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Black Forest

Hiking near Titisee in the Black Forest in 2012.

Revisiting remote (from home) places, will often evoke memories of those earlier visits, even if scores of years later.  There are a number of places in the world where this has happened to me and one is the Black Forest in Germany, and Titisee, in particular.

I was most recently there in May of 2012, as a hiker traversing the Black Forest as part of a three-month trek, primarily in the Alps.  As I passed through, I thought fondly back to my two previous visits, the first as a teenager in the mid-1960s travelling with my family in a campervan, and the second in August of 1975 on another camping tour of Europe.  On this latter occasion, I was also supposedly in training for the Enschede Marathon just five days later, but had found it hard to get in any long training runs in the previous couple of months while travelling behind the Iron Curtain.

Looking over Titisee towards Feldberg in the far distance.

After setting up camp beside Lake Titisee, I decided that a long training run might be in order, and set out along forest trails to run to the top of Feldberg (1493m), the highest mountain in the Black Forest, and return, a distance of about 32km.  I don't remember exactly which route I used, but I do have memories of a dull overcast day, hilly terrain, and dark forbidding conifer forests with little undergrowth, ideal for scary fairy tales.  I also remember that the peak, which is above the treeline, accessible via road and had a large communications tower on top, was covered in cloud and seemed quite eerie with nobody about.  No views either, of course.

Crossing the line in the 1975 Enschede Marathon
(91st, 2:59).

I didn't hang around in the cold, and returned to Lake Titisee via the same route, reaching the campsite three hours later somewhat the worse for wear, ominously for the upcoming marathon.  In the race, I managed 91st place in 2:59, my worst marathon to date at the time, and resolved not to run another marathon without training properly.

After yesterday's tempo run, which left me with the usual sore right Achilles tendon, and some stiffness, I decided to just run an easy 10km today in the hope that I will be fresher for a long road run tomorrow.  I didn't get out until late morning when it was quite warm and felt lethargic and rough.  However, that's quite often the way when it's a bit warm and you didn't really want to go for a run anyway.

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