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

Sunday, August 2, 2020

A Change of Pace

Following the news of the cancellation of my fall race, I took this week to regroup. I'm having a hard time getting my head around all that is happening in the world and in my own little world. It's been overwhelming, to say the least. I shared a lot of that on Friday's post--since this is my weekly training recap, I won't go into details here.

Always a sure thing, this week even running couldn't help me shake off my funk. I blame a lot of that on the swampy conditions we had here all week. Although I had the beginning of the week off work, we mostly hung out at home. I did get my workouts in and at the end of the week, had run 93.3 miles for the month of July. Darn, so close to 100! Not bad, all things considered--steamy hot weather, my mental funk, and that race cancellation. Not to mention a little bit of RA stiffness and pain. 

I'm looking ahead to the cooler conditions of fall and I've optimistically got a few things on the calendar. I'll share more on Tuesday's post. The running must go on!


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Runfessions over Coffee

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

What a month! 

For the past couple of months, I feel as if I have started every Runfession and Coffee Talk post with that same statement. Just when we thought things were getting better, that we had things under control...nope! 2020 seems to be hell bent on showing us that we most definitely are NOT in charge. It's been a wild ride so far. I guess we need to just strap in tightly and hang on to our masks for now. Who knows what's next?

Today is one of those Fridays where the worlds of Runfessions and the Ultimate Coffee Date Collide. Let's chat. What are you having in your mug? I'm finishing up my jumbo tub of Dunkin' Donuts coffee with a spoonful of GLG collagen and that generous splash of half and half, of course.

No half and half in this cup

If we were having coffee, I'd runfess... earlier this month, I received this mug and flowering plant from one of my families that I see in my clinic. It was a complete surprise and I didn't do anything special--the mom said she just though I needed a pick-me-up from the stress of dealing with the pandemic. Since going back to work after being home for 6 weeks earlier in the pandemic, I have gained a new appreciation for my job and the families I get to care for. 

If we were having coffee, I'd runfess... that I've been cutting back on blogging this month. I just don't feel inspired. It's hard to come up with things to write about when there aren't any races. I'm not going to post just to post. I am continuing with the Weekly Rundown as a way to journal my training and also to stay connected with the runblog community.  


If we were having coffee, I'd runfess... my amusement at the response of some runners to the Garmin outtage. While you all know I'm a data gal--I like to see my distance and time-- IMHO, it's all just for fun. It's not like we're elite runners here. I had to laugh because I got an email this week from Strava that someone beat one of my segments in Wisconsin. I had no idea this was a THING. Ok then!


If we were having coffee, I'd momfess... my youngest son is taking a gap year from college. He's a chemistry major and all but 2 of his classes and labs are going to be online. What a tough time to be a student. He was hoping to intern in a lab this year--that is not an option right now. I'm fine with him taking the year off, living in the house he's renting with 8 other guys (yikes) and working, waiting for a vaccine so that he can resume classes and labs in the classroom. Hopefully, he'll resume his studies next year.

And that's a whole other thing..

If we were having coffee, I'd cleanfess... I spent Sunday afternoon purging the boys' basement playroom. Ok, yes, my boys are in their 20s. It needed to be done. I get it. But mamas, tell me how hard it was for you to go through all your kids' playthings? My husband helped me for a while and I did ok. We dragged several large bags to the curb for the garbage pickup. There's still work to do. But I am glad it's done. 


If we were having coffee, I'd dogfess... Crazy Cocoa continues to limp on and off with that leg injury. This pup loves to chase her ball and that keeps aggravating the injury. Does that sound familiar, my running friends? I think the only solution is to put all her balls away so she can rest and heal completely. She's taking her doggie motrin. I wonder if my TENS unit would work for her? How to get the electrodes to stick to her fur... hmmm...

Ruff life

If we were having coffee, I'd musicfess... that I've been listening to..gulp...Taylor Swift's new album, folklore. Now before you think I've completely lost my mind, her new release is unlike anything I've ever heard from her. It's more like indie pop/folk than the anthemic earworms she's released in the past. After watching her documentary, Miss Americana, I looked at Taylor Swift in a whole new light. This album seals that impression. 


If we were having coffee, I'd runfess... that I didn't read any running related books for the blog this month. I do have Kilian Jornet's newest release in my iPad, but I just wasn't feeling it. I did read other books this month--in fact, I had to let a few go as per usual all 5 of my holds came in at once from the library! Here's a synopsis--you can find my full reviews on Goodreads. 


  • The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorp is an unusual coming of age story between 2 misfit teens who develop an unlikely friendship. It's crazy and quirky in all the best ways. I completely enjoyed this one!
  • Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan is the story of a friendship that develops between a naive, young college student working as a nanny and the unhappy mother of the child she is caring for. Both characters make a lot of mistakes and do a lot of growing. This was very well written--I felt all the emotions as I read it. 
  • Sea Wife by Amity Gage takes place on a boat as the family leaves land to cruise across the Caribbean. The wife has emotional issues and the husband is in debt to an investor. The story is told journal style in alternating narratives, which would seem annoying but works really well. I could have done without all the sailing details, but the domestic drama as well as the descriptions of sailing through a few storms made me turn those pages!
  • Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West is set on Chicago's south side and is the story of a young girl, left to live with her violent father after her mother is found murdered. There are multigenerational background stories of domestic violence throughout the book, which helped provide context for the story. It's just so sad. And so good. 
  • The Vanishing Half  by Brit Bennett is my favorite read of the month. This story of twin girls, raised in a small southern town where only light-skinned black people life, was just fascinating to read! Both twins leave home; one marries a dark-skinned black man and the other lives life as white. It's interesting to see how this all plays out and yes, worlds do collide.
Finally, if we were having coffee, I'd runfess... to this continued pervasive feeling of sadness, helplessness, and loneliness. I wish people would stop being so ignorant about wearing masks and preventing the spread of the disease. I hope for an end to the violence that mars the protests happening in the cities. I hope for an end to the hateful rhetoric on all sides. It is so ugly in our world right now, isn't it?

