Thursday, June 26, 2008

On a bus.....You gotta sleep sometime.....

An interview with Jennifer Leigh Albright

This was a set of questions that was sent out to all the members of my running group in order to get to know one another better. Continue reading to get to know me a little better……

1_What do you consider the height of misery?
That there are millions of people that do not have anything to eat and yet there are people that spend $10,000 for one night in a hotel.

2_ Where would you like to live?
On the moon

3_ What is your idea of happiness on the Earth?
Drinking a beer while sitting on my balcony

4_ What mistakes are you lenient of?
For those that I also make

5_ Your favorite painter?
My great grandmother

6_ Your favorite músician?
The ice cream man at the Lago de Golf

7_ What quality do you like the most in a male?
I’ll answer that outside of family viewing hours.

8_ What quality do you like the most in a female?

9_ What sporting event would you like to see live?
The final of the NBA

10_ Who would you like to be?
Jennifer Leigh Albright

11_ What is the principal feature of your character?
I would ask you that

12_ What virtue do you prefer most?
Sense of humor

13_ What do you appreciate the most about your friends?
That they send me questionnaires in castellano to answer

14_ What is your principal defect?
Not answering any questions seriously

15_ Your dream of happiness?
One night (or two, or three) with Luciano Castro

16_ Who is your favorite historical person?

17_ Your heroines in real life?
My sister, my mother, and my grandmother

18_ Your heroines in fiction?
Wonder Woman, Batwoman

19_ Your heros in real life?
My father, my grandfather

20_ Your heroes in fiction?
Indiana Jones

21_ What would be your worst misfortune?
To have to answer a questionnaire like this each day

22_ Favorite book(s)?
Sula by Toni Morrison

23_ What is your favorite color?
Emerald green

24_ What is your favorite flower?
Any flower that 's a gift

25_ What is your favorite animal?

26_ What birds do you prefer?
Those that don't sing at dawn

27_ Your favorite authors?
Don’t have one

28_ Your favorite poets?
Don’t have one

29_ With what person in history would you most like to sit and have a coffee?
Marilyn Monroe

30_ What do you detest more than anything?
Difficult questions

31_ What person(s) in history do you not like the most?

32_ What natural talent would you like to have?
To speak like a porteña

33_ Who are your sports idols?
Runners who are blind

34_ What is your favorite televisión program?
Lalola, Chappelle’s Show

35_ What is/are your favorite cartoon(s)?
Tom y Jerry

36_ What is your favorite movie?
Don’t have one

37_ In what moment in history would you have like to have lived?
I like to live now

38_ How would you like to die?
Listening to music, drinking wine and having sex (all at the same time)

39_ What is your spiritual state?

40_ What is your motto?
Life is short

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A bikers' reunion

Look what I ran into while running on Sunday morning.....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Highly recommended

I just got back from seeing the movie Sex and the City. This was one hell of an emotional movie packed into about 2 hours.

I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I do want to tell you a little bit about it.

If you are the type of person that is emotionally cold, and doesn’t listen to your heart, then I wouldn’t go see it. If you’ve never felt lust or passion for someone, so much so that you can’t get enough of them, then you are not going to understand this movie. If you have never lost a lover or boyfriend, you probably won’t be able to relate. If you’ve never felt the pain of betrayal, of losing a friend, or regretting something you’ve done, then this movie is not for you.

If you are the type of person that has never felt intense happiness, all the way down to your bones, then I wouldn’t go see it. If you’ve never felt the pain of being completely, utterly rejected, then you are not going to understand this movie. If you have never felt an intense love for your friends and for their well-being, then you are not going to be able to relate. If you’ve never been depressed, like you just can’t get out of bed, then I would not recommend this movie to you.

Also, if you have no compassion for others, and for what they are going through, then I certainly would not see this movie. Or, if you are the type of person that doesn’t like to feel your feelings, whether they are good or bad, again, I wouldn’t go.

But if you are, if you are like me, and have felt some of the things I’ve described above, then you are going to love this movie.

