Friday, October 19, 2018

Book Review: What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan

This post contains affiliate links.

I chose this month's book club selection, What Made Maddy Run, based on its connection to running. As I read it, I realized that the book was less about running and more about growing up in a life filled with the pursuit of perfection. Maddy just happened to be a track standout. But her struggles were more about her adjustment to college and as an Ivy League athlete.

It was a dilemma. Do I choose another book that was more of a traditional "running book", the kind that my blog readers are accustomed to? Or do I review this book, less about running and more about the struggles of coming of age in a competitive world? The book is also about the impact social media has on how we see ourselves.

This book was so well written and the subject matter too important to pass up. I think you'll agree.



Tuesday, October 16, 2018

8 of Best Things I've Seen at a Race

I've run a lot of races and they are all memorable, not just for my own experiences but for what I've seen during the race. I've been passed by lots of superheroes and costumed runners. I saw Dr Dribble, a guy known for dribbling a basketball for entire marathons. I always push the power button on those signs and I high five all the little kids. These spectacles and sightings help keep things light and take my mind off my own misery, especially during a marathon.

Since a marathon is 26.2 miles, runners have plenty of time to take in the sights. If you've never run a big city marathon, it's an experience unlike any other. Besides the running, the entire experience is entertaining. I've run all the distances, but for some reason, it's my marathon experiences that stay with me the most.

Today I'm sharing some of the best things I've seen while running races. Thanks to Tuesdays on the Run for this great writing prompt that gave me a fun ride down memory lane.



Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Roll of the Dice

Disclaimer: I received a case of YQ by Yoplait yogurt in exchange for my honest review.

This week really was up for grabs. Nothing went as planned, but it was a great week. Sometimes that's just the way it goes. I'm not much of a gambler, but a runner's gotta just roll with it. Which is what I did...



Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday Fartlek

Happy FriYAY!

I didn't have a topic for today's post, in fact, I'm in kind of a blogging slump lately. I have a few drafts in the folder but I'm just not feeling those posts right now. I always have stuff on my mind, though. In the spirit of the Friday Five and keeping it brief, I thought I'd do a post of 5 random things.

So here's what's on my mind...



Sunday, October 7, 2018

Run Is All You Need

What a tough week--at least off the road, it was. I'm just so disheartened by current events. Mocking and lying seem to pass for acceptable conduct these days. If it weren't for this blog, I'd be inactivating my Facebook account. Instead of seeing running posts and posts about family, my feed this week was filled with contentious political posts and memes--from both sides.

What's a runner to do?

Shut it down. Log off. Get outside. Go for a run. Repeat.

It's all you need.


Friday, October 5, 2018

Coffee Talk

This post contains affiliate links.

The temperatures have dropped, rain is falling, and it's the perfect morning to catch up over coffee. We could run, but running in the cold rain isn't much fun, right? How do you want your coffee? I've got half and half and GLG Collagen Hydrolysate to spoon in--do you want to try it?

Before we pour our coffee, I'm going to put it out there...I'm beside myself with is happening in Washington. Actually, I'm sick over it. I don't want to ruin our coffee date with negativity and I won't say any more than that. I think most of you know me and where I stand. All I can say is make sure you vote this November. It really does make a difference.

Ok, moving on. Tell me what's new in your world?

Thank you to Holly for this fun mug! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

There Goes My Dream of Running Boston..

Unless you weren't paying attention, you know that last week the Boston Athletic Association announced new Boston Marathon Qualifier Acceptances (BQs) for the 2020 Boston Marathon. Runners are getting faster, applications to run the Boston Marathon have increased, and the gap between the qualifying marathon times and the finish times that were accepted grew to 4:52 minutes.

We all knew this was coming. The number of running friends who "BQ'd" but didn't make the cut increased every year. The new standards should help runners training for a BQ have a better chance of being accepted. The previous BQ times have been adjusted down by 5 minutes. I wonder how long this standard will hold? And will it prevent or encourage cheaters?

The new standards make my Boston Qualifying time 4 hours 5 minutes. Since I'm no longer running marathons, it's kind of a non-issue. But the new qualifying times got me thinking again. I always said that if I was going to run another marathon, it would be Boston.



