"} Get a life, Get active! By Fit Lesley: July 2014

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Sunset on the beach!

I got up and was out running by 6:15am with my prime goal being to hit my target distance of 5:34 miles @ a 9:20 to 9:40 pace.

Unfortunately, the gates to the golf course were locked again so it was another tedious run around the complex.

Surprisingly it didn't seem as boring today! Perhaps my head was in the right place as I expected not to be able to get on the golf course.

It was another hot and very sweaty run but I managed 5:64 miles at a 9:29 minute mile pace so I am happy with that!

After a cold shower I returned to my bed until it was time for breakfast and the start of another busy day at the beach.

What can I say? 

Sunbathing, reading, swimming, sleeping, eating and drinking filled the rest of the day until we forced ourselves to go for our beach walk at 5pm.  

We stupidly decided to see if we could get to the end of the beach which we could see across the bay!  However distances were deceiving and after walking for 3 miles we decided it was time to head back as the end of the beach wasn't getting any closer!  

However, on the walk back we saw the most beautiful sunset so it was worth the long walk just for that! Altogether tonight's little stroll along the beach was 6 miles!  At least we had worked up an appetite for our evening meal and mandatory cocktails!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

I was very brave today!

I have 2 runs left on my plan this week.  A 4 mile easy run and a 12 mile LSR. I still have no intention of attempting a LSR in this heat so as I have 3 running days left I have decided to add the miles together of my two remaining runs and divide by 3 so I end up doing 3 runs of a similar distance.  If my maths is correct that means today's target (and the next 2 days!) Is approximately 5:34 miles trying to keep at a 9:20 to 9:40 minute mile pace.

I didn't have a good night's sleep so was pleased when the clock eventually made it round to 6 O'clock which meant I could get up and get dressed, ready to hit the pavements!

The plan was to run to the golf course, do 2 loops round and run back.  I felt fairly confident as I headed that way as I didn't have a problem with guards yesterday! 

However, my bubble was soon burst as the gate was shut again with a non too friendly looking guard guarding it! Avoiding any eye contact or conversation I made a swift turnabout cursing him under my breath and headed back towards the complex trying to figure out an alternative route as I ran!

I ended up just looping around the roads and paths in the complex several times until I had hit my target distance!  I managed to run 5:68 miles at an average 9:36 minute mile pace but found it extremely hard going.  

I sweated more than I have during any other run this holiday and although I hadn't run through any sprinklers I looked like I had!  In actual fact it looked like I'd been in the pool. It seemed much more humid than previous mornings or I just had that "too much" morning after feeling!

Once I had stretched I stood under a cold shower for quite sometime trying to cool my boiling blood!

After a nap and breakfast we headed out to the hotel lobby 1/2 a mile away as we were going on a trip and the bus was picking us up there.  

We had a 30 minute journey by a open sided bus to get to the beach from where we boarded a pirate ship which then took us to "Stingwray Bay". We were given buoyancy jackets and a snorkel and a mask on arrival, and asked to sign a disclaimer! (This always worries me!).

Whilst sailing outward there was a "carnival dance" type of act performed to entertain us, which was actually quite entertaining to watch.

The sailing took about 45 minutes and we arrived at Stingray bay which was basically 2 large enclosures in the middle of the sea!

Our first port of call was the stingwray enclosure where we were informed all about the habits of stingray, and we were given lots of information about them etc before we actually got into the water with them to interact.

I must admit to being ever so slightly terrified but tried to hold it together, and put on a brave face.

 I was amazed to discover that the top of it was grey and rough a bit like sandpaper and underneath was white and very soft!  I squealed  like a girl when the guide held one up against my chest and it flapped on my neck and face! It send shudders right through me!

I was disappointed that we weren't allowed to take our own photo's with the stingrays beasically because they wanted to sell the professional photos they took.

I found them intriguing creatures to interact with but I remained extremely wary ... you just never know!

After we had spent about 30 minutes with the stingwray we got out of that enclosure put on our buoyancy jackets and snorkel and got into the shark enclosure. 

I expected to be terrified but strangely enough I felt very relaxed!  I think after surviving the stingwray I felt invincible and found it fascinating just to float around watching them swim underneath us!  
One of the divers dived down to get a sea anemone off a rock for us to hold.  It was really bizarre as it suckered onto my hand and needed pulled quite forcibly off! 

We spend about 30 minutes swimming with the sharks, before we boarded our pirate ship again and set sail!  There was fruit and drinks served to get rid of the salt in our mouths, and there was more dancing - this time guests were dragged up to dance too (including me!).  There was no saying no! 

We sailed for about 40 minutes before anchoring in the middle of the sea to do some more snorkelling.  I initially got in with my buoyancy aid on so I could be lazy and just float around, but after a while the temptation to dive down to get a closer look at the coral and fish got the better of me so I took it off!

We had been given some fish food (bread balls I think!) to attract the fish to us and it worked wonders!  There were swarms of different coloured fish all around us! 

We snorkelled for about an hour before getting back on board and having lunch.

After lunch there was more dancing etc whilst we headed back to shore.

