Sunday, 12 November 2017

Running against myself

We didn't travel to today's race. I think it was a wise decision.

The weather forecast for the area was not the best.

Driving for an hour and a half on  3-lane roads, the sort with 'coroner's corridors', over hills and dales in the darkness, passing  through accident 'black spots' facing the fuzzy glare of oncoming headlights with the rain pelting down is not a great idea. We joined friends for a meal instead.

But the day was not lost.

After a light breakfast, and wearing my 'fast' shoes, I ventured into a light drizzle and caught the tram to my destination, where I ran the hilly multi-terrain 7.5 kms I had managed a week ago in 46:00 minutes.

Today's elapsed time was 44:30 minutes.

I was very satisfied with the 1:30 secs. improvement. And what's more, I feel there's more improvement to come.

The thought crossed my mind later on, that I had been in a race of sorts - albeit a race against myself.

And won.

It's a good feeling.

Monday, 30 October 2017

After the Storm into the Woods

Violent storms respect no man's fences. Yesterday's storm was no exception. I photographed two downed trees and one flattened fence on my way to the woods. 

To be seen in the sky the last traces of the storm such as this dark cloud which produced a sprinkling of fine hailstones. I had on my lightweight windproof jacket and cap. The chilly breeze and the few minutes of hail were not a problem. 

I met an old soldier, an ancient oak tree which had fallen aside the path during a major storm many years ago.  

The sun came out to play at intervals. I followed my nose and my instincts. There was no fixed plan to this run. 

I met a frog with an umbrella.

Running wild. Free. Listening to the body. No fixed plan. No need of a watch or a map. Just going along. A curious animal. In the woods. In touch with Gaia.

It's fun. It's a pleasant diversion.  It's a natural thing to do.

Great for the heart and soul. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Progress, and then some.

Yesterday morning was showery and cool. I wrapped up well and was able to run for 40 minutes before the first twinges made their presence felt in my right calf. A couple of stretches and a deep massage with my thumbs, followed by several speedy bursts using my longest strides and some brisk walking took me safely to the end of the 10 kms course without further problems. No after effects today. It's a good feeling.

That was Sunday.

Today is Wednesday and I've been out testing the leg again. This time the training session included a warm up, a quickish run up and down a hilly trail, and a gentle jog and walk to warm down. The important middle bit comprised a 5.8 kms loop incorporating a 200 meter ascent and descent. This part of the training session was completed in 38 minutes and importantly without any adverse reaction from the injury sustained just over 4 weeks ago.

May the recovery continue!

Saturday and another little test. 8kms park run. No twitches or twinges in the injured calf muscle. I've decided to give myself the 'all clear'. Normal training now resumes.

In Italy a friend of mine (Group M60) successfully ran the Venice Marathon yesterday.  A post race photo shows him relaxed and delighted.

A Eurosport Italia video (50 secs) (YouTube / Venezia Maratona 2017) highlights an organizational cock-up - several elite runners accompanied by motorcycle outriders on a main road miss the exit to Venice. The winner was a local man (originally from Eritrea) in 2 hrs 12 mins.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Used Shoes as Objets d'Art

Objets d'Art at Venezia's Art Biennale 2017

Thursday, 5 October 2017

New shoes for old legs

These new running shoes are called Saucony Triumph ISO S20262-1. Launched in early 2015 they retailed for $150 in the US and €155 here (according to a quick search on Google).

I also discovered they are a Runner's World Magazine Editor's Choice for March 2015.

The pair you see here were on offer for €60 in a high street store in a medium sized town not far from Vienna. I tried them on and they were a perfect fit.

It pays to shop around.

Yesterday I took them for a training run on the Via Slavorum. 

The effects of my recent physio session were to be expected and something 'popped' in my calf!

I had a rest and a drink after 45 minutes.

My run took me through the village of Salmansdorf where I spotted a plaque on a wall which related the origin of the name. It was here in 1529 that Suleiman the Magnificent, as I think he's called, plotted his strategy for the downfall of Vienna.

The next picture is to be found on the wall of a bakery in the area and shows the Ottoman goal - the city of Vienna and the spire of St. Stephen's cathedral within striking distance.

The Turks were eventually defeated with the help of various Christian armies. Had Vienna fallen to the Turks in 1529 or later in 1683 Europe as we know it would not exist today.