“Double-trouble” Monday: started 7:30am (or this is what the clock wished for me…) hoping to skip the heat if the morning for running. Got into my gear and by 8:13am I was on the road. Started “smartly” with running up the Castle slope (yes, 17minutes after getting out of bed…), making me remembering the race from yesterday. Front thighs a bit aching and Achilles heels not too happy. But what is a little pain during the first 200m of a 12km-run?… Nothing to stop for, right? Got downhill after this and my quads told me to stop, which I did not listen to BUT I slowed down a bit. Got to the main road and got uphill towards Vista Hermosa. Took the beach road for reaching Playa del Postiguet aaaaand forgot the rock climbing part from last year. Took me over 13 minutes for getting one km done, being careful not to fall into the water on the slippery rocks… After that another favourite: 300m run on sandy beach 😦 and got to km6 pretty sweaty but not tired. Off with the singlet and turned back home (well, I actually turned left uphill and then left again downhill…ouch ouch ouch…). Easy on the way back. Unsure how I got so many downhills on this sense… Back in Alicante, it was just to get the beach side and then uphill back home. 12km slow (let’s call it “recovery”). Shower, breakfast of cereals, kiwis, banana and pineapple (I do have to eat those fruits I won, right?) and ready for a few sunny hours at the beach. Even succeeded in reading and getting into the water (once). Back home for a work-meeting and then after taking afternoon tea with pear and bread with honey, time to change for second run of the day. Could have taken alternative training, but no bike in sight and definitely not an alternative to swim in the sea… Unsure it was smart for this run either. Quads started to yell from start and my mind seemed to enjoy being deaf to the screaming. Pretty slow pace, started with the castle again (what’s wrong with me???…) down to the beach side, Volvo Ocean Race pier (twice) and then forward with the sun in the eyes. Stop by a shop for little purchase (& yes, my 20€ bill was a bit sweaty… This is what happens when having money in your side pocket when you run…). Despite the little pre-run massage with tiger balm, the quads did not seem happy for a while. Ended the day with reading on how to recover from a downhill race and it was time for bed. Tired.
“My quads are on fire” Tuesday: ok, not great sleep this night either, but little better. Achilles heels not shouting when I went up (7:32am), so ok for a morning run. Skipped the singlet directly, got my calve sleeves on and HR-shorts (they “seems” to pressure a bit in the thighs). Yes, quads again… Already shouting while going down the stairs… No need to describe the yelling reached when starting to run. Took another road trying to skip downhill as much as possible (yes,… Sure!). Got around around around. Slow slow slow pace. Not much effort but would I have run slightly faster, it would have definitely make people turn for the yelling (of the quads… Can’t be just me hearing them, or?…). Got enough by km10 and just reached home. Nope, today should have been a no-brainer choice:REST!!! Which I did for several hours on the beach. Could read, got a deep in the sea (still cold) and then back home for early pasta dinner. Hoping it will be fine for tomorrow as long run is on the menu… Easy walk on the pier in the evening… Quads a bit better but fully tired otherwise…that a day at the beach could be so tiring…
“OMG-33km-under-the-sun-is-tough” Wednesday: Yapp! Might be on vacations but would not miss a long run, right? Up early to take little food (had good dinner so expected it to work fine for a long run right after going up… Took an extra banana and a power-bar JIC..), gear on, camelbak filled with 1l Powerade orange and off I left… 16°C already and sun out there… First part felt quite ok, not pushing at all and it got the pace it deserved 🙂 A bit sensitive quads, but way better than yesterday. Reached 15.5km, short stop for pics and then started an alternate km fast/slow for 10km – Wow! Good to have the camelbak – for the drinking. Bad to have the camelbak – because it is actually on the way when trying to run fast and long… Completed with 10k back to the beach in Alicante and there…off with shoes, socks, camelbak and mp3 and jumped directly into the sea 🙂 REALLY nice! After a little while, got out, back with shoes, socks, camelbak and mp3 and took an extra 3km back home 🙂 Hmmm! Nice! Could have run way longer…I think (?). After that, it is pretty standard procedure: water, fruit, shower and rested for 1.5hr with legs up. By then it was still just right after lunch so had a full and long afternoon at the beach, after late lunch at restaurant. Just to change from pasta 🙂 Back home later on, light dinner and reading in front of the castle I could see through the window. Got dark and then continued to read in my room and tried to sleep… with not much success, so more reading it was… until 3-4am when the eyes decided to close themselves…on their own! Long day really!
“Let’s-rest-today” Thursday: Even the warriors deserve some rest (I think I read this somewhere…or I made it up…). After 15 days non-stop without rest day, it was about time to take one, right? Up late (7:00am?!?!), took easy and large breakfast, before aiming towards the castle (El Castillo de Santa Barbara). Tried to walk all the small paths I could find 🙂 Would have been fun to have my Garmin and register this on a map! Skipped the stairways along the wall which sometimes felt really unsafe and pretty dangerous, but otherwise, I think I made all the paths possible. After this, it was still only 10:15am…and a full day ahead… In the family “Bored-to-death”, pick the mum! Headed to the beach, try to do some sudoku before I fell asleep under the sun. Was ok as there was clouds out there and a bit of wind…until 4pm when both disappeared and it turned into a real heat! Easy walk back home. Got a new book from my host. Skipped the use of bicycle as the Achilles felt a bit sensitive… Light dinner pasta (yes, sure…) and off to the castle to get the last rays of sun before it goes to bed. Real nice! Enough walk for today… it is after all a REST day!
