April Runs

… hikes, kickbikes, skis and more

Archive for the tag “barefoot”

How was July?

After a rather successful Juneathon (I did manage to run/log/blog every single day) July met me in a bit of a motivational dip. Luckily there were all the bloggers around who reassured me it is all right not to feel like moving every day. My golden motivational sentence: “I always feel better after a run than before” worked yet again and so at the end the RunSaturday statistics ended quite okay as I managed to plod over 150 km running km in July.

So all together, we had 4 sunny and warm days during which we could easily run barefoot on the beach. And we had a dear friend visiting us and we ourselves went to visit friends in Czech republic. And we finally bought our pied-a-terre in the Alps. And I picked up geocaching again.

Unfortunately, all the good things were washed away by some bad news: we have lost a dear friend. And it seems like I am not going to progress much with my running in the coming months (the Blue Team knows already but may not tell yet). The volumes and speed are already decreasing. Big question mark: the 10 km race in September in Prague.

But despite all the news and events, good and bad, the universal truth remains: running heals! Enjoy summer, all of you, and keep running!

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Barefoot Sunset

Yesterday evening, instead of sitting in front of the TV, working at the PC, reading or ‘enjoying’ the evening shopping, I was on the beach, running. As always on the beach, I had no shoes so as I was running, the sea water was cooling my feet. My only task was to look under my feet not to cut them open by the sharp shells or not to step on a jelly fish. Other than that, my brain was empty. I realized that if those were my only issues in life, life was not too bad.
Around me, there were still children playing in the water (and their parents who couldn’t manage to get them out), dogwalkers with their wet hairy buddies demanding yet another ball to be thrown into the waves, surfers waiting for the next best wave. Everybody seemed relaxed and enjoying themselves.


Then around 9.30 pm the sounds calmed down a bit and it looked as everybody chose a slower pace. Some of the people stopped talking, sat down and looked towards the west. The daily natural theater performance has started: the sun was setting down, quickly turning from huge heavy orange ball to a tiny burning red spot above the horizon.


And I was standing there, barefoot, with sweaty T-shirt and wet feet, among all those people who I didn’t know and they didn’t know me. And somehow the world was in harmony.
Enjoy running!

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 10: Bike

Woke up to the sunny morning so off we went, to the beach again. This time, we started running from Noordwijk, through the dunes in the SW direction.After 3 km we came to the bridge across the old Rhine and turned towards the beach to repeat some barefoot running.My calves felt surprisingly good (here is your answer, Fairweatherrunner) but running with cold/wet feet took its toll – I had to make a quick sanitary stop. This is where I was hiding, still barefoot:We continued for about 5 km, reached the north end of Noordwijk, put on our shoes again and checked the local market. The fresh ‘Hollandse nieuwe’ (a raw harink from the new season’s catch) tasted excellent! Back to the car and home….

… where I felt restless enough to grab the MTB and hit the road again. Alone this time, through the field of nettles as high as myself,   being closely watched by the local population.The round trip took 48 km. I am finally tired and done for today and 1/3rd of Juneathon is behind me. How was your weekend, everybody?

Juneathon Day 9: Barefoot!

After a windy night we woke up into a stormy morning. Hmm – I wonder if the wind calms down at all and if the sand dunes will shield us at all as we run against it. Those were my morning thoughts before we headed to a new running adventure in the dunes between Katwijk and Wassenaar. The area is beautiful, we knew that already – but the wind, the wind was killing. We decided to run through the dunes SW, to Wassenaarse slag, to have a coffee there, check our legs and plan where to go from there. It was cold.  Running against wind this strong, it felt like inside some kind of outdoor treadmill: my legs were clearly pushing but I was not moving forward at all. The initial 5 km took us about 35 minutes and we ended up rather exhausted. Coffee and hot chocolate at the beach saved us. Again, the feeling of Christmas holiday and skiing trip was setting in: apart from us, there were only dog walkers around and German hardcore holiday guests.

The wind was so strong we could hardly open the door of the beach pub as we were leaving and it was blowing sand and dirt into our eyes, ears and… well, just about everywhere. At that point, as we wanted to run back on the beach, I decided to take off my shoes. My first barefoot run was just about to begin.  Feeling the cold wet sand under my feet (in combination with running) was an entirely new sensation. I was so scared everything would start hurting immediately and I would have to stop quickly but nothing bad happened. Luckily I did not step on one of those:
V was running next to me checking all the time if I was okay and according to her, I looked very happy. And that is exactly how I felt.

We ran about 4.5 km back to Katwijk and it was with great regret that I had to put on my shoes again. I have no idea how my calves, shins and hamstring will feel tomorrow but I cannot wait to return to the beach for more.

P.S. Written with my gratitude to the Royal Netherlands Meteorology Institute: If they didn’t predict a sunny day we would have missed this incredible 11.1 km adventure!

P.P.S. Off to Oranje soccer game (now that Czech rep has lost so badly I might like to switch teams…).

Recovery Run Random Ramblings

  • Yesterday, 8500 happy people enjoyed the running day in Leiden. Well, 8500 minus 1. According to the local paper, one of the runners died of a heart attack after finishing the 1/2M race. I do hope that media won’t use (abuse) this personal tragedy to support the wicked theory of how unhealthy running is…
  • My legs are sore but I am already checking the calendar for future races (is this normal?) – perhaps a 1/2M in Katwijk at the end of September?
  • Finally read Born to Run. Should I slowly start testing my own barefoot running abilities? Will do so next time on the beach.
  • After surviving 20 km running, I am sure I can survive the dentist next week, too.
  • Should I opt for some proper training plan? I am a bit afraid that the regularity would kill my idea of the freedom that running brings. On the other hand, I could use some (semi)professional guidance in order to avoid the common mistakes.

… and then my 30 minutes were over and I ran home…

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