This afternoon we are heading up the coast for a weekend away in Caloundra, about 45 minutes north of where we live.
Due to my Ruthless Cutting of The List, I have no magazines with which to regale myself. Magazine shopping got cut from The List almost immediately on Monday, although I have insisted to Shane that if at all possible we should take a stroll tomorrow morning to find a Newsagents.
I do, however, have Plans.
Whenever I take a leave of absence from my usual routines, it becomes difficult to maintain an exercise regime. But there are steps to take to try and give yourself the best chance of success. Firstly, I try to always get on Google and suss out what I can expect at the accommodation – in this case, a ‘recreational pool’ and a tennis court. Translation: sweet F-A for a wannabe triathlete.
When there are no facilities and no equipment at the hotel, I go ‘back to basics’. I sometimes do body weight exercises in the room, or go for a walk. I have in the past managed to find a local gym and buy a day pass – this was really in my heyday of pumping iron. As a dedicated Triathlete in Training, it was clear to me that this weekend I needed to develop a running course for Saturday and Monday morning.
I got onto Google maps and saw that the obvious thing would be to run out along the foreshore and then turn around to run back to the hotel. Running sorted – and it should be a nice run I think. In previous holidays where I’ve tried to plan a walk (before I learned to run pain-free) I struggled when I didn’t know the areas to avoid or paths that might be very busy (especially in inner-city areas) so it can get tricky- I got lucky with this one. You can’t know everything – and if (when?) your run turns into a walk down the street and back, don’t beat yourself up.
So I plan to run Saturday and Monday, but I can’t run three days in a row – which means I may also attempt an open water swim/OWS/ocean swim on Sunday if I can get a spotter. I got back in the pool for the first time after breaking my finger this morning and of course, did really well – because last time was terrible and so the Triathlon Gods rewarded me for ‘jumping back on the horse’ with a small success. Or maybe it was karma. Or I was focused on my finger, didn’t expect much of myself and didn’t overthink my swimming, so let it happen naturally.
Whatever the reason, next time is guaranteed to be terrible again, hence the need for a spotter if I attempt an OWS.
Side note: To swim this morning, I took my splint off and left it at home because I am not allowed to get it wet. Technically, I am probably also not allowed to take it off, but I drove straight to the pool, got in and swam, drove straight home and put the splint back on. No damage done. It was a little painful to swim, and for each 50 metre length I only swam about 46 metres because I was pulling up and turning myself around well before the edge. I hope I wont be terrified of the wall forever. But I did 30 lengths – that’s 1.5km my friends. Well, maybe 1.45km if you subtract the metres at each end that I didn’t swim. But I was pleased and my ego will be as swollen as my broken finger for the rest of the day.
So anyway I have dutifully packed my running gear and swimming stuff and I guess it will be interesting to see whether any of the items make it out of the suitcase once I’ve pigged out on food and beer tonight. Of course, ‘not pigging out’ is another key to success but the one I am most likely to overcome, so I tend to ignore it. I guess if you are a person who knows they can’t exercise the day after a few beers, you might make more effort than I do to avoid pigging out.
The next key is in-room preparation. If you are traveling alone, or if your companion can be persuaded to do a workout with you, then you can make ‘fitness regime’ part of your holiday activities, so in-room preparation is a short conversation along the lines of ‘shall we do a run before breakfast tomorrow? Ok good!’
On the other hand if, like me, your partner cannot comprehend doing exercise on holiday, then you have to employ different preparation tactics. In this scenario, you really need to get your exercise done while your co-travelers are engaged in an activity you don’t want to be part of, or which you are willing to sacrifice. In my case, this weekend the sacrificial activity is ‘morning lay-ins’.
So, the plan is to set my alarm to wake up before Shane. I will have to set out all the necessary clothes and gear in the bathroom the night before, because one thing you do not want to do when waking up early is wake up everyone else and have your run sabotaged by people making breakfast plans that you simply can’t refuse. So I will creep into the bathroom, get dressed, clean my teeth and sneak out of the room as quietly as possible.
Tip: the final key to success is not to forget your room key, so that you can get back in. Normally you are given two, so you can still leave your friend with a key for if they decide that they need to go somewhere. It can sometimes be a problem to run with key in hand, but I have found you can easily leave the key at reception if you explain what is going on, or these days you mostly just get a plastic swipe card which is easy enough to slip in a pocket or waist band. Just don’t lose it like I once did (and it wasn’t until I got back to the hotel that I realised I’d dropped it and suddenly felt sure I had been stalked the whole way around my walk – this was back before I could run)
So I am all set – although anything could happen, and it’s a little mini holiday so the best things happen when you go with the flow. I have tried to set myself up for successful training sessions but I haven’t set any exact goals as to how far I will run or swim this weekend. And I know that if I don’t end up doing as much as I should (or any at all, let’s be real) then I will have plenty of energy to make up for it next week, when I will run like a cheetah and swim like a mermaid.
I’ve done what I can: I’ll let you know how I get on.