woensdag 30 december 2009

Geen Zin?

Start 16.30
The words in my head when driving back from Utrecht in the damp grey dusk were 'geen zin' which means I 'didn't feel like' going out for a run. I was hungry and tired and there was no chance of sunset skies to tempt me out. But missing a day will make it difficult to reach the 400 minutes I'd like to notch up this week in the week before the week before (huh?) the Halve van Egmond. So I found a nutty cereal bar in my bag to keep me going and just dragged my running clothes on anyway when I got in the door and went out again straight away as I knew if I stayed in and got warm and fed first I'd never get out later in the evening. As usual once I was out and had got going I was glad I'd made the effort. Scotland Outdoors podcast chuntering in my ears about hill-walking and badger crime followed by some good new music kept me going on an otherwise rather dull plod about the streets after a brief circuit of the Eng in the last light.

dinsdag 29 december 2009

Fish Curry

60 min
Start 16.45
Ran out to Carin where we ate fish curry and then she drove me home. Went via Soestdijk and various new-to-me backstreets in Soest. Met a young Afghan Hound. Had some music on the Introducing Scotland podcast which was impossible not to run fast to and was pleased that I was able to pound along at a good speed at various intervals.

maandag 28 december 2009

Theatrical Run

43 min
Start 17.15
Wasn't really planning on running today as I'd cycled a good bit in Utrecht and wasn't sure I'd be home in time but there was still some light in the sky at 5 as it was a clear afternoon so I did a circuit of the Eng and then decided to run down to the Idea theatre where I saw Scrooge last week to see if I could find the shortcut for bikes and to see how long it took me to run there. (15 min, so the 9 min per bike which the ANWB routeplanner indicated must be about right.)

zondag 27 december 2009

Week Total 286

50 min
Start 15.45
Had to avoid the well-trodden snow paths as they are now compacted ice - fell on my backside this morning when walking the dog round the block. But over the fields most of the snow is gone and it's back to muddy and sticky running again. Did find one bit down in a sheltered corner of a field where there was some snow left but I think tomorrow it will all be gone. Despite it being about 5 degrees now it felt colder as there was an icy wind and some sleety light rain for a while. Didn't really have any energy for anything other than a steady plod. Took me about 30 minutes even to get my second wind. Still, glad I got out before dark, even if it wasn't for so long. Met the young Ridgeback I've seen a few times before. Lovely loose gleaming coat and too big feet.

vrijdag 25 december 2009

White Christmas Run

76 min
Start 7.45
Still dark when I went out and the snow felt slushy underfoot. By the time we were out at the cyclebridge it had started to snow very lightly and by the road after the Klompenpad there was horizontal white stuff coming at us across the fields. Had the 'fitmusic' podcast on for most of the run. (Go to the iTunes shop and then podcasts and scroll down to the 'Runners' link and you can find loads of free music with different bpms.) Not as irritating as I feared it might be from the first track with the too insistent housebeat but a bit bland for me really. Too much synthesiser and drummachine for my liking. I'm used to hearing podcasts of varied new music with some interviews in between and this continuous anonymous drone is pretty boring in comparison. Running was steady plodding. Barely out of breath, just keeping going through the heavy weather. Stamina building rather than any attempts at speed. Sproet had a wee sprint now and then but he's got twice as many legs as me.

woensdag 23 december 2009

Sunset, Snow, Sproet, Soest

80 min
Start 15.30
Out to the cyclebridge, back via the Klompenpad. Slow and steady, snow is melting now, feels totally different underfoot.

New stuff on mYpod, including some new exercise music podcast I found free on Itunes. It just started when I was almost home. Not sure if I'm going to like the continuous housebeat but we'll see how it goes.

And there was a brilliant reading of a Burns poem when I was running along the Eem. Have to make sure I don't delete that one by mistake.

maandag 21 december 2009

Balaclava Breathing

Start 16.15
Went out with my balaclava on for the first time.

Breathing enough to run with your mouth covered is a bit of a problem so I ended up pulling it down a bit to give me some more air. Also discovered that the face recognition thing on the self-timer on the camera doesn't work if you wear it full face. I thought it reacted to eyes but apparantly it's the combination of eyes/nose/mouth which triggers it. First photo was taken by someone at the train station when I hadn't yet worked out why the timer wouldn't work.

Last photo was of a bench at the smith's behind the windmill.
Kept to the roads and paths this time as the snow is even deeper than yesterday and I may well have disappeared completely in a ditch if I'd tried any field crossing. Out past the bird sanctuary to the Eem and back via the fire brigade exercise place and the back streets before one last lap of the Eng. Steady pace, no real sprints though I did quicken my steps a little now and then to keep up with different bits of music.

