I've been running twice here so far and I have to say that Madrid is a city I could live in. The people are kind, there are tons of parks (more manicured than BC, but open spaces in the city nonetheless), great climate, and tons of culture. It might help that my past two runs have felt amazing and they were both here.
Since my almost two hour jaunt in Barcelona on Saturday, I have had great runs. Yesterday i explored Madrid on a sleepy Sunday evening, and this morning I went the other direction and hit Madrid on a very wakeful Monday morning. Both rus felt great. Smooth, quick, good turnover. It has me excited about racing again.
As I am moving to Vancouver, my staple races are going to have to change. I can't just nip up the peninsula for the Land's End Half Marathon anymore. What used to be 20 minutes away is now a 40 minute drive plus ferry. I think I have settled on two races to shock my system back into shape. There is a cool looking 14k run on Sunday September 9th (www.cohorun.ca). It is a point to point run from Kitsilano to West Van, going through Stanley Park and over two bridges, hugging the ocean the whole way. I am looking at that race for turnover and running quickly. I am not tied to a time or result, but just want to run quickly with other people around.
The second race is six days later, Saturday September 15th and it is a trail half marathon. In a way, this is a blessing. I wasn't able to race at the Gutbuster Half Marathon this summer, so here is a replacement. It is a 5 Peaks event at Buntzen Lake and it looks to be good. I was going to do an uptempo 2 hour run on the Sunday anyway, so this gets me running with purpose (and exploring new trail areas which will be useful for the winter training). Neither of these are going to race specific preps for the Royal Victoria Marathon, but they will get my head back into race mode and be a lot of fun in my new city. Thoughts on the choices?
We have one more night (and day) in Madrid before heading back to London for one night (and day) and then flying home. From there I am whisked away to the annual Boys' Cottage Weekend. I will continue to get my runs in and updating pictures as I can. There are new pictures up at the website on the top left of the page and I have added new captions as well.