Friday, July 29, 2011

Èze - Chemin Savaric - Basse Corniche - Chemin Frederic Niezsche

We had spend the previous day at the beach and Colin had contracted a sunburn. He refused to come along for this gem of a hill run.
Who knows who went over the edge here or succumbed to heat exhaustion.
Glad I did this early in the morning!
I had reconnoitered the trail head for the Chemin Savaric on the previous night. I left Èze again along the Moyenne Corniche, direction Nice but continued for about 1 km past the viaduct and past the heavily fortified Savaric estate. I began the steep descent, first on a rocky path. As I descended past a shrine to the BVM, a back-country homestead complete with chickens and donkeys, the Chemin Savaric became smoother, with the addition of concrete.
The trail head for the Chemin Frederic Nietzsche is fairly easy to find: it starts
across from the pedestrian bridge across the SNCF tracks. One caution: the
road closest to the highway is a driveway!
Finally, I reached the upper reaches of Èze Bord-de-Mer and kept following the steep switchbacks of the town streets.

At the bottom, I followed the Basse Corniche, past the SNCF station to about where a pedestrian bridge crosses the rails. Here, I asked a street sweeper for the foot path back to Èze. One of the two paths was a drive way, the other one, the one on the left is the Chemin Frederic Nietzsche.
Steep switchbacks most of the way up.
 Now that is a hill run. Steep switchbacks that seem to go on and on for ever. I quickly realized that I did not have the necessary stamina to cover the 300+ m of climb without stopping, so I made it an interval exercise: run for a few minutes, then rest and take a picture. That way I got to the top surprisingly fast.
Beautiful vistas of the bay and some of the fabulous estates.
Soon, Èze Village seems within reach.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Èze - Mont Bastide - Èze-le-Col - Èze

For this run I was lucky to have Colin along. After yesterday's cloud cover, rain and unseasonably cool temps, this morning started out with gorgeous blue skies. We took the Moyenne Corniche dirction of Nice out of Èze and started climbing the Chemin de David right, at the end of the viaduct. It was a steep climb of about 250 m and Colin needed to take a few walking breaks while I took pictures.
A minute or so from the top of Mt. Bastide, with Cap Ferrat in the background

We met near the top of Mont Bastide and began the downhill from there, for a short way on the Grande Corniche and then along D46 back into Èze Village.
All downhill from here!
Almost back to where we started. At the right hand side of the bridge the
Chemin de David starts climbing in steep switchbacks on the eastern face
of this hill. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Èze - Rte de Turbie (D45) - Grande Corniche (D2564) - Chemin Serre de Fourque

A real jog with a view and a 180 m climb. Glad it wasn't hot.
Just after turning onto the Grande Corniche
I followed the Moyenne Corniche out of town and then took a left onto eastbound D45, steadily climbing to the intersection with the Grande Corniche, here called Ave. des Diables Bleus. Doing a hairpin west, I kept climbing till I almost reached Èze-le-Col.
Looking at Èze from the top of Chemin Serre de Fourque
When I spotted a foot path heading back to Èze-Village, I took the opportunity and dropped steeply back to my starting point.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Grenoble, along the Isere

Gorgeous crisp morning. Got Colin up, amazing, he seemed raring to go. For the first 2/3 of the stretch we ran close to my usual training pace. The city streets at the beginning and especially at the end were a little slower because of busy sidewalks and traffic lights. We started by running down Blvd. Gambetta and then continued upriver. Initially on a narrow sidewalk but soon on a dirt path right on the river banks.

A few minutes after turning east from Blvd. Gambetta onto a road following
the Isere.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Limburger Weg-Loussack-Membach-Stockem

Another run with the boys. Anna, daughter of my old buddy Fritz, challenged us to come pick her up, sadly she was indisposed. We had a good run without her, Colin running the entire way, with the short break stopping at Fritz' house.

At Giesberg Chapel 

Fishpond at Roereken 

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I did not think I would live to see the day: went for a jog with my boys! Followed one of my common routes, passing by many familiar landmarks, like the house where I grew up, the fish pond at Roereken, Loussack and others. The boys hung in there, I'll get them to be runners yet.
About halfway point at Roereken

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Eupen, from Limburger Weg
Being pretty much up 36 hrs. after leaving the Twin Cities, visited with brother Arnulf, my parents, and indulged in a hearty but maybe not heart healthy portion of fries with a bockwurst. According to Gestur, CNN stated that indulgence is ok, if not good when the bad stuff is limited to no more than 10% of the overall food intake. Gestur did not say anything about the facial creme further down in the article ...

The family decided on a nap we returned home, and I, knowing that I would never get up if I laid down now went for a nice run. It included a jog through Hertogenwald, along the very northern edge of the Ardennes, through Membach, a pasture with plenty of cow pies and back along dirt roads past Loussack farm and Waisenbueschchen. It felt good to run in 17C temps for a change.
Weser, from bridge at Perkietz, Membach

Chapel at Perkietz, Membach

Looking east from Loussack, Membach

Village of Membach, from Loussack

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Watertown Tercet

Had a couple of fun runs on the east side of Watertown, SD while there on a business trip.

