Sunday, August 18, 2019

Can I Still Call Myself a Runner?

It's been a few weeks since I've posted a training recap. Summer's kept me hopping! As much fun as I've been having, the training hasn't stopped. I'm not training for anything official, though. I have a half marathon on the calendar in September but unless some sort of running miracle happens, that race is going to be a DNS.

For me right now, running is kind of a non-thing. I've been pretty much phoning in my runs this summer. As much as I consider myself a runner, the fact of the matter is that for the past 6 months, running has felt hard. God knows I've whined about it enough here on the blog. I've given up trying to figure out why. And you know what else? I'm not really bothered by it right now. I've been so busy staying active doing other things that the low mileage hasn't affected me. I'm sure that come fall when life slows back down, the running struggle is going to become real again.

Maybe the cooler temperatures will bring some kind of running miracle? A runner can only dream. Who am I kidding? With the almost non-existent mileage that I'm logging right now, can I even call myself a runner?



Friday, August 16, 2019

Random Friday Thoughts

Guys, I got nothing for today except a bunch of random thoughts that alone don't add up to a whole blog post. It's been a busy, big couple of weeks. This week has been all about recovery--both physical and mental. Indulge me while I share some of my ruminations from Wednesday's run.



Tuesday, August 13, 2019

EMPOWERMENT Summer Camp: The Swag! And some special offers.

Disclaimer: I received a paid invitation to attend EMPOWER Summer Camp from SweatPink/FitApproach in exchange for social media postings. As an attendee, I received free swag from NowFoodsAfterShokzGreatLakesGelatinTakeyaUSAJadeLeafMatchaGrassFedCoffeeMomentumJewelryGimmeGramsThinkNooArtisanTropicLoveSujaGoodr, and MyDandies. While I will mention a few specific products in this post, I'll be sharing reviews of all those wonderful gifts in a separate post. All my opinions are my own.

While the best part of camp (did you read my recap?), for me at least, was the activities and the connections I made with other fitness-minded women, I can't deny that I was kind of wowed by all the goodies I came home with! Part of the deal of going to this camp was to share our appreciation for the sponsors via social media. It wasn't hard to do. Jamie, Alyse, and Nic did a great job of incorporating the sponsored products into all our activities. 

I wanted to share all the goodies we got at camp in this separate post. Kind of a mini-review with the hopes that blog readers would enjoy hearing about a few more adventures. I've hyperlinked the sponsors' Instagram accounts so you can learn more about their products. I've also included a few discount codes that were provided by the companies.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

EMPOWER Summer Camp: The Recap

Disclaimer: I received a paid invitation to attend EMPOWER Summer Camp from SweatPink/FitApproach in exchange for social media postings. As an attendee, I received free swag from NowFoods, AfterShokz, GreatLakesGelatin, TakeyaUSA, JadeLeafMatcha, GrassFedCoffee, MomentumJewelryGimmeGrams, ThinkNoo, ArtisanTropic, LoveSuja, Goodr, and MyDandies. While I will mention a few specific products in this post, I'm sharing reviews of all those wonderful gifts in a separate postAll my opinions are my own. 

Where to start? I'm sure most of you reading this caught some of the social media posts from last weekend's EMPOWER summer camp. If you didn't see those, you at least felt my excitement prior to the big event! When the ladies of FitApproach asked me to come, you know I didn't say no! The biggest hurdle was my job. I was scheduled to work that weekend and I couldn't find anyone to switch.

Cue the temper tantrum. Ok, maybe I'm being dramatic but I wanted in. Lucky me, one of my partners took my weekend and the deal was sealed. I was going to summer camp!!! I don't even know if I can do this weekend justice in a recap. It's taken me about a week to absorb the entire experience. As Ruby, one of the SweatPink team commented, I'm completely blissed out.

photo courtesy of Ruby@fitapproach

Friday, August 9, 2019

How to Partner with Your Doctor and Take Charge of Your Health

As an athlete, I've always been someone who likes to be in charge of my body. I'm also a nurse practitioner who works in a primary healthcare setting, managing patient care. When I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis a few years ago, I looked for a specialist who would provide the medical care I needed but would also partner with me in medical decision making. In the early days of my diagnosis, I was more passive as a patient, letting my doctor order medications and treatments she deemed necessary. As time passed, I did the necessary homework, reading up on my disease and treatments and asking questions.

I took a more active role in my treatment plan when a serious side effect occurred with one of the medications I was taking. My doctor wanted to continue the medication but at a lower dose. We debated the pros and cons and in the end, she discontinued the medication. With my most recent disease flare, during which I had severe fatigue, we discussed options of how to best manage my symptoms. I agreed to a trial of a new medication. After 6 weeks of the medication, there was no improvement and I developed tinnitus, a non-reversible side effect. During those 6 weeks, I combed through the medical literature on my condition and symptoms. When I returned to see my doctor, armed with knowledge, I was prepared to discuss my perspective, as an athlete and as a patient. While she stopped the tinnitus-causing medication, alternative medications she wanted me to start would have further impacted my ability to exercise. There was an alternative medication I had learned about and when I presented it to her, she liked it.

Several months later, I can say that I am feeling and doing much better.

I see a lot of posts on social media from fellow athletes who have health problems, ranging from injuries to chronic illnesses like mine. As a health care provider myself, I can say with all honesty that not all medical providers are willing to partner with their patients to develop a plan of care that is customized to their needs. There are also patients who are willing to take a passive role in their health care and follow whatever their physician tells them. I am also amazed at people who refuse to follow conventional, proven treatments for health conditions. While there is a place for alternative medicine, it is as an adjunct to conventional medicine, not as a replacement. There has to be a happy medium here!

How do we partner with our doctors (and nurse practitioners) and still take charge of our health?



Friday, August 2, 2019

Coffee Talk: August

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

It seems like we just sat down for a cup of coffee to catch up on life, but here we are again! Summer is flying by and it's been busy. Let's share a cup of joe and chat! I've got some Colectivo Mexico (not an affiliate link) brewing. My son picked up a bag for me on his last trip to Madison. Good stuff!

Thanks to FitApproach for the fun graphic!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

6 Drinks to Quench a Runner's Thirst

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Summertime and the running's not easy...especially if you're not hydrating! I never have to be reminded to drink. At work, there's always a bottle of water next to me so I can sip throughout my day. Hydration doesn't just start the morning of a race or a run. Runners need to stay hydrated all day, every day.

How do you know you're hydrated? The best rule of thumb is to make sure your pee is the color of lemonade. If it's like water, you may be overhydrating. If your pee is the color of apple juice, you've got some drinking to do, my friend.

Riddle me this...why do we compare the color of our pee to beverages? I don't know, but I can tell you that the color of urine is due to a byproduct of bilirubin, which is excreted by the liver. The amount of liquid we drink dilutes out the yellow. Multivitamins can color your urine bright yellow. Beets can make urine pink or even red (but not blood red!) Anything else should be checked by a healthcare provider.

What to drink when you need to quench your thirst? No ideas? Well, guess what? Urine luck...

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