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...



Sunday, March 31, 2019

Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle: Race Recap

I runfess that I love everything about the Shamrock Shuffle. I love running in downtown Chicago. I love the distance. I love that the finish line is the same as the Chicago Marathon. I love the green. I love the bling.

What's not to love?

photo courtesy of the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle

Friday, March 29, 2019

Runfessions: March

Wow, can you believe it's the end of March? The weather is still wacky--it was warm and now it's threatening snow. March is definitely going out like a lion. Good riddance, I say and bring on spring!

The end of the month also signals the opening of the Runfessional. Yep, it's time to runfess. Marcia hosts this cleansing of the soles and let me tell you, it feels good.

What do you have to runfess?

Everything I tell Cocoa stays in the vault.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Spring Break with Mom: A Wild Week in Florida

When I was planning my annual trip to Anna Maria Island, Florida, I did what I always do. I looked for races taking place during the week. I found a half marathon in Fort DeSoto State Park, but I didn't sign up. I kept it in the back of my mind but decided to see how the week played out.

Smart move.

Both my boys made plans to join me on my trip for the first time in about 5 years. We had a wild week! It's not what you think, though.

Sit back, grab a glass of wine, and indulge me while I share our adventures in what some call "The Real Florida".



Friday, March 22, 2019

How to Push Yourself to Work Out When it's the Last Thing You Want to Do

Just like every Thursday is for me, today was strength training and bootcamp day. Last night before I went to bed, I checked out the workout posted on the website and signed up for the class. No hesitation, no rumination. It's my Thursday routine.

This morning, I woke up with a headache. Every joint in my body ached. It was dark, cold, and rainy. I laid in bed and wrestled with thoughts of staying there. I thought about skipping my workout. Cliche or not, the struggle was real.

I made the decision to get up and have a cup of coffee. Coffee makes everything better, right? Still not feeling well, I made a smoothie, took my vitamins, and considered my situation. No one was forcing me to go, right? I could text Sammy Jo and tell her I wasn't feeling well. Or I could take some ibuprofen and try to chase away my headache and joint pain.

What do you think I did? I think you know. Not only did I start to feel better, but I also had a great workout. I lifted heavy on my deadlifts. I made it through 5 rounds of a tough AMRAP that included a total of 1750m of running.

You never know if you don't try, right?



Friday, March 15, 2019

Book Review: Running Home: A Memoir by Katie Arnold

Disclaimer: I received a prerelease copy of Running Home: A Memoir from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.


*******************

"Some days I can no longer tell if running is madness or the clearest kind of sanity."

Katie Arnold is probably one of the best runners who happens to write. You might not have heard of her, but chances are you've read one of her articles in the New York Times, Runner's World or Outside Magazine, among others. She is also an elite ultramarathoner with an amazing list of accomplishments including first woman in the 2018 Leadville Trail 100 run.

Katie's love of running started by accident when her father signed seven-year-old Katie and her sister up for the Fodderstack 10k classic. Her father, David Arnold, a National Geographic photographer, wanted to take a picture of the sisters crossing the finish line. It took her almost 2 hours to finish. After the race, he had the girls run and crawl across the finish line multiple times so he could capture the moment on film. On the way home from the race, Katie had an insight:
"Suffering and perseverance were their own rewards. They could make me stronger. They could make all the tricky bits of life seem easier." ~Katie Arnold, Running Home: A Memoir.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Facing My Fears

I received a pair of SoleHealers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

Running has done a lot of good things for me. Health benefits aside, probably one of the best things I've gotten from running is confidence and the ability to do hard things. After failing so horribly at my first attempt at the marathon, I didn't think I could ever face that distance again. But...

Three years later, I lined up and ran a 1 hour and 10 minute PR at the marathon. What changed for me?

During that time frame, I started working with a CrossFit coach to correct some imbalances that were causing recurring injuries. As she worked with me to strengthen my posterior chain, she pushed me into the red zone on the comfort scale. She made me challenge myself and had me lift heavier than I ever thought I could. As part of my marathon training, along with strength training, she had me do MetCon style workouts which pushed me almost to the point of vomiting. I didn't vomit, and as a result of the hard training, I saw my mile splits improve to times I never dreamed I could run.

I'm not a natural athlete, so none of what I do comes easily to me. Confidence goes a long way to help a person overcome their fears. So does having a person who believes in you and pushes you.



