Tag Archives: nature

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…

Renewed license to kill

In pure James Bond style, I’ve just received my license for the coming hunting season 🙂

I look forward to beautiful, warm summer mornings and evenings from May 16 to July 15, the summer season in Denmark for roebucks. I plan on keeping mosquitos from biting me using a hat with a net and several layers of clothes. Sunset, the smell of spruce trees, coffee, my rifle, silence… Sweet.

Since this is a public blog, let me just point out that I do not store my hunting weapons on my home address.

Totally unrelated: The chat service Microsoft Messenger is closing down, and I’m not switching to Skype for personal use. This means that if you want to chat with me after April 8, you have two options: mt@martintoft.dk on Google Talk or toft on IRC (EFnet, freenode and IRCnet). Non-geeky people should probably disregard the IRC option 😉

BakkeChallenge in Silkeborg

Today I’ve attended a 10 km run in Silkeborg called BakkeChallenge together with my friend Hans Klemmensen. The run is two times 5 km on forest roads and trails, and it contains some very demanding hills.

With the exception that the t-shirt doesn’t have the run’s title printed on it, the goodie bag was quite okay. We were also served refreshing hot soup, bread, etc. after the run.

Apparently, Hans is very fast – he finished third among the men and received a well-deserved round of applause and a gift on the podium after the run!

I did a good job (witnessed by an average heart rate of 171 bpm), but I had to accept the time 54 minutes and 11 seconds. I had to walk at some points… Damn. Click here to see my recorded run. It seems my GPS was a bit off today. As far as I remember, Hans finished in 46 minutes and something.

That was 325 km more in the Aygo. A guesstimate for the trip is 15 km/L petrol, but in the Aygo’s defense, it was certainly allowed to work on the freeway. A brick would have been okay as cruise control…

Trail running

   

I have been out trail running yesterday and today. It’s a nice diversion from running on asphalt in the city. You really have to focus on feet placement, and your heart rate is raced up and down continuously. It is with the sight and smell of nature, it is with a bit of risk, and it is with a minimum of equipment, by which I primarily mean without music. I do, however, rarely look at my GPS watch while running in nature – I just want the runs to count in my overall statistics.

Yesterday it was 7.4 km in FiveFingers on the mountain bike route in Kongshøj Skov. Today it was 8.7 km in ordinary running shoes – Asics GT-2160 – on the yellow route in a very muddy Lundby Bakker and Lundby Krat in the rain. Now my Asics are almost as dirty as they were after Xtreme Mandehørm last weekend.

My next goal was a half marathon at Thy Trail Marathon on February 23, 2013, but unfortunately there is no room for more participants. It’s a great event, which I know for sure as I ran it this year, so I should have made up my mind faster. Damn. Running has become so damn popular 😀

Copenhagen Marathon 2013 is still my next huge goal, and, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I have already bought my ticket. I look forward to the event with great enthusiasm and have created a preliminary training plan. Still, I need to find a half marathon of some sort to run around the New Year or in January or February… Hmm, I wonder what it will be…

Let me conclude by showing you two egoistic mood pictures. My good friend Edward Angelo Cerullo in Norway recently sent me a nice Moose of Norway hat to keep my ears warm in winter 🙂 Thanks! I like it! 🙂 The picture to the right shows how impractical rain and mud can be 😉

   

I’m happy that my cold sore is finally starting to disappear…

Xtreme Mandehørm Aalborg 2012

Yesterday I participated in Xtreme Mandehørm Aalborg 2012 together with two friends – Hans Jacob Møller and Morten Klingenberg. I know Hans from my time as a system administrator at Telenor, and I know Morten through Hans. The name of our team is Tror du det er for sjov jeg drikker?, which can be translated to something along the lines of Do you think I drink for fun?. It is inspired by the Danish heavy metal band Red Warszawa, who has an awesome song with that title 🙂

We ran through muddy, smelly, ice-cold ponds (or small lakes – in one of which the water reached my shoulders and I considered swimming), climbed over containers, slided through tubes into mud, jumped and climbed obstacles, crawled under ropes and nets, ran up steep hills, crawled up steep slopes, rolled around in mud and ran through several kilometers of muddy, slippery forest trails. The route is announced to be 12.2 km, but it seems most people’s GPS watches measured it to be approx 11 km.

