It was a hot evening so did not sleep the best. I awoke at 8am and had a quick shower to feel fresh for the run. The plan kicked in to effect and managed to get to the start for 9.30am which was my aim. The Metro was very busy so I decided to walk, it was not far. Just as got to the park it started to rain which was nice after a warm evening.
While waiting they played a range of classical music which built up to the Belgium National Anthem and then we were on our way. The level of security was noticeable, along the route there was police man/woman stood in every doorway, soldiers at every junction. Every junction with live traffic had a lorry or truck that blocked the junction from live traffic.
It started off cool, but then the sun came out and it started to warm up. It started getting muggy which was tough to run in. It was nice taking the bus tour the day before as I knew a lot of the sights which was really nice. The route also when though two road tunnels which was a odd experience. It was like running indoors with lots of others.
The 10k came around soon, the route also changed from being parks to more of tree lined avenues which were nice with the warm sun. There were lots of bands on the route to pick up spirits.
Is the last mile Arcades du Cinquantenaire came in to view, but it was a long up hill slog to get there.
Finally when round the fountains to the finish line. It was a nice relief to finish my first 20km in another country. It was a really nice feelings will run another race in a European city.
Again this year one of my aims was to visit another two new countries, but this time I wanted to go for a reason and not just go to walk around for a weekend.
After a quick google to find good runs in European cities I found the 20km De Bruxelles, it is pretty much half marathon distance (12.4 miles really). After booking a place I then booked flights and found a nice hostel to stay at.
Friday evening was my drinking night sampling the best beers that Brussels had to offer. There is a really nice bar scene, with most bars having a live band, it was nice to see it all in my own pace and take in the vibe.
Saturday I woke up a bit late, but it was my lazy day. I walked over to Grand station to check out my pans for race day and to pick up my number. After I then jumped on a bus tour to see all the sights. It was well worth getting the tour or otherwise I would not not made it out to the Atomium.
I then toured around the European area taking in all the sights. It was then Early to bed ready for the race the next day.
Rebecca bought myself a great wild running book for Christmas. It was nice to see a running book that covered the whole country rather than just the mountain areas. The first route that I ran was around Ivinhoe Beacon. The route was really nice and took in a area that I knew a bit.
The next route was around Wedover woods. It started up the ridgeway and then round to Boddington Hill. It was a crisp day but the sun was out so it was a lovely run.
Both routes were really nice and going to try and run one of these routes every week. I have started planning a route around Cannock Chase in readiness for the summer.
My ten things for 2017 are:
- Reconnect with old friend that I have not see in over a year.
- Ski red runs
- Get another qualification.
- Lead more E1’s
- Stay in a bothy
- Make more videos
- Visit family more
- Visit 2 new countries
- Run more
- Work out 3 times a week
My ten things for 2016 are:
Reconnect with old friend that I have not see in over a year. Visited Paul and Kev.
Learn how to ski Learnt in Jan and Feb
Get another qualification – Prince2
- Lead more E1’s – Failed this one
- Stay in a bothy – Failed this one
Take more photos – Took more but going to change it to videos
Visit family more – Visited Rebecca and Vicky more
isit 2 new countries – Visited Greece and Austria for the first time
- Be more stylish –
binned old clothes and now got more stylish outfits
- Run 3 times a week – Ran every day in Sept, but need to work out more.
So over half way though now and I have found that my mindset has changed. Meat dishes are no longer a option, the half empty cup as become half full. Now looking at a pub menu I see what can have. Yes the options are limited but you know i pick the one i like best.
Set menus yes there is the token vegetarian item to tick the box. I found that Weatherspoon’s has by far the best choices. There are over 15 dishes that i could have, almost spoilt for choice. They also do something that I have not seen anywhere else, they offer vegetarian options for normal dishes.
Cheese and carbs are the norm now and can’t see this changing over the next 10+ days. Think the one thing that I expected was to eat more veg, that is totally not the case. I now eat more carbs and cheese then ever before. As deciding to do this for partial health reasons it is hard to justify eating pasta and rich cheese at every meal.
Think I am going to try and eat some more salads over the next 10 days and see if I can reduce the cheese and carbs.
While away in the Alps I was trying to the think of a good challenge for once I got back. I wanted something that would test myself control but was achievable, with listening to Elis and John and remembering that John was a vegetarian I thought that would be a good challenge.
I am now 5 days in and this is what I have found so far; the first thing I have noticed is that cheese is a big part. Pubs seem to love to make cheese based dishes, not just cheddar but stilton halloumi or other rich cheeses.
Fast food is also a bit of issue, McDonalds or KFC don’t have a massive vegetarian range so they are out the window. Also Tesco’s only have cheese and onion sandwiches and no salads without meat.
It is becoming more of a challenge as I go on my I am enjoying it so far.
This year we headed to Saas Grund to start the trip.
the first trip in to the mountains was a multi pitch route up Jegihorn, the next day we tackled Weissmies.
We then when up to the Mischabel Hutte, next day we took on the Nadelgrat. It was a very long day a 2.30am start and did not get back to the hut till 11pm, but still summited Dürrenhorn, Hohberghorn Stecknadelhorn, Ulrichhorn.
We then relocated to Pontresina. The first day out on the mountains we got half way to the hut but got rained off. We then took two days to dry out, and then when back up to the hut. With a 5am start we sumitted Piz Bernina 4048m.
Today my aim was to master the longer routes and nail them from top to bottom.
Started on the longer routes 11 and 11a, the snow was nice and made turns easy.
Started the day off on a easy slope and then worked up to the longer slopes. Then moved over to the longest route here. It was a long lift up and to my surprise the slopes were a lot less steep than the lower slopes. They were long but easy slopes. Stopped half way down for lunch which had an amazing view.
It was lovely and sunny but this meant the snow got sugary at about 3pm so I called it a day.
Tomorrow that I am thinking of going high and then try to do a circuit of the valley.