Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Posts tagged “Alicante

Doubles, quads on fire, long and sweaty, intervals and more beach – week summary :)

(Week 20140505-20140511)

“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!

Long run....

Long run….

Morning on the beach...start of the long run

Morning on the beach…start of the long run

Playa San Juan - should go there...far far away...

Playa San Juan – should go there…far far away…

Playa San Juan - looking back... and still some km to do...

Playa San Juan – looking back… and still some km to do…

“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!

On the way up to the castle...

On the way up to the castle…

...it is pretty stiff!

…it is pretty stiff!

Morning at the castle (2)

Morning at the castle (2)

Morning at the castle (1)

Morning at the castle (1)

There I was!

There I was!

from the castle

from the castle

 

Sun going down...

Sun going down…

Right and straight down from the castle

Right and straight down from the castle

View from the window...

View from the window…

“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!

Nice view from home...

Nice view from home…

Along the seaside

Along the seaside

Alicante own pirate-boat :)

Alicante own pirate-boat 🙂

“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???


Last day in paradise

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…

Planning to get to the little piece of earth over there...

Planning to get to the little piece of earth over there…

Sand path...

Sand path…

My BGS and the water...new friends?

My BGS and the water…new friends?

On the way to get there...

Little path to continue to "there"
Little path to continue to “there”
from almost the top of a hill on the way

from almost the top of a hill on the way

Still not there yet...

Still not there yet…

Trail running has definitively started...

Trail running has definitively started…

What did I say about trail?

What did I say about trail?

Hill above my head

Hill above my head

Boat over there (the other "there")

Boat over there (the other “there”)

A bit dry on the way back home

A bit dry on the way back home

Hill finally back to Alicante

Hill finally back to Alicante

Volvo Ocean Race - Stop @ Alicante

Volvo Ocean Race – Stop @ Alicante

Path used for the intervals yesterday

Path used for the intervals yesterday


Why 8 when you can do 7 under 3:50?

Time for intervals (again!). Thus time long ones.

Decided to do them in the evening, despite the temperatures still being high. Spent the longest day at the beach, careful with my nice red back…and drinking enough as well. By 7pm, I was ready and started with 4 km warmup, more to find the adequate place for the intervals. Started with the dock along the harbour, but still to many people. My Garmin beeped crazily and I thought I was to slow so turned up the pace a bit. To see that I was running under the range planned (4:10-3:55)…rested a bit and continued the same way. Heavy sun made me sweaty, really much!. Still under the range… And then arrived the followers being ALL under 3:50… Could not really understand this. 1000m series was planned in my little head to have the FOUR last under 4 min/km, not ALL of them… Stopped however after the 7th as started to feel slight ache in side of left thigh and seriously I could have continued after the 90sec rest, but then I felt like fainting and then stopped it all. Average pace of 3:47 for this wonderful 1000m-intervals series. Yes, I can!
Then 2.6km easy run back home, added to a well-deserved large glass of water kindly offered by the restaurant which kept my tshirt and keys while running AND a crepe con chocolate 🙂

Body felt great during the run, sweaty, tired, really difficult to sink in that this pace was reached. But more it will be easy training until Göteborgsvarvet next Saturday.

Late in bed, I unplugged the TV, which is ringing every night @3am and which I cannot unprogram… And no photo of the workout, went to fast!


90+10 = 100?

Started the day early and ended late – therefore this post entered the day after…

Up and ready for my bike tour, I left quite happy (after lots of suncream all over the body, just in case). Despite lots of indications when I rented the bike, I followed and followed and followed the bike signs towards the University of Alicante without finding it. After short 4km (?) my saddle fell (!). Yes, the  bike was too small and I raised the saddle, to the maximum…well a bit too much to the max. I had a choice to make: shall I turn back to the rental and change the bike to a taller one or should I continue with this one. As the rental was opening at 10am, I did not want to turn back and face a closed door and even worse to have to come back to here as it was a pain to find indication for the road! After 11km I was still in town and ready to aim towards the other side of the catsle (i.e. the completely other direction!). Stopped a guy on a bike and asked for direction to reach Agost. “muy lejos, muy lejos, chica…Yo trabajo allí…” enough of my Spanigh told me it was 1) very far from where I was (I knew it, the rental guy checked and it was ca.28km one way) and 2) this is were Manuel was working and he would returned there shortly. “no importa, Agost con la bicicletta” – yes my Spanish IS very rusty!. But I got the instructions and started to ride again. And ride, and ride and ride. Got into an industrial area and seriously planned to turn back, really mad at this rental guy and his instructions (and no I did not have a detailed map!). Found a Decathlon and asked for directions – only one nice guy could talk inglés, the only tricky part was he was from North of Spain and did not know the area… Anyway, got myself on a bike route and get along… until I really thought I had it all wrong and planned to turn when TADAAAAAAM! Here was the sign of Agost. No km indicated, but who cared really!

