Tag Archives: Affirmations

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 28

Welcome to today’s post in the continuing saga of Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life.  If you are interested in listening to this, please click on this link:

I’ve been running competitively, off and on, ever since Junior High School.  I’ve probably had a bit more than my share of successes, some colossal failures, and several injuries, with some muscles and tendons breaking down more than once. 

The most recent have been calf cramps in both legs which I have had before.  I did rest, but even after a few weeks of rest and then gentle running, I experienced occasional twinges in both calves.  But when we left for a Stanford Study/Travel Tour of Italy a few weeks ago, the twinges had not occurred, and I planned to do some running, interspersed with touring.

Alas, that was not to be!  This turned out to be a “cross-training” trip.  I had failed to catch this fine print in the tour brochure:  “You must be capable of extensive walking-two to four miles-in historic centers, in museums and on city tours, as well as extended periods of standing on excursions.  Participants will encounter uneven terrain, including some dirt and cobblestoned paths, and must be able to walk at least 20 minutes up and down hills in the Tuscan towns and at Gargonza.  At the Palio, participants must be able to sit outside for several hours on metal bleacher seats with limited legroom.”  I really should have paid attention to this last bit about the Palio, but more about that later.

SANTA MARGHERITA PANORAMA FROM OUR ROOM AT THE CONTINENTAL HOTEL
SANTA MARGHERITA PANORAMA FROM OUR ROOM AT THE CONTINENTAL HOTEL

On the first full day of the tour we took the train from Santa Margherita in Liguria to the coastal town of Camogli, part of the Italian Riviera.  We toured the town, had lunch overlooking the beach, and then took the ferry to the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Fruttuoso.  I had planned to participate in the 3 hour walk, up and down the mountains that separated Santa Fruttuoso and Portofino, the most famous town on the Italian Riviera.  I took one look up at the steep inclines, my jet lag exhaustion kicked in, and I decided to save myself for the famous Cinque Terre hike the following day.  I joined the majority, who took the ferry from Santa Fruttuoso to Portofino.  I was glad at the time I had chosen that option, because the one hour tour of hilly Portofino pretty much wiped me out.  We saw lots of yachts, and while Portofino was pleasant, I wouldn’t call it trending!

PORTOFINO ON THE ITALIAN RIVIERA
PORTOFINO ON THE ITALIAN RIVIERA

We then took the ferry back to Santa Margherita, and it sure was a long, uphill walk from the pier to our hotel, the Continental.

That brings me to the next day.  It began with a near debacle of us getting on the semi-express to Monterosso by mistake (it was late), rather than the local, which we had tickets for.  The conductor removed most of us at the next stop, but some did not get the message and remained on board, including one of our guides who was looking for those still on the train.  We ultimately did get on the local, and were joined further down the line by the rest of our group.  One of our group said conductors do this regularly to collect extra money for their own pockets, but I only know he said it would cost an extra 11.50 euros to stay on the semi-express.  You can decide whether or not the allegation is true.   

During the brief tour of Monterosso, my right calf began to twinge.  I looked up at the steep climb up out of the town; the trail appeared to go straight up, not switched back and forth, the way the path was cut, rising out of Santa Fruttuoso the day before.  I was on the verge of bailing out of this hike as well.

Then, a tiny miracle happened.  The pain in my calf vanished.  I felt a surge of energy.  It was game on.

It wasn’t easy.  We did climb straight up for about the first twenty minutes, but then the trail swung to the left, along a ridge which had a lesser incline, leading further inland.  We began encountering lemon trees and grape vines, planted into the terraced mountainside.  We stopped and our guide, Marco, gave us a short history of the rise and fall of the lemon industry over the last 800 years, which was replaced eventually by the current wine industry.

OLD LEMON ORCHARD HIGH ABOVE MONTOROSSO
OLD LEMON ORCHARD HIGH ABOVE MONTOROSSO

 We moved on, and then mounted a series of very steep steps, until we ultimately reached the peak of the highest mountain.  From there on the bias was down, but there certainly were more steep ups as well. Along the way, we stopped at the “cat feeding” station.  As you can tell from the picture, this cat may have been past saving!   

