Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring

Spring and summer are my two favorite seasons.  Especially for running.  Although winter in Vienna is tolerable, it can quickly start to feel like a long, gray, and dreary slog so when the weather warms, the sun sets later, and the grayish sky turns an inviting blue, my runs become that much more enjoyable.  Yesterday, for instance, the sky was clear and the mercury hovered around 60F when I headed out.  It was beautiful.  And I wasn't the only one who thought as much:  several other runners, walkers, cyclists, and those otherwise enjoying the weather were out along the Danube Canal en mass.  Having come from Washington, DC I'm used to high-traffic running and cycling paths -- DC is ranked as one of the best running cities in the United States -- but in Vienna those same paths seem more widely used and by a wider spectrum of people.  Older folks commandeer the benches and soak up the sunshine during the day, graffiti taggers spray paint then spray paint again the walls along the path, and, of course, runners, bicycle commuters & roadies, as well as casual & speed walkers use the path from sunup to sundown.  I recently read somewhere (can't remember the exact source) that half of Vienna is open/green space.  If so, I think the city has hit on something brilliant because, it seems, what gets built gets used ("if you build it, they will come?").

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Inspiration

There are some unbelievably talented ultra runners out there:  Karl Meltzer, Geoff Roes, Anton Krupicka, Kilian Jornet, Dakota Jones, and Scott Jurek, among others.  All of these stars have either a blog or personal website where they chronicle their training, write race reports, and discuss issues important and relevant to them.  And if those of us who follow them are lucky, they'll also post videos featuring their running heroics.  I very much value the written word, but sometimes a picture, or even better -- a video -- inspires where paper doesn't and animates where paper can't.  I've embedded two such videos below.  The first features Anton Krupicka running in the winter and the second provides a glimpse into how Killian Jornet trains.  Damn good stuff.