It’s fabulous.

There’s so much to this movie, packed in to 2 hours, with lots of high-heels, lip-gloss, Louis Vuitton handbags, and designer dresses thrown in the mix just for fun. Like I said, it’s one hell of a movie.

You may ask why I’m hurting. I'm not saying that I have experienced all that I've described above, but this movie reminded me of the heartache I’ve felt in my life. And it hurts….deep down.

You may ask why I would go see something like that. I’m the type of person that wants to feel the happiness, love, or passion that might come with heartache in the end. To me, being able to have those things in my life is worth the risk.

In any case, if you do go see it, bring your tissues.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

For all the ladies

Someone said something to me the other day that I can’t stop thinking about.

While I was at a party on Friday night, one of my friends made a passing remark that really struck me. It was just a statement that she made, but when she said it, I thought to myself how perfectly it describes how she lives her life.

What she said was, “Life is short.

It’s so simple, and it’s been said so many times before, but when I heard her say it, it really meant something to me.

She’s the perfect example of living your life to the fullest during every moment you are given. The best way I could describe her is that she really is the life of the party. She’s always cracking jokes, always has a beautiful smile on her face, and is a person who lights up the room when she walks in.

I was thinking about her, and what she said to me, and that in general, I get my strength from women. Whether it is a family member, friend, someone I’ve just met, or someone I’ve encountered only in passing, women are the people who inspire me. I’ve never met a woman that I didn’t find something about her that I wanted to emulate. I’m not trying to say that there aren’t men out there who don’t inspire me. That’s certainly not true. Maybe it’s just that while growing up, I had such a close relationship with the women in my family, that now that I’m older, women are the ones that truly make an impression on me.

I thought about my friend throughout the weekend and before my 10k race on Sunday. I did a lot this past weekend, so when I woke up the morning of the race, legs feeling tired and achy, I was considering not running.

The race was divided into 8 categories, based on one’s expected finish time. My race was supposed to be at 4:30 pm, but I knew lots of people that were running at 11:00. Since the race was near my house, I decided to head out there early to cheer on the runners in the other races and possibly take some pictures.

About 10 minutes before the start of the 11:00 race, I was sitting in the grass, chatting with someone, when one of the race directors came over to me. He explained that my race time had been changed from 4:30 to the race that was just about to start. I thought to myself, oh no, do I really want to do this?

The first thing that came to my mind was my friend’s comment, life is short. As I get older, it’s all the things I didn’t do in the past that I regret. After a couple of seconds of thought, I decided to run the race anyway, so what if I wasn’t going to be able to warm up. Luckily I had dressed in running clothes, so I did have the option of running the race. I stripped off my jacket, strapped my chip to my ankle, and tied my hair back, just like a superhero changing in a telephone booth. Within a couple of minutes, the race had started and I took off with the pack.

My legs felt tired when I was running, I mean really tired. I had done too much in the few days before the race, and I was paying the price. My legs were screaming at me pretty much the entire time. It was like my left leg was yelling “Why did you stay out until 4:00 in the morning on Friday night?” and my right leg was yelling “Why did you go have beers last night when you should have been at home resting?” and I couldn’t get them to be quiet.

Once I start something, I really don’t like to quit, but I was hurting and I needed help to get me through the race. What I did at this point is what I usually do when I’m feeling down or depressed or like I need someone to lend me just a little bit of their strength. I thought about my friend and I also thought about all the women that have touched my life and what I admire about them: their courage, their energy, their poise.

With this in mind, I finished the race, completely and utterly spent, but glad I did it.

Thank you to all the ladies out there for what you do, for being you. Your efforts do not go unnoticed. Whether you know it or not, you inspire me, and I hope to do the same for you in return.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

An all-night marathon

Last Friday night, I went to a party for my running group. First, I have to say, this is one of the biggest running groups I've ever seen or been a part of. I'm not sure on the numbers, but I'm guessing there are about 300 people (I have to admit, I'm a terrible estimator). Second, I had no idea how good-looking the group is! We usually meet at night, dressed in running attire, and end up all sweaty. Well, this is a fine-looking group, that's for sure. Check out the pics.

