Run in the Sun

Monday was the Lions Heuvelloop.  For those who don’t speak Dutch, a “heuvelloop” is a “hill run”.  The course wound into the dunes near Bloemendaal, up and down gentle hills, some loose sand and only some of the route under the shade of trees.  It was sunny and very warm which is not my favorite weather condition for running!

Even so, I managed it in 1 hr 6 minutes and given the warmth, I’m very happy with that time.  DB and I both ran and there were also several friends running too.  4 of us ran the 10k, 1 the 15k, and 4 the 5k.  And 2 of our group didn’t run at all but instead took photos and took care of kids – small excuse for not running guys!

Here’s a photo of some of our group:

Now, don’t they look like a gezellig group?!  #102 and I finished together, sprinting in to the finish.

DB ran a great time – 50 minutes – but it’s kind of ironic.  Now two days later he’s the one who still has muscle pain and I’m not hurting at all!  I came out of this run with no aches or pains to speak of.  Amazing.  He says I just didn’t run fast enough.  Well, if it hadn’t been so warm I would have run faster and would now be hurting.  I think I did the right thing.

After the race we went to an artists work space where a friend and #102 and #263’s mom had set up an Easter brunch for us.  Fabulous.  I drank probably too much champagne and really felt no pain.  Lovely.

What’s next on the running schedule?  Well, keep training of course.  I think I’m going to sign up for the 12km Rock and Run at the end of May.  It’s a run through the Jordan in Amsterdam with band playing all along the route.  #102 is also running the 12k.  She’s become quite the fanatic sporter and boy does it show – she’s looking great!  Hopefully I’ll be looking better soon too.

Home Improvement

Some people take a long weekend, with warm beautiful weather, and go to the beach or to a park or just lay about in the sun.  Not me, and therefore by default, not DB either.  We painted in the attic.  Actually, we should have done this months ago when the two new windows were put in.  Until the sun came out and the days got longer I had no energy or enthusiasm for this job.  Now I had plenty!

I had also wanted to paint that horrible dark green wall in the attic since we moved in almost three years ago.  We ran out of time before moving day and you know how it is when you move in – once you are in lots of things you think you will do later just never get done.  This long Easter weekend we painted the woodwork around the new windows and painted the green wall.  A white wall also in the attic was painted, but I don’t have photos of that change, and it was a pretty subtle change anyway.

Here are the before and after photos of the green wall and one of the windows.  Doesn’t it look so much better?

Before:

And after:

Friday Night in Crazy Town

Last night we went to Amsterdam for dinner and a concert.  I don’t know if it’s ONLY the weather bringing all the people out to Amsterdam, or what is going on, but it’s just crazy crowded these days.

After dinner we had some time to kill before the concert so we thought we’d go for a walk around the Vondelpark.  What day of the year do you think the photo above was taken?  Nope, not Queen’s Day.  Last night around 7pm.  The park was packed with people.  Everywhere.  Just crazy.  Later last night, just before midnight, a fight broke out and the police came and cleared out the park and closed it for a while.  Normally the park is never closed.

We walked half way around the park and then made our way to the Melkweg to see De Staat.  This is the band that was just last week voted the Best Alternative Band by the biggest radio station in the Netherlands.  No, I don’t know who votes.  There’s an award ceremony that is shown on TV.  It’s an only Dutch thing, so you can be a really big fish in a very small pond.  Which is not to say that the bands are not good!

The warm up band was a duo called Death Letters.  They were certainly good musicians, but they were very nervous and it felt more like a college band try out.  The guitar player came out later and played a number with De Staat and he was great!

Finally De Staat played and by then my feet were thankful.  We were standing up in the small side balcony overlooking the stage.  I’m not much good at writing music reviews, but let’s just say that they were great and I’m really glad we went to see them.  They are kind a mash up of Queens of the Stone Age and Infadels.  I took some small movies, which are combined together here on YouTube.

And then we left Crazy Town and came home to Quiet Town.  I’m absolutely loving this warm weather, but man I don’t love all the people who come outside, like me, to enjoy it.

A Very Small Sock

I made a sock for my phone to keep it from getting scratched and banged up.  Isn’t it cute?

I made it from leftover sock yarn and picked a color pattern that would make a dense and thick fabric.  I knit it from the top down so that I could make the ending a 3 needle bind off and I used size 2mm needles.

It only took a few days to make.  It’s easy to stick my fingers in and pull the phone out and the ribbing keeps it securely in there.

It’s a perfect fit!

What Season?

When do you think this photo was taken?  Last summer?  Wrong.  Today.  Yes, mid-April and we are having Summer weather.  Those of us who have been around for a while know what that means – rain in July.  Every year that we’ve had fabulous and strangely warm weather in April, it rains like hell in July/August.  We’ll have to see what happens this year.  But you read it here first!

Today after work we headed to the beach at Zandvoort.  I came home on the train from Amsterdam as usual, but instead of biking home, DB met me on the train and we continued the 10 minutes more to Zandvoort.  We walked along the beach for a little while, then headed up to Bruxelles aan Zee for dinner.  I had a trout.  DB, lamb.  We finished while the sun was still on the horizon and it was still warm.

This heat wave is supposed to continue for another week.  Let’s make hay while the sun shines!

New Socks

Here is a new sock pattern I’m working on.  This is the Spring version.  There is also a Summer version that is ankle length with a picot hem, and a Fall version which is knee length.  They are knit toe-up and the pattern will have a choice between right/left toes or standard symmetrical toes.  The pattern is 90% ready and soon I’ll be looking for test knitters.  I plan to put all 3 socks into one pattern at one price. I’m going to call the pattern “Seasonal Socks – Spring, Summer, Fall”

The socks above are made with Tosh Sock in color Lettuce Leaf.  They fit and feel great!

More photos and info coming soon!

8km Only

We went to the dunes for the Sunday run this morning.  It was warm and the sky was hazy.  I hadn’t felt very good all last week so this was my first run in a week.  I decided to go for 8km instead of the 10 I had planned for today.  Ah well.  That’s enough, right?  Next week is the Lion’s Heuvelloop in Bloemendaal 10k and I’m sure I will be ok for that.

We headed out into the dunes and at about the 3km point the wild horses were gathered right next to the path.  I stopped and took their picture with my new phone.  Not bad for a camera phone!  Can you tell which way the wind was blowing?

I felt pretty good during this run.  Until about km 7.  Then my left knee really started hurting.  It hasn’t ever hurt this much before.  It started to hurt like my right knee hurt before the operation.  Damn.  When we got home I iced it and then after dinner I iced it again.  We’ll see how it feels tomorrow.

The strange warm April weather continues through the week.  It will feel like summer.  I hope we can make it out to the beach after work one night this week.  Dinner at a beach restaurant and watch the sun go down.  If I were a romantic I would think it was. 😉