April Runs

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Archive for the tag “running”

Holcici zavod

Sedime takhle loni na podzim s kamoskou L u pivka kafe a probirame se nejtrapnejsima zazitkama z posledni doby. Na mysl se vkrada muj zatim posledni zavod, 25 km trail pred dvema lety. Se smichem vypravim, jak silene ch*alo, takze nebyly videt moje slzy beznadeje, kdyz me V vykopla z auta a ostatni zavodnici mi pak utekli tesne po startu, aby me v kopcich prohaneli uz jen nordicti walkeri, co startovali deset minut po nas. Jak si me s nima poradatele pletli. Jak moje posledni misto nakonec stejne bylo medailovy pac ctyricetilety holky sme tam byly jenom tri…

No a za par dnu otviram email od L s nadpisem: “Happy Birthday to you…” a kdyz kliknu na prilohu, malem zkamenim. Zavodni registrace. Jako – co je spatnyho na karafiatu a bonboniere? Sem pani v letech! Cervicek se ale zavrtal a vytistena A4ka mi pres zimu visela nad obrazovkou compu a sem tam sem se preci jen zastydela a vybehla. Taky sme hodne lyzovaly, zacla jsem vic koketovat s kolobezkou a samozrejme kazdodenne skacu – kolem deti.

Jenze: V prosinci ulehnu se zanetem dutin, v lednu mrazy jak na Kamcatce a tak teda misto behani radsi hrabu snih v kulichu. Pak chyti chripku deti, po nich V (ty sem este na brusleni stihla zlomit ruku) a nakonec ja. Celej brezen a pulku dubna kaslu… no super.

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Zimni treninkove podminky

Cas poklidne plyne a v kvetnu radsi whatsappuju na vsechny strany, ze to nedam. Ze tech 16 km a 800 vertikalnich metru proste nezvladnu. Odpovedi sou samozrejme naposto jednoznacny: nedelej Zagorku a za par dnu sraz na startu!

Moc casu na vymluvy stejne uz nezbejva, ke vsemu v baraku mame zrovna ubytovanejch dvacet skyrunneru, co si takovej minivybeh davaj s prstem v nose jako rozcvicku a tak jako obvykle je nejjednodussi zabalit batoh a zjistit, kdy mi jede lokalka do Zell.

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Jednou denne i na paru…

Dvacatyho rano u jezera samy zensky – co se divim, je to prece Women’s Trail a hlavni sponzor je vyrbce podprsenek. Opatrne rekognoskuju teren a zmocnuje se me trudomyslnost. Slachovity, opaleny a namakany tela, zadky ani prsa veskery zadny. Vedle me se na uplnej konec koridoru stavi L a za nama uz jenom laskujou organizatorky. Najizdim pohledem na jedinou trochu oplacanejsi bezkyni prede mnou a v duchu si zacinam opakovat mantru pro dnesni den: Nezrakvi se a urvi tuhle holku!

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Women’s Trail Zell am See – Kaprun

V deset startujem. Tempo je v prvnim kilometru celkem ok, prevyseni veskery zadny. Do kopce stoupame az od druhyho… celkem vytrvale tak do sestyho. Cestu nahoru k jezirku znam, s detma a kocarkama sme ji valily x-krat. Vzdycky ale po castech a se zastavkama. To dneska nehrozi.

Kupodivu to nahoru celkem jde. Prvnich 6 km ubehne raz dva a u jezirka je pohoda – a obcerstvovacka. Chleba se salamem mi vyslovene zveda naladu. L je sice nekde daleko prede mnou, ale jde/bezi se mi dobre a ta oplacana je daleko za mnou. Teda spis pode mnou.

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Chleba se salamem

Z jezirka pres Schmidolinovu cestu na Areit – za normalnich okolnosti pohoda jazz, ale mne zacinaj tuhnout nohy. Porad to este ale neni zadna tragedie a sem tak nekde ve druhy tretine asi stoclennyho startovniho pole.

