Tag Archives: healthy living

Taking a dip in Limfjorden

Video file in case the player does not work: Martin Toft in Limfjorden

I was nominated by a former HTX classmate, Morten Christiansen, in a facebook challenge. I had to jump into the sea, a lake or a fjord within 48 hours — otherwise I owed him a bottle of red wine. I jumped into Limfjorden and nominated Bjarne Kondrup and Troels Frøkjær Christensen, a former Telenor colleague and a former HTX classmate, respectively. The challenge was thereby passed on.

Lazy Saturday

It’s a lazy Saturday, and I feel like dropping a few words on this site 🙂

I’ve just been working from home – from my couch – for an hour, and now I’m listening to Dave Brubeck and John Mayer. Rather than the typical, hasty cup of instant coffe, I used my AeroPress to make an awesome, espresso-like cup using freshly grinded beans. My goal was to put summer tyres on my car today, but it will probably be postponed till tomorrow, or even Monday. I have the day off on Monday, so I have enough time for stuff like that. I need the car to be working in a few hours, so I don’t want to risk anything by rushing through the procedure.

Yesterday I biked to Madum Sø (Lake Madum) and ran around it:

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Without anything specific in mind, I had been looking forward to a run the entire day at work, but on my way home I fleshed out something concrete – it should be at Madum Sø, and I would bike the 2 x 7.3 km between my house and the lake. Leading up to it I was a bit tired, but a fun, spontaneous event like that reveals that you have more energy than you imagine. The bike got some air and oil, as it was its first time on the road after winter, and I brought some fruit and water in my backpack.

Together with a wise neighbour I have changed the hydrophore and some piping in our shared, private water supply. A hydrophore is a pressurized water buffer that prevents the pump from starting every time a tap is opened. Without one, you would have to wait for the pump to start, and the pump wouldn’t last long. That work was actually done last week. It went well, even though I had an involuntary cold bath in the process. I was below the old hydrophore when 10-20 liters of water, together with some rust, ran out of it.

I have bought a new pair of shoes for everyday use:

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It’s a pair of Gobi II from VIVOBAREFOOT, and I’m pretty satisfied with them so far. Of course leather shoes require a bit more maintenance, but that’s ok. I must admit that I’m a sucker for barefoot shoes these days. I have other types of shoes, but they have specific purposes, and, after almost a year and a half in a pair of Neo for everyday use, my feet only feel at home in barefoot shoes. I still run exclusively in Evo II.

With competent assistance from a very special tooth fairy, i.e. the wonderful girl that I’m seeing, I have been out shopping for some new clothes. Among many items, I got a nice summer jacket and some relatively tight pants, where especially the latter show off my figure a bit more than my usual, baggy, unsexy pants. I have probably lost a bit of weight, since most of my old pants have become too large. I definitely needed some new clothes, and I probably need more in a not too distant future.

That’s all for now 🙂

Running at Lake Madum

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Yesterday I had a day off and had a visit from an old friend, which I hadn’t seen in real life for a long time. It was a fantastic day and evening, but to your – either satisfaction or disappointment – I’m not going to write many words about it. Not everything has to be documented on the mighty Internet. We met at Lake Madum, where we went for a nice jog. It’s only 7 km from my house, but I had never been there before. Having a place this lovely nearby was a pleasant surprise. When we get decent summer weather, I imagine using my bike to get there and then going for a run and a swim.

Still breathing

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I’ve been quite busy for a while, which is why I haven’t posted since February 3, where I wrote about an awesome run in the dark. To be somewhat honest, it’s that typical blend of a) a lot of stuff is happening, so I don’t have time to write about it, and b) some of the stuff isn’t for everybody. Living in the moment is more important than constantly wondering about blogging or Facebook-posting.

The picture above shows hyacinths and napkins on the dinner table in my living room. The flowers were fresh when they had their “dinner of fame” 😉
Also, the deer on the napkins suited the menu 😉

Even though I’m usually a very positive-minded person – I’ve even been named “the eternal optimist” by a colleague (it probably wasn’t meant exclusively as a compliment) – I’ve actually been even more positive for the past few weeks. Now I have to be careful what I write… Oh noes… 😀 The written word sometimes begs to be misunderstood. The reason for my exceptional happiness is that I’m dating a very sweet, beautiful, wise, interesting and creative girl. If she reads this, I fear she’ll put too much weight on the order of the adjectives. Maybe she’ll also wonder if I left some out. She shouldn’t, of course. There’s no ulterior motive – it’s nothing but a simple attempt at an unreserved compliment, left as a breadcrumb in the digital world.