zondag 20 december 2009

2 week total 472

17 min
Start 16.00
Picture was taken a few hours earlier during a walk with Dusty and Carin. Just to show what the weather conditions were. By the time I went out for my brief run at 4pm even more snow had fallen. I wasn't really planning on running today as Janneke was coming to eat here before we went to a carol concert, but due to the snow we decided it wasn't a great idea to go out on the roads unnecessarily. As the snow stopped falling briefly around 4 I decided I could go out for a run before dark after all. Went straight across the fields. Mostly about ankle deep powdery snow but at one point I stepped in a knee-deep ditch between fields and fell over so that I was covered in snow right up to my neck. Jumped up and down a bit to some good jumpy music to shake it off. Ah well, it keeps the well-wrapped up dogwalkers amused to see a daft woman in silver leggings dancing about in the middle of the field while they walk round the edges. Cut my circuit of the Eng in half when the snow blizzard started up again but was glad I went out anyway. Snow running is a novelty so best to make the most of it while it's still here.

zaterdag 19 december 2009

Sole Cleansing

86 min
Start 16.00
Running on snow fairly gets the soles of your shoes clean! They look like new, after spending the last few months mostly being very muddy or at least dirty. Had a great run out to the cycle bridge and back via the Klompenpad.
Running on this sort of snow is a good way to practise running light. It forces you to let your feet 'think' about how to land and to keep you safe they tend to do this on the front of the foot rather than the heel. If you let your body lean forward you get more forward-going momentum. But you have to keep jumping up to keep your feet out of the snow. This is exactly the method described in Born to Run. You run by keeping your feet off the ground by jumping upwards and letting your body fall forward. I had to try really hard to keep my mouth shut when I was in the running shop yesterday (getting a calendar for next year) when the man who was letting a customer see his running style on the video they'd just made was telling him how great it was that he landed on his heels. I wanted to tell him
that this is All Wrong and is just a nasty ploy to get us to buy expensive running shoes. I restrained myself to just asking him if he could get Chris McDougall's book in stock. Poor man doesn't know any better yet after all...
Anyway I enjoyed my run in sub-zero temperatures, although on the way back I could have done with thicker gloves as my hands were numb. The rest of me was warm enough with 2 thin layers top and bottom + a reflective vest, neck warmer and hat.

vrijdag 18 december 2009

Snow Skipping

35 min
Start 16.45
Running in snow is... interesting. My stride automatically shortened to let me land more carefully on my toes on the hard packed bits on the road. On the virgin white bits over the fields where it was ankle deep, soft and dry, I picked my feet up high to leave clean prints instead of a slurred trail. When I ran back next to my tracks to see how they looked I was surprised at how great the distance was between footprints. So picking up your feet does seem to lengthen the stride.
I followed some hare prints for a while, thinking that snow lets us do what dogs can do all the time, follow the trail of an animal who has been there earlier. Did the Eng circuit with a few field diversions and the 'fast circuit' added on, but then very slowly. Glad I managed to get out in the last of the light..

woensdag 16 december 2009

Frosty Sunset

30 min
Start 16.30
Went so well earlier that I decided I could have another wee circuit with the last of the light. Took in a bit extra of the surrounding fields this time instead of just sticking to the paths.


19 min
Start 13.00
Week of rest due to various minor things. Driving back from Utrecht decided to go out early instead of waiting till sunset as it looks like it might possibly snow later in the afternoon. Just one gentle circuit of the Eng to get back into the routine of running again. Temperature is just barely above freezing so had lycra shorts under my normal running leggings to keep my bum warm plus gloves and an extra top layer. Forgot to put my headband thing on so had cold ears.

woensdag 9 december 2009

Window Shopping

83 min
Start 20.30
Out to Baarn via the Torenlaan, via the Laanstraat up to Janneke's. (Stopped briefly to lust after some shoes in a shop window - there are a lot of buckled tango style shoes in fashion at the moment, I may have to choose a pair before they all disappear again. I've been vaguely wanting shoes like this for years but have never found quite the right ones, not even during my last days in Buenos Aires - there's never going to be more choice about than now.) Quick drink stop there and then up round the streets with the big houses and then via the station and Soestdijk back here. Went really well with some good fast bits depending on what music came along. I'm better at running with music now - I used to find it confusing as I only really had the one gear (slow plodding) but now I can more easily switch between different speeds to suit the pace of different beats and find it's a good way of interval training. I've erased a lot of the talk programmes from mYpod and put more Introducing New Music podcasts on instead.

dinsdag 8 december 2009

December Lights

102 min
Start 16.00
First over to the windmill via the cemetery. Met an ancient spaniel, blind in one eye and with a wooly blanket on because his back was balding. He was very big for what looked like a Cocker and it turned out he was a cross with a Springer. Went on to do 2 fast circuits. First one 5.50, second 6.00. Although my recovery time is much better than it used to be
(I kept up at full speed for another 2 minutes to get down to the bottom of the hill again) I don't seem to be able to improve the speed at all. Went back to the house to get my camera and spent the rest of the time running about the streets, occasionally stopping to take photos of the various December lights on display. Unfortunately the one of the posh square from yesterday was a bit blurred. I like running at this time as it's almost dark and a lot of the curtains are still open. Lots of nice cooking smells too.

