This week weather was a little better and it almost felt like spring; on Thursday I played basketball with a few friends in shorts and t-shirt – what a feeling! Friday, the temperatures went down again, I decided to walk to my coffee store instead of taking the car and I noticed that the parks are finally starting to turn green after what felt like an endless winter. I was even able to enjoy my coffee in front of the store and soak up the sun. These are the little moments that bring me joy!
For the last couple of days I felt pretty down. My stomach was really upset (which used to be a problem quite often in the past and caused by me stressing out about things) and the super grey, snowy-rainy, cold weather wasn’t helping neither. I’m not sure if my upset stomach was caused by me being sick of the depressing weather or if I actually ate something wrong.
Anyhow, I didn’t even feel like exercising – all I did was taking my bike out for a short 10mile ride after I installed a new, wider back tire. A nice change to my setting; I’ve been planning on doing some changes such as the new SRAM NX drivetrain, but since I wasn’t in the mood for biking at all I postponed it for some point in the future.
It’s only the first month of 2016 and I’m already behind with what I’ve planned for the year – no good start, but it’s going to change. In fact, it changed today February 1st already.
Even a short run counts – 4 miles in a wintery scenery
After posting something about my weekend activities the last two weekends I didn’t have anything to write about the last one, but I also don’t want to go back to only writing an article once a month or even less. So I thought I’m simply going to share my little trail run today with you.
Yesterday the rain finally arrived! Spring was around the corner for a couple weeks already, the temperatures increased, but nature was missing water for everything to revive after hibernation. When I had my usual morning coffee I was still able to enjoy it outside the café, but I was pushing it. Soon after my first cuppa a heavy rain approached which forced me to move inside the café and have another cappuccino – oh well, there’re worth things.
Eventually the rain stopped and I drove back home. My phone, however, told me that I had to be more active – I walked only 2000 steps thus far. This, and the sun which appeared again behind the dark clouds made me go out for a nice Sunday walk. I wasn’t the only one, it was actually really hard to take pictures without too many people on it, but I know this park quite well. Even though I go here twice a week there are still spots I haven’t explored, especially the further uphill towards the Herkules statue you walk.
So here are some impressions – from small flowers blossoming in the forest to the large Lion’s Castle.
Last night I went to bed late (late for me = 1am) – I went to a night shooting with the Army Reserve and even tho we stopped around 10pm we didn’t leave the range until past midnight. Weather wasn’t the greatest, but the folks were nice and we had a fun time. Consequently I didn’t lay down in my freshly washed sheets until way past midnight. Luckily I was able to sleep in today (I don’t do that often, but when I do it feels great). I was woken up by the sun shining bright through my window right into my face, looked at my watch – 10:30am! OMG what happened? Did I really sleep that long? I remember that I had the weirdest dreams – I was visiting my ex, being chased by a tattoo artist and surfing through downtown Seattle. Oh well, usually I don’t remember my dreams, but this one got stuck in my head. I didn’t leave myself time to think too much about it, opened the curtains and was greeted by blue skies – what a change compared to a few hours ago. This is gonna be my weekend I decided! After a bowl of cereal for breakfast I grabbed my running shoes and went outside – I haven’t even checked my phone yet…
The city I live in is not the nicest for running, but there’s a large park only five minutes by car, the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe – a UNESCO world heritage site with dozens of smaller lakes, countless statues and paths (partly paved, partly sand) with inclines of all levels.
By the time I got to the park it was already past 11am and I wasn’t the only one who wanted to enjoy the beautiful weather; tourists from all over, students and people from the city were walking their dogs, taking pictures or out for a run. I still found some nice paths that were less crowded and the further I got up the hills the greater the solitude. I stopped to capture some sun rays on a bench next to a nice statue – a place where you can enjoy beautiful vistas over the entire city, but only few people get there. Well, not so today. Two ladies had the same idea and sat down next to me. Even tho the temperatures were only at 40F it felt like t-shirt weather thanks to the strong sun and little wind. They too came up there to enjoy the solitude and we were laughing when we saw a group of tourists hiking up the hill. After a while we three parted, leaving this place of tranquility to the strangers.
I continued my run for another twenty minutes or so thinking about how great it feels to breath in the cold air while chasing down the muddy trails. Last year I started running longer distances and since I am rather fit I wasn’t struggling with up to 80km per week. Sadly your joints and tendons don’t improve as fast as your endurance does and after a few months I had to stop running completely – my knee was badly inflamed. For the following months I didn’t go running at all – which was bad for my temper since running is life for me and I knew that I won’t be able to start my first ultras this year. In the latest Runner’s World magazine I read an article about the common mistake unexperienced runners make; your skeleton is strong enough and endurance can be built up fast, but all the soft supporting parts (ligaments, tendons, joints and so on) need way more time to adjust. This encouraged me to slowly start running again – only very short distances of 2-5km. It feels so good and bad at the same time. Knowing that I’d be able to easily run at least a half marathon in a decent time, but having to stop after a maximum of half an hour to not overstrain. It’s more of a mental process, but I’m willing to give it as much time as it needs. For this year I won’t be planning any marathons (I cancelled all of last year’s ones), maybe a single half marathon towards the end of the season.
This run I added several walking parts in between, not only to relieve my knee, but also to take some pictures (please excuse the quality, they’re all taken with my cellular).
Exploring The Hills Around The “Herkules Statue” in Kassel
But first of all let me say sorry for the bad quality of the pictures. My camera is at home and my cellphone’s camera lens in broken; this is the result, but let me tell you this much – it is really gorgeous here!