Helsingborg, and ate dinner before going to bed – the hill repeats had really tired us out. On Saturday morning we were all planning on going for a ride (me, Sofi, my sister Jasmine, and my dad), but I was feeling a little bit unwell still, so opted to set up my pedals and stay at home instead while they went for a ride. (Sofi’s ride, my dad’s ride, Jasmine’s ride.)

After our ride, me, Sofi, and Jasmine went to Kingston for a bit of shopping and then went to see my grandpa (my mum’s dad), and we took him to Claremont. We had a nice walk and spotted a few different birds 🙂 In the evening we made cauliflower pizza. It was delicious and a recipe is coming soon 🙂

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On Sunday we went for a ride together to Seale and back, although a different way there to last time, up a tough hill to give Jasmine a little challenge. She did very well, and it is nice to see her getting more confident on each ride. (My ride, Sofi’s ride, Jasmine’s ride, my dad’s ride.) After the ride we watched the Tour of Flanders on TV and had a family lunch/dinner for Easter and for Lesley’s (my dad’s girlfriend) birthday. It was a really nice afternoon catching up and enjoying the good food my dad had cooked.

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On Monday, we went to Portsmouth with my mum and Jeremy (her husband) for some outlet shopping 😀 Sofi finally replaced the purse that she bought from the same shop last year but was subsequently stolen a few months later, so she was extremely happy! We ate lunch at Brasserie Blanc, which was absolutely delicious. After we were done shopping, we went home via Guildford to pick up a few other little things. In the evening we went out for Indian food with my mum, Jeremy, Jasmine, and Nick (my sister’s finacé). I think we might have eaten a little too much…but that’s ok every now and again 😉

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Today me and Sofi went to London for the day. Being a history lover and seeing as she is teaching her students about WWI at the moment, Sofi wanted to go to the Imperial War Museum. I hadn’t been since I was a little boy, so it was really interesting to go again now (I think they’ve redone a lot inside since I last went as well). After the Imperial War Museum, we went to lunch at Sticks n Sushi, a Danish sushi restaurant that Sofi had been wanting to go to for a long time. The food was really good, and we would both recommend it. (Unlike me, Sofi actually ate some of the real sushi and she said it was the best sushi she had ever eaten!)

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After lunch, we walked around London, stopping at the Rapha Cycle Club store to get Sofi’s cycling shorts, and we also had fika and caught the end of today’s stage from the Tour of the Basque Country. Sofi was in Rapha heaven, and I think we were lucky to escape without a million purchases. 😀 We then walked through Mayfair to Hyde Park, where we enjoyed the open space and soft grass underneath our feet before heading back to Waterloo to catch a train home.

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Tomorrow we’re cycling to my friend in Basingstoke, about a 100 km round trip, and then we are planning on riding a few hills on Thursday and having a nice pub lunch out on our bikes. It’s then back to Sweden (to Helsingborg to stay at Lisa and Tommy’s again) on Friday (we might get a short ride in in the morning though 😉 ), and then we’ll head back to Gothenburg some time on Saturday afternoon. Holidays never seem to be too relaxed with us…but I guess we do call ourselves “active” beans!

We really will try to put some recipes up soon, but sometimes there is far too much going on! We hope you all had a nice Easter break, and got to enjoy the good weather (if you had some).
/Jason and Sofi

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

 

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

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

 

Our Weekend, Week 9

This weekend started a little earlier than normal, mainly because my (Jason’s) dad came to visit us on Thursday evening, for the weekend! 😀

After picking my dad up from the airport, we came home to some delicious tofu burgers that Sofi had made (I helped before I left as well). They were a fusion between our Korean steamed buns and our normal veggie burgers. We made them similar to our breaded tofu, but covered them in sesame seeds instead of breadcrumbs, the buns were normal burger buns, and the fillings were various things we use in our steamed buns as well as homemade kimchi.

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I then made up my new bike, that my dad brought over from England: a Specialized S-Works Tarmac, and my main motivation for training this year. (Well you can’t have a pro bike and be the slowest in the chain gang!)

