Welcome to the twentieth episode in the Out Of Breath series! This run in Calama occurred on the 9th of October, 2018.
My second run, this time at a much more reasonable altitude of ~2,200m (14k ft), was much easier than my previous one. I didn't have any lingering soreness or muscle issues from the last run either, which was my main concern after not running for so long. I'm sure I was worried a bit too much, since I've kept plenty active just without running.
In addition to the much lower altitudes, the temperature was much more friendly. While quite chilly (about 8c) when I started my run, at the end after the sun had risen it was already closer to 15c. It's amazing how much the sun plays a role in the temperature in this part of the world. It's also particularly noticeable here, since this city is one of the driest in the world. It's in the middle of Atacama desert and gets less than 2mm (yes, that's mm and not cm) of rain every year. Crazy stuff.
It's a pretty big city for this part of the country, about 150k people. It's less than an hour away from the much more recognized city of San Pedro de Atacama, but a much more relaxed place to stay for a few days. We needed some warmth and cleanliness after our four days of driving through the Bolivian altiplano, where the average temperature (year-round) is about 5c. It's also about two or three times cheaper than the much more touristy San Pedro, which is a big deal for us.
It was a very nice run. It's early to say I'm getting back in the rhythm, but it's nice having two good runs in a row. I also am planning for a full Ironman in 2020 sometime, and given my current running ability, i need all the training I can get. The farm dogs who chased me outside of town certainly helped with some motivation.
I'm looking forward to being further south in Chile and continuing to increase the temperature to something closer to what we've been experiencing recently. I love cold weather but freezing at noon is a bit much.
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