Sign indicating Agost... FINALLY

Sign indicating Agost… FINALLY

So when I finally reach the roundabout reading Agost but forbidden to bike… I say “no way” (read with quiet voice: “so I took the path anyway”) and reach the “CV” road and it was after a couple of km that I breath again as I saw ONE bike on the other side (“Holá”!).

OK, new trial... where should I go?

OK, new trial… where should I go?

Very beautiful landscape all around me, few cars (but driving VERY fast), enjoying the sun and off with the singlet in cotton which was way not adapted for the bike ride. And after 2km after this sign, I stopped for a pic and who do I meet… MANUEL! he was very surprised to meet me there again and was on his way (still on bike) to his work! Said goodbye and continued my discovery tour.

On the way to Agost...

On the way to Agost…

Still on the way to Agost

Still on the way to Agost

And finally: reaching Agost (Took a pic for being sure I’ve been there for real!)

 

 

Yes, I made it!

Yes, I made it!

Took a bit of visit in Agost, and finally settled in the natural parc of the village for my lunch break (45minutes after having biked for 29km). Enjoyed home-made sallad with couscous, tomatoes, cucumber, aspargus and tuna fish, followed by nectarines and apple. AND water! After  a few pic and lots of suncream (again), started to ride my bike.

The mountain (hill) which was so close at a moment is now behind me...

The mountain (hill) which was so close at a moment is now behind me…

Lunch pause in the middle of a natural parc @ Agost

Lunch pause in the middle of a natural parc @ Agost

Choice: back home or slightly more to Novelda...

Choice: back home or slightly more to Novelda…

Bye bye Agost!

Bye bye Agost!

Had now to choose: BAck home via San Vicente Del Raspeig (which was the orignal plan) OR make a detour via Novelda (which was suggested by the reantal guy)…What are 12km really when you have already biked 30?!?!? Continued then my bike tour to Novelda, then to Aspe and Elx (which was the second choice to do: Back to Agost, with ALL the uphills I had as downhill to Novelda OR turning to Aspe without knowing how long it was or if it was difficult road – but surely there was a way to get back to Alicante this way, right?)

New choice: back home or little longer...

New choice: back home or little longer…

Nice to turn back and see where I was coming from...

Nice to turn back and see where I was coming from…

Little bike problem on the slope up to the National road...

Little bike problem on the slope up to the National road…

A bit sad not to be able to take the motorway though as it was REALLY nice (and fast). Then the whole trip was sunny and hot and definitely with lack of water or any other type of food after eating my banana on a fast downhill. Yes I do think that most of the roads I took where OK for bikes (I did say that earlier). Good anyway to see on the other side of the road people (only very few) biking as well! By km74 the brain was in DEEP need for energy or whatever really. I had planned to make a stop @km60 for resting and food, but there was nothing then, and after that I just wanted to get home. So stopped at a gazoline station, got a super Twix, Gatorade blue and 1.5l of water. The Twix disappeared faster than you need to say it, the Gatorade effect came pretty quick and HOP LA! Fit for fight again… Well no, the bike was too small, my bum was hurting, the position needed on the back was making my lower back a bit aching, so the fastest home the better. Never been happier than when I saw the castle of Alicante and the sign of “entering into Alicante”. Back home, directly shower and LOOOOOOTS of cream on my poor back which had been getting the sun ALL day long. And despite of the sun cream was aiming towards a tomato-red-on-nice-brown-skin-colour-like!

