Well, gosh. It's been awhile, True Believer. I didn't want you to think that I had packed it up and gone "home" (in the sense of quitting running). However, I did pack it up and go home...in the sense that I went to the U.S. for the first time in a year to visit my family. I have to tell you: If you haven't ever lived abroad for an extended period and then gone back to the States...my friend, you just don't know what pleasures await!! The U.S.A. is the best place I've ever gone on vacation in my life. The restaurants are numerous, cheap and delicious. The service is unparalleled. The cars topless. The drink options bottomless. The women are frequently both. And above all else, the people are extremely friendly and beautiful.
My folks threw a neighborhood party and my uncle (who makes homemade champagne) brought a double magnum bottle. It's like...3 liters, I believe. It was gone in 20 minutes.
And afterwards, this is how I looked...Celeste is a good friend and a lovely crutch. My brother looks like he's taking things well...
Sadly, I had to return to Chile after two weeks...here's a photo I took on the airplane that expresses how upset I was. Ha.
In a matter of days, I was back in the Andes! "Training." In the bushes. Occasionally, I'd jump out and "train" in view of some campers, but usually I'm content to just "train" by myself, sweating, panting and sometimes softly crying...
Last weekend, I went to Santiago to go running and see my friend! Here I am, Saturday morning, looking out towards Cerro Manquehue. If you see the hill closest to me, on the left-hand side and then follow it to the right, you'll notice the barest nipple of a distant peak. That was my destination.
After a few miles through the city, I began the first climb to Cerro Carbón. Here's a nice photo of a different type of running going on at the same time I was "running" in the hills. There were quite a few fit young Chilean ladies racing down there. I hoped they could see me "training" up above them!
After a few hours, I finally landed on the summit of Manquehue. Here's a shot looking back towards where I started. That little hill in the middle of the photo is the same hill that was closest to my coffee mug in the coffee photo.
When I got home I immediately posted on the Runner's World forum: "Dear Running Doc: What ever shall I eat and drink after a 20 minute treadmill speed walk?!"
This is what he said, seriously:
Old running shorts? Gone. New discotech outfit? Found.
I think AC/DC wrote a song about this situation.
Putting my new shorts to use at the club, advertising the goods and the new clean-cut look.
If you've made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back! You are a champion! But you know...not like these guys.
Chile race season for me starts up next Saturday with a mountain marathon. I'll hopefully have interesting news to report on that. The 50 miler is in October and I'm trying like hell to get the last week of the semester off so I can do a 100 miler in Argentina that looks insane. La Misión, it's called.
Hope all is well with you and yours, True Believer.
Keep giving all the pricks swift kicks and the chicks stiff pricks.
I love you,