Monday Short

Second day of Easter, filled with a much needed long run with my smallest.

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14.2 KM, baby jogger all the way!

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And following the golden rule of baby jogger running, when he started saying “all done” we turned around and came home. We took a short break at kilometre 7 and dropped by the bakery to pick up a roll and apple juice for him.  We found a little bench down by Jyllinge Harbor and he enjoyed his snack and shouted at some geese.  Totally normal – and yes, apparently we are those loud people in the park.

We also swung by the paddock right next to our house to see the new baby lamb.  It was sunny and warm and the lamb was way to comfortable to get up for a good picture.

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Now he is down for a nap, I am hydrating and enjoying a little sunshine and my garden.  A good end to the Easter vacation I think.

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Plans for 2015

That’s right.  First marathon officially booked.  It’s been a long time coming since I have previously started training up for a marathon and for various reasons had to quit.  But now it’s on and I can’t wait.  On some level, October can’t come fast enough, but then again, I still have to get so many kilometres in my legs that it’s good race day is so far away.

I previously mentioned BT Halfmarathon, but here are the other races I am signed up for:

Lillebælt Half Marathon: This one I am super excited about.  The route starts in Middlefart (yes, Middelfart) and you get to run across a bridge to another city called Erritsø and then back again.  Very beautiful, amazing crowds and the only chance to run around on a historic bridge.

I ran it a couple of years ago with my husband and was excited back then.   Come race day, I really didn’t have the energy to even start the race and remember half way through trying to convince him to finish without me and then come back with the car to pick me up.  Turns out I was pregnant (barely) and that was why I felt off.  I swore I Stetch and I would do this race again when we could train up for it and enjoy it, so this is the year.

Storbælt Naturmarathon: I have never ran this race before, but it was always a goal of mine.  I was even signed up to run it back in 2013 and had to bail due to being pregnant and high temperatures.  It was a huge let down.  Stretch and I will be doing the half.

This one has a route that follows the west cost of the island of Sjælland, the island I live on.  It’s got the ocean, it’s got beaches and what I found the biggest draw, it’s got fresh strawberries in the depots – fresh from the farmer’s fields, along with homemade musili bars.  It’s amazing how easy it is to please me.

And we will see what comes up along the way.  I am thinking at least one more half in the fall.  Time will tell.

Lazy Vacation and Cake

Yesterday was the start of Easter vacation, which was promptly filled with a lot of playing followed a trip to the library and the mall, which means we also had to go to the candy store:

Candy Soldier

And stop by the bakery for some sandwiches. BTW: I have never seen a child look so depressed in front of a case full of cake in all my life.

Sad, but there is cake!

And all were so tired on the way home.

So tired...

Yesterday was also rest day for me both because I did a long run Sunday and because I have had some pain coming on just above the inner side of my left ankle.  Today we went for a quick 6K just to try it out and it’s still a bit sore.  Hopefully, it will go away… time will tell.

Let There Be Cake!

Today was a horrible, windy, wet and even snowy (?!) day in Denmark, so we have been a little trapped inside, so I figured, what better than a little edible sunshine?  We had three grapefruit that have been laying around getting older… and older…. and I decided they should be used now before I have to throw them out.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is one of those things I buy with the intention of eating, but actually pay to store in my house until they get so old I have to throw them out.  It’s a huge waste and I was tired of it.  So I made a recipe I have heard of but never actually made – Red grapefruit pound cake. It was so amazing… even the baby was down with it – and it did taste like grapefruit, but not in a strong, sour way!

Baby + cake

Recipe: Red Grapefruit Pound Cake

This recipe is a changed up version of the recipe on Homesick Texan.

250 grams of butter at room temperature
600 grams sugar
2 tablespoons red grapefruit zest
2 dl red grapefruit juice
Seeds from one vanilla pod
6 large eggs at room temperature
400 grams all-purpose white flour
2.5 dl butter milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Glaze: Powdered sugar, grapefruit juice, dark rum

Pre-heat the oven to 165C.  Grease and flour two small loaf pans or a 12 inch tube pan.

Start by creaming the butter and sugar together at a high speed until light and fluffy – about 4 minutes.  Mix in the grapefruit juice, zest and vanilla.  Mixi in the eggs one at a time (important: this is when it is vital the eggs and butter are at rom temperature or the mix will start to curdle).   In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.  Alternating between the two, mix half of the flour mixture into the butter, sugar and egg mixture followed by the butter milk.  Include the final half of the flour mixture.

