Five Things I Love About Being a Florida Runner

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.

  1. 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.  schm14medal
  2. 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.  IMG_2540
  3. 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…funny-temperature-Florida-weather-USA1
  4. 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.  summeriscoming
  5. 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!).  rain

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?


Five Things I Love About Being a Florida Runner — 26 Comments

  1. I’m definitely jealous of your training outside year round in lovely weather, but I could never live in FL because of that humidity! It’s such a killer. I know we get some nasty humidity here during the summer, but it’s not terribly often enough to care. After the winter we just had here, I actually debated whether Florida was so bad after all. HAHA
    Courtney @ Don’t Blink. Just Run. recently posted…Face The Music Friday #32My Profile

    • It is pretty miserable, but you kind of get used to it. Running at Tink in zero humidity and cold temps was awful to me because it wasn’t what I was acclimated to. If only we could get rid of the bugs, Florida would be perfect!

  2. *jealous*!!! Love your reasons and if I weren’t so rooted here and didn’t love the seasons so much (running in FALL is my favorite time with the crunch of the leaves and vivid colors) I might be tempted to move. The mouse has tempted me many-a-time but too many roots here. I’m STUCK!!! WAH!!!!! Now, if my kids move to Florida as adults (or near there) I might move, I think that’s the only thing that would get me out of here. recently posted…WAW-A Break From DisneyMy Profile

    • Fall is my very favorite season, and I know I’d love it even more if I lived where the seasons really changed. Give your kids some UF brochures!! I’d love my BRF twinkie to move here!!

  3. I agree with all 5 of your reasons April, especially number 2! I love running in Florida! Great races, scenery, and even training in the heat is a benefit since I can usually only run local races. And, running in the rain is the absolute best!
    Heather C. @ Run Heather, Run recently posted…April Mileage UpdateMy Profile

    • One of my favorite races was my first Gate River Run because it rained on and off the whole time. I’ve run in the rain from four different tropical systems and loved every one of them! Just have to watch out for those thunderstorms!

    • The lack of hills is a beautiful thing too, although every local race seems to find the few hills we have and makes sure to include them in the race course! And, just check back with me when it’s July and August and September and I’m whining about hating the heat and wanting to move to Vermont!

  4. I’ve been thinking a lot about Florida lately. I’ll have to look and see if any areas are hiring teachers. I’ve lived in Arizona and California all my life and I agree about people bundling up to go out in the cold. I don’t think I’d run in the winter if I had to out in snow or below freezing temperatures!
    Great post! It would be fun to see it a sort of link-up about the different states people live in and what is great about running there.
    Jen recently posted…Awards part 2 – LiebsterMy Profile

    • My husband teaches high school here. Florida pays its teachers CRAP! We’re one of the lowest paid states for teachers and my county is one of the lowest paid counties in the state (because they CAN because so many great teachers graduate from UF and want to stay so they don’t have to recruit). If we moved to Georgia, he’d make $10k more. It is a great place to live, but sadly we don’t treat our teachers very well. Maybe move to Savannah, you’d be close to FL!

  5. I loveloveLOVE living (and training) in Florida! I definitely feel like I have a slight advantage when it comes to the Disney races, as the heat/humidity doesn’t bother me in the least. And having friends who live 20 minutes away from the Mouse, certainly helps on keeping those hotel prices down!

    • Oh that’s nice! We live about 1 1/2 – 2 hours away (depending on turnpike and I-75 traffic) and we could drive down for day trips but usually stay at least one night on property.

  6. I really love all the runs and options for parks and such that you guys have there. Our park system here in Louisiana is just not up to Florida’s standards! I really enjoyed the few times I have ran in Florida (in Brooksville) and maybe one of these days I can head to Tampa for the Gasparilla run!
    Des @ Finding the Skinny Geek Within recently posted…April UpdateMy Profile

    • We do have a great park system (both locally and state-wide) although they did basically double the annual pass price for the state parks recently. You need to sign up for Gasparilla sure!

    • Well, I don’t mind any of the birds or most mammals, but I’m not a huge fan of the alligators, snakes or insects!

    • When the gator is in the water I’m pretty ok, I just keep an eye on it. If I saw one on land during a run, I’d certainly go the other way!! Hope to see you at Gasparilla one day!

    • Well, it’s pretty awesome from November to April. The summer is hot and humid and very very buggy! So, I might be singing a different song come August, but right now, I’m loving it! 🙂

    • I do love running on trails and paths because it is much easier on my legs and it’s usually shaded (pretty critical in Florida in the summer) and there’s the beauty of nature to enjoy! That’s great that you have a wooded trail to enjoy so close to your home!

  7. One of my first outdoor runs after moving down to Florida happened as I got caught in a typical Florida rainstorm…the rain was nice….the thunder and lightning was not!
    You can also add that it’s nice and flat…perfect until you leave the comforts of Florida to race somewhere else!
    Samantha recently posted…April Showers Bring…more rain?My Profile

    • Rain is awesome, thunder and lightning is not! Against my better judgement I did a run last month when there was still thunder in the area and it was scary (and stupid!). I do like training on the flats, but all the races around here still seem to find a nasty hill (or three) to sneak in somehow!

  8. Ah I love this post. I live in Texas, and I really do love it here (and I totally get where you are coming from on enjoying training in the heat/humidity – I hate the cold and could never live somewhere with snow and ice all the time in the winter)! Some days I wish I could be a Florida runner, though. With all the races there that I would love to travel to, living in Florida would sure help me save on travel expenses. Then again, Texas is right in the middle of the south, so I am less than 3 hours from each coast. Win/win! lol :0)

    • Texas is gorgeous AND you get to go like 90 MPH in the daytime on the interstates West of San Antonio (see what I remember about your state?). I cannot imagine living where it’s so cold that you can’t go outside barefoot even for a minute to grab the mail… But it is fun to visit those cold states to play in the snow!