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Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Last weekend I was convinced that Spring was just around the corner. This week it has turned decidedly chilly again, but I was nevertheless surprised to wake up this morning to a good coating of snow (again). Hubby and I had planned to do a Long Run today, and had prepared a 7 mile route. A short fact finding venture outside had us deciding to swop the run for a hike-with-proper-walking-boots-on.

We set off and soon reached the car free part of our walk. The untrodden snow looked beautiful, resting on the trees. I quickly realised I had forgotten my camera but it took another mile or so of me lamenting to hubby that I was missing some fantastic shots before he mentioned that he could take photos with his phone, if I really wanted some!

So here is a flavour of our walk, photos courtesy of Chris!

Not sure which bird made this huge print - a heron maybe?

Entrance to the local wildlife area

Just to prove we were going the right way!

The nearest thing we have to hills here in Antwerp!

Frozen stream

This pond is usually full of ducks - no sign today.

You can just about see the bench where we sometimes sit in summer.

This tree has fallen during the winter winds.

Chris thought the snow lying on the stream looked ghostly....

The hut where we would have had our picnic, if I'd thought to bring one.

Old WW2 pill box by the railway - they are found dotted all over this part of Flanders.

The beauty of nature!

Seven cold, wintry but invigorating miles covered in slightly under 2 hours 20 minutes. I'm now home, thawed out and enjoying the smells of the Sunday roast cooking!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOLABLACK69 2/26/2013 4:28AM

    Wow, beautiful photos! emoticon

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1BEACHWALKER 2/26/2013 12:47AM

    Really looked like a nice hike! Great photos! My phone is the one I always take my photos with, because it is always with me.
That snow on the pond did look ghostly and beautiful!
7 miles in the cold and snow- emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILSONWR 2/24/2013 6:46PM

    Sounds like a great hike. I envy you!

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ALIHIKES 2/24/2013 1:46PM

    Gorgeous photos, thanks for sharing! You had a VERY fast pace for walking in snow! --- great exercise.

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RUNNING-TURTLE 2/24/2013 11:53AM

    Beautiful. I wish the snow would go away too, but it's so beautiful. Looks like you had a wonderful hike.

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JACKIE542 2/24/2013 11:37AM

    Beautiful, but cold. Glad you got your run in. emoticon

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LIS193 2/24/2013 11:15AM

    It looks cold... Thank you for sharing your hike :)

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MKMMARTY 2/24/2013 11:06AM

    Great pictures - I see why you were so upset about not bringing your camera.
I usually have a camera with me now when I walk - just hate it when I am in a spot that makes a good photo and I don't have it with me and then I begin not to enjoy my surroundings - so focused on what I don't have...
Spring is coming - keep walking

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#4 - The One That Nearly Didn't Happen

Friday, February 22, 2013

emoticon It was cold this morning. -4C (25F) but with a wind chill making it feel like -10C (15F). Add to that the fact that it was snowing, albeit not settling, and I almost didn't make it out of the door.

emoticon I had to take my daughter to school so decided to run round our local park, in the hope that the beautiful scenery would make up for the unappealing weather.

emoticon I quickly realised that I could have done with an extra couple of layers on. Despite wearing a long sleeved running top and a fleece, the wind was still managing to cut through. My thighs were the coldest. You can buy arm warmers for runners but I've never seen thigh warmers.

I considered getting back in the car and driving home, but decided that I might as well run as I was there now. The first mile was really hard. My legs were heavy (and cold) and it felt like I was running through peanut butter. I turned out of the trees and into an icy headwind. That's where the run became mental. As in, I was constantly talking to myself mentally.

"Not far until you're back in the trees and out of the strong wind."
"Keep going to the next bend, don't walk yet."
"Don't let that dog walker see you struggling."

A big smile and a cheery "Goede Morgen!" and I was back to the mental cheerleading.

"More than halfway and you feel OK. Keep going."
"This bit's downhill, no point walking here."
" Too near the road, the cars will see you walking."
"Last mile and you're on for a good time. Keep this up and you'll break 35 minutes."
"It's not a race, don't be daft."
"It's race training though - go for it!"
"There's the car, you made it!"

And so it was that I completed 3.1miles in 35mins 41secs. emoticon

Split Summary
1) 1m - 11:34(11:34/m) - 149cal - 5.19/6.8mph
2) 1m - 11:16(11:16/m) - 149cal - 5.32/7.05mph
3) 1m - 11:41(11:41/m) - 145cal - 5.13/6.57mph
4) 0.1m - 1:09(11:25/m) - 16cal - 5.26/6.37mph

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOLABLACK69 2/26/2013 2:52AM

    emoticon Good for you! Sometimes I'm like that as well. Just keep pushing! emoticon emoticon

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BROOKLYN_BORN 2/22/2013 6:31PM

    Now that's what I call mental toughness! Physical toughness too and I was just congratulating myself for getting out there in 36* (and our snow stopped by then).
I'm going to remember some of those things you say to yourself.

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WILSONWR 2/22/2013 6:19PM

    What a way to work through it! You did great!

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CATHEMARIE 2/22/2013 5:46PM



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JACKIE542 2/22/2013 4:44PM

    WOW! emoticon

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SOOKIE 2/22/2013 3:51PM


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UNSWEETMAMA 2/22/2013 1:11PM

    "the cars will see you walking," made me chuckle.
emoticon emoticon

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LIS193 2/22/2013 11:51AM

    You are truly amazing!!

