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

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Runfessions --August

Say it ain't so! We've reached the end of August and summer is winding down. I'm not ready! August was a busy month--I think I packed in as much as I could. No regrets about any of it, but I do have some runfessions. Because there's always something to runfess...

Let's head into the runfessional so I can clear my sole. Pun completely intended.



Tuesday, August 27, 2019

How to Deal with ITB Pain

Disclaimer: The information in this post is purely informational and is not intended as a substitute for seeing a medical provider. 

Now that's a pain I haven't felt in a long time...

For about the past month, I've felt a little nagging pain in my right hip. Even as I write this, I've got this aching running down my outer right thigh to my knee. No, it's not RA. It's not joint pain, even though the pain is originating in my hip. I know this pain. Even though it's been a long time since I've felt it, it's a pain you never forget. Because like plantar fasciitis, once you've had it, you never want it again.

Have you ever experienced iliotibial band tendonitis aka ITB pain? If you have, you know of what I speak. I need to get it on it stat! before it gets out of control. Here's how I'm dealing with the re-emergence of yet another sleeping beast.



Saturday, August 24, 2019

You Are Stronger Than You Think

Last week I was at CrossFit, working on the weekly challenge. To improve grip strength, we had to hold all kinds of things for a total of 3 minutes. The weights of the items (plates, kettlebells, etc) were prescribed by the workout. But 53# kettlebells? I didn't think I could do it. I opted for 35# kettlebells and was standing with them when one of the other participants, a 60-something PT who has no filter, started ridiculing me for scaling the lift. I defended my choice. She kept at it and I started to get upset. She said to me; You are stronger than you think. Her son, who is one of the coaches, chimed in. He commented that I wasn't even struggling, that those 35# kettlebells were too light for me.

Fighting tears, my voice cracking, I told them to stop. Fine. I put down the 35# kettlebells and picked up the 53# pair. I held them one minute before I put them down to give my hands a rest. You held them for a minute? he said. See? You are stronger than you think. I finished the exercise, holding them for 2 consecutive minutes. When I was done, he and his mother congratulated me. I told them they were mean and the mood lightened.

Why did I get so upset? There's no crying at CrossFit, right? Why did I think I couldn't hold those kettlebells? Would I have pushed myself to lift heavier without that 'encouragement'? Am I holding back when I could be doing more?



Friday, August 23, 2019

Book Review: Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero

Disclaimer: I received a prerelease copy of Running with Sherman from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review. The book is due to be released on October 15. This post contains affiliate links.

Why on earth would I want to read a book about a guy who adopts a mangy, depressed donkey and decides he wants to run the World Burro Championships with him? Because it's Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run. Born to Run is one of my all-time favorite books about running and it is credited with starting the whole barefoot running craze.

McDougall has been sharing stories about Sherman in his New York Times column, Running with Sherman. The book grew from these anecdotes and is written in the same style as Born to Run. There's McDougall's personal story interspersed with sidebar plots, lots of history about trail running, ultramarathoning, and burro racing. As with Born to Run, Running with Sherman makes for a very compelling read.



Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Race Recap: Homestretch for Heroes 5k

Homestretch for Heroes 5k is an evening event that has been held the last couple of years at the Arlington International Race Course, a well-known horse racing venue. The event donates all of the proceeds to benefit SALUTE, Inc, a local charity that provides financial, physical, and emotional aid to injured military service members, veterans, and their families. It's a unique event that has runners finish on the race track, their live images projected onto the leaderboard.



Sunday, August 18, 2019

Can I Still Call Myself a Runner?

It's been a few weeks since I've posted a training recap. Summer's kept me hopping! As much fun as I've been having, the training hasn't stopped. I'm not training for anything official, though. I have a half marathon on the calendar in September but unless some sort of running miracle happens, that race is going to be a DNS.

For me right now, running is kind of a non-thing. I've been pretty much phoning in my runs this summer. As much as I consider myself a runner, the fact of the matter is that for the past 6 months, running has felt hard. God knows I've whined about it enough here on the blog. I've given up trying to figure out why. And you know what else? I'm not really bothered by it right now. I've been so busy staying active doing other things that the low mileage hasn't affected me. I'm sure that come fall when life slows back down, the running struggle is going to become real again.

Maybe the cooler temperatures will bring some kind of running miracle? A runner can only dream. Who am I kidding? With the almost non-existent mileage that I'm logging right now, can I even call myself a runner?



Friday, August 16, 2019

Random Friday Thoughts

Guys, I got nothing for today except a bunch of random thoughts that alone don't add up to a whole blog post. It's been a busy, big couple of weeks. This week has been all about recovery--both physical and mental. Indulge me while I share some of my ruminations from Wednesday's run.



Tuesday, August 13, 2019

EMPOWER Summer Camp: The Swag!

