I just got back from a week in the Dominican Republic, and it was A-mazing! I had never been there before, and was excited to learn about the Dominican culture.
Let me back up. It’s crazy how life goes. A month ago, I was in Las Vegas for the Interbike conference with Coeur Sports. The last night I was there, I went out to the party of the weekend, and ended up hitting it off with this guy. We had soooo much fun that we ended up staying in touch, and then decided it would be fun for me to go visit. Since, I’m currently out of work, it was perfect timing! So, of course, I hopped on a plane for the adventure of a lifetime. I was looking forward to a breath of fresh air after my crash, as I’m still doing Ironman Arizona, which is in less than 4 weeks!
Not only did I get some good training in, but I also had an amazing time! Here are some of the highlights:
- There’s a road in Santo Domingo that is closed every night from 5-8pm for people to bike, run, rollerblade, and simply workout. There are big bootcamps going on, and strength training equipment on the side of the road for people to use to exercise. The road is 5k long, so round trip 10k. Wednesday night, Arturo and I took our bikes out for a spin. His sister was very generous to let me use her awesome road bike for the week. I had never ridden such a NICE bike. I mean Sram Red, power tap, it was awesome! I couldn’t believe how into exercise people were in Santo Domingo. Arturo said it wasn’t even that crowded the night we went, and it seemed like it was packed. It was pretty cool to see all the people out there working out. I had no idea so many people would be into fitness.
- Self serve froyo in DR!!!! Who knew that my favorite treat in the whole wide world, would also be available in DR. I was stoked to say the least! We then stopped by a pet shop, and there were the cutest huskies I’d ever seen! I seriously almost bought one to take home with me. I was obsessed.
- Arturo belongs to a bomb gym! I mean it was REALLY nice. I’d compare it to any really nice fitness club here in the states. I went there to swim and also run. I seriously couldn’t get over how nice the gym was.
- The food was awesome. I tried all the dominican favorites…sancocho, mofongo, quipe, you name it. And I loved it all. I have always loved latin american food, so it was no surprise that I liked Dominican food too.
- Mountain biking for the first time! Arturo and his family are big into mountain biking, and they are pretty darn good at it too. They own a company called Bici Centro, and they have bike shops all over DR that they own. They were putting on a mountain biking race in Constanza, and so we headed to the mountains over the weekend for the race. There was also a beginner ride, that I was going to take part in. Arturo led all of us beginners, there were about 180 of us that were there for the “paseo”. Well somehow maybe 10k into the ride, I ended up on the competition course. Not only did I just crash recently, but I had never mountain biked before. I started getting nervous. Would Arturo find me? What if I get hurt? The competition course was HARD. I mean there were places where everyone was walking their bikes. And there were steep uphills and downhills. I shed a few tears a couple times, because I was scared, felt clueless, and I was lost, and had no idea where Arturo was. Finally, I saw Arturo’s brother, who was sent to go look for me, and he and I road into the finish together. I was VERY happy to see Arturo, and to have made it through the competition course for my first time mountain biking. Even though it was HARD, I definitely had a blast, and would go mountain biking again. It was also fun to see what a race is like in another country.
- The rain. It rained a few times while I was there, and all I can say is sometimes I miss the rain living in SD. I do love the rain.
- 70 mile bike ride. It was a pretty cool experience to see how they do long rides in DR. This might be one of my favorite stories from my trip. Arturo, his friend Victor, and I were planning on going on a 4hr ish ride. But, we needed to find someone to “drive”. I didn’t really understand what this meant until we started riding. Arturo’s friend, Chivo, drove behind us for 4hrs to protect us from anyone running into us. I remember during the ride saying to Arturo, what are we going to get Chivo for doing this for us? I mean this is soooo nice of him, should we get him something? Arturo’s response was…he’s a friend. All I could think was, “wow”. There was no question of what does he get in return, nothing. This is what friends do. Here in the U.S, it is always about what will I get, if I do something for you. It was heart warming, and eye-opening to see people give, give their time for absolutely nothing in return. They do it because they are friends. It practically brought tears to my eyes, and it was something so normal to them, yet so meaningful to me and inspiring to me. So, there we road for 70 miles with our escort driving behind us. #simplyamazing
- The last night I was there we went to the beach, and just enjoyed the water and the sunset. It was soooo beautiful and peaceful. It was definitely one of my favorite nights.
There is soooo much culture and history in the Dominican Republic. I seriously enjoyed every minute while I was there. I look forward to visiting again! I definitely need to practice mi español. It was a little rusty. Even though my mom is a Spanish teacher, I never ended up being fluent in it. Fortunately, a lot of the people we hung out with speak English. I’m definitely inspired to start practicing my spanish again.
To catch you up on how the body is healing. It’s healing okay. Running is still kind of tough. My body definitely is still healing, but I’m working through it. Biking has been totally fine, and I’ve actually been able to do some speed training on the bike. But running and swimming, I have had to keep it easy. I’m simply trying to get to the start line of IMAZ with no major injuries, and finishing.
Less than 4 weeks til IMAZ!