  

The final hurdle is to walk – or run or swim – through a container filled with water, which is actually very nice, as you’re cooled down and some of the mud is washed off. Morten was fastest with 1h 10m 41s, whereas Hans and I finished in 1h 15m 1s and 1h 12m 48s, respectively. The team diploma and my personal diploma:

   

After the race we drank beer at breakneck speed while enjoying the hot whirlpool in Nørresundby Idrætscenter. All races should end like that. Awesome!

The evening featured a huge, Oktoberfest-inspired party with delicious food, even more beer, drunken nail-punching competitions, award ceremony, boxing and comedy. The comedy was performed by the well-known, Danish comedian Frank Hvam, and it was very entertaining. We ended the great day and evening with nice Hoegaarden wheat beer pints at The Irish House. Xtreme Mandehørm is now a tradition 😉

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any pictures of Morten, but the photographers have certainly caught Hans in some xtreme situations 😉

      

Today I have had a hangover and have been annoyed by the cold that started to haunt me a few days ago. I’ve managed to wash my seriously nasty running clothes, watch old episodes of NCIS, do grocery shopping, rust protect my Aygo, run 5 km in FiveFingers and write this post.

A weekend with many impressions

I have just had a nice weekend, where I visited Aalborg Kaserner, went goose and duck hunting two times in Thy, went to my grandfather’s birthday in Øsløs and ran in the – now famous – windmill plantation near Østerild.

My brother, Christian Toft, is a volunteer in the 1st Logistics Battalion in the Danish Defense. My family and I visited him and his colleagues on September 22, 2012, where Aalborg Kaserner hosted an “open house” event. It was an interesting day, where Christian told us about daily life in the barracks, we tasted their field rations (not bad at all!), and we saw a fine parade, a series of exercises and a variety of hardware. If I was 18-20 years old again, I would volunteer – not to be in the military for life, just to work out, be in nature, learn about first aid and shoot some rounds with machine guns. Nowadays they have wifi in the barracks, they can play badminton and other sports in the evenings, they can borrow mountain bikes for free, they have modern sports clothing, their participation in some external sport events, e.g. Xtreme Mandehørm, is supported financially, and the gender distribution has improved a lot.

My father and I went hunting in the evening of September 22 and in the morning of September 23. It was with dogs, waders and 12 gauge shotguns. We believe that the evening hunt should have presented the best chances, since the morning weather was too fine (sunny and no wind), but we ended up shooting a goose each on the morning hunt. I shot a greylag goose and my father shot a pink-footed goose. It was much easier to pluck the feathers of his goose, I promise you!

My grandfather’s birthday was celebrated with very delicious pork roast followed by an equally delicious dessert consisting of old-fashioned apple pie, cookies and coffee. The best part, of course, was to be with family and hear how everybody was doing. This time we were reminded by the old days and some of the family roots, as we browsed old photo albums.

Being near a fine, green, moist forest of course prompted a run, so I ran 8 km. For fun I did it in 2 km pieces, letting my heart rate decrease to 120 bpm between each piece. It is when you race up your heart rate you improve your fitness (…and when you work out very intensely, but racing your heart rate up several times should be better than just keeping it at 70-80% of your max for a long time). I try to force myself to only increase my weekly distance by 10% each week, to avoid the almost unavoidable breakage that haunts most runners. Recently, I have signed up for Copenhagen Marathon on May 19, 2013, and I really, really, really want to run it this time. My FiveFingers experiment goes well – I enjoy wearing them while weight training and I am able to run 5 km in them without pain (even on asphalt).