Tuesday, October 17, 2017

6 Challenges of Fall Running and Why You Need to Get Outside

Fall running can be amazing. After running in the heat of summer, the cooler temperatures can be a welcome relief. Mother Nature takes out her paintbrush and provides us with a feast for the eyes. The sound of fallen leaves crackling underfoot is like music to the ears. And need I mention thumbholes?

I woke up Sunday morning with visions of a leisurely fall long run on the bike path. Reality quickly set in as I heard the rain hitting my windows, wind whipping outside. The transition from summer to fall isn't always pleasant. But a runner's gotta do what a runner's gotta do, and that is to run, no matter what the conditions. I could have taken it to my treadmill, but that's not who I am. I run outdoors, no matter what. And you should too.

Originally, this post was planned as a tribute to fall running. If it's beauty and colors you're looking for, there are plenty of posts out there showcasing all that is good about running in the fall. Inspiration comes in many forms, and this cold, rainy, run provided me with plenty. This run reminded me that running in the fall isn't always pleasant, but there's the satisfaction of pushing through tough conditions.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get New Shoes

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

When you're struggling with running, what's the first thing you think about changing?

A few years ago, plagued with running-related injuries, I knew something had to change. I started working with Becky at the CrossFit box and as I grew stronger, I rediscovered my speed and love for running. It's been a formula that has worked well for me for the last 3 years, helping me to set PRs in almost every distance I ran during that time.

Since my diagnosis with RA earlier this year, my speed and endurance have dropped dramatically in spite of continuing to strength train at the box. With Becky's move to Las Vegas, I have been working with a new coaching team. I've increased those workouts to twice weekly. I can't deny the positive effect those workouts have had on my overall strength, but the strength is no longer translating to success on the road. Who knows--maybe I wouldn't be running at all if I wasn't doing strength training. But in the hopes that I can regain some endurance, I've started looking elsewhere for answers.

When I see other runners struggling, the first thing they do is either change their fueling or their shoes. Am I right? Is that what I should be thinking about?

Friday, October 13, 2017

And then I Needed to Just Breathe...

Disclaimer: I received The Breathing App and gear in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are my own.

It's no secret to anyone that I am somewhat of a high-strung kind of gal. In fact, some call me type A+. Being driven is often a good quality-- as a type A person, I have high standards, I'm ambitious, I'm goal oriented, I'm not a quitter...but there are definitely some downsides to being type A. It is exhausting being such a perfectionist, and the drive to continually succeed can lead to stress. And we all know what stress does to a body.

Unless you're type B, that is.

Running has always been an outlet for stress relief for me. But what about when I can't run? It's not like I could just leave in the middle of my workday for a run, right? Can you imagine?

What I can do when I'm feeling overwhelmed is take a minute to breathe.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

After a week of bad news and an RA flare, the annual sister weekend we had planned was a welcome break. Timing is everything, isn't it? My only regret about our timing is that it was the Chicago Marathon and I would be missing it. I don't know what I was thinking when I gave my sister the date. I will admit to a little FOMO, seeing everyone's photos. Congrats to all the finishers!!!

My goals for the weekend were: destination sunshine and relaxation. Maybe we'd squeeze in a little fitness. Let the fun commence!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

5 Things I'd Share Over Coffee

Good morning! Care to join me for a cuppa? I can't think of a better way to start the day. Do you take yours black? Cream and sugar? Or are you jumping on the pumpkin spice latte trend?

I'm drinking my coffee from my hotel balcony in lovely Palm Desert, California! It's time again for our annual sister trip. Today on the blog, we're just going to catch up on life off the road. Kind of nice, isn't it?

FYI, I prepared this post before I left. I did some editing on my iPad using an app called Blogo. It's my first time doing that, so if the post looks weird you'll know why!

