April Runs

… hikes, kickbikes, skis and more

Archive for the category “Trail”

JD24 and JD25 – another snow combo

No surprise that we went skiing again, on Sunday. The kids can now manage 4x Lechnerberg. But since the temperatures started to become normal again (and a fellow blogger commented on my lack of running :-)), I went for a run (in the snow!) today, for a change. The uphill section actually followed an official 1974 European cup sledging track:

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… which had to be rewarded later on:
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Day 24: ski
Day 25: run

Back in Villecroze

In 2012, we spent a great week here – with lots of (trail) running, swimming, hiking and kayaking. After the wow-we-are-having-babies break in 2013, it was time to return to this small Provencal village and check the paths through the local rocks again. What I found on ‘my’ paths was stone, stone and more stone:

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CIMG2925 I am not a good runner so balancing among moving rocks was a bit of a challenge. After the initial sounds of despair (non-publishable) I decided to turn the lemons into a lemonade and actually went running every morning. I thought my Hoka’s would help me but funny enough the absence of feeling the stones under my feet due to their extensive cushioning was more of a disadvantage – my ‘regular’ shoes served better.  And I admit, on occasions, the paths were actually great:
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CIMG2920All in all a good week resulting in 65 km in 6 days and 1000+ vertical meters. I am slow but I am out there.

Oh, and there were some regular roads and good old stairs as well:

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JUD21 – Hills hurt

After a long count down, the Race Day of Mozart100 finally came. Together with Iva we drove to Salzburg early in the morning. The weather looked promising – half cloudy and temperatures around 12 degrees with forecasted max around 22. We found a good parking spot and quickly walked towards the race office, picked up the bibs and looked around.

Mozart 100 logo

Mozart 100 logo

While our race was a ‘Light Trail‘ counting only 25.8 km, there were already runners on their way, fighting with 100 km or a 55 km distance… as we were walking through the city, we saw them passing by. Despite their distances, they looked so fresh!

Soon afterwards we found a shuttle bus to Fuschl am See where our race started. Fuschl is a popular summer holiday destination as it is located on the shores of a beautiful lake. It is about 25 km away from Salzburg but the racing buzz was there as strongly present as in Salzburg. As we were waiting for the start signal, we were checking our co-racers – a couple of Kenyans, some nordic walkers but mostly nice and friendly runners with ambitions similar to ours: to enjoy a beautiful summer day while running.

The Lake

The Lake

Almost immediately after the start, a narrow forest path took us along the lake. It lasted about 4 km and I hardly noticed I was moving – somehow I felt like running rather effortlessly, a feeling that would accompany me almost all day. Another 3 km on a small paved road and there was a sign ‘The Wall’ on the side of the road. For a moment I was wondering what did it mean, until I spotted a group of runners walking right above me. The Wall referred to the hill bringing us to Hof bei Salzburg, one that cannot be run by runners like myself :-).

the wall

The Wall…

Just like the rest, I started walking as well and soon ended up on top. From here, it was just a short run to one of the food stations. As I was chewing my water melon, I spotted a famous silhouette: it was Dan Oralek himself, the icon of Czech ultra running. Of course I only saw him for 2 seconds and then he was gone for good but still – from now on I knew I was actually running on the same path as a celebrity :-).

From Hof the race course took us passing the beautiful chapel through meadows and woods to Ladau, Koppl and passed the Salzburg Ring. I was still running well – SLOW but steady, feeling good, enjoying myself, enjoying the scenery. From here (km 16) I knew I would make it despite the fear of the last climb…

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The chapel in Hof

After the blossoming meadows and soft forest paths of the countryside the ‘city trail’ started as we were approaching Salzburg. My half marathon time was 2:36. Around the 22 km mark we passed the railways and then I saw the Kapuzinerberg in front of me (640 m above sea level). Quick cup of water at the bottom and off I was. Vaguely I remembered that the climb was supposed to be spiced up by some stairs. Or were they on the way down? Well, 600 stairs further (and I was sooooo lucky to have trained the stair running throughout Juneathon) I still was not on the top….

Half way up I (barely) passed an elderly lady with poles – probably a local who gave me a friendly smile. She probably SAW the lactate accumulating in my legs by then. It hurt. At that point, I was already running for 3 hours (and Iva was at the finish line for a quarter of an hour…). And then after reaching the top, I realised that what goes up must come down and since my Garmin was showing that the finish line is only a mile away, the descend would inevitably be steep…. which it was.

