A Decent Place to Run on the Beach: North Padre Island

Hard, packed sand at low tide makes for a pleasant run.
Hard, packed sand at low tide makes for a pleasant run.

Running. For me, it is a necessary evil. I am not a natural runner, but I run to try to stay somewhat fit, and to try to keep up with my young children.  So there are times when I rather not do it, but if I don’t I wished I had.

One way to make running a pleasurable experience is to run outdoors. If you are lucky as I am, it is great to go run at the beach. However, some beaches are better for running than others. While I was in the Caribbean, I got the pleasure to run the beach, but I really had to watch out where I was going since there were occasional rocks, anchors for boats,  and uneven spots.  I sprained many an ankle, and trust me, it is not fun.

North Padre Island is a pretty good spot for running. For the most part, the sand is usually well packed which helps for a decent run. I say try to go during low tide, so consult the tidal reports on the news or internet. Also, there is usually not a huge slant near the shore which helps if you tend to get hip or knee problems. Just watch out for the occasional hole dug for the mote of a sandcastle or the sandcastle itself, for that matter.

Running at the beach also gives the body more resistance, so you get a better workout. If you are really wanting a challenge, run in the loose sand or in the shallow part of the water. You will feel the burn in your legs.

Speaking of burn, be sure to slather the sunscreen, wear a hat, and sunglasses so you will want to go for it next time.

What I like about running at the beach is that you can run pretty much any time of day, and not feel too hot. If I run mid-day, I will carry a bit of water just in case.  I wear Fila “toe shoes” that can get wet, so sometimes I run into the very shallow part of the shore. There I make my own “a/c” with the wind and the sea spray I kick up while running.  What is great is that if you dressed in quick dry clothing, you can just jump in to the waves afterward!  A great reward for a good run!

So, to make pleasure from a chore, run by the shore!


Running the Beach to Bay

beach to bay about us
Photo courtesy of http://www.beachtobayrelay.com

Lace up those Asics, it is time to run first and later play at the Beach to Bay Relay!

According to http://www.beachtobayrelay.com, “Since 1976, runners and fun-seekers have flocked to Corpus Christi, Texas to run the Beach to Bay Relay Marathon. To many runners, the annual event has become a tradition throughout the State of Texas.

Beach to Bay has grown to be the largest relay marathon in the United States. Attracting runners from all over the U.S. as well as Kenya, England and Mexico. Approximately 2,600 teams totaling over 16,000 runners compete each year.

The Beach to Bay Relay Marathon is a six-person relay running event that totals 26.2 miles of beach, pavement, a little sweat, an occasional tear and a bunch of smiles. Beginning on the sands of North Padre Island, winding through Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and ending at McCaughan Park along Corpus Christi’s scenic Shoreline Drive, the course is divided into six-legs of roughly 4.4 miles each.

Always held on the third Saturday in May, Armed Forces Day, B2B proudly honors the men and women serving in our United States Military. It’s a tradition founded by Captain John Butterfield back in 1976.”

After the runners complete their legs, most teams gather at McCaughan Park to cheer on their last leg runners and later celebrate a good run with a little beer and pizza. The B2B website proclaims, “Pain now; beer later.”

So, if you want a little fun while you run, the Beach to Bay Relay is the way.

It is the SS.M.A.L.L. Things that Count

One of many fishing piers in Fulton.Yucko. I really do not care for New Year’s Resolutions. The gym will be full from now all the way to February with all these new people vowing to lose 20 lbs. in a week. Once mid-February is here, the gym will empty out again, and those poor souls are wondering what happened to their plans.

However, I believe that it is the small things that count. You know, as they say, “how do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time. (Maybe that is not such  a good New Year’s resolution!)

1. Make a few small changes in your exercise routine or eating, or just add in some walking.

Exercise is great for not just the body, but for the soul. You don’t have to be a “gym rat” to reap the benefits of moving the body several times per week.  You don’t have to focus on losing 20 lbs, but just a few changes such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Or maybe just drinking water instead of soda.

2. Spend Smaller: Try to spend less on stupid stuff you don’t remember, and more on time and experiences with those you actually care about  and will remember forever.