Once back at our hotel, after some liquid refreshments we went for our daily walk along the beach!  Today took us left along the shore and altogether we walked 4:3 miles.

No sleeping at all today so feeling a little tired but I have had a great day! It was a fantastic experience to swim with sharks and to touch stingrays! Definitely the best day of the holiday so far!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Caribbean Rain Storm!

The marathon plan for today stipulated a rest day but because later in the week I am breaking my 12 mile LSR up into two runs I need to fit in an extra run so I am doing tomorrow's run today!

The plan wanted me to do 1 mile slow then 4 miles fast, finishing off with one mile slow.  However, it wasn't getting me going fast so instead I set out to do the stipulated 6 miles all at a steady pace.

I was awake and heading out the door by 6:15am and got a big shock when I stepped outside bleary eyed to discover it was raining! 

Luckily, by the time my Garmin located satellite the rain had stopped and the usual blue skies had returned! 

It was a typical Caribbean rain storm, extremely heavy but over in a flash and the only evidence that it had rained were the rather large puddles it had left behind!  I had thought that perhaps the rain would have cooled the air temperature but this was certainly not the case, all it had succeeded in doing was making the pavements extremely wet and slippery!

I decided to chance my luck with the golf course route!  Would I be greeted with a scowl and a shake of the head or would the way be clear for me again?  This is what I was pondering whilst I rather nervously headed out that way!

Luckily they weren't serious about keeping me out and today the way was clear for me!  My legs felt like lead and my stomach felt like I had swallowed a football! Perhaps running the morning after a gourmet meal wasn't the best idea!

However, I pushed on and did 2 laps of the golf course!  Once I had done the first lap (going clockwise) I decided that for a change of scenery I would turn around and go anticlockwise.  As I finished my second lap and approached the entrance to the golf course I started to feel slightly apprehensive in case the gate had been locked and there was a scowling guard on duty.  With great trepidation I rounded the corner and felt a huge relief to see the way was clear.

I made it back without any dramas but was disappointed when I realised I had only done 5:50 miles and not the stipulated 6!  By the time it dawned on me that I was 1/2 mile short I had already stretched and cooled down so I didn't bother making up the distance.  

Yesterday I had run 3/4 mile more so it's six of one and half a dozen of the other!

I had a shower and a quick nap before we went down for breakfast to fuel up for another hard day at the beach!

Yet again the day passed by with me doing nothing more than sleeping, reading, swimming, eating and drinking!  What a hard life!

At 5:45pm it was "get up of your backside and go for a walk time!" 

It was much later than we usually go for a walk but sleep had somehow possessed us both despite doing very little all day! 

We needed to do something to work up an appetite before the eating and drinking evening cycle started all over again!  It's quite obscene the amount of food and drink you can consume in a day especially considering we are in such a poor country.

Anyhow off we set at quite a pace so that we weren't too late getting back to get washed and changed for dinner!  We headed towards the right hand side of the beach and walked up the beach for 2 miles, before turning round and heading back!  Altogether we walked a fairly swift 4 miles and I felt more awake and better for it afterwards!

I was ready to hit the Cocktails ... again! 

Monday, 28 July 2014

Marathon Training Week 4 Commences - still in The Dominican Republic!

I got  up this morning at 6:15 am and headed out to do a 5 mile run as per my Marathon plan.

The plan actually stated a 4 mile run then a mile of speed intervals. 

Even though I have now been running in the heat and humidity for a week now I still don't feel ready, able or willing to practice speed intervals so I decided just to do 5 miles at a steady pace.

As usual I headed out to the golf course and had planned to do a double loop before returning back to the complex!

However, a guard soon put a stop to my gallop when I got to the golf course entrance as there was a barrier blocking my way and he shook his head and gesticulated for me to go back!

I take it I have been "illegally" running around the golf course and they have decided to stop this mad English woman once and for all!

I wasn't very happy and returned back towards the complex and went around the official jogging course a few times which I found mentally challenging as it is so boring!

However I still managed 5:75 miles at an average 9:31 minute mile pace.

I will try the golf course again tomorrow to see if they are serious about stopping me!  If they are I will have to suss out a new route for my remaining runs!

I had a shower before returning to my bed to rest for the hard day ahead!

Another day spent on the beach sunbathing, swimming, reading, eating and drinking. I'm beginning to get used to this life!  I'm not sure what I will do when faced with ironing, cooking, cleaning and all the other mundane tasks that usually fill my life!

At around 5 O'clock we decided to go for a walk along the beach.

We walked for 2 miles before heading back, making it a total of 4.1 miles.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Week 3 Marathon Training Completed!

Today was a rest day from running as we went on a trip to Saona Island! This meant a very early get up as we were being collected by a coach half a mile away at 7am!

We were taken to the other side of the island  which was about an hour's drive away., This part of the island is surrounded by the Caribbean sea whereas where we are staying it is the Atlantic!

Once here we boarded a Kattermarang and we settled down to enjoy the cooling sea breeze and the fabulous scenery, whilst being served copious amounts of rum and coke!

