Last week simply confirmed for me that I am a warm weather runner. Not that I don’t enjoy running in the cold; there is something very enjoyable about an easy winter’s run on a still, crisp, 25-degree day. However, there is nothing like running out the door into a sunny 80-degree breeze with nothing but a pair of tri-shorts on my ass. Yes, that’s what I got to do all last week while visiting the Bahamas with my family and friends.
I enjoyed multiple runs on the 7-mile long island known as Elbow Cay (pronounce as “key”). It is here that my family has visited for the past 6 years for a week in March. The weather can be somewhat fickle this time of year bringing anything from sun and warmth to gale force winds, rain, and cool temps in the 60’s. We got a taste of everything, but for the most part we had sun and moderate breezes.
My runs took me the length of the island. Our rented house was somewhere in the middle where I’d leave “aid station” supplies for me to hit after the first part of my runs. The terrain on the first 3 miles was mostly on dirt road which drifted by quaint oceanfront Bahamian homes, docks, and lush flowery vegetation. The later 10 miles were mostly on asphalt, except for mile 5 which is on the sand beach at the southern tip of Elbow Cay. I’d run with my iPod at times, and always with a water bottle. One of the luxuries of being away with no agenda was I had time to really stretch my legs and body before and after each run. This, I believe, helped me not to feel any soreness AT ALL in my body after 5 straight days of running 50 miles total.
Times with our friends and my family were so much fun. We snorkeled the first two full days we were there. I have sunburn on the lower backs of my legs, just below where my wetsuit stopped. My girls call me a geek with my sock-like sunburn. We each took a night to cook dinner, with the kids making dinner on our third night. It was awesome and here’s the photo to prove it:
The reefs are in great condition now with lots of new coral growth and many fish. Hurricanes from 7 years ago did a great deal of damage to the reefs that protect and make-up this region. It has taken this many years to see the replenishment of growth. Shell collecting is one of our favorite pastimes; it’s like treasure hunting.
It was good to spend time with everyone and still have time to stretch, do my T’ai Chi practices, and run. I even discovered songs on my iPod that I didn’t even know I liked.
This is my favorite new "form" taught to me by Dell, my T'ai Chi Teacher. The movement is called "Cloud Hands" and it gives an awesome feeling of energy and strength. On fair-weather mornings I would go to the Church patio which fronts on the ocean and do my practice with the rising sun warming my body.
In swimming news, our Talbot County YMCA Swimmers, the Mantarays have won our state championship. So, as we venture to another meet this Saturday, we will have honors bestowed upon us by the powers at be. I hope to swim my first individual Butterfly event, as well as a 200 freestyle and another 100 yard Breaststroke. Then we have April to look forward to.
Love, swim, ride, and run ~ M