Yep, I did that. I spent a week in Brazil in August (this blog is called Girl Runs World, and I do run in a lot of cities around the world). My schedule was hectic because I had multiple day trips to cities throughout Brazil. While it was great for my career, it was not so good for my running regime. But I made the most of it. I started out in Sao Paolo, and if you’ve been to Sao Paolo, you know that it has a big running community. Most of the running takes place in Ibirapuera Park which is their Central Park equivalent. As I drove by the park in my taxi day after day either coming or going to my office or an airport, I always had the urge to tell my driver to stop. I envisioned doing some sort of Spiderman type clothing change to join the Paulistas in their loops around the park, but that would have been weird.
I did get some running in while in Brazil, but most of it was on a treadmill in my hotel’s gym. I focused mainly on strength training while I was there mainly due to my time constraints. Getting a work in, meant waking up at 4:30 in the morning to get in a 30 minute workout, so I made the most of it when I could.
Here’s the sun rising while I was in the gym:
I had to. I had a 5k race in New York City 2 hours after I arrived in the City. I’d already missed an 18 mile race the weekend before due to my travel and I didn’t want to miss this one as well. So I arranged for a friend to pick me up from the airport and take me to the race.
I had a small window, if my flight arrived late, then I’d run the risk of missing the race. I also had to count on the speed of customs, baggage claim and any other random airport departure mishap that could happen.
I flew from Sao Paolo to NYC with my running gear on, my colleagues thought it was funny, but I didn’t have a choice, or at least, I couldn’t think of another option. It wasn’t too uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The flight was 9.5 hours and I had to keep most of my running gear on starting at 2 pm the day prior all the way up to the race at 8 am the following day. Yeah, again, I wouldn’t recommend it.
When we landed, we were 30 minutes late, which is weird because I take this flight often and it is almost always either on time or early. Just my luck. When I arrived at customs, there were 2 planes that arrived late, so guess what? What is usually a short line, since we are usually the first flight, was a looong line, with people with connecting flights getting preference. I tried to be patient, but I really wanted to run out of there, but that would have caused an additional set of problems.
I did make it to the race, with time to spare. Now to the race:
My ankles were swollen, I had cankles due to the flight and poor circulation, not good but I pressed on. The race course was described as a slight hill during the first mile. It was actually a steady incline for a full mile, then up and down for another, then down hill for the rest. It was a core race, meaning that you needed a strong core to power through the hills and I felt that I used my abs and arms more than my legs to get me through the race.
I had a slow time, I think it was a 9:50 pace, but in my defense, I did wait for a friend for a few minutes after the first mile, because we were suppose to sun the race together but she fell behind and I felt bad for leaving her. My goal in this race was to increase my fastest mile so that I could move up in the corral for the marathon but that plan fell apart after that. Then it was more of a tempo run and pushing through my fatigue and hydration issues from my flight to get to the finish.
But I’m glad I did it, I could have easily gone home and slept and used flying as an excuse to not run the race, but I really wanted to make this work because as I run the world, I need to figure out how to stay on track with my personal goals such as running and not let work consume me.