Friday, June 22, 2018

TGIF! 5 Random Things That Will Make You Smile

Let's face it. There's been a lot of heavy stuff on everyone's minds this week. I've been sitting in front of this blank template trying to prepare my Friday 5 post and I just can't seem to settle on a topic. It's pouring rain and I've already done a weather whining post this week. In fact, I've written 2 of them. This is a running blog and I don't want to do politics here, although can I just say: Whoa. It's been a week. I've had some personal stuff to deal with too, but I'm going to keep it just that, personal.

My goal for my Friday 5 posts is usually to keep them light and breezy. So for today, I'm going to share 5 random things that made me smile. They're even sort of running related! No matter what is happening around us, no matter how bad it might make you feel, laughter is still the best medicine. This nurse practitioner is prescribing a dose of humor.



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Calling All Experts: How Could This Run Have Gone Differently?

This post contains affiliate links.

I know I need to let it go, but I can't stop ruminating on Sunday's long run. It's not the first time the heat has taken a toll on me and with an upcoming half marathon at the end of July, I'm very determined to figure out what I could do differently. I ran this race last year and the conditions were very similar to what I ran in yesterday. I finished but it was a struggle, both physically and mentally. I've since embraced run/walk intervals, which I used yesterday, but even that wasn't enough for me.

I've always had a tough time running in the heat and humidity. Although I've run multiple half marathons in Florida, I've never come close to finishing like I do here in Chicago. Last February's Mercedes Half in Alabama was one of the most humbling experiences I've ever had as I finished with a personal worst.

So here's my request: I'm going to share the details of my morning pre-run routine and what went on during the run. We've got a lot of experts out there, so I'd be so grateful to those of you who do well in the heat if you'd share your advice. Southern runners, especially y'all, I want to hear how you run in these conditions pretty much all year. Tell me what I could do differently. How can I acclimate to these summer conditions? Is it possible?

I also want to know if there's really nothing I can do. Is it me? Do I just need to accept that summer running is tough and slow down to a walk?

Don't hold back. I can take it.



Sunday, June 17, 2018

I Sure Wish it Was Hotter and More Humid!

Could it be any more hot and humid? Wait, Mother Nature wants me to hold her beer...

The weather this year has been really wacky. We had that really prolonged cold winter into spring. Then suddenly, someone turned up the furnace. It was so hot in May that we broke records. While we've had some moderate days, the heat has mostly been turned up to 11. Accompanied by 1000% humidity. I know there are some of you who call this weather "heavenly", but most will agree with me that running in the heat and humidity is not fun. The air is so saturated that running feels like I've got waterlogged shoes on my feet. Maybe I do. While the heat slows me down, science tells us that it really is the humidity that affects our effort.


Since we can't control the weather, let's have a little fun with it. I say: "It's been so hot". And you say: "How hot is it?"

It's been so hot that the birds have been eating worm jerky.

It's been so hot that the trees are whistling for the dogs.

It's been so hot that after my runs this week, I sweated so much the mosquitoes couldn't find any blood.

In fact, it's been so hot, I sweated so much that I didn't even need to work out.

It's been so hot, that I wish for hot flashes so I can cool off.

It's been so hot that it's been hotter than Dean Karnazes' balls after running across the Sahara.

Kind of cringing after that last one. I guess I've made my point. At least I haven't lost my sense of humor.



Friday, June 15, 2018

Book Review: Running is My Therapy

I received a copy of Running is My Therapy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

It's no secret to regular readers of my blog that one of the reasons I run is to control my ever-present anxiety and mild depression. It's not easy being type A++ and after self-medicating through my 20s with alcohol, I knew I had to find a better way to cope. You've probably heard this same story from many other runners, but I kind of fell into running. I was working out at a gym that had an indoor track, and I started running on it. I didn't seek out running as a way to manage my stress but as it turns out, running was the best therapy I could have found. Not only did running provide me with an outlet to release all that negative energy, but through running, I developed self-confidence and self-efficacy. Life doesn't get easier and running is the tool I need to navigate all the ups and downs.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

8 Ideas for Fun in the Sun on Father's Day

This post is sponsored by Michelob Ultra but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Father's Day is coming up and it's time to think about how we're going to celebrate these special men in our lives. What will you be doing for Father's Day this year? I'm fortunate to have not only my husband but also my dad and father-in-law to spend the day with. We'll be barbecuing in the backyard, listening to bad dad jokes, and sipping ice cold Michelob ULTRA.

