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.