Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Year's Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Happy New Year! Happy NEW YEAR!!! Have any of us ever been so glad to welcome in a new year? I can only wish that with the flip of the calendar, we could flip a switch on life as it is right now. Sadly, no. The pandemic rages on, complete with new strains and continued discontent around us. But I'm not going to dwell on any of that. I'm hopeful for good things to come this year and that's how we should start a new year. Clean slate and all that, right?

It's time to catch up on our first coffee date of the year. What's in your cup? I've got a fresh pot of Dunkin' Donuts coffee brewing. Sipping on it as we speak, along with a scoop of GLG collagen, and that most important splash of half and half. 


Sunday, December 27, 2020

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Christmas 2020 was unlike any other as we celebrated, socially distant. Christmas Eve was just the 4 of us, with homemade pizza. After dinner, my youngest son's girlfriend joined us for a lively game of Fibbage, followed by Quiplash. We spent the evening laughing ourselves silly. Christmas Day was again just the 4 of us. We opened our gifts, did a Zoom exchange with my parents, sisters, and their families, and enjoyed a roasted goose for dinner. 

Prior to the holiday, my youngest son started complaining of a sore throat on Tuesday; by Wednesday he had a fever. I was feeling a little panicked. He swore up and down that he hadn't been exposed. I believed him--none of his 8 housemates have had COVID and a recent COVID antibody test was negative. I was pretty sure that my immunity to the virus from the vaccine I received less than a week ago wasn't very strong at that point, and inwardly I crumbled. 

The next day I took my still febrile son to the immediate care at my office. He was swabbed for COVID, flu, and strep and tested for mono, even though it was too soon for the monospot to be reliable. Everything was negative, which was kind of a mixed blessing. I mean, I don't want him to have anything, but clearly, he did, and wouldn't it be better to know what it was?

Relieved about that negative COVID test, but knowing there was still the possibility of a false negative, I was glad that we already planned on a socially distant holiday at home. The risk of exposing my extended family to whatever he had would have forced that anyway. As the weekend progressed, my son's sore throat got worse and the fever continued. His symptoms didn't seem like typical COVID. We got late-breaking test results this morninng: it's non-group A strep, a variation that we don't normally treat. I offered to call in a prescription of antibiotics for him since he's still pretty miserable, but he's going to tough it out. Just like a man, lol. 

This is where we're at right now-- where every illness is COVID until proven otherwise, but anything else is preferable. 

Guys, I am so tired of COVID, but I can't just ignore it. I am faced with it every day in my job. We are so close to getting on top of it, but people just can't seem to get that. If I get a little salty about it, please consider my perspective.

Weekly Rundown

Monday: trail run 5.6 miles, Yoga with Adriene
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: run 5 miles
Thursday: rest
Friday: run 5.27 miles
Saturday: trail run 6 mile
Sunday: CrossFit wod with 2250m run
Year to date: 1198 miles

Running

Holiday week; my training schedule was up for grabs. With a dentist appointment scheduled for Wednesday morning (I broke a tooth), I took my shoes to the trails on Monday. I'm so glad I did. It was a cold but absolutely gorgeous morning. To mix things up, I parked in a different lot and found a new-to-me trail into the woods. This was a twisty, up and down path with lots of downed tree trunks. I took full advantage of some agility training, leaping over them. These trails are truly the gift that keeps on giving!


It was ridiculously windy on Wednesday, so I ran my neighborhood loop, ensuring that I wouldn't run into the wind for any length of time. It was a good plan and my splits were all over the place, depending on the wind. I stopped at the park to play with handstands and surprised myself by easily kicking up and holding them! 


I always run on Christmas morning and even though it was bitterly cold, the sun was shining when I headed out to the bike path. There were a few other die-hard runners and walkers out there too.


Saturday was another cold morning, although not as cold as the day before. I decided to go to the preserve along the DesPlaines River. When I got there, the parking lot was closed. So I drove to another parking lot, which was also closed. Odd. There is a nature center in this preserve, surely, I thought, that would be open. It was and I parked in the lot, running through the little nature area to the trail. From there, I ran south 3 miles in the cold sunshine. When I finished, I stopped to ask the employee about the closed parking areas. She said they would be closed for the season to allow workers unrestricted access to do maintenance on the trails. Oh, right! 🙄

a beautiful cold bluebird day!

