Downtime in Antigua & Training Commencement

This past month has been absolutely insane – and I haven’t even been training!  Tomorrow marks 4 weeks since my DNF in Phoenix and my subsequent decision (I like to say it was my decision, but it was rather forced to be honest) to take some time off from running and training.

Me - after my DNF, and Andy - after his 18-mile half marathon

Here’s some great advice for anyone that has an injury or a personally humiliating DNF at a race: go on vacation!  It’s quite difficult to be upset about a bad race when you’re heading to the tropical islands of Antigua just days later.

Mama Hodges and I set sail (okay, we really didn’t “set sail,” but that just sounds so much fancier than “boarded 3 airplanes within 24 hours”) for Antigua and arrived on January 22nd.  What an amazing trip!  It was all inclusive at the Sandals resort on Dickenson Bay, about 5k from St. John’s.

View from our hotel building

Of course I couldn’t help getting in a couple runs while I was there – it was just too beautiful and too enticing not to!  Plus, I had some great guidance from a few locals and one Sandals employee in particular.  Talk about a reality check – the heat and humidity were brutal!  I’ll take the chilly mountainous air any day!

Checking up on my FSM team!

I couldn’t help checking up on what was going down at work, but trust me, Mama Hodges and I did some intense relaxing by the beach on a daily basis.

Pineapple mimosa - need I say more?

Let’s see, what other trouble did Mama Hodges and I get into…we had some amazing meals on the resort including a Teppanyaki-style dinner where we were serenaded by the staff afterwards with “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston (quite ironic/sad now, looking back).

We ventured out to St. John’s and mingled with all the “laid-back country-folk” – as in Mama Hodges was making a plethora of friends (if you know her you shouldn’t be surprised)…

Wheelin' and dealin'

Yes, Mom paid $18 to have the tiniest braids EVER put in her hair...LOVE IT!

Every day and night on the resort there were events and activities going on.  Mama Hodges and I dominated in some pool volleyball (more like Mama Hodges spiked me in the face – I found out after the games that she played volleyball in high school, hence her total domination!!).  We also saw some sweet entertainment like live bands and local cultural shows.

"Feels good to mingle with these laid-back country-folk, don't it Harr?"

Oh yes, I must mention the cats.  So the resort was swimming with cats – just random cats all over the place.  Of course Mama Hodges and I had to make friends – Mama Hodges more than myself.  We’re out to dinner one night and have these amazing crab cakes and Mama Hodges decides to order a few to-go and bring them back to the cats…

Mama Hodges feeding the cats some crab cakes, num num!

A week in paradise was just what I needed to take that DNF off my mind, but I was pretty sad to leave (especially Mama Hodges)!

I'm clearly not happy to be leaving...

We had so much fun together!

So a few days after returning from Antigua I was off to New York for a work conference – specifically the SIFMA seminar – to promote the fabulous Financial Social Media brand.  Of course I had to get a run in New York (it was short, don’t worry!).

SIFMA Seminar 2012 in NY

Let the training commence!

With 30 days until the Canyonlands half marathon in Moab, UT and my body and knees finally feeling fresh and ready I’ve decided to get back into the training routine.  If anyone has experienced an injury or needed to take some time off they understand the incredibly strong dichotomy between feeling a strong motivation to get back into the sport VERSUS a strong feeling of fear and apprehension to starting from “scratch.”

I used to feel that way, until last Spring I had an enlightening heart-to-heart with one of the most amazing, beautiful, caring and passionate women I have the opportunity of knowing.  Boston-qualifier, Mom, Teacher (I could go on) and overall incredible Miss Donna Davis and I discussed this difficult dichotomy of running off-time and how to cope.  It’s not about feeling down and out, it’s not about being fearful of not being where you were at in your prime, it’s about the journey and hunger to get back to where you once were – and surpass it.

If it wasn’t for my chat with Donna-D I’d probably be in a different place right now.  Instead, I’m hungry to get out there and rev up my training this year.


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