A little over 3 weeks has passed since the London Marathon, but it feels much longer. I spent about 10 days in Prague before the race, and after relaxing for a few days in London, I made it back to Prague. My old teammate from Oklahoma State, Dan Watts, now works for the London Marathon, and we were able to spend some quality time catching up. It truly is a small world.
|The in-laws in London|
|Future Sunday Lunch|
|Weinersnitchel in Vienna|
Next stop, Budapest. After another 2 and a half hours of driving, we arrived at our small AirBnB flat in the city center. Budapest is also a "runable" city. Two large parks in the city limits offer great running opportunities, although there is no track open to the public without a paid membership. There is also a river path along the Danube which connects Vienna, Budapest, and Bratislava. The park I spent most my time in was called Margaret Island which actually has a lane of track circling the island that is 5km long! This park would certainly get boring after a bit, but for our short time in Budapest it was perfect. We also managed to make it to a traditional bath house which the city is famous for. Since this was aiding in my recovery, do I get to count it as a tax write off?
After a quick stop in Bratislava, we were back in Prague. While I do have some bias, I still feel Prague is the most beautiful and most runable of the Central European capitals. The network of hilly parks overlooking the city is tough to beat. Once such park, Ladronka, has a paved and packed gravel path running parallel and marked each 100 meters. The top loop just so happens to be exactly 1600, surely by accident; it's the best mile repeat surface I have ever been on. This park also happens to be within a few minutes of a track, and near one of the biggest parks in city limits in Europe (Divoká Šárka). All of this is within a 7 minute bus/tram ride to the city center. I love this city and can't wait to come back and use it as a hub for some summer European racing.
We squeezed a lot of sightseeing in over the last couple weeks, but I've also squeezed quite a lot of running in. After taking one week completely off (not counting an acre of lawn mowing in Rodinov) I started with a slow 30 minute run and built up over the next 10 days. Last week I already managed to get over 100 miles, and I'm starting to feel back to normal. It normally takes about 2 to 3 weeks for me to feel like myself again after a marathon. I'm getting excited for a short track season, but I feel like I have a ways to go to feel comfortable at the quicker pace that will be required to be competitive at the USA Track and Field Championships in Sacramento on the 26th of June. As of right now I plan on tuning up at the Portland Track Festival in a one mile race 10 days before the USA champs to really shake the rust off the legs. This would be a great opportunity to try to break the 4 minute barrier for the first time in my career. I'm not sure, but I don't too many people have broken 2:11 in the marathon and 4:00 in the mile in consecutive races! We'll see if I can get the legs rolling again over the next month and a half. I was really fired up after watching the races from Payton Jordan. How tough is the 5k and 10k team going to be to make next year for the World Championships? Wow.
This post is already starting to drag on, so at the beginning of next week I will post my first 3 weeks of training coming off of the marathon, and I will hopefully have the summer racing plans mapped out. I'm also finalizing details on a block of altitude training in Flagstaff before a fall marathon. Nick Arciniaga has been generous enough to rent out a room in his house for the duration of my stay, which will likely be one month. This will be my first serious attempt at altitude training, so it will be extremely beneficial to be around other marathoners who have been doing it for a long time. More details to come. Thanks again for reading!