Sunday, October 10, 2010
(Another) Rhapsody of Running in Romania
This is my fourth trip to Bucharest, so by now I know some of the best running routes. In some ways, they’re actually quite good, and in others, such as the dog aspect, not so great.
The parks are really wonderful, and there sure are a lot of them. On the minus side, most of these city parks are quite small, so I’ve got to run several loops. For example, it’s only a mile around the closest one, Parcul Izvor. One of the next closest ones, Parcul Carol, is only slightly bigger. Parcul Tineretului is the biggest one that’s anywhere close – I can get a couple miles when running around the lake and on the bike trail above the lake there. Of course the biggest minus is still the stray dogs. They are still a problem for any run through any and every park or neighborhood.
As usual, besides Parcul Izvor, I do a lot of loops around the Palatul Parlamentului. I managed to do two consecutive sub-13 minute 1.85 mile circuits of the palace the other day, so I can call it a tempo run. My loops around Izvor haven’t been so fast. Yet.
I have to run though scenic Parcul Carol to get to the also scenic Parcul Tineretului. I do this for my longer runs. It’s tough to beat Tineretului for good running. It’s big and hilly, with a decent sized lake, and lots of asphalt trails. I can get a lot of miles in there, as I do on my longer runs.
Saturday’s long run was a case in point, I did 4 1-mile loops around Izvor, then, as noted, went through Carol and over to Tineretului. There I ran around and around, finally figuring out how to make a complete circuit of the lake. That took about 14 minutes, but there was plenty more running to be had there. Altogether I was in the park for about an hour and forty-five minutes. The dogs in a run-down neighborhood on the way back spoiled my overall fun a bit, but it was a good one, all in all. I’m calling the entire run a twenty.
I figure that I’ve put on between five and ten pounds during the week I’ve been here. And my stay ain’t over yet. This does not bode well at all, not at all, for my upcoming Columbus Marathon. It usually takes me several days to get back to normal, and I won’t have several days. I’m now giving serious thought to doing the Inland Trail Marathon, and doing Columbus only as a training run.
To try to atone for my awful gluttony here, I did a second long run over the weekend. It had been a while since I’d run 40 miles over a weekend, but I sure felt like I needed the mileage this time. The second weekend long run didn’t go nearly as well as the first. I started slow and finished slower. Most of the miles were in Tineretului, whilst the last few were in Izvor – kind of the opposite of yesterday.
Addendum – For my last couple runs, I’ve been mostly running loops around the now familiar Parcul Tineretului, and especially around nearby Parcul Izvor. It’s fun to explore new areas, but I never run as fast when I’m doing so. Izvor appeals because it’s almost exactly a mile, and there are no major curbs to negotiate in the dark. Tuesday I managed to get down to tempo pace for three of these miles, followed by some other decent running half-loop (800m) pickups. Wednesday I explored Tineretului a bit more. I guess I got the miles in, so things could be worse.
For more on my running and daily life in Romania, check out this post from my 2009 trip, A Day in the Life. I think you will like it.
And for more general information on my travel adventures to Romania, see my travel blog entry.
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