Seen on my Run/Walk

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/1800 sec, ISO100
“Painted Rocks” Cedar Park, 2020

It was super-hot when I went out for a run, so I ended up walking quite a bit and taking in the neighborhood sights. It was fun and it felt good to get some Vitamin D and fresh air. I hope you had a nice day!

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/5300 sec, ISO104
“Clouds” Cedar Park, 2020

Run and Bike

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO3200
“Sunset Cycling” Cedar Park, 2020

Today I went for a lunchtime run, and immediately I could tell my legs were a bit tired and the muscles were stiff. From our house, whichever route I take is downhill so it’s a nice, gentle way to warm up and assess my physical (and mental) condition. Yesterday was a rest day so I wasn’t too worried about straining myself, however, I made a note to take it easy. I don’t want any injuries!

I’m reading the book The Pants of Perspective: One Woman’s 3,000 Kilometre Running Adventure through the Wilds of New Zealand by Anna McNuff and I kept thinking about what a bad-ass she is and how she dealt with physical down-days on her journey. Super-inspiring and motivating! That positive energy definitely helps with my mental state, and although my legs might still be tired, I don’t let that get me down.

I ended up running 3.43 miles, which I am pleased with, and my pace of 12:19 /mi wasn’t as slow as I expected. And besides, it was beautiful outside!

Not surprisingly, the run’s momentum carried with me into the evening and I went for a short evening bicycle ride around the neighborhood. I remembered to pack my camera and was rewarded with a really nice sunset. You know, it’s really nice having a cargo rack and panniers on my bike – I can get the mail, carry my phone and camera, and still have plenty of room to spare.

The ride was great and I saw lots of people out walking, running, and playing safely. Lots of waving too! Although we’re living in a pandemic situation right now, people seem to be keeping it together. I really like our neighborhood.😀

I hope you had a nice day!

New Running Gear

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/15 sec, ISO3200
“Running Gear” Cedar Park, 2020

I’ve recently updated my running gear to include a few new items. Of course, running is pretty minimal to begin with, so there’s not a whole lot of things you need, but these items make running much more enjoyable.

First, I have started wearing my sunglasses consistently. No more squinting! This pair of HULISLEM UV/Polarized sunglasses are lightweight, comfortable, and inexpensive. My eye doctor recommended I wear UV sunglasses whenever I am outdoors and I am a believer!

Next, I started using Injinji toesocks for running. I noticed that my little toe on my right foot was rubbing a lot on the toe next to it, and thought I would give these toesocks a try since they were highly rated. Well, I can definitely recommend them! With the toes separated, the rubbing and numbness I experienced have been relieved. I have since bought a couple more pairs (which were on sale for about $8 a pair) and now I am set for a good long while. I’ve been using some socks I bought from Target for several years now, and they are still in good shape, so I will keep one pair as a backup, but get rid of the others.

Lastly, I bought a running belt to put my phone in. For years I would carry my phone in my hand, which I didn’t think was terrible, but after using the Tiffmoo running belt, I can’t believe I used to hold it! This running belt is stretchy and super slim so I can wear it under my shirt, and you wouldn’t even know I was wearing it. It holds my Moto G6 easily (without wallet case) in the main zippered pocket, and there are two additional pockets where you can probably put stuff like lip balm, band-aids, etc. I love this belt. Being hands-free is so great and I feel stupid that I carried my phone in my hand all these years! As a bonus, my chronic wrist pain is less since there isn’t that extra weight to contend with.

Anyways, I’m pretty sure I have my running gear dialed in. I still love my On Cloud Running Shoes, and my basic running/soccer shorts are fine, as are my synthetic running shirts. Now it’s just a matter of putting in the miles, which I enjoy. 😀

Morning Running

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/30 sec, ISO124
“Neighborhood Dinos” Cedar Park, 2020

This morning I went out for a jog around the neighborhood, and there were a few things different about today’s run. First, there was a light rain. I almost turned back and went home because the skies were threatening to unleash a downpour, but the temperature was warm so I decided to carry on thinking it would be a good experience, at least, to see what the challenges of running in the rain would be. Who knows, it could be rainy on marathon day, right?

Another thing that made this morning’s run different was that there were no cars on the street. I ran for 51 minutes, and only saw one gardener’s truck parking at the front of a house to do some work. The lack of cars was both refreshing and eerie. I could run down the middle of the street (and did so a few times) without worry.

Lastly, as I was lamenting the fact that the rain washed away all of the sidewalk and driveway chalk art, I came across the dinosaurs in the photo above, wearing their masks and practicing proper social distancing. That put a big smile on my face!

After powering up the small hill near the house, I finished the run and felt really good. I was wet from the rain, and my feet were soaked through, but I felt totally energized. 😀

I hope you had a good day!


Running Farther

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Bluebonnet” Cedar Park, 2020

The past few weekends I’ve been upping my long run mileage bit-by-bit, and seeing how my body reacts. One thing that I find interesting and fun, is when I separate my mind from my body, which sounds a little strange, but what I mean is that I am able to think rationally and evaluate my physical condition without that condition affecting my thinking. Does that make sense?

In the past I’ve imagined my brain to be like the pilot of a giant robot, who evaluates the gauges and dashboards, then adjusts things like the level of effort, body position, smoothness of running motion, where I hold my arms and hands, etc. If I feel a leg muscle getting tight, it’s like a warning light starts flashing in the cockpit, so I adjust a lever and ease up a little. This is kind of a fun way to keep my mind active and also to make sure I don’t push too hard. I generally have four sets of gauges: muscle fatigue, heart-rate/cardio, temperature level, and joint condition.

These days, the cardio warning light rarely comes on, and temperature level is similar. These two are not difficult to regulate, so if the light does come on, I can simply slow down. Muscle fatigue is pretty consistent in its depletion level (think of a bar gauge with percentage slowly getting smaller), and the joint condition is probably the one gauge I watch most closely. My foot has felt a little sore the past couple of runs, but felt good on the most recent outing. Still, it’s something that can really derail my efforts if I am not careful. At 51 years old, I need to definitely not push myself too hard.

However, I’m still enjoying getting out there and practicing mindfulness while running. It’s one of life’s little joys.


Today’s photo is of the State Flower of Texas, the Bluebonnet. They are starting to bloom! I enjoy seeing them when running, although this photo was taken while I was out birding. Tweet tweet! 🐦