I Paddleboard! I’m A Paddleboarder!

If you’ve never seen the movie What About Bob? you are seriously missing out. It was my favorite movie growing up. While my peers were sitting around watching Disney movies, I was watching Richard Dreyfuss beat up Bill Murray at Lake Winnipesaukee. It doesn’t get much better than that. In fact, I just watched it a few weeks ago, around the time I crossed paddleboarding off my list. Here is a short clip of when Bob goes sailing for the first time.

 

So, as you can imagine, my paddleboarding experience was pretty much identical.

what-about-bob

There I am!

 

Oops. I mean,…this.

I'm on the left.

I’m on the left. I know you’re jealous of my awesome shorts tan lines.

I’ll be really, really honest. It was just ok. I wanted to love it, but there were a few things I would change. I will call these my Rules for Paddleboarding.

First of all, it was too easy! I was hoping paddleboarding would be something I couldn’t talk and do at the same time, let alone smile for a camera! The boards we had were, as you can see from the photo, basically kayaks. There were grooves for our feet. I guess this is great for beginners and all, but…is it weird that I sort of wanted to fall in?

Rule #1: Just say “No” to wimpy, kayak-y paddleboards and be a big girl. Use one that’s like a surfboard.

Second, we paddleboarded in a marina, which, you know, has a lot of boats. The water was dark. Did I mention there were lots of old fishing boats? There was visible oil in the water, which was a little depressing. There were a few birds, but little wildlife to look at. There were a few pretty houses, but I was left wanting a lot more. It was in Tarpon Springs, so walking around afterward was super cool and well…Greek food. I mean, you don’t need much more explanation beyond that. But still. I wanted pretty fish, birds, waves, and clear-down-to-the-bottom water you expect in Florida.

Rule #2: Paddleboard in the actual ocean. Stay away from boats and oil.

Last, I really wanted to get in the water. On a hot day, nothing feels quite so nice as splashing around in some water. This goes along with Rule #2; paddleboarding in water you actually want to jump into is key. I wanted to take my time and sit down for a bit to rest my feet. I wanted to kick a little in the water and splash my friends. I wanted to bring a snorkel and dive down when I saw something cool.

Rule #3: Jump in.

paddleboarding2

Rule #4: If someone is checking out your butt, make the most of it.

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29/73/1500: Mayfaire 5K

What are all those numbers about, you say?

Yesterday, May 12, 2012 I ran in my first 5K race, the 33rd annual Midflorida Mayfaire. I have not been running regularly for very long; I practiced the 5K distance for a few weeks preceding this race. My goal was to come in under 30 minutes, and I did! My official race time was 29:24, which put me at 29th place out of 73 other girls in my age group. I ended up being in 502nd place out of a total of about 1,500 participants. Don’t worry, I already patted my back.

Overall, the race was good! It started at 7 p.m., which turns out to be a nice time for me. I was able to sleep in, do some yoga, eat a decent lunch, and have a generally lazy, relaxing day up to that point. That’s just the way I like it.

I felt the course was good for a beginner, but the hill at the end was pretty tough. It’s amazing how steep the streets feel when you’re running them as opposed to pressing the gas pedal in your car. The last hill was at the very end of the course, right when my energy was waning and my lungs were struggling to find enough oxygen amid the humidity. But, alas!  I ran like the Little Engine that Could and crossed the finish line.

My friend Mary was committed to run alongside me for my first race, and she kept me so motivated!

Pre-race: That’s me, Adam, and Mary. This was Adam’s and my first race.

Moments before I crossed the finish line

After the race, there were all sort of festivities, the best being fireworks. We all found a peaceful spot to sit along the edge of Lake Mirror, with an awesome view of the fireworks. We “oohed” and “ahhed” abundantly then shared some delicious pizza. It was the perfect end to a rewarding day.

Maybe I’ll stick with this running thing for a while.

 

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