Working out while traveling…

When I return to San Francisco, I have signed up for a triathlon and am hoping to do a half-marathon as well.  That means that I have to maintain some sort of fitness!  Before leaving, I bought a few Jillian Micheal’s training videos (yes, the trainer from the Biggest Loser!) and put together a running plan.  I have completed around 15 runs since coming and done around 5 video sessions…  This has been supplemented by some lovely walks through the towns I have been in and the villages surrounding them.  Running is an *awesome* way to see a place, and I have already had some memorable runs — here are a few:
1. Speedwork at the Lusaka Intercontinental Hotel: people don’t do speedwork here (or run, as a rule), so using a treadmill to do sprints for 45 minutes = odd.
2. Long Run in Lusaka: so, the streets are not on a grid, as I learned.  The corners, rather than right angles (90 degrees) are more like 100 degrees.  And doing four turns to get back home (i.e. make a square) actually makes part of some sort of octagon…  I realized this as it was getting dark and had to have a group of police officers help me get a cab (and by cab, I mean some car getting fuel at the local station — just about any car here can function as a cab).
3. Running in towns: “Get fit!”  I hear that a lot.  People don’t get running — like why would someone expend calories to do that?  I was talking with some Scottish doctors, and they were saying that running (which these docs also do) is saying something akin to “look at all of these excess calories I have — in fact, I have so many, I need to exercise!”  Which is pretty funny (when heard with a Scottish accent) and also true…  I get lots of stares and confused looks, but mzungus get free passes on lots of activities which would otherwise be regarded as strange.
4. Running on the golf course in Livingstone: thank goodness I understand dogs a little bit.  There are lots of stray dogs all around, everywhere.  Running on the golf course got me away from the curious, ever-present stares (i.e. PEACE) and from the packs of dogs (which seem to be very afraid of humans).  But, I did encounter a couple of strays on the golf course which were approaching me, barking.  I stopped running and walked slowly away from them…  but they kept at it.  So I turned around and got big and loud (with a deep, angry voice).  And they turned around and hightailed back to wherever they came from.  It worked!
5. Running around the farm where I stayed:  wow.  Gorgeous and quiet and no dogs!  There were lots of little kids (15 – 20?) which I encountered on a 7 mile, out and back, run that I did while staying on a farm in Monze.  It was maybe my favorite run yet — outside, sunny, and friendly kids riding their bikes and running alongside me.
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One Response to Working out while traveling…

  1. Cate says:

    I can just picture it! Perfection.

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