31 December 2013

2013 - My Running Statistics

Today I filled my last line of my 2013 running log table as I ended the year with a great trail running session on the hlls around Brasov. So it is time for some statistics of 2013:
  • 173 running sessions
  • Total distance: 2908 km
  • Average running distance per session: 16.8 km
  • Average running distance per week: 55.9 km
  • Total running time: 347.5 hours
  • Average running speed: 8.37 km/h
  • Average pace: 7min10s / km
  • 9 races, all in the mountains, including four full marathons (~42km)
So I almost had one running session every two days.
The total distance seems much, but it is not much more than the road distance from Bucharest to London. In any case, I ran 1400km more than in 2012, a quite impressive increase that shows that I became a better runner.

The average speed/pace looks quite low, but keep in mind that I run on mountain trails... probably one third of my running is uphill. I also often include break times in the total time.

I do not have a statistic for the total accumulated elevation gain during 2013. I would reckon that a conservative estimation would be 100,000 meters; that is 100km... more than 11 times climbing the Everest from the sea level to the top. Bucegi 7500 hobby race was the running tour with the highest elevation gain: 3500m.

During the year my preferences shifted towards longer runs at a more relaxed and natural pace. This is why, at this moment I do not feel very attracted to racing... I do not plan many races in 2014. Probably just 2 or 3 marathons.

I also did quite a few hiking and ski touring trips and a few cycling ones during 2013. I did not include these in the statistics. I can add that I do a lot of walking around the city... I reckon I have walked through the city at least 1800 km in 2013...

So that was my running 2013 in numbers... See you next year.
Have a great 2014!

27 December 2013


Hochnebel - a German word used in the Alps that describes the "sea of clouds" weather phenomenon. It simply means high fog. Usually, the phenomenon appears in the cold months of the year and is caused by low lying stratus clouds. At the extreme, the low-lying stratus clouds can last for many weeks and they can cover vast areas like whole countries leaving just the mountain peaks above in the sunshine. Below the clouds there is the most depressing possible weather: a monotone cold humid grey... Above the clouds.. well, there is the most glorious weather: warm and bright, above a sea of clouds that stretches to the horizon.

In the Alps, the altitude of the clouds' upper limit is mentioned on the weather-reports so people can plan their weekend trips above the clouds. Not so in Romania where I live. Most people here are not aware that a few hundred meters above the miserable weather the sky can be blue and the sun shining!

In cities, under the sea of clouds, the air also gets very polluted. The static weather means that there is no wind to sweep away the fumes from the cars, industry and buildings heating. The cold air only makes it worse as more fuel is burned for heating.

So during the cold months of the year, when the weather is grey, if you live close to the mountains, check the web-cams on the mountains. You might have a surprise!

This year, the winter in Brasov started with 3 weeks of Hochnebel. So whenever possible, I chose my trail running routes so I would reach the sunshine above the clouds. What a joy getting out of the fog into the sunshine... and what a shock descending back to the city through the cold humid fog...

Here are a few photos with the sea of clouds phenomenon in the mountains around Brasov, taken during the last years:

09 December 2013

Winter in Brasov

We got some fresh snow in Brasov over the weekend.  Not yet enough for proper skiing, but a little snow on the trails makes them perfect for running! In my opinion, the best surface for running is packed snow with a thin layer of fresh snow on top of it. This is exactly how it was this weekend and I enjoyed a lot my running sessions.
Here is a couple of photos taken yesterday morning in the forest. My daughter enjoyed the snow a lot!

I returned on the hills in the afternoon for a running session. I tested my new Salomon Snowcross shoes. I quite like them! I had very good traction and control in these spiked winter shoes. Running downhill on the snowy trails was a delight! The snow was not quite deep enough to fully test the integrated gaiters of the shoes, but in any case, my feet remained dry for the entire run.

Together with the snow cover, Brasov also got the festive look, as the Christmas lights were turned on on Friday evening. Here are a few photos from the old city center. The complete album can be found here.

Brasov. On George Baritiu Street
The impressive Christmas tree in Sfatului Square, in the heart of the old Brasov
Brasov, Republicii Street
Brasov. The City Hall
Brasov. The stairs to Cetatuia (Fortress) Hill
Brasov. View from Cetatuia (Fortress) Hill
Brasov. The old City seen from Cetatuia (Fortress) Hill
Brasov. Behind the old city walls