If we were having coffee, I'd share that this trip to California couldn't have come a better time for me. Sometimes a break in the routine is therapeutic. Earlier this week, I shared my anxiety about the Las Vegas shootings and my upcoming trip to run the R'n'R half marathon there. I've also had an increase in my RA symptoms this week. In fact, I had to quit on a run this week because my knees did not want to let me move. There may have been some tears at that point. While we are in California, I'm hoping that the arid desert conditions will do my joints some good. I'm going to look for my mojo on the trails here. The temperatures are predicted to be in the 100s while we are here. But as we like to joke, "it's a dry heat!"

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you that I've been feeling very nostalgic these days. That's probably because I'm reading one of the most fun books I've read in a long time. It's called Sting-Ray Afternoons (affiliate link) by Steve Rushin. It's a memoir of his childhood, a coming of age story about growing in up the suburbs of Chicago and Minneapolis in the 1970s. His writing is superb and the book is hilarious, especially for me because it's all so familiar, since I too grew up in that era. I don't know how he remembers all this stuff but every time he mentions some product or icon from that time, it takes me back! While I was reading this book, Spotify serendipitously came out with a new feature called "Your Time Capsule" which is a personalized playlist to take you back to "your teenage years".

My sister and me, 1969 That is my birthday crown on my head!

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you how sad it was to learn this past week that Tom Petty passed away. Still feeling nostalgic, I remember when his first single came out. When I was 16, I was working at the Fotomat-clone in the shopping center parking lot, listening to rock and roll on "The Loop", Chicago's album-rock radio station (40 years later, they still play that same music), and this whiny voice came out of my radio singing I Need to Know. Considering that I used to love the hard rock of that era, like Rush, Boston, and the like, this new sound wasn't an instant hit with me. Over the years, I grew to love the music of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. When I first started running with music, Running Down a Dream was on my original playlist and there it has remained since. I do have one other Petty song on my running playlist, You Wreck Me, for obvious reasons!

Tom Petty was a regular on The Simpsons

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you that I've started seeing patients at my new clinic and it's a loving/not loving thing for me right now. The clinic is beautiful and I'm seeing a lot of patients from my old clinic, which is really wonderful. The nurse that I work with (and sit next to) is a scream and we make each other laugh most of the time. My commute is cut by about 20 minutes so that I can leave my house 15 minutes before I need to be there. The pace is much more relaxed than at my old clinic, which was crazy. And yet...I miss my old clinic and my colleagues. I'm sure I'm still adjusting. I also think that I'm just a little burned out on healthcare. Last week, I asked my husband when I could retire and he told me 5 years...

Some of my former amazing colleagues.  So nice to have lunch together while we attended the AAP national conference last month.

If we were having coffee, I'd need some mama brag time. I'm actually starting to think that maybe my oldest finally has his frontal lobe! He completed his 12 week college classes he needed for his IBEW apprenticeship, receiving all As in his classes! He's back on the job and is happy to be there. He's also taken up golf. Who is this kid? More good news on the homefront: this week we learned that our youngest son was named a National Merit Scholar. While this is an amazing honor, I can only hope that it leads to some scholarship money for college. Hence, the reason I can't retire yet.

Why I want to retire: Me at work, all day long. And for the last time, vaccines do NOT cause autism. My boys are fully vaccinated.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee? Dry heat or humid heat? Current read? Have you listened to "Your Time Capsule" on Spotify yet? Any running songs that have endured for many years on your playlist? Loving/not loving? Mama brags? Tell me everything! I love coffee and if we get too hopped up we can always switch to wine.

I love this link up! You can share your coffee post with The Ultimate Coffee Date, hosted by Deborah and Coco. I'm also linking up with the Friday 5, hosted by Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness. Have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Heavy, heavy thoughts this morning. 

I'm no stranger to anxiety, but watching the news since Monday morning has my heart pounding. You'd have to be hiding under a rock not to have heard about the Sunday night shooting on the Las Vegas Strip.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas? I have been there once with my sister and had a fantastic weekend. So much so that I've been looking forward to going back in November to run the Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon. This is a race I've wanted to do for a while. It's of one of those runners' bucket list races. Running on the strip? At night? Yes, please! Meeting up with the #holottafun ladies? Bonus! Connecting with other running bloggers? Jackpot!