Sunday, September 30, 2018

Running from Hot to Cold

After taking a complete week off to recover from my half marathon, this week I returned to running and CrossFit. I rarely take time off to recover after a race--in fact, the only time I can recall taking time off from working out is after my marathons. This time I really needed the break. I'm glad I did it because I was actually looking forward to running again. As the weather became more temperate, I had some really nice confidence boosting runs.

What a difference a 40 degree drop in temperatures makes! But wouldn't it be nice if it could be cold in the mornings for our runs and then warm up nicely for the rest of the day?



Friday, September 28, 2018

Runfessions: September

It's the last Friday in September, which can only mean one thing...Runfessions! It's been an eventful month over here at TTLWH and I've got plenty of things to runfess. Sigh. My soles are always black this time of the month.

Do you runfess? If you don't, you need to jump in. Marcia keeps the runfession open and the penance is easy. Just share your running-related transgressions with the rest of us. We get you.

Ok, I'm going in. See you in a bit...



Tuesday, September 25, 2018

5 Taprooms: Whiling Away a Saturday Afternoon on Chicago's Northwest Side

Last weekend, I tried to convince my husband to take me to the Cubs v White Sox game, the Crosstown classic. The ultimate rivalry, Chicago's two baseball teams, northside vs southside, promised to be full of excitement. The Cubs are on the cusp of winning the division and the White Sox are in the bottom of theirs with nothing to gain but pride. Knowing all this, I still couldn't talk him into going to the game. I even played the "it's my birthday and our anniversary card." Nope, no way.

It was a gorgeous fall day and instead, we made the trek into the city to check out some of the many taprooms that have popped up in the city. We planned our journey the night before and with the exception of Half Acre, limited ourselves to five taprooms all located on the northwest side of the city. Our oldest son, who recently turned 21, wanted to join us. 

Our impromptu tour ended up being a lot of fun and in my book, was a great way to spend a sunny afternoon in the city!



Sunday, September 23, 2018

The 6 R's of Recovery

Disclaimer: This post contains a few affiliate links.

After last weekend's racing and waterskiing, I knew that I was going to need some time to recover. I planned on taking a couple days off and then slowly returning to running mid-week. My body had other plans and on Wednesday, I made the decision to take the rest of the week off all activities except for yoga. Not only was I completely exhausted, but I also started having some symptoms of an impending RA flare. Rather than poke the bear, I did my best to keep those symptoms down to a dull roar.

Since I don't have a lot of activity to report for the Weekly Wrap, I wanted to share how I do recovery like a boss by following the 6 Rs. And by the way, I have zero regrets about pushing myself last weekend!



Friday, September 21, 2018

Book Review: Endure by Alex Hutchinson

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

As a long distance runner, I've always been fascinated by the subject of endurance. Especially because running long distances has never come easily to me. While I was able to train for and run several marathons, I never understood the science behind the training. Why is the long run 20 miles? Why do some runners do more than one long run? Is carb loading really necessary?

I trained for my PR marathon using an unconventional combination of running and interval training in the CrossFit box. My coach pushed me hard, hoping to get in my head--in a good way. It worked. When naysayers dissed me, I always commented that "endurance is endurance".

As it turns out, I was right. There's also a mind/body connection. Endurance isn't as simple as it might seem.

I've been a long time fan of Alex Hutchinson, who has been writing his Sweat Science column first for Runner's World and now at Outside Magazine. Being a skeptic of bad science, I have always appreciated his very thorough analysis of the research on all things running. When I saw that he was releasing a book on endurance, I was really looking forward to reading it. I knew that Endure would be thoroughly researched and after reading it, I am not disappointed.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Race Recap: ZOOMA Great Lakes Half Marathon

I ran my first ZOOMA half marathon in 2014. That race took place in Chicago on the lakefront path. You can read my recap here. It wasn't a race I planned on repeating. Fast forward to this winter when the ZOOMA race series made plans to return to the area, but instead with the race taking place in Lake Delavan, Wisconsin. That sparked interest in me. The original ZOOMA race was in nearby Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and I had never run a race in that area. Also, the race series had been purchased by a new promoter and they hired Erika Howder, who blogs at MCMMamaRuns, to be in charge of the expo and the ambassadors.

That sealed the deal. I wanted in.

