Saturday, March 14, 2015

Run training in Oaxaca...

Some of you may know that at 39 (last year), I decided I had had about enough of my body being as large as it was, and took up running, did the Rock'n'Roll Chicago half marathon in July, lost 40 lbs in the process, and have since then tried to keep running. I have kept the weight off, and have kept running, but not as much as I would have liked.
We relocated to Oaxaca, and this meant so many run interuption type things! Well, the actual move took about 30 days, but I did manage to run a bit while we were traveling through Canada and the US. Then upon arrival, we found our home and moved in, which meant lots of reno and about ten days of no hot water. Sorry, no hot shower meant no running for me. Perhaps I need a tiara to run in?

A revolving door of guests accompanied by a whole host of new bacteria meant if we didn't have guests, I had a cold. And running with a cold at altitudes over 5000 feet was unfun.

I kept feeling guilty, my Canadian virtual run partner was training in the cold and snow! My UK virtual run partner in rain and fog. I had blue skies and 25 degrees with no himidity. I needed to get my butt in gear.

Let's be clear here, before I go on. I am not a small woman. I am not tall, but I have a nice round bum and boobs and a bit of belly flab and jiggly upper arms. And as far as the Oaxacan male palate of positive female body attributes, that is quite a collection. So training in Oaxaca has meant I endured:

The long look: Usually from municipal police covering the entrance to a government building. They see you coming down the street and cannot look away. Barely able to contain themselves as I oooze by, they then turn to watch it all go on, as far as the eye can see, or until I turn the corner. I never look back and always chime in a cheery "Buenas Dias!" I figure if they are going to oogle, at least they can say Good Morning.

The pick up truck crew: I try to run early, and generally the back of a pick up truck is a community taxi in Oaxaca. The boys on the flatbed see me as they are driving up the street, as they pass me, as they drive away and best of all things, running towards them if they catch the light. Running towards them. Why, I am sure I am the stuff dreams are made of for months to come. I usually wave and smile. I usually get sheepish waves back.

The general onlooker (also commonly referred to as the drive by): Taxi drivers, bus drivers, pick-up truck drivers. Where usually traffic would whip by, and where pedestrians never have the right of way, drivers will stop and wave me on by. I am pretty sure it is to see the junk in my trunk but heck, it helps me keep a decent pace. Enjoy!

Buen dia, Guerita: this means pale person, and it is never ever meant as an insult, but rather a form of respect. Oaxacans are infinately polite, so as you pass them, even while running, there is an exchange. Good morning. Good morning white person. Can we not just stop at good morning?  I know I am white.

Finally, the tooth sucker: Oaxacan men have this truly awful way of showing appreciation, and it can only be defined as tooth sucking. It sounds gross and is the only thing I find offensive. It is like I am a snack, and they are smacking their lips on joyful anticipation. I only said something once, to a young man at an intersection where I had stopped. I asked him what he would think if someone had done that to his sister. He stared at me wide-eyed and I ran off. I was not sure if the wide eyes were due to my kmowing Spanish, my saying something, or the thought of me knowing he had a sister.


T said...

In spite of all this, I run. I am just still looking for some less interactive routes!

Holly McAdam said...

And they are jealous they can't run anywhere. You go girl!!
Enjoy your half!