I got to run in Cologne this morning. I'm really enjoying this running tourism and it's turning into one of the highlights of any business trip. I marched out of the hotel in all my gear, walking across the cathedral square as part of my warm up walk. Loads of people around and I just didn't care (that's changed since this time last year). Then down to the Rhine and a gentle trot along the banks of this mighty river. They've developed the old harbour area into a trendy, modern, arty area and there is a lovely straight promenade which is ideal for runners. I'd scouted the area the evening before, when there were loads of runners, this morning at 06:30 was much quieter, but there were still a few around.
The aim of my run was to try and stay in the "recovery" zone and basically see if I could keep my heart rate down, which meant going slowly. It also means working on form is easier. Despite being horribly slow I felt like a proper runner, after all everybody could see I was on a recovery run and was taking things very easy. I blew it a bit at the end as I ran up the hill from the river to the cathedral, but otherwise I really did a gentle trot - and it was very enjoyable. I am slowly realising that there is no point in going hell for leather all the time, and recovery runs are supposed to be good for you. I probably need a plan, but I'll play around on my own for a while.
My new watch has rewarded me by saying on my current form I have the potential to run 5k in 27 minutes and 10k in under an hour. Both of these things are miles off, but it's nice being told that it may actually be possible. If I get the knack of recovery runs.