Sunday, 12 October 2014

Joggling and other things

In no time at all I've seen September come and go. Mind you this was the month I had prepared for months in advance. Four things had to happen in two weeks, none of which were related. But thanks to a series of connecting, non-delayed flights, the segments of my trip fit together like square pegs jammed repeatedly, stubbornly through round holes.

Taking back a step, in the winter of 2014 I had originally planned that one of two things would happen come september: A. Race the 10k Toronto Zoo run (paid in part by winning the Nova Scotia running series) or B, attend the IGAC conference in Natal, Brazil. Seemed at the time I wouldn't do both. But things happen you don't expect.

Email #1, April. Yay!
Email #2, August. Yay!


In the end I got funding to go to IGAC to present my aerosol research. Then, after winning a few races during the summer, I got to run the zoo as part of Team Nova Scotia. A minor miracle of timing, the zoo run was the day before the conference was set to start.

Since I was in the southern hemisphere anyway, my boss decided I may as well visit Buenos Aires, which had just signed the papers to join our global aerosol sampling network. Keep in mind I've never been to any of these places before, so with visas, planning flights and presentations (one oral, one poster), booking hotels, etc the two week period was looking quite full. As I was getting all the details finalized I had the sudden urge to see the legendary Iguazu Falls, which happened midway between Sao Paulo (my layover hub) and Buenos Aires. After scrambling to rebook flights and hotels, off I went.


Thing #1: Toronto 10k Zoo run (Sept 20th). Halfway through July I ran one workout too many and my quads were spent, and stayed that way until early September. After some physio (it worked!), my legs were nearly back in shape for racing. Got teamed up with the rest of the NS group and ran a 32:04, good enough for 18th place.

Made the first page of results anyway. Technically I was fastest male east of Quebec. 
Panda! (Well, the race was in T.O. zoo after all) 
Thing #2: IGAC conference (Sept 21-27): Spent a week at a nifty conference in Natal, Brazil. Met many other young scientists and some seniors ones too. We had a good time, and actually talked a good deal of science. Even found a fellow runner for a couple of morning jogs.

Some of the Young Scientists at IGAC, and me waving like an idiot in background
Dune buggy riding. Not exactly a scientific excursion.
My poster. Slightly more scientific.
Thing #3: Iguazu Falls (Sept 28-29). I had heard the legends, so decided to see for myself what the fuss what about. As I was going to be spending some of my own money (as well as and time away from the official reason for extending my trip), so part of me was thinking "this had better be worth it". No worries, the Falls were pretty nifty.

Water water everywhere
And wet


Rainbow! Sadly not a double rainbow
Thing #4: Buenos Aires (Sept 30-Oct 2). Helluva a short trip, but it seems I can do a lot in a short time. Walked downtown BA sans getting mugged, a bus tour of some BA neighbourhoods, really good tango show, street food (steak!), and installed our air sampling instruments without breaking anything.

Street Tango!
La Boca neighbourhood. And board game, apparently?
I had no idea BA architecture was some of the best in the world.
At the very least it is some the most diverse.
My and my aerosol sampling machine.
The real reason why I was in BA in the first place.
Overall a really good trip, and I would definitely come back to Argentina for a longer visit.

I titled this entry with the word "joggling". So how does that fit in? On the first leg of my journey in Toronto, Denise Robson mentioned to me there was another joggler living in Halifax. She said she'd pass along my name to him once I got back to Halifax. His name is Michael-Lucien and he's a very talented joggler. It turns out after just a few months of intense training he's gunning for the half marathon world record. On top of that he's living just a few miles from me.

Last Wednesday we found each other in Point Pleasant Park for a joggling rendez-vous. I haven't been practising nearly as much as he, but kept up running-wise (with a lot more ball-drops). He's also gotten to know Michael Kapral, the current world record holder of many long-distance joggling records. ML and I have made tentative plans to run a race together at some point, and perhaps I'll join them in Ottawa in May for an attempt at the half-marathon record.



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