Thursday, June 29, 2017

June Runfessions

Welcome to Runfessions! It's that monthly clearing of the conscience, hosted by Marcia. This month, Marcia's out of town--in Dubai, no less--and she's left me in charge of the Runfessional! It's a big responsibility but I'm up for the task. Come on in, pull up a seat--there's one right inside here-- and share your runfessions. I'm a good listener, I can keep secrets (I like to call myself "the vault"), and I promise you'll feel much better when you're done.

Come on into the jumbo Runfessional!
Maybe we could even have a group session. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Deep Thoughts on the Run: There Are No Accidents

Although I recently wrote a post about being more mindful on the run, I'm not practicing what I'm preaching. I've been thinking about pretty much everything except for running and lately, my thoughts have been all over the place.

Deep thoughts ahead, so buckle up for the ride. It could get bumpy.

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the concept of fate. Do you believe in predetermined destiny? Can you influence your path in life? Does anything happen by chance? Or is everything in life already laid out for you?



Sunday, June 25, 2017

Work Hard, Play Hard

Summertime and the living's easy. Right?

This year, not so much. Instead of feeling relaxed, I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed this summer as we try to pack in as much fun as we can in the limited free time on the calendar. Taking that leave of absence earlier this year left me with little vacation time. I've got a few long weekends and I plan to make the most of them.

The theme for this summer seems to be: work hard, play hard. 



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

5 Reasons and 6 Tips to be More Mindful on the Run

I often comment that I look at my running as a moving meditation. There are times when I'm in "the zone" and am completely focused on my run, oblivious to everything around me. While those runs are some of my best runs, for a myriad of reasons, not being aware is probably really bad for me.

Being mindful has become a cliché. That's too bad because being mindful is really important in everything you do. So many times off the road, we are being asked to pay attention to more than one thing. I might be working on the computer and my husband tells me something, but I'm only half listening to what he's saying. It happens to me at work too, where I have found myself writing a prescription while the patient is telling me a story. Do I listen to the patient or finish the prescription, and risk making a mistake?

Staying focused on the task at hand, being mindful--it's something we all need to do more of, both in real life and on the road.



Sunday, June 18, 2017

The DNS: There's a First Time for Everything

Yesterday was the day I was supposed to run marathon #5, Grandma's Marathon. I signed up for Grandma's right around the time I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Loaded up with steroids at the time, I was feeling good and figured I could go ahead with my plans to run this spring race in the north woods of Minnesota. Heck, I wasn't going to let this disease get the best of me! I was going to show RA just who was in charge.

Right on! RA had other plans for me. While I continued to run through the spring, my endurance continued to decline. I was DNFing all my runs--I was struggling to even run a mile-- and frustrated with myself, I made the decision to discontinue my training and not run Grandma's.

It was not an easy decision but it felt like the right thing to do. Immediately after canceling my plans to run the race, I felt as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Instead of training for a marathon, I shifted my focus to the May race I also had signed up for, the Door County Half Marathon. I began doing run/walk intervals with success and satisfaction. Running became enjoyable again. I've never been good at listening to my body, but I was having no regrets about my plans to DNS for the first time ever.



Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Review: The Long Run: A Memoir of Loss and Life in Motion by Catriona Menzes-Pike

Disclaimer: I received an advance reader copy of The Long Run: A Memoir of Loss and Life in Motion by Catriona Menzes-Pike from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  This post also contains affiliate links, which means if you click on the links and purchase the books, I'll make a little cash for books for future blog posts.

Although I didn't plan it this way, it's kind of ironic that I chose Catriona Menzes-Pike's memoir, The Long Run: A Memoir of Loss and Life in Motion to follow last month's selection Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports by Kathrine Switzer. Menzes-Pike takes us through her journey of grief but intersperses her story with women's running history. There is mention of Switzer in the book (how could there not be?) along with other noted women runners, and I couldn't help but compare the 2 books. While Switzer's story was also very personal and historic, she wasn't running from something as much as towards something, which was a finish line. Menzes-Pike's journey arose out of grief and life challenges that she needed to run from.

How many of us have started running for that very same reason?


