4th Annual Kyleigh’s Gift 5K Run/3K Walk

Saturday, October 14, was the 4th Annual Kyleigh’s Gift 5K run/3K walk.  Proceeds from the race go to support infant wellness education and parental support.  One of the things they do is give a sleep sack to each newborn at our local hospital.

The race was set to start at 5:00, and so were severe thunderstorms for our area.  There was also a candlelight ceremony scheduled at 6:30 to recognize National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  Before the race and/or before the ceremony, you could decorate a luminary.  Everything was originally planned to be held outside but got moved to indoors due to the severe weather we were expecting.

All of the events took place at the hospital with the race going through the parking lot, down a road less traveled, and then on a walking trail that goes through part of the hospital grounds.  We were told it was one lap for the 3K, and two laps for the 5K (must be that new math).  Since I’m still recovering from my ankle sprain, I registered for the 3K.  I knew I could walk that distance.  My friends, however, registered for the 5K.

Everyone was mulling around waiting for the race to begin.  So far it was dry, but it was gray and we could hear thunder, so it was evident that bad weather was approaching.  Finally, at 4:45, the race director said that they were going to go ahead and start the race since the bad weather was supposed to arrive at about 5:30.  He made it clear that only those comfortable with being outdoors with severe weather approaching should proceed.

The horn blew and we were off–runners first and walkers behind.  It soon became evident that we were running/walking right towards a thunderstorm.  Lightening was very close.  A lot of people turned around and went back after traveling less than 50 yards, especially those with children.

I set my tabata timer for 10 seconds work/running and 30 seconds rest/walking and planned to use that for at least part of the race.  However, there were times when I thought that I felt good, so I went ahead and ran a little longer.  I continued to run/walk and it soon began to rain.

Once I reached the paved trail, the wet surface was slick, so I decided I would have to walk the rest of the way.  I tried running beside the trail where the grass had been trimmed, but it was too uneven for my ankle.  It was not a risk I was willing to take.  I had to slow way down and watch my step on the trail.

After going a short distance on the trail, a race official in a golf cart pulled up beside me.  He said they were calling all the runners/walkers in due to the weather and that he wanted me to take the first entrance into the parking garage that I could.  The weather wasn’t horrible yet, but it looked like it could get that way in an instant.  I had gone 1.3 miles.

By the time I made it through the parking garage and up a few levels, the storm was here.  People were being encourage to go inside.  Within a few minutes the wind was blowing and tents and speakers were going everywhere.

Once inside, we waited.  We watched the rain come down and the wind blow.  We chatted and took a few pictures with our friends.  We gladly ate some of the snacks that were provided.  The electricity went out a few times, and the water rushed into the building under the doors.  It was good to be indoors and to be safe.

IMG_20171014_173422288

We would not realize the full extent of the damage until later.  Parts of town had utility polls snapped in half.  Many were without electricity and wouldn’t have power for a few days.

He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.  The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”  Matthew 8:26-27

Advertisements

Back in the Saddle

Last week on Thursday I had a check up with my doctor on my ankle.  I’ve been given the green light to do some light running.  By that, I mean slow jogging for short periods of time on smooth, flat surfaces.  I’ve been reading about the run/walk/run method and assumed I would have to use that method or something like it to return to running.

Saturday afternoon I was able to go out for a walk in my neighborhood.  I knew the route I chose was about a mile and a half.  I signed up for a 3K next weekend, so I knew if I could finish this route ok, that I’d be fine for the 3K.

For the first half of the route I walked, and it felt good.  I also set my tabata timer for 10 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest and listened to it for part of the walk.  This wasn’t an arbitrary number that I came up with.  I found this recommended by Jeff Galloway for injured runners.

I decided to try some slow running for the second half of my walk.  That’s how long it took me to get the courage up to try it.  I was scared to death of re-injuring myself.  I did finally try it, and it felt good.  I made it back home feeling great and with no pain.

