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corre a ritmo de rock n roll

After the sinus infection I had last week I had actually decided against running the 10k race I had signed up for in December.  I thought I would be too sick, plus I hadn’t been able to train in almost three weeks between Easter vacation and the sickness.  However, all of a sudden on Friday night I just changed my mind.  I figured I might as well just try it, see how it goes, so I did!

Yesterday Dan came with me to the sports Expo in Casa de Campo, a huge park on the west side on Madrid that we’ve really been meaning to check out anyway!  I got a Rock n Roll 10K running shirt, a mug, and a bunch of other random offers when I picked up by bib number.  Then we walked around the Expo, bought some Power bars and enjoyed the 2 euro pasta lunch they had provided.  Last night I went out for a little bit with my friends and Lauren’s parents who had just arrived from the US, but went home early hoping I could fall asleep despite my nerves.  After getting my things together I actually fell asleep very quickly, despite my anxiousness and excitement for the race.

I got to el Parque del Retiro (the other big park we used to go to all the time in the summer) around 7:45am with two friends, and I had plenty of time to check my bags, do a warm up, stretch and prepare myself for the next hour or so of running!  This was my first actual big race, so my nerves were definitely going crazy at this point!

Once I started running though it was so great!  We ran up Paseo de la Castellana to the Real Madrid football stadium and then back to finish in el Retiro; here’s the map!  I finished in just over one hour and one minute, averaging 6:02 minutes/kilometer.  Click here for my full results!  The energy of the race was just pushing me along, especially since there were a few bands playing along the course and lots of cheering by runners and bystanders alike.  I had such a great time, and I definitely plan on running another 10k or maybe a half marathon soon!

I met up with Dan & Gabby around 10:30am after the race (thanks again, guys!!) and then spent the rest of the afternoon at the Templo de Debod, lying in the grass and relaxing with friends.  I feel a lot better than I was expecting, but I will definitely be feeling those 10 kilometers on my commute to work in the morning!  Hope you all enjoyed your Earth Day too!  Ciao, amores:)

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real jardin botanico de madrid

After a long week of school work, group meetings, and long dinners with friends, Dan and I decided to have a relaxing Saturday.

We started off with Nana’s pancakes, which were of course not as good as they usually are at the Rowland’s house, but tasted very similar.  Thanks for the recipe, Yanya!  The butter and baking powder are quite different here, but that didn’t stop them from being delicious:)

    

After a very slow morning, we made our way over to the Royal Botanical Gardens.  They are located between the famous Museo del Prado and el Parque del Retiro in the old part of Madrid.  The 1,25 euro student price was totally worth it and I definitely plan on going back again.  A lot of the flowers were out of season, but it was still beautiful to see.  The vegetable gardens were in full bloom and besides the normal tomatoes, lettuces, and pumpkins, we also saw tabacco plants, artichokes, and a dill bush.  I had no idea how dill was grown, but this was a huge bush – probably five feet tall!!!

      

We also explored a cactus greenhouse, tropical palms greenhouse, and the bonsai tree terrace!!

      

After a snack of bread and cheese (shockingly!) and a siesta we went out for a nice relaxing dinner together.  We went to a little Italian restaurant in the plaza behind Dan’s apartment.  It was really nice to do so since we’ve been running around Madrid with new and old friends since we got here (not that we aren’t enjoying that!).  We sat outside despite the cool autumn weather, which finally started over the weekend, and shared a few different plates: provolone fondue with a fruit marmelade, eggplant rolled and filled with cheese and wonderful marinera sauce, and parmesan-stuffed gnocchi.  It was absolutely delicious, and we’re already planning on going back for seven euro pizzas during lunch soon!

I wrote recently about how inexpensive grocery shopping is in Spain, and we talked about this topic over dinner, as well.  We had a great meal and a bottle of wine for 20 euro each, but that’s how much we spend on nearly a week of groceries.  It made us realize the difference between the United States and Spain with regard to this.  Our meal probably would have cost about the same amount in Boston, if anything, a little more there.  However, to buy the food at the market or grocery store would be about half the price here as it is at home, which doesn’t make any sense!  Needless to say, we’ll be saving our money for groceries and eating out less frequently, as we certainly have been doing already.

Feliz lunes, amores:)

Covered in vines of grapes used in wines all over Spain

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