Feb 16, 2013

Distance today = 50.85 km; Total distance = 16,605.03 km; Location = Belorado – 42 25.373′ N, 03 09.119′ W; Start time = 0854, Finish time = 1705


I changed my shoes today. The previous pair had done 2,070 km officially, but that didn’t count what I ran in them during my Christmas break – probably another 100 km or more. Many people will tell you not to run this far in shoes before changing them, and that’s generally sound advice. However, I’ve found I can go a lot further than I used to, having changed my running style from a heel striker to a forefoot runner. I probably could have gotten another 1,000 km out of this last pair if I’d wanted to, but that would have been pushing it.

I must admit, the new pair felt great, and I had not problems at all, despite not wearing them in. They are actually an old pair from about two years ago. I didn’t much like them at the time, so didn’t wear them. They feel good now, however.

I hadn’t realised it until I saw the signs, but I found myself running alongside the Camino de Santiago today. I thought it was further north. For those who don’t know, this is a track that religious people walk, culminating in kissing a stone idol in the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, in the north-west of Spain – a bit like a walker’s version of the Blarney Stone. Not my “cup of tea”, I’d have to say.

While on a business trip in 2005, I was actually taken to visit the cathedral in Santiago by my hosts. I believe it’s the second oldest cathedral in Europe, and a lot like Notre Dame in size and style. Amazing history that so many people know nothing about.

To my surprise, the Camino de Santiago involves a lot of walking on the highway, or right next to it. And I only saw one walker all day. I guess they like to do it in the summer.

I often get asked how I handle blisters. Simple – I don’t get blisters. Since starting this run nearly 14 months ago, I’ve had one blood blister about a year ago, and I didn’t even know about it until I took my shoe off. I have also lost two toenails in the early months of the run (one on a big toe, the other on a smaller toe), and neither of these involved any pain either. The toenails are all back to perfect health now.

I’d like to conclude by mentioning Burgos – a great little city, with a mix of antiquity and modernity, and very vibrant on a Friday night. Another must for the tourist to Spain.