April Runs

… hikes, kickbikes, skis and more

Archive for the tag “together”

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):
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

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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 24: Cat

According to the weather forecast, the only dry moment of the day would be long enough to squeeze 5 km run in it. So between washing machine load nr 2 and nr 3, we quickly changed and went to ‘our’ lake. After the 5 km yesterday evening when I was tired and sleepy and yet managed to run under 29 minutes, I was wondering what my legs could do today. Well, surprisingly, I ran another fast 5 km. At least, fast for my books: 27.33!

Immediately after that I added 2.3 km of recovery run in an attempt to spot something interesting to blog about. There were many dogs around but all of them too fast to be caught for a photo. So I found a cat. One that did not move:

I seriously hope it will not be used to damage the beautiful lake banks. We’ll see next week.

Oh – have I mentioned the rain and wind??

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 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 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 5: Panbos Revisited

Remember yesterday I said it was so nice in Panbos I would be back – ehm, it took exactly one day in the office to return there. This time I took V with me and we ran together, chatting. The funny thing is that my time was exactly the same as yesterday (when I was not chatting at all). So here is how the dunes looked today:

And here is a special milestone as promised to Fortnight Flo – unfortunately no mileage on it:

The one picture that I’d like to share with you brings memories from my childhood: I used to attend a scouting group focusing on biology named Alcedo (Latin for kingfisher). Here he is:

We did it!

This morning, I woke at 5 am to drive my mother to the airport. It was rainy and windy and misty and the idea of running 20+ km in these circumstances sounded everything except appealing to me.

Fortunately the weather improved significantly so after the chaotic ‘what-to-wear’ session (while working warm crusli and banana into my stomach hoping it will stay there) we returned to the original idea of long pants and Team AprilRuns shirt. What a comfort to participate in a 1/2M race that starts just 2 miles from our house! We parked the bikes, visited the portable toilet, panicked some more about Garmin, iPhone, starting numbers (nothing unusual) and walked to start area.

Some twenty minutes before the shot this is what we saw in front of us:

And this is what we saw behind us:

I suggested to run the first 10k in a comfortable pace and see how we feel. Of course, the reality did not resemble the theory at all: the first 5k was one of our fastest ever, then after a short drinking pause (10 seconds of walking) the second 5k was quite similar. Except for my knee we felt very good. The path was quite nice, leading us through small villages and fields, we even saw deer. And along the path there were lots of locals cheering and offering drinks, fruit, sponges… I absolutely loved the atmosphere and was predetermined to enjoy it all the way.

The crisis came around km nr 12. The black currant gel did not go down too well I guess. Also, there was some wind against us and I’ve noticed we were slowing down a bit. Around that moment, I lost my hand made wrist strap with pace time for my Dream Time of 2:20. Well, whatever – as long as we finish, I thought.

I was encouraging V to run faster but she would not leave me behind. I was guessing that part of the reason being her two tennis matches last night. All the time, even though I ran with an mp3 player and earplugs, I was looking around enjoying the crowds: kids giving us high-five (and begging for sponges and gels), families, older people, bikers, dog walkers, musicians. And indeed, the kick I got when people/strangers clapped and yelled my name is hard to describe. And so my first crisis left as fast as it came.

At 15k we paused again, drank some and from that point somehow I knew we would make it. Suddenly more and more people around us were walking rather than running. I have to admit, watching an athletic guy with muscles that looked like sculpted by ancient Greeks in front of me and then passing him by (with my snail pace but still) – that gave me a kick of a century!

Short after that we crossed the 20k sign and intuitively speeded up just a little as one cannot look too slow down at the city centre. The finishing line was a dream, we crossed it hand in hand, laughing like crazy and utterly happy. We ran our first 1/2M and we did it together: for ourselves and also for April.

And for the statistics (not that time matters so much), the time was 2:14:45.

P.S. Even though this little bit is written all the way at the end, it is the most important part of this post: Thank you, V, for doing this with me. And thank you 12Honza, Shadow, Cheeta, Barborka and ALL other bloggers for your blogging which is a neverending source of inspiration for my humble running attempts.

Happy Easter Running

The Easter weekend is almost over and it was good. My mother and April enjoying themselves with good food, talking and cuddling, me and V spending two mornings on the road (10 and 12 km). Both our runs were easy going and rather enjoyable. We managed to run next to each other, talk a bit, focus a bit, get tired but not too much… I think we found a pace that is ‘runnable’ at the 1/2M next month. Mum is leaving tomorrow morning and this might have been the last time for her to be with April.

Btw, this is the picture we chose for our Team AprilRuns shirts:

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