Let's toast to the ULTRADAD! The guy or guys in your life who inspire us to live life to the fullest! I'm sharing some ideas for things to do that are all about dads. I went back to the archives--aka my photo albums for a look back at what we've done in the past to celebrate the men in my life. 



Hit the Links
Golf is a tradition for a lot of dads. Maybe you're not a golfer, but why not rent some clubs and spend the day with your dad hitting a ball around the course? If you don't rent a cart, it's great exercise. If you're not a good golfer, you'll get a lot of exercise looking for your ball...

Run a Father's Day Race
Ok, my family hasn't done this. I'm the only runner in this household. However, if the men in your life run, sign them up to run with you in a race celebrating them! Even if they aren't runners, a 5k could be the gateway drug to a whole new healthy lifestyle. Running a race together could be a really fun experience for the whole family!

Ok, not Father's Day.
There was that first Chicago Marathon I ran back in 2011 where they all came to cheer me on...
Take a Trip Back in Time
Being raised by a car buff, I have a lot of appreciation for vintage cars. A few weeks ago when I was in Madison with my sons, there was an antique car show. It was a lot of fun to see all the cars and chat with the owners. I wished my dad was there. In fact, I took a ton of pictures and sent them to him.

My dad in his 1957 Thunderbird with my sons on Fathers Day 2013
Go Fishing
Personally, I can't think of anything I'd rather do than sit on a boat with a pole in the water, waiting for the fish to bite. Seriously. A wise person once told me that you can't fish and worry at the same time. My husband and I fish whenever we are up in Wisconsin. Even better is to go fishing with my dad. Spending the day together and talking? Sipping on an ice cold Michelob ULTRA? Catching the big one? Priceless.

The best part about fishing with my husband? He baits the hook and takes the fish off for me.
Oh, and he cleans and cooks the fish too!
Sleep Under the Stars
Is dad a camper? What do you think about pitching a tent and spending some time getting back to nature? Exploring the woods? Yes! Campfire? Yes, please! S'Mores? Ok!

A little backyard glamping and making s'mores with my father-in-law a couple of summers ago
Look at how little Cocoa is!
Play Ball
How about a day in the ballpark? If I were a dad, I'd want to head to Wrigley Field and watch the Cubs. No matter who you root for, a baseball game is a great way to spend time with the man in your life. Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack... and an ice cold Michelob ULTRA. Or 2.

Last summer at Guaranteed Rate Field watching the White Sox
Plan an Outdoor BBQ
What goes together more than dads and BBQs? While my husband doesn't run, he sure likes to cook! Traditionally, he'll make some kind of meat dish on the grill while we all hang out on the deck. Maybe we'll even play a game of cornhole.


Sit back and enjoy a nice cold Michelob ULTRA
All these activities have one thing in common...being outdoors and being active. Spending time in the sun makes everyone thirsty, and nothing tastes better and quenches the thirst than an ice cold Michelob ULTRA. With only 95 calories and 2.6 grams of carbs, Michelob ULTRA is a beer dads can enjoy without feeling guilty. Sharing a beer with the men in my life is one the best ways to celebrate them. Even better is sharing a Michelob ULTRA in one of my dad's vintage Michelob glasses!

How will you be spending Father's Day with the special dad in your life? Do you need a bad dad joke? What did the daddy spider say to the baby spider? You need to spend less time on the web... Do you need any gift ideas? Check out the Michelob ULTRA Beer Gear website for more!

I'm linking this post with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for Tuesdays on the Run, Debbie and Lora at Running Coaches Corner,  as well as Annemarie and Nicole for Wild Workout Wednesday!




Sunday, June 10, 2018

My Arches Have Fallen and They Can't Get Up

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap, where all the cool kids share their fitness and racing recaps. Just a quick reminder if you're linking up with us: please link back to us from your post. We've been having a few people drop links and not commenting on either of the hosts' blogs nor any of the other links. Please keep in mind this is a supportive community and the goal of the linkup is to share, empower, and help each other grow. Remember, this linkup is for fitness blogs only.

Ok, now that I've gotten that out of the way, on with the recap! I don't have anything exciting to share, which is probably a good thing. Uneventful is good in my world.



