async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

My Word for 2021: STRONG

A little late to the annual word-of-the-year announcing party, I've settled on a word to guide me through 2021. Not a resolution maker or a New Year's goal setter, I've also never chosen a word to focus on for the year. But this year is different.

It sure did start off differently, didn't it? 

When I woke up last Wednesday morning, I couldn't wait to lace up my shoes, with hopes to escape to the trails and chase my anxiety away. Surely, I thought, a run in the woods, in the snow! would make me feel better. I do love a good snow run.

Unfortunately, I couldn't escape my thoughts. The trail was snow-packed and icy and required even more focus to avoid tripping or falling than usual, yet I kept getting lost in my head. Six miles later, and I felt no better. Fighting tears, I was considering calling off work. I berated myself, telling myself that I was STRONGER than this. 

Later that morning, looking at my pictures I took on the trail, I searched for a quote to describe the beautiful winter scenes I captured. This quote popped up first and oh my, was it fitting: 
"In the midst of winter, I found that there was within me, an invicible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there is something stronger, something better, pushing right back." ~ Albert Camus.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Feeling Salty

Holy shit, it was A WEEK. 

Sorry for the salty language, but yeah, it's been a week. We've been watching The History of Swear Words on Netflix and it is a hilarious look at swearing. It's definitely not for everyone, but for this first week of 2021, it seems to fit quite well. Laughter is the best medicine and this show gave me a much-needed release from the omnipresent anxiety that not only am I experiencing, but am seeing in friends, family, and patients as well.

Who could have predicted the horrendous events that took place this week in our nation's capitol? There were warnings, but judging by the carnage, no one seemed to take them seriously. The tumultuous past couple of years have turned the country into a pressure cooker, although some say the pressure has been building for years. So many people make the comment that 'they aren't political' or even that 'it doesn't matter who is in office'.  We have to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Even if it means 'being political', whatever the hell that means. If you think your vote doesn't count, well, this week really proved that it does. 

I feel like for the past year I've needed to have a disclaimer in my posts: This is not a political blog. This is a running blog. All opinions posted here are mine. I'd like to get back to the business of just writing about running. Heck (hell?), I just want to run. Have I told you lately how much I love to run? This week, there was plenty of that.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Running Wasn't Canceled: A Look Back at 2020

In one way or another, 2020 was the year that challenged all of us. How could it not? From politics to the pandemic, we've all had to adapt and figure out how to survive these trying times. Running was the key to keeping me sane this year. But running was different this year too. Races were canceled and group runs were not happening. Virtual runs and challenges became a thing. Initially a novelty, for this runner, virtual runs grew old really fast.  

How to sum up the year that was 2020? There were a lot of lessons to be learned, for sure. Instead of just writing a recap of the year--you can certainly read my 2020 racing recap here--I decided to do a self-reflection of my year as it related to running. These questions were taken from a Psychology Today article; I adapted them to fit my purpose of evaluating my running and fitness from 2020. 

I'm not a goal setter or a resolution maker, in fact, my goals evolved as the year played out. These questions helped me frame my year in a positive way, which was really helpful in light of the year that was 2020. This exercise also helped direct my thinking towards 2021. I'm looking forward to using my answers to help me decide on my plans for the upcoming year. It's not going to be a normal year, either, so it's good to be ready for whatever comes our way!

Newport State Park, June 2020

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Here We Go Again

New year, same old song and dance lol! I really wish that with the flip of the calendar, we'd have a clean slate and things would return to some semblance of normal. Not so much--the COVID rages on--but one thing remains constant: running and fitness. I ended the year with a hard strength session and a big hug (like, she wouldn't let go) from my coach. The new year started with a trail run. In spite of all the turmoil around me, I'm happy to have one thing that is constant: running. 

Running got me through 2020; I'm happy to continue the wave into 2021. 

Here's to hoping for a better year! 

1200 miles for 2020!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Year's Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Happy New Year! Happy NEW YEAR!!! Have any of us ever been so glad to welcome in a new year? I can only wish that with the flip of the calendar, we could flip a switch on life as it is right now. Sadly, no. The pandemic rages on, complete with new strains and continued discontent around us. But I'm not going to dwell on any of that. I'm hopeful for good things to come this year and that's how we should start a new year. Clean slate and all that, right?

It's time to catch up on our first coffee date of the year. What's in your cup? I've got a fresh pot of Dunkin' Donuts coffee brewing. Sipping on it as we speak, along with a scoop of GLG collagen, and that most important splash of half and half. 


Sunday, December 27, 2020

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Christmas 2020 was unlike any other as we celebrated, socially distant. Christmas Eve was just the 4 of us, with homemade pizza. After dinner, my youngest son's girlfriend joined us for a lively game of Fibbage, followed by Quiplash. We spent the evening laughing ourselves silly. Christmas Day was again just the 4 of us. We opened our gifts, did a Zoom exchange with my parents, sisters, and their families, and enjoyed a roasted goose for dinner. 

Prior to the holiday, my youngest son started complaining of a sore throat on Tuesday; by Wednesday he had a fever. I was feeling a little panicked. He swore up and down that he hadn't been exposed. I believed him--none of his 8 housemates have had COVID and a recent COVID antibody test was negative. I was pretty sure that my immunity to the virus from the vaccine I received less than a week ago wasn't very strong at that point, and inwardly I crumbled. 