I submitted an application to be a race ambassador, was chosen to be a national ambassador, and before I knew it, race day was here!



Sunday, September 16, 2018

Hanging On To Summer

It's hard to believe that we are in the middle of September--it feels more like late August! But the leaves are starting to turn and the days are growing shorter, signs that fall is right around the corner. These warm late summer days are a gift. I tried to squeeze as many outdoor activities in as I could this week. I'm not ready to let go!

no filter for this sunset!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Loving...Not Loving

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

It's time once again for another edition of Loving...Not Loving. This is the where I talk about the things I love but whomp, whomp...there's something not to love.




Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Is it Cheating? 9 Things Runners Do that Might Be Sketchy

We live in a time of unprecedented cheating--in school, in life, and in sports. Everyone wants to get ahead at any cost. With regards to running, it's become so out of control that there's a website devoted to runners who cheat in road races.

In the running world, cheaters are more the exception than the rule. Most of us aren't in this sport to win. We run for the love of the sport. We run for fitness. We run for the bling. But there are things that most of us are doing that could be considered cheating. For us recreational runners, what's the concern? It's not as if we're going to win the race, right? Are we really hurting anyone besides ourselves?

What do you think?



Sunday, September 9, 2018

Life Goes On...

With the passing of Labor Day, we've unofficially left summer behind. Sadly, it rained all Labor Day weekend and we weren't able to get out on the water one last time. When you live in the Midwest, summer is so short. We try to squeeze in as much as we can, but it never feels like enough. My oldest son and I did get up to Madison to visit my youngest and drop off a few more things. While I did ok saying goodbye after our initial drop off, this time was much more difficult for both of us. I think it felt more real.

I was feeling pretty low this week--missing my boy. You know who really missed him? My pup Cocoa. She was really quiet all week, sleeping a lot and not really eating much. By Friday, she seemed much more like herself. We're all adjusting to our new norm. I was really busy at work and that helped keep my mind occupied. Life goes on.



Friday, September 7, 2018

My Top 3 Moments of the Summer and a Momentum Wraps Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I was given the Momentum Wraps fall collection in exchange for this blog post. All opinions and content are mine.

Summer is winding down and fall is creeping in. It feels too soon, doesn't it? The arrival of Pumpkin Spice Lattes is a sure sign that fall is just around the corner. On our most recent trip to Wisconsin, we spied some trees with the leaves changing colors. Say it isn't so!

I had a great summer. I traveled, I ran, I spent a lot of time on the water. I made a lot of memories this summer. As I get older, collecting moments and memories means a lot more to me than collecting things. During our predictably cold, endless winter, I'll have a lot of warm weather fun to look back on!

For this post, I stopped by the water to do some yoga and reflect on what were my top 3 moments of the summer. It wasn't easy to narrow it down to just 3!



Sunday, September 2, 2018

Running is My Therapy

I am sure that somewhere in the archives here there is another post titled: Running is My Therapy. Maybe more than one. I run for many reasons but top on my list of reasons is stress relief. While not all stress is bad, and certainly this week's stressor of dropping my baby off at college was a positive stressor, stress is stress and this mama needed to run! Fortunately, my body cooperated with some really nice runs and helped me to stay cool and calm throughout my week.


Friday, August 31, 2018

Runfessions Over Coffee

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

It's so hard to believe that Labor Day weekend is upon us. Summer just flew by for me and what a fun summer it has been! The end of the month always means one thing to us running bloggers--the runfessional is open. Let's runfess over coffee while we're at it.

I've got a fresh pot brewing and some GLG Collagen Hydrolysate to mix in. Cocoa thinks she likes coffee too. I've got some runfessions--and since we're 'fessing over coffee, I've got some other 'fessions too!



Sunday, August 26, 2018

Accept No Limits

This week, I continued to push out of the comfort zone and challenging any limits--physical or mental-- that have been holding me back from reaching some goals. I'm not sure what's behind all of this, but I have been having fun!

It's been a busy week and I apologize for my lack of posting. We've got my youngest leaving for college this week and lots of other things going on. Summer's like that. I'll be back to my regular blogging schedule after Labor Day.