Friday, June 8, 2018

If You Bring Swag, Runners Will Come: Global Running Day 2018

When Rock 'N' Roll Marathon Series coordinator Stephanie Hoppe contacted Marcia and me to organize an event for Global Running Day, we reluctantly agreed. We had no idea how to do such a thing, but as ambassadors for the race series, we receive a lot of perks, including free race entries, so how could we not give back? I contacted the president of the Busse Woods Running Club to see if we could connect with them and he directed me to the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA). As it turns out, CARA was organizing a bunch of local fun runs to celebrate Global Running Day. I asked if we could help out and represent RnR at the location near our homes.

Marcia and I could not have been more pleased with how the event turned out!



Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Would You Rather? Global Running Day Fun

It's Global Running Day! It's our day, fellow runners! This made-up holiday has gone worldwide and celebrates everything running. What are you doing to celebrate this special day?

I was looking back on past posts that I prepared for Global Running Day and in keeping with my irreverent themes, I thought it might be fun to play 'Would You Rather?'. Feel free to copy and paste in your answers on your blog!


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Road Tripping

How was your week? Mine was spent recovering from a very busy weekend. But here we are again, recovering from yet another busy weekend! This is summer, after all. Where the seasons are short, the days are long, and we try to squeeze something in every single minute we can...

By the time you read this, my co-host Holly and blogger Teresa should be finishing up their marathon at Revel Rockies! It was all downhill. True story!! Be sure to congratulate them on their amazing finish!! I'm looking forward to hearing all about it. But first...let's wrap up the week.



Friday, June 1, 2018

Coffee Talk

This post contains affiliate links.

"I didn't choose the mug life, the mug life chose me".

Apologies to Tupac, R.I.P. But over here, the day doesn't start without a cup of coffee. Sometimes two. You get me?

Let's do this! How do you take it--cream and sugar? Would you like to try some GLG Collagen Hydrolysate in yours?


https://shop.whohaha.com/products/mug-life

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

What I Think About When I Think About Cycling**

**apologies to Haruki Murakami for paraphrasing the title of his wonderful book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

Yesterday I got back on the horse, so to speak. My wounds sufficiently healed, I saddled up my road bike and hit the road for a 30 mile ride. Have you heard the expression "just like riding a bike"? It means that once you've mastered a skill, you never forget how to do that again. That's exactly what this ride felt like. I wasn't nervous, but I will admit to being a little tentative at first. After a couple of miles, I relaxed and settled into my ride, even pushing my pace on the straightaways. I do love to go fast!

Once I got off the road and onto the forest preserve bike path, I had plenty of time to think. I heard all the birds singing and enjoyed the beauty of all the nature around me. I was so happy to be back on the bike. I also had some random thoughts about cycling.



Sunday, May 27, 2018

Forward is a Pace

Thanks to everyone who let me have my pity party last Sunday. Your comments and support meant a lot to me and helped me work through my frustration. I'm still trying to figure out how to approach my training and maybe I never will, but for now, I'm working on recovery--both from my bike crash and also from what seems to be an increase in RA symptoms. I'm sure it's all related. Right now the only thing I can count on is the unpredictability of this disease!

Moving on...


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Runfessions: MAYhem

Is it really the last Friday of May? Wow, this month just flew by for me. It's been a busy, crazy month but that doesn't mean I don't have time to runfess! Marcia has opened the runfessional and I've got a few things to share.

Speaking of Marcia, I runfess that I blatantly stole the title of my post from her. I couldn't find any better word to describe this truly unbelievably chaotic month. Let's get right to it.



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How To Be a Good Social Media Steward

As a blogger, I am very active on social media. I co-host a linkup on Sundays and read a lot of blog posts. I participate in 2 sharing pods on Instagram and look at a lot of Instagram posts. While I love to hate on Facebook, I have an active presence there with a page and participation in several sharing groups. I use Twitter but still don't really get it. Pinterest is one of my number one referral sources and so I work really hard to develop pins that are attractive and likely to be repinned.

So you might call me fairly well acquainted with social media. I wouldn't call myself an expert. I play by the rules. I come by my likes and shares fairly.

Sometimes social media makes me cranky. Not only because people don't follow the "rules" but because they're posting things that maybe they shouldn't. Based on my observations, I've got some tips for playing nice on social media.



Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Universe Speaks: What's This Runner to Do?

"The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you." ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
It's been a rough couple of weeks. Last month, I published a post called All Aboard the Hot Mess Express and I feel like I'm still riding the rails. Even running, which is my go-to when I'm feeling overwhelmed and stressed, isn't serving me well.

But what does a runner do when the going gets tough?



Friday, May 18, 2018

Book Review: Run Forever by Amby Burfoot

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Run Forever from Corner Street Publishing in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Somewhat overshadowed by the amazing performance of the women's' runners at this year's Boston Marathon was legendary runner Amby Burfoot's 50th anniversary of his 1968 Boston win. He finished in 4:53:22, a time that was about twice as slow as his winning time of 2:22:17. Considering that he is now 70 years old, that finish time would be remarkable under any circumstances! But when you think about how many DNFs there were at this year's race and the horrible conditions the runners had to endure, his finish is all the more remarkable. Amby recaps the race on his blog.

I'm pretty sure that Amby's years of experience and knowledge of running came in handy that day. In his new book, Run Forever, Amby shares his running wisdom with us! After 55 years and 100,000 miles of running, he wanted to help motivate runners who want to stay fit and active for life. For this review, Amby shares some of his thoughts about running and why he wrote the book.



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

9 Tips for Traveling Light Without Feeling That You've Left Something At Home

Disclaimer: I received clothing from prAna in exchange for this blog post and my honest opinion. It's easy to be positive about prAna clothing!

I just love summer and what's more fun than a trip out of town? With airlines becoming increasingly restrictive about carry-on luggage, travelers really have to pack light or risk having to check a bag. I recently took an overnight trip to a half marathon in Alabama and booked a "basic economy" flight on United. While the ticket was inexpensive, I was restricted to what was basically a tote bag which had to fit under the seat in front of me. I researched the bag size and found lots of options online if I wanted to purchase one that met the requirements. Fortunately, I had a small duffle bag which fit the size restrictions and carefully selected which items I needed to bring.

I take weekend trips fairly often and have become pretty good at packing. Here are some tips for traveling light without feeling like you've left something at home!


Sunday, May 13, 2018

I Crashed My Bike

This post contains an affiliate link.

Monday was a beautiful day. I woke up to sunny skies and planned to ride my bike to work after lunch. I took my yoga mat outside to do my weekly yoga class and settled onto my mat.

Then my phone rang. Mama drama again. I rolled up my yoga mat and spent a couple of hours dealing with that situation. I called work and let them know that I couldn't come in.

I was anxious, shook up, angry...and then...



Friday, May 11, 2018

5 Songs Guaranteed to Power Up Your Run That You Probably Haven't Heard Before

Happy Friday!! I haven't shared any new music lately and since I'm gearing up for a race next week, I've been freshening up my playlist. Whenever I do these music posts, the number one comment I receive is "I've never heard of any of these songs!" That's my goal. Personally, when I'm running, the last thing I want to listen to is mindless ear candy. Save those songs for the car. My running playlists are always eclectic, with some oldies and classics, some fun pop, and then these outliers that I actually look forward to hearing. Give them a listen, take them for a run, and tell me what you think.


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

How to Train for a Long Distance Race Through the Heat of Summer

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. In addition, I am a Zooma ambassador and have been provided a free entry to the Zooma Summer Challenge in exchange for sharing the information in this post. 

After suffering through what felt like the longest winter ever, I know I'm not alone in welcoming longer days and warmer temperatures. It feels great to peel off the layers and not freeze when I step out the door. Except that for most of us, running in the heat is tough. Having trained for a few fall marathons through some really hot summers, I know that it can be a challenge to get those miles in when it's hot and humid.

Every single time I've signed up for a fall marathon or a summer half marathon, I ask myself why I do this! But over the years, I've gotten a little smarter about training for long distances in the heat. I thought I'd share some of the tips and tricks that have worked for me.



Sunday, May 6, 2018

Back to Work

You can't keep a good runner down for long! After last week's RA flare, I went into full-on defense mode and started steroids. As the week progressed, I really started to turn the corner. While I've still been feeling the effects of the flare, my running gradually improved over the week.

I'm back, baby! For the most part, anyway. Here's how the week went down:



Friday, May 4, 2018

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Let's sit down and catch up over a cup of coffee! I'm still using the GLG Collagen in mine--would you like to try it? With half and half?