Poor the cake mix into the pan or pans and place them in the oven for between 30-35 minutes or until a knife can be inserted and come out clean.

While the cake is cooking, mix some powdered sugar, grapefruit juice and a couple of teaspoons of dark rum together in a small bowl.  I didn’t do any measurements of this.  This glaze should be just a little thinner than butter mild and should taste pleasantly sweet and not boozy.  We are not necessarily out to get drunk and you can leave the rum out if you have cake loving kids like I do. I left some fine clumps of pulp in mine because that’s how I roll.

When the cakes come out, tip them out on a plate and cover them with the glaze immediately so the cake absorbs all of the sugary goodness.  I made a double batch – one in a tube pan and one in a loaf pan and discovered that you can also just poor it over the cake in the pan like I did here to lock in some of that sticky moisture.

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The glaze will make a crunchy crust when it’s cooled down.  Allow to cool and serve.  Ours didn’t last long!

Grapefruit Cake

Daylight Savings Time and Long Run Sunday

Today has been an off kind of day.  We officially went over to summer time last night, so when I woke up, I was shocked to see on my iPhone that I had slept in to 9.30 – a rarity when you have three kids.  Then I came out into the living room, said hi to the kids and realised that something was wrong because it was only 8:30 according to every other clock in the house.  It took a good sleepy minute and a cup of coffee for me to realise that the change had happened and of course my phone updates its own clock automatically… as it always does.  Since then, everything has just seemed a little hazy.  The baby’s sleep and eating schedule is off, it is light later… odd.

Today is Sunday, so it is long run day.  I have to say again that I love running in the country side.  You know you live in the country when you can find the answer to the riddle “why did the chicken cross the road” while you are out for a run:

Lille chickens

Chickens… and chopped up branches, fishing nets, barrels and folding chairs… I have no idea what is going on here.  See, weird day.

So the run continued and I had put on way to much clothes.  It was really windy but 10C so I could have just gone in a long sleeved shirt and 3/4 pants but it was so blustery that it was hard to know how much to put on.  I didn’t dare get stuck out away from the house with that wind kicking up off the fjord, so I opted for a long sleeved shirt, T-shirt and windbreaker, but knew I would have to strip some of it off at some point.  About half way through the run, I ran into a sheltered area and had to stop and take off my brand new shirt from Løbeshop.dk that I had bought in their sale and cram it into a pocket.

Red and new!

It turns out that it was good I did because shortly after that, it started pouring down rain and my lovely windbreaker couldn’t hold out the rain.  I had to stop…. again… and change my wet shirt for the dry one.  I was still 5km from home, but now I was cold, wet and ready for today to be over.

Despite the strangeness of the day and the weather, I managed to eek out my fastest half marathon time yet.

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I spent the rest of the day with the kids while Stretch made dinner.  My youngest is obviously a most impressive yogi when he sleeps and I think I spent a good half hour just admiring how sound and peacefully he can be.

Baby Yogi

But now I am kind of glad this strange day is over.  I never like resetting the clocks and the days that come just thereafter and today has just been too weird.  Time for a glass of wine and to wait for the real Easter vacation to start tomorrow.

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Weekend and Vacation

So, today marks my first vacation since I started my new job back in October.  I knew I was due, especially when I forgot my login credentials at work yesterday morning and had to ask someone from another department to look up my info for me and then later accidentally introduced myself as working for previous employer…. not good.

First item of business for the Easter Week, come home from work.  It has been a long week including late evenings every day, so I was not pleased when I saw this advert on my way home:

Poster

It says “if you come to Denmark, you have to work” and then “Tighter asylum rules and more demands on immigrants” and features the Prime Minister of Denmark.  Obviously a voting year… but as one of the highly educated, hard working immigrants in this country who has clearly done her part to combat the falling population problem AND pays a lot in taxes, I was miffed.  So was my equally qualified and hard working Danish husband.

Nå… (as the Danes would say) time to enjoy vacation.  This started with a couple of hours with my kids (who I hadn’t seen all week.  We immigrants have to work, you know).  My daughter took this as an open invite to do my hair.

