Day 153 – EU – Albania [Llogara to Qeparo]

24th July 2020
Run: 47.5km

A long and slow day under the hot sun – and everything around is starting to look and sound a lot like Greece

What a mighty effort today was again! The run did start with 250m+ uphill within the first 2.5km. I reached the Llogara pass, which stands at 1,043m. This pass also represents a fighting point between Greeks and Albanians. Ultimately from this point on, it did feel like Greece and I am hearing a lot of folks talk to each other in Greek.

Anyhow, this little warm up was just the beginning of a long day which saw a lot of steep uphills and downhills. I stopped counting how many warning signs I saw indicating an upcoming 10% slope up or slope down. There simply were too many.

It seems that as I am running along the coast, but also within a mountain range (Ceraunian Mountains) the road is wildly going up and down. It would be hard enough just running it. But I am running with BoB the stroller. BoB is about 50% of my own body weight (that would be me at 60kg and BoB at 30kg). It is causing me to develop quite a muscular body shape. I look more like a workhorse than a racing horse!

Imagine what I have to push, when BoB is ahead of me, 50% of my own weight, up a slope of 10% or more. This is massive! And when the downhill is also in the 10%+ range, the effort to pull it and keep it under control is equally massive.

Anyhow, today was probably the most I have had to push and pull under such gradients and it was tiring! I wish I were a great mathematician and I could work out how much force it requires… maybe that’s an exercise for tonight, I shall search the net and get the calculations going.

Tomorrow is another run in the same conditions, I shall expect heat, uphills and downhills galore! Let’s rejoice though, the vistas are absolutely stunning…

Footnote about my foot: the toe that I suspect might be broken (see yesterday’s blog) was still painful today (and now all black) – though I noticed it was less sharp and intense. I still intend to get it X-rayed when I transit in Athens… 

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