Whew, what a day! It’s National Running Day, which means runners from all walks of life are celebrating by getting a few decent miles in. I woke up late, so I am unsure whether I will get to run this evening, or have to wait until tomorrow. What is amazing is that a decade ago, barely anyone would have known it was Running Day, races were easy to get into, and hardly ever sold out in hours. Now we have added literally thousands of runners to our ranks in a movement towards health and wellness. It also means that races sell out within minutes. Take for example the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at DisneyLand. Pre-registration for Disney Annual Passholders and Vacation Club Members went on sale this afternoon. While they do not put out all of the registrations on pre-registration day, those allotted for early registration sold out in under 15 minutes. It takes me longer to shower than it did for the race to sell out!
This is great news for runners. It means new races are introduced and new opportunities to join running clubs. On the other hand, there are no more spur of the moment races. PR’s are set by running vigorous racing programs rather than running multiple times a week for health while enjoying the scenery. That’s not to say speedwork and training aren’t important, they are, but we lose something in our community when it becomes a fad; we also gain support and more attention from the community. It’s up to us runners as to how we use this new influence. We need to keep our focus strong and our mission clear. Running is a healthy and effective way to stay fit and well – as long as you train smartly!
As for me, whether I get out for my run tonight or not is still debatable, but I am still celebrating. I received my second Sparkle Skirt, Orbitz:
My son told me that I should never take it off (which was his reaction to my Diva Blue). He promptly hid my pajama pants and requested I wear this skirt “forever because it is almost as beautiful as you my princess” in his words. It made me smile, and feel really great that not only is my son a gentleman, but he is already so supportive! I can’t wait to see him watch the races I’ll run. He’s such a great kid, he’s almost to the age where we’ll be able to start to run together – he’s fast, so I need to build a better mileage base before I try! :)
So this National Running Day, no matter how you opt to celebrate, be sure to participate. Go for a jog or run. Buy a new running accessory. Write a note of support to a runner you know and love. Sign up for a local race. Whatever you do, just be sure to celebrate running for its roots – health and wellness rather than to follow a trend. Happy National Running Day!
I’ve lived in the North my entire life. I mean my entire life. I am still getting used to Florida and it’s tropical climate, but one thing I’m rapidly realizing is my seasons will be flipped from now on. Back home, as soon as fall hit and Halloween had passed, I’d start lamenting about how it would be a long winter. Here, I’m already lamenting about how it will be a long summer. Not only are the temperatures and humidity outrageous, but it is rainy/hurricane season which means several days a week must be relegated to indoor activities.
This isn’t all bad, in fact, it’s quite refreshing to look out my patio to hear and see the rain falling. Even more interestingly, is that it seems to rain while being sunny out far more often than while it is overcast. That is the opposite of what I am used to, but it is a pleasant change, reminding me the sun can shine through anything (and the temperatures are likely to remain high). The warmer temperatures mean that I can take full advantage of living in a state surrounded by and filled with water – from pools to the ocean, it surrounds everything, and there is nothing like a nice swim on a hot day.
Another nice change is the longer days. Even in the winter, the sun simply shines longer in Florida than the Northern half of the country, because of its geographical location. Come summer and we easily have sunrise at 6:20 a.m. while not having sunset until 8:20 p.m. The extra hours of daylight facilitate doing more activities throughout the day and not feeling completely trapped in the house. I might not want to sweat, but as long as I stay hydrated, I can go outside, whereas with snow and ice that is not always feasible.
I’ve swapped raccoons for geckos, and oak trees for palm trees. I’ve also inherited a beautifully tropical atmosphere. Because of the allergies some people have, we have to keep our air conditioning running almost 99% of the time. But that 1%, where we shut the forced air conditioning off, open all the windows, and turn on the fans is a wonderfully organic type of day. Life moves a little more slowly, and the sun melts the ice from drinks within minutes, but it is a lifestyle that seems long forgotten. It is a way of letting nature in, and suburbia out. With the wind and air circulating throughout the house, there is a sense of newness. While the heat becomes slightly more intense, the fans seem that much more precious. Sitting and reading with my child becomes more appealing than sitting with a hot computer in my lap. It’s almost like when the power goes out. At first, there is the hustle to find all of the flashlights and candles, and then the simplicity of not having to worry about daily chores or schedules based on electricity settles in. Families become closer. Laughter becomes a little louder. People let go of the stressors of life and embrace the situation. Similarly, when the heat is let into our home, I feel that sense of living in the moment. I don’t worry about much other than the company of my family and the pleasantness of the day. And I feel a sense of peace.
Every climate has its advantages, as does every season. But while I am lamenting “it’s going to be a long summer” I am also excitedly waiting to see what a tropical summer actually entails. I am still getting used to the ducks walking up to my door, and finding the right schedule for our new lifestyle. I’m also learning that there is a lot more than one way to do things. My clothing is slowly changing to a more casual style, with far more sports skirts than jeans, and flip flops replacing my sneakers. I’ve gone from feeling as though I have to cram a year’s worth of activities into one summer, to realizing each day will bring new opportunities for adventure. And in the meantime, I’m simply enjoying Florida’s Summers.
I went for my second run of the season today. After adding “Step in Time” to my playlist from “Mary Poppins”, I knocked two minutes off my 2.5 mile run. Thank you, Dick Van Dyke! Some of that is muscle repetition and I will be getting faster with every run; but I can honestly say, the song got me to “lift my knees up” while running. Now that I’ve seen this work in action, I’ll be hunting for Disney songs with a faster rhythm and beat to add to my playlist as I train for the runDisney races I am signed up for. As my distance grows, so too will my playlist. I’ve already gotten a ton of suggestions from friends and family, but I’ll be needing more and more. As each song is recommended by a loved one, I’ll have the added bonus of thinking of that loved one, while being excited to be running at Walt Disney World so soon. This isn’t the first time I’ve observed the correlation between pace and music, but I was amazed at how drastically music can alter it.
Needless to say, yesterday was a bit of a mental struggle. The training plan I’ve decided to go with is run 30 minutes Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then do distance/practice runs on Saturdays and Sundays. This will allow me enough time to build my base, while preparing me for the “Goofy Challenge” which is a half marathon on a Saturday, followed by the WDW Marathon the following day. But I started to train on a Saturday, which meant I needed to decide if I’d be running the following day as with my training plan, or taking a rest day, as a “beginner”. While this won’t be my first racing season by a long shot, it will be my first in a while, and I am determined not to let over confidence or overtraining be my downfall. Since I had slept in until 7:00 a.m., the humidity was already unbearable, and after going back and forth, I realized I’d have to run on the treadmill or wait for night fall. As it turns out, I was exhausted from taking care of my five year old come nightfall, so I just took time to stretch and altered my training plan for this week. Being flexible, both in my planning and in my stretching will help me achieve my goals, so it set a good tone for the season.
This morning was a nice run, there was a slight breeze, and the sunrise was beautiful, as usual. I felt confident and healthy during the entire run, and my knee was (knock on wood) not an issue at all. It was absolutely wonderful. I still have another 30 minute training run on Wednesday, and my long runs. I know I’ve got a long road ahead, but if I remember to “Step in Time” it should be okay. We’ll see what this weekend brings with the long runs, but I’ll be ready – at least my play list will be!