¡Feliz día de la madre!

Good morning folks
Here is the weekly round-up of nonsense/happenings/news in looney-tunes-Lima.
A busy old week, rounded off with “El dia de la madre” (Mother’s Day), a different date to Blighty, but the same as the US and Australia. (Father’s Day is the same date, here).
It would be a massive understatement to say that it is BIG here.
It is huge.
¡Feliz día de la madre!
In reverse chronological order, the week was finished by what retailers/restaurateurs/flower hawkers must wait for all year and rub their hands with glee afterwards.
EVERYWHERE is rammed, all weekend.
We went out for a bit of tucker and waited an hour and a half to get in!
It was a nice lunch (at teatime).

Psychologist time!


Every year at work we have a 2hr session with a Psychologist.
It is mandatory to attend and you cannot poo-poo nor criticise it. It is taken seriously.
It is basically the same guy, giving the same presentation, to the same people,
(including one guy who is concentrating to the point of his head exploding, but at the same time, avoiding all eye contact and hoping he doesn´t get asked a question, the session is entirely in Español and it is at my absolute limit). Luckily it is a group session.
It is basically common sense tinged with “life coach” stuff. Telling people what they want to hear, to believe in themselves and building their confidence/self-esteem is a very powerful tool indeed.
14737861-Puzzle-brain-and-silhouette-head-vector-image-Stock-Vector-mental-psychologist-puzzle(There is definitely more than one piece missing from my brainbox!)
The guy himself makes a living from giving this presentation to countless groups, so it must be a nice little earner, it got me thinking. If I ever fancied a career change…
DH aftermath
18516298_10158720484340302_1945145466_nAll hopes and dreams of ever becoming a toenail model are fast disappearing…
After what was (rather surprisingly) one of my best races in recent times, on the back of some very, very erratic training, it was nailed on that I wasn´t going to be jumping out of bed at 5:20am on Monday morning and skipping to work!
I had bitten by a very hungry insect, which made my ankles swell and my size 13s became size 16s! My work shoes are too small anyway, so I was hobbling around from class to class. Training was simply not possible until Friday, then I needed a shoehorn!
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Sunday was a race that was run on the back of a huge amount of pent-up frustration. Things haven´t been going too well (on-and-off-the-pitch) and the race was basically a channel for this accumulated anger!
I finished in11th place, as first Vet-40. Everybody in front of me was about half my age!
I just pipped my mate Marco (also a V40), so it livens up the series from the get-go.
Some excellent pics appeared during the week, including these beauties (spoiled by my ugly mug) from the Peruvian David Bailey, Francisco Palomino V.
Race 2 in San Andres de Tupicocha starts at 3606m (11830ft in old money), I had a far-from-perfect race there last year, plagued by bad guts and arriving to the start line 10mins before Kick-off, it is territory I know well (I’ve been through there a lot on the old Clunk and run there twice), but it is a bit higher than usual and altitude can do funny things to a man.
(Plus, I heard on the grapevine that my mate Marco wants my scalp, on a stick!)
Watch this space…
Escape from Lima – Callahuanca
I’ve got a small group of mates who I train with from time to time.
My schedule makes me generally a one-man-band and most (99.9%) of my training a solo effort.
(This was the same in Blighty, due to my shifts, I’d love to train with somebody else, it makes it infinitely more fun). However, you do what you can with time you’ve got.
A last-minute invite from “Club Andino Piruw” to the Highlands on Saturday was something that I could squeeze in, so an ambitious 5am start saw me waiting for my lift, and to the Sierra we went! Dick, Carlos and Karina are good friends of mine, they are very, very patient with my diabolical Spanish.
The village of “Callahuanca” is perched on top of a tabletop hill at a semi-lofty 5777.7ft above bath water.
It is less than 40 miles away, but if you hit traffic (!) you can expect to take 3hrs+
The recent “Huiacos” (floods/landslides/mudslides) hit the area hard, the main road was washed away and devastating trails scar the surrounding hills. It must have been a terrifying time up there.
I had planned a long trip up there on the Clunk two years back, but it never happened.
The hills around looked big, but these are mere molehills compared to what I face in June!
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Birds singing, a clear blue sky and a scorching sun, it felt a million miles away from Salamanca.
Our route went up and up and up to the 8000ft high diddy hamlet of “Mayhuay” (say My Way in a Cockney accent), where only 5 families live. We got chatting to an old lad called Francisco who gave me 3 Avocados, (start of a fruitful day). Some people redefine the word “humble”, a man who lived in a ramshackle little house with his family, I had nothing to give In return, but next time I go, I’ll take something.
The descent was a hairy freefall back down to the valley following a river that had reaked havoc just two months ago. Passing through another diminutive village, a “mariachi” looking a bit worse for wear (it was noon) was startled by 4 runners as he took a roadside leak, he almost filled his trombone!
Something akin to an Andean “Brassed Off” party of some kind was in full swing and the “cerveza” was going down fast, it would have been interesting to hang around…
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Just outside the village, I ran under a rustling tree and was almost taken out by a  “Chirimoya”.
This local fruit is about the size of a small melon and weighs in at a kilo upwards.
It would have been a pathetic and embarrassing demise!
18516050_10158720477810302_443612424_n 18515925_10158720477485302_688314137_n 18492396_10158720477635302_755429017_n 18492101_10158720477550302_1441060261_nPools chocker-full of tadpoles and listless dogs were the only signs of life on the road back to the start. 13 miles had taken us nearly 3hrs, but we weren’t racing and it was just a day that felt good to be out in the hills. I do wonder how life must be for the folk who live in places like that.
It is just too far to even think about commuting to Lima, but if I ever had a job which I could do online (e.g. “Open English” a famously dubious language course) I’d move there tomorrow!
Thanks again to Club Andino Piruw :-)
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Cakes galore
Friday was “British Desserts” day at work, I told my students about it as the bell rang, but in the 10 seconds that it took me to walk to the Library, it was like a plague of locusts had descended, the plates were bare!
picZOCe95Here’s what you could have won…
I’ve not eaten flapjack since overdosing on it on my Bob Graham Round, but it is top running fuel and I had hoped to snaffle some for the weekend, no danger of that happening…
Ultra Trail 69
In January I received an email from a bloke called Charlie (see last weeks blog) about a race in the Andes. The offer was too good to resist and June seemed a zillion miles off, loads of time to get fit…
Now with 4 weeks to go, I am (more than) a bit worried!
It is an ambitious/audacious/absurd plan of mine:
Friday night – Overnight bus at 10:30pm after work.
Saturday – Arrive in Yungay at 7am. Sleep, eat, get ready for a midnight start.
Sunday – 50 miles and up to almost 16000ft, 4pm cut-off, barbecue and night bus back for 7am class on Monday morning.
Altitude is a funny thing, sometimes you’re fine, sometimes you’re sick as a dog.
Acclimatisation works, but one day to adjust is a bit of a smash-&-grab approach, it does sometimes work though, (he says hopefully).
Training has been sketchy at best, plenty of climbing, but no miles in the bank, I need to shoehorn some in right now.
Like most things, watch this space…
And finally…
Just what am I getting equally as giddy as getting my calzone in a twist about?
The (drone) trailer for the ULTRA TRAIL 69.
Please go for it, I could use some company :-)
Have an outstandingly awesome week!
Johnny, Lina & the Nipper

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