Thursday, June 13, 2019

Running Through Europe

I put running on hold for a three week vacation through Italy, Greece, Croatia and Montenegro. Ah yes, life is good.

I did a little bit of running while I was there. Italy was tough, as the crowds in Rome and Venice were so congested. Florence was better, as I made my way to the best view of the city at Piazelle Michelangelo and then continued on past a hospital and a sports stadium into the modern part of the city.

I also had the chance to summit Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii, near Naples. The still active volcano (and overdue to explode again) once buried Pompeii in ash, leaving it unfound for centuries. The climb, which I hiked more than ran, was anti-climatic in that the mountain was fogged in. There was looking into the steaming crater on this trip. 

Once we boarded the cruise ship out of Venice my running was mostly left to the single lane running track on the top of the boat. The 400m track was frustrating as it attracted many drunk and ignorant photo takers standing in the way. C'mon people! There were 14 other floors on the ship where you could have taken the same photo without the possibility of a runner coming along every couple of minutes. 

One fun thing I did do was run a 16km marathon. Now we all know a marathon is 42.2 km, but after approximately 16km and one hour and fourteen minutes, my watch said I had completed 42.2 km. Of course the watch and accompanying satellite were tracking the moving ship more than myself. I tell you it was the easiest marathon I ever did. It probably could have been easier as I could have spent that entire hour-plus sitting in the hot tub and gotten the same result!

I did get the chance to ascend the 1355 steps up to the ancient fortress high above Kotor, Montenegro. Despite the heavy rain, slow crowds and crumbly steps, I think I could have really powered my way up there. But I was there for other reasons, and of course stopped often to take in the moment and take as many photos as possible.  It was a great day.

Now that I'm back I'm going to get serious about building my running base. I had only been doing 35-50 km a week, though much of that was climbing trails. After nearly three weeks off I want to be consistently 70-80 km. That means a lot more road running. If I commit more to trails I will look at time spent on my feet rather than mileage.

Here is to a great summer of running. 

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