It was an early start to the holiday with a 5:45 wake up, a quick shower and porridge before getting on the road by 7am. As usual, I felt nervous about would be coming up, and also worried that I would have forgotten something. I have a massive multipage Google spreadsheet with packing lists for all occasions that I modify for each holiday. I spent several weeks planning my spreadsheet and the best part of a week packing, but I was still concerned that I would forget something irreplaceable!
On the way to the airport, we passed Neil Garton, who assumed that we were on our way for some parkrun tourism, as he was heading to Bushy parkrun. However, we had more exciting sports in mind! We arrived at the airport, checked in and went for breakfast. Finally, it was time to board the plane…
Three hours after boarding the plane, we arrived in Faro 😀
Airport pick up
We waited for quite a while by the luggage carousel, wondering who else would be on the holiday with us. The pre-arrival information suggested that we would be picked up with Mel, but we didn’t know who our ‘Embrace representative’ would be. There were lots of elderly golfers, but not many people who looked like they might be runners or triathletes. Finally, our cases arrived and we headed out to meet the Embrace representative. We wondered who it might be waiting for us… It was Alan 😀 It was great to see a familiar face. There were also a couple of others, including Heather, a triathlete, who had travelled from Seattle!
I ended up on the front seat of the minibus, so I got to chat to Alan for a couple of hours on the way to Lagos. This helped me to feel less stressed about what we would be doing during the week.
When we arrived at the Giramar, everyone was almost ready to go out for a run, so we dropped our cases in our room, changed and headed back to join the others. I was keen to get moving as we had been sitting down for so long and I wanted to get some exercise in, however, I was also aware from our last trip that I would find it difficult running in the heat. Our first run was a coastal jog out to the lighthouse. I got chatting to Heather… And got distracted, so we took a wrong turn and had to go back – oops!
Garmin data for the run: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/402161235
I enjoyed the run out to the lighthouse as it was a route that I was familiar with and the surroundings are beautiful. The photograph below captures this far better than I can!
Meeting our flatmates
It was agreed that the evening meal would be late because some people’s flights were going to arrive late. This meant that we had some time to be able to unpack our belongings and get things ready for the following day which we knew would be busy.
We also had a chance to meet our flatmates – Katie and Bryn. Everyone assumed that they were a couple because they arrived together and already knew each other, but apparently, they are just work colleagues.
Before dinner, Graeme explained what we would be doing on the first full day. It sounded daunting, but I knew that I had to retain a more positive attitude than I had in January (I was struggling with depression then and was upset at how badly I performed).
Sorting out our bikes
After the meal, Andy said he’d sort out our bikes. Stu was given a Ridley and I was given a Planet X bike. I’d brought all of my details from my Vankru bike fit as well as some basic info, such as my usual saddle height. This meant it didn’t take long (although it did take three coaches!) to get my bike set up and my pedals screwed on. It looked like a really nice bike, although nothing will replace my lovely Kuota Kharma!
After dinner, it was time to go to bed. We knew we would have to be up by 6am the following day for a sunrise swim…