Disclaimer: I received a paid invitation to attend EMPOWER Summer Camp from SweatPink/FitApproach in exchange for social media postings. As an attendee, I received free swag from NowFoodsAfterShokzGreatLakesGelatinTakeyaUSAJadeLeafMatchaGrassFedCoffeeMomentumJewelryGimmeGramsThinkNooArtisanTropicLoveSujaGoodr, and MyDandies. While I will mention a few specific products in this post, I'll be sharing reviews of all those wonderful gifts in a separate post. All my opinions are my own.

While the best part of camp (did you read my recap?), for me at least, was the activities and the connections I made with other fitness-minded women, I can't deny that I was kind of wowed by all the goodies I came home with! Part of the deal of going to this camp was to share our appreciation for the sponsors via social media. It wasn't hard to do. Jamie, Alyse, and Nic did a great job of incorporating the sponsored products into all our activities. 

I wanted to share all the goodies we got at camp in this separate post. Kind of a mini-review with the hopes that blog readers would enjoy hearing about a few more adventures. I've hyperlinked the sponsors' Instagram accounts so you can learn more about their products. I've also included a few discount codes that were provided by the companies.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

EMPOWER Summer Camp: The Recap

Disclaimer: I received a paid invitation to attend EMPOWER Summer Camp from SweatPink/FitApproach in exchange for social media postings. As an attendee, I received free swag from NowFoods, AfterShokz, GreatLakesGelatin, TakeyaUSA, JadeLeafMatcha, GrassFedCoffee, MomentumJewelryGimmeGrams, ThinkNoo, ArtisanTropic, LoveSuja, Goodr, and MyDandies. While I will mention a few specific products in this post, I'm sharing reviews of all those wonderful gifts in a separate postAll my opinions are my own. 

Where to start? I'm sure most of you reading this caught some of the social media posts from last weekend's EMPOWER summer camp. If you didn't see those, you at least felt my excitement prior to the big event! When the ladies of FitApproach asked me to come, you know I didn't say no! The biggest hurdle was my job. I was scheduled to work that weekend and I couldn't find anyone to switch.

Cue the temper tantrum. Ok, maybe I'm being dramatic but I wanted in. Lucky me, one of my partners took my weekend and the deal was sealed. I was going to summer camp!!! I don't even know if I can do this weekend justice in a recap. It's taken me about a week to absorb the entire experience. As Ruby, one of the SweatPink team commented, I'm completely blissed out.

photo courtesy of Ruby@fitapproach

Friday, August 9, 2019

How to Partner with Your Doctor and Take Charge of Your Health

As an athlete, I've always been someone who likes to be in charge of my body. I'm also a nurse practitioner who works in a primary healthcare setting, managing patient care. When I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis a few years ago, I looked for a specialist who would provide the medical care I needed but would also partner with me in medical decision making. In the early days of my diagnosis, I was more passive as a patient, letting my doctor order medications and treatments she deemed necessary. As time passed, I did the necessary homework, reading up on my disease and treatments and asking questions.

I took a more active role in my treatment plan when a serious side effect occurred with one of the medications I was taking. My doctor wanted to continue the medication but at a lower dose. We debated the pros and cons and in the end, she discontinued the medication. With my most recent disease flare, during which I had severe fatigue, we discussed options of how to best manage my symptoms. I agreed to a trial of a new medication. After 6 weeks of the medication, there was no improvement and I developed tinnitus, a non-reversible side effect. During those 6 weeks, I combed through the medical literature on my condition and symptoms. When I returned to see my doctor, armed with knowledge, I was prepared to discuss my perspective, as an athlete and as a patient. While she stopped the tinnitus-causing medication, alternative medications she wanted me to start would have further impacted my ability to exercise. There was an alternative medication I had learned about and when I presented it to her, she liked it.

Several months later, I can say that I am feeling and doing much better.

I see a lot of posts on social media from fellow athletes who have health problems, ranging from injuries to chronic illnesses like mine. As a health care provider myself, I can say with all honesty that not all medical providers are willing to partner with their patients to develop a plan of care that is customized to their needs. There are also patients who are willing to take a passive role in their health care and follow whatever their physician tells them. I am also amazed at people who refuse to follow conventional, proven treatments for health conditions. While there is a place for alternative medicine, it is as an adjunct to conventional medicine, not as a replacement. There has to be a happy medium here!

How do we partner with our doctors (and nurse practitioners) and still take charge of our health?



Friday, August 2, 2019

Coffee Talk: August

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

It seems like we just sat down for a cup of coffee to catch up on life, but here we are again! Summer is flying by and it's been busy. Let's share a cup of joe and chat! I've got some Colectivo Mexico (not an affiliate link) brewing. My son picked up a bag for me on his last trip to Madison. Good stuff!

Thanks to FitApproach for the fun graphic!