Rested a bit, and then went out for a short run… The sun was STILL on my back (don’t know what I did to him!!!) and then it was not anymore… probably because I lost my way and was really far from where I was supposed to. SO all in all after a few turns (more or less lycky!) I saw the castle again and then it was just going back home, and more showering and more creaming!

Summary of the day: 90km on bike and 10km easy run. Not bad for a rest day, don’t you think?

and still the countryside

and still the countryside


Why 3 when you can do 10?

Nice little street on the way to...the top

Nice little street on the way to…the top

A bit troubled night, woke up due to sms-pling again (I really have to switch off this sound), and then impossible to fall asleep correctly again. So on and off it was until I went up and got ready for interval-workout.
The plan was easy: warmup at easy pace and if any ache or pain, then continue to 12km as similar pace and skip the intervals. Warmup (3.4km) went fine. Headed at a moment towards the Olympic stadium, but doubted they would let me in for my intervals…so I continued and found a portion of pavement estimated at 600m. Nice running with the traffic jam of the morning traffic at less than 1m from me… Brrrrrreathe the fresh air 😦

Anyway, started the first interval and unfortunately was short of 200m at the next traffic light so had to turn sharply and up to the next street. Light jogg and time for the next one. By interval 3, I was thinking of calling it the day but continued a fourth one. Then tried to find another place to run to have more straight line. Got interval 4 on a pavement probably 50cm large, interval 5 on a bike road and then car street. Interval 6 was great, including a turn. Interval 7 felt a bit thirsty but I had reach the harbour line. Interval 8 was just great (almost as 6). Then 9 and 10 were just…there. I stopped after no 10 as it started to feel a light ache in the back side of the left thigh. Nothing worrying, just decided not to push more. Planned was 10-12*600 @2:10/2:05. Not even close to the range planned. Got then between 2:14-2:22. Which I am fully satisfied with. And then ended with an easy run back home. Turned into a good workout of 11.5km.

I thought afterwards about the article in RW (US edition-pre-Boston) where they are talking about the ultimate and appropriate time of the day for which workout. IU have done most of my workouts in the morning, but several were squizzed at lunch or in the evening. Morning intervals have been either good or really good so far. In today’s case, I could have waited until this evening for the run. Although due to the temperatures, it would have meant a quite late training. On the top of that, not good sleep, maybe not enough eating before/day before and lack of water during the run… Add all this and you will get my interval workout of today!

Rest of the day resting on the beach. By 6pm, aimed to the castle and started…to climb. Really great views – best I have ever seen I believe. By 8pm I was down to the bike shop and now I have a nice white bike sleeping in my room which I will take for a ride tomorrow!

Food is ready for tomorrow, clothes are waiting nicely/quietly close to the TV, just time to rest now!

Starting point to the top

Starting point to the top

Castle from the start

Castle from the start

Yes, 20%!

Yes, 20%!

Told you: 20%...

Told you: 20%…

Aaaaand still 20%

Aaaaand still 20%

La Muralla (way down if not using the "20%-way")

La Muralla (way down if not using the “20%-way”)

Made it to the top!!!

Made it to the top!!!

La muralla (which I took on the way down!)

La muralla (which I took on the way down!)

Final view of the castle

Final view of the castle

  

Half-way to the top...

Half-way to the top…


Why do one when you can do two?

Up @3-ish hearing a fire alarm, but hearing no one in the guest house moving around, I decided to fall asleep again… Open the eyes 3.5hours later and a bit tired but already awaken, so started to get ready for a morning run.

7:22am started the run, in a city already waking up (it is Monday today!). The aim was to get some volume in the legs  but more to check possible route for doing intervals. Yesterday I noted that the beach walking path can be slippery when wet, but the one along the harbour is better. I decided to take the beach road and run along it until I get bored or wished to turn back. Got a nice hill to run up after hardly 2.5km, a bit of zig-zag to decide which side of the road to take and then sticked to the right side (i.e. the one with a pavement for walkers!). Up the hill I noticed a nice road DOWN the hill along the beach and decided to figure out how to get to this one for the way back. Not much to tell about the run, apart that it was cloudy, nice in the air (14ºC?), and good to breathe fresh air from the sea (well, blended with the exhaust gaz from the cars driving along!). By km6 I decided to turn around as I did not find anyway a satisfactory place for intervals + did not want to do a looooong run back home. At km9 I change my course and headed… towards the castel (well, the street under the castle which the bus took yesterday). Not that tough actually, nice hill up. Noted that it was 2+km to the large supermarket so planned to walk back and shop later in the morning. The city is so different in the Monday morning and during the Sunday! Not the same types of people out there neither!

