Test run and re-start

Short recap: I got my knee injured last year in March, got surgery last October and have not run for 13 months. It’s been boring and demotivating not to be able to run! 

So finally today I decided to go for a test run. It was a perfect spring day, and I went for a very short run with my daughter. I really enjoyed her company and her support. We stretched, ran, and by the end of it I walked back home. I would rather be too careful than risk not being able to run at all again. 

The test went quite well, in that my knee seems ok. At least it’s not worse. I would like to have a short run every other day for the next week and see how I’m doing. 

I hope all goes well and I can re-start my running. I have lowered my ambition level; it’s not about half or full marathons for me anymore: all I want is to do really is be able to run – even if only shorter distances – for the rest of my life. 

This little fellow came by the garden the other day – this is one of the reasons that I love where I live. 

Have a nice run everyone! 



Arthroscopy and the way back

I have not run since March due to an injury on my right knee – and it has been tough on both body and mind. I did not manage to practice other alternatives, like swimming, cycling or cross-training on a regular basis either.

My knee aches increased overtime and even mild walking activity or taking the stairs became painful. The surgeon decided it was time to take a closer look at my knee, so I finally got surgery on October 10th. I was reassured that it was minor surgery and I was not to worry. “A piece of cake” as the anaesthesiologist said before sending me to sleep for a couple of hours.

Details about the procedure can be found here

Fortunately my good friend drove me to and from the hospital and was there to calm my nerves. The arthroscopy went fast and the surgeon seemed happy with the result, so hopefully I’m on my way back from here.

It’s been 2 days since the surgery so I am doing the prescribed exercises and trying to avoid pain killers. I would rather be able to feel my knee and whether there is progress. I hope the knee heals well so I can be mobile again.

I started running to be healthy. In my eagerness to achieve the next running goals, I neglected my body’s signals and damaged my knee. I think I have learned from this experience and hopefully will be able to avoid a similar situation in future.

I am so looking forward to going for a walk in the woods with my family when I’m well again. It’s beautiful autumn weather and I can’t wait to experience it with my kids.

Have a great week and a great run out there!


Great vacation, terrible shape!

In a few hours, my family and I will be heading back to Denmark after a wonderful long vacation.

If you have never visited the Basque Country in Spain and France, I highly recommend the region. I am born in Bilbao and have family and friends in the area so naturally I am biased. But thousands of visitors will tell you that they come to enjoy our landscape & nature, our coasts and charming villages, our ancient culture, our gastronomic traditions, etc.

I read that 70.000 tourists visit the Basque Country every year to surf, and this trend is growing. We have world class waves in beaches like Zarautz or Mundaka.

People from all over the world visit the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. I personally find the building itself truly impressive. I appreciate that precisely this building came to represent a new beginning for the heavily polluted and industrialized city that I grew up in.

Today Bilbao’s center is beautiful and clean, and the City has become residential with its restored buildings and facades.

Besides spending time in Bilbao, San Sebastián (Donostia) and Pamplona, we visited the cozy coastal towns of San Jean-de-Luz, Hendaye, Plentzia, Mundaka, etc. We walked to see the sights from San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a chapel at sea from the late 19th century.

A small note on our visit to Pamplona. The city’s festivities involve different traditions besides the running of the bulls or the corridas, which I certainly do not support. I oppose violence or abuse against animals. I recently met a German friend who specifically asked what my views were on bullfighting and I wrote a post about it. If you are interested, the full post in Spanish is here

The only downside I can think of in connection with the vacation is that I have indulged in the wonderful local food and wines but have done no exercise at all. This has resulted in an even worse shape. My knee injury still prevents me from running, but a fellow blogger has suggested that I swim and I have decided to put it into my schedule.

Do you take a break from running while on vacation? What’s your record in weigh increase after a lazy vacation period? What have you done to get back to your healthy routines and stick to them afterwards?





The Neverland of Facebook

As one of my Facebook contacts pointed out last night, her wall “is often filled with substantial posts, or the opposite, or something in between”. You find all sorts of things on Facebook, that’s a truth I can’t refute.

I had commented quite categorically that “one should not search for substance on Facebook”. In my experience, substantial information is for the most posted as a link on Facebook. So FB becomes a means of distribution, not the source of substance itself.