Our first stop was after we had been sailing for about an hour and was on a sandbank in the ocean!.  Although we were in the middle of the sea, the water only came up to our knees which was very bizarre! This area was also home to lots of starfish which people picked up and photographed.  I was slightly wary of being bitten or stung ( I have no idea whether starfish do either of these) but since no one else appeared to have a problem I risked it too!

After about an hour we set sail again and sailed for another hour or so until we got to Saona island which is apparently where the bounty adverts are filmed! The beach was beautiful and the sea was very calm!

We had a couple hours here to explore, sunbath, swim and eat. The only negative thing was all the annoying beach sellers selling junk jewelry, souvenirs and cigars who wouldn't take no for an answer!  There was even woman pestering to give massages too!

However, despite this annoyance we relaxed and It seemed no time at all before we were getting back on the kattermarang and after hoisting the sails up again we set sail home.

We got back to our complex at 7pm, 12 hours after leaving  so it was a full and busy day, but very enjoyable and extremely relaxing!

I can't believe I have just completed week 3 of my marathon training plan whilst holidaying in the Dominican Republic! 

Although I haven't kept to the plan ridgedly I have managed to do the correct number of miles on the plan which I am so impressed with!  Never in a million years would I have thought I would do any running whilst on holiday and actually enjoy it too!

I feel quite saintly as not only have I run 5 times since getting here we have walked daily too! Hopefully I won't return home a stone heavier and very unfit like I usually do!

The scores on the doors for this week look a little like this:

Running: 25:60 miles

Walking: 21.06 miles

Swimming: lots in the sea but unknown distances!

The total miles for the week on my actual plan was 25 so I am dead on and very happy!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Part 2 LSR!

Today my self scripted holiday marathon plan stipulated I did a 5 mile steady run at a 9:20 to 9:40 pace.

So  at 6:15am I was out the door armed with my water bottle.  It felt much warmer and more humid this morning making the run feel much harder than it should have felt!

I headed towards the golf course and all was going well until at about 2 Miles in I got the same excruciating tummy pains I got yesterday morning.  I was spurred on by the fact that yesterday I managed to run them off but this morning there was no escaping the fact I needed a toilet ... and quickly!

Thankfully yesterday I had sussed out where the nearest facilities were after thinking I would need them so I knew exactly where to head in my desperate moment of need ... and made it ... just!  What a relief!

I was all in a dither after my near miss toilet experience and after doing one loop of the golf course I headed back to the hotel without thinking about my mileage!  It was only when I was approaching my room and my garmin vibrated to mark the end of mile 4 that I realised I should have done 2 loops of the golf course to do 5 miles!  
Not to be deterred I did a mile looping around the complex!

I hit my target distance and pace and ran 5:14 miles at a 9:29 minute mile pace. I was delighted to have completed part 2 of my split LSR although it felt much further than just 5 miles!  I think perhaps the excessive food and alcohol is starting to take a toll on my body!

After doing some stretching, exercises I headed back to my air conditioned room and showered before returning to bed for a nap before breakfast.

The rest of the day was spent at the beach sunbathing, sleeping, reading, swimming, eating, drinking.... just being generally lazy!!

Eventually at around 5:30 pm we decided it was time to move and go for a walk! However the toilet and maintenance man had other ideas!  We went up to our room to drop off our beach stuff before going for our walk.  Before we actually got out we realised that our toilet was broken and we called Reception to be told the maintenance man would arrive to fix it in 5 minutes.  

2 hours later and after several irate exchanges he eventually arrived and fixed it but it was too late to go for a walk.  A quick shower followed before having to dash off for our dinner reservation.  

I seem to be having a lot of toilet issues!

Friday, 25 July 2014

LSR? Don't be silly! Part One instead!

The plan today stated an 11 mile steady run! No way Jose was I going to run for that distance a) whilst on holiday  b) in this heat and humidity. C) with a hangover.

So in order to get the miles in my legs without ending up in hospital from heat exhaustion I decided to cut this long run down into 2!  So the new plan scripted by me was to do a 6 mile steady run today, followed by a 5 mile steady run tomorrow!

I set off out at 6:15am and decided to try and do the hotel's one mile jogging route before heading out onto the golf course to do 2 loops!!  I think after 5 failed attempts I actually managed to find and run around the 1 mile jogging route!

Despite the dull head I felt quite good running until at about mile 4 I got the most horrendous stomach pains and I thought "oh shit", quite literally but thankfully the moment passed and I made it back without any embarrassing accidents! I even got the chance to play dodge the water sprinklers again although they appeared to be on a higher pressure today and I didn't half get blasted rather than sprinkled!  There was probably a little man sitting laughing at me somewhere!

I had hit my target distance and managed 6:04 miles at an average 9:26 minute mile pace despite the pains, heat and hangover!  

Hopefully I can successfully do part 2 of this split LSR tomorrow!

Once back in my cool air conditioned room I had a shower before going back to bed for a post run, pre breakfast nap!

Another busy day at the beach followed where I read, slept, swam, ate and drank the day away before going for a swift 4 mile walk along the beach before getting ready for dinner!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Rest day but no rest!

