Guilt Free

Gaaghhhh this has been the longest week of my life…and its only Thursday. Sigh.

I just got back from a 10 day trip to Ecuador and the real world is sucking big time. Take me back to fresh coconuts and hammock sessions!! Ecuador is a truly amazing place and now I understand why my boyfriend wanted to go back there for a third time. It is the perfect place to just forget about everything and relax. No tourists, friendly locals (probably due to the lack of tourists haha), great food, warm water, AND good waves.IMG_2799

This trip was also the 1st vacation I have taken in a while that didn’t some how fall 2-3 weeks before a big race. Its not like I even race that much, but somehow my planning is always terrible. Last year we went to Nicaragua 3 weeks before Vineman and I was riddled with guilt about all the training I was missing and constantly attempting to get in a workout in odd places (like running up and down a sloped 1/2 mile long beach repeatedly while Weston surfed). I won’t say it ruined the vacation, but it definitely prevented me from fully accepting relaxation.

This trip I didn’t have to worry about any pending races so it was all about having fun and relaxing. Having said that, even on vacation I want to get in some exercise so I don’t feel like a blob in a bikini the entire trip 😉 I was excited to discover a beach about 4 miles long right on our doorstep that had perfect hard packed, low-tide sand. But, I ran almost every morning because I wanted to, not because I had to and that made all the difference. I had listened to Born to Run on Audibles before we left and had coincidentally been having some issues with my running shoes, so this was the perfect time to do some barefoot running for a change. I definitely felt faster when I did some sprint work because of the grip I could get, but my calves and ankles were killing me after a few days. I won’t be buying any toe shoes or leather sandals to run in any time soon, but it was a fun experiment none the less 🙂

I borrowed a surf board while I was there too and paddled out most evenings for a sunset surf (or in my case a sunset beating). It was just perfect! On the last night I was sitting on my board waiting for a wave, the sun was setting and a tiny baby turtle came swimming up next to me…I was so excited I almost feel off my board.

Words don’t do the place justice, and neither do these pictures, but here are some anyway:

My solo morning adventures on the beach…

The food was SO delicious. We ate our weight in shrimp cerviche and a ton of these beauties. They’re called Corviche. It’s basically a dough made from ground peanuts and plantains that is deep fried with fish or shrimp in the middle and topped with a spicy carrot and onion chili sauce. So good and only $1.50 each.

This is my scrappy little buddy – Chiquita. I wanted to steal her and bring her back to California so badly. She would follow us down to the beach every day and chase crabs, then come and hang out with you while you swung in a hammock in the afternoon. Seriously one of the coolest dogs I have ever met!

I really wanted to try and swim out to these little islands that were out in front of our hotel but didn’t have the guts to do it by myself. It is apparently a 4000m round trip and there are NO sharks. I was definitely wishing Kelly and Marjan were there to do it with me 🙂playing with the dogs

We went on two hikes while we were there. One was in a national park on the beach and the other was a long ramble into the jungle following a river. Both were awesome and deserted…just us and one or two locals here and there.hike 1

creepy crawlie
Well protected caterpillar

The rest of the time was spent drinking Clubs (the local beer) and doing a whole lot of nothing on the beach and in the village near our hotel…swingin

Selfie 2

beach shot
Note I am the ONLY person in this picture on a perfect beach…pure bliss!
Los Tunas
This is the little village that was a 1/2 mile down the beach from our hotel – Los Tunas
Our hotel

There was only one downside to paradise. I am apparently extremely tasty to Ecuadorian mosquitos and my Mother is convinced I have the Zika virus now haha.Mozzi foot

Back to reality…booooooooooo! Just kidding, California isn’t the worst place to come home to after all.

Feeling refreshed and ready to get in shape and start working towards the up coming season of races. Bring it on!

Anyone else been to Ecuador? Where did you stay?

Do you train when you go on vacation or just chill out and relax?


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