Summer Smiles and Vacation Miles

Gulfport Beach, FL

Summer Vacations can be a lot. A lot of fun, sun, family time, adventure, excitement and very low on exercise and healthy eating. But we try. It’s the heat and humidity that defines exercise on vacation for me. As it is right now, it’s melt-me hot in some parts. Now, you would think this Caribbean gal is accustomed to and even enjoys the sun and you would be right. As long as it doesn’t involve direct exposure like sunbathing and running, I can do sunshine. In fact, I love sunshine since I’m no fan of cold weather. But I’m also no fan of tanning or bearing my flesh to the toll of direct sunshine, so imagine that my family decided on a week’s vacay in Southern Florida to celebrate my birthday. I can recall going to Disney something like 10 years ago so forgive my poor memory in agreeing to that crazy plan. I don’t know if it gets any hotter anywhere else on God’s earth, maybe the desert, and if so rest assured I won’t be going. Ever.

The heat and humidity was wild y’all!  I mean we were on the Gulf so I knew the water would be warmer than what I was used to but no one told me it was going to be soup out there! Y’all, I’ve never felt anything like it and I practically grew up on the beach. But then that was the Caribbean Sea and not the Gulf of Mexico. Like wow! I’m still regrouping but I will say that I was able to brave the heat and get a couple of runs in – early a.m runs of course, which more than likely kept me alive. I’ll be honest, first I had to talk myself into getting up and then talk myself into lacing up my running shoes and stepping out the door. It didn’t matter what time it was, there was a blanket of heat awaiting me out that door. I seriously considered running in my bathing suit but figured I would only be able to stay on the beach so opted for clothes. Running on sand is no easy feat for any long distance.

The weather itself was quite startling with major mood swings. We would go from bright and sunny skies to thunderous clouds in a heartbeat with the prevailing threat of thunderstorms a daily thing and rain quite common. What remained quite consistent was the very warm ocean water. Whether we went swimming at night, out on a boat ride, or stayed in the ocean for sunset and through the threat of thunderstorms and drizzles, the water didn’t get any cooler. Even when we went jet skiing far out in deeper waters with dolphins about it stayed warm. Despite this we had a great deal of fun and I remain super pleased with myself for braving the heat, the late nights into early mornings with insufficient sleep, and the prevailing vacation mood to find the determination to run anyway. This is the same determination I embrace for every marathon – the surety that, as long as God wills it, I will finish what I start and no obstacle will stop me.

This perspective has served me well over the years both in everyday life and in running. I determine a course of action and follow though to the very end. No flaking for me. And that’s just the kind of attitude I need to take back to the city and back to my training plan. Because it’s still on friends. I’ve determined to run my best Chicago marathon this year and it’s going down by God’s grace. Ready, set, let’s run this summer!

Running to the Sights, Sounds and Sunshine of Miami Beach

Running Heaven

Running Heaven

Selfie

Selfie

Call me spoiled, high-maintenance, so-not-new-Yorker, whatever, or rather,call me sunshine lover, jet setter (wink), or runner; I’ll respond to it all with varying degrees of enthusiasm. On the other hand, I’m no winter baby and so I’m here in beautiful, sunshiny, glitzy, never-sleep South Beach, Miami soaking up some sunshine for a few days to last me until Spring. Mind you, if I had a mind to escape the cold, I am sadly disappointed. It’s been chilly at best for the last couple days with today being OMG windy. That being said, the sun, emanating from its ultra-blue skies and reflecting off its pearly sand, is warm and offers a welcome cover of warmth, wind not-withstanding.

Indian Creek Road

Since I’ve pined away at home the entire winter, dreaming of running outdoors, it’s an easy guess what I did on this oh-but-for-the-wind-it-would-be-perfect day. Sure enough, I took off for a long and scenic run along the beach, broad walk and streets of Miami Beach, camera in hand and got me some treasure pics and memories that will last for a long time.

It was a day well spent and run-ned (my word) as evidenced by the photos, which by the way, I thoroughly enjoyed taking. After all, it’s all I’ll have left when I return to the Big A and this screaming winter and will have to suffice until Spring.

The famous Palm

The Famous Palm

The Marina

The Marina

Broadwalk

The Broad walk

Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive

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