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Our Weekend, Week 2 (plus week 1 catchup)

We’ll start at the beginning…of the new year!

2016 started with a very tired and lazy day for us, as it usually is the day after New Year’s. You can read about why we were tired and our plans for NYE here. We had a great evening, and my dad was with us in Sweden for a few more days, which meant more freezing temperatures and another frozen ride for him! We also played boule at Boulebar in town (on Saturday 2nd) and then ate some French cuisine there after we had played. Sofi won both games, well done to her! 😀 Unfortunately we then had to go home and it was so cold! We ended up squatting on the bench at the bus stop so our feet weren’t on the ground and our ankles weren’t getting a chilling wind on them!

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I finally got my saddle for my new bike, so my dad and I took some pictures of that one day while Sofi was meeting her friend Alex who has now moved to Brussels.

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After my dad left, on Epiphany I went for a long ride in -12°C! It was organised by Komet Club Rouleur (the guys who do the Thursday sprint sessions we do in the summer), and the plan was to do 120 km, but I knew that was daft when it was so cold, so I turned back early and did 70 km total. It wasn’t as bad as I had expected, but I was glad to not have been out any longer as well!

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After that, Sofi and I both started back at work on the 7th, for two days before the weekend. On the Friday it snowed a lot though, and I was hoping it would snow overnight as well so I could have a snowy ride, and a snowy ride I had! I rode for 40 km in the snow in the forest. It was -5°C and there was a LOT of snow. It was really fun, especially on my cyclocross bike (I had used my mountain bike in the snow previously). 😀

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On the Sunday, Sam and Caroline dropped Leo off on their way to Norway to ski. We were going to have him all week!!! I was wanting to have another ride, but I felt a little bit unwell…not sure if it was similar to what Sofi had or because I had been out in the cold for too long the past few days. So it was a day spent working and wrapped up on the sofa for all three of us, which Leo particularly liked!

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During the beginning of the week, the temperature started to rise, causing the snow to melt, but by the middle of the week it was getting much colder again and we even got new snow. So it was nice to see the shift from white to green to white again. The temperature was consistently cold during the nights though, and now the water in the harbour has frozen and you are able to walk (and skate) on it!

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During the week, we made a delicious Spinach and Ricotta tortellini, and we will post the recipe this week! 😀

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So, finally at the weekend of week 2! Friday was our last day with Leo, and we love looking after him because he is easily the best, sweetest, most well-behaved dog ever! Sam and Caroline were coming back from Norway in the afternoon/evening, so we offered to cook them dinner for when they came to collect Leo. We made our delicious Vietnamese Bun Cha with sticky tofu, and they loved it as much as we did. We weren’t sure what to make because we thought they could be starving but at the same time they might have gone to a fast food restaurant on the way back so might not want something too heavy. So we went for something that is both light and filling! 🙂

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For dessert we had ice cream and made a warm raspberry sauce to have on top of the ice cream with some chocolate pieces and crushed cashews. Delicious!

On Saturday, Caroline and Leo were competing in an agility competition, and we said we wanted to come and watch (and support them). So we went with them in the morning and stayed until after Leo’s run. It was amazing watching all these dogs (and their owners) compete. There were dogs of all sizes, and some of varying degree of ability. Leo came second in the first competition (he was joint first on point because he had no faults, but was second based on time). 🙂 In his second competition, he was unfortunate to jump over one obstacle the wrong way, causing him to fail. (The dogs run out of a tunnel towards the obstacle, but are supposed to go around it and then jump over it from the other side and enter the tunnel again.) He did so well otherwise though and was very quick – it would have certainly been another podium for him were it not for that 😦 Caroline clearly is a dog expert – Leo really is well trained! 😀

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After we got back, we made a butterscotch tart to take round to Malin and Evan’s for dinner. I also did a 45 min high-cadence session on the rollers, because I was finally feeling better again. (I also did a session on Friday before we started cooking.) Malin and Evan had prepared a delicious Moroccan meal for us, with spiced rice (with sultanas), chick pea balls, and two sauces. Yum! We then had the butterscotch tart for dessert with some vanilla quark on the side.

