Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Race Recap: AMITA FitAmerica 5k

As an All Community Events ambassador, I received a free entry to the AMITA FitAmerica 5k. My recap of the race was not influenced by my affiliation with ACE.

Earlier this summer, I optimistically signed up for the AMITA FitAmerica 10k. I really wanted to do the half marathon distance, but I haven't been running much in the way of long distances. Fast forward to some blazing hot, humid weather and after a tough 5 miler the Wednesday before the race, I made the decision to drop down to the 5k. I had been having some success with the 5k distance this summer but with the excessive heat warning the morning of the race, I had no expectations but to finish.



Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Joy of Running

I received The Joy of Running from Penguin RandomHouse in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Seriously, how do you find joy while running in this hot, sticky blast furnace of a summer?

You find a way to make it work. You talk yourself through the tough spots using positivity instead of complaining about how much it sucks. It does suck. We all know running in the heat and humidity sucks. Telling yourself it sucks isn't going to make it feel better. You're out there, you're moving, you're sweating, you're doing it.

Maybe you slow down so you can get there. Maybe you change your goals. Maybe, like me, you drop your distance. While I'd love nothing more than to get some long runs done to prepare for my fall half, my body doesn't want to do that in this heat. I'm making peace with the fact that I can't always get what I want out of this body. I do what I can with what the day gives me.

The win isn't in the finish time, the win is the finish. That is what brings me joy. Never give up.

Wednesday's hot 5

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Christmas in July Race Recap

Last winter, I signed up for the half marathon distance of this new to the Chicago area race. My running club was sponsoring it and there was an 'early bird special' of $35. Never one to sign up early for a race, this was too good to pass up. I figured if I couldn't run it, it wouldn't be hard to walk away from $35.



Sunday, July 14, 2019

Hot Fun

The heat is on! This week was a warm one and looking ahead we've got more of the same to come. The weather this year has been wacky, from that polar vortex in January, to all that rain in May and June, and to this blast furnace we are currently enduring. What's a runner to do?

We adapt and make the best of it. There were early morning runs and late nights on the patio listening to music and hanging out with the boys. Lots of hydration. Summer is all about fun, right?



Friday, July 12, 2019

Why Runners Shouldn't Play the Comparison Game

Last weekend, I worked packet pickup at a race I was running on Sunday. When I arrived for my shift, I sat down next to the other volunteer, a woman likely close to my age. She introduced herself and we chatted a bit, talking about running, naturally. She was literally off to the races, telling me about her accomplishments. As we talked, I started to feel a little annoyed. I mean who belongs to 3 running clubs?

She does.

Somehow, we started talking about Door County, that place in Wisconsin where I've vacationed since I was a little girl. She commented that she's going to do a century ride up there in September. It's really hilly there and I mentioned it. Oh, she already knew that. She's got that covered. She lives in a nearby town where there are tons of hills. I had to restrain myself from putting up my hand. Stop. Just stop.

Do you know anyone like this?



Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Stampede 5k Race Recap

I've run the 10k distance of my hometown race many times, but this was my first time signing up for the 5k. Health issues and struggles with endurance and the summer heat made the shorter distance the best option for this year. I could have done the 10k, but it's a race and I wanted to race it, not just run it. You get me, right?



Sunday, July 7, 2019

Turning My Frown Upside Down

G*d d*mn Mother Nature! What is wrong with our weather? This week was so freaking hot and humid that I felt like I moved to Florida. We had absolutely no adjustment period, just zipped from the 60s to the 90s in one week. Last week I wrote about it, this week I'm whining about it.

Fortunately, we're going to get a break from the heat, at least for a few days. Summer in the Midwest is usually a really pleasant time of year when we can sit outside in the sunshine and not dehydrate from sweating so much. Running can be a challenge, but getting up and out the door to beat the heat is usually the best course of action.

There was no beating the heat this week. Except indoors with the AC turned up to 11. Funny how that works. I have to bring a sweater to work because it's so cold inside!



Friday, July 5, 2019

Coffee Talk

This post contains affiliate links.

Happy Independence Day! While I was scrolling through social media yesterday, I started to wonder how many people actually know what we are celebrating on the 4th of July. I'm not a history buff and I certainly don't want to get political, but with all the factual distortion going on, I think it's important for all of us to take a step back from our celebrations and remind ourselves what the 4th of July is all about. I hope you are all enjoying this fun and festive weekend while being mindful of our freedom!