The next day I took my still febrile son to the immediate care at my office. He was swabbed for COVID, flu, and strep and tested for mono, even though it was too soon for the monospot to be reliable. Everything was negative, which was kind of a mixed blessing. I mean, I don't want him to have anything, but clearly, he did, and wouldn't it be better to know what it was?

Relieved about that negative COVID test, but knowing there was still the possibility of a false negative, I was glad that we already planned on a socially distant holiday at home. The risk of exposing my extended family to whatever he had would have forced that anyway. As the weekend progressed, my son's sore throat got worse and the fever continued. His symptoms didn't seem like typical COVID. We got late-breaking test results this morninng: it's non-group A strep, a variation that we don't normally treat. I offered to call in a prescription of antibiotics for him since he's still pretty miserable, but he's going to tough it out. Just like a man, lol. 

This is where we're at right now-- where every illness is COVID until proven otherwise, but anything else is preferable. 

Guys, I am so tired of COVID, but I can't just ignore it. I am faced with it every day in my job. We are so close to getting on top of it, but people just can't seem to get that. If I get a little salty about it, please consider my perspective.

Weekly Rundown

Monday: trail run 5.6 miles, Yoga with Adriene
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: run 5 miles
Thursday: rest
Friday: run 5.27 miles
Saturday: trail run 6 mile
Sunday: CrossFit wod with 2250m run
Year to date: 1198 miles

Running

Holiday week; my training schedule was up for grabs. With a dentist appointment scheduled for Wednesday morning (I broke a tooth), I took my shoes to the trails on Monday. I'm so glad I did. It was a cold but absolutely gorgeous morning. To mix things up, I parked in a different lot and found a new-to-me trail into the woods. This was a twisty, up and down path with lots of downed tree trunks. I took full advantage of some agility training, leaping over them. These trails are truly the gift that keeps on giving!


It was ridiculously windy on Wednesday, so I ran my neighborhood loop, ensuring that I wouldn't run into the wind for any length of time. It was a good plan and my splits were all over the place, depending on the wind. I stopped at the park to play with handstands and surprised myself by easily kicking up and holding them! 


I always run on Christmas morning and even though it was bitterly cold, the sun was shining when I headed out to the bike path. There were a few other die-hard runners and walkers out there too.


Saturday was another cold morning, although not as cold as the day before. I decided to go to the preserve along the DesPlaines River. When I got there, the parking lot was closed. So I drove to another parking lot, which was also closed. Odd. There is a nature center in this preserve, surely, I thought, that would be open. It was and I parked in the lot, running through the little nature area to the trail. From there, I ran south 3 miles in the cold sunshine. When I finished, I stopped to ask the employee about the closed parking areas. She said they would be closed for the season to allow workers unrestricted access to do maintenance on the trails. Oh, right! 🙄

a beautiful cold bluebird day!

CrossFit/Strength

I received a new wooden plyo/jump box for Christmas and was excited to see that Sunday's WOD included box overs! The WOD started with 2 rounds of a 4 minute AMRAP: 5 box overs, 5 burpees, and 10 single arm DB power cleans. After a 2 minute rest, there was another 4 minute AMRAP of 5 handstand pushups or decline pushups, 5 per leg single leg v-ups, and 10 single arm DB snatches. After a 2 minute rest, I finished up with a 2000m run (subbed for a 2000m row).

Cocoa testing out my new plyo box

It Felt a Little Like Christmas...

I runfess...I really enjoyed our little family holiday this year. Don't tell my mom. Earlier in the week, my husband and I did a drive-through light show that was choreographed to music. While we enjoyed it, it definitely wasn't something I want to do again. I'd rather walk and enjoy at my own pace. 

My sunroof came in handy for photos

On Christmas morning, I woke up to photos sent from the mother of the family my office adopted for the holidays. Oh my goodness, was that what my heart needed to see! I shared them with wonderful coworkers, several of whom sent photos of their own little ones opening gifts. What a blessing they all are!

My husband, boys, and I opened our gifts. That Goose Island Bourbon county stout I scored last month put a big smile on my very stoic husband's face! Best.gift.ever. He was stunned and told me he too had entered the lottery but didn't get an entry to purchase it. We gifted my oldest son, who loves to cook, a silver Kitchen Aid mixer that I scored on Black Friday. My youngest got a new snowboarding helmet after cracking his old one when he crashed last March. I got some Vuori joggers, which I haven't stopped wearing except for a run, along with the plyometric jump box

my sick boy and nurse Cocoa

We Zoomed with my family, but most of the gifts we mailed to my sister and her family out east hadn't yet arrived. While it was nice to see everyone, Zoom is definitely not a substitute for the real thing. After dinner of roasted goose, we watched the new Wonder Woman movie, which while not my typical movie, I have to admit I enjoyed it. I could use some of her skills! Goals for 2021. 

This year was very different than Christmases of the past, but we made the most of it and it was really nice!

How was your holiday? Were you able to squeeze in some workouts? Did you get together with family or did you do a virtual get-together like we did?

I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown. 






Thursday, December 24, 2020

Holiday Runfessions

It might be Christmas Day, but it's also the last Friday of the month. That means only one thing--we get to runfess! Marcia has generously opened the runfessional today. I've got a few things to runfess. I know, shocker, right?

A gift from a friend