Iceland, and how to not run 8 miles.

Because it is obviously the most important part – I felt well enough to run my long run (8 mi) the Sunday before I left, and even squeezed in a short 5k the morning before my flight on Monday. Both slow and cold, but hey, that’s how I roll these days. I was perfectly fine and happy with both – and SUPER happy to not be feeling crappy any more!

AND THEN – ICELAND! 

Outside the Blue Lagoon

Outside the Blue Lagoon

It is every bit as beautiful as advertised. I went with a friend from college and grad school, not the Boyfriend, and we had a great time. There was absolutely no running involved for four straight days, but there most certainly was eating, drinking, and TONS of sightseeing. We saw the Northern Lights, waterfalls, geysirs, a salmon ladder (this excited me the most, no idea why!), beautiful churches, and walked the city of Reykjavik from tip to tail. In 3.5 days, we walked everywhere and saw everything we could.

Hallgrímskirkja

Hallgrímskirkja

Reykjavik, from the top of the church.

Reykjavik, from the top of the church.

Iceland had everything, from sunshine, to snow, to rain, to wind, to an awesome Solar Eclipse while we were there. Every half hour, you might get a different temperature/precipitation. We were ready, though, and my ski jacket killed it by being super waterproof.

Delicious Icelandic hot dogs!

Delicious Icelandic hot dogs!

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Russians at Lebowski Bar, of course.

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Gullfoss

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Shrimp and Lobster linguine… Yum!

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Mascarpone, lady fingers, coffee ice cream… a delicious take on tiramisu.

And then, sadly, we landed back in JFK to more snow on Friday evening. If only we’d left the snow in Iceland, but no, the East Coast refuses to let go of winter.

Now for the disappointing part: I had planned to run the Sunday after my return, another 8 miler. Note that I said “planned.”  I slept much of Saturday, had some stomach troubles, and didn’t eat much. I did hydrate what I thought was decently, but as it  turns out, a week of vacation doesn’t bode well for one day of hydration. I always find that when I’m away from home I don’t drink enough water. Maybe because I’m paying for it, maybe because I’m out and about and don’t want to pee all the time, who knows. But every time I leave home, I end up somewhat dehydrated. I should have planned for it better. But I woke up Sunday ready to run, and I bundled up and went out. Normally, I hate my life for my first 2-3 miles of a long run, then get into a groove by 4 or so. This time, I never felt great. The first mile was eh, by the second I was already looking at my watch to see how far I was. My legs felt like lead. By the time I got to 3 miles, I was making deals with myself in my head for how I’d at least get through “some” of the mileage. I bargained down to 6 miles, and every step of it was miserable. I think my watch said I paced somewhere around 13:30s/mile – yuck. I’m not a fast runner, but that is definitely a pace that makes me sad. I can handle 12s or 12:30s, but over 13? I felt defeated. I very rarely cut runs short. I will say I was defeated by my trip, or my poor planning, or just life.

I am not by nature a competitive person, but I do try to keep myself to a certain level of “a little faster than walking” pace – and try to feel good for all of my miles. This was neither of those things, and I felt sad at the end. I know I’ll move on, but I had so wished I could have ended my vacation week on an up note! Some days are diamonds, and some days are rocks. Right?

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