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It’s that time!! Half marathon training time. In Florida. In July. I *must* be crazy… Right?

I originally completed my first and only half marathon, The Jacksonville Bank Half Marathon, a year and a half ago in December 2009.  Waaay to much time has passed since then!

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I'm obviously not the old lady in the blue...but she did totally beat me!

Since I ran that first half, life got a little crazy and I didn’t have the time to train consistently. Now things have significantly calmed down. Plus, I also got a new job as Social Media Director for the small, but ambitious marketing agency, Renaissance Creative (& more consistent hours). So try, try again, I go.

Right now my hopes are set on the Marine Corps Half Marathon in Jacksonville the first weekend in October – subtract 3 months training from that weekend and that’s….July 2, this past Saturday.

So Saturday I went for my first long run of the season. Strapped on my running shoes and headed out the door for my run. Um, yeah, right.

Reality check: I got in my car, drove my ass to the gym and slugged out four miles on what my friend, Caron, affectionately refers to as the “dreadmill”. See most people don’t really enjoy running more than a few miles at a time on the treadmill – especially seasoned outdoor runners. My longest run ever on a dreadmill was five miles total. When I finished, I felt like I deserve an award or a medal or at least a handshake from Hal Higdon or something for that!

Since this Saturday was calling for a high of about 98′, I dutifully went to the good ol’ YMCA on a Saturday afternoon over Fourth of July weekend. The gym was DEAD. AWESOME

This meant my favorite dreadmill was unoccupied!! No facing the wall today – I got a window! Not really THAT amazing. If I get the “window treadmill”, I usually stare across the retention pond at the small bushes and pretend I’m running towards them. On a good run, it feels like they’re even getting a little closer…endorphins rock! But it’s still much better than facing the yellow drywall!

The treadmill in the window is the one on the upper left in front of the window that the person in black is running on..

As soon as I hopped on, a woman hopped on the one next to me and mentioned something about how she was glad to get a treadmill facing the window. Hers had about 3/4 window access and 1/4 wall.

the view from the road... small windows!

Right when we both started warming up, I noticed a white slender bird creeping ever so slowly through the water and weeds along side the opposite edge of the retention pond. It was either an Egret or a White Herring. Google it.  I cant decide.

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See him on the bottom of the lake creepin along?

Well, I was mesmerized by the LIVE National Geographic broadcast occurring right in front of me. I kept on running with my eyes glued out the window to the slender white bird. The bird was slowly wading through the water at the edge of the pond clearly looking for food. He continued to inch to the right as I jogged through Mile 1. Shortly after that I realized he’d inched so far towards the right side of the pond, the side of the window was blocking my view. I was so intent with watching him, I had unknowingly started jogging on left hand side of the treadmill so I could still get a glimpse of the little guy.

Just as my attention began to drift, the bird straightened up and snapped his head into the water. The lady on the treadmill next to me let out a loud cheer and clapped. I burst out laughing at that point because I realized, she too was glued to watching the bird too!  I just found this hilarious!  The other (three) people working out must’ve thought we were crazy!

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Are you an outdoor runner? When you can’t run outside, do you hop on the dreadmill?

I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment!

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