St Petersburg, Florida

I tried my first run in Florida, here in St Pete's. I was very trepidacious because of the heat and sunshine but I knew I had to do it, so I planned a short 7 km route to the water and back. It was 8.45am when I started and warm and sunny. (I had had several awful experiences running in Florida, firstly at the Miami Marathon in 2012 and then in December 2014 when I (1) went out for a 4 km jog along the beach at Juno Beach and just could not move in the heat and humidity and (2) felt light headed and dizzy running in Key West.)

I headed down towards the town centre and then beyond to the waterfront. I already had shin splints. I hit the waterfront by a huge marina, but once I got past that there was a welcoming green park with a paved trail by the water, and lined by trees. What’s more, there were pelicans, ducks, ibis and herons in the water.

After a few minutes I felt a twinge in my right calf. Not good. It wasn’t a full on strain but it was sore so I stopped and massaged it a bit and then ran on, hoping I wasn’t doing damage. I still had the shin splints and my glutes were tight. I moved along slowly, enjoying the scenery.

On my way home, on a slightly different route, I succeeded, of course, in getting lost. I had been carrying a map in my hand but it had got soggy and completely disintegrated. Rather confusingly I passed a car park which said it was parking for my hotel, but I couldn’t see my hotel; I was quite certain I wasn’t standing outside it! Then I turned back and found where I should have gone, and found my actual hotel. I was completely saturated.


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