From our embedded Beacon Journal photographer, Karen Schiely...

Happy Fourth of July everyone! I hope you started your day with a run for an awesome energizing start to your Fourth. Then, as in my case, drop for a nap. Iím beginning to like running simply for the fact that I feel less guilty about napping. Rest is an essential part of fitness as I have been told by a registered nurse, so I know it must be true.† Also, according to my vast Google research, competitive runners are advised to get 10 hours of sleep a night. I found this story pretty interesting:††http://running.competitor.com/2014/05/recovery/better-sleeping-for-better-running_77427†.

I donít know about you, but I donít have the luxury of getting 10 hours of sleep a night because my life is not sponsored by an athletic clothing company. Running has however made the quality of my sleep better because I am tired at the end of the day. Iím also keeping to a strict bedtime schedule since I have to get up and run in the morning now before work. Running has just made every thing better. Time management, energy level in getting tasks done and Iím a lot more positive about things. I donít think Iíve achieved that runnerís high with running itself but it has been beneficial to my life overall.

Itís changed my outlook on aging for sure. Moving is good physically and mentally even if it hurts! This week someone thought I was a grandmother. Last year that would have upset me but now I think itís funny. Here I am running longer distances than I ever thought I would. Iím not breaking any land speed records but I sure wasnít doing this in my twenties. I also just signed up for my first group bike ride in over a decade now that Iím feeling fit enough again to do a long ride. Thatís something that I thought I would never do again.† So Iím feeling pretty good on this Independence Day and if I look like a grandma..awesome! Iím gonna look and feel like a fit one!

Anyway, enjoy a couple of pics from our training session in Barberton on Saturday, and one of that little cutie patootie who was there with her grandparents.

- Karen