maandag 7 december 2009

Luxury Living

100 min
Start 16.00
Out to the cycle bridge, home via the Klompenpad + a few bits of the Eng and surrounding streets to make up the time. Including the fancy new square of houses behind the Boni which I like running through while trying to work out just what it is which makes it seem such a lovely place to live. It somehow manages to simultaneously ooze nostalgia whilst giving the impression of having every modcon going. Running went well - even at the start I felt I was bounding along, whereas it usually takes me the first 10 minutes just to get going. Did hear a very slight wheeze in my lungs at about 20 minutes but it went after I got my second wind. May have to take some Ventolin before going out when the temperature is under 10 degrees just to keep things comfortable.

zondag 6 december 2009

Week total 525

100 min
Start 16.00
Sky cleared a bit after hours of rain and meant that the sky stayed light longer to allow me to improvise various routes over and around the Eng taking in both 'hilly' streets and heavy plowed mais stubble fields (extra heavy now...) to complete another 100 minute run before it was totally dark. Nice blue/orangy glow for a long time and I actually saw a glimpse of the sun going under - a change from the usual slowly dulling greys of late. At one point a hare shot out from practically under Sproet's feet and all he did was watch it go and have a wee sniff at where it had been lying. It's clear he's a herding dog rather than a hunting one - he had no interest in pursuing the fleeing beast at all.
This is the first week I've ever run every single day. Usually I try to keep roughly to my 36 hour schedule but that's been fading recently with the limited daylight hours. I think my legs should be strong enough by now not to risk injury and it is easier to get the time in if it's spread over 7 days. Won't be doing this every week but can't do any harm to do some extra when I have the time.

zaterdag 5 december 2009

Sheepdog trials

100 min
Start 15.40
Out to the cycle path, home via the Klompenpad. Sproet galloped along the dijk barking at a field of sheep on the other side of a wide ditch. They trotted upfield and he looked pleased with himself. Muddy underfoot but almost no rain (few minutes of light drizzle) during our run. Back just before it was pitch dark, last bit over the Eng and up the Molenstraat.

Storrrum van 's Gravenzande!

88 min
Start 15.00 (Friday)

Ran down to the beach then headed upwind towards Hoek van Holland. It was like running into a big cushion (which was unfortunately cold and often wet instead of warm and fluffy). Kept chugging along into this for 40 minutes then turned round and flew back the same way in about 25. Did a bit of sprinting along the concrete slabs that form the road along the (now absent) summerhouses.I could tell I was going fast if Sproet had to break into a canter to keep up with me but I'm sure he was having a laugh a lot of the time as he just kept doing a faster and faster trot whilst I was bursting my lungs trying to get him to move up a gait. I had been planning on doing another half hour along the beach in the direction of Monster to make up the time before it got totally dark but when I got back to the exit point between the dunes there was a brief flurryof hailstones rattling in my left ear and I decided it wasn't perhaps really sensible to spend more time than strictly necessary running about in wet clothes in December. Headed back to the hot shower waiting at the end of the road. Julia took this photo of me as I came in the front door.

donderdag 3 december 2009

Sproet en de Klompenpad

91 min
Start 15.15
Decided to take the current lodgerdog for a good long run to tire him (and me) out as I'm abandoning him this evening to go and visit another potential lodgerdog. Skies were various shades of threatening grey but not actually leaking and it was muddy underfoot. Very slow but steady run, Sproet enjoying chasing ducks into the water from the dijk along the Eem. Episode 22 of the Iain Banks Transition podcast in my ears - wonder what happened to the rest of them? Must be something to do with my I-tunes configuration... Anyway, not sure I'm keen - the man reading it obvioulsly likes the sound of his own voice too much for me to be able to enjoy listening to him. Various other bits and pieces, including christmas pudding recipes.

woensdag 2 december 2009

Lodgerdog in the spotlight

23 min
Start 22.00
8 degrees - gloves and 2 layers on top (+ 2 bras)
Decided that as I had to go out with Sproet for a last walk anyway I might as well pull my running shoes on. This isn't in fact quite as simple as just putting on a warm coat and clogs to go down to the end of the road and back as it involves a sports bra (on top of the t-shirt I was wearing already, too cold to get properly changed), finding a warm zip-up top to put on over that, my fluorescent vest and headlamp, and gloves and timer watch, but ach, once I'd made the decision to go I enjoyed being out. The dog enjoyed it too, instead of a sedate sniff about at the start of the fields we charged straight across them, him trotting along like an overgrown fox in the beam of my headlight a lot of the time. Out to the windmill, back via the allotments. Very slight sharp drizzle blowing through at first but didn't amount to much.

dinsdag 1 december 2009

Moonlight Shadows

60 min
Start 16.45
Driving home from Utrecht the sky was bright and clear as the sun went under and I could hardly wait to get home to get out for an hour in the last of the light. Across the Eng then a fast circuit in 6.03. Slower than usual, I could feel a light threat of a stitch in my side stopping me from going at full pelt. Ah well, shouldn't really expect great leaps forward this week, just keeping my legs from stiffening up after Saturday's exertions is enough. Down past the church and along the back narrow street, up through the village via the roundabout and the Boni and then over the Eng again where a full moon had taken possession of the sky and was giving so much light that the fenceposts had shadows. BBC Introducing with Tom Robinson on 6 music Really enjoyed various dancy variations on running as the Tom Robinson Introducing podcast threw a selection of totally differing tunes into my head.