I wrote about my running slump this past week. RA is making me achy and tired, and training isn't going well. My husband and I have yet to book a flight. I hadn't seriously considered pulling out out of the race, though.

Now, after current events, I'm not so sure. Now, I'm struggling with my decision to go.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Runfessions for September

Already it's the end of September? That means it's time for Runfessions! The last Friday of the month is the day we running bloggers get to enter the runfessional and runfess all our running sins and mishaps. There's always something to runfess here at the old TTLWH. Sadly.

Do you have anything to runfess?

Let's get right to it!

I bonus runfess that Ioathe these flutter kicks. Even the sight of my beloved Inknburn shorts doesn't lessen the pain.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

5 Things I Love About Fall

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by prAna. I was given compensation and product in exchange for my completely honest opinion. 

You might not know it by looking at the thermometer, but fall is here! The leaves on the trees are turning colors and falling on the ground. Pumpkin spice is everywhere. The football season is in full swing. Runners are talking about fall races and thumbholes!

While I love summer, I always look forward to fall. There's something about the change in seasons that sparks a change in me. I guess because summer is so short, we try to squeeze in as much as we can. With fall, life tends to slow down. There's just so much to love about fall!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Running Hot

You wouldn't know it by the weather but fall has arrived. I'm going to sound like the old timer that I am, but I don't ever remember it being this hot this time of year. The temperatures have been in the 90s all week, smashing records every day. The humidity is trying to keep up with those temperatures. I know you southern folks are all laughing at us, but we northerners are just not accustomed to these conditions this time of year.

It may sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not. I'm just astonished--and it isn't just our weather that gives me pause. Terrible hurricanes, earthquakes...it's like the world is coming to an end or something! Wasn't that supposed to happen on Saturday? If you're reading this, we are all still here and still roasting and running. Runners don't stop just because Mother Nature has lost her mind.

Friday, September 22, 2017

5 Reasons Being an Older Runner Doesn't Suck

But I don't feel old...

Yesterday, I turned 55. Over the past couple of years, I've struggled mentally with the concept of aging. Turning 50 really was difficult for me, until I turned my 50s upside down, modifying my training, setting new race PRs, and showing myself that age really is just a number. I don't feel like I'm 55 and I don't think or act like a typical 55 year old. If that makes me immature, then sign me up! Apparently, I'm not alone because I've found a peer group of women runners who think and act like I do.

Being an older runner doesn't suck. In fact, it's pretty darned awesome.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

This Week Was Brought to You by the Letter "C"

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

The letter C pretty much sums up my week! As in Changes, Corticosteroids, CrossFit, Camel, Crustaceans, and Chafing...

Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Review: Every.Single.Day: Unstoppable Wisdom From a Year of Running

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Every.Single.Day: Unstoppable Wisdom from a Year of Running from the author in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Runners, have you ever streaked? I'm not talking about the running naked kind of streaking. You know you're a runner when you associate the word "streak" with running every.single.day. I've always been amused and intrigued by runners who streak. Personally, while I understand the appeal, I'll never streak. There are days that I just don't have time to get in a run. It isn't just the running, it's the pre and post run activities that factor into a run. And the laundry...

But I digress. When Julie van Amerongen asked me to read and review her book, appropriately titled Every.Single.Day: Unstoppable Wisdom from a Year of Running, I was intrigued. What makes a runner want to run every.single.day?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Cure for the Post-Summertime Blues

I can honestly say that this was probably one of the best summers of my life. After my recovery from my prolonged flare of rheumatoid arthritis this past spring, I was bound and determined to make the most of my summer. I was feeling good, dammit! When management told me I would have to give up all my vacation time (because I had used it all up taking time off to heal), I negotiated strongly to keep my long weekends. I have Thursdays off and taking Fridays off would be no big deal, right?