Today was a rest day from running and a rest day from lazing at the beach.

We went on a mega trucks tour up into the mountains to see how the Dominican Republic natives live!

At 7:45 this morning we set off to walk the half a mile to our collection point! The mega truck arrived at 8 and off we set on a very rickety ride into the countryside.

Our first stop was at a ranch type place where we got to go on a trek on a mingy, probably flea ridden horse that didn't understand any English!

Thankfully the trek only lasted about half an hour and I managed to stay on despite my horses best efforts!  When we got back in the truck although it only 9.30am our tour guide opened the chiller and gave us all a well earned beer to quench our horse riding thirst!

Next, in the mega truck we headed out up into the mountains on what was rather rough terrain, which was extremely steep in places! It was definitely a case of hold on tight and keep on high alert to dodge the tree branch's as they whipped past the open sided vehicle!  I didn't totally succeed with this one and got slapped in the face by a load of leaves!  I am now sporting a cut on the bridge of my nose to go with my bruise and bump from the other day!

Our next stop was in a tiny village where we had the opportunity to shop for souvenirs aka junk.

After leaving this village we passed fields of sugarcane and locals (including young children) walking with big canisters to find water.  It was very difficult not to feel uneasy about it when you have bucket loads of drink on board!

 Next we visited a 'typical' Dominican Republic house and met the locals living there. We were given a very interesting and information talk and demonstration on how coffee and chocolate is produced from the time the coffee beans and cocoa is picked off the plants to become the products we know!  We even got to taste the end product which were delicious from such basic manufacturing means.  We also got to taste a local "cure all" drink called mama wanna which was made of rum, honey,bark, leaves and roots etc.  It didn't look too appetizing but didn't taste too bad!

After leaving here we stopped for lunch before heading to a glorious beach where we spent the rest of the afternoon. 

During the day we were bombarded with alcoholic beverages including Dominican Republic champagne which was delicious but was basically just rum and sprite!

We arrived back at our hotel at around 4:30pm and after walking the half mile back and depositing our stuff in the room headed out again for our daily exercise!  Today's walk along the beach took us left out the hotel and we walked 3:5 miles in total! It felt incredibly hard going today as the sand was very soft and it almost felt like sinking sand.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Becoming acclimatized?

Another day dawned and another day I got up at 6 for a run.

I'm quite getting into this holiday running lark.

The plan today wanted me to do approximately 5 miles with 20 second speed intervals after 4 miles!  There was no way I could convince my body that it was a good idea to do speed intervals in such heat!  I am more than happy just to do the distance and I will worry about working on speed once I get home!

Being a creature of habit I headed out to do a loop of the golf course again.  However, once I had run to the golf course and completed the 1 mile loop around it, I decided to do a second loop to get the miles in without me having to venture too much further afield and risk getting lost!  There was a worker tending the grass and he did a double take when he saw me approaching for the second time!  Probably thinking "mad English woman running in this heat" 

By the time I completed the second lap I was feeling exceptionally tired and wet through with sweat and was pleased to be on the homeward leg back to the hotel.  

The mile run back was quite amusing as they had turned the water sprinklers on to water the gardens and they rotated at intervals.  I never knew when, where or from which angle the water would spray me next! It was very refreshing and I was very tempted just to stand and get totally sprinkled! I hoped whilst I chortled to myself that there wasn't any pesticides or plant feed mixed in with the water!

I made it back after 49 minutes of running, covering 5:29 miles at an average 9:16 minute mile pace.  The furthest and fastest run I have done since being here!  I was amazed that I ran mile 2 in 8:52 minutes! Perhaps my body is starting to aclimitise to the conditions and getting used to running with a hangover!

I enjoyed a long cold shower before returning to bed!

We spent the rest of the day on the beach, and I am ashamed to admit I mainly slept the day away apart from a short swim in the sea, and time allocated for eating and drinking!

After an exceptionally lazy day we convinced ourselves it would be a good idea to do some exercise and ventured for our daily stroll along the beach at around 5.30pm.  We turned right today but only went as far as the shanty town beach shops!  By the time we got back we had walked for 58 minutes and covered 2:65 miles but mainly on the very soft beach sand as the harder seashore sand was covered in seaweed and we all know about the dangers of seaweed - Now!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Bruised, stung but still keen!

Today the plan was thankfully for a 4 mile slow effort.  Something which was achievable! 

I had a bit of a disastrous nights sleep last night and was rudely awakened at around 2am when I somehow managed to fall out of bed onto the hard tiled floor.  I was in a lot of discomfort afterwards and woke up this morning sporting an egg on the left hand side of my head and  a lovely bruise on the left of my face!

Consequently I woke up later than I did yesterday but not to be deterred I set off clutching my water bottle at around 6:30am and already it felt much hotter than yesterday or was it just that I was later?!

After managing not to get totally lost yesterday I felt slightly more confident in my homing skills today.

I decided to go in the same direction as yesterday and onto the golf course and managed an uneventful 4 mile loop and only came across one stern looking guard who wouldn't allow me to pass! 

There were several other runners out today too, perhaps with  being a little later more people were up and about.

