Fierce Flyer - Joemarie Rodriguez And The Bucket List
If you ever met me, you will never believe I’ve only been running a few years. My love (ok, yes, my obsession) with running started back in 2012, and it started with an office bet to improve fitness (aka, lose weight). A Runner’s World magazine article introduced me to The Seven Continents Club. I wanted to learn more about this crazy idea of traveling the world and running races, so I googled it, and here I am, on my way to Antarctica… The article talked about these amazing trips around the world and listed the companies that can help you achieve these crazy dreams. I landed on the Marathon Tours website, my first reaction was amazement, then disappointment set in; I don’t want to go all the way out there to be the slowest runner! But the more I read about past runners, the more I realized how this race is not about speed, is about the journey, the adventure, the unknown and I could not wait to try!
So, in Dec 2014 I sent my deposit to be wait-listed in the 2017 roster… Fast forward to last summer, you see, initially I didn’t make the roster, I was bumped out to the 2018 roster. Then last Oct I got the email, someone had dropped out and the spot was mine, I had 2 weeks to decide and 30 days to plan this trip. Finally, I AM GOING TO ANTARCTICA!
Funny how the runner from 2014 is no longer the runner that I am today. That runner was freaking out about being last, scared of what others would think and paralyzed by the thought of not finishing. This runner can’t stop talking about her experience. How, now, as I train for my first 50K, this half marathon is another training run, that I purposely want to take it slow and take all the pictures in the world and high-five as many participants as possible under my 7 layers and risking hypothermia.
So, off to Buenos Aires! Imagine having to pack for 70 degree weather and 20 degree weather! Oiselle to the rescue! Major kudos to the Nest for expediting our soon-to-hit-the-streets Roga Skirts! I took my navy from last season, and my new Black and Snap Roga Skirts (pssst, this is a sneak peek, subscribe below to hear first!)… Note that my Roga Skirt also serve as my polar plunge swimsuit bottom! Imagine my surprise when while returning from one of our afternoon group runs in Buenos Aires I spied a bright Mio Mesh Dress in Snap at the hotel lobby! A fellow bird! Nadia Dahab from Portland, OR was also headed to Antarctica to tackle this challenge. Unfortunately we were assigned to different ships, I was in the Vavilov and she in the Ioffe, so we didn’t get a chance to visit with each other. I’m thinking Nadia had a great time, she won her age group! Wings Out!
After a few days in BA, we fly to Ushuaia to meet the ship, the Academik Sergey Vavilov. We depart across the Beagle Channel and we get our first look at the Drake Passage. The weather and ocean waves cooperated and sea sickness was not an issue for me (for the most part!)
Race Day! The weather was perfect! 30s and 4-8 knot winds. The course, 4.3 mile loop between the Russian Research Station and the Chinese Research Station (The Great Wall). For ½ marathoners, we needed to tackle 3 laps… My #flystyle: Flyte Tank, Wazzie Wool Funnel Neck, Katron Vest, Flock Beanie and Lux Gloves. It was a muddy mess, and about a mile of gravel rocks that were not my favorite, but this was a great race. It helps that the runners and volunteers all know each other after being on a ship for 3 days!
And what can top running in Antarctica? A real Polar Plunge! Especially in geothermally heated waters (1.2 degree C) inside an active volcano, hello Deception Island! My #flystyle under that many layers? Logo Pom Beanie, Volée Crop Top, Flyte Tank and Roga Skirt in black.
This year is a truly Bucket List year for me. I am tackling my first 50K and my first marathon. Oiselle started 2017 with the #WheelsUp campaign. Remember? I need to revise my affirmation. You see, this year is all about the journey… I am asking my legs, mind and body to take me to places we have never been before, geographically and physically… I want to prepare my legs to carry me farther and higher than ever. I want to teach my mind to find peace, purpose and patience when the moments get tough and my thoughts get dark. I want to teach my body to fuel better for the journeys we are preparing for… Let the adventure continue. What’s next? Africa!?
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