Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Winter Escape!

I was supposed to start my new job back in January, however even the INS has been snowed in and the process for my visa to get approved is taking longer than expected.  As a result, I decided to take one last trip before the “freedom” ends, and I went to South Beach, FL. Now, I would rather go somewhere just a bit more tropical, but due to my visa/passport situation, I had to keep it to the continental U.S.  My choices were pretty limited but South Beach was warm enough and had just enough Vitamin D a.k.a  sun waiting for us.

We were lucky to get out of Boston now two weeks ago on Wednesday before the 1st snow storm we missed rolled in.  Originally we were suppose to come back almost a week later on a Tuesday, but due to the GIGANTIC storm that affected or should I say “paralyzed” over 30 states, we were “stuck” in South Beach with 80 degree weather for 2 more days until Thursday night. I know – tough life! I must say that I was a bit “sad” I was going potentially to miss some historical snow fall, but at the same time I was really glad I wasn’t there!  Instead I got to enjoy some beautiful weather, great food, swim in an outdoor lap pool for the first time in my life, and get in lots of running on the beach!

Here is the awesome pool I swam in a few times! I am going to miss this one!

And here is what happened after about an hour of swimming and!  YES – I did have sunscreen on!

Let’s just say, I ended up swimming the rest of my sets in a bikini since these tan lines had to go.  I do have to remind myself that this was January! I honestly can’t even imagine what it would be like in the summer! 

I also had a few thoughts of open water swimming, but those went away very fast! Actually on the very first day, and my very first time to the beach, we saw a reef shark swimming along the beach!  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand that was that! It really looks like me and the ocean are NOT meant to be! Not yet anyways!  There was also plenty other sea creatures we had the pleasure of meeting including a star fish, octopus, and lots of jelly fish.

There were ton of these around!!!!! Yikes!

This was one alive and we let it go once we took some pics!

Dead Octopus that I really didn’t want to touch, but did after all … and no, it’s NOT slimy!

I also got in lots of running, lots of beach running!!!!!  I didn’t have to worry about getting hit by a car because the roads were too narrow, slipping on an icy sidewalk because only every 5th person decides to clean the sidewalk in front of their house, or whether I have enough layers on to stay warm.  Instead, I just had to make sure I had enough sunscreen on! I also left the music at home, as the sound of waves hitting the beach more than replaced the tunes! In the 8 days I was there, I put it a solid 30 miles(solid for me) including one long 12 mile run right on the beach. Here is a pic of where I ran to give you an idea of just how beautiful and peaceful it really was.  Aaaaand  I ran in NO layers … and my water didn’t freeze either! J

The map of my long run!

I never really knew how awesome running on the beach really was. The back of the beach consisted mostly of hard packed sand that you could run on, with some patches of very soft sand, which made up for the lack of hills. My calves sure got a great workout! When the sand got too much, there was always the option of an awesome wooden boardwalk to one side, and beautiful concrete path to the other side.

Here is the beach!

And if you got really tired, there was always this option!  J I think this is a South Beach special!

Besides running, and swimming, I did lots of yummy food eating, some shopping and of course dessert eating! Ice cream is my favorite!!!!!! The first one is a homemade brownie, with some homemade vanilla ice cream, homemade caramel and chocolate sauce … it was to DIE for! I had that one twice!!!! 

The second one  is a Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate Ice Cream Sunday!!!!!!! Do I need to say more? :)

And then there was Happy Hour!!!!!!  :)

One and only thing I did miss was my bike. I must admit I was a bit freaked out about losing all my power and not riding for an entire week, but my coach assured me that won’t be the case. In all honesty, I wouldn’t even want to ride my bike in South Beach or Miami! The drivers here are insane, and that may even be an understatement!  I did find a bike though! I am not so sure it was functional, BUT it sure had an awesome “winter” cover! J

We had a great time, got some much needed Vitamin D, and I was finally able to get rid of my tri tan lines!  Now it’s back to reality, the good ol’ New England, and I go back to work next week!!! My life of wanna be professional triathlete is over for now! J

Till next time :)

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