- Scotland: Thoroughly enjoyed the panoramic view of Edinburgh, greeting the Queen's swans, and having a fantastic time with my gal pal, Sarah with Race for Life. Learned that I will need to start working on fartleks if I ever intend on attempting a sprint finish without having my diaphragm chuck my lungs out through my throat.
- Ireland: I could smell the nature and loved the big scale feel for a small town community at the Enniscorthy Strawberry Half-Marathon series. Prior to my leaving Ireland, my host's son asked me when I was coming back. It may not be for a while, but I would certainly love to give that namesake half-marathon a go one day.
- England: I looked forward to attempting my first official trail race, yet simply I ended up without a response to my inquiry. Bummer.
- Wales: Perhaps by the next time I cross the pond to the British Isles, I'll be bold enough to subject myself to a triathalon. Who knows? I could run into Pippa! If not, there's always the Llanelli Waterside 10K!
- Mid-summer Munro: Though it clocked at whopping 99% satisfaction rating by RWUK readers, I am still skeptical about participating in something which has been described as "more painful than childbirth."
I will be schlepping home some new shiny running glossies courtesy of Runner's World UK and Irish Runner. Though the overall gist of these magazines are comparable to what I read in the US, it is nice to have some mementos of my excursion across the Atlantic Ocean. Picking them apart after reading them was quite enjoyable.
[Gear Test Drive]
GPS difficulties in Edinburgh and linking my finicky Polar WearLink+ Heart Rate Monitor aside, I am rapidly falling in love with my Nike+ GPS SportWatch. Prior to my trip, I received compliments from my colleagues, including on IronMan/Triathlete who took one look at it and said to his wife, "I want one, too!" I wanted to save my iPhone's battery in the event of an emergency, and receiving 10% the MSRP thanks to my beloved Westchester Road Runner Shop, I found this a worthwhile investment. Once I manage to log a few more runs and get the HRM linked, I intend on writing a more in-depth review.
I will say that it did surprise me while I was at Blarney Castle. I heard a beep and looked down. "Let's go for a run together, okay?" I feel like I invested in a DigiPet, and I am going to be doing all the work!
July's racing card is heavy, and proper training will be essential for both physical and mental health. With work responisbilities being whittled down to my part-time day work only, I can structure a solid plan so as to prepare for the following:
- July 9th: Boomer's Cystic Fibrosis Run to Breathe 10K (8AM)
- July 16th: Central Park Conservancy's Run for Central Park (4Mi; 9AM)
- July 30th: Queens Half-Marathon (13.1Mi; 7AM)
With the heat and humidity of New York summer, I have the sneaking suspicion I will not be sleeping in this summer! I do look forward to raiding the PepsiCo Farmer's market for healthy goodies to treat myself to throughout the summer training process.
Alas, the one race I was hoping to wiggle into during my trip to Japan has sold out. The time I am traveling to the Far East coincides with a very spiritual time of year, but it is also traditionally one spent with families honoring one's ancestors. Bottom line: racing at "Obon" period is minimal. This means I will need to be motivated to kick myself out the door in the mornings and run solo. In Tottori, this should not prove to be a problem as after five years of living there, I can safely run without hesitation. It's just everywhere else, I will either need to discover a run club or find a running buddy.
Looks like I need to start chasing up the Nike Run Clubs in Japan!