Caipi-run-ha!

Caipi-run-ha [kaipee-run-ya] n: The feeling of lead in your bumbum while running after a weekend of drinking caipirinhas. e.g. I felt like a caipirunha after my weekend in Rio

This post should be self-explanatory. Massive fail. But worse fail was trying to run in Rio. That was a non-starter. Set the alarm for Monday morning but never woke up. Why? It’s Rio. Parteh time. Went out until 3 am on Friday night after a day of work and flying.  Was out until 8 AM on Sunday morning. So Monday morning run was at best, a very ambitious plan.

On Friday night, we went to one of the expat’s friend’s house in Ipanema and then the night kinda went downhill from there. The club we tried to go to (someone said it used to be a great club past it’s prime and popular with tourists) was too crowded – clearly the past the prime news didn’t reach all the people (including us) trying to get in. We just wound up on some street corner bar drinking (very bad) caipirinhas with (low quality) cachaça or so our resident Brazilian, Everton pronounced.

Saturday morning (after 4 hours of sleep) I was hustled by our resident hustler Christine to wake up and get dressed to go to Christo Redentor. She insisted I’d thank her later. She’s still waiting haha. While Christo was quite an experience and yes, I was glad I went because the day was beautiful, what I really wanted to do was go to the beach. But by the time we reached the beach the sun was gone and it was chilly. It is winter after all. The others wanted to walk the length of the beach to Copacabana from Ipanema. I was tired and sleep deprived and since I’m the oldest in the group (and crankier without sleep) I decided to cut my losses and go back to the hotel and sleep. Later that night (and by late I mean, we left the hotal at 1 am, which is a first for me) we went to a club called Rio Scenario, a large bar with many rooms decorated with antiques and what not, playing Brazilian Funk (obscene songs in Portuguse with amazing beats). Some more caipirinhas were consumed. The bar was great. It was on a beautiful street called Rua do Lavradio (yes sounds obscene in Hindi) with cobbled stones and old buildings with shutters. Rio has a lot of those and it looks beautiful.

Rio does have this breathtaking quality – it is flanked by mountains on one side which get covered with clouds when the sun is out and the ocean on the other. Christo shines on the city and is kind of omnipresent because he’s visible from everywhere. What else shines down on the city from the hills? The little sparkling favellas (slums). That’s some prime property they have in the likes of Malabar Hill or Altamount Road in Mumbai. However the city is as dirty is Mumbai with trash all around and smells of age and decay. Which gives it an even more ethereal quality as a real city – gritty, dirty and terribly exciting.

I badly wanted to run on the beach front but it just never happened. I don’t know what happened to my grit but somewhere between the caipirinhas and the lack of sleep, I decided to skip on it. I regretted it and all I can hope is that I can go back soon and do the 10k loop around Lagoa (the lagoon near Botafogo).

So last night when I showed up at Ibirapuera again a week after my last run, I met a skeptical (and did I mention kinda cute?) coach João who asked about my trip to Rio. I mentioned the caipirinhas and the zero runs I’d had since the week before. He shook his head with a smile. And in his broken English he asked me to do a 6k loop around the park, first 2k on moderate pace, next 2k harder (no pau in Portuguese, with some slang insinuation of running ‘hard’, get the drift?) and last 2k at some pace in between the two. Somewhere in between those broken English explanations, I thought I was having a student crush on him – he looked so adorable trying to explain the workout in English, feeling embarassed and blushing when I showed impatience. 

So I began to run with another runner. Who is very loquacious in broken English. We try to communicate by teaching each other English/Portugese respectively. But last night I was in no mood. I could feel every one of those caipirinhas, pão do queijos, picanhas, batatas fritos, farofa and arroz dishes that I’d pounded upon all week long. I swear I felt like my butt (or bumbum pron. boom boom in Portuguese slang) felt a ton heavier and through the run it felt like drag. My muscles were very tight despite the warm up and short stretches and I was cramping. Also running with someone else didn’t help set the pace (mental note: run ALONE next time) and it was difficult to be social and feel morose about the run at the same time. At one point we thought we were on the wrong track and I stopped keeping time. Which sucked because I was to report my time on each segment to the coach so he had more data on my abilities.

Oh well, after the run I spoke to the coach again. He asked me why I had a bad run and I was mumbling something about not hydrating enough but he nailed it on the caipirinhas. Like my dad, he asked me to not drink as much and turned a deaf ear to me ‘but I’m in Brazil!’ feeble attempts. So now its really up to me to make this thing count – I did pay R$110 per month!

So we’ll see how this challenge goes in the next few weeks…

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