The Iberian Odyssey

From miltonic malaise to Madrid marathon in thirty weeks.

21 to 40 of 85 messages
14/11/2012 at 13:06

  Hello everyone,

  So here I am at week four and I'm still running. So far, so good. Last Sunday's run upped the ante somewhat by pushing the distance to 7 km. After the run I was extraordinarily pleased with myself for several reasons: the run itself took place in the Cotswolds as I was back in Blighty for the weekend; I completed the run feeling pretty comfortable; that I completed the run at all was a miracle given that the reason for my being back in the green and pleasant land was a lads weekend (oh, how I hate that term!). One of my friends is about to become a father, so a weekend of debauchery was thought to be in order. Suffice to say my friends were suitably impressed that I disappeared for a run for the best part of an hour. I'd forgotten how green England smells - especially after a good bit of rain - and I spent the entire run filling my lungs with the beautiful earthy scent in an attempt to fix the memory before returning to Spain.

  Todays's run - 7.5 km - was, on the other hand, a complete nightmare. I decided to give my knees a rest by running off-road. All well and good except for the fact that, where I live, it's impossible to run very far without encountering an almighty hill. After 1.5 km I was positively dying. My lungs were burning, my left calf was complaining bitterly and I'd trod heavily on a sharp rock in my Merrell barefoot's - ouch! I plowed on, chiding myself for being a moaning minnie, but the general feeling of approaching unconsciousness never left me. I managed the distance through sheer stubbornness, but by kilometre four I just wanted to sit down and cry. Now, I'm a big bloke and not much prone to crying, but there it is - that's how I felt. Today was bloody awful. But at least it's done and chalked up on the training schedule. Friday will be a gentle 5k, before Sunday's push up to 9 km. I hope that there won't be too many more days like today. Here's to hope!



14/11/2012 at 13:15

well done on sticking with it when it was hard

14/11/2012 at 17:31

  Thanks, mathschick! Your encouragement means a lot

14/11/2012 at 17:38
Runners are determined! You are a runner perezoso
14/11/2012 at 20:11

26/12/2012 at 19:00

  Hi everyone,

  And a very Merry Christmas to all! Well, well, well, it's been over a month since my last post, but here I am again. I picked up a nasty calf injury shortly after my last post - a calf injury that came almost immediately after recovering from a knee injury. Have you ever had that sensation where your body just will not do what you're asking of it? I'm only thirty-six, not old at all, but nevertheless I don't think I've ever felt more fat, old, apathetic and generally short-changed by my own flesh as I have during the last month. I'm whining quite a lot here, I realise. Keep reading - it gets better later.

  But not just yet. I took myself and my strained calf down to the local physiotherapist, where I experienced the most agonizing hour long massage/treatment I've ever had. Have you heard of dry needling? Mmm, fun stuff. It certainly helped in the days following the treatment, but by Jove it was nauseatingly weird. The massage itself left me bruised and limping, but I'm told that's OK and to be expected.

  So that was me done for the next few weeks. I sank gently into an apathetic phage of epic proportions - eating too much, wasting time on my computer and generally vexing my wife to the point of tears. A deep breath and a self-prescribed kick up the proverbial was in order. I am and have for many years been prone to bouts of apathy, but thankfully I have a wonderful wife who provides support and inspiration simply by smiling at me each morning. Anyway, the point is I've started training again, my knee and calf are bearing the strain, and the cloud of apathy is slowly lifting once more.

   I ran 5k this evening; 5k on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week; and 10k last Sunday; and barring further injury and mental paralysis, I'm on track for the Madrid marathon at the end of April.

  Let's see how it goes. I wonder what's the bigger challenge - the mind or the body? If I find the answer, I'll be sure to tell you.

  Cheers, Happy Holidays, and ¡Saludos!


Edited: 26/12/2012 at 19:02
20/01/2013 at 16:44

  Hi everyone,

  Still here, still running. Did 14km today in 1hr 34mins. The last 3km were awful, but then, they always are - my village is on a hill.

  The sky today was particularly awesome - dark, broody and generally big and impressive.

  That's it, really. Still here, still running ...



18/02/2013 at 11:26

  Hi everyone,

  Yesterday I ran the Barcelona Half Marathon in 2hrs 8mins. I am over the moon (even though my legs feel like lumps of wood today!). The whole experience was magnificent and I feel thoroughly motivated for the full marathon in ten weeks time.

  It was my first experience of racing and I feel like I've learnt a huge amount about pacing, running in a crowd, keeping warm on the start line, and how to navigate an aid station without running into a dozen different people.