It's been interesting around here at TTLWH headquarters. It's not all miles and smiles, but it's never dull, that's for sure! So what's new?



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

9 Ways To Show Your Hard-Working Runner's Feet Some Love

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I am an ambassador for Tabio socks and receive socks as part of that relationship. I received a pair of Athena sandals from OESH shoes in exchange for my honest review. As always, my opinion is my own.

Now that spring has finally arrived, it's time to bare those feet! Are your feet spring ready? I took my socks off to do yoga this week and was a little disgusted by the condition of my feet. Even with regular pedicures, I've got some pretty scaly heels. Calluses? I've got them. I also have that black toenail, which I'm literally trying to hang on to.

Running is notoriously hard on the feet--both inside and out. I've said it before and I'll say it again: when my feet are happy, I'm happy. For today's post, I'm happy to share some tips and products that make my feet very happy.


Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Runner with RA Gets a Reality Check

After last week's race, I felt like I had conquered rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Finishing that race in a time I haven't seen since before my diagnosis was such a mental boost for me. I reflected on the possibilities. I have been running so well this spring and maybe, just maybe there is the possibility of remission. Maybe there is the possibility of a sub-2 half marathon for me this year. And maybe...well, I'm not even going to go there...

Ok, I'll go there. With Boston on my mind, would a BQ be in my wheelhouse? Of course, that would mean I'd have to run a qualifying marathon. And a marathon is a whole different animal from a 10 mile race or even a speedy half marathon. I know I said I was done with marathons and most likely, I am. But a runner can dream, right? After all, that's what keeps us running.

Silly old lady! The running gods laughed at all this. Inevitably, life and RA slapped me right back into reality.



Friday, April 27, 2018

Runfessions: April

It's time once again for Runfessions! I love this time of the month because I pretty much get to unload and clear my conscience so that I can start the next month fresh. I shared a couple of runfessions in my race recap earlier this week, but no worries...there's never a shortage of things to runfess over here at TTLWH.



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Real Runners Do It For That Finish Line Feeling

Why do we run races? I had my answer as I watched Desi Linden's push to the finish line at this year's Boston Marathon. I saw her smile as she broke the tape. Her triumphant fists in the air. And then the tears. Not just Desi's, but mine too! I've never broken the tape, but I know all about that finish line feeling.

What struck me about this year's Boston Marathon was how the tough conditions seemed to show who were the real runners. As the elite women's pack approached mile 20 and Desi broke out on her quest for the finish line, she was alone. Where did everyone go? Did you see the DNF list?

It was about 4 minutes before the second place woman crossed the finish line. Who was she? I later learned about Sarah Sellers. A former college track standout, Sellers is a nurse anesthetist and Boston was only her second marathon ever. Oh, this was getting fun!

I watched the rest of the top 10 women come in and marveled at all the Americans that were on the list. Where were all the so-called professional runners? The cynic in me wonders: did they drop out because they weren't in contention for a paycheck? What happened to finishing the race? Isn't that what it's all about?

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Race Recap: CARA Lakefront 10 miler

I just love this little race. This year is the 5th time I have run it and I look forward to it every year. This race attracts some of the best local runners in the Chicago area and it is super competitive. But because it's spring in Chicago, you can always count on a last-minute wardrobe decision for this one. Last year this race was held at the end of March. It was so cold for that one that they moved the race back to April with the hopes of better weather.

Of course, Mother Nature laughed, saying, "hold my beer"...

Thank goodness they serve up good beer at the finish line of this one!



Friday, April 20, 2018

Book Review: Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor

I received a copy of Let Your Mind Run from the author, Deena Kastor. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Ever since I had heard about this book, I was so looking forward to reading Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor. From all accounts, I've never heard a bad thing said about Deena. Back in January, I contacted Deena to ask if I could review a copy of her book for the blog book club. She responded with the nicest message and sent me a pre-release copy in the mail. There was a lovely personal note enclosed as well.

Deena Kastor is one of the most decorated long distance women's' runners in history. She holds records in the marathon, women's masters' marathon, the 10 mile, 15k, and 8k. She received a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics, running the marathon in Athens, Greece. Throughout her running career, she has won multiple cross country championships, as well as many long distance races. Earlier this week, she lined up to run the Boston Marathon, but did not finish along with many other runners who battled horrendous conditions.



