Sunday, March 6, 2016

When in Florida

Staying fit #vacay-schmacay

What a crazy, busy, action-packed week! 

Our son's swim team was competing at the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletics Association) Nationals in Fort Pierce, FL, and he had qualified in four individual events what's a parent to do? Take a mini vacay and go south! 

We flew out of Iowa early Tuesday morning and landed in Melbourne, FL just after lunch (after a few hours on layover in Atlanta). And I wasted no time in hitting the sand.

Ah.....the beach beckons!
Another ocean to enjoy
Within the first 20 minutes at our hotel, I found the stairway. Our room was on the 9th floor, and the elevator was slow-moving. We took the stairs down (after dropping off our stuff in the room), and when it came time to return to the room, the game started.... Race the 'Vator.
Yes, even in my sparkly sandals, I beat the elevator!
I challenged the husband to see who would make it to the 9th floor first. Spoiler Alert---most times I'd make it just as the husband was walking by the doorway to the stairs, en route to our room. I did beat him a few times, but for the most part I'd call it even. 

Wednesday morning was the opening session of the prelims for the swim meet, and our son swam the 1,000 Free. He didn't make the cut to the finals, but set a new PR by 15 seconds. We headed back and I ran a couple miles on the beach (which felt like it was double the distance because the sand had so much "give" to it, even on the wet sand near the water). I would say beach running is very comparable to snow running, except for the warm breeze on my face and the tranquil sounds of the ocean. I also did some yoga on the beach and ran a few sets of the stairs.
One does not comb the beach without claiming a shell (or several) to take home
After a challenging run on the beach....

Thursday morning, our son swam the 200 Free. Again, he didn't make it to the finals, but another substantial PR.
That afternoon, we walked for over an hour on the beach. I'm not sure of the actual distance, but I would guess 3-3.5 miles (though it felt like much farther). Beach waking is no joke! And, we found several more interesting shells.

This shell is almost bigger than my hand!
Friday, the 500 Free was his event, and another PR....his first-ever sub-5:30 (he finished in 5:27, a 17-second PR)! For a kid who started the season with a 6:22PR, this was a major feat!

just keep swimming, just keep swimming.....
That afternoon, we attempted another long beach walk, but it was sort of a fail. The temps were moderate (low 70's), but the wind was crazy! It wasn't hard to spot the tourists that day....we were the only ones on the beach and all the locals were no-shows. Even the cabana boy (renting beach chairs and such) wasn't hanging around.

Saturday morning started with a 4:15AM wake-up. We stayed in Melbourne (lodging was scarce in St. Pierce) but commuted each morning for the swimming events. And wouldn't you know? There just happened to be a running event that morning, also in Ft. Pierce? MFI's Race the Runway (Race recap coming...stay tuned) started at 6:30AM, and the husband and I both were registered for the 10K (there also was a 2-miler).
Waiting for the 10K to start....

This was the inaugural year, and funds raised for MFI (Missionary Flights International) went to support sending various church groups (as well as numerous supplies and goods) overseas on missionary endeavors. As the name of the event implies, it took place on the runway of the MFI runway strip. The early start time was to ensure all runners and walkers would be finished on time to re-open the runways to incoming/outgoing flights by 10:00.

Another beautiful sunrise....

Unlike Friday's weather, Saturday blessed us with ideal race day conditions. If there was any wind, it was barely noticeable, the temps were in the mid-60's at race start, and we had lots of glorious sunshine. The race went well for both of us!  I managed a first-place finish in the Master's Division (age has it's benefits,just saying), and the husband snagged his first-ever age group award and got 2nd place!
Racing on the runway

Getting my Master's Champion award
 A short while later, we headed back to the pool for the morning prelims. our son's event was the One Mile Free...and it makes me SO tired just watching him. Back and forth, for 65 total laps of continuous swimming. This is a relatively new event for him, and he totally rocked it with a 1:27-minute PR, finishing in 19:10 and placing 16th overall! Not "podium-worthy" (only the top 8 were recognized), but a major accomplishment. The entire four days of competition went well for him, and we're so glad we were there to witness all those PR's.

So, what else went down while we were in the sunshine state?

Beautiful sunrises every morning...
Our final morning in Florida

Breakfast at Waffle House
When in the south a meal (or two) at Waffle House is on the agenda (also experimenting with "beachy waves" for the hair)
 A rocket launch at Cape Canaveral...
This was totally cool!
A daily yoga challenge...

Tree pose and Bridge pose (top row), Chair pose and Side plank (bottom row)

Three-legged Downward-Facing Dog in the morning my pj's

And lots of stair-climbing. After that first ride in the elevator, I never stepped foot back inside it. I kept track of the number of times I took the stairs, not only just up to our room (which was on the 9th floor), but also when I took the stairs all the way to the roof (you know, just for kicks), which was 17 flights. The grand total of total flights for the week came in at 300 (which includes 80 flights of stair-running on Monday evening, before we left for our trip).
Stair-climbing, sometimes in my Brooks Adrenalines GTS 15's...