Of course I’ll not reveal the identity of my princess. I know some of my colleagues have found out, but they are also quite capable detectives. Especially when I’m talking too much and giving them clues… 🙂

In other news, I’m now running regularly, even 10 km at a time, and I’ve started watching House of Cards.

Let me end with a few pictures. Each of them has a small story to tell.

201402-new-shiny-shoes-and-repairing-my-beltFor years (honestly!) I didn’t have a pair of stylish, shiny, black shoes. I had a pair of brown ones, Dockers, and they were kind of beautiful in their own way. They weren’t shiny though, and they didn’t match anything. Now I have a fine, black pair suiting my black belt. On the picture I’m superglueing my belt, as it has lost some kind of screw, which I haven’t been able to buy anywhere.

 

20140216-decorating-with-firewoodVisiting my parents, I got four boxes of ready-to-use firewood for my stove. I help my dad with forest work, and in return I get firewood. Since I was expecting a special guest, and I sort of had to carry firewood inside the house anyway, I decided to be creative. It doesn’t lean against the wall.

 

 

201402-one-of-those-late-days-at-the-officeSometimes it seems I’m the last one to leave the office. This isn’t true very often, as we have a few people raising the bar, but I do have such evenings. It’s typically when I’ve been busy fixing a system that broke down unexpectedly, deploying new software to a production environment, or when I’ve been running near work.

 

 

20140218-ready-to-run-at-the-officeYes, I’m a runner. Let me put it this way: I do not run to add days to my life – I run to add life to my days. At this picture I’m at the office getting ready for a 10 km.

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Good energy in cold times

Last night I persuaded myself to go for a run in the dark. I had all day to do it in sunlight – well, to be fair, in overcast daylight – but those hours were spent washing windows, splitting logs, carrying the logs inside and watching The Devil’s Rejects. I thought “If I can just run 5 km, it’s okay. No need to overdo anything.” Armed with a positive mind, Five Finger Death Punch‘s latest album and a headlamp, I worked my way through snowy, wet roads in the countryside. Without doubt, the positive energy came from a very special Saturday evening 😉 I didn’t stop until my watch showed 9 km… 170 bpm heart rate on average… Click on the picture to see the original size.

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I cannot brag about the pace, but the heart rate shows that I did my best. I’m still running in minimalistic shoes – Vivo Barefoot Evo II – which means that technique is far more important than pace. Also, it was very slippery, and these particular shoes are very smooth on the bottom. They are primarily built for dry asphalt, certainly not trails, ice or snow. I’m thinking about buying some trail shoes, but I haven’t decided which ones yet.

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The endorphins from the run combined with the documentary Spirit of the Marathon made me sign up for my biggest physical challenge in 2014 – a half marathon at Nationalpark Thy Marathon in September. I do not expect to better my personal record of approx 1h and 36m. The primary objective is to finish and to do so in a relatively respectable time, i.e. way below two hours. I think a goal will make it easier to run regularly. Maybe 2015 will finally be the year where I run a full marathon. I would like to think so.

I have just stumbled upon this old post, where I had had my longest run ever. It would be awesome to reach that level again.

Within Temptation‘s latest album, Hydra, fills my living room and now I’ll add some logs to the stove. Thanks for reading this far 🙂

Rapelling and Navigating in the Dark

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In the afternoon of Friday, September 6, I visited Beredskabscenter Aalborgs Uddannelsescenter together with many of my Netic colleagues. We rappelled down from the roof of a three – maybe four – storey building, and we navigated in teams through a dark maze. It was a really nice event. Thanks to Normann P. Nielsen for making it happen and to Peter Sone Koldkjær from rapelling.dk for being the instructor. In the picture above I’m rapelling, and in the picture below I’m crawling in the dark (temporarily lit up by a powerful flash). Thanks to my boss Karsten Thygesen for taking the pictures! The album from the event is available on flickr.

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My new friend

Mads Chr. Olesen, a close friend of mine and one of the co-authors on my master’s thesis back in 2009, has kindly lent me a bike on so-called long-term basis. He uses his electric bike, and this bike has therefore collected dust for a while.