Stairs case at Kapuzinerberg

Stairs case at Kapuzinerberg

Good thing that the horse smelled the stables – very very carefully I was descending and against all odds, I felt cheerful and happy. After crossing the river, there was the finish gate. My Garmin showed 26.3 km at 3:31:40 (and 531 m up). I made it, the longest, nicest and most enjoyable run of my life! On top of this, I did not end up the last (30th out of 35 women; congrats to Iva to 14th place at 2:42:15!).

Back to Running

The amount of recently published blog posts (and comments under them) that analyse (and criticize) various races, types of runners, individual goals, lengths of one’s runs etc is getting too much for me. In the past 3 weeks, I seriously considered to stop blogging all together. I admit there is a hidden exhibitionist in each of us but seriously, why bother?

Well, primarily, I am doing it for myself, for my own motivation and self reflection. I do not have to read or comment on any other blog, the only thing that matters is to enjoy running. Running as a cure for just about any pain that hits me. Running for the sake of doing it.

So back to running: Last weekend Plesivec was waiting for me again:
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Cliff Young

“I like to finish what I start doing. I like to see it through to the end, to the best of my ability.”

Juneathon Day 30: End

To be honest, I am happy it is over. Funny enough, it is not the running that’s killing but blogging… After a month of daily reports, there is really nothing to mention anymore. I guess my life is too boring to keep a diary. It is all work and running and eating and sleeping and planning my runs in logistically difficult situations.  Luckily I am not alone in this. My fellow Juneathoners and all runners/sporters go through the same issues daily. And that is what keeps us going: even when sometimes it feels lonely on the run, we are NOT alone.

So thank you for organising Juneathon (JogBlog), for participating in it (all my Juneathon friends) and for supporting me all the way (all other bloggers and non-virtual friends). With your support, I made it through June with 30 days of running totalling the I-would-have-never-dreamt-this number of 234 km!

It is Sunday tomorrow: there will be no running for a change but there will definitely be some sports and fun!

Juneathon Day 22: Last day

Today is our last day here in France. I went to ‘our’ trail again and returned home with fresh bread while everybody was still asleep. What a feeling to be back at home, after a good run, with hot cup of coffee, while the house is still quiet…

Despite the sweat and pain, I will miss these stones:

Now off to the lake to discover new bays and beaches.

Juneathon Day 21: Longest

It is the longest day of the year today. And for us, this morning it was the longest trail of our holiday. It did not start so nice, at least not for this guy: As usually, we ran above our village and lost our breath in the first 2 kms. But then again, the views around here ARE breathtaking:

And instead of turning back down, we crossed the main road and disappeared in the wilderness to discover some additional paths. No people, just sheep and rocky paths. What an excellent exercise for our ankles!

After about 6 km we reached a small summit above Tourtour and from there, it was all downhills – better/wider paths and at the end regular roads. The two creeks we were supposed to pass were both dry.

Back home it turned out that our run was over 12 km long.

Ehm, and one girly remark to top the story: on our way home, we even managed to buy a table cloth for our garden table. It fit perfectly in the camelback (all water was finished by then, anyway).

Juneathon Day 19: Good signs

French trails are beautiful and unless you follow signs (that can be somewhat hidden), each of them will bring you to a new place every day. So much for my morning sarcasm. After a good night rest we hit the road at 6.45 am and went 8.5 km into the hills again and as we ran we found these: 

On the way back we picked fresh bread for breakfast and quickly checked the local tourist attraction: Les Grottes:

Another sunny day in Villecroze…

Juneathon Day 18: Villecroze Trail

Woke up into yet another beautiful, sunny and soon to become HOT day. Decided to try what in NL seldom can be done and what trail runners call a ‘technical trail’. Well, at least a short piece of it. Uphills. Thanks to Google satellites I found something that distantly resembled a tiny path among the trees and chalk rocks above Villecroze and suggested to V to go up there and check it up, running.

Now it is an hour later and we are back, after 8 km and a geocache we are drinking coffee getting ready for a kayak trip. Enjoy the pictures (which translates as feel the pain and smell our sweat haha).

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