CrossFit/Strength

I received a new wooden plyo/jump box for Christmas and was excited to see that Sunday's WOD included box overs! The WOD started with 2 rounds of a 4 minute AMRAP: 5 box overs, 5 burpees, and 10 single arm DB power cleans. After a 2 minute rest, there was another 4 minute AMRAP of 5 handstand pushups or decline pushups, 5 per leg single leg v-ups, and 10 single arm DB snatches. After a 2 minute rest, I finished up with a 2000m run (subbed for a 2000m row).

Cocoa testing out my new plyo box

It Felt a Little Like Christmas...

I runfess...I really enjoyed our little family holiday this year. Don't tell my mom. Earlier in the week, my husband and I did a drive-through light show that was choreographed to music. While we enjoyed it, it definitely wasn't something I want to do again. I'd rather walk and enjoy at my own pace. 

My sunroof came in handy for photos

On Christmas morning, I woke up to photos sent from the mother of the family my office adopted for the holidays. Oh my goodness, was that what my heart needed to see! I shared them with wonderful coworkers, several of whom sent photos of their own little ones opening gifts. What a blessing they all are!

My husband, boys, and I opened our gifts. That Goose Island Bourbon county stout I scored last month put a big smile on my very stoic husband's face! Best.gift.ever. He was stunned and told me he too had entered the lottery but didn't get an entry to purchase it. We gifted my oldest son, who loves to cook, a silver Kitchen Aid mixer that I scored on Black Friday. My youngest got a new snowboarding helmet after cracking his old one when he crashed last March. I got some Vuori joggers, which I haven't stopped wearing except for a run, along with the plyometric jump box

my sick boy and nurse Cocoa

We Zoomed with my family, but most of the gifts we mailed to my sister and her family out east hadn't yet arrived. While it was nice to see everyone, Zoom is definitely not a substitute for the real thing. After dinner of roasted goose, we watched the new Wonder Woman movie, which while not my typical movie, I have to admit I enjoyed it. I could use some of her skills! Goals for 2021. 

This year was very different than Christmases of the past, but we made the most of it and it was really nice!

How was your holiday? Were you able to squeeze in some workouts? Did you get together with family or did you do a virtual get-together like we did?

I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown. 






Thursday, December 24, 2020

Holiday Runfessions

It might be Christmas Day, but it's also the last Friday of the month. That means only one thing--we get to runfess! Marcia has generously opened the runfessional today. I've got a few things to runfess. I know, shocker, right?

A gift from a friend

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Too Close for Comfort

This week was remarkable for how COVID began closing in on my world. My husband came home from work every day with an announcement that yet another person or 2 working on his job tested positive, finally shutting down the job for a day for cleaning. One of the doctors that I work with tested positive on Wednesday. Her medical assistant was already out, recovering from the illness. I sit next to them in our work area. It's been frightening and too close for comfort. 

It's like playing COVID roulette. 

My family has planned for a socially distant Christmas celebration. Shopping was done early so the gifts could be shipped to recipients in time for a Zoom gift exchange. It's not the holiday any of us want, but we've got family members who are at high risk for complications. 

I'd sure feel bad if I gave anyone COVID for Christmas; the guilt I'd feel from that far outweighs any guilt I might feel from skipping a holiday celebration this year. This isn't the Christmas that any of us want. It's been the year that none of us wanted. We're all tired of it. But as the cases continue to rise, don't let down your guard. Keep wearing your masks and keep your distance. 

There is good news, however. Today, after my run, I went to the hospital and received my first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. I feel like I won the lottery. When I found out on Friday that I was on the list to receive the vaccine, the sense of relief nearly brought me to tears. I feel very, very fortunate. Here's to hoping that this is the first step towards a return to normalcy.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

The Countdown is On!

55 bottles of beer on the wall, 55 bottles of beer. Take one down, pass it around, then you get drunk and you fall on the ground... Who remembers singing this song on school field trips?  Was it just my school? Ahh, the carefree 1970s...

When 2020 began, none of us had any clue as to what the year held for us. Like most of you, I had some races on the calendar and was going to plan my runs, training for my events as they rolled out. There were whispers of a pandemic brewing, but none of us could fathom what was to come. Looking back on the year, from a running perspective, for me, there weren't many races, but it was a good year for me with a lot of miles run. In fact, I am closing in on 1200 miles for the year. I didn't set a mileage goal this year, but as the end of the year approached and the miles piles up, I figured it was worth chasing. After all, it has been a long time since these legs have run this many miles.

Since my diagnosis with RA 4 years ago, I stopped setting mileage goals. But when I hit 100 miles for the month as part of a virtual challenge back in April, I decided to make it a goal to run 100 miles each month this year. Then I entered the Ice Age Trail race and accumulated some decent mileage training for that. The race may have been postponed until 2021, but I kept on running. 

