Days 55 through 57

With days 55 through 57 in the books, I’m pleased to sit down and jot down a thought or two.

How did I do?

I did OK. Day 55 I ran, setting a new personal best and sub-11:00 min/mile pace in a 5K run (yay!). Day 56 I went to the Efteling - a theme park in the Netherlands like Walt Disney World, but more down to earth - so plenty of walking and exercise, but also lots of unhealthy snacks and whatnot. Day 57 (today) was so-so; I ate better, and even went for a two-mile walk, but fell short of breaking the 760 calories of active burning I aim to burn a day (using my Apple Watch to track) and did break 10k steps. It’s hard to do 10k steps when you sleep in (yesterday was tiring because of the theme park day trip), then work most of the day.

Highlight of the day?

There were several memorable moments.

The biggest was enjoying a day at the Efteling with my family. A lot of great memories. In particular, riding the very scary looking Baron 1898 with my eldest daughter, Isabella. She had guts to ride that thing. Kudos to Isabella for her bravery.

Alt text The Efteling’s main attraction, Symbolica

Running a sub-11:00 min/mile pace for my 5K was fun. I’m getting faster. I tried a new technique where I upped my cadence to about 170 steps/minute using up-tempo music. It worked. I was able to conserve more energy and speed up my time. I focused a lot on my running form. So I know I can improve my pace once I get acclimated to the new running style.

We also had an entertaining dinner party on Saturday at Bettina’s uncle’s house that was super gezellig. I had a great time connecting with old family members. In particular, I enjoyed speaking with one of Bettina’s cousin’s spouses, who had started a photography business about three years ago. He was so open about the fun, the challenge, acquiring the first customer, the marketing, and growth, caring about every aspect of the product. The conversation was excellent.

A fourth highlight, for today, was my evening walk. It was nice to walk down the road and soak in some of the environment. We leave in three days, so every minute is becoming ever more precious.

How do I feel?

Feeling sad that we have to leave. I can barely believe we’ve been in Europe seven weeks. Time flies. School starts for the kids soon, so we really could not have stayed any longer. But as life goes, I just move on to the next things to take my attention. The Vuelta de España starts in a week or so, then the Dolphins football season, Halloween, Christmas, great Miami weather. Maybe we’ll visit Disney sometime in January to give the kids a mid-year break, and then it’s off to the races in 2018. Life is a joy when enjoyed to its fullest.