Okay, I may love a purse, a dress or a car that I can’t live without. However, I would rather save that extra money now to go on a great vacation with the family a little later. I  may look not so fashionable, but at least our time together will be more memorable to the kids.

3. Listen Smaller: Start listening to your gut.

You know the nagging feeling if you are doing the wrong thing. Listen,  and do what is right. I have ignored it or  second-guessed gut feelings, and they have turned out to be what I should have done. I am old enough now, and I now realize that listening to the little voice is the way to go.

4. Show a Small appreciation to someone, “just because.”

This can be a tough one since  we are “so busy”. I just need to take a minute to remember to say something to someone or give a hug. Maybe, it can be a card or just asking someone about their day.

5 . Start your morning with a Small amount of  “me” time.

Before crazy day begins, try to get up a few minutes early with a little “me time”. Go for a walk or a jog, read something inspirational, but try to avoid answering emails or getting work done ahead of time.  This may be the only time for yourself you have. Maybe this is the time you feed a passion that needs nourishment.

6. Before bed, in addition to prayers, remember a Small amount about what you are grateful for.

Gratitude conditions your mind for better attitude.  To be grateful for what you have gives a total positive outlook for the day that has gone by and a better outlook for the day to come.

So, instead of making grandiose plans for this year. Just think SS.M.A.L.L! Small Smart Moves Are Long Lasting.

Keepin’ Cool in the Coastal Bend

Strawberry, Mango, and Banana Smoothie.
Strawberry, Mango, and Banana Smoothie.

 Most of the time, it’s hot here. Well, it’s hot all the time—even in October! Healthy fruit smoothies are the perfect way to keep cool during our many warm days in the Coastal Bend. These yummy and cool treats can pack a punch of vitamins, calcium and water. (Who doesn’t need that?) Also, here in our area with our long growing season, we can grow all kinds of fresh fruits to cut up and put into smoothies. So dust off that blender and whip up your favorite flavors. They can be made with any fruits and in any combination you prefer.

 Also, I make smoothies every morning to give to my kids. I dump in some powdered vitamins so that they get their vitas for the day. They are getting a healthy “shake” and not even aware of it!

What goes into Fruit Smoothie? A yummy combination of:






(Taste before adding. You may not need any!)

Use any Fruits such as: Bananas , Peaches, Berries

With Dairy: yogurt or Milk

A little splash of your favorite juice.

Regular or Raw Sugar or Honey


Tropical Fruits such as: mangoes, pineapple

Non Dairy: soy, almond, or rice milk or protein powder. Or just add extra bananas.

You can use either juice or a milk or a combination of both.

Stevia- a natural sweetener.


The basic ingredients are:  fruit, maybe yogurt or milk or juice. You don’t really need much else. You can add more juice or milk to make it thicker to your liking.

 I usually use frozen fruit from the frozen section in the store or fresh, pre-cut and then frozen for smoothies. Why? Convenience! Frozen fruit can be found in the freezer aisle year around and you can also cut and freeze your own when you find yourself with more fresh fruit than you can eat.

 If you just have fresh fruit, add a little ice when you blend it to cool it down. Try using various combinations of fresh and/ or frozen fruit or ice or cold liquids to create your preference of either a frozen or a cold smoothie. You may just want to add a little more liquid if the smoothie is getting too thick for your blender to deal with. Just experiment- –it’s all good!

Well, are you ready to give it a whirl? Currently, I’m loving a strawberry, mango, banana combo. However, try different variations; whatever suits your tastes. So, grab your blender, some fruit, something creamy or juicy, and whip it up. They will keep you healthy and cool in the Coastal Bend!

Buff in the ‘Bluff


(Updated 9/17/13) A primarily Cross-fit workout center has come to Flour Bluff at South Coast Gymnastics. James of SCElete Training is whipping local “Bluffies” and whoever else dares his rigorous routine into serious shape! If he keeps this up, Bluffies will lose the 12-pack for the six-pack! Maybe even the “Fattest City” can transform into the “Fittest”. (Okay, a bit lofty, perhaps… but we’re working it!) 

Check out his website for workouts even while traveling… so there are no excuses!

  For more info: instagram-scelitetraing or visit his wesite: http://southerncoastelitetraining.com/