Monday, December 22, 2014

Day 24 - Day 25: Leaving Nica

Day 24 - Ran for 35 minutes around a gorgeous crater lake with  howler monkeys cheering me on. 
A sweaty selfie:
The road went down then up down then up, but it felt good to be back on pavement. I definitely did not bring the correct running shoes for running on trails. When I got back to the hostel, I threw on my swimsuit and took one last swim. It was so quiet and peaceful - I swam out on the dock and got to watch an osprey fish. I also saw two golden-breasted MotMots on my run (the Nicaraguan national bird). My poor little iphone camara could not capture them, but I took a  photo of Karen's bird book. 

They are really pretty and have this very impressive tail. Then, I tempted fate by laying in the sun without any sunblock but it just felt so nice. Once the restaurant opened, I order a large bowl of fruit (which I happily shared with Karen) and some pancakes. Delicious! And, with complimentary coffee. 

At about 10am, we started the drive back the Managua Airport. Karen navigated brilliantly and arrive with perfect timing. Returning the car and check in went smoothly. And, the flights were easy because I  basically just slept through all of them. However, the experience of going customs in Miami I will never forget. We saw a man collapsed and with volunteer samaritons performing CPR. It was intense! I don't know what happened in the end, but I fear there is not a good prognosis. I was also surprised HOW LONG it took to get help. It was definitely over 12 mins until paramedics showed - I would just think at an airport they have them stationed ready to respond.....

Day 25 - Jet lagged and on only 3 hours of sleep, I only managed to run 15 minutes. But it was nice to run with the mutt again. I finished the last of errands (still dont have all my xmas shopping done :/) and got packed. Pedro came into town via Amtrack and we had a nice Hannukah super with my parents.

 It was really great seeing him again and I am excited for our next set of holiday travels. One our way to Boston as I type... 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Day 20-gorgeous sunset run

Day 20-gorgeous sunset run

Karen joined me today on my run - i made her take an obligatory running selfie. Luckily, tonight we were able to arrange it so we got back before dark. We set the Timex for 30 mins and headed down the road. We jogged passed the youth  baseball field (which was being used by some teenagers for soccer) Got some cat calls and 'i love yous' however I think they were probably all directed at Karen :) We passed Julian's house and continued up a hill until we came upon a guy trying to manage 3 cows and it looked we might spook the cattle. So we turned around (which just conveniently happened to be at the top of the hill) and cruzed on down with a gorgeous skyline with oranges, purples and pinks. A super peaceful and fun run after a very successful full day in Sabana Grande. 

This morning we held our community feedback meeting to update the community on our progress, share the information we gathered from the interviews in June, and discuss potential collaborations for the future.  I am always a little nervous before a community presentation - will people come? will they be interested? will they understand? Overall, I think it was very successful and we got a lot of great information for next year!

FYI - there was a moment that maybe this would be the second run without a shower ... we got back from the run and the water was definitely off. I had consigned myself to just a little whore bath in my room - when Vidalia came back with a bucket of water. While it was dark, the 'shower' felt amazing. And, I came back to a nice 8 legged friend in my room...see photo

Karen and I are going to light a candle for the first night of Hanukah and enjoy a hearty Nicaraguan supper! Rice and beans, mmmmm

Day 19 (12/15) - a MAJOR victory

Day 19 (12/15) - a MAJOR victory

Today I arrived in Sabana Grande. A red eye flight to Miami and then just a quick jaunt over to Nicaragua and I am transported to another world. I am writing this blog while tucked up under my mosquito net with the wonderful sounds of the 'Sab Grand' - a man chopping wood, the crickets, the cat, the cow and the frog, the occasional firework and the music from the large sound system of a graduation party just a few blocks away...Such an interesting blend of modern and timeless sounds. 

We arrived in Managua (only slightly delayed), picked up an airport sandwich and then was confronted with the sad news that Hertz only had large trucks to rent(a free upgrade). While a truck would be nice for the country roads, I was not about to tackle the busy streets of Managua (dodging people, horses and the out of control buses) in a large truck. So we stepped over Budget and rented a nice dependable Toyota Corolla. We had a pretty easy drive - luckily the navigation was pretty straight forward. One right out of the airport and then just keep going straight. It was really interesting driving this route that we normally travel in a large bus - a much different perspective and I noticed a lot details that I have never seen before. 

Arriving at the Solar Restaurant, our 'mama' kenia was there to greet us. We drove over to her house, greeted Susan, and got a little settled. Tonight is the night of Hilario's sons graduation party (Jeyme) - Hilario is one of the vet promoters that we have worked very close with over the last 2 years. With Susan, we walked over to HIliario's to join the party! A very fun time (though I am sure that a lot of people were a little scared of the Gringas) but we jumped in there and helped warm up the dance floor. After a few songs and a little rice and beans, Karen and I were both Zombies from all the travel that we had to say our good nights....

