It’s that time of year I look forward to most, going away on holiday and a break from the normal routine, well almost. I’m pretty rubbish at taking holidays, it has to be said, as the last time I had a break was this time last year. The thing is, I love what I do so I don’t really see it as ‘work’ so I am more likely to come home at the end of each day feeling inspired by the progress my clients have been making as much as grumble about any specific thing. Being on the go for long periods of the day does take its toll and so when I take a holiday, I’m usually needing it!
Holidays for me aren’t always about lying on a sun lounger all day as I’m usually unable to sit still long enough and so last year, I brought my TRX with me and enjoyed a few early morning workouts at the park. This year has been harder for many reasons and so I didn’t bother bringing it and have been pretty good so far at switching off and resting my body. Most of the time anyway! Holidays for me, usually mean doing 2 or 3 5k races while we’re here and it’s close to the point that we time our trip so we can fit the races in! It’s more of a family thing when doing the races as my wife’s family usually take part and so we do too. The 5k distance is funny as I would never usually consider it at home but its the perfect distance in Florida due to the humidity and so all the runs usually start between 7 and 8am.
Being the gluttons for punishment that we are, we signed up for the Watermelon 5K on the 4th July, a full 12 hours after arriving. This race is one of my favourites as it’s very well organised, there’s a great atmosphere due to the fact it’s on a holiday and also because you get watermelon after the finish line. We did this race for the first time last year and I discovered how good watermelon is at rehydrating after a run and so arranged to have them at the Perth 10k race. Whether it was the excitement, lack of sleep or still in a daze from the flight, I ran the first mile pretty quick in 6:25 but started to slow down and finished in 20:56, which is still pretty good and very pleasing. We discovered later that the humidity was 94% which is a good reason for slowing down between miles 2 and 3!
Next up 3 days later was Run Thru Hell in Tampa, so called for the traditional swamp-like mud bath on the route. We first ran this in 2010 on our honeymoon and as I’d won an age-category prize that year and also last year, it was time to go for the hat-trick. The grass in the park was rather damp with pools of water all over the place and was starting to look forward to what the route would bring us. Sadly, the organisers decided it was TOO swampy and so the whole race was on paths. As this is a family event, the organisers went for safety than have a mud race. Running on the paths wasn’t that much easier with the humidity still very high and the tree-lined loop inside the park was particularly sticky. I ran a bit slower this time, felt better and finished in 21:27 which still earned me 2nd place in my age category and 20th overall. This race also offered excellent value as we got a tech t-shirt and being one of the first 100 to sign-up, I also got a free pair of sunglasses! The BBQ at the end was pretty good with the watermelon and ice poles probably more essential to the runners than the burger but I am on my holidays!
The day was made even better by a quick trip home to watch Andy Murray followed by a nice chilled beer lying in the sun. Perfect 🙂