Day 32 – EU – Spain [El Ejido to Almeria]

6th January 2020
Run: 39km

Entering my 2nd month on the road. A quiet sunny day to reflect on the month gone by…

Today’s run was gonna be quiet: 22km amongst the plastic-sheets’ covered fields of the El Ejido region, followed by 17km on a quiet coastal road, nearly all cut-off to traffic due to road maintenance works. And all of it nearly flat.

I took this opportunity to reflect on the month gone by. My first month on the road.

There have been hard times. I had plenty of rain, fog and cold in the first few weeks. The scary runs, where I could not see more than 40 or 50 meters ahead, had to rely on my ears to warn me of danger and jump on the side ditch at the sound of a vehicle approaching. I had some runs on trails that were not quite practicable for my stroller. I saw it getting sucked into mud, wheel-deep, whilst fearing for my equipment. I got chased by many wild dogs. I followed Google Map’s “sometimes kinda funny” directions, and ended up crossing a river with no bridge – with BoB – not knowing how deep it was. I have had to deal with 8 flat tires so far. I had to run uphills so steep that BoB’s weight nearly crushed me. I crossed a forest that was full of hunters on the go, fearing I may be mistaken for some sort of wild black & pink animal. I had to run dozen of kilometers by the side of a motorway with only the protection from the security fence – and once, had to run 1km on the motorway itself, without any protection at all. I got pulled over by the Guardia Civil many times, including one that was really not amicable at all.

But… there has been so many good times! I got completely blown over by the hospitality in Portugal. I have been gifted bottles of wines, traditional bread pouches, meals and even discounted accommodation, a free car-ride to town from my host in Herdade de Zambujal. I had hosts giving me their phone numbers, telling me to call them should anything happen to me and they’ll come right by. I have had people checking on me on the road, to make sure I was safe and alright. I had people talking to me over lunch, about having seen me on the road earlier that morning many dozens of kms ago. I have run in amazing landscapes, varied and beautiful. I have a had a four-days reunion vacation with my full family in Seville over Christmas. We hadn’t been all 14 together since Christmas 2015, that was quite a unique and joyful break.

And on top of these hardships and good times, I managed to run 40km a day on average, 6 days a week, totalling 1,076km on my first month. I am so incredibly grateful for my body to be coping so well, I am absolutely amazed each morning. I wake up everyday wondering for a split second: “Has it caught up with me yet?” – then I put my feet on the floor and get up… and the answer everyday so far has been: “Nope! It’s still doing great!!”. May it last as long as possible, I am thoroughly enjoying every day, every start, every arrival, and everything in-between.

Life on the road makes everything more intense, true. But when I look back on all the above, and think: gosh, it’s only been one month… I cannot wait for all 24 months to come, may they be as intense, happy, surprising and challenging as this one!

Check my daily run GPS data on Garmin or Strava (icons on top right of your screen) – here is the map of today’s run: