That was the life.

This blog started last week while on holiday but due to a dodgy wifi connection it was never completed and more annoyingly, never saved!

Last week I was in Madeira, enjoying the sunshine and rooftop pool and bar. I have to admit, I could get used to that climate and way of life. 

I never realised how hilly Madeira was though, on Google maps everything looks nice and flat. 

Mandy and I flew over on Saturday, eventually arriving in Funchal after a 3 hour delay with easyJet! We got to our hotel at about 11pm so didn't see any of the landscape on the way in.

We spent Sunday getting to know the area and I worked out a couple of runs I could do. 

Monday

We woke up and opened the curtains to find bright blue sky and a very pleasant warmth in the air outside. Quickly pulling on our kit we headed out before it got any warmer. I decide to get 5 miles in just to see how the legs were feeling.

Heading down to the promenade, it was nice and flat but within about a mile that soon changed. I did a 2.5 mile out and back and it felt like I was heading in to the heavens, every corner brought another climb! By the time I got back to the hotel I was soaking in sweat! When I checked the stats, I was even more surprised to see it was 1140 ft of ascent! 

Tuesday

After the hills from the day before I decided to run the opposite direction to see if it was any flatter. I was wrong! It was more undulating and it felt like I was never going to get to the turning point of 3 miles. At one point I thought my garmin had stopped recording the distance because it felt like it was never ending. It wasn't as hilly as the day before though with only 935 ft of ascent.

Thursday

My legs were really beat after the two days and since it was a holiday after all, I took Wednesday off. Thursday was a very flat run and considering it was a run straight out of bed, no breakfast, I was really happy to clock an average pace of 6:23/mi. 

The route wasn't all the exciting, out along the harbour, back along the promenade then back down to the harbour but it got the miles in without beating the legs up with hill reps!

Friday

After looking on Strava and spotting that I was sitting 3rd for one of the ascents I decided I would give the course record a bash. This would mean heading back up the hills but after the rest the day before I felt good. I knew where the segment started and so took it easy until that point, then I put the foot down and went for it. 

The streets were really narrow and not much space if a car or bus decided it was coming down the road at the same time. There was also no pavement available so I was really keen to get around the segment in one piece and as quickly as possible. I ran the segment and then continued with my run, not knowing if I had done enough until I got back to the hotel and uploaded my watch. 

 

Not only had I done enough to get the segment I was after, I managed to get a second while out as well. What made it even better was the previous CR had been set in 2012 so I'll see how long I get to keep this one for. I've never had the change to use Strava while on holiday and it's a great motivational tool. Gets you out pushing that little bit harder than you might on a holiday run. 

This was the view from the highest point. Our hotel was down there somewhere! 

Funchal, Madeira

Sunday

We flew back on Saturday but I wanted to get this week's long run in and so headed out to Musselburgh and back. 16 miles in total at a pace that felt comfortable. Not looking at my watch, just running.

Musselburgh 16 mile run

I did get a slight stitch after 13 miles which stopped me for a bit but once that had passed I was back running. It probably had something to do with a late flight back and not hydrating very well. 

All in all it was a really good week. Not a week of high miles but I got some good sessions in. This week will be all about the miles again, 70 is the target with a key session on the track tomorrow, another on Thursday, followed by another 16 on Sunday. 

Owain Williams

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