Sunday, August 19, 2018

...Because Sitting on the Sidelines is No Fun

First of all, an apology. Holly and I were set to go live at 4:30 today. I texted her at 2:30 to tell her I wouldn't be ready. I had a post prepared and ready to go. Then, on a whim, both my boys and I joined my husband and his father for a fun weekend on Lake Wisconsin. It's been a full 3 years since we've been able to do this. The boys are busy with their friends and work, we don't want to leave them home alone, and fast forward to a Friday night when we all realized that we could make this happen.

I don't have to tell you how special this was for me or how much fun it was. We didn't want to leave. Sadly, the boat told us that it was time to go when it finally stopped being able to pull my boys out of the water. We gave the boat quite a workout. We skied, we wakeboarded, we kneeboarded. While my husband manned the boat, we each took our turns behind the boat. No one wanted to stop. My oldest son not only wakeboarded but got up for the first time on one ski and did some slaloming. I have no doubt that if the boat hadn't been such a jerk, my youngest would have gotten up on one ski as well. It was one of those weekends that warms a mom's heart.

Now you know why my tagline for this blog is 'sitting on the sidelines is no fun'. I never wanted to be that mom sitting on the bench, watching my boys have fun. I want to be right there, having fun with them. My heart is full.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Thanks for your understanding! Now, on with the Weekly Wrap!



Friday, August 17, 2018

Book Review: Living with a Seal: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet

This post contains affiliate links. 

A while back, Allie, who blogs at VITA Train for Life, reviewed Jesse Itzler's book Living with a Seal. She loved it and after reading her review, I was intrigued. Who on earth would invite a Navy Seal to live with them as a means to get in shape?

Jesse Itzer, entrepreneur and successful businessman wanted to get whipped into shape and he was looking for some mental toughness, so he chose Navy SEAL David Goggins, aka The Toughest Man Alive to train him. Goggins agreed to train Itzler but only on one condition: that Itzler does everything he said.

And he meant EVERYTHING.

This guy is hardcore. The training makes for a good story, but the way Itzler tells it, it's hilarious. There's no whining. There's no quitting. To emphasize Goggins' no-nonsense approach, Itzer only refers to him as SEAL throughout the book.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

I Need Another Vacation!

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.

"I've got that summertime, summertime sadness.." ~Lana Del Rey

I love going away but coming back to reality is so hard! After 3 really busy weeks of travel, activities, and fun, I spent this week getting back on track. My house was a mess, my husband did the shopping with very questionable selections, and my stomach was a mess from eating poorly.

Wouldn't it be great to come home to a few more days off? At least I have really great memories...

Thankfully, we still have a lot of summer left. I don't have any more vacations planned but I do plan on making the most of the time we have left before winter returns.



Friday, August 10, 2018

5 Ways To Stay Safe While Running Alone: A Reminder

This post contains affiliate links.

Last weekend, I ran with my Weekly Wrap co-host Holly while visiting her in Alabama. When I asked her to take me for a run on one of the local trails, she told me she rarely runs on those desolate trails, citing safety concerns. It wasn't the possibilities of encountering alligators that concerned her, it was possible encounters of the creeper kind.

While I know that we runners can never let our guard down, I've become a little lax when running on my local paths. I run alone almost exclusively on my local bike paths and forest preserve paths. I had an incident earlier this week reminded me that complacency on the run is never a good idea.



Monday, August 6, 2018

More Than a Runner

"🎶 More than a runner...more than a runner to me...🎶 ~Apologies to the Bee Gees

This post was originally scheduled to go live Sunday from Montgomery, Alabama after a fun-filled active weekend with my co-host, Holly. As much as we tried, we just couldn't finish our posts and do them justice in time to open the Weekly Wrap on Sunday as we usually do. We debated about this all Sunday morning but on the drive to the airport, we finally made the decision to defer the Wrap to Monday morning. We hope y'all understand!

For me, it's been a busy couple of weeks. Yes, I was just in Wisconsin last week. And yes, I ran a race with Holly and a bunch of other blogger friends 2 weeks ago. It's been a busy couple of weeks. I even squeezed in a couple days of work between all this activity. Full disclosure: I also had more than a few "what was I thinking?" thoughts cross through my head. More than once.

It was all worth it.

