Sunday, August 22, 2010

The tequila made me do it.

Or, in this case, not do it.

I'm so sorry, dear readers (okay, so it's just Tina), but I was kidnapped by banditos in the Mexican countryside and made to drink tequila for hours at a time, ripped so cruelly away from my marathon training ... and my blog.

All right, only partly true. The part about the tequila. And the training and the blog.

But really, tequila? Can be blamed for so many things that go horribly off-course, probably even historically. The Titanic? Tequila. The 2000 presidential election? Tequila. The pitch meeting when "Jersey Shore" got green-lighted? Definitely tequila.

And they made me wear a sombrero!

As my Chicago training progressed, I knew one large obstacle loomed on the schedule. A trip to Mexico with our close friends who we travel with every year. Remember New Orleans last year?

Ah yes ... those friends.

So as you can imagine, I was a bit concerned about throwing off my training schedule for the five days we'd be at ... wait for it ... an all-inclusive resort. Yep, top-shelf liquor with the flash of a woven bracelet bestowed upon you when you arrive. As Val so aptly pointed out, our group was going to become the luxury resorts' loss leader. They'd quickly be rethinking this foolish all-inclusive gibberish upon our checkout.

We were to arrive on Thursday night and my running schedule was supposed to go something like this: Friday - 5 miles; Saturday - 16 miles; Monday - 5 miles; Tuesday - 8 miles of hills.

I rearranged the schedule before we left, figuring there was no way I was doing a long run of 16 miles on Saturday. I'd get up super-duper early on Thursday before we took off, run my 16 miles. Then I'd see how the rest of the days played out. With that schedule, only Tuesday would be a toss-up. I figured the 5 milers would be easy enough to do on the hotel treadmill.

Thursday morning.

I slept through my alarm. Several times. Don't blame me, though. I was feeling a little sniffly and cold-ish. So I took my snotty butt to the gym where I successfully pounded out ... a mile and a quarter. Omg so pathetic. Thursday? A total loss on the training schedule. But it didn't matter once we got to Nueva Vallarta because we were with our best friends who are always totally refined and conservative.

So Friday morning was a bit touch-and-go.

But I managed to bang out 5 slow miles on the treadmill and figured I'd do what I could on Saturday morning. I knew there was no long run in my future. Our drunken exploits and hangover potential aside, there is just no way I can do 16 on the dreadmill. Could I take it outside? Sure, if I didn't mind the stifling humidity and +90 temps not to mention that pesky U.S. State Department advisory for tourists traveling to Mexico, warning that you best not step foot out of your resort for risk of being kidnapped and beheaded by drug lords. (Not that dramatic, but the gringo from New York wasn't taking any chances.)

Up until this point in my training, I looked at the schedule so prominently posted on my fridge as gospel. I didn't waver from a hill repeat or tempo run. I hadn't cut anything short. I was, if I do say so myself, a model trainee.

Enter the margarita.

Saturday morning started out with our amazing breakfast buffet. (It took me several mornings after we returned home to stop plodding into the kitchen in flip-flops and shouting incredulously at Mike: "Donde esta el berry bar?!") But come on, people. It's a freaking all-inclusive. And being that time really doesn't matter when you're on vacation, I can give you about 127 justifications for having a margarita at 10:30am. Even more if it's with reposada.

(Speaking of time. We found out a day into our trip that our resort - located just 15 minutes away from the airport - was in a different time zone from Puerto Vallarta. It made for much confusion with dinner reservations and no one ever seemed to be able to tell us what the correct time was. After a few days of guesstimating by looking at the sun, an exasperated Kerry finally asked the concierge: "What time do you think it is?" We never received a proper answer.)

So Saturday, we had an excursion. Ziplining. (Which I was really excited about, since the only other time I had done this was in Costa Rica with Mike, Mike and Claudette. But since we're really more of the "sit around the pool bar and put away pina coladas" people, our CR ziplining adventure was over the resort pool. Mike actually waved to me from the hot tub as I passed overhead. Claudette and I have since used "ziplined" as a verb to describe anyone half-assing something, i.e., "She totally ziplined that job interview.")

So a couple of margies in and several (many) Tecates on the long, winding drive up the mountain ...

... the long run became a distant and hazy memory. And this? Was our zipline adventure:

Followed by a "tequila tour" by our guides. Which was really just them getting us wasted on really good tequila in an effort to garner more tips. Totally worked.

I had thought that by the end of the day I'd have a sense of regret or anxiety for blowing off a crucial training run. Frankly, all I felt was warm and buzzed. And I dug it. Besides, I still had Sunday to get back on track. I'd try to fit in something in the morning.

This was Saturday night:

So day two of the Great Marathon Training Blow Off started with a wicked hangover. That was quickly repaired by bloody marys in the pool.

Followed by a concoction whipped up by our pool boy Wenceslaus (Kerry dubbed the drink a "Wencie").

Followed by little milky, caramel-y shots of heaven. We are all class.

This picture has not been Photoshopped:

By Monday, I was back on the treadmill for 5 miles and I'm fairly certain I was sweating Sauza. But I still had Tuesday. I was supposed to do 8 miles of hills - which is difficult to do on a treadmill anyway - but I would have settled for anything at that point.

And then this really big dude named Montezuma banged on the front door of our hotel suite. What an a-hole this guy is.

Spent the entire trip home Tuesday sweating, swearing and darting for el bano. Worse still, when I got home and tried to get back on my schedule, I'd find that about a quarter mile was my limit. A stomach cramp would shoot through me and I'd be forced to walk, muttering to myself all the way home about the damned ceviche bar.

This was the first week that I was able to get myself back on track. Logged my highest mileage yet - 42 miles for the week - and had a pretty successful 18-mile run, half of that with Barb at my side. Of course, the Cipro prescribed by my doctor didn't hurt, either.

But the trip was awesome. We've found the perfect mix of personalities to travel together and it just works so well. I've never laughed so hard for so many consecutive hours. We joked (but were kind of serious) about making t-shirts up for all of us proudly proclaiming: "Those People." Since we were the group everyone else stared at - and were subsequently horrified by. Like last year in New Orleans, we can't wait to travel again together next year.

Maybe I've been taking myself too seriously with all this training stuff. Maybe I needed a fun-filled five days with friends to realize that that's what's most important in life. Maybe it's okay to blow off the schedule in exchange for memories that are only made when you're good and marinated in Mexican beer. Maybe every now and again you need to live life like a Jimmy Buffet song.

Maybe everything is just better when it's accompanied by salt and lime.


  1. Oh tequila. Tequila makes people do crazy crazy things. But it also has the magical ability of making you see straight for the first time in your life. (ha). And so yes a vacation with friends, even if it means sacrificing marathon training schedules, is muy importante. Sounds like one awesome time, though I wouldn't expect anything less from you!

  2. I think you have 2 "dear readers".
    I have this visual of you and the girls at my age..... My group needs to try the zip line thing.

  3. Not sure how the Valenzuelas do it but my kids pretty much cured me of our Friday night maragaritas after work. The thought of facing 3 little boys, hungover, is just too much. Glad you had a great time!