April Runs

… hikes, kickbikes, skis and more

Archive for the category “Food for Thought”

End of hibernation

Mountain winters are cold. And long. And full of snow. So far, my idea of living a healthy life around here materialised in endless cubical meters of snow shoveled :-). I have been working a lot, physically, that is – but there was significantly less time for running, skiing and recovery. As a result, my favourite pair of jeans shrank. So did my mileage. At the moment I am struggling (and not winning) the battle of 100 km a month. But I do not worry too much.

We did manage to change our life entirely and as a family, leaving the city lights behind, we are happy here. The two smallest family members spend loads of hours outside each day (e.g. searching for what the Easter Bunny left behind…).

20150406_102857 20150406_102909   And we have the most fantastic and ever changing views every day:

20150405_065558 20150407_080553And so I work, run, ski, bike, I count less (no Garmin these days!) and most of all, I am enjoying my life with my girls because facing the elements here I get to realise every day again and again that the rest does not matter at all.

Happy spring, everybody!

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In 2015…

.. pristine roads and plenty of grip to all of you!

20141231_144005And lots of fun :-).

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Autumn

Cyprus, Austria, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, The Netherlands… there are days when I am almost loosing the track of where I am. Time zones and temperatures change and so do apartments we stay in. And the grand mothers and other people around us… The kids don’t seem to mind too much as long as they can play and RUN around.

And funny enough, RUNNING is my anchor to this chaos as well: Despite the heavy logistics of our autumn moves, I am out there more often than ever. And I am enjoying every mile to the max.

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Early misty mornings, late wet evenings, flat windy stretches, muddy hill paths: This year, I run them all.

Instead of racing…

I was supposed to be in Plasy today. My 2014 ‘racing season’ would culminate by the trail 1/2M, a race that many of my fellow bloggers were attending… which promised some serious beer drinking and a proper after party. As we all know, with two little children there is no way to stick to any plan…chaos

Since I still wanted to run today, I forced myself out of bed at 6.20 – my usual get up time on week days – and gathered my running gear. I have been fighting with myself lately – somehow I cannot find the proper motivation for longer runs. My usual midweek 7-8 k’s are fine but whenever the run should become longer, somehow it does not feel the way it used to. No idea why is that as my body does not send any negative signals, quite the contrary – no muscle ache nor any other pain at all. Is this laziness? Or am I getting too old?
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To my credit, I overcame my laziness and poured fresh water into my camelbag, grabbed some fruit sugar and within 5 minutes I was outside the door and moving. My plan was anything above 12 k, ideally around 20. It was a lazy morning with mist in the valley and I felt like the only person alive. As usually, the first 3-4 k were a sheer torture but little by little my face lightened up and after half an hour of dreaming about my warm and soft bed I realised that I was actually enjoying the run. At about 8 k mark I picked some fresh mint for the tea and turned back to run home. Nice and easy 16 k but still, the joy wasn’t quite there. No idea what to do about it.CIMG3052

Oh, and one more thing, especially for Leona: as I was looking for banana’s in our local supermarket, this is what I bumped into (the tiny letters read: “Power seeds for the ascetic runner”) – and yes, I admit, I couldn’t resist to buy one package to experience the magic myself.
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JUD03 – Regular runs

Ok, ok, staircase, exercise, healthy food… but what about good old running? Yes, it is still there, whenever I can find an hour of spare time. Most recently (today) eleven kilometers of perfect solitude, a little more than an hour just for myself, my thoughts, hesitations and dreams. I, me, and myself in a harmony. At least that is what I am striving for – with fluctuating levels of success.
DSC_0001The most important thing is to keep trying. To go out there, get moving, fight back. Just like some of my dear blogging friends write in their own blogs, as a reminder for themselves on bad days: It is important to NEVER EVER give up. Not ever.

Spring morning

Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
Down to the stream where the king-cups grow-
Up on the hill where the pine-trees blow-
Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.

Where am I going? The clouds sail by,
Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
Where am I going? The shadows pass,
Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.

If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,
You’d sail on water as blue as air,
And you’d see me here in the fields and say:
“Doesn’t the sky look green today?”

Where am I going? The high rooks call:
“It’s awful fun to be born at all.”
Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:
“We do have beautiful things to do.”

If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You’d lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You’d say to the wind when it took you away:
“That’s where I wanted to go today!”

Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow-
Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.