I did 4:10 miles at an average 9:36 min mile pace! Altogether I ran for 39:21 minutes. 

Exactly what my plan expected of me!  Feeling chuffed with myself!

I even remembered to do some stretches despite being soaked to the skin in sweat with a very sore face and tender head! After a shower I headed back to bed for a snooze before breakfast!

I had planned on using one of the two air conditioned gyms during my holiday here but after chatting with another runner who said they were barely air conditioned and there not being much in them I probably won't bother and will stick to proper running! He also said he struggled to set the machines up as they were all programmed in Spanish! Another reason to stay away!

The rest of the day was spent on the beach, reading, eating, drinking, sleeping and swimming in the sea,where I suffered another calamity! 

My husband thought it would be hilarious to throw a huge mound of seaweed at me to make me squeal like a girl.  It had the desired effect as I did indeed squeal but he was ever so slightly shocked when I said I felt like I had been stung and then my arm, shoulder and neck proceeded to come out in angry red wheals which were incredibly itchy and sore!  Thankfully this reaction only lasted a couple of hours before it settled down and then vanished completely! We still have no idea whether it was a variety of stinging seaweed or whether I'm just a delicate flower who reacted to its rough texture!  Lesson learned for hubby although he did feel bad and was suitably apologetic and was at my beck and call for the rest of the day!

At around 5 O'clock it was time for our daily walk along the beach.  
We headed left today and walked for 1 hour 15 minutes and covered 3:33 miles, this time passing 2 weddings along the way.

The sea was exceptionally choppy today with big waves breaking around our feet, a smaller person could easily have been knocked off their feet and taken out to sea!  

A very scary thought!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Wow! I did it! Week 3 Marathon Training commences in the Dominican Republic!

Wow I did it!

Despite excessive quantities of food and alcoholic beverages I got up at 6am and after getting dressed in my running gear I headed out for my first ever run whilst being on holiday. I left my husband sleeping soundly and bravely headed out alone.

Although my training plan stated a 5 mile run at a 8:40 to 8:50 minute mile pace I had no intention of killing myself in the heat to achieve this. I was happy just to run and enjoy it!

I had no idea where I was going but thought that due to my ineffective inbuilt homing device I had best stay on the complex or risk never being seen again. Before leaving I wrote my block and room number on my arm - just in case dehydration, heat exhaustion or just plain stupidity caused severe memory loss!

The hotel complex is huge with a 9000 guest capacity and has numerous blocks all which look identical to one another so I was fairly sceptical about finding my way back.  There was a running route marked on the map of the complex which looked to be about a mile in length and I planned to follow it.

When I set off firmly clutching my water bottle it was only 6:15am and the sun thankfully wasn't too hot at this time in the morning!, The only other people I came across were hotel staff making there way to work!

I thought I was following the running route and periodically checked the map boards when I happened upon them (there are many scattered around the complex) and despite a big you are here arrow on each I still managed to go wrong somehow and ended up out the complex and running around the local golf course.

Despite being slightly worried about getting totally lost I enjoyed running in unfamiliar territory exploring what the resort had to offer!  I was stopped in 3 places by different security guards however which slightly unnerved me.  Twice I was told in broken English that I was not allowed any further and to turn back, and once I was allowed to continue when I smiled sweetly and said the name of my hotel.  I was praying I didn't end up going round in circles and revisiting the same guards in case they thought I was taking the Mick rather than being genuinely lost!   

I made it safely back to the complex after 50 minutes running, and even located my room fairly easily.  By this point the sun had really heated up and other more normal people were starting to get up and head for breakfast. I felt ever so slightly conspicuous dressed in my wet through running gear looking an  extremely sweaty mess amongst these fresh looking holidaymakers.

I managed 5:04  miles at an average 9:37 min mile pace.  I really feel I have achieved something today just by the pure fact I got up and ran!

My husband was still sleeping soundly on my return and was oblivious to the fact I had run at all!. I was very conscious about rehydrating adequately, and after downing several glasses of water I rewarded myself with a cold shower and went back to bed! 

One positive was returning to a lovely cold air conditioned room.

What a  fab way to start the day!

After a hard day sunbathing on the beach, swimming in the sea, eating and drinking at around 4:20pm we decided to go for another walk along the beach.  This time we turned right to see what was this way.  

We passed a couple getting married on the beach and came to what looked like a shanty town but it was in fact a row of run down beach hut type shops selling tacky souvenirs and fake designer goods!  

They were positioned so close to the sea that they were built on stilts!  We kept walking  for 45 minutes before turning round to return back to the hotel.  Altogether our stroll along the beach took us an hour and a half and we walked approximately 4.31 miles!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Week 2 Marathon Training - Completed!

This week, despite the heat and going on holiday I have managed to stick to my training plan and completed each run accordingly!