Friday, March 8, 2019

50 Ways to Be a Runner

"The problem is all inside your head, she said to me
The answer is easy if you take it logically
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be fifty ways to be a runner
She said it's really not my habit to intrude
For the more I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued
So I repeat myself, at the risk of being cruel
There must be fifty ways to be a runner, fifty ways to be a runner
Just slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan
Don't mean to annoy, Roy, just listen to me
Skip the bus, Gus, don't need to discuss much
Just a quick three, Lee, and get yourself free"
 ~~adapted from Paul Simon, Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover

Can't get off the couch, grouch? Need a push outside, Clyde? Lost your way, Kay? Just listen to me. Slip on your shoes, Cruz and show us your moves. There are 50 ways to be a runner. Probably more. Get yourself free...



Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Seriously, Runner's World?

Every morning as I drink my coffee, I go through my email, mostly weeding through the endless spam. Along with the news briefs from The Skimm, The New York Times, and CNN,  I read the daily news brief from Runner's World. The messages usually contain about 5 links to articles ranging from scientific, to informative, and humorous. One of the articles is usually clickbait, linking to something Runner's World is selling. There's also always an ad for some running related product. Quite often I'll click on one of the articles.

Last week, I clicked on an article about a runner with Crohn's disease. "I had flares that lasted two weeks and flares that lasted two years", claimed the quote beneath the photo of a smiling female runner. She was holding a finisher's medal from NYCM. Of course, I was interested! I have rheumatoid arthritis and I am a medical professional. These are the kind of real world stories I enjoy. I clicked on the picture and my browser opened, the photo on the article blurred, and a message appeared.
"Uh oh! Looks like you hit the wall! Bust through it with Runner's World +" 
Runner's World +? What the heck? As I read the fine print, I learned that if I wanted to click through the ad to the article, I'd have to sign up for a subscription service that would allow me to read unlimited articles each month. Seriously, Runner's World?



Sunday, March 3, 2019

This is How I Know It's Real

Disclaimer: I received NovoRenew in exchange for my honest review. 

Last week, I shared that I was in the midst of another flare of rheumatoid arthritis. I know I share my issues with RA pretty often on the blog. I'd rather not, but RA is my reality and it often affects my training. When I'm having a bad week of training, I have to ask myself if it is due to illness, menopause, aging, or RA.

Thankfully, this week, for the most part, I feel like myself again. The steroids did their job, shutting off the inflammation. I'm running faster, my legs feel light, and my strength training went really well, even hitting a 5 rep PR doing push presses. For 3 sets.

This is how I know it's real.



Friday, March 1, 2019

Coffee Talk

It's the start of a new month and that means it's time to sit down for a cup of coffee! I don't know about you, but I so enjoy my morning coffee with a splash half and half. How do you take your coffee? Let's chat!



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Is Blogging Dying? 6 Reasons I'm Not Quitting

Is blogging dying?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've been writing this blog for over 5 years and I've seen a lot of blogs come and go. Participation in blog linkups, as well as online link threads, is down. From my own perspective, when I review my stats, my blog views are down. What's going on? Is it worth to keep blogging?

Social media and mobile platforms have taken control. Over the past couple of years, Instagram has exploded, reaching its highest number of users ever. I've noticed a trend of users posting more than a statement with their photos, some even posting race recaps or several paragraphs of dialogue. So while fewer people are blogging, it seems that they've taken their thoughts over to Instagram. With a 2100 word per post limit, you can write a mini-blog post on Instagram.

I get it. Instagram is quick and easy. Everyone is busy and overscheduled. Sitting down and writing a blog post takes preparation and time. Reading blogs? Who's got time for that?

I'm not ready to give it up yet, though. Here are my reasons for sticking with blogging.



Sunday, February 24, 2019

RA Flare Don't Care

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Mizuno Wave Horizon 3s in exchange for my honest review.

As you might have guessed from the title of my post, I spent most of the week dealing with an uptick in RA symptoms. As much as I wanted to curl up under a blanket and stay on the couch, I tried to keep it positive and stuck to my usual routine. I was both grateful for being able to move and frustrated for not being able to move the way I like. It was a tough week for me. I can't help but believe that some of my symptoms are due to this pervasive dampness we're having.



Friday, February 22, 2019

Runfessions: February

It's the last Friday of February and that means its time for runfessions! Is it just me or did February just fly by? Anyways, Marcia has opened the runfessional, so let's head in and cleanse our soles...




Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Runner's Gotta Run...

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

I have become a weather stalker in the worst way possible. Without a treadmill as a backup, planning my runs during the last couple of weeks has required flexibility. The forecast might call for snow and we get freezing rain. The thermometer might say 42 but the streets are coated with black ice because the temperatures dipped below freezing overnight. The polar vortex slips off its rocker and rolls into Chicago once again on gusty winds. You get the picture.

Winter is always a crapshoot but for this outdoor runner, Winter 2019 has really killed my mojo. A runner's gotta run and crappy weather or not, that's what I did. There's a happy ending to this sad, sad story, though...

Monday's icy, snowy run

Friday, February 15, 2019

Book Review: Good to Go by Christie Ashwanden

Disclaimer: I received an advance reader's copy of Good to Go from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. This review contains affiliate links.


"The explosion of recovery products and services can seem ridiculous because in its most basic form--a return to readiness following an intense workout or competition--everyone intuitively knows what recovery is and how to achieve it." ~Christie Aschwanden, Good to Go

Runners and other athletes are always looking for that magic bullet to help us bounce back faster from a hard workout or a long run. We agonize over fueling and diet. We take supplements. We foam roll. We roast in a sauna or freeze in a cryo tank. We wear compression. It's not just amateur athletes--the pros are all about recovery and will go to any extreme to recover from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), even soaking in a vat of red wine, so-called "vinotherapy".

In her newly released book, Good to Go, author Christie Aschwanden explores the science of recovery. Not only does she share funny anecdotes and the science behind some of the recovery methods, but Aschwanden herself also tries some of the methods purported to help with recovery. Taking one for the team, so to speak.


Sunday, February 10, 2019

It Was One of Those Weeks...

This was not my week. Taking a cue from Holly, I've come up with a few alternative titles for this post:

"Now I know why penguins walk the way they do"
"Ice, ice baby"
"I need a backup plan for the backup plan"
"Come on, Man!"
"The Mondayest Wednesday Ever"



Friday, February 8, 2019

Ode to a Treadmill

My 22 year old treadmill died this week.

The dreadmill, the device of torture, the hamster wheel, the necessary evil for a runner living in the midwest--whatever you like to call it-- finally called it quits. On a recent icy day when conditions were too hazardous to run outdoors, I took to my old, reliable treadmill to complete my run. I couldn't get it to start, so I tripped the circuit breaker. The power came on and I started to run. After only a couple of minutes, the treadmill came to an abrupt stop. I again tripped the circuit breaker and resumed running, but again, the power went out. I could not get it to start again.



Sunday, February 3, 2019

I've Got Cabin Fever and the Only Prescription is Getting Outside!

Even if you are sick to death hearing about the polar vortex, those of us experiencing it this week could talk of nothing else. It was dangerously cold, ridiculously cold--colder than I can ever remember! While the recent cold spell forced almost all of us inside, I feel fortunate that it didn't affect me in a bad way. My power was on, my home was warm, the treadmill fired up, and I got an extra day off work. I spent the day working on the blog and studying for the class I am taking.

I also did some reading on the polar vortex and found this great article on Mashable. It explains all about why we were so cold this week and yep, it's all due to global warming. I couldn't help but marvel at the palpable excitement of all the TV weather people discussing this phenomenon. I learned about frost quakes, which woke me up at night. And even though we were warned about the dangers of the boiling water trick, you know I had to try it. I love science.

Anyhoo, it was a really interesting week. We went from -25F on Wednesday to 35F degrees on Saturday. What a difference 60 degrees makes! Inside or out, I got my workouts in. Because as we like to say: the temperatures might drop, but the workouts don't stop. Ok, maybe no one likes to say that...I'm just going a little stir crazy over here.

Jumping for joy on Saturday!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Greetings from Chiberia! It's been so brutally cold this week that my coffee pot has been on around the clock. I've got a fresh pot brewing, so let's sit down and catch up on life off the road. What would you tell me over coffee?

Dreaming of warmer weather and fun times...

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Race Recap: Pettit Indoor Marathon Relay

One of the reasons I joined the Busse Woods Running Club was to expand my running experiences. Since I've gotten involved, I have gone with them for some field trips to local preserves and trails. When they opened up entries for 20 teams for the Pettit Indoor Marathon Relay, I wasn't sure I wanted to sign up. Pettit sounded intriguing, but Holly and I were debating between 2 half marathons for January, Mobile and Callaway Gardens, which was the same weekend as Pettit.

