Sunday, April 1, 2012

Resort Savvy...

Paradise Island! Bahamas

It is very unusual for us to take a vacation that isn’t centered around a training trip or a race, especially so close to the race season during spring break. I love training trips and trips to races and for me, they are a type of vacation, but there is usually an agenda and a schedule and constant movement from one workout to the next, with little down time. This year we took our kids to Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. It is unprecedented for us to escape like this especially at the end of March. A vacation like this isn’t typical, and at times I wondered what the 4 of us would do for 5 days on an island without going crazy. I was, however, looking forward to some down time to relax without a real agenda.

My Brain, just before vacation started...from lots of work

I tried to fit in a lot of training prior to the trip so the pressure would be low, my plan was to run and swim. Luckily the resort had a nice outdoor lap pool specifically for lap swimming. I swam most every day and loved seeing this out my goggles when I did some recovery back stroke:

We arrived to the resort around 3 in the afternoon. After traveling since 3:30 in the morning Chicago time and after a little exploring at the beach and pools it was time to hit our first dinner on our meal plan which included breakfast and dinner buffets. The food was fabulous and rows of it went on and on. From the looks of the people and their plates, the buffet tables were as much as a part of the vacation as the water slides casino and beach. They had no problem going back for seconds, thirds of main entrees, sides, and deserts and then not being afraid to squeeze into swimsuits, or bikinis the next day. I was amazed at what people could put on their plates, and as well as what they could drink poolside in the way of island beverages.

It was also apparent that I was clueless in the art of finding the right poolside spot and chair. Finding a spot strategically located near the bathrooms, concessions stand, and spot where you could keep an eye on the kids is an art form. It is evident you have to get out there early and scope your spot and put your towel down to save it. My lack of experience left us way back in the corner 1 chair on the first day.

I also lacked gym savvy on this trip. I am not much of a gym rat, and don’t even own a gym membership anymore. We have a TM, trainers in the basement and I workout with a personal trainer in his own gym. I buy a swim pass, but try to workout outside as much as possible. The fitness center at the resort was very nice, new and clean. The island is small and congested with not a lot of open road to run, so I ran every day on the TM, trying to do some hard tready sets to get quality work done in a short amount of time. Sharing the equipment running so close to someone on a TM next to me when they smelled, or breathe to heavy is a distraction I had to get used to again. Trying to share weights and gym equipment with the muscle heads to fit in a strength session was a challenge. I did get some great runs in however along with some heat training for St. Croix. The gym didn’t have fans and didn’t seem to be air conditioned well so every run I was completely soaked and drenched. One day in particular I must have looked in sorry shape doing some hard intervals because the fitness center attendant handed me a cold wet towel roll that had been soaked in some kind of mineral salt. It was amazing. It was cold and smelled so good. I need that guy to pass those out on the St. Croix run course! I was like a new person!

We managed to survive the buffet lines, pool lines and beach. No major catastrophe, child meltdown or lost child for that matter. We went through ¾ a bottle of SPF 50 and most of an SPF 30 while we were there swimming, parasailing, body surfing, hair braiding, and jet skiing.

We came home tan, relaxed and full!I managed to get in some solid running and swimming and came home in time to squeeze in super hard brick to work off some of the buffet trips.

So now it’s back to work, literally. I have 2 more weeks at my long time position as a physical therapist at Cosport, and then I am on to a new adventure in physical therapy. More on that to come. And…back to big training, it was fun and motivating to see so many friends and athletes starting their season off with a bang!
Rock On!

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