Week 2 stats look like this:

Running: 30.16 miles in 4 runs

(4.5 miles in 1 trail run and 25.66 miles in 3 road runs).45 minutes Sports Massage 
Walking: 3.33 miles (barefoot on the beach!)
Total Weekly Training Miles: 33.49 Miles

My total training for the marathon to date since 7th July 2014 is:

Running : 56.93 miles (16.14 m trail and 40.79m road).
Swimming: 2.20 miles (0.94m open water and 1.26m pool).
Walking: 10.89 miles
Sports Massage: 45 minutes
Total Training Miles: 70.02 miles


 After a hard day sunbathing by the pool at around 3:45pm we decided to go for a stroll along the beach. 

The biggest decision we had to make was whether to go left or right out of the hotel! We opted to go left and walked for 35 mins, once we reached a curve on the otherwise straight coast line we turned around and headed back!  We managed 1 hour 10 mins of fairly tricky walking on extremely soft sand dodging big waves breaking around us! This made it difficult to stay upright due to the strength of the tide but we covered approximately 3:33 miles on this difficult terrain.



Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Dominican Republic - let the holiday begin!

We arrived at our hotel,The Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda in the Dominican Republic at around 4:30pm after a uneventful flight from Manchester and transfer.

It appears to be a fantastic hotel in a great location with a superb beach.  I would say it's the best beach I have had the pleasure of visiting, and probably the best all inclusive hotel I have been to (from my first impressions)!

We had enough time to unpack and do a quick recce of the facilities before getting washed and changed for dinner!

I was amazed but delighted to discover there is a purpose made jogging route around the complex.  

I have absolutely no excuses now since I have brought my running gear -  except the fact that the hotel is all inclusive with 11 different restaurants to try as well as international brand drinks and cocktails galore! 

Lets see what happens - how committed am I?

I couldn't believe when I asked for a G and T they proceeded to rattle off about 5 brands including Gordon's and Bombay Sapphire!

Looks like I'm going to be very spoilt during my time here!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Week 2 - Run 8/64 Marathon Training!

Today I finished school for the Summer holidays and tonight I did my last run before I go on holiday in the morning!

I was tired after a hectic last day in class, and then once all the kids had gone home we had some bubbly and cake to celebrate the start of the holidays!

Consequently my run this evening was extremely hard work!

The plan stated a 4 mile easy run!  I was extremely grateful I didn't have a target pace to hit as it felt like someone had put concrete in my trainers!

It was extremely hot and muggy which didn't help and I opted to go off road!

The run was uneventful despite having to run through a field of cows! 

I struggled for the entire run but managed to run 4.5 very slow miles! 

I can't say it was an enjoyable run!  My overall pace was an average 10:14 minute miles.

I am going on holiday to The Dominican Republic tomorrow and for the first time ever I have packed my trainers!

I have decided that the only way to keep on track with my marathon training is to run whilst on holiday!

The thought of running on holiday has never entered my head before, but this time I am full of good intentions!

I was amazed that when I broached the subject with my husband that he thought it was a good idea!  Perhaps he wants the peace and quiet whilst I am out running!

I might even embrace barefoot running and have a little jaunt along the beach!

Watch this space to see whether I actually follow my good intentions through!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Week 2 - Run 7/64 in Marathon Training

Today has been another hot day!  Not quite the dangerous heatwave predicted but hot all the same especially when running!

Because it was such a hot day I decided that I needed to take more water then I usually take in my handheld water bottle.

I have struggled with "hydration belts" in the past as they always jiggle around and annoy me!  My last one jiggled so much I lost the water bottle out of it on its first outing!

Anyhow, because the weather has been getting hotter I bought myself a new one! After lots of research and reading reviews I opted for a Nathan Trail Mix Hydration Belt! 

Tonight I put it through a test drive, along with a little gel flask that I have also just bought!

On long runs I generally use high5 gels but hate the fact that I end up with sticky fingers as well as a sticky empty packet to dispose of hence why I invested in a mini gel flask that holds 5 gels!

I didn't want to risk using the gel flask for the first time on a long run when I was relying on the gel in case I didn't like using it!

So although I wouldn't usually bother with a gel for a 10 mile run tonight I decided to experiment!

Before setting off on my run I put one gel in the flask and attached it to my new hydration belt and I was ready to hit the streets.

My marathon plan stated a 10 mile run at a "steady" 9:20 to 9:40 minute mile pace.

I struggled in the heat but was delighted with my new belt! 

If I hadn't needed the drink I would have forgotten I was wearing it! 

No jiggling whatsoever!

I drunk my gel from the flask when I was at 5 miles and was amazed at how easily it flowed out the cap! 

I made a slight schoolboy error when I returned the flask to it's holder! 

It fits "upsidedown" in the holder and I had forgotten to push the cap closed and the dregs of gel dribbled out down my leg!  Not a good look!

Something to remember next time!

The heat seemed to sap my energy and I struggled to keep the pace consistent! 

I set off too fast and was initially doing 8:58, 9:11, 9:04, 9:14, 9:08 minute miles before slowing and ended up doing 10:05, 9:42, 9:33, 9:59, 10.08 minute miles! 

However, I did 9.92 miles and my average pace was in the right range as per the plan! I did an average 9:30 minute mile pace!

A good run considering the heat and I love my new drinks belt and gel flask!

As well as the 2 water bottles on the belt I also took my usual handheld one too! 

