Just Keep Swimming

Hey guys! Happy Monday!

We are almost to the last week of August, football starts next weekend AND the shrimp boats are back in the bay. Do you know what that means? We are getting closer and closer to fall!

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The goods news is that there is in fact a light at the end of this summer heat and humidity tunnel that we have been running through. The bad news is that it might get worse before it gets better. I promise it will get better. Until then … just keep swimming.

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It seems to me that sometimes towards the end of the summer, training gets even tougher (mentally) because you think it is *supposed to be* already getting better. Shouldn’t we be acclimated by now? Perhaps to an extent, yes. But as you know, it’s never black and white. You don’t wake up one day magically adjusted and able to run the same pace that you would in cooler, drier conditions. When those cooler and drier conditions come … now that’s another story!

Hopefully you aren’t having to adjust your pace by quite as much as you did at the beginning of the summer though, right? You are making progress!

If you have been training throughout the summer, you have to remember that you have been running in the heat and humidity for several months now and your body is just likely a little bit drained and just worn down. I’m really not trying to be negative (just realistic). My point is that you have to remain diligent in your training and your recovery and patiently wait for the drier air and cooler temperatures.

Keep hydrating and recovering like a champ! We expect our bodies to do a lot for us, so in return we have to do a lot for our bodies. Practice some self care and self love and don’t beat yourself up if your workouts still aren’t going exactly as you hoped (P. S. I’m totally talking to myself right now).

In the spirit of embracing the remainder of the summer weather, Daniel and I decided to hit the beach for a short run yesterday afternoon! He needed a few miles to get over 50 for the week and I was happy to support his need for even numbers.

I did a similar run a few weeks ago. This time we did a little bit of a shorter route, but with the same general plan. We ran 2.5 miles on the road and then headed down to the bay and ran back home on the beach.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to plan this run at low tide. We checked the tide charts, but low tide was at close to 10 p.m., so that wasn’t going to work. We decided to give it a go anyway, but the water was pretty high and the bay was choppy.

I don’t know if “running” would really be an accurate description of what we did. There was some running, but mostly wading, hurdling and rock climbing. I think we will count this as a cross training day!

We had fun! We both agreed that we would like to make a beach run part of our semi-normal routine. We would also like to make yoga, strength training and cooking part of our semi-normal routine as well. Don’t hold your breath!

Tell me: What is something that you have good intentions of doing but that sometimes gets overlooked?

Work + Workouts

Hi! I hope you had a wonderful week and are enjoying your weekend!

Our second tax season (you know, the one they don’t tell you about when you are in school) is in full swing, so this was a busier than normal work week for me. Thankfully, it was also really productive! There is something very satisfying about getting lots of returns finalized. Nerd alert.

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We had our pictures made for our new website a couple of weeks ago. Here is the finished product! I am so thankful for my work family.

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In other news … marathon training is officially underway!

Technically this was the 3rd week of training, but I wasn’t really counting the first two weeks as marathon training in my mind. Mentally I felt like I needed a little bit of a break from “official” training. Since there wasn’t an actual race at the end of my last training cycle, the cycle didn’t really have formal closure. I still ran 31 miles, but it wasn’t a race so it just didn’t *feel* the same.

I decided (in my head) that this week was going to be the first official week of training. My head and the rest of my body were apparently on different wave lengths though, because the week was definitely less than stellar.

I started the week off with some sort of weird stomach bug, which wasn’t really ideal. I was supposed to do a 3 X 2 mile workout Tuesday, but I decided to give myself an extra day to recover and I ended up doing that workout Wednesday instead.

The schedule called for a 2 mile warm up, followed by 3 X 2 mile repeats with a goal range of 6:15 to 6:25 pace and a 2 mile cool down. I typically do these longer repeat workouts on the treadmill, but Daniel agreed to do the workout with me this week so we *attempted* it outside. It didn’t go exactly as planned. You win some, you lose some.

My average paces were 6:25, 6:40 and 7:00.

I kind of let my perfectionist, overly self-critical tendencies get the best of me and I was definitely a bit discouraged after this workout. It is so easy to let a bad workout get in your head and make you feel like you have (oh.my.gosh) lost all of your fitness (every single bit of it). On the other hand, it is also easy to not give yourself credit for the good workouts. It’s just like meh, that’s what was expected of me (which is definitely not the best outlook).