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How To Stay Safe on the Run: Self-Defense

How many times have you been on a run and was spooked by a creeper?

It's happened to me a few times over the years. Once, I was out for a long run in the local forest preserve. It was an early morning and I approached a guy with a hoodie pulled over his head. I couldn't see his face, but something didn't feel right and I did a quick 180 and sped back out of the preserve. Another time, I was running at the retention pond and passed a creepy looking guy. I finished my loop and headed towards home-until I ran face to face into the creepy guy. He grabbed my shoulder but I shook it off and ran towards the local school.

I was lucky.

This past weekend, I was fortunate to be able to attend a session of Girls Fight Back and a self-defense session presented by FIRE, a local women's self-defense training system.  The free program was sponsored by our local high school district. While the program was geared towards young women, I was curious and I thought it could be useful for me personally since I do run alone the majority of the time.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ready for Anything

Well, wow. I feel like after last week I can handle just about anything that comes my way. Fortunately, life was uneventful this week. The weather, however, was not. Are you tired of talking about the weather? I am. I wish it would just settle the hell down but nope, we have been on a wild ride this week, going from snow on Monday to spring and 70 degrees on Thursday, and then back to cold, gloomy weather on the weekend. In all my years, I don't ever remember a spring quite like this one. I keep thinking that the climate has got to right itself, but nope, not yet. I looked ahead for the next month (I checked multiple weather sites) and it doesn't look like anything remotely warm is coming our way.

I hope that's wrong. In the meantime, I'll just resign myself to the fact that I'll be running in the cold. On a more superficial note, I won't be able to model my new InkNBurn tanks and shorts anytime soon. At least outside I won't.

Ok, enough whining about the weather. In spite of it all, I had an excellent week of training! And that's what this weekly wrap is all about. While Holly is away this weekend, I've got a guest host with me, the lovely Teresa from Finding Fabulous at Fifty! Be sure to show her all the love you normally bestow on Holly and me, including linking back to her blog. 



Friday, April 13, 2018

Fitspiration for Older Runners

My friend Allie, who blogs at Vita Train for Life, recently wrote a post titled Fitspiration vs. Reality. She compared her recent workouts to some of those motivational aka "fitspo" memes meant to push athletes through tough workouts. You know the ones I'm talking about. There's usually an attractive, sweaty runner picture with a sassy, catchy mantra. Some of the fitness ones are quite provocative. I have a whole Pinterest board full of the running ones. 

Her post got me thinking. Do fitspiration memes encourage or discourage? Certainly, there are some that seem to be more harmful than empowering. For some of us "older athletes", many of the messages don't apply. I mean, come on! At this point in my life, I'll never attain "six-pack abs". That ship has sailed. My fastest miles are behind me. But that doesn't mean I don't want to push myself to my very best!

For today's post, I found a bunch of empowering fitspirational memes for older athletes. I also made a few of my own. Some are serious and some are snarky. After all, we can never take ourselves too seriously!!


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

7 Reasons Spring Running Keeps You on Your Toes

This post contains an affiliate link.

Ah, Spring! Always welcome after the bleak winter, spring is the reward for those of us who brave the cold and run outdoors.  There's so much to love about spring--the birds are singing, the landscape changes from gray to green, and the flowers start blooming. Spring is a time of renewal and often the warming temperatures are all a winter-weary runner needs to put some pep back into their step.

But...there's always a but...spring running is never predictable, presenting some interesting challenges for runners. After running outdoors all winter, you'd think you're prepared for everything, right? Until you're not...



Sunday, April 8, 2018

All Aboard the Hot Mess Express

Hey there!

If you read my Coffee Talk post, you know that my week was pretty much a hot mess. When things first started to unravel, it was distressing, but after a while, it was almost comical! I kept thinking, what next? I was starting to wonder if there was something wrong with me, like early-onset dementia. What made me realize I was ok was my running. Life is all about balance, right? So even though everything was seemingly falling apart around me, I had my good runs and that made all the bad stuff a little less painful.


Title photo

Friday, April 6, 2018

Coffee Talk

Let's sit down and catch up over a cup of coffee. How do you take yours? Since attending my conference in downtown Chicago a few weeks ago, I've been loving on lattes. Soy or dairy, no matter. Give me that foamed milk and a shot of espresso. Yum!