I am glad I did as it was so hot that I drank it all!

Another run to fit in tomorrow before I fly off on my holidays to The Dominican Republic on Saturday!

Excited Muchus!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


Today was a rest day on the marathon plan however I did go for a maintenance massage with my sports physio!

It is a good job I went as he said I had very tight ankles and Achilles!  It sounds like it could have been an injury waiting to happen!

Anyhow, after 45 minutes of pain he sorted me out and although before I went I hadn't realised my muscles were tight afterwards I could really feel the difference!

I really must do more stretching to keep my muscles happy!

I have a long run tomorrow so I hope my legs forgive me by then!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Week 2 - Run 6/64 in Marathon Training

Yesterday's rain appears to have been just a blip as the sun had his hat on again and was most definitely out to play today!

I had a very busy day at work today!  

I felt tired and bloated (again) after another cakefest as it was someone's birthday BUT I am proud to say I still managed to go out for a run this evening!

The plan stated that todays run involved a warm up, then a 6 mile easy run followed by 4 sets of 20 seconds speed intervals and a cool down!

I was back to wearing my vest, shorts and cap after abandoning them yesterday for long pants and a waterproof jacket! It's amazing how the weather can change so rapidly in 24 hours!

I decided to stay on roads this evening and after 1/2 mile warm up, I did the main 6 miles at an 9:20 minute mile pace.  I was ready for the speed intervals this evening and managed 7:13, 8:03, 6:16 and 7:32 minute mile pace for each of the 20 second intervals!

I know it's only 20 seconds but I was faster than last night!

The plan starts off gently before throwing me full-on into speed training!

After the speed intervals I was further away from home than I had anticipated so I had a rather longer cool down than I desired at 1.75 miles but hey-up although I struggled I made it back!

The total mileage for the entire run was 9.22 miles at an average 9:33 minute mile pace!

I am more than happy with that at this stage in the proceedings!

Tomorrow is a rest day and I have a massage booked with my sports therapist!

Although pain is often involved I always come out feeling rejuvenated!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Week 2 - Run 5/64 in Marathon Training!

The good run of weather has finally broken and today the heavens opened and it has poured down for most of the day!

Straight after work I went to an afternoon tea party put on for one of the teachers who is retiring. 

Despite my best efforts not to over-indulge I did and felt a little stuffed and uncomfortable afterwards!

I gave my stomach an hour to settle down before venturing out into the torrential rain for todays run!

The plan stated a 4 mile easy run followed by 20 seconds FAST and 2 minutes slow intervals repeated for 4 sets.

I did a 1/2 mile warm up and really enjoyed the 4 mile easy section that followed!  I stayed on the roads as I decided off road might be a little muddy after the day of rain!

I was slightly annoyed when I was patiently waiting to cross a road and a car pulled over and asked me for directions! 

There was no escaping and it was 2 old dears wanting directions to a local restaurant!  I had to repeat myself several times before they were prepared to leave me alone and let me cross the road! 

I hadn't paused my Garmin either so it will have skewed my average mile pace in the easy section although in reality being an "easy" run it doesn't really matter!  I really need to stop being a slave to pace and just go with it unless the plan stipulates a pace!

Anyhow, the first 20 second speed interval took me by surprise and my slow reaction time meant a slow 8.39 minute mile pace for the first 20 second interval, followed by a more respectable 7.42, 7.41 and 7.33 m/m pace for the remaining intervals.

I completed my run with a 1 mile cool down and in total I ran 6.51 miles.

Despite being wet through I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt quite good despite being stuffed to the brim with cake! 

Perhaps afternoon tea for fuelling purposes is the way forward!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Week 1 Marathon Training - Completed!

This week, despite the heat I have managed to stick to my training plan and completed each run accordingly!

I am going for the less is more approach this time round with only 4 runs a week. 

During the training for my previous 2 marathons I ran 6 days a week!

This time I want to have time to swim and cycle and not just abandon everything for running!

Time will tell whether this is a good idea or not!

So ....

Week 1 stats look like this:

Running: 26.78 miles in 4 runs

(11.64 miles in 2 trail runs and 15.14 miles in 2 road runs).
Walking: 7:56 Miles

Swimming: 2.20 miles
(0.94 open water and 1.26 pool).

Total Weekly Training Miles: 36.53 Miles

My total training for the marathon to date since 7th July 2014 is:

Running : 26.78 miles (11.64m trail and 15.14m road).
Swimming: 2.20 miles (0.94m open water and 1.26m pool).
Walking: 7.56 miles

Total Training Miles: 36.53 miles




Saturday, 12 July 2014

Week 1 Run 4/64 in Marathon Plan.

This morning I was up and about early due to the heat and had planned to get my run done before it got even hotter.

However, I phaffed around so much it was 9.20am before I was ready to go and the sun was by then very hot!

The plan stated a 8 mile steady run at between 9:20 and 9:40 minute miles excluding a warm up or a cool down.