Na Areitu veskery stoupani na par dalsich kilometru konci a zacina sebeh. Ten dobre znam: loni sem se v nem natahla pres koren tak, ze mi zacala tryskat krev z kolene. Zachranila to usmudlana Pamperska zapomenuta v batohu, kterou ja snad budu brat jako individualni povinnou vybavu. Sedla mi na ten krvavej flek tehdy tak dobre, ze mi to pochvalil i vlekar pod lanovkou.

Tak tentokrat bez padu, valim si to dolu jak snek bez domecku a uz je za mnou 10 kilaku. No vazne to neni tak hrozny, jak se zdalo!

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Vysoky Taury jako na dlani

A pak se najednou prede mnou cesticka narovna a celkem prudce zvedne. Jako jak do kopce? Tady uz sou prece jenom cesty dolu, k jezeru?
Nasledujici kilak je cirym utrpenim pro nohy i hlavu. Chce se mi brecet (neprsi = nemuzu) a este vic se mi chce zastavit. Jenze co se mnou, tady v kopci? Stejne budu muset do cile pro batoh.

A tak teda du co noha nohu mine. Nadavam v duchu a predbiha me jedna lanka za druhou. Kdyz se ten desne strmej kopec placatej brdek konecne zlomi, mam stehna tak vytuhly, ze ze sebeh meni na ciry utrpeni. Zbejvaj uz jenom asi dva kilaky, ale ty sou teda nekonecny. Rikam si, ze uz sem urcite beznadejne posledni, dyt se tu hrabu jako mrzak uz takovou dobu. Kobyla ale prece jenom ucejti staj a tak do cile nejak doklusu. L me radostne vita, uz tu asi 25 minut okouni :-).

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L v cili

Ohlidnu se a za mnou nikdo. Jasny. Zase posledni. Du svliknout mokry hadry a kousu do vokoraly babovky, co tu este zbyla na takovy exoty jako ja… a kdyz uz mam pobaleny kramy a loucim se, najednou se z tlampace ozve, ze cekame jeste na par zavodnic, ktery budou za chvili dobihat…. Projdeme s L k cilovymu koridoru a vyhlizime je. Jo, je tam ta voplacana. A to teda cumim – je tam i jedna hubena. Diky, holky, ze ste nevzdaly: NEJSEM POSLEDNI!

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Miluju ruzovou 😦

P.S. Mise splnena. Z iTB me teda pro letosek pro neucast na zavodech snad nevyhodi. Pristi rok ale teda zas radsi nejakej normalni darek…

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Klubove heslo

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Mornings

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:
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My private 1/2M

While Janathon is in full swing, due to extensive work load and some travelling this month, I had to skip my attendance at the 1/2M in Egmond, a race that I was looking forward to since Christmas. The idea of matching my longest run so far (Leiden 1/2M back in spring of 2012) kept sitting in my head, though. I thought I had the legs for it and after the last week treadmill torture there was even the mental prep. The only thing I did not have was a plan.

Last night, I went out with a friend – just one beer as we both had a looong working day behind us. But then as we were almost leaving the pub, our waitress by mistake served us double scotch on the house and what do you do? Letting the ice melt in the long glass filled with whisky was not in my books. And I still had my Janathon run to make! By the time I dragged myself through 4 painful and sleepy kilometers, showered and hit my bed, it was way past midnight.

This morning I woke up with the “I’ll never drink again” feeling and somehow, almost automatically started pouring water in my camel bag. The thing is, I thought, when carrying a water bag, I will be motivated to run further than just a few miles. If only my head was not sore…