When the president of the club posted that there were only 2 more slots to fill, I made a decision. Knowing that Callaway was hilly and Mobile was flat, I confirmed with Holly that Mobile was a go. I said yes to Pettit. With that, I had my January calendar filled. Having to decide between 2 races? Runner problems!



Sunday, January 27, 2019

Hell is Actually Freezing Over

It is so cold...how cold is it? It is so cold even the snowmen want to come inside...

It is so cold...how cold is it? It is so cold that my college son is considering wearing boots...

It is so cold...how cold is it? It is so cold even Elsa is bothered by it...

It is so cold...how cold is it? It is so cold that I look forward to hot flashes...

It is so cold...how cold is it? It is so cold that I ran on the treadmill...

It is so cold...how cold is it? It is so cold that:


Friday, January 25, 2019

Runfessions: January

January just flew by, which in my mind is a good thing! This month has been such a whirlwind that I cannot believe it's time for Runfessions again. I'm glad Marcia reminded us that she's opening the runfessional today. I needed to dig deep for some runfessions today, which is probably a good thing too, right?

This post reminds me of those days as a child when I used to confess my sins to the priest. Sometimes I had to think of sins that were worthy of a confession. Seriously. What kind of sins does a young girl commit? I'm sure he sat there listening to me confess about being mean to my sisters and thought: "yep, I'm living the dream". I wonder if anyone ever shares anything juicy in the confessional? Is a priest obligated to call the police if someone confesses to a crime?

Fortunately, I don't have any crimes to runfess. There were some shenanigans this month. But as with most lapses in judgment, it was all worth it...



Sunday, January 20, 2019

Race Recap: Mobile Half Marathon

Last fall, my WW cohost Holly and I talked about a winter half marathon. I preferred not to repeat another swampy half marathon like last February's Mercedes. Holly threw out a couple of suggestions for January. When she mentioned Mobile to me, I was interested. First of all, the course is flat. There was also the lure of southern charm, antebellum homes, and the gulf coast. Teresa and Karen had expressed interest about a winter half, so we made Mobile a girls' weekend.

When a black Friday discount became available, we sealed the deal. I booked my flight and was Mobile bound!



Friday, January 18, 2019

Book Review: Late Air by Jaclyn Gilbert

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
 "Maybe people became the best and worst versions of what you projected onto them, she thought--they became the stories you told yourself, so they filled the holes of your own story, the ones you didn't want to look."~Jaclyn Gilbert, Late Air 
It's pretty rare to find fictional books about running, much less good fiction about running. Most of the running fiction books I've read have been about as exciting as the treadmill. I was excited to see Late Air by Jaclyn Gilbert as a new release and I wanted to read it, but I checked out the reviews before I committed to it.  Combined with positive feedback and a Kindle deal (which is still a bargain at 5.99), I downloaded the book and immediately dug in.

I couldn't put it down. In fact, I moved it to the top of my list of books to review for 2019. It was that good.



Sunday, January 13, 2019

Proceeding with Caution

After a rough start to 2019, this week things settled down nicely. I was ready for a do-over! After my back injury, I was a little nervous about my plans to travel south to Mobile to run a half marathon with Holly, Teresa, and Karen. I'm preparing this post in advance, so I'm optimistically telling you to check my Instagram to see how things turned out for us. For the most part, I behaved myself all week, so there's no reason to believe anything would go wrong....

I'll recap the weekend and the race on next week's wrap up. For today, I'm sharing some highlights from my very low-key week. 



Friday, January 11, 2019

How to Be A Runner

In the very back of the last couple of issues of Runner's World, there has been a recurring feature called How to Be a Runner. "Regular runners", people like you and me, select their preferences of all things running from a list. I kind of love stuff like this. I'm heading out of town to run a race as we speak and I thought this would be the perfect lazy blogger post for a Friday.

Feel free to copy and paste your own answers!


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Pop! Goes the Ego

Starting the new year with an injury was not part of the plan. But you know what they say about plans...and the universe is laughing at me once again. Instead of finishing up some miles in preparation for my half marathon next weekend, I'm spent most of the week sitting on the couch with a heating pad on my back. Nursing a dislocated sacroiliac joint and a bruised ego.

There's nowhere to go but up from here.