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Starting 2017 in Paradise

Happy New Year!  (Is it still okay to say that in the last few days of January?)  Hopefully the inundation of “New year, new me!” posts that always flood the blogosphere at this time of year have subsided and I can settle back into yacking about all things running-related.  But to re-cap 2016 in a nutshell – – – -> I didn’t run or race very much, I did a bit of CrossFit, I got married.

Starting the year as a married couple has honestly been pretty much exactly the same as before we were married, with the exception that I keep signing my name wrong and we have a lot less money than we did this time last year.  We now also get to do cool things like fist-bump our wedding rings together and yell ‘Team Pearson!’…….

I still have big CrossFit goals (that’s for another post) but I’m determined to increase my running and racing miles this year.  To help me with this, millet sports kindly provided me with a pair of Brooks Ghost 9s to take with me on honeymoon (I am much more romantic than that last sentence gives me credit for).

On our first morning waking up in Paradise (aka the Dominican Republic) we couldn’t resist heading to the beach to watch the sunrise.  It was breathtaking.  That could have been down to the 98% humidity but I’m convinced it was more because of this view –

Whilst the beach was pretty much deserted (and before it got too hot!) I took the opportunity to test out my footwear in the sand.  Running in sand is horrible in any shoe (soooo tough!) but the combination of my new kicks and the stunning location made it a pleasure.  The Ghost 9s have an engineered mesh which really does help breathability but still kept the sand out.  Top marks, Brooks!

We spent most of our days relaxing on the beach or lounging by the pool; drinking cocktails and eating.  We did get off our backsides every now and again to have a go at the pool games but it certainly wasn’t anywhere near the level of exercise we’d normally do at home – and we were very happy to enjoy the rest!

Sunrise run!

Sorry – had to be done!

Not too long after this I was pushed over by the tide!

Anyone for ‘surf yoga’?! Made much more interesting after a few Mama Juanas….

We were celebrating Boxing day by the pool, enjoying some nice wine with lunch and following it up with a few cocktails when one of the members of the events team broke the peace by yelling, “Christmas marathon!! Christmas marathon! I need all of you to meet back here in an hour with your trainers, just sign here!”

Now you’re talking!  I knew it obviously wasn’t going to be a full marathon so before he could finish his banana mama I’d already signed myself and my new husband up (sorry, love – no backsies!)

So at three o’clock we rolled up to the meeting point, slightly drunk and very hot.  They’d pretty much signed up every holiday maker they could, luring them in with a free t-shirt ( I am a sucker for a t-shirt!).  We gathered at the start line with still absolutely no idea how far this ‘marathon’ was supposed to be.  I decided to ask someone official looking with a clipboard and he just pointed two fingers at me and said excitedly, “it’s two laps, lady!”

“Ah right.  Two laps of what?”

“Two laps of over there! Bye now, run, run!”

Ooookayyyy then.  Nevertheless, the bewildered holiday makers seemed excited about the two laps of somewhere vague in the 30 degree heat and we buoyed over the start line in good spirits.  Mostly alcoholic ones.

Approximately thirty seconds in, people started to fade.  Let’s be fair – it’s Boxing day, it’s bloody roasting and not many of these people look like experienced runners.  I genuinely did start right at the back (I have GoPro evidence!) but I’ll be honest – it only took a few minutes before I was itching to push on.  And so I did.  Despite the conditions I did actually really enjoy it.  I was only doing about 7:30 minute miles because:

a) I didn’t want to be a dick

b) It was actually quite hard to do 7:30 minute miles!

Most of the tourists watching thought we were idiots and at the time I completely agreed with them.  It didn’t make me slow down though!  One lap to go and I heard a moped fast approaching behind me.  I instinctively moved over to the side, assuming it wanted to go past.  When it didn’t overtake, I glanced behind to see two events co-ordinators flashing their lights, bipping their horns and waving at everyone to them that I was the ‘weener’.  They kept yelling, “This is the weener coming through, lady weener over here! The weener, the weener!”

Good Lord.  What the hell is going on and what on earth am I doing?  This isn’t exactly how I envisaged my honeymoon!

The finish line soon appeared – which was unhelpfully in the same place as the water station – and I promptly aqua planed through the tape! (If you happen to buy a pair of the Brooks Ghost 9s, don’t run fast over wet marble in them.  You will fall down.)

I gulped down as much water as possible and cheered everyone home – including my new husband (who did brilliantly well!) but was muttering something about divorce proceedings as he stumbled through the finish.

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So there you have it – go on a relaxing honeymoon, come back a ‘marathon weener’!  If nothing else it’s a good story for the grandkids one day ;-).

But now I’m home and surprisingly I’m not doing too bad at getting back on the running wagon.  There’s no breathtaking Dominican sunrise on my morning run (more like breathtaking freezing fog), and anyone approaching me on a moped shouting and waving at me on my evening runs is certainly no events co-ordinator (more like a scally trying to nick my garmin)….but it’s home, and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

Disclosure:  Millet Sports kindly gifted me the trainers in return for this blog post.  They sadly did not gift me our honeymoon.  Sigh.