December 05, 2011

Ride/run with mom

I am still at my parents' in the Netherlands. At Sunday breakfast my mom asked how far I planned to run that day. So I told her 90 minutes, or about 18km.

She surprised me by saying she wanted to come with me by bike. My mom is 71. Like my dad, she is fit and active though her knees have curtailed her walking. These days she takes her bike to walk their dog Thara, who gets four outings a day.

Mom rugged up in a big jacket from Nike (where my sister worked for 13-odd years), a fleece from Whistler and a pair of comfy jeans, and we set out for our run/ride toward Kampen.

It was a beautiful winter day, last month was the driest since official record keeping began in 1906, according to the NOS. An average total of 9 millimetres fell in November 2011, compared with a usual 82mm. A year ago, the Netherlands was covered in a layer of snow.

We both enjoyed the ride, though on the way out the tailwind made sure I had to work hard to make sure she wouldn't have to ride too slow. It didn't seem like a particularly windy day, but the polder always surprises once you turn around; there's a good reason for the hundreds of modern windmills that mark its skyline.

We turned around at the same point as I did on my own a week ago, having reached it about 3 minutes sooner, and began the trip home. Now the wind levelled our pace. We chatted about everything and nothing, and arrived back home both happy with a great joined workout.

I hope she'll join me on another, shorter, of my runs this week if the weather allows. Then I'll make sure to get a picture.

Our run/ride brought my weekly mileage to about 50-52km, on track for the week as I slowly increase my mileage to start a daily running program on January 1.

The following day, Monday, was a rest day in terms of running. The thought crossed my mind that I will not have any soon, so I made sure to enjoy it. After we had breakfast, I joined my dad for the morning walk with Thara, their bearded collie.

Thara, 6, with my Dad
My dad, who is turning 70 this year, does most of the dog walking and covers at least 10km a day every day. That's at least 70km a week.

As we circled through the Wisentbos (the place where I got lost in thick fog the day after touching down in the Netherlands) we ran into most of the people and their dogs he comes across.

Thara is six, turning seven this month. This lovely gentle dog with a mop of blonde hair has been trained well by my parents. Rarely on leash on her outings, my parents have taught her to stop and sit at every road and bike path crossing.

She'll race ahead but wait until my parents catch up to her and reward her obedience with a small doggy biscuit. On the various routes my parents (dad in particular) reward her at the same, though not each, crossing every time.


Thara loves to play ball
Wisentbos, Dronten

1 comment:

Anna Jenkinson said...

Sounds like two lovely days and two active parents! Enjoy the rest of your time 'at home'. Anna.