Sunday, January 29, 2017

Cruise Control

After completing the lululemon/strava run challenge on Sunday, I dialed back my miles. It's nice to be "just" running again. Between some personal stress and our new president, I need my runs to help me sort things out. There is some prep work to do as I gear up for marathon training in March, but for now, I just get to run. I've got some mental fitness to work on and it's nice to have the freedom to do that.

No gears, no heart rate training, no goal paces. I've got it on cruise control.  



The bright spot in my week was running. My runs feel good. The cooler temperatures and gray skies have made staying in bed a little more tempting, but as always, I push myself out the door, knowing how mad I'll be if I don't go for a run. With our lack of snow, all my summer running paths are clear, and I took several of my runs to my favorite trails. On Sunday, I had the urge to run the highest point in my pancake-flat town. Destination: Payton's Hill. This is a former garbage dump turned into a golf course and park, named after the iconic Chicago Bears running back who used to train here.

I had the entire park to myself. It was a little strange, but considering the blustery conditions, I wasn't surprised. When I reached the summit (772 feet--don't laugh, it's really flat around here), there was a guy on a bike. He left me alone and I climbed the wall to do my yoga pose. On the way home, instead of retracing my route, I slipped under the fence and ran the cart path through the golf course. When else would I get to do this?

No trespassing? No problem!

Who could pass up a challenge like this?
Because I can.
Wednesday's yoga class was all about connection. We did a group pose in tree, resting our arms on each other's shoulders while standing in a circle. She had us close our eyes. While I don't normally like partner yoga, there was something really empowering about that circle. On the previous days' run, I stopped to do tree pose and I could not hold it, no matter how hard I tried. I finally posted this picture of me falling out of tree pose--you know, keeping it real, right? The irony of working on tree pose in yoga class was not lost on me. 

I could not hold this pose. No how, no way.
Becky continues working on strength training with me. She had me do power cleans with the bar on a box. I was unable to clean the weight she put on the bar and that frustrated me! Once she lightened up the weight, I did fine. No worries, I'll get that clean next time! She also had me do deadlifts--at 83% of my max! There's nothing like lifting all the weight to make a runner feel extra tough! I really like these strength cycles. 


Off the road, I had a bumpy week. I'll share more on Wednesday's blog post. Deb Runs is hosting the now monthly Wednesday Word, and this month's word fits me to a "t": derail. The Wendy train almost came off the tracks this week, but I found my way. Which begs the question: what if I didn't run?

This time of year, you just have to bring your own sunshine!
How was your week? Did you get your runs in? Are you going to participate in Wednesday Word?

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap, as well as Angela and Ilka for the Sunday Food and Fitness link up! Have a great week!



93 comments :

  1. Thank goodness for running to maintain our sanity when things seem to be falling apart all around us. The just run for run stage is one of my favorites... enjoy it before marathon training picks up!

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    1. I plan on it! I'll be increasing my Sunday runs a bit--I have a 10 mile race in March--but I really want to save my legs for the full.

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  2. You are sunshine! I had an easy run week until today so I am happy happy! I hope this week is a better one for you! XXOO

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    1. Me too! Hoping that last week was rock bottom. Nowhere to go but up, right?

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  3. Running has mostly been going good. Life hasn't been bad; hasn't been great either. Can't change it, though, and I woke up happy this morning. One day at a time, right? Yes, I plan to be doing a Wed Word -- if I get it done in time.

    Here's hoping things calm down for you.

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    1. I'm thinking they will from here on out. Thanks.

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  4. Running was extra therapeutic for me on Saturday as several of us pounded out our frustrations along with the miles.

    I love that you snuck onto the golf course and ran up the hill!

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    1. Of course, on the way home, I saw the popo drive by--twice! Busted? Nah...

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  5. I feel like I have been relying on running so much lately. Its definitely nice to just be running and not worrying about distance, pace, etc.

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  6. Thankfully, my running mojo did a 180 on Thursday, when I finally was able to get back outside. OMG, 'Milly was driving me batty!

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    1. Just looking at my treadmill gives me anxiety!!

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  7. I am happy to hear your running, yoga and strength sessions were all great this week! Sorry life is being so challenging--hang in there!

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  8. The sun came out today. I am happy.

    Hope yo have a better week this week.

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  9. Running without a time or pace goal is such a liberating feeling. I am glad to hear that your running is feeling so good this week. That pic of you with all the weight-seriously impressive!