Or click here for larger photos.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A party after the Fiestas Mayas race

I had one of those fabulous running days the other day – you know, the ones you think of when someone asks you, why do you run?

Last Sunday, I ran the Fiestas Mayas 10k, which is considered a “classic” around here. It was the 34th annual running of the event, with about 5000 participants either running the 10k or the 3k that was also offered. I call these types of races “of course” races - when you ask someone if they are going to run it, the answer is always “of course”. There were loads of people, loads of spectators, and nearly as many photographers and people filming the race as there were participants, which made it all the more exciting. (If anyone is considering traveling to Buenos Aires for a “running vacation” this race would definitely be one of my top choices.)

Personally, I was feeling a little bit nervous about racing. I had anemia last year, and I had been working with my doctor on fixing that. I hadn’t run a 10k, or, in reality, any other race except a half-marathon a couple of weeks back, since November of last year. Based on my half-marathon time, I had asked to be in the elite category, in order to have a better starting position. I wasn’t sure what time I was capable of running, so I was hoping I wouldn’t embarrass myself. I decided to prepare the best I could, and just hope for a good race.

Race day morning came and I did all the necessary things to get me to the starting line: got up early, hydrated, ate breakfast, got dressed, put Vaseline in all the right places (and then some!), made all the just-in-case trips to the bathroom that seem to always accompany race mornings, and gathered all the things I needed for after the race. I took a bus that dropped me off near the race, and then jogged over to the starting line as part of my warm up. By the time I got there, I was feeling really good, like something good was going to happen, but I wasn’t sure what.

I did some strides to keep myself warm, and then when the time came, I lined up with everyone else and waited for the countdown to start the race. After the crowd yelled “10, 9, 8,….to 0”, we were off.

Almost the entire race, I felt great. I think there were a few things that (luckily) came together that really helped me run the best race I could. My race preparations were definitely beneficial to me and because of that, my legs felt fresh. I had people around my speed to run with, which helped me maintain a pretty even pace. Also, probably the single most important factor that helped me when I needed it was right beside me, there were two guys running together, one guy was blind, and the other acted as his “eyes”. Anytime I wanted to wimp-out, I just looked over them and thought about what the blind runner was overcoming in order to run my same pace.

I finished the race with a time of 38:50, exhausted, tired, but also extremely happy because now I had a new PR.

After enjoying all the congratulating and talking that goes on after a race, I met up with about 30 people from a running group that I recently joined. They usually have a picnic during the awards ceremony, so I went along. I met some new people; we chatted, ate, drank, and in general had a good time. When it was time to go home, I looked down at my watch and realized how early it was.

It wasn’t even 12 noon yet and I was having a picnic with new friends on a beautiful day. I had the satisfaction of trying my hardest at something and on top of that running a PR.

I think I walked around with a big fat grin on my face the rest of the day.


Where the boys are

Ever see that movie from the 60’s titled “Where the Boys Are”? It’s about four college girls that go to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to seek out romance for themselves. Every time I hear the title, it makes me think of hip locals with lots of eligible bachelors hangin’ out.

I’ve lived in BsAs for about 1 ½ years now, and I keep hearing the same story over and over again: there are more single women here than there are single men. Well ladies, this post is for you. I’m not one to give out unsolicited advice, but I’d like to share something with you. I don’t know where the boys are, but I do know where the hot, fit, good-looking men are.

What does this have to do with running? Well, these same places (where you’re sure to find lots of men) are coincidentally some of the most popular places to run in BsAs.

Here, there are way more men that run than women. I recently did my own unscientific research study in order to prove my point. Take a look at the race results from the recent Origenes Media Marathon: 1637 male runners that finished, and only 341 women. Another example, the 10k results from the Maratón por la Vida: 675 male finishers and 186 female finishers. Are you with me? You can see where I’m going.

