Sunday, November 8, 2009

Running in Cuba

20K done in a very Tropical Cuba today. Normally its just too hard to go too long when I find myself in a tropical paradise but today was different. Hurricane Ida is 600 km due West of Cayo Santa Marie. The storm is spinning off bands of clouds creating the occasional tropical rain storm. Hi winds and a cool driving rain as well as a pounding surf mad for an absolutely magical run this morning. Started off on the beach heading West with the wind at my back. The pace was a fast 5:30/k and I was running at the top of the surf line keeping my feet dry. 3K down the beach I heard some thunder, there was another K of beach left to explore but it would have to wait for another day. I turned back and headed East, wind and I do mean wind in my face. When I hit the resort we are staying at the threat had passed so I kept going to the other end of the beach. There is about a 6K strip of continuous sand where we are staying. With the heavy rain and occasional wave that I didnt time I had wet feet so I started running I the surf… fun fun. The ocean water cooled my legs but it was also filling my shoes with the powdery white sand. At first I though my shoes shrank or my feet were bigger but I soon realized my toe box was full of sand. Heading back towards the resort there was a real blast of rain at my back with a very strong wind to boot. The cool rain felt great, it was at least 25C and the only reason why I could run was my friend the wind and the rain. I was probably one of very few who was really enjoying the tropical downpour. After 12K on the beach started I turned into out resort, the Melia Las Dunas. It was still raining quiet heavily so I didn’t have any pedestrian traffic to contend with on the paths that wind through the resort. By around the 17K mark the rain had subsided and I occasionally notice a bit of a shadow. It felt like a Ground Hog in March, would seeing shadow mean another 6 days of rain….not so bad if it means being able to run in a tropical paradise. The last few Ks the heat was starting to build up. I wanted to log 20K today so I reduced my pace and took it all in. My thoughts turned to what my reward at the end of my run. I truly have the ultimate aid station, the whole resort! Choose two treats, started with Guava Ice Cream topped with fresh pineapple …an amazing recovery snack when you are starting to over heat. After the Ice Cream I headed to the Beer Gardens where I had a nice frosty mug of draft….yum!

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