Of course, I was worried about our flight not getting out on Friday morning but G, ever the voice of reason said there was no way that we wouldn't leave as we were one of the first flights scheduled. Sure enough he was right. We actually even left the gate on time! We didn't actually take off until 7:00 am after going through de-icing but I can't complain at all. I was much faster than I had anticipated.
We arrived in Mexico less than 4 hours later and immediately forgot about the cold we left behind. We sat on the beach and then wandered around the resort trying to get the lay of the land. I quickly realized that there were limited areas in which to run. The resort is set up like a big maze with a lot of dead ends and obstacles. Not ideal for running. I had a 21km race pace run to do on Saturday morning so I figured I'd have to go off the resort and into Playa del Carmen to even get 10km in. G was game to run
We left shortly after 7:00 am and the temps were perfect. About 35 minutes in, it started to get hot. I was moving along a decent pace and I felt strong. My legs felt great and I had no knee issues at all. As soon as I felt the heat I started to struggle. I could feel my heart rate go up a few beats per minute. I knew the two 10 oz bottles of GU brew I brought would not be enough. I still felt alright so I kept pushing the pace. I think the locals thought I was a bit nuts. Who the hell was the skinny white chick with the pig tails and day glow yellow shoes running through town like a madwoman??
The shoes definitely got some looks. No matter, I chugged along looking for shade wherever I could find it. G and I did an out and back route along the Main Street. G had enough just over 45 minutes in so we made our way back to the resort. I found another shaded road that ran parallel to the resort. I ran long there until I hit construction. I found that despite the heat, I was still able to push the pace.
I was supposed to run 4:43's but I found myself running closer to 4:30's because I felt so good. Once I got back onto the resort grounds it was like running into a wall of heat. I looked at my Garmin and saw just over 12km. I figured there was no way I was going to make another 9km, it was just too hot. I ran around to the side entrance and saw G sitting there waiting for me with a nice cold bottle of water. He filled up my bottles and off I went to do another loop or two. I figured if I got 15km in that would be enough. On my second little loop I realized I'd be closer to 16km. Even better. As I rounded the bend back towards the entrance, I literally had sweat dripping off my elbows as I ran. I was drenched. But I felt great. Sure it was tough but I didn't mind. I think if I had had a clear path to run on vs having to do loops I might have stuck it out for the full 21km. But breakfast was calling as was a nice cold shower. Definitely not a bad way to start our vacation. The best part: I could spend the rest of the day "recovering" on the beach.