Qatar doesn’t really do winter…yup, the humidity leaves and it gets a bit cooler… aka pleasanter for your runs but it’s never exactly what you’d call cold.
Spain on the other hand does cold very nicely. Thankfully, our little part of Andalucia doesn’t really do proper cold. While the coast got a covering of pretty thick snow, we’ve had a grand total of nada (to date). It’s certainly been well into minus temps at night, making for slippery road running first thing, but as soon as that sun gets up it’s been plenty warm enough which is ideal for getting out and laying down the foundation for the year ahead.
Following Ultra Sierra Norte, I had a couple of weeks easy. We visited the UK…very dark and wet underfoot….where I went swimming for the first time in ages (including a touch of athlete’s foot!) and bagged a few road miles.
I took a turn out with Torbay Athletics Club – km reps along the seafront off 90 sec rests. Very Doha Corniche-esqe – even palm trees – except there was a gentle drizzle falling. After a couple of weeks easy my legs were zipping along and at low altitude it was simple running.
Back at base, here in Moclin, and getting ready for Christmas the weather was super. Steve and I got out exploring and discovered so new gems of trails. Long ones, short ones, narrow ones and plenty of dead ends too! Being reticent on the sunscreen application I burned the tips of my ears pretty badly. Top tip folks, keep the sunscreen going even when you think the sun isn’t at its strongest. I was then consigned to wearing a flappy desert cap – you know the Goofy ears ones – while my ears healed.
New Year heralded a weather change and a few weeks’ chilly snap. A few dull days were brightened up with some strength work incorporating the dreaded Mirrodor steps into tempo sessions. Squatting, leaping and lunging up and off steps certainly makes picking your feet up on trails harder work and a nice way to simulate that post-50km feel.
And that’s it, you’re pretty much up to date with where we’re at and what’s been happening. Weirdly, I have zilch races booked in this year. I’d like to get a 100 miler in, and I do have my eye on a 130km here in Spain toward the end of the year. There will no doubt be a few others on the horizon.