tour de france 2015 in utrecht

I only have a few days left on my Europe trip (nooo!), so I was so happy to find out that’d I’d be leaving on a high note: specifically, the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Utrecht. Honestly, I didn’t even know the Tour started in the Netherlands until a few weeks ago, and I was even more pleasantly surprised to learn that the race started in one of my favorite (and very close by) towns– Utrecht.

The best recipe for a Tour de France celebration? Combine a cool city…

Tour de France Utrecht #100DaysofMiaPrima 19Tour de France Utrecht #100DaysofMiaPrimaTour de France Utrecht #100DaysofMiaPrima 16Tour de France Utrecht #100DaysofMiaPrima 18Tour de France Utrecht #100DaysofMiaPrima 15Tour de France Utrecht #100DaysofMiaPrima 14

With lots of selfies…

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…And even more free stuff.

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Awesome spectators…

Tour de France Utrecht #100DaysofMiaPrima 13Tour de France Utrecht #100DaysofMiaPrima 8Tour de France Utrecht #100DaysofMiaPrima7

..And inspirational cyclists. 

Tour de France Utrecht #100DaysofMiaPrima 12 Tour de France Utrecht #100DaysofMiaPrima 11 Tour de France Utrecht #100DaysofMiaPrima 10

Needless to say, the day was a blast, and I’m looking forward to following the race as the cyclists continue through the Netheralands and beyond.

Disclaimer: While I throughly enjoy watching and following the Tour de France (and admire the inspirational athletes who compete), I find it very disappointing that women are excluded from the event. Excluding women from high profile events like the Tour de France equals fewer racing opportunities for women, which in turn mean less publicity and support and lower female athlete salaries and prize money opportunities. It’s a big deal, and it’s something we should remember after we’ve enjoyed the excitement and the thrill of events like the Tour de France. (Thankfully, there has been some progress.)

A plus tard and tot ziens!

Sarah

This post is #73 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima

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a day in berlin (as told through food)

Day #2 in Berlin was jammed packed, especially since I chose to cycle instead of take public trans (and inevitably got lost fairly often). The day started early…and rough with one embarrassing crash into the curb (the slow-mo kind that has every pedestrian ogling), one spilled cappuccino, and one lost map. But things got rolling again soon and I cycling my way to every site on my itinerary. The best way to sum up my day is to lay it out meal by meal. After all, I’ll admit that the moments I love most on vacation are the ones where I’m eating!

Berlin, Germany #100DaysofMiaPrima
Lunch at Vapiano, Potsdamer Platz
Berlin, Germany #100DaysofMiaPrima
Cafe Crema at Topographie des Terrors, aka the old Gestapo HQ
Berlin Chocolate #100DaysofMiaPrima
Chocolate at Fassbender & Rausch near Gendarmenmarkt
Berlin, Germany #100DaysofMiaPrima
A cold beer at the Bavarian-style beer hall, Augustiner am Gendarmenmarkt
Berlin, Germany #100DaysofMiaPrima
Sushi at Ishin

Amazing food, and can you believe I kept it all under 25 Euros!? Looking forward to seeing eating what tomorrow brings.

bis später!

Sarah

This post is #56 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

swimming (practice) in croatia

In less than three months, I’ll compete in my third triathlon. As a marathon runner, the 5k portion of the sprint triathlon is not at all intimidating. The cycling and swimming portions are a different matter, however. Thankfully, I’ve had the unique opportunity to practice cycling in the country that knows it best: The Netherlands. I’ve honed my “defensive” cycling skills, learning how to dodge traffic (pedestrian and fellow cyclists mostly), I’ve sharpened my problem-solving skills (Dutch bike are robust but with daily use issues are inevitable), and I have simply (and probably most importantly) spent more time getting comfortable in the saddle.

Swimming in Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 6Swimming in Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 1 Swimming in Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 2Swimming in Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 7

But where the Netherlands offers excelling cycling opportunities, chances to practice open water swimming are slim. The clear Adriatic waters in Croatia were a welcome opportunity to get some real open water practice in. The best swimming I found was on the island of Mljet, an enchanting place where lavender grows wild, tiny yellow butterflies flit about the salty air, and where, supposedly, Odysseus spent seven years in the arms of Calypso. The island contains a salt water “lake” that provides warm waters and perfect, peaceful swimming.