1. Tuesday, 12th July

Surprisingly cool morning in lovely Watertown, SD. No curb when crossing Hwy 212 bridge across Willow Creek, made me feel a little queasy. Ran four straight lines in a square SE of the city.

2. Wednesday, 13th July

Meant to do some hills near the Big Sioux River and figured that I could reach it by way of 29th Str. SE.
Looking at the elusive hills SW of the Sioux River
What I did not know was that there is a ford in lieu of a bridge and I had to turn back.
No crossing. Now I know why the road S of 20th Ave SE was closed. 
Ran three tempo stretches of 1'45" each instead. Beautiful morning!
Sioux River, looking NW towards town.

Redtail hawk being harassed by grackles, some killdeer and other birds and the beautiful landscape along the road and some good ol' country smells like pig manure ...
Running N along 29th Street SE. The building at the horizon just to the left of
the nearest power pole is the Hampton Inn, my abode for the past two days. 
3. Thursday, 14th July

Decided to run north of Hwy 212 today. It seemed hillier running around this quadrant. After I crossed the Willow Creek a bicycle/walking path branched off and led straight north. I decided to follow this path even though it was a shortcut from my planned route. I did not regret it. It started raining when I was about halfway through the run but the temperatures were much warmer than on the previous two mornings, almost uncomfortably so. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sisu Year-Round Group 9: Balance, Leaps & Bounds

Weekly email: SISU This Week (M.Y.R. Tuesday PM - St. Paul) SISU Weekly Updates

When:  Tuesday July 5th, 6:30pm  
Where:  Battle Creek Winthrop St.
What: Dryland/quickness/strength ( 3 of 3)
Coaches: Ben P

Notes: Battle Creek for some dryland and ski bounding and strength (Bring short poles)

I could not make the Tuesday night session and thus joined the Thursday group. Ben had cooked up a good mix of balance, strength and quickness exercises in three separate series. When I arrived, Ben was busy pumping up balance disks. He had some helpers along to coach the different series and to help set up the circuits which included hurdles, resistance bands and cones.
  1. 20 minute warm-up jog 
  2. Balance.  This happened to be my first exercise. We were standing mostly one-legged on a 40 cm balance disk, following the coach's instructions to change our position, in line with classic and skate motions. A 6 lb. medicine ball was soon added, which we were to hold in front and to the side while keeping balance on one foot. We also hopped from one foot to another. The segment lasted about 15 minutes.
  3. Strength and quickness circuit. 
    • Sideways jump-steps from a crouch, explosive, switching sides, 2 repetitions
    • Sideways lunge pushing off explosively. This was a killer exercise! Felt "the burn" in my inner thighs
    • Explosive jumping over low hurdles, feet together, two repetitions forward 
    • Explosive jumping over low hurdles, feet together, two repetitions sideways
    • Bounds over 50 ft., as few as possible, 2 repetitions
    • 50 ft. sprints with resistance tube around waist: partner holds the tube and slows sprint
  4. Skate technique uphill, 6 repetitions 
    • Focus on body position, hip, not shoulder leads
    • Focus on pole timing, crunch while over gliding leg
This was a great workout, especially the strength/quickness portion made my legs, especially my inner thighs feel heavy.

Unfortunately I won't be able to attend the next three weeks, traveling first for work and then to Belgium ...

Monday, July 4, 2011

First Solo Rollerski, a Minor Disaster

Two women bikers asked me if I was training for
something. They thought I looked pretty funny
with my poles sticking up.
I decided to mix it up and went rollerskiing instead of running. I rode my bike to the intersection of Como Ave. the University of Minnesota Transitway, a dedicated bus route between the Minneapolis and St. Paul UMN campuses. Here, I switched from sandals to ski boots and started. The first obstacles were several major expansion joints on the north slope of the bridge across the BNSF tracks. I was thinking to myself that I would better unstrap my skis for the downward portion of this stretch. The bridge curves westward to Mineapolis and fortunately, the concrete turned into blacktop on the downward slope, without any joints.

I decided to ski to the Gopher football stadium and then do some intervals up the slope to the top of the bridge. Except for a couple of bridges with more expansion joints it was pretty smooth sailing. I was on the home stretch towards my turn-around point when I got a tad off balance and sat down, in slow motion. Not slow enough since the tip of my left thumb and the knuckle and nail of my right middle finger had a close encounter with the rough blacktop surface. The thumb tip was ripped off and my nail was neatly punctured  on the middle finger. It was amazing how uncomfortable these two small wounds made me feel. I did not take the time to scrutinize my injuries till I got home, but it felt like many more fingers were compromised.
T'is nothing but a flesh wound. Still, I did buy some full-finger
leather gloves at Menard's for my next outing.
Both fingers were bleeding profusely and I was dripping all over myself. The bicycle gloves I wore became squishy and the grip on my poles slippery. I did make an effort to do three repetitions up the bridge but then decided to get home and take care of my injuries.

The approach: