In the three days that we were in Gothenburg, Mike and I managed to go for two runs. Running around a new city is one of our favourite ways to explore a new city, so this was a priority for us. We had two runs on our schedule – an easy run and an interval run.
We didn’t run on the day we arrived because we felt like zombies. Sometimes there’s no point in forcing yourself to run when you’re exhausted, right? Right. Finding our way to our accommodation was hard enough. I was so tired from our multi-flight trip to Gothenburg, that I would fall asleep everywhere that I’d sit down.
Anyway, so after a glorious 12 hour sleep (oh yes), we woke up at 10am and slowly got ready for our run. There are two main reasons why it took us so long to get out:
- It was scary looking outside – we seemed to be in the middle of some kind of rain/snow/hail storm and we were hoping to wait for it to be over.
- My suitcase became a catch-up for little things we forgot to pack which eventually made it impossible to find anything I was actually looking for.
Run #1: Slottsskogen (easy run)
That first run was (and I use this word sparingly) EPIC. Yeah. It was one of those runs where I was cold and miserable from the start. It wasn’t exactly the dream European run that I had in mind when we first booked our tickets. But, I knew that we’d be more upset if we skipped our run because of some bad weather, and we also wanted to check out the big park (Slottsskogen) to see if they’d be suitable for the interval workout we had planned for tomorrow. After spending some time in the park, I hit my “I’m done” point. I may have whined a little (a lot). I tried my best to suck it up, but the crazy rain/hail/snow stuff was simultaneously soaking me and whipping me in the face. My gloves were so soaked that I couldn’t even wipe any of the rain/snow/hail off. Ha! So that was day one. We didn’t take too many pictures because it probably would have broken our phones.
Run #2: Slottsskogen (Intervals)
Our second run was equally interesting. We made our way to the park again intending to do our intervals there. Mike found a 2km route for us and we ran a practice loop of it together before we got started. So… it’s a little hilly in Gothenburg. It’s not TOO crazy by the rest of the world’s standards, but for someone like me who has spent my entire running career almost exclusively in flat Toronto… everything is hillier in comparison. We knew unless we found a flat track somewhere, there was no way we could do a 2km loop without hitting a few hills. We also saw that Gothenburg was under an extreme wind warning. But what could we do? A little scary weather wasn’t going to stop us from getting our workout done! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? We did 4x2km intervals with a 400m break in between them. The week before, we did 5×1.6km repeats followed by 5x200m repeats so I didn’t think this week’s workout looked too bad in comparison. I thought it might be a little easier, even, since there were only 4 repeats.
Yeah… I almost didn’t start my last interval. The loop we did started right off with a hill, and then as soon as you got to the top, the wind took over and pushed against me. It felt like the wind got worse by each interval (but maybe I as just more fatigued). Anyway, it was a really tough run, and even though I felt a little disappointed that I faded so much in the 3rd and 4th intervals, I was still glad to have gotten that one done.
Overall Thoughts on Gothenburg’s “Runability”
I’d say Gothenburg is a pretty runner-friendly city. We didn’t see too many runners out there, but I think that’s because of the storm that kept them away from the roads. Apparently there is a running group that seems to be pretty big there, but we didn’t get a chance to check them out ourselves. There are a lot of wide pedestrian-only sidewalks, separate from dedicated cycle and car lanes, which makes it pretty safe. Plus everyone we interacted with spoke perfect English so getting around in case we got lost was never a problem. The park we ran at was at least three or four times the size of High Park in Toronto so if we had spent more time in Gothenburg, I couldn’t see myself getting bored of running and exploring the park more. It’s an expensive city, but I liked it enough that I hope we can go back and visit again, perhaps in the summer next time. 😉