an athlete photographer's blog

A Run in Three Parts

I wish I could have run a more inspiring race. There are many things in life that you can’t control, but one thing you can is doing the best you can with what you’ve been given. This has become my goal. I’m thankful to God and others for giving me grace when I fall short in the process. And I’m thankful for God’s love that is always enough no matter what.  – Ryan Hall (His statement to his fans on Facebook after dropping out of the LA Marathon)

The Run
0.50 + 0.60 + 3.00 miles

The Picture

Mr. Blue Bird

The Recap

This week was a roller coaster.  This run was a mess.

Monday / 0.50 miles

It was a warm spring day and I decided to take my daughter to the zoo.  At least, I thought it was only warm; it was actually hot.  The wind was gusty so I thought it would feel cooler, which is why I made her wear jeans and a t-shirt.  Needless to say, she got hot and we spent half the time looking for a water fountain that worked.  Most of the animals were hot too and were napping in the shade.  The highlight of the trip: two 50 cent trinkets I bought for her at the gift shop. 

I started out my run with the dog.  We were running on the property so I just opened the back gate and let her go full throttle.  Within practically no time at all, she was running up behind me with a bone in her mouth, apparently she found it in the field and was trying to run with it.  This proved too much after a minute and she dropped it.  I had only run about a quarter mile at this point and she was already panting hard from her zig-zag craziness in the field.  She left the bone here at the top of the hill and we continued on, or at least I did.  She followed a bit and then made a bee line for the back gate.  When I caught up to her, she was laying in the shade of a tree in the yard with the bone again.  She was hot and completely spent so even though I had only run 0.5 miles, I had to stop. Put her in the house.  And then, I was hot too so I figured I might as well change my shirt and just count it as a half mile warm up.


(It wasn’t till afterwards that my husband reminded me that she still has her winter coat, which is why she overheated so quickly.  I had completely forgotten.  I was so glad I had put her in the house and didn’t try to make her run more.)

Tuesday / 0.60 miles

Tuesday was a great day.  We stayed home and I got a run in.  It was a slow and pain run, but I got it done and best of all I really loved the pictures I got on Tuesday.   The green gate with the green field was perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. 

With the dog now in the house and a short sleeve shirt on, I thought I was ready to really get a good run in.  I hadn’t run very far at all when I came across this bluebird in the trees.  He was so pretty that I had to stop and take some pictures.  I had my new telephoto lens on my camera.  At first he was in a tree and still a little far away.  Then he flew over the barbed wire fence into the untamed field where these tall plants grow.  He just sat there while I took his portrait.  I was so excited because I was able to keep him crisp in the picture and control the camera shake.

I packed up my camera and kept running.  By the time I came back around to the house, I had to pee so bad that I felt it was worth a pit stop.  I had only run 0.60 miles this time so I thought that’s ok I’ll just call it a 1 mile warm up.  I took a minute to check my picture while I was inside.  Sometimes it’s hard to see the screen in the sun.  It looked good so I went back out for the real workout.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday / Mile 1, Miles 2, Mile 3

By this point, I was almost on the verge of just packing up and calling it a day.  Start stop start stop.  What kind of run was this?  So when I started for the third time, I vowed I would run three miles without stopping for anything.  I needed more non-stop miles under my belt and now was the time to do it.  I had my picture so there was no reason to stop again.

For the loop I was running, it was one and a quarter laps equals one mile.  I decided I was allowed to stop at the end of each mile point for a drink of water.  I figured there are water stops in a 5K and it was hotter than I’m used to so that was allowable.


Wednesday / Mile OneI spent a lot of time on Wednesday getting my Etsy shop up.  I thought it would be a one day job.  But while I was trying to get it on this site, I accidentally put it in “developer mode.”  I thought this meant I could build my shop and then open the store when I had my inventory ready.  Apparently, “developer mode” is for people writing code and I had to email Etsy to get them to turn my shop back on.  

It felt like I was running up hill the entire time.  This is sort of true because there is a valley in the middle on the field, but I was running the perimeter so I never got a really good down hill.  I was dying when I pulled out my phone to see how much further to 1 mile.  It said 0.99 so I pushed on and as soon as it switched to 1, I stopped and got my water.  Whew, 1 mile down.

Thursday / Mile TwoI woke up to an email that my shop was back online!  Thank you Etsy!  Grand Opening!  Ta da!   But behind the scenes, my stomach was upset and we really needed to get out of the house.  I phoned a friend and asked if we could drop in for some company.  We need a little reset in the week.  I came home feeling refreshed and ready to tackle life again. 

I was quick to put my water away.  It wasn’t supposed to be a long break.  Just a quick swig.  I kept on going.  My ankle was throbbing.  The uneven terrain and the thick grasses changes my gate and foot strike.  I was only a quarter mile in when I simply had to stop to re-lace my shoes.  I’ve found that when my ankles start throbbing it is because my shoes have loosened up.  Normally when I put my shoes on, I just tie the laces.  But what I’ve found helps, especially for uneven terrain, is tightening up the middle laces – the part around the arch.  This keeps my foot strike in the right part of the shoe.  I hated to stop, but it was totally worth it.  Finished out mile two ready for my water, but with more comfortable ankles.

Friday / Mile ThreeIt was sunny again.  I felt rejuvenated and my stomach was feeling better too.  To make up for sitting around earlier in the week, I cleaned the house from top to bottom.  Not really cleaned, but tidied up.  I cleared out the winter snow gear and found homes for some items that hadn’t been put away in awhile.  It was a productive day and then I went for a run.  Oh and I made my first Etsy sale!  Success! 🙂

There are two sides to my brain – the coach side and the athlete side.  At this point, the athlete side was saying, You already ran a mile beforehand.  That counts.  You already have your three miles.  But the coach side is hard as nails and 100% unsympathetic.  Coach said, Nope.  You said you were going to run three without stopping so you’re running three. 

I was surprised to find mile three was easier than mile one.  I think my tighter shoes helped and I was in a groove.  Plus, it was the last mile.  As it turned out, the last mile ended on the steepest part of the property.  I was hot and tired and wanted to walk.  I told myself, don’t quit don’t quit don’t quit and even out loud I said “Come on!”  And I was able to push out the last little bit to get up the hill.  Three miles at the top of the hill and water were a sweet reward.

These are just a few highlights.  It was a hard week, but now it’s the weekend and we can rest. 

I feel like I just squeaked out this workout.  It was the hottest part of the day and I didn’t feel strong.  But I did it.  I think the week took a toll on me and I’ll rest up so I can come back strong next week.  Have a great weekend everyone!  See you Monday!


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