Po pul roce zase na blogu a tak jenom kratke fotoshrnuti, jak nam ta zima strasne rychle utekla:
V duchu lonskym rokem zapocate tradice jsme si i letos prodlouzily leto a prvnich par zarijovych dnu stravily v Jugosce (sorry, tyhle geopoliticky nepresnosti se zbavuju jen nesnadno). Zase na Krku, ale tentokrat ne primo v mestecku Krk, nybrz v o dvacet kilometru jizneji polozene Basce.
Basku jsme loni uz kratce navstivily a tamejsi 2 km oblazkova plaz se detem libila tak moc, ze letos byla volba jasna. Chaticka v kempu Zablace to jistila.
Co vsechno deti za tech par dnu vyvedly, kolik zmrzlin snedly a jakou zoologickou sbirku z nafukovacich zvirat si domu vezeme, to nikoho nezajima. Rozepsat se chci o necem jinem:
Baska ma totiz zajimavou historii – jak ze starochorvatskeho uhlu pohledu, tak tu novejsi, turistickou. V prvnim pripade mam na mysli Bascanskou plocu, kamennou desku s nejstarsi dochovanou pamatkou hlaholskeho pisemnictvi v chorvatstine. V kostele sv. Lucie je teda bohuzel k videni jen kopie. Oh happy days, kdy se dopisy tesaly do kamene!
Co se turismu tyce, na pocatku vseho evidentne nebylo Slovo, ale Narodni listy. Tam si v roce 1909 reditel Politiky Emil Geistlich, mimochodem velky Sokol a vlastenec, precetl noticku Ceskeho klubu turistu o jadranskych morskych laznich na ostrove Krk. Zaujala ho natolik, ze hned nasedl na vlak do Rijeky a odtamtud parnikem dojel do Basky. Byl z ty cisty jadransky krasy natolik vedle, ze ihned zacal spradat plany na vybudovani ryze ceskyho primorskyho letoviska. Ony lazne totiz sestavaly jen z par drevenych budek na plazi a to pro ceskou predvalecnou elitu fakt nebylo ono. Geistlich behem jednoho roku zvladl vymyslet, naplanovat a zafinancovat projekty na vystavbu ceskeho hotelu, ceskeho pivovaru (jak jinak!) a ceske restaurace (gulas a svickova) a od roku 1911 zacal do Basky vozit Cechy nabuzene vynikajicim reklamnim sloganem “Z pokoje rovnou do more”.
Fungovalo to bezvadne a nemalou zasluhu na tom mela Geistlichova zena Anna. Puvodne v Praze domaci putka, ale v Basce multitaskujici projektantka, projektova reditelka, sefkucharka, animatorka… proste zenska, co to mela v pazi. O jejich schopnostech svedci, ze udrzela vsechno v chodu i po manzelove smrti (zapal plic, pochovan na hrbitove kostela sv. Ivana) – zkrouhli ji az v roce 1948.
No a co ten Cesky klub turistu? Ten uz nekdy kolem roku 1870 vytycil asi 90 km na 14ti trasach a o turisticke znaceni v Basce a okoli se stara dodnes. Pro me osobne nadhera: po letech v Holandsku, na Kypru a v Rakousku takova radost vybehnout na trail po ‘ceske’ cervene, zelene, modre nebo zlute, s dobre znacenymi rozcestniky a kilometrovniky!
Takze k behani: Za ty ctyri rana na Krku jsem zvladla tri kratsi vybehy po okoli, dohromady asi 25 km. Moje cesty vedly na skaly po obou stranach zalivu (prekvapive moc kameni, ale taky relativne rychle dosazeni vrcholku) a jednou kousek do vnitrozemi. Vsechny traily/cesty jsou fakt dobre znacene a vsechny staly za to! Ostatne, jako cela tahle minidovolena.
The weekend found us mostly outside, with some running but mainly walking and hiking at Maiskogel and watching a cross triathlon race under the Weißsee. There was a lot of core exercise and vertical meters with the stroller. And we had a lot of fun together.
It was supposed to be an easy flat race on a track that I know as well as my shoes. I have been running along the Coastal Road here in Limassol for months now so when I found out that the annual Limassol Marathon pretty much copies my favourite training route (with the start some 500 m away from my office) and that I would be on the island exactly at the time when it takes place, it was hard to resist. Out of the 4 offered distances (full M, 1/2M, 10 K and 5 K) I opted for the 21.1 K, a distance that I ran once before during a race (Leiden 2012, pre-babies) and several times during my training. With enough ‘winter kilometers’ in my legs, I felt confident that I would be able to run this race well, if only I could get some sleep one or two nights before the D-Day.
