Day Ninety One: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

Running is weird. On a bike ride, I might never go through a single bad patch on a whole ride, and if I do have a bad moment, I usually eat, drink a bit more, focus a bit, grit my teeth, and then snap out of it. Not always mind you, sometimes I don’t snap out of it and I crash and burn and end up crawling home totally wasted, cursing myself.

Running is so very different. I might go through two or three bad patches on just one run. The last few runs have been no different. I have been using a heart rate monitor to see if these black holes are related to moments where I am working really hard. It would appear that they are not.

On my run yesterday I averaged 172 beats per minute and spent a minute over 186 bpm. That happened on a particularly steep incline where I refused to stop running. I felt great at the top end, i.e when my heart rate was bouncing of the rev limiter. It was on the flatter sections of the run where I was working at 164-168 that I entered the pain hotel for a while.

Pain hotel? What is that all about you might ask. Good question. It’s a term I used in cycling when I used to race. I think it was a way of acknowledging that a world of pain awaited. I would mentally ‘check myself in’ to my pain hotel, knowing that for the next week of a stage race (for example) I would have to draw upon some mental reserves to get me through the race.

As a cyclist, if you can suffer more than the next guy, usually it is to your advantage (assuming of course you are at a similar level of fitness). People that don’t ride probably won’t understand. I’m not sure it’s the same in running. I don’t seem to be able to wring every last bit out of me on a run, but perhaps that is because I am not a true endurance runner, so I can’t run for long enough to reach that point?

I am due to start racing soon here in Spain. A friend of mine asked me if I was to make a comeback like Lance. I laughed. No folks. I have a bright future behind me in competitive cycling. I will race with the 40+ vet category here, which is highly competitive. I am sending off for my racing licence today. Apparently it has to go to Madrid which may take a while.

In the meantime, whilst my bike gets built I shall run. My route of choice is one that lasts under an hour and takes me up into the dry and dusty hills of the Parc de Serralada de Mariana. The place is full of cactus with long nasty thorns. It is rocky. They trails are technical and the air is clear and sweet.

Running is weird. But I love it.

I leave you with a track that I was listening to by Calexico. It fits the terrain quite well don’t you think?

My trail run past the cactus

My trail run past the cactus


1 Comment

  1. Dude, 186bpm?? Are you crazy ha ha. Somebody call an ambulance!


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