sprigs & sprogs

Sand between my toes
March 20, 2011, 20:49
Filed under: Beach, dog, Expat, Fitness, postaweek2011, running, spring, surf

It’s been a fantastic weekend, at last! Sun, sun and then more sun!

Yesterday morning, I got out early to go for a run. And Dora the dog was allowed to tag along.  We got along much better with her extendable lead,  she didn’t trip me up this time. The run felt great and so much easier. Not sure if it is because of the longer run I did or if it is my body pump classes that has improved my endurance? Or maybe it was just the warmth of the morning sun?

Today we spent the day on the beach, what a wonderful past-time. The boys loved it and so did I! I think I even got the beginning of a tan to show for it. But there is at least another two months to go before I go for a swim. The water is FREEZING. Still the sea was packed with surfers fighting for the waves, including my husband. Not unusual to see six people taking off on the same wave. I am surprised there are so few accidents out there.

Amazing to think though; here you are on the beach late March and it’s packed with people… When we left at four, there was a traffic jam to get in to the parking by the beach… The portuguese like to go for their beach strolls after siesta at 3pm.

So here’s for a new week with a Spring theme.


Uphill struggle
March 17, 2011, 23:21
Filed under: Fitness, postaweek2011, running, spring

Apple blossoms

I finally did it! My longer run, approximately 8.5 km. Not long for some, but a challenge for me. After starting with a long  hill that seemed to go on forever, 1 third of the way in fact, I was in doubt that this new route had been a good idea.  I had about five cyclist swishing by me up the hill (cycling is extremely popular over here), that did not help… But as I got to Serra d’El Rei, the half-way mark, i started to get a spring in my step. Do I need to add that the ground was finally flat?

When I finally reached my front door, I felt hot, tired and great!

I am so pleased i finally did it, it is going to be my regular weekend run. With spring coming, it all feel so much more motivating. With a promise of 21 degrees on the weekend, there is nothing stopping me now! (apart from maybe my old trainers?)

Start the week with a spring in your step.
February 28, 2011, 21:01
Filed under: Fitness, Health, nature, postaweek2011, running, spring

That’s what I did.

I have started this week the best way possible, with a morning run. I’m so chuffed with myself… It was not a long run or a hard one. BUT it was a morning run before work. I want to make it a habit 4 mornings a week. 3 shorter runs week mornings and a long run on the weekend. I’m not there yet, but start as you plan to go on I say!

The sun had not even got out of bed when I went out and it was so peaceful. It felt like I got all the energy for myself that just seemed to ooze from nature; the fresh smell of grass and all the spring plants that has just popped up and the early birds singing in the trees. I think that’s what I got out of bed for, to have the world for myself for a moment. If anything will keep getting me out of bed in the morning, that is.

http://runningsomewhere.com had a few good points regarding morning runs;

How to Establish a Morning Running Routine

I know, you have to get up early enough already each day. Between preparing for the work day or taking care of getting the kids ready or trying to eat a healthy breakfast, who is supposed to have time to run in the morning?

Here is why you should make an effort to establish a morning running routine.

  1. Feel insanely productive before 9 AM. There’s something about having exercised, showered and eaten a healthy breakfast before you would normally have even gotten out of bed that just makes a person feel like Superman for the rest of the day.
  2. Free up your evenings. By the time the evening rolls around and your next opportunity to run arrives, dozens of other things may have gotten in the way. Maybe work was extra stressful and you just want to go home and lay on the couch. Or your friends are meeting up for drinks and invite you out or any number of other things come up that can tempt you to skip running altogether. If your running is already done for the day, you can indulge in these activities guilt-free, knowing that your training hasn’t suffered.
  3. Tie positive association to your running. If you spend all day thinking about the run you have to do that evening, the training can become more of a chore than a pleasure. You should be wanting to run, not forcing yourself to do so. Don’t let it hang over your head all day until it becomes a punishment.
  4. Beat the heat. With summer right around the corner, 5 or 6 PM becomes a miserable time to go for a run. Not only can you beat the heat, but seeing the sunrise during a run is a pretty incredible moment.

Here are some tips to help you succeed in establishing the habit of a morning running routine.

  1. When you wake up, drink a glass of water and have a small snack. I would suggest a piece of your favorite fruit. There are mixed views on caffeine’s benefits for exercise, but personally I skip the coffee until after the run. I love my morning cup of coffee, so I treat it as a post-run reward. If your stomach can handle it prior to a run or you need it to wake up, then by all means have a small cup before heading out the door.
  2. Ease into it. If you are like me and have trouble feeling fully awake first thing out of bed in the morning, try doing a little light cross-training before you run. Something as simple as ten minutes of light yoga works great as a transition from sleep to running. Doing push-ups or a quick abdominal workout are another great way to ease into the morning’s exercise.
  3. Enjoy the peace and quiet! Depending on how early you have to get up to accomplish your running in the morning, there’s a good chance that the roads you normally run on will be significantly calmer than normal. Take this opportunity to leave the iPod at home and enjoy the peace of the early morning. It is a whole new experience to see the same route early in the morning before the neighborhood has started to wake up.

I prefer running in the morning,  and many of the reasons for that was mentioned in this article. But saying that, I find it easier to do a long run in the afternoon, when the body has been up and about a bit longer. I do find that I have to do a bit of walking before breaking out in a jog, so I warm up my body.

Does anyone have any good advice on warming up for a morning run especially, when you just skipped out of bed?