It's no secret to most of my friends that I enjoy running. It took me until I was an adult, trying desperately to shed pregnancy pounds, to discover this fabulous way to keep my heart healthy and my buns in check. My husband isn't so much concerned about his buns, but he loves to run too, and we like to race together. And yes, that means we PAY MONEY to wake up early, safety-pin signs to our shirts, stick in earbuds, then sweat and pant alongside a great crowd of other crazies doing the same thing.
We have friends who run too, and in fact were running long before we were, so we know we really aren't that weird. OK, at least we're not alone in our weirdness.
Last Saturday, we ran Pensacola's Double Bridge Run, which is a 15K (9.3 mile) distance that begins close to historic downtown, goes across a 3-mile bridge, over Gulf Breeze island, another bridge, and then ends at the beach. Since I was not in 15K shape this year, I opted for the 5K. See Lisa? She's well over 20 weeks pregnant! (And she's still faster than I am.) Her husband Jason chose to chauffeur us to our start lines and be on Daddy duty instead of competing. Post-race, he also did a great job of maneuvering to the nearest Krispy Kreme and buying a box of hot.
Here's Jason, getting pumped up for one last trip to the porta-potty before the gun. The poor dear looks so cold!
And here the two of us are after the finish. We had long cooled off, and had begun to freeze again, but we were happy because each of us had pulled off a new PR (personal record.)Racing is always fun, but training is not. I've had to rebuild my fitness since Quinn was born, since I was a huge slacker during the last half of the pregnancy, and the road has not always been an adrenaline-pumping success. I'm still working on endurance, but I've come a long way. One of my current challenges is fighting boredom. My body can run for a long time, but my mind can get pretty tired of it. And so.........
a tried-and-true remedy? I've started collecting! It's quite amazing what people toss out of their vehicles. Among the fast food wrappers, beer cans and at-home drug tests, there are some treasures.
My first (and most exciting) find was an aluminum 9x13 pan. At first sight I passed it up, thinking if I still remembered it at the end of my run, I would drive back to retrieve it. Then I thought better of my forgetful self, decided I really wanted that pan, and doubled back. I carried it the last mile and a quarter of my run, switching it from left to right and back again every hundred strides. It made the time fly, and I was hooked on collecting!
A few runs later, I found a companion for my pan.It's really not fit for dining use, since the tines are all bent out of shape, but what a great sandbox toy or plant poke or beginnings of a wind-chime!Wednesday I found a perfectly fine bucket to inspire some cleaning. I'll give it to Jason?
And today I found a grapefruit spoon, which is perfectly fitting since we have a huge box of grapefruit sitting in the garage and a shortage of grapefruit spoons.
Who knows what I'll find next run amid the litter? I have no desire to pick up the faux evergreen Christmas garland that has been not decomposing for over a year, nor the red camp chair that has faded to pink, but I'll certainly be keeping my eyes open for new stuff, and in the process, train for our next race!