It's been a while since we caught up on life. I love the monthly Ultimate Coffee Date hosted by Coco and Deborah. It's a great opportunity to talk about things off the road. So let's chat! How do you like your coffee? I'm still taking mine with GLG Collagen Hydrolysate and half and half. Old habits are hard to break...


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

7 Reasons to Embrace Being Sweaty

With the onset of this hot, humid summer, I am reminded once again of how much I sweat. I think I sweat more than the average person. Even when I run outside in the winter, after I finish I am a sweaty mess underneath all my layers. After a summer run, I am literally dripping from head to toe. I've been asked many times if I got caught in the rain. My running clothes are wrung out and hung to dry until laundry day. If I shower too soon after I run, I sweat in the shower. I sweat after the shower.

It may seem gross, it may seem annoying, but there are benefits to sweating, even for a profuse sweater like me. I found 7 reasons to embrace the sweat!



Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Heat is On!

While I wasn't loving the cool summer we were having, it did make for some really nice runs. I'm glad I had those because now it is hot and whew, have my runs been suffering. So much for the return to the kind of running I'm used to. It's become all about putting miles in the bank, maintaining fitness until the return of cooler weather.

I'm not going to complain about the heat, though. Besides my runs, I'm loving that it is finally summer! I guess you can't have it all. Even though the running wasn't the best, there was a lot of good happening this week. Let's get to it.



Friday, June 28, 2019

I'm Shrinking! and Other Runfessions

Wow, June is coming to an end! It's so hard to believe because the cool weather has lingered so long--it hasn't felt like summer. The heat is on now and just in time for the start of July. The end of the month can only mean one thing...that it's time to runfess. Marcia hosts this sole clearing linkup where we can share all our transgressions from the month. Go ahead and open up. It feels good!



Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Race Recap: Crossroads Trail Run 5k

A few weeks ago, I was planning my weekend out of town to Door County, Wisconsin. No matter where I'm headed, I always check to see if there are any races near my destination. I was surprised to stumble upon this little trail race in Sturgeon Bay. The Crossroads Trail Run has been held for the past 10 years at the Big Creek Environmental Learning Preserves. The race supports the Crossroads Trail programs and is also intended to promote environmental awareness in the community.

I loved all that, but what really got me was that every finisher would receive A TREE. The trees were donated by a local nursery. Also, because it was the 10th anniversary, every finisher would receive a handcrafted cherry wood medallion. Ok, they had me at tree, but I was pretty excited about the medallion too. Cherries are the local produce that Door County is known for. There are a variety of distances offered to participants: 10k, 5k run/walk, and a 2k walk. Because I'm still working on coming back and building endurance, I decided to do the 5k.

I talked with my son, who would be accompanying me to Door County for the weekend along with his girlfriend. They were excited to participate but decided to sign up for the 2k walk. I warned them that it would be an early morning, but they assured me it wouldn't be a problem. On Saturday, I woke them up at 6 am and although they weren't excited about the early wakeup call, we made the 45 minute drive to Sturgeon Bay.



Sunday, June 23, 2019

All I Needed

Greetings from the north woods! I'm enjoying a too-short getaway to one of my favorite places in the world, Door County, Wisconsin. I've been coming here since I was a little girl and it's always great to return to all the beauty, traditions, and memories. Even though the weather has been cool and we haven't been able to get out on the water, the sun has been shining. Sometimes sunshine and nature are all you need.



Friday, June 21, 2019

Orange Rhubarb Anti-inflammatory Smoothie

Another rhubarb smoothie recipe? We are almost at the end of rhubarb season and I wanted to use up the rhubarb remaining in the garden. I loved my Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie recipe so much that I wanted to try something different. I searched for other fruits that might be good with rhubarb and found a lot of recipes using the natural sweetness of oranges to complement the tartness of the rhubarb.

And so my Orange Rhubarb Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie was born.



Tuesday, June 18, 2019

9 Self-Defense Weapons for Runners

Disclaimer: By discussing self-defense weapons here, I am in no way endorsing the use of any of these. This post is purely informational. Products listed are affiliate links. 

