Thanksgiving in Florida Pt. 2 – Exercising, Man

I’d like to start this with a gripe.

We spent Sunday at the house. Erin put up the Christmas stuff, I worked on photos and laundry. With no food in the house and no intention to leave the only real solution for dinner was to order pizza. I had a nice $10 off coupon waiting on me for our favorite delivery, Marco’s Pizza, so we chowed down on some lovely pizza pie. My intention was to drop 20 lbs before my half marathon at the first of April. That’s still possible but I’m not doing anything to help myself out. So instead of that goal, I’ve decided 5 lbs by Christmas would suffice. After I polished off the last of the pizza I declared that the pizza we just finished would be the last pizza until after Christmas.

That’s a pretty big deal because we are all about our pizza. It also doesn’t mean I think pizza is necessarily bad for you, within reason, I just have a problem with that “within reason” part. Leftover pizza is just not allowed. It’s easier for me to abstain than to exercise moderation when it comes to pizza so that’s what I intend to do.

Just now I saw a sponsored post on Instagram from Domino’s advertising their current special: 50% off everything ordered online.

Seriously? How are you going to do that to me, Domino’s?


But I digress. On to the meat (lean, obviously) of this post: exercising on vacation.

One of the main reasons I wanted to go to the beach in November was that I wanted to try running on the beach. I hate being hot, therefore I almost always hate the beach, but if I go late in the year it will be cooler, right? Totally. I’d done lots of research on the topic of beach running and found an almost 50/50 split between people saying you should run with bare feet and others saying you need to wear shoes. I wanted to run barefooted BADLY so on Monday that’s what I set out to do.

When I got to the beach on Monday morning it was actually pretty cold. Around 55 degrees, which really isn’t that cold for a guy from east Tennessee but it was definitely cool – and a lot colder considering the beach breeze. On top of that, the sand felt like ice. I’d never experienced this before. I stood on the beach at 7:30am with no shoes, short running shorts, and a tank top, ready to run. I already looked ridiculous since the population of Largo is mostly residents who were walking the beach in sweats and hoodies. I took a few deep breaths and started my Runtastic app. We were running. On the beach.

And that lasted for less than a quarter of a mile. My feet – especially that little bitch Plantar Fasciitis – told me barefoot running on the beach just wasn’t happening. It hurt. SO bad.

I didn’t think to bring my shoes (I wore sandals) because I had already decided it was going to be glorious; I was going to run barefooted on the beach, the sun would come up over the horizon and all the beautiful (and fit) women on the beach would break their necks following me as I ran down the shore. I would finish my run and reach down to scratch my stomach to find that I had magically developed a six pack.

Instead I admitted defeat and walked up to the dry sand in a patch that actually had a little sunlight. Not wanting to use this as an excuse to miss a workout, however, I did a few minutes of high knees, butt kickers, and faux-rope jumping, followed by a few short rounds of shadowboxing using my Boxing app made by Nate Bower (I have the free version and don’t necessarily recommend it. It’s a little buggy and is very limited – I may buy one of the cheap versions to see if it improves). I worked up a nice sweat in a brief 30 minutes and looked pretty dope doing so, if I may say so, myself.


I finished off when I got back to the condo with a quick session using another new app – Runtastic’s “Six Pack” – an app that leads you through a quick ab workout session. I’m actually pretty happy with it thus far, even though I (obviously) get a better core workout at Title Boxing Club.

I wore my running shoes to the beach the next day and was able to get a nice 3 mile run in. It was actually great to run in a new location – on the beach, no less – with all the people to see, the beautiful ocean to see, and the lovely sounds that surround you when you’re near the crashing waves. As beautiful as it was, I was actually quite surprised to see how hard beach running actually is! My pace slowed down considerably and I felt my heels and calves start giving out on me and quickly. I ended up doing intervals for this run and the remaining runs of the week because of this. I ended the workout with another session with Runtastic’s “Six Pack” app.

Thursday marked the one year anniversary of my very first 5k – my first fitness goal that I set and achieved. I was a little disappointed that I wouldn’t be in Knoxville for the big day so I could run the Hot to Trot again but I still ran a 5k remotely from the beaches of Indian Rocks! Again, my legs grew very tired rather quickly and my pace was extremely slow but I still knocked it out and felt great about it afterward. Once again, I finished off with one more session with “Six Pack”.

I slept in on Friday and didn’t run but I decided I wasn’t going to go home having only had two successful beach runs so before we hit the road on Saturday I hit the sand again for a very short 2 mile run. Not surprisingly, it was also slower than normal and my legs were worn completely out when I was finished.

So I got in a little more than 8 miles on the beach, which I’m happy with. I also didn’t neglect my core, which is also very important to me. It was nice to be able to work out a bit at the beach, however, I thought it would make working out at home not such a big deal when I got back but my first day back at Title on Monday morning was a killer – I felt like I hadn’t exercised in two months. Weird how that works.

As for last week:

This Week’s Mileage: 8.57 Miles (13.71 km)
This Week’s Avg. Pace 12:34/mile (7:48/km)

And, as usual, my YTD looks like this:

2015 Running
Time Period Total Distance
Runtastic Runs (1/1-4/15) 56.51 Miles
5k-to-10k (4/15-6/21) 87.52 Miles
Runtastic Runs (6/23-Present) 161.64 Miles
Total Yearly Miles: 305.67

Miles Left Until 2015 Goal (350 Miles): 44.33

This week will include the first annual (as far as I know) Running Blogger 10k – brace yourself for action (and a obligatory sweaty selfie!).

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