Being in good physical condition affords many perks: justifying cupcakes and frosty-beverages post-workout, the exhilaration of achieving a personal best, the mental health boost that sweating with friends creates and being able to truly experience the flavor of a new place.
I was fortunate to sail the Danube with my family last week. I love traveling Europe by riverboat because every day you wake up in a new city or country. While we had the option to take a bus tour in each city, my sister and I opted to travel by our own two feet. Sometimes we took the “long way” (got lost!), but always we had a fantastic adventure and learned a bit on the way.
We began in Passau, Germany which lies at the intersection of three rivers: Danube, Inn and Ilz. The rivers are each different colors due to the sediment they carry, and you can actually watch the rivers meld into one if you trek up into the hills. We followed the snow-fed, black-colored Ilz river and had a beautiful hike through the Bavarian Forest. In town the locals usually stay clear of tourists, but in the woods, they greeted us with friendly nods and Hallo’s.
In Durnstein, Austria, we spotted the ruins of a castle high on a hill where Richard the Lionhearted was held prisoner. We bounded up hundreds of old, crumbling steps to reach the summit and were afforded incredible views and a great educational display about King Richard. There was something special about looking out at the hills, river and rooftops from the dungeon knowing that the king probably spent hours gazing at the same sight (pictured above).
In Vienna, we discovered the Donauinsel (“Danube Island”) – a long, skinny island near Vienna’s city center that features a run/bike path, water fountains, fun playgrounds, beaches and awesome views of both the historic and modern city skylines. We fit right in with the other runners getting their long training runs in as the island is nearly 13 miles from end-to-end. I loved looking at everyone’s running shoes – the same brands/styles as in the US, only brighter colors!
My most favorite experience, though, was in Budapest, Hungary when I discovered a CrossFit gym located along the banks of the Danube. To make my adventure all the more fun, I rented a bike to ride the 8km to the gym instead of Uber’ing. Of course, that morning it was pouring rain, but I still went anyway and had an incredible tour of the city as I pedaled my way along the river.
I started on the Pest side of the Danube, passing the beautiful market hall, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Parliament and the Olympic Rings monument (inspiration!) then crossed over the famous Széchenyi Chain Bridge (their equivalent of the Brooklyn Bridge) to the Buda side of the river where the Buda Castle towered overhead and eastward past Margaret Island to another island in the river where Reebok Crossfit Duna was nestled.
I was super nervous to drop into the gym, but everyone was so welcoming. Once the 3-2-1- Eredj! was given to kick-off the workout, it didn’t matter where people were from or what language they spoke. A push-up was a push-up, a squat a squat and a 400m run was still a butt-kicker.
The coach’s clapping encouraged me, the groans and heavy breathing of the fellow participants told me they were feeling the same exhaustion and our fist-pumps and high-5’s upon completion of the workout signaled our joint elation for completing the workout.
It was then I realized that the language of fitness is universal. It was such an incredible way to communicate and connect with people who, while they are from another culture halfway around the world, are just like you and I.
GARMIN: NEW RELEASES!
The wait is over. Garmin's new family of Forerunner watches are finally in-store - and they are fabulous!
All watches feature safety features like incident detection and assistance (when connected to a phone) as well as sleek styling and upgraded materials.
Forerunner 45 ($199.99): Garmin's "basic" watch is anything but basic with a color screen, coaching/training plans, custom watch faces & more activity options. Available in small & regular sizes.
Forerunner 245 ($299.99): The choice of those serious about their workouts. Customizable data fields, pool swim, strength training, cardio activities, running dynamics (works with RD Pod), metronome, training load status, follow a course and much more. The "M" (music) version holds 500 songs for $50 more.
Forerunner 945 ($599.99): Gear for the triathlete. Full 4-color mapping, navigation, Garmin pay, stores 1,000 songs and more!
Ladies! This super cute tote bag from Brooks can be yours for FREE if you are one of the first 20 women to purchase any two sports bras (or one bra and one piece of Brooks apparel).
It's time to spring clean your drawer of workout apparel and toss out anything that's a bit too odifferous, stained or that you just plain hate wearing. Then, come in and treat yourself to something new. Something that will make you smile when you put on and motivate you to get your workout in.
All of our female staff are trained to fit sports bras and can help you find something that fits and flatters. No appointment necessary.
FLEET FEET RUN CLUB:
Join us every Wednesday evening (6:30pm) and Saturday morning (8:30am) for free group runs from the store.
Wed runs are 3-5 miles; Sat runs feature two routes (4-6 miles & 7-10 miles).
Injured? Don't know whether you can run/play sports or if you should really see a doctor? Select Physical Therapy hosts FREE injury assessments every Saturday. No RSVP necessary.
Can't make it on Saturday, call 1-877-MOBL-MED to schedule a free assessment at your convenience.
RUN WITH RAGNAR
Wed, May 29 @ 6:30pm
Ragnar ambassadors will lead our fun run, then treat everyone 21+ to a frosty beverage while regaling you with stories of past relays to entice you to run one yourself!
If that doesn’t tempt you, how about $80 off Ragnar Trail Vermont, Reebok Ragnar Reach the Beach and Ragnar Trail Wawayanda Lake.Click here & use promo code FLEET80.
WINDING TRAILS DEMO DAY
Tues, June 4 @ 5-7:30pm
Tri season is almost here! Join us for a swim, bike, run or just socilize at this fun kick-off to this awesome tri-series.
Hoka will be joining us with their fleet of demo trail shoes for you to test out on the run. Learn more HERE.
CHASE THE MOON
Mon, June 17 @ 6:30pm
Road and trail runners alike are invited to participate in this global Ragnar event to run the equivalent of 20 times around the moon. Choose from 6.7 or 3.3 mile routes that start at REI West Hartford and end at Shake Shack.
Prizes & post-run refreshements will be had! Register HERE.
THE BIG RUN 5k
Wed, June 5 @ 6:30pm
Celebrate Global Running Day with us at Auerfarm in Bloomfield. This off-road run winds its way through the farm...including one giant hill with a spectaular view of CT. Colorful bibs, sparkly medals, s'mores, beer, music and great prizes! Register HERE.
CELEBRATE WEST HARTFORD 5K
Sun, June 2 @ 8:30am
Our favorite hometown race! Race your way through West Hartford on this flat 5k for your chance to win great prizes (like FF gift cards!). Young ones have their own 1/2 mile race at 8am - complete with medals and snacks!
Regular massages can help prevent injury, improve mobility and allow you to train at a higher level - but finding a place that knows runners and is affordable can be a challenge. Unless you visit our friends at Sacred Fox Massage in Glastonbury. They have a special introductory rate of $45 for a 60min massage ($65 thereafter) and are runner-friendly. Ahhhh!