Off to Neder Nederland

OK so today I got it right I ran to another country – and sort of back (but only a km or two).

It started last night – I got home and headed out with the girls driving to Putte on the Nederlands – Belgie border.

I Left the car, assembled Chrissy’s bike with bike trailer and rode the 23 km back to Otto , with the girls in tow and having a great time – especially when we raced through the mud puddles- at one stage they stopped to dance on a bridge near a corn field – very funny.

It was a beautiful evening – a rare thing with the summer we have had and only 24 hours after the events at Pukklepop (less than 25kms from my work) the night before. Today was just as stunning if not better.

It was good to put the psychological battle of running further than I had for 17 years behind me.

Between Kappelen and Putte - idyllic.

The run was lot more pleasant than anticipated – plenty of variety in environs I ran through, bush, dirt tracks, low class and high class suburbs. Discounting people in cars I saw less than 10 people (I left just before six and arrived at about 7:45 a.m.), not nearly as eventful as a tour around Linkerover as reported a few weeks back.

I snapped a couple of i-phone pictures – which are the sort of idyllic framing I think many NZ’rs give Europe. It’s interesting to actually be in it. If you can live your life in part delusion it is very beautiful, but I find it hard to view that way. Things seem out of balance. My next post will address that.

In Ravenhof Park close to the Belgie- Nederlands Border - looking back to Belgie

So what of my run, well I struggled more than I hoped but I guess Chrissy gave me a reality check when I told her my time – “come on be happy”. I was just having trouble adjusting to the fact I was over 25 minutes slower than 17 years ago.

While I was running I thought of those I knew or know who are not so lucky. I took that as motivation to be grateful and to keep going. I read a blog last night where the woman quoted an inspirational teacher she had saying “I run because I can”. I know now that when i run the marathon and it hurts, I will think of those who can’t run and ‘bless them’ and count mine.

But as I ran I wondered what Europe my girls would see, and smell and hear if they ran this course in their 50’s.

I suffer at times as I am such an idealist and thus at times I feel a fraud or hypocrite – as I worry but don’t really do one hell of a lot about changing it. Where to begin?

I know I contribute, but I still drive to work, get the shopping in the car, fly across the world, and enjoy resources that have been moved all over the place for my benefit.

In between I cycle, I run , I get what-ever I can under my own steam, I try to set an example for our girls. Like my training for the Marathon, I guess I know that it is not all that it could be, but I hope it is enough, it is a beginning.

So I’m underway. In two weeks I run an off-road half Marathon in New Zealand which will be fun, and so, so different. I am wondering now if it will be tonic or torture. And in some ways that expresses my emotions in Belgium thus far, and I can’t decide which is most apt.