On the 17th of May 1814, Norway was finally able to escape the claws of Denmark and get our own constitution. Full disclosure, the first Constitution dudn’t exactly grant any rights for either women or the poor, but at least it was the start of something great, our path towards our modern democracy.
So therefore, on the 17th of May each year, in rain, sun, wind and even in rate occasions snow, Norwegians celebrate our Constitution. In the morning all cities have their own parade of schoolchildren and in the afternoon there is another parade for all ages. Both parades with lots of Norwegian flags of course.
We are usually involved in both of these parades, and in between we have assisted with activities and cake sale at junior’s school which is located in the city center. It is a tradition and we always are eager to participate, but the drawback of almost everyone being in the city center at once is of course queues everywhere.
This yeat, both Junior and I were tired after a stressful period, so we decided to run away for the day and do a stay-over at the hotel next to Kristiansand Zoo. So, today we have celebrated our constitution day peacefully with all the animals and a small group of other visitors. After some hours in total tranquility there, we went bach to the hotel for a buffet dinner before retiring to the room. Tomorrow after breakfast we are visiting the aqua park in connection to the zoo before heading back home.
So, to sum up: A perfect day in perfect animalistic company and with a perfect buffet dinner to close it all up❤️
Finally, after a seemingly never ending winter, it is possible to sit outside with only one layer of clothes without risking frostbites. One hour in the sun with a good book was all I needed to feel relaxed and stress free.
This morning (or rather last night..) I had to get up at 4 AM to drive someone to the airport, which is way too early even for me. After mission was accomplished I strugglee for a bit between the choices of either go back to bed or to go for a jog in the park. I am so giving my back an imaginary pat for choosing the latter option and it felt really good to be done with the jog-of-the day before 7 AM.
For the first couple of rounds of the 1.2 km course, it was completely dark and not at all that fun being in the park alone, with only a few ducks to keep me company. After a while, however, the sun started to appear, and so did other earlybirds, and the powerful sunrise made the rest of my run rather magical.
With my 44 years I am one of the last generations to have had an analogue childhood but who is now more or less struggling with re-branding ourselves in the new digital world. We are talking about Generation X, those who are born between 1960-1980.
In this series of posts I will revisit some of the elements from the oast, and I will start with…. birth
A hot August day in 1974, my pregnant mom was dropped off at the hospital stairs by my dad on his way to work. There she was left on her own with a midwife from hell who traumatized her to the level that my mother was a complete wreck when I was pregnant 32 years later (so bad that she needed to meet my midwife to make sure I was in good hands). I mean, she was constantly yelling at the poor woman and actually tried to force me out by placing her very generous body weight on my mothers pregnant belly.
This was of course back in the days where smoking was allowed everywhere, so most likely the whole hospital was engulfed in heavy sigarette smoke. Probably the reason I didn’t want to leave the comfort of the womb voluntarily, but had to be dragged out with pliers.
My first meeting with my big brother
A couple of days later, I was brought home from the hospital (which literally was across the street, like 200 meters away) to meet my brother. The first meeting was, however, not exactly a great såsuccess. Being used to getting all the attention, my brother at the age of 18 months, was not willing to share his privileges. The result was that instead of a warm welcome and a hug, I got a slap in the face with the message that he did NOT want a little sister. Luckily his hostility did not last for long and he grew up to be quite protective of his little sister.
Currently Norwegians are entitled to 49 weeks of parental leave with full pay, or 59 werks with 80% pay. One of the world’s best atrangements, but still some are complaining saying that it is bordering child abuse to send your kid to kindergarten before the age of 3. Back in the 70’ies, the whole concept of parental leave was unknown and the mere thought of the daddy spending quality time with the little diaper-bearing creature was unthinkable (even though that in my case my father made up for the lost time, with interest, later on). My mother had the option of unpaid leave or giving up her job. She chose the last one and spent the next few years at home with us children.
There is a long way from the pedagogic kindergartens of today to the more or less detention centers we had back in the days. I hated that my mom went back to work, something that meant me and my brother having to spend several hours in a terrible place where we had to stay outside in all weather conditions and where we were hardly allowed to go inside to use the bathroom. Possible this is an unfair description of the conditions, but hey I was like 4-5 years old and this is all I remember.
We often hear statements saying “everythingwas better in the good ol’ days”, but I dare argue that at least I prefer the modern world of paid parental leave, the pedagogic fundamented kindergartend and the amicable and warm midwives we have today.
So let us be thankful and let us not take our privileges for granted…
I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of pure happiness I get by seeing the final remains of snow rapidly melting away. Nothing beats waking up to sun and temperatures above the freezing level; not having to shovel snow or scraping the car windows for ice. Spring is FINALLY here, and I LOVE it!
But, let us not get totally crazy yet… The sun still has a job to do. It’s not like I am going to shed any of my three layers lf clothing quite yet, but despite the cold wind, today was a pretty good start. I even left my hat and gloves in the car when I went for my morning-jog, so how crazy am I?
