sightseeing and other adventures in running shoes



Recent updates and random thoughts.

Frozen and Foggy

Those who follow me on Instagram (@runningarchitect) have already seen a little preview of the coming post on Saturday. Here comes the story behind.

I have ben resting at the begining of last week and my legs felt very fresh but I was also feeling very lazy. The weather was not helping either, the world behind the glas looked very hostile. Nevertheless, we have planned an exciting new route which had to be explored. So I have put on some warmer clothes as it was about 20k in cold and outside was a thin layer of fresh powder waiting for us. Sipping on mom´s hot soup in the evening, I was already convinced that the trip turned out great. On our way, we have conquered the central point of Slovakia [1]. I have to say, it is one of my favourite places to go for a hike. The top of the hill is quite exposed, a crag. I am always excited when I get a chance to scramble for a bit. There was even a some kind of a great view waiting for us on the top of the hill. Although you could not see in the distance, the picture of forest disappearing right in front of your eyes was enchanting as well. I have completely lost the sence of wider space in that thick fog. There was only this very small, yet limitless world around me. Now and here. I admit, it can be frustrating if you are lost but even then you could embrace the possibility of this strange freedom, running into unknown. The best part was, the whole run was accelerated and it felt like flying through. You know, if you only see the tip of your nose, even a slow pace seems to be an unbelievably fast tempo. What is more, the trees were plastered with snow and frost and it looked like the frozen kingdom. You can check out few pictures in the gallery attached below.

All in all, I am very glad I have found the strenght to get off that couch! It is usually so that things we are not very enthusiastic about tend to turn out much better than we would have anticipated at the beginning. So, just put on some shoes and go explore.


You can download the GPX-file here.

[1] Hrb with its altiture 1.254,7 meters above sea level. Or at least, that is what Wikipedia says 🙂



Dancing party on a treadmill

It has been crazy weather lately here! Once it is freezing cold like in Russian movie, the other day it is raining. I can deal with the cold, you just have to put on one more layer. On the other hand, there is no way to compensate for lack of sunshine. Therefore, I am glad to stay in and get on the treadmill – spinning bike. It is also a good option for a cross training during snowless winter if you are a runner, not that I am a serious one 🙂

Anyway, if you decide to step on a threadmill it is hard to get the work done and stay there for that one hour. I would say, even on a bad day I find finishing my long run outside easier than surviving one hour of spinning. Luckily, I can always count on my secret weapon – great playlist. I have a peculiar taste in music – anything rhythmic, funny, or singable would do. So about 80% of my playlist is from the last century. I can be also very loyal to one single song for quite some time if I truly adore it. My roomates used to distinguish months in a year by titles of songs I have been listening to at that time. However, living with my parents (its a recent and temporary thing – one last hooray before becoming a real person :), I do not get to put on my headphones and dance my way through the days as I used to when living alone. So, I have been using the threadmill workouts to make up for lost time. The moat recent favourite would be Keira Knightly – Tell me if you wanna go home [youtube link here]. At first, I did not like it much. Then, I have heard it for second and third time, by the fifth time, I was all over it.  I guess, it is a very good thing that we have the spinning bike at home – otherwise I would be getting plenty of weird looks. Some people say it is depressing to work out on treadmill alone but as for me, I cannot imagine a better company than my iPod. So, if you are thinking of starting your own private dance party, try it on the treadmill next time. Your time will fly by and you will be sorry your hour is already up!


Dear readers, I have recently joined Instagram. You can now follow me @runningarchitect [link] and enjoy the nice pictures from the first hand. Sometimes, I do not feel like uploading a full post and sometimes, there is simply nothing to say. So, I will just upload a nice picture or two on the Instagram instead. Please, enjoy!

My review of 2015.

New Year is always a great opportunity to look back, close one chapter of a book, and then start fresh. Here goes my evaluation. (The purpose of this post is not to brag or impress you guys – even if I wanted to, the numbers are quite disappointing :-).) Thankfully, I did not have much troubles adding the numbers together as I have been uploading my sport activities on For your information, these do not include communting of any kind and no strolls.


