Sarah Maher is a student at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and an ISA Featured Blogger. Sarah is currently studying abroad with ISA in Cusco, Peru.
The old saying ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ couldn’t be more true. It seems like just yesterday our plane was landing in Cusco. And from there it has been go, go, go! I have been able to surpass the effects of altitude sickness and have yet to succumb to the woes of stomach pains (knock on wood).
Thursday I finally got up the courage to put my feet to the pavement and go for a run, 11,000 feet above sea level- a bit different than the 650 ft. that I’m used to. At about 7:30 I headed out. I was only 4 minutes in and I could already feel the altitude and started breathing heavily; though that may also have been due to the amount of delicious Peruvian food I’ve been eating lately. Either way, I was off. I went up and down streets taking in all of my surroundings. I learned for the first time how many of the streets around our house end in a dead end. There is so much in such a small space here, that I could barely take it all in. I only ended up running for about 20 minutes (including my waiting on traffic breaks), but it was well worth it. I was even rewarded with the warmest shower I have taken since my arrival!
There is not too much out of the ordinary here, aside from constantly feeling like my generally-accepted-as-average 5’ 7” height is well above average. Although I wouldn’t yet say I know a lot about Cusco, I have learned quite a bit in my time. There is so much culture to see, experience, and learn about here that I can hardly stop absorbing. Although my Spanish still has much room for improvement, I think that it’s safe to say ‘so far, so good’. I cannot wait for my next run, to see what else my feet and I can see in this wonderful city.
You did well going for a run in Cusco, I could hardly walk and had a terrible head ache the first couple of days I was there! Glad to see you are having a great time.
I’m going to be studying in Cusco during the Summer 2 program and was really excited to read this! Although I am not a runner, I am a hiker and cannot wait to explore Peru!