Little by little I gathered my running gear, a package of caffeine chewing gums to substitute my morning coffee and once my Garmin (“Did we change continents AGAIN?”) found its position, off I went. I decided to run westwards following the Coastal Road until I passed the Old Port and the new marina.
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There at the crossroads I chose the southern unpaved road to Lady’s Mile. By then, I was about 5 km into my run feeling good. The surrounding scenery quickly changed from industrial views of the harbor to the semi desert landscape around the Akrotiri salt lake.
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Unfortunately, the flies and other unidentified insects equipped with wings and stungs wanted to join me… And so we were all running/flying through hard sand and over the salty plains up until the point where we could enjoy the sea view. Despite my habits I drank quite regularly as the temperature started to climb and I was really happy with my water bag. Around 11th km I stopped for a while and still felt surprisingly fresh. Nevertheless, I decided to turn back and run towards the city again.
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After 14 km I finally started to feel some discomfort and slowed down a bit. Unfortunately the caffeine chewing gums turned to be of no use for me (unless I wanted to keep them whenever I need to turn my stomach inside out) so I threw the whole package away and bit 2 pieces of fruit sugar instead. That helped for another 4 km or so. I think that is where I had a small crisis. Being me, I covered it by a short break at the ATM machine as I needed to withdraw some cash anyway.
These magical 5 or perhaps 10 minutes did the trick again and the rest of my run was luckily as easy as the beginning. By the time I was approaching the starting point, I figured that with a tiny D-tour I could press the Garmin stop button at 21.1km. By then, I clocked 2:26:30.

Can one’s day start in any better way?

P.S. The pictures are not mine this time…

Two mantras

What happened to me last Monday evening took me by surprise. It was a perfect moment for a run. E was asleep, with her belly round and full, there were no unfinished household duties (well, except for ironing but that belongs to a special category), I was all dressed and ready to go, the weather was not bad either…

But despite the fact that all the elements were there and the faith was on my side, I DID NOT FEEL like running. I did not want to go. As the matter of fact, suddenly I did not want to do anything at all. Just sit and stare in front of me (which was pretty much what I did for an hour or so). The thoughts playing in my head were getting more negative with the time: I am not a runner. I am not a good mother either. How did I ever get the weird idea to run, train almost daily and add distance and maybe once even make it through the marathon? What was I thinking? I am not even able to find out why my baby is crying at night, I don’t get enough sleep, I hardly manage to work… Isn’t it the highest time to cut the crap and start focusing on ONE thing at a time? Isn’t it the highest time to give up the ridiculous idea of getting back to shape and force my body (and mind) to run? The guilt feeling was growing quickly and so was the lack of motivation.

As I was sitting there, low on energy, staring and later on even crying, feeling sorry for myself, I seriously did not see any way out. That evening, I did not even walk with the stroller – just pushed E to the garden to be able to return to my sofa…  and to open a package of chocolate and let the time pass till I could go to bed.

And then, after a short night rest, after just a few hours of interrupted shallow sleep, suddenly  on Tuesday morning I got out of bed at 5 am and my state of mind was completely different. Somehow, magically, everything twisted around and there I was again, in running gear and all, on my way out. I ran over 8 km that morning, full hour, and it felt great. Suddenly, without any warning, I was a different person.

My mantra’s during this refreshing run were:  ‘Trust your body’ and ‘It is in your head’.DSC_0010

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Frankly, I don’t know what happened and how the switches in my mind work but I better write this down so that next time, when I feel down, I can read that the bad moments always pass…

And by the way, what exactly is my problem? E was born just 7 weeks ago and I am already running like I haven’t done in half a year.

4 weeks that changed my world

Tomorrow E will reach an important milestone: 4 weeks with us!

If you ask me, our life has changed in every possible way. But what’s more important: E is changing so much! Every day she looks a bit different: she grows, smiles, moves, makes noises. We still maintain a small beam of hope that she will learn to SLEEP as well…

Little by little I am thinking about the running shoes hidden deep in the dark corner of our shoe cabinet, about my running shorts (that won’t fit, I am sure) and a sweat shirt… So far my attempts to get my body back to shape remain at a low-level short stroller walks in the neighborhood but rumor goes that in the near future, a couple of running minutes each day should be doable.  Dear readers, get ready for my next post reporting on ‘How I started running again.’

