Tuesday, May 26, 2009

King of the hill

Reading MonteChristo's blogpost on 'heavy stuff', reminded me of my difficult last few runs. I also realised my geographical location and the metereological lookout proved to complicate runs further.

With a mercury meltdown in the afternoons, and a busy schedule, it was a question of choosing the lesser evil. Either a run in the night in a world capital where I don't know my way around and some insomnia from the post-run rush. Or a run in the early morning... Or no run. After last nights terrible and overly fat Paella that last one was no option.

Considering I allready woke up at 6 in the morning that day, just doing it again made some strange illogical sense. But living long and prosper does require it's sacrifices, so running at 6 it was.

But where? After doing some Googling, Madrid's Retiro park was the obvious choice. However, I was not sure if I'd find a safe park with open gates at 6. Also, the Retiro was a bit out of my way. I found a few parks nearby the Palacio Royal. One of them had an interresting Egyptian Temple which I wanted to see and I had been doing some sightseeing near the Palacio before. So I knew how to get there.

It was still dark when I passed the Cathedral next to the Palacio to start my run at Campo del Moro. The Campo del Moro is a park at the foot of a hill. On this hill the Moors who had occupied large parts of the iberian peninsula had built a fort known as the Alcázar. After the Spaniards reconquered the hill, the Moors tried to recapture it and layed siege on the citadel. Hence the name, 'encampement of the moors'. The area around the hill, named 'Mayrit' by the Moors, grew to become Madrid. And the Alcázar was replaced by the Royal Palace.

Unfortunately, the park was closed. So I just ran on the Paseo del Virgen del Puerto, the road next to the park. Long name, short run. Unfortunately, I could not figure out how to get to the Egyptian temple site. Quite dissapointing, but I was quick to decide running around the Royal palace would have it's charms too.

However, I was at the base of the hill. And I had a steep path ahead. I attacked the hill with a steady relentless pace. This was very hard work, but I was rewarded after I conquered the hill. It was truly magnificent to run beside the beautifull palace and it's gardens with the dawn breaking and an overview of the valley where Madrid was waking up.

After I passed the palace, I took a left turn and ran straight to the Plaza Mayor where my session ended.

The stats are pretty much like those from my previous run. But taking lack of sleep and the hilly terrain in consideration and knowing the Nike+ sensor can't register if you are climbing mountains, I'm very hapy with these results!

1 comment:

  1. Man, that is excellent work! It is great to run abroad and to see all sorts of sights while doing a workout. The city you are in sounds like a tough destination to be in ;-)

    Enjoy the trip and the tapas