Sunday, July 23, 2006

Running in Central Europe

Budapest

Sunday, 07/09/06
Having explored it yesterday during a walk, I decided to run over to Margaret Island. Margaret Island is a large teardrop shaped piece of land in the middle of the Danube, Bridges connect it to both the Buda and Pest sides of the river. Although it is north of the hotel, I went south and then over the Elizabeth Bridge in order to run on the west / Buda side of the river, where there's a better running path.

After about 2.75 miles (24 minutes), I reached the island. It has a rubberized track around the perimeter. It's nice and soft – if anything, it’s too soft. But I’ll say it’s excellent running. I did two circuits of 3+ miles each in 24:50 and 23:45. I got home in another 22 minutes, so I'll call it a very long 12 miles in 94 minutes.

It was getting warm, and I pushed hard for it, but what a nice run!

Monday, 07/10/06
I decided that I should run towards the Vodafone office to make sure I knew where to walk to for work. It’s south, also here on the Pest side. I found it about 2 miles down. I went a bit past it, and then did a lot of back and forth running to determine the best path. I found some decent streets for walking, but there are some not-so-nice areas as well. Monday morning trash pickup was in full swing, so I had a fragrant run. Pretty slow going too – I’ll call it 10 in 85 minutes. Back to Margaret Island tomorrow.

Tuesday, 07/11/06
I did the same exact route as Sunday. It was only a degree or so cooler – about 70F or a bit above that, but I somehow managed to do it a minute and a half faster. To the island – 23:00, two loops on the island - 24:48, 23:18, then 21:14 back home. Tough, intense running. It’ll be interesting to see how well I can run when I get back.

Wednesday, 07/12/06
OK, last time for this route on this trip. Same one: Elizabeth Bridge, Buda side north, twice around Margaret Island, and back the same way. It was very warm once again, probably low 70s. It felt like I was running faster, but it came out about the same as yesterday: 92:30 for the long 12 miles. To the island – 23:13, two loops on the island – 25:10, 23:41, then 20:30 back home.

Prague

Friday, 07/14/06
Now in Prague, I took an exploratory run over to, and along the Vltava, known in English as the Moldau. Just made it to the central city, within sight of the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle before turning back. Call it 5 in 44.5.

Saturday, 07/15/06
What a run! Lost in Prague – what could be better? Haven’t been this lost in years. And I enjoyed every minute. Finally fell though – during that last mile. It was bound to happen after all those cobblestones. Call it 19 in 2:40. Good pace at first, then slowed.

Sunday, 07/16/06
Yet another extremely interesting run in Prague. Lost again. This time I went straight north, through Letenske Park, to Stromovska Park. I kept thinking it was Stromboli Park. Very good running in that park, but I got lost again. I ended up running along a canal and a river even further to the north. Headed back to the hotel and then out again with the camera to take some early morning pictures of Prague. Altogether 2:56 – call it 20.

Bucharest

Wednesday, 07/19/06
After two days off due to international travel, I just had to get out. I did two laps around the Palace of Parliament, one of the biggest buildings in the world. Each was about 2 miles – 15:14 and 14:20. Then I ran to, and around an adjacent park for 2 1-mile laps there – 8:56 and 7:30. Altogether 8 in 64. These routes are ok, and I avoid traffic, but I don’t like the pollution here.

For once I had some free time in the afternoon, so I went down to the hotel dreadmill and did some more. Set it at 0% incline and at 15km per hour, and did 8km, close to 5 miles in 32 minutes. Without the incline it felt easy, even though it was warm in there.

Thursday, 07/20/06
I started slowly today – my legs were a bit stiff from yesterday afternoon’s run. I ran around the neighborhood a bit, but then started doing loops around the palace again. As I hit the second loop, I started going much faster. This despite the fact that it was warmer (probably 70s) and that I was running on grass. My three loop times were: 15:33, 13:22, 13:14. Those latter two were much faster than yesterday. Altogether I’ll call it 8 in 63.

Friday, 07/21/06
I found myself running along the canal that bisects the city of Bucharest, and it wasn’t bad running at all. There was traffic along side me the whole way, but relatively few places where I had to cross over an intersection. I headed west for quite a ways and then back. I also went around the palace, and kept going, stumbling my way into the city center. It was fairly interesting as well, so I went back to get the camera in order to take a few pictures. Got one more of the palace, and some of me running in the park as well. Altogether 12 in 1:42.

I did 5 more on the hotel dreadmill in the afternoon. Same workout as Wednesday – 8km at 15km per hour. A bit tougher this time, but no holding on!

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