Saturday, June 25, 2011

Prague, week 1, cycling, racing, 10m swimming

One week in Prague has gone by, and I wish I could be here longer. The cycling is amazing, few cars and lots of open road. No suburbs or secondary cities like Bethesda, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Arlington, etc. Once you leave Prague, it's just a smattering of small villages that comprise of some houses and a few keystone buildings like the church, post office, grocery, etc. So the rides I have been on have been two of the best. I am looking forward to more rides next week. I have been on 3 so far since Monday. The weather is fine here, the temperatures stay between the mid-60s and high-70s, which is great, but it can rain often. CZ is not far from a permanent high over the Atlantic which just tosses rain clouds over Europe, and it is fairly active now. Unlike DC, it is hard to predict rain as it only takes a few hours for weather to travel this way, so only by looking at the sky can one make a reasonable weather prediction. Still, I will take the occasional albeit unpredictable rain shower over the humidity and heat of DC any day.

Here are two of my rides... the third was more of a test spin to make sure my bike worked properly. Speeds are a bit low as I have been riding with a guide who isn't in top shape at the moment, but I am still able to break away and get some good power in. But check out those climbs... it is no wonder the best cyclists come from or train in Europe. Today is a day off but tomorrow is another long one.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/94470077
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/94080699

Running is good as well. I have a great place to run, Hvezda park, a building shaped like a star, that has several trails and dirt paths that can total over 12km if one is to cover the entire park, plus the trails and roads to and from.

I even participated in a race. If you may recall, I raced twice when I was in CZ two years ago and won both, earning a banana in one and wine in the other. I guess I have a reputation to uphold? Well, it wasn't upheld well this time. I raced in a 10k just hours after finishing a 2 hour hilly ride and the weather was humid at that time of day (6pm). I was glad to see some competition there, as they would help me make the race into a good workout, as I could feel this was not going to be much of a race, for me at least. I ended up 6th, with a time somewhere in the mid 34's. Nothing remarkable, but after a long hill ride, this was a great workout. I would love to run that fast after the bike leg at Nation's. The course was similar, relatively flat, but half on dirt.

Best part of all was that the race cost about 2 dollars.

Swimming hasn't been great as all I have is a 10m pool at my disposal, but I've taken advantage of it for one swim, putting in a 400m warmup, 2x (6x50 drill). 1000 hard, to total 2000m. 200 laps is about all I can stand. I'll get in some more swims, but it isn't too important. I can do some extra when I get back to the states after next week.

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