Ah, combining a sporting event with a bit of winter sunshine! I enjoy benchmarking myself early each year, and I also enjoy getting away to beat the winter blues after the Christmas festivities. This year I’m doing both, with another running foray into Spain.

This weekend I’m in mainland Spain, in Murcia. As my first A race is the London Marathon in April, I’ve spent January so far building up my running mileage base, and have slowly starting incorporating spin sessions into my routine for future cycling events. It’s amazing how ‘off’ I feel on the bike now that it’s a secondary sport, unlike my last two seasons.

We landed at the new Murcia International Airport on a warm Friday night (a great improvement from the weather in England), and made it to Mano a Mano for pizza. This place was queued out the door with dozens waiting for their orders. A good start to carb loading, and a high standard of pizza.

Today (Saturday) has been a flurry of activity. Race registration, a day trip to Cartagena, doing far too much walking the day before a marathon, but the sights of Cartagena warranted it. I even discovered the caffeinated delight that is a bombon coffee at Coffeelab.

Huge statue in Cartagena – El Zulo

Colourful seats at the stadium where race registration was

Bombon coffee (espresso and sweetened condensed milk)

Orange trees line the streets of Murcia

Roman theatre in Cartagena

The forecast for tomorrow will be a slightly chilly 8c when I start the race, and about 20c at the finish line! I’ve fuelled up with pizza, paella, breads and tapas. Let’s hope my January training pays off in the morning…

Keep training

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