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Yesterday (Sunday), Sofi finally trained for the first time this year as well! She had been feeling better on Thursday/Friday, but I told her to wait a couple more days just to be certain. We did a tough Sufferfest session (me on the rollers, her on the turbo trainer), and then Sofi went out for fika with her friend Sanna. I stayed at home where it was warm – it was -12°C again yesterday!

For dinner, we made a delicious leek and cauliflower pasta bake we had been meaning to make for aaaages from a Jamie Oliver magazine we bought last January (the same one that had the original Bun Cha recipe actually!). It was absolutely delicious and we made enough so that it would last us a few days because I was meant to be at a meeting with my cycling club tonight and will be out at meetings on Wednesday and Thursday with the cycling club as well. We will definitely post this recipe next time we make it, because although there are a few different elements to prepare before baking, the flavours and textures are well worth the effort!

We booked some flights to go and see Sofi’s friend Alex in Brussels for April, to coincide with the Tour of Flanders! Our spring is certainly looking very busy…

Tonight we went for a walk along the river and had a little fika before coming back to dinner and writing our blog posts. We are both exercising tomorrow morning: Sofi will run and I will cycle, and then we will both do a short circuits session. Hopefully we can stay fit and healthy again now and get back to regular training and delicious food!

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We hope you all have a good week!

/Jason

P.S. If you haven’t read our post about our goals for 2016, do that, and tell us what your goals are as well.

Sunday workout – running and circuits

Today we had decided to do a mini session together with both running and some exercises with our kettle bell and TRX band. We bought those to be able to do small workouts at home and not have to go to the gym. I have always been a member of a gym but the last 6 months I have not been once. I want to focus on my running and cycling and there has simply not been enough time (or motivation) to go and work out inside. Continue reading

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

 

Vietnamese Bun Cha with Sticky Tofu

This is a dish that we have made a few times and it is so delicious. There are a few different elements to prepare, but it is well worth the effort. We have made the sticky tofu a few times and it is also very good to eat with other things such as rice and stir fry. The recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s magazine and we have adapted it a little bit to suit our taste. It is a nice and fresh dish and if you love tofu, noodles and Asian flavours you will love this dish.
Continue reading

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

Our Weekend, Week 5

It is Sunday again and time to see what we did at the weekend. Both me and Jason really like writing these posts, and we like that we will be able to remember how we spent our weekends in the future 🙂

I have been feeling tired all week, it seems that the cold I have had has not quite left my body yet. At the same time I know that I feel much more tired when I have weeks with little or no training. So, on Friday I decided after work that I needed a little turbo training session. An hour of climbing proved to be the best way to start my weekend 🙂

You should always listen to your body and if you are not feeling well you should rest. However, sometimes you need to give yourself some love in the form of training and that might be what you need to get more energized.

I have not been able to run for weeks because of my leg and it has been a bit sad for me since I love it. Next week in Spain I will try to go for a slow and gentle run and see if it feels better, I really hope so.

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Me before the session!

 

After training we made a delicious Vietnamese dish that came from Jamie Oliver’s magazine. It was a Vietnamese Bun Cha with sticky tofu and it was so good. It was also vegan and gluten free. We both loved it! And drinking a mojito with dinner only made it better 😉
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On Saturday Jason did a very early, but short session on the turbo trainer. After breakfast we then drove down to Helsingborg (south of Sweden). We were visiting my sister (Lisa) and Tommy. After arriving in Helsingborg we went straight to the ferry and took a tour across the sound to Helsingör, which is in Denmark. The crossing only takes 25 minutes and you can have some fika on the boat or go in the border (duty-free) shop.
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In Helsingör we went to Madame Sprunck and had brunch. A lot of food and all very good. Then we had a stroll around town before going back to Helsingborg.
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We then had some fika 🙂

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In the evening we made homemade gnocchi (with a sauce similar to this one but pine nuts instead of walnuts). My sister and Tommy are now making an effort to eat more vegetarian food which is really nice, After dinner we played Risk and I won!
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Me with the yellow, world domination!

Me with the yellow, world domination!

Today we had a nice long breakfast before driving to my parents’ for a short visit and lunch.

DSC06009Now we are back home and Jason is doing another turbo session 🙂 I will go and make dinner and tonight it will be re-fried beans, homemade flatbread and a nice salad. The perfect way to end the week.

We hope you all had a nice weekend!
/Sofi