...and sometimes in my Alegrias

I did not get in as much running as I would have liked, but I more than made up for it with all of my daily stair-climbing. I also did my daily planking in addition to the yoga. We were up early every morning and on the road by 7:00 to allow for traffic (about an hour drive) and breakfast before the swim meet's 9:30 start time, so running was not a priority. And I was OK with that.  

Have you ever tried to run on a beach? How about taking the stairs instead of the 'vator, even if you are on a high floor? Ever done 300 flights of stairs in a week?

Again, I'm linking up with my gals, Holly at HoHo Runs and Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin  for their Weekly Wrap. Please, head over and check out all the blogs & get some great inspiration!


  1. Sounds like a fun week! Congrats to your son on all his swimming PR's..that's awesome! Also, congrats to you and your husband on your AG places! Way to rock it!

  2. Congrats on that AG award! Woo hoo! Looks like a fun trip. Glad your son did so well.

    1. Thanks, Wendy ;-) It really was a great week for all of us ;-)

  3. It looks like you had a great time in Florida, I am so jealous! Congrats to your son getting all those PR's, that has to feel so rewarding. Running on the beach is really tough! Not as glamorous as I thought it would be, lol.

    1. OMG...I totally was blind-sided by how hard the beach running was...even in the "packed" sand by the water. It's a great, full-body workout LOL

  4. A budding Michael Phelps, eh?

    I LOVE running on the beach. I rarely get there, of course, so I've only done it a handful of times, and only on the wet, packed sand. And barefoot. Love. Love. So sad I haven't been on a beach vacation in years . . .

    1. Not sure on the Michael Phelps LOL...Our son (like his mom) is an awesome endurance athlete, but the speed is not quite his strong suit. I keep trying to encourage him to do a triathlon!

  5. Congrats on the AG award! I loved turning 40 because it meant that I was eligible for Masters awards, ha ha. I'd rather take the stairs vs. elevator. I hate elevators. years ago my hubby and I stayed at a hotel in Syracuse that had ONE working elevator and the place was sold out so the line ups for the elevator were crazy. We were on the 19th floor and I took the stairs on a regular basis, ha ha.

    1. Holy Crap...19 floors? I did the 17 flights several times over the course of the week, but certainly not as much as "just" the 9 flights to our room LOL

  6. What a nice vacation. Shell collecting and a race = perfection!

    1. It was perfection! I loved just being on the beach and feeling the sand between my toes ;-)

  7. I LOVE, LOVE Allegria sandals! And Waffle House -- a true southern experience. Congratulations to your son who had a fantastic performance in all of his events. And to you and the hubs for a great 10k race. It looks like you were in heaven with all those stairs too! Where we beach the sand is very fluffy and running or just walking usually makes my ankles sore. Thanks for linking with us Kim.

    1. Yes, the beach walking is no joke! I could feel it in every muscle from the waist-down

  8. Wow, that is a heck of a lot of stairs. Have you found your glute muscles developing ?

    I ran in the sand last year and it took my knees 3 weeks to recover. They hated it.

    How amazing that your son had all those PR and to be able to participate in an event like that ? What a wonderful experience.

    Your time in Florida sounds great... race, sun, family, what else could you ask for ?

    1. Thanks, Karen! It was a fun week. Our son's team did well...there were 10 teams competing, and our guys (and gals) finished in third place. Some of the teams have divers (ours didn't), so that gives them an advantage scoring more points from placings because they have more events they can register for.

  9. What a fun week!

    Congrats to your son...hoe awesome for him. He must feel so proud!!

    Those beach pics are awesome!!

    Beach running is HARD work. I tried it when I was in Miami this past summer...killler!!

    Way yo rock those stairs. I will usually take the stairs but over 5 floors, it's thr elevator for me :)


    1. ha ha ha...the stairs were a fun challenge! And the beach...totally a killer workout. The husband was complaining for several days about his sore legs LOL

  10. I have so been stalking your IG pictures this past week! What a great time you all had and found a race too how awesome is that! It takes great strength to run on the beach ya know! I could walk and walk for hours too, I love seeing what the waves wash up and I can't get enough of a beach sunrise or sunset! Bringing home a souvenir shell is like a tradition!
    I'm so glad you had a great trip and congratulations on your entire families accomplishments. I enjoy so much picking with you about weather and all, I can only imagine how it'll be when we're together! Thanks as always for linking up Kim!

    1. We actually missed a snow snowed the day we left (later, after we'd already landed in Florida) and the temps were cold back in Iowa. Do yo know what snow is? ;-)