Calm harbour

Calm harbour

Quiet sight of the market (which was black of people yesterday evening!)

Quiet sight of the market (which was black of people yesterday evening!)

And MORE quiet...

And MORE quiet…

Me there!

Me there!

Early grandpas under a tree...

Early grandpas under a tree…

Training apparel on the beach

Training apparel on the beach

Spooky tunnel on the way uphill (I did not take it!)

Spooky tunnel on the way uphill (I did not take it!)

Coming from there

Coming from there

Cliff to be climbed? I don't think so!

Cliff to be climbed? I don’t think so!

All ok! No speed checking for runners :)

All ok! No speed checking for runners 🙂

Way back home...

Way back home…

Me and my BGS :)

Me and my BGS 🙂

Turning point (yes, I am coming from the little dot in the horizon!)

Turning point (yes, I am coming from the little dot in the horizon!)

Lower road on the way back

Lower road on the way back

Up to the castel road

Up to the castel road

SUNNY!

SUNNY!

Back home, shower, breakfast and walk back to the supermarket via same road uphill. Spent lots of time in the air-conditioned large supermarket and then time to aim back home. Less fun when carrying all the food and stuff I bought (yes, I know what is a bus, and what it is for. But seriously 2km!!! this can be WALKED!). Took a different road (still close to the catsle, but this time lost a bit my way so definitely more than 2K!). Unpacked, prepared the lunch (2 ham sandwich with mixed sallad) and took lots of fruits with me to… the beach (Yippie!). Stopped for water refuelling (should keep myself hydrated, right?) and beach it was…ALL AFTERNOON. Turning on a regular basis for not burning one side (feels like a pancake in such case!) and even did “THREE” outings in the sea. But today the water was pretty dirty. I think I even saw small cute (?) jellyfishes. Walked on something that moved (and really do not want to know what it was!). Then by 5-ish happened something really strange… A big cloud of smoke came out from the sea,… knowing “the Pirate of the Caribeean”-movie when the ghost ship is appearing? Well, EXACTLY this way. Really spooky. I remained on the beach for a while still as the sun could be felt through the clouds, but it was grey EVERYWHERE. So headed home instead of awaiting the arrival of the ghost pirates…(did I say that there was a boat on the sea when it was sunny and I could not see it any longer when the fog arrived…). On the way back home, stop for a crêpe con nutella 🙂

Spooky fog - Beware of the pirates ship!

Spooky fog – Beware of the pirates ship!

First shower to get rid of all the sand, cream on all the red parts of the body (Yes, I do burn sometime, will be extra careful tomorrow and next days!) and ate a banana before jumping into new training clothes and heading towards the close park which is supposed to be SOOOOO good for all sports activities. Started with my street being filled with cops… Unsure why, and definitely not stopping to know the answer! Turned right, already people must think I am crazy to run by this weather. The fog was at the beach, here it is HOT and SUNNY (25ºC according to the pharmacy of the corner). The Gardens are supposedly close to my home. Unfortunately I noticed after 300m that the stairs in front of me are the ones heading to the gardens. So let’s do this then – no pressure, just running up the stairs and then down the road and then up the other road and the stairs and… I am on the top of the hill. Beautiful landscape at my feet… but no “wonderful gardens”. Taking time for lots of pic and then find the other side of the hill with “El Parque Monte Tossal”. Running down in zigzag (Ooops, a dog that want to eat me), reaching the bottom of the hill I strip my top because it is really warm and I am sweating like when I was in the US before Boston – Humidity must be on the top! and run uphill again (Ooops no2, another dog that REALLY want to eat me) and continue until Ooops no 3 where I decide to lift the hand above my head, in with the stomach (don’t ask why!) and freeze – this latter dog was NOT to play with!… And up the hill again. Disappointed a bit for not finding a flat place for my intervals (it looked really good on the map this parc…only the map is NOT showing the hills!). And downhill again, and uphill and downhill and back home. When running uphill, I try to run only on the top of my feet and it feels so light and easy! and silent! Back home and time for second shower to get rid of all the sweat, cream on all parts (they are still red!) and a bit of food for after-run. Update of training diary, email checking, laundry and preparing food for tomorrow.

