On the Run
A week ago Sunday I was running down the streets of New Orleans with thousands of fellow runners. It was my third time participating in the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.
These 13.1 miles took me through downtown, along St. Charles and back, through the French Quarter and toward City Park. I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:04:09, soaked in a mixture of ice cold water, salt, and sweat.
Before offering a play by play of the race, I feel I must first acknowledge the moments leading up to the start line, and the love that supported me along the way.
This photo was taken Friday night at the expo. Stopping by the expo just before it closed on night one, rather than waiting until Saturday, meant we were able to walk through and see everything without the crowd, and take our time being silly.
Adventure doesn’t need excessive money, time or planning. Adventure can be as simple as jumping in the car, or in Saturday’s case, hopping on a ferry.
Saturday was a race cheering, hand holding, vegan feasting, ferry riding kind of day—one that took very little preparation and effort. And it all started with race cheering.
While running along the St. Augustine bayfront yesterday afternoon, I took some time to reflect upon the changing of seasons, and the beginning of another year. I must say, I have a bit of a problem with the whole “New Year, New You” mentality. Whenever I see this phrase [over]used as a headline, I can’t help but sigh. I have to ask, what does it even mean? While I appreciate the encouragement to be a better version of myself than last year, I think holding ourselves to a good, better and best ranking system urges us to put unrealistic expectations on ourselves.
Although I will continue to strive to make positive changes, learn from my experiences, invite healing into my life, and let go of mental roadblocks holding me back, I’m not sure I will ever be the best version of myself. And I’m not sure I want to be either. After I’m the best me, then what? Sounds like even more self-induced pressure.
A 5:30 a.m. wake up call. Coffee in the dark. Watching the sun slowly rise up to greet the day. Nervous energy boxed up, ready to be released. National Anthem blaring. Hands over hearts. Feet inching closer and closer to the start line. Bending down and checking your laces one last time.
The rush that envelops your entire body as you take off, step by step.
These are feelings each runner gets to know all over again, at every single start line.
These are feelings I will never grow tired of.
This time last week, I was “Revving up to Race in the Ancient City,” and eagerly awaiting my mom’s arrival in St. Augustine.
Though the St. Augustine Half Marathon Weekend has come and gone, it’s now time to relive the details and document them while they remain fresh. Recognizing it’s impossible to capture each and every moment, here’s my attempt at recapping this bright and beautiful, mother-daughter race weekend.
Well, it has been many moons since I signed up to run the St. Augustine Half Marathon. And now, it’s here! I can’t even believe it.
Just as the sun is rising Sunday morning, I will be lining up at the start line at fort Castillo De San Marcos in downtown St. Augustine.
The St. Augustine Half Marathon will be my first race since the Nashville Country Music Marathon in April, and my second half marathon of 2014 (or fourth if you count the full as two halves). This race will also be the first time I get to represent the Oiselle Flock and sport my bird jersey (aside from last month’s backyard photo shoot).
Last Wednesday, Andrew and I hopped in the Jetta and headed toward St. Petersburg, Florida. The mission of our trip was to deliver a painting to our friend Brian. The painting is a portrait of Brian and his girlfriend Ashley that Brian commissioned Andrew to paint in honor of their anniversary.
Pretty incredible painting, right?
Rather than simply packing up this work of art and mailing it, we decided to make a meaningful day trip out of it. Seeing a friend you haven’t seen recently and getting to provide him with something heartfelt that is a surprise for the woman he loves is a beautiful thing.
While proper vacations may demand an increased amount of time, funding and energy, day trips are a fun-filled way to take a day off from your normal routine, feel as if you are on vacation, and make it back home in time to sleep in your own bed, all without breaking the bank. Although I’m not sure day trips actually need any defending, here is a rundown of our day trip to St. Pete, coupled with reasons I think day trips should be a regular part of existence.
A week ago Friday, I welcomed my mom and her best friend Jean back to my St. Augustine stomping grounds. If it seems like they were just helping me move here, it’s because they were—two weeks prior.
If you ever find yourself with one night to stay in St. Augustine and are looking for a hotel with historic charm that is situated in the heart of downtown and comes with a direct view of the bay and the Bridge of Lions, I recommend the Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront.
Friday night, my mom and Jean set up camp here. Naturally, I invited myself to join so I could bask in the amenities while enjoying girl time. We had our own private bayfront balcony where we propped our feet up, sipped wine, kicked back and relaxed.