Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Update

It has been a while since my last post so I figured I should throw out an update. I have been traveling for work for the last 5 1/2 weeks and will be returning home this coming Friday! A colleague and I led a student trip starting in Madrid, Spain and slowly worked our way down to Casablanca, Morocco. We sent the students home, then two more faculty members joined us and we are making essentially the same trip in reverse. It has been a great experience so far, but has definitely took me out of my training routine. 

Training wise, I started out the trip pretty low key. I was still recovering from IMTX, so I was just doing some light runs through the streets of Madrid. I found an Olympic sized pool in Madrid and was able to get a few swims in there as well. It was packed and I got in trouble for swimming "muy Rapido." Evidently I showed up at a time meant for slower swimmers, but didn't speak Spanish well enough to find that out until after the fact.

While still in Madrid, I was able to volunteer at the ITU triathlon. It just happened to be right down the street from my hotel. I was really bummed not to be able to compete in it, but it was great to see a different style of a race. 

As we made our way into southern Spain, I pretty much had to stick to running. We had a pretty tight schedule, and we were only in each city for one night. Pools and most gyms do not open in Spain until 9 or 10 so we were touring by the time most were open. I was able to find a good gym in Sevilla which had some spin bikes and opened at 7. Thankfully, we were there for a few days so I was able to get some good ride/run bricks in before we crossed into Morocco. 

I was able to swim in the Mediterranean once, but the water was extremely choppy. It was nearly impossible to find pools or gyms in Morocco. 

There are two mountain ranges which pass through Morocco, so the terrain was really hilly. This was especially the case in Chefchauen. What a beautiful city. The entire Medina (old part of the city) is painted blue. The hills are amazing there. We were there quite a few nights which made for some great training runs! It was always a reward to come up the final hill to see the city nestled in the side of the mountain. This was quite a change from running in Iowa. After this trip, I shouldn't have any excuses as to why I struggled up the hills in a race!

As we arrived back in Spain, it was more of the same. I found the same gym in Seville, and primarily ran the rest of the time until we got back to Madrid. I found a company called Bike Spain who rents out road bikes to tourists. I was able to rent a bike for the last week in Madrid. When I went to pick it up, I found out about a triathlon called the Wild Wolf Tri which again was right down the road from my hotel. I ran to the race site quickly and was able to talk myself into the sold out race! I had none of my gear with me, and a bike I'd never rode before, but I was going to be able to experience a Tri in Spain, so I figured what the heck! I'll do a separate post on the race once I get some pics that my fellow faculty members took of the event. 

We only have 3 nights left. I have access to a bike and a pool (for 7 Euros a day...) so it is closer to training as usual. I certainly miss my normal routine and excited to get back and get to work. I have two lower priority races coming up here in July that I will just train through. Still, I have some work to do to get back on track. Hopefully, it will come back quickly.   

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