Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Race Recap: Schaumburg Turkey Trot Half Marathon

Originally, I had plans to run 2 different half marathons this fall, the RnR Las Vegas Half and the Panama City Beach Half Marathon. Unfortunately, life happened and I had to change my plans. I hated to throw away all my training, so I looked for a local alternative. The Schaumburg Turkey Trot Half Marathon has always been a favorite and since I didn't have to work on race day, it was pretty much a no-brainer for me to sign up. My workout buddy Steph was all in, and having my friend to go with to the race made it a done deal.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Running on the Sunny Side of the Street

What a difference a week makes! Last week, I wrote about relentless rain and gray skies, about sucking it up and getting outside even though conditions were less than optimal. And then....the sun returned. This time of year, seeing the sun is a gift. We were so fortunate since this week we had sunny skies almost every day.

With a race coming up on Saturday, you know I watched that forecast closely. While I'm saving my race recap for Tuesday, I'll share that we had near perfect running conditions for the half marathon, which made for a near perfect run! This runner is thankful.

So how was my week of training?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Runfessions: The Gratitude Edition

Can you believe that it's the last Friday of November? And that it's already time to runfess again? For this month's runfessions, I thought it would be appropriate to share a few thankful runfessions. Kind of a Thanksgiving-themed runfessions, if you will. With a little side of snark, because that's how my runfessions roll.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

So, You Want to be a Brand Ambassador... I've Got 8 Things You Should Consider

Do you run in a particular brand of clothing? Use only one fuel religiously? Wrap your legs in compression? Have you ever considered representing your favorite brand and promoting their products through social media? It's that time of year when all the brands are calling out for runners to apply to their brand ambassador programs.

It's a lot of fun being a brand ambassador! I've been an ambassador for a variety of brands over the years. Currently, I am a brand ambassador for Inknburn, Tailwind, Momentum, and RockNRoll Races. There's more to representing a brand than just wearing their products or receiving freebies. If you are considering a brand ambassadorship, I've listed some things below to keep in mind before accepting.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Gray Skies Are Gonna Clear Up

If I could name a theme for this week, it would be rain and gray skies. Cold rain. Oh, and wind. If you live in the midwest, it's been a tough month to be an outdoor runner. When I published last week's post about sucking it up and getting outside, I had no idea that I'd have to continue to take my own advice to push myself out the door. Having a half marathon on the calendar helped keep me motivated--there was training to do!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Book Review: A Beautiful Work in Progress

This post contains affiliate links.

In her book, A Beautiful Work in Progress, Mirna Valerio aka "Fat Girl Running" shares why she started running:
"I had a health wake-up call that brought attention to the fact that I was stymied physically and mentally, and I was on my way to an early death. I began to progress again, as I reacquainted myself with the forward movement that is running. In addition, my health returned, and my smile became genuine again."
Valerio, aka The Mirnavator, initially started blogging to share her experiences as a "fat girl who ran". She didn't think she was unique in her journey and she didn't want it to become a weight loss blog or a pity party. What she learned was that as an overweight, African-American runner, she was crushing all kinds of stereotypes and beliefs about overweight people. She also learned that she has a body that is amazing, strong, flexible, and agile. A body that can run all types of distances. Mirna's memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress is a celebration of her journey towards body acceptance and self-love.

You don't have to struggle with weight to relate to Mirna's journey.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

12 Days of Running Gifts

Disclaimer: This post contains a few affiliate links.

It's that time of year again! My inbox has been filled with messages from marketing folks wanting me to include their products on my runners' holiday wish list. There have been some really interesting items, like doggy sunglasses and selfie sticks. So fun but so not what this runner is hoping to find under the tree come Christmas.

No matter how you celebrate the holidays, there have to be a few things that you are hoping to receive or at least buy for yourself. Some of these things I actually want, others are items I have and love, which means I hope you will want them for yourself!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sometimes You Just Gotta Suck it Up and Go

Up until a week or so ago, we were having a magnificent fall with warmer than normal temperatures and a deficit of precipitation. The sun has been shining almost daily. But the universe demands balance, right? So in exchange for all that environmental loveliness, we now have below normal bone-chilling temperatures, wind, and yes, precipitation. With no time to acclimate, it's been quite a shock and to get myself moving, I have had to rely on those cold weather motivational tips I posted on Friday.

I could write a whole whiny post about running in the cold and how much I hate it. Seriously, though, what good would that do? Yep, sometimes you just gotta suck it up and go. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

5 Ways to Talk Yourself into Running Outdoors in the Winter

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
And the treadmill is not delightful,
Since we've no choice but to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...
 ~taking liberties with Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let it Snow by Sammy Cahn

Here we are again. The days are shorter and for most of us, the temperatures are cooler. It's that time of year when the weather turns cold, the trees have shed their leaves, and the sun hides behind the clouds. It's hard to roll out of that warm bed and face the day, much less go outside for a run.

In the summer, I have no problem waking up early for a run. But when it's cold out? Steph asked me if I want to run at 6:15 on Saturday with her. I know I should, but getting up and out the door in the dark and cold is soooooo hard..... (can you hear me whining?) Can we go later?

You guys know I'm a die-hard treadmill-hating outdoor runner. But even as much as I'll run outdoors no matter what the weather, it doesn't mean that I'm always raring and ready to go! In the dead and dark of winter, there's plenty of self-talk and convincing that needs to happen before the running does. Here are some of the things I tell myself to get up and out the door when I'm not feeling it.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

8 Rockin' Songs for Your Running Pleasure

I've got 99 problems, but a running tune ain't one.

In an effort to ramp up my motivation, I've been updating my running playlist. Out with the old, stale songs and in with the new! There's nothing like a fresh mix of tunes to make your long runs feel fun again. Not being much of a pop music fan makes finding high energy songs a bit of a challenge. But I think you'll agree that my eclectic mix is interesting, to say the least.

It's like having a party on the run!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

And I Ran On Without Skipping a Beat

Feeling great after Sunday's Hot Chocolate 15k, I eased into the week and a new month. With a total of 89 miles for October, the month ended on a positive note, at least running-wise, and we headed into November!

The weather turned ugly, heck, life turned ugly, but the running didn't stop. Can't stop, won't stop. Fitness-wise, I had a good week.

Friday, November 3, 2017

5 Things I'd Tell You Over Coffee

I'm so glad you could meet me for coffee. It's been a while--a month, to be exact--and I have a lot to share with you! So pull up a seat and let me pour you a cup. Cream and sugar? Pumpkin spice? Splash of whiskey? Let's chat!