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This is going to be a double whammy. First I was vacationing in Antigua, and then I was off to a Ragnar Trail Relay.
Sunday – Space Coast Half Marathon, 13.1 miles
So I know I have been touting this as my “goal race”, but after my injury, my goal changed significantly. A PR would have been nice, but really, all I wanted was to be consistent and finish strong.
Done and done.
After the race, we showered and changed and headed home. I had a lot to do in a short amount of time, and was ready to get to it.
Monday – rest
I started packing for vacation and getting everything set up for my parents to stay at the house. Just another Monday. I was tired from the race, but felt great, so it was ok.
Tuesday – rest
An early morning work meeting meant rushing out the door before everyone else. I bailed on my scheduled run, but planned to make it up the next day.
Wednesday – 4.51 miles running
Fortunately, I was able to get in one last run with Kate before leaving for vacation. It was nice and easy, and I was glad to stretch my legs. I was planning on packing my running shoes and clothes, but I wasn’t sure how much time I would have to actually work out. It’s always wise to be prepared.
I got my hair done,
and then we enjoyed a nice dinner with my parents, got in our final instructions and spent lots of time cuddling little man. We were going to miss that guy.
Thursday – rest
Our flight was super early in the morning, so we were up and out of the house by 5:00AM. I’m a nervous flier, and I hated the idea of a quick layover in Miami, but we breezed through and were soon on the three-hour flight to Antigua. I was so grateful to arrive and settle in at the Sandals Grande Antigua.
It was a long day of travel, so we decided to have an easy night with some time in the pool and an early dinner. I will write a complete recap and review of the resort and our trip, but for now, I will just cover basics, mostly focused on physical activities.
Friday – snorkeling, hiking
We had booked an eco-adventure for Friday. It was an all day catamaran ride with several different stops for hiking and snorkeling. I was really nervous about getting seasick but for some reason, I was fine all day.
We did a small open water swim from the boat to the Hell’s Gate (I consider this the start of my triathlon training!), and then climbed the jagged stones, through a cave, to pop out on top of this incredibly cool land mass.
There was another hike and a swim at Bird Island, before lunch (served on the boat!).
And then a nice hour of snorkeling at a reef. I haven’t snorkeled in years, so I hung back with the novice group, but looking back, I could have gone ahead with the advanced. Regardless, the guide was kind enough to swim ahead with me and point out some of the cool sights on the reef.
Saturday – 3 miles running, kayaking, 45 minutes
While the resort did have a full (and extensive) gym on property, I prefer running outside. Unfortunately, the property is small, and even with repeating pathways and criss crossing like a maniac, I struggled to get in these meager three miles. Oh, well.
After breakfast, I asked Mr PugRunner to try kayaking with me. The resort offers complimentary, non-motorized watersports off the beach, so we were able to sign out kayaks and go for a spin in the Caribbean.
I really enjoyed it and would be happy to do it again in the waterways at home. Mr PugRunner was on the fence.
Sunday – stand up paddle boarding, 45 minutes
The water was a little more calm on Saturday, so I checked out an SUP. I was a little nervous because life jackets were required and changed my balance, but it was really cool cruising up and down the beach in front of the resort.
Monday – horseback riding
There’s always time to pop out a little yoga, even on vacation. I just loved how the pools looked before anyone started swimming.
Our final excursion of the trip was a horseback riding tour. It included some trails, the beach, and some water. Three guides were responsible for six riders, and we had a beautiful morning. We rode up to one of the historic forts,
and then it was off to sandy Runway Beach. When the tour itself was over, the guides stripped two horses down, so we could take them bareback in the ocean, two at a time. While that was going on, the head guide allowed me to mount up on a different horse and follow him for a canter down the beach. Guys. I haven’t cantered in 20 years, much less in a Western saddle on the sand. It took me a minute to get the hang of it, but when I did? Heaven.
Bareback in the water was fun, too. Mr PugRunner wasn’t a fan, but we had fun anyway.
Tuesday – rest
It was our last day in paradise. We packed up, spent some time at the pool, and then got our sendoff from the resort.
The trip home was long, especially with customs in Miami, but eventually, we pulled into the driveway and were able to collapse in our own bed.
Happy 10 years to us!
Wednesday – rest
Technically, this was a rest day, but I spent the day packing and shopping like a madwoman. I had just over 24 hours to prepare for Ragnar Trail Alafia River, and I was in a panic. I didn’t want to forget anything, but I’ve never actually packed for a camping trip before, so I was going nuts.
Thursday – rest
My ride came at around 12:30. We loaded up the car and Team Turtle Divas was on its way. We had about a three hour journey, and were able to check in at 4:30 in the afternoon. It was really important to us to be able to set up camp before nightfall, and we accomplished that mission beautifully.
We left the site to get pizza, and then returned to sleep.
Friday – Ragnar Trail Alafia River, 6 miles and 4.2 miles, running
Our start time was 9:30 AM, but I was woken up at around 5:30 by rain. I wanted to cry. I hate running in the rain in the best of circumstances, but out in a state park? Ugh!!! However, the relay must go on, so I sucked it right on up.
I had two legs on Friday: one at about 11:30 AM, and one at 9:00 PM. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but I will tell you that this was the hardest thing I have ever done.
Saturday – Ragnar trail Alafia River, 5.5 miles, running
My final leg came on Saturday morning at about 7:00 AM. The night had been freezing and sleep had not come easily. Sadly, it was my least favorite leg and I struggled hard. However, I slogged through and was on hand to help my team pack up and cheer on our last runners.
And just like that, we were Ragnarians.
I’m fairly sure this is the medal of which I am most proud.
What to expect this week? A couple of race reports, a resort review, and possibly some surprises. As you might guess, I am exhausted, and trying very hard to keep from getting sick. All the travel, the drastic weather changes, and intense running have wreaked havoc on my body, and I need a little time to recover.
How was your week in training?
What’s the hardest race/event you’ve ever run?