There are positive and negative takeaways from every workout and race that we do. Sometimes you just have to do a bit more digging to find those positives. In hindsight, here are a few positives …

1) I did the workout outside (meaning that it was dark, it was humid and there were hills … how rude). I have to learn to give up the security of the treadmill every now and then. I don’t mean security in a safety sense, but rather the security of having the treadmill control and maintain the pace for me. The treadmill is a wonderful pacer and it is a good tool to utilize sometimes (especially if you need a confidence boost), but doesn’t need to be used all of the time.
2) I didn’t give up. I seriously considered calling it a day after the second set, but I stuck with it. It’s better to keep fighting and run a little bit slower than your goal pace than to give up all together. Not every workout goes exactly as planned (pace wise) and I will still benefit from the work that was put in.
3) Daniel and I got in a good workout together. Couples who do LT (lactate threshold) repeats together stay together LT (long-term)! That’s what I decided anyway.

Daniel was not available for a comment or a picture after the workout, so Brooks filled in for him for a post-workout picture. Thanks Brookser!

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My legs were incredibly sore from this workout. It felt like I had raced a half marathon or something. I’m not usually that sore from a workout. Now I’m wondering if I actually had some sort of virus or something that was lingering a little bit longer than I realized. Either way, it was bizarre!

Thursday morning Rebecca, Jessica and I had a nice, easy run and came back to a beautiful sunrise over the bay. The mornings are definitely getting a little bit darker (bummer!), but the views are worth it.

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Saturday morning I had a 16 mile long run with the last 4 miles up-tempo (with a 6:45 to 7:00 goal range). I ran 12 miles with the group from Running Wild and then headed back out to do the last 4 on my own. It was a bit of a struggle, but I averaged 7:03 for the last 4 miles. I can live with that!

That’s where we are now. I’m pretty much in a run, work, eat, sleep and repeat cycle right now. I’m going to do my best to work posts back into my regular schedule. It just takes me a little while to settle into a good rhythm.

Talk to you soon!

A Change of Heart

Hello!

Good news. I figured out the issue with the recovery time on my Garmin. I know you were all super interested in that … I’m kidding. BUT apparently some others were having the same issue (this is for you Lizzie and Jill). It’s a pretty easy fix. You just need to set the maximum heart rate in your user profile.

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This can be done directly from your watch: go to My Stats > User Profile > Heart Rate Zones > Max Heart Rate or from the Garmin Connect app: go to More > Click on your Device (in the top right corner) > User Settings > Heart Rate Zones > Max Heart Rate.

Once you are here, adjust the maximum heart rate. If you aren’t sure what your maximum heart rate is, in the Garmin Connect app: go to Health Stats > All Day Heart Rate. You can see your low and high heart rates for each day for up to the last 12 months. I would recommend finding a hard race or fast repeat workout that you did and basing it on the maximum from that day.

At the two mile race I did last week, my maximum heart rate was just over 210. This is the highest heart rate that I have seen since I got my Garmin Forerunner 235. I adjusted this setting on my watch and the recovery feedback that I have been getting makes much more sense! Yay.

If you don’t go in and adjust the setting, the default maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. For me this would be 189. Since my max heart rate is actually a decent amount higher than this, before I adjusted this setting my watch thought that I was basically redlining on all of my runs. No wonder it told me I needed to cool my jets!

Unfortunately most Garmin watches don’t automatically update these stats based on your actual data. The built-in heart rate sensors are still a relatively new technology. According to Garmin, “While our wrist HR monitor technology is state of the art, there are inherent limitations with the technology that may cause some of the heart rate readings to be inaccurate under certain circumstances. These circumstances include the user’s physical characteristics, the fit of the device and the type and intensity of the activity as outlined above.”

I try to pay attention to my heart rate levels after each stress workout that I do, as this gives you good feedback as to whether you were training at the correct intensity to get the desired adaptation from the workout. An elevated resting heart rate can be a sign of over-training and/or dehydration, so it’s a good idea to monitor your resting heart rate as well.

I mainly just wanted to share this info today, but since we are here I might as well fill you in on my weekend runs as well …

Saturday morning I ran with Daniel and his training buddies. My schedule called for a moderate pace long run and their normal long run pace is basically my long run pace, so that works out pretty well.

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I wasn’t quite in the range that I was supposed to be, but I’m still happy with this run overall! Post run we did the usual breakfast and hang out at Warehouse thing. After this run my Garmin told me that I needed 19 hours of recovery, which makes much more sense than the typical 72 hours that it has been telling me. Success.

