Haven't been blogging...I was just too busy after being away for so long. Where was I? Well, after the Berlin Marathon visit Toni and I went to Mauritius for 5 days, and then a 1 hour flight to Madagascar for a 2 week, mostly driving tour (two internal flights).
Madagascar is almost at the other side of the earth from where I live near San Francisco. It's a lot of flying to get home!
Besides being too swamped with work, I was also pretty busy processing the photos and videos from that trip but finally that is done!
The memories of that trip are powerful. Madagascar is a very large island, isolated from other continents for many millions of years and so it has a biodiversity that is the highest on earth. The photo above is of "Baobob" trees...they are like something from outer space. 65% of the chameleons on the earth live there. Instead of baboons, chimps and monkeys you have many many species of lemurs.
There are a lot of national parks to protect the animals, but sadly, the Malagasy people are on average very poor and still practice slash-and-burn subsistance agriculture. And their population is growing very fast. This means there is always the danger the remaining forests will be lost someday...so it's a tense situation.
As a people I found the Malagasy friendly, happy and kind. They do everything in the countryside with difficult manual labor (but don't gripe about it) and you will not find very many fat people there at all.
But, the medical care is terrible, the nutrition is probably bad and the cooking with charcoal indoors probably does a number on peoples lungs. As a result the average life expectancy for a man is ......exactly my age: 56. Um.
If you are interested in lemurs, the "Big Red Island" and its people check out the "Best of Madagascar" album of our trip (250 photos culledo ut of 3000) over here
After the marathon while on the trip I didn't do any running..there just wasn't any time..of course we did get some walking/hiking in but really there wasn't much to keep me in good condition...there was a lot of sitting and driving.
So, I've been gradually returning to running and also strength training. I gained about 5-8 lbs from not doing enough exercise and eating too much (it was worth it...8)... but I'm only about halfway back to where I need to be now.
Next race up is the Tacoma marathon on May 5th....plenty of time to prepare! Looking forward to this race as it's the home of the Marathon Maniacs (race run by one of the founders) and they'll be a lot of them there for the 10th anniversary of the founding.
I am considering revving up to try for a PR on this race..it's not a bad course..has one incline early in the race for a mile that gains about 180' but it has a 200' net downhill overall so It's a possibility. Jill? You up for another round of coaching ;)?
To those of you gearing up to run CIM (Paulette, Tricia, Amanda...??) Have a great race! I wish I was there. (I have considered driving up just to ring the cowbell and cheer ya'll on ..we'll see!)
So, if you are reading this far, ...I'm sorry I haven't been commenting on your blogs! I have been skimming them to try to keep up.. I just don't have as much time these days. I hope to get back to normal eventually.