I set off for Belfast International Airport last Tuesday morning, armed with my “parachute” rucksack and the intention to run, eat, sunbathe and drink, first in Portugal and then in Fuengirola for a total of 12 days.
As I am a terrible flyer, I take Valium before my flights to try to calm myself. This time it worked too much of a treat.
I may have laughed at clouds.
I checked into my hotel and went straight to bed. I woke up with a start not knowing where the hell I was.
It was sunny. And warm. I could see exotic trees from the balcony.
This was not Carrickfergus.
For a split second I thought I was in Greece.
Jogging, or the lack thereof.
Running in Albuferia isn’t ideal by any stretch. It’s extremely hilly, the pavements are cracked and it’s roasting even in April. It did not help that I was dehydrated most evenings with my ritual downing of the Sangria and cocktails.
The lowest point of the holiday was the first Sunday. I went out for a run, attempting to last at least an hour out there on my feet. I lasted half an hour. I was despondent. I felt that I’d let myself down by eating and drinking like crap.
Then I realised that I was on holiday to relax. To get away from feeling bad.
So I thought ‘fuck it’ and just went outside on sat on my balcony for a couple of hours and turned my mind away from running altogether.
At this point I had some ice cream and promised to try a little harder in Fuengirola.
But first. More ice cream.
Getting to Fuengirola from Albuferia was a bit of a challenge. I set off from the hotel at 7am to Fuengirola train station, where I caught a 4 hour bus to Sevilla. After spending an hour or two eating a Big Mac in McDonalds (and leeching their wi-fi), I set off on for the connecting bus from Sevilla to Malaga.
From Malaga, I connected on to Fuengirola by train.
I managed to check into my hotel by about 7pm to watch Barcelona get beaten by Chelsea.
The Wednesday when I ran in Spain
I went out and ran 8 miles to Carajval and back. Later that evening I did another 5.
Over the 4 days in Fuengirola, I managed 29 miles, which I was pretty pleased with giving that I only managed a poxy 14 in Portugal.
Fuengirola itself is AMAZING for running. The seafront path is glorious and it’s packed with runners, skaters and walkers.
Overall, The longest run I managed in Spain was 8.5 miles.
Not great, eh? Still I’m of the mind that it’s better to get in a few miles rather than not running at all.
On the 8.5 mile run, I ran past the London Bar on the seafront twice and each time I was getting abuse from the punters drinking outside. On the way back I got a “speed up you fat bastard” by a fat, topless cockney man who looked like something out of HMP Belmarsh.
I followed his advice, but only after throwing him the ‘International Sign Of The Wanker’.
Now I’m a week away from the Belfast Marathon and I’m slightly worried about the distance. I know what I’m up against, having done it once before. I’m gonna set out at 11:00min/mile and aim for 10:50min/mile by halfway and try my very best to run a negative split and get under 5 hours.
I really wanted to get in more runs over 14 miles, but it wasn’t to be. My mileage had been very consistent up until March/April, but that kinda went to hell quite quickly!
Here are my weekly mileages for 2012 so far.
And my plod around Belfast last year. I am still annoyed by finishing 57 seconds late of 5 hours. Hopefully I can rectify it this time.
In the meantime I am relaxing and going out for gentle plods until Wednesday.
I should be well rested at least after the holiday!
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