When I was preparing to move to Essex, I bemoaned the fact that I would have to rent a car for the entirety of the summer. Erin laughed and told me there was no reason to rent a car. I immediately panicked. I am born and bred in Southern California, the epicenter of freeway culture. What would I do without a car? How would I do anything?  But, I trusted her wisdom and did not rent a car. This would turn out to be one of the greatest decisions ever. 

The apartment I had rented in Essex was a little over a mile away from the Studio on Western and though the mornings still had a bit of a chill to them, I would head down Southern Ave to the causeway (past the Toy Store, which would soon be Pavo's new home) and then jog over to Western Ave and to the Studio. There was a rhythm to those morning walks and although I always took the same route, I never became bored; it was always different: the salt marsh looking as if it were getting ready to burst with high tide, the cormorants sitting on the edge of the marsh, waiting to pick off small fish as the tide went out; the chefs at C.K Pearl putting meat in the smoker at the back of the restaurant; the workers at Woodman's bringing in fresh lobster and haddock; the large moving van dropping off antiques in front of Bider's Antique Store. All these things were new to me. I love Southern California. I was born here and raised here. It is large, sprawling, and to a certain extent, anonymous. I love this about where I live. But there in Essex, life functioned on a smaller and more intimate scale. It was absolute love at first sight. 

The walks back and forth between the Studio and my apartment soon turned into early morning jogs and long evening walks. I feel in love with Apple Street and found that I could make a complete loop from my apartment to the Studio by cutting through to Southern Ave via Apple Street from Western Ave. I did this five mile loop in the morning and if I was able to leave Western Ave before dark, I did it at the end of the day (too much convivial conversation after a wonderful dinner cooked by Stevil often meant that didn't happen). 

At some point during the summer, I told Erin that I intended to run an ultra marathon. I think I said this while stuffing a lobster roll in my face and imbibing my third martini. I might have been drunk. No, I was definitely buzzed, but the seed had been planted. She didn't tell me that it was a bad idea. She didn't tell me that I was setting myself up for failure. She didn't tell me I needed to lose fifty pounds. She didn't tell me that there was a chance I wouldn't make my goal. She simply nodded and said: "I will do it with you." 

Somewhere along the way, we revised our immediate goal to a marathon and by immediate, I mean we gave ourselves a year to train for a marathon. We really focused in on training about three weeks ago. It hasn't been easy, but we are doing it with the hopes of completing the Asheville Half Marathon on Saturday, March 12 2016. 

I have always hated running. It was boring and dull. Just pounding the pavement one foot after the other, but this past summer has changed that. Now that most of our waking hours are filled with Pavo, it's good to have that quiet time to reflect and be at peace. 

With that being said, is anyone interested in joining us as we train?

 Head on over to the Nike Running App and look us up (runmunsrun and Erin A.)  I will be staring a new #runpavo challenge on Monday, October 12. Nothing hard or over the top. It will just something to keep us all moving and working toward a goal, whatever that may be.