Saludos de Argentina!

Escribo de Buenos Aires, donde me encuentro esta fin de semana entre reuniones de negocios ayer en Pergamino (al oeste de Buenos Aires) y São Paulo toda la semana que viene. Okay, I better switch to English before I lose both of my readers. Obviously, I’m in Argentina today, and I think this is just so cool I’m posting to my blog from here. I’m on a business trip, and though I used to come here quite often it has been 6 years since my last trip.

I love Argentina. Viva la Argentina! I highly recommend this as a vacation destination if you ever have la oportunidad. I’ve seen much of the country – Iguazu Falls in the northeast on the border with Brazil, one of the most fantastically beautiful spots on earth; the Andes Mountains to the west, where I’ve hiked up the base of Aconcagua (the tallest peak in the Western Hemisphere – our hike began at 15,000 ft, higher than the tallest point in the contiguous 48 states); the wine growing region of Mendoza, with reds and whites that rival the best from California but remain largely unknown outside of the country; and, of course, for my work the central Humid Pampas region, which is the breadbasket of the country.

But enough of the Tourism Office propaganda. I guess the only reason I have to make this post on my cycling blog is to serve as justification for why I can’t be cycling right now. Not that I haven’t – I’m in week 7 now of my half-marathon training program, which calls for 3 days of running each week and 3 days of cross-training – that means cycling! I’m actually getting 4 days of cycling by making Sunday a brick workout – I do my progressively longer run with my training group each Sunday morning and then hop on the bike for an additional 2-3 hours of base training and hill work. I’m feeling good – y’all better watch out for me! As much as I don’t want to, I also take my weekly rest day.

Just because I’m traveling though, it doesn’t mean I skip the training. I may not be able to cycle, but I can use the workout rooms in the hotels – BORING as that may be. But my runs don’t have to be boring, and today’s run was a real treat. I did my long run – 7 miles this week – and one might think that B.A. (what everyone here calls Buenos Aires) would contain no uninterrupted stretchs with clean air for running. However, there just happens to be a large nature reserve on the Rio de la Plata, less than a mile from my hotel in el centro de la ciudad, with a 5-mile crushed gravel loop going through it. I walked through downtown to the outskirts of the reserve, then ran the 1 mile to the entrada, the 5 miles through the reserve, and the final mile back from the entrada to where I started. It’s a beautiful reserve, and I had a nice run, although I must admit the last mile was somewhat difficult as I was trying to maintain an 8:30 pace for the run (my race-day target). Perhaps the heat had something to do with it – it’s summer here, and I haven’t sweated like I did today in quite some time.

There were bicycles for rent near the reserve, but they are the hodey-dodey kind so I will probably resign myself to the stationary cycle tomorrow. I can deal with it, as I actually resorted to the indoor trainer a couple weeks ago (when we had that last snow) – it was the first time I’d been on the trainer and not warming up for a race in at least dos años. It sucked, but I realized I could do it in a pinch, and now I look forward (cough, cough) to tomorrow’s session on the stationary bike. I’ll fly to Brazil on Monday and be there through Friday, so I’m planning alternate days of running and the stationary bike while I’m there. I’m not so confident I’ll be able to run outside in São Paulo – it’s a rather dangerous city, much unlike B.A., so I may be doing my runs on a treadmill. It’s a rat’s life!

About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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