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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

GratiTuesday - Keeping Up

When I was little my parents made a washing machine for me out of a box and covered it in yellow contact paper.  I stored my dress up clothes and doll clothes in there, and I loved it - I thought it looked just like my mom's washing machine.

One of my dress up items was an old tank top, a white one with a shiny stripe across the front.  I remember it as being my dad's cross country jersey, although maybe I just made that up as a kid, but I loved that shirt.  I wore it and wanted to be a strong runner like him - wanted to be able to run long distances and set records like he did.  I wanted to be able to run with him and keep up.

Unfortunately, I didn't inherit those running talents.  I wanted to ask to run with him, but after injuring his feet, he's not supposed to run anymore, and I didn't want to risk a re-injury.  Besides, after someone told me that I didn't know how to breathe when running, I gave up - if I couldn't handle breathing, something that should come easily, how would I ever handle the tough task of running?

Then last week we went to the beach for spring break.  It was beautiful, though a bit chilly some days, and we were all excited to be there.  After checking in, we immediately went exploring and walked to the beach.

The kids, of course, couldn't be still and darted all over the sand.  With the tide out, our part of the beach was exceptionally wide.  My Little Man ran in circles to the water and back, chasing birds and shells and a football he kept tossing gleefully.

My Big Helper was enthralled with it all and kept taking off running.  They couldn't hear us over the pounding of the surf, so I kept having to run to keep up with her.  After a few minutes, I asked if she wanted to run and watched her eyes light up.

We  ran just at the water's edge, where it stretched its highest on the sand, keeping our feet mostly out of the water.  We ran for short spurts, stopping to pick up pebbles brushed smooth by the waves, and then taking off again.  Eventually, with hands full of rocks and shells, My Big Helper said that she was tired and wanted to walk - and I realized that I had kept up!  Our interval-running had kept me going and I could have gone further.

I was never so excited about exercise.  :-)

Later in the week I decided to test this a bit more.  I ran down the beach, planning to count to 60 while running, then to 30 while walking and to find out what happened.

Besides landing in a rather deep "creek" area of the beach when I tried to hop over it, it worked out pretty well.  I ran far up the beach, saw lots of beautiful shells, and returned out of breath half an hour later.

After driving the same path the next morning, I realized that I had (mostly) run for 2 miles!

I may never be able to run with my dad - he really shouldn't risk re-injuring his feet - and I don't suppose I'll ever be able to keep up with his cross-country, up-and-down Appalachian ridge abilities.  But I learned last week that I can do more than I think I can.  That maybe my recent attempts at exercise are paying off.  That maybe, someday, my short intervals can stretch into bigger and better ones.

For now, I can keep up with my Energizer-Bunny kids.  That works for me - and it was lots of fun, too.

Maybe someday, they'll want to run with me.

For more GratiTuesday, visit Heavenly Homemakers.


  1. What a great encouragement for you and a wonderful way to spend time and expend energy with your kiddos. Have a great week!

  2. So wonderful! You have really been doing a great job at the daily routine of exercising, and I am glad you got to see some pay-off during your vacation. I was doing OK for awhile, but am definitely floundering now. Time to forget about the days I didn't do anything and just focus on doing something today. I see a walk during my lunchtime happening - it is 70 here and sunny!

  3. I had issues over the weekend, too, as we left the beach and I dealt with all the packing and unpacking and traveling and unhealthy restaurant food! I love your attitude - that's the spirit! It's always more fun to be outside. :-)

  4. Awesome! I've never been great with distance running, but I used to run sprints. My middle daughter just started track and runs the mile and 1/2 mile races. Now I'm considering the Couch 2 5K program to see if with the interval training I could eventually run a mile or two. And running on the beach is pretty inspiring!

  5. Hey, Kristin,

    A friend told me about the C2K program, and I downloaded the first week's podcast back then, but I've never done it consistently enough to get past that first week. I took it to the beach and hoped to try it, but my iPod was dead when I did. That's how I ended up counting - I was determined to find SOME WAY to exercise and not be defeated. I'm anxious now to try it again and see how it goes. Good luck with it!

  6. I have some experience with the Couch to 5K program - I did it last summer relatively inconsistently - I never got past the first week, as I would start, stop, start over, etc..... BUT even with the less than ideal effort I gave it, it was working - each time was a little easier than the time before. I love your idea of counting in your head - I was trying to juggle a kitchen timer (at least it was one of the magnetic flat ones), a water bottle, my keys,my phone, and an iPod while I was doing it. Not the brightest idea ever...... ha ha