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LITTLESUZIW 2/22/2013 11:32AM

  Wonderful blog today...thank you for posting...love how you mentally challenge yourself, and talk yourself through a tough spot...I laughed when you didn't want the person walking the dog seeing you struggle.
You inspired me to try to "talk myself through it" too. emoticon

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#3 and the Old Folk's Home

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My daughter had a basketball match at school this evening. Sitting on the bleachers, I couldn't help but "listen in" to a conversation going on between a young boy and his dad.

"My ball's gone into the old folks' home," the lad said, apologetically.
This was confusing for two reasons, a) the lad never usually apologised for anything and b) the nearest old folks home is over a mile away.
"The old folks' home?" asked Dad.
He realised his mistake.
"Oh...no...not the old folks' home. I mean the...oh you know...". He looked skywards, searching for the right word, " it's in the...um...the place where the dead people live."
"Ah," the light dawned, "do you mean the graveyard?"
Stifled giggles from me!

Half Marathon training run number 3:
emoticon Another beautiful morning, still cold (-4*C) but sunny although frosty.
emoticon Followed my usual woodland route but added a loop of the residential streets near my home.
emoticon 3.04 miles in 34mins 22 secs.
I actually think it was a tad further as my Garmin didn't show me following the road but climbing through my neighbours' back gardens - and I'm sure I would have remembered if indeed I had done that!

Split summary:
1) 1m - 11:10(11:10/m) - 149cal - 5.38/11.96mph
2) 1m - 11:23(11:23/m) - 153cal - 5.27/6.58mph
3) 1m - 11:16(11:16/m) - 150cal - 5.32/7.37mph
4) 0.04m - 33(13:33/m) - 6cal - 4.43/5.75mph

I'm pleased I went out when I did. By 10.30am the skies had turned grey and a short while later it had begun to snow emoticon . Where did Spring go? It hasn't settled, thank goodness, but it is bitterly cold and feeling very wintry again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 2/23/2013 8:34PM


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WILSONWR 2/22/2013 6:10PM

    Cute conversation!

Great job on the training!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 2/22/2013 9:58AM

    "Where dead people LIVE" LOL
Nice job on the training!

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LOLABLACK69 2/22/2013 1:26AM

    Nice work! I'm not a morning person, so I can't imagine going for a run before work, or something like that. And most definitely not at this weather! Can't wait for spring... I almost can't remember when did winter last so long last time...
Maybe I got used to global warming so much. Not cool! emoticon

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DR1939 2/21/2013 7:29PM

    My Garmin usually shows less than the actual mileage. I lose the signal every so often. I use it to keep track of the time and of the elevation changes. I always check it against the SP map.

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LIS193 2/21/2013 4:41PM


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JACKIE542 2/21/2013 3:47PM

    It is a good thing that you got out when you did, hope you are safe and warm. emoticon

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At it again! Training run #2

Monday, February 18, 2013

At the risk of being a bit boring and repetitive, I've decided to blog my training anyway as it will be useful for me to keep some sort of record.

emoticon I ran again this morning. It was lovely and sunny, clear blue skies and absolutely still. Birds were singing and it was very peaceful out there. It was cold (-3*C) and there was a good layer of frost but that just added to the beauty.

emoticon I ran my usual route, picking my way along the trails of the local wood. I was surprised how many other joggers I passed, as well as a good number of dog walkers. The muddy paths had frozen into uneven ridges, but I was wearing Innov8 trail shoes so they didn't cause me any problems. In fact it was nice not to end up with muddy shoes! The shafts of sun through the trees were truly beautiful and I wished I had my camera handy to try to capture them.

emoticon Distance 3.61 miles
Time 44mins 9 secs

Split Summary
1) 1m - 12:04(12:04/m) - 140cal - 4.97/5.98mph
2) 1m - 12:40(12:40/m) - 126cal - 4.73/6.08mph
3) 1m - 12:28(12:28/m) - 131cal - 4.81/6.42mph
4) 0.61m - 6:57(11:29/m) - 89cal - 5.22/6.6mph

A bit slow but not too bad considering it was frosty trails and I'm used to running on tarmac!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARCONIUS 2/19/2013 12:22PM

    Congrats on the run. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment. Walking has been really enjoyable, and I'm glad to be getting back into it. Don't see myself running unless someone very dangerous is chasing me though. emoticon

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LOLABLACK69 2/19/2013 3:24AM

    Nice! You really did a lot! I bet it felt great.
I really can't wait for the weather to get a little bit nicer here so I can go for nice walks, maybe even run a bit, and so I can finally dust off my bike. emoticon
Anyway - keep at it and keep pushing! emoticon emoticon We are strong enough to make this happen, and we will! emoticon

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DR1939 2/18/2013 1:37PM


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UNSWEETMAMA 2/18/2013 10:26AM

    Excellent job! Sounds lovely in spite of the cold.

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WILSONWR 2/18/2013 10:07AM

    You are doing fantastic! I need to sign up for a race, just so I can get in the "training" mode!

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RUNNING-TURTLE 2/18/2013 8:36AM

    emoticon It's hard to get out there to do things like that when it's cold.

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BLUENOSE63 2/18/2013 7:58AM

  Great idea to log here as you will always be able to check your times as long as you keep your account open


off to hoop and vlog with BOGUSANNIE

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BIGDOG18 2/18/2013 7:36AM


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KLMEIRING 2/18/2013 7:31AM


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