It seems that I have biked 1.759 kilometers in 114 hours and 27 minutes while gaining 21.729 vertical meters. In other words, I have spent only about 2 hours a week sitting on my bike and have ridden poor 33.7km in average. It is very unsatisfying. Especially considering the fact that I have biked in 12 days from Germany to Slovakia which was about 900km. So it only leaves me with 850km of rides during the rest of the year and only 16.9km weekly. This means, I have only went on a proper ride once in a three weeks. However, I have include the winter time into this statistic and the fact that I have not ridden a bike since that great journey has not been embraced either. If I were to correct this statistic, I should only consider the period April – August (153 days). All in all, the weekly number would be somewhere around 39km during the cycling period. It is still only one ride a week, so I guess there is no way to make my cycling activities looking intense in any way. 😀


I have been running, hiking, and walking. Unfortunatelly, included only those run kilometers into the following statistic. I have manage to run 496km in 75 hours and 36 minutes with overall altitude gain of 12.345m. The distance would cover on way from my hometown to Prag, and the altitude gain would cover conquering Mont Blanc for three times. Again, not very impressive. It is only about 9.5 km in a week – so it is againg only one training ina  week-time as my usual routes are about 8-11km.




Putting things into a monthly perspective and including all kind of excercise looks more interesting – at least to me. It covers rides, fast and slow runs, and hikes as well.

monthly time

This graphic clearly shows that September was the most active month for me – yeah, the famous ride home from Germany. On the other hand, the least active month seems to be June. It is quite surprising as it is summer time in Europe, days are the longest, and it is also quiet at school. My guess would be, I was moving out from my old apartment at the end of June so I was rather busy packing boxes.

The average number for time spent training (excluding months June and September from the statistics) would be 19.4 hours in a month. It is only 4.6 hours of training, weekly. My optimal training plan would imply 8-10 hours in a week, so I have completed only 50% of my plan in 2015.  If I were to consider only the months I have been attempting to train actively, the second half of the year 2015, I have manage to cover 28.5 hours in a month, so basically 6.6 hours in a  week. It is better than the yearly average, yet still not fullfilling my plan (meeting only 70-80%).

monthly distance

monthly vertical distance

Looking at the overall distance I have scraped last year, the results are similiar. I have been skipping trainings in June and was very active in September. The vertical distance I have covered was clearly influenced by the my current location – it was quite impossible to avoid altitude when being in Slovakia. On the other hand, I was having hard time putting in vertical meters moving around Cottbus which is the flattest place in Germany, in my opinion.



I could honestly say, I have had period when I was consciously training and then times of skipping training this year as well. At the beginning of the year, I was at my laziest which is very surprising. It is usually that time of the year when the most people are starting their new chapters. Apparently, not me.  I am an exception. January is too depressing for me to start something exciting – days are too short, the weather is too cold, and the schoolwork starts to pile up on my desk. For what is worth, I have already started a new chapter this summer and will be happy with keeping the things the way they are right now, maybe improving thing or two. I have been living these past months in a belief, I am training a lot and could easily overtrain myself. Ehm, looking back, it is obviously not that case at all. I might have had the feeling, I am doing a lot – especially compared to the months before. Unfortunatelly, that was a very subjective observation. The numbers are tough and it is a little bit of let down for me. On the bright side, the coming year has twelve months – plenty of time for improvement, so let’s make them count!



Above everything, literally.

Christmas is probably the busiest time of year even in Slovakia and once can get sucked into that rush very easily. Crowds of people are streaming to supermarkets for last minute grocery shopping and the malls are bursting at the seams as well. All in all, it is very hectic and I have the feeling I have not seen the worst yet – there are still two more days to go. I usually love Christmas time – especially delicious food, seeing my my family, and plenty of days off. However, the haste knocks me out badly. So I have been glad we have proceeded in the outdoorsy adventures we have started this weekend. To make the most out of it, we have hiked in Velka Fatra – for more details on the route, check out the attached GPX-file attached below. Climbing out of the foggy valley was not without great effort and enormous amount of sweat, my legs were burning, but when we emerged above the fog ee have entered a completely different world, a very peaceful one. All my troubles have stayed down there in the thick milk. There was no signs of the rush going on deep down. Well, another great day and I am so beautifly tired, I might be going to bed at 9pm tonight!