I am so glad I did that. Guys, if I learned anything from this whole RA experience it is this: Fight for your right to party!

I did and I've got the pictures to prove it. Give a runner a diagnosis and watch her go. This was a summer of activities and fun.

No matter what happens to me now, I'll always have this summer. Those memories are my cure for the post-summer funk.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Slowing Down is Hard to Do

"Don't take my speed away from me,
Don't you leave my legs in misery,
'Cause if you leave me, then I'll be blue
Slowing down is hard to do...." 
adapted from Neil Sedaka's Breaking Up is Hard to Do

"Come a come a down dooby do down down..." After last week's disastrous 10k where I had to take a DNF, I've done some sole searching. My mantra since being diagnosed with RA last year has been "finishing is winning". I've felt pretty good about my other races so far this year, but I'm not completely satisfied with how I've run them. Even using the run/walk intervals, I've struggled with pace towards the end of my races which tells me that either I'm running my intervals too fast and/or I need to work on conditioning.

I could just slow down, too. I could. One problem, though, is that I can't get my head around those slower finish times. I know I should just get over it. My head knows it. My heart feels it. But legs just want to go.

If I want to regain some of my speed and finish my races with a time that I can be proud of, I need to train with focus and discipline. The "winging it" method of race preparation that I've done my whole life clearly is not effective for me anymore. While I don't mind using a formal training plan for a full marathon, I've never done anything like that for shorter distances.

How I long for the good old days when the miles came easy! I'll just keep singing corny lyrics in my head and give it my all. I don't know how to do it any other way.

I've had 2 major health events over the past year: my diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and menopause. Double whammy! Coincidence? Not at all. As it turns out, that drop in estrogen was like flipping a switch, turning on the RA machine. This all makes sense to me since I really experienced a decline in endurance towards the end of last year. What does that mean for me, as far as running is concerned?

Menopause causes declines in estrogen and testosterone which make it tougher to build and maintain muscle. Fast-twitch fibers decrease too. The lower levels of estrogen make it tougher to process carbs leading to abdominal weight gain (the "menopot"). RA causes fatigue and achy, inflamed joints. While the benefits of exercise for post-menopausal women as well as people with RA are undisputed, modifications need to be made in training regimens. Strength training takes on even more importance. When it comes to endurance training, the rule is to train smarter, not harder.

I have a 15k and 2 half marathons planned for the remainder of the year. I don't plan on DNFing any of them. So what are my plans for fall race training? None of this will be a surprise to any of you since I've been doing most of it already. The big change for me will be discipline and attention to pace, similar to what I did to prepare for my 4 marathons. No more winging it.

How did I do this week?

1. Strength training twice weekly: I'm working out at CrossFit on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Steph. Coach Kate programs our plan and we see her on Tuesdays. Those days are more typical "CrossFit" with intervals. On Thursdays, we work with Coach Sammy Jo and it's all strength. It's actually really nice to have the two different coaches working with us!

Deadlift max 135# today
2. Speed work once weekly: This week on Thursday, I turned those run/walk intervals into speedwork. I pushed my paces to 8m/m for 4 minutes and walked for one minute x 4 intervals. I wanted to do 8 intervals total. I guess it was a little ambitious, but it's a goal. I could slow down my speedwork intervals but I think I'll try to stick to that pace and increase the number of intervals. I'm trying not to think about marathon training 2 years ago when I was running mile repeats at 7:30 m/m. Things have changed in a big way for me.

3. One long slow run per week: Because of my race last Sunday, I moved my long run to Monday and did 8 miles using run/walk intervals. I repeated that same run today. Last Monday's run felt great. Today was a little more challenging for me because I'm having a mini-RA flare with inflammation in my hands and feet. It took a good 3-4 miles before I actually felt ok. While I was upset about my increased effort during those initial miles, as things eased up a bit, I started to feel my mood shift in a more positive direction.

