Good Morning and Happy Monday from Punta Cana! The week started in cold, wet Toronto and ended in the warm sun of the Dominican Republic! Running while on vacation can be tricky, especially when you’re not familiar with the area, but I think I did rather well!
[ week 4 / 14 weeks until the Mississauga Marathon ]
Monday – Recovery Day! After a 6 day run week, I was glad to have a day off to rest my legs and restore my glycogen storage!
Tuesday – W04D02 – Steady Run – 12 kilometers/55:42/4:39 pace. I seem to have come down with my second cold in two months, definitely out of character for me. I don’t think it has anything to do with running becasue I work in an office with 1200 people and there is always a handful of people who are sick. I think everyone is just passing it along in our meetings! My cold didnt seem to affect me! Even with a workout shceudled for tomorrow, I took today’s steady run fairly hard. There were a few half marathon paces and even a 10K pace thrown in.
I ended my run at the Lululemon store to pick-up my LuLulemon Strava challenge gear. Strava and Lululemon partnered to offer runners an opportunity to earn badges if they ran 40 or 80 kilometres in two weeks. I ran 131 kilometers (only 113 counted towards the challenge as some of those kilometers were on a treadmill which didn’t count towards the total). On Monday evening, everyone who completed 40 or 80 kilometres also received an email instructing them to pick up lululemon gear for free! I earned a shirt and shorts which retail for over $170CAD after tax! Thank you so much Strava and Lululemon!
After my run I did the BBR #1 strength training circuit.
Wednesday – W04D03 – Workout. Still not feeling 100% and it was raining outside, but at least it was mild outside! Chrstina joined me for this workout and it was another tough one! When you first review the workouts on paper, they don’t seem that difficult, but the short rest between some of the repeats really takes its toll on you!
Workout: 5 x (2:00, 1:00 jog, 1:00, 30s jog, 30s, 30s jog)
The first time around, it feels OK. The second time around you’re starting to feel it in your legs. By the fourth time around, you’re wishing the last jog was 1:30 and by the fifth time around, everything pretty much hurts. It’s workouts like these that make me excited about my upcoming races!
Thursday – W04D04 – Recovery Run – 10 kilometers/53:24/5:20 pace. Today is registration day for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I was guaranteed entry through the work I did with NYRR during the NYC Marathon. I was hopeful a few friends would be joining me and when I heard the race sold out in 27 minutes, I had no expectation I would know anyone running (last year the race sold out in 58 minutes!). I found out shortly after my friend Andrew Chak and his brother Gary made it in and another Toronto runner, Josie Nguyen, made it in as well! Really looking forward to hanging with them in Brooklyn in May!
Today’s run was nice and easy. I remember Coach Colin mentioning if we felt great on Thursday’s run, we didn’t work hard enough on Wednesday! Thankfully my legs felt pretty heavy!
I added in more core work later in the evening.
Friday –W04D05 – Easy Run – 6 kilometers/31:11/5:12 pace. Today is a busy day for the family. We have to run a few errands before heading to the airport for a 1:00pm flight to Punta Cana. Today was supposed to be a workout day, but I didn’t have time to workout, so I switched my run with tomororw’s easy run. This means I will have a workout on Saturday followed by a long run on Sunday. Both runs will be taking place in Punta Cana, so that should be interesting!
Saturday – W04D06 – Workout (4x1600m, 2:00 jog). The road of the resort grounds is just under 2 kilometers. I did a 2 kilometre warm-up, then prepared for my 4 sets of 1600m. These runs are tough enough to perform on a track, but in a resort, trying not to get hit by trollies, golf carts, and peacocks who were all over the road was quite a unique challenge! Thankfully I was able to get it in. My splits were closer to 10K pace, not interval pace, but I still consider that a successful workout considering the circumstances!
Sunday –– W04D07 – Long Run – 25 kilometers/2:20:39/5:38 pace. Before coming to Punta Cana, I googled “Running in Punta Cana” and two things stood out from the results. There are no sidewalks and running on the beach is not easy. I also noticed mapmyrun and other running sites had a few running routes on the beach that passed the resort where we would be staying. I left my room and headed towards the beach. If you’ve never run on the beach before, you have two options: you can run on the wet sand near the shoreline or on the soft sand. The soft sand can destroy your ankles because your footing is not stable. The wet sand is more compact, but you have to worry about the slope as it can put a lot of pressure on your knees as you run. There’s another challenge when it comes to running on the beach and that’s the water. I was moving between the wet and soft sand for a few kilometers before I found myself too close to the water and then, before I knew it, found myself ankle deep in water! For the rest of my run, it felt as if I was running in concrete shoes from the weight of the water!
Aside from the challenges I would face running in wet shoes, I was a little drained from yesterday’s workout. I contemplated cutting the run short, but I kept reminding myself why I’m training and I pushed on. I just started reading, “How Bad Do You Want It” by Matt Fitzgerald and it’s starting to make me think about the mental aspect of running. This was another reason why I kept pushing on.
I’m planning on writing a blog post about running while on vacation, so I’ll spare the details of my experience running the streets of Punta Cana. In the end, I ran 25 kilometers instead of my planned 26 kilometers because the breakfast buffet closed at 10:30am and I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to eat a hearty breakfast.
I ended Sunday with over 35,360 steps and not a single flight of stirs climbed. With hills being introduced in the next week of training, I may need to postpone hill work until I return to Toronto. Training plans needs to be flexible because we all know our lives are very unpredictable!
Total kilometers this week – 75
Hope you have a great week and thanks for reading!