Growing up in Florida you tend to take a lot of things for granted. The sun is shining the majority of the time. There are Christmas days growing up that we spent on the beach in Daytona. During the summer, from the last day of school until the first day we wore nothing but shorts. No shoes, rarely a shirt. It was too hot and back in those ancient days on the 1960’s to 1970’s we had o air conditioning. In fact the first time I had ac on a consistent basis was when I went to boot camp in 1981. The air conditioning we had in our house was a box fan that you could load ice into the back of that cooled the air a little, but that also leaked constantly. The way we complain about the heat nowadays it’s a wonder I ever survived back then eh?
So any way, back to my point, we Florida natives, and there are so few of us, take this weather for granted. It becomes more evident when the “winter” months come and we see posts from our triathlon or running counter parts from the other 49 states start worrying about getting ample training time when there’s three feet of snow on the ground. In TNT we have a saying that we have on our shirts … We Train Where You Vacation. It’s so very true. We can get open water swim training in year round. Even in the months of January and February the water temperature in the Gulf is still in the low 70’s or upper 60’s. Our northern brothers and sisters are reduced to pool training all winter, which is quite evident when the TNT teams from there arrive in Florida for their first triathlon at St. Anthony’s and have never been in open water before. The look on their faces is priceless when they see how different a pool is from the real thing.
It hit me today while patching for to weekends half marathon at Disney. The weather is cooler than last year. If you look at the pictures from that race we were all wearing tanks and ran from 10 pm until about 2 am and had no issues. This year were are looking at probably temps in the low 50’s, and this is where our Florida upbringing hurts us. While we can run in the heat and rain, running in the cold is not a favorite thing for us, especially for me. It’s not that I hate the cold, it i do hate training or running in it. Makes me a miserable sob, as Jenny and a few others can attest to. So I am packing long sleeved running shirts, under armor gear, gloves, arm warmers, chap stick, running jacket.
Yes … I am a wimp …
Speaking of the race, the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon was my first ever 13 mile run. This marks the year anniversary of my longer distance running efforts. Last year I didn’t know how to pace, tried way to hard, and was hurting so bad afterwards I couldn’t even walk to Epcot to enjoy the after festivities. This year, after a few more half’s under the belt along with two Half Ironman races, it hardly seems like worth worrying about. I know it will still be a challenge to me, because my running sucks, but I know I can do it, and I know how to pace myself.
Funny how one year can change the mindset so much.