Cat Feeding Station Along the trail to Vernazza
Cat Feeding Station Along the trail to Vernazza

After 3 hours, we spied the village of Vernazza far below and the panorama made for a breathtaking photo.  We saw the ferry that was loading the rest of our group for the trip to Portofino, but it took us 20 minutes to get down the mountain to the dock, so we missed it.

The Ferry Leaving Vernazza With Our Group, Without Us
The Ferry Leaving Vernazza With Our Group, Without Us

Fortunately, Sylvia, another one of our guides, was hiking with us, and she arranged for a private boat to take us on to Manarola, where we met up with the rest of the group.  We had an extremely challenging hike around the uphill town, then further up to meet our bus.  We first came to the car parking area (no buses there!), further up a path alongside the very narrow road (a bus couldn’t make it), and then finally up to a wider road where the bus was waiting.  I was plenty glad they had bottles of water on the bus!

The next day we took the bus from Liguria to Tuscany, where my wife and I had been a few times before.  We stayed in Gargonza, just outside Arezzo, for the next few days, and the highlight during that time was the Palio horserace in Siena.  There are several Palio celebrations all around Italy, but nothing is quite like this 800 year old grudge match.  This is a 3 lap race, run on a trucked-in dirt track laid around the center of Il Campo, and there are no rules!!!

PALIO TRACK VIEW FROM OUR SEATS
PALIO TRACK VIEW FROM OUR SEATS

Even after I had read the warning to prepare for discomfort during the Palio, I did not expect 5 hours of regular waves of pain.  We were all packed into the stadium seats with our knees pressed against the backs of those in front of us and someone else’s knees digging into our backs.  We could stand, and we did frequently, but when the Contradas’ (Neighborhoods) parades began, with all their pomp and circumstance, we did so more sparingly because we blocked the view of those next to us and behind us. 

The worst part was waiting for the race to actually start.  All 10 horses had to be in the right starting positions before the restraining rope would be dropped, starting the race.  Believe it or not, this took over 1 hour to accomplish.  Various jockeys are paid huge sums to obstruct or facilitate the start of foe or friendly Contradas.  This was mainly accomplished by a jockey not guiding his horse into the correct starting position.  Countless times we heard the starter say, “Go out!  Go out!” and the horses would leave the starting area and circle around.  Then they would be called again, according to their drawn starting position.  And countless times, the crowd would emit its disapproving whistles, typical in Europe.  And it was getting darker and darker as twilight began to close around us!

PALIO STARTING LINE WITH ROPE PULLED TAUT
PALIO STARTING LINE WITH ROPE PULLED TAUT

Suddenly, the number 10 horse bolted into his slot, the starter dropped the rope, and the race was on!  In a matter of a few seconds the horses were in the straightaway right in front of us, and in several more seconds they flashed by and went into the next turn. 

Palio-Valdimonte (Ram) Jockey Unhorsing Nicchio(Shell) in Sienna July 2 2015
Palio-Valdimonte (Ram) Jockey Unhorsing Nicchio(Shell) in Sienna July 2 2015

Then, incredibly, the jockey riding for the Valdimontone (Ram) Contrada reached across to the Nicchio (Shell) jockey to his right and yanked him off his horse!  A roar of horror rose up in the crowd, and my mind was stunned by what I had just witnessed.  I thought, “How could this even happen….”  Then I remembered that there were no rules.  And I realized how easy it was to unseat the jockey, because they were all riding bareback, with no saddles or stirrups to aid them.  The others rushed on, including the jockey-less horse.  The second and third turns in the track were literally 90 degrees, and some of the horses actually careened off the far wall on those turns.  The pace was extremely fast and the three lap race was over before we were even over the shock of seeing one jockey unhorse another.

