Monday, January 21, 2008

Running in Vienna (part II)

So I had another wonderful 15-mile run in Vienna today. As I started it a bit later than yesterday – around 4:30pm – I had my headlight and tail blinking light on me. In the evening dusk – especially after 5:30pm – Donaukanal riverside looks like a small out-and-back half-marathon race with a lot of runners going in both directions along both sides of the river.

I noticed that Viennese runners despise headlights for some reason. Even when you are in the city there are a lot of bikers on the same trail that would make me uncomfortable, running with no lights at all. And there are a few poorly-lighted sections too. But when I left the city and was running on its outskirts without any street lights at all, I also met a few people that we running in complete darkness. Either local folks see better in the dark than I do, or they are just enjoying additional adrenaline rush at the sound of each car or bike approaching from behind.

Anyways, my excessive trail lighting made a lot of heads turn, as I was passing by. I guess people were trying to figure whether it was a slow bike or a fast Christmas tree :)

I was not running extremely fast – my average pace today was about 9:10 min/mile. Still I felt good passing by all the other runners all the time. So when another runner passed me by around mile 6 into my run, my inner child took over and – even knowing that I have quite a few miles still ahead of me – I got competitive and sprinted to catch him. In a little while I did catch him and rushed further to make sure he stays behind and I do not see him again. Still I could see his shadow stretching from behind for quite a while. Something did not feel right though - I checked my pace again – it was 6:40. Whom was I kidding? I know I cannot survive at this pace long enough… After a quick but very heated discussion with the inner child, I suggested the inner child would better go to hell this time, slowed down and let that guy go ahead unchallenged.

Still this is exactly the thing that spoiled a lot of my races. I feel good early on into a race and when I see faster runners I cannot help picking up my pace, and have to pay for my “super-performance” later during the second half of the race when I tend to run out of gas.

Here is one of the bridges crossing Donaukanal:
Another bridge with lions on it:
A breathtaking view of Donau lit by the moonlight:
Both of these pictures were taken on the outskirts of Vienna, probably 3 miles from the city:
City lights from the suburb:
Vienna at night:


Run For Life said...

It looks like a gorgeous place to run! Sounds like you got in some good miles despite having to stave off your inner child. :)

olga said...

What in the world you're doing in Vienna?
Loved the alternative training technoques!!! :)

Dmitri said...

We have our company's yearly kick-off meeting in Vienna this year.

Anonymous said...

you showed that vienna guy how to run the american way...or was it russian!!!!!!!!

those games are fun. showing off is the only motivation for me to run fast(er)!!!!!