Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sao Paulo, Brazil: Comfort & Food

Off to Brazil on Saturday.

When I arrived, I got in a run.  I hadn't had much to eat during the day (tons of water at the airport when my luggage was overweight, and I didn't want to waste 5 bottles... I chugged 3 and had to ditch 2 / yogurt / mega-salad with walnuts / whole egg / apple / big avocado sandwich), but the gym would close at 10, so I did the run first.  Thankfully (for once, I appreciate it), they eat dinner super-late in Brazil.

At the gym, the bike seemed more promising than the treadmills that looked like they were from the 80s.  However, the bike's resistance was electromagnetically generated, so it didn't have good flow.  I switched to the old treadmills, which turned out to be quite usable, despite its appearances and super-limited functionality.  I did 6K in 30:42, 8:14 pace.

Enjoyed my first night in Rio with a 0.5% alcohol beer:

I don't ever go to bars, so maybe this is common, but upon entry, they give you a card, and every time you want to order something, they swipe your card, and you pay at the end.  It was pretty spiffy!

The next day, I went to Santos, which is about 1:40 outside of Sao Paulo, on a traffic-free day (I've heard that on holidays, it can take 11-12 hours to make the same trip, as everyone gets out of the city to go to the beach.  I wasn't expecting much, but it turned out to be a very nice trip.

We went to the zoo.  I like animals.  I feel bad about the caged ones, though.  Animals are made to be free.  Some of these guys were fairly free to go anywhere in the park (and probably beyond, too, if they wanted to).

Next, we walked on the beach.  It didn't have nearly as many hills jutting out of the skyline and water as Rio, but it was still nice.

Finally, we had a very nice seafood lunch at a place that overlooked the beach.
We were all pooped after the big meal and the walking around in the hot sun.  We spent only 4 hours in Santos, but it was a perfect amount. 
Once back at the hotel, I was eager to have a nap.  When I woke up 2 hours later, I was still satisfied from lunch, so I went to the gym.  I managed 8K, with the middle 6K done with nose-breathing, to try to strengthen my lungs.  It felt warmer in the gym today.  The run took 42:08, 8:28 pace.  The pace felt a lot easier today, so I may be adapting to the heat (or elevation?).  I didn't realize how high Sao Paulo was, until we took the trip down the mountains to Santos.  I looked it up afterwards, and found that it's about 0.5 mi in the air.  Seems reasonable.  At 1.5 and 1.0 miles, I feel out of breath even walking around.  I'm fine here, though.  I did some arms (to stay Spartan-strong) and a tad bit of jump-roping (because I felt like jumping or doing burpees) afterwards.
After a shower, I went across the street to a mall with a nice food court.  I don't get to eat Middle Eastern food often, so I was very excited about one place that I found, and it didn't disappoint.  I was up for something light and fresh and flavorful, and this hit the spot.  I did crave additional carbs and calories afterwards, though, so I had a couple of cookies back at the hotel.  It was a nice weekend, though... back to the grindstone tomorrow... and I feel like I'm going to get ground up good.

Tuesday, Apr 8:
Did 8K at 8pm in 40:14 (8:06ave), although it was split up 4K/4K with a bathroom break in between.  It was the warmest day at the gym yet, with lots of bodies in the room for some reason.  Finished with some arm weights.  Had a really nice, albeit light, dinner at a place with the best beer selection I've ever seen... lots of different high-quality styles.  I went with a lambic.  I had a spicy chicken salad with it.  Very good.  I was still hungry afterwards, so I had a chocolate torte at the Arabian fast food place.
No workouts on Wednesday through Friday.  Legs just weren't feeling it by the time we got back to the hotel after work, and I'd be hungry and eager for dinner, too.
Breakfast at the hotel was a visual treat every day.  They have water cascading down a sloped glass roof.  I was on the 2nd floor (which is the 3rd, in reality), and when I heard the sound and looked down on the first morning, I thought they might've been emptying washing machines or a pool or something.  I didn't expect this!
 On Friday, it was time to head out to my next destination... a much-needed mini-vacation in Rio!

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