Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Back to Life, Back to Reality

So when we left our intrepid hero, he was headed off to a lovely relaxing vacation with the family. Aaaaahhhh, that was nice.  Now its over.  Well, its been over for some time now, but getting back into the routine of life after vacation left me with little energy for blogging. I'm going to try my hand at travel writing and make a few posts to review our cruise vacation, but since I've been focusing this blog on my fitness, i'll start with a post about that. In short though, our cruise was fantastic. All four of us had a great time, each of us getting to do the things we wanted and we can't wait to do it again. The only bummer was that we missed stopping in Grand Cayman because of the weather and my wife was really looking forward to shopping there. On the bright side, I saved the money that my wife was going to spend in Grand Cayman!

As for running, while I wasn't pushing myself while on vacation, I did manage to get several runs in. Thanksgiving morning I ran a little under 3 miles at my in-laws house. It was a tough slog but I got it done. Then I ran twice on the ship, a little over a mile each time. The first time on the jogging track and the second on the treadmill. I was getting up early almost every day, watching the sun rise and checking out the ship while most people weren't around, so I used that time to exercise. Then on Friday when we visited the Disney island called Castaway Cay, I ran a 5k. Short story, it wasn't my best effort but I struggled through it and finished in just over 35 minutes.

I'd been reading about the run online for a while now and I was really looking forward to it. I'd read various different reports about the course and the organization of the thing, as well as different stories about the swag that they gave away, so I didn't know what to expect. The ship newsletter the night before said that you had to sign up on-board at 9:30 and the run would start on land at 10:15. I made it down to the meeting point on time and they were taking people's names and stateroom numbers. There were about 30 people there running and for the most part they seemed very fit. I guess you don't get too many casual joggers who want to run on vacation.  The group left the ship together and took the tram out to the start point. The crew member in charge had given the group the choice to walk to the start or take the tram. Two people said tram and nobody else spoke up so we took the tram.  I heard several people griping about it on the way, but I didn't mind so much. We got out to the start point and they showed us the course on a map. it was very well marked on the island too, so no getting lost. They gave us each bib numbers to keep and after a group picture we were on our way.

The weather wasn't too bad, sunny and in the low 70's, but for me who was used to running in the cold, it was hot. I started near the back of the pack, but still went out too quickly for me. I just tried to stay in touch with the back group of runners. I realized into the first mile that its important for me to follow my regular routine and warm up, because i was struggling more than I normally do. I walked through the water station at the end of the first mile and then took off.  The front runners were starting to return from the turnaround point at this time and I was feeling pretty bad. I kept pushing and made it through the second mile and stopped to walk again. I had to do two more short walk breaks in the third mile, but once I got to the last 1/2 mile or so, I ran again. There were only a couple of people behind me and 2 who were at my pace. I passed them both with about a quarter mile to go. I heard the man try to encourage the woman to pick it up and finish strong, but she didn't have it.  He came running past me near the finish.  I thought about trying to out kick him, but then I noticed that they were taking pictures of us finishing, so I let him get far enough ahead so I could get a solo picture.  I checked my watch across the line and saw 35:14.  They gave us a finishers medal and later I got a certificate sent to my stateroom.

The race was a lot of fun and then I got to spend the day on the beach. Considering how much I had eaten that week and the fact that we stayed up late the night before trying to help our friends finish off a bottle of cuban rum, I did ok.

When I got home, I tried to focus on getting back into my 4 day routine. I ran 1.5 miles on Tuesday and did some weights, then did 3 miles on Wednesday and another 1.5 on Friday with weights again. Sunday I went out to the greenway and did my 3.5 miles there.  I felt great through that run. I realized that if I can maintain a consistent approach, it'll make everything less of a struggle. So this week I'm doing the same thing and I can't wait to run on Sunday.

I don't have any races planned at the moment, but I'm going to start to increase my mileage after the first of the year. At the very least, I want to be able to run the 10K Peachtree Road Race next summer and a few more races along the way.

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