“Fast-and-furious?2-please!” Friday: Final day in Spain. No sleep-in as intervals were on the menu. Started easy run until the train station and noted the GPS was not on. Ran a bit more to warm-up and then found a place for starting the 200s series. Fast and nice. Good feeling. Real sweat. And happy 🙂 Sure, some were slower than others, but overall a very satisfying series and then cool down back home. Could have probably eaten before leaving as I felt pretty tired, but cold shower and cereals breakfast made it right again. Beach for the last time this week and finished the afternoon with a visit at the Volvo Ocean Race museum (Strongly recommending it…even if you are not into sailing or boat).Hesitated a bit after getting back home, but quick shower after the beach and then final easy run under the Spanish sun…starting by one km @3:45… and pretty light legs and feet. Not sure how to explain this, but the feeling was really nice and easy, even though 1) the pace was note indicating it and 2)this was the second run of the day after tough interval-workout…Got one km on the beach @3:27 (!!!) and yes, needed to stop for breathing after this one…Easy back home and got an easy evening with pizza and then packing before sleeping… That was a nice way to finish this Spanish week!
“Back-home-&-take-it-easy” Saturday: (too) early wake up for getting the first bus. Check in going fine (was a bit worried I would have problem with carrying the trophies in hand luggage as one is pretty sharp… but it went fine). Breakfast of 2 croissants, orange juice and chocolate and then plane. Slept most of the flight and it was home already (16ºC less… but at least sunny). Spent the afternoon doing the clothes washing, food shopping and…oh, yes… resting a bit as well.
“And-it-was-already-Sunday” Sunday: Awaken by the rain on the rooftop (yeaaaah”! welcome back home…), waited a little and got my gear on for long intervals when it was still clear skies…and it started to rain again when I put my little nose outside (SO typical!). The quads felt pretty ok during the warm-up but as soon as I got to the pace expected for the 3K, a little fire started to feel in the middle of the front thighs. Not wishing to jeopardize next week race, I decided to cut the 3K planned into 2*1,5K. OK-workout I would say. Rest and chilling out during the day (which was sunny…apart from the time I was out and running…) and by 6pm, decided to take a recovery run, which felt ok, but not more. Worked late to catch up with emails and work accumulated during this week of vacation and 11.46pm…I was done…for this week…
One week to go before next race…really???
And then it became Friday. Final day in the idyllic Alicante.
Started with a troubled night, awaken lots of times, deciding at 5 am I should maybe go for my run, but maybe not. Same thought around 6:30am, and then 7:10am. Then it was 8:57am, time to go up… Time flies right? Prepared my gear and took breakfast of cereals and soy milk with dry berries. Unfortunately my fresh strawberries did not look to fresh this morning… Generally I would have gone running without breakfast fire a 15K, but now it was already half morning, had not eaten much much after the intervals yesterday (just enough) and was expecting to have the sun already out…
And it was, in all its glory! Nothing compared to first run day, with clouds aso. Here it was already pretty warm when I aimed to the castle. I ran the way along and then down, planning for the beach of San Juan (yes, I knew it was looking quite a but away in the map…). Started similar route as Monday then and took the beach path this time all along. So much for being called a gazelle…I soon wished I was a mountain goat instead! The shoes were not optimal for running/jumping on the rocks and the sand, but did the job. After arriving at the same distance as Mondays run, I just continued along the beach. Aaaaaand along the beach…aaaaaand along the beach. Lots of climbing started then so definitely not checking my pace! The views are impossible to describe and the photos I took are far from showing how it is in reality… Only few people in the beaches, fishermen, a couple of walkers… And them I climbed to the top of a hill and just…it room my breath away! Quiet and peaceful, hearing hardly the sound of the sea in the rocks, the light wind in the bushes…just me, the sun, the wind and the sea… Great!
Then it was time to get down as I was really feeling the lack of water starting to bother me. Climbed to the nearest group of houses and then started to run back to Alicante, planning to stop at a supermarket for water. Of course all shops were always on the OTHER side of the road I ran, so continued and continued. Passed the beach and took water on my warm shoulders (did I mention I did not cream myself before the run?…and that the tshirt went of after 3 km…). Stopped by a little house whet two old French men were talking and asked for water. Which I got, after they cleared the water tube!!! Does not matter, half warm water was the greatest drink ever in my mouth at this moment! It got cold as well eventually 🙂 So much for the water! I felt revived… And off I went, my two old French promising cold champagne for my next passage! Not much to sassy about the way back. Wanted it off the way. Stopped at km 16.5 for getting some Gatorade (which disappeared quicker than it takes to say the name!). Stopped the clock at km 17. Stretch and walk back home the last 500m. Dead tired, left knee starting to shoot, probably highly dehydrated, but satisfied of this unexpected outcome of the run.
A few pix below. Rest of the day at the beach, but seriously bored (even though I got lots of my book finally read…). Cloudy and windy, I cut it short around 5 pm, aimed home and yes, you guessed right: shower again! A bit of food (read: 1/4 of chocolate table, 1 apple and a glad of soymilk). Starving, I left for a walk for my last evening in Alicante. Got some pix of my intervals route and a few souvenirs as well. Enjoyed the sun close to the Volvo Ocean Race Museum, and that was it. Back home, having enjoyed a nice pizza Ballerina, it is now time for packing (read: throw all in the suitcase and hope it can be closed…)
Tjingeling! Got news it may be warm and sunny next weekend for the race…