Tag Archives: Costa Rica

Half Marathoning in Costa Rica

The Gatorade Tamarindo Beach Half Marathon started at 5 am, so Mere and I woke around 4 am thinking that would give us plenty of time to get warmed up and eat before the race. This didn’t go quite as planned, and we did little of either, but somehow still managed to make it to the starting line with minutes to spare. We accidentally started with either the 10k-ers or the full marathoners, we couldn’t really tell which because everything was in Spanish, but we knew enough to surmise that we were in the wrong place. But that is neither here nor there.

It was dark when the race started, but the sun began to rise early into the run, and it was just gorgeous. The scenery was beyond breathtaking, with lush greenery surrounding us and misty mountains rising in the distance. We didn’t wear headphones because we wanted to fully take in the sights and sounds around us; howler monkeys hooted in the background, and locals lined the streets cheering “Vaminos, vaminos!”

By the grace of God, I had an incredibly strong run. I was all but unaware that my legs were moving, I was so mesmerized by the beauty around me. It also helped that there were very few mile markers, so we never had a solid sense of how far we had come or how much distance we had left to cover. I actually found myself feeling sad that the run was going by so quickly and wishing it wouldn’t end. I didn’t want to stop when it was over; I felt like I could run forever out there.

Unfortunately, Mere got a gnarly blister around mile 9, and since we had promised to finish the race together, that slowed us up a bit and my finishing time wasn’t reflective of how great I felt during the race. Our clock time means little though; the important thing is that we ran a half marathon in Costa Rica, and it was one of my favorite life experiences. Here I am being a sweaty mess just after crossing the finish line:

Because we are insane, we hit the beach for another surfing lesson almost immediately after receiving our medals. Don’t ask me where this energy came from, because it is unexplainable. All I know is that we had four days in Costa Rica, and we were determined to do everything we possibly could (except sleep). We surfed for an hour, then got hour-long full body massages on the beach. Bliss. After being sufficiently relaxed and kneaded to the sound of crashing waves, it was time for our snorkeling tour. Stay tuned.

P.S. If you want to read more about my experience during the actual run, I invite you to check out my Race Recaps tab, where I share a chronological assessment of the various races I participate in.

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Costa Rica Bound

In exactly one week from today, I will be boarding a plane to paradise with my good friend Mere. Costa Rica, more specifically, but it’s practically the same thing, so I use the words interchangeably.

I am SO EXCITED to embark on this adventure to arguably the happiest and greenest country in the world, which also happens to be the site of my next half marathon, the Gatorade Tamarindo Beach Half Marathon. I have been diligently training over the past eleven weeks, loosely following Hal Hidgon’s training prescription. I say loosely, because my life doesn’t operate according to any semblance of routine. My days, while well-planned in an effort to maximize productivity and activity, are always different. Some days I would wake up early to run before heading to the office, others I would run trails after work, and still others I would opt for the treadmill and bootcamp classes. My runs were scheduled and rearranged to accommodate evening and travel plans, but somehow, amidst all the chaos, training ensued, and I gradually increased my endurance and speed. Training is now close to culmination, and tomorrow night, Mere and I will tackle our last long run – ten miles – before race day.

Back to Costa Rica, and how this whole adventure developed. Since the beginning of our friendship, Mere and I have spent many hours discussing our dreams, and we dream big, and all over the map. A couple years ago when I was working at the florist, we had great plans to take on Europe, foiled only by the fact that I landed a great job that I just couldn’t pass up. Darn the economy! Maybe one day, Mere! Fast forward to this year, where we entertained many different ideas before stumbling across this amazing opportunity in Costa Rica. It wasn’t until I purchased the plane tickets that I believed we were actually going, and I still don’t think I’ve fully grasped the excitement of it all.

Somebody pinch me.

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