As the race day was approaching, the kids were getting a bit ill, sneezing and coughing. On Saturday, I myself woke up with a head that felt as if it were hollow but decided not to pay attention to it. We all went out and enjoyed the sunny day and light breeze. During the afternoon, E did not feel too well so we made a steam-bath for her with Eucalyptus oil, made sure she drank enough and put her to bed early. Ignoring my own cold, we ate pasta (the only item that I found in my runner bag) with tomato sauce and I allowed myself one small beer and went to bed too. At midnight my Camelot ended: while E was sound asleep, S started crying and was not to be calmed down. She felt really warm and to our surprise, her fever raised to 39.7. Of course we were panicking. To cut a long story short, early on Sunday morning, after hours of cuddling, singing, walking around with her and attempting to put her to sleep, she was quietly asleep in her bed, with fever under control. I still had 1.5 hours or so before it was time to get out and race.
At 7.00 I announced to V that I was not going to leave the house and running was out of question. At 7:30 she forced me outside the entrance door and told me that if she needed me, she knew where to find me because at any given time, I would not be further away than 10 km. Yet again, she was right.
By 8.00, I was in the office changing myself and attaching my bib number to my shorts. Then 2x number 1 and number 2 (how great not to be depending on the portable toilets down the road!), check check double check and off I went. Out of 4000 registered runners, some 3500 participated in corporate runs (5 and 10 K). As the corporate teams were lining up near the starting point at Molos, it seemed like everybody knew each other there and I felt a bit lost, thinking about my girls at home… What distracted me was the fact that the marathon runners were lining up at the start gate while half marathoners and 10K runners were supposed to take place behind them. Weird, I thought.
Around 9.00 I heard the gun shot and as the crowd started moving, I crossed the start line some 3 minutes after that. I went with the crowd, the pace was around 6 minutes per km and it went well. After about a mile I suddenly saw a pair of bare feet running next to me. They belonged to a tall blond guy with light blue eyes. As we plodded on, we started talking. Funny enough, he was Dutch coming to Cyprus to enjoy his ‘old days’. Being 60 now, he was never a runner till about 3-4 years ago when somebody advised him to try barefoot running. His life story was quite amazing and so was his running story including the barefoot runs in Himalaya’s. He was happy to be able to talk to me in Dutch while I was happy to be just listening. The pace remained slightly above 6 min p/km and when at 9 km I realised that I wouldn’t be able to keep it forever (or for the next hour or so), it was too late to do anything about it. We passed the 10 km mark at 1:03 and I told my guy that it was time for us to part.
The turning point at Amathus excavations caught me in a bad shape. I was hot, my throat was sore and most of all, I felt no urge to run as my thoughts were wandering to the kids. What looked like a well started race turned into a nightmare as I suffered through the last miles with some kilometers slower than 7 minutes, not being able to come to a good pace and focus. At the eighteenth km, I was only about 1.5 km from home and the idea of leaving the track and turning home was quite tempting. At the end, the biggest achievement was probably simply the fact that I finished.
I crossed the finish line at 2:20:51 official time. To my surprise, I was not the last one – about one fifth of the runners was still on their way. I quickly walked to the office again, called V (to find out that the girls were sort of ok) and biked home. There was still half a day ahead of us to continue curing the little ones and I was left with mixed feelings.
P.S. On the organisational side of the race, it was quite a chaos. My email inquiries with regards to the advertised car rental discounts and bib numbers pickup remained unanswered. Also, I have never experienced a volunteer refusing to pass me water arguing that “there is another water station several miles further, this water is for the full marathoners.” But despite all this, I might be back next year :-).
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.
It was an excellent year, my first year as a mother and my second running year. E was born in March and little by little I picked up exercising (May) and running (June) to end up at these figures: I ran 971 km, walked 479 km, biked 289 km. No skiing or ice skating this year :-(. I went out there to exercise 265 times, spending the total of 254 hours.
In June, I exercised for 30 consecutive days (Juneathon). My longest run in 2013 was 20 km. My BEST running kilometers were the 55 km with E in the baby stroller. I registered for 2 races, both 10 km: in Leiden in May, just 2 months or so after E was born and then in September in Plasy. No PB’s but great time!
In 2014, I will try to run longer distances and do more baby-running. The year will start with Janathon again and I have registered for two races in June. Time enough to talk myself out of them…. or to train hard to dare to come to the start line.
Last but not least: This all would never be possible without the endless support of my family. Girls, thank you so much! You have been my inspiration and motivation to go out there and fight my own laziness, I owe you!
