Winter Wonderland

I just got back from a four-day vacation in Gruyères. Ok, so I had to work during the day, but we stayed in a nice hotel and ate out the whole time. There was also enough free time to get a run in every day. There are “chemins pédestres” (walking paths) leading up and down (emphasis on the UP) the surrounding hills in all directions from the village. With all the meringues and double cream I ate, it was a good thing I had plenty of time to run.

Gotta run…


A few of my favorite things, 2

Nothing compares to running while the snow is falling. Don’t you love the “crunch” of every step in the fresh snow. It’s even better if you are the first, besides the woodland creatures, to leave your print. Then to come home to a warm house and the smell of applesauce cake, fresh out of the oven!

Gotta run…


Creature of habit

I’ve been running the same route for 24 years. Sometimes I go farther out to add distance and I run at different times of the day, but I have a hard time altering the route itself. About the only time I leave the beaten path is when I’m away from home. Over the next month, I’ll be out of town quite a bit. It’ll be fun to run in different places, although I must say I never tire of my course.

Gotta run…



Runners in our neighborhood come in all shapes and sizes. I admire the elderly gentleman who has been running no telling how many years and rarely misses a local race. But the person I admire the most is a woman who has apparently suffered a stroke. One arm dangles lifeless as she shuffles along. I don’t know if I would have the guts to do what she does. She could have chosen to buy a treadmill and run in the privacy of her own home, but instead she’s out there being an example of courage.

Gotta run…



Since I entered more races that usual in 2008, I’ve been receiving lots of sign-up forms for this year’s races. Some, like the Kerzers Lauf, I’d enjoy running again. Others, like this Saturday’s Cross de Vidy, I’ll pass on. Who wants to pay 25 CHF to run back and forth through a muddy field like in a Disneyland waiting-line?

Gotta run…


It’s cold out there

The temperature has been below freezing for days (or is it weeks now?). I have to turn around at 3.5 K on my regular route, because beyond that the path is iced over. The other day I wanted to go for a long run, so I pocketed my new overshoe spikes and took off. When the last houses were left behind, I slipped them on and made my way up the first icy hill. The results were not as I had hoped. At one point my feet went out from under me and I landed hard. Fortunately there were no witnesses.

With no warm front in the forecast, I’m sticking mostly stationary biking; cause it’s cold out there every day.


108.3 K

Receiving the 2009 Guide reminded me to fill out the middle page in the 2008 Guide. I tallied up my kilometers run in “Trophy” events during 2008 to see if I qualified for a diploma and a prize. My ten races exceeded the 100 K minimum needed for a silver diploma. So I sent my results to Swiss Athletics who award the diplomas (always trying to encourage people to get out there and exercise). I’ll tell you what a silver diploma looks like and what my prize is when they come in the mail.

Gotta run…


No shortage of choices

Yesterday, I received my 2009 "Guide des courses populaires." It lists most every race that will be held in Switzerland this year. Well over 500 events from 5Ks to 100Ks and beyond; Saturdays, Sundays, and most weekdays; every season; all times of day and night. I know I’ll enter two. The Lausanne 20K, April 25th (a mere 8 other races held that day), and the Lausanne Marathon, October 25th; Luzern will hold it’s marathon the same day.

Gotta run…


Window of opportunity

I decided a year ago that part of my 50th birthday celebration would be to enter lots of local races throughout 2008. Even though my birthday is still four months away, I’m now officially 51. Those born in 1959 are now the whippersnappers in my category. As a good runner, but by no means a great one, it’ll be nine more years till I have another chance to stand on the podium. It was fun while it lasted.

Gotta run…


Bonne année!

This morning I saw one other runner, a few people waiting at bus stops, scraping their cars off, or walking their dogs. The icy sidewalks kept most of the retired couples from going out for their morning walk. I really enjoy going for a run the morning of January first. I like to say “Happy New Year” to everyone. They smile and say “Happy New Year” back, often adding "thank you." It’s the friendliest day of the year.

Gotta run…