This morning I met the girls at the pier and did 11 easy miles. We had a great run! Post run we did the usual caffeinate and hang out at Coffee Loft thing. Daniel came and met us and brought the iPad so that we could watch the Women’s Olympic Marathon live. We had three top-notch women representing the United States and they all ran their hearts out! It was very inspiring to watch.

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I hope you had a great weekend! See ya soon!

Fitterest Friday (v. 1)

Happy Friday!

Is it raining where you are? We are getting soaked!

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It feels like it has been raining for days and it doesn’t exactly look like it’s going to let up anytime soon either. Might as well make the best of it I reckon!

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I’ve decided that Fridays on the blog are going to be Fitness + Pinterest = Fitterest. The name might change, but that’s what I’m going with for now.

I’ve pretty much been doing this anyway, but on Friday I will do a weekly run down of my training and share some wonderfully random pins that I find during the week. Let’s go!

Monday: 8 easy
Tuesday: 4 easy + 2 mile Race
Wednesday: 8 easy + 5 easy
Thursday: 8 easy
Friday: 8 easy 

Just easy miles this week to recover from the 2 mile race, so nothing really major to report. My legs were definitely feeling that for a few days.

I’ve got lots of partying on tap this weekend! How about you?

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Running and napping are two of my favorite pastimes!

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Who knew that Pooh was so wise. If I don’t get a smallish nap or two this weekend … oh bother!

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I think this rain has me super sleepy today! Lots of napping quotes. Let’s see what else I can find.

Ahh, yes! #truthbomb

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And since it is Friday afternoon after all …

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I. Can’t. Even. Isn’t that little guy the cutest?

What is the weather like right now where you live? Are you going to take a nap this weekend? I hope you have a great weekend doing whatever it is that you are doing!

30 Things

I thought it might be fun to do a little reminiscing and share 30 highlights from my 30th year. 30 was a wonderful year, dare I say the best year (so far)! For any new readers, it’ll be a good way to get caught up. If you’ve been reading all along (THANK YOU) and don’t care to rehash this stuff, then feel free to skip this one.

I’ve heard that your thirties are great years and from my (somewhat limited at this point) experience, I couldn’t agree more! I have been able to accept struggles as life lessons and gain a greater sense of purpose this year. Life is fragile and precious. Spend some quality time focusing on aligning who you truly are on the inside with what you are doing on the outside and figuring out why you are truly here. We all have a purpose!

Without further ado, here are 30 things (some serious, some silly) in chronological order that happened while I was 30.

  1. I started a new job that was horrible. You’re thinking … why is this a highlight, right? Just keep reading. But first I have to share this conversation that went down during my first (and only) week at the new job. Names have been changed to protect the innocent guilty.

Joe: I hear you are an expert in trust and estate returns. Is that correct?
Me: I have prepared them before, but I wouldn’t consider myself an expert by any means.
Joe: I asked you a yes, no question.
Me: Well, the answer would be no then.
Joe: When you get done here, come to my office, I have something for you to do.
Me: Sure, I’ll be right there.

There was another shareholder in my office during that part and when she left, I was going to head to Joe’s office, but I hear him on the phone at this point, so I wait until I hear him hang up. Immediately upon hanging up the phone, he pages me over the intercom in my office (I am about 10 feet away).

Joe: Did you not hear me when I asked you to come over here?
Me: Yes sir, I heard you, I am on the way.
Joe: (As I walk through the door … ) Did I not make myself clear enough for you when I asked you to come to my office?
Me: (Getting a little flustered at this point, but trying to stay calm) Yes sir, you were very clear, I heard you on the phone so I was waiting until you were done to walk over.
Joe: I don’t want to hear excuses.
Me: Blank stare.

Joe gives me the details of a project he wanted me to work on. I won’t bore you with those details.