Suddenly a man who was sitting behind us charged down the steep steps, dashed out onto the dirt track and up to the jockey who did the unhorsing.  He and a couple of others helped him off his horse and spirited him away through a tunnel to safety.  Immediately thereafter a swarm of men from the unhorsed Contrada charged onto the track from our right and the Contrada whose jockey did the unhorsing spilled out onto the track from our left, with the abandoned horse trapped between them.  Fists flew and security forces quickly drove a wedge between the two Contradas.

The next twenty minutes were super-tense.  A groom kept the horse moving back and forth between the opposing forces who continued to scream at each other, while some tried to breach the security line to get at their enemy.  Nobody actually got through, but the security line appeared to be weakening.  Finally the Carabinieri National Police forced their way in, with full riot gear.  Gradually they pushed each Contrada further and further back from the other, giving more room to the horse and the groom.  Eventually they reached a space where they could leave the track for the safety of the stables.  We then made our way down the steep steps of the stands, out onto the track, and through the closest exit, thus ending our long summer afternoon of discomfort.  I’m glad we had this incredible experience, but I don’t believe I’ll do it again!  This must be an example of what people mean when they say, “It’s a once in a lifetime experience!”

The balance of the tour lacked the excitement and tension of the Palio, but certainly worth visits.  We toured the Etruscan Hill Town of Cortona which predates the arrival of the Romans.  The Etruscan Museum is comprehensive and demonstrates the power of women in their culture.  Much of their sculptures, ceramics and other art were copied by the Romans. 

ETRUSCAN POTTERY AT THE CORTONA MUSEUM
ETRUSCAN POTTERY AT THE CORTONA MUSEUM

Their tombs were reminiscent of the Egyptians, filled with possessions from this life for use in the next one.  On the day before we left Italy we did visit an actual Etruscan Burial Ground in Cerveteri, about 50 miles north of the Rome Airport.  It was an incredibly peaceful spot and several of the tombs were filled with hunting tools, beds, tables, chairs, pots and several other useful items.  It was well worth the stop.

INSIDE AN ETRUSCAN TOMB NEAR CEVETERI
INSIDE AN ETRUSCAN TOMB NEAR CERVETERI

Another very interesting stop was the medieval town of Lucca.  It is the birthplace of composer Giacomo Puccini. There are several good restaurants, including Ristorante Puccini nearby.  The food is good and moderately priced, but they accept cash only. We also dined at the excellent Buca di Sant’Antonio which is premium priced, but worth it.  It’s a wonderful walking town, but take your map; it’s easy to get lost in the oval-walled town.  The wall is a good landmark, but it is, after all, round.  It all looks pretty much alike, particularly at night.   

The final tour stop that lingers in my memory is the gargantuan scale of the marble quarries at Carrara.  This is where Michelangelo found the huge slab of marble with which he sculptured his famous David into a figure way larger than life.  I can pull this mine into my consciousness readily.   A few pictures will do a far better job with this image than my mere words can do.  These remain captured memories in my mind’s eye.

I would like to share the good news with you, here at the end.  The rest and the “cross training” walking while we were in Italy, plus slow running when I returned home, have resulted in recovery from the calf injuries!  I am back up to my normal training regimen of running 3 days a week and walking and other cross training 2 days!!

Please let me know if you would like to know anything more about this monumental trip.  You can send a note to me in the Leave A Reply Box below.

Thanks for traveling with me in this vicarious way.

 

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RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 22 PLUS EPISODE 5-MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM

DIRECTLY BELOW IS THE AUDIO PODCASTS TO EPISODE 22 OF RUNNING, WRITING AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE, PLUS EPISODE 5 OF MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM:

Welcome to a “Double-Header” today.  First up is Episode 22 of my regular blog, Running, Writing and Traveling for Life.  Then stay tuned of Episode 5 of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom.

Over the past 4 weeks, I have done 1 day of interval training, followed or preceded by a long run, with no rest day between.  I felt fine during each of the workouts, but I was exhausted on the third and fourth days.   I only felt ready for my tempo run after resting on the third and fourth days.  This week I will rest one day between the intervals day and long run day, and then see if I can handle the tempo run after only one or two days of either walking or resting.  In fact, since I started writing this, it’s now later in the week, and I have done my intervals, rested one day, and then done my long run yesterday.  I feel much better this week than last.

