April Runs

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Archive for the tag “Prague”

Prague by night

When planning our ‘racing autumn’, my eyes fell on the Nike Run first. One quick remark of 12Honza (“Prague by night is unforgettable, V will love it!”) made me change my mind and so we registered for the Mattoni Grand Prix Prague on September 8 instead. Of course we combined the race with a long weekend trip to Czech rep. to see my mother so the 1.5 day before the start shot, we were working in her garden, harvesting plums,

hiking around and enjoying the good old Czech cuisine. (Turns our V. loves my mum’s homemade meat loaf). Oh yes – not to forget: we had a great dinner with the whole family on Friday and finally announced my pregnancy. Surprisingly, nobody made any remark regarding the pregnant woman racing. Both my mum and my brother know that there is no chance to change my mind once I set my goal…  On Saturday afternoon, we went down town to pick the start numbers and to breathe some of the ‘racing air’. The starting area looked like this:

We walked around with ice coffee, did some shopping and returned to my mum’s house. For the last time we tried to persuade her to join our friends along the race in Parizska street and to see us running. And at the end, she agreed to come with us! After a series of telephone calls we managed to get a camping chair and 2 friends to accompany mum to the best spot to watch us. We equipped them with a bottle of Becherovka as one never knows when the traditional liquid medicine will come handy. Both the liquor and the camping gear turned out to be unnecessary as we picked a perfect spot at a terrace in front of a fancy café. Mum could see us easily from her place!

Slowly we walked to the start area on Staromestske square that now looked like this:

We found the toilet (twice) and our D corridor and then all of the sudden I spotted attributes that unmistakably belonged to 12Honza (design glasses, black Asics running shoes ‘for formal occasions’, big smile, running pants with a hole on the right knee,…) with his daughter

and he spotted us.

A bit of a surreal moment to shake Honza’s hand, I was so happy we met there! We wished each other good luck and an enjoyable evening and shortly after that the famous Moldau from Smetana’s My Country brought me to tears and made us running.

The evening city was amazing. Yes, it took a bit of an extra focus to avoid the curbs and uneven cobblestones in darker areas but hey, we are urban people and this 10 km track showed Prague at its best. Especially the long stretches at the embankment were not to be missed. Funny enough, we passed pretty much all ‘important’ areas of my young student years and as our pace was moderate, I could show V all of them and even comment on ’what happened here and there…’

Before we knew, we were half way through, keeping the pace at a comfortable 6:15 or so per km. We drank some water from the bottle that V was carrying with her and ran on. Every time as we were passing Parizska street (4x in total) we waved to my mum. Then as we were passing Manesuv bridge on our way to finish, the fireworks above the river exploded!

At Ovocny market, 12Honza with his daughter ran over us in a mighty finish pace and soon we were passing the finish line as well. The race was fantastic as the atmosphere of medieval city by night cannot be substituted by anything else in the world. Our time 1:03:44 was way below what we predicted and I am very happy with it considering the fact I am almost 16 weeks pregnant.

With the golden medals hanging around our necks we walked to Parizska street again and joined our support team at the terrace. It was great to chat with them some more while drinking huge glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice and chewing cheesecake. I saw the twinkle in my mum’s eyes. She was so happy and proud of us! We talked and talked and if it was not for the public transport that we were depending on, we would have stayed over the midnight…

On Sunday morning we went to my mum’s cottage again to enjoy some more sun and hike a bit and also to finish some garden works.And then it was time to head home. A perfect weekend if you ask me – and I am sure we will be back!

Ski, swim and bramboraky

I know this blog should be predominantly about running but there are so many other things in my life that take place, too. After several months without visiting my mother who lives in Prague (I don’t like driving in winter), last Thursday we hit the road again as mom offered us to cook bramboraky, the traditional Czech ‘potato pancakes’, the one meal we cannot resist :-).

After 9 hours on the German highway, the fabulous smell of fried rasped potatoes with garlic, herbs and pieces of chicken meat (my mom’s special variety of bramboraky) guided us home. We spent a nice Friday in Prague, walking around, visiting friends, enjoying the first spring days. And then on Saturday early morning we hit the road again, this time to Zell am See and Kaprun for some more skiing.

In Kaprun, a new huge spa was opened recently so we had to visit. We spent 3 lazy hours there (there goes my Saturday running…) during which we hardly managed to swim 500 metres (”Honey, lets swim a bit otherwise I have nothing to log these days”) and the only thing that came to mind after that was enjoying a nice glass of beer in the near pub.

On Sunday the guilt feeling (no running since Wednesday night) combined with blue sky made us get up early again. We could see the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier bathing in the morning sun and although nowadays I am really keen on running, so far NOTHING beats the feeling of fresh crispy snow under my feet and high snowy mountains around me. We allowed ourselves the luxury of half a day skiing knowing we still had 10 hours to drive home… and it was absolutely worth it.

Now on Monday evening I am logging and blogging and hopefully still finding time for some running. My body won’t be fooled by any other excercise.

P.S. Back from my evening run. Rule to remember: do NOT drink water after eating plums (or do not eat too many plums).

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