Tag Archives: running

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.

\m/

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 🙂

A quiet weekend

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It has been a quiet weekend, more or less. I visited my parents in Thy, where I picked up wind boards produced by my father. There are many boards and they probably weigh more than 100 kg in total, which meant I had to drive very conservatively on my way back. If you’re in doubt, they are for my ceiling insulation project, where I need to direct the wind over the layers of insulation. It was super awesome that I could “order” the boards from him, and I’m starting to understand – with additional inspiration from Bonderøven – that the process of building or fixing something is as important as the end result. It’s important to involve family and friends. I also managed to sit with my rifle in a hochsitz for a few hours in the rain (without seeing anything) and to buy some art for my many walls at a charity store. When I wanted to go to bed at my parents’ house, one of their dogs – Birko – had stolen the bed while I brushed my teeth 🙂

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Actually, I had planned to start working in the attic today, Sunday, as I finally have everything I need for the first eighth of the project. It didn’t happen, though, as I had a pile of clothes that needed to be washed, the weather was suddenly suitable for a run, my conscience begged for a run, logs needed to be splitted and brought to the stove, my kitchen needed to be cleaned, a better (sturdier) toilet seat purchased the other day begged to be installed, etc. In addition, I decided to relax in an armchair this evening with a foot bath, a quietly burning stove and The Expendables 2.

As always, I’ve been digging around the net for metal stuff, and I’ve found something that means a lot to me. Back in 2003 when I started at Aalborg University, a friend introduced me to metal music. There were also other friends pointing me in the metal direction, but one friend stands out. None mentioned, none forgotten. I humbly say thank you. It was through Nightwish and Within Temptation, I learned to appreciate metal. When viewing and listening to this pot of gold – Within Temptation playing for two hours with the Metropole Orchestra in the Netherlands in 2008 – I seriously don’t understand why many people like the boring music that gets played on the mainstream radio stations. Being on the subject, let me wholeheartedly recommend the documentary Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey.

Hot shortcuts to the aforementioned pot of gold:

Within Temptation will release their new album Hydra on January 31, where we will see guest performers Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish, see this Hydra-video) and Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage, see this Hydra-video), among others.

That’s all I wanted to share for now 😉

Turning 29

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I turned 29 yesterday – for the first time!

Honestly, I don’t mind it. Age is just a number. I even expect not to be shaken by my 30th birthday in a year. In my universe, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc. are considered more “major” numbers anyway 😉

As mentioned in a previous post, some of my geographically closest relatives visited my on Sunday, November 17, for an informal dinner and afternoon tea/coffee/cake. My purpose with the event was also to show them my house and neighbourhood. With a cloudless sky and bright sunshine the weather was at its best in quite a while. A very nice day indeed.

Yesterday, on my actual birthday, I was at work most of the day. Thanks to my co-worker Karina, my monitor had birthday flags taped to it, which meant I got a lot of greetings. Mid-afternoon I fetched some cakes from a nearby bakery.

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In the evening I helped my brother move “officially”, i.e. registering it electronically with the authorities, and I went for a short run. Some might say I have some experience regarding moving 😉 Regarding running, I have planned a schedule for the next two-three months, which will take me slowly from four to ten km.

Hmm, what else is current…? Ohh, yes, I think my car is starting to demand some kind of love. I have driven approx 20,000 km since its last service. One of the major front bulbs died, so I’ve changed the pair. The job almost made me crazy. It doesn’t end there, as I also have to change a pair of smaller bulbs, and I’ve decided to change oil, oil filter and air filter. At the same time I will make the switch to winter tyres. I might have a small hole in my exhaust system, but I’m not going to do anything about that for the time being.

I’m currently planning to add 15 or 20 cm of insulation to my attic, and I’m pondering whether or not to install some air ducts in the process. The purpose is to circulate the warm air from my stove to the rooms in the other end of the house. If I decide to install them, it should be part of the insulation job, as the ducts will be surrounded by the insulation material.

Changing my circulation pump is temporarily on hold, as I’m quite busy with other stuff and because I actually use very little electricity, all in all. I have just had my expected yearly amount lowered to 2,000 kWh, and I honestly don’t expect to reach even 1,500 kWh. The sensible thing is of course still to change the pump. Which reminds me that I need to add water to the central heating, as the pressure is quite low… Air in the pipes probably isn’t the best medium for transporting heat.

Good night!

Pictures

Here is a glimpse of the end of May and the beginning of June.

My parents’ two dogs, Asterix and Birko:

  

A few pictures from Aalborg Carnival 2013 on May 25:

     

  

Georg bought – and almost ate – a Whopper burger with nine beef patties 🙂
According to this article, that’s 9 x 113.4 = 1,020.6 grams of beef patty!

On June 5, I ran 10 km (actually 9,85 km) in 49 minutes and 22 seconds at the event Grundlovsløbet in the city Hjørring:

Hopefully that will mark the time in 2013 where I got back into a somewhat stable running rhythm.