At this writing, I am at 1145 miles for the year. There are no awards, no medals, just my pride, and that feeling of accomplishment on the line. All things considered, RA and an aging body, I'm really happy that I can do this. Oh and yeah, running was not canceled this year! I may have mentioned that before, lol. 1200 miles? I'm coming for you.


Monday, December 7, 2020

2020: Racing Through a Pandemic

Disclaimer: As an ambassador for All Community Events, I received free race entries.

When 2020 started, I declared that I had goals, but I was 'keeping them close to the vest'. What was I thinking about for the upcoming year? I really was excited for a trail race in the Everglades in March. Whomp whomp. COVID and my son's snowboarding accident put a kibosh on those plans. 

I also shared my spring race plans, which included a race on the ice in Madison, a race at the Chicago Auto Show, the Shamrock Shuffle, the CARA Lakefront 10 miler, and the Chicagoland Spring Half Marathon. Whomp, whomp again. I only ran one of these, although I did receive the medal for that 10 miler in the mail. Thanks to the Chicago lakefront path being shut down for half of the year, I never truly earned it, although I ran plenty of 10 mile runs this year. Does one of them count? Can I hang that medal on my medal rack?

Everything changed this year, didn't it?

With pretty much everything canceled, I fell in love with trail running, did a 12 week virtual challenge, ran a few virtual halfs, and yes, eventually ran a few live races. This was definitely not the year any of us had planned for. But we runners pushed on. I kept seeing the words "running is not canceled" and nope, it wasn't. Running took us outside where we could socially distance and breathe freely. Running made us grateful for what we could do. COVID couldn't take running away from us.

This isn't my typical end of the year race recap. Compiling this list was a bit of a challenge. Some of the races I ran had bling, some didn't, a few races were live, but most weren't. As an ambassador for ACE and CARA, I ran quite a few virtual 5ks and 10ks, which I didn't include in this recap. I also ran a distance challenge, which helped me push my monthly miles up during the 2 months while I did it.  While I'm grateful for all the efforts race directors made to keep runners challenged, after this year, I hope to never run another virtual race again. 


Sunday, December 6, 2020

This Year, It's All About the Little Things

If I could have the perfect Midwestern winter, I would want the weather we have had since early fall. We've had a nice long stretch of sunny and what local weather legend Tom Skilling calls 'seasonally cool' weather. Sure, there have been a few inclement days, but for the most part, it's been really pleasant. Local peeps, you know what I'm talking about, right? We can get some pretty ugly weather this time of year, so to me, our current conditions are really a gift. It's been a year that has been filled with so much awfulness and I'm grateful for all the sunshine. 

Oh, and I'm just fine with no snow. Sorry, not sorry.

Thanks to the nice weather, I've been getting outside for all my runs and continue to add my mileage bank. I didn't start out the year with a mileage goal, but I'm closing in on 1200 miles for the year! The pandemic may have curtailed a lot of our activities and canceled a lot of our races, but I'm pleasantly surprised with what has been my highest mileage since 2014. That has been a huge gift in a year that hasn't been giving me much to smile about. 

on the IAT

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Coffee Talk: 'Tis the Season for Joy

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's sit down and catch up over coffee! It's the final coffee date of 2020--a year that I think most of us are ready to see come to an end. I'm torn between unleashing on this terrible year and keeping it light and festive. There's just so much to talk about. After spending so much time in isolation, I may just talk your ear off. 

What are you having? Today, I'm enjoying a complimentary cup of Starbucks with half and half. For the month of December, all frontline healthcare workers can get free regular coffee. I'm not a fancy coffee drink person, so this suits me well. 

In spite of all that's going on right now,  I've found that it's the little things in my life that are giving me joy. Pour yourself a big cup of your favorite beverage while we talk about them.


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Ache it 'Til You Make It

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

After many months of feeling really good, this week rheumatoid arthritis awoke from its hibernation and unleashed some hurt on me. I don't know if it was due to the Humira wean my rheumatologist had me doing or if it was the rainy, cold weather we had this week, but I was not feeling good. With my final half marathon of the year (virtual) scheduled for Saturday, I wasn't even sure if that was going to happen. 

Fortunately, I finally had a good nights' sleep on Friday and woke up Saturday to sunshine and much less pain. Was it the Chil Wellness salve I slathered all over my joints the night before? I don't know but I was really grateful for feeling better. I was determined to run my race and I was rewarded with a strong run. I'm sharing the details below. This was my last virtual race of the year and hopefully forever. I'm so over virtual racing and ready to get back to live events. But who knows what 2021 will bring? 


