Getting Adjusted to Spain
Jenn & LVC Soccer player Jordan Nendza in front of Alcazar Castle, most famously known for housing Isabel of Castilla and Ferdinand of Aragon
"So I have been in Spain for three weeks already and I am really enjoying it. Time has flown by so far. At times I am still amazed that I am here, but it’s been fun so far. My first week here was really rough, just dealing with jet lag, the language difference and the difference in food. But I think that I am starting to get the hang of things. My host mom is crazy, she is really nice, but a bit out there and my host dad is really quiet and nice. I have a fifteen minute walk to school everyday, which really isn’t that bad, except for the times when the weather hasn’t been great. But I shouldn’t complain because I am getting much better weather than Brad! It has only snowed here once and all of the Spanish people freaked out because they are not used to the snow. I found it to be quite comical. It has rained here a few days (yes, I actually did run in the rain, go figure) and it is really windy here, but lately it has been really nice out so I am hoping that it stays this way. We walk everywhere here, there are buses to take, but walking is pretty much how all the students get around. At a minimum I walk an hour everyday and other days I have walked up to four or five hours. By the end of the four months I am convinced that I will have walked more than ever before, but it’s a good way to burn off the calories from all the food I have been eating!
The food here for me has been the hardest thing to get used to. It has really effected my running as well. I eat a small breakfast everyday at like 7:45, much smaller than in the United States and then I don’t eat again until 2:30, which is just brutal. I am a big snacker so the huge break in between meals has been killing me. Lunch at 2:30 is huge. I tried running one day after eating lunch, which was such a terrible idea. I felt like I was walking just because I was so full. So as soon I am done with class at like 1:30 I try to go out for my run unless I am skyping with someone at home. So I normally try to get out for my run between 1:30 and 2:30 and then I eat lunch after that. Some days I don’t eat lunch until 4, which is really funny because sometimes at school I would go to dinner at like 4:45. Something else that I found extremely interesting when I got here was the fact that all businesses are closed between 2 and 5 every day for siesta, so unlike the United States. And everything except for the bars (which are everywhere) and the churches are closed on Sundays. (No joke!) I have come to realize that I am not a huge fan of the Spanish lifestyle but its part of the experience.
Overall though I am really happy with how my running is going here. There are parks right next to the river, so it is a great place to run. There are always other people running and walking their dogs. The first week I was here I ran 32 miles, the second week I ran 40 and this past week I ran 46, so it’s been really good thus far. I know once I start traveling a little bit more, I won’t be able to run as much, so I try to get out as much as I can now. I met a girl from Wisconsin-Lacrosse who went to XC nationals two years ago, but unfortunately our schedules don’t really match up so we have only run once together so far. But Jordan Nendza,who is a soccer player from LVC, has been running with me for part of my runs like two or three times a week, so it’s been really nice to have someone for a few runs. The two of us also joined a gym, close to her apartment. We have been going to body flow twice a week and some other fitness classes and I get to lift as well, so I really can’t complain!"
Plaza Mayor in the central part of the city in Valladolid, Spain
The river and park where Jenn does the majority of her running close to her house