As legendary culture reggae group Third World would say, “it’s 96 degree in the shade.” But I had no choice but to nock out a training run for the Phoenix Half Marathon with Mazda later this month. No conjecture in my strategy. I chose the prime of the Jamaican sun’s strength and wore black to attract added heat to mimic Arizona running weather. The first 5 miles were easy with an 8-min mile pace while dodging Jamaican drivers around tight bends. But the last mile was a climb straight up Gemini Hill in the Woodland district Montego Bay. It was so steep I could almost touch the ground ahead of me as I leaned forward while slowly springing off my toes. It was the toughest mile I ever ran, and the slowest! At the top my uncle Chokey Taylor was waiting with lemon water and fruit. He called me crazy but “iron like that lion in Zion!”
The locals cheered as I ran by in my Jamaican theme Brooks running shoes as if I was Usain Bolt’s training partner. I love my plant-based performance aka Ital (Jamaican vegans) lifestyle. Recovery time is much faster and energy is heightened than when I ate meat and dairy. Remember, vacation is to relax the mind, not the body!