OK, so the plan after Tokyo Marathon was to just throw in the towel, call it a quits and just burn my running shoes and start fresh with another sport where I at least have a trace of talent. But, during the maaaany hours, soaking wet, in the rainy streets of Tokyo got me thinking…
I mean, wouldn’t it be nice for once being a bit mote prepared than a lousy 15 km before a marathon? That would be new, right? To have time for more longruns, not to be in incruciating pain for the last 30 Km, being dragged half unconcious away from the finishing line (clutching my medal, of course…). So, from nearly raising the white flag I have done a 360 and am now not only aiming for my 14th marathon, but I am also aiming for a personal best within the next 2 years.
Whether I’ll make it or not is still uncertain, but after reading about 70 year old Gene Dykes who rushed through a marathon in 2:54:23, I am at least not concerned about age being a risk factor. I should still have a few good years left before the decay engulfs me completely.
After finalizing my goal, I started with a couple of days with rest. To my defence, it was due to me having to paint an apartment and assemble junior’s gaming chair and desk (which is quite time consuming when you ate all thumbs). Tomorrow, however, I will start my journey towards a personal best, so wish me luck..
Alas, so the great Abbott World Marathon Majors-adventure has come to an end. Or, at least to a pause; the rumor is that they are actually expanding from 6 to 8 or 9 marathons within short. When decided, we of course will need to run these, so that we can maintain or status as Abbott 6/8/9 Star Finishers.
But while waiting for this, I have made a bucket list of the marathon I would really like to wog/run. Prior to Tokyo Marathon I had more or less decided to just complete there and then burn my running shoes in firm belief that I would never be a runner. Now, however, I am not that sure… Or, I am quite sure I will never be a runner, but maybe I should aspire for being the best wogger I can be? I have completed 13 marathons, but I have never really been prepared (meaning enough long runs before the race). When you are aiming for a 42,2 km, it isn’t sufficient with 30-45 minute sessions. I was, for not foreseeable reasons, not able to do any long runs prior to our travel to Tokyo, so I was only able to do a 15km. Since I lasted about 18 km, I feel that I have some improvement potential if I can only get some more long-runs.
To boost my motivation to become a better runner/wogger, I have created a bucket list of marathons I would like to participate in.
1. Honolulu Marathon
Honolulu Marathon is scheduled for December each year, which brings a temperature equal to a wonderful Norwegian summer. A bit too hot for some, maybe, but for a frozen wogger, is just perfect. Ever since I spent a few weeks on Honolulu 12 years ago, I have wanted to return, so why not kill 2 birds with one stone and do a marathon while I am there?
The advantage of Honolulu Marathon is that it is not that difficult to secure a start number, meaning the cost will mostly be just air fare and hotel. If you don’t want the hazzle of booking by yourself, you can book a complete package from a travel agent. The course is mostly flat, but with some rough places between 10 and 15 km and between 35 and 40 km.
2. Great Wall Marathon
The Great wall has an amazing and I have been quite fascinated with it since I was a kid. The Great Wall Marathon is considered a tought course and you will have to conquer over 5000 steps along the way! Fortunately you have an 8 hours time limit, but you need to have passed 34 km in 6 hours in order to be allowed to complete. Step practice anyone?
The race is in May each year and I have seen that e.g. Albatros Adventure Marathons sells complete travel packages that includes a start number.
3. Paris Marathon
I know nothing about Paris Marathon other than that it is in April each year and that the finishing line is on top of Champs Elysses . That is all the reasons I need in order to include this marathon on my bucket list (hey, we are talking about “The City of Love” here!). It should be fairly easy to secure a start number on your own, but you can also do it through a travel agent.
The course looks a bit scruffy and ends with a slow slope up Champs Elysses.
4. Praha Marathon
Prague is an amazing city I never grow tired of; fantastic architecture, a rich cultural life, delicious foods and cheap beer. I mean, what is not to like, so why not go “all in” and throw a marathon into the mix as well?
Prague Marathon is in May every year and the course takes you through both the old and new parts of the city, including crossing the Charles Bridge. The time limit is cosy 7 hours, so here you can really combine easy jog with sightseeing. I am not sure if any of the Norwegian travel agents are offering Prague Marathon, but it should be fairy easy to secure a start number on your own.
5. Medoc Marathon
So, last but not least, Medoc Marathon. This marathon is known for its runners’ costumes (this year’s theme is: Super Heros) and the fact that you run through vines and that all drinking stations supply wine. Official time limit is 6:30, but sometimes they extend this limit since many of the runners are starting to get wine happy.
The program is set and shuttles will bring you to and front the start/finisher area, so it should be OK to arrange everything on your own. Me, however, think I would like to prefer to book the trip through e.g. Springtime.
So, this was my bucket list. Do you guys have any suggestions that should be included in the list? If so, feel free to comment below..