Swimming in Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 3Swimming in Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 5Swimming in Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 8

I have a lot more swimming practice to go, but swimming in Croatia has certainly helped calm my nerves about swimming in open water. After all, a dip in the crystal waters of Mljet demands that one stop, take a deep breath, and enjoy the moment. When I plunge into the cold waters of the Finger Lakes in upstate New York for triathlon #3 this fall, I’m going to hold on to the memory of the salty Adriatic for as long as I can!

Vidimo se uskoro!

Sarah

This post is #54 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

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amc loop 10k amsterdam

Since I had to miss this year’s Pittsburgh half marathon (for a good reason: this Europe trip!), I haven’t actually participated in a race of any kind since my last triathlon last September. For me, that’s a long time to go without! So I asked my sister to help find a race in the Netherlands that we could run together. We ended up at the AMC Loop 10k, running with some of Dutch coworkers.

AMC Loop 10k

There was one obvious Dutch-specific peril to this race: a near-constant, serious risk of being nailed in the face by an elbow. Life can be rough when everyone is an good foot taller than you… And while it was raining and I was experiencing the awful beginnings of an upper-respitory infection, the race was super fun. Angie and I ran an absolutely perfect negative split (each mile time gets faster and faster throughout the race) and a nine minute mile average. We celebrated with a fantastic healthy lunch in Utrecht (and soon I imagine also lots of cookie butter…).

tot ziens!

Sarah

This post is #47 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

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running (free) through the bossche broek

If you’re a runner (or a triathlete), you know how easy it is to get hooked on data: GPS watches, tracking apps, heart rate monitors… Whatever device it is, there is something absolutely addicting about knowing your progress, mile for mile (and often publicly sharing that progress too). But getting caught up in numbers can take away the basic joy of running sometimes. Besides a casual 10k race at the end of this month and triathlon in September, I’m not currently in the throws of training. But still I monitor each run with more gusto than it’s worth. I start to judge the quality of the run based on its length and pace- even for my “fun runs,” which should, after all, be purely for fun.

So today, I left my GPS watch at home and took a (who knows how long!) run through the Bossche Broek. Without a watch, I took moments to pause, take a breath, and really enjoy the scenery. It’s a run like this one that reminds me why I run in the first place.

Den Bosch, The Netherlands #100daysofmiaprima Den Bosch, The Netherlands #100daysofmiaprima Den Bosch, The Netherlands #100daysofmiaprima

Tot ziens!

Sarah

This post is #33 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

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tulip speculation

Yesterday afternoon I arrived in Amsterdam, and to conquer jet lag, my sister and I headed straight from the airport to the tulip fields of Holland. The site of the rainbow fields is like nothing I’ve ever seen (and will ever see anywhere else). We rented bicycles and explored the fields in true Dutch style. Along the way we spotted majestic blue herons, unexpected head winds, charming thatch-roofed homes, and, of course, fields of colors that tilted and blinked like kaleidoscopes as we rode past.

The Keukenhof tulip gardens were also an impressive site in their own right. With heavy winds and morning rain, the crowds were thin but the tulips were aplenty. Last year, the tulips peaked in April, so I was grateful to soak up a true prize of Holland in May!

Tot ziens!

Sarah

p.s. Did you know: the speculation of the tulip market in in the 1630s led to the first recorded economic bubble? People were paying serious money to get their hands on a tulip…

This post is #26 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

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waterfalls + covered bridges

I spent much of the day Saturday preparing for my first-ever flea market for my Etsy vintage clothing shop, the Gibbson Girl. But I did manage to get away for a run through beautiful Hampton Falls. I slowed down enough to snap some photos along the way at my favorite spot: the newly renovated cover bridge that overlook the town’s namesake.

Hampton Falls, New Hampshire #100daysofmiaprima Hampton Falls, New Hampshire #100daysofmiaprimaHampton Falls, New Hampshire #100daysofmiaprima

I’d be pretty satisfied if all my runs took me through such beautiful territory!

Cheers!

Sarah

This post is #21 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

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