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    1. It would have been more impressive with that extra weight on it! LOL!

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  10. I remember years ago in Yoga class we were supposed to hold on to each other while striking a pose. We were all in a circle as well - as simple as it sounds it was pretty powerful. It's as if all our energies united. Totally peaceful empowering experience.
    I have had a pretty tough week, too and yes, what if I didn't run? Your post made me think about that. Right before our train derails we go for a run and somehow everything seems more doable again.
    Have a great week Wendy!!

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    1. Sounds like you and I need to do a connected pose! Here's to a better week!

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  11. So glad running is there for you. And the barbell. Who doesn't love one of those. I know I sure do.

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    1. This strength cycle couldn't have come at a better time!

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  12. Running on the hotel gym while watching CNN isn't working very well as a stress-reliever! I've got so much to say for Wednesday Word, but don't have enough time on this business trip. I guess my plans to participate have been derailed. :-)

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    1. You could post the shortest Wednesday Word to date with just those last two sentences! You should do it - it would be funny!

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  13. Thanks for the shout outs for Wednesday Word! :-) Can't wait to read your post and your interpretation of derail.

    I had to laugh when you mentioned how flat it is in Chicago. While running the Chicago Spring Half Marathon, both my friend Janet and I heard people complaining about a tiny incline near the observatory. Even though we weren’t running together, Janet and I both heard people complaining about the “hill” as we ran along that section of the path, and we were both like, “What hill?” :-)

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    1. Oh, I have a shirt from the marathon that has the words "Mt Roosevelt" on it. That's what we call that last hill...

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  14. Running has saved my sanity more times than I could ever count... in a week. Sometimes I'll panic and think like omg what would I do if I couldn't run? And then I just decide to be thankful that I can, today, right now, for each day. I'm so glad you're able to run too.

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    1. The strength training fits nicely into my anxious state as well!

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  15. Must be nice to go with the flow on cruise control! Great job with your runs and strength training! Love your pics!

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  16. Payton's Hill is a great place to go to feel accomplished and then to breathe it all in--I love the view that it gives of the city! I'm going to be right with you--cruise control, which is one of my favorite places to be. Just hit the gear, and drive.

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    1. Sounds like you and I need to cruise together! Damn life...

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  17. Sometimes it is nice to just run because and have no goals or training plans.

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    1. Right now, I'm glad that's what's "on the plan".

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  18. I keep thinking how partner yoga might be good for me. And my partner. To re-find that connection and trust.

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  19. That "what if I didn't run" question haunts me sometimes... would I know who I was if I didn't run, could I handle myself?
    I love running without a plan or a pace. so liberating!

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    1. I don't know who I'd be if I didn't run. I don't want to consider that!

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  20. I have those tree pose kind of days too. Running is my favorite thing, but balance, both literally and figuratively, becomes more important (I'm really resisting the urge to say, "as I grow older," but it's ringing n my head anyway!).

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    1. Haha! I hear that phrase in my head all the time too! Who's old? Not us!

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  21. I got in some good runs last week, including some in pretty mild weather! Glad you had a good week to reset! It still amazing me that you aren't letting your diagnosis really slow you down.

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    1. I'm afraid that if I slow down, I'll never get moving again!

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  22. Sounds like your run was pretty awesome. I'm sorry you had a bad week, though. That never helps.

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    1. Grateful for some really good running, tho!

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  23. So much jumping! <3 <3 <3 I love that your runs are going well, heart!

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    1. Me too! It's always good when running is good.

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  24. My son was home with us three days from school but I still managed to run three days. Missed my long run due to palpitations. Thankfully my little fella is doing better and the beach trip I went on by myself was just what I needed to DE-stress!

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    1. Boo to the heart palpitations and the sick boy! Glad you had your time at the beach. That's always a win!

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  25. I always enjoy your photos ..you exude energy and your crossfit pictures look so freaking strong!

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  26. I know I would not be sane if I couldn't run. No one wants to be around me if I can't.

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  27. I had a great running week last week. Even in the cold, it just refreshes you. Keep up the great work in your strength training.

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    1. Thank you! Strength training is such a great counterworkout to my running!

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  28. Someday the balance is just off, and falling off is easier.

    Saturday was my mind healing run, I needed that run more than I needed anything else.

    That picture of you with the weights is amazing!