If runners are good at anything, it's learning to roll with life. That's what I did and I've had a really fun couple of weeks--although I am pooped! I need a vacation...

Ok, let's wrap it up!



Sunday, August 5, 2018

Weekly Wrap Announcement

Hey y’all!

Holly and I have been having too much fun to wrap up our week here on the blog. The link up will open tomorrow, Monday, August 6 at 7 am central time. We know you understand and are sorry for the inconvenience. See y’all tomorrow!






Friday, August 3, 2018

Coffee Talk

This post contains affiliate links.

Even though the past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind for me, I always have time to sit down and chat over a cup of coffee! Today I'm having coffee with Holly. How fun is that? What will you be having in yours? It's been cooler so I'm back to hot coffee with half and half. Always with a spoonful of GLG Collagen.

Let's all catch up and talk about what's happening off the road!



Sunday, July 29, 2018

Running is an Amazing Adventure

This week was all about recovery. I felt surprisingly well after last Sunday's Rock'N'Roll Chicago Half Marathon. I thought I'd be really sore but mostly I was tired.  While there was some running, I did nothing for time or distance. The fun part about recovering from a race is not having training goals to meet. Instead, I took my time and soaked in everything around me.

Whether you are training for something specific or just running for fun, running is an amazing adventure, isn't it?



Friday, July 27, 2018

Runfessions: July

Ok, where is the summer going so fast? Can you believe August is right around the corner? The end of the month means it's time to runfess. This month, I've got some gems. The runfessional is open and I'm looking for absolution. Let's get right to it.



Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Race Recap: Rock 'N' Roll Chicago Half Marathon Weekend

Disclaimer: As a Rock'N'Blog Ambassador, I received a free entry to the Rock'N'Roll Chicago Half Marathon. My experience and my opinions are my own.

To think I considered not running this one at all. My knees had been bothering me and my endurance was AWOL. With so many blogger friends heading to my hometown to participate in the Rock'N'Roll Chicago weekend, I had to make a decision. Do I drop down to the 10k? Drop out? Who me? I contacted my rheumatologist who recommended steroid injections in my knees. Following the procedure, Mother Nature gifted us with some cool, low humidity days which led to some nicely paced, pain-free runs.

It's funny how things work out, isn't it? With some success on the road and a boost in my confidence, I stuck to my original plan to run the half marathon. I knew it would be tough. I made a race plan to use my 4:1 run/walk intervals. I set a goal finish time of 2:11 but realistically figured I'd finish around 2:15.

I was ready.



Sunday, July 22, 2018

Finding My Way Back

If last week was the week I found my strong, this week was all about getting back on track. You know I'm all about the music and when I sat down to write this post, the song "Find Your Way Back" by Jefferson Starship (1981) kept playing in my head. I bet it's playing in your head now too! What a blast from the past.

Anyways, I did find my way back to my running self. I continued to feel strong, my knees didn't hurt,  and the weather cooperated, which meant some good running. One bootcamp doesn't make for dramatic improvement, but crushing that grueling hour of power sure did turn my head around.



Friday, July 20, 2018

Book Review: North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail by Scott Jurek

This post contains affiliate links.

Well-known ultramarathoner Scott Jurek could have rested on his accomplishments without taking on any other challenge. The 7-time Western States 100 mile winner and record holder for many other ultramarathons says he always dreamed of doing a long trail hike. Hiking the Pacific Coast Trail with his wife, he had an epiphany. Knowing that his career was coming to an end, he had the idea to beat the Appalachian Trail speed record.

His plan? To cover the entire 2,189 miles while climbing and descending over the course of about 6 weeks. His wife asked why.
"Because I'm stuck. Because I'm forty and I need to feel what it's like to go to the edge again, and then go farther. Because I'm so thankful for everything I have, and for just a little while I need to remember what it feels like to have none of it." ~Scott Jurek
In 2015, Scott Jurek broke the AT speed record in 46 days, 8 hours, 7 minutes. North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail is the story of his journey.



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Giving a Runner a Pep Talk (and a giveaway!)

This post contains an affiliate link.

It's no secret to my regular readers that running has not been fun for me the past couple of months. In fact, running has pretty much sucked for me. There it is. I've said it.

