What type of people go on Rogue Expeditions running trips? It seems that everyone worries that they'll either be too slow, or too fast. That the mileage will be too difficult, or not challenging enough. That they'll be too old, or too young. That the other people will be super serious running geeks who talk about nothing but training, or that the other people will all be there to take it reeeeeeally easy. That they'll be the only person who doesn't know anyone else.
In truth, there is no "type." The trips attract all sorts of backgrounds, all sorts of ability levels and all sorts of motivations for being there, and the beautiful thing is that it works for just about everyone! To prove it, we are highlighting a number of our runners using their own words. Read on to find out about the running background, pre-trip hesitations, favorite trip memories and most surprising realization of a Rogue Expeditions runner.
In honor of Mother's Day, today we are featuring Nadia, who lives in Austin and received some BIG news just days before her Patagonia trip began...
Which trip did you do and when?
Run Patagonia 2017
Describe your running background:
I have previously run three half marathons. I started running back in 2014 when I met my husband. Prior to that I never enjoyed running much. Most of my running was in preparation for the half marathons.
How did you end up on that trip? What led you to the decision?
My pain in the ass husband wanted to go. He had been on the Kenya trip with Rogue and enjoyed it so much. He thought Patagonia would be a once in a lifetime experience. This time, he was right.
Any hesitations or uncertainties going into it?
A lot! Finding out that I was pregnant the week before I was supposed to go on the trip was quite unexpected. Also, I knew I would be going with a group of people who were experienced way beyond me and enjoyed running more than I did.
Did you know anyone else in the group beforehand? How was it traveling with a group of strangers?
I would like to think that I know my husband. Haha! I had met one of the group's members from a happy hour that my husband went to for the Kenya trip. However, by the end of the trip, it's like you knew everyone before you started. That's how tight-knit the trip is.
What was your favorite run and why?
Patagonia is much more than running, which makes the trip unique. Actually, there wasn't a favorite run, more like a favorite hike for me. That hike was in Torres del Paine to see the towers. Being pregnant made the trip a little more difficult for me, but Allison, Gabe, and Pedro were so accommodating. I got to go horseback riding for part of the hike and then pushed my limits through ever changing scenery to the base of the towers. We then had lunch with a red fox! How many people can say they had that experience?
Food is a huge part of any travel experience. What was your favorite thing that you ate? Merken. Just go to Patagonia and put Merken on everything. You won't regret it.
Both travel and running have their ups and downs. What was your most challenging moment or issue during the trip? How did you overcome it?
The day we did the ice trekking was very challenging for me. We hiked into the park the day before. The night before we had camped in a tent. It was my first time ever sleeping in a tent and while I am appreciative of that experience, it didn't make for the best night's sleep. We hiked that morning before getting to the ice. Then we hiked on the ice. It was very physical because you had to stab your crampons into the ice, but the ice was so beautiful. Who knew water would have so many shades of blue! We were supposed to take a boat out of the park that day after ice trekking, but due to wind conditions the boat was not going to come. So we were told that we would have to hike out of the park. I was already spent after the ice. There were moments on the hike out that I wanted to just lay down and camp out and say "see you later." My husband was very encouraging. I am glad I had him as part of my buddy system to tell me to keep going, or else I might have just become a Chilean living in the park. I also had to refocus my mental thinking. I had previously been told that if you take life ten seconds at a time, you can calm your breathing and ease your stress. So, I started counting my steps, ten at time. Some three and half hours later, I miraculously made it out.
What surprised you the most about the experience?
I learned a lot about my physical ability. When you run a half marathon you do your 13.1 and that's it. You nap and grab a beer. But this experience requires you to be able to wake up with the mindset that everyday is an adventure. For the week you need wake up like it's Sunday race day. I probably did some things that my OBGYN would have discouraged, but you know what, I took a risk and I am fine and better for it. I don't think you know how physically capable you are until you actually push yourself to do it. If you think you can't, or you face that crazy ever changing Patagonia weather, just start counting one, two...
Runcation vs a race: what do you think are some of the key similarities and differences? Or are they even comparable?
Both a runcation and a race require you to be physical. If you get hurt or aren't in top shape, that's okay too, as Allison and Gabe will accommodate you. Mentally I think a runaction offers different things. You are not only doing the physical aspect, but you are getting to experience culture, landscape, and people that a race doesn't offer, or even a regular vacation.
Sum up your Rogue Expeditions experience in one sentence:
It is an experience like no other which requires you to push yourself, believe in yourself, and have fun.