Sunday afternoon I needed to go to a store about a mile from my house, so I decided to give the run/walk/run method another try.  The first section of the walk was hilly, so I walked it.  Once on flatter ground, I gave it another try.  It didn’t feel so great this time.

My ankle felt tired and achy.  Then I remembered that the doctor said not to run two days in a row.  Oops!  I backed off after that and spent more time concentrating on my breathing than anything else.  Besides, fall is here so running is more treacherous now with leaves, acorns, and all kinds of things falling off the trees.

It was good to feel as if I’m “back in the saddle” again.  However, I know it’s going to be slow; and I know it’s going to be a lot of work.  However, I’ve done it before; so I know I can do it again.

A Blessing in Disguise?

As a contrast to last week’s post, this week I’m writing about why I’m not running–at least for the moment.

First I injured myself which has prevented me from running.  I would like to start trying a little bit of running, but I’m not sure what I’m up to right now.

On top of all of that, life has gotten very complicated.  Cinderella is needing my attention around the clock.  This is all exhausting and making me very weary but under the guise that we’d all do anything for our children, I keep going.

Trying to find the time to take a walk around the block is almost impossible.  If it does happen, it’s late at night.  In thinking about when to fit running into my schedule, I come up empty right now.  The only time available is late at night, and if I run after 8:00 I can’t sleep.

Thankfully, this is all temporary.  We’re being yanked into a new schedule and way of doing things.  Once we get adjusted and figure it all out, it will be better in the end.  The adjustment period is the killer!

In retrospect, I’m looking at this injury as a blessing in disguise.  Right now I’m having a difficult time finding time to go to the grocery store and to the doctor for my injury.  If I were trying to fit another thing into my schedule (like running) it would just be more stress and more exhaustion. I know I wouldn’t be doing anything well.

Right now I need to step away from the pavement and give Cinderella my full attention.  This injury is forcing me to do that.  Maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

Why I Run

Why I Started

At first it was a challenge–a huge challenge.  I had completed a 12-week Commit to Get Fit program through my community center.  I had a personal trainer that I met with once a week.  It was tough, and he knew I wanted to leave the gym feeling like I had been through the wringer.  However, the program was long enough and I worked hard enough that I was seeing results.  My trainer convinced me that I could do anything I wanted to, so when I saw the flyer for the Couch to 5K program, I decided to give it a try.  I knew I could run for a whole minute on the treadmill, so surely I could work up to a 5K.

Why I Continued

There were some days, a lot of days, that were really tough.  My first run with my Couch to 5K group was the hardest.  We were to run for 60 seconds and then walk for 90.  It was the shortest 90 seconds of my life!  Our coach told us that the first day was the hardest.  At that moment it was hard to understand, but he was right, and I realized that as time went on.

What kept me going was the support I received from the coaches and from a friend.  There were so many times that I wanted to quit with the thought that running wasn’t for me, but the encouragement I got from those around me was incredible.  I had so many people telling me that I could do it and not to give up, that I kept going.

Why I’m a Runner for Life

It took a while, a long while, for me to fall in love with running.  I love that I can continue to challenge myself.  There’s always some way to improve whether it’s with a faster speed or a farther distance.  I can compete with others if I want, or I can compete with no one but myself.

I love being outside.  This wasn’t always the case, as I was allergic to everything, but that has also changed.  Since I started jucing and eating lots of fruits and vegetables my allergies have disipated so being outside is much more enjoyable now.  Getting some sun and fresh air almost every day feels great.

Running is a simple sport that I can take anywhere.  Running does not require a lot of equipment.  The most important thing all runners need is a good pair of shoes.  Beyond that, most things are optional.  Having the right clothing will make it more comfortable, and I do have some lights and refelctive gear that I use for running at night.  In the big scheme of things, this equipment is all very inexpensive and can be obtained a piece at a time.

