Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that Andrew Butchart, Mo Farah or even Jim “The Legend” White go on an all inclusive cake binge, but for the ordinary punters like me? Enjoy yourself.
Part one of the season over then with variable successes. The first part of the year has been a difficult one in many ways with my real life (as opposed to running) workload in particular being very challenging and at times threatening to overwhelm me and my head, and as dramatic as it sounds my very being. One of the bloggers I follow said it succinctly in her blog Duff running cracking blog. It’s a great read and I particularly liked “whatever I do I’ll never be a perfect person. But I’m a decent one. I work hard and I try my best to achieve the desired results at work.” Have a read. Anyway back to me, as it’s MY blog 🙂 Myself, Elaine and the boys were off to Islantilla in Andalusia. I had looked forward to this holiday for a while. I am stressed. I do let things get on top of me although I can look in the mirror and know I am doing my best. I try not to but I’m human, a flawed one maybe but still human. We all needed the break. Two weeks all inclusive. And my simple aim? Enjoy it. Don’t restrict myself with anything. Aye I enjoy my running and recently I have started to find a bit of form again but it’s a hobby. But with that in mind I still put my trainers in the case ( Christening another pair of Nike Pegasus 33 OCs, I do like them.)
Also packed in were a couple of things I was going to be road testing , namely a couple pairs of Runderwear (my 10k PB pants from the Brian Goodwin 10k) and a Sports Utility Pack (as I was keen to find an affordable but comfortable way of taking water on long runs). Reviews of both to follow. My plan? Drink lots of cocktails. Eat lots of cake. Enjoy my family time. Beach. Pool. And aye the weight will go on. But don’t stress about it. If I felt OK in the mornings then go out exploring, see if I fancied a run. If not, then fine. Enjoy yourself Marko.
We arrived early morning on the Tuesday so that day was all about just exploring our base at Islantilla. Gorgeous. Almost ideal. Warm yes, but being on the Atlantic there was the occasional breeze off the Ocean. Oh aye. But you don’t care about that.
MAC on Tour
It’s Wednesday now. Up earlyish. Gear on. And let’s explore. Oh man I enjoyed this run so much I did the exact one the next day just so I could take photos of it for you lot. See? I’m good to you. 8 miles each day as the sun came up, and it was glorious. Starting at the hotel and about 2 1/2 miles out with the ocean to my right. Gorgeous golden sands. Starting off wth promenade, then onto a coast road and through the old town of La Antilla. Then my favourite bit, through the sand and onto a trail, going out for a mile and a half and onto a perfect boardwalk to a deserted part of the beach. Then turning and back again. I know, this doesn’t do it justice. So here’s some pics with every one being a right special memory for me.
And apologies. I should smile in my pics. Elaine tells me I look like I am trying to catch flies in my mouth. Oops. A fantastic start to the day and back before the family have woken up. All of us happy. Big breakfast. Lots of cakes later. Quality. Due to the wonders of Strava I find out a fella from Bellahouston Road Runners is staying at same place as me and I met him in the Kids club queue. Nice to meet you Barry and although he wouldn’t let me actually run with him I bumped into him a few times out on the prom.
Mixed it up the next day and went exploring again, up hill to the golf resort. Got lost a few times but was fun in the undulating sections and running through their sprinklers was refreshing.
Found another section while doing that though which gave me an idea for an efforts session. There’s a an area called the cliff face, aye that’s right, where the Ocean formerly used to come to. A long time ago. This area has been developed into a nature area, with paths for the punters. It looked lovely and I sussed out that one section would be about 1k long, so perfect for 4 x 1k efforts. Aye. Didn’t suss out the undulations beforehand…. this was a toughie, but again enjoyable.
I know, what goes up must come down. But the downs could be steep, and I am a shitebag so it was an experience 🙂
Sunday long run and back out to my happy place along the trails and beach and extended round to a road loop for just over 10 miles. Sports Utility Pack being tested. The ying and the yang. The glory of being out as the sun rose, then the agony of getting my lucky shorts destroyed in an argument with a Spanish truck and a tree….
Couple of wee runs after that then there is a sign. Not from Jebus like in the Blues Brothers, but one that tells me of the Ruta Del Camaleon. This runs the other way, towards La Cristina.
This would run from Islantilla along to La Cristina. Approx 5 miles or so of varying terrain. Rest day? Sod that. I couldn’t miss this. And what an experience! Again a lot of pics but 10 1/2 miles out and back over road, trail, sand, hellish san dunes where I had to walk, boardwalk with the turning point at the water at La Cristina. Oh wow. A total experience. Not easy, not totally enjoyable, but so glad I done it. I got shouted at by a Spaniard who had the same Adidas vest as me. Sorry mate, missed the memo. When I did the same route a few days later I saw him again. I had a different top on but he had the same vest so he didn’t recognise me but I did him. I don’t know if he understood “Hola Fannybaws, yer maw”, but it made me feel good … Anyway the pics. And they won’t do it justice.
So that’s the general gist. 12 runs in 14 days before the family wake up. More cakes eaten than at a 6 year olds birthday party. More cocktails swallied than there are cocks with tails. Beer for the first time in ages (I am not a big drinker at all). I think Jon maybe enjoyed his chocolate party more though…
Ran for 9 days in row for the first time since about 1989 and forced myself to take a rest day. And I still put on half a stone and don’t care 🙂 Because I enjoyed myself. What’s the point of this? I am not trying to be smug. You can do this anywhere. Let your holiday BE a holiday unless you’re an elite. Pack your gutties and explore. Document it. Look back at the pics with a smile. I have a club champ race next week that I’ll do so badly in as I try and shift the weight but I have no regrets. An amazing 2 weeks. De-stressed for now. Todays tune an easy one as I was reading Horace Panter’s account of life in the Specials on holiday. Enjoy yourself.