There are some of us among the Masters Runners who can run every day and be able to handle the work load.  My guess is that they have been running daily for decades, and they’ve learned to stop running at this first hint of injury.  I have been running for decades, but have had several layoffs, due to injury or burnout, during those years.  For me, from time to time I feel tired and need to overcome inertia to actually get out there and run.  The majority of the time when I do don my running gear and do start putting one foot in front of the other, by the time I am warmed up, I feel good, and I do my workout.  There are times, however, when I don’t feel good, so I end the workout and surrender to recovery.  It is hard to truly discern when your body actually needs a rest day and when your lazy mind is playing tricks on you.

As I have mentioned recently, I am using the winter to focus on slow, longer runs to build up my strength.  It seems to be working, based on slightly improving interval training, with more reps, faster times, and lower rest times between the reps.  I have also adopted Jeff Galloway’s (www.jeffgalloway.com) exhortation to weave walking breaks into the normal running periods, particularly in the beginning and middle parts of the long run.  This way I feel I am able to actually run further and, of course, with less effort.  There is one route I run that has a steep uphill, six-tenths of a mile long, about 1.5 miles from the finish, and I do insert walking breaks here as well.  These walking breaks have also enhanced my enjoyment of the long runs, if only being able to absorb my surroundings more fully.   

Once again I want to encourage you to sit down in a quiet space daily to do affirmations, if you have not started to do it already.  I have seen some of the 22 affirmations become part of my automatic behavior already.  This is a slow process and is most effective if you repeat the affirmations at morning and at night.  If you would like to see my earlier comments on this powerful process, please click on:

http://allanwchapman.com/2013/12/19/running-writing-and-traveling-for-life-episode-12/

http://allanwchapman.com/2014/05/26/running-writing-and-traveling-for-life-episode-15/

 

Please leave your questions or comments by clicking on the “Leave a comment” link at the bottom of the page.  Thanks!

Please be with me again next time when I will report on the results of the day of rest between intervals and long run, but for now, stay tuned for Episode 5 of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom.  Enjoy!

 

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE – EPISODE 19

Stanford University Track
Stanford University Track

 

If you would like to listen to this Podcast, please click on this link:

 

Back at last!  I have been struggling to decide whether or not I was ready to compete on the track.  I have had some gratifying interval speed workouts at my goal 800 meter race pace, but every time I reduced the rest interval between my speed repeats, my heart rate really jumped up and would not drop to an acceptable level when I reached the end of the rest interval, before the next repeat.  I would have to extend the length of the rest interval until my heart rate was at an acceptable level.  I expect this to happen at the end of the workout, but this was happening after only a few repeats with the shorter rest between them.

Eventually I decided to run a 600 meter time trial at my goal 800 meter race pace.  I felt good during the first 200 meters, but I was quite a bit slower than my race pace.  I began to struggle during the second 200 meters, which was slower than the first 200.  The final 200 was a bit faster, but I not as fast as I thought I was going!

Anyway, I was well off my goal 800 meter race pace, which I needed to achieve to qualify for the 2015 Senior Games.  I decided not to compete in the qualifying Games this month, but rather continue to train in my steady, gradual, injury- free way.  I’ll race only when I feel ready, hopefully by next Spring.  It is difficult indeed to accept that the recovery time after surgery and the recovery time after strenuous workouts get longer and longer as we age.  What helps keep me exercising though, is that I still love to run, my blood pressure and heart rate are low, and my overall health is very good. Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE – EPISODE 19

Iffley Road Track-Oxford University

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 18

Thanks for joining me today for Episode 18 in my running, writing, and traveling blog. For those of you who want to listen, rather the read, here is the link to the Audio Podcast: 

Picking up on one of my comments from the last Episode, it is extremely difficult to see the fine line between health and injury. Last week I ran a 600 meter time trial to get an idea how close I was to running a steady pace at my desired 800 meter race pace goal. I felt I was getting close to being able to race a full 800 meters at my goal pace, based on the 200 meter interval times at which I had been running. Was I ever wrong!