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Black Friday Runfessions

It's Black Friday and instead of shopping for bargains, I'm at the runfessional. Actually, if you're reading this on Friday, I'm at work and hoping to get some online bargains in between seeing patients. I do have a few runfessions, because what real runner doesn't? Marcia opens the runfessional on the last Friday of every month and I am so thankful for the opportunity to cleanse my soles. 


Monday, November 23, 2020

Book Review: Win At All Costs: Inside Nike Running and Its Culture of Deception by Matt Hart

 Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

I have to admit that initially upon its release, I wasn't interested in reading Matt Hart's Win At All Costs; Inside Nike Running and Its Culture of Deception. I'd heard the stories about Alberto Salazar, the famed coach, who has been banned from running and racing because of doping allegations. I'd heard the rumors about Galen Rupp, Salazar's protegĂ©, thought to be heavily involved in doping. I read the stories about Kara Goucher's defection to Oiselle and never quite understood it. Last fall, young running phenom Mary Cain, came out against Salazar and his abusive comments about her weight. 

This is all very interesting, especially to those of us in running. Would a book that detailed the years of allegations against Salazar and Nike be a good read? Well, after reading Alex Hutchinson's recommendation--and for the life of me, I can't find it--I decided to pick it up. 

I'm so glad I did. It's a fascinating read and so well written, I couldn't put it down. In fact, some of the stories are so outrageous, you might forget this is a fact-based book! But for Nike and Salazar, it was all about winning--at any cost. 


Sunday, November 22, 2020

A Grateful Runner

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, it's the perfect time to reflect on all there is to be grateful for. It's easy to get caught up in all the negativity that has surrounded us for much of 2020. I'm not going to focus on that today. Instead, I want to focus on my year of fitness, which has been a bright spot for me. 

After 4 years of struggling with rheumatoid arthritis, my disease is currently under control and I'm feeling really good. I always want to pinch myself when I say that because when you live with a chronic illness, you know that the rug can be pulled out from under you at any time. I've been pushing my body pretty hard this year, which has always been something I do when I'm feeling anxious or stressed. Fortunately, my body hasn't pushed back, instead responding to the challenge and giving me some fast runs and heavy lifts. For that, I am grateful. 

I am grateful that I discovered trail running this year. Not only did I make some new furry friends out in the woods, the trails force me to slow down and enjoy the ride. The trails aren't smooth and there are plenty of obstacles--think tree roots, stumps, and holes--which have improved my agility. Trail running is humbling because for me, it's more difficult than road running. I can't just dial up my music and zone out like I can on the roads. Trail running been a great way to mix up my runs and as I age, I see myself spending more time on the trails.

I am grateful for the opportunites this year to test out my legs at some live races. While the races I ran this year were nothing like what I am used to, it was still a good to put all that training to the test. Running those races also made me realize how much I miss live races, nerves and all. 

Finally, I am grateful to my strength coach for continuing to push me and helping me build muscles. Strength training is truly the fountain of youth. It might not erase my wrinkles, but being strong keeps my joints happy and allows me to do the thing I love most, running. I also can keep up with my grown sons, which has always been a goal of mine. They inspired the tag line on my blog, "sitting on the sidelines is no fun!"

Monday, November 16, 2020

11 Amazing Holiday Gifts for Runners

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received complimentary items from Smitty Lettering, RUNchie, Sudio, Tesalate, and roadID in exchange for social sharing. 

The holidays are quickly approaching! In fact, I'm already participating in a gift exchange with some of my fellow bloggers. It's a lot of fun to see what everyone is asking for and receiving for the holidays. For this year's holiday gift list for runners, I'm sharing some items that I've tried out and liked. Several of the items I'm sharing are from smaller businesses. It's been a tough year for a lot of them and I want to show them some love! 


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Here We Go Again

Yes, this is a running blog, but I need to comment on what's happening with COVID. Because not only has it affected our sport, cancelling most races this year, but the rising numbers threaten to put many of us back on lockdown.

After keeping the spread of COVID under control all summer long, our numbers here in Illinois along with much of the country, are skyrocketing out of control. While we are at about a 14% positivity rate, Wisconsin is beyond ridiculous, with a positivity rate around 37%. I'm not sure if its complacency or the cold weather or what, but as the case count continues to climb, we're starting to shut down again. It's getting scary and it's getting old. 