On Saturday, I took my long run to the forest preserve where so many local runners train. My running club is based there, but as I so often do, I took my time in the morning, sipping my coffee and catching up on emails and I missed the start of the group run. In the preserve is a 7.3 mile loop, which is popular with runners. I decided to run there because there are so many runners and cyclists on that loop on the weekends. I thought I'd be fine running by myself.

I finished my run feeling very strong and very happy. I had a lot of company on the path and very few stretches where I was alone. When I got in the car, I posted on Instagram and then opened up Facebook, where I saw a post from the president of our running club. He shared an incident from the morning on the very loop I had just finished running. A runner on the path was grabbed by 2 men, dragged into the woods, beat up, and robbed. He crawled out of the woods to the path where he was found by one of my fellow All Community Events ambassadors and the group she was running with. They stayed with him while they waited for first responders to help him.



Sunday, June 16, 2019

It's All Good

I think whatever was plaguing my body for the past couple of months has finally left the building. Yes, I'm feeling like myself again!

If you've been following me, you know that I've been struggling with fatigue and general malaise since February. While my rheumatologist tells me it's not RA, my internist and I believe differently. I received the new shingles vaccine in February and probably what happened is that the vaccine triggered a flare. I'm certainly not anti-vaccine but I do have an autoimmune disease and it makes sense to think that this could have flared my RA.

Regardless, it was frustrating for me.

The past couple of weeks, I've had more energy and this week, I've felt pretty much "normal" again. I had 3 good runs totaling 19 miles, which is the most I've run in several months. Bootcamp and strength training went well too.

It's all good!



Friday, June 14, 2019

8 Reasons to Love Running in the Rain

This rainy spring has made it challenging to be an outdoor runner. We've had so much rain that I've had to make the tough decision of heading out into the rain, skipping my run, or taking it to the treadmill. On a cold, windy day, the decision is somewhat easier because running in the cold rain is really unpleasant. I've run in all conditions and a cold, rainy run is probably tops of my list of uncomfortable things I try to avoid.

Several times this month, I've been caught in a warm rain shower while running. Running in a warm rain is a completely different experience than a cold rain. As long as it's not pouring, which can be downright painful, running in the rain on a warm day can be wonderful.

Not so sure? Here are 8 reasons to love running in the rain.



Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Why You Need to Run With Heart Zones

Disclaimer: I received a Heart Zones Blink 3.0 monitor in exchange for my honest review. 

I've whined for a while now about my sudden loss of endurance. It's been the weirdest thing. In January, I ran a half marathon, followed by an indoor marathon relay. While over time, I had been slowing down, I was happy with my performances at both races. A month after those 2 races, I had a rapid decline in my ability to run anything of distance, much less with speed. Frustrated, I began looking at heart rate training. I pulled out my old Polar chest strap, bought new batteries, and prepared to start running with it.

At that very time, in an interesting twist of serendipity, I received an offer from Heart Zones Blink 3.0 to trial their monitor and join their ambassador program. While I'd never really done heart rate training in the past, the timing of this offer was perfect. I've been running with my new Heart Zones monitor for the past couple of weeks and am excited to share what I've learned.



Sunday, June 9, 2019

Too Much

Disclaimer: I received a pair of My Soxy Feet socks in exchange for my honest review. 

The theme for this week was too much. As in, everything in excess. Except for my mileage. I had hoped to hit the 20 mile mark for the week, or at least 15 miles, for god's sake. Spoiler alert: that didn't happen. But a lot of things happened this week and most of them good. Even if it was...too much!



Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Global Running Day Book Review: Running for Good

Disclaimers: I received a pre-release copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Running for Good. This post contains affiliate links. 

It's Global Running Day! I just love this annual celebration of running, an endeavor that has given so much to me personally. Runners around the world have been pledging their miles. There are Global Running Day events all over the US. My local running club is hosting a 3 mile fun run. While I have to work that day, I'll be participating in the New York Road Runners' free virtual run.

I'm also excited to share a special book review just in time for Global Running Day! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Running for Good by Amy Newmark and Dean Karnazes, is being released today. I'm pretty sure most of us are familiar with the Chicken Soup series of books. The original Chicken Soup for the   Soul was released 25 years ago. Currently, there are over 250 Chicken Soup for the Soul books, covering a wide variety of topics. The feel-good books are full of inspirational stories and anecdotes submitted by readers.

