My best friend, Bri, was in town this week, so we were very busy. I picked her up at the airport on Monday and we had a late lunch at Frenchy's Rockaway Grill at Clearwater Beach. I ran 5.49 miles that night. The next day we headed to Disney, starting at Epcot for the Flower & Garden Festival and ending at the Magic Kingdom with dinner at Tony's Town Square Restaurant. I am counting 14 hours of Disney as a substitute for 40 minutes of cross training. ;) We spent the next day at Discovery Cove, swimming and relaxing. I wrongly assumed our hotel would have a gym in which I could do my "Tempo B" workout, but alas they did not. I was going to try to run on the street that night (and even Thursday morning), but I was still exhausted from Disney - I also had the thought that it's not like I sat on a couch all day and watched TV. Friday was her last day here and we were recovering from a raucous Thursday night (not having one of those until the marathon is over!) with a massage and then it was to the airport to see her off. By the time I got home through poor traffic, it was late (and I was still tired). I walked all the way to the gym and turned around - I did not feel like it was going to happen. This morning I ran 8 miles in 80 minutes and it was a little warm, but felt good.
Gloriously, the beach workouts continued. Tuesday was not a "beach day" but it was still nice to run in cooler weather. The bay was actually all fogged up - I could not see the tall condos off the beach nor were there many people out. In fact, I could only really see about 30 yards ahead of me. I also didn't figure the tide into my run - it was close to high tide and there was not much beach left. I had to run on the soft-firm area between the harder sand and the fluffy sand - a mixed bag of firmness if you will. Kind of hard to describe, and kind of hard to run on...I was playing dodge the waves quite a bit. Definitely got my shoes wet a few times, but it also made for an exciting run. Because of the not-so-solid ground, I was a bit behind pace - about 5 miles in 56 minutes.
For my cross-training on Wednesday, I was supposed to go about 30 minutes. I borrowed my cousin's bike, found a nice circular route near our condo (see below) and headed off. I did not realize how hilly it would be...it took me almost an hour to finish the 10 miles. My Dad was actually about to drive around looking for me because I took so long. :) There were a few hair-raising moments - not really that dramatic, just not super bike-friendly. My quads were definitely burning...a sure sign of a good workout. At least, it was very scenic.
I worked six hours Saturday morning and headed to the airport. The flight was three hours from Tampa, FL to Manchester, NH. I had dinner with my parents at the Airport Diner (awesome mac 'n cheese), and then drove over to Old Orchard Beach, ME - a vacation destination from my childhood. A few of the arcades are gone, but it definitely has the same feel - and it feels good. :) I count 30 minutes of nighttime beach walking as my cross-training for the day...rough terrain.
As I mentioned earlier, I was really excited that my 10 mile run was "scheduled" while I was to be in Maine. I woke up at 5:15 am - who knows what temperature it was, but it was under 60 degrees for sure...and it was GLORIOUS. I warmed up for a few minutes and I was off. I ran about a mile and passed under The Pier and kept going through Ocean Park. An inlet blocked my path (pretty sure this is always there no matter the tide) and I had to cut into a neighborhood. I ran over a bridge which happened to go over/through the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. I cut back to the beach, and ran Kinney Shores, Bay View and Ferry Beach. Because of Google Maps, I knew that the beach ran out, and I turned around when that happened. This was definitely the most scenic run I've had all year, and very enjoyable. It barely felt like 10 miles. I did run a slower pace - about 11 minutes per mile - however, it was pretty sandy. It's a beach, after all.
My parents and a cousin have been visiting this week. I have been continuing to train, but have not been keeping up on my blogging. Last Friday (7/19), I hashed again - this was a "live hare" one where the trail is laid 10 minutes before the group heads off to try to snare the hare. It was pretty fun though I got lost for a small portion of the trail. I am counting theme-parking (Busch Gardens) as my 30 minutes of cross training for the 20th. And before we headed to Clearwater Beach on Sunday the 21st, I ran 4 miles - the there and back route.