Saturday, June 23, 2012

My Second Race on the Beach

Today’s post is colorful.  Red words are my negative thoughts and green ones are my positive thoughts.

I ran the 5K on the beach last night, but I didn’t want to.  Yes, I did.  No, I would’ve been fine if they had canceled it because of the weather.  I’m glad I ran it.  I had a stinky attitude just before.  Let me start at the beginning. 
I don’t know if it’s because these races are in the evening after I’ve had a full day (even if that full day included a nap) or what, but I really was not feeling racy (ha!) as we headed up there.  I love to run in the rain and it was sprinkling as we drove to the beach.  I hoped it would start raining harder because it’s hard rain I like to run in.  For some reason I took the route that had us on Gulf Blvd., not the fastest way to get to Clearwater Beach.  I was just driving, not thinking.  The closer we got the more my feelings bounced back and forth between positive and negative. 
I felt sluggish and fat but happy to be running again but I hoped they would cancel it but I was happy that there was a good chance I could run in rain but there was also a strong wind coming off the water so it would be blowing into me sideways as I ran out and back, not against me one direction and with me the other, but I was just glad to be running, period, and should quit complaining. 

We got there and the race was still scheduled to start.  The mist (not even sprinkle) had stopped and the wind was up.  I didn’t want to waste the trip, so I paid $10 (didn’t get a shirt this time because it’s the same one for the whole series), and proceeded to warm up.  I saw no one I knew who was running, but it was okay.  Only my mom went with me and I didn’t even see any spectators I knew, but it was okay this time for some reason. 
A few weeks ago at this race, I pushed myself by running 7 minutes and walking 2 for a final time of 44:52.  Since then I’ve been adding 1 minute per week.  When I ran on Tuesday I ran 10 minutes and walked 2, so last night I challenged myself to run 11 and walk 2.  I did it!  My final time was 43:50, 1 minute and 2 seconds faster than previous!    

My negative thoughts were mostly before the start of this race, not while I was racing like they were last time.  I sang my “Keep Running” song MANY times, like I always do.  I’ve decided that the water station at the halfway/turnaround point doesn’t benefit me.  For a 5K, I don’t need to hydrate during the race and it upsets my stomach.  So no more getting water there.  I don’t drink during runs at home and I don’t need to during official races. 
After I turned around at the halfway point I noticed that the wind had shifted and instead of coming at me from the side, it was now coming at me straight on.  Great.  Not only was I running in sand, which absorbed my impacts and didn’t bounce me back so consequently made me run slower, now I was running into the wind so was slowed down even more.  Really, Michele?  You’re complaining about running on a God-made surface that is better for your knee, the knee that forced you to stop running for MONTHS this past winter and spring???  You’re complaining about a God-sent breeze to cool you off during this race?  You’re complaining, period?  Philippians 2:14 says to do everything without complaining.  Plain and simple. 

The running pants I wore last night will be downgraded to sleeping pants.  So will the T-shirt.  Comfortably loose is one thing; sloppily big is quite another. 
At one point near the end I saw a woman who was rounder than I am and she was walking with a man.  They were having a good time just being with each other and picking up and looking at shells.  I said, “Really, God?  Look how fat she is and her husband or boyfriend isn’t hideous.  How come she gets to have one and I don’t?”  Siiiiiiigh.  Here we go again.  I’ve asked that question countless times for YEARS and gotten no answer.  These song lyrics from Building 429 came to mind then: 

I won’t keep searching for answers that aren’t here to find

All I know is I’m not home yet

This is not where I belong

Take this world and give me Jesus

This is not where I belong. 

Apparently that question of mine doesn’t have an answer to find, at least not now, and I need to stop searching for it.  I need to focus on where I DO belong, which is Heaven, and on what I DO have, a desire and the ability to honor God with my food and activity choices. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Another Race On The Sand

I run another 5K on the sand this evening.  This week I’ve been running 10 minutes and walking 2, but I’m going to make it my goal to run 11 and walk 2 during the race.  I’m constantly tweaking my strategy and pushing myself.  When I decided to run 11 and walk 2 a little voice inside said, “Why not just try to run the whole thing?”  Ummmm…I didn’t have an answer for that.  Running is as much mental and spiritual as it is physical, if not more so.  My body can do this.  It has many times before.  Maybe my training schedule is a little slow and I could run the full distance again now, not several weeks or months from now after I work my way up by adding a minute each week.  We’ll see. 

I'm drinking a smoothie today of banana, cottage cheese (protein), strawberries, milk, water, and ginger.  I'll eat a bowl of steel-cut oats two hours before race time. 

