Saturday, July 4, 2015

Running on my Honeymoon

Running and traveling are my passions; and thankfully, I have a wonderful wife that enjoys seeing the world and cheering me as I race.  Being able to combine my passions to run while on our honeymoon made this trip so much more special.  I was able to explore areas that the average tourist doesn't visit or places that didn't interest Laura.

Since I hadn't been to most of the cities (and hadn't run in any of them), I planned my long runs so that I would only have to do one abroad.  The Friday we left, I awoke especially early to get a long run in along the C&O trail, shower at my gym near work, then head to a breakfast on the Hill.  I knew that when we arrived in Reykjavik on Saturday, I likely would not have a chance for a run, since it was a flight traveling overnight.  As it turned out, it worked well that it was a scheduled off day.  That first day, we were exhausted when we arrived, and the hotel was nice to let us check in around 9AM.  We went right to bed!

On Sunday, I didn't have a running agenda, so I took to trying to find the path around Reykjavik that my contact, Hildur, mentioned at drinks the previous night.  After about a mile, I was able to connect with the trail and run around the coast, looking out at the sea and glaciers and mountains.  It was a cold run - in the 40s - and I was dressed as if I were running in DC in the winter with a ski cap, long pants, and windbreaker.
A cold run in May in Reykjavik
Along the running path and the Sea in Reykjavik

The way our travel was scheduled, we had a flight on Monday around 1:00 AM local time to Paris and then a flight to Barcelona after a layover of couple of hours, so I was doubtful I'd have a chance to run Monday.  But, Laura wanted to rest after we checked in, giving me about an hour to run what became the first of a few scouting runs.  Having no idea of where to run, I took a chance and ran through the Gothic Quarter (we stayed right by the Gothic Cathedral), toward the Mediterranean Sea, and turned right.  That took me toward the dock where many cruises ships were, gave me a great view of Montjuic, and I ran over a bridge that let me look upon the city.  I retraced my steps when I ran out of road and ended up at the beginning of a boardwalk.  Nearing the end of my allotted time, I made a note that the boardwalk would be the way to proceed for future runs.

The Gothic Cathedral in Barcelona

For Tuesday's run, I skipped the part where I could have gone back by Montjuic, instead staying completely on the boardwalk.  It was a very scenic run along the Mediterranean Sea, sunny with a breeze - not too hot.

My coach penciled me in for a fartlek speed workout on Wednesday, so I was able to run 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 minutes with equal running rest.  On my way back, I noticed police tending to a man on the beach.  Given the lack of urgency, I think he was already dead, but I couldn't tell anything else.  I was pleased with myself for getting in my scheduled workout.

On our last full day in Barcelona, I went for another beautiful run on the boardwalk.  Toward the end, I walked into the Sea, dipping my feet for a few waves, before washing off my feet at the shower on the beach.  Barcelona was good to me as a place to run safely on scenic paths where other runners, cyclists, and foot traffic enjoyed themselves.

The boardwalk of the beach in Barcelona

I wasn't sure I would have an opportunity to run on our first day in Lisbon.  When we arrived midmorning, our room wasn't yet ready, so Laura and I walked toward the historic area by the river.  It was about a mile from our hotel down towards the busy tourist area.  When we came back in the afternoon, she wanted to rest, giving me a solid hour to scout the area for where I would run.  I ran down the famous Avenida da Liberdade and took a right when I hit the river.  After a couple of miles, I realized that there was construction and wasn't entirely sure where to continue my run, so I turned around.  Had I realized I could have run to Belem safely, I likely would have, but there was plenty of road for runners and cyclists marked apart from traffic in the other direction.

Running past the Lisbon fishermen

While Saturdays are usually my long run, I switched to Sunday to accommodate our travel schedule.  Instead of the long run, I ran an eight mile out and back down the Avenida da Liberdade and took a left at the plaza where I found plenty of space to run along the river.  Since I was to do fartlek and couldn't figure out the best stretch of run, I decided to run the last mile up the hill at marathon pace effort pace - which ended up being a 7:20 up the steep incline - instead of striders. That is some hill that makes up Avenida da Liberdade!

The river run in Lisbon

For my final run in Lisbon, it was time for my long run.  My schedule had a tempo-long-tempo of 3 miles warm up, 3x2K at 6:30 pace with a two minute standing rest between sets, a 45 minute run, then repeat the 3x2K, and finish with 3 mile cool down.  Since I was on vacation (after all) and didn't have that kind of time, I subtracted a mile each from the warm up and cool down and a repeat from each set.  It turned out fine as a 2 mile warm up; 2x2K @ 6:30 w/2 minute rest (8:11/8:05); 45 minutes @7:30 for 6 miles; 2x2K (8:03/8:02); and finished with a 2 mile cool down. The first 2 miles were down Avenida da Liberdade making the final two up hill. On my way towards the bridge, there was a head wind that turned into a tail wind on return.  I wish I had more time and miles to run to explore further along the river - it was a pretty area to run!

As far as I ran in Lisbon

I took an off day!  It turned out this would be my last off day in over a month as I tried "active recovery" on Sundays when back in the States, which I kept up until my taper and with two weeks to go until Mad Marathon.

