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.


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"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!