If you had told me a week before this challenge that I'd be running in temperatures of 6 degrees on the Costa Blanca in March I would have said you were mad.
As it happens it turned out to be true. The week previous the weather was incredible, temps of 20 degrees with light winds and a little bit of cloud cover to shade you from the sun; perfect running conditions. Fast forward and we have a different story. We even had snow on Aitana and Puig Campana
So the alarm goes off at 0400hrs on Saturday morning and I jump out of bed feeling great, I have a bit of breakfast and a cup of tea and I begin loading the car ready to make a move to Torre d'el Auguilo.. My plan is to start the run at 0630, I manage to get going a little early and press start on my watch at 0620.
The first 10 reps go without a hitch, I'm making good time and I'm feeling pretty strong. I get to around 15 reps which is close to 30KM and 2200m of elevation and I begin feeling not so good. My stomach is doing summersaults and I feel nauseas; luckily this passes after about an hour or so and I'm back feeling strong.
I continue to tick off the reps in sets of three. Every 3 reps gives me 390m of elevation and around 6km of distance;; I get to around 3500m of elevation and my legs are cramping, its freezing (for the Costa Blanca) and I'm beginning to slow down.
This is when I realise that it was a mistake to change the start to the bottom of the car park, the extra 500m of distance per rep is really beginning to take its toll on me. Its 5pm and I've done 28 reps; in my head I should have run 45km but I'm close to running 60km. all this extra distance for 300m?? That's what you call a school boy error!!!
At this point it is clear to me that I am not going to complete the challenge in the allocated 12 hours; i could stay out and get it done but after speaking with Eva and the team we decide to cut off as planned at 6.30pm.
I am definitely a little disappointed to have not completed the whole challenge in one day but sometimes it just doesn't go your way!
Sunday morning and were back at Torre d'el Aguilo to get the remaining height gain to complete the Mt.Elbrus challenge. We need another 1261m to tick it off.
The weather this morning is a million miles away from where it was yesterday; overnight the wind has changed and we're back to temps of 20 degrees. It actually feels warm in comparison to the day before.
We decide to start at the original place this morning so each rep is 1.5km with 116m of elevation. I set off on the first 4 reps accompanied by my good friend Sergio; we're moving really well and we get the first 4 done in less than an hour.
We stop for a short break after the first 4 and then we head off on rep number 5. On rep number 6 I begin to feel fatigued and my legs are beginning to scream on the way back down; going up is great but OMG the descents are horrible!
We continue to tick off reps 7, 8 & 9, i get a second wind and i feel good. We're joined by a few other guys from the team and the end is in sight.
So what did I learn on this challenge?
Plan, plan and plan again! then check your plan. The extra distance really broke me, but to be honest I only have myself to blame!
So my next challenge will start and finish at the original place; I'll being running Kilimanjaro on the 17th of April and this time I will benefit from an extra hour of day light and fingers crossed warmer temperatures.
Kilimanjaro is 5896m above sea level which means I will need to run up and down Torre del Aguilo 51 times to achieve the required height gain..
But know its time to rest for a few days!!