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My private Janathon stats

As we left January far behind us, there is time for a small update:

Preggo running: Against all odds, I am still pregnant. We have successfully made it to week 36 and the baby is growing as cabbage. Funny enough, I now feel better, stronger and more energetic than a month ago. They say this is the sign that my body is getting ready for the hardest (ultra)marathon ever (=labor). We’ll see. Oh, by the way: 14 kg total weight gain. pregnant

Janathon: Although I have not been commenting much on your blogs, dear Janathoners, I surely was reading them, often green with jealousy every time a beautiful run was accomplished and described. The same goes for all other runners: Enjoy the mud, snow, blizzard and sweat as long as you can! Soon I will be breathing at your back again.

2012 at its end…

It was an excellent year, my first RUNNING YEAR. I started running on January 1 (my first 10K in many many years) and continued till the end of November when my 28 weeks pregnant body asked met to give it a break… So to show off a bit:

I did not quite make it to the magical 1000 miles marker but honestly, I am very happy with my 1565 km in 11 months. On top of it, I cycled 950 km, walked 316 km, peddled 30 km in a canoe, ice skated 76 km, swam 4 km and cross trained 100 km.

All together, the ‘moving forward’ total was 3100 km and took 340 hours. This means that with the exception of my horizontal-pregnant December, I was exercising at least an hour a day!

On top of it, in January, I exercised for 31 consecutive days (Janathon) and in June, I ran for 30 consecutive days (Juneathon). Both highly recommended events that keep you running and blogging for the entire month!

I ran a half marathon, 10 mile race, 10 km race and a 6 km race.

I was not alone: of course, the baby in my belly was there since the beginning of June, but there was V by my side and all the blogging and running friends! So thank you all for your never ending support, for kicking my ass to get moving. I owe you!

Happy New Year!311220121524

P.S. The picture does not show that I hung my running gear aside – quite the contrary:  It is hanging ready to be used any time soon…

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About the blog: 600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

7 Reasons Why Not To Run

The Greek philosopher Epictetus said: “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” So rather than trying to change the world, I should try to become by happy by liking the world around me, as it is.

Since running is out of picture for the foreseeable future, I was thinking of some advantages of NOT running (or moving around too much) – and listed them below in no particular order:

1. No sweaty tech-shirts and socks around the house.

2. Enough time to read books and organise my PC files and folders properly.

3. Enough time to reply to private emails and to send out Christmas cards.

4. No stress about Christmas presents/tree/dinner.

5. No dark or cold mornings (no early mornings at all).

6. No risk of injuries.

7. A moment to STOP and THINK about the most important things in my life :-).

no runningP.S. Week 31. I am soooo happy this is just a temporary situation!

One Hour a Day

Running sucks. At least when six months pregnant.

As much as I enjoy being outside, I have to admit, the last couple of runs were a bit of a frustrating experience. When running, these days I am continuously thinking about my full bladder, my growing belly, my fading pace,… and suddenly there is much less time for enjoying the fact that I can breath the fresh air while moving.

So last night it hit me: This just might be the point when I have to start substituting running with something else. My body is probably telling me to stop and think…

Hmm. That idea sucks too. As a rather competitive person, what are my options? Well, it took me about 6 km last night to figure it out: I am actually already doing it so the kick will be continuing: Every day I will attempt to spend one hour by some kind of physical exercise. It can be running, biking, cross training, or just walking (and of course all thinkable combinations of the above), as long as it takes about an hour a day.I can still go out as much as I like, I can use gym, I can try to rediscover the train rather than using my car all the time (hint: the station is 2.5 km away which makes it a perfect 5 km walk each day I use public transport…). So at the end, there comes a relief – I still have plenty of options to keep my body burning some fat while having fun and reporting about it on RunningFreeOnline :-). And I am not limited to the treadmill in the gym!

Leiden in the morning

I love running though my town – but it is only doable on Sunday mornings, early… My favourite route is the 6.6 km loop around the city canal (or ‘singel’ as Dutch call it). On the way I pass the old university buildings with the observatory, botanical garden greenhouses, the statue of Rembrandt, a couple of city gates and of course the mills. And water – with the geese and ducks always present.

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