Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Color Runs...

Autumn in the Midwest is the season of color. Sure, it's nice to see green in the spring after the white and gray of winter, but fall is when things really pop around here. In a sense, it's nature's last hurrah before shedding its foliage and getting ready for winter. Seems ironic, right? Just when it's getting cold, gray, and drab, the trees decide to get naked. Who thought this was a good idea? Don't we need color in the winter?

I don't make the rules, I just live here. And I'm savoring every last moment of nature's show before winter takes over. Not only are the leaves colorful, but the sky has been giving us a nice show in the morning and at night.

This past week was peak season for the colors and I savored it--both on the road and off. Even on the cloudy days, the colors of the leaves made me happy. My weekly training summary is all about the colors of fall!

Taking the Long Way Home

Friday, October 28, 2016

Runfessions: October Edition

October is winding down and that means only one's time to head into the Runfessional again! This is my favorite time of the month because I get to share all my indiscretions and wipe the slate clean for another month. Marcia hosts this fun link up and there are a lot of juicy 'fessions being shared. You don't want to miss out...

Taking the Long Way Home

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Nuisance Inside My Head

No sooner did I sign up for Grandma's Marathon did the voices in my head start their relentless chatter:

"You can't do another marathon."
"You're too old to do another marathon."
"That PF is going to come roaring back."
"Seriously? Another marathon?"
"What are you trying to prove?"
"What are you thinking?"

Do you know these voices? Ever heard those comments? Do you ignore them or succumb?

Those voices used to get under my skin. At this point, as I consider my 5th marathon, I just look at them as just a nuisance.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Running Into Fall

Fall has finally arrived in the midwest. It was slow to come--summer just didn't want to let go. The foliage is starting to turn into those beautiful colors we wait for. While it was still very warm at the beginning of the week, the temperatures settled into what is considered "normal" for late October. This is the best time of year to be a runner. The scenery is a feast for the eyes, and with cooler temperatures, it's the return of long sleeves, tights, and thumbholes!

The only bad thing about fall is that we know what's next. But let's not think about that. Here are some of the highlights from my week on the road and the mat.

Taking the Long Way Home

Friday, October 21, 2016

Book Review: Run the World by Becky Wade

Imagine that you were told you could travel anywhere to explore running. You have a year to complete your journey. Where would you go?

Becky Wade, named "America's Best Young Marathoner" by Runner's World in 2013 after winning the California International Marathon, got such an opportunity. After graduating from Rice University, she applied for a Watson fellowship, which provided funding for a year of "purposeful and independent exploration and travel". Becky wanted to plan her journey around running and different cultures. She was curious about how runners around the world lived and trained.

Becky shares her stories in her book Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

You Might Be A Runportunist... 1/10/20

You know, most runners are decent people. To a fault. We report our runs, our race times to the second. Share our distances to show that we didn't cut the course. We set goals and share our trials and tribulations as we try to meet those goals. We talk as much about our stumbles as we do our triumphs. We support each other in our victories and our failures. We may even overshare some of the details. Because that is the nature of our sport.

Yet, there are runners who aren't quite so decent. Runners who cut corners to advance themselves. Runners who build themselves up while taking others down. Runners who take advantage of opportunities.

Are you a runportunist?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Reflections on the Long Run

I've been working on building up my mileage again. Having suffered from plantar fasciitis for the past year, I took some time off and seriously reduced my mileage after I ran the Big Sur Marathon in April. While I can't say I'm 100% recovered, I'm pleased to report that my foot has remained mostly quiet since I've started running more again. I've become cautiously optimistic.

This morning I had a 12 mile run to do. I never formally train for a half marathon but I do work on upping my miles from my base and adding in some speed work to make sure I have enough endurance to go the distance. I woke up to thunderstorms and pouring rain. I was also feeling a little sluggish after indulging in an amazing pasta dish last night for dinner. The restaurant was very generous with its wine pours and I may have had more than I should.

So my motivation to complete this 12 mile run this morning was around zero. I laid in bed for a while and pondered the mysteries of life. Not really. I just did some mental gymnastics to convince myself that I needed to run. After a cup of coffee, I reluctantly filled my Tailwind bottle. I shared my itinerary with my husband, told him I'd be back in about 2 hours, and headed to the bike path.

Reflections on the Long Run

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Gift of Running

We all run for different reasons. But I bet if you polled a large group of runners, you'd learn that most of us run for at least one reason besides fitness. I'm fairly sure that most of us recreational runners run for stress relief.

That's why I started this journey over 25 years ago. Running has been the best medicine for me. My type A personality lends itself to feeling overwhelmed. Running has always helped me sort that out. Nine times out of 10, I end a run feeling much better than when I started.

Until I don't.

But there's always something good in every run.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

When Running Rubs You the Wrong Way

While spectating Sunday's Chicago Marathon, Marcia commented on a guy running by with bloody nipples. I was busy scanning the crowd for our runners and of course, missed that spectacle.

"It's only mile 13," she commented. "He's going to have a tough race!" Indeed.

I thought about this. So many jokes have been made about bloody nipples that I didn't think it was a thing anymore. Apparently, that guy didn't get the memo about prevention.

Of course, if you are a long distance runner, you've experienced some sort of chafing. Sweat +friction=chafing. Hopefully, for most of us, it's not bloody nipples (ladies, am I right?). But it's the rare runner who hasn't experienced some sort of skin irritation in areas unknown.

Unknown, that is, until the post-race shower....

When Running Rubs You the Wrong Way

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Chicago Marathon Weekend: Perspective from the Sidelines

You know how I have that tagline at the top of my blog? The one that says "because sitting on the sidelines is no fun"? After this past weekend, I may need to issue a retraction. Because this weekend, being on the sidelines was a blast!

Last spring, I made the difficult (for me) decision not to enter the lottery for the Chicago Marathon. With Big Sur ahead of me at the time and my struggles with plantar fasciitis, I didn't want to get a spot and have to give it up due to injury. I thought it would be a good idea to take some time off and let my foot calm down.

Marcia and I made plans to spectate the marathon and the experience didn't disappoint. I may have to be a sideline sitter more often!

Friday, October 7, 2016

How the Friday 5 Messes with My Head

I have to start this post first by saying how much I love the ladies of the DC Trifecta. Today's post is not a slight at them at all. Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia host a fun and successful blog link up every Friday called the Friday Five. Their fitness-based link up has a loose "fitness-related" theme every Friday, but is built on the premise of writing about 5 things to fit the theme.

I've been participating in the link up for as long as I've been blogging, which is almost 3 years. I've met a lot of bloggers through this link up and the link up has sent a lot of traffic my way. I've also learned a lot about the art of blogging--both writing and interacting with other bloggers.

The funny thing about writing all these posts with 5 things in them is that it's started to get into my head. I'm all about those fives...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Best Kind of Run

Have you ever had one of those runs where you finished and you just felt completely fulfilled?

Maybe it wasn't particularly special. Or maybe it was. Was the sun shining? Or was it cloudy? Did you run fast or slow?

Or did it just feel good?

That was my run on Sunday.

The Best Kind of Run

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sisters, Doing it for Themselves

It's always hard to come back to reality after a really fun trip! My trip to Austin with my sister was a whirlwind of activity, food, and fun. Because even out of town, the workouts don't stop. I'm sharing some of the highlights of our trip on this post.

I'm also sharing a synopsis of the last 2 weeks of workouts. Since I was out of town last weekend, I didn't publish my usual weekly wrap-up post. In the interest of brevity, there won't be a lot of workout details in this post, but if you follow me on Instagram (and you should!), then you know I've been moving and posing.