Sunshine, Warmth and Hogwarts

I am a southerner at heart.  I had no choice at being born in the north, and had to endure long, cold and white winters.  As a child I didn’t mind, as snow meant FUN!  Snowball fights, snow forts, skiing.  As an adult though, and the older I get, the more and more I hate cold weather.  Living in the south now for over 15 years, my blood has thinned.

My mood, especially after hitting Daylight Savings Time, really dips with winter temperatures and fewer hours of daylight.  This year I am even finding running in the cold weather much less enjoyable than in the past.  I just need more warmth.  Luckily I have something to look forward to.  Even as I turn on the television this morning and see our first winter storm advisory splashed across the screen, my thoughts are more on sunshine and warmth than the potential for a quarter of an inch of ice we are supposed to get this evening and overnight.

Thursday after work we are loading up the old Suburban, and heading south.  Finally a break to the winter, and a much needed getaway after a long and arduous holiday season at work.  Thursday night will put us in northern Georgia before hitting the road again early Friday morning to Orlando.

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A four day vacation in Florida is just what I need.  Not having been to Univeral Orlando in over ten years, I am really looking forward to a warm weather holiday.  Staying at Disney, but playing at Universal.  We’ve been to Disney three times in the last seven years, so this will be a nice change up.

With the Walt Disney World Marathon and other races down there this past weekend, the numerous posts I’ve seen regarding the races and everyone’s time in Florida has really gotten me anxious for this break.  Not sure if I will even get out for a run while there, I will surely be visiting Harry Potter and the famous Hogwarts!  Can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to ride some roller coasters!

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Here’s to vacations!  Here’s to warmer weather!  Here’s to sunshine and palm trees!

Lucky #13

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On May 4th, just four short days away, I will be toeing the line and beginning my 26.2 mile journey for the 13th time.  Successful completion is the goal, if nothing else.  The weather is supposed to be warm, a risk I knew about going in.  I debated the potential for hot weather back when I signed up in December.  I guess a warm weather marathon sounded pretty good, when it was 28 degrees the day I signed up.  The reality of it is now upon me, and it doesn’t sound too enjoyable.  Currently the forecast at the start is about 52 degrees, full on sunshine and a high in the low 80’s.  Wow and yikes at the same time!

I plan on conquering this marathon one mile at a time.  Slow and deliberate if needed, with no pressure.  Well, to be honest, I would like to finish under four hours.  If I do, it will be my 8th in a row under four hours.  BUT….. I will not risk injury, or heat related illness to achieve this goal.  I want to remain healthy, as I have big plans on getting back to my running roots this Summer.  I do not want to start out the Summer being injured.

This marathon is unique in many ways.  I think the most notable is the fact that they are having several packet pick ups.  I believe six in total, starting a few days ago.  There is no race day packet pick up.  Instead, they are having packet pick ups at several locations across the state of North Carolina.  A road show, if you will.  They have been in Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro.  I plan on picking up my packet on Friday, at the closest location to me, Durham.

Yesterday the race organization sent out a post regarding aid stations.  I think, based on the potential for very warm weather, that they have added several more water stops along the course.  Every other mile, up to mile 10, then every mile.  This will be very important to runners.  Staying hydrated will be the order of the day.  I am debating running shirtless, as a sweaty shirt in 80 degrees will surely leave my nipples in a world of hurt.  Maybe I will just wear a red shirt, so that the blood will just blend in. (Sigh)

So, over the next couple of days the final preparations will fall into line.  Body Glide, check!  Do they sell it in an economy size 64oz. stick?  I think I am going to need it.  Gu, for on the course.  Generation UCan, more on course nutrition.  Sunscreen, cap and buff to wipe away the sweat, and keep the sun out of my eyes.

Marathon lucky #13 is here, and I will cross that line!