What would you tell me over coffee? Any 'fessions? Read any good books this month? Will you listen to Ms. Swift's new album? Are your kids going back to live classes, studying online, or a combination? How are you feeling after 5 months of this pandemic?

I'm linking up with Marcia for Runfessions and with Deborah and Coco for the Ultimate Coffee Date.








Ice Age Trail 21k Training Week 8

2020 sure is the year that just keeps on giving, isn't it? This week was another doozy. Covid continues to spread, riots and protests continue, Garmin gets hacked, and the race cancellations continue. We experienced a ridiculously oppressive heat wave which cut our time short at the lake. I'm all about looking for silver linings, but come on man! Can we please get a break?


Sunday, July 19, 2020

Watermelon Mint Smoothie-- Cool, Refreshing, and Anti Inflammatory

Before I share the details on my newest favorite smoothie, I have to give a shoutout to Julie from Running in a Skirt, whose Watermelon Mint Smoothie recipe gave me the inspiration to create my own. I would never have considered combining watermelon and mint, but with an abundance of mint in the garden, I needed to find a way to use it. And wow--what a yummy and refreshing combination!

Watermelon is the quintessential summer treat! In spite of watermelon's sweet, light character, watermelon is a nutritional powerhouse! Besides being relatively low in sugar compared to other fruits, watermelon is loaded with vitamin C. Watermelon also contains anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory elements as well as potassium and magnesium. The high water content of watermelon makes it a great post-workout snack. 

I absolutely love watermelon! With the availability of the smaller melons and seedless varieties, there's no excuse for not eating watermelon. Mint enhances the fresh taste of watermelon and the two are commonly served together, in smoothies, juices, and teas.


Ice Age Trail 21k Training Week 7

Maybe you noticed or maybe you didn't, but I didn't post at all this week since my last Weekly Rundown. It wasn't for lack of trying. I just couldn't come up with anything to write. To tell you the truth, I've been feeling pretty uninspired. I'm just so disheartened about current affairs and the overall bad behavior of people in general that motivation was hard to find. I'm tired of the pandemic. I'm tired of the politics. I'm tired of the lies. I'm just tired.

There, I've said it.

There have been some bright spots, though. My job, of all things, has been bringing me much joy. The kids are happy to see me and the parents express so much gratitude. There was, however, that dad on Friday who kept putting his mask below his nose, even after I told him to pull it up. It reminded me of that comic I shared a few months ago that compared putting your mask below your nose to letting your penis hang out above your underwear. Being the immature person that I am, I couldn't stop thinking about that during the entire visit. I'm glad I had my mask to hide my smile, but I had to hold back from rolling my eyes. 

My training also continues to bring me joy, which is no surprise. For many reasons, I'm really glad I dropped down to the half, but especially because we are having such a relentlessly hot summer. With no pressure to complete long runs in the heat, I'm enjoying my training so much more. And isn't having fun what it's all about? Yeah, I get it, running is hard, but in the end, it's all about that sense of accomplishment, of joy, of empowerment!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Ice Age Trail 21k Training Week 6

What the what? What happened to the 50k?

Summer happened. Not just any summer, but one of the hottest summers on record. Last Saturday, I ran my longest run in years, a 15 mile trail run. It was hard, it was hot and humid, but I finished with a smile on my face. No big deal, no butt chafing, and I checked that one off the calendar. I wanted to do a jumping selfie, but my legs were too tired.

Later that day, I was laying on the couch in the AC, recovering and not feeling well at all. My leg muscles were visibly twitching and my stomach was cramping. I focused on rehydrating and refueling. I was really dismayed that I couldn't sleep at all that night, tossing and turning, unable to get comfortable. I took a pass on the next day's run, instead opting for a bike ride. I felt strong on the ride, but when I got home, it was pretty much a repeat of the day before. Exhausted, I layed around all day and again, I couldn't sleep at night. I stayed in bed longer than usual on Monday morning, taking a pass on my crosstraining class. When I saw that the weather forecast for the upcoming week was full of 90s and humidity, I made the decision to drop down from the 50k distance to the half marathon in the Ice Age Trail Race.

It wasn't an easy decision. You all know how excited I was to secure a spot in the 50k. When I texted Marcia to let her know, she responded kindly, telling me she 'gets it' and that I shouldn't see it as a 'failure'. I don't. What I am struggling with is the realization that getting older and having RA means I can't do all the things. While I would never use either of those reason as an excuse for cutting back and slowing down, real talk here...at this point in my life, I'm lucky to be running at all. Running is first and foremost, my stress reliever. Running shouldn't be stressing me out. Running should be fun. 

Wasting a weekend on the couch, recovering from a hard run? Not so much.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

How to Get Clean After a Run Without A Shower

This post contains affiliate links. This is an update of a previously published post.

Ewwwwww, right?

It's hot and it's humid. I've been running on the trails. There's dirt and there's bugs. I'm wearing bug spray and sunscreen. Sounds lovely, doesn't it?

Sometimes after my runs, I have places to go and people to see. I don't always have time to stop at home and shower. What's a runner to do?

While it's not optimal, I've figured out a few ways to freshen up after a hot, sweaty, dirty run.  Here are a few my tips to help a runner get clean after a run when there isn't time or access to a shower.