Life is a Beach Run

 

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The fishing pier at Port Aransas, Texas

The entire trip down to Port Aransas, Texas, I anxiously awaited running on the sand at the beach. I crave beach running, and every time I’m seaside, I wonder why it took me so long to get back here. As I started out on my morning run, Memorial Day weekend, I anticipated traffic on the beach; however, I found a nice, empty, clear path along the thickest part of the beach sand. Yay me! I’ll be getting a good leg workout today for sure

It’s always a struggle to cut coffee time short on the breezy patio and get my run in before enjoying the day lounging at the beach; however, in true runner-addict form, I had my one cup of coffee as I braided my hair, assembled my running outfit and tucked my toes in my low-profile sneakers. (I’ve gotten good at separating my toes to where they slide into the “web shoes” perfectly. Anyone who has a pair of “web shoes” appreciates this statement.)

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Necessities for the beach: plenty of water and sunglasses!

As suspected, the sand absorbs each step of my run, and my quads, hamstrings, and calves yell out a rally cry with each mile. As I look over to the water’s edge, I imagine the waves scooping up every worry from my mind and the tide carries all of them out into the ocean. Ahhh… breathing in salty air seasons my soul and it’s a feeling I crave. Deep breath in… big breath out… waves pull toward me to gather the stress on my shoulders, and the water leaves the shoreline peaceful and clear.

Four miles later, I return to the beach house and hang in ragdoll to pray. “Thank you Lord for reminding me how strong my body is even when I start to second-guess myself.”  Stretching is one of the best things you can do for your body post-workout. I find shade because now I am a dripping, salty mess and want to give my skin a chance to cool down and my breath to return to normal.  After a few yoga poses (especially for the hip flexors and hamstrings), I’m ready to take on the world.

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Now that I’ve shared one of my favorite summer workouts with you, I want to share the best part… shower and recovery meal! For my sun-kissed, salty and sweaty skin, I love lathering up with Dial soap. That’s right… good old-fashioned Dial anti-bacterial soap is safe for your entire body—even face! For my hair, it’s Wen brand hair care. The cleansing conditioner provides a no-nonsense, quick cleansing solution for my dry hair. No separate conditioner needed. Sometimes, I will even leave a small amount in my hair as a leave-in conditioner for the day.

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I moisturize my skin with a mixture of Kiss My Face brand sunscreen and Lubriderm lotion. This replenishes moisture to the skin and protects my skin from the sun.

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Finally, I apply Nars-brand tinted face moisturizer to my face. This, and a little bit of waterproof Maybelline mascara, acts as my only makeup for the day. (Did I mention how much I love the beach?)

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I create a cute braided up-do and it’s about time to refuel my muscles. My fuel of choice, post-run is either an Advocare Meal Replacement Shake with added wheat grass. (I promise it’s yummy.) Or I make veggie eggs and green juice. Check out the recipes and helpful tips below, and let me know your favorite beach hang out.

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Veggie Egg Muffins

  • 2 cups Eggbeaters (or four whole eggs)
  • 4 oz Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Mushrooms
  • 1 cup Spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup Red peppers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice mushrooms, spinach leaves and red peppers. Mix Eggbeaters, cheese, all veggies (feel free to add more). Spray muffin tin with butter/oil then fill each muffin cup evenly with egg, cheese and veggie – I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup to evenly fill.  Each cup should be about 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Muffins will keep in the refrigerator for about a week within freezing. Egg muffins can be frozen and reheated in the microwave—they make a great, quick breakfast or morning snack!

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Sand Running Tips:

  1. Start slow—your muscles, tendons, and ligaments need to get used to running on sand, so shorter distances are best.
  2. Never run on sand twice in a row. Further, I hesitate running on back-to-back days. Give your leg muscles some breathing room, and reduce injury that could result from over-working a specific muscle group.
  3. Alternate the use of low profile shoes (web shoes) and regular running shoes. Most people’s feet are used to having padding and support.
  4. Keep high cadence and do not worry about stride length
  5. Alter the depth of the sand, if possible. Hop from the thick, loose sand to the patch of thinner, pact sand… and back to the tough stuff.
  6. Be sure to download some Beach Boys tunes for your run!
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