So where are they? Read on for my list.

The Rosedal

It’s an extremely popular place to run and also play sports. It has a well-marked one-mile paved loop circling Palermo’s lake. It is well-maintained and has restrooms, water and lights for running at night. I’ve lost count of how many running groups meet here to train - there’s that many! Lots of runners meet here to do their speed work session. You’ll also find roller hockey players, roller-bladers, soccer players practicing, in general lots of people.

The Path following Avenida Figuroa Alcorta from Recoleta to River Plate Stadium

This is primarily an asphalt path that runs along the street through the Parks of Palermo. Here you’ll find lots and lots of runners running solo, and in small or large groups. This is a popular path to run, but also to do a warm-up before heading to the Rosedal or the Golf Lake to do harder training sessions.

The Lake next to the Municipal Golf Course

This is primarily a hard-packed 2-k dirt loop that circles a small lake next to the municipal golf course. Again, tons of different running groups meet here to train. In addition, you’ll find rugby teams and soccer teams working out.

All three places are in the Palermo Parks green spaces. What does that mean? Think tall trees, open grassy areas, small lakes, flowering plants, and lots of people out getting some exercise.

A few more details that I think you’d like to know. Although you’ll see people running here at all hours of the day, the most popular times to run are Monday – Thursday from about 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm or on the weekend during the morning hours. (Here, Friday is a popular day to rest.) Also, what is great is that you’ll find runners of all ages, from casual joggers to serious runners.

Buenos Aires is a big city, with lots of places to run. I’ve only listed 3 places here, but there are certainly lots of other great places. If you live here and have a place that you like to run, please let me know.

Ok, there you have it. Put on your running shoes and head out the door. BsAs is full of runners. Whether you’re looking to improve your fitness, meet a new friend, or possibly start a new romance, I’m certain you’ll find what you are looking for.


¡Fuerza Mami!

That’s what I hear when I’m running through the streets of Buenos Aires towards the parks of Palermo, my usual place to run. ¡Fuerza Mami! I laugh every time I hear it. It’s usually said, or I should say, yelled by a man on the street, who I suppose is not accustomed to seeing a woman running through his city.


Fuerza = strength mami = little mama or baby

Hey, I’ll take that; my running does give me strength. Call me what you want, I know who I am and where I came from.

I’m a runner.

I’ve been a runner for over 15 years now and it has always been a part of my life. My running has been through a lot with me: good times, bad times, surgeries, breakups, good weather, ohmygodIcantbelieveImrunninginthis weather, vacations, moves to different cities and now living on a different continent. It has always been a source of steady support. It helps me be the best person I can be.

I’m a Texan.

That sounds a little funny, but it’s true. I’ve lived in different cities in the US, and now I live in BsAs, but I always feel that in my heart I’m a Texan. The culture of Texas might be a little hard to explain to someone that has never lived there. I would just say that it’s in my nature to be friendly, to wave and say hello, and to get to know my neighbors. I can’t help it; I’m from Texas – The Friendly State. (-:

I’m also adventurous.

I jumped at the chance to move to Buenos Aires to learn Spanish and to experience a different culture. I’ve always wanted to do something like this. For me it is really exciting to learn something totally new and different, but at the same time it can also be a little overwhelming.

I never anticipated how much I would love living here. I never imagined that BsAs would be such a first-class city, that the people would be so warm and welcoming towards me, or that they would have so many interesting and endearing parts of their culture (that I can’t wait to tell you about). I certainly didn’t anticipate that they would have such a vibrant running community with so many different types of races offered at all times of the year.

So, I’m trying to assimilate myself into their culture and to learn their language. At times, this process can be pretty rough and really embarrassing. Knowing who I am and being consistent with my running has helped me stay centered through all of this and has been a constant source of strength as I navigate my way in a new culture. In essence, it gives me the fuerza I need to be an expatriate.

Welcome to my blog, ya’ll!