Before cleaning:

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20130716-3-cleaning-mads-hardi-bike   20130716-4-cleaning-mads-hardi-bike

After:

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20130716-7-cleaning-mads-hardi-bike   20130716-8-cleaning-mads-hardi-bike

The result of two and a half hours of work, three buckets of soapy water, a sponge, two cloths, half a bottle of benzine, a brush, an entire paper towel, some pairs of disposable gloves, a lot of tighening of screws and bolts, some chain oil, some WD40 and some air from a pump.

I took a ride on the bike after the procedure and I’m happy to report that it was all worth it.

while true; do live; done

Yes, I’m still alive, and yes, so is this blog 🙂

In Denmark we’ve just had long weekend – some people might even think of it as a small vacation. Thursday, May 9, was a holiday, and most people, including me, had the day off on Friday. I visited my parents in Thy, where I ate a bunch of great food (e.g. pork roast in different ways, asparagus soup and roe deer goulash), helped my parents change the wall-to-wall carpet in their living room, went for a few walks with my parents’ dogs, ran in the forest (near Tovsig Sø), built, painted and placed hochsitzes for the upcoming bow hunting summer season, celebrated mother’s day (we bought her flowers and I went to the grocery store early for rolls), and visited my grandmother and grandfather in Øsløs. Oh, and I was on call for work the entire week and was woken up by alarms three or four nights… Argh… Well… I’ll survive.

On the following picture my dad and a fellow hunter are painting one of our hochsitzes. I helped paint another one (while also painting several parts of myself…).

The design is actually quite neat. Simple, stable and relatively lightweight. We did a Google Image Search to get inspiration. The green paint really makes them awesome. I look forward to the bow hunting season which starts tomorrow (Thursday, May 16).

I’m not going hunting tomorrow, though. I haven’t taken the day off from work, so I think I’ll be missed if I don’t show up 🙂 Actually, I do have a special arrangement for tomorrow… I’m going to the countryside to look at some real estate. More about that later – it’s time for metal music and heavy weights…

Building a power cage

This weekend I have built a power cage using wood poles, metal angle brackets, screws and hooks. It is still a work in progress, as the spotter functionality of the cage isn’t quite done yet. In the following picture I’m inaugurating the cage with a light squat set.

The picture is from this one-minute video 🙂

Rather than drilling a tedious number of construction-weakening holes for safety pins, I will use two pieces of strong rope to replace a human spotter. The rope has been bought, but I’m still pondering how to fasten it to the cage in a nice way. After that has been sorted out, the next step is to add a pull-up bar.

      

The cage is small enough to go through the doorways in my apartment, which means that it can be moved to my bedroom when I have people visiting. I’m still considering whether I should paint it. It will never be a beauty. Neither would a non-DIY metal cage. It is a functional and manly construction.

Do you even lift?

The beginning of a home gym

My right arm and shoulder are a bit sore today… Partially from playing badminton against my work colleague Normann yesterday and partially from assembling my home gym and trying it out 😉

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Yeah, okay, it is the very beginning of a home gym. And I don’t really have the space for it. The idea is that at some point, in a not too distant future, I will move into a house and dedicate a room to the gym. Until then, it can be put away in the bedroom when I have people visiting.

The simple table bucks are not meant to be a permanent solution, but for the time being they let me get started. They are quite useful for all sorts of tasks. I dream about a power rack/cage, but that might have to wait until the gym may take up more space. It is not practical to move a power rack around too much. The bucks provide sufficient safety when training without a spotter.

I received 187 kg of equipment:

   

The equipment allows me to perform:

  • {barbell,dumbbell} {ordinary,incline,decline} bench press
  • {barbell,dumbbell} military press
  • {barbell,dumbbell} squat
  • barbell deadlift
  • {ordinary,incline} sit-up
  • {barbell,dumbbell} bent-over row
  • pull-up / chin-up
  • {barbell,dumbbell} curl
  • {ordinary,incline,decline} dumbbell fly
  • {barbell,dumbbell} lunge
  • {barbell,dumbbell} shrug
  • dumbbell {lateral,front} raise
  • triceps dip
  • french press / barbell lying triceps extension
  • barbell pullover
  • barbell {straight leg,bent knee} good-morning

… and without doubt many more.

It didn’t cost me more than a cheap laptop and it will probably outlast me 🙂