Day Thirty One: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

“Os pementos de Padrón, unos pican e outros non”
This is Galician for “Padrón peppers, some are hot and some are not”.
I call them Russian Roulette Chillies.  They are available at this time of year in most local supermarkets in and around Barcelona and are often served in Tapas bars.  Their true name is Pimientos de Padron. They are named after the municipality of Padron, in Galicia.  These little peppers were first planted by a group of Franciscan monks at the Hebron Monastery who enjoyed gambling with their food, and have grown in popularity to the point where they have a festival dedicated to them.

Fried in olive oil and served with sprinkling of salt...delicious !

Fried in olive oil and served with sprinkling of salt...delicious !

I was invited to try them by a Spanish cyclist, called Francisco.  We were in a Tapas bar.  They arrived, fried in olive oil and sprinkled in salt.  They smelt delicious. Francisco told me they were really hot but when I ate the first one I thought they were very mild and that he was being a big girls blouse. I had eaten about six of them when I popped one into my mouth and it promptly blew my head off.

My youngest daughter and I ate a whole packet yesterday whilst I was on the mend from my man-flu.  I found the hot one, which dutifully blew my brains out and then ate the rest without incident.  Sara enjoys the thrill of eating them, the gamble, always wondering if the one she pops into her mouth will be the one that sets her hair alight.

Which of course brings me to my run.

I was stuck behind a fit guy with a hairy back.  He had joined the path just in front of me and was running at the same pace as I was.  It was a beautiful day, a thunderstorm the night before had cleared the skies.  The mountains looked really close, I could easily make out the terrain, every tree, bush and rock seemed within reach. The clear skies made the end of the beach appear to be no more than a short hop and a skip away, when in reality it was three kilometres distant.  The view was great, except for the guy with the hairy back.

He looked pretty fit, like a runner, or possibly a triathlete.  He had long legs, was fairly lean and had a relaxed stride.  I wondered if I should over take him and risk sparking of a ‘race’.  To hell with it I thought, I would go past him fast to deter him from trying to match my pace.  So I did.  The problem is he latched onto me and sat just behind me.  Hmmm…tricky one I thought.  What do I do now? Do I try to maintain the infernal pace I had just set and risk blowing to pieces? Yep of course.

Luckily for me he fell back after about a minute so I kept the pace the same for another minute to be safe then eased back just a fraction.  I held it for another two minutes at that pace and finally slowed back to my pre over-taking speed.  As I turned the bend on a footbridge that crosses a dry river bed I snuck a glance behind and saw he was a good hundred metres back. Three weeks ago I would have been stuck with a view of his hairy back for the entire run but thankfully I finally seem to have found a bit of speed in my legs.  I have also dropped another half kilo in weight and am knocking on 73KG, down from 75KG.

I am looking forward (I know I keep saying this) to getting my own road bike when I can start to incorporate some longer bike rides.   I am not overly concerned about the curent rate of weight loss, for it is far better to lose it gradually and also a lot easier to maintain weight loss this way. My target weight of 66KG does seem far away, but then so is the start of the road race season.

I intend to try a split work out today with a two hour bike ride followed by a half hour run.

If I bump into the guy with the hairy back I shall suggest he try some Pimientos de Padron, they may set his hair alight thereby improving the view.

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