Joe: So, I hear you run marathons.
Me: (Thinking, oh good maybe he’s going to be friendly now) Yes sir, I’ve done a few.
Joe: Which ones?
Me: I’ve done the one here in town a couple of times, I’ve done Boston …
Joe: (Interrupts) Oh really? Were you there the year that they blew it up?
Me: (Thinking, that’s a really odd and insensitive way to phrase that, but whatever) No sir, thankfully, I ran it the year before that.
Joe: So the race wasn’t on April 15th that year?
Me: Well, the race is always on Patriot’s Day, so it’s always somewhere around that time, but I don’t remember the exact date.
Joe: So you went to Boston, ran the race and then immediately came back to finish tax season?
Me: No sir, I had all of my projects completed or extended before I left and we stayed up there a few days after the race.
Joe: Just so you know, that will never be an option here.
Me: Exit stage right. Thinking to myself, “This isn’t really that big of a deal, I have no plans to run Boston again, but I don’t understand what he is trying to do here, other than be a total jerk.”

    1. Cont … I quit said job. This is where the highlight comes in! I stood up for myself! I do not think that anyone deserves to be talked to that way or treated that way on the first week at a new job. Looking back, I think he was just testing me to see how I would react. WELL … I’m not going to stand for someone using a position of authority to jerk me around. I guess quitting was the ultimate reaction. It would’ve been really validating if I had quit right there on the spot, but honestly it was still a hard decision. Starting and quitting a job in less than 2 weeks is not really an ideal career move. The guy that hired me was so very nice. I really wanted it to work with that firm, but there was no way that I was going to be able to work with “Joe.” I don’t have thick skin (nor do I think that I should have to have thick skin).
    2. I was able to go back to (a new and improved version of) the firm that I worked with for 4 years prior to making this change. HUGE BLESSING!
    3. I trained for the New York City Marathon.
    4. I coached the full marathon training group at Running Wild. This was my introduction to coaching and I loved it!
    5. I was chosen as a top 10 finalist in the Runner’s World Cover Search. What?!
    6. I went to New York City (for the first time ever) to participate in a photo shoot for the cover search.
    7. Daniel and I celebrated our 5th anniversary!
    8. We made a quick trip to 30A to run a half marathon.
    9. I learned how to chop wood.
    10. I ran the New York City marathon as a sub-elite runner.
    11. We saw Lion King on Broadway.
    12. The December issue of Runner’s World was released and I was so grateful to have been given the opportunity to share my story and glorify The Lord through running.
    13. Daniel didn’t have to work Thanksgiving and we got to have Thanksgiving dinner together for the first time in a while.
    14. We went rappelling!
    15. I won the tacky Christmas sweater contest at small group.
    16. We made another quick trip to 30A for Daniel’s birthday!
    17. We got to spend quality time with my family (Christmas Eve) and Daniel’s family (Christmas Day), because once again … Daniel didn’t have to work! SO THANKFUL!
    18. I had an absolute BLAST running the First Light Marathon Relay with my wonderful running friends (and got an unofficial 10K PR in the process).
    19. I became an AUNT!
    20. I ran my first trail race.
    21. I made it through tax season with ZERO tears. Zero. Unless you have worked in public accounting and/or are a super sensitive person, you might not understand the significance of this, but trust me. It’s a BIG DEAL.
    22. Mom and I went on our annual post-tax season relaxation trip to 30A.
    23. I became an RRCA Certified Coach!
    24. Team “Flip Flops in Porta Johns and Other Bad Decisions” dominated Ragnar Tennessee!
    25. I celebrated National Running Day with some wonderful running friends!
    26. I got major cool wife points for finding Daniel a motorcycle to play on.
    27. I ran a MILK MILE.
    28. Daniel FINALLY wrote a guest post on the blog.
    29. Daniel and I had a wonderful vacation to Destin that included beach runs, a couples massage, good food, and jumping on a bungee trampoline!
    30.  I ran a 2 mile PR on my last day as a 30-year-old.

There you have it. 30 things that happened last year. I can honestly say that this is the most content, appreciative and thankful that I remember feeling. Thank you to everyone who has made this one of the best years of my life!

Race Recap: Chickasabogue Park 2 Miler (PR)

Hello! I’ve got a race recap to share with you today.

Last night I ran a two-mile race at Chickasabogue Park in Mobile County. I’ve done this race several times before (2012 – 2014). There aren’t many two mile races, so it’s fun to race a shorter distance every now and then. Also because there aren’t many two mile races, the age group state records are sometimes semi-attainable.

Every so often a race distance will come up where I have a shot at an Alabama record for my age. It’s usually an uncommon distance (1 mile, 4 mile, 10 mile, etc.) that people don’t race very often. Let’s face it, Alabama isn’t known for being one of the fastest states in the country. Even so, it’s still cool to say that you have a state record!

