Springtime Runnings

Just outside of Basel, looking towards Riehen (taken last Autumn). Scenic. If not idyllic. Verging into bucolic.

As far as I’m concerned its now summer in Switzerland and I refuse to be swayed on the matter. Of course being Scottish, my definition of “summer” is incredibly liberal. However…you can’t deny that Basel has been enjoying several weeks of warm weather and glorious sunshine. Its light when I walk to work in the mornings at 6.45am (about time, huh) and I don’t even need to put a second coat on anymore when I step out of the house.

Even better, the light and heat and lack of ice underfoot means that us runners are able to head out of the Basel-Stadt parameter, get off the pavement and go explore some countryside. Given my commitment to the Freiburg Half-Marathon, I’ve been aiming for the elusive 3rd weekly run. Ideally with a bit of extra distance. Today I got by with the help of some of my Basel Dragons.

We took a tried & tested route out from Basel into Riehen, across the German border, up one of the nearby valleys and back. We were feeling hungry afterwards…so went to MacDonalds. Hey, it isn’t like I’m doing the running specifically to lose weight.

Some facts:

  • It’s easier to run in a group (that way responsibility is shared collectively when a wrong turn is made).
  • It’s easier to run in the Swiss/German countryside surrounding Basel (fresh air, vistas, a Sound of Music-esque section through a farm field).
  • An 18 km run in 1h 36 min (at 5.21 min/km pace) won’t destroy you (despite illnesses, little experience of >10 km runs, making a return to running after a hiatus everyone in the group finished strongly)…but the exercise is enough to make you seriously sleepy for the rest of the day. That’s how you know you’ve had a good work-out.
  • It lasts for over an hour and makes you feel sleepy afterwards. Proof enough in mind that running is comparable to sex. If not better.

Anyway, Thomas acted as our personal photographer for the run – perfectly recording the harsh training conditions I’ve got to put myself through:

Getting pursued by pack of feral runners through the countryside...

...I try to shake them off my tail by first crossing the border into Switzerland, then by plunging down a hillside...

Drat. They caught me.

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