For our final city, I set out early in the morning and ran along the Seine.  Starting at the Eiffel Tower, I ran past Notre Dame on the Right Bank and circled back on the Left Bank.  I accidentally ended up on an area that wasn't hospitable to running along the river where mostly commuters traveled into the city, but I corrected that and finished my run.  Paris is a city with a lot of foot traffic, and as early as I was running, there were many others with the same idea of getting their fitness in early.
The Louvre in the morning pre tourists
In December of 2010 on my way home from Berlin, I had a 17 hour layover in Paris.  Rather than waste it at the airport, I took the train into the city and walked around the city all night.  Arriving by Notre Dame at 5PM on a Sunday, I walked into the historic church during mass.  After touring through, I walked along the Seine down towards the Eiffel Tower where I stopped for dinner and wine.  Then, I continued by heading up towards the Arch de Triumph, enjoyed dessert and more wine along Champs Elysees, walked by the Louvre and the Pantheon, tried to find the Bastille, and finished back at Notre Dame around 5AM.  I didn't stay in a hotel - I enjoyed the city by myself that cold December night.  For my first run in Paris, I tried my best to recreate that route.
A DC Road Runner on Champs Elysees
My final workout in Europe for this trip was a fartlek.  It was scheduled to be 4, 3, 2, 1 miles, but I made the call along with my coach to move that workout to enjoy vacation.  The fartlek worked out well.  The only mistake I made was to run my five minute segment along a section by the Seine that was on cobblestone.  The rest of the timed intervals went smoothly, albeit some into the wind.  If I was on when I hit a crossing of the street, I'd turn right and head over the bridge and run another loop.  That turned out to work well as I never had to stop for traffic and added the correct amount of distance.  The run was two miles warm up then 5, 4, 3, 4, 3, 2, 3, 2, 1 (80/6:15; .65/6:10; .51/5:59; .67/6:01; .50/6:04; .34/5:53; .50/6:04; .35/5:50; .18/5:40) with equal rest followed by two miles of cool down.

Under the Arch de Triumph

I had an idea for this run that was a better idea in my head than it turned out to be practically.  I ran from the Eiffel Tower to Kleber to La Defense back down Champs Élysées to Place Concorde and back along the Seine.  My original idea was to run out to the other arch that you can see from the Arch de Triumph, yet I hit a point where I couldn't find a safe route to run.  I improvised the rest of the run.

Champs de Mars view of the Eiffel Tower during the French Open

My final run in Paris - until next time anyway!  I ran along the Seine taking a few more pictures.  What an amazing trip and everyplace had safe and beautiful running and cycling paths.  Below is my log, which includes my long run in New Jersey on 5/31/15.

A copy of the torch from the Statue of Liberty

Here is my log:

Chain Bridge on C&O O&B192:13:457:21950s some wind and humidity but pleasantLast run in the States.  Had to get in a long run on a Friday.  3 warm up; 13 at tempo; 3 cool down. 7:40/29/30/6:58/53/57/58/54/55/5550/51/46/44/42/38/7:19/23/21
OFF:Traveled to Reykjavik
Reykjavik Run121:39:168:161240s and some windBeautiful run around Reykjavik. Amazing how the sun barely sets here in late spring.
Barcelona Scouting Run6.50:56:008:376.570sRan around 4PM
Barcelona Boardwalk8.51:08:458:58.5Sunny and pleasant 60s w/sea breezeBeautiful run along the boardwalk
Dead Man Fartlek121:30:157:3112Sunny and pleasant 60s w/sea breezeRan 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 with equal rest on the boardwalk. 2mi wu/cd. Saw a dead man on the beach as police tended to him. 1 - 6:05/.17 2 - 6:09/.33 3 - 5:58/.5 4 - 5:57/.67 5 - 6:05/.82 4 - 6:04/.66 3 - 6:22/.47 2 - 6:01/.33 1 - 5:13/.19
Barcelona Boardwalk9.51:12:457:399.5Great weather, 60s and sunny!Another beautiful run on the boardwalk. Dipped my feet in the Mediterranean after eight miles.
Lisbon Scouting Run60:51:478:386Nearly 80 with a breeze but it felt refreshing.Ran in the PM from my hotel at the top of the Avenida da Liberdade down to the old town and boardwalk down next to the river.
Lisbon River Run81:01:257:41860s with a slight breezeSolid effort and last mile up hill at marathon pace effort 7:20 instead of striders. That is some hill that makes up Avenida da Liberdade!
Lisbon River Park O&B TLT15.11:50:477:201560s and decent2 mile warm up; 2x2K @ 6:30 w/2 minute rest 8:11/8:05; 45 minutes @7:30 for 6 miles; 2x2K 8:03/8:02; 2 mile cool down. First 2 miles were down hill. Next 5.5 until turn around were into the wind and then wind at back until last two miles up hill.
OFF:Travel to Paris and planned off day
Paris Sightseeing Tour10.51:18:157:2710.550s and refreshingBeautiful run along the Seine. Gorgeous morning for a run in such a magnificent city!
Dec 2010 Night Walk Tour Revisited8.51:09:458:128.550s and coolWhen I visited Paris in 2010, I was here for just one night. This run recreated my walk from Notre Dame to the Eiffel to Arc de Triumph and back.
Seine Fartlek121:30:007:301250s and some wind2 miles warm up; 5,4,3,4,3,2,3,2,1 with equal rest; 2 miles cool down. .80/6:15; .65/6:10; .51/5:59; .67/6:01; .50/6:04; .34/5:53; .50/6:04; .35/5:50; .18/5:40
La Defense Champs Elysees Loop10.51:26:008:1110.550s overcast and some windEiffel Tower to Kleber to La Defense back down Champs Élysées to Place Concorde and back along the Seine.
Final Run on Honeymoon - Seine Loop8.51:09:338:118.550s overcast and some windSolid run along the Seine and took in a few more sites. I'm going to miss Paris.
Wayne to Oakland NJ with hills202:31:077:332070s and humid with some drizzle and overcast. Miles 15-18 at 6:45 pace. 7:44/44/55/8:14/02/19 /7:27/30/54/35/8:00/7:27/8:08/13/6:42/43/44/28/7:15/04.
MBT O&B:570s sunnyFirst run back in DC and ran with Sammy

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