Sunday, September 06, 2015

A Pilgrim's Path - Pilgrimage Day 7

"And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain"

Today was my last full day of running. Another lazy start after getting breakfast at a nearby cafe. I think the difference between the UK is clearer at meal times than at any other. The desayuno option is clear - bread, some sort of pastry or Spanish omelette, orange juice and coffee. It's excellent. The provision of two drinks makes it clear that you're expected to savour it.

Similarly - as I sit here outside a bar in the town centre - I've bought a half pint of beer and they instantly bring olives. Last night my coke led to a bowl of crisps. There are small snacks on the bar counter.

Today was short at just 18 miles but surprisingly tough. My legs are definitely feeling it now which isn't surprising after 158 miles in a week.  Oddly enough hills and descents are fine but the flat is killing me. After the first 18km I struggle to raise my legs beyond a jog. 

On Sundays all of the shops are closed so some villages I run through are almost deserted. Aside from the dogs. The dogs wandering are quiet and friendly. Most are chained or behind gates and go crazy at the sight of a Pilgrim.  Ferociously barking minutes after you have left. Straining at their chains as they slaver. These are not tame dogs and I wonder at their treatment to be so savage.

The route takes me up, out of the city. As I'm going back towards the coast I need to cross the mountains again. This is clearly a popular jogging trail as I go past local runners, struggling to keep up despite my pack and heavy legs. The view from the top of Oviedo is exquisite as I wind through the mountain pass. Today is one of my favorite days running - the scenery is stunning in all directions.

After coming out of the mountains I join a long slow slog to Aviles. It's flat and straight but right now that's the last thing my legs need. Tired I struggle over the threshold of the Albergue. This one isn't perfect but a friendly host keeps me cheery and I happily set up camp before heading out to the city.

Tomorrow is a run to the airport and then (finally) home.

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Bryn Running

Training diary and musings on running in general.