Also if nothing else, it gives me a good goal time to chase when I otherwise wouldn’t really know what to shoot for. About a month or so ago when I was planning my fall race schedule, I checked the state record website to see what the two-mile record was for my age. It is 11:23 for a 30-year-old female and 11:40 for a 31-year-old female.

The race was the day before my birthday, so 11:23 was the goal (or well, just under that). The strategy was to race as evenly as possible, but I wanted the first mile to be just a few seconds faster than goal pace because the course is an out and back with a very slight downhill on the way out and a very slight uphill on the way back. The turnaround also slows you down some.

The race started at 6:30 p.m. It takes about 45 minutes to get over to the park, so we left the house around 5. I hadn’t registered for the race, so I wanted to make sure that we had plenty of time to get there, get registered, get a few warm up miles in, etc. before the race started.

After a 3 mile warm up and some strides, it was go time!

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The start was a little bit crowded, but it cleared out really quickly and by about a quarter of a mile in I found myself running completely by myself. There was one guy ahead of me (Alex) and I was running about 10 – 15 seconds per mile slower than he was. I was really hoping to have someone to pace with, as I find this to be extremely beneficial in races, but that didn’t really work out this time.

I came through the first mile in 5:41. Whew. I was right on track, but I was working really hard. I had to stay really focused during this race. There were several times when I was actually talking out loud (quietly) to myself. I was saying, “Keep this pace. Don’t fall off. You’ve got this.”

According to my watch, my second mile was 5:43. My official race time is 11:26.9, so I got an extra two seconds somewhere in there. I missed the state age group record, but this was still a 7 second PR for me, so I am super happy!

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We did a 3 mile cool down after the race. The guys tricked me into running on trails for a little bit and wouldn’t you know it, I ran right into a massive spider web! There was a HUGE spider was dangling from my arm. I didn’t freak out, but eww. No thank you.

In hindsight, I needed to run the first mile a tad quicker, as the turnaround slowed me down a good bit and I didn’t leave myself much of a cushion at all to fall off of the pace in the second mile. I was kind of intimidated at the thought of running 5:40 pace to begin with though, so I don’t think I could’ve wrapped my head around a faster pace before the race.

My times have gotten faster each time I’ve done this race (12:32, 12:00, 11:33 and now 11:26), so I am moving in the right direction. It’s always nice to see the progress over the years.

What is your favorite distance to race?

Destin-ation

Hey friends! Happy Monday!

We are in Destin and headed home tomorrow morning. Let’s back up …

We spent the weekend in Destin, Florida. Daniel went to an allergy conference to get some continuing education hours in and I was more than happy to tag along! I mean, I can think of a lot worse things than being *forced* to go to the beach for a long weekend. He was only in class from 8 to 12 Saturday and Sunday, so it wasn’t bad at all. We tacked an extra day on to the trip and stayed all day Monday and Monday night as well.

Speaking of continuing education, I’ve got to get on that myself here soon as well. I’ve got to get 24 more hours for the year before September 30th. My CPE will consist of me sitting in front of a computer all day watching webinars. Not quite as glamorous as a conference at the beach.

Daniel worked half a day Friday and then we packed up, dropped Brookser off at the doggie spa and headed to Destin.

Friday night we went to a “meet and greet” with the other doctors, nurse practitioners, medical reps, etc. that were attending the conference. Lots of small talk. My favorite! Ha. It wasn’t really that bad. Daniel knew a couple of people, which made it nice.

After the meet and greet we went to dinner with one of the doctors that Daniel works with and a couple of the medical reps that call on their office (I think that is the correct terminology, but I’m not completely sure). I do know that I was the only person at the dinner table not in the medical field. We went to Seagar’s, which is a fancy steak and seafood restaurant.

A little piece of me died when I saw the prices on the menu. Whoa. I just don’t understand spending lots of money on a fancy meal. I know that a lot of people enjoy and appreciate it, but I am definitely not one of those people. Give me a bowl of cereal and I’m perfectly content. Spending money on running clothes … now that’s something I can get behind and totally support! To quote Daniel, “I don’t claim to make sense all of the time.”

In the spirit of rolling with it, I ordered a $50 8 oz. filet. Eek. I don’t even know who I am anymore. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t delicious though.

This was without a doubt the most expensive meal that we’ve ever had, but it was very good and I guess it’s okay to splurge every now and then. The chocolate soufflé that we ordered for dessert was just the proverbial icing on the cake.

