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Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Costa Rica, Health/Fitness | 2 comments

A Clydesdale in Costa Rica

A Clydesdale in Costa Rica

 

Shortly after moving to Costa Rica last year I wrote the blog post A new Addition to my life – walking. In the post I discuss my newfound fondness of walking and the benefits I received from the activity. My first hike here was a gruesome 1 miler that left me spent, but I had slowly worked my way up to 4 miles by the time I had written that post 2 months after arriving in Costa Rica. That 4 mile hike that took me an hour and 40 minutes, last August, now only takes an hour and 10 minutes, and I tack on 3 to 4 additional miles for good measure.

My fitness level has increased tremendously since that first, can’t-catch-my-breath, 1-mile hike. I have lost weight, increased my stamina and improved my cardiovascular fitness level greatly, and have become accustomed hiking in the thinner air and mountainous terrain where we live.

BeastSo I have decided to train for a half marathon that will take place in early December in the capitol city, San Jose.

Call me a glutton for punishment but after I read this entertaining account of last years race I was even more motivated. I mean what could be more fun than running 13.1 miles on a December Sunday afternoon.

As my fitness level and distance of hikes have increased there has been a corollary drop in weight – to the tune of roughly 40 pounds. Even with my new svelte self I weigh a hefty 210 pounds. Having a 6’4” frame I wear the weight well (at least that is what I tell myself), however that is a lot of weight pounding on my knees as I run.

Add to that the fact that I am training in the mountains and you can see that training for this race will be an uphill battle. That is why hiking will be a large part of my training. Unless I make my way down to the soccer field (1 kilometer down the mountain and, more importantly, 1 kilometer back up) there is not a quarter mile stretch of land anywhere near where I live that is flat.

Even with the new thinner me I am still in a class all by my self. It is true, in running circles I am in the class of runners eloquently called Clydesdales. In General, a Clydesdale runner is a male runner who weighs more than 200 pounds and therefore is going to be slower, much slower, than the other competitors. I have never felt the need for speed in any of the events I have run before – why set yourself up for disappointment?

My goal has always been a simple one: get through it.

Not only is there a unique running group for me, there is even a shoe made especially for big, heavy runners (who also happen to overpronate). The Brooks Beast (of burden) has been my go to shoe ever since I trained for and ran my first marathon at the age of 27.

It is a great shoe, but sadly it is no longer made, but thanks to the magic of the internet I can still buy my favorite shoe on Amazon… for a significant price of course. And I did just buy a pair and a friend was kind enough to mule the size 13 shoe (what he calls skis) to Costa Rica with him.

I have 4 months of training left and I am excited to become an International Half Marathoner. I write this post, as I do many of my posts, as a way to stay motivated – to put it out there so that I am less likely to succumb to my lazy nature.

Runningly Yours,

Gregorio

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Gregorio

Greg Seymour is a quitter. At 41 Greg and his wife Jen quit their jobs, sold damn near everything they owned and became Intentionally Unemployed and retired early to Costa Rica.
In addition to writing on this blog, Greg has written for other online publications and has written two popular books about living in Costa Rica:
Greg Seymour Amazon Author Page

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2 Comments

  1. Gregorio:

    Always enjoy reading your posts. Good luck with that HM in December – should be fun! You might be interested in this organization: http://www.halffanatics.com/.

    Now that you’ve live in Grecia for a year how would you characterize the AVERAGE climate?

    • Hi Michael,

      Thanks for the link. I will check it out. We are about 7 miles and 1,500 feet in elevation from Grecia Centro, so we are a bit cooler than in town. Our weather is very consistent averaging a daily low of 60 f and high of 80 f. Add 5 – 10 degrees and you have the weather in town. It has been as cold as 50 and as high as 90 in our year here.

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