I thought I was running the first 200 meters at race pace, but I was quite a bit slower than I expected. I picked up the pace, but even at the 400 meter mark, I was still behind my goal pace. I increased my tempo in the final 200, but still finished well off my goal.

I just looked back at my training log, and I see that I had done a difficult tempo run 3 days before, and only walked the following 2 days. Therefore I did have 2 days of rest between the runs, but I may have needed a third day of rest.

I also may have needed to do my 200 meter interval training at a pace faster than race pace and/or reduced the rest interval to less than the 2 minutes I was taking. This week I think I will just reduce the rest interval and maintain the 200 meter pace at race level. The last time I did intervals faster than race pace, while maintaining the 2 minute rest intervals, I sustained a glute injury that took a long time to heal. Reducing the rest interval should be less stressful on the tired muscles, with less risk of injury.

Stay tuned… Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 18

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE17

On Iffley Road Track, Oxford 2 weeks ago

Click on this link for the Audio Podcast Version of the written word below:

Two weeks ago I stood in my street clothes on the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England, where Roger Bannister first broke the four minute mile. I had resumed training, and became aware that I was way past due for posting on my running, writing, and traveling blog.

Since I last posted, I have had 2 eye operations. The first one involved an artificial lens that was implanted after my cataract afflicted natural lens was removed 13 years ago.  For some mysterious reason, on the flight back home from Frankfurt, Germany to San Francisco,  the artificial one decided to relocate and began to wander around my eye’s sclera instead of fixed under my pupil. Here a link to an eye diagram if you may just happen to be curious: 

National Institute Of Health Eye Diagram

My good eye was still 20/20, but I quickly tired of squeezing my 20/450 afflicted eye shut to see properly, so I bought a black patch for it and spouted a lot of Pirate “Arrrrrghs” for the next 10 days.  I was pretty grumpy.

Anyway the first operation went okay and when I went to the doctor week later I could see pretty well. But the very next day the lens decided to take another hike, so they had to schedule a do-over, 2 weeks later. 

As you might expect, those 2 weeks passed really slowly. The 13 year old lens gave up the ghost during the second operation, losing its connectors, so they doctor retired it to the open road and implanted a brand-spanking new one.  This time he not only sutured it in, he glued it in!  “That lens is not going to roam anywhere,” he said. 

So far, it hasn’t even hankered for greener grass.

Anyway during all the time, the doctor prohibited me to run, lift weights, play golf, or anything more strenuous than walking. So I walked, but it was hard when you are used to running.

So I finally resumed running just over 3 months ago, at the end of June. For the first 2 weeks I did nothing more strenuous than easy runs.  Then during the next 3 weeks, I introduced a 1x 5 minute tempo run and fast striding, along with an easy run each week.  I was resting 1 to 2 days between runs, doing only push-ups and crunches on the “off” days.

Then in August, I started a few interval sessions. Here is an excerpt from one of them:

“1 mile w/u (about 15 minutes); about 7 minutes of stretching (45 second bent knee stretches each leg, 45 second straight knee, turned-in foot, stretches each leg, 20 hamstring and quad full leg swings forward and backward each leg, 20 toe liftings and lowerings each foot); 2 x 20 step fast strides (4:51 seconds, rest 71 seconds, 4:50 seconds), rested 1:31, then 1 x 22 step fast strides in 10:52 seconds; rest 3 minutes, then 3 x 200 meters (45:11, 2:00 rest, 46:00, rest 3:30-the time it took my heart rate to drop back to 120, 42:94);  about 1.25 miles w/d in 20:42  Average HR 120, peak HR 159, burned about 450 calories.  These fast strides are about the fastest yet!” Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE17

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE17

On Iffley Road Track, Oxford 2 weeks ago

Click on this link for the Audio Podcast Version of the written word below:

Two weeks ago I stood in my street clothes on the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England, where Roger Bannister first broke the four minute mile. I had resumed training, and became aware that I was way past due for posting on my running, writing, and traveling blog.