Last Monday
4. 2 shorter distance runs of 4-6 miles per week: Ideally, Tuesday would be a tempo run and Saturday would be a shake-out run. I had a great 4 miler on Tuesday but Saturday's 4.5 miler was really tough in spite of the perfect running conditions. My joints ached and my feet were flapping on the ground, again due to the mini-flare I'm having.

Saturday was cool but beautiful
5. Yoga 1-2 classes per week: I made it to the yoga studio on Wednesday and felt good.

6. Continue morning anti-inflammatory smoothies with added protein: I continue to "drink the rainbow". No red smoothies this week though. Time to bring back the beets!

My plan, while not earth-shattering, feels right. Fingers crossed that I see improved pacing and endurance. Any armchair quarterbacks out there? Feel free to make suggestions. I'm all ears. Even when the conditions are perfect, as they have been this week, running with RA and post-menopause is a challenge. Due to the unpredictable nature of this disease, I realize now that as much as I prepare, my run could be a crapshoot. All I can do is the best I can do that day.

Training for anything? What challenges have you encountered as you attempt to meet your goals? Any suggestions or things that I might have missed?

I'm linking up with Holly, Tricia, and guest host Sara for the Weekly Wrap. To everyone in the path of Irma, stay safe!

Friday, September 8, 2017

5 Juicy Tales from the Trails

I know, I know...today's Friday 5 topic is post-race treats. I'm sort of going along with the theme, but the treats I'm going to talk about are of a different kind. I'm talking juicy sights seen on the run--you know, the kind of things you see that make you go hmmm. Drama. Soap opera material. Hear me when I say that running, particularly long solo running, can be kind of boring. The mind can wander. The eyes take in the surroundings. The runner sees things that can't go unseen and the wheels of the mind begin to spin. A story unfolds. At least for this runner, it does.

Does this happen to you? I don't mind running alone because I'm able to entertain myself with the things I observe while out on the trails. So instead of talking food, I'm going to share 5 stories about interesting things I've seen while out on the run. Sort of "sole food", if you will.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Why Runners Should "Keep it Real"

After I posted yesterday about my race fail from Sunday aka my first ever DNF, the floodgates of support opened. I was overwhelmed and touched by all the messages I received from other runners, readers, and followers. It's humbling and it's amazing how much we all care about each other. One comment that I received multiple times and that stood out to me was: "thanks for keeping it real."

I never gave it much thought that so many people aren't "keeping it real". When I think about it, though, keeping it real is probably the exception rather than the rule. Fitspo? Curated feeds? Humble brags?

Sunday, September 3, 2017

My First DNF: Buffalo Grove Stampede 10k Race Recap

Disclaimer: My result in no way reflects on the Buffalo Grove Stampede. The Stampede is a well-organized race which is part of the CARA race circuit. This race attracts a fast field of runners.

My friend Steph and I have been running together since the beginning of the year and we thought it would be fun to finally run a race together. We signed up to run the Hot Chocolate 15k in October. Two weeks ago, Steph and I were talking about the Buffalo Grove Stampede, a race both of us have done in the past. There is a 5k and a 10k. We decided to sign up for the 10k. A piece of cake, right?

Friday, September 1, 2017

Coffee Talk

I can't quite get my head around that it is September! We're having a taste of fall this week, courtesy of Harvey. I'm not complaining--a little cool, windy weather is not a problem at all. It's hard to believe all the damage that this storm has brought to Texas. Let's talk about it over a cup of coffee, shall we? It's cool today, so let's enjoy a hot mug. I'm taking half and half in mine. How about you?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

3 Reasons I Can't Run Naked

**Thanks to Courtney at Eat, Pray, Run, DC for the inspiration! This post contains affiliate links.

A few years ago, I told my husband I wanted an Apple Watch for my birthday and he asked me why. "You don't need it", he said. Truth. But I wanted one. I do love my gadgets and the Apple Watch was no different. I had high hopes for the Apple Watch. I thought it could be my every watch, my all-in-one running gadget. Well, not so much. While I love my Apple Watch for its functionality, I still rely on my Garmin to keep my running stats. I've got a few other gadgets that I don't hit the road without as well.

