Green & Blue

Look at these colors!  This morning in the dunes we had glorious color.  The sky was so blue and the trees and grasses were that just sprouted Spring green.  Lovely.

It wasn’t warm though.  The air was crisp and cool, which is just fine for running.  I only managed 6km running and about 1.25km walking.  I’m having a hard time building back up to a reasonable distance again after the 12k at Zandvoort in April.  I don’t know why.  It’s just tough going.  What’s a ‘reasonable distance’? For me, 10k.  Once I can run 10k without feeling like it’s a death march at the end, then I feel like I’m well on my way to being a runner again.

And being able to run through the dunes to the beach, and back.  That makes me feel like a real runner too.

I know I’ll get there – slow but sure.  It’s just that none of it is easy.  Yet.

Oh! By the way! Tonight is the first episode of a new “Boer Zoekt Vrouw“!!  Yea! I love this show.  Tonight we will meet the new crop of farmers (haha, get the pun?) and then we’ll have to wait until the Fall to find out who got enough letters to participate in the show and who the women are and who falls for who and who is disappointed and who ends up getting married and living happily ever after.  Hope springs eternal; even more so for farmers?

Ice Age

frozen in motion
frozen in motion

While the whole of the Netherlands was out skating on canals and rivers yesterday, we were out running on the beach.  It’s the only place you can run that’s not covered in ice and snow these days.  At least that’s what I thought.

Since I hadn’t run in over a week, I only managed 30 minutes, but that’s ok.  I had time to take some photos.  I was really surprised to see waves frozen in time.  Not frozen in a photo, but literally frozen!  Here are photos I took yesterday.  Since the weather is warming up I think these waves will melt in the next days and the water will be flowing again.

All photos were taken with my iPhone 4S, which continues to impress me with it’s image quality.

shells frozen in place
shells frozen in place
under dutch skies
under dutch skies
quiet beach
quiet beach
Bloemendaal in February
Bloemendaal in February
cold blue
cold blue
frozen waves
frozen waves
frozen waves II
frozen waves II

Brrrrrrr!

Today marks the longest streak of below freezing weather since 1997.  It was only a week ago that I was complaining that it’s been an incredibly mild winter which felt like just a prolonged Fall.  Daffodils were blooming already.  Them WHAM the weather blew in from the north and we haven’t seen any temp above freezing for a week, day or night.  It’s supposed to continue for at least another week.

Today I didn’t feel at all like running.  The only place I could imagine safely running without slipping in the snow would have been at the beach.  And running on the beach with a super freezing wind blowing on your face didn’t sound at all fun.  I convinced DB to come for a walk instead.  I expected we’d walk for an hour, just around town.  We ended up walking for 2 hours and about 10km, all around Haarlem Noord.  Here are photos I took.  The canal skating was at 3 different places around town.

Weeeeeee!
Weeeeeee!
any hill will do
any hill will do

There was a group of boys who had taken the wheels off of their skateboards and just stood on them and glided down this little hill.  The poor boys snowboard I guess.

making an ice rink
making an ice rink
learning to skate
learning to skate
canal in Haarlem
canal in Haarlem
clearing snow for skating
clearing snow for skating
ice hockey in the park
ice hockey in the park
cold feet
cold feet

Escape!

This morning we were up early to go for a run in the Kennemerland dunes.  We left especially early so that we would be home early to  watch the Australian Open Final.  Here it is 4 hours later and they are still playing tennis.  We could have slept in!

It was COLD this morning.  When we started out it was -1C/30F and sunny.  Despite the weather there were a lot of runners out.  I wore double layers on my legs, triple layers on top, a hat and running gloves.

At the half way point I came up on a small group of sheep with long shaggy wool, looking quite content in the weather.  Most of them were on the left side of the trail, behind a small electric fence (which wasn’t on), but a few were outside the fence, on the other side of the trail.  I ran a little farther and then turned around to get some photos of them.  Right when I turned around I saw how they got out of the fence!

First the black one….

Then the white one followed him….

Who would have thought it was so easy for them to jump the fence!  Here they are, on the “free” side.

My caption: “Don’t turn me in! I’ll trade you wool for your silence!”

At the end of the run, back at the parking lot at the football fields, there’s a small cemetery with flowers planted here and there.  Look what’s blooming already.

It’s been such a mild winter that the Spring flowers are already coming out.  This can’t be good news for farmers.  The timing is all wrong.  I am looking forward to April though since April is the new June here in NL.

Foggy Inside and Out

Friday morning was like most mornings lately, grey and foggy. I hadn’t been running in a long time due mainly to illness. I made a firm decision that I would go for a run Friday morning, no matter what.

After running about 8 minutes I had to stop for a stoplight. It was then I felt my lungs burning. I walked a little while and tried again. After another 8 minutes or so I started to wheeze and my lungs burned again. Ok. I get the hint. I’m not yet over this chest cold. I’ve been hacking and coughing up stuff for 2 weeks now and I’m pretty tired of it.

It was nice to get outside though and see some ducks and cows and people walking dogs. Today, Monday, I am feeling better and I’m coughing less. I should have gone for a run yesterday but the weather turned colder and windy and I just didn’t want to put my healing lungs through it. I think that was the right decision.

On another topic, I really start to notice how my speaking and language has changed since living in NL. A friend, on her blog, was commenting on how people use the word “anymore” in ways she’s never heard before. Like “Is this allowed anymore?” I find myself using “anymore” like that these days. Where did that come from? No idea.

I have noticed lately that American accents sometimes take me by surprise. I listen to a lot of podcasts and I hear Americans saying “fer” instead of “for” and it drives me crazy! I hate that but I hear it all the time, from people who are journalists and professionals on tv and radio. And have you listened to Planet Money in the last months? They start to sound like teenagers to me, especially Caitlin Kenney who pronounces words like she’s 12.

Am I just getting old?