Run for fun…how to

So here are a few words about running.  Why do it?  What is the point?  Why would anyone run?

I was actually shocked when my daughter said she was interested in extra credit for one of her classes.  She just needed to sign up for a 5K and participate in it.  Wow!  This is my daughter?  She HATES running and exercise for that matter. Yet it’s interesting she does feel good after a bike ride…hmmmm.  Anyway, happy to hear this, we signed up.   I thought for sure we would walk the whole way and I was prepared for that.  However, she decided to try and run.  In case you don’t run and would like to, here are a few tricks.  The hardest part about running is actually when you go from a low heart rate to an elevated one.  That feeling is uncomfortable.  Once you get your heart rate up, you start thinking, maybe I should stop, I don’t want to continue feeling this way or maybe it will get worse and I can’t breathe.   It is true that with training eventually you can breathe easier.  And even a runner that has been doing it for a long time can still feel uncomfortable when starting out.   For me, I think it’s easier to start slow and work up to a faster pace.  My daughter was saying speed up!  I do, after a warm up period.  To me it’s that way to gradually bring up the heart rate so that the uncomfortable feeling is lessened.   We picked distances to run to, like that light pole, or to the bridge.  As far as you can go before you need to rest.  Since I do run, I listened to her and tried to balance the rest with enough encouragement to keep her trying.  I think we did pretty well.

Running can be very scenic.  Downtown Houston is a very nice city.  It’s clean and on an early Sunday morning, very quite.  The towering buildings in all shapes and sizes are really interesting to look at.  People are friendly.  There are parks mixed in, trees, birds, and flowers that enhance the surroundings.  This time of year, late September, it’s still very hot and humid.  During this time of year my favorite time to run is at night, just because it’s cooler.  It’s also a good way to get off the couch instead of binge watch TV  programs that you don’t care about or watch depressing news.

While running, most of the time I don’t listen to music.  Sometimes listening to the same tunes gets old.  I like to be in my thoughts and think about all kinds of things.  Things I need to do, things I have done, problem solve.  Sometimes, I like to think about just my current surroundings and try to connect with the senses, what I see, hear, smell and feel.  (I certainly don’t like to taste, because it’s probably going to be a bug!).  Running is a way to calm down mentally.  It’s a proven fact that it is good for your mental wellness.  There are so many benefits…relieves depression, as well as improves your body’s functioning systems.

It did help that when I got back into running I needed to loose some weight so that I could move what I’m carrying on my body.  Running itself is not a huge calorie burner. Especially if you are not running very long distances.  For example about 3 miles for me burns about 250 calories.  So, it’s not really a weight loss idea, it’s the other benefits that I like about it.  I’m also not doing it to improve speed, my best is about 9MPH.  But average is more like 10MPH.  I hope to be as fortunate as some others to be running at a very late age.

I will say something about shoes!  It’s really the only think that I think is truly necessary when you run…to have a good pair of shoes. It’s worth the investment so that you can keep running.  I think Asics are the best!  They are super light on your feet.  Mine are cushioned which I think helps with your joints.  I tried Nike before and they rubbed my toenail to the point it separated too much and I got a fungus that took 2 years to get rid of. Not all Asics are the same either .  My favorite is the Kinsei 5s ❤

shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run for fun…how to

FOCUS

So here I am.  Finished the Tri.  Looking to do the MS150 Bike ride.  Playing tennis. Working and living life.  It’s amazing what life can throw your way.  Now that I have achieved my new age, I have achieved some wisdom.  Let’s just say as you get older, you do get wiser.   This week has been an abundance of dealing with issues. Mostly work.  So grateful for tennis.  Even though it is a stress relief, it can be stressful as well if you focus on trying to win more than loose.  I feel like I’m so active yet, and unable to achieve my goal of winning more than loosing.  Still, every day that you can play is an awesome day!

Isn’t it funny how life is a balance of things that are great and things that are not so great. Here we are dealing with it.  So this week was about plugging holes.  I’m grateful for the holes that were plugged and still trekking on getting the other ones plugged.  I will never forget an engineer’s words to me.  My job is to solve issues, so if I didn’t have an issue to resolve, I wouldn’t have a job.  To me I hate issues.  I really need to adapt the mindset.

So today is the day that my daughter wrecked the car.  Wow, what a difference of where I was when I was younger to now.  I can immediately pickup and determine what to do without emotion (helps when no one is injured).  More holes to plug.  Now we need to figure out how to get a car repaired and another child driving with no car.

I relate all of this to my game.  Whatever it is for anyone, you have to stay focused.  And never give up. This week there are several people that have helped with focus.  A really good friend said her game has gotten better because she has read a book on confidence.  A coach told me, write down two things and focus on that during your match.  (The latter didn’t help me win today at practice, however, I think it’s more to do with exhaustion).  It is just as important to prepare yourself with recovery.

Many of us our unforgiving of ourselves.  Mistakes happen, and from them we can learn. Being critical of yourself isn’t helpful either.  So where is the balance with the goal you want to achieve and where you are?

I downloaded some pictures from my tri.  My first thought is wow, why don’t they get my good side?  I mean, I can take good pics.  But this one all I see is a stomach.  And I work so hard!!!!!

Bayou City Triathlon Series 2016 Towne Lake Triathlon
Bayou City Triathlon Series 2016 Towne Lake Triathlon

It’s superficial SO WHAT! This week I commented on someone’s post about a burn victim (she was severely burned during a marathon and got caught in a brush fire)  a person asked, what God would let that happen to her?  My thought.  We have no idea what is the big picture, her burns are superficial.  No telling how the new path she is heading towards changed her life.