In general terms, I find the private use of FB mainly turns the platform into a Neverland; a symbol for childhood (or childlessness) , immortality and escapism. I would say that the instant recognition of the likes appeals to the child within us, that we seek to immortalize ourselves through the documentation of happy moments or deep thoughts, and that we try to escape reality, boredom or our daily chores by constantly checking what new status updates have come up on our wall.

We post everything on Facebook, what we are proud of, what makes us happy, sad, angry, etc. For the most, we fail to realize that our posts are like a cry into the wind that has very limited relevance to anyone but ourselves. Even when realizing this, we post anyway, because as the ad goes, “we’re worth it”.

Among others, Facebook is the land of make-believe, of self-promotion and self-staging. Danish journalist Heidi Vesterberg has written a good reflection about self-staging on FB. Here is Heidi’s post in Danish

She argues that we have always tried to present our better side, like we do on FB today. And that we still have the ability to see through the falseness of it. I agree that it’s human to present our better side in a social context, but I would argue that the reach of social media is unprecedented and actually changes our social behavior. So that the nature of our interactions, our conversations, our opinions are affected by the media we use. And thereby also their content and substance. We’re all busy checking what we missed out on in the last five minutes. Mass consumerism has taken over our personal relations too.

Don’t get me wrong; I like Facebook as much as I dislike it. It is a useful tool, and not even the reprehensible fact that Facebook experiments with its users without their knowledge or consent has stopped me from having an active profile.

But I do resent the effect that FB has on me. I resent using too much time on irrelevant information from people that I seldomly see or that I see everyday, quick fix articles of the type: “5 reasons why you should quit doing this or that”, and I resent that I keep coming back for more.

So whenever I feel that I’ve had enough of it, I take a break, and deactivate my profile for a while. I can then put my time to better use on other media which I feel is more agreeable. And then there is “downtime”. Time without internet connection. Scary. Might have to do that more?

Do you feel you have sufficient “downtime” away from social media? Do you also have mixed feelings regarding FB or other social media platforms?



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Bli en stjärna på digital marknadsföring. 7 prylar att göra efter semestern.

Originally posted on Digital marknadsföring - Katarina Jönsson:

Hur ska jag göra vårt företag bättre på digital marknadsföring? Strategier och marknadsplaner sätter mål och affärsfokus, men hur omsätter du det i praktiken? Vad blir den digitala taktiken?

Hanna Kastås, strateg på byrån Bazooka, tipsar om att göra följande 7 punkter:
(Se videon från hennes seminarium i Almedalen)

  1. Ta digitalt på allvar!

    De flesta på marknads- och kommunikationsavdelningar vet att digital närvaro och aktivitet är viktig. Missionera om det för alla avdelningar på företaget. Se till att ledningen får lära sig varför det är viktigt att göra digitalt till ett prioriterat område.

  1. Studera användarens resa och curla!

    Lär dig hur användarna av din webbplats, app, facebooksida mm upplever sin vistelse där. Känns det lätt att använda verktygen? Fattar man vad man ska göra? Kommer man till avslut (anmäler sig, köper något, kontaktar en säljare)? Se till att hitta hindren och ta bort dem. Förbättra, testa och förbättra…

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When life calls for offline presence

Being one of those people for whom online and offline presence are indissolubly merged into one, the thought that offline life has a higher value or is more “real” does not really resound with me.

To me online presence is just as real as physical presence. It provides me with a means to communicate, to document, to relax. To virtually spend time together with my parents and sisters who live thousands of kilometers away. To follow the lives of aunts and cousins. To be in touch with old school friends. To learn, to share, to discover. I remember how life was before the internet, and it was a poorer existence.

Nevertheless, there are times where life calls for more offline and less online presence.

The past 3 weeks have been like that. My very dear friend and my children’s grandma passed away. Thankfully all her family had the opportunity to see her and say goodbye, and this is a great comfort. But the grief of having lost a loved one hits sometimes. That realization that we will not see each other soon is painful. At the same time I feel so grateful that she was a part of our lives, and have countless fond memories of our many years of friendship to remember.

