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Honeymoon Part 1: The Good Years

Hi, so, I'm back from a 3 week honeymoon! I'm going to break this into 3 posts, but some mighty fun unpredictable stuff happened during this so-called honeymoon so hopefully it won't bore too much.

I'm slowly dipping back into running this week after 3 weeks off (and sad story: so far there is no doubt my left leg did not cure itself of it's chronic issues).  so this recap is running free.  And VERY photo heavy.

We left November 2 for Lima, Peru.  After watching the two worst movies of the year on a red-eye flight (JT's "friends with benefits" and Vince Vaughn's "the intern") and not sleeping at all, we met our personal escorts--family members of my long-time friend Daniel.  These strangers swooped us up and made us feel right at home in Lima.


Our host served us this delicious fruit (inside the leaves) that I cannot remember the name of....

Two of the lovelies showing us around Kennedy Park in the Miraflores district

I have an adorable story.  There was a bit of a language barrier because me and the Gentleman speak only pathetic high-school level 1 Spanish, and the two pictured above did not speak any English. Their daughters did speak some English, however, and I had emailed one of the daughters about being picked up from the airport.  When her mom picked me up from the airport, she wrote down on a sign what she believed to be my name, based on the signature line of the email I had sent to her daughter.  The sign? 

"Best 
Caitlin."  

I stared at the sign for a solid minute, trying to determine if that was me or not.  It was. (That's my first name if you haven't stalked any of my race results yet and figured it out). 

One thing I noticed immediately that surprised me about Lima -- the air quality.  Not so good.  It was hard to tell whether it was cloudy or smoggy, probably a mix of both.  With something between 8 and 12 million residents in the area with smog-check-less cars, it's no wonder.  I hope the City conquers that problem. 

Cloudy or smoggy? Either way, lovely coastal view
I spied a lot of runners along the beach paths -- virtually the only place I saw any runners.  And this may be in my head but...I swear that everyone ran differently.  Their stride was shorter or something.  A different cadence.  Tighter shoulders.  It was something.

We walked to the Barranco district, which I loved, and some teens made us participate in a filmed interview about what we liked about Lima in our terrible spanish.  

No shortage of rainbow buses
Downtown Lima had fascinating architecture and historical buildings.  We scoped all the highlights, including the San Francisco catacombs.  I just about lost my lunch looking at all the skeletons... creeeepy.

Other notes about Lima:

  • Banks were flooded with lines.  We noticed this in other cities too (Iquitos, Puno).  What is this? I haven't been inside a bank in like 8 months.
  • Chicken.  So much chicken.  Lot's of chicken restaurants.
  • Seemingly nobody drank water with meals -- only jugo fresca.  There was a lot of pride in serving fresh juice.  And it was delicious! 
  • Pedestrians do not have the right of way -- and they are very timid about taking their turn to cross the street!  The drivers, on the other hand....very aggressive.
  • We heard a lot of Beatles music.  No complaint there.
  • Throughout Peru, the policy is that you throw your toilet paper in a trash bin, not in the toilet.  This took a lot of getting used to and was one of my favorite things to leave behind when we got back home....foreshadowing....next post.

ONTO.  The amazon rainforest!!

After Lima we flew straight to Iquitos.

A beautiful inlet from the Amazon river
I don't know how else to say this but Iquitos was....rough.  Smelly, loud, dirty.  The people were very pleasant but for the life of us we couldn't figure out where they went to eat food.  There were a few touristy restaurants (pizza) and ice cream joints (flavored sugar water...it did not pass) but I never really found the local cuisine.

A gazillion motorcycles
The city of 500,000 all rides around in these noisy smelly motorcycles.  It was exhausting being outside for more than 20 minutes because of the sound and smell of exhaust.

A village of floating homes in Iquitos (they rise with the water, which floods 1/2 the year)

A never-ending labyrinth of vendors.
We stumbled upon a secret hippie haven in Iquitos.  There was a handful of white hippies who settled here for whatever reason (drugs? I honestly don't know) which meant we found a restaurant I wanted to eat at.  It was like finding a pocket of the Bay Area on the other side of the Equator. 
Hippie Cafe

Hippies selling crafts
My heart died a little bit in Iquitos because of all the abandoned, sick dogs.  We were told that people like puppies, then don't feel so fondly of the grown dogs and abandon them.  They limp around (sweetly, not aggressive) looking for food, with tumors and scabs all over.  Sad. :(

We got outta Iquitos and took a boat down the Amazon until we landed at the secluded lodge we would be staying at for 3 days.

