Post Zambia adventure blues and Summer snails

Petting a cheetah

Petting a cheetah

Finally got back to running after a 2 week break in Zambia which included petting a cheetah. And it turns out that I’ve transformed to a snail.

After a long needed adventure vacation in Zambia (where I saw Victoria Falls in all its glory! And exotic animals like never before in South Luangwa National Park!!!) I came back to running without much gusto. The weekend that I flew back I had to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon, which was nice except I was super tired and we had to wake up extremely early to get there on time to not repeat the NYC Half debacle…not to mention the fact that I hadn’t run one step except to maybe get the camera from my tent to take a pic of some elephants wandering through our camp. So it was a pretty run around Prospect Park, and then a pretty tiring run down Ocean Parkway. I clocked in at a 1:44 and change, slower than my first half marathon, but I wasn’t too upset since I had not trained one bit…and I’m not talking about the “oh I didn’t train…I only ran a few long runs the weekends before…” No Training, I am talking about lying in a hammock, drinking beers every night and sitting in vehicles Oooo-ing and Ahhh-ing at giraffes for 2 weeks No Training.

Giraffes to Ooooh and Aaaaah at in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Giraffes to Ooooh and Aaaaah at in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

So that being over, mostly the motivation coming from not wanting to waste money (I signed up for this before I booked Zambia tix) and my desire to complete the Borough Series, I took yet another week off to recuperate since I was abnormally sore for a half, and then got back to getting my mileage up to 30 miles a week. First I started with 20 miles a week, then 25 the next, and this week I completed 30 whole miles. Yay. Wait…

Unfortunately I found quickly that I was literally not up to speed. Which is ok…but even when I felt faster during the runs, the best I am doing is barely under 8 min miles and that is only the last 1-2 miles of each run. I pretty much felt like death the first 10 miler I did after the half marathon, I was going slow but still I couldn’t breathe! Had to stop so many times which made me even more grumpy! Plus my left knee started bugging me. Fernando and decided to bike to and from work last week and after that the outer part of the knee started progressively hurting as I put more miles in. Usually I get the inner knee pain if I don’t wear compression things or a strap but now the outer part is wonky and it sucks. Luckily I was able to do a long run of 11 miles last Saturday, with it bugging me more and more until one big SNAP OW!! moment around mile 6 which oddly turned into less and less pain and annoyance until it went away completely and I could finish the run (without stopping). I will try a few miles tonight to see if the pain is really gone or what…but anyway it has been a struggle. This super hot weather is nice for beach, but it isn’t doing much for my running. And now it is a rainy week in NYC so it makes me feel extra tired. Hope all you other runners are feeling great! Now let’s ooh and aahh at some Zambia photos!

Bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe over the Zambezi River

Bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe over the Zambezi River

One glimpse of Victoria Falls, the largest waterfalls on Earth, through the massive mist

One glimpse of Victoria Falls, the largest waterfalls on Earth, through the massive mist

Elephants would cross the Luangwa River...right into our camp...everyday!

Elephants would cross the Luangwa River…right into our camp…everyday!

Another day, another crossing. Elephants on a sandbank in front of our tent

Another day, another crossing. Elephants on a sandbank in front of our tent

Zebras in the setting sun

Zebras in the setting sun

Alice stalking some impala

Alice stalking some impala

Oh I hope Alice doesn't think I am tasty!!!

Oh I hope Alice doesn’t think I am tasty!!!

Alice with her cubs another day

Alice with her cubs another day

Learning to dance at the Kopa Village. They need a lot of help, stay tuned for some fundraising we want to do to help them get a proper well!

Learning to dance at the Kopa Village. They need a lot of help, stay tuned for some fundraising we want to do to help them get a proper well!

Fernando is a humanitarian at heart

Fernando is a humanitarian at heart

Sunset over the Luangwa River at Croc Valley

Sunset over the Luangwa River at Croc Valley

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