Run that stairs!

Run that stairs!

Up the stairs, the sight is so much nicer

Up the stairs, the sight is so much nicer

Panorama from the top

Panorama from the OTHER side of the top

Panorama from the OTHER side of the top

Park/Garden I ran in zigzags...

Park/Garden I ran in zigzags…

Now all is set for tomorrow’s morning run. Hopefully it will be nice in the air. Don’t want to run too early (will be tired!) and cannot take the intervals in the evening as it is warm and heavy in the air quite late – so intervals at 9-10pm ain’t my cup of tea…

Time for bed to get this beauty sleep that everyone talks about!


Aiming for the sun…

So enjoyable to wake up at 5am after only 3hours of sleep…only when you know that you are going to travel south and get some sun… it is ALL worth it. Missed my tram to the airport (well, IT did not come as planned). Finally checked-in, got a warm soy chocolate for waking up a bit the brain and then it was time to take-off… Don’t ask how it went, I was already sleeping! Woke up after 2hours of flight and tested the flight wifi: terrific! Could even email, check discussion on running forums, sending pic from the skies… and we were landing already! Luggage, bus and guest house. Quite not what was expected from the outside, nor the inside, but satisfied with the little room I get with a little tiny room to eat in (would it have had a place to cook or warm (on the top of having a micro wave) it would have been perfect!). But all-in-all, the first hours were spent in unpacking, checking a bit where I was and off with the Swedish clothes, and on with suncream and outfit suited for Spanish weather. Headed to the beach, buying a freshly backed half-baguette and filled it with ham and got a coke as well (let’s be crazy, shall we?! 😉 ) At the beach, it was pretty loaded of people already – Sunday it is! Got a nice spot anyway and just started to mimic the lezards. Annoying enough to have wind at home, this afternoon was also full with light wind (enough to be annoying but not enough to get one cold). After a few hours sunbathing, headed towards the large supermarket I noticed when sitting in the airport bus. Unfortunately not all countries are like Sweden with shops opened on Sundays… So checking the opening hours for tomorrow, I headed back to the hotel, using the road the airport bus took (and which I found “Wow, THAT is HILLY!”, but actually not that difficult. So planning to have it at least twice as run during the week. Back at the hotel, shower to get rid of the sand, after-sun cream (especially on the nose which tend to make me look like a clown…) and back to the beach where I got my dinner (crêpe con jamòn y qeso y gaufre con nutella) – Yummy it was! Hopefully the cheese won’t be a problem for my tummy though. Really enjoying to be down here, where one can be out at 8pm and still having 20+ºC outside… On the way back home, found a really nice shop selling ALL kind of ice cream (see pic below)… definitely a stop or two before the end of the week!

Now it is VERY late and I am sooo tired. Time to switch off the Spanish lights! GOOD FULL DAY OF REAL REST…

Enough shoes for the week...

Enough shoes for the week…

Spontenous (?) dance under the sun and the flowers

Spontenous (?) dance under the sun and the flowers

Told you it was windy!

Told you it was windy!

Hmmmm, the sun!

Hmmmm, the sun!

Alicante Castle (will try to climb the stairs on the side later during the week...)

Alicante Castle (will try to climb the stairs on the side later during the week…)

Sand-castle/figures

Sand-castle/figures

El Mercado

El Mercado

Busy street along the harbour

Busy street along the harbour

Enjoying my dinner watching the boats passing by...

Enjoying my dinner watching the boats passing by…

Has my fan club hit Alicante already?!?!?

Has my fan club hit Alicante already?!?!?

Come closer...

Come closer…

Yummy no1

Yummy no1

Yummy no2 (there is even NUTELLA ice cream!)

Yummy no2 (there is even NUTELLA ice cream!)


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