Our trip to Plasy (little town north of Pilsen famous for its beautiful cistercian monastery) was planned in a split of a second – once we found out that Running Shadow was on his way there, accompanied by 12Honza (who initially told me that meeting up with Shadow at the Prague Grand Prix would be too much of a bore 🙂 and we all know how THAT ended) and the rest of the running and blogging bunch, there was no turning back. Originally, both V and me registered for the 10K race in Plasy (the choices included a 1/2M and full cross M as well) but V still did not recover from the delivery 4 months ago so her role quickly turned to the one of our logistic manager, driver and baby sitter.
We drove to Czech rep. on Thursday night, spent a day (and night at the outside fire place) with my mother and pretty much talked ourselves through to Saturday morning, being entertained by Emma’s second tooth growing.
Last week Iva has tried to change my mind about the race by sending me the height profile but she couldn’t stop me anymore. Despite the fact that the pregnancy (yes, lets blame the baby, not my endless appetite and chocolate cravings) left me in anything but a perfect shape, despite the sleep deprivation and absence of hill training back home, I was predetermined to give it my best. Little did I know that my best wouldn’t be enough.
As all other bloggers already wrote, gathering at the Big Meadow (and boy, was it BIG, once I had to run around it at K 11!) was more of a social event than a running race. After parking and disembarkment (how else to call our group getting out of the car with double baby stroller, huge bags full of milk bottles, nappies, reserve clothing, some little presents and many more needful things), we started bumping into friends whose faces I only knew from blogs and stories. Finally, the hard evidence was there: Running Shadow is NOT an urban legend. 12Honza DOES talk all the time and his wife is the kindest person ever. Leona‘s hair had different color yet again, Iva’s hair was not there at all (s0cketka‘s shoes neither), Digi‘s camera bag is HUGE while Jitka is tiny…. I could go on and on, there were many more people who I knew only virtually and it was my pleasure to get introduced to them, like Advid, bubo, Machy, rid, Lucka, nikie, II,… for sure I forgot some but hey, I had to run too.
Well, talking about running, there were HILLS. Not one hill at the beginning that ‘you don’t have to worry about because everybody walks it’ but ALL the time. Up and down. Mostly up. In my own stupidity I thought that as the route follows a cycling path, it would be pretty much a flat asphalted road (hello, I live in Holland)… my fatal mistake showed immediately at the the first corner. So while I was struggling to survive, the smiling yellow bandanna (formerly known as Iva) hopped around me, talking and picking mushrooms. It took me ages (40 minutes or so) to get to K 5 where there was no water. At K 6 I finally drank and as we saw Leona some 150 m in front of us, I tried to catch her. Pathetic. No luck for the next 4 K, quite the contrary. At one point I thought my soul was leaving my body and floating in the sky while I saw myself running down below – just kidding, I was there, on the running path all the time :-).
Around 9.5 K I attempted to speed up (funny in itself) thinking that the finish line cannot be far anymore (well, 500 m, to be exact). Yet another mistake that marked that beautiful sunny day: despite V’s presence (she was holding Emma in her arms at the finish line) it took quite some more torture to plod around the hot meadow. My Garmin stopped at 10.9 K and the time was showing little under 1:20. Pfeeew!
To make things worse, Iva, still with mushrooms in both hands, suddenly collapsed. Luckily her blood pressure went up again in a short while so we could laugh about how she, being the World Champion, did not manage to shake me off.
The showers were too far away to bother so I grabbed the stroller and all family members and walked to the car to change and then there was beer to drink and stories to tell. The half marathoners who were starting just 2 minutes after us were dripping to the finish line as well and soon after them the first marathoners followed.
The kids had trouble sleeping (loud music all over the place) so at one point we had to say good bye to everybody and stop whining about missing Honza and Shadow at the finish line…. As we were leaving the Meadow, I actually saw them running about 100 m from our car… but that was all there was.
So to wrap it up: a perfect day with many many new friends to whom I am grateful for their never ending support and motivation. Time for me to move on and start some running…
My dear reader will excuse me for using the ultra-terminology in the title of today’s blog post but I simply cannot help it. After the pitiful mileage of the past months, in August I was suddenly offered a tremendous window of opportunity: I could go running 5 times a week! This resulted in a bit of a sleep deprivation (but I have suffered from this already), several logistical hiccups and… a beautiful total of 164 km!
As many good things in life, I couldn’t have done this alone. This is my thank you to everybody who helped me to get out and run almost every day, often at impossible times:
V, for always being there for me.
E+S, for making me wanna be a better person.
I, for being out there, virtually.
L, for inventing the Summer Challenge.
All other runners and bloggers, for loving running.