April Runs

… hikes, kickbikes, skis and more

Archive for the tag “runner’s high”

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).

I ran 500 km in 4 months

That’s one small step for a real runner but a giant leap for me! No way I ever predicted anything like this for myself! The Janathon kick-off did its trick (cannot wait for Juneathon), then some of the (Czech) running blogs, the smell of the road, the air in my hair and here I was, all addicted to running and to my body, my own customized endorphin factory.

As the running mileage started increasing, all other activities, especially indoors, started to seem like a waste of time. I felt like there was no proper workout unless my T-shirt got all wet. And it always gets wet when running.

Little by little I started looking into the possibilities of longer runs. I ran distances longer than 10 km regularly and enjoyed the inner peace that usually came during longer runs immensely. I registered for the 1/2M and set up my personal (secret) goal to reach 1000 miles in 2012…

… And then my knee started hurting. We still don’t quite know what the cause is and if it is related to my previous injury at all but as I work together with my physiotherapist on getting back on track, I am forced to rediscover the beauty of other activities as well. So I humbly apologize to you, swimmers, golfers, bikers and hikers for being a fool and lifting ‘my running’ above your sports. For the coming weeks and months, I am joining all of you to retain my physical shape without impacting the knee too badly.

Dunes revisited

After admiring the flower floats at the Bulbflower Parade in Sassenheim yesterday (20 huge cars decorated with uncountable amount of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths), this morning I drove our guests to Keukenhof. This world famous tulip park is in full blossom these days. Also, it is packed with Chinese tourists. It was very early and I wanted to spend a quiet moment so I decided to return to the dunes again.

I chose the water supply dunes of Amsterdam (Amsterdamse waterleidingduinen), a natural area behind the North Sea beach stretching from Noordwijk to Zandvoort. Here the drinking water for the residents of Amsterdam is being ‘produced’ by the natural process of filtering the rain water through the dune sand.  After 12 years in NL, I still have trouble believing that so close to Amsterdam, the landscape can look this rough and beautiful.

The run took me about 5 km into the dune area. It was sunny and quite windy but most of all: empty. It felt like I had the dunes for myself – just checking the animal tracks, trying to spot some water birds and enjoying the fresh air in my lungs. After 10 km it was hard to get back into the car… but the Sunday breakfast at home (hopefully with some interesting updates of other bloggers) was tempting too.

Spring Sunny Sunday at the lake

After many rainy, windy and foggy weekends, this Sunday the sun woke us up and remained shining untill we decided that indoor gym is a bit of a waste. I looked up a track around the Vlietland Lakes that I wanted to run for several weeks. I asked V to drive me there (building a subtle hint in my question): “Would you please drive me there – and maybe once we are there, if you like it, you can join me for a couple of miles?” I showed her that the oblong shape of the paths around the lakes and focused the description on the road cutting one of the lakes in two and suggested that if we parked near the middle we could start running together and decide half way how far we wanted to go. She agreed!

So we parked close to the middle of the oblong route next to a restaurant (W), undressed to short sleeves and hit the road (NE). The sun was shining and it looked like a perfect day – except that the rest of Holland dicided to discover the lakes today as well. Luckily after about 2 km into the run (N end) we found a footpath through the bushes and trees on the lake shore and continued running on it for the next 3-4 km. We were chatting and laughing and watching the people passing by, children playing on the lake shore, cyclists around. And suddenly there was the moment to decide what to do next. V looked at me and said “I am not tired, are you?” Of course I was tired like hell not either so we ran all the way to the south end and as we were turning back northwards, this conversation took place:

V (disturbed): I hear voices!

Me (disturbed more): Shall we stop? Do you want some water? Dextrose? Shall I get the car quickly?

V: No, I am okay. I wonder what the voices are…

Me (still very disturbed): Are you sure you are okay?

V: Oh, that is my iPhone talking to me.

Other than that, the run went really smoothly – no earphones in my ears but the delight of running with my partner and my best friend was better than music.

At the end we clocked almost 13 km and rewarded ourselves by fresh fruit smoothie and some shopping.  What else a girl needs?

Four reasons for Runner’s High tonight

1. It seems like the winter is slowly getting over and the outside air starts smelling like spring.

2. It is the end of my working week as tomorrow we head for holiday :-).

3. We have a week with friends ahead of us. I am thinking fresh powder snow, skiing, wooden mountain lodge, fire place, Napa Valley wine, good stories, good books, ….

4. I ran 8.5 km tonight practically without noticing. Must be Janis Joplin on my iPod.

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