Wk9 Purbeck Marathon Training – Spain 

So week 9 has taken me to Torrevieja Spain, well just outside in a little village called Quesada. 

We flew out Monday evening arriving late but that didn’t stop me heading out early Tuesday morning. You have to run early otherwise it’s just far too hot, even leaving at 07:30 it was 24°C and getting warmer throughout the run!!!

We came here last year so I headed for my running route then which was up to and around Rojales golf course, up the mammoth hill and back to the villa, 7 miles in total. 

It was lovely to be back and all the hills around will certainly benefit my training. I was absolutely drenched in sweat at the end so didn’t need to pack running tops as it had to come off after a mile.

I downed some water, stretched off, had a quick rince in the outside shower then dived into the pool and splashed around until the family decided to wake. 

I was back to the mammoth hill on Wednesday for a hill repeat session, I decided to mix it up using two track hills and the super steep part of mammoth. Each effort would be for 8 minutes with a 2 min running recovery. 

The first track was particularly…let’s go with rugged, so I had to keep my wits about me going up and coming back down. ..the family would not be pleased I got injured!!!

The second was a short hill which I used for quick sprints. The final I did lamppost repeats and my legs were like jelly at the end. Locals walking their dogs found the sight of me going up and down quite amusing, saying laughing words I couldn’t understand…just smile and wave. I then did a 8 min Tempo to top it off before doing a nice cool down which again made it 7 miles. I got back to the villa and had a nice stretch, really nice to have no commitments and be able to commit to stretching. 

I decided to explore a little on Thursday and follow the track I used in the hill session a bit further, disappointingly it didn’t last much longer and I was back on the familiar route. This encouraged me to get on Google maps and look for alternate routes. 
With my phone in my pocket and a rough route in my mind I set off Friday morning feeling the explorer. I ran to and through Rojales taking in the local waterpark to sus out height restrictions and opening times. 

This was a beautiful 6.5 mile route with great views of the local area and surrounding mountains. I don’t normally stop when running but enjoyed each stop to take everything in.  While the landscape is quite harsh, there is a particular beauty to it with the dusty setting, lemon tree groves, palm trees and sharp rocky mountains.

I had already sussed out my Sunday long run route before flying out, running around Laguna Salada de la Mata. I had run fasted on my other runs but got up a bit earlier to eat some cereal. I headed out an hour earlier then normal to try and run it in cooler conditions.

Apart from running to and from the salt lake this route was all off road on a dusty track, in some places sand. A quarter of the way round there was a bird watching hut, I ran to it. ..running through a giant thick spiders web which I had to claw off my face. ..it was worth it though as when I looked through the viewing holes there were wild flamingoes right in front of me!! I’ve only ever seen them in Zoo’s before so I filled with excitement like a big kid and couldn’t wait to tell my boys!

They’re Flamingoes…honest!

I carried on around the lake, saying Ola to runners and mountain bikers coming the other way and got a greeting from all…friendlier than back home, funny getting awkward Ola’s back from fellow Brits too.

About half way round the dirt track turned to sand for about a mile and it was quite tough on the legs, reminded me of Studland Stampede where you run through sand dunes. I came to this quaint wooden bridge which was just in the perfect scenic location, so I stopped for a water break and took a few photos. 

As I carried on I joined the back of a local running group, it’d been nice if I could of spoke Spanish and interacted but I couldn’t so after a while I passed and went on my merry way.  

At the end there was a viewing tower so I stopped for another water break and looked over the lake once more. 

Thereafter I returned to a cycle path along a dual carrageway back to Quesada and the villa through the village centre. A very enjoyable half marathon distance but I looked like I been for a swim at the end I was so hot!!!

 

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