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Costa Rica 2013 – Running in Manuel Antonio

Posted Aug 24 2013 9:15pm

Pura Vida all! Costa Rica is absolutely phenomenal.

Last we left off I was in Tabacon Hot Springs near Arenal Volcano.  We reluctantly left the days of running through the hills and hanging out in waterfalls and headed back on a prop plane (eek) to Manuel Antonio in Quepos.

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Manuel Antonio is completely different than Arenal, its a beach town surrounded by tropical rainforest.  While I loved Arenal … Manuel Antonio is 100% my speed.

We are situated on top of the town, looking down on the ocean below.  There are toucans in the trees and monkeys on our balcony.  It. is. heaven.

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I had some seriously amazing runs in Manuel Antonio.  As I mentioned, we are at the top of the town which means its downhill leaving BUT what goes down must come up!  The terrain here is hilly hilly and more hilly.  And by hilly I mean Harlem Hill looks like a molehill.  So there’s that.

BUT I have learned that when you travel you have to roll with what you are surrounded by.  I am absolutely out of my element on this mountainous terrain and so I told myself to adjust my expectations of what I can achieve.  A humid 8 mile run that includes a heartbreaking hill climb for 4 solid miles takes a lot out of me.  I may have had 12 miles on my schedule that day, but my legs were dead after 8 … and I’m ok with that.  Variety in my training will make me stronger!

Here are a few highlights from many spectacular runs:

The first morning I woke up with VC, my brother and sister in law to explore the surrounding areas.  Out concierge had told us that we should head to the right from the hotel and down a big hill into town and then keep right to loop around uphill.  She was exactly right, the loop ended up being 2 miles in length and the way up was 1.5 miles of it!  Whoa hill training.  That flat Chicago Marathon is going to be a nice little break for my quads.

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One of our tour guides turned out to be an insanely fast (2:56 Marathoner) local runner … so naturally I quizzed him on his favorite local running routes.  He spoke highly of an 8 mile loop down to the Manuel Antonio National Park and back.

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The first time I attempted it I made it down to the park and then got distracted by the beautiful beaches and ran 3 miles along the sand.  I was going to head up the hill home and then I saw this:

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fresh coconut water > 4 miles of hills 

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The next day I did the whole 8 mile loop.  It was awesomely hard and rewarding … I have no words to describe these hills, you guys they just keep going every time I thought I would round a corner and see the plateau I was instead greeted by more uphill.  I had many many moments when I wanted to walk up the hills, but I always tell myself to just chug up the hill, shorten my stride and keep pushing. And chug I did, sometimes at a snail’s pace but I made it to the top!

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I had some beautiful yoga dates with my sister in law.  From Ashtanga to a moon salutation practice.  It was a wonderful way to soothe out aching muscles and slow down, don’t you just love how you can spend time in total silence with family but somehow it feels like you have had a long conversation?

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Coming up next on Costa Rica 2013 blogging is a recap of the Adventure Tour we went on …suffice to say we spent 6 hours climbing/swinging/swimming/hiking/repelling through the rainforest. It was the most adventurous thing I have ever done – even more than  when I went skydiving .

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