The Vacation Variable

Overlooking Sunset Cove where we spent much time on the active "Sports Beach" and did an open water swim.

Overlooking Sunset Cove where we spent much time on the active "Sports Beach" and did an open water swim.

I was on a roll. Swim, bike, run, swim, bike, run, write about it, tweet about it, three square meals, healthy snack choices…a few weeks ago I was doing great. Mentally I’d been preparing for quite some time for the full week vacation I would have in Jamaica in order to be at my best friend’s destination wedding. I pre-wrote my blogs and set them to post. I researched the gym and swimming facilities at our all-inclusive resort. Packed my running shoes, goggles, swim cap, and training schedule for the week.

By the time we got to our resort in Jamaica (the flight was a piece of cake on Air Jamaica for what it’s worth) I was completely relaxed. It really didn’t take long for vacation mode to kick in; it was an all-inclusive resort after all. The first morning I dutifully went to the gym and used a stationary bike to get in the 45 minutes of hill intervals my schedule called for. I even did my 10 minute transition run jogging around the resort and through the outdoor dining area where folks in our group sipped on coffee as I went by and the smell of omelettes and baked goods lingered behind me.

Day two I dragged my husband with me for some open water swimming. The resort did have a pool that would have sufficed for the various laps and drills I’d written down from the schedule but it seemed too good of an opportunity to get in my first open water swim. Goggles in hand we went down to one of the many beaches and eyeballed our swim route. We freestyled our way overtop beautiful reefs and tropical fish to a marked swim area that we estimated to be 40 yards in length. In this area I did the required sprints and threshold swims and then just practiced trying to swim in a straight line. I will write more about this open water swim experience later for sure.

That swim was the last official exercise I did on vacation.

We played just wasn't the hard work of my triathlon training schedule.

We played just wasn't the hard work of my triathlon training schedule.

I was definitely active with sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, and dancing like a maniac to the incredible bands the resort had playing each night, but in no way did I honing my triathlon skills for the remainder of the week. I enjoyed the breakfast buffet and perfectly portioned meals at the restaurants as well as the many frozen, fruity concoctions the bartenders served. In no way did I feel guilty the rest of the vacation–it was vacation after all.

The vacation variable, however, kicked in once we got back home. It did not occur to me that it would be so difficult to jump right back into my routine after having spent a week in paradise with all my close friends and not a care in the world. But it was difficult; the first week home was downright hard. Getting up early to get in a work-out and start my day on time was a challenge. Balancing getting caught up with work and getting caught up with life was nearly impossible. Re-training myself to get to bed early to get a good night sleep felt unnatural. In my head, I knew what I had to do.

I prioritized my work projects. I focused on getting my work-outs in when I could rather than forcing myself to do them at the crack of dawn. And I acknowledged that there was simply no way I could accomplish everything I wanted in one first week home from vacation. So my poor blog was neglected. The house is dirtier than it normally would be. And my personal emails went on the backburner. If you have any secrets to dealing with life post-vacation, please share!

Now, after a full week home I’m back on track. I will swim, bike, run, eat well, write about it, and once again work toward a happy life balance.

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