My old neighbor also posted something that I TRULY believe in when I face my day:  To paraphrase, there is nothing that can happen to me today that you (GOD) and me can’t handle.  TRUTH!!!!

So whatever you are trying to achieve, however you want to look, just think, do you really know what is the big picture?  Think about it!

Every single day you can have a gratitude list!  There are so many things to be grateful for! I’m grateful for family and the ability to get out there and do and see!  So blessed!

 

 

 

 

FOCUS

Freedom

Sadly freedom isn’t free. It’s fought for.  Today is the anniversary of the horrible loss of life on 9/11/2001.   I won’t forget the horror as I watched on TV our country being attacked. At first not even realizing what was going on when a plane hit the World Trade building then a second. At that point it was obvious.  I still can’t believe that people would actually plan an attack like that, on innocent people.   And the forever change in people’s lives of the victims directly effected is extremely sad.  In my mind I can’t even go there.

911

It didn’t take long to figure out the attacks were conducted by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda headed by Osama bin Laden. The group actually had people come to America to train in Florida to fly commercial air craft just to crash them.  And then carry out their plan to hijack four US commercial aircrafts and crash them into targets with innocent passengers aboard.   It’s disgusting.   It’s also amazing how it is possible for terrorists to get into our country and train for this without suspicion.

In the aftermath, I remember there being the decision of rebuilding and how to create a memorial.  The Freedom tower and twin tower memorial is amazing.  We visited the memorial 12 years after the attack.  Pictured above is one of the tower’s memorial.  It’s the footprint of where the building stood.  There is a very deep drop of water falling from the street level to a pool of water that diminishes into another pool in the center.  The names of people that lost their lives are engraved around the memorial.    Construction of Freedom tower, One World Trade Center was not even complete when we were there.  (It opened in 2014)

freedom

Walking in Manhattan in the area of the trade centers and thinking of the chaos of the events that day is very surreal.

The attacks continue.  Even though Osama bin Laden was killed, islamic terrorist groups continue to carry out suicide attacks in other countries.  We don’t live in fear, however it is always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings.

I’m really fortunate to be able to live in this country.  When I think about life in the middle east it makes me sad to think of how women are treated and how the people have to live. I see the reports of how brutal the terrorist groups are.  Scary.  Today I pause to remember the victims, their families and appreciate the freedom that I have.

flag

Freedom

First Tri

Finally the culmination of an entire summer’s worth of work came to fruition!  Race day! Being a triathlon newbie, I got to the race early, 5AM.  I could only sleep about 5 hours.  The transition area where you hang your bike was muddy.  I setup my transition area and hung around in my bare feet along the side of the lake which had a concrete sidewalk and watched the sun rise.  What a great time to mentally prepare.  I’m thinking please don’t freak out in the water again.  The announcer was playing music and giving instructions on a really loud speaker.  We gave pause for our national anthem.

The olympic distance waves started first.  I think my group was the 2nd to last wave in the water for the sprint which started an hour later.  Still very grateful to have attempted the swim course a week ago, I made my way to the back of the line and kept telling myself, pace yourself.  It is no fun feeling like you can’t get air in your lungs.  That works!  The goggles on your face only keep the water out and don’t aide any anyway to your vision.  I think that’s kind of helpful, because you have one target out and one back and that’s all you need to know.  (that and find your space).  If you keep telling yourself to breathe you fall into a rhythm.  During practice I always repeated the lap number in my head, this was different, I tried to focus on the music and that up next would be the best part…the bike ride!  Swimming is fun, just not when you panic.

Since the transition area was muddy, I decided to carry my shoes and bike past the mounting area.  The really good people clip their shoes to the bike, mount and stick their feet in the shoes (that are held upright by rubber bands).  This looks really cool, but threatens disaster for me…taking a little more time to avoid that disaster was totally worth it.  The amount of people riding on the bike race was thrilling.  My family was there to cheer me on and it made me happy. I now had a decision to make… to pass or not to pass?    I noticed I was going a lot faster than my practice runs for longer.  I also felt like I was pushing myself to that point where I can’t get enough air in my lungs again…not good.  There were some people on really nice bikes whizzing by and I was able to whiz by a few also.  My speed was about 20 miles per hour the entire 12 miles, for me that’s good. The road was flat and the wind wasn’t bad.  Police officers were stopping traffic through intersections and we had one lane just for us marked by cones on the open road.  The ride was the best part of the race!   Clipping out went fairly smoothly so I started to run with the bike back to transition quickly running out of breath!

Onto the last leg of the race!  I’m not a fast runner, however, I have trained for heat indices pushing 100 degrees.  Once again pace is key.  No headphones are allowed so you can enjoy the heavy breathing behind you as someone begins to pass you.  They mark  your age on your calf so I’m looking and thinking ok, 20 yeah, they should be passing me.  But if you get the same gender and older passing you, OH NO WAY!  LOL!  That happened once and I switched into a faster gear!   I remember passing a 1 mile marker on the trail and thinking, only one mile…nooooooo.  Then at the end hearing the music once more, I wanted to finish strong.  It was really fun that my kids were there and starting running along side me. It made me realize though that I was going too slow…so I stepped it up again.

SO FUN!!!!!!  People of all shapes, sizes and ages participated.  Everyone I met was so nice! I’m pretty sure I met my goal for time, with transition my fitness tracker says 1 hour 30 minutes to swim 1/4 mile, bike 12 miles and run 3.  Whoo hoo!

trifinishtri

transition

 

 

 

First Tri