From the right angle

Last day of month 3 and a stunning, utterly cloudless, warm day in Sitges.  More like early summer than springtime, though the pollen is still playing havoc with my head!

Partly wanting to break Sarah’s jinx from Sunday and also to mark the 90-day milestone (kilometre kilo in the new money?) I went for the run up to the Dolce and the view did not disappoint.  My breath was verily taken.  I did a slightly longer version of the straight there- and-back option by running past the bottom of the road bridge opposite the Masia, round to the left and left again and down the underpass, up the other side then right past IES Vinyet to the Design Centre and then continuing the usual Dolce route.

Looked out for any dangerous grates on my way back down and gave them a wide berth.  Sarah’s blood seems to have been cleaned up, or actually is probably just hidden under the mounds of pollen waiting to leap up into my sinuses.

Nice sub-5min/k pace to to make it a good workout.  Bring on month 4!

8.5km, 41:21


Nurse Wright to the rescue

Nurse Wright

Nurse Wright

After my run yesterday, Sarah went out to do her regular 8k up to the Dolce and back.  I heard her return in what I thought was a very quick time and shouted down to ask if it was her and if all was ok.

“I fell!”.

She really was in a sorry state after tripping over one of the grates on the way back down from the hotel – she was flying along at top speed (downhill) and so scraped her elbow, hand and knee and wasn’t at all happy.  Thankfully a kind couple passing in their car stopped to help and drove her home.

Without any prompting, my daughter disappeared upstairs and 5 minutes later down came Nurse Wright, complete with music box for calming distraught patients, her packet of Madagascar plasters and of course magnifying glass for close-up wound inspection, not to mention matching silver necklace and shoes.  All of which helped S to smile through the pain although she was out of sorts all day.  Late in the evening we were watching telly and I accidentally leaned on her knee as an affectionate support while I got up to get something and sent her into fresh paroxysms of agony.

All of which made me realise how easy it would be to get an injury to put this year-long challenge in jeopardy – it really is just one foot in front of the other and if you get it wrong just once it can be game over, at least for a while.

No such problems today thankfully and I combined the run with a quick mercy dash up the Sitges Pabelló to lend my son my tablet so he could play for a bit – it’s Easter week of course so he’s off school and my daughter had extra skating practice this lunchtime so he was at a loose end.  Went up to Can Robert, through Poble Sec behind the ambulatorio to the Pabelló, quick cuddle with my boy (“errr, Daddy, you’re sweaty”), round the other side, down to the Penya and out towards the police station, turned down before there though and under the railway line, round to the cemetery and down to San Sebastian beach – first few sunbathers and even bathers on this warm and sunny – even muggy – day.  Through the old town, down the steps to the mermaid, out to Kansas, back to the Calipolis and home up Av Sofia.

5.28km, 26:32.

Spring forward

Another late night, more curry and beer.  Will I ever learn?  I seriously doubt it, and hope not.  This after seeing my boy and his hockey team pull off an amazing performance to get a seven-all draw against a team with some boys who must have been 12 at least, and taller (not to mention wider) than me (and the rest of the family put together!).

Clocks went forward at 2 this morning and alas I was there to see the miracle.

Up about 10 (summer time), tempted to run later on but the “get it out of the way” pull is strong.  Along c/Vilanova to the Ermita and into the Vinyet, down the side of the Terramar Park, round the back of the hotel and out to see some very happy patos getting fed.  Lots of people out enjoying the new summer sunshine, and great to see the chiringuito on the beach in front of the Terramar (Kevin and Cathy’s favourite spot) opening up for the season.  Along to the Calipolis, up Avenida Sofia and home.

5.25km, 25:11

You know it makes sense

I was quite happily snoozing away, knowing it was getting towards the time to get up and start Saturdaying.  “Go and get your run out of the way” I hear through the clearing fog.  I know it’s the right thing to do but it’s tricky to get my body to react.  Finally the tempting thought of maybe being able to squeeze in a siesta later instead of having to run convinces me and up I get.

Another beautiful spring morning in Sitges.  The pollen seems to have abated since last week and I can survive without antihistamines.  Down Av Sofia to the Calipolis, along to the church, slap the brick under the mermaid, back along the Paseo almost to the Terramar and back almost to Kansas, turn up a couple of streets before “our turn” and home through the Vinyet.  Not too many people about at 9am and a pretty relaxed run, though I can feel the weight of last night’s curry and beers on me.

Now I can start with the logistics of fencing / swimming / skating / castellers and roller hockey!

5km, 24:50.

A different body of water

Oh how glorious to be back in Sitges, running by the sea.  Yes, true, I was by the sea (sort of; lots of water anyway) yesterday in Amsterdam but there’s nowt like the ol’ Med to raise the spirits, even when they don’t need raising.

Lunchtime run squeezed in while the guy who’s here to unblock our pipes is on his lunch – said he’ll be back about three-ish and rather than tsk and harumph and just wish he’d get the job done, I was thinking “great, at last I can get out and run!”.

No imagination was used in the making of today’s exercise; straight down to the Paseo, along to the end (forgot to check on the ducks, I’m sure they were there sunning themselves) and back, up through the Vinyet and home.

Shorts and t-shirt weather.  More contrails than clouds.

5km, 23:33.


het IJ

het IJ

Very sleepy this morning, probably the closest I’ve coming to hitting snooze. Got my head awake though and saw that it looked like being decent weather so decided to do a video diary – I brought my little camera with me this week for that purpose but the early start and then the rain put paid to that plan the last couple of days.

Rather than decent it was a beautiful morning – very cold (around 1 degree I think). Went along Prinsengracht to the Brouwersgracht and Keizersgracht, across to Harlemmerstraat and Droogbak and under the tracks to the IJ, along the back of CS and up the tram ramp (last time I was out there I went under it), over the tracks and back towards CS along De Ruijterkade past where the Unic offices used to be. Under the road and over to the bottom of Damrak, up to the Singel, along the Brouwersgracht and home. Stopped a couple of times to talk to the camera and most of it came out ok (if ridiculously jiggy) except the part I did at the IJ which had what I presume is the wind screaming through the mic. Hopefully Paul at ARUK can do something with that!

5km, 26:39.

Leidsegracht loop

While turning off the alarm on my phone at 6 I noticed the weather icon was that lovely solid cloud with 4 (count ’em) thick lines coming out the bottom of it.  Not a sight that heralds The Most Fun Ever In A Pair Of Mizunos and one which in other years would have triggered an immediate <<snooze>>.

Putting the GPS watch outside confirmed the relentless accuracy of the weather app with the rain pouring into the trees.  Still, up and out with the consoling thought that I haven’t had all that many wet days this year.

West up the Westerstraat (where else?), left onto Marnixstraat and along past Rozengracht to Leidseplein, down Leidsestraat to Prinsengracht and left towards Leidsegracht.  Left again, then right over the bridge with the rain teeming in the canal.  Right down to Keizers, over the bridge again, left and past number 7 to the Heren, left and left again and up the other side and then right onto the outside of the Keizersgracht, completing a rough plait-like loop of the lovely canal that I had the pleasure of living on all those years ago.

Back along the Keizers to Prinsenstraat, over to the Westerstraat, round the block and home.

Slight but persistent pull on the inside of the left calf so am standing like a stork typing this with the bag o’ peas draped over the back of my leg, just in case.

5.13km, 26:31.

(Dutch-speaking pun spotters will know that “loop” also means “a run”.)