Last week, I had a mom bring her child in for COVID antibody testing. The parents had had the illness previously and mom wanted to know if the child had it too. When I called mom with the positive results, she told me that she had taken a COVID test prior to seeing me and was still testing positive. What the what? We are a non-COVID clinic. How did she get past the screeners at the front door? We were masked but still! We don't really know about people who stay positive long after their symptoms have resolved. Are they asymptomatic spreaders?

This is the reality of what's happening on the front lines. One of my partners had a patient come in this week with full blown COVID symptoms, but lied about the reason for the visit so he could be seen. Come on! Don't be selfish. Wear the damn mask and wear it correctly, over your nose. If you have symptoms, stay home. If you think it's no big deal, well, I don't know what to say to you. 

Saturday's trail run

Monday, November 9, 2020

Race Recap: Autumn Trail Chase 5k

When the Chicago Area Runners' Association announced a live trail race, I didn't care that it was only a 5k. Or that it was located about 40 miles from my home. All I could see was the word 'live'. And 'trail'. I was in.

We've had an unusually warm stretch of weather the past week leading up to the race. Instead of the blustery, cold conditions November usually brings, we've had sunshine and temperatures warming up to the 70s.

I've had a great fall season of running. My runs have felt good and I've found some speed again. With the beautiful weather on tap, I could not wait to run a live race and test out the legs in a competitive environment.


Sunday, November 8, 2020

Then there was...So.Much.Good

November decided to turn into September and I'm loving it! All week, we've been blessed with temperatures in the 60s and 70s along with sunshine. This never happens, so I took full advantage of it and got in some really nice miles! Running was a great way to burn off some of that election result stress. 

You know how it all turned out. Sometimes, you get exactly what you need. I'm breathing much easier. That plus good weather and a strong 5k trail race?

It was a good week.

When your run isn't going so well, you kick up into a handstand.


Thursday, November 5, 2020

Coffee Talk: Another Squirrel Incident

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's catch up over coffee! So much has happened this month that I don't even know where to start. I'm drinking Dunkin with a splash of half and half and a scoop of GLG collagen. I'm so boring. But I do love a cup of Dunkin! What will you have?

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Wanna Get Away?

Yeah, I did. 

The weather forecast was favorable and with a new roof being installed on our house, it seemed like a good weekend for a quick getaway out of town. The temperature wasn't warm enough to take the boat out, but we enjoyed the sunshine and nature. The country might be on edge with the upcoming election and rising COVID rates, but for my husband and me, we found some peace and solitude in the woods of Wisconsin.

I'm convinced that nature is the cure for everything.  

Ice Age Trail

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Spooky Runfessions

I runfess that... this October felt like the longest month ever. You feel me? Between the second--or third wave of COVID, does it even matter?-- and the election, I am just drained. More than ever, I am so grateful for running. As per usual, the end of the month signals the opening of the runfessional, courtesy of Marcia's Healthy Slice. It seems like I always have things to runfess! 

Let's get to it.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Keep on Rolling

It's been a crazy week--COVID is back with a vengeance, don't even get me started about the election, and the weather, well, it's a changing. By the minute, it would seem. Wouldn't it be nice to just go back to the calm and easy days of summer? Hang on, because I think we've got a bumpy ride ahead. 

Thank goodness for running and fitness. Nothing helps me to roll with the times more than my runs. Even--or maybe especially the bad ones!


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

If I Could Run Anywhere in the World...

Disclaimer: This is an update of a previously published post.

If you could run anywhere in the world, right now, in 2020, where would you choose? Would you pick a city you've never been to but is on your bucket list? An exotic locale? A place that you return to over and over again? Or a place that's as familiar to you as the street you live on?

Me, going with an old favorite, I'd choose Chicago. 



Sunday, October 18, 2020

Dancing in the Dark

Disclaimer: As an ambassador for All Community Events, I received a free entry to the Pink Pumpkin Virtual race.

"You can't start a fire, 
Worrying about your little world falling apart. 
This guns for hire, 
Even if we are dancing in the dark." ~Bruce Springsteen, Dancing in the Dark

For me, everything in life is all about the music. You've probably noticed that I share a lot of songs and lyrics both here and on my social media. This song, Dancing in the Dark, seemed like an obvious theme for my run in the dark this week. But I dug beyond the title, into the lyrics of this song, that at the surface seems to be joyous and fun. It's really not a joyful song at all. The song was written by Springsteen out of frustration in his ability to come up with a hit song but being true to himself. For me, it speaks to that feeling of living every day on what feels like repeat as the pandemic rages on. 

