async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: June 2019

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.