I set off with my route in mind and after the warm up mile, I managed to keep a steady pace for the next mile but then did my next mile way too fast at 8:50 minute mile.  I tried hard to keep at a consistent pace but it is tricky when its hilly, obviously going uphill will be slow and coming down hill hopefully is fast!

I struggled in the heat a little but the only mile I went too slow on was mile 8 when I did  a 9:59 min mile pace but in my defence this did involve going up a hill!

So all in all I did 9.89 miles in 1 hour 32 mins 58 secs, at an average pace of 9:24 minute miles.

I was pleased with this as I am still suffering with my snotty nose and the heat was a little on the warm side for running!

Thankfully its a rest day on the plan tomorrow! 

I am going out tonight so will no doubt be nursing a hangover instead of running!


Friday, 11 July 2014

Race Report Update!

Last weekend I ran in The Southport Half Marathon.

You can read how I got on in the extreme heat here!

Week 1 Run 3/64 in marathon plan!

This afternoon I went for a great run in the sun!
I had taken my running gear to work as the plan was to do a trail run which was closer to where I work than home. 
 So once I had finished work I quickly got changed and set off for the 5 minute journey to where I planned to start!
 It was 3:45pm and the sun was blazing down!  I think if I had gone home first I might have decided it was too hot to run, but I was changed and I was going run!
I sensibly wore my cap and took a water bottle.  The plan stated a 4 mile easy run so I wasn't going to worry about pace, I was just going enjoy the scenery and the sun!
It was hard going getting to the top in the heat and it was a fairly rocky climb too but once up there, there was quite a breeze which kept the temperatures more bearable! 

The terrain for the majority of the run was fairly rocky and uneven so I had to really concentrate and watch my footing but I really enjoyed not worrying about pace!

I was anxious about coming across cows and calf's as I am a bit of a wimp around these unpredictable beasts!  I was about a mile from the finish and I rounded a corner and there stood right in my way were 2 cows and a calf.  I came to an abrupt halt and they looked at me inquisitively. 

Decisions, Decisions!

It was too far for me to turn around and go back so there was nothing for it but to take a deep breath and go around giving them a wide berth!

I walked timidly around them and luckily for me they found the grass far more interesting than a skulking woman!  Once passed with my heart rate now peaked I took off and probably ran the fastest I had run today!  Thankfully I didn't encounter anymore and I was soon back to the car!
I ran 5.95 miles at a very slow 11.18 minute mile pace but loved it!
I am definitely beginning to prefer trail running!  It beats road running any day!
This evening I went to an "talk" by a couple of ladies from the Tri Club who have recently completed Ironman Austria!  They were sharing what they had learned during their journey, talked about the training and commitment involved and how they both went about it in different ways.
I found it fascinating and totally inspired me to want to do one in the future!
Watch this space - IRONMAN I am coming to get you ... one day!


Thursday, 10 July 2014

Open Water Swim in the sun!

 Tonight I went to the Open Water Swimming training in Lake Windermere!

It was a lovely calm and sunny evening so yet again I was surprised to find the lake quite choppy to swim in!

I think water skiers and boats on the opposite side of the lake are having a laugh every Thursday to see how many waves they can make during our swim!

The water temperature was almost tropical at a balmy (compared with in the past!) 17.5C.

However, after the first circuit due to the waves I was feeling fairly traumatised and was ready for getting out but I gave myself a good talking to and made myself keep going!

After this initial blip I settled into my stroke and managed a further 6 circuits totalling 0.94 miles!

I felt exceptionally dizzy and disorientated tonight when I got out, much more so than I have done in the past!  I am wondering whether this has anything to do with my hay fever which may be affecting my inner ear and balance!

However, despite the trauma's I still feel exceptionally privileged to live in such a beautiful area and to have the opportunity to swim in these surroundings on a weekly basis!

I have booked another Open Water 1 mile Swim event in Coniston Water on the 17th August! 

This will be very different for me as it is a deep water start and I have never swum in Coniston so I have no idea what to expect!

Must keep up the training and stay positive!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Week 1 Run 2/64 in marathon plan!

Another very hot day today and another 4 mile easy run marked on the plan!

As I was going out this evening to celebrate my husbands birthday I had to fit a quick run in as soon as I got home from work in order that I was showered and changed in time to go out with my family!

Running at 4pm meant it was still very warm and the sun was still shining strongly!

I remembered my water bottle tonight (thankfully) and set off out in my shorts and vest to enjoy my run.

As I was short of time I opted to go for a road run as I can then just run from home rather than travelling to my start point!

When I first set off I struggled with the heat and my thoughts were instantly to cut the run short!  However, after the first mile or so I reminded myself to slow my pace as it was meant to be an easy run and then I seemed to settle down into it and it didn't feel as difficult!

In the end I ran 1/2 mile as a warm-up (although I was already very warm!!), then the 4 miles on the plan finishing off with 3/4 mile to cool down! 

All together I ran 5.25 miles at an average pace of 9:20 minute miles.

Not too bad considering the heat and the fact I am STILL suffering with hayfever and seem to be living on antihistamines and nasal spray at the moment!

Hopefully the sun will stay bright and beautiful tomorrow as it's swimming night in Lake Windermere!