Running for Good follows the same Chicken Soup format that has been so successful over the years. There are 101 stories submitted by real-life runners. Each story begins with a motivational quote. Dean Karnazes shares a story of running the Silk Road in Kyrgyzstan and having to seek shelter with a family when the weather conditions became unbearable. In spite of being miserable, in spite of not speaking Kyrgyz, Dean left this encounter feeling good. Good about running and about the kindness of strangers.



Sunday, June 2, 2019

Finding that Running Sweet Spot

While the perfect run is elusive, most runners have runs where they find their running "sweet spot". It's that point in the run where the run feels almost effortless, almost as if you are flying. The sweet spot is where you feel as if you could run forever. Some call it "the zone". Some call it "finding your flow". Whatever you call it, if you've hit the sweet spot, you'll know. This is the kind of run that reminds why you became a runner in the first place.

You don't have to be running fast to hit the sweet spot, as I found out this week. It's been a long time since I've had a run that felt good like that. Running has not made me happy lately, but I just keep going because it's what I do. Plus I knew that I'd find my groove again and on Wednesday, I did.



Friday, May 31, 2019

Runfessions over Coffee

This May has felt like the longest month ever. Between the inclement weather and the never-ending cold and flu season, I am ready for summer. Since it's the last Friday of the month, it's time to runfess. Marcia hosts this monthly cleansing of the soles and I've been ready to head into the runfessional for a while now! Grab a cup of coffee and join me, Coco, and Deborah while we runfess over coffee!

Cocoa is a great listener. Plus she wants some coffee...

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

9 Things No One Tells Runners About Menopause

No matter how much we wish we could avoid it, no woman gets out of this life without going through menopause. The average age for menopause is 51. Perimenopause, that fun period of time when things start happening, can begin 10 years before that. Cue Tammy Wynette singing "Sometimes it's hard to be a woman..."

While perimenopause was like being an adolescent all over again--mood swings, hot flashes, acne, and heavy periods--I did some of my best running during those years. Who PRs a marathon and a half marathon in their early 50s? I did. I was running so well that I thought I'd be able to snag a BQ!

Yeah, not so much. My body had other ideas.  Here are 9 things I've learned about running with menopause. It's time to talk about it.



Sunday, May 26, 2019

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program Already in Progress...

Oh.My.Gosh.

Can I just say how good it feels to feel good again? I knew I had been feeling bad, but looking back over the past month, that was probably the toughest I've had to endure since my initial diagnosis with RA 2 1/2 years ago. I did my best to stay positive, especially here on the blog. I just want to thank everyone for sticking by me while I worked through the flare. The pain is so much better and the fatigue is resolving.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? Well, I brought some strength to my workouts this week! It's back to work.



Friday, May 24, 2019

Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie--A Seasonal Treat with Anti-Inflammatory Powers

Growing up near my grandma's farm, I learned a lot about unusual plants and using them for food. My grandma made all kinds of interesting treats. She'd send us outside to pick gooseberries for pie. We had a red currant bush in our yard and she would come over to pick the currants to make jam for us. We also had a rhubarb plant, from which she would take stalks to make rhubarb pie.

I didn't like rhubarb pie. While the pie was a custard, pudding-like consistency, the flavor was tart and had an odd mouthfeel. My dad loved rhubarb pie and since none of us would eat it, there was plenty for him.

My husband and his father also love rhubarb. I tried rhubarb in many different forms--pies, bread pudding, cake-- but was never able to feel the love for the ruby red plant.

Until now.



Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Beaver Trail 5k Race Recap

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

When I planned my trip to see Holly last weekend, she sent me the link to the Beaver Trail 5k race. "I think we need a beaver shirt", she said. The race was new this year. I'd never run a trail race but the 5k distance made it feel accessible. The race was in Lagoon Park in Montgomery. Holly and I ran there last year, so I was glad to go back.

In spite of my running struggles this year or maybe because of them, a trail race sounded perfect to me. I figured that if I wasn't feeling well, I could walk the 5k distance. If I ran it, I could take it slow because...trail race! It was all good.



Sunday, May 19, 2019

A Change in Perspective

In the midst of the never ending winter and my ongoing health issues came an invite from my southern sister from another mister. Holly, who used to co-host the Weekly Wrap link up with me, convinced me to book a flight for a weekend visit to her new lake house. She found a trail race for us. I looked for flights and found a great deal.

