Well…this was an eventfully week and far from the typical training week thanks to some 200 miles of biking from Vienna to Budapest!
I posted my last training recap the day I was scheduled to fly off to Vienna, where the boyfriend and I would begin a self-guided cycling adventure across three countries in six days on Eurovelo 6, a path that is part of the larger Eurovelo system, which includes 14 routes crisscrossing the continent.
The first day ended up being a bit of a mess. Our connecting flight from Geneva to Vienna was canceled, and we were rerouted to Munich, were we got a connecting flight on to Vienna. Overall, it wasn’t that bad. But my luggage didn’t make it.
Naturally, I was upset. I was imagining running and biking for more than a week in the one set of workout clothes that I has thought to pack in my carry on!
We were slated to start biking on Sunday, the day after our arrival, and I went ahead with an easy 5 mile run, despite needing to wear the same outfit to bike 29 miles after the run. Needless to say, I wasn’t all sunshine and daisies (or sunflowers) that day.
Luckily, by the time we made it to our first stop in Petronell-Carnuntum, the airline had my suitcase en route to our hotel for that evening, rejoice!
The next day was a rest day from running, but included a 40 mile bike ride, much of it into the wind, even though everything I had read said we should have tailwind on the trip. Oh, it was also about 95 degrees. For someone who’s biking experience is pretty much restricted to one or two spin classes a week, this was a definitely wake up call. Still, you can’t beat some of the scenery!
On Tuesday morning, I got in a marathon-paced effort with 3 miles at marathon pace, 1k recovery, and another 4 miles at marathon pace. The second set was only supposed to be 3 miles, but Google maps failed me, turning what was supposed to be a 9 mile route into 10 miles, and I felt good with the cooler temperatures, so I went for it with that extra mile.
We followed that up with another 26 mile ride to Gyor, which turned out to be one of our favorite cities on the trip. Gyor is Hungary’s 6th largest city, and a true gem. We were so glad that we pushed through the biking part of the day quickly to allow us more time to sight see around the city (and enjoy one massive serving of ice cream!).
Wednesday was another day off running with a 38 mile ride. That ride was probably the best of the trip! We were broken in to our routine, and the wind and heat that we had been dealing with for the first three days of the trip finally broke! We knocked those 38 miles out in about 2 hours 55 minutes, our best pace on the trip, despite that ride also including the biggest elevation gain of the trip. To put that in perspective, our first day 29 mile ride took us 3 hours 8 minutes!
By Thursday, though, I was beat and my body was run down. I had planned on a 30 minute tempo run, but I could only make it 25 minutes, and even that 25 minutes wasn’t quite as fast as I hoped it would be. Still, I couldn’t have asked for a better location for that workout. It was around the beautiful Lake Öreg, which has a path running around it with a circumference of about 4.5 miles.
However, I had to follow that run up with our longest ride of the trip—41 miles, which took us 3 hours 31 minutes of riding time.
By the final day of the biking portion of the trip, we really weren’t looking forward to another 40ish mile day, so we planned out a route that would allow us to see much of the picturesque Danube bend…and then catch the commuter rail into Budapest proper! That move allowed us to get in to Budapest far earlier than we would have otherwise, and with far more energy.
But before we set out for the day, I decided to move up an easy 5 mile run I had scheduled for Sunday, because there was such a beautiful path along the Danube near our hotel, and I wanted to spend some extra time on it.
Anyway, it was a great feeling to get to Budapest and ditch our bikes for the remainder of the trip. We got in some initial sightseeing, bought some Hungarian paprika (for which they are known) and headed to a wine tasting. And boy was it one hell of a wine tasting.
We tried 0.1L samples of eight different wines, plus we got an extra 0.1L of our favorite at the end. For those keeping tabs at home, that is 0.9L of wine each. A bottle is 0.75. Needless to say, by the end we were regretting our decision to get lunch after the tasting.
We were regretting that decision even more when we realized the restaurant we were planning to go to was closing by the time we got there. Toto, we aren’t in New York City any more.
Luckily (??), we stumbled across some street fair featuring a Beatles cover band, where we were able to buy some pizza pretzels, which were super delicious at that point in time, but probably not the best pre-long run fuel.
After that, we made our way back to our hotel and passed out, but not before I stubbornly set my alarm for my long run!
When my alarm went off, I was feeling far from ideal, but I didn’t let that stop me. I got dressed and woke the boyfriend up to tell him I was leaving and when I expected to be back when he said, “Is it raining?” Sure enough, it was raining. Time to trade out my sunglasses for a hat. I generally don’t mind running in the rain, as long as I have a hat to keep it out of my eyes.
The best thing I can say about that run is that I got it done, and at least I got to see some sights along the way. Otherwise, the cold, dampness really got to me. Add in the hangover, and it was far from my best effort.
By the time I finished showering after the run, I knew that the sniffles I had experienced for the past day or so was going to become a full-blown cold.
I made it through a day of sightseeing the best I could, but I was totally exhausted by 5 p.m. and only just made it out for one last nice dinner in a country where $1 = 275 Forint.
The next day, it was back to Vienna, and the 2.5 hour bus ride (armed with more tissues than you can imagine) was much appreciated. We got in some good sightseeing before I was again just totally KO’d by fatigue. It turns out it was a good thing I got my 5 mile run in on Friday instead, because there was no way I would have been able to manage it.
All in, for the week:
Running Total: 35.5 miles
Biking Total: 161 miles
The rest is to be continued…