I’d love to see y’all at the start/finish line or along the course at Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach this evening.  The race starts at 7.  It’s free to watch, but you’ll have to pay for parking.  I’ll let you know tomorrow how things went. 
Oh, and if you want to run, just show up tonight, pay $10 ($15 if you want a shirt), and do it!  :-)   

Friday, June 15, 2012

No Salty Food

Last evening I was headed to a book discussion/dinner that I’m a part of.  It’s held at a restaurant where the food is okay but the last few times has just been too salty for my taste.  I was thinking of where else I could eat and that I’ve not been eating many veggies lately.  I’ve been eating too many processed meats, bread (not from grain I ground myself), and crackers.  I needed some real food!  There’s a restaurant across the street from the one I was headed to that has a very good salad so I thought about going there.  I knew the one place wouldn’t want me bringing in food from somewhere else (restaurants frown on that J), so I would have to eat at the salad place and possibly get to my meeting late.  While all this was going through my head, I found myself moving over into the lane I’d need to be in to go to the salad restaurant.  Okay then!  Salad it is! 

Mmmmmmmm!!!  I’m glad I made that decision!  Those veggies tasted so good and were just what my body needed.  And I couldn’t eat the whole thing!  I ended up having to get a take-out box for about 1/3 of my salad!  How cool is that?!
I was a little late to my meeting, but it was okay. 

I’m very happy with my decision - much happier than I’d be if I had just taken the easier road and eaten the salty food. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


It’s hot here in Florida, but technically it’s still springtime.  Not even summer yet.  It doesn’t matter what the calendar says, though, the heat says it’s summertime. 

We run the air conditioner pretty much all the time now.  About a week ago we had to start running it at night.  It struck me the other day that God hasn’t changed the climate in Florida or anywhere.  It’s always been hot here in the summer.  He did give someone the brains and talent to invent air conditioning, though, so now we have a way of being comfortable inside even when it’s hot and humid outside.  He didn’t take the heat away, He just gave us an escape from it.  He doesn’t always take our cravings away, either.  He just gives us an escape from them.  Himself.  When I desire God more than I desire whatever I crave at the moment, He gives me an escape from it. 

The next beach run is Friday night June 22.  I’m going to do it!  At the last one I ran 7 minutes and walked 2.  This week I’m up to running 9 minutes and walking 2, so next week will be running 10 minutes and walking 2.  That means my time should be a lot better than 44:52. 

I found out about a midnight run on July 3.  The 5K starts at 11:25 p.m. and there’s a full moon that night.  Sounds fun!  I’m going to do that one too.

I just made a connection.  All my life I’ve had oily skin and oily hair.  In the last couple years both have started to get drier.  Now that could be just due to age, or it could be due to the fact that I’m not eating fast food several times a week (or day).  Or it could be a combination of both.  Regardless, it showed me how far-reaching what and how much I eat is.  It doesn’t affect just my stomach and waistline. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Running In The Rain

5:00 a.m. – Wake up and eat a few bites of homemade mac & cheese (carbs) and get a good, long drink of water in preparation for running. 

6:00 a.m. -  Get out of bed, get dressed, and get another good, long drink of water in preparation for running. 
It was actually cool as I ran this morning.  Ahhhhhhh!!!  I love fall!  Especially in June!  I noticed dark clouds and thought it would probably rain later.  I decided to do my 7:2 pattern, run 7 minutes and walk 2.  Sometime during that first 2-minute walk it started to rain so I took my heart rate monitor watch (thanks, Doug and Tori) off and wrapped it and my phone in the washcloth I was carrying to wipe my face.  The rain stopped after less than a minute, though, so I took them back out.  I kept up my 7:2 pattern until I was almost at my house, 1.2 miles, when it started to pour!  I ran into the house and left all the electronics there.  Since I wasn’t taking my phone, I made sure my daughter knew my route and told her if I wasn’t back in an hour to send a search party! 

There’s a puddle right in front of my house. 

It’s the one my daughter plays in.  I skipped it when I went into the house but backtracked a little coming out and ran through it!  Did you know it’s much more fun to run through a puddle than just to walk through one?  Although walking through one is fun too.  I started my 7:2 pattern but very soon into it my knee started hurting.  I walked for a few steps and then said to myself, “This is ridiculous!  I can run!”  I ran a few steps and said to myself, “Stop it!  DON’T HURT YOUR KNEE PERMANENTLY!”  Sigh.  So I walked through puddles.  After about 4 minutes I tried running again and was able to do it for a while.  Run, walk, run, walk, walk, walk, walk.  At least I can walk.  And run some. 
Oh, and I passed this rose bush as I was walking.  Raindrops on roses are not one of my favorite things, but I couldn’t help singing the song! 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sunsets at Pier 60 5K

