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Showing posts from January, 2012

Just Because

So, this has little to do with running, except that I could have run while I was at the beach (but I didn't). Nonetheless, I wanted to memorialize some pictures I took of the sunset at Pass-a-Grille Beach this past weekend.

My Gasparilla Parade

Today is one of my favorite running days of the year. It is the biggest annual party day in Tampa, a day when grown-ups dress in pirate garb, start kegging at 10 in the morning, get rowdy over cheap, plastic beads, and create chaos along Bayshore Boulevard and all streets leading up to it. But these aren't the reasons I love today.

Lately I've had trouble waking up for my early morning runs, and while this morning was no exception, I did have some extra incentive to actually get out there and not put it off until tomorrow. Because of the Gasparilla Pirate Fest and parade scheduled to take place later in the day, the road was blocked off all along Bayshore Boulevard, where I usually run. This may not seem like a big deal, but two of the main drawbacks to running regularly on Bayshore are the concrete sidewalk and the noise and exhaust from vehicles constantly passing by. This morning, we runners, walkers, and bikers got to roam free in the streets, as if Bayshore were our own p…

Yoga in the Park

I've been going to this yoga class in Tampa's Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park for many months now, and I've often wished I'd taken pictures of the park, the setting sun, and the people. But I never do, because I don't want to disrupt my practice. But this evening I did the unspeakable: I took my phone from my purse just as we were going into Savasana (the shame!) and snapped two quick pics of my view.

This may just look like a square, but it is actually a cutout of the pavilion I was lying under for this evening's practice. When looking straight up, I didn't notice all the people around me, and it felt as if this opening to the sky were just for me. It was my own personal window to nature above that blocked out all visual distractions surrounding me, as if to say, here is your focus. Nothing else matters.

And this is the gorgeous skyline that we get to see--usually from a much better angle--during every Sunday yoga practice in the park. We're very lucky to…

Ragnar Relay, Part II: Race Report

I've been thinking about how I would recap my little excursion since the night I rode into Miami. I knew it would be difficult, as so many components make up this relay-race adventure. So in Lee fashion, I present to you a list.
I'll say up front that I had very little navigating to do, but navigation--both for drivers and for runners--was a HUGE part of this trip. Driving around Miami is no easy task on an ordinary day, never mind the added pressures of a timed race, rush-hour traffic, and 500 vans in town for the same event. Several group members were talking about how differently the race might have functioned without the aid of smart phones. Van navigation aside, runners also had to navigate their courses based on maps that came in the Ragnar Bible (yes, this exists), and stories of getting lost began ruminating across teams after the first couple of legs. Luckily, I had mostly straightaways; but I think some of the exchange points were confusingly set up for runn…

Ragnar Relay, Part I

So, never mind that earlier stuff about taking it easy with the running and not worrying about speed. I am currently en route to Miami to run a 199-mile group relay race to Key West.

I was "called in," as I like to think of it, to join some friends' group after one of their members had to back out at the last minute.

After some hours of contemplation, research, and Q&A, I decided to go for it. The physical challenge would not be too demanding; I'd be running no more than 3.6 miles in one leg, and the three legs would be separated by hours in between while the other 11 members ran.

What I was more concerned about was sharing very close quarters for hours on end with running friends I've been slowly getting to know over the past eight months. This would be a fast-forward in our relationship that I wasn't sure I was ready for. I like to control the pace of my relationships, and this trip would surely take some control away from me. In the end, I decided i…

Some Running Resolutions (ha, ha)

I love making lists and rules for myself, so the fact that I haven't made any formal new year resolutions is baffling to me. But in light of the fact that I do these things for myself year-round, I suppose it makes sense. Nevertheless, here are some running/fitness goals that I would like to accomplish this year:

Run a sub-2:10 half-marathon. This may still be slower than my first and fastest half-marathon (2:08:something), but it would be a decent improvement to the past four halves I've run.Run stronger. Not to be confused with faster.Run faster. But only if I can run stronger.Run in new places. There are many local trails I have yet to experience.Run with new people. But still cherish the solo runs.Plan for a fall marathon. I'm thinking Chicago (again) or Marine Corps. Keep yoga in the mix. It saves me.Run barefoot. Just because.Volunteer at a race. It's past time I give back.Take breaks from running. My body will thank me. Now that I've shown you mine, you show …