Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Running: The Healthy Addiction

"You talk about running a lot", my sister said to me last week. "Actually, you talk a lot!"

Guilty on both counts. When I started my blog, my Facebook page, my Pinterest, and Instagram, it was in an effort to channel my "obsession", aka my love for running and need to talk about it. Instead, it seems to have merely fueled the fire. I think I talk about it even more because I feel validated now. I get a lot of positive feedback on my blog, my Facebook page, and my Instagram page, and that just warms my heart. I have to remind myself that people who don't run might not get it or want to hear about it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Product Review: Mizuno Cold Weather Gear

Recently, I was asked to trial and review items from Mizuno's new cold weather line. The timing was right--as soon as the temperatures dropped, I received the Mizuno Women's Breath Thermo wave crew and gloves. When I saw the colors, I couldn't wait to try them out!

Mizuno's new Breath Thermo technology claims to use "heat generating technology" to keep a runner warm throughout the run. I was, as comes naturally to me, skeptical. The shirt is really thin. My skepticism soon disappeared as I worked up a pretty good sweat on my first run wearing the shirt!

When I finished my run, I examined the shirt more closely. Inside the shirt are special fibers that are meant to generate heat and wick away moisture. Those fibers also make the shirt soft inside. The shirt was very comfortable.

I wore the shirt on a few more runs to test it out again. I wanted to see if it would maintain the warmth and comfort after washing. The Wave Crew did not disappoint. It was about 38F when I wore it this time, and I was warm, even without any extra layers.

I really really like this shirt and would buy another one. There is also a 1/4 zip option. While I liked the fit (it is meant to be a base layer), some might find it a bit snug. If you like your running clothes a little looser, I'd recommend sizing up. The shirt comes in a variety of colors. 

Mizuno also sent me a pair of gloves to try. The Breath Thermo Warmalite Gloves also have the special weave. There is a touch screen forefinger on each glove, which I tested out multiple times while taking these pictures. Both gloves have pockets on the top of the hand, which are large enough to store a key or money. The stripes are reflective.

The Breath Thermo technology worked well in the gloves--my hands were warm, even on a 28 degree morning run. My only complaint about the gloves is that they seem to run large. I received size medium--I have medium sized hands--and they were kind of loose. I would have preferred a more snug fit. Mizuno also offers a glove with a windproof lobster claw mitten.

The Mizuno Breath Thermo technology is also available in socks, arm warmers, headbands, and hats. All the accessories come in a variety of colors. I'd like to try the socks for those brutally cold winter mornings.

Disclaimer: As an ambassador for Fitfluential, I received the Mizuno Breath Thermo Wave Crew and Warmalite Gloves in exchange for my completely unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

What cold weather gear do you like? Gloves or mittens? Crew shirt or 1/4 zip?

I'm linking up with Marcia, Patti, and Erica for Tuesdays on the Run as well as Debbie, Rachel, Lora, and Susie for Coaches Corner and Nicole for Fit Fashionable Friday! Also with Best of the Blogs!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanks for the Miles

Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on all that is good. At our family gathering, we each take a turn to express our gratitude for the blessings in our lives. I'm a big believer in silver linings. In spite of some tough breaks this year, there was just so much good that came out of every bad situation and I'm so grateful for that.

I'm also grateful to be ending this year on a high note, with regards to running and fitness. Instead of recovering from a fall marathon and dialing down my mileage, I'm gearing up for my final race of the year. Next weekend, I'm traveling to Florida to run the Panama City Beach half marathon with a few of my fellow bloggers. Without all the miles I've normally run by this time of year, my legs feel fresh and young. This week was the best running week I've had all this year. I'm hoping to ride that wave (pun intended!) all the way to the finish line of this waterfront race!

Taking the Long Way Home

Friday, November 25, 2016

Runfessions for November

It's the day after Thanksgiving and I'm recovering from my food coma. Actually, I'm recovering from my workout with the rugby team. Oh, I'll share more of that on my Sunday post.

Did you overdo it yesterday? Did you get into any heated discussions with family members? Or worse? Well, if you have anything to share, you're in luck. Today is the last Friday of the month which means it's Runfessions! Go ahead, share it all with us. We understand and we don't judge. Come on in. You'll feel so much better. I always do...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I'm Grateful for Running Bargains!

While for most of the country, Thanksgiving is time for families to get together and break bread, for runners, Thanksgiving means only one thing.

Turkey Trots!

Are you running one? This year, I'm not. I'm traveling to Florida next week for the Panama City Beach Half Marathon, and I don't want to risk aggravating my PF or that Baker's cyst or who knows what else! I will run Thanksgiving morning, though. I normally run on Thursdays, plus I want to fire up the old calorie burner so I can eat all the food!

Thanksgiving also marks the start of the holiday shopping season. I've already seen Christmas decorations up around the 'hood and stores have had their holiday displays up since Halloween. But I just can't get excited about holiday shopping until the day after Thanksgiving!

