April Runs

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Archive for the tag “Juneathon”

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).

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 15/16: Chalon sur Saone

On Friday morning our holiday started: we packed the car heading to South of France. The destination for tonight was Chalon sur Saone. After checking in the hotel, we changed to our running gear and ran downtown to get to know the city. By the river, we saw the longest boat ever: I needed two pictures to fit it in:

Chalon is a beautiful city with a nice medieval city centre.

I thought that, in case we had enough time, we could pick a small geocache in the neighborhood of this carved tree:As V was with me, I wanted to show her how easy it is for me (after 700+ found geocaches) to pick this one… but we did not find it even after 15 minutes of climbing around the wooden statue and then it was time to retun to the hotel. Plese notice that the word ‘dinner’ made me run back uphills with negative splits.

Giving up is not  good option – not in life and certinly not in geocaching. So this morning, I got up at 6 and ran back to the mysterious place. Luckily I found the small continer today:So alltogether, I ran 7+9 km in Salon. Tomorrow I will be reporting from a small village of Villecroze.

Juneathon Day 14: Wieb

Wieb was 16. It took her quite a while to grow accustomed to me and to April but at the end, somehow, we all managed to live together. She outlived April by 2 months and then the age and illness caught up with her. This is a picture I took several days ago as she was resting in ‘her’ armchair.We will miss her. Well, we do already. And how can a runner ease the pain? By running. Did my usual evening run along the river tonight.

Juneathon Day 13: You talkin’ to me?

Running every day. And running out of topics to blog about… You see, that is the tricky part of the Athons: once you manage to exercise each day, you also have to entertain the fellow Athoners by your blogging. So what is there to say about my uneventful evening run today?

V went with me which was fun. We ran slowly to discuss all that needs to be discussed before we hit the road (our holiday trip starts on Friday). Half way we stopped and stretched and said hello to the ducks. They were not impressed – I could hear the one on the left using Robert De Niro’s voice saying:  “Are you talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin’ to? You talkin’ to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to??”

The ferry at 3 km was totally empty – I guess all the Dutch are already installing themselves in front of thir flat screens to watch the soccer match against Germany.

At the end it turned out not to be such a slow run, at least not for me. I guess my body is getting accustomed to the drill. If only me knees were cooperating. So tomorrow one more run around home and then as of Friday, I am reporting from la France.

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!

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…).

Juneathon Day 7: Random Route

It was yet another rainy Juneathon run tonight. V did not want to join me (of course you don’t have to, honey, feel free to stay at home and cook us a dinner in the meantime…) and I felt like running downtown and see if I could discover something intersting. First, I came across this machine:

I actually had to run a circle around it to find out what it was. It looked like a self service beer taping device with bar chairs or something. After a moment it hit me: an outdoor fitness apparatus! Well great, next season no subscriptions for indoor gym – just climb on this blue beast and enjoy the ride!

About 3 km further down the road, as I was running alongside the canal, my legs were sore and nothing much was happening, I started wondering why I picked running rather than any other sport. For example one that enables you sitting during the training:

Luckily this minor meaning-of-life crisis passed rather quickly and I plodded on into one of the municipal parks. It stopped raining at the momnet when I was passing this beauty:  Back at home, the dinner was indeed ready. Juneathon Day 7 is done and dusted and after 10 km I am tired and off to bed.

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