Saturday, February 12, 2011

Feb 12 - p

Back in Buenos Aires!
I found out that the Ecological Reserve is open on weekends, as well, so I headed out there once I unpacked.  It was a stop-and-go run, since I took lots of pictures along the way.  I'll add them to this post once I get home.

This is my third run since the marathon, and it's the longest yet.  It's been 12 days.  It was hot outside ( says 73 degrees, but it felt hotter in the sun.. I'm now a bit toasty on the backs of my shoulders), but I got to wear my new UPF 50+ Asics singlet that I got for $10 from the marathon expo - a steal.  I also wore my visor to protect against the sun, shades, a ShadowPak to hold a camera and cash and a credit card and the hotel room card.

It was a really nice run.  To get to the Ecological Reserve, you run on a dirt path flanked by trees and soccer fields and benches and exercise equipment.  Once in the park, they offer a few different routes: going from 1.24 mi to 2 mi to 2.61 mi to 4.9 mi in length.  I saw a lizard iguiana monster... you'll see in the picture later. 

The history of the reserve from Wiki:
The Ecological Reserve, declared a natural park in the 1980s, was formed by a land-fill of waste material of demolished buildings dumped in the river off Costanera Sud avenue to make way for highway construction throughout Buenos Aires in the 70s. Over time, sand and sediment began to build up and developed itself into a biodiversity sample of the native Llanura Pampeana ecosystem, the area now boasts a few trees, mostly willows, ceibos and acacias and is home to the city's only wild flamingos, egrets, ducks, parrots and nutrias.

From many spots, you could see the water and container ships in the distance.  On the other side, you could see skyscrapers peeking over trees.  The path was all dirt - my favorite.  Good for your knees, and good for ankle strength.  I did roll my right ankle a couple of times as I got more tired, but it's so used to rolling that it was fine.  There were many, many runners and bikers enjoying the fresh air.  I would love to live close to some place like this, where I could get in miles on a dirt path every day.  It's like an oasis in the city.  It's crazy that this resulted from a land-fill.  Hurray nature!

The last miles were especially slow as the heat and dehydration set in, but I made it.  I went to a couple of stores to try to get drinks afterwards... I wanted orange juice b/c all I had eaten that day (by noon / 10 EST) was a banana and a bit of egg at 7am EST on the plane.  But they wouldn't accept Amex.  But back at the hotel, they had a self-serve bar where you could charge it to your room, so I got my orange juice, a cal-free drink for later, and lots and and lots of free Yerba Mate... it's like a super strong green tea that's a big part of the culture.  It's delicious and probably great for you.  It's energizing.
8.1 in 1:09:07, 8:32/mi.  I'm pleasantly suprised, considering the heat and all.  616 Cal.
Splits> 13:13 to the reserve from the docks (8:51 pace), 11:14 to the other end of the preserve (8:56 pace), 11:51 to the far point (7:47 pace), 19:17 back to the reserve entrance (8:26 pace), 13:30 back to the docks plus a bit (8:58 pace).

FIT... PART 2:
After the first run, I worked for a while.  But the first run was so much fun and I was feeling such a runner's high that I went out for a second run.  I wouldn't get many chances to run outside again, since this would be my only free day here.  I wanted to cover every path in the park, so I had 2 shorter ones to go back and run through.  .  There's an entrance really close to where I start my run, which I didn't realize before.  So instead of running on the dirt path outside of the reserve twice, I went out on it but came back by staying in the park, redoing one of the paths, and exiting on the other side of the park.

Doubles are good to mix in sometimes.  They stress your body and cause adaptations in ways that are different from doing a single long run.  I still felt pretty good during the second run.  It was cooler (77 degrees... 4 hotter than earlier in the day, but with much more shade... makes all the difference), since it was about 3 EST / 5 BA time.  Was a sweaty mess afterwards, but it was a good run.

4.2 in 36:16, 8:38 ave.  Splits> 1.6 in 12:57 (8:06/mi) to the reserve, 1 in 9:03 (9:03/mi) to the vertex, 0.65 in 5:30 (8:32/mi) to the path, 0.82 in 7:44 (9:24/mi) to the pedestrian bridge.  326 cal.

After the run, I was thinking how great running is for refreshing yourself mentally.  You can literally "clear you head" because when running, your brain focuses all of its firings on the motor units, leaving few resources left for the parts of your brain that have to worry about things.  It's a good way to prepare for the coming days.

After a bit more working and showering, I went out for dinner.  In the mall's food court, there's a place called Green & Co, and they had vegetarian options, so I tried the Veggie Burger patty made of quinoa and words I couldn't identify.  It came with 3 veg sides, and I added in a fruit salad for dessert.  I was craving lots of vegetables.  Fish or chicken would've been good, too, but I wanted to try the veg burger. 

Look at the rainbow!

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