Recovery part 2

The start of last week was still dominated by a horrible cold and long hours at work. With a deal closing on Thursday, I didn’t leave the office until well after 10pm any night that week. That means getting home, snacking on some hummus and then falling straight into bed, plus maximising the time available for sleep in the morning! I used my cold as an excuse not to do any exercise – far better to concentrate on getting well again and recovering from the marathon before throwing myself back into training for…

Madrid triathlon. I haven’t yet entered but will. It’s the end of June and mum is going to come over from the UK to do it with me. It’s an olympic distance triathlon in the Casa de Campo and I am looking forward to racing on roads I will hopefully know quite well by then! (Has anyone reading this done madrid triathlon? If so please let me know!)

The training plan starts today (Monday 30th March) so last week was about making sure I was rested and ready to go. I ramped things up a bit towards the end of the week, starting with a 30 minute swim Wednesday morning, and then 30 minutes of yoga and strength work Thursday morning.

On Fridays in Madrid, if we have no work to do we finish at 3.30pm. This very rarely means walking out of the door at 3.30pm as there is always work to do, but it does mean leaving much earlier than normal and so I was out at 5pm in glorious sunshine.

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I went for my first run since the marathon – a slow, easy 5.5k in 35 minutes around Retiro Park. By slow and easy I really mean slow and easy. Although I pushed myself slightly in the last 500m, I was stopping to take pictures, I even stopped to pop into Zara(!) and generally enjoy the atmosphere of the park which was absolutely buzzing on a Friday night. It was wonderful.IMG_6170Loads of people sunbathing by the lake, people on boats, so many runners and cyclists, puppet shows, fortune tellers… and a great band playing, with a couple who had just decided to get up and dance. They were really good at dancing and so I stopped and watched them for a few minutes.

IMG_6198It was just beautiful and I spent the whole run with a massive smile on my face.

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Saturday morning was my 40 mile cycle ride which I blogged about here. Having thought the ride would be slightly shorter, I was starving and exhausted by the time I got home. I think I should have had some kind of electrolyte sports drink as well as water in that heat, plus I had managed to get myself sunburnt (despite wearing suncream!) on my thighs and arms, including a wierd patch on the inside of my elbow which is a spot I’ve never been burnt in before!

IMG_6218It really did me in and so in the evening I just went for a little wander around Madrid, had some pinchos in a bar overlooking a busy square, and was asleep by 11. I didn’t wake up until 11am the next day!

Sunday was spent with a friend down by the Río Manzanares, reading our books and chatting. I have just finished both of Andrew Sykes’ books on cycling around Europe “on a bike called Reggie” and will post a review soon. On the way back up from our lazy afternoon I went to the pool for a quick swim. The pool was heaven on a Sunday, quiet, filled with sunlight, and bliss on my poor sunburnt arms and legs. After my swim I went to the spa section – there is a very warm pool with fierce jets of water that gave my shoulders a lovely massage and was a brilliant way of finishing off the weekend!

A total of 6 hours 37 training this week and a lesson learnt that I need to get back on my bike. There was a time when 40 miles wouldn’t have particularly tired me out (unless I was really pushing) but this weekend it left me needing a full twelve hours of sleep to recover.

Easter starts on Thursday in Spain and I am off to Andalucia for ten days of cycling, tapas and red wine with james – I can’t wait!

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