Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Our Weekend, Week 51 – Almost Christmas!

Not many days left until Christmas now, so I thought I would catch you all up with what we’ve done since last weekend, and what our plans are for Christmas.

Yesterday we had our annual Christmas party, but we made it a bit smaller this year, and made some proper vegetarian Christmas food and just one dessert. (The past two years we have had some sort of snacks available and lots of desserts!) We also made our delicious mulled wine and winter Pimm’s again, and I think everyone had a great time. 😀

Today we drove down to Sofi’s parents in Skåne with Lisa and Tommy, and stopped off for a nice lunch in Falkenberg on the way. We will be here for a few days and will celebrate an early Christmas on Tuesday with Sofi’s parents, brother, and Lisa & Tommy. On Wednesday we will fly to England to celebrate Christmas there.

It will be nice for Sofi to have Christmas food in both Sweden and England, because the food you get is very different, and I know she’ll love it. For me, so long as I get Brussels sprouts and roasted potatoes I am happy…otherwise I would rather eat more “normal” food than Christmas food…but what I am looking forward to though is having English Christmas desserts: minced pies, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake. These are probably my favourite thing about Christmas in England, and my mum has already made the Christmas cake and will make a Christmas pudding for Christmas Day 😀

So with all that food going down (and probably some alcohol as well), how will we avoid going up in weight too much and also keep our training going? Well, we have taken our running and cycling gear with us. We are planning on having a couple of runs down here in Skåne (one short one tomorrow probably, and then one long one on Tuesday – there has been a lot of talk about doing about 20 km), then I will cycle in England and Sofi will run and cycle in England.

There is always a lot of free time around Christmas (if you’re not working), so there is definitely time for exercise! We’re not planning any intense sessions, more steady sessions just so we get out and don’t put pressure on ourselves to go fast in case our bodies are tired…and weighed down by all the food! I’m looking forward to our run on Tuesday and then getting some rides in while we’re in England.

 

So our week looks like this:
Monday – Christmas shopping, short run
Tuesday – Early Swedish Christmas, long run
Wednesday – Flight to England
Thursday – Christmas Eve party at my sister’s, long ride (hopefully)
Friday – Christmas Day, rest day
Saturday – Boxing Day, ___ ride
Sunday – Sale shopping, walking round shops

 

We hope you have a very merry Christmas, we’ll post something again soon!
/Jason

IMG-20151219-WA0006

Advertisements

Cycling training: taking it indoors

I’m a bit late starting my indoor training this (next?) season, partly because of the CX season, partly because it has only just turned into winter (it has been fairly mild, but now the roads are starting to get some ice), and partly because I have just been slow to start. So I thought I would share some reasons and advice for taking training indoors during the winter. Continue reading

Running thoughts of the day

Yesterday when I came home after work I went out for a short run. I have decided to get 3 running sessions in this week. What you should do when you have decided to go for a run after work is to NOT go and lie on the sofa, you will never get off of it. Go out straight away 🙂

When I go out for a run I (almost) always decide beforehand how far I will run and what type of session I want to do. I think that is one of the key aspects when it comes to my training. I have never been the type of person who goes out running without a plan. I also think it is important to set goals for yourself becuase they push you and act as motivation.

Continue reading

Long time no blog

We’re back! It has been a long time since we posted anything, and a lot has happened since our last post…we’re sorry for neglecting our blog and all of our followers!

Where have we been?
We have realised that we don’t necessarily have the time to make 2-3 new recipes each week (we do still do that when we cook, but we like to perform a quality-control check on all our recipes and test them a couple times first – this takes time), so our blog is taking a slightly different direction. Our most popular and most fun posts (at least for us to write) have been our weekend and mid-week catch up posts, so we are going more towards being an active lifestyle blog, with vegetarian recipes as a smaller part of the blog.

What does this mean?
Well, for starters it means we will post more about our training, competitions, equipment, and goals. We will also give training tips and look at different methods of training for different goals and sports.

When will we start?
Today! We started our day with a steady 5 km run and then did an intense circuits session, so we will describe that a little in detail this evening 🙂

We really hope that we can keep up our blogging again now – it is something we both really enjoy doing, and we have been talking about starting the blog up again for aaaaaaaaages!

