Monday, July 7, 2008

First non-American run

I'm in Cork, Ireland now and will be for the next couple of weeks. I'm "taking classes" at the University College Cork by day and drinking my weight in Beamish and Murphy's at night.

I was in Prague over the last couple of days. I really wanted to go for a run, but didn't for two reasons.

1) Prague is quite seedy and there are a ton of pick pocketers. Since the guy I was traveling with had a paper to write, he wasn't able to go with me. I didn't feel comfortable going along for the crime reason and for reason #2.

2) The streets in Prague are ridiculous. They aren't labeled or change every block and meander around so that there's no good way to find your way back to the hotel, even if I wrote down the directions and took a map.

But today after classes, I went for my first run in 6 days. Wow, I could not wait to lace up my shoes and hit the road. I ran from Centre City Cork to West Cork. I ran 10 kilometers (or 6.2 miles for you Americans) in about 55 minutes. I ended up starting in the "pub" district and then went into a residential area before turning around. That said, a couple quick thoughts about running in Europe:
  1. I passed 10 bars in 3 miles, all but 2 of them were in the first .8 miles from city center.
  2. I had to stop A LOT at intersections and double check that I wasn't going to get killed. I was pleased that that didn't happen.
  3. We Europeans (yes, I'm grouping myself into them because I'm here for a month) love our round-abouts, or as you Americans call them, traffic circles. Back in the states, I think I've gone through a total of 10 in my entire life and hated every minute of it. I had to drive through no less than 30 of them on the way from Dublin to Cork. Today, I had to run through two of them. Question for the group? How does a former American run through a traffic circle? Just like porcupines have sex: very carefully.
That's about it from this side of the pond. I'll keep you posted and post some pictures once I remember to take my camera on the run.


ShirleyPerly said...

Great that you got out for a run! Interesting there are so many intersections and roundabouts there in Ireland. Too bad Prague was unsafe to run alone. Now you know how I feel back home in Orlando.

J said...

Ugh. I HATE running in Europe. Hate it. Not to mention the jetlag. Congratulations for now getting run down!

CewTwo said...

I loved Europe when I was there through the graces of Uncle Sam. I took advantage of every day off (there were so few) to see as much as I could and to experience the people.

It was an amazing experience that you don't experience unless you do live there for a while!

Congrats, man!

Petraruns said...

Well you know where to come and have a country recharge (you can fly cheaply from Ireland to Doncaster!) if you need one - very safe (private) running track as well! Also - the roundabout - we love our roundabouts. Try cycling across the traffic roundabouts in Paris though - there is no thing in the middle to go round - everyone just heads straight to the direction they want to go in. Really interesting...