There are some days where things just suddenly seem to unexpectedly fall into place – successfully running up La Cruz de Benidorm earlier in the week was one of those and proved to myself that I had almost recovered from my accident.
I’m not sure exactly how high the peak is, although the colour coding on one blurry on-line map suggested just over 250 metres (around 800 feet for non-metric readers). The climb is around 2700 metres long, so has an average gradient of around 9% but in several places were probably double that.
What made it harder was the heat – I saw a thermometer on the side of a building on my run down to the sea front which suggested 34°C in the shade, but there was no shade on the winding road up to La Cruz.
The views from the top and from the route up were impressive both over Benidorm (which was much more pleasant than I had expected) as well as over the Parque Natural de Serra Gelada, which La Cruz is on the edge of.
I didn’t even intend to run up there that evening – I had done a hilly fartlek session the day before along a lower road out to a ruined fortification – my plan was just to get away from the crowds on the promenade and check the lower parts of the route as preparation for a run another evening and just do a ‘recovery run’. But the early stages were quite steep and having invested a lot of energy into getting up them it seemed silly to waste that effort.
I wouldn’t have even thought about doing a run like this two or three weeks ago, but the strength in my legs has improved a lot after a focus for a few weeks on intervals and tempo runs which didn’t lead to any adverse reactions in my back. For the first time since 20 January, I am convinced that getting back virtually all of the fitness that I had before that fateful morning is something that I am actually going to achieve rather than something that I am aspiring towards.