Vile sweaty human, in Sitges this afternoon

After a couple of weekend “5”s, another GNR warm/ramp-up today.  A crazy 15km run in the middle of the day, in Spain, in August.  It was fine actually.  Sure, at times I wished I could just stop and walk, at other times I wished a car would come and hit me so I could just lie down for a bit.  Mostly I just wished it was (were?) over.

Along to La Masia, over the tracks and out to Bel-Air, back to Maria Osso and up to the Dolce, back over the tracks and round to the Jardines del Terramar, round the back of the hotel, along to the Golf, back along the Paseo to Kansas and home.

Along the Paseo I was dying to finish while idly wondering if I’d imagined that there was a water fountain somewhere along there, and if there was where the bloody hell was it; my little bottle having run dry.  It suddenly materialised, much to my relief, and a great whooping and cheering did ensue, at least in my head (I hope it was just in my head anyway).  I think that’s the only reason this was a 15 rather than a 14-and-a-bit run.

I’ve drunk so much iced water since I got back that I’m now the only person in Sitges who’s actually cold.

15km, 1:20:08


Feina feta

A fabulous evening yesterday, Jove de Sitges’ Festa Major exhibition with the Minyons de Terrassa and Xiquets de Tarragona in the Plaça de l’Ajuntament.  Success with the 5de7 (Rebecca one of the aixecadores), 7de7, 4de7 and vano de 5, then two pilars of 4 (Rebecca enxaneta on one of them), all descarregats (raised and brought down without falls).  The two other collas are in a different league and matched each other’s awesome achievements with castells of 9 and pilars of 7.  Great evening, great atmosphere, bring on the rest of the season!

This morning Sarah went out and did a heroic 13-odd km run (including the Dolce) and I nipped out after her, wanting to do a quick one to enable Sarah to get out in time to do a taxi-trip to the airport.  The hurry was useful as it kept me focussed on doing a good time and I managed to keep the pace up despite the scorchio morning.

Down Av Sofia and along Av Vinyet to the Ermita, down Av Navarra to the Terramar, back along the paseo to Av Sofia, along to the autofarmacia and home.

5km, 22:59.

Station Rd, as was

After a very late night (chomping and chatting at the butifarrada after the castellers practice), we woke up about 10:15 this morning.  Just time for me to do the run before Sarah had to go out for nails at 11.  Already a scorcher of a day.

Down Av Sofia, along to Sausolito next to an already very busy beach, back along the first line of the Vinyet, behind the Calipolis and left and right up Calle Parellades.  Through the early(ish) shoppers to nip into La Caixa, through Cap de la Vila and left down Sant Bartolomeu, left again onto Artur Carbonell and Passeig Vilanova.  Past the autofarmacia, round the block and home.

Artur Carbonell was a surrealist painter and theatre director from Sitges, who died in 1973.  The street I ran down this morning was named after him in 1982, having formerly simply been “la Subida de la Estación” (the road up to the station).

5km, 25:31.

…porque habían huevos!

(English version below)

Estoy celebrando la vuelta a Sitges y hoy hago el blog en español (y inglés, abajo).  Solo faltan unos 16 días para la media maratón de Newcastle (the Great North Run), y la verdad es que, aunque estoy haciendo los 5 al día, no estoy nada preparado para 21.  Entonces hoy quería empezar a alcanzar una distancias un poco mas dificiles.

No podía ir temprano porque necesito desayunar antes de correr una distancia larga, y no puedo ir directamente después de comer… entonces fui a mediodía con la temperatura rozando unos 30 grados.  Afortunadamente no tenía nada de prisa!

Ruta: Av Sofía, Calipolis, Fragata, Playa Golf/patos, Av Navarra, La Masia, puente hasta Maria Ossó, campings, Bel-Air, vuelta a la rotunda de Maria Ossó, La Masía y a casa.

Unos doce kilometros, que me acordaba de mi chiste (segundo) favorito sobre informática:

La mujer del informático le dice “cariño, vete al supermercado y compra una barra de pan.  Ah, y si hay huevos, coge una docena.”  El tío vuelvo diez minutos después con doce barras.

(versión en español arriba… no lo has visto?)

Celebrating being back in Sitges with a Spanish version for a change.  Just 16 days to go before the Great North Run and, still not feeling really prepared for it (5k a day isn’t going to work), I wanted to start from today with some more challenging runs.

