I thought about these people on my recent trip to Mexico. This was a much needed vacation for me, and my plan was to try and get a couple of treadmill training runs in at the hotel in Cancun, where I stayed on the first and last nights of my trip. For the rest of my time in Tulum, I planned to take time off from training and continue to rest a couple of injuries that were starting to get a little better. In other words, I was going to minimize the chore of running while I was on vacation. I mean, who wants to spend their beach vacation working out? The word "work" is right in the phrase.
|Not the watch tower we could see|
from the beach, but there was one
at each corner, and the one I saw
looked just like this.
When we arrived back at the hotel, my friend informed me that she was going to do a beach run, and as she said it, the idea sounded pretty cool. First of all, I could test out this whole barefoot running thing. Second, the weather was just cool enough to make it not too hot and unbearable to "work out".
I got on my running gear (sans shoes, of course), strapped on my heart rate monitor and set out. In my mind, this was going to be one of my required training runs that I could get out of the way so I could relax and enjoy my vacation. I had a whole plan for interval training ready to go. I was worried because I didn't have my music, but if worse came to worst, I could just walk. I walked down the stairs to the beach, and I started my run.
|The barefoot runner.|
I did that run - a little over 2 miles round trip - every single day I was in Tulum. That wasn't part of my training schedule, but that's not why I was doing it. I did it because it was joyful and such a great way to start my day.
Now I'm back in Seattle, where there is no white sand beach, no Caribbean sea out my front door, no Mayan ruin watching over me. How could I bring that joy of running back with me?
The answer came simply last Sunday. It was my friend Janna's 40th birthday, and she celebrated by running a half marathon. She is doing the marathon with me in June along with three other friends, and we all joined her on her birthday, a few of us doing the 10K instead due to our various injuries. But that allowed us to be there when she crossed the finish line, in just under two hours (1:58 to be exact), and I'm glad I didn't miss that.
|My friend Janna at the end of |
the half marathon.
So as I continue to train for the marathon and sometimes struggle, I'll be able to think back on those beach runs in Mexico and the joy I felt. But as those memories grow more distant, I'll be able to find the spirit of the Tarahumara in Janna and my other friends training with me for the marathon.