The runner that I am

November 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

Two nights ago I was feeling a little ‘bleah’ about going for a run. It was like I was missing inspiration, so while Elvin was working on our wedding ‘Save the date’ invite (I know, great man!) I put some music on – it always gets me going. I spent some time warming up and visualized myself running pain-free and enjoying the feeling. It was about half past eight when I laced up my shoes and went out the door.

The first 3 minutes were not easy; they never are as my body seems to be having an amazing time trying to beat inertia. But I paced myself and moved on… and on… Soon I came to the point I had reached the last time I went running with Elvin and decided more was in for me. I made a turn, passed the church and kept running. I couldn’t believe how amazing I was feeling! Sure, there was that nagging pain in my calves but I breathed into it and let it go. There were a few moments I was dreading – such as hills. But I took it easy on the hills and did.not.stop. Soon I made a turn towards Terrain Jakobi and passed through a pitch-black patch. This wasn’t very cool, as it’s by a construction area and I was fearing someone could… you know, harm me. I remained vigilant and kept running. I think I could watch myself from afar, watch how my body kept moving at a steady pace harbouring fear and dread.

Soon there was light again. I was thankful and imagined how I could be running this route in the winter mornings. I visualized myself running on a chilly winter morning when the world is still asleep and loved the thought! I checked in with my body, it was going strong – my God, what a feeling! I remembered how last Saturday I went for a run through rain which turned into sleet which soon turned into snow. That run made me so much stronger! The fact that I didn’t abandon the run when every ounce in my being said ‘go home and have a hot cocoa, no one should be running in this weather’ built up my resilience in ways I’m still discovering.

Our bodies are so much stronger than we think! Our minds are so much more resilient than we imagine! We only need to keep at it, keep pushing, be persistent. Have patience and the result will come. Keep being inspired and you will make strides. I feel that after some time now I am finally making strides again in my life. I’m doing something good for myself.

That night the neighborhood was almost empty and all was chilly and dark. My body felt light as a feather and my heart was awash with joy. Something in my brain was sparkling; perhaps some neural pathways that were just forming? I felt like I could keep running much longer but didn’t. I’m containing my energy for an amazing adventure that will unfold soon enough.

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Celebrating 29. The more-than-perfect weekend in Leukerbad

October 1, 2015 § 4 Comments

I always seem to fall behind with travel recaps. We have have been away so much this year but there is no rendition of that on the blog.

So here’s what I can commit to:

  • Recap of our get-away in Albinen
  • Hike in Montriond
  • Vacay in Corsica
  • Holidays in Portugal

From now until the end of the year we have much more travel planned, so I’d better keep up to date with our whereabouts. 🙂

I owe the last weekend to Elvin. He booked the most gorgeous place ever to celebrate my birthday for what seemed like the most romantic and pampering get-away. To get to Albinen we took the highway that passes Lausanne and Montreux. I’m always so impressed with the views, they never get old!

montreux

Demeure des Elfes is perked up high in the mountains in a village called Albinen. The first time we went there was 3 years ago when I was still living in London. I adored the place and promised myself that one day I would come back. That day was my birthday this year. 🙂 Albinen is  a 5 minutes drive from Leukerbad, which prides itself with the oldest spa in Switzerland. Between the gorgeous nature and the more than perfect weather, we knew we were in for an amazing weekend. 🙂

As soon as we arrived at the cottage, Thessalia, the daughter of the owner greeted us with a home-made aperitif.

primire

We had booked the same room as the first time and… it was just as I remembered it… only better. The entire cottage has been refurbished and redecorated and it was simply perfect.

obersoncamera

I squealed when I saw the view from the balcony – it was truly breathtaking. The skies were clear, the mountains were standing tall and it was so incredibly p e a c e f u l.

balcon

view1

From the balcony we ran to the terrace, which had been completely re-done. The garden was in bloom and there were pumpkins hidden in the dense patches of grass. Also… a hammock!

garden 2hammock

We spent some time marveling at this incredible place but then it was time for dinner. We decided that a festive dinner was in order and chose La Croix Federale in Leukerbad. Upon getting there we realized we had been to the same place 3 years ago – quite the serendipity. The menu was full with delicious suggestions and we opted for an assortment of deer and game, plus local beer. We loved this place and would come back any time!

Driving back to Albinen we experienced the most serene, almost uncanny night. We stopped on the side of the road to look into the starry sky. The whole scenery resembled that of a movie… and yes, that is to be experienced and seen with your own eyes. No pictures here.

Back at the cottage we sipped on some of the 10 year old port which we had brought with us.

porto

We slept like babies and woke up to this beautiful breakfast.

brekkie 2brekkie

We had planned a most amazing hike (and long, and difficult) for today: the Gemi pass. Described as the classic among the classics, this hike did not fail to disappoint. We departed around 11am and came back at 19.15.

Some technicalities: the hike starts in Leukerbad and after ascending for seemed like forever 🙂 we reached Daubensee. This was the longest and most difficult stretch of the hike. It was probably what also killed my legs for days after the hike.

hike 1 hike 2

hike 3Daubensee is at the border between the mountains in Valais and the Bernese Oberland. A very strange-looking lake… but beautiful in the sunlight!

lake

And perhaps here’s where we under-estimated the difficulty and length of this hike, as we decided to keep going to Berghotel Schwarenbach. The way there was mostly descending and we never regretted our decision for a second, especially given the amazing food we were served there:

gulas

elvin food

tarta

The hotel looked really splendid and we agreed it would be amazing to spend New Year’s Eve there… one day. 🙂

pumpkin

By the time we set off again it was 16.15 and we knew the descent to Leukerbad was going to be technically difficult. Luckily I had my batons (best purchase ever) but to be fully honest, I was relieved when we set foot in Leukerbad again, as darkness was falling.

After a long, hot bath (ahh the bathroom at Le Demeure…) we slept soundly and woke up to a beautiful array of foods for breakfast the next day. I took a million pictures of the cottage, and what seems like 2 millions on the terrace where we sipped our coffee

terasa 1

We  had a hard time saying goodbye to our dear hosts, who generously offered me a jar of home-made confiture as a birthday gift. Sooo lovely of them! I took one last picture and we were off…

demeure

… to the spa. We had debated whether to go straight home or make a detour. Our muscles definitely thanked us for the hours spent in the amazing water and lovely sunshine. It was simply out of this world and we agreed that Leukerbad is probably one of the best maintained spas we have experienced.

view spa 2 spa 2 spa 1

We agreed that this weekend has probably added years to our life. 🙂 I am very grateful to Elvin for making this possible and… can I just say that I would like to spend my 30th birthday exactly in the same place, and in the same company? 🙂

The end. cer

Happy day!

April 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

This morning I ran! I give myself a pat on the back for getting out of bed when I  was actually wishing to sleep a little longer!

A run around the Geneva lake in the morning is a beautiful thing. The sun had just risen and the views were beautiful and calming. I left my stuff at the office and headed out at 7:05. I was back 35 minutes later, all sweats and smiles. My goal with running is to make it a more consistent habit. Once that is in place, I will work on (1) duration and (2) pace.

I dare to say that exercise in the morning is not possible unless you prepare for it logistically and mentally the evening before. For me this meant laying out my running attire and preparing my breakfast and part of my lunck for a quick pick up before I ran out the door at 6:30am.

brekkie

Mental preparation is about making sure you get a decent amount of sleep and getting into the exercise zone to make you’re going to give it your all. And that is not hard to do when the views are like this…

lake sunrise

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