In the end, it’s all about feelings.  Running makes you feel great.  There are so many days that I don’t want to run.  I make myself do it and am always glad that I did.  I end up feeling so much better afterwards.  It feels great when the air is cool and crisp to have the sun warming your skin.  When it’s hot and you think you’re going to melt, a soft, gentle breeze feels equally as wonderful.  Going out and accomplishing what you said you’d accomplish is always a satisfying feeling.  That doesn’t always happen, and some runs are better than others, but the “runners’ high” is always there no matter what.

I also run to encourage others.  It has been a life-changing experience for me, so I know it can be for other people as well.  Not only that, I know that if I can do it, anyone can.  That anyone could be YOU!

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.  1 Corinthians 9:24

 

Slowing Down

As I mentioned in my last post, it was a huge disappointment to end up with a severe ankle sprain just a few days before what is one of the most important races of the year for me.

I spent the first week after my injury wallowing in my mire and eating lots of chocolate.  I tried to continue with my 10,000 steps a day, but it soon became obvious that this was more than my ankle could tolerate right now.  The doctor kept telling me, “You’re going to have to lay off.”

The first thing I did was to cut my daily step goal in half to 5,000 steps.  This is equal to a couple of walks around the block each day, which is enough to make my ankle feel better, but also enough to make it want to swell.  I’ve also been concentrating on my eating.  No more chocolate and back to Bright Line Eating.

This time of year is always a big switch in schedules for me.  Our running group has quit meeting three days a week and it’s now back to school time, so there’s a big switch up in our daily activities anyway.  This year’s switch up has been bigger than expected.

I started a project last summer of going room by room, closet by closet, and drawer by drawer getting rid of things we no longer need or use.  We have gotten rid of so much “stuff” and have so  much more that needs to go.  I’m continuing that project as I can.

The time that I spent running in the past is now spent doing strengthening exercises for my ankle every day.  I’ve discovered that they can easily be done while sitting in the recliner with the footrest up, so that makes them more comfortable and enjoyable.  After those are done in the morning, I then spend time getting my electrodes placed and then wrapping my foot in some way to help keep them in place.  I use a TENS unit all day every day, 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off.  Yes, these are my electronic shock treatments.  At night I’m sleeping with a compression sock to help with the swelling and a brace which immobilizes my ankle and helps with the pain.

I’ve had to face one of my biggest fears:  If I stop running or exercising, I’ll never start again and go back to being a couch potato.  I’ve finally decided that this is not true.  Where I am now is temporary.  I’ll do what I can, slowly increasing my activity, until I’m back to where I was.  It will probably take months, but that’s ok.  There’s nothing like having goals to work towards!

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever
circumstances I am.  Philippians 4:11

Finished

Just as this past week was the end of summer for most, it was also the last week and big finale for our Couch to 5K group.  The last week we do a taper down, which means we back off on our running so we can run with fresh legs for our 5K.  The 5K our group was to run was the Bill James 5K/10K Classic on September 9.  This is the same run our group finished with last year.

Monday’s run was a little odd because we met two hours earlier than usual due to it being a holiday.  Tuesday night, we met at our regular time.  To show the newbies how far we’ve come, our coach had us do the running schedule from day one which was run for one minute and walk for 90 seconds.  We did this several times, and our mileage ended up being right around a mile.

I went home that evening and looked at my Fitbit to realize that I had 9,000 steps in.  I told my family that I was going to go walk around the block in an effort to break the 10,000 step barrier.  It was starting to get dark.  My daughter was concerned about my walking in the dark.

I went around the block at a quick pace.  It was getting late, and I wanted to finish and get to bed.  I was about 3/4 of the way around the block and was walking on the street on a stretch where there is no sidewalk.  I looked to my right to a group of people talking, and at that time my foot went half off the pavement and half on the curb.  I completely rolled my ankle and felt it pop.  I almost fell, but managed to recover.

My first thought was, “Oh, no.  This is really bad.”  However, I continued to walk and amazingly enough didn’t have a lot of pain.  I immediately went home and put some ice on it.

