Happy New Year! San Silvestre Vallecana, fitness and wellness

Happy New Year to all my wonderful readers and followers!

The San Silvestre was only ran by pros in 2020 due to Covid. This year the popular race was back on, and I ran it again!

For those of you who are new to my blog or to the San Silvestre, it is a 10 km race held on New Year’s Eve through all of downtown Madrid. It starts at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and ends at Rayo Vallecano Stadium. This was my fourth running, and I did my best time yet 1:02, not bad for an old man.

The race, at least the Popular race is a fun run with great atmosphere, plenty of costumes and jokes, and although this year there were far fewer runners and spectators, it was still fun.

The San Silvestre is usually my only competitive race of the year, I usually cannot be bothered to get up early for a race. But this one is in the evening, so I have no problem!

Running is only part of my fitness and wellness routine. I normally do strength training every other day and cardio on the other day. Cardio ideally is running -in Boynton Beach I am privileged enough to be able to actually run on the beach, as energy zapping as it is, and in Madrid I have the Retiro Park close enough to run there. If the weather does not allow or it is dark, I do static bike, or elliptical, or treadmill, or God-forbid Ergo machine (rowing).

But just as important as moving your body there are other, just as key factors to keep in mind: eating healthy, mindfulness / meditation, rest, and sleep. I try to keep all aspects of my wellbeing in balance and will continue to try to do so in 2022. You should as well! Let me know any questions in the comments below. Let’s get going in 2022!!

San Silvestre Vallecana

The San Silvestre Vellecana race has been going every New Year’s eve since 1964 – that’s one year before I was born! I ran it in 2015 with my cousin and again a few days ago. It is not the oldest race, longest or anything like that, but it might be the funnest.

My story with the San Silvestre started with my grandfather who every evening of December 31 always said he was going to the race when in fact he was just going to the corner taverna for a drink or two. My dad continued the joke but he didn’t even go to the bar, he just said he was going to the San Silvestre only to go sit on the couch and watch TV. So when he passed in 2015 I committed to running it, simply so I could say I was going to the San Silvestre and actually run the stupid thing!! And I did, and it was great fun. My cousin Alex is a talented athlete so running it with him was fun and competitive at the same time.

Then I forgot about it until I started training again after my motorcycle accident in 2017 – when I promised myself I would run the San Silvestre again.

The recovery from the shattered pelvis was very slow and painful, but I slowly added the miles, finally running 10 kms in training at the Retiro Park when I got back to Madrid in the fall. I am happy with the results which, while not impressive, are ok. I ran a 1:06 with a 6:39 pace which put me in the middle of the pack finishing in position 20.872. Keep in mind that there were 42.000 of us, so there was a lot of traffic slowing things down. In fact as the crowd thinned I was able to speed up!

According to Wikipedia, this 10K race is based upon the Saint Silvester Road Race, a Brazilian race (held since 1925) which spawned numerous other New Year’s Eve races. It starts at the Real Madrid Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and finishes at the Rayo Vallecano Stadium, across town. Along the way it passes right by my mom’s house, so every year -even when I’m not racing, we take a walk to check it out. The Pro race held after us amateurs is a thing of beauty as those folks blister the streets in 26 odd minutes. Maybe next year…