Hair

Sorry for the poor lighting and quality.  I think my head was a bit sore and woozy after the hair style I was given.

Saturday was a lazy day for the most part.  A quick trip to Roskilde to buy coffee and then to the post office to pick up a package which contained my favourite thing – new running clothes.  You always run faster in new running clothes.  This of course means we had to take them out for a test drive.  Since tomorrow is a long run, we went out for only a very short run today – just to stretch our legs and get out of the house for a little while.

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Baby jogger and all… Stretch leading the way since he didn’t know I dropped back to take a picture of him.

This included a run down along Roskilde Fjord, which is always beautiful, even in the wind, rain and cold:

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And we ended the day in the best possible way – a Jensen family tradition – a brochette cook off!

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Even though we like to think it is a competitive cook off to see who comes up with the best recipe, we all know we are all winners as long as we get to eat a lot (chased by a bottle of wine).

As per the official cook off rules, all of today’s contestants were all served on the same ciabatta, which was pan roasted in olive oil and rubbed with a clove of raw garlic:

The Traditional: cherry tomatoes, shallot onions, garlic, fresh basil, salt and pepper

The Sweet Pig: fig jam, dry cured  pork and goat cheese

Peas in a Pod: ricotta, parmesan, watercress, fresh basil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Topped with a pea mash with chicken.

Next Race: BT Halvmarathon

The next race on my agenda is quickly approaching and given that it is the first race I have decided to run post baby, I am a bit nervous.  On April 26th, I will be running BT Halvmarathon, starting in Lyngby and ending in Nærum, Denmark. I have ran it once before and back in 2013, this was my second marathon and one of the last I completed before I got pregnant.

BT anno 2013
BT 2013

The route itself is really very beautiful, with the first half forming the shape of a bow around the city of Lyngby and then going straight North toward Nærum through a forested area.  Around kilometre 13 is a long, fairly steep hill which can come out of no where and kick you up the back of the head if you aren’t aware that it was there.  I saw plenty of people that had to walk the hill who had been keeping a good tempo up to that point.  Perhaps that’s the drawback to living in Denmark – there are very few hills here to train on before real races.

BT Halvmarathon route
BT Halvmarathon route

The race itself is exceptionally well organised and ends at a stadium which includes a pool and a fully equipped locker room for changing, showers, etc.  Overall, I was very happy that I ran this race last time.

Start area - from http://www.bthalvmarathon.dk
Finish area – from http://www.bthalvmarathon.dk

what is different this year is that i get to run it with my sister-in-law, who is running her first half marathon ever.  We have talked about it in the past, but she was first ready now.  I am a bit afraid though that she is in much better shape than me though, so she might be slowing down for me rather than me showing her the ropes! Training is going much better than I thought it would, although the whole family has been sidelined recently with colds and stomach flus.  I am crossing my fingers that I can go out for a long run tomorrow and get some more kilometres in my legs.

Honk Honk!

Sometimes, you come across an article that explains a problem so removed from your own experiences, that it shocks you a bit.  That just happened to me.  Just now.  I saw this article on Zelle/RunnersWorld.com and was amazed.  Jen A. Miller, a freelance journalist and runner has long been under attach for wearing what internet trolls are now calling whorepants.  In fact, it even has its own hashtag: #whorepants.  She gets yelled at on the street, touched, harassed online, so naturally, I was curious about what could outrage perfect strangers to where they feel the need to act in this completely unacceptable manner.

So let’s break it down.  What’s “whorepants”.  Leggings.  That’s it.  Jen had bought some in purple and apparently running around in completely appropriate running gear was like waving a red flag in front of a bull.  Is it the colour that got to them?  The sweet stretchy sweat wicking material? I don’t know.  Would a print make them extra whorish:

Well, then bright colours and print must make for champion super-duper whorepants:

No.  These pants are cool.  A fashion choice.  A tool for running.  Appropriate running clothing.  I want these pants.  They are noit an advert for sexual harassment!

I had a guy honk at me the other day.  It happens a couple of times a year and always on the same street.  That’s about the most aggressive I have ever experience anyone act toward me in Denmark while I have been out for a run.  Honk Honk – and he’s off.  The idea that woman have to deal with that kind of behaviour and then be blamed for it is beyond me and sounds like something that would have happened decades ago.  Amazing.