April Runs

… hikes, kickbikes, skis and more

Archive for the tag “early morning run”


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:


My virtual co-runner

Although between our houses there is a 1000 km gap, we run together quite often. Making an appointment with her is so easy that I almost never refuse to go, even though it involves early morning getting up. The only thing we need is the itch to put on the running shoes and start.

How does it work? Before each run, we agree on time, music selection and running course – while I lead her through the cycling paths around Leiden, she shows me her own surroundings in and around Prague. So today, this is where we were (well, me only virtually):

Of course, after each mutual run there is time to chat and enjoy a drink or too… It seems like we are bringing RunningFreeOnline and DailyMile to the next level. Thanks, Iva!

10.1 km to the harbour

Morning runs and Hortus

Back from Austria and Czech republic, we are slowly returning to the ,normal’ rhythm. Despite my original plans, July did not see me running more than 80 km and there was hardly any weight loss. The good thing is I feel I am getting stronger and what’s most important, the children are doing great. Now that their sleeping habits improved A LOT, I often have time to run after 8 pm and/or before 7 am. Hitting the 100 km mark in August therefore must be doable. Here some pictures from my Saturday (9 km) and Sunday (12 km) morning runs:Foto0029
Foto0031And because one should do more in life than running, here pictures from our Sunday afternoon in Hortus Botanicus, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world (and certainly the oldest one in NL).


Preggo Running V.

22-24 weeks: Yep, still running – but as I am seriously coming into the 2/3ds of the pregnancy, it does not look like it anymore. My belly grows rather fast now and the continuous pressure of my expanding womb on the bladder is getting close to unbearable (what will I do next month and the month after that?). Also, I often feel rather ‘heavy’ so anything more than 40-50 minutes running/exercising non stop (well, with pee-stop) is impossible. The idea is rather frustrating because my lungs and legs feel good enough, I hardly sweat – and yet, I am forced to stop in less than an hour to have at least a couple of minutes of a break.

On the positive end, my dependency on fresh air makes me go running outside regardless the peeing problem. The solution is of course hiding myself in the merciful darkness of early mornings and/or late evenings, with enough toilette paper in my pockets and some bushes along the way. So far so good. Except…. that the speed lost its relevance all together.

I tend to spend about an hour each day by some kind of physical activity (running about 4-5 times and week, gym, or at least walking). It definitely helps me to remain sane and not to give in to the my-baby-needs-so-many-things shopping frenzy. At least not for now. The shopping embargo has been prolonged till Christmas. Sort of.

Gain weight: did not dare to weight myself this week yet.

My new best friend:

The plan for coming days and weeks is to keep moving although my belly is growing. I sometimes wonder how much larger would I be without running… Also, according to V (I am sooo grateful to have my own physiotherapist at home!) I should start exercising my pelvic floor muscles. Or at least finally face the fact that I don’t have any so it is the highest time  to build them up! Hence the ball instead of chair while eating and/or watching TV.


The weather in the past week was so bad that I actually checked the calendar several times to make sure that it was indeed mid July… My evening runs were almost all wet and windy and we made no outdoor plans for the weekend as the forecast was not promising either.

But then I read 12Honza’s blog note and after I placed a comment on how other people’s action kick starts me, it seemed weird not to go out. So here is another evidence of what Honza calls the chain reaction: Saturday: 10.3 km in rain and wind; Sunday: 8 km in similar conditions plus 34 km on mountain bike on top of it.

To illustrate my words, this is a Sunday morning picture of a popular lake beach near Leiden. During regular summer weekend it would be packed:

To be completely honest with you, at times it actually stopped raining. I took this picture as we were starting the car after our run :-).

So wherever you are and whatever you do, do not complaint (it is enough that I do it!), keep running and never, never give up. The sunny days will come!

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 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).

Juneathon Day 17: Hot

Yesterday evening we arrived to the beautiful house that will host us during our holiday week. It is located just outside Villecroze and it is large, comfortable, well equipped by everything we need (large garden with olive trees, swimming pool and barbecue). Perfect. Except… the heat. Yesterday at 8 pm the outside temperature was still oscillating around 30 degrees so the logistics of my Juneathon efforts was quickly redesigned: all Juneathon activities have to take place BEFORE 8 am. O happy days…

So this morning I woke V at 6 am and asked her with my kindest voice if she was in for a short loop in the neighborhood. She must have been asleep as she actually answered that she would love to! So we hit the road. Well, it was rather a path – hilly but with great views. And shadow. We made a 6.6 km loop while talking and slowly waking up and rewarded ourselves with a can of coffee under the olive tree afterwards. And then we went to the local market (I know, this is totally unrelated to running but stilll):And so tonight we will be grilling fish and meat with these herbs:And now if you excuse me, I am off to the swimming pool. Happy Sunday everybody!

Juneathon Day 12: Early

It had to be an early morning run today as tonight, we have a family dinner scheduled and I did not want to take any risk (I am thinking beer and wine and full stomach and almost midnight and nothing to blog). So I hit the wet road around 7 am thinking about what picture to take today. No special thoughts or ideas – just this water tower.

As if my brain was still asleep, I plodded on without thinking too much – until I got the idea for perfect breakfast. So after uneventful 5.5 km I ran home happily thinking about picking the raspberries and mixing them with my breakfast yoghurt/crusli:And now I am all ready to work and done with the Juneathon challenge nr 12 while many of you still have to figure out where/when to squeeze a quick Tuesday run. Good day to everybody!

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