Since I'm making coffee at home, it will be just half and half. I hope that's ok. So, tell me what's new...


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Few of My Favorite Spring Running Things

This post contains affiliate links.

"Super fast splits
and cups full of beer,
Bright colored clothing with soft comfy gear,
Finish lines ending with really cool bling,
These are a few of my favorite things...

When the wind blows,
When the sky snows,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things.... 
and then I don't feel so bad...."   ~ adapted from Rodgers and Hammerstein My Favorite Things




Sunday, April 1, 2018

Running Out of March Like...

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate! Anyone have any April Fools pranks played on them today? Isn't it weird having both of those days together? I'm not a big fan of practical jokes. When I was a kid, my sisters and I tried pulling an April Fools joke on my dad by mixing all his socks up. The joke was on us as we waited patiently for him to say something, but it was until about a week later that he asked my mom why his socks were all mixed up.

Anyhoo, in spite of the terrible weather we've had this month, I'm wrapping up what was a fabulous month of running for me. Feeling good never felt so good, and I guess it takes feeling bad to make you appreciate the good times. Running-wise, for March, I totalled 89.5 miles, ran a half marathon, and a speedy 8k! I'm hoping to ride this wave for a while and am looking forward to my favorite 10 mile race in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, here's how my week went down.



Friday, March 30, 2018

Runfessions: March

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I am so glad March is coming to an end. I don't know about you but this month felt like the longest month ever! It's been bitterly cold and windy, although we have escaped most of the weather wrath that has plagued so much of the country. A little mini-runfession here, I'm really tired of complaining about the weather. In spite of the bad weather, running-wise, it's been a good month for me and I'll share some of that in Sunday's Weekly Wrap.

Since it is the end of the month, it's time to runfess! Every month, Marcia hosts runfessions, which is a great place for runners to share their running sins. There is no penance, just that good feeling of clearing the conscience and starting a new month with a clean slate! It's been a long month, but in keeping with the Friday Five theme, I'll stick to just having 5 runfessions.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Race Recap: Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k

Earlier this spring, I received an email about the Shamrock Shuffle. There was a one-day-only price special of $39. For a Chicago race, that sounded like a bargain. It had been a long time since I last ran this race--the last time was in 1995! I thought it might be fun to revisit it, plus the distance--an 8k-- was really attractive to me. I contacted my friend Steph and she said she was in.

Fast forward to the present. Steph is injured and winter won't let go. All week, I agonized over my decision to run this race. Plus, I just ran that spontaneous Sarasota Half Marathon last weekend. Did I really want to trek into the city for an 8k? I had opted for having my packet mailed ahead of time, so I didn't have to go to the expo. Bottom line, I don't want any DNSs this year, so I sucked it up and headed into the city for the 2018 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.



Race Recap: Sarasota Half Marathon

The Monday before I was set to leave for my Florida vacation, I made a decision about something I had been considering for a few weeks. I went to the website for the Sarasota Half Marathon and reviewed all the logistics. Completed the entry form. Entered my payment information. Rechecked the logistics. Started to sweat. Did some deep breathing. Clicked submit.

Within seconds, I received an email confirmation of my entry into the Sarasota Half Marathon. The race was in 7 days. My husband told me I was nuts. My parents told me I was nuts. Maybe I was nuts. My last long run was 4 weeks prior when I ran the Mercedes Half Marathon. But I had been feeling good. My mileage was good. Plus, I had some unfinished business with this race.



Friday, March 23, 2018

Loving....Not Loving

Sunday, I woke up at the beach and ran my race in Florida. Monday morning before the sun came up, I boarded the train for my pediatric nurse practitioner conference in downtown Chicago. Talk about doing a complete 180! I didn't know whether I was coming or going. It was a little overwhelming, to say the least. Fortunately, as the week went on, I felt more grounded. I was also exhausted.

With most of my time consumed, I figured I wouldn't be able to run much or write for the blog. After sitting in lectures all week, my fingers were itching to write something for today. Plus I was having trouble staying awake during some of the lectures.

You know I loved my time away at the beach, but I also loved my time in the city this past week. There were some things I didn't love so much though. It's been a long time since I've done a loving/not loving post, and the time was right. Here are the things I've been loving but not loving. There's more to love than not...