What have you missed?
Big news: we got engaged! I (Jason) proposed to Sofi at the top of the mountain on Jeju, Korea, after we cycled up it in the summer (one of our earlier training goals). Sofi not only got a ring, but I bought her a lovely new bike as an engagement gift as well.
IMG_20150714_123359
I also have a new bike…actually two new bikes! I took up cyclocross this season, and have even done a few races. And my beloved Tarmac had a fault in the frame, so I got a replacement frame and have upgraded a few parts as well.
FB_IMG_1448745555975

What are some things to look forward to?
Pictures of our bikes! (I think that’s fun anyway 😀 )
Sofi is running a marathon next year! This will be the source for a lot of her training information and tips, and I know she will do really well.
I will be focussing a lot on road racing (cycling) next season, but am also doing Vätternrundan (a 300 km cycle event around on of Sweden’s lakes) with my club and aiming for under 8 hours (or 8.5 hours depending on the consensus in our group in the spring).
We have a few training camps planned for both cycling and running, so will describe those in detail and hopefully have some pretty pictures 🙂

 

Sorry again for not posting regularly, but we hope this change in focus will make us more active beans!
/Jason

Our Weekend, Week 25 – Midsummer

Happy Midsummer!

This Friday we celebrated Midsummer in Sweden. It is a very traditional festivity in Sweden, and you celebrate the summer solstice. You dance around the Maypole (if you have the energy to make one) which is a wooden pole you decorate with leaves and flowers. You eat very traditional food; herring, salmon, new potatoes and strawberries for dessert. You also have to drink “snaps”, basically flavoured vodka. Swedes tend to retreat to the countryside and various archipelagos to celebrate, no one wants to be in the cities 🙂

It is the one day a year where everyone wishes the weather is nice so you can be outside all day. Unfortunately this year the weather was quite bad. It rained heavily in the morning and  mid-day and it wasn’t until the evening it got better.

We went down to Skåne to visit my parents and brother and to see my sister and Tommy. On Friday we ate a traditional Midsummer’s Eve lunch and then my parents and brother went to see friends and we stayed at the house and had a nice barbecue (once the sun came out – Jason and Tommy even made the most of it and went for a paddle on the lake while the food was cooking). In the evening we played games and just hung out 🙂 A very nice Midsummer! Since Jason is not Swedish he doesn’t really care what we do. There are few things that are more Swedish than Midsummer though, and I love the food you eat! (Note: Not vegetarian – Jason had special food for him. 😉 )

IMG_20150619_135236 IMG-20150619-WA0004 IMG-20150621-WA0007 IMG_20150619_180931

On Saturday me and Jason had a very nice, long ride to Båstad (which is on the west coast of Sweden) where we ate lunch and then we cycled back over Hallandsåsen (a ridge that goes across Skåne and Halland). The weather was perfect! And there is nothing better than spending hours outside on the bike with my love ❤

20150620_114437DSC07374PhotoGrid_1434798415645 DSC07376 DSC07377

We cycled 120 km and then Jason had a swim in the lake 🙂
My ride, Jason’s ride.

IMG-20150621-WA0006

In the evening we just had a nice dinner (made pizzas!) and cleaned our bikes. One person very meticulously and another one less so 🙂 We then watched the sun set across the lake my parents live next to. It was a beautiful evening.

20150620_220552

Today Jason drove back to Gothenburg and I am staying behind for a day to go to Malmö tomorrow and have dinner with my friends that live down here!

Have a great week everyone,
/Sofi and Jason

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! 😀

IMG_20150513_173258

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.

DSC07053 DSC07067 DSC07075 DSC07096 DSC07100 DSC07113

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 🙂

IMG-20150515-WA0001

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.

DSC07144 DSC06550 DSC07151 DSC07152 DSC07163

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.

20150515_132923 DSC07168 DSC07194 DSC07212

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.

IMG_20150516_075929

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 🙂

DSC06639 IMG_20150516_161930

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.

DSC07237 DSC06649

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

DSC07260 DSC07268 DSC07265

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).

DSC06978DSC06970

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.

IMG_20150430_134459 20150430_150359 IMG_20150501_190002

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!

DSC0698320150501_110520

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.

IMG_20150502_121935

DSC0701020150502_140248

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.

20150503_114717 IMG_20150503_104952 IMG_20150503_133020

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.

IMG_20150503_183935

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.

IMG_20150504_203912

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.

IMG_20150508_195316

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!

IMG_20150509_122355

20150509_144104

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! 🙂

DSC07023 DSC07027 DSC07040

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!!!

DSC07042 IMG_20150510_124401 IMG_20150510_143859

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