Monday, February 13, 2012

Marathon Training

So it's official. On March 25, 2012 at 8:30am I will be standing on the starting line for a marathon in Barcelona, Spain. I know, super crazy. Some of you already knew this but others maybe not. I've not really made a big deal about it because up until a few weeks ago I hadn't registered or bought plane tickets. But as of today I officially purchased my tickets and made hotel reservations. It is quite a crazy feeling. I have always thought about running a marathon. And to be honest, I secretly, since I was 18 I wanted my first marathon to be with my brother, John. He and I always shared the same love for running and I knew that when we got older he would train and run one with me. But unfortunately that will never happen and since he past away a few years ago the thought of actually running a marathon hadn't appealed to me that strongly. And then I came to Spain. And I had a ton of time on my hands and got tired of sitting in my room. And then I met my friend Georgia and her goal was to run a marathon in Europe while we were here for 10 months. So I thought about it and decided that I would train.

I've been training since October and the experience of the training itself has been incredible. Granada has actually proved itself to be a perfect place to train and I have been able to explore parts inside and outside of the city I doubt I would have ever found. And as painful as it is to wake up early on Saturday mornings to go for my long run, once i'm out the door it is all totally worth it! I have listened to many pump up music playlists,  This American Life podcasts, and spent hours in discussion and story telling with Georgia. The set up for training couldn't have been any more perfect. I have all the time in the world to train and motivation to do so. And although I didn't think i was going to be running a marathon anytime soon, much less in Spain of all places, I am so glad I made the choice to train.

Also, check out this starting line/finish line... unbelievable.

this is the Magic Fountain. that is it's real name, in english.

and check out this course map. It runs you right past all of the awesome spots in Barcelona. And the course is relatively flat. The fun part about doing this race in Europe, besides just all of it, is that the race will be measured in Kilometers which means instead of running 26.2 miles i'm running 42.195 kilometers. Haven't figured out if this is a good or bad thing. I guess we shall see. I've been training in miles only because i have no idea what my 'kilometer pace' is or let alone what my 5k time. Basically my goal is to cross the finish line. 

I can't wait. 4 of Georgia and I's friends are coming with us to cheer us on. Now all I have to do is stay injury free. 

So. Fired. Up

Climbed Some Rocks. And It Was Fun

Last week was my first full week back to classes and the start of my SECOND semester in Spain. Unbelievable. It was one of the longest weeks I have had since being here. But I did get to go rock climbing on Saturday. Of course, I got to go after completing a 14 mile run. Let's just say getting out of bed on Sunday was quite the chore but so incredibly worth it. Forgive how I look in these pictures. i forgot bobby bins to pin back my hair so i resorted to a hat to keeping all of my hairs in their place.

this was my view. all day.

i love these pics. total butt shots

Granada is at the foot of those mountains. i'm so lucky.

the best one of them all...bwahaha

An incredible day. so nice to get out of the city after a long first week of classes!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Breath of Fresh Air

Yesterday I started out February the right way by skiing in the Sierra Nevadas just outside of Granada with about 8 friends. I am terrible about taking people pictures so I don't even have a group photo. I always forget, especially if I am distracted by my surroundings. My program director and one of his friends drove us up for the day.
 As you can tell by the pics below there wasn't much snow but they had done a great job of making snow all season and so almost the whole mountain was open. 
My favorite part of any ski resort is the view from the highest point. And yesterday did not disappoint. A few of my friends had never skied before so I took them to the Bunny hill and gave them a few lessons. But after about an hour or so I was itching to head to the top. So 4 of us left the beginners to practice their technique and headed onward. We got to the very top and we could see the ocean and Morocco. It was insane. I couldn't stop staring at the view. And on the other side was Granada and smaller mountain peaks as far as the eye could see. It seriously felt like a National Geographic special.

The day ended up being pretty expensive but it definitely worth it. It is unbelievable how perfect Granada has been. I love being outdoors and here, the ocean, mountains, hiking, and fantastic views are only minutes away. I am so thankful for my time here and can't believe I still have 4 months to go! 

Mark, Georgia, Zach

Me and Zach at the top of the World

it really was a perfect day

just staring at Africa. no big deal

research center

Look closely. the shiny part in the middle is the ocean, and beyond if you look really hard you can see mountain peaks in Morocco. no joke.