Last week was yet another busy week that rolled into an equally busy but fun-filled weekend! What’s life without a little adventure?
Well this week’s adventure comes compliments of a LivingSocial deal with Central Florida Paddle Boarding. A couple months ago, we picked up a deal for 90 minutes of Paddle Boarding for 4 and have been waiting for an opportunity to give it a try. We finally found the perfect timing (you can guess how complicated it is to reconcile 4 schedules plus we wanted to go to New Smyrna Beach and the company varies the location of their tours day to day).
After another great run with the Central Florida Rescue Runners (I’ll get to that later), we headed off to our meeting spot. After some very brief instruction, we walked up to several paddle boards pulled up along the shoreline and were “fitted” with an appropriate paddle.
I don’t know why I thought this but I always assumed standing on a paddle board was just about as stable as standing on the ground. I mean, people do yoga and headstands on these things, right? How hard could it be? Well, I realized virtually immediately that balancing was not going to be an effortless task.
We were told to start on our knees on the board to get used to the sensation. Without even standing, I could tell that this thing was wobbly! We got the hang of how to use the paddle and started progressing down the river-like area where we entered the water. We were apparently fighting against a current during the whole first half of our route which definitely made getting the hang of things just that much harder.
We were told to stand up one foot at a time (seriously, scary to take that leap by the way) so I took the plunge – not literally – and managed to stand up successfully! Sadly, that wasn’t the hardest part. I was concentrating so hard, avoiding falling off my board at almost all costs. Soon, we were out of the river-like area and into a big open bay. I was still tensing up just about every muscle in my body to avoid falling. What I also didn’t anticipate was that the wake from boats flying by made the water ripple furiously and made staying upright just that much harder! The further we progressed though, the more comfortable I felt.
There was a bridge off in the distance and we were told that once we reached it, there was a small sandy shoreline that we would stop at and stretch out legs before heading back. It looked forever far away and I felt like we would never get there! Obstacles like fishing lines extending off of nearby boats and docks were interesting obstacles and we had to quickly master our steering skills to navigate these newfound challenges. Fighting against the current to pull ourselves to the bridge was no simple task but we eventually made it there and got a few minutes to relax and chat.
Once it was time to hop back on, our instructor told us how much easier it would be on the way back (since the current would now be pushing us along) and boy, was she right. Not only were we 100% more comfortable with our balance and skills but we had the advantage of the momentum of the current. She also mentioned that she had seen a dolphin out in the water but we were skeptical since we couldn’t seem to see anything. Then suddenly, I hear a “puff” sound and looked over my shoulder to see a dolphin’s fin pop out of the water just 10-15 feet away from my board! This was absolutely incredible! I was finally getting the hang of things and starting to really have fun. Just as things really got fun and I was starting to feel at ease, we were once again approaching our starting point. I was really sad to see the experience end!
Would I do it again? Absolutely! It was a great experience, a good workout, and I would definitely jump at the chance to give it another try and apply my learnings from this go-round. If you have the chance to go, definitely take advantage! Just know, it will be a bit tough and you may get dunked but it will all be worth it!
Central Florida Rescue Runners – Week 2
I had the pleasure of running with my best buddy Sunni again this week! Once again, he was a little speed demon and a trooper, putting in a solid 3 miles.
I am still campaigning to take him home but I am not getting anywhere with Charles on the subject. He’s such a good boy though and definitely a great running buddy! He was really excited this week and started off the day by using his leash as a tug toy and playing a little jumping tug-of-war game with me before we started running. He is just so silly! When we did get to running, he was a little crazy man! He was picking such a fast pace that I was having a bit of trouble keeping up actually! Our pace topped out at a blazing 7’21” pace and we averaged a pace of 9’21” which is really fast for this little guy. He did sort of collapse and roll around on his back playfully for a little while during our water stop with about half a mile left in our distance. Charles and Pumpkin caught up though so Sunni was finally ready to go again! I guess he has a bit of a competitive streak like me!
This is still such a rewarding experience and I cannot wait for week #3! I really wish I could take Sunni home but if I can’t, I wish someone would! This sweet boy deserves a home where will allow this high energy dog to expend his extra energy (and hopefully let him sneak in some miles in the process).
I haven’t update much about my running but my base building is definitely progressing. I am up to 40 miles a week and feeling great! It’s getting easier and easier for me to put in extra miles and I feel like I could run even more than I am now (if only it was easier to find the time to do so). I am running 7 days a week and have increased the distance of each individual run. I almost never run less than 4 miles at a time. I am putting in a tempo run every week and a Fartlek workout every other week so even though the focus is on increasing my mileage, I am still mixing some hard work in.
I got my miles in this morning because Charles and I are joining some friends of ours for a fun game of trivia tonight! Let the fun continue!
Have you ever tried Paddle Boarding? Did it meet your expectations?