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Worth The Drive

by Meghann on January 26, 2014

I had an AWESOME run yesterday.

I met a local running group (RunVie) at the Safety Harbor marina to run part of the Best Damn Race course. When my alarm first went off at 5:30, I was not very happy with myself for agreeing to go. But, I mean, who doesn’t question their life decisions when their alarms goes off that early on a Saturday?

Safety Harbor is a beautiful little town on the other side of the bay. It’s a great running spot, but unfortunately it’s not close by any means. It took me a little over 30 minutes to drive from my house to the marina. It’s not something I could commit myself to every day, but it’s worth the rare drive over to enjoy this gorgeous view.


Sometimes I really, really love living in Florida. We had great running conditions yesterday. It was about 45 degrees at the start and we had picture perfect blue skies for the majority of our run. We even got to watch the sunrise over the water for the first part. Amazing.

So I’ve been lazy lately. Really lazy. Once upon a time I used to love exploring new areas of Tampa Bay for my long runs. Every weekend I would pick a new spot to run – Clearwater Beach, South Tampa, Flatwoods, St. Pete, Dunedin, etc. – and knock out my miles exploring that side of town. The new sights would keep me entertained and the miles went by so much faster when you didn’t have the route memorized like the back of your hand. For some reason I haven’t been as inspired to drive for my long runs lately. I’ve gotten so stuck in my ways of running the same routes over and over again in my neighborhood that I’m taking all the fun out of running.

Yesterday was a good reminder of why I used to make the extra effort to drive for my long runs – they’re just so much more fun that way. Especially when you’re by the water.

It was also great to run with a group of strangers. I showed up not knowing a single person in the group. After we warmed-up, the group’s coach broke everyone up by pace. I wandered over to the 9:00 -10:00 min/mi group (I could have lied to myself and gone with the faster group, but  what’s the point in lying to myself when I know my current limits aren’t what they used to be) and introduced myself. Everyone was very friendly and outgoing. I liked them already.

Once we started – and the groups thinned out – I ended up running with a pack of 4 or 5 runners who were all very talkative. The great thing about running with other runners is all they really talk about is running so it’s really easy to jump into a conversation with total strangers. We talked about local races, goals, future races, traveling for races, and even Ironman training.

The miles flew by. I can’t even remember when a run went that fast. Man, I miss running with groups!

In the end, I ran 7 miles with the team and finished feeling amazing. Those 7 miles were so much easier and more entertaining than any of my long runs have been since training for Ironman Florida.


They weren’t my fastest 7 miles ever, but we kept the goal of keeping a conversational pace and I finished feeling great. Winning!

I hope to run with RunVie again soon. I also hope to find more running routes to explore in Tampa Bay. I was definitely inspired to stop being lazy and get out of running in my neighborhood. It’s great to keep it local for my weekday runs, but weekends are meant for exploring, right?


1 Sabrina January 26, 2014 at 11:48 am

I’ve heard a lot of good things about running groups. Treadmills and running alone are boring. I think this year I should find a group. Maybe that will help push my pace and I can learn a thing or two.
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2 Katie January 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I don’t run with run groups, my run times are the same as most of them. But, I do love chatting with people during the tough parts of races. I usually ask what their goal is, or tell them if I’ve been trying to catch them for a while. And you can always ask if they’ve done the course before. While running it is so easy to just talk about running with people!
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3 Ashley January 26, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Wow, that IS beautiful! I think I need to move to Florida.
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4 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun January 26, 2014 at 1:52 pm

We are going to be moving later this year and one of the things I look forward to the most is hopefully finding a running group. There are none where we live currently and I think that would be so awesome to have a group to meet for a run. Looks beautiful!
Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..Weekly Training Recap: 1/20 – 1/26

5 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs January 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm

What beautiful surroundings for a run! As someone who is stuck in the middle of a very cold Canadian winter, I’m super jealous 🙂
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6 The Many Thoughts of a Reader January 26, 2014 at 2:21 pm

I’m jealous. Said underneath a blanket, wearing a sweatshirt while the snow is falling outside adding to the foot on the ground.

7 Kara January 26, 2014 at 3:01 pm

More often than not, I drive somewhere to go running. I’ve gotten a little bored of my town and I find my runs are so much better when I drive to meet friends somewhere else. I never thought much of it until one of my (non-runner) friends said “you DRIVE to go RUNNING”? haha!
Kara recently posted..How To Love The Treadmill

8 Ali January 26, 2014 at 3:41 pm

That’s a gorgeous picture! I find running with a group to be really inspiring when I’m in a slump or having trouble getting motivated. I’m glad it helped you! It sounds like a great group!
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9 Sydney January 26, 2014 at 4:27 pm

I always find myself doing the same 2-mile loop by my house over and over again. No bueno! It’s just cause I’m lazy and just want to get started right outside my front door. But there’s a lake about half an hour away that I’ve always wanted to run by…
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10 Runner Girl Eats January 26, 2014 at 8:06 pm

How fun! This has me even more pumped for BDR next week!
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11 Kristen @ Glitter and Dust January 26, 2014 at 8:53 pm

One of my goals this year is to get more involved with group runs and rides. I have always been a solo athlete and want to break that habit. I am so jealous that you get to wake up and run alongside the ocean – I only get that opportunity two or three times a year when I am on vacation. Otherwise, it’s all mountain terrain for me.
Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted..What I Learned From My First Marathon

12 Amanda Elizabeth January 27, 2014 at 7:53 am

Safety Harbor is so far but it is absolutely beautiful up there! What gorgeous pics you got!
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13 Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian January 27, 2014 at 9:19 am

What a gorgeous view! I am so jealous. I miss the sun!
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14 hannah @ PalmBeachRunner January 27, 2014 at 9:50 am

Its so worth it to drive somewhere beautiful for a training run every now and then. I think it’s what keeps us committed to the sport and reminds us why we love it in the first place. I once drove over an hour to run with my friend’s training group and ended up getting to talk to this woman from London the whole time- she had run the London marathon and a number of others. SO Worth the drive to feel inspired again!

15 Beth January 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Oh man! Wish I would have know. We live 2.25 miles from the pier. I love our little Safety Harbor community and RunVie is an awesome group. 🙂 Glad you had a nice run!
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16 Courtney January 27, 2014 at 5:29 pm

I am SO guilty of just running the same 3 mile out and back (and running it 2, 3 times to get whatever mileage I need. I’m also super guilty of just hopping on the treadmill in perfectly nice weather to watch some MTV garbage. I need to explore more!

(no offense MTV, I love you)
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17 Martina @ snapshotsandwhatnots January 27, 2014 at 7:37 pm

I love the idea of running with a running group but the only ones near me all run at crazy o’clock in the morning and I just love my bed too much for that (especially on a Saturday!)

That view though is amazing!
Martina @ snapshotsandwhatnots recently posted..Training for a half-marathon – the halfway point

18 Caitlin January 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm

I definitely think I could start liking running if I had a group to run and chat with, but at the same time I sometimes prefer to zone out alone during my workouts and make them shorter but so intense I can’t chat!
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