This post is all about my 3 favorite running gadgets. Because even if I tried to hit the road without clothes, I couldn't leave home without my gear.

Naked running? No one wants to see that.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Juggling the Weekly Workout Routine

When I think about it, I'm pretty regimented with my weekly schedule. Between working out and going to work, I've got everything very well synchronized. Even when everything falls into place, my routine is a delicate balancing act. It doesn't take much to throw my schedule off track. Summer is especially a challenge. Flexibility is the key. All summer long, I've been moving my workouts around, getting up early just to get them in, or worst case scenario, skipping a workout altogether. Between vacations and fun outings, I've had to do a lot of juggling with my workout schedule. This week was no different.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Runfessions: August Style

Hello? How did we already get to the end of August? The end of summer? The only thing that makes me realize we're there is that I have SO MUCH to runfess. It's almost scary how much builds up over the month. Thankfully, Marcia opens the runfessional every month and she doesn't even hand out a penance. Whew!

On with the cleansing...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Let's Talk about Inflammation

Disclaimer: Through my affiliation with Mambo Sprouts, I received GOPO Rosehip with Galactolipids as well as compensation in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

As a runner and an athlete, I am very familiar with inflammation. While physical activity is generally anti-inflammatory, endurance training or high-intensity training can lead to oxidative stress, increasing the production of free radicals, which leads to an inflammatory response by the body. You might notice this as soreness, swelling, or tiredness. If you take it easy after a tough workout or event, you start to feel better. But if you keep pushing yourself, over time, this inflammation can affect the immune system and make the athlete more prone to fatigue, illness, and injury. (source) Clearly, athletes have to find a balance in their training to prevent inflammation from becoming chronic. That isn't always easy to do when training for an event that requires a high output for a prolonged period of time.

Athletes can prevent oxidative stress and inflammation to a certain extent through supplements and diet. Certain foods are known for causing inflammation, while others are known for helping reduce inflammation. There has been a lot of research demonstrating the benefits of tart cherry juice, blueberries, and quercetin, which is found in many fruits and vegetables. I've shared my love for my morning smoothies--I try to eat the rainbow every week all in the name of fighting inflammation.

What about supplements? Is there anything an endurance athlete can take to help prevent inflammation and/or reduce inflammation after a tough workout?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Every Day I'm Shuffling....

Shake that!

How was your week? For me, fitness-wise, there was running and yoga and CrossFit. But I also had oral surgery, which also sort of felt like a workout. During the procedure, there was sweating and my heart rate was elevated...aerobic, right?

Anyways, the procedure went well and I was very relieved when it was done. I spent the rest of the day on the couch with an ice pack on my face. Thankfully I felt well enough to return to work on Friday and I hit the road on Saturday with Steph for a long run.

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Review: Fitness Junkie

Disclaimer: I received a pre-release copy of Fitness Junkie from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are, of course, my own.

For this month's Book Club Read, I decided to go with a fun, lighthearted book--dare I call it "chick-lit"-- that would be perfect at the beach or the pool. I was fortunate that Fitness Junkie was released in July, just in time for a lazy summer read! Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, who took the fashion industry to task with their satirical novel, The Knockoff: A Novelgive the fitness industry the same treatment. Spoiler alert: If you aren't a fan of snarky humor, then you just might not like this one.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How To Be a Complete Jerk at a Race

We've all seen them. Race jerks. Some of us might have other names for them. Anyone who has run a road race knows what I'm talking about. And if you don't, well maybe, you're a race jerk.

A race jerk? That would be a person who is guilty of one or all of the offenses I've listed below. If you've done any or all of these things, it doesn't necessarily make you a jerk. Maybe you've done something once, by accident. Oops! Live and learn right? Did anyone call you out on your behavior? Or did you realize that you crossed a line and became a jerk?

