I’m back, tanned and over fed from my holidays in Italy.
If you’ve spent the past 6 weeks in Ireland you won’t want to hear about the oppressive 35 degree heat and the endless gelatos and trips to the swimming pool and the ice-cold beers so I’ll save them for the family who can’t escape me by just clicking the close button.
I am writing this post after reading Thomas’ report about his second place in the 24 hour race about 10 days ago and I’m feeling like a man with a very small cock who has been boasting about his status as a porn star for a few years.
If you read his report you will have one of three thoughts:
- What an amazing achievement. A real example of what training and determination can do.
- He’s mental.
- His wife is a saint and I wish I was married to her.
Most runners will pick number 3.
My holiday in Italy is my annual excuse to trim back my mileage (even more) to allow my beer (&wine) drinking to fill the void where my running used to be. I also use it to get in a bit of hot weather training. This is a technical way of saying that I go out in the mid-day sun to run around like a fool instead of sitting with my family.
The fact that I set these objectives after the holiday is immaterial.
I wanted to try something different this year as I was fed up with trying to dodge Fiats and three-wheeled trucks on the main roads. I decided to take to the hills and try out my new trail shoes and a cheapo hydration pack I picked up before the holidays.
The trail shoes are great on trails but pretty rubbish on roads. This has as much to do with the specific thread pattern as it does to do with my super-wide feet.
the hydration pack (dare2b – some sort of brand influenced by the texting generation) was OK and I’d say that for a short off-road ultra it would be fine but the shoulder straps would knacker you on the longer stuff. A bit like a cheap bra (I suppose).
I’m starting to get to that point in my running where I know that my abilities won’t be greatly magnified by spending lots of money on expensive equipment so I’m starting to shun the marketing that goes with the latest craze. When you see me out running in ripped shorts, my work socks, a 10-year-old finisher’s tee-shirt and drinking out of a milk bottle you’ll understand.
Anyway. In Italy the oppressive heat dictates that you either run for less than 30 minutes in the middle of the day or you get up at 06:00 to try to get in two hours before the sun wilts you. I tried both and opted for the early morning starts – not too many mind you. Each one requires temperance the previous night which is not high on my list of skills.
Still, at about 25 degrees at 06:30 the morning runs were still just about being able to do a bit of sightseeing while the world was asleep. The shots below this are from a 9.5 mile loop that goes from the village we stay in, up the side of the valley, along the top and then down a set of switch backs to another village and then back along the valley floor to the start.