I have been enjoying some really great runs here in Bavaria. There are about six lakes right near the house we’re sitting that have paths all around them, and go on forever. One thing I’ve noticed about Germany (and Switzerland) is how accessible everything is for hikers/bikers/runners. There are paths everywhere, away from the road, and there are tons of people utilizing them. I didn’t really expect to be trail running while here, but it has turned into a really good thing. The paths are easier on my knees, there are hills so I can work on my form going up those, there are no cars around (except for one small portion of one trail, which I didn’t realize and almost got side swiped), there are cows everywhere, beautiful scenery, etc.
My runs have been in the 4-6 mile range, and all of them have felt pretty good. A couple days this week were REALLY hot and humid (like 90 degrees, which I haven’t felt in years), and that was really a struggle. The day after we went hiking in the Alps was also tough; my legs felt like lead. But I have noticed progress in the past two weeks we’ve been here; at the beginning even my easy pace felt hard, but now I feel like I’m back to my old self… sort of. Yesterday I got up early (like 5 am early, I’ve been having sleeping problems from the heat), and got out on the trails before anyone else did. I broke lots of spider webs, so I knew I was the first one out. I really wanted to just run for a while and see where it took me, and that’s exactly what happened. I ended up doing 7.5 miles at a 10 min/mile pace, which was just fine by me. The weather was perfect, some bikers and hikers were out by the time I was finishing up, but overall I pretty much had the whole place to myself.
I’m trying to work on getting my endurance back, without doing too much too soon. My knee has been fine, and fingers crossed it stays that way. Our travel plans are a little up in the air at the moment due to monetary concerns, but I’ve got my eye on a half marathon in September here in Europe that I really want to do. I would be bummed to go home before doing at least one race abroad. After that, assuming we’re home, I’m going to sign up for the Santa Barbara International Half Marathon on November 8, which I ran last year. I think that’ll be a nice welcome home for me. My goal is still to break two hours in the half marathon, and hopefully that’ll happen soon.
It’s going to be a bit tougher getting my runs in after we leave Germany since we’ll be going to bigger cities. It’s been so great having these paths right outside our door. We’re heading to Italy on Sunday and will be there for a good bit, and it’s already really hot there. So, I have to work on getting out of the house early, which will help with the traffic situation too. I’ve been looking up routes that I can run, and I try to book our accommodations close to parks so that I have easy access away from busy streets.
It’s been a lot harder staying in shape while traveling than I was anticipating, but I’ll save that for another post.
Happy Friday the Thirteenth! Jeremy and I are off to a monastery on a hill that brews delicious beer (we know it’s delicious because we went yesterday, too).