The next morning, walking around the house wasn’t too bad.  I decided to put my shoes on and try to do some walking around my neighborhood.  That was a completely different story.  It was very painful.

I decided to pay a visit to my sports injury doctor.  X-rays revealed that the tendon on my fibula has pulled some of the bone away.  The official diagnosis is that I “sprain the heck out of it.”

This, of course, was a huge disappointment.  Not only did I have a race coming up in three days, it was the big finale for our Couch to 5K group!  This was an event that I wasn’t going to miss, so I decided to focus on what I could do instead of what I couldn’t do.

I went ahead and went to the race with electrodes attached to my ankle and compression socks to help not only keep the swelling down but to also help wrangle the cords.  When I arrived, I went to the registration table and asked them to change my registration to the one mile walk.  I knew there was no way I could even walk three miles, but I was convinced I could walk one.

The race started, and everyone quickly left me in the dust.  I hobbled along the best I could.  This race was an out and back.  By the time I got to the turn around point, I was meeting 5K runners.

I did the best I could for that day.  I walked the one mile and had plenty of 5K runners pass me along the way.  I borrowed my daughter’s pompoms and spent the rest of my time cheering my fellow team members across the finish line.  For some this was their first race ever.

For now, running and anything else that requires being on my feet is on hold.  I’m finished.

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
  II Corinthians 12:10

OD5K: Officers Down 5K

We had a great time on August 26 running the Officers Down 5K.  This was the first year for our community to host this event.  Here is their mission from their website:

It is our mission as The Officers Down 5K to celebrate officers who put their lives on the line daily to keep our communities safe and honor those who have fallen in the line of duty. While officers give to the community on a daily basis, it is now our time to give back.

Officers Down 5K was founded in 2011 with a goal to bring the community together on “just a day” rather than just when an officer is killed, to show support to the men and women in blue.

The race did not start until 10:00 am, so packet pickup was the morning of the race.  This was a disappointment.  I prefer to pick up my packet the day before so that I have everything, including my bib, ready to go before the race.  Packet pickup also is usually near the actual event, so that gives me a chance to preview the race route.  Instead, a friend and I made a special trip out the day before the race to preview the route.  It reminded me of the last race we did on July 4, so I felt like I really knew what to expect.

Since the race had a late start, I was able to get up on race day and eat a full breakfast!  After breakfast, I got ready for the race and went ahead and headed down to the event.  I arrived by 8:30, and decided to do some walking before the race.  I’ve been walking lately before my runs and I do think it makes a difference.  The event took place in a large parking lot, so I made several laps around.  After 9:00 rolled around, more people and friends and relatives started arriving, so we congregated and chit chatted.

The opening ceremonies began with the Star Spangled banner.  Then there was the kids’ fun run.  Once the kids were done, it was our turn.

The race was a simple out and back, which I like.  At least on the way back, you have a good sense of how far you’ve gone and how far you have to go.  I immediately noticed that their mile markers seemed to be a little long.  Whether or not that would effect the entire race, I didn’t know.  I’ve participated in races where the mile markers were off, but the entire course overall was accurate.

Fortunately for us, we have had a mild summer, and particularly the last month.  It was 65 degrees when I got up and about 70 degrees when the race started.  That is unheard of this time of the year.  Often in August, we don’t see 70 degrees, not even as a low for the day.

Unfortunately, with the race starting at 10:00, that put the sun right overhead bearing down on us.  It made the run very warm, but tolerable.  Besides that, it was a typical city-street run with your gradual hills rolling up and down.

Since this race was not timed, and the course seemed to be long, I kept an eye on my pace and my time.  At the 3.1 mile mark, my time was 40:55, which is what I’m recording for this race.  This would be an unofficial PR for me!  My average pace overall was 13:08, which is very good for this old, slow lady.  (Let’s not mention that there were officers running in full uniform that finished long before I did!)

