Sunday, May 28, 2017

Hitting the Reset Button

This was the week that I got my life back on track, or at least tried to! It was all about trying to reset my equilibrium. I'm ready to find my new normal. My assessment? I think it was a good start.



Friday, May 26, 2017

Runfessions: It's May...

Here we go again...it's the last Friday of the month and its time for Runfessions. Marcia hosts this monthly sole (yes, pun intended) cleansing for runners. You can share all your running transgressions and not even get a penance. It's a pretty good deal.

So what do I have to runfess this month?



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How to Prevent 8 of the Most Common Heat-Related Running Issues

Disclaimer: I am a Tailwind Trailblazer, which means I receive Tailwind Nutrition in exchange for sharing my experience and opinions, which are of course, my own. This is NOT a sponsored post.

You've done the work, training for 12-20 weeks for your marathon. Completed every run on your plan. Ran at least one 18-20 miler and lived to tell about it. Tested out GU and hydration. Survived the taper crazies. You're injury free and ready to run. As part of your prep, you've been weather-stalking, checking and comparing at least 3 different weather apps so that you can be prepared for race day. While the forecast initially looked promising, as the week went on, the predicted high temperature keeps going up. Initially, yellow flag conditions are now red flag.Your confidence begins to take a nosedive. How can you run a strong race in the heat? What are the risks? And how can you prevent problems?



Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hi, everyone! Welcome to the Weekly Wrap. No, you aren't at the wrong blog. Holly and Tricia, who normally host the Weekly Wrap, are taking a little bit of a break from hosting duties. While they take a little time off, the Weekly Wrap will be rotating among guest hosts. This week, I'm your guest host and if this is your first time visiting my blog, welcome and I hope it won't be your last! If you are interested in being a guest host for the Weekly Wrap, please let Tricia or Holly know and they will fill you in on the details.

If you are new to the Weekly Wrap, the rules are here. Please comment on as many blogs as you can. Don't forget to comment on the guest host's blog and link back to them too! My motto over here is "sharing is caring". Don't just drop a link and leave. You might find a few new blogs or even make some new friends! Come back during the week to check out some of the later links, too!

So how was the week?

Spring in Chicago is not for wimpy. The standing joke here is "if you don't like the weather, wait and it will change". We also joke that we can experience all 4 seasons in one day. As a lifelong resident and longtime runner, I've learned to be prepared for anything. We went from summer to winter this week. I'm not exaggerating. It was 85 on Wednesday and 45 on Thursday. I use this as an excuse to have an expansive running wardrobe. 

I filled every bit of my last week before I go back to work to wrap up some loose ends. It was busy and productive, but that's a good sign, right? It means that I'm heading in the right direction!



Friday, May 19, 2017

Book Review: Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of Marathon Woman from DaCapo Press in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

I am really embarrassed to admit this but prior to reading Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports, I only knew of Kathrine Switzer because of the Boston Marathon incident from 1967. You know the one, where she was yanked off the course by the race director? You've seen the picture a million times.

What I didn't know was that this one event, in which a young woman wanted to run a marathon, set into motion a movement that would change women's sports forever. What I didn't know was that Kathrine Switzer had a huge role to play in this movement. And what I didn't know was that Kathrine Switzer was an amazing runner in her own right.

Overshadowed by that one fateful event are all of Switzer's accomplishments. If you are a woman and you've run a race farther than 1 1/2 miles, it is because of Switzer. Yes, there have been other women's sports pioneers but Switzer's run at Boston was the pivotal event that made it possible for all of us to do what we love to do...run. And let me tell you, after reading her story, yep, I'm going to say it: "we've come a long way, baby!"



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

12 Things I Learned From My Worst Race

I can say without hesitation that my worst race ever was my first Chicago Marathon. I ran that race in 2011 before I even had a blog. That first marathon was SO BAD that I was ashamed to even tell anyone that I ran it. I didn't feel like a real marathoner after I finished, even though I have the medal to prove that I crossed the finish line.

It took me 3 years to get up the courage to line up again and run the race I knew I had in me. I've run 3 marathons and 16 half marathons since, but I still draw on my experience from that particular race to drive me through my training and races. In addition, the mental toughness I've developed since then has helped me push through my current battle with RA, which is turning into one of those ultramarathons that won't quit throwing obstacles at me.

Since a lot of runners are gearing up to start training for fall marathons, I wanted to share some of the wisdom and experience I gained from that ill-fated marathon and my races since then. If you've been reading my posts for a while, some of what I have to say is familiar, but I've never put it all in one spot.

Yes, I felt as demented as I looked.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Coming Down from that Post-Race High

After a great race, how long does it take for that post-race high to wear off? If you had nothing else going on in your life, you could ride the wave for a long time, I'd think. Even though it was over a year ago, I still get all warm and fuzzy when I talk about Big Sur. But my Big Sur post-race high got a big buzz kill merely one week after we arrived home when my youngest son broke his leg in a traumatic rugby tackle. Life has a way of evening the score, doesn't it?

Speaking of buzz kills, it's been 5 months since my diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis. Last weekend's Door County Half Marathon with Holly gave me a much-needed boost. Even though RA is affecting me enough that I had to pull the plug on my planned June marathon, I was pleased that I was able to finish a half marathon and a hilly one at that. I'm still a runner! I can do this! My runner's ego was feeling good.

Towards the middle of the week, RA decided to remind me that it is indeed the boss of me. I started having a little bit more hand and ankle swelling and fatigue. In true Wendy fashion, I ignored it. I talked with my director about going back to work in a week or so, and she told me to make sure I'm ready to come back. She made a comment about me not "trying to muscle through this". That struck a nerve. Is that what I do? Is it the runner in me that makes me push through adversity off the road too?

As the week went on and reality settled back in, my post-race high started to melt away and so did my determination to do it all.