The heat is on

Countdown to Lake Vyrnwy half marathon: 79 days to go

Week One of my official training programme: now it gets really serious! What a week to have chosen weatherwise, the sunshine has certainly been a very apt celebration of the summer solstice. Roger doesn’t mind running in searing heat one bit but I find it hard work so with the temperature rising quickly into the mid-thirties, I’ve had to come up with Plan B: get up super early, have a light bite and head out for a run before the sun climbs too high over the mountain. I don’t find it easy; I’d far rather run a bit later once I’m properly awake and stretched but that said, there is something special about running at this time of day with the air all fresh and earthy and full of birdsong. There’s more wildlife about, too, although I haven’t been lucky enough to see Roger’s Iberian wolf yet. The best part is that I can come home to a second breakfast Hobbit-style in the morning sunshine. Okay, so maybe these early runs aren’t so bad after all!

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Homemade spelt and seed toast topped with chunky homemade orange and lemon marmalade, melon, apricots and cherries and a pot of freshly ground coffee: not a bad post-run breakfast!

One of the changes I’ve made to the programme I’m following is to shift the weekly long run from Sunday to Monday. This is because I know that as the miles start to stack up, my best bet for running longer distances is to go to a beach and Sunday is very definitely  a busy family beach day here – early morning (tide times permitting) on Mondays, even in August, should be a lot quieter. The beach at San Juan de la Arena with 4km (2.5miles) of flat sand is fantastic and we had a good run there last week, despite a very strong wind: hard work one way up the beach, much easier coming back. Still, I managed to run 12 km (7.5 miles) which really pleased me. I managed a bit of CHAS publicity, too, but the shirt is too big and baggy to run far in and it kept ballooning in the wind, making me wonder if I was about to take off! The wind also whipped my hair out of its French plait in the last couple of kilometres so I need to look at pinning my crazy mop down a bit more before the race. I’m really not bothered about image (obviously!) but it helps if I can see where I’m going.

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Earlier this week we went to one of our favourite beaches, Playa de Silencio, with the intention of having a swim to cool off in the heat. Asturias is a true surfers’ paradise but the sea at this beach is like a calm, clear lagoon and we’ve been planning this swim for some time. I’m not a huge fan of swimming in the sea but was happy to look on this as an opportunity for a bit of cross-training. Mmm . . .

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Refreshing? Cold? Nope – it’s ffffffffreezing!

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Okay, I’m in . . .

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. . . and I’m out again!

Even my tough ‘wild swimming’ coach didn’t linger in there for long . . . we’ll try again when the sea has warmed up a bit!

Having said in an earlier post that I’m not a ‘stuff’ person I have given in to common sense this week and splashed out a whole six euros on two Spanish running vests, the point being that I am going to be doing more and more running in the coming weeks and the hottest weather is still to come. They are incredibly light, very different to my running shirts and I’m enjoying the freedom of no sleeves. They have already made a big difference to my comfort level, I just hope they wash and wear well as they have a lot of miles to do between now and September. No cabbage to contend with this week but believe it or not, here I am armed and ready for another run  – well, I do have a reputation to uphold now!

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This time I’m carrying a ‘Red Rosie’ lettuce and bunch of sweet peas from the garden to deliver to our lovely neighbour Christa. It’s 1.4km to her house from ours, luckily most of it being downhill so compared to the great cabbage caper, this was a piece of cake. I have promised more deliveries over the summer – we have so much veg to come in the garden and it’s a pleasure to share – but I might have to draw the line when we get to squash season, downhill or not! 🙂

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