Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Most of us have a happy place. A place you enjoy going to. A place where you feel comfortable, content, and where the surroundings make your heart smile. I love sharing my happy place and often do. I think of Dr. Suess and the book he wrote, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.” How that place makes me feel that today is my day! Dr. Suess says, “I’ll soar to new heights and will be off to great places!” Do you have a place like this? I do and just this morning I was there; Mead Garden is my happy place.

Jon and I love to travel and when we do we find the best places to run, walk and hike. We love getting away, we love nature and running off road. It’s probably because we live near the city and when we exercise it is mostly on concrete or asphalt. Mead Garden is my favorite go to place to run and workout. Over the years I’ve had opportunities to accomplish some amazing goals including running marathons in four countries! My goals have changed in recent years and I think that’s why my happy place inspires me when I’m running/walking and working out. I’ve learned to be quiet, however, so I don’t disturb the birders. We had some great opportunities to travel this summer and visited Denver, Wisconsin, Seattle and the Canadian Rockies! Now, that is off road and some beautiful hiking! We so enjoyed the break from the hot weather!

Setting out to accomplish running goals can be challenging and Central Florida has so many great options. Joining a group like Track Shack’s Marathonfest, or our Galloway program, or the Orlando Runners Club (ORC) helps us train in hot summer weather. ORC has several fun runs (literally) each week including our Wednesday MidWeek run. We often give accolades to Marathonfest coach Susan Paul and they are well deserved. Hundreds of runners trust her to find just the right pace and training so their goals come true. So many of our local friends are training this summer for fall marathons and believe me, it takes a village to organize these weekly runs, so thank goodness Susan is at the helm! We are super excited to offer a sustainable option for our runners in this year’s program. We are using a reusable cup called HydraPouchIt does take some getting used to and change can be hard, but we really want to help the environment. You’ll find when shopping with us we’ll now ask if you want a bag for your items as well. If you are training this summer and your shoes are often wet, remember to reuse your newspaper and use it to stuff your shoes so they dry properly.

Since I’m on a roll talking about recycling…did you know that I love to read? I’m a book girl, for sure and so is Katherine who works at the store with me. We decided to recycle our books and we installed a Little Free Library behind Track Shack! Stop by to take a book and/or leave one too! Ok, back to running! Many of our local runners and walkers, are setting their sights on yet a different goal… completing all six of the Track Shack Running Series events. For over 40 years these races have challenged thousands of runners. 

These are our running Fanatics who almost always finish each race with a smile on their face. I try never to miss a finish line high five because these smiles keep Jon and I going. We kick off the series celebrating Track Shack’s August anniversary with the Celebration of Running 5k held in Cultural Park near the brand new Orlando Ballet. We step things up a bit in September with the Battle of the Bands 5k and the ever popular UCF 2 and 5 mile race in October. This event also includes our first Distance Dare in this year’s running series.

While you are building up your distance this summer and fall consider running the 43rd OUC Orlando Half Marathon and 5k! Our team at Track Shack Events works all year to make our hometown half marathon as much fun as possible …I’m not kidding, we literally work year round! What an amazing goal and an amazing way to finish the year! As much as I love my happy place in Mead Garden, I miss my longer runs so it makes me happy to be involved in your training, and in Jon’s as well. Remember to say hi when you pop into the store and certainly don’t forget those high fives at the finish! Oh, the places running will take you!

See you on the roads!

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