October 17 – 21 – Mayport – Hit the Ground Running!

We arrived at Naval Station Mayport to a warm welcome and greeting from our Mayport family.  We are usually arriving later in the year, so enjoyed seeing green grass and many flowers.  We quickly set up in “The Cove” and got down to business.  One of the first and very important tasks:  walk the beach!  (After seeing friends and catching up.)  We also had mail call!  We have a wonderful friend that is collecting our mail and sending it to us.  This is the first time since we left Michigan that we have received mail.  Then on to Hangar Bay Café to get my Ramen fix.  Finally, work was calling.

Friday involved more errands and details.  I also wanted to get a package in the mail for my Mom – it was really important that it arrive at her house on Monday.  Of course, there was a daily beach walk and Piper play time.  One of my joyful “tasks” when we arrive is to take a trip to Home Depot and work on flower baskets.  I do miss gardening and my greenhouse – and this gives me pleasure.  I put together my flower baskets and Bill “planted” my shepherd’s hook.  We started watching the weather for the weekend, since Tropical Storm Nestor looked like he might disrupt my plans.

Saturday morning began with a pancake breakfast at Osprey Cove and being notified that the run I was planning on participating in might be cancelled due to high winds and storms.  Bummer!  Final word would be released at noon.  I decided to get a couple miles in just in case the run was cancelled – still working on the 10k steps/day, and 1200 miles/year. This is what the beach looked like with Nestor approaching:

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FINALLY – noon came round, and the race was on!  (With the potential to be called for weather, of course).  We set off for Amelia Island, watching the weather all the way.  As 1700 hrs. approached, the rain cleared away – but the wind continued to blow.  The race staff were able to have the start/finish timing equipment up, but no aid stations or music along the course – no mile markers – due to the wind.  The run was lovely – we ran to the Amelia Island Lighthouse and returned.  I was hot, sweaty, windblown, smiling – and excited for Sunday!  It was a joy to meet a friend that I met earlier this year at the Saratoga Half Marathon on base.

Sunday morning began when no one should have to be up – at 0445 hrs.  The wind was still blowing, and it was 75 degrees.  We arrived back at Amelia about 45 minutes prior to race start.  The temp was now 70 degrees with a very brisk wind.  I borrowed Bill’s extra sweatshirt until the race started – parting with it at the very last minute.  Other than the wind, which seemed to be mostly hitting us in the face, it was great weather for a run.  A large portion of our run included the state park, and some great views of sand dunes and water.  I was really pleased with my times for both runs – and especially that my Sunday pace was faster than Saturday night.  The race finished with mimosas and a light lunch from Salt Life – very tasty (and pretty sure that was my first mimosa!).

We returned home, and Bill made the ultimate sacrifice yet again – he took me fishing on the beach.  He drew first blood – caught a nice catfish.  I finished the day with a tiny whiting.  Early bedtime was much appreciated.

 

As we were preparing to leave the beach, it was that magical time at sunset when everything turns a gentle pink-orange-purple sunset color:

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Today, Monday, was a gentle start – sort of.  It was time for me to renew my ID card, so had to make sure we were up for that.  I did part of my work, then we took a break for lunch – and Bill took me to the ice cream shop to celebrate my runs.  As the day progresses, I am feeling a little more sore from the runs – so made sure to get a good long walk in before the forecast storms arrived.  I made it – almost.  Finished my last mile in the misty rain (but before it got really serious).  Finished work, had supper, and at last am able to catch up on this blog.

For now, I will periodically update this blog, until we hit the road again.  Otherwise, keep up with us on my blog:  lessonsingrace.blog.

I will leave you with this thought:  Just like this bird I saw this afternoon – don’t hesitate to spread your wings, declare to the world your intentions, and explore your power!

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Total miles from Wellston, MI to Mayport, FL (definitely the shortest, fastest route!):  4,672 miles!  Thanks for sharing them with us!

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