Category Archives: Destinations

Running Tips – Picking A Winter Destination Race

Do you hate running in the winter? Do you need motivation to get out the door and keep your mileage up? Maybe a destination race is what you need

A destination race is a major race event that you plan. It is a race that you travel to and need to make plans to do. Up until this year, I always have run a marathon or half-marathon in Florida during January or February. I live in Virginia and these are really cold months here. And the older I get the more I hate the colder weather.

So, I started planning a winter destination race in Florida during this time. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first one is pretty clear – I just want to get out of the cold weather for a week or so. I love Florida and I love being there in the winter!

Second of all, having a marathon or half-marathon to do the beginning of the year keeps me running longer distances through November and December. Now, I’ll run everyday anyway – but without a schedule or a plan – I’ll just run a few and be happy. With a race on the plan, I know I have distances to cover for training and won’t slack off and be a wimp!

I’ve had some issues that kept me from doing my winter escape this year. My Dad has been really sick and I need to travel back to my home town every week to take care of things for them. So, there was no way that I could take the time off from taking care of my parents – let alone be 15 hours away.

But, I decided that next year, I’ll be back on track. So, I decided to find my race of choice. I know that I wanted it to be in Florida – and during late January or February.

Also, entering into my decision was that it should probably not be a full marathon. With what’s going on with Daddy, I’m not sure if I’ll have the time to train for more than a half-marathon. Also, my husband need a 3rd and 4th knee replacement this year (and he is not a runner), so I know that I’ll be taking care of him, too.

January and February is also a good time for us to take a little extra time off. My husband and I also have a Dairy Queen, and that is a slower time for us. So, it works out perfect!

So, to the race calendars I went. I decided that I wanted to do something different. I’ve run the Disney Marathon 3 time and love it – and the A1A Marathon twice. There’s a half-marathon that I want to do sometime in Clearwater, but then, I saw it. The Key West Half-Marathon!

I haven’t been to Key West in a few years – and it will be the perfect destination race! So, next January – road trip! And, my wonderful husband (driver and stuff-holder) has already agreed!

I wanted to share this with you to show you some of the thought processes that you need to go through in planning your races. It’s great to “want” to do something, but you need to make sure it’s feasible. You need to consider all the angles. Time you have to put into training, work schedule, spousal/family support.

I hope that you plan a winter destination race – or a destination race anytime! It helps with the motivation!

How Does a Destination Wedding Planner Choose Vendors?

Talent. Vendors. Services. When you use a destination wedding planner you will usually depend upon them to make recommendations and hire the vendors that will provide various services.

So then, what do they look at when they decide who to recommend?

Some companies do everything in-house. While some are very good, others are not and hire people for price, not talent. They could be maximizing their profit at your expense. Everybody is different and that includes destination wedding planners. So I will explain my evaluation process.

1. Do they do what they do well? If it’s a photographer, are the pictures good? But this is the easy part.

2. Are they professional? Do they have the insurance that they need? Do they show up at or before the appointed time? Are they dressed appropriately? If somebody has multiple navel piercings I don’t really care. Unless I can count them when they are working. A professional appearance matters.

3. And possibly the most important. Do they play well with other children? It’s vitally important that everybody who is providing a service have the overall success of the event as their goal and not just their part of it. This means that everybody is working together and it makes a huge difference. It makes the behind the scene atmosphere pleasant and people are happy to be there working. The client may not notice it consciously but it does show.

It’s up to the wedding planner to make sure that the vendors know just what is expected of them. And, if there is a problem, to deal with it gracefully.

There are a few things that will immediately take a vendor off of my list. Let me rephrase that. There is one thing but it can take different forms. The word is attitude. I think everybody has had the experience of going into a restaurant and sensing that something isn’t quite right. You may not be able to put your finger on it, but it’s there.

A bad attitude can show itself many ways. There’s the prima donna; the vendor that thinks he or she is so good that it’s all about them. Wrong. It’s all about you and your wedding.

Then there’s the snippy attitude, often servers show this, and it spreads faster than cholera. It only takes one person to upset everybody else and it shouldn’t be tolerated.

Each person involved in your wedding should be happy to be there and happy to work together. If they are, they will go the extra mile. And I insist on the extra mile. So should you.