Thursday, June 30, 2011

[52] UK Destination Evaluation

My vacation is winding down, and shortly, it will be time to return to reality (and training). I had a lovely time in the lands of fish and chips, but I have been a bit lax about eating properly. No sooner do I arrive home, I will need to hit the ground running-- starting with moving into my new apartment.

  • 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.
[Missed Opportunties]
  • 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 fully intended on investining in some pieces of British runwear, but backed out when I saw the price tags. Even items on sale were more expensive that US retail, so I elected to invest in the next best thing: sweets and whiskey.

[Magazine Reviews]
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!

[Looking Forward]
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:
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!

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