I completed one of my life goals two weeks ago…I ran a marathon. I really ran it, no walking, not say I didn’t want to! The marathon was in Panama City, Panama. It was hot and humid even at the 5 am start. It was not a very big marathon but it was a great first marathon. There were a lot of international runners, including some Peace Corps volunteers from Costa Rica. My friend Rachel, who convinced me to run in the first place, started out together but got separated for most of the race which was a bummer. The first 30 km or 18 miles were ok, I felt good and kept a pretty good pace. Mile 19 I hit what they call the Wall, it was about 9 am and the temperature was rising, the roads were not blocked off that well so I was dodging cars, buses, all the rush hour traffic you would expect in a big city. There were few people along the last 6 miles so it was hard to keep going. Even though there were water stops every km I was so dehydrated that my joints started to hurt. I have never been so glad to finish anything in my life….but I have to say I cannot wait to do it again. It is addicting, wanting to know if you can beat your time, what is another course like, etc.!
There was a surprise waiting my friend and I at the end of the race…we placed 9th for international women! YAY! Now that will be hard to beat!
Panama City, is like no other place in Central America. It has the feeling of a major city in the United States, high rises, lots of cars, major shopping malls, and you can drink water from the tap along with flushing your toilet paper, weird!
I trained for 4 months, running almost everyday! I am known in my town as the gringa that runs. I have numerous people who come up to me and ask me if I am going to run today or why I run. It is one of the most difficult things to explain to Guatemalans, that I like to run for fun because most of think I am nuts! It is funny though because I feel like I know the people along my running routes even though we only exchange good mornings or adios!
The last couple of months have been crazy…my cooperative final became legal, I went to the Bay Islands Honduras, my parents visited and I am down to about two months left, WOW, time flies! I am going to try to update my blog as best as I can from the last few months.