March

It feels like a really long time has passed since my last monthly round-up, where I was so excited and nervous about moving to Madrid and the marathon. But on the other hand, I can’t believe that I have been in Spain for a month already. It has been a month of little regular exercise but one huge endeavour, a month of exploring Madrid but also spending weekends in Barcelona and back home, a month of working ridiculously hard and then finishing at 4.30pm on a Friday!

And now April begins with a full 13 days off work, not a bad start to the month!

So in March I….

Ran: 93 kilometres (58) miles. A good deal more than February, helped along by that little ol’ marathon in the middle!

Cycled: just over 78km. I think that’s the least I’ve cycled since I started keeping track. And it was in only two cycles… only two cycles in a whole month! From the girl who used to cycle to work four times a week!!! Luckily I already know April will be better.

Swam: four swims only due to taking a week off post-marathon and getting settled into Madrid pre-marathon. Need to get back on that in April 🙂

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Pretty low figures as for most of the month I was either tapering for the marathon, recovering from it, or struck down with an awful cold. But normal service has resumed so April should see some higher figures!

I read 4 books, keeping to my aim for the year.

South from Granada: Seven Years in an Andalucian Village – Gerald Brenan. Set in the 1920s, this is a true story about a young British guy who moved to a tiny, remote village south of Granada and about the people and landscape there. A good read, an interesting read, but not necessarily gripping…
Crossing Europe on a bike called Reggie – Andrew Sykes
Along the Med on a bike called Reggie – Andrew Sykes
Before the Fire – Sarah Butler

I haven’t said much about the last three as I am planning to review them in blog posts. But I would really recommend all three, and especially Before the Fire as I thought it was absolutely fantastic.

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On the blog there was…

– a post about what its like to pack up all your things and move to a completely new country to live – Moving to Madrid.
– Various posts about Madrid including my first weekend in the city and a 40 mile bike ride on the Anillo Verde
– The marathon recap! (of course),a pre-marathon mental motivation check and then a post about the aftermath
– One swimming post

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My best moment in March was clearly one long, four hour 28 minute minute moment of running the Barcelona marathon, my first. Also – it was on purpose that I didn’t say “finishing the marathon” as finishing was almost a slight let down. I was just too tired and too in pain. But starting it, and the whole experience of running it, and the moment where I thought “I can finish this in less than 4hrs 30” – those moments were incredible.

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But March has been big on good moments. Spending a day in the sun drinking wine and eating tapas in Madrid, dinner out with James and eating a fantastic home-cooked roast, cycling 40 miles by myself around Madrid. The sun has been out and the sky has been blue so I have been happy happy happy.

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Right now I am…

Reading: I am just about to start reading Jan Morris’s Spain. I read her book about Venice when I was in Venice and loved it so I am very much looking forward to this one!

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Excited about: thirteen full days off due to Easter and taking some holiday. Day 1 was today 🙂 I am on my way from Madrid to Malaga airport where I aim to pick James up tomorrow morning. We will then spend a week and a half staying in various places around Andalucia, cycling, drinking wine and eating tapas. Could there be any better holiday?! Keep your eyes peeled for blogs about cycling in Andalucia if that is something you have ever considered doing.

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Nervous about: absolutely nothing!!! Well there’s always the risk that work might be absolutely crazy when I return but (1) that’s a long way off and (2) nothing I can do about it so there is no point in being nervous.

I am writing this post on a restaurant terrace with a glass of red wine in hand as the sun sets – this is one very happy, very relaxed Alice! I think April will be a good month.

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