A New Kind of Run

Today marked my third run in Brazil, and my first time ever doing anything that resembled sprint work on my own two feet.  Unfortunately the neighborhood I am living in (and the city in general) is not very conducive to running.  Think hills, uneven sidewalks a city built for cars.  The “park” close to my house is on a very steep hill and contains some trees.  And 87 stairs just to get the 100 feet from one side to the other.

But alas, I am trying not to let these things deter me.  My first run in Brazil lasted all of 17 minutes, but was an exploration into what it meant to really run a hill (pictures to come).  I came home panting and sweating, and probably kind of scaring my host family (exercise isn’t too big in this city), but it felt good.  My second run was an adventure involving a subway ride, a market, lunch before you run (said the host host family), a car ride and a park.  It was glorious and something I hope to do again.  And I would love to follow up every run with a churrasceria (lots of yummy Brazilian meat).

Something strange has happened in my head and I have started feeling like I NEED to run.  Who ever would have thought this would happen? But it has, and after an overwhelming desire to run yesterday that I could not fulfill, I decided to take advantage of our DIY afternoon to sneak in a short run.  I explored the neighborhood a bit before finding a hill that was WAY to steep to run up and turned around.  And then I discovered the hill at the bottom of the park.  It was perfect! No crazy sidewalks, no people, no crazy angles.  All you could ever hope for in a hill sprints-hill.  And so that’s what I did.  10x hill sprints.  I have no idea how long the distance was, or how fast I was going, but I sweated and panted a bit and remembered how much I need to do that.  Sweat is fantastic!

I must have looked like the crazy foreigner running up and down this hill in an area with only a few pedestrians and certainly no runners! But I was going to take advantage of it still being light out when I got home (it must be something to do with the location of Sao Paulo within the time zone, but it gets dark at like 6pm!).

My goal for this semester is to get faster and run longer; these are generic goals, but it means that I can fit in runs when I can and where I can without worrying about anything too specific.  I have only been running regularly for about 5 weeks now, but I can already tell the difference.  I am able to run a little faster, and have been craving longer runs (for me, about 6 miles).  I can sprint and hold it for longer, and I want to try racing at some point.  Megan and I have talked about running a half-marathon when we get back to Boston, and this is definitely on my goal list.

I promise to post pictures at some point in the near future, but unfortunately I don’t actually have many of Sao Paulo.  I have to figure out when it is okay to pull out my giant camera, and when I should just observe.  But be on the lookout because they will come nonetheless.

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