Just about every year, we go to Florida on vacation for a week or so. It's a nice break because we don't really care for the cold, snowy conditions in the Northeast each winter. So this April we headed down to Fort Myers Beach for a little R&R. We arrived in Florida via Detroit in the early afternoon of April 16th. The temperature was around 85 degrees and it was sunny. Sounds good, right?
Running in Florida for me has been a bit of a challenge. With the high humidity and temperature, it seems that each mile down there is almost like twice the distance up north. Don't get me wrong. I like going to Florida. But I've found that certain things are important for me to do when running in Florida. First, I put on suntan lotion to prevent overexposure. Then I run earlier in the morning to avoid the hotter conditions. I always drink water before running, but I carry water with me on every run down there. I know some people have difficulties drinking or eating on the run, but my energy gets so zapped if I don't sip some water during these tropical runs. I also don't feel the need to stretch as much before running in Florida because the "fluid" conditions.
One of the best things about running in Florida are the views though. When I run on the beach, it's not unusual to see numerous types of birds. Pelicans, terns, gulls and sandpipers fly back and forth in the wind. Dolphins sometimes show up and chase schools of fish along the shore. Of course, there are people mulling around the beach too. This April I was particularly impressed with this very old woman who religiously ran by our condo in the early morning on multiple days and returned about 45 minutes later going the other direction, unfazed by the conditions. She wasn't moving fast, in fact, she was barely crawling, but she was doing her thing. It was obvious to me that running played a very important role in her life and I can relate to that. I hope when I get to that age I'm able to do the same.