Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Running in Quick Sand

Two weeks ago, for April vacation, we took the kids to Grand Cayman for April vacation. It was incredible! And with this trip, just like with any other I take, I always pack my running clothes and sneakers. I really love to explore and use every opportunity to discover the nooks and crannys of anyplace I go. So, this trip was no different. When we arrived around 1 pm, it was in the mid 80's and had just rained. By the time we got to our hotel, checked in, and sat down for lunch the sun was beaming down and we were soaking up the relaxing vibe. After lunch we went for a walk on 7 Mile Beach, collecting shells, running in the water, and stopped at a little beach bar for happy hour. It was pure bliss. Fast forward to 8 am the next morning to pure blistering heat. I jumped out of bed, slipped on my sneakers, and headed out for a run. I stepped out the door into a wall of heat. It was at least 80 degrees already. I still decided to go...I can do this, I thought. Since the road we were staying on was one big strip, I just turned left to run and figured I would run back up on the beach. It was then that I discovered I had forgotten my iPod. How bad could it be, I thought? That was answered about 10 minutes later when all I could hear was heavy breathing. I thought there was a fat guy behind me gasping for breath....but no, it was just me. I ran and ran and ran. I thought it had been at least 15 minutes. I checked my watch. 7 minutes. OMG. But I kept going until it truly was 15 minutes and then I looked for an access point to the beach. This is going to be so fun, I thought! I love walking the beach...although this time I'll be running...but I love being near the water so this will be great. Here are some challenges with running on the beach. If you run in the soft sand, it's hard to get even footing and you sink down. If you run on the wet packed sand, you run the risk of the waves coming up and getting you wet. And you are constantly doging people who are doing the smart thing and strolling leisurely along the water. Barefoot. Not in sneakers. Two minutes in and all I can think is "This is so stupid." I only saw one other person running on the beach. Apparently we didn't get the memo that this is harder than running on the scorching pavement in 80 degree heat. I refused to give up though. I panted my way all the way back to the walkway to our hotel. I took my side cramp back to the hotel and dragged myself back up the stairs. Tim was in the garden having coffee and reading the paper. The kids weren't even up yet. That's when it hit me. I am on vacation and could have been RELAXING. I haven't gotten to the point where running is relaxing, but I do hope to someday. That was the last time the sneakers came out during the vacation. It felt like such a good decision until I got back to my running club. I had missed 3 running sessions. My next time with the group we did "interval training". It really should be named Torture Treatment. The way it should work is that you run hard for a short period of time, then run at a normal pace, then take a break...and then do it all again. Our trainer picked this day to not give ANY breaks and run us like thoroughbreds at the Kentucky Derby. It was at the end of that session that running in the 80 degree heat on the scorching pavement followed by a run on the beach would have been a welcome prospect. More on my trip to come in later posts!

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