Met the world's costliest soccer player, Ronaldo and got jerseys for me and Sling Jr autographed. Also watched Real Madrid trashed Bilbao 5-1 among 80,000 fans in Santiago Bernabeu stadium and did some sightseeing.
The least enjoyable thing is the customary Spanish 2-3 hour big lunch (four types of appetizers, main, dessert, copious amount of vino) and due to the group activities, we can't do siesta !
Running wise, had a reasonably good 10k race in 38:51 - more or less in line with what I expected
The Madrid Derby 10k was my first race post-injury and I only had 10 days to prepare for the race (previous 2 weeks was low key jogging, while the previous month was almost zero running). Did 4 workouts within that period, consisting of 10*400, 2x10mins tempo, 6*1k, and Mona fartlek. Based on these sessions, I'd rate myself about 40-41 minute 10k in local conditions.
Madrid morning temperature is about 6-8c which I think is worth at least 1 minute. The course is Boston-esque with downhill in early parts, some hills between 6-8k and a downhill last 2k. The course dropped over 100m for the 10k (10m per k average). But given the strategic placement of the hills (after legs got beat up with the downhills), I'd say it is worth around 1 minute on net basis. Overall, I set myself a target between 38-39 minutes.
Km 1 - out and back, up 500m and down 500m. crowded start --- 3:52 (163 bpm)
Km 2 - all downhill, running at 5k PB pace --- 3:42 (173)
Km 3 - still downhill, still feeling good --- 3:47 (176)
Km 4 - lactate flooding, never did more than 3k of continuous fast running in last 2 months --- 3:58 (177)
Km 5 - legs became hamburger from the downhill --- 4:00 (177)
Km 6 - upslope after a while, walked 10secs or so to catch breath --- 3:59 (177)
Km 7 - one good long hill --- 4:08 (178)
Km 8 - uphill then steep downhill --- 4:00 (175)
Km 9 - all downhill, running harder --- 3:42 (174)
Km 10 - a slight rise to the finish at Vicente Clarderon --- 3:43 (179)
Total 38:51 (5k splits 19:20/19:31) versus target 38-39
Did not go sub 38 or low 38 because
1) no downhill training, legs became hamburger and climbing hills in the 2nd half was a struggle (Boston-esque)
2) lack of training leads to inefficient biomechanics - couldn't get the legs turning over quick enough on the downhill
3) fitness loss - not used to running at this intensity post-rehab
4) maybe a bit of altitude impact (~750m), only ran 2 x 30mins in Madrid due to jetlag and activities
5) A couple of extra kgs from long Spanish lunches and dinners
6) bad mddle miles (km 4-7), pace slowed to 4:00s, HR 'stuck' at 177s
All things considered, I am relatively pleased with finishing about 30secs slower than my 10k PB despite very limited training. Course, weather, and the field were great on the day. We ran on wide road most of the way, passing the city centre and some of Madrid's landmarks (Puerta de Sol, Neptufe fountain, Bernabeu stadium etc). Pretty sure I'd break my PB on this course and temperature if I was fully fit :)
Some pictures from the run:
|Race between Real madrid and Athletico Madrid supporters, A 10k race starting from Real's Bernabeu stadium and finishing at Athletico's Vicente Calderon|
|Carnival atmosphere between rival clubs supporters|
|Start point, different gantry for each supporters|
|Full road closure, wide lanes|
|Passing some sights, such as fountains|