Thursday, September 29, 2016

Runfessions for September

It's the end of September--can you believe it? But that can only mean one thing, right? I mean besides pumpkin everything. The end of the month means it's time for Runfessions, that monthly clearing of the conscience, hosted by Marcia's Healthy Slice. Have you runfessed lately? It feels great and there's no penance.

You would think that after my most recent runfession, I'd have nothing left to share. I thought about saving that story for this post, but it was like diarrhea. I just couldn't hold it in.

Have no fear. There's plenty more where that came from. The runfessional is open..

Runfessions for September

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Myth Busting: Fact Checking Some Conventional Running Wisdom

I just finished watching the presidential debates. While most of you know where I stand, this isn't a forum for political debate. It's a running blog, but I have to admit that Hilary's repeated request for fact checking inspired me to do some fact checking of my own--not on politics, but on running myths.

Just log onto Facebook and the running advice abounds. I'm no expert but I know enough to be dangerous. There's good advice, mediocre advice, and bad advice. As a medical provider, I base my decisions on evidence. Anecdotes and stories are great, but "correlation doesn't mean causation.

But then there's that advice that keeps appearing. Similar to urban legends, these running "tips" keep showing up on social media. For today's Wednesday Word, which is wisdom, I thought I'd put on my professor cap and try to dispel some commonly accepted running wisdom which isn't quite so wise.

Myth Busting: Fact Checking Some Conventional Running Wisdom

Friday, September 23, 2016

How to Turn a Vacation Into a Runcation

This post is coming to you from somewhere above 30,000 feet. Today I'm jetting off to Austin, Texas with my sister for our annual sister weekend. Every year we go somewhere we've never been to celebrate our birthdays and sisterhood. Our trips are full of food, fun, and adventure. We are great traveling companions and have made a lot of fun memories on these trips.

These trips are all about us. I never plan races for our sister weekend. We do pack our running shoes though because it's always fun to run in a new place! Actually, no matter where I go or whomever I am traveling with, I always pack my running shoes. I can't think of a better way to explore a new destination. My family is so accustomed to my running that it's almost as if they expect me to head out for a run. I always find a way to make it work. No excuses! Any vacation can be a runcation!

How to Turn a Vacation into a Runcation

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What Do You Want To Accomplish?

Once again, I sit down to rewrite a post that was already written. My husband and I were talking after dinner, sharing a glass of wine. I told him a story about my run today.

I was running in the park. I approached a lady who was texting on her phone, oblivious to anything around her. She had a little dog on a leash, which was fully extended. She didn't see me coming, but the dog did. Teeth showing, growling, he charged at me. Given the chance, I'm pretty sure he would have ripped my leg off. She looked up as I cried out, "your dog!". She didn't know what to do and I made a wide berth around her. Over my music, I heard her say "sorry". I just gave her "the look".

You know the look. If you've been a runner for any length of time, you've thrown that look at cars who blow stop signs. At cyclists who ride a little too close for comfort. And at clueless dog owners.

The look that says: "what are you thinking?"

As I ran past the dog walker, I kept thinking to myself, what is the point? Either you walk the dog or you text. You can't do both, right?

I guess you can, but what are you trying to accomplish?

What Do You Want to Accomplish?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

I Have No Shame...

Summer just won't let go. Not that I'm complaining but normally in September, things cool down. We are nowhere near cool. I'm actually enjoying the continued daytime warm temperatures but it's still warmer than a runner likes. In spite of the unexpected warmth, I'm having some good runs. The foot is still fairly quiet.

I'm grateful for all of this. No matter what life throws at me, and it's been throwing a lot of stuff my way, running deflects a lot of the negative energy. My runs have felt smooth and my paces are steady. It's as if I'm running in a groove.

I had this weekly wrapup all prepared to publish. All I had to do was to complete today's long run. I figured I'd come home from the run, put in a little comment about how it went and hit publish. Easy peasy, right?

Well, we all know that saying about making plans, right?

I Have No Shame

Friday, September 16, 2016

Book Review: Running Home by Alisha Perkins

Why do you run?

Some of us run for fitness, to lose weight, or for fun. For many of us, running is therapy. I started running to manage anxiety and stress. So did Alisha Perkins. When Alisha reached out to me to ask me if I wanted to read her book, Running Home, for the book club, I immediately said yes.