  The worst part was running past a McDonald's three kilometres from the finish and getting a face-full of Big-Mac smell while running up a hill. I almost vomited. The best part was everything else. I loved every minute of it and can't wait to get out there and run some more.

  Happy trails, everyone.



18/02/2013 at 15:11

Well done Perezoso, thats great. I'm running my first half marathon this year. I had made really strong progress but seem to have hit a bit of a wall in my training schedule. Fingers crossed I can keep going. Good luck for the marathon

18/02/2013 at 15:22

Well done, keep it up - 2H08 is a great first time half.  The time will drop as you keep on running and the weight comes off.

Well done! 

20/02/2013 at 08:00

  Thanks for your comments, Rebecca and Running!

  Rebecca, I hope you manage to push past that wall. If you can, you'll feel amazing when you cross the finish line at your first half marathon. Slow and steady worked for me. Maybe that's good advice for you too?

  Running, the weight is slowly coming off, and I'm obviously getting fitter. The problem is that I like to eat! He ho. Little steps, little steps ...

20/02/2013 at 08:25

  For those of you that are interested, I'm currently following this training program from the Hal Higdon website. I must admit that I have not been doing the cross training, which for me should be on a Monday as I've shifted the whole program forward one day so that the long runs happen on Sundays.

  Does anyone else have experience with this training plan and if so how was it for you?

21/02/2013 at 09:15

well done on your half marathon perezoso!

21/02/2013 at 10:10

Thanks, mathschick!

21/02/2013 at 10:14

So, I have a question. It's now Thursday and my training schedule has me down for 10km (I ran a gentle but painful 5km yesterday). The thing is that my legs are still very sore from the half marathon last Sunday. I mean very sore, indeed; not just a bit stiff, but knives in the muscles sore. Should I give myself a day off or is that missing the point? I'm sure some of you will tell me to listen to my body, but unfortunately I have very little experience of that. If I listened to my body I would probably never run at all!

Anyway, to run or not, that is the question ... ?

Edited: 21/02/2013 at 10:15
21/02/2013 at 12:01

Give yourself a day off, or if you feel you have to do something cross-train so your doing non-weight bearing exercise. You should probably be on a reduced training program this week anyway to help you recover from the half. I think Higdon has some post-race plans which might be worth looking at. Don't run.

21/02/2013 at 17:52

give yourself another day or two off till you have recovered, it won't make a lot of difference to your long term training

21/02/2013 at 20:24

In the end - a little too stubbornly, perhaps - I went for a run. A 10km plod at 7mins per kilometre. Tomorrow I will listen to the advice and give myself a day off - two, in fact, as I won't run again untill Sunday.

01/03/2013 at 15:13

  Hi all,

  Wow, the odyssey has moved into uncharted territory yet again. I seem to have run myself into a forced recovery period - my legs are like two bags of lead and walking is a challenge, let alone running. It appears that I've made the simple mistake of doing too much with too little recovery time. A quick trawl through the forums here turned up threads that discuss glycogen depletion in the leg muscles and the importance of sufficient recovery between hard runs.

  As much as I really don't want to miss a long run with only eight weeks to go until the marathon, I've decided to give myself at least five days off from any kind of serious exercise. Hopefully this will solve the problem and I can get back to training. The cause of all this was the half-marathon I ran two weeks ago. I raced it, instead of treating it like a long-slow training run. And now I'm paying for it. Ah, well. Every day's a new lesson.


08/03/2013 at 20:14

  Hi all,

  It seems the dead leg disaster may be coming to an end. Hurrah! and huzzah! For the first time since the Barcelona half-marathon three weeks ago, I've actually enjoyed a run, which was surprising given that it's dark and lashing it down with rain here at the moment. I've just finished a super gentle, super slow 8k, as a prelude to this Sunday's long-slow-run of 26km. I am quietly happy, as only yesterday I was seriously doubting my ability to continue training at all. This marathon preparation malarkey really is a roller coaster, and no mistake.

  Given that I live in Spain, near Madrid, it doesn't rain here very much at all. This evening was the first time I've ever run in a downpour. It was surprisingly stimulating. As I crested the hill on the edge of the village, I looked down over the twinkling lights of Madrid and the whole run took on a magical air. There's something quite special about wet roads with splashes of street and car light. It reminded me of England, so perhaps I was just being nostalgic; on the other hand, a bit of nostalgia and a good run are surely amongst the finer things in life.


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