Sunday, June 17, 2012

Destination: Hungary

Destination: Hungary
It's been a holiday long weekend of sorts and naturally, at least half of my suitcase is filled with running gear. You just can't trust that the weather will comply, so it only makes sense to prepare for all kinds of conditions.

The best part of being somewhere different is the chance to explore, to discover new ground. In running shoes, of course. I brought 2 pairs so I could alternate. Perfectly normal.
I don't get to come back to Hungary too often...I was born and grew up here but didn't run around much back then, so it's fun and nostalgic.

A huge benefit(?) of new running routes is that I generally have no idea how far I have run (my ability to tell time, let along distance, disappears as soon as I set into motion).

Enter to the rescue: my Garmin. But not this time.

As much as I want to log my miles in an exact fashion, as much as I want to know precisely how far I have run on any given day, I have actually been running gadget-less since I landed in Hungary, with no virtual buddy to track me.

Places I've been running...outskirts of Budapest and by Lake Balaton
Now I know what running naked must feel like. I did bring a simple watch to keep me sane and be able to tell time though. And I wash't really naked (like that needed to be confirmed).

Simple, but effective time-keeping device...
Oh, and did I mention I ditched my iPod shuffle, too? Uh-huh, I went all out. No Skrillex to jazz me up.

I kid you not, it has been magical. I love my gadgets, but what I love even more now is this crazy sense of freedom. No pace to keep, no milage goal. Just new terrain, new scenery and my pretty hot pink running shoes leading the way.
I love my new "other pair": Brooks PureCadence
Not having music on lets me focus more on my breathing, which is something I've been meaning to do more of for so long. Much like organizing my closet, though admittedly, that may never get done. The plan: inhale, and potentially even exhale though my yoga on the run to improve aerobic capacity and calm the nervous system. It also keeps your effort level in check for what are meant to be aerobic/easy, longer runs.

The icing on the cake - I took my little (okay, at 14 he is now less of a baby but still) brother out on a short spin around the park. We ran a loop and he kept a pretty swift pace. I was proud and all smiles. I told him after loop #1 that we are, in fact, doing 2 (it's a 0.5mi loop), which got a less than enthusiastic response...until I also told him to go and pass all the other runners on the course. Then, off we took again, I think even faster this time.

My awesome brother striking a pose...or trying to scare me.

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