Monday, July 16, 2007

Not Quite a Beach Bum

Yesterday I returned from a week-long vacation at the beach on Cape Cod. I was there with my mother and sister for seven days of sun and sand.

It wasn't all lazing and relaxation, however. Before I left I concocted several running routes via Map My Run so I could maintain my half marathon training schedule while I was on vacation. It was very important to me to stick with the schedule and so bright and early Sunday morning (the day after we arrived) I arose at 7:30 am and hit the road. I was scheduled to run 3 miles and I had created a route that was 3.17 miles (close enough for government work, as my graduate school adviser used to say). Running somewhere other than the gym or the roads around Chelsea was very inspiring. There was something about new pavement that quickened my step and kept me more alert than usual, not a mean feat considering I forgot my iPod on the run. The road paralleled the beach or swung gently inland to wind among the cottages and hydrangeas. I got lost in the road and missed the turn than would have taken me north to where I would have turned back westward to return to the beach house. I realized that I was on course to run 4 miles and this was not in the day's plan. Well, I thought, so what? I knew I had enough energy and stamina to complete 4 miles if I had to. After months of running I better have enough conditioning to go 4 miles if need be. As it turned out after I found my way onto the road home I took a shortcut to reduce my mileage back to 3-ish miles.

The next day I ran 2.25, and the day after that I did 3.17 miles, this time following the route I had mapped out. Wednesday and Thursday were rest days, during which I instead went walking with my mother. Friday was our last day at the beach and I ran 4 miles. I bumped up the training schedule by a couple of days to get in my long run before Saturday, which we spent packing and cleaning. There was no time for a 4-mile run that morning.

So, for four of the seven days I was on vacation I ran in the morning. I also ate my customary yogurt+fruit breakfast six of the seven mornings, and had spinach salad for most lunches as well. For dinner I cooked four days out of seven using Weight Watchers recipes I had photocopied and brought along. I was determined to make this the anti-vacation in terms of food consumption. I didn't want to slack, to fall off the wagon...completely.

OK, yeah, we had fried seafood takeout for lunch twice, and I had fried scallops and a lobster roll and they were SO AWESOME. I mean, when I first heard I was going to Cape Cod, the first two things I thought were:

1. Fried seafood (shrimp, clams, scallops, etc)!

2. Lobster!

I got both. They freaking ruled! Mmmm...fried scallops...lobstah...

But come on! I was good. I was really good. I ran, I ate decently, I didn't mindlessly snack on whatever junk food all hours of the day. I did visit the Cape Cod Potato Chip factory and saw my favorite chips being produced right in front of me (manufacturing plants are so cool). I got free samples!

It wasn't a fat-drenched, grease-soaked, sugar-sprinkled week. I will find out tomorrow at my Weight Watchers weigh-in if my restraint and hard work paid off. If I gain, I hope it's not much. If I lose, even -0.2 lbs will be something to celebrate. Not many people go on vacation and lose weight.

Today it was back to the grind, and it was also a step up in my half marathon training. I've moved into phase II and have increased my daily mileage. This morning I ran 3.5 miles. This weekend my long run will be 5 miles. Only 14 weeks until the race!


Megan said...

perhaps i missed it, but, do you have a training schedule you're following? Just curious.

Sarah said...

Yeah, I'm using Hal Higdon's Novice Half Marathon schedule.