async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: August 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

3 Reasons I Can't Run Naked

**Thanks to Courtney at Eat, Pray, Run, DC for the inspiration! This post contains affiliate links.

A few years ago, I told my husband I wanted an Apple Watch for my birthday and he asked me why. "You don't need it", he said. Truth. But I wanted one. I do love my gadgets and the Apple Watch was no different. I had high hopes for the Apple Watch. I thought it could be my every watch, my all-in-one running gadget. Well, not so much. While I love my Apple Watch for its functionality, I still rely on my Garmin to keep my running stats. I've got a few other gadgets that I don't hit the road without as well.

This post is all about my 3 favorite running gadgets. Because even if I tried to hit the road without clothes, I couldn't leave home without my gear.

Naked running? No one wants to see that.



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Juggling the Weekly Workout Routine

When I think about it, I'm pretty regimented with my weekly schedule. Between working out and going to work, I've got everything very well synchronized. Even when everything falls into place, my routine is a delicate balancing act. It doesn't take much to throw my schedule off track. Summer is especially a challenge. Flexibility is the key. All summer long, I've been moving my workouts around, getting up early just to get them in, or worst case scenario, skipping a workout altogether. Between vacations and fun outings, I've had to do a lot of juggling with my workout schedule. This week was no different.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Runfessions: August Style

Hello? How did we already get to the end of August? The end of summer? The only thing that makes me realize we're there is that I have SO MUCH to runfess. It's almost scary how much builds up over the month. Thankfully, Marcia opens the runfessional every month and she doesn't even hand out a penance. Whew!

On with the cleansing...



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Let's Talk about Inflammation

Disclaimer: Through my affiliation with Mambo Sprouts, I received GOPO Rosehip with Galactolipids as well as compensation in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

As a runner and an athlete, I am very familiar with inflammation. While physical activity is generally anti-inflammatory, endurance training or high-intensity training can lead to oxidative stress, increasing the production of free radicals, which leads to an inflammatory response by the body. You might notice this as soreness, swelling, or tiredness. If you take it easy after a tough workout or event, you start to feel better. But if you keep pushing yourself, over time, this inflammation can affect the immune system and make the athlete more prone to fatigue, illness, and injury. (source) Clearly, athletes have to find a balance in their training to prevent inflammation from becoming chronic. That isn't always easy to do when training for an event that requires a high output for a prolonged period of time.

Athletes can prevent oxidative stress and inflammation to a certain extent through supplements and diet. Certain foods are known for causing inflammation, while others are known for helping reduce inflammation. There has been a lot of research demonstrating the benefits of tart cherry juice, blueberries, and quercetin, which is found in many fruits and vegetables. I've shared my love for my morning smoothies--I try to eat the rainbow every week all in the name of fighting inflammation.

What about supplements? Is there anything an endurance athlete can take to help prevent inflammation and/or reduce inflammation after a tough workout?



Sunday, August 20, 2017

Every Day I'm Shuffling....

Shake that!

How was your week? For me, fitness-wise, there was running and yoga and CrossFit. But I also had oral surgery, which also sort of felt like a workout. During the procedure, there was sweating and my heart rate was elevated...aerobic, right?

Anyways, the procedure went well and I was very relieved when it was done. I spent the rest of the day on the couch with an ice pack on my face. Thankfully I felt well enough to return to work on Friday and I hit the road on Saturday with Steph for a long run.

But I'm getting ahead of myself...



Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Review: Fitness Junkie

Disclaimer: I received a pre-release copy of Fitness Junkie from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are, of course, my own.

For this month's Book Club Read, I decided to go with a fun, lighthearted book--dare I call it "chick-lit"-- that would be perfect at the beach or the pool. I was fortunate that Fitness Junkie was released in July, just in time for a lazy summer read! Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, who took the fashion industry to task with their satirical novel, The Knockoff: A Novelgive the fitness industry the same treatment. Spoiler alert: If you aren't a fan of snarky humor, then you just might not like this one.



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How To Be a Complete Jerk at a Race

We've all seen them. Race jerks. Some of us might have other names for them. Anyone who has run a road race knows what I'm talking about. And if you don't, well maybe, you're a race jerk.

A race jerk? That would be a person who is guilty of one or all of the offenses I've listed below. If you've done any or all of these things, it doesn't necessarily make you a jerk. Maybe you've done something once, by accident. Oops! Live and learn right? Did anyone call you out on your behavior? Or did you realize that you crossed a line and became a jerk?

If you do any of these things repeatedly and/or intentionally, that might make you a jerk. We seem to be living in a time of narcissism. Sure, we all want the most of our race experiences. I get that. Life is short and it's all about living to the fullest. Everyone feels this way. Let's run together and make it fun for all.



Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Beat Goes On...

You would think that after such an epic week last week, I'd be in recovery mode.You would be right.

As I sit down to write my recap, I can't help but reflect on the ordinariness of my week. Even though it was a good week, after all the activities I've participated in this summer, I feel like I've got nothing exciting to share. While the low-key week was much needed, we've still got a few more weeks until the official end of summer and I plan on making the most of it.



Friday, August 11, 2017

Picking a Race? 5 Deal Breakers that Make Me Say: No Thanks

I've run a lot of races over the years. Some races are favorites, races that I will return to year after year. Other races are one and done. When I'm considering signing up for a race, not only do I check out the race organizer's website, I also check out recaps written by other runners. Races are expensive and I want to get the best experience for my dollar.

I always try to keep things positive here on the blog but for this post, I wanted to share 5 of the biggest deal breakers that might make me say no to a race. If nothing else, these are things that are going to make me hesitate before I sign up.



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Race Recap: Shake and Bake 5k Run

When Holly invited me to visit her and water ski, I asked her to find a race for us to run. I couldn't go all the way to Alabama without running a race, right? Apparently, finding a race in August in the south is a bit of a challenge. Kind of like finding a race here in Chicago in the middle of winter. Holly found a 5k, the Shake and Bake. The price was right: $20. Even though I haven't run a 5k in years, I was glad for that distance because I was a little fearful of running in the heat and humidity down south!



Sunday, August 6, 2017

Runners Just Wanna Have Fun

Am I right?

After last week's RA flare, I was slapped into reality. Laying on the couch last Monday, struggling to move without pain, all I could think was "this is really happening!" followed by "this is NOT really happening!" I was mad and sad all over again. I'm sorry to put it out there, but guys, this is so not fair. I've got things to do and places to be, and spending my days on the couch is not on the plan. Fortunately, the steroids that my rheumatologist prescribed kicked in fairly quickly and I was back on road and the water sooner than I expected. This summer has been filled with water sports and this past weekend was no exception!



Friday, August 4, 2017

5 Things I'd Tell You Over Coffee

Good morning! Let's have a cuppa, shall we? I'm not much for conversation until I've had at least one and maybe even 2 cups of coffee. I sure do look forward to it, though. I'm especially excited about taking my coffee in this mug I picked up after our epic adventure in Door County last month. Killer coffee? Could have been...

Do you take cream and sugar?


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

8 Ways to Cope When You Can't Run

I've been doing really great, I think, since my diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis in December. I've run a 10 mile race and 2 half marathons. This summer, I came in 1st in my age group in a local 10k. While I haven't been symptom-free, I've had relatively mild symptoms. Any flare ups have been short lived and easily managed. I thought I had this thing in the bag.

Until I didn't.