Training to summit Mt Rainier from Brazil

To follow  up on my last post , our final destination was Brazil!!
I was very fortunate to get tickets for a World Cup game and even better to get tickets for 3 games!!!! This has been a dream for me and today I am able to live it!

Below I want to thank everybody involved in making this happen:

  • Thank you FIFA for giving me the opportunity to buy tickets!
  • Thank you airbnb for providing me more options other than hotels with their ridiculous  prices!
  • And finally, thank you to the Brits for inventing Fútbol (soccer or football) or at least creating a structure around it and letting it flourish in the British Isles and eventually the world, and becoming the most popular (and beautiful) sport in the universe!

I feel like Jimmy Fallon!

On Friday of week 7 we took off for Brazil and our first stop was Miami. The MIA airport is awesome for layovers if you’re in the newer terminals.  They have a lot of options for food, drinks and Catie’s favorite Cuban coffee, especially the Cortadito. Unfortunately our flight into Miami was delayed due to bad weather and we missed our connecting flight to Brazil so once we landed in Miami, coffee was not my priority. My priority was to get to Brazil!

After almost 3 hrs of running around the airport and talking to a bunch of people we were able to get a flight the next day to Brazil, so we stayed the night in Miami with my family. At least the next day we were well rested and ready for the World Cup only one day late!

We arrived Saturday night into Fortaleza in the state of Ceará located in the northeast of Brazil and I was ready to experience the World Cup! But I was quickly reminded by my lovely GF that we needed to hike for 3 hrs the next day. Good thing she came with me because I would’ve totally dismissed the training!

So about that hike, we didn’t travel with our backpacks but we still needed to carry something in our hike (in this case it was a walk around town). We brought small sackpacks (drawstring bag) so we stuffed them with books (around 10 lbs) that were in the apartment.  It wasn’t as heavy as our regular backpack but at least we had some weight to carry. This hike has been the hardest hike I’ve done since I started the training by far! We started our hike around 9:30 AM. Temperature in Fortaleza was 80 °F & humidity was around 70%. It wasn’t terribly hot but there were no clouds in the sky and not a lot of trees that provided shade. Fortaleza is fairly close to the equator so the sun’s energy falling on the earth is greater. This sun was intense…..1.5 hrs into the hike I was ready to go home. I was really tired and was starting to get annoyed and mad. We stopped for 15 min for a water break, I was feeling a little bit better and in better mood.  My hiking buddy gave me some good words of encouragement 🙂 , but they only lasted for 30 min! The last hour of the hike was a struggle however I made it to the 3 hrs  kicking and screaming!

After we got home I cooled off, took a cold shower and ate, I was feeling a lot better. Catie was fine through the hike. I was the one  that struggled. The change in scenery and climate really got to me….and maybe, just maybe, I was mad because I wasn’t giving my full attention to the World Cup!

For week 8 we wanted to continue our training plan as closely as we could ,enjoy our time in Fortaleza, and watch all the World Cup games!

This week wasn’t bad at all. We were able to workout almost every day even on days we had a game. The first week we had 2 games.  Before the first game we did the Daily Dozen 2.0 and that was it for the day and we were off to the stadium! We took a cab to the “Estadio Castelão“. Due to the World Cup there was a lot of security on our way to the stadium and all roads in a 2 mile radius from the stadium were closed, so that meant we had to walk to get to it…so we included these “hikes” as part of our training (~ 1.8 miles each way). On the second game we walked to the stadium but on our way back we decided to catch a cab(kinda). A lot of the locals had bikes with seats in the front and back tires to “shuttle” people to/from the stadium … was awesome! check out the video below.
We also did a 4 hour hike on Friday with our sackpacks (around 10 lbs). This hike was actually a lot better than the one in week 7. We started around 9:30 AM. We stopped 1.5 hrs into the hike for a quick water break and then we stopped on the 3 hr mark to get a snack! The snack was Açaí na Tigela. If I start writing about Açaí this could be an even longer post so I’m going to write a post just about Açaí na Tigela later.  Just to give you a preview…it’s one the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life. It’s delicious and, at least for me, it’s addictive! Can’t get enough.

On Saturday we took a day off. It wasn’t planned but I got sick on Friday. My stomach was all screwed up…still don’t know what it was but it really slowed me down. I didn’t leave the apartment all day!

We actually signed up at a gym but we only used it the day we signed up…..we ended up doing a lot of our workouts in the apartment.

Week 8

For week 9 we needed to be creative. We were going out of town for  4 days to Jericoacoara, located 6 hrs north of Fortaleza. Jeri (as its better know) is a small fishing village but windsurfing & kitesurfing is what it’s know for.  It’s considered a mecca for these water sports!

Jeri is actually a National Park so there are many restrictions and tourism controls that help preserve the area to keep it’s charm, beauty, and what I like the most the seclusion and simplicity.

There are no paved roads in town, only sand roads so the best way to move around is walking, by ATV, or a buggy car. There are a  lot of activities to do in Jeri but you can just hang out at the beach and “veg out” if that’s what your into.

The best way to see  and do everything is to do a Buggy Tour with the “Associação dos Bugueiros” (Buggy Drivers Association). We did a 2 day buggy tour and we saw all the attractions in the tripadvisors “Things to do in Jericoacara” list!

The food in Jeri is phenomenal.There is a plethora of restaurants & bars — too many to mention all the ones where we ate.

Ok….enough about beach life…As I mentioned before, we had to be a bit creative to continue with our training.  We arrived in Jeri on Monday around 2 PM and we wanted to watch a game at 5 PM (Germany vs. Algeria).  But, first we needed to do some sort of exercise so we decided to check out the scene and go for a hike.  We put  on our flip flops and we were off!

One of Jeri’s main attractions is “Pedra Furada”.  It’s a rock formation right on the beach and its considered one of the most beautiful rock formations in the world . It is  located 2 miles from town so we hit the beach and we were on our way…one thing that I haven’t mentioned about Jeri is that its surrounded by sand dunes; everywhere you look you’re going to find a sand dune and our route to “Pedra Furada” was no exception.

We didn’t even get close to “Pedra Furada” but we tried and hiked for 40 minutes.

On Wednesday we kayaked for 30 minutes, and on Thursday we did Stand Up Paddle (or SUP).This has been one of the hardest things I’ve tried to do in quite some time.  We’ve been trying to do it for a while and we didn’t want to miss the opportunity  while in Jeri. We were leaving on Thursday but we wanted to work out before we left so we woke up early and hit the beach.

We got a 30 second lesson and we were off…..Catie killed it. She stood up on the second try and never looked back!  I, on  the other hand, sucked at it! I have no balance. The water was calm and flat but I just couldn’t stay on my feet. It was extremely challenging. We were out for an hour and half, Catie killing it, and me trying to stay on the board for more than 10 seconds. It was a great workout.. probably my next blog will be about learning how to Stand Up Paddle! check out the video below Catie killing it!
On Friday we were going to our last game (Brazil vs. Colombia) so to celebrate we took a day off from working out, and we also took Saturday off. On Sunday before we headed to the airport we did a quick workout and we kissed Brazil good bye!

Week 9
  • Monday> 40 min hike in Jericoacara
  • Tuesday> Daily Dozen 2.0
  • Wednesday> 30 min kayak & 7 min workout 10 squat- 10 push ups -10  dips as many rounds as possible
  • Thursday> Stand Up Paddle 1.5 hrs
  • Friday> Brazil vs. Colombia game – day off
  • Saturday> Day off
  • Sunday> Daily Dozen 2.0 & 30 min run

Muito Obrigado Brasil!