It’s cold here, so I took my running shoes to South Beach…

As I’ve made pretty clear, I’m not a big fan of winter these days. So, to escape the cold and — let’s face it — to become a much happier human, Sam and I spent a week in warmer weather. My conclusion? In January, Miami >> New York City. Truth.

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Evidence. You don’t get this in NYC in January (or any other month, really).
For the past 3 years, we’ve been going on The Rockboat, a cruise that’s part music festival, part spring break for adults (picture a bunch of middle aged people carrying beer buckets around like security blankets, eating soft serve ice cream at 2am, all while losing their voices from singing along to Barenaked Ladies and Sister Hazel a little too enthusiastically).
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Green River Ordinance singing from the pool deck of the Norwegian Pearl. Photo credit: Sam Teichman Photo & Video
Anyway, since we were on a boat for a few days, I had to do some treadmill running. It’s not my favorite (note: I despite it), but if I’m doing it while overlooking the ocean, I suppose I can tolerate it for a few miles. 😉 What made the workout… interesting…  was that the gym on the ship was high up (deck 12 of 14), the water was rocky, and the treadmills were oriented perpendicular to the current. So, with each rise and fall of the ship, it felt like I was doing awkward sideways mini hill repeats. And then there were the planks. Try doing planks on a rocking boat. It’s like doing them on a moving stability ball. There was no way I was going to try jumping lunges — I can’t even do those on solid ground without looking like a drunken elephant, let alone on a rocking ship. Outside of all the gym work, I stuck with my training plan thanks to a really decent buffet: I had a steady diet of fresh greens, steamed vegetables, beans, fresh fruit, and late night veggie snacks (okay fine, I might have sneaked in a cookie. Or 3). After a 4 day cruise, I am proud to say that I still managed to fit into my shorts. Phew.
We got back to land and Sam and I took our running shoes and dirty clothes to South Beach for the rest of the week, because, duh. winter. The last time I was in South Beach was in 2010 to run the Miami Marathon.

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Post marathon score was Miami: 2, Kelly: 0.

My dad came along to support me, which was super cool, until the point in the trip where people were clearly confused as to whether we were husband and wife instead of father and daughter. Umm, ew. I was 27 and my dad was, like, 60. Miami: 1, Kelly: 0. To make it worse, the marathon was a rough race for me. My goal was to place in my age group, but (SPOILER!), it turns out training in the winter in New York and then going to race a marathon in warm humid Florida is not so smart (we won’t even discuss the 3:30am race-day wake up call). Nevertheless, I left it all out on the course. Literally. I “deposited” breakfast — and probably a little bit of dinner — in three different spots. Despite the mess, I came in under 3:40 (my then-qualifying time for Boston) and promptly decided I didn’t like Miami.

Anyway, I digress. It’s 2015 and the circumstances were slightly different. Poor Sam thought we were there to relax, but HA, I had other plans: each day brought 75 degrees, sunny skies… and 9+ miles. Sunset runs on the boardwalk, morning runs along the Venetian Causeway, and a mid-afternoon recovery run through the Everglades that turned into a fartlek because I got scared every time we passed an alligator.

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Imagine passing dozens of these guys on your run. You’d run fast, too.
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Ran through the Everglades and lived to tell about it!
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My family has had 4 retired racing greyhounds, so I insisted that Sam and I see them race. Holy cow those puppies can run.
Miami the second time around was a much better trip. There was no confusion about my relationship with my male traveling partner, but there was lots of good running, clean eating, and most importantly, warm weather! SoBe, maybe you’re not so bad after all.
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