Reboot

Some things have happened this summer. We spent a month traveling. We got engaged (whoops, didn't mention it here)! I was promoted! And we started house shopping. And that's just the big stuff.

All summer I toyed with the idea of a fall marathon, but finally acknowledged that my window for getting in a solid training cycle had shut.  I hadn't put in the work and I hate scrambling at the last minute, knowing I'm going to half-ass it. So I'm going to do the chill thing instead: I scrapped my 12-week, zero-to-26.2 marathon plan (really? what was I thinking?) and made a new one for a mid-March marathon (probably Tobacco Road), with a proper base-building period from now to November. 

The next step was to take an inventory to see what I'm working with.

Fortunately, last night was the first event for a local track night that may or may not become a more regular thing (fingers crossed). Two bucks got me an entry for all of the events I could race, plus all of the blue Gatorade I could drink. I ran the mile (to get a baseline speed check) and the 400m (for fun). My mile time was 7:13 and I was running at the about-to-barf threshold, so, yeah...I have a lot of work to do. It's refreshing to face the facts and quantify what I knew in my heart was true: I have lost a lot of running fitness. I hope this track night becomes a regular thing so I can try it again and see some progress.

I'm in there! Purple shorts

I'm in there! Purple shorts

My 400m time was 1:24 and I had a little kick at the end. It seemed fast to me, but I guess that's because normally when I run 400s I'm doing a bunch of repeats, and they're usually at 5k pace. It was fun!

So I have a training plan and I know what my baseline is. Now it's time to do work. I love the ideas/planning stage but I get bored with the follow-through -- something running has helped me come to see about myself. I'm working on it, but nowhere in my life are the consequences of this more evident than in running. Anyway, I'm starting to veer into high-pressure, "my ability to get in a run everyday is a reflection of my moral rightness as a person" territory, which is its own brand of weird, self-defeating talk.

What can I do in the meantime to keep this ship on course? All the stuff everyone always talks about, I guess:

  • Register for races to break up the time into smaller goals: I'm definitely doing the Medoc 10-miler in October, and probably also a half marathon if I can find one that won't break the bank. 
  • Bribes: It was Patagonia, and it was on super sale -- I couldn't help myself.
  • Boiling the frog: I already feel better now that I feel I have more time. My training plan has reasonable weekly workouts and mileage I can see myself actually meeting. By the time things heat up I'll be back in the habit again. I hope. 

Okay, so I'll check back in here in a while to see how things are going. I won't start weekly recaps until things get interesting. In the meantime, you can follow me on dailymile

Running in: Budapest

Budapest

Budapest was actually two cities, divided by the Danube River and joined together in 1873. Budapest is on the left (in the map below) and Pest is on the right. There are several very grand bridges that connect the two.

We wanted to run from our place in District VII, (the old Jewish quarter) of Pest to Buda but we got extremely lost. Budapest was the first country we'd been to on this trip where neither of us spoke the language, plus, we dropped our map in a big puddle while we were running. (tip: Running with a map in your hand is a great way to signal "I am a tourist!") We did eventually make it over to Buda and found the Turkish bath we were looking for, Kiraly.

It's dark inside and virtually unchanged from what it looked like in the 16th century.  We took showers in the locker room (presumably a modern addition) before getting in -- don't worry.

It's dark inside and virtually unchanged from what it looked like in the 16th century.  We took showers in the locker room (presumably a modern addition) before getting in -- don't worry.

We ran over that bridge to get there.

We ran over that bridge to get there.

In contrast to Vienna, where I had to work most of the time, I had a long, workfree weekend in Budapest. I don't know what I was expecting, but it was my very favorite place. And so photogenic:

 

BrjidLMCMAIZuqy.jpg
Mustaches 

Mustaches 

King Stephen I, WITH his hand

King Stephen I, WITH his hand

It cost money to turn the little light on inside to make the hand light up.

It cost money to turn the little light on inside to make the hand light up.

Inside the Szechenyi bath,

Inside the Szechenyi bath,

If you ever wondered what happened to those old monitors from twenty years ago.

If you ever wondered what happened to those old monitors from twenty years ago.

Wooden scaffolding

Wooden scaffolding

14530423084_6a8ebdfdec_o.jpg