Chilean Road Trip

Welcome to Chile

I know, I know… three weeks with no updates – where have I been, how have people coped, etc?

The answer (which you will already know if you read my last update) is that I have been in Chile, undertaking important field research for the second half of the Chile Challenge. Otherwise known as a holiday, involving an amazing road trip through half the country.

Although initially set-back that we would not be driving the Chilean taxi driver’s chariot of choice, the understated Samsung SM3, this soon turned to delight when we found we were instead to be driving the Chinese Brilliance Euphoria (never heard of either? us too).

Starting off in Santiago, we drove to Vina del Mar & Valparaiso, conveniently the place where we last left things as of the end of July. After a few days to explore, we wound our way up the Pacific coast line, stopping off in wine & Pisco growing valleys, watching marine life in harbourside towns and finishing up in the mining desertlands of the Atacama region in the North to meet distant relatives. I won’t spoil the surprises for the places we visited, which will of course be covered in future updates, but suffice to say it is an amazing nation, and somewhere everyone should visit if you get the chance.

As for training… ah. Well we did a lot of driving (close to 2000 km) but there was not a huge amount of time for training. This was not unexpected, and fortunately I have built up a buffer over the last few months to ensure I can remain on target for the year. We did to a lot of walking though, perhaps more than ever before around many of the towns as we stopped. As with everything this year I tracked it closely, and over the three weeks we covered as close as need be to 100 km.

There were other bits, such as two lengths of the world’s coldest swimming pool (TM), an outdoor pool cooled by the cold desert nights which felt more like a post race ice bath (wetsuits would not even have helped here), and some obligatory Rocky III style training along the beach, but overall it was more of a break from my usual.

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The question of course it how will this be recorded – another thing I had time to think long and hard about. In the end I have decided (as I make the rules here) to count it as 25 km other (i.e. walking) and 25 km of running. Because I can.

So this means in 3 weeks I have only covered 50 km – although this has been doubled today with my first workout since getting back – a 50 km cycle session to ensure I still have it. The next race (and second longest) of the year is just 3 weeks today, but fortunately I seem to be able to get around, so with a bit of effort in the coming weeks I hope to be back on track.

Anyway, until next time, hasta luego!

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