After I booked my flight, I had second thoughts. What if I don't start to feel better? Will I be able to run? Even more important, will I be able to water ski? Will she still want to hang with me?

What the heck was I worried about?



Friday, May 17, 2019

Book Review: The Rise of the Ultra Runners by Adharanand Finn

Disclaimers: I received a pre-release copy of The Rise of the Ultra Runners by Adharanand Finn from NetGalley. This post contains affiliate links.





"And there it is, deep in the pain cave, as they told me all along, that the fun begins." ~Adharanand Finn, The Rise of the Ultra Runners

Why on earth would anyone want to run a marathon? That's what people used to say to me when they found out I was running 26.2 miles. But for a lot of runners, the marathon is just the gateway drug to the ultrarunning world. What's the limit? I have no idea. My friend Kristina, who ran the Big Sur Marathon with me, has become an ultra runner and recently announced that besides running Western States, she's running a 250 mile race this year.

Hold up! 250 miles?

Have you noticed that everyone seems to be signing up for ultras these days? If you haven't, you're not paying attention. Ultramarathons have increased 1000% in the past decade. Some races, like the Western States 100 and the European equivalent, the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), which takes place in the Alps, require runners to qualify for the races. The rules are very specific.

Adharanand Finn, an accomplished road runner with a 2:50 marathon PR and author of Running with the Kenyans, decided to see for himself exactly what the ultramarathon phenomenon was all about. For his first race, he signed up for the Oman Desert Marathon, a 156 km race that takes place over 6 days in the Saharan Desert. He was completely unprepared for the experience, but ~spoiler alert~ he finishes. And so goes the start of his adventure in ultrarunning.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

My 6 Favorite Recovery Tools and Why They Work

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Runners love their recovery and they love their rituals. A few months back, I read Good to Go, by Christie Aschwanden, in which she explored all kinds of recovery techniques. The conclusion of her exploration was that in spite of all the recovery tools and methods being marketed to us, none of them have been proven to be beneficial.

Or are they?

Research has proven the power of the so-called "placebo effect". Your brain can convince your body that a treatment or procedure is useful, even if it isn't if it really isn't. When I reviewed Aschwanden's book, the feedback on my post was not at all surprising. People commented on how much better they feel after they foam roll or take an Epsom salt bath. It may not be the foam rolling or the bath that is healing, but the ritual of taking care of oneself after a hard workout or a run.

Speaking for myself, I love to run but I'm not so great about recovery. I do have a few tools in my recovery toolbox that I regularly use, regardless of whether or not science has proven their effectiveness. All I know is that they make me feel better. That's what really counts, isn't it?



Sunday, May 12, 2019

I've Got a Good Feeling About This...

It was another frustrating week, health and fitness-wise. I won't harp on it, but my patience and my emotions were starting to fray. I had an appointment with my rheumatologist this week and I spent time prior to the appointment studying up on my condition and my new symptoms so I could be prepared to ask the right questions. Sometimes being a medical provider is a blessing and a curse! I have the knowledge and ability to interpret medical literature but I think that sometimes ignorance is bliss.

On the other hand, it felt really good to take control. At my appointment, my doctor and I discussed my concerns and options. She made some changes in my medications, including stopping the steroids which were making me really emotional. I left the appointment feeling more optimistic than I have in a while. Time will tell if the new medication will work but based on everything I learned, I have a good feeling about this new plan.

Beautiful Picnic Point overlooking Lake Mendota in Madison

Friday, May 10, 2019

Pineapple Chai Smoothie: An Anti-Inflammatory Powerhouse

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Truth be told, I was always a cereal girl. When I was a little girl, for breakfast, I happily ate Lucky Charms and Capt'n Crunch while reading the back of the cereal box. If I was feeling the need for something healthy, I'd have a bowl of my mom's Total. As an adult, I didn't eat those cereals from my childhood, but I couldn't break the cereal habit. The day didn't start well if I missed my bowl of Cheerios. After my diagnosis a few years ago with rheumatoid arthritis, I started exploring dietary options as a way to help reduce inflammation. My wise-beyond-his-years youngest son, who is on a food journey of his own, suggested I try the morning smoothies I had been making for him.

