Sunday, 3 March 2013

Fun in The Sun

It was just what the doctor ordered.......some time to chill in the warmth and recover from the Barcelona Half, before picking up the training again. I had never been to Club La Santa before, and always thought of it a type of 18-25 holiday camp, but I figured that there must have been a reason why my clubmate Lisa had been there with her family 4years in a row.
Fun with a Fitball
Now that I've been, I can see the attraction and would love to go back.  Not only is it warm all year round, but the food is amazing, and you can do as much or as little as you like.....trying various different activities for free......and it's obvious how well it suits families with children, or families with different sporting interests. While we were there, we saw groups out for ballroom dancing weeks, triathlon training camps, swimming teams, and paralympic development squads, along with families and other holiday-makers.

Track running
It is easy to see how people do too much too soon (I don't mean just spending time in the sun, though there were some distinct lobster-tinges and interesting tan-lines wandering around) and spoil the rest of their trip by being knackered, as there is so much on offer, but luckily I needed some time to chill and recharge my batteries from the half marathon. A good way to start this was with a Pilates Reformer class in the sun on "the Lawn" and the next day, I ran a couple of laps of the 3-lap half marathon that Lisa was doing, at a nice sociable chatty pace.

Beach running

Lisa and I always joke that we feel like tyrannosaurus rexes in that we have strong legs and weedy arms, so while not having the pressure of work, it seemed an ideal opportunity to go to some full body conditioning classes over the week. The barefoot one also included balance exercises, the fitball class  was a giggle, going to my first ever Zumba class (in Danish no less) was comedy, and I actually woke myself up with a gentle snore in a "stretch and relax" class. It was nice to hang out with Lisa and the children while the guys were away cycling, but I also got some nice runs done (both on and off road) in the sun!

The most memorable run of the trip was suggested by Dave (Lisa's husband) as he'd been round the route on a bike - "a nice 10mile round trip to a village along the coast - go there on the trails and return via the road" - simple....or so I thought. The only problem was that after 6.5 miles of trying to run/scramble along v sandy paths and over volcanic rock, I had only come across a cove of nude sunbathers, followed by a cove of hoodie-wearing sunbathers......and no village. The "trail" rather reminded me of running across the Atacama. After eventually finding some houses and turning with relief onto the road home (whilst muttering some rude comments under my breath about never trusting an A&E doctor), I was then reminded of Comrades, as the tarmac road disappeared up a long hill into the heat and sun. I certainly earnt my ice cream that day!!

In the Greens' Cave

The Fire Mountains
After doing a particularly hot run (with a strong wind making me eat sand) it was almost surreal to read about friends at home running cross country races in the snow and mud, and also about the first sub-24 hour winter Ramsay Round. We also hired a car to see some more of the island, including the "Fire Mountains" and the "Greens' Cave", but I probably learnt more about Lanzarote than most people have forgotten, while on a trip to the police station in San Bartolome with Ana, a native Canarian Green team member (some missing money led to the discovery of the "mañana, mañana" way of the Spanish police).

 It was a great trip for some winter sun and warmth, and all in all I would definitely recommend Club La Santa to friends and family, but as soon as I was back to work, it all seemd like a distant memory ;-(

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