So, here comes the great victory! I was SO contemplating not running - I mean I had been traveling all night /day and it was after 9 oclock, pitch black (very few houses in Sabana Grande have reliable power) and well that all seemed to a viable excuse, But I knew I would so sad to just throw away the last 2 weeks of hard work (and I was lucky to have Karen here to motivate me!) 

So I slapped on those running shoes, grabbed my flash light and did my first night trail run! I figured if I ran for at least 15 mins - I would for sure fit in a mile. The stars were amazing, I saw a giant ant hole, and only almost fell twice! 

Day 21 - a Sabana Grande hill work out

Day 21 - a Sabana Grande hill work out 

Wow - I got about 11 hours of sleep last night! It felt amazing - one of the good things about Sabana Grande is that there is no shame going to bed once its dark.

Woke up at 7 am - I was able to snooze through the roosters. 

I headed out the same direction as yesterday - however, when I got to the top of the first hill (it was only a slow hill - not anything super steep) I was only at about 11 mins and I wanted to go 15 mins out and 15 mins back. So I ran over the top and started to head down the other side - and it started going down STEEP. I kept going down thinking I am just going to have come back up.... but I kept heading  4 mins down the hill. Turned around and SLOWLY made my way back up....(I admit I had to power walk a bit up the hill) But it was a great leg workout...

I got back Susan and Karen were enjoying breakfast - I did a quick, refreshing 'shower' and joined them. Susan had brought over some fresh made juice - orange with lime. Karen is teaching me how to manage susan (aka shut my mouth). We had another productive day. We attended Hilario's workshop on how to make an organic fertilizer. And then he opened the silage (it looked and smelled good)....

Do you know what also looked and smelled good - MY LUNCH. This running blog is beginning to talk more about food then running :/ It had to be one of my favorite meals at the solar restaurant (though I do still love those empanadas with hot sauce). Today we had this cucumber salad with mint and a squash dish with cumin and of course (rice and beans!). I have to learn how to make yummy beans. 

In the afternoon, we worked with HIlario visiting the houses that he vaccinated in June. It was such an amazing experience! To hear that these families havent had any chickens loss to diseases! Esp cause we know that some of these families are used to loosing all their chickens every year... Maybe, our work in the community is really making an impact...

Okay its almost 8... its dark and the crickets are .... so a completely appropriate time to crawl under the mosquito net. 

Day 22-woke up a little stiff

Day 22-woke up a little stiff

This morning, I woke up a little stiff. I didn't sleep very well last night - did some tossing and turning. But, I pulled myself out of bed for a little morning run. I ran for 25 minutes and found a little stream (almost dry) but I ventured into the jungle a little bit. O' and I almost tripped over a chicken. 

Not the most exciting day in Sabana Grande - after my run, it started off with a long frustrating talk with Susan. But, Karen said I did an amazing job at keeping my mouth shut. Susan says the most ridiculous (and flat out incorrect) things, but she is not very good at considering other viewpoints. So it is best to just smile and nod...

We took a quick trip to Ocotol to talk to some vets (but they were all closed) and check internet. No messages from Pedro :( but I suppose that I did tell him I wasn't going to have internet....Back to the Solar Restaurant for lunch and then we passed the afternoon with Julian visiting more houses that were vaccinated. Karen came with me to deliver a gift to Rumalda (it was nice to see her but I have actually really enjoyed staying at Vidalia's). 

So it is sad to say that this was probably my last day in Sabana Grande. I tried to take lots of pictures, but it really won't be able to capture its beauty or charm. Who knows if I will ever be back again.... but so many great memories and I hope some happier and healthy chickens...

Day 23 - last run in Sabana Grande

(Other posts are saved on my iPad and will be uploaded once I have reliable wifi) 

This morning I woke up early to go one last run on the roads of Sabana grande. Reasons were two-fold: 1. It would be a nice way to say goodbye to a town that has played such a large part in shaping my vet school experience and 2. I knew once I got to Laguna apoyo I would want a beer! 

It was nice little jog. I'm still feeling pretty stiff and sore. Don't know if it's due to the trail running or the stiff hard bed. I'm hoping I am feeling more natural when I get back to a real bed and the streets. 

We said all of our goodbyes and left around 8am for Laguna de apoyo - my favorite little relaxation spot before we head to the airport tomorrow morning. 

Unfortunately my fav little spot was booked (I never would have imagined!) but we found beds at the hostel a few beaches down. It was a little loud for me but I still got a nice swim in. The day visitors have all left and it's so nice ... I've got a tona, a hammock chair, and done bob Marley playing 

Day 11 - 18....a blur of dark wet run

 A blur of dark wet runs and end of the semester madness

Sunday, December 7, 2014

11 Day Streak!

Sorry for the delayed posting, but I have been pretty busy! Most of the time I just run around my neighborhood, which is very small but I can squeeze in about 3.5 miles before hitting one of these: 
Yesterday, I tried out a new trail which is actually for mountain biking. It was super muddy but lots of fun and filled with tiny hills and puddles due to the rain. 
Due to an epic hangover thanks to a holiday party last night, I ended up doing a night run today, Ragnar style. 

