I’ve lived in Florida my whole life and while I love to travel, Florida will always be home. There are some special benefits to being a Florida runner, and I’m linking up today with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney with the theme: “five things I love about: (fill in the blank)” so today’s subject is Five Things I Love About Being A Florida Runner.
- Lots of fun races during a long racing season! From September through May there are multiple races every weekend. I love living close enough to drive to some of the great themed races like runDisney, Gate River Run, Gasparilla and Space Coast. I could never afford to run so many of these races if I had to pay airfare every time.
- Beautiful scenery to train in. Florida has beaches, trails, lots of well kept parks and nice running paths. Although I live too far from the beach to go for a quick run, I do have the option of running in three different State Parks with beautiful wooded trails, a bunch of city parks with walking paths, a long and beautiful rail-to-trail path, the University of Florida campus and great wide city streets and sidewalks (including a nice off-road walk/bike path near my house). On my runs I often see herons, cranes, hawks, turkeys and occasionally encounter deer and alligators. I love running in nature and I love having so many options to choose from.
- No snow or ice. All winter long, while I’m running in a t-shirt and sparkle skirt (maybe with a long sleeved tech shirt if it’s really “cold” (you know, in the upper 40’s) I am so impressed with my running friends from the North who are running either on treadmills (ugh!) or bundled up in lots of layers with yak traks in their shoes and ice crystals on their eyelashes. I cannot fathom having to run in the snow and ice and I am so glad I get a long glorious winter to train in basically ideal running conditions. I literally do not own any long running pants, I’ve never had to run in temperatures low enough that a sparkle skirt and compression socks wouldn’t keep me warm enough…
- Training in the brutal heat and humidity. I know, this sounds strange, right? Who wants to train in heat and humidity? While I really don’t enjoy running at 6am in 76 degree heat with 100% humidity, much like runners who train at high altitudes, getting my body used to those difficult conditions means that I’m better prepared for difficult races. During both of my Princess Half Marathons, the conditions were warm and muggy and while many Northern princesses were struggling, I had a great race. The first few runs of the late Spring/early Summer can be really hard as I re-acclimate and I spend much of the summer marveling at how it is possible for my forehead, elbows and shins to produce such a large amount of sweat, I do eventually get used to it and it makes those first cool runs (usually in November) such a blessing.
- Running in the rain. You can run in the rain anywhere (in Seattle you probably have to!) but Florida rain is a special thing. It is usually cool (not freezing, just refreshing) and short lived. Running in the rain makes you feel like a rock-star runner and is a great break from #4. As long as there’s no thunder, running in the rain is one of my favorite things to do (I have a whole post dedicated to it here!).
I could probably come up with another list of five reasons I hate being a runner in Florida (#4 would be on both lists!) but all-in-all, I love where I live and train.
Let’s Talk: What do you love about running where you live? If you could move anywhere, where would it be?