The sun hadn’t even risen when we arrived at the beach for Tuesday’s 6.2 mile recovery run from Sunday’s half marathon. It took a mile or two to get my legs loose and feeling good, but I made the decision these recovery runs are important because it releases all the tension. It stretches my back and legs, and helps me clear my thoughts and get focused for the day. When I arrive at the beach, I stood gazing at the calm of the water and enjoyed the soft breeze on my face. I’ve never felt more alive that early in the morning as I’m with my running partner (my husband) as we are both in awe of a new day. I realized how grateful I am to not only be able to get up and go for a run but to have a running partner side by side, sometimes we talk about life and other times we are silent, or my ear buds are in the ears as I listen to music, it’s a way we connect with each other every morning. This time we spend together is one of the most precious and cherished times I get to spend all day. As in other recovery programs you continue to work out the kinks of life, loosen up the body, mind and spirt so you can have a productive day. Even if you are not a runner you can always start your day with a walk outside, nothing better than to connect with yourself, another person, and nature.
This weekend marked our first running event of 2017 and it also happened to be the sixth anniversary of our first half marathon. It all began with a phone call from our daughter, I’ll never forget that September day in 2010 when she asked, “Why don’t you and dad sign up for the Disney World half marathon.” I almost choked on the candy bar that I happened to be eating as the words came through the phone, at first I laughed then said, “Are you crazy! I can’t even walk from the front door to the mailbox, and I’m going to run how many miles?” As she replied with, “It’s only 13.1 miles and its Disney.” As you can guess $90 later and many training miles logged we completed our first half marathon. The goal 6 years ago was to finish within 3 hours 30 minutes (which is about a 15:00- 16:00 minute mile pace), the bigger goal was to not get picked up by the bus of shame. If you don’t keep a pace of 16 minutes per mile the pace police barricade you from continuing (usually around mile 5), and then shuttle you on the bus back to the finish line, you do receive your finisher medal, but are cheated out of the thrill of crossing that finish line. The moment I crossed my first finish line I was hooked, I wanted more, even though I was sore, hot, and my feet were blistered, it was an accomplishment I never thought could happen.
Fast forward to the weekend of January 15, 2017 with more than 21 half marathons under our belt, dozens of 10K’s, and countless 5k’s, along with our weekly training regimen we topped the St Pete Beach Classic half marathon off with a personal record of 2 hours 58 mins and twenty-two seconds. What a thrill to cross the finish line under three hours and I owe it all to having the discipline to train every week, and of course the phone call six and a half years ago from my daughter convincing me to train. It’s worth every moment of training as each course brings new challenges and some breathtaking views. The St Pete Beach classic was one of my favorites as the course was flat, many water stations to dunk my head with water to cool off, and grab a gator aid for a strong finish. The volunteers were all friendly as they cheered us on, motivated, served, kept us safe from getting run over by crazy drivers who didn’t care that runners share the road too. As I hustled down the finish line chute and was awarded with my new bling it brought a sense of much accomplishment and made every early morning when I could have slept in worth it. If you want to make 2017 a year of personal records, and goal shattering’s all it takes is for you to PREPARE, ACT, and SUCCEED! See you at #themiamimarathon2017 on January 29th, if you want to join us you can register here: http://www.themiamimarathon.com.