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    1. My balance was better today. Last week was a difficult week for me--it's no wonder I kept falling over!

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  29. I had to check to see if you were in Philly this past weekend because when I was on my 9 mile run on Saturday I ran past a woman who looked just.like.you. LOL!

    Tree pose is one of the worst for me, I don't even try to hold it above my knee, it's impossible! Sometimes doing poses like that with a group really is empowering.

    Glad your runs have been going well!

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    1. I wish I was there running--I want to meet up with you! LOL!

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  30. I've been loving my running the last two weeks at the campground! Even when it rained and I had to split up my runs. I'm back home for this week but I'm already wishing I was back there.
    I dream of the days I can be on the road, running in so many different places and seeing things I've never seen before.
    I also love my strength training (wonder what I'll so when I'm on the road?) looking forward to another great week! Hope you have a better week too. :)

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    1. I'm looking forward to Florida in March and running in the sun and warmth! And the beach...

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  31. My week was pretty good fitness-wise. It was a little stressful toward the end because our pup has some sort of stomach bug. Will was traveling for work, which left me alone to deal with it while also starting a new job. It's been a bit of a struggle, but he's going to the vet today. Hopefully we can get him better soon. I feel so bad for the poor guy :(.

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    1. I hope your pup feels better! It's so hard when they are sick.

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  32. Glad you got your runs in and could works stuff out. That is why I love running!

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    1. Me too! It's the best for that sort of thing!

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  33. I always look forward to the "easy" weeks after following an intense plan or following through on completing a challenge. Its always so nice to just be able to run for the sake of running without focusing on a goal. Enjoy the break before marathon training starts up!

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    1. I have a few things to work on but yes, mostly I just get to run for a few weeks!

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  34. loving becky's form on her cleans!

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    1. Becky is my coach and that is me in the pictures, doing those cleans....

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  35. I haven't been running much but I'm actually okay with it!

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  36. That grayness is so unmotivating!

    I did get all my runs in last week, but that's about it. My husband has been under the weather so I'm a bit overwhelmed, but I'm treading water til I get ahead.

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    1. It's been tough for a lot of people lately! I think January is pretty hard for a lot of us.

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  37. Wow - hey, at least the sun finally came out today here in Chicago! Somethings gotta be looking up! I hear you - it's been a PLODDING month. I might make progress, and then I get derailed. Trying to focus on the positive!

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    1. It was nice to see the sun, wasn't it?

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  38. Nice that your running is on cruise control! I find it nice to just run and not have to worry about paces. I got all my runs in for the week and it too is my bright spot of my week. The break in the rain has made it even nicer. Love the jump pic by Walter Payton's helmet and number! :)

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    1. It was kind of fun to sneak onto the golf course like that!

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  39. Sounds like things are generally well with you !
    With the winter temps here (teens and twenties, COLD for France !) and no race to train for, I have only been running twice a week. It has been replaced by swimming & weight lifting. I am loving the variety. I think the 2 marathons of last year burned me out. I am so happy I don't have to run now in the cold at zero dark thirty.

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    1. As tempting as it can be to do more than one marathon per year, I really make myself hold back. I don't want to burn out on running. I love it too much for that.

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  40. I consider 775 feet a hill! Being on cruise control sounds nice (and enviable). Our winter temps have been mild so I can't really complain about that, but I will say I'm tired of the grayness. We definitely have to make our own sunshine, which is a little more difficult for me right now with my derailment... Thanks for linking, Wendy!

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    1. I'm going to help you get that train back on the tracks!

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  41. I kind of bummed I somehow missed the lulu Strava challenge! I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open for ones in the future.

    I really love group poses in yoga. There's something so great about connecting with everyone that way.

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    1. That lulu challenge really snuck up on me--glad I was able to partake!

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  42. What fun up at Payton's Hill! Sorry you had a bad week, but glad you got your runs in. You will kill your races this year!

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  43. I always love your photos and how real you are. I wish I could be running, BUT at least I can do gentle yoga. So I need to start doing that daily to keep getting at least some exercise in

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    1. I hope you recover quickly! Do what you can. Running will be there for you.

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  44. Great job this week! I love the idea behind the trash dump turned park! Pretty nifty! :)

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  45. Running is always there isn't it? I hope everything else works out.

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    1. This was a much better week, thank you very much!

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  46. Awww. Cruise control running is the best! Enjoy every run. :-)

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