I couldn’t go early because if I go for a long run I need to have breakfast first, and I can’t run straight after eating… so I went at lunchtime with the temperatures around 30 degrees.  Fortunately I wasn’t in a hurry.

Route was Av Sofia, Calipolis, Fragata, Playa Golf & the patos, Av Navarra to La Masia, over the tracks and along to the campsites and all the way out to Bel Air, back down the other side of the road, past La Masia and home.

12 kilometers, which reminds me of my second favourite IT joke:

Programmer’s wife says “darling, please pop down to the supermarket and get a loaf of bread.  Oh, if they have eggs, get a dozen.”  The guy comes back ten minutes later with twelve loaves of bread.

12km, 1:05:09.


It’s a great dramatic start to the Harry Potter saga; Albus Dumbledore arrives in Privet Drive, holds up his Deluminator and sucks the light from all the streetlamps.  Maybe a clue that despite it being a book for children, there’s a lot of darkness to come.

This sprang to mind this morning on starting the run; I’d left the house on this dusky morning under the orange streetlamps and done my stretches while the GPS watch worked its own technological magic and located itself.  Soon after starting, Albus’s successor must have turned up further down Anjeliersstraat to herald another special delivery, and out went all the streetlamps, leaving me to adjust to the pre-dawn gloom.

I went straight over the bridges to the Herengracht and all the way along to the Amstel.  Left and left again and up to Rembrantsplein, along Reguliersdwaarsstraat to Vijzelstraat and the flower market.  Along to Koningsplein and back along the Singel.  Left on Blauburgwal, back over the bridges and home before He Who Shall Not Be Named could get me.

5km, 26:36.

Wildlife park

It’s getting a little bit darker every day!  I suspect this is more to do with Amsterdam’s late-summer weather than some sudden supersensitivity to the level of pre-dawn light that I have developed, but today was decidedly murky when I went out at 6:15ish.  I let the darkness kid me into thinking that it would be cold and so wore a long-sleeved top and of course was far too warm once I’d started running, but such are the simple ways of the human half of whose brain is still just getting out of the taxi at Nod Station.

Up Westerstraat to the Marnixbad, across to Nassaukade and right towards Haarlemmerplein.  Into the Westerpark and round the left hand fork.  I was wondering if there would be any rabbits (there were loads last time I was there) and I wasn’t disappointed.  Presumably they will be getting pretty mature by now but still very cute to have a bunny cross your path while jogging along.

Across the carpark at the Westergasfabriek and anticlockwise around the reflooded lake.  Last time I was in the park they were preparing for a music event and it had been dried out, but it’s back and there were loads of birds – ducks, seagulls, big swan-sized things (Mr Oddie, please step in now) all enjoying the water.  Round and out along the main path, over to Marnixstraat, little switch onto Lijnbaansgracht and down Tuinstraat and home.

5.12km, 27:44.

Party pooped

While Sitges revelled in its St Bartolomeu procession with castellers, moixigangas, pubillas, hereus, gegants, firework-laden drac and agila and a cast of thousands more dancers and party people, I had… an early night.  Utterly wiped out by the rubbish sleep on Sunday night I was already dozing on the settee like a octogenarian at 9 o’clock.

All of this slumber (and what a great sleep) led to another very cranky man this morning at 6.  No desire AT ALL to even acknowledge the buzzing bleeping bloody alarm, but with the day stretching ahead there’s no option but to obey and rise, good humour or not.  (Not, in my case).

Nice run though!  It seemed to have just finished raining when I went out, with a damp chill to the air.  Once warmed up and running I was easily warm enough though and glad to have not worn a long-sleeved top (still a northerner at heart).  Along in front of the Noorderkerk, over Haarlemmerstraat and under the train tracks onto Westerdokskade, round to the right in front of the Chamber of Commerce and left over the road towards the grey and sleepy IJ.  Left again along the sea wall and out to Silodam, a spur prodding into the IJ with a couple of smart apartment blocks with (I can only imagine) awesome views across the water towards North Amsterdam and Zaandam.

Silodam leads nowhere that a runner can go except “back”, so I took that direction and forked right into Westerdok, over the bridge and under the tracks (starting to sound like a nursery rhyme here) back to Korte Prinsengracht.  Took the right up the Browersgracht, along to the first bridge, right back down the other side, into the northern Jordaan and home.

5km, 25:54.