Friday, April 17, 2015

Runcation to Tampa Recap and Photos

So, I mentioned last weekend I went away to the beach and if you follow me on Instagram that you've definitely seen a few pictures, but I wanted to spend a little more time writing about the trip in depth.  And I want to start by saying that I remember back last summer when I was in Provincetown for my Uncles' wedding, I started my post recapping the weekend saying some weekends are so fun that you are a little sad even while it is going on because you don't want it to end.  Well, one of the things I realized this past weekend is that things can be on the opposite end of the spectrum as well.  Sometimes, you don't realize quite how much fun you had until the weekend or time is over.  That's how I felt about the past weekend's runcation to Tampa, Florida.

I initially anticipated writing this blog like I do most weekend recaps and walking through everything I did, how I thought through things, what I packed, what the ride down was like, funny things that happened, etc. etc. But I then realized that in this scenario and for this weekend, it is better to consider it at a whole because it truly was something special.

From the moment that we met to drive down, to the time we left, everything went smoothly, everyone was easy going and things just seemed to go with the flow.  The people who helped to organize the trip really took care of so many details, and I felt like I was on an amazing vacation that I didn't even have to plan any details for!

I didn't know many of the people before we left and the ones I knew, I don't think I knew them all too well but at some point during the trip, at some point over the three days we became a family.  I am honestly not quite sure when it happened, but by the end of the weekend, I felt like I knew everyone.  I felt really tight bonds with some people that just sort of happened out of nowhere.  One moment we were talking and laughing with one another and the next we were hugging and crying and understanding one another without words.  Maybe it was the sunshine, maybe it was the endorphins from the running, or the looseness from the drinks, but looking back at the weekend and the group, I just feel such a fondness for everyone that was on the trip.  And truly, I didn't realize it until the end of the trip.

There were moments in life that I think we all have sometimes that you worry if you fit in, which I had at moments during the weekend, but they were only moments, and by the time we returned to Atlanta, those thoughts were gone.  I made so many connections with people and have so much appreciation for the conversations that I had with people, the amount I was able to open up, the honesty that came out, and the people who I let to see who I was and who showed me who they were.

I know it sounds silly, but I feel like I came back from the trip with a group of friends rather than a group of running acquaintances.  I have had a lot of fun weekends lately, but I haven't laughed as much as I have this past weekend in a long time.  I haven't been brought to tears by text messages recapping jokes from the weekend until this week in a long time.  It is hard to explain, but I had such a wonderful weekend in Tampa and am so thankful to have returned to Atlanta with these new bonds!  I am so thankful for this group, for a few individuals especially within the group, and cannot wait to spend even more time with the running family we created while in Tampa.

Oh, and did I mention that there was a photographer that joined us on the trip?  Yeah, there was.  I mentioned Allie's half marathon was the most well documented race anyone had ever run, and I think that the weekend in Tampa was the most well documented weekend anyone has ever been on (there was a total of 4 selfie sticks that were along for the weekend.)  There were so many amazing photos, I decided to just mostly make this post about pictures from here out.  Enjoy!

Runcation Day 1:

Drive down to Tampa, late lunch, nap, group stretches, 4 mile sunset/evening run along the water, recovery beer, dinner on the go, clean up, out on the town.

Runcation day 2:

Morning by the pool, drive to St. Petersburg, 2 mile ocean run, beach, drinks, shenanigans, sunshine, return to Tampa, relax and clean up, dinner and Flamenco show, Ybor City bars, hotel late night pool party.

Runcation Day 3: 

Early morning run with the Run Tampa crew and @2brothersrunning (from Instagram) along the ocean, brunch, naps, pack, return to Atlanta with lots of traffic and a stop for my first food from Zaxby's.

Runcation The Week After:

So many group texts, sharing of pictures, discussions of withdrawal and wanting to go back, renewed energy to run, stronger friendships, new friendships, feeling like I actually live and have friends in Atlanta, and just lots and lots of smiles and happiness.

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