Country #4: Spain

And another visit to a European country is behind me! Last week, I spent a wonderful week together with the wife and kids on Gran Canaria, an island belonging to Spain, even though it’s situated far more south than mainland Spain. The island of Gran Canaria is roughly on the same degree as the southern border of Morocco, but as it belongs to Spain, it surely counts as another country for the list!

We had a wonderful week there, lots of sun and fun, a wonderful break from the cold weather over here in the Netherlands in November. Taking a holiday in November was a first for us, but it surely won’t be the last time!

This has been the final trip for this year, hopefully I’ll be able to add some more countries in 2017. One’s already confirmed, but I’m looking to add at least two more to the list.

Spain

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My first ebook has been published!

A little over half a year ago I got an email asking if I’d like to write a short ebook on a subject related to my field of work. Since writing an ebook was on my bucket list anyway, plus they told me I’d be paid to write, there was no way I was going to say no to the opportunity.

I’ve recorded my experiences in a blog post on my work-related blog, which you can read here. As for my bucket list adventures: the book has been published this week, so that’s finally another item done!

The cover of my ebook

Country #3: Lithuania

Well, riiiighttt.. When I added the item of visiting all fifty European countries to my list, I didn’t dare to think that the third country I’d visit would be Lithuania. Belgium, maybe, France, or Italy. But not Lithuania. Nonetheless, last week I went there for a work-related conference. And it was great.

Granted, I’ve only seen the capital, Vilnius, but I stayed there for two nights, had a walk through the city to get a feel of the place, spent a full day networking (and speaking) at the conference, so it was definitely a Lithuanian experience of some sorts!

Lithuania was great!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling all too well, so I didn’t feel like going out for a nice dinner in a restaurant (something I like to do when abroad) or spend time in a bar, a theater or even outside at all (there was work to be done after all), but still, traveling for work, doing a public speaking gig abroad and visiting a place I’d never been before has been a great experience. I’m definitely going to do more of this work-related travel in the future, so that’ll be a great opportunity to tick off some more countries on the list. But before that, there’s a week of holiday left next month, to yet another European country..

Country #2: Germany

At the beginning of this year I vowed to visit at least two European countries other than my country of residence. Last week, I reached the half way point of this target by visiting Germany for the first time in a couple of years. We’ve spent a nice two weeks close to the German border, and looking for a day trip on a day with not-so-great weather, we decided to cross the border and visit a zoo in the town of Nordhorn, in the Lower Saxony state.

Germany

So that’s one under the belt, only 48 more countries to go! Looking forward to the rest of the journey already… As for the end of year goal: I’ve managed to land a public speaking gig in another European country in November, so I’m definitely going to make it. I’ll post another update on that afterwards!

Bring on the speed work!

Today is a good day! For the first time in what seems like eons, I’ve been able to run more than 10k consecutively and comfortably. Last Thursday I somehow wasn’t even able to run 6k without stopping (twice!), but today I did over 11k without any problem. Strange…

This means that I can finally start doing some speed work to work towards running a 5:59 mile, since I promised myself I wouldn’t start speed work until I’d reached the 10k mark without too much trouble. This to prevent injuries from doing speed work without a decent aerobic base. I’m looking forward to it! I will definitely keep the long and easy runs in my schedule as well though, I’m still a long distance runner by heart so I wouldn’t want to miss the feeling today’s run gave me for the world.

Also, I just love the feeling of being able to get out for a run on a Tuesday morning. This time it was a coincidence, I quit my previous project last week and my next one doesn’t start until tomorrow, but this is yet another reminder for me to work towards a professional career where I don’t have to trade time for money (i.e., move away from billing by the hour). I love my freedom!

Progress on other list items has been slow since we’ve got our hands full raising our two sons. I expected that though, so it’s not that bad, plus, things are definitely getting better compared to the first two-three months of this year.

More progress next time!

Long-Distance-Running

New beginnings

I am glad to report that after almost three months of little sleep, hard work and lots of bottles of milk I am back on the running track! It were only two miles or so, and certainly no longer than 15-20 minutes, but you have to start somewhere… Hopefully this marks the start of my second running ‘career’.. First, I’ll try and tackle the 6 minute mile goal before the end of the year, then it’s on to distance running and completing the 12 half marathons list item. As the year progresses, the broken nights and sleep deprivation should gradually disappear, so things are certainly looking good, running-wise.

Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed being back on the road, breathing fresh air, letting my body do some actual physical work again after three months of not much more than eating, working and sleeping!

Back on the road!

Welcome to the world!

As I have said in my post looking forward to 2016, my wife and I have been expecting our second child, which was going to have a major impact on what I was planning for for this year. I am happy to announce that last Monday our son and little brother Tom was born in good health!

As expected, nights have been a little shorter, but so far we’ve been off to a far better start than with #1. I can already tell this will have some impact on my energy levels and overal fitness, but I expected nothing less. For now, we’re going to focus on staying happy and as well rested as possible, all other plans can wait for a couple of months..