Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Taste of Trail Running

So we have made it to paradise. Luckily for my readers today is a tropical depression so before I retreat to my room to drink copious amounts of "mio rico" coffee and get lost in my 3rd book of the week I have stopped to share a little about how the running has been. Our hotel sits on the side of a cliff, so to get anywhere it's a battle of the hills. Getting from our room to the road is a beautiful downhill run with lush vegitation as far as you can see. The road winds around the cliff side and above us the trees are filled with sloths and white faced monkeys. At our feet we are constantly dodging lizards of every shape and size as well as Halloween Crabs. It's a little difficult to focus on your running form with all of this to take in. Leaving the hotel property is where things become very interesting. It's a quarter mile straight up, take college hill and make it triple the steepness and then you start to understand. Yesterday we tried to run it, today we were smarter and just walked it. The pavement is a mixed concrete substance with stone so it's rather uneven and slippery, getting up or down takes much concentration and effort. At the top the pavement stops and the road is gravel. We continue uphill although at a more manageable slope for another 8th of a mile. Surrounded by houses and hotels of all shapes and sizes. The trash cans are kept in locked boxes off the ground that look like chicken coops, protection from Monkeys. There are many wild dogs that initally make me nervous and run back towards Joe, good thing everything here has the Pura Vida attidude, including the dogs who pay us no mind. Today we took a left on the paved road and ran for a mile and a half down hill towards the national park. Everything is so green, my eyes balanced between keeping focused on the uneven footing and up in tree tops. Birds are everywhere, bugs as well. This road is one of the few paved ones in the area and at times we are able to hop on the sidewalk. THere is not much traffic, but runners do not have the right of way. We hit the entrance to the park and turn around, Joe begins to beg that we not go back up the hill. So we hit the beach. It's about a mile to the hotel and a perfect run when it's low tide. The water is turquoise and the sound of the waves is beautiful. Looking out there are many rocky outcroppings covered lush green vegitation. To our left is ocean, to the right forrest and there are many rivers that empty into the ocean. In the beginning we are able to hop over the water and remain dry but soon this becomes impossible. I stop and survey my options, realizing there are none I charge full speed into the water. If the 100% humidity hadn't soaked my shoes and socks enough, I was now shin deep in water. Running on the sand was difficult, now running on the sand with squishy shoes was even more of a challenge. Just as all the water had been squished out I'm faced with another river, and in I go again. The 3rd time was a little much, I misjuded the depth, leaped off the sand and landed in water thigh high. Laughing I pull myself out and Joe jumps in behind me. We reach our beach and charge down the final path to the hotel road. The trail is a mix of different size rocks and footing again is difficult. I have to dodge branches and palms, a little worried that around the corner will be a snake, I think to myself that tomorrow Joe will take the lead here. Again surrounded by jungle I'm amazed at the beauty. We stop the run at 4 miles to ensure we don't have to run up another cliffside slope.

Miles trained today: 4

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