AmaZING amaZON

It was a real life Disney jungle cruise

The Sanchicuy Lodge
It was crazy.  This lodge has something like 30 rooms to fit up to 60+ people during a busy season...but we were the only guests one night, and one of only two couples another night.  It was incredibly spooky the night we were alone.  The full tale is too embarrassing to share, but it included us lying awake all night strategizing our plan to smash an imaginary intruder in the face with our lantern when he tried to attack.  The sounds of the jungle make you hallucinate I think.




We hiked our merry way to meet some folks from the Yagua tribe who wore traditional garb to show off and make things.....generally awkward.  We felt like total tools for intruding on their culture while they did a song and dance for us (mostly figuratively).

These marks mean "married," or possibly "death to the whities"

but this weapon was mad fun

Bullseye, kinda sorta

On a boat.  Again.

Totally LOVED the food--lots of fish and plantains--the Gentleman started hating plantains after the 10th meal but I loved them forever.
Another fun excursion was visiting a local village, Santa Maria.  Population 150, no electricity.  They (well at least the men) play soccer til dark then go to sleep.  We got to squeeze some sugar water out of a sugar cane...branch? terminology? 



That's the primary and secondary schools I do believe

Even my iphone camera found this village lovely
Another day, another stunning ride down the Amazon to another village.  We saw pink dolphins.  They exist--fresh water pink dolphins! Amazing.  So much stuff I'm leaving out....and so many photos....you don't even know....I'm trying to keep it short

The kids rule the villages -- they just run around and play to their heart's content

Pendulum-like bird nests

Seriously??!


This was a nerve-wracking but unforgettable hike in the "primary" forest.  Termites, monkeys, snakes, and enormous trees that spit out cotton.

Oh yeah then we went piranha fishing.  

We caught some piranhas and ate them for dinner.  They are hideous with their sharp teeth.  Also, by "we" I mean I "caught" 4 and they all fell off my little hook, so the Gentleman and our guide did all of the catching.  I was legit angry about that.  I'll catch a piranha one day.

Piranha: 1, Me: 0, actually you're a piranha and I'm a human so i win

Our final day in the Amazon, I went to a wildlife reserve with our guide all by my lonesome.  The Gentleman had fallen really ill the night before (his fever, by the way, strongly contributed to our paranoia and murder attack plan that night).  He stayed in our lodge while I went out to the most amazing interactive zoo the world has ever known.

Toucan.  Enter froot loops joke...?


I got attacked by friendly animals.





BABY SLOTH TIME



Best friends? Okay deal
Sloths are surprisingly....soft, and extremely light.  Very hollow feeling.  Serious "Moe" haircut from 3 stooges.  And not surprisingly, very slow and stoned.

Mama sloth below.



True story - these monkeys smelled gum and a See's lollipop in my jacket pocket (which I brought to the reserve because 3 meals/a day is hard for me! I'm used to snacking every hour, so I would feel starved halfway between meals and the lollipops from the airport were all I had to tide me over.)  And so the monkeys attacked me.  And stole the lollipop.  Which involved unzipping my jacket pocket.  


Monkey, you, are a psycho



Last, but not least, an Anaconda.  

Shiiiiiitttt

And then it ate me and I died.  
So sad the Gentleman had to miss this day :(  But he got to live while I died like J-Lo in Anaconda the movie (or does she die in it?)

Next post will be shorter, less pictures, and generally pathetic.  

Who else has had a magical Peru vacation? 
If you have honeymooned, where did you go? How long? Please share your honeymoon disaster stories.  Because mine is headed in that direction and I need company. 

Boobs

(This is a pre-written post but it is not filler because boobs are important, guyssss)

Running with boobs.  A lot of us do it.

It requires one extra piece of gear, and these days if you are doing it "right", that extra piece of gear is $50 or more.  That's practically a pair of running shoes.  Or one running shoe.