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On Friday, my dad joined me on my lunchtime badminton session, and then when Sofi came home in the afternoon we went for a little walk to Baka (our favourite café) for fika. For dinner, we made melanzane again (recipe coming soon, as we took photos of the finished product!), and some delicious ravioli with a pesto sauce…again! We can’t help but love making the things we love to eat, and my dad loves both melanzane and pesto, so why not 😀

On Saturday we had planned a long ride (as we knew the weather would be OK). Our friend Evan had said he would join us, but unfortunately Sofi was feeling a bit ill, so she stayed at home. (A wise decision, as it was very cold outside.) We rode 115 km, which included a nice pizza stop 🙂 My dad was a little tired from the ride (his ride), as he isn’t used to the Swedish cold, but we did fuel him with our peanut power bars, which And it was Evan’s first ride over 100 km, and he smashed it by doing 130 km! (He rode to us and home again.)

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We made the most of Sofi being at home and had her on baking duty so we had something to look forward to once we got back! She made some delicious Swedish cinnamon buns, which were exactly what we needed with a nice cup of tea/coffee and glass of milk!

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As you can imagine, we were a little bit tired after our buns – my dad fell asleep before even taking a shower – but we still wanted a nice dinner. So the three of us decided something fresh but more substantial than a salad would be nice. Me and Sofi had the perfect meal: Vietnamese bun cha with sticky tofu! (Recipe coming soon. 🙂 )

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Sunday was a lazy day, and the weather was atrocious, stopping us from doing any riding 😦 We had a lovely breakfast with fresh bread and croissants. The rest of the day was spent together, reading and watching TV. It was a great day for TV actually – Cav won Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, and then Chelsea won the league cup 😀 (Stannard won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday as well, so a great weekend for British sport…well except for cricket and rugby…)

My dad left Monday morning, and it was back to work for me and Sofi. But we had a great weekend, and love when people come over to spend time with us. It won’t be long before we see my dad again – I go to England on Friday and Sofi goes the following Thursday 🙂

We hope you all had a great weekend! Did you get up to anything special?
/Jason and Sofi

Mid-Week Catch Up – Week 9

Wednesday, and the weekend is not far away. We have not been up to to much the past few days. On Monday we made a nice ramen. It is very simple and very quick even if you do the noodles yourself, which we always do. The broth is easily prepared and it only needs to cook for 10 minutes. This time we cooked the broth separately and poured it over the vegetables and noodles. We used spinach, broccoli and spring onion in this ramen, but it is so easy to vary what vegetables you have. Spinach and broccoli are both very good for you so we tend to eat them in our ramen most times.

DSC06484Otherwise it is mostly work and the days go by so fast. As I have written about before, my leg has been hurting since Christmas and I have not been able to run since. On Friday I finally went to the physio to see what the problem was. I was given some exercises that I need to do for two weeks in order to strengthen the muscles in my leg.

My hope and aim is that I will be ok to run a race on March 22nd. It is a pre-race for the Gothenburg Half Marathon that I will be running in May. It is basically a 10 km race that can give you a better start group. If you have never run the half marathon before you automatically end up in the slowest pace groups. So me and my sister (who I will run the half marathon with) will do that race together. Jason and Tommy (my sister’s boyfriend) are also running it.

Jason has been very good at keeping up his training. Yesterday he did a session on the turbo trainer and today he went home a little earlier from work to do 30 km outside before it got dark. It was a very gentle ride and he said he loved the fresh air he got. Jason is also a blood donor and today he gave blood again, hence the iron-rich vegetables in our ramen on Monday. I have to start as well, but I am really afraid of needles!

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Luckily the weather in Sweden is slowly changing into spring! Today was the first day it really felt like the spring might come soon. There is something in the air and it has been plus degrees for more than a week now. It is very early for Sweden to get spring this time of the year and according to the news it is almost a month early in the south of Sweden (the north of Sweden still has winter).

Jason’s dad Colin is coming this week for a visit and hopefully the weather will allow some cycling 🙂

We hope you have a great week and you’ll be hearing from us at the weekend if not sooner 😉

/Sofi