Earlier this week I said in a blog post that I wanted to do a 5K run last night on Clearwater Beach on the sand.  Yesterday was a very busy and draining day.  When I got home about 4:00 after being gone since 8, I was tired and said I’d just skip it.  Then I saw that a friend liked the link I put on Facebook to my blog post.  Oh great.  Now I’m sort of being held accountable.  I asked if my mom and dad wanted to go and they said they would so they, my daughter, and I headed to Clearwater Beach (I was getting excited!) where I registered.  I had been thinking that I wouldn’t bother paying the extra $5 to get a T-shirt because I haven’t worn the shirts I got for the other two races I’ve done.  Why bother this time?  When I got there, though, I decided it was about pride (the good kind), not just a piece of clothing so I got a shirt.  Just an XL, not a 2X or 3X like I would’ve had to get a couple years ago!  A few minutes later when I showed it to my family my daughter said, “That looks like it’ll be too big on you.”  J  I love that girl!  It’s a tech shirt that wicks sweat away from my body to keep me cooler, not just a regular T-shirt.  I didn’t wear it because I didn’t want to get it sweaty right off the bat.  Besides, it’s a very bright yellowish orange and that’s not my favorite color. 

Anyway, I warmed up, sent some texts to a few people letting them know I was running a race again, and then headed to the start line.  The race started under Pier 60 and went 1-1/2 miles north before turning around and heading back.  We ran on the packed sand close to the water, not the loose sand farther up the beach.   

As I stood at the starting line for a couple minutes the excitement started building.  I saw someone from the www.fitnessinfusiononline boot camp I used to attend but haven’t been able to because of a knee injury in January and we encouraged each other.  The race started and I told myself, “You’re running a race!  You’re running a race!  You’re running a race!”  I could tell I was running a little faster than usual, but that’s because I was so happy to just be running with other people in an official race.  My plan at home lately had been to run for about 6 minutes then walk for about 2 or 3 before running again.  This time I decided to run for 7 and walk for 2.  When the initial excitement wore off I decided to look at my watch to see how far I had come and how long I had to run before I could walk.  It had only been 50 seconds.  WHAT??? 
♫“Keep running, and I will knock down that wall.  ♫Keep running, and I am not gonna fall!  It’s plain to see my God is very big, so keep running, I will be knocking down that wall.”♫  (That’s the little song I sing to myself with apologies to Veggie Tales.  It’s from Josh and the Big Wall.)   
Then the discouraging voice in my head started.  As people started passing me the voice said, “You’re running alone.  There’s no one running with you to encourage you.  You're alone.  There are only 3 people even here with you.  You’re alone.  You’re alone.  Just like in life.  You’re alone.”  I told the voice to shut up.  Really. 

Have I run 7 minutes yet?  Nope.  Keep running. 
Finally I did hit the 7-minute mark and walked for 2.  Then I ran for 7 more minutes.  At 12:12 into the race the first runner heading back toward the finish line passed me.  At 13:30 the first woman heading back toward the finish line passed me. 

Keep running. 
I began to look ahead and set goals for myself.  I would run to that house before I checked my watch to see how far I had to go.  Or that sign.  Or that group of people. 

I noticed that no one was passing me from behind anymore.  They already had.  At least there were some other people walking; I wasn’t the only one.  That helped a little bit. 
Keep running.  Run for 7 minutes then walk for 2.  Run for 7 minutes then walk for 2.  I reached the 1-1/2-mile point, the turnaround, and the water station.  I don’t normally drink anything while running, but I wasn’t used to running this much, so I figured I’d get a cup and see how I felt.  I took one drink.  That was enough.  Half way done!  Woohoo! 

I love to run in the rain as long as there’s no thunder or lightning. 

Early yesterday morning it was raining hard and I would’ve loved to run except I hadn’t planned to because of my busy day and because I had just gotten out of the shower.  As I headed back toward the finish line, though, I felt a drop on my lip.  Was it raining?  Then another.  And another.  Just a very light sprinkle for a minute or so, but it was God saying, “I know you like to run in the rain, so here’s a little bit for you.  J 
I kept doing my 7 then 2 regimen.  At one point I looked up and saw the pier.  The finish line! 

It was then that I realized I’d been looking down at the sand a lot.  In running, just like in life, it can get discouraging when you look down.  You need to look up to see where you’re going and around to enjoy the scenery or you just might quit. 

I realized on the last 2-minute walk that if I kept up the 7 then 2 plan I might very well be walking across the finish line.  That just wouldn’t do!  So I ended up running 9 minutes at the end.  I crossed the finish line at 44:52, slower than my other two races but I walked 8 minutes of this one, I’ve been recovering from a knee injury, and I’ve only been running at all again for a couple weeks.  I was happy to just be able to do it, period!