Running Home by Alisha Perkins
Running Home: Big-League Wife - Small-Town Story

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

One of the things I fear most about getting older is being afraid to try new things.

You hear this a lot. Change is hard. The whole comfort zone thing.

One of my really good friends got a new car this year. Her previous car was 20+ years old. When I saw her new car, I was stunned. A Cadillac? Isn't that something our grandparents drove? Are we that old? But that isn't what bothered her. For her, the hardest part was getting used to all the technology. She didn't know how to work all the gadgets. She wanted her old car. It was comfortable. It was easy to operate. This new car "beeped at her", she said. She "hated it".

How did this happen? My fearless friend, afraid of a car?

It's funny, because, in my job as a pediatric nurse practitioner, the kids I see all have no fear. They bang on my computer. Grab the otoscope off the wall and play doctor. Operate their parents' phone like a tech expert.

What happens as we get older? How do we prevent ourselves from becoming fearful of new things, new experiences?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Running Back to Center

In spite of writing some rather humorous blog posts, I've been kind of a grump all week. As much as I try to stay positive, run, and pick up pennies, I just couldn't shake off my funk. As I sit here, summarizing my week of workouts, I keep thinking to myself: what the hell was wrong with me?

Nothing really bad happened this week. Actually, nothing bad at all. When I think about it, it was a good week.

I got in some really good runs. The foot is calm. There have been some twinges, just to remind me to not push myself too hard. Yoga was blissful. All's quiet on the home front--at least for now. And a cold front came through yesterday, blowing that humidity and heat out east. It feels a little like fall.

Running Back to Center

Friday, September 9, 2016

5 Favorite Ways to Refuel After a Run

Now that I'm back to "real" running again, it's time to also get back on track with eating. Not that I consider what I've been doing all summer as "fake" running, but when I'm not training for anything, I tend to slack off in all areas, including the nutrition department. Let's just say there's been more wine, more chocolate, and more ice cream consumed this summer than I care to admit. My husband doesn't realize that I have 2 boyfriends and their names are Ben and Jerry. Karamel Sutra, anyone?

Sounds naughty, doesn't it? I've been bad and it's time to behave. Too much food and treats make too much Wendy.

I do love me some good food, and you know that I don't like to deprive myself of anything. But with everything in life, I practice moderation. There will always be chocolate, wine, and ice cream in my life. I just need to exert a little self-control and make the right choices. Today's Friday Five theme is all about food and drink, and I wanted to share what works for me when I'm training.

5 Favorite Ways to Refuel After A Run

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Picking Up Pennies

On one of my runs this week, I found a penny. I stopped to pick it up and put it in my SpiBelt.

This isn't out of the ordinary for me--along with all the odd things I see on the run, I find a lot of change. I always stop to pick up any coins I see. You never know if it will bring you good luck, right?

Have you heard the saying, "Find a penny pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck"?

Do you think a dime gives 10x good luck? What about that $20 I found a few years back?

Running pays. In so many ways.

Picking Up Pennies

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Balanced and Back on Track

This is my favorite time of year. It's still warm enough to feel like summer, yet there is a change in the way it feels. Maybe it's the lower angle of the sun or those crisp, cool mornings, but it just feels different. Kind of the last hurrah of summer, in a sense.

Don't get me wrong, there will still be warm days into October. Trust me on that! All 3 Chicago Marathons I've run were warm ones. I like those warm fall days but not for running 26.2! But for shorter distances and bike rides, the cooler mornings and moderating warmth are a welcome change.

This past week, the heat broke and we had some spectacular conditions. I had some good runs and I walked the dog multiple times. She's enjoying these walks as much as me, although we've had to alter our schedule to accommodate the fading daylight. I'm looking forward to greeting the sun once again on my morning runs!

Balanced and Back on Track

Friday, September 2, 2016

Is This Thing On? 5 Fitness Photo Bloopers

It's FRIYAY! It's a holiday weekend! Let's get this party started!

As a follow-up to last week's post on taking photos for Instagram, I thought it might be fun to look at the things that can go wrong when taking fitness photos. Some blunders are glaringly obvious, but other boo-boos can be more subtle. As always, view your pictures with a critical eye. Before I share a picture on social media, I always like to ask myself: "is this something I'd want to look at?"

5 Fitness Photo Bloopers