Since I last posted, I have had 2 eye operations. The first one involved an artificial lens that was implanted after my cataract afflicted natural lens was removed 13 years ago.  For some mysterious reason, on the flight back home from Frankfurt, Germany to San Francisco,  the artificial one decided to relocate and began to wander around my eye’s sclera instead of fixed under my pupil. Here a link to an eye diagram if you may just happen to be curious: 

National Institute Of Health Eye Diagram

My good eye was still 20/20, but I quickly tired of squeezing my 20/450 afflicted eye shut to see properly, so I bought a black patch for it and spouted a lot of Pirate “Arrrrrghs” for the next 10 days.  I was pretty grumpy.

Anyway the first operation went okay and when I went to the doctor week later I could see pretty well. But the very next day the lens decided to take another hike, so they had to schedule a do-over, 2 weeks later. 

As you might expect, those 2 weeks passed really slowly. The 13 year old lens gave up the ghost during the second operation, losing its connectors, so they doctor retired it to the open road and implanted a brand-spanking new one.  This time he not only sutured it in, he glued it in!  “That lens is not going to roam anywhere,” he said. 

So far, it hasn’t even hankered for greener grass.

Anyway during all the time, the doctor prohibited me to run, lift weights, play golf, or anything more strenuous than walking. So I walked, but it was hard when you are used to running.

So I finally resumed running just over 3 months ago, at the end of June. For the first 2 weeks I did nothing more strenuous than easy runs.  Then during the next 3 weeks, I introduced a 1x 5 minute tempo run and fast striding, along with an easy run each week.  I was resting 1 to 2 days between runs, doing only push-ups and crunches on the “off” days.

Then in August, I started a few interval sessions. Here is an excerpt from one of them:

“1 mile w/u (about 15 minutes); about 7 minutes of stretching (45 second bent knee stretches each leg, 45 second straight knee, turned-in foot, stretches each leg, 20 hamstring and quad full leg swings forward and backward each leg, 20 toe liftings and lowerings each foot); 2 x 20 step fast strides (4:51 seconds, rest 71 seconds, 4:50 seconds), rested 1:31, then 1 x 22 step fast strides in 10:52 seconds; rest 3 minutes, then 3 x 200 meters (45:11, 2:00 rest, 46:00, rest 3:30-the time it took my heart rate to drop back to 120, 42:94);  about 1.25 miles w/d in 20:42  Average HR 120, peak HR 159, burned about 450 calories.  These fast strides are about the fastest yet!” Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE17

Running, Writing, and Traveling For Life – Episode 14

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE – EPISODE 14

 STANFORD AERIAL VIEW

It’s been another long hiatus between blogs.  My main excuse this time is I took an Advanced Creative Writing class at Stanford this quarter from Professor Nancy Huddleston Packer.  This was by far the best writing experience I have ever had.  We had 18 students in the class and each of us submitted 2 pieces (mostly short stories) during the quarter for critique by the other students.   It was a large writing class, so each of us had to critique 3 or 4 stories each week, plus find time to either do two of our own, either a new one or rewrite an old one. 

The results were incredible!  I think most, if not all, of us read each story several times before we wrote our critiques, which we spoke from in class and then gave them to the writers of the week in class.  The comments were primarily positive and even the negative ones were mostly constructive. 

Professor Packer gave us in class exercises every week, reviewing the fundamentals of powerful writing, and then gave us homework to employ what we learned in class to present the following week.

I would suggest you search for a class of this type near you because I believe this is the best way to learn to write more successfully.  I would also suggest you sign up the moment registration opens up because these classes fill up rapidly.