Since my speedy 10 miler in April, it's like the pod people came in the night and sucked all the endurance out of me. I mean, how else can I explain my precipitous decline in my running times?

All joking aside, my ego has really taken a hit. Fortunately, there are people in my world who get it and give me a lift when I needed it. Funny how that happens, right? I wanted to share some of the tidbits that I picked up this week.



Sunday, July 15, 2018

Taking Charge and Finding My Strong

This week, I decided that I was done fighting with my body. While running isn't my friend these days, there are lots of other things that I'm doing well and I decided to focus on that. I did run a bit, slowly, and my body seemed grateful that the pressure was off. Who knew that it was listening to me?

A few years ago, one of the fitness companies had a campaign that said: "Find Your Strong". That was my mantra for the week. By shifting my focus from the road, I found my strong in other places.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Running: It's All Fun and Games

It's FriYAY!

Let's have some Friday Fun! Have you heard of the saying "it's all fun and games"? I've got a few running related ones. Don't we all love running?



Tuesday, July 10, 2018

How to Get Clean After a Run Without A Shower

This post contains affiliate links.

Ewwwwww, right?

That was my thought this past weekend when I wanted to run before my son's rugby tournament. I needed to get my long run in. There was the temptation of that beautiful forest preserve path with the 10 mile loop. The weather was perfect with temps in the 70s and low humidity. Sure, I could have gotten up at the crack of dawn and ran at home. But why do that?

Why, indeed. Because I sweat like a pig. And sometimes when I run, I have certain--ahem--personal issues. Without access to a shower after my run, I needed to figure out how to get myself presentable and fresh. I know I was going to an all-day rugby tournament and certainly I wouldn't be the smelliest person there, but still...

I made it work and you can too. Here's how to get clean after a run when you don't have time or access to a shower.



Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Struggle is Very Real

I received a SPIbelt in exchange for my honest review.

What a weird week! Did you find it odd having a holiday smack dab in the middle of the week? The weather this week started off brutally hot and humid but ended with very pleasant, low humidity conditions. I feel like I write about the weather a lot, but when you're a runner, the weather is an obsession.

After the 4th, I had the rest of the week off work. With the cancellation of my high school friends' annual kayak crawl, I had no other plans to speak of. I enjoyed some running, some yoga, and lots of rest. It's pretty rare that I'm off work without something on the calendar. If nothing else, the time at home gave me a chance to recharge my batteries. Who doesn't need that?

In spite of all the rest, running continues to be a huge struggle for me. What's going on?


Running
I ran 3 times this week. On Wednesday, the 4th, my sometimes running partner Steph convinced me to skip the 4 mile race we planned to do and go for a 4 mile run with her in the preserve. Steph promised me a "slow" run but asked if I'd be up for more miles. It was really warm and humid when we headed out at 6:30. Right away I knew I was in trouble. When I looked down at my watch and saw we were running sub-9 m/m. I called out our pace and she did slow down briefly. I did my best to keep up with her, but when we came upon a steep hill at one mile, I told her I needed to stop and walk it. She ran up the hill, no problem and stopped at the top to wait for me. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of our run. She ran ahead and I run/walked. Because I used so much energy on the first mile, I struggled for the rest of our 5 mile run. After we finished, I begged off breakfast, frustrated and upset. I felt like it was a complete waste of a run.

This is why I like to run alone. My pace, my run.

When I woke up Friday morning to sunny skies and lower humidity, I was excited for a solo run and possible redemption. Sadly, I still felt sluggish. I ran 10k but had nothing left in the tank when I finished.

Don't let the flowy skirt and beautiful sunrays fool you. This run was tough. 
For Saturday's long run, I went to a new-to-me forest preserve. My son had a rugby tournament and near the rugby club is a preserve that is very popular with local runners. The 10 mile looped path is limestone and mostly shaded. Perfect, right? The weather was also perfect, with temperatures in the low 70s and low humidity. Excited to run somewhere new, I started out with great optimism. When I hit the first uphill, I had a reality check. I hadn't counted on it being so hilly! I took it slow but I just couldn't get in a groove.

With the initial large decline, I didn't realize that the rest of the route would be uphill.
 I think I would have been better off going the other way.
 Which is what most of the runners that I saw were doing. Doh!
Since the trail was a loop, I couldn't bail on the run, which was a good thing. There was a lot of walking. I did enjoy the beautiful surroundings, but I sure was glad to be done.

