We’ve made it through Black Friday (don’t know about you, but I didn’t leave the house), Cyber Monday yesterday (did I even go online? I don’t remember), and now today has the honor of being named “Giving Tuesday.” Okie-dokie, fine by me. The Intertubes are full of clever stories of people sharing ways they have given back to the world at large. I like doing nice things, too, so I’m in. Maybe… a trash hunt on one of my favorite beaches for running- La Jolla Shores.
The beaches have seen some higher than usual tides lately, and along with the seaweed, a lot of junk washed up with the waves. Junk including freshly broken glass- ouch! And there were at least fifty barefoot surfers out enjoying the spectacular weather today… I don’t want to think of the potential harm that one big piece pictured above could inflict. Again, ouch!
I had a short run of only couple of miles this morning, but still wound up with a fistful of glass to pitch into the trash. I’ve always told my kids to pick up trash on our walks and hikes, and it felt good to help take care of one of my favorite places to run and play.
We had some high tides and storm activity last week in the Southland that brought a mess (literally…) of seaweed to the shoreline. As I ran, the pieces of kelp were fun to stomp on, bursting underfoot on the packed, wet sand. I think the serious runners coming from behind and passing me were mildly amused. I was greatly amused.
Pop pop POP!
But, dodging kelp and stopping to take photos can result in the waves catching up with you…
I simply squish-squish-squished as I ran the return route. Guess my shoes are broken in now! i don’t run barefoot along the beach… makes it easier to stomp on and pop the kelp.
I did it! I ran across the Coronado Bridge on Sunday morning with about 10,000 people, The Boy and The Husband. The Boy ditched me immediately after we crossed the start line, but is forgiven because he had a finish time of about ten minutes better than me, so, good on him.
While this was for a great cause, and I had a great time running with our neighbor’s SDG&E team, these runs with the 5 a.m. wake up times cause me to seriously to question my sanity… or at least decision making abilities.
We ran across the bridge with a reservist who told us about his five tours on active duty, and dozen more as a reservist. He had speakers tucked in a backpack playing military running cadences for the group’s motivation- it sure helped me get up the bridge. When asked, he suggested that civilians who are interested in donating time and treasure to returning soldiers should look into the Wounded Warrior Project for a reputable organization to guide us.
Before we actually hit the Coronado bridge, we passed a mariachi band playing for the throng, but on the other end of the bridge was the Navy brass band to help us finish- what a great way to wrap up the run!
This honorable man ran the four plus miles in full gear and holding the flag. He wasn’t the only one I saw running with a flag and gear, either.
From the home page of the Navy Bay Bridge Run you can read that “this annual Navy-hosted event includes the public in raising money for the Navy’s Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs.” It was an honor to run with these men and women on active duty, reserve and retired status, and all us civilians pitching in a tiny bit to bring attention and funds to America’s navy personnel. An honor and a privilege.
Holy cow, this was fabulous! Especially since my Official-Running-Coach-turned-Official-Chauffeur joined me… can’t beat that at 5:30 in the (fill in your preferred explicative) morning. “Yes, dear. Drive me to Padre Stadium at the crack of dawn, thank you.”
There were all kinds of people running or walking the San Diego Hot Chocolate 15/5K– I loved seeing the kids and parents! The DJ pumping up the crowd at the start line tried his best to keep up with congratulating children running their first race. My favorite thing (besides the chocolate) was the comments I overheard. Overall winner- the guy who asked volunteers handing out water “No thanks, I’m looking for the Chardonnay!” Close Second to the couple calling out to other volunteers and supporters with the bells and noisemakers,“Needs more cowbell!” Honorable Mention to the college girls who couldn’t believe they were there at 6:30, “That’s it, walk time, we are so not even running this!” Makes you wonder if they were just ending a long night without any sleep! You know why teen girls don’t go out in groups of three, five or seven? Because they can’t even. Ha!
I’ve been using my family’s activities for an excuse not to do much for myself. Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE the organizations, projects and competitions that my children and husband have chosen to challenge themselves. The teachers who led The Boy’s Academic Decathlon? Gold standard. Our community’s Rec Soccer? The best parents and coach. Don’t get me started on The Girl’s high school, I have several posts lined up on this blog for them alone. And The Husband’s work and biking friends? I thank God for them in particular. I just enjoy going along with everyone else’s plans and needs. You need a Helper Bee and not another leader? I’m there, just ask.
But, along with the theme of this blog, it is time to start branching out and learn new tricks for me. I wonder what next month’s project will be and where it will lead me? :oD
The month is halfway over. I am more than halfway through my book, but failing at this running challenge. I won’t give up, though. I have friends who have gone back to college and set far higher fitness goals than I have- out of respect for them, and myself, I’ll keep plugging away. They truly inspire me!
Need a reason to challenge yourself with new projects, plays, and books, recipes, etc.? Go online, look up “neural plasticity” and follow links on reputable websites. (here’s some!) Even better, enter “neural plasticity” into the search bar on Pinterest… now sit back, and start reading. In a nutshell: when you experience new things your brain is energized.
Doing something new every day and going out on a limb is my way to help get over years of anxiety.
If I also end up expanding my cognitive abilities, broaden my perspectives and become more creative, even better!
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” Steve Jobs
I found out how to make a two mile run super easy- replace it with another run, a little longer with REAL hills.
The Running Coach/Husband is now introducing me to the foam roller. I hear that I’ll hate it, and love it at the same time. Sounds kind of like running? However, I understand that this 5K that I signed up for at the end of the month for my March Project has a bunch of hills. Yeesh. Hills.
The new run kicks my butt bad. How bad? So bad that I feel like I’m back to walking with this guy again:
It makes the recent triumph of running those two miles, straight through, like a stroll on the beach… When I make it to the top of that hill, about a half mile long, I’m running the next day on the beach. Barefoot.