When I need to buckle down and get things done I often hear the voice of my High School Spanish Teacher, Senora Maria echo in my brain “Girls, it’s time to lace up your high-heeled sneakers…” Senora had been born and lived most of her childhood in Havana and more than 35 years after arriving in America still spoke with a thick Cuban accent. She is one of the many great teachers I was lucky to have growing up.
Last night I settled in to take care of some administrative tasks (yawn) and thought back to her high energy anthem. As I looked at my long list (my own fault it was that long) I started to play motivation games with myself. I wanted to google high-heeled sneakers and promised myself I could, after ticking off half the items on my list. This is what I found:
Cute, right? I think they would be fun with jeans. Big bonus Ash has scads of pretty shoes for every mood.
After my five minute break, I returned to my list with renewed vigor and set off to tackle the last items. I still couldn’t shake the high-heeled sneakers and that lead to the following free association: high heeled sneakers – sneakers – running shoes – oh, I need to run tomorrow – I need to register for that 5k before it sells out. Then my mind started to drift to the intersection of running and travel: the destination run. Somewhere along the way I decided that to justify the expense of travel – and built-in rewards of a hotel, spa and fun exploring a distant city – a destination run had to be a half marathon. Now, I bet you can guess what happened next, hrm?
I began to daydream about half marathons in new and exciting locations and soon I was making a mental list of my favorites. A few hours later I feel into bed and those 13.1 mile runs were still dancing in my head. I started to toy with the idea of running a late fall half this year… and low and behold I was hatching a plan.
I feel very strongly that writing out a plan and sharing it is the first step to accomplishing a goal, so I thought I would share this list and set my intention to run a half every year in my fourth decade of life.
- St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon: why? Memphis is a wonderful city and I’ve been looking forward to returning since about 30 minutes after I drove out-of-town. I’m also an ardent supporter of the St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the amazing things they do to help families dealing with the devastation of an ill child. This half and the full marathon run on the same day both sell out quickly – so if you’re interested set your clock for registration day – usually early June.
- Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon: beautiful location and, rumor has it, a chardonnay stop at mile 10. Can’t beat that with a stick.
- Newport Half Marathon: Newport, RI is one of my favorite road trip locations. It’s a perfect weekend getaway and I do love a run along the water’s edge.
- Safari Park Half (San Diego Zoo): I LOVE San Diego! I can’t think of a better way to spend a day than visiting the zoo and Balboa Park. Go see – you’ll be smitten, I promise. And, while we’re talking about my love for Southern California
- Silver Strand Half Marathon: run from Coronado to Imperial Beach and bask in the wonder of the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay? YES PLEASE!
- Wicked Half Marathon: Salem, MA ranks as one of my all time favorite places. I’ve never turned down a chance to visit and in my ‘single, carefree days’ I was known to toss an overnight bag in the car on a whim and drive north. This September race is a likely contender for this year’s run.
- Divas Half, San Juan, PR: Divas races are big on girl power with feather boas and tiaras, champagne toasts and San Juan in November is about as good as it gets.
- Stratton Faxon Fairfield Half: the start line is less than an hour’s drive from my front door, qualifying this as my only ‘local race.’ The big draw for me? The option to be a Bandit for the Hole In The Wall Gang. This camp was founded by Paul Newman, who I hold as a hero, for his efforts to make our world a nicer place. This is where children coping with serious, life threatening illnesses can come to simply ‘be kids’ and with world-class medical care on site, families can feel secure in giving their kids a much-needed ‘break’.
- Princess Half Marathon: dress up like a Princess and run through Disney World – Sign Me Up
- Tinkerbell Half Marathon: wait… dress up like my favorite character of all time and run though Disney Land with pixie wings.. Yes Please!
- … Run both races in the same year and earn a coveted Pink Coast to Coast Medal… Yeah Buddy!
- Portland (OR) Half Marathon: I offer you a strange peek into my psyche as I say – my love of SoCal is matched only by my love for the Pacific Northwest. Portland edges out Seattle for a PacNorth race because of the (slightly) lower chance of rain. Me no likely to run in rain.
- Run for the Wild: a 5k through the Bronx Zoo is the second race on this list that would qualify as local and a wonderful chance to raise funds for a place that is special to my heart.
Your turn – do you lace up your sneakers for fun? If you do let us know what your wish list runs?