Several years later, I've become adept at seeking out unique ingredients and finding combinations that appeal to my expanding palate. I can't imagine a morning without my smoothies. The smoothies I make are chock full of healthy ingredients and have no added sugar. With the right combination of fruits and yes, vegetables, a morning smoothie is the perfect way to start the day. I'm going to start sharing some of my recipes. While I'm not planning to turn into a food blogger, I have found smoothies to be a great way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet. I hope you try them and agree!


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Mother's Day Gift Suggestions for the Active Mom

This post contains affiliate links.

In case you didn't know it, Mother's Day is coming up this weekend. I'm pretty sure my men are completely unaware. Real talk. In case they're paying attention, I'm going to share a couple of things that I think would be perfect for any active mom, not just me! 



Sunday, May 5, 2019

Ramble On

Disclaimer: I received Aspire and Maxus Zero socks from Swiftwick in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

"I guess I'll keep on rambling
I'm gonna
Sing my song
I gotta ramble on, sing my song
Gotta work my way around the world
Ramble on, yeah..."
~Led Zeppelin

Doo doo doo, I can't stop singing this song! This was such a better week. Is the medication finally kicking in? Is the inflammation just calming down? Whatever it is, I am thrilled. I found some endurance, rambling down the bike path and around my neighborhood.




Friday, May 3, 2019

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's catch up over coffee! Sometimes it's nice to talk about things other than running. How do you take your coffee? I'm still using the GLG collagen and half and half in mine. Pull up a chair and tell me what's new in your world.


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Essential Supplements in My Anti-Inflammatory Toolbox

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. The information in this post should not be subtituted for the advice and guidance of your own medical provider. All recommendations are based on evidence based testing shared via Consumer Lab.

Got inflammation?

You don't have to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease to have inflammation. Did you know working out causes inflammation? It's not bad news. Workouts done at high intensity causes inflammation as a result of damage to the muscles and tissues as you work them. This leads to soreness aka DOMS. If you've popped a couple ibuprofens after a particularly tough run or grueling session at the gym, you're treating inflammation. It's ok to use ibuprofen or other NSAIDs occasionally, but chronic use can lead to all kinds of problems including gastrointestinal and kidney issues.

After living with rheumatoid arthritis for 2 1/2 years, I've been changing my diet and taking supplements that have scientific evidence in reducing inflammation. At this point, I'll do whatever it takes to feel better and avoid taking pain medications. If you read my post on foods that reduce inflammation, you know I've been doing my homework. I want to share what I've learned about nutritional supplements and inflammation.



Sunday, April 28, 2019

Forward is a Pace

I want to keep on running.

After a little tough love talk from my very wise friend Marcia, I promised myself that I would start to train at an easier, slower pace. After running all these years, when I lace up and hit the road, my legs just go. Sadly, right now my heart doesn't want to keep up. Training these old legs to find a new normal, a slower speed, is much easier said than done. Dialing it down requires a focus on pace and diligence that I haven't used since training for my last marathon 4 years ago.

I'd have to call my week on the road a success as I finished all 3 runs with the distance I set out to do and feeling good.



Friday, April 26, 2019

Runfessions: April

Can you believe it's almost May? We've had this prolonged cold season here in Chicago and I for one am super excited to welcome spring and warmer temperatures! With the end of April comes time for runfessions.

Do you runfess? I love this monthly opportunity hosted by Marcia where we get to cleanse our souls. If you don't have anything to runfess, then you're not a runner...



Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Essential Foods in My Anti-Inflammatory Toolbox

Got inflammation?

Sure you do! You don't need to have rheumatoid arthritis to have inflammation. While having RA has made me more aware of inflammation and steps I can take to curb it, if you move and breathe, you have inflammation.

Some inflammation is good. Runners and other athletes have inflammation. Soreness after a hard run or workout is a sign of inflammation and damage to muscles and tissues in the body. When the body repairs itself, we become stronger.

But other things in life, such as stress or certain foods, cause chronic inflammation, which can lead to health issues. Since my diagnosis with RA, I've made changes in my diet and supplements which I hope will help curb some of the inflammation associated with the disease. All of what I've learned can be helpful to anyone looking to improve their health.



Sunday, April 21, 2019

Fighting the Good Fight

This week seemed to be a turning point for me with both running and my disease. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I am battling the worst flare of rheumatoid arthritis since my diagnosis 2 1/2 years ago. You may be tired of hearing about it. Trust me, I'm tired of dealing with it. As a runner, I'd love nothing more than to share victories than the string of struggles I've been experiencing for the past couple of months. I am frustrated and there are days when I think I should just walk away. I know that would be wrong and because I'm stubborn, I keep trying.