The beautiful waterfall for which the preserve was named. Wet shoes never felt so good!
Cycling
Even after a good night's sleep, I woke up completely exhausted Sunday morning. How does that even happen? I drove to Whole Foods and decided that when I was done shopping, I was going for a bike ride. After I accidentally broke open a case of sparkling water and the cans bounced all over the store, I reconsidered that bike ride, but the beautiful weather was too good to pass up. I promised myself I'd be completely mindful and set off for the local forest preserve. Since this was truly a recovery ride, I didn't push myself hard and simply enjoyed the 17 mile round trip. It felt good to feel good doing something physical after the 3 tough runs I had this week. No mishaps made this ride a win!

Cycling selfies are hard. 
CrossFit
This week, Coach Sammy Jo had me do deadlifts for my one rep PR attempt. My deadlift PR is 185#. I made it to 175# and it was really hard. I dropped the bar to the floor on my first attempt but got it together and pulled it all the way up. She wanted to add more weight but I didn't think I could lift anything heavier!


After that, she had me do some box swing-throughs (knees to chest), then a circuit of bench hop-overs, tire flips, and my nemesis, atomic situps. I did that for 2 rounds. I would have headed to the pond for speedwork after but it was so ridiculously hot and humid that I stayed at the box and did 500m x 8 on the rower.

Yoga
I did 2 Five Parks Yoga Classes this week. On Monday, I did the 60 Minute Well-Rounded Vinyasa Flow Class. This class covered all the bases and I felt really good when I finished--good enough to practice handstand when I was done.


After my run on Friday, I did the Yin Inspired Deep Stretch class. I was feeling really tight and hoped this class would open things up. I will say that the poses were really challenging. Yin is always tough but rewarding. Erin put a twist on the practice using poses that I wouldn't normally associate with a Yin practice. I felt really good when I was done.

Proud warrior on Independence Day
So while I'm doing well with cycling, yoga, and CrossFit, running is really really hard for me right now. I don't know what's happening with me. I have 2 weeks until the RnR Chicago Half Marathon and I have to make a decision. Should I push through the half or drop down to the 10k. I know I could push through the half but judging by how awful I've felt after my 10 mile runs, do I want to? The weather will be a huge factor too. If it's hot and humid, I don't think the half will be doable for me. I can't believe I'm thinking about this. What an odd place for me to be.


SPIBelt
Who doesn't love the SPIbelt? I first tried it in 2011 at the WDW half marathon. I forgot to pack whatever I was using to carry my iPod and my gels at the time. At the expo, some very fit ladies were modeling the SPIbelt and they sucked me in. I bought one and I haven't looked back. Recently, I received a SPIbelt to use and review. It's not hard for me to share my love for this product. I've used my SPIbelt in every race I've run since I first purchased it. For marathons, I've used 2 SPIbelts to carry my fuel. On my training runs, I use the SPIbelt to carry my iPhone. Even though the iPhone has gotten larger over the years, the expandable pouch can accommodate my iPhone as well as a package of fuel.

The SPIbelt is low profile and under a shirt, you can't tell that I'm wearing it. In the winter, I tuck the SPIbelt inside my tights to prevent my phone from freezing. One thing I really like about the SPIbelt is that it doesn't bounce. I wear mine low around my hips. Most of the time I don't even feel it!  SPIbelt comes in a variety of colors and patterns. There are a variety of SPIbelts to meet everyone's needs. There's even a medical SPIbelt to carry medications.



How was your week? Were you able to get in any quality runs? Still boiling hot by you? What would you do about the half marathon if you were me? Would you drop down to the 10k? Or would you try to push through?



Welcome to the Weekly Wrap, hosted by Holly and me. This is a great place for fitness bloggers to share their recaps and connect with other bloggers. If you're new to the linkup, you'll want to check out the rules in the tab above. Be sure to link back to us! Even better, comment on some of the posts that are linked below.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Coffee Talk

I can't believe it's been a month since we sat down for coffee. Since it's too hot for regular coffee, would you like to try my iced coffee? I think it's pretty tasty.

Let's catch up!