Weekend of Inversion

I have spent last week moping around and blamed the foggy weather for my lack of motivation. I kept telling myself that I have used up all my sunny days this autumn, so I should not be so spoiled and train even on foggy or rainy days. Well, it is not as exciting to report on those activities as it feels like work, not fun. Nevertheless, this weekend we have climbed out of the foggy valley and were pleased to find glorious weather in the higher altitude. It felt so surreal. There was a completely different world up there – sunny, full of light and warm. On the other hand, my shoes did not survive the heavy melting snow and I have end up with wet feet but as long as they were not cold, I did not mind at all. Nevertheless, I have been able to refill the motivation bucket and shoot some nice pictures on my way. I have even got sunkissed and have noticed some freckles in the mirror :-). Such a lovely weekend.


Evening beauty of socialist housing estate

Despite the fact that I have the luxury of going for a run at any time of a day, I usually end up fighting the dusk. Today, I have returned home in a thick darkness and what is more, it has not been one of the bright starry nights either. Fortunatelly, I have managed to stay out of muddy pitfalls and did not injure myself. I am fully aware, how dangerous are adventures like this one, especially if you run without any light. I am not even going to start on how scared I was, alone in the dark woods. So, I will try avoid any similiar situations in the future for sure.

On the other hand, there was a one nice outcome of the whole irresponsible act of mine. I think, evenings are the most extraordinary time to be walking around town. I am guessing, the most people hate the housing estates built during the socialist era. They are not very appealing in a daylight but they are magical at the dark! You need to take a step back from the block to be able to see the whole canvas. It is very impressive, how those plain facades come to life in various tones – there is everything from blue to yellow or bright white. What is more, the random composition of these lights is constantly changing. It has a certain charm, at least to me.

Winter Hike

Looking out of the bus window today, it is hard to believe I have been hiking in a winter wonderland last week. Not even the slightest trace of snow on these fields – I just hope, it will be different when I arrive at home. I have travelled this week to Germany as I had some interviews and consultations for my master thesis, so it has been a long week – a lot of socialising as well. Now, I am ready to crawl back into my cave and put my running shoes back on! Till then, I have few more hours in the bus and can at least look at those charming pictures, hoping it will be just the same when I get back.


Only 33.5% of water

It has become a ritual for me to step on the scale each morning. I have been worried about that number for a long time (and I still do). I was quite naive, thinking it is not such a big deal. I saw myself in mirror and I knew, I am not going to work as laundrette model anyway. However, it is not a single number anymore. Since I have got the electronic scale (yes, I used the analog one before!) with few more functions, I use it in a full range of its possibilities now. I will not try to explain how it works but the bottom line is, it can tell you the percentage of fat, muscles and water in your body. I would normally by interested only in the first number. However, the most alarming one is the percentage of water in my body!

I have remembered reading a number about 70% in my biology coursebook! So, I went to do some research and damage control. An article at Wikipedia [Body water] presents an average for women at 48 +/-6%. So, my 33% would still be only 3/4 of the lowest value and despite the fact that I am not a doctor, I can still see how alarmingly low this number is! I have also read that the fat (or they call it adipose) tissue is built only out of 10%, while muscles consist up to 75% of water. So, the more fat you have compared to muscles, the lower number of water would comes out in the end. The fastest way to increase water amount would be dropping the fat percentage and I would, if it were so easy. Believe me, I would be happy to do so right away!

Nevertheless, looking at the poor result, I have evaluated my daily water consumption. I used to drink only about 1-2 Liter water a day back then. So, I have forced myself to drink more. I have been struggling a lot to drink 5 × 0.6 Liter of water to get in at least 3 Lit daily. It would be easier in the summer time, on very hot days I was able to drink up to 5 Lit! However, as soon as the weather cooled down in autumn, I went down to 3 Lit again. I have noticed a slight increase over the past months and I am now constantly at 33,5% – compared to 31 – 32% I used to be last winter. 1.5% is not a victory in any way. However, I can tell when I feel thirsty and when I am being really hungry, which is a great outcome! Furthermore, water has become my new snack and as a result, the fat percentage has dropped. 🙂

All in all, if you are chubby and have an isolating layer of EnEV 2015, there is no way you are doing it right and your whole body suffers. It is not at all about fitting into 36 in your favourite store, neither is it about carrying the extra baggage with you all the time. It it about my health and I have realised how serious the situation has become – even though, I have only few extra kilos.

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