My boobs have been fine settling for Champion brand seamless reversible spandex bras that I typically buy in a 2-pack at Costco for $20, making them $10 each.  I wear one for a run, then I throw it in the hamper.  Move on to the next bra.




Since I run almost every day (occasionally but rarely twice/day), and I don't have a laundry machine....this means I go through 12-16 sport bras in between visiting the laundromat.

This means I need 12-16 sport bras.

This means I only buy cheap sport bras.

Cheap sport bras means I have a chafing problem.

A few weeks ago I sat down at the See Jane Run store and listened to a representative from Moving Comfort "educate" me about sports bras. She was pitching her product, so can't say for sure whether I was being educated about sports bras, or educated about her specific brand.

The specific reason I went is because I have been wanting to deal with this chafing problem for several years now.  For several years, if I went on a long run on Saturday or Sunday (which was/is the case more than 50% of the time), I had to actively wear something not low cut afterwards, or deal with having a scary looking chest.

2012 -- look closely and AHA - a ring of evidence on my mid chest that I ran long that morning

In the month leading up to our wedding this past August, I had "get a really nice sports bra" on my list of things to-do.  My dress was lower-cut and I wanted a plan to avoid any chafing lines. I had read other bloggers rave about the Moving Comfort bras and I intended to pick one up.

Since I'm a real go-getter kind of girl, I never made it to a running store to buy the new sports bra before the wedding.  And I had chafe lines to compliment the wedding dress.  (What actually happened was I got a spray-tan to tame my running tan lines, then ran twice in between the spray tan and the wedding, and my sports bra rubbed away the fake tanner, leaving something that looked similar to a chafe line.)

Back to the Moving Comfort sales pitch -- before the full hour of hearing about how to take care of "the girls" (NO. nono.  Do not call your boobs "girls."  I almost boycotted Moving Comfort forever just because this annoyed me so hard) I already knew that I wanted to buy one. I didn't show up for the sales pitch; I showed up to buy one. I'm an instant decision maker.  I don't care to investigate details before making a choice; I saw the bras, I'd heard the reviews.  More than anything the hour pitch disinclined me (see: "the girls," -- and the pitch focused on serious technology for large boob support, something I don't have to worry about until I get my Courtney Stodden implants).

I'm on the smaller side (32C) and wanted to stay in my comfort zone of simple seamless bras. My friend Karina at See Jane Run (she leaves Thursday so this statement is still currently true!) recommended the Rebound Racer Sport.  She knew avoiding chafing was my number one goal, and said a friend wore this for a trail 50k without a single chafe.



The straps have velcro adjustment, and there is a clasp in the back with 4 adjustment levels.

View of the back clasps and the velcro straps

The most mind blowing epiphany moment of this new-sports-bra endeavor was when I told the sales rep that I would never be able to convert to Moving Comfort because I need 16 sports bras, and hers are too expensive to buy in bulk.

She told me to wear the bra several times before throwing it in the hamper.

what!?

This had never occurred to me.  When I run -- even if I barely break a sweat -- I throw it ALL in the hamper.  The only time I break this rule is for shorts, because I only have about 4 pairs I really like, and I wear underwear with them. Everything else is not touched again until it smells like cotton breeze or lavender fields.

I bought the Rebound Racer (see picture above) which was $49.99, I received no discount from Moving Comfort, but I do get a medium sized discount from the See Jane Run store (phew. I honestly don't think I can ever mentally handle a $50 sports bra.)

The first thing I did with the bra was run in it 4 times before washing it.

Not washing it was....not so bad! It never smelled, and it was quick to dry when I hung it on a doorknob.  Above all, I have not yet chafed in it.  I wore it to a half-marathon, and some longer runs -- no chafing.

(But, you can see in the photo of me above, I still chafed a little bit from my t-shirt lining.  Can't win 'em all.)

The rebound racer is more difficult to get into than my normal sports bras. And I have noticed a little disturbance to my back where the bra clasp is, when I hit around 10 miles.  Not full-out chafing, but some redness from the rubbing.

So what's your boob story? Are you loyal to one brand? Do you invest in good sports bras? Do you wash yours after every wear?  Do you chafe?  Are you a man and completely bored by this unless there are more pictures of boobs?