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

10 Must-Have Items for Summer Running!

"Summer running, had me a blast....summer running, happened so fast...
Found a race, crazy 'ole me, tried to train, hot as can be...
Summer days, runnin' away, oh training for those fall rites..."

Ok, so I kind of paraphrased this from Grease. But seriously, who doesn't struggle with training in the summer? I recently wrote a post about training in the heat. This time around, I'm sharing some of my favorite summer running gear. Living in a place where we have extremes of every season, it never fails, come summer, that I always need a reminder what I like to use on my hot weather runs.

This week, we're in the blast furnace of summer and I pulled out all my favorites! I've got some new gear this year too. Some of the things I've listed are affiliate links. Which means cash in my pockets for water or snacks if you purchase them.


"Tell me more, tell me more,
Do you get very far..."

Sunday, June 11, 2017

I Get To Run

I do. I get to run. Never before has it been such a big deal to me. As runners, I think we take it for granted that we can run. Even when we are injured, we know that eventually, we'll be back on the road. We might not be happy to be sidelined, but there's always the expectation that there will be many miles ahead for us.

Even though I've been feeling pretty good, I get little reminders all the time that I have a beast inside me, that I'm not really the boss of me. Often it's my knees. Going downstairs is more of a challenge these days. They aren't painful very often, but they are stiff. The first mile of a run is always a liar now while I start slowly to loosen up my joints. My feet hurt almost all the time. My big toes keep me in good alignment as I run because if I land wrong, they send me a very strong signal to straighten up and fly right.

Still, I get to run. I've always been grateful to be a runner but never as much as I am now. I had always hoped to be able to run into old age. While I still hope for that, realistically I know that my running days are probably finite.



Friday, June 9, 2017

6 Effing Reasons You Should Run

Disclosure statement: this post was brought to you by the letter F. Rated G for Global Running Day.

In case you missed it, Wednesday was Global Running Day. Did you get your run in?

It seems as though there's a day for everything, isn't there? How did this even come about? For example, today is National Strawberry Rhubarb Day. I don't really care for rhubarb, but I can guarantee that my husband and his father would be all over this holiday. If only they knew that it existed!

Some might call it frivolous, but in this case, I'm glad there's a day to celebrate my favorite activity. Even though Global Running Day falls on a day that I don't normally run, I chose to commemorate this special day with a virtual 5k. My incentive? A free medal I received from I Love to Run that asks the question: Why do you run?

I might take that question a little bit further and ask: "why should you run?"



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Be Your Own Hero: 6 Strategies to Help You Run Your Best Race



Do you have a hero? Is there someone you look up to for inspiration? Who motivates you to run?

Runners are fortunate to have some really good role models--we've got current elite runners, like Shalane Flanagan, Dean Karnazes, and Meb Keflezighi. There are also legends like Kathrine Switzer, Frank Shorter, and Bart Yasso.

But what about everyday heroes? Maybe it's your running partner that inspires you. Maybe you follow a popular Facebook page--there are quite a few runners who are page admins that have very large followings!

What about yourself? Is it possible to be your own hero? How can you inspire yourself to do great things on the road?



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Stronger Every Day!

While nothing exciting or earth-shattering happened this week, what stood out to me the most is how much I am feeling like myself again. Even the heat can't stop me!

I am beyond thrilled with how my fitness is returning. I'm continuing to feel good again. I had several days this week where I remarked to my husband that if I didn't know I had RA, I wouldn't know I had it. Modern medicine and good nutrition are the best combination.



Thursday, June 1, 2017

5 Things I'd Tell You Over Coffee

Let's have a cup of coffee and catch up, shall we? I love this monthly link up, hosted by Coco and Deborah because it gives us all a chance to step off the road and share what's been going on in our lives.

The month of May was full of experiences that made me so grateful. Not only did I start to feel like myself again, even running a half marathon, I gained a much more positive outlook. I'm grateful for my family and friends who supported me while I struggled with my new diagnosis. I have to be realistic as I know that RA is a jerk and I could flare at any time, but for now, my disease is behaving and for that I am grateful.

So what would I tell you if we were having coffee?