(Check out those leggings)

For whatever reason, my night runs are so much faster than my morning runs. 

All in all, after an 11-day streak, I'm feeling great and my body seems to be responding! Felt good putting on my old skinny jeans today...

Beccah, are you all caught up with serial? Any conspiracy theories? 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Day 9-10

I suppose predictably it is harder to get out the door for a 6am run later in the week...with a Friday 8am Irat& Trat, I only squeezed in a short 1.5 mile run. But, after lab I did take barley on a nice long walk (1.5 episodes of serial). It was a nice rest day for my legs. Later that night we did a ladies holiday dinner.

Day 10... Went for my longest run yet! Goal was 4.0 mikes but only did 3.5. I am still happy. Last night ended up being a later night than expected and (since this blog is only btw me and Scotti)...

Well back to the run. I took barley to the fields - it was a muddy which slowed my pace a bit but it was worth it. Barley had such a fun time running in the mud and grass and chasing little rodents. 

The fields: Dec 6 - green and wet

o went to Michaels this evening and the best buy parking lot has a whole new meaning

Friday, December 5, 2014

Day 8... First sunset run

Predictably, I snoozed my alarm and didn't get an early am run. But I did fit a nice 25min run before happy hour! 

A beautiful sky....makes you want to run forever.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Day 7- slight accuweather fail...

No 8 am class today! So, when I woke up at 6:30 and it was pouring. I checked accuweather ... @ 8am the umbrella icon was closed. I thought great! I will close my eyes for a little bit more and go running at 8....ha! I was the fool...started of with a slight drizzle and then it just came down it buckets!! BUT I did run 3 miles and my fastest mile yet! 9:42! I did have one wet dog. It was too wet during the run (and after) to take a photo but I did see a beautiful rainbow later that day
AnD I got new hair!

Okay ... Tomorrow is gonna be tough. I have to be on campus at 7:30 for a conference call with Rwanda and I have lecture, labs, case work until late + potential plans for drinks with my faculty mentor group...(and I haven't seen boy in couple of days) if I want to fit it all in..I will have to run in the morning. I will report back tomorrow if I get my butt out of bed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Day 6 - smashed it!!

My first real run the rain...and I killed it! I felt strong getting out there in the rain...I was laying in bed listening to the down pour outside and just dreading it...but I was like - I have to!! And I love how a good morning run can really lead to a great day - got to play with cows all afternoon (which is way better then sitting in te classroom). 

Someone else doesn't like the rain...

But he looks so dapper in his coat (though he hates it!) even had to take it off half way through because he was being such a baby...
Post run photo - wet but happy!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Rain run.

Rain run, very hard, very cold, very short at 1.82 miles. I supplemented with a Jillian michaels workout and an arm workout that says I will be able to have Madonna arms. 

Day 5 - first school day run

I'm pretty happy with my first sunrise run (8 am class :() Felt a little slow with no coffee. But again got super lucky with the rain. 2.5 miles.
O' and I stepped on the scale this morning...:( but I'm feeling good that I can get back into shape!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Shelby Bottoms

I thought about going for 8 miles today, but ended up settling for 5. My legs are feeling stronger, but I think I need to build up my mental toughness. Feeling good about the 5-day streak though!

Day 4 ... Woke up to pouring rain..

I have to admit today was the first day that it was hard to get out the door for a run(and I'm sure not the last). It was pouring rain :( and I was just feeling tired .... But I'm soo glad I did! I had a great run and no rain until the last mile! I actually ended up pushing myself to run a little longer. Zach fixed my nike run app (before it wouldn't get a good gps signal). So I finished my normal uc Berkeley loop and it was 2.4 miles and.. I was like - let's make it a solid 3! And I should never be upset with rain in California (given the drought!). It was nice to see the streams full of water again..

Day 1-3...

Day 1- Turkey Trot 5k! A great way to start of thanksgiving and a little wake up call that it is time to get back in shape!! Highlight= Geri and I won a bottle of wine for a best dressed duo- go team tie dye!!

Day 2- A sunny morning run through Berkeley campus. Took barley to all his favorite spots. He loves running through the wet morning grass
Day 3- A run through wine country ... 
Morning fog with beautiful fall colors. After the run - we spent the morning soaking in the hot springs (I love spa robes!) 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lake trail run!

Beautiful lake trail run. The fall leaves are getting thicker on the ground, making it hard to see the stumps and stones. Best I could do for such a hilly course!