You know its been a long time since you updated your blog when you’ve forgotten both your password AND your username! But I’ve been a lot more active with my running than I have with my blogging!
As most of you know, I was offshore FOREVER (ok, four months, end of august until right before Christmas, but it FELT like forever) so getting back into running again was tough. I had tried to keep up with some workouts on the boat and had a good P90X routine going, but my cardio was sadly lacking. My first few runs back on land were in Canada, where I was home for Christmas with family. Running in the snow was exciting, fun, and kinda brutal. It was also pretty discouraging to see how “slow” I felt I had become.
To further complicate matters, my crazy work schedule combined with the ridiculous journey home and jumping from equator to Canada to Florida left me with a horrible dose of the plague that lasted about two weeks. It was especially discouraging to finally be back on land and still unable to log any miles.
Fortunately, the best cure for me for the discouragement is costumes and company! So in between putting in my time rebuilding my stamina, I piled my remaining days home full of group runs with the RFB crowd and themed races. Knowing that it would be my last day to run in a few days, as I had a trip planned to Jamaica the next morning, I crammed one Saturday full of silly races. I started out with a scavenger hunt put on by Running for Brews, costumes encouraged, where participants raced between bars (some pausing for a beer at each bar) and answering questions about Burg landmarks along the way. The clues to lead you to the landmarks were hilarious and often really tricky. When you figured out the answer you had to get a pic of yourself with that landmark. Fun!
We completed the last of the clues and returned to Ale for a quick celebratory beer, but no time to linger because The Glow Run was beginning in less than two hours and it was time to go swap the wig and “Drunk 1” shirt for some glow gear!
For this run I had a great group of some of my closest friends participating and everyone was decked out in costume. The boys were especially good sports about the costumes we had picked out for them!
The race itself was less “race” then “giant pile of people shuffling in one direction” and it would have been really hard to actually RUN this event but I had a fantastic time just being out on the course surrounded by so many people whose preferred activity on a Saturday night was to race/run/walk/dance a 5k! And not to brag (ok, maybe bragging a little), is there any other city with such awesome race scenery??
Race festivities wrapped up around 10pm and by 10:30 we were on the road, Fort Lauderdale bound for our flight to Montego Bay first thing the next morning.
Good thing I had squeezed in quite a few runs, cause there was not much (ok, any) of that going on at the resort! I did, however, made good use of the swim up bar.. It was like spring break, which we don’t really do in the same way it is done in the U.S. My first experience was a bit of an eye-opener! It was kind of a relief that the first bar did not open until 10:00am.
After five days of bliss, it was back to reality, descending into Miami in the middle of a cold snap, temperatures below 60 F. I was headed back to work in Peru in two days, first thing Monday morning, but first we have all day sunday.. what should we do?
The Clearwater Running Festival 5mile! Confession: while it is true that I really wanted to run one more time before going back to work where I knew there would be no running (same boat, same problems), my main motivation for doing this race was that I really wanted the bad-ass starfish medal you got for finishing!!
This was the longest race I had completed to date AND had two big bridges to run over so I was ready for it to feel a little challenging, especially coming off of five days at the all-inclusive resort.
I was really pleasantly surprised by how good I felt all race- gorgeous scenery, nice temperature, and I ran at a fast pace, for myself. Good thing, cause at the finish line I discovered that medals only went to the halfathon and marathon runners. DOH!!
Clearly this means that it is time for me to start training for a halfathon!
But first, back to work for another six weeks…
Coming back to shore at the beginning of March I felt much stronger as I resumed running and biking. It helped that I had been away for less time, but I also tried to be more positive and less down on myself. As I prepare to go back out in a a few days, I can look back and see that my mile split has come down from over 10 minutes to just over 9 minutes on a average 5k run and that I have even managed to run some miles in less than 8 minutes, which is pretty fast for me! In fact, I even had an 8 minutes mile during the Oldsmar Taphouse run which I completed in a fleece onesie!!
One of my favorite new motivations has also come from my new toy and my inner (or not-so-inner) nerd. I got over my self-conscious I-am-not-fast-enough-to-own-a-fancy-training-toy and bought myself a Garmin forerunner 910XT for Christmas/Birthday/Worked 4 Months Offshore Without a Break. The data that this baby spits back after each work-out entertains and educates me for HOURS! Best purchase since my bike!
Having said all that, there is still on other highly motivating factor for me- beer at the finish line! Running for Brews, races with a beer tent like the Grand Prix 5k (we got to run on the race track!!)… Amazing how deserving I feel of the extra calories after just 30 minutes!
On that note, the rain appears to be lessening. Time to put down the computer, put on the running shoes, and go for a run!