Two and a half day of very interesting conferencing ahead of me, but I had the good fortune to already around my arrival at the hotel to sneak in a run.
Knowing nothing about budapest and much less around where to run, decided to run to The Danube river and follow it for a bit while taking in the view of the “pest” part of Budapest. Call it a quick run around attractions such as the chain bridge and other interesting stuff.
Weather was perfect, a little cloudy, but warm and pleasant. It begged for me to stick to the good old black soles, but I did not know anything about what I would run into in terms of conditions, thus I grabbed my seeyas in the hand on the way out. turned out they were totally unnecessary. While I spotted a fair amount of unpleasant looking glass of the broken beer bottle variety (particularly on the route from the chain bridge to the opera), then it was generally not enough to pose any threat to my feet and was quite easy to navigate.
Plan was for a 5K, but at the natural turning point it said 4K and an average pace of 5:30 Min/K, not bad, given that I really felt good and my feet had no signs of hotspots nor other friction issues.
The surface was generally smooth concrete or paved road, walk/bike lane, but some some fun stuff such as pebbles, cobble stones and even a few obstacles to jump here and there 🙂
The run home was just as pleasant as the run out, Developed a bit of a hotspot on the inside of my right forefoot (see the picture below it is clearly visible). It puzzles me a bit, but it is a general issue when running completely barefoot. My own guess is that my right foot is not quite strong enough in the muscles supporting the arch of the foot, allowing it to sag a bit towards the end of my run, but it is only a feeling. On that note I am glad I have a meeting with my style coach soon, hopefully he can pinpoint the problem.
Weather spoke for a pure barefoot experience and having done several evening walks after dinners and in between conference days, I had a pretty good feeling of what to expect. I planned for a slightly different and possibly slightly longer route, thus the seeyas came with me in my hand as I put the good old black soles to work.
One of the things that struck me while running the first half of the route, was that I much like Sunday, got an unusually large amount of startled looks and comments in Magyar, English and even a few Swedish ones. I very much doubt they are used to seeing barefooted runners in Budapest or even barefoot style runners. At least I saw none.
Pace, cadence and running style all seemed very good, I have noticed that I need around 2-3K to lock into my running style. Not that it is bad the first couple of kilometres, I just have to focus on the flow until I am in the “zone”
The “pest” side of my run was a fun surprise, a mix of huge cobble stones, and flagstones with a fine layer of pebbles sort of embedded in the surface, lots of construction work going on and, plenty of urban obstacles to run around, avoid or jump, not to mention a massive amount of pedestrians, cars and buses. All in all a load of fun.
As i reached the Hotel the watch said 9K, a 5:31 pace and a cadence of 198 SPM. Ok I am running fairly flat terrain, but I find it quite promising that I am able to run a problem free 5:30 average on completely bare feet, seemingly without compromising my style and that is Improvement to me 🙂
Overall Budapest comes highly recommended to barefooters I think and I had a ball here 🙂