All participants received finishers’ medals.  After the race we were given sack lunches from two different local restaurants!  There was a raffle for some gear, and we got to see a K-9 demonstration.  We also got some really cool swag at packet pick up.

With the damage from Hurricane Harvey there’s a lot of focus on giving and donating to good causes.  Participating in some kind of run each month, regardless of the distance, is a great way to give to causes you deem worthy.  That’s why you won’t see me doing “fun runs.”  Some months have more runs to choose from than others, but I try to choose runs that benefit organizations that I am comfortable giving to.

But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  Matthew 6:3-4

Gone Fishing

I’ll be back next week.

Totality Awesome!

This past Monday was a once in a lifetime total eclipse.  We were fortunate enough to live right in the path of totality!  We’ve been preparing for this day (August 21, 2017) for a few months now.

We were told that the protective glasses would sell out so to order early.  I ordered my glasses in early July.  I made sure we had enough for the extended family and was glad that we were all prepared.  Then, about eight days before the eclipse, I got an email from Amazon.com saying that our glasses could be fake and not to use them!  So, we went into search and find mode at that point.  Everyone in town was sold out, but someone told my husband that Menards might have some.  He gave Menards a call, and he was told that they had 500 glasses in stock.  I couldn’t help but think that something wasn’t right if everyone else was sold out, but Menards had plenty.

My husband went to Menards, located the glasses, but could not find a manufacturer on the glasses.  He gave me a call and we were talking about it on the phone.  He even sent me a picture of the glasses, but all he could find on them was “Made in China.”  A passerby heard my husband talking to me on the phone.  He was a science geek and understood our concern.  He told my husband that he lived close by and had bought a package of 50, so he would be glad to let us buy some from him at $2.50 a pair.  They were made by one of the companies listed as safe by AAS, so we thought he should snatch them up.  So, yes, my husband entered the home of a total stranger to buy our solar eclipse glasses!

We did some research to find out just when the eclipse would fall in our area.  We poked around NASA’s website which was full of information.  We did some reading.

IMG_20170821_114632861.jpg
Sporting our one-of-a-kind, designer t-shirts.

Cinderella made multiple trips to Grandma’s to make several solar eclipse t-shirts for extended family members.  They came out really nice.

My mother and I reminisced about the 1979 total eclipse.  I was in school that day, and it was only a partial eclipse for our area.  If there were viewing glasses at that time, we didn’t know about it.  We made the cardboard shadow boxes and went outside during the eclipse to view it in our shoeboxes.  I’m not sure what was more exciting, actually seeing the eclipse or the fact that my shoebox really did what it was supposed to.

We watched a couple of videos.  We thought this one did a great job of explaining the various stages of the eclipse.  I also downloaded the Solar Eclipse Timer app.  It was totally worth the $1.98 that I paid for it.  It gave you an audio warning of the various stages of the eclipse and told you what to look for.  The developer did a great job making this app.

We were fortunate that we could watch the whole thing right from our front yard.  It rained and rained all morning, but it stopped raining and cleared off ten minutes before the eclipse started.  We dawned our eclipse t-shirts and glasses and went outside right before C1.  The app counted down to contact time, we looked at the sun with our glasses, and really didn’t see anything.  We noticed what we thought might be a little indentation in the upper right hand corner of the sun and thought that might be it.  As we waited and watched, the indentation became bigger and bigger.  The big moment was finally here!

It would be nearly an hour and a half before totality, but we were able to occupy our time with occasional looks at the sun and observing our surroundings.  The lighting became dimmer and dimmer, but it was different than how the light gets dimmer at dusk.  It was almost like the bad lighting of a soap opera.

At about fifteen minutes before totality, we walked around the corner and up to the top of a hill.  There is a vacant field there and we wanted to have a good view of the 360 degree sunset.

It got quieter and quieter.  By the time totality arrived the temperature had dropped several degrees, the birds had stopped chirping, the squirrels were quiet, the crickets started chirping, and small children had put themselves to bed.  (It was wishful thinking, anyway).