Our fancy-smancy dinner lasted until almost 11 p.m., so by the time we got back to our room and to bed it was after midnight. Again, this is highly unusual in our world. We like to be in bed by 9 at the latest. When you wake up at 4:30 to run, you pretty much have to be in bed at a decent (read: grandma) time. We had good intentions of running Saturday morning before Daniel had to go to class, but we both opted for extra sleep.

In fact I didn’t get up until after 9 Saturday morning. Our room was so dark and cozy that I didn’t really even want to get up then. I just hung out and watched the Olympics for most of the morning while Daniel was in class. It was glorious!

After being inside all morning, Daniel and I were both ready to get out and do something once he was done with class. Get out and do something = go running! We ran. 8 miles. At noon. In August. In Florida. I don’t necessarily recommend this. This is one of those do as I say, not as I do things. I kept thinking to myself (and also said out loud), “I’m so glad Rebecca and I decided not to do that relay last weekend!” We would’ve been running mid-day and that would have been brutal.

Side note: Did I tell y’all that only one team finished the relay? Yikes.

There were several good loops and running paths near our hotel. Of course Daniel already knew this because he had scoped the area out on Strava before we got here and he had some segments that he wanted to go for. Saturday afternoon we ran over to Baytowne Wharf and ran two of the segments (a 3.1 mile loop and a 2 mile loop). He wanted to make sure that the segments registered correctly on Strava before he tried to chase them down the next day.

He did in fact get the “Clockwise Baytowne Loop” segment in 20:39 (6:35 pace). King of the mountain (it’s a Strava thing)!


I kind of feel like Strava is a runner’s version of Pokémon Go. You go out and try to collect all the segments. Although I don’t know that I really understand Pokémon Go at all, so I could be totally off base with that comparison. I’m pretty sure that we did almost get run over by a couple of teenagers on bikes who were playing Pokémon Go while we were running though. I do know that they weren’t paying attention to where they were riding, but I’m unsure of the actual reason for the distraction. I’m going to blame it on Pokémon.

I hung back and tried to just survive take in the scenery. The run was pretty enjoyable, but I definitely didn’t have that “I LOVE RUNNING” feeling that I usually have on a run. There was a decent amount of shade though, so that definitely helped.

This is not one of the shaded places …

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After our run we headed to the pool for a little bit to relax.

We found two chairs together (which is a feat in and of itself) with one in the shade for Daniel and one in the sun for me. It was a beautiful day!

I enjoyed reading the Runner’s World Olympics viewer guide and Daniel enjoyed a little cat nap. Once we came back inside from the pool, I was drained. The sun will definitely do that to you. I got a proper nap (i.e., in the bed) before dinner while Daniel read.

We opted for a more low-key dinner Saturday night and we ate outside by the pool. We got a tuna dip appetizer and I also got tuna for my meal. Tuna is one of my favorites, especially when cooked well (i.e., medium rare … how’s that for an oxymoron). I’m not sure when I decided to turn this into a food blog. It’ll be short-lived I promise. Vacation eats are so much more exciting than everyday eats. The tuna was delicious.

I decided to hit the beach for a few miles Sunday morning while Daniel was in class. I LOVE running on the beach! It feels so free and peaceful out there. I also feel totally safe. I don’t have that feeling very often when running by myself, but for whatever reason when I am on the beach I feel totally comfortable and not on edge at all.

I ended up running 4 miles one way and then 4 miles back for a total of 8 miles on the beach. After the first mile, I didn’t see a single person for several miles. It was just me, my thoughts and the birds.

I hated to miss my usual Sunday morning group run with the girls (especially because 1) Lizzie made an appearance and 2) they sent me a picture of all of their yummy Coffee Loft drinks (and I got the picture while I was about halfway into my run and I would’ve gladly welcomed any sort of beverage)), but I spent some quality time with the gulls. I couldn’t resist. Major cheese factor.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the beaches along the Gulf Coast, they aren’t like the hard-packed beaches on the East Coast. They are so beautiful, but so tough for running. My feet basically sunk a couple of inches into the sand with each step. I struggled to keep my pace under a 10 minute mile.

I wasn’t worried about my pace, but I also couldn’t help but wonder how much the sand affects it. It’s kind of like running in windy conditions, or humid conditions for that matter. There is a lot of added resistance, so you are working a lot harder than the data shows at the end of the run. I wish there was a sand adjustment pace calculator. I’m sure my “suffer score” would’ve been pretty high.