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…

Fighting cold weather

Me wearing a GripGrab balaclava and a bike helmet on January 30, 2013After a few days with temperatures between -10 and -15 ºC, I have bought a balaclava. Actually, I have bought two – redundancy is nice. It allows me to have one down for maintenance (washing) without downtime. The brand is GripGrab and I bought them at CyclingShop.dk. So far I wholeheartedly recommend the GripGrab balaclava. It will probably also work very well for hunting, but the winter hunting season in Denmark pretty much ends tomorrow, and I will not be hunting until the summer season starts on May 16. I imagine using a balaclava when going for a run on very colds days, but I expect it to get too hot after a few kilometres. It might also be difficult to breathe and get rid of snot while wearing it. Anyways, if the thought of wearing a warm balaclava can get me out the door on a very cold morning, it’s all worth it 🙂

By the way, try to look at Usain Bolt in slow motion:

At the workshop with posemand.dk, we started out by looking at sprinters and endurance runners in slow motion. It turns out most of them have something in common. Notice that the posture of Usain’s upper body is completely vertical and that he is very compact when hitting the ground (and very wide when he is not, which yields the insane speed). Also, he always he hits ground right underneath his body. At the moment I strive to achieve the same good posture, the same compactness and the same way of hitting the ground right underneath my body in each stride. Don’t get me wrong – I’m aiming for painless endurance, not speed.

Still alive, still rocking

If I wrote more frequently, I could write smaller and more specific posts 🙂 As usual it is easier to have good intentions than to do something about it…

One of the newsflashes since my last post is that three of my close friends have had problems with their female partners. I know, or at least knew, their partners, so it affects me to some degree as well. I have never really tried this, so it is a new experience for me. The problems range from temporary separation (that’s the most recent status known to me) to infidelity with an ugly divorce as a result. It’s sad and complex when children are in the middle of it all.

Barefoot running at posemand.dk workshop in Aalborg on January 20, 2013In an entirely different category, I have attended a workshop where I was taught how to run without getting injured. It was a workshop by Claus Rasmussen, the guy behind posemand.dk, and it was an absolute pleasure to be a part of it. The general theme was to avoid injuries in the long run (haha), but the specific solution was to do barefoot/natural running and to do it with the right technique. As you might know if you have read this blog before, I have run in FiveFingers for some months. Around Christmas, i.e. approx one month ago, I was actually running 10 km training passes (in Vivobarefoot Evo II) using what I thought was correct barefoot style. The initial video of my running at the workshop immediately revealed that I was landing on my feet in front of my body rather than underneath it. Moreover, I was forcing a forefoot landing and wasn’t relaxed at all in my ankles and feet. Claus taught me and all the other participants a number of exercises for correcting our posture and relaxing our limbs. It will of course take a lot of practice in the near future. I recommend the book/pamphlet Proprioception – Making Sense Of Barefoot Running by Lee Saxby and one of the accompanying videos.

On Thursday I visited the library in Hobro, where the two extreme runners Johnny Wulff Andersen and Andreas Carlsen shared their experiences and gave advice. Johnny talked about his participation in Jungle Marathon in 2012, which was a 256 km race through the South American jungle in Brazil. Undoubtedly too extreme for my taste, but it was great mental preparation for my participation in this year’s Copenhagen Marathon. Andreas had planned to show his documentary Ultra, but the electronic devices he had brought and the ones at the library wouldn’t cooperate, so he ended up given a talk instead. He is clearly a runner with many great experiences in his backpack and I look forward to watching Ultra at some point.

I have been using my new media center to follow e.g. NCIS and How I Met Your Mother, and I have also watched numerous semi-old Top Gear episodes. People keep telling me to give Game of Thrones a chance, but fantasy doesn’t normally catch my interest. I’m not saying never, though. The media center (based on a Raspberry Pi, an external hard drive, a wireless keyboard and the Raspbmc software, as you might recall) works pretty well. It is stable and able to be the secondary, authoritative name server for my domains at the same time. It would have been nice, however, if my music collection was properly tagged. Bugger. What a daunting task.

On behalf of the seller, the German Amazon has cancelled my order for the Cablesson HDelity HDMI Audio Extractor (ARC). I don’t really know whether they cannot or will not deliver the device, but the cancellation bugs me a bit, as I was looking forward to having the device solve my digital to analog conversion problem. The somewhat cheap alternative is a similar device by the brand ViewHD, but the seller apparently only ships from the USA at the moment, which means I will end up paying more for postage, import tax and fees than for the device itself. There are also more expensive alternatives, like devices from Luxi Electronics, but I refuse to pay four to five times the price of a Raspberry Pi for the functionality. At the moment I “survive” by using the DAC is my tv, i.e. my amplifier is connected to the headphone out on the tv. I have discovered that it doesn’t produce as bad sound as I initially thought. The volume on the tv just have to be set to max. The sound quality is decent, but the solution is a bit impractical, as the tv must be turned on and I have to remember turning the volume back down when disconnecting the amplifier. Oh well… It’s the little things 🙂

Update, 13:52:42: I almost forgot that I have been out hunting with Nordthy Jagtforening on a cold but very beautiful Saturday. In total, 10-12 roe deer were observed, while two were shot. I missed on a forest snipe. The headline was fox hunting, but no foxes were shot. As far as I remember one was observed, though. The day traditionally ended with yellow split-pea soup, sausages, bacon, potatoes, mustard, beetroot, schnapps, etc.