Day 241, Saturday 01 September – Alcaucin
Another month has just started and my fiftieth is drawing ever closer.
I really hated turning thirty, forty just happened and I was not bothered by that at all and now I am not sure how I feel about being fifty. Fifty is getting old! and I am not ready to be old yet, but then I don’t feel old so maybe it won’t be so bad, bah – who knows. Even though I planned on travelling away from home for my birthday, being unemployed, single and homeless as I roll the decade over is a situation I occasionally struggle to see the good in. Yes I am being overly dramatic ! To counter all that I am doing what I wanted to do, I am fit and healthy (though ache from this morning’s run), am not encumbered by anything and I can choose to do what I want – where I want to do it.
With two weeks to go until 50for50 this morning was my last longish training run and I was planning on getting into the hills for four hours. I was up at 7:00 and after walking the dogs and fueling I was on the road for 7:45. It was quite cool for a change, though very cloudy with heavy black clouds sitting over the hills, I pondered going back and getting a jacket in case it was wet up there, but decided against it – I am usually soaked in sweat anyway, so rain would be blessed relief.
The run to the top car park was hard, I even stopped to take a photo of where I was heading – up into that !
The first couple of kilometres of every run I do is a bit of a shakeout, all my joints are stiff and the little aches and pains work their way around my legs and lower back and once everything is warmed up they go away. Today that didn’t happen, the niggles did move around, they just kept repeating with my hip being a constant nag.
I had decided to take a trail from the top car park up the other side of the steep valley I ran a couple of weeks ago. This fire road goes up and over another peak, though I was not intending to get to the peak today as it was too far. This trail was even marked ! when I entered the trail I expected this would be the last marker I saw but I was wrong, this was a well marked trail.
Once again, I briefly questioned the wisdom of running alone in the hills, in a strange location where no one knows where I am. – and once again I carried on regardless. However, as I hit the cloud I did vow to stay on the fire road and turn round if it turned to single track.
This all became moot as once I passed the tree line after an hour and half of running and walking up hill I knew I was not going to get much further, the niggles had not gone away and frankly, I was buggered. Out of the gloom a small peak appeared so I walked to the top and sat down for a snack, a drink and a rest.
My trusty Saucony’s – maybe their last run 😦
After ten minutes rest I started to head back down – and realised I could not see the trail at all, I did know where I was going and it was a only short distance, but I would have been stuffed if I was caught in this on the peak two weeks ago. I am glad I had decided to stick to fire roads. (the photos sort of makes the trail look more obvious than it was !)
I decided to open up on the way down the fire road and run rather than jog back – a decision I am regretting now as my knees are very sore, but it was nice to feel the breeze. On the way down I met a Spanish trail runner who had turned around once he hit the thicker fog, he didn’t speak any English, but we ran together for a while, though he blew out on the small climb and flagged me on. I ran back the last few KM’s to the house in a bit of pain – the usual ankle, but I had sore feet. I think my shoes are worn out which is a real pain as I was not planning on buying new ones till after the 50kmer.
Tempreture wise it was the best day for running I have had in Spain, probably late teens in the hills and the fog was nice and damp with just a hint of a breeze. I would have loved it last week on the longer run when I was just pounding the unsealed road.
All up two and a half hours, not the four I wanted, but the body has had enough of all the running in the past five or six weeks. I just hope it is all enough training for 50for50, I will find out in fourteen days I guess.
I did not do much with the rest of the day, mooched, cooked, ate and drank until the early evening when I hit the internet and started looking more deeply in to an Africa tour. This is looking to be the more likely scenario than finding a job in the next two weeks, so a decision will need to be made fairly soon, at least there are spots on the tour.
I also emailed a car rental company to clarify if I will be able to rent a car in England without my drivers licence, which I lost way back in Laos. Hopefully my international permit will suffice, if not I will have to rethink my plans for my first week in England.
The BBC news had some graphic footage of the damaging forest fires yesterday that had devasted the hills along the Costa del Sol from Marbella almost to Malaga, which was a bit closer than I thought – though still far enough away for safety 🙂
Another fantastic sunset again this evening.