My Garmin told me that I needed 56 hours to recover from the beach run.

Speaking of … Does anyone else with a newer, built-in heart rate model Garmin get crazy recovery times after your run? Daniel’s typically tells him that he needs 12 hours or something like that, but mine is always a lot longer. It has even told me that I need 3 days. I don’t really know exactly what it is using to come up with that information. Sounds like a good research project for a later time though.

I left that paragraph for a little bit and of course then I couldn’t resist, so I just did a quick Google search. Apparently it seems that the recovery time is a suggestion of how long to wait before the next hard training session, so the next stress workout, not the next easy run, which makes more sense. Sometimes it will tell me that I need 3 days to recover and then 3 hours later it’s all like, “MOVE.” I mean, which one is it? Get it together Mr. Garmin.

It also supposedly factors in cumulative fatigue and overall training stress, but I am still a tad skeptical as to the validity of this calculation … mainly because I can’t find anything that tells me the actual calculation. There has to be a formula of some sort … I will find it and I will let you know.

Oh well … so since my watch told me I needed to recover, I listened and Sunday afternoon we did something that we haven’t done since our Honeymoon … we got a couples massage! We both opted for the deep tissue sports massage and loved it. Sometimes I enjoy a nice massage and sometimes not so much (there’s just something a little odd about strangers touching you), but this was nice. It was a little intense at times, in a hurts-so-good sort of way, but I know that it helped flush the lactic acid out of my muscles. We were able to use the spa beforehand and afterwards too, so we both took advantage of the steam room, sauna and hot tub for a little bit. Lots of relaxing and recovery!

Sunday evening we decided to go to the outlets for a little bit. Unfortunately, all the stores closed at 7 and we didn’t get there until about 6:45 so we only had time to go to one store. We got some frozen yogurt and headed back to the hotel. Daniel ordered a 16 inch pizza for lunch that day and had plenty of leftovers (go figure). We happily ate pizza and watched more of the Olympics. I can’t wait for the running events!

This morning we did our 8 mile route again, but ran the loops (the 3.1 mile loop and 2 mile loop) backwards. Daniel was done with his classes at this point, so we were actually able to get out there at a decent time (i.e., not noon). The humidity was higher in the morning, but the heat wasn’t quite as oppressive. It’s almost like you have to pick your poison on the summer runs, go super early and battle the humidity or go later in the day and battle the heat. Regardless, all of the battles we fight will make us stronger for our fall races!

Ahh, fall. Not too much longer! I really think I felt some cool breezes this weekend (that could’ve just been me hallucinating in the heat though), reminding me that fall is just around the corner.

After our run today we decided to go (aka, I convinced Daniel to join me) for a walk on the beach. The water felt great!

I want to call it a mini-ice bath, but the water wasn’t really cold enough to justify it being an ice bath. I just really don’t like those things, so that was about as close as I get to an ice bath. Works for me.

Later this afternoon we explored the Baytowne Wharf area (while not running for a change).

I think Olympic gymnastics might be to blame for this, but I have been going on and on to Daniel about how I really want to go to the new indoor trampoline center, The Factory, in Gulf Shores. They have 12,000 square feet and over 50 trampolines. I’ve seen lots of photos of kids (and some adults) playing there and it looks like an absolute BLAST! I was able to get my trampoline fix in (at least temporarily) at Baytowne. I still want to go to The Factory soon though.

When we got over there, I saw that they had a bungee trampoline and that was it. I HAD to do it. I’ve never been on one of those things, but always thought that they looked fun. I loved jumping on the trampoline as a kid, but this was like a trampoline on steroids! I don’t know how high I was flying, but it felt really high. I loved it. I want to do it again. Right now. I might be one of those adrenaline junkie types.

#flipout

After the bungee excursion, my trip was made. Goals met. Life complete.

We walked around and looked in some shops (mainly just to get out of the heat), but it was so stinking hot that we didn’t last too long on the shopping.

We enjoyed our dinner by the pool so much Saturday night that we decided to do that again tonight. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful vacation!

We are headed home in the morning and I am running a 2 MILE RACE tomorrow evening! Woo hoo. We shall see how a post-vacation race goes.

I’d love to hear your feedback on the Garmin recovery data if you have any! What ranges have you seen?