async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: March 2018

Friday, March 30, 2018

Runfessions: March

This post contains an affiliate link.

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...



Sunday, March 18, 2018

Life's a Beach

This post contains affiliate links. 

I started my week with winter giving what I hope was its last snowy gasp and I ended my week in sunny Florida! This was a short getaway, but very much appreciated. Sometimes you just need a break from the everyday routine, right?

I also impulsively signed up at the last minute for the Sarasota Half Marathon, which took place earlier today. I had some unfinished business with this race and wanted to revisit it. I didn't tell very many people that I was running it, but the few that I did (except for Holly) told me that I was nuts for signing up the week of the race. It's not the first time I've jumped into a half marathon at the last minute, but those races were local and I didn't have a flight to catch home the same day as the race. 

I prepared this post prior to the race, so if you want to see how it went, you can check my Instagram or my Facebook. I'll share a recap later in the week. Meanwhile, here's how my week went down:



Friday, March 16, 2018

Book Club: 5 Training Books to Read or Skip

Disclaimers: I received a copy of To The Finish Line from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.   I received a copy of The 30-Minute Runner from Skyhorse Publishing in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Spring is in the air and it's race season everywhere! Maybe you're training for a spring marathon or a half-marathon. Or maybe you're branching out into triathlon. Whatever it is, I've been busy reading and getting ready to share some books with you that are guaranteed to enhance your training. I'm spring cleaning and I've got 5 book reviews for this special training edition of the book club!


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows

Sometimes I struggle to start these Weekly Wrap posts--when my week is mostly smooth sailing, I don't have a whole lot to say. When you live with 2 grown boys, uneventful is always a good thing in my book. I wouldn't go as far as to say the week was all Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows (Lesley Gore's classic tune is a peppy song and might actually work well on some folks' running playlists if you like happy music). Uneventful is about as Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows as it gets around here!

To tell the truth, I'm not really a Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows kind of gal. I'm more of a It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To...But I'll take an uneventful week and run with it. 

Let's do this.



Friday, March 9, 2018

5 Positive Ways that Rheumatoid Arthritis Turned My Life Upside Down

This post contains an affiliate link.

I know you're looking at the title to this post and thinking what could be good about having rheumatoid arthritis? Or maybe you're thinking: "she's done so much whining about having RA and now she's saying it's good?"

Well, after a year of living with this diagnosis, I've learned a lot about the disease. I've also adapted to the disease and for the most part, am living the life I lived before the diagnosis. Maybe even a better life, if that is possible.

I'm not sugarcoating life with RA. Yes, the diagnosis turned my life upside down. I take toxic medications to keep the disease activity low. I have daily symptoms of achy and swollen joints. I've had a few health scares, most recently liver toxicity from methotrexate, one of the medications I was taking to control my disease. If I had to choose, I'd rather not have RA.

But in spite of having a life-changing medical condition, so much good has happened over the past year. Sometimes it takes a slap in the face in the form of a devastating health problem to make you see all the good things in life. While the bad days are few, I've learned to appreciate all the good in my life more than ever.



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

My Blog Post Went Viral and I Freaked Out

A few weeks ago, I published a sponsored post for Great Lakes Gelatin collagen protein. Sponsored posts don't often get a lot of traffic. Most blog readers recognize sponsored posts for what they are, advertising. I don't do sponsored posts very often but when I do, I try to make the posts about a relevant topic that ties into the product. At least that's the kind of sponsored posts I like to read.

I didn't name the product in the title, again, hoping to prevent people from not reading the post. Instead, I came up with what I thought was a clever title, In Pursuit of Happy Joints. After all, the product is supposed to reduce inflammation and I have rheumatoid arthritis.

After publication, I shared the post on all my social media accounts, as I do with all my blog posts. I participate in a couple of blogging groups and shared it there as well. I would have been happy with 500 views. A few days after I posted, I got those 500 views.

Then something extraordinary happened. The post went viral.



Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Week that Came in Like a Wrecking Ball

Well, at least for me it was.

On Thursday, March came roaring in like a lion--although if you ask me, it was more like a wrecking ball, actually. While we in the Chicago area had our share of rain and wind, I know we dodged the worst of it. A lot of you out east are digging out from under a fresh blanket of snow and maybe waiting for your power to come back on, too. It was a rough week, weather-wise for many people.

For some us, ahem, bad weather or not, it was a rough week in general. There was a full moon too--don't tell me that didn't affect things. I finished the week completely wrecked (see what I did there?) both physically and emotionally, but with my sense of humor intact. Sometimes, a good sense of humor is the only thing that gets us through life. That, and a few carefully placed f-bombs.

Disclaimer: This post is profanity-free.



Friday, March 2, 2018

Coffee Talk

Come and join me for a cup of coffee! Let's catch up on life off the road. What do you take in yours? Do you want to try some of this Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate? I swear you won't taste it. I've been adding to my coffee, along with some half and half every morning.

So what would I tell you if we were having coffee?