Monday, October 8, 2012

NY Marathon Week 5/9

Week 5. Objective ECOs 700, actual ECOs 715

Only one more hard week and two long runs to go!

If you remember, my wife's car was broken into last week so this meant that I had to commute into work either by foot or by bike almost every day. The slightly more complicated truth of the matter is that she in fact had the use of her boss' car that spent the week sitting idly in our street. I had noticed a car that hadn't been moved all week and in which someone had inadvertently left the light on. I thought "poor bugger" without realizing that it had been my kids who had left the light on. Now the car is well and truly dead - it wouldn't even turn on with jump leads attached - so that's another car off to the menders. The irony is, had I not commuted in every day the car would have got some use and not have ended up deaded.

I like stopping here to watch people zoom / crawl by inside their metal containers
Other than swapping an hour run for a there-and-back commute by bike (which I'm not sure is a fair trade), the week went by without any incident. There were, however, several festivals whose path I crossed. The first was the "bull festival" in Boadilla del Monte which involved bulls running through the street chasing (almost exclusively) young men through the streets. It's not just limited to Pamplona, you know! It did mean that there was a fence erected that cut right across my daily commute

The fence to keep the bulls in and me out
There were other, non-bull related activities as well, including a fun fair which we went to with the kids on Saturday evening.

This was too obviously "pink" for the boys to want to ride on
The other festivals included a "day of the bicycle" which, of course, I didn't find out about until the last minute and just by pure chance. This involved closing half of Madrid (again) so that thousands of people could take to the streets on their bike. Although I would have enjoyed participating with the kids, it would have meant an early start on Sunday as well as having to do my long run in the heat of the day. To be honest, I am all for bikes but I don't think this is the way to do it. These roads are not suitable for bikes when there is traffic and, rather than getting motorists' backs up by cordoning off large parts of the centre, we should be demonstrating that it is possible to share the roads with car users. In fact, there was an unofficial plan to cover the same route on the Saturday while the roads were in normal use. The centre of Madrid is closed almost every weekend for one reason or another, be it a "marathon" (a term popularly used to refer to any foot race regardless of distance) or a demonstration (of which there are understandably rather a lot lately). Madrid has some fantastic places to ride a bike like the Casa de Campo, Madrid Río or the Anillo Verde, but cycling is still thought of as a leisure activity rather than a serious mode of transport. Instead of another two-wheeled invasion of the centre, why not have a "cycle to work day" instead with appropriate concessions made to make this feasible or at least a bit easier?

The final event of the weekend was a triathlon in the Casa de Campo. I ran past as part of my long run on Sunday before continuing on to Madrid Río. I love running along Madrid Río - even though in hindsight it was probably not a very sensible thing to build from a financial point of view, it has significantly improved the city. Previously, one of the major ring roads - the M30 - was the only thing to benefit from the river but this has now been submerged underground so that runners, cyclists, skaters and hikers can all enjoy the route. There are lots of parks along the way where kids can stop off and play, as well as lots of bars where adults can stop off and have a "caña" with tapas. I felt like I had been swept up in a human current meandering along the length of the river. I decided that I'd rather just keep going and catch a train than run back home along the same route I had come. I covered 30 km in just under 2:15 (a pace of 4:30 per kilometre). Again, slightly above my aerobic threshold but pretty easy except for the last kilometre which started to drag on indefinitely.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic pace Rob! That's very good training for Ny!Keep on going like this!Cheers