April Runs

… hikes, kickbikes, skis and more

Archive for the tag “running”

Preggo running II.

16-18 weeks: Contrary to my expectations these two weeks passed rather well. As we were impatiently awaiting the amniocentesis results, I was running around as usually and participated in the Dam tot Damloop at the gestation age of 17 weeks + 4 days. Despite the fact that those 10 miles represented my longest run after the 1/2M in May, I was not too nervous about it. During the past several months I have kept my mileage quite high and tried to include a 10 km run at least once a week. Indeed, the race went well (see the report here).

Total weight gain: 4 kg.

But enough about insignificant racing: Yesterday the GOOD NEWS from the hospital finally arrived. The research of 200 of the baby cells showed no chromosomal abnormality. In other words, as of today, we can start enjoying the pregnancy and look forward to what may come. I will continue running as long as I can although my pace and mileage will be decreasing now – my belly grows, breasts are filling up and moving independently from my core…

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Never give up

Here is one for the coming weekend (yes, you may call me weak and sentimental):

My Road

After several months of running, I realised that not all the roads are the same. The regular reader knows that around us, the landscape is as flat as a pancake and the wind usually blows from south-west. In other words, the speed on each road is pretty predictable, depending only on the direction I pick to leave the house.

But there are exceptions. Like this old narrow Road about 2 km away from our house. It is a stretch of asphalt about 1 mile long that used to connect two tiny villages. Nowadays it is only used for local traffic (tractors) and as a cycling path. For some reason, every time I hit this particular road, I run faster, easier, I feel no pain, just happiness as all the endorphins start coming to my head.

This morning I couldn’t sleep. I went to the bathroom and instead of returning to my warm bed, something made me to dress up and leave the house. Even though last night I came  home from  my rainy run all soaked and tired, I had to run again. I ran to my Road. The sun was barely up and I was all alone. The feeling was the one of unlimited freedom.

I did not want to be in any other place, any other time. Just here, me and the Road, the two of us. I had no plans, no time schedule, just my empty head watching the world waking up into yet another bright day.

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!

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!

Summer?

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!

Weekend in the Alps

Our outdoorsy life has gained yet another dimension: after developing the running bug, crossing lakes with the inflattable canoe, V’s ski instructor training and a new mountain bike (all in course of several months), we have finally secured a mountain apartment for ourselves. It is located in Piesendorf, Salzburgerland, about 4 km from Kaprun and Zell am See and it is GREAT. More posts on HOW great it is will follow as we will explore the surroundings in the coming months but here already something to start with. This is our view:  We spent there a great weekend furnishing, arranging 1000 things and getting to know our neighbours. But most important was that we went running and hiking: 

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 27: Perfect evening for dummies

1. For once, get home from work on time.

2. Load the GPS co-ordinates of a cool geocache to your Garmin.

3. Convince your significant other to join you (and to stop asking questions).

4. Drive to the dunes.

5. Start running.

6. Enjoy the treasure hunt and find the cache.

7. Run to the beach.

8. Take off your shoes and run some more.

9. Sing along with the waves.

10. Drive home and collapse on the sofa with Chinese chicken noodles (cooked yesterday).

Juneathon Day 25: Run & Cache

I used to geocache quite a lot. Back in 2005, when I discovered the handheld GPS device, I was sort of addicted to puzzling the waypoints and crawling in mud under narrow bridges…. Then after finding and logging 700+ geocaches, the excitement washed away. The Garmin went to a large box at the attic named “Old hobbies” and it stayed there until last week. In France, I started combining running and geocaching. Searching for the waypoints while running through new places breaks the boredom and these days, for me it works better than the mp3 player.

For tonight (the last Juneathon week) I planned a 8 km run with 2-3 cache retrieve attempts. It was the first time that I actually used my Garmin Forerunner 310XT to navigate to the caches (have Garmin GPSmap 60CS as well but thought it was too ‘heavy duty’ for my gentle run). The first one took a while as I was disturbed by this cute baby that looked scared to death as I was looking for the micro container:

The second one was a breeze (except the 3 km d-tour) but the third one, the third one is definitely worth showing to you (Geocachers in Leiden, please don’t look as this one is a spoiler). In the default stage, it looked like an ordinary bird house:But that only lasted until I pulled the chimney:

No, I did not break it – it gently opened itself and after retrieving the geocaching box and logging my visit, I could bring it back to its original shape so it is ready for whoever comes after me. Brilliant!

Run total: 12.8 km

Caches found: 3

Bird houses opened: 1

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