If you do any of these things repeatedly and/or intentionally, that might make you a jerk. We seem to be living in a time of narcissism. Sure, we all want the most of our race experiences. I get that. Life is short and it's all about living to the fullest. Everyone feels this way. Let's run together and make it fun for all.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Beat Goes On...

You would think that after such an epic week last week, I'd be in recovery mode.You would be right.

As I sit down to write my recap, I can't help but reflect on the ordinariness of my week. Even though it was a good week, after all the activities I've participated in this summer, I feel like I've got nothing exciting to share. While the low-key week was much needed, we've still got a few more weeks until the official end of summer and I plan on making the most of it.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Picking a Race? 5 Deal Breakers that Make Me Say: No Thanks

I've run a lot of races over the years. Some races are favorites, races that I will return to year after year. Other races are one and done. When I'm considering signing up for a race, not only do I check out the race organizer's website, I also check out recaps written by other runners. Races are expensive and I want to get the best experience for my dollar.

I always try to keep things positive here on the blog but for this post, I wanted to share 5 of the biggest deal breakers that might make me say no to a race. If nothing else, these are things that are going to make me hesitate before I sign up.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Race Recap: Shake and Bake 5k Run

When Holly invited me to visit her and water ski, I asked her to find a race for us to run. I couldn't go all the way to Alabama without running a race, right? Apparently, finding a race in August in the south is a bit of a challenge. Kind of like finding a race here in Chicago in the middle of winter. Holly found a 5k, the Shake and Bake. The price was right: $20. Even though I haven't run a 5k in years, I was glad for that distance because I was a little fearful of running in the heat and humidity down south!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Runners Just Wanna Have Fun

Am I right?

After last week's RA flare, I was slapped into reality. Laying on the couch last Monday, struggling to move without pain, all I could think was "this is really happening!" followed by "this is NOT really happening!" I was mad and sad all over again. I'm sorry to put it out there, but guys, this is so not fair. I've got things to do and places to be, and spending my days on the couch is not on the plan. Fortunately, the steroids that my rheumatologist prescribed kicked in fairly quickly and I was back on road and the water sooner than I expected. This summer has been filled with water sports and this past weekend was no exception!

Friday, August 4, 2017

5 Things I'd Tell You Over Coffee

Good morning! Let's have a cuppa, shall we? I'm not much for conversation until I've had at least one and maybe even 2 cups of coffee. I sure do look forward to it, though. I'm especially excited about taking my coffee in this mug I picked up after our epic adventure in Door County last month. Killer coffee? Could have been...

Do you take cream and sugar?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

8 Ways to Cope When You Can't Run

I've been doing really great, I think, since my diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis in December. I've run a 10 mile race and 2 half marathons. This summer, I came in 1st in my age group in a local 10k. While I haven't been symptom-free, I've had relatively mild symptoms. Any flare ups have been short lived and easily managed. I thought I had this thing in the bag.

Until I didn't. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Looking for Fun and Feelin' Groovy

"Slow down, you move too fast. You've got to make the morning last. 
Just kickin' down the cobblestones, lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy..." 
~The 59th Street Bridge Song, Paul Simon

Well, what the heck? It's the end of July. How did that happen so fast?

It's been one fun summer, that's for sure. I realize that a lot of you have been sweltering in the heat and humidity, but here in the midwest, overall, it's been a really nice summer. We've had heat and humidity, we've had a lot of rain, but we've also had quite a few nice days. This week was no exception. As always, I try to make the most of the weather and sunshine--it was another busy week.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Runfessions: July

Summer is just zipping by, isn't it? I've been busy, but that doesn't mean I'm going to pass up a chance to Runfess...do you runfess? If you don't, you should...it feels so much better to clear your conscience. Marcia hosts this monthly opportunity to unbosom...I have to runfess that I kind of love that word..

Anyways, on with the stories...