Anfi Beach Resort, Grand Canary, from the top floor
Anfi Beach Resort, Grand Canary, from the top floor

 

My wife and I are currently at the Anfi Beach Resort on the southeast coast of Grand Canary Island which is part of Spain.  The Island is in the Atlantic, off the coast of Africa, west of the country of Western Sahara.  We drove over to the town of Playa Del Ingles, caught a glimpse of sand dunes, found a parking lot, and walked over to the beach.  As we stood on the promenade, which was set back from the water’s edge a few hundred meters, it really was as though we were looking at the other end of the Egyptian Sahara, which we visited a few years back.  Huge dunes rose and fell across our field of vision.  A few people appeared to be returning from a trek across the dunes to the water’s edge, and they looked hot and exhausted.

 

Playa del Ingles
Playa del Ingles

We also drove over to Puerto Del Mogan at what appears to be the end of Highway GC1, the main freeway or dual carriageway on the island.  It’s a bit reminiscent of Venice, with small footbridges over canals which crisscross the oceanfront.  It’s quite picturesque and the choice of restaurants is staggering.  That said, some of them were closed for the month of May which we ultimately discovered was the slowest tourist month of the year.  There’s a lot to be said for that.  And we didn’t starve.

Canal Bridge in Mogan, Grand Canary Island
Canal Bridge in Mogan, Grand Canary Island

We had read on the RCI web site complaints about the lack of view at the Anfi Beach Resort.  They mostly were from those who had rooms with numbers in the 500s.  Our “confirmed” room number was 1027, but more often than not, resorts in the past have ignored the confirmed number and assigned us another room.  It was usually disappointing.  So we expected we would be relegated to a room in the 500s. 

Wow, were we greatly surprised!  We were confirmed in room 1027 which is on the top floor with a great ocean view from a large lanai.  The unit was very spacious with a large living room, bathroom, and bedroom.  The kitchen had a large freezer/refrigerator and cook-top stove and microwave oven.  We were so comfortable and relaxed there that we spent the majority of the time in our rooms.

The fine sandy beach was right in front of the complex, but the water temperature was a bit colder than I expected.  It was very clean and clear, however, and I enjoyed my time in the water, albeit was brief.  The resort has several pools, including a water slide, and we could hear children enjoying themselves and chattering and screaming throughout the day.  Adults played games and did exercises as well.  We watched and listened from the shade and relative quiet from our top floor lanai.

Anfi Beach Resort from the Breakwater
Anfi Beach Resort from the Breakwater

The major language we heard was Spanish of course, but we heard a lot of Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, and British English.  We didn’t hear much American English, probably because the trek to Grand Canary is long and difficult from the U.S.  Hawaii and the Caribbean are much more accessible tropical paradises.

We arrived at Las Palmas Airport one day before we could check into our timeshare, so we stayed at the AC Hotel in Las Palmas, a recent acquisition by Marriott.  The rooms (2 of them) were spacious and comfortable, and their restaurant food was quite good.  The only funny thing was the bathroom basin was slanted down toward you, so anything that could roll that you placed on its surface did roll.

One tip I will pass on that we never noticed before on our European trips.  At both Frankfurt and Las Palmas, you can find out where to find the Airline check in spot from the departure board.  There is a column listing a range on numbers (i.e. 17-21).  This indicates the check-in positions at the Airline counter.  Then look above the ticket counters around you, and you will see numbers.  They are sequentially numbered as you proceed in either direction to make it easier to find.  I know this sounds complex, but it will make sense when you are there.

Another tip to make the trip easier from the U.S. is to connect in Madrid or Barcelona.  The flights to Las Palmas are shorter and more frequent than from Northern European cities.

We’re headed back home, the coming week’s schedule is pretty free, so I plan to update you on my personal work with the power of positive affirmations for running and the rest of your lives.  To refresh your memory on these affirmation please go back to my post of December 19. 2013.    
Link To Affirmations Blog
I have been repeating these and other affirmations daily since that time.  Here are 2 more key affirmations that I have added: 

1.  I enjoy doing my affirmations, and I repeat them daily. 

2.  Affirmations work to improve my life. 

Please look for my next blog soon for concrete examples of what the affirmation process does for me.  Thanks!