Summer Beauty. I think I've probably appreciated that more than ever this year because I've spent so much time outdoors in the early mornings, slowly building up my running endurance in preparation for my 1/2 marathon in October.
The PINK cone-flowers, growing at one of our nearby trails, have provided a lot of inspiration for us as we've spent lots of our time running by them. It's like they are our own little cheerleaders . . .just waiting for us to get a little better each week!!
Watching them start to fade a bit in their PINKNESS is a reminder that our warm to downright hot weather will all too soon be a thing of the past.
Last Saturday morning three of us were able to meet for our "long run" . We changed the direction that we ran on the trail. . .and it was a beautiful summer experience!!
This is one of my all time favorite pictures. The fog was pretty thick as we headed out on the trail, but was rapidly lifting as the sun started to rise!
This is Joan heading into that fog.
It was just a time that I wanted to be able to capture and hold on to and remember what it felt like to out there on that summer morning, in the fog, on the trail. . .running with my friends.
Here we are after our longest run in our training program. . .NINE MILES!!!
You can tell by our wet hair and shirts that we got pretty warm during our time on the trail!! I am trying to remember to embrace that, too, about our summer. . .because all too soon, we'll be dealing with cold and snow and gloves and hats.
For now. . .I'm still soaking up as much of this season as possible!!
It took us a little under two hours to complete the 9 mile distance. We were using intervals of running 3 min. and walking 2 min.. Our focus was going the distance and not the speed. I think we all felt very good after that run. . .no one seemed to have had trouble maintaining that pace! That means we ARE getting stronger and stronger each week!!
I have had one little issue crop up from adding longer distances to our runs. . .I have a hurt toe!!!
The toenail started out being tender after a long run, then one day it was dark!! I'd read a lot about running issues and "black toenail" was almost at the top of the list.
The jury is out on what exactly can cause it. Lots of times, some folks believe, it's because the runner's shoes are too short. That can't be the case for me cuz I'm wearing shoes that are a full size larger than my street shoes.
However, something was happening to my toe while I was running. I "self diagnosed" that , even though my shoes are plenty roomy in the toe box, my foot was sliding down and banging into something as I ran. SO. . .I needed to stop that from happening by tying my shoes in such a way that my foot doesn't slide.
That tying technique really seems to be helping, but in the meantime, I needed to do something that would help protect my hurt nail. . .so I read up about taping toes.
The first day I taped my toe and ran 3 miles, I found my nail seemed to be no worse off than prior to the run, HOWEVER, the piggie next to it had a blister because of it rubbing on the tape of the adjacent toe!
SOOOO.....I read that a lot of runners liked wearing these "toe socks" because they help to reduce blister occurrences that happen when toes rub together .
Yeah. . .Little Twiggy loves my stinky feet!! :)
Also, these socks are worn with a type of shoe many folks are turning to. . .called "minimalist" or "barefoot" or "five finger" running shoes.
I know. . .my feet are super ugly. They've never been beauties. . .and running hasn't helped them, but they serve the purpose!
One of the ladies in our running group thinks we (all of us in the group) should treat ourselves to a "pedi day" instead of a "run day" when we reach our goal!!! I'm thinking she's got a great idea going there!!
On Wednesday morning, I headed out for a three mile run around our subdivision. As I was doing my warm up walk, I noticed my shadow on a neighbor's lawn and thought again, how our beautiful green grass will soon be turning brown. . .and piled with snow. OK. . .so that time is two or three months away. . .but it will be here too soon and I need to appreciate every single day I can get outside and enjoy the beauty of the season before it gives way to winter.
On the same morning, I passed this flower on a bush and was promptly informed by the little bee that he was taking advantage of the summer season, too!!!
Finally, I just had to share one of my favorite parts of this Summer!! My pal Bonnie gave me this old mop bucket when we moved into this house eight years ago. It was filled with the most gorgeous plants! Each summer, I try new plants in it. This year, I repeated planting a Lantana in it because that kind of plant just goes nuts out on our West facing patio!! It's so huge that it's hard to tell this is a vintage mop bucket!!
THE STONE RABBIT loves the plant and bucket, too. In fact, he just came into the office to remind me I need to pull it back to the spot on the patio where it gets a little morning shade followed by a sunny afternoon. . . the Lantana loves that combination!!
I hope you've been embracing as much of our amazing summer as you can! I'm sure if you head over to Beverly's blog, HOW SWEET THE SOUND, you'll find many other great Summery Pinks this week!!
Happy PINK Saturday!