Once totality was here, we were able to take our glasses off and look directly at the sun.  The view of the sun’s corona was amazing, and something no camera could ever truly capture.  It was very, very dark as if it were early nightfall.  The street lights came on.  It was truly an incredible event.

We had totality for two minutes.  Once C3 started, we had to put our glasses back on to look at the sun again.  The sun was a sliver once again, our surroundings slowly became lighter and brighter.  And within a few minutes, the sky became completely overcast and we were no longer able to view the eclipse.  We felt so grateful to not only be in the path of totality, but to also view as much as we did considering the weather.  It rained for the rest of the day and throughout the night. There was record flooding all across town.  We received a total of eleven inches of rain that day!

Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.
Isaiah 40:26

Bright Line Eating

Bright Line Eating is a lifestyle routine created by Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson.  She recently published a book by the same name.  What makes this book interesting, is that it is written from an addict’s and scientist’s point of view.  Instead of talking about nutrition and how this is good for you and that is not, Dr. Thompson addresses how addictive sugar and flour is and how we need to break that addiction.  She even has an addiction susceptibility test that you can take on her website.

First she tells you her story of drug and alcohol addiction.  After getting clean and sober, she decided to study addiction.  Then she became a food addict and obesity set in.

After successfully conquering food addiction and obesity, Dr. Thompson has created her own food plan.  Except, that it’s much more than just a food plan.  Bright Line Eating is a lifestyle.

The idea is to make your eating automatic–to move the decision making of what you’re going to eat, how much, and when to another area of your brain so that no emotions are involved.  Just like you automatically do certain things every morning when you get out of bed–make the bed, brush your teeth, etc., –the idea is to automatically plan and prepare your meals.  The decision was made the night before, now all you have to do is eat it!

Bright lines are lines that you don’t cross.  The four bright lines are:

  1. No sugar:  no sugar or sweeteners of any kind.
  2. No flour:  no flour of any kind.
  3. Meals:  three meals a day, no snacks, bites, licks, or tastes.
  4. Quantities:  all food is measured.

Dr. Thompson also covers a myriad of topics and situations to keep you on track.  She recommends having a buddy that you can text or call when you’re about to go off your food plan.  She covers situations such as restaurants, traveling, and parties.  She also covers what to do should you break your bright lines.

Dr. Thompson also recommends things such as meditation, journaling, and a nightly check-off list.  There is also an 8-week boot camp and online support groups.

You do not have to be overweight or wanting to lose weight to benefit from this book.  This book could be helpful to anyone wishing to get their eating habits under control.

I have been following the Bright Line Eating plan the last few weeks and have been steadily losing weight.  This is a great feeling after maintaining my weight for the last year.  Following this program has taken away the worry of ‘what am I going to eat?’, ‘how much?’, ‘am I eating enough?’, ‘am I eating too much?’, etc.  Overall, I am now eating more food than I was before I started following the program, so I have never been hungry.  This is truly the simplest thing I’ve ever done.

A warning to you juicers, Dr. Thompson is not a juicing fan.  In fact, she is completely against it.  However, she does hint at customizing the program to fit you and coming up with your own bright lines.  That is what I have done.  I am following a 5:2 plan, where I am juicing two days a week.

I am also continuing to exercise even though Dr. Thompson recommends not exercising while trying to losing weight.  I know it completely goes against everything we’ve been told, but her reasoning for it makes sense.  Since I’ve been exercising regularly for a few years now and it is not something new that I’m trying to add into my life, I’m going to stick with it.

I recommend this book to anyone wanting to get their eating habits under control whether they are wanting to lose weight or not.  I found the science sited in this book very interesting.  I was expecting this book to merely be an introduction to Dr. Thompson’s program with a ploy to get you to buy more of her products, but it is not.  Everything you need to know is contained in the book.  With this book and a food scale, you’re set!

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. I Cor 10:31