Apr 13, 2016

As part of my run yesterday I did a 3 x 1 mile speed work session, with a 600 metre jog in between each. When I’m training for shorter races I do these miles quite fast – and it hurts. For example, last June I averaged 5:18 for the three miles, and my lungs were bursting. However, I’ll be running a lot slower in the 50 km I’m doing on April 30, and there’s not a lot of point in going too fast in training.

So yesterday I averaged 5:54 for the miles, with the fastest being 5:43. The difference was I felt completely comfortable throughout. No pain or gasping for breath. It was more than an adequate pace for the event I’m running, and the session had another advantage. When a session hurts a lot, it leaves you a little mentally scarred for the next time you do the same session. When it feels as comfortable as yesterday, you feel much more enthused to get out there and do it again in the near future. This effect is important over time, keeping a runner psychologically fresh.

Today’s photo sees me running through a vineyard in central Portugal. This was just days after I began the European leg of my world run. And each evening Carmel and I enjoyed a bottle from local vineyards just like this one.


Portuguese Vineyard


On This Day


Apr 13, 2012

Distance today = 20.64 km; Total distance = 4945.90 km; Location = Santa Fe, New Mexico – 35 41.161′ N, 105 56.369′ W; Start time = 0920, Finish time = 1433


Last night we had dinner at a great local restaurant with Patty, a friend of my good friend, Cynthia. We had a wonderful time and the city appeared so interesting that I decided Santa Fe warranted an extra day – so I declared today a “short day”.

I only ran 20 km and used the time to call in to meet a very nice and very interesting couple, Gay and Andrew, at their home above Santa Fe. As well as the inspiring conversation, they also provided me with a lovely lunch. I then ran down and through the city and called it “a day” as far as the running was concerned. Santa Fe should definitely be on everyone’s agenda. It really is a fantastic place.

I think my body will thank me for the lower mileage today. It’s the shortest day I’ve had since the first day in Sydney.


Apr 13, 2013

Distance today = 48.19 km; Total distance = 19,433.13 km; Location = Wittau, Austria – 48 10.920′ N, 16 36.284′ E; Start time = 0824, Finish time = 1711


Wow, when the weather changes here, it really changes!!! Today was close to summer. It was a beautiful sunny day, with temperatures in the low 20s. And it felt so different to the past few months. For the first time since Argentina, I was running in shorts and a short-sleeved T-shirt.

I ran from the north and into the eastern suburbs of Vienna, on the opposite side of the Danube River to the city. I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago how I was running along the banks of the Donau. I hadn’t realised this is the German name for the Danube. So, this is my second experience of the river.  The fact I was running along the river valley, means the day was very flat – a nice change from the past week.

I am often asked what the hardest thing is about running around the world. I think I now know the answer – communications. The running looks after itself, but we are constantly at the mercy of our internet connections and phone reception. Take today, for example. Because we’re only briefly in Austria and Slovakia, we’ve decided to keep our Czech SIM cards until we reach Hungary, using roaming for phone calls. The downside is, we don’t have any internet on the phones. Carmel really needed to finalize accommodation for Vienna, and we’d had some offers from friends of friends. She vitally required the internet to check emails for phone numbers she needed to call. As the internet wasn’t on her phone, she went to McDonald’s but the Austrian McDonald’s Wi-Fi is hopeless, and kept dropping out. She then went to a different McDonald’s, but got the same result. And again at a third. She then found a café with internet, and this worked just long enough for her to make some progress, before it too dropped out. She managed to get a phone number to call, but then her phone couldn’t get through to that number. It was incredibly frustrating for her, and the result is that we could not take up the offers of accommodation, and have had to book into a hotel (luckily, the Vienna Marathon tomorrow has not resulted in a total book-out of the city’s hotels). Running is a breeze, compared to all that.

A minor milestone today, when I passed 4,000 km run in Europe since I started on January 24.