You never know what's around the next corner. So you just keep on fighting. Adjusting the game plan. That's what warriors do.



Friday, April 19, 2019

Book Review: Outrunning the Demons by Phil Hewitt

Disclaimer: I received a prerelease copy of Outrunning the Demons by Phil Hewitt from NetGalley and Bloomsbury in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

***
"And then I did what I have always done. I ran." ~Phil Hewitt
After a brutal attack where he was left for dead, accomplished marathoner Phil Hewitt found a new meaning of the importance of running as he sought to get himself back on track. In his new book, Outrunning the Demons, Hewitt shares his story as well as the stories of 30 other runners who have used running to overcome PTSD, addiction, anxiety, and depression. If you are looking for inspiration, this book will provide plenty.



Tuesday, April 16, 2019

CARA Lakefront 5k Race Recap

The CARA Lakefront 10 miler is a perpetual favorite for me. I've run the race multiple times. It takes place along the Chicago lakefront in late March or early April. Organized by the Chicago Area Runners' Association, the race is a true "runner's race" and as such, attracts some really fast participants. This year, my running friend Steph wanted to run it with me.

I've been struggling with running for the last couple of months and that is mostly due to an ongoing flare of rheumatoid arthritis. Just as soon as it seems that I've gotten my symptoms under control, the disease flares up again. It's been frustrating for me. The week before this year's race was to take place, I had the worst flare since my diagnosis. Not wanting to DNS or risk a DNF, I made the decision to drop down to the 5k. I figured that at the very least, I could walk the 5k while Steph ran the 10 mile distance.



Sunday, April 14, 2019

Learning to Listen to My Body

Apparently, I've been overdoing it.

That's basically what my rheumatologist told me this week, in a very nicely worded diplomatic sort of way. When I protested that this is my usual level of activity, she told me what I already knew but needed to hear it again: I'm fighting an aggressive inflammatory illness and I need to scale back to allow my body to calm down.

I already knew this, but still. It kind of sucks.



Friday, April 12, 2019

Would You Run The Boston Marathon if You Were Given an Entry?

Earned, never given.

That well-used mantra pretty much sums up running the Boston Marathon. Entries to the legendary race are obtained through running a qualifying marathon time. Competition for entries is fierce.

The race is this Monday. Yet over the past week, I saw several posts from popular bloggers who received complementary entries from race sponsors. My first question was: how? My second question was: could I accept a free entry to run the Boston Marathon, knowing that I didn't "earn" it? Would I?



Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Would You Run a Race You Most Likely Wouldn't Finish?

This year's Barkley Marathons have ended with no finishers. Since the inception of the 33 year old infamous race, there have been only 15 finishers.

Knowing that there's a pretty good chance you won't be crossing the finish line. It's got to be an ultra thing. Because we road runners can't even fathom signing up for a race that we most likely wouldn't finish.

Could you? Would you?



Sunday, April 7, 2019

Things that Make Me Go OOooh!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOfos Sandals in exchange for my honest review. 

Feeling good and back at it again this week! There was so much to OOh about. Spring is finally here and along with that warmer temperatures. Best of all, RA, while still making its presence known, has simmered down to low. That in itself was a reason to go oooh!



Friday, April 5, 2019

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Happy Friday! Let's sit down over a cup of coffee and catch up! What do you take in your coffee? I've got half and half and some GLG Collagen--I swear by this stuff! Have you tried it? Just 2 tablespoons are all you need. Tell me what's new in your world. 


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Defensive Running: How to Protect Yourself from Distracted Drivers

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Back in the dark ages when I was taking drivers ed, the teacher made one statement that has stuck with me to this day. "Drive defensively", he said. "Always be prepared that the other driver isn't paying attention."

Well, who knew Mr Mihevic could predict the future? Or, at least driving as it is today? On my 5 mile commute to my office, I pass many cars with drivers using their phones--to talk, to text, and for god knows what else. It's dangerous and it's illegal.

It isn't just driving that is risky. While this post is directed at runners, I've experienced more than my share of near misses with cars while on the bike. Either way, bike or on foot, we are no match for a two ton mass of steel that is moving forward towards us.

It's all physics, my friend...