Sunday, April 6, 2014

Training (or Not) While on Vacation

Please forgive my delay with my week 3 recap. I was on vacation, and have only now caught up with everything. Now where was I?

Lovely, charming San Juan, PR! One of my dear friends got married, and they decided to have a destination wedding. So I decided to make an extended vacation out of it. Did I enjoy myself? Yes. Did I cheat on my diet? Yes. Did my stomach hate me by the end of the trip? OH yes! Just a few things I learned about training on vacation:

-Recharge your batteries. That is why you went on holiday in the first place, right?

-Shorten your runs and use the extra time for other activities. And no, I'm not referring to eating and boozing (though my stomach and liver got quite the workout). I went hiking and ziplining through a rainforest, and also tried paddle boarding (which was all fun and games until a swift wind knocked me into the salty lagoon). 

It'll take about 12 days of inactivity for your VO2 max to decrease by about 7% (thank you, NCSF CPT class for that lesson), so a couple days of shortened runs will barely affect your fitness levels. But if you're really worried...

-Vary your workouts. Near a beach? Run barefoot in the sand? Near a mountain? Do some hill repeats. (Note: I didn't try any of these while I was there. But it sounds like a great idea, right?)

-Use running as an excuse to explore. I let my running take me to Old San Juan, as I wanted to see that while I was there. (Had I gone in a different direction, I would've seen Isla Verde. But oh well.) And on my route to Old San Juan, I discovered the paddle boarding place.

-Beat the heat, if at all possible. I stupidly tried doing a 7 miler in 80-degree tropical heat that I wasn't used to. And it turned into a 2x3.5 miler with a 10 min walking break.

-Compression socks on long flights are awesome. Going there, my flights were 1.5, 4, and 5 hrs. I put them on before my 4 hr flight, and took them off before my 5 hr flight touched down. Coming home, I put them on before we took off from San Juan, and took them off before we landed in Portland. I think that helped keep my legs feeling fresher. 

And now, onto the workout recaps:

Planned: rest or xt
Actual: rest

Planned: GA + speed 8 mi with 10x100 m strides
Actual: GA 8.15 mi + 10 x 1 block strides

I didn't look at my watch once during this. The reason for that was because it was dark out for 6 of these 8 miles, and so I couldn't see it without turning on the light (and why bother doing that)? Anyway, 51ยบ degrees at the start -- shorts! Who cares if it were raining? It was peaceful, and I didn't have to stop my Garmin once. Huzzah! Finished this off with 10x(1 block) strides. 

Splits: 7:44, 8:06, 7:41, 7:26, 7:22, 7:31, 7:17, 7:11, 6:53 (for 0.15)

Planned: Recovery 4 mi
Actual: An obscenely long walk across SFO with 35+ lbs of luggage to make my connection

Okay, so maybe I should've used "having to get on a plane that evening" as an excuse to do this workout. But instead, I used it as an excuse to do last minute packing for my trip and go into work early.

My flight arrived in the international terminal of SFO, and my connection was departing from T2. The two are on opposite ends of the airport. I had to leave security, walk about 20 minutes, exit the airport altogether, re-enter the airport, and go through security again. Thank God my layover was 3 hours.

Planned: MLR 11 mi
Actual: Jet lag shakeout 4.09 mi

After 19 hours of being in transit (train, planes, and cab), I just wanted a good shakeout run. And a chance to explore PR. I must've been antsy because this was faster than it should've been (given the intense heat and how long I was cooped up). Everything was fine until mile 3.5, when I rolled my left ankle on the sidewalk. Feels better now (though not 100%), so hopefully, it was minor. Stay tuned. 

Splits: 7:28, 7:29, 7:22, 7:17, 7:06 (for 0.09)

Planned: Rest or xt
Actual: 3.15 mi, walk for 10 min, 3.58 mi

This was a run of minor annoyances. First, my foot. Then that gave way to my stomach (I think the crab mofongo and the couple drinks wanted to make an encore). Then the heat got to me. Removing my shirt didn't help either. So I stopped my watch at a charming little lighthouse for a photo op, and then walked up to this old fort (walk not included here). 

Splits: 8:10, 8:21, 8:41, 9:05 (for 0.15 mi)

So I had two options. I could've walked back, or I could've run back. I was a bit pressed for time, so I ran. This was a bit better than going there (thank God for downhills) but still tough. It was so windy. (Actually, it's been so windy here that I think San Juan should take the title of "The Windy City" from Chicago. 

Splits: 8:33, 8:17, 7:56, 7:46 (for 0.58)

Planned: Recovery 4 mi
Actual: Rest

I decided to enjoy a day of my vacation without worrying about running. That and I was kind of hungover from Friday night (rehearsal dinner with open bar will do that to you). So I got coffee and lounged by the pool until it was time to go to the wedding (and subsequently, another open bar).

Planned: MLR 16 mi
Actual: Lengthy walk through Old San Juan

I'm not sure if that counts as extensive activity, so I'm going to go with yes. Even though it certainly doesn't offset the two nights of open bars, plus the hangover brunch, plus the lunch at the place that Googling "sketchy Puerto Rican food joint San Juan" turned up.

Planned total: 43 mi
Actual total: 18.97 mi

Did you wonder what happened to me because I didn't post a recap last week?


  1. Love it.... and loved hearing all about your adventures in PR (and especially the pictures!). I wasn't worried, perhaps just slightly jellz, about your adventure :) but if nothing else, it's kinda nice to have that right in the throes of training, right? and especially early on? Anyway. LOVE. IT. and yeaaaaaaaaaa NEWPORT!

    1. Hahaha, I figured you weren't worried, as I posted to Instagram about 5x a day. But to have that in the endurance mesocycle was nearly perfect timing. (If a vacation's going to fall anywhere in the training cycle, it might as well be early on, right?). And 7 weeks to Newport!