'The ship leaves at 5, please be back by 4:30,' says the bleary-eyed security guard as I take off running away from the ship in downtown Papeete. Papeete is the capital of French Polynesia, and is located on the island of Tahiti. It's a sleepy little town, especially this early on a Monday morn.
I only have time for about two miles of dodging occasional cars and wild dogs, as well as trying not to trip on the dark, uneven sidewalk, before it's time to get back aboard.
Now it's time to get some relatively serious miles in. The fitness center won't open till six, so I hit the track. The deck is wet from rain and I have to be careful not to slip. Ten laps per mile. Can I hold my sanity together enough to do eighty?
I can and I do. Most of the laps take me about a minute each, but I do pick it up as the run progresses. I dodge around the guy swabbing the deck and the occasional walker. Eventually another couple runners come out, but by then I'm about done. Well done.
Last time it was eighty laps; how hard could one hundred be? The answer may surprise you. Pretty hard. With only ten to go, I am beginning to struggle a bit. What to do? Run faster, of course. I let loose on a scintillating 8:20 miles, my fastest yet. It's still over nine minutes per mile for the entire ten mile run, but all's well that ends well. And pulling into Bora Bora lagoon and anchoring just as I finish doesn't hurt either.
Having a cold here on vacation isn't the greatest situation. But I suppose it beats having a cold at home. I do feel fairly miserable this morning, however, so I start out ultra-slow. Guess what happens then? I taper off. Only five miles today.
That cold turned out to be a sinus infection. It's bad news. Today I did only five, but they were better than the five I did the other day.
Still have the infection, but this wasn't quite so bad today. I begin my run pondering the stars and dancing around the guys swabbing the deck. Soon it begins to get light, and I am treated to a spectacular sunrise. I also notice that the ship, moving towards Rangiroa, is nearly surrounded by rain.
Of course there are rainbows. The deck swabbers are gone, and a few runners and walkers have now joined me; I am no longer alone.
I also pick up my pace a little. Now I am at and sometimes below nine-minutes per mile. I finish strong - infection be damned.
To read about the trip itself, including a link to the photos, click here.