Tuesday, November 30, 2010
We (my family) were away last week celebrating Thanksgiving and my wife's 40th birthday on Turks and Caicos. Yes, it was tough leaving the tradition of thanksgiving at my in laws in always grey and cold Pennsylvania, but we managed.
The first couple of days there, I awoke and ran the roads of the island, which are mainly inland and are less than scenic. The majority of the Caribbean is quite poor, and running through these sections make you significantly question your safety. But even more than that, I found myself just overly focused on getting in my run and getting it done rather than enjoying the process. I put a lot of time and effort into my recreation, like most triathletes, and I strive to enjoy the process, because otherwise, what's the sense? I mean seriously, if you aren't making a living at your recreation and you aren't enjoying the process, then you really need to, in my opinion, re-evaluate what you are doing.
We were staying on a long stretch of beach that was pitched a bit, and loose sand, yet it was gorgeous. So on day three, I woke up, put on a pair of running shorts, left my shoes in my room, and hit the beach. There's something so simple and liberating about running in general, and to head out with just a pair of shorts takes it to another level. I ran along the coast line for four miles, then turned, splashing through the rolling tide on my eight miles. It was challenging - in fact, I was sore in my lower legs the next day which hasn't occurred with me in a long time. I developed a nice blister on my right big toe from pushing off. And yet, I enjoyed this run so much that I never even thought about the slower pace, lack of push off, or blisters. It's a lot more enjoyable training with a smile on your face.
I also swam a lot in the open water. Lisa and I have been fortunate enough to visit quite a few islands and Turks and Caicos had the best water and beaches we've ever witnessed. In fact, on one snorkeling excursion aboard a catamaran, we stopped about 100 meters off shore from a small island that's part of the T&C chain and swam into shore. This little island (pictured above) had the best beach that I've ever experienced, with sand that looked and felt like sifted flour, and water that was so green and clear that describing it doesn't do it justice. The captain of the catamaran brought his son (Steven) along - an extremely nice college aged kid who also happened to be blind. I couldn't help but think of the irony of this kid growing up blind in one of the most visually beautiful places. The next few days running along the beach, snorkeling in the beautiful ocean, and looking at my kids faces, I felt so appreciative.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! And switch up your routine a bit now in the "off season" and make things fun and interesting! I've been doing more strength and TRX training, jumping rope, hitting the heavy bag, and riding the mountain bike. All fun, productive, and a nice diversion from the typical S,B,R.