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Foto0126By A. A. Milne

 

Mornings

I was still a teenager when the Berlin wall started to shake. The eighties caught me young and naive, eager to discover, to love, to live. During the week days, when I was not training, I was probably spending an evening at some folk & country concert in one of the clubs at the outskirts of Prague. During weekends, I was hitchhiking all over the country to hear my favourite singers and groups. I had no money, no fear, no stress. Somehow, I always had time to do the things I liked to do. I had many good friends (and I am blessed I still maintain those friendships) to travel and to discuss ‘life, universe and everything’ with.

As I was never much of a drinker, I could talk and sing and spend all night at a camp fire to see the first sun rays shining next morning. Back then, I loved early mornings just as I do now.

Twenty five years later the setting has all changed: two babies and responsible job to focus on – but the mornings are still the same. And the below lyrics is still valid, too:

“Vsichni, kteri ve svy krvi stejnej bacil maj, tak se v techhle zvlastnich ranech potkavaj.”

So when Richard, a fellow blogger/runner posted these pics, I went out there on a fresh morning myself:
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3030

When it comes to running, March was lousy. 123 km (compared to 200+ in January) is nothing to write home about… But at least in the long run, I crossed an important line: 3000 km since my first Janathon.

When I started running in January 2012, little did I know that this ‘temporary’ activity would last this long. That it would last during my pregnancy all the way to the seventh month. That I would be craving it in the ninth month. That it would come back to me just weeks after delivery. That the running bug would get me with its endorphin, the virtual and real life friendships and more…

But here we are, 3000 km further. I am still on the road and even though I am not faster or slimmer and I am not sure where will it bring me, I am already a better person… thanks to running.

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Not Ready To Make Nice

My mother’s recent inquiry about E’s dress (“She is turning ONE, you have to go out and buy her a dress, what kind of mother are you?”) made me realise that despite my regular attempts, I won’t ever fit ‘the box’. The box for the perfect daughter, mother, wife, friend, colleague and who knows what else. Somehow, a piece of me will always stay outside the symmetry of the pre-designed shape. I simply don’t fit the main stream and contrary to my youth, I am okay with it now.

So rather than spending a useless afternoon in crowded stores looking for a dress that my daughter would wear once only to spill milk and cake over it, we will go to the park together to feed the ducks. Rather than buying her anything revolutionary from the Toys-R-Us top 10 catalog, we settle for the good old all-time winner: a huge teddy bear.

The one thing I WILL focus on is to make E happy on her birthday. By being together, all four of us. By baking my one and only baby cake with apples from the scratch (deep at night, after I returned from my evening run). By singing all the baby songs we have learned and reading our favourite books. May be even by racing the wind together with our Baby Jogger…

No, I am not ready to make nice.

More on friendship

I wrote about friends and friendships earlier but somehow, it is never enough…

When I was a teenager my older brother told me that I should cherish all the good friendships as with the age, one only looses friends and almost never gains new ones. At first, I did not believe him as there were so many new and beautiful and smart people around me and I felt there were new friendships waiting to be grabbed and developed on every corner.

Little did I know that the real friendships don’t come to one’s door too often. The older we get, the more difficult it is to distill the reasons why people get attracted to us. In the past, in my naivety, I let many people close to me and did not see (or did not want to see) why they wanted to declare a friendship to me at all.

Throughout the years that I lived abroad, I lost contact with many good friends and found new friends instead. Except that there was hardly any comparison between the Old ones and the New ones. The New ones co-created my new social life, they were there to talk to and to laugh with and to drink beer with but somehow, with just a few exceptions, these new friendships remained rather shallow. Their roots were simply not deep enough to weather the storm of my life style. Just like my brother predicted.

On the Old friendship scene, luckily the situation was completely different: even though I haven’t seen some of my youth friends for many years, whenever the opportunity was there, we somehow always managed to get together and step halfway into a conversation as if we stopped talking an hour ago – rather than many years ago.

Last time in Prague, I finally proved my brother wrong. Yes, I have met a couple of old friends and yes, the encounters were great and felt like coming home. But I have also met new friends, my running friends that is. And guess what? The time we spent together was at least equally as good. I felt so welcome in their presence, in their homes – as if warm chocolate milk and blanket were offered to me (well, they were, actually!). I spent a lot of time with interesting people conducting interesting conversations. With people who took their time and effort to make me feel good, uncovered the hidden landscapes of their minds in order to help me to uncover my own weaknesses, with people who charged me with lots of energy, who showed me their affection and made me feel good about the way I am.

Maybe it is the running, a universal sport that outgrew in a passion (and even a life style, for some of us) that breaks all the barriers between us? If that is the case, I couldn’t have picked a better hobby.

Thank you. And the Shoe Fairy.
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