Monday, June 10, 2013

Aiming for Athens - week 5

Another great week of running. A fantastic week when it comes to experiencing the forest and the wildlife. I still think marathon training is a lot of fun, the weather has been good, my training is going great and I feel invincible. I suspect that this feeling might change later on when the distances gets longer and the inspiration perhaps fades. But I'm very thankful for every good day and I'm so happy that I can do this.

Tuesday: A thrilling run in which I came upon at least three wild boar that I apparently scared, and I saw them cross the path I was aiming for and disappear into the woods. They were only around 20 meters from me and finally seeing them and not only their tracks made me both excited and and a bit nervous. The ones that I saw wasn't too big they were probably born last spring and now, comfortably seated in my home, I can't really understand why they made me nervous but I would be really scared if I ran into a group of a mother with her newly born. I don't want to come between them, or surprise a fully grown male at a close range.
 The encounter uplifted my spirits and I ran the rest of my run almost euphoric.

Friday: I postponed the Thursday run one day due to a headache but felt fine on Friday and headed out to explore a "new" road. It is only a shorter stretch of a known loop but it will give me the chance to chose a different scenery. I ended up taking a wrong turn which led me on to a surface that wasn't really runable and then I had to do a bit of climbing to get back to the road but I now know where I should have turned and will do so next time.
 On this run I saw a moose on a field beside the road. The moose stood just beside the road and I stopped to see what he was going to do. We looked at each other for a short while and then the moose turned and ran across the field giving me free passage. I enjoy seeing animals when running but not too close. And it's the same thing with moose as it is with boar I would be really scared to come too close to a mother with her calf. Most of the animals, however, are more scared of us than we of them and will retire if they have the chance. I'm sure there have been many animals that have heard me coming but went further into the forest before I got the chance to see them.

Sunday: There is no long run scheduled for this week so I thought I'd do some hill training instead. Since the Athens marathon is more or less one long hill, I think that some preparation of running hills could be useful when the day comes. The area where I live is fairly flat but I looked up an undulating part of a forest road and ran the "hill" up and down for a while. I ran up, jogged down and walked for a long minute,  and the routine fitted very well with the 3/1 run walk ratio so I let the gymboss signal be the start for each "climb" during the exercise. For each completed interval I picked up a pebble to keep count of how many repetitions I did. When I was done I put ten pebbles on the top of a tree stump and for my imagination I could see the stump all covered up with pebbles by the end of the summer. We'll see whether I'll be able to keep doing the exercise, I can't really say that I enjoyed it that much but hopefully it was good for me.
 When I was bored with running back and forth, up and down, I took a detour through the forest on my way back. I'm glad I did because the forest was absolutely amazing. It was a bit wet after a couple of thunderstorms and rain this afternoon but I didn't mind. The air was so fresh and rich of oxygen, and the birds where singing louder than ever. The sun was setting and spread a warm light, giving everything a yellower tone. The sun was shining on a male deer with fairly long antlers and I had to stop and just watch and listen and take in the atmosphere. The sun was also shining on a layer of mist rising over the fields I passed. The mist appeared to be of gold dust. And again I had to stop and enjoy what I saw. This has been an incredible week. I can't really grasp how lucky I am that I'm able to run and that I can experience the beauty and the magic of the environment that I enjoy so much - the narrow paths.

Total distance for the week, 25.6km/15.9miles but maybe that isn't very important since the Galloway plan doesn't count distances other than for the weekend run. The middle of the week runs are measured by minutes and not distance. Anyway, I think it is interesting to keep track and I'm very pleased with what I've accomplished so far.

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