Whilst visiting my Aunt and Uncle, who live on an Island in South Carolina, I needed to tackle a 20 mile long run for my Marathon Training. Factoring in your training when on holiday with family can be tricky. You want to stay cool and not let your obsessive training plan dominate your visit and turn you into an anti-social running bore. Also, it can be pretty tough actually finding long routes. This particular Island is small and so unless I wanted to run the Island loop (which is 3 miles) about 6 times, I needed to try and venture out of their beautiful community and head along the marsh land. I had prepared for the run the night before, taking it light with the the sun downers and heavy on the carb dinner and so physically and mentally I was good to go when the sun rose at 7am. My plan was to slip out and try and get back before I was even missed. Gorgeous morning, but started heating up quickly. Exiting the Island, I got a friendly nod from the security guard. Out on the roads there was very little shoulder and a humming bustle of traffic getting going with their day. I blocked it out and kept steady with my “go-to” mantra, which is basically a series of counting combinations in step with my foot strike. Taking in the wild scenery, my strategy formed as I ran…get to 8.5 miles, then turn around and head back so as not to get lost, then finish off the last few miles on the 3 mile Island loop. The heading back was harder than I expected, the heat was up, I was starting to melt and my water bottle was running low. Dragging my sorry body back through the entrance of the Island, the friendly security guard from a few hours earlier was still on duty and chimed out “You’re my inspiration…yes Ma’am!” (love those polite Southern manners) What a boost that was. I bursted into a huge smile, re-charged my steady speed and finished the last 3 miles with a breezy, happy rhythm. His kind words were just the encouragement I needed. It made me think about how we can all be inspired/encouraged in such simple and natural ways and what a difference it can make to our journey, be that Marathon training or otherwise!