Hello from Florida!! No, you don’t need to refresh this page – this isn’t a post from 2016. But yes, it is very much like 2016 because I went to Marco Island, FL with Ben. It’s his family’s annual trip and since I’ve been caged up for over a year I jumped at the chance to get out of California for a week now that I’m vaccinated and the world is slowly opening. (Ben’s my ex and I used to come every year with him. He’s recently been working in CA and invited me because I’m fun and/or he knew I needed to get out of the house for my mental health.)
It was wild. I went into a Walmart without a mask and felt like a rule breaker.
I remember the day the Governor of California announced the ‘Safer-At-Home’ order in March 2020. I didn’t have a home since I sold my condo in December and was staying at an AirBB. (We’ll talk more about this in the next post.)
My point is = I’ve been wearing a mask, socially distancing, haven’t seen friends or went to a restaurant, basically have only left my home to run errands for over a year so I jumped at the chance to do something, anything again!
So last week I went to Marco Island, FL and even though it was more humid than my armpits on a long run in July – something about feeling like the pandy is coming to an end made me feel like myself again. I ran! I ate! I took pictures of my food! Run Eat Repeat was back and I it wasn’t until then that I realized how lost it was in the first place.
But instead of dwelling on that, we’re moving forward!
Step 1 – recap my lil trip with some highlights and tips for running on Marco Island. (Step 2 is marathon training. Step 3 is make jokes.)
Running Tips & Highlights from Marco Island, FL
Since I’ve been to Marco Island, FL many times I remembered my favorite running routes. It was really nice to check ’em out again. Most things are just like I remembered. It was a little quieter than before, but that’s probably because of the pandemic.
Running on Marco Island is great because it’s flat, safe and there are a lot of sidewalks and great views. If you’re visiting and staying on the main street of the island (there’s a bridge to the island that turns into the street with the biggest hotels and resorts) you can run right along the sidewalk in either direction for a few miles.
Or you can run a loop around the island that’s about 7 miles. It’s not around the island as in you’re on the beach and realize you’re running the perimeter of the island. I mean there’s a few big streets that create a loop.
Where to Run on Marco Island, FL
You can run up and down the biggest street on the island where a lot of the resorts and hotels are and just go out and back to run as far as you want. This makes it super easy if you’re a nervous runner and get lost easy. Or you can run on the sand (I skip this because I hate sand in my shoes) or run a loop on the island.
Here’s the loop you can run around the island on a map. It’s about 7.5 miles (you can make it a shorter run by making a smaller loop). There are sidewalks the entire time and you run over a few bridges with pretty views (especially in the early morning when it’s quiet and peaceful).
I made this lil running map and didn’t have time to make curved lines, but you get the idea. And note you can make the run shorter by turning on San Marco Rd.
I stopped to snap a few pics because it was so pretty. I love running by the water. Any water. Even a water bottle.
Okay. Now let’s talk about the other highlights…
Marco Island Travel Highlights
1. I found a bunch of sand dollars on the beach and was so excited and surprised. I’m a SoCal girl born and raised but never found a one here. (Note – it’s illegal to collect live sand dollars. And rules vary depending on location for collecting angel ones.)
2. Gulf of Mexico sunsets are everything.
3. Shopping WITHOUT A MASK was wild. I’ve worn one every time I left the house since last March. Where I live in California everyone’s been very compliant with mask guidelines (I know your experience may be different).
Walking into a store without a mask made me excited to get back to whatever new normal is ahead. [Ben & I are vaccinated. He got J&J. I got a 2 shot one.]
Oh, and I realize I don’t match at all in this picture because I did the worst job of packing for this trip. It was a last minute thing and I figured I’d just shop when I was there. But that meant I had to shop in a random mismatched outfit. I’m happy the ladies in the fancy stores didn’t kick me out (or kick Ben out when he saw the price tag for a shirt and said $180??!!! way too loud). Ha!
We left pretty quickly after that because I just wanted a cute matching outfit, not to spend all my dirty green paper on one top I’ll stain in 2 minutes.
4 I took some pictures of the signs reminding us about masks and social distancing for the memories. If you would’ve told me this was going to happen I would not have believed you.
Oh, and no one was paying attention to the signs since you didn’t have to wear masks in Florida (I think it was actually illegal to wear a mask).
6. We were at Marco Island, FL – which is on the west side of the state, so this is the Gulf of Mexico. It’s gorgeous. The sand is soft, water is warm and it’s not super crowded. (I’ve been here before when Ben & I were together)
7. Now I’m back in Orange County. It’s been a long time since I’ve traveled so the day felt extra long. Can’t planes go faster?! Or when is teleporting going to be available to the public? Whoever’s in charge of beta testing the Teleportation Uber app (Tuber??) – please send me an invite. Thanks.
Snapped this pic thinking the next time I fly this sign won’t be here. 💙
Now I’m back home for less than 48 hours before I’m heading to Big Bear, CA for a trip with my family. I’m already homesick (even though the trip is with my fam I just want to be home – this is a lot for someone who hasn’t went more than 8 miles away from their home in over a year!). Wish me luck (that I don’t run into a BIG BEAR while I’m there!).
Then, I start Marathon Training. Let’s go!