In the spirit of the holiday season, and with Black Friday looming large, I wanted to share a few deals with you for the runner in your life! I've got a couple of discount codes and bargains. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

As I reflect back on the week, a few quotes seem fitting:

"You can run away from your problems, but you're just gonna find new ones that pop up." -Zoey Deschanel (New Girl)

"Run away, run away..." -Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"When I was a kid, I wanted to be older. This shit is not what I expected. " -unknown

Friday, November 18, 2016

Book Review: The Inner Runner by Jason Karp

Ask any seasoned runner and they will tell you that running is more than putting one foot in front of the other. I've heard many runners say that running is mostly mental. And if you've followed me for any length of time, you know that I've chronicled my struggle with mental toughness here on the blog.

When I saw Jason Karp's newest book, The Inner Runner, I knew I had to read it. The subtitle alone: Running to a More Succesful, Confident, and Creative You--it spoke to me. Who couldn't use more confidence and success? We runners all know that running is good for more than our body. Karp does a nice job putting what we all know into words.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What's All the Fuss About?

This week's Wednesday Word is hullabaloo and I promised myself not to go for the obvious. It's as if Debbie looked into her crystal ball and knew we needed this word for this particular point in time. Sorry. Nope, I'm not going to even mention any current events. It would have made for an easy blog post, but we all are sooooo tired of it.

Ok, I'll go there, briefly...

The Rock was named "Sexiest Man Alive" by People Magazine. He's sweet! He exfoliates! But does he run?

Really, why all the hullabaloo? Hullabaloo is a million dollar word, worthy of something big. Hullabaloo is an onomatopoeia! Which means I don't even have to define it. What's worthy of a hullabaloo from the running perspective? What do runners like to make a fuss about? How's that for a segue? You tell me what you think...

Taking the Long Way Home

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Keep Calm and Run On!

After the events of last week we all need a mantra. Once the election was over, I thought that things would be more civilized but the opposite has occurred. Protests, petitions, and nastiness has prevailed this week. I'm moving on. It's not that I don't care. It's that I can't expend any more mental energy on the election results. And so I run on. Namaste.

Taking the Long Way Home

Friday, November 11, 2016

If I Didn't Run...

This week has really sucked the joy out of a lot of us. While this is not even remotely a political blog, I was stunned and saddened by the election results. To me, it felt like a bad dream. But what's done is done, and life goes on. The sun came up the next morning. I felt grateful for all that is good in my life. My family, my friends, my coworkers, and my dog.

I also felt grateful for running. No matter how busy I am, no matter how tired I am, I always make sure I get outside and run. Running is my therapy, my muse, my love--I can't imagine getting through life without running. Today's Friday Five 2.0 prompt asks: what activities would you do besides running? What would make me happy if I didn't run?

Not run? Now that's a bad dream! Not really. In all seriousness, there are other things in my life that could fulfill me. And none of them have to do with work.

Taking the Long Way Home

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Fall marathon season is slowly winding down. One of my favorite times of the year, I've been reading a lot of marathon recaps. It never gets old. I find a lot of inspiration from my fellow bloggers. Sure, some runners make it look easy. Wouldn't that be nice? Most of us know that running a marathon isn't easy.

There's something special about crossing that finish line. All those miles training and it comes down to one day. Your training may have gone perfectly and suddenly, you have hip pain. Or you have tummy issues and need to make multiple portapotty stops. Maybe it's the weather. No matter what the circumstances, the marathon is where you are forced to dig deep and drive to the finish line.

Skipping the race? Nope.

Quitting? Not an option.

Taking the Long Way Home

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Running On the Sunny Side of the Street

The amazing fall that we have been having continues into November. With the exception of one rainy day, this week was sunny and warm. Perfect running conditions...perfect conditions for trick or treating...perfect conditions to celebrate a Cubs World Series win...perfect conditions for just about anything. Doesn't everything feel good when the sun is shining?

Friday, November 4, 2016

Loving....Not Loving...

Holy Cow! As longtime Cubs announcer Harry Caray once said, "sure as God made green apples, someday the Chicago Cubs are going to be in the World Series". You'd have to be living under a rock not to know about this improbable win for my hometown team.

But that's not all I'm loving lately! This week's Friday Five v2.0 link up theme is "all about me". It's been a while since I did a loving/not loving post, and so today, I share 5 things that I'm loving but not loving!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Runners, We Get Each Other

The best thing about writing this blog, and the reason I started it, is to reach other runners. The idea was to connect with people who understand me. Instead of telling me I'm obsessed, you all encourage me. When I'm hurt, you feel me. Training? You advise me. Mishaps? Runfessions? Chafing? Runners' trots? You get me.

You are my people.

My family doesn't want to hear about it. My friends pretend to want to hear it. They all politely ask me about running. It's like waving a steak under a dog's nose. I'm so eager, so excited, so passionate about my running that I can hardly hold it in. I vomit up a dialogue of my past runs and then...

Their eyes glaze over. 

Taking the Long Way Home