The passing of Hanne coincided with my starting in a new position at work. I might have underestimated how demanding it is to start a new job even in the same organization. My brain is filled up with new information and there are no established processes or routines for me yet – it’s all new. So coming home in the evening I can barely do anything else than sit and stare after a long day at work.

Finally, the knee injury has meant that I have not been running for weeks. I had all sorts of good intentions to do some other type of exercise but I did not pull through. It seems that running is about the only thing I am really willing to do. For now, I just feel (and look) heavy.

As a consequence, my energy levels have been very low lately. I have had difficulties sleeping at night. No appetite for blogging, just trying to prioritize the necessary and put everything else on stand by.

Regarding my knee, I hoped that resting for 3 weeks would help. I went out for a very short test run of 2 kms yesterday. I must still be careful and pay attention to my knee, the way my feet land on the ground, my breathing…but I was pleased that it worked out ok.

Hopefully by being careful and starting from scratch I will get my running back on track.

After all, spring is here, and this is the perfect time for running!

Have a wonderful week and a good run



Glorious desserts

Don’t you agree that half of the pleasure of eating a great dessert is its presentation?

The dessert itself need not be over complicated before it is a feast for the eyes and the senses.

Whether it is a light fruit sorbet with liquorice powder, a delicious pannacotta with nuts or a merengue cloud covered with whipped cream and topped with berries, or just a latte and a biscuit, it’s all about taking the time to look, smell, taste and enjoy every bite.

Have a nice run and a nice day!


The longest distance


Last Sunday’s run was special, beyond the fact that it was the first time that I ran 12 kms. I ran with someone and for someone else.

My life partner accompanied me. He has now officially become my coach and agreed to run with me once a week, and bicycle beside me on the longer runs. His presence is a huge support on longer distances. So it’s goodbye to being a lone runner (at least twice a week).

I dedicated my running effort to one of my loved ones, and that was the reason that I managed to pull through and did not stop at km 9. I know my running will unfortunately not cure her, but somehow it helps me to process the sorrow, impotence and loss that I feel. I have decided to engage myself in public runs that have a charitable purpose or raise money for cancer research. If I’m going to run, it might as well be useful to someone else.

I have never run with music and I try to practice “mindful running”. I focus on my breathing and how my body reacts. Sometimes it feels like giving birth. When the physical effort requires so much focus and endurance that you are immersed in a bubble.

I had a sense of achievement and progress after the 12 kms. I even started believing that the HM on April 27th was doable. But the bad news is that I have not been able to run for a week and I think I have injured my right knee.

This is quite a set back, so I am redefining my most inmediate goals and I am cautious about pushing myself. I think I have to take one week at a time.

As long as I cannot run, I plan to do some cross training and yoga. I will need to be disciplined about it, as it’s not part of my routine right now and can easily be neglected in the course of a hectic week. I have to make it a priority, as I would with running. I hope that will help me keep a bit of endurance for when I am able to run again.

Oh, and maybe I should also work on these excercises

Painful knees? Check out these excercises

Do you run for a good cause? Have you had knee injuries? How did they affect your training plans and what did you do to recover?

Running and the end of zapping


I have been taking everyday pictures of my running activity and healthy endeavors, wanting to share them with you. I am fortunate enough to live close to the city but still have beautiful natural surroundings and even wildlife in my garden every now and then. Some days ago we had Mr. Fox on a visit. Unfortunately I have been a bit short of time (and inspiration) to write lately.

After a disappointing couple of months running wise, I am back on the saddle, trying not to lose my training focus and keeping up with your stories. I find there are so many positive messages in the posts I follow, they make me in a good mood, thank you for sharing.

You know, I have noticed that I am better at making conscious choices and prioritizing my spare time than I was before I started running. This is true regardless of the quality of my training.

“Killing time” in front of the TV does not really happen to me anymore. I am not even watching the news. I choose Netflix and read online news. I do not stay up late, as I want my body to rest and be ready to run. I drink more water. I am generally more relaxed and focused.

So this is still a happy story for me, even though there are 3 areas that I want to deal with where I can see important room for improvement:

1. Learning about running techniques and trying to avoid injuries
2. My eating habits and resulting weight
3. Seeking training support (coaching)

More to come on these three subjects on upcoming posts.

Have a great run!