Deep thoughts for a tough time. Hang in there friends. It's going to get bumpier. We're seeing the covid case count go back up at the hospital again. Stay healthy and keep wearing your mask. 

And keep on running...


Weekly Rundown
Monday: CrossFit
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: Run 5.5 miles
Thursday: Strength train
Friday: trail run 6 miles
Saturday: trail run 9 miles
Sunday: Pink Pumpkin 10k

Running

An 8 am work start on Wednesday meant I had to get out the door before the sun came out if I wanted to get my miles in. I strapped on my headlamp and ran the mile from my house to the bike path. As I ran, the light on my headlamp dimmed to nothingness. Although I've never run on the bike path in the dark, I figured that with it's smooth surface, it was probably a better bet than the road. Can I just tell you that it was a little creepy? The garbage cans looked like monsters and there were other people out there walking who seemed to appear out of nowhere. It's a good thing we don't have wild animals here. When I turned around to head back, I was happy to see the pink glow of dawn. I had a good run, a good laugh about it, and a good story to tell. I also made sure to replace my headlamp batteries as soon as I got home!

Friday was an education day for me and with my conference being held virtually, I had a little extra time in the morning. The sun was just coming up when I headed to the trails. It was a cool morning and I had the trails to myself. With the trees in full color, I couldn't not do a few miles on the single track. It looked completely different than last week! I wish I could bottle up the pretty colors with the sun streaming through the trees. What a gorgeous morning. When I finished up in the woods, it was back on the main path for a nicely paced finish. I hated to stop! I got home just in time to log on to the conference. It was kind of nice not to have to shower or get ready to go anywhere.


We had planned another trip to Wisconsin for the weekend, but with 50 MPH winds and rain predicted, we stayed home. Early Saturday morning, I took my run to a new to me segment of the Des Plaines River Trail, running an out and back. This was a gorgeous, flat trail--the trees were in full color and provided a canopy overhead for most of the trail. This trail follows the river and at one point, runs through the town of Des Plaines on a concrete sidewalk until it rejoins the wooded trail again. I loved this trail and I will definitely run it again!


When I headed out Sunday to run the Pink Pumpkin Virtual 10k, it wasn't raining. About 2 miles in, it started to pour. What else could I do but push the pace to finish fast? I thought about my sister recovering from chemo. I channeled grief and anger into my run. Between the rain and the run, I felt like a new woman when I finished. My finish time of 55:28 put a smile on my face too! It's been a long time since I've seen those numbers and hell yeah, it felt good.


Strength/CrossFit

Monday's WOD was all metabolic conditioning. Each of us had a rower in our box; we started out with a 1200m row, 14 plate to overhead lifts (25#), and because it was World Burpee Day, 7 plate hop burpees. With each round, we dropped 200m from the row, ending with a 400m row. By the end of this workout, we rowed 4000m. It was as hard as it sounds, but everyone in the class finished under 30 minutes. Boom.

World Burpee Day!

On Thursday, SJ had me work on deadlifts. Since this is my heavy strength cycle, yep, it was heavy. I did 4 sets of 10 deadlifts at 135#. The look on my face in the photo SJ took says it all. I didn't have to drop a rep, but there was a point where I wasn't sure I could finish. Between sets, I did 10 V-ups. After I recovered from that, I cleaned a barbell (65#) to my back and did box stepups, 6 on each leg x 3. This was hard, not just because of the weight but also because it required balance. By the end, I was struggling with straightening my stepping leg before I put my opposite foot on the box. The best part was that SJ let me roll the bar off my shoulders, letting it drop to the floor instead of lifting it over my head and putting it down in front of me!

As seen on the run...

I may live in the busy suburbs of Chicago, but the forest preserves provide respite from the busyness. I'm always amazed at what I see when I run on the trails. 



Anyone think of the Keebler elves with this tree? 

My deer friends were out in force this week!

One last thought about music...



How was your week? Any funny running stories? Do you run with music? BTW, on the trails, I don't. Are you interested in running the Pink Pumpkin virtual run for breast cancer? The race benefits the Susan G Komen foundation. There's a 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon option. Use my code AMBASSADOR2020 to save 10%. 


I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown. 










Thursday, October 15, 2020

Friday Mailbox and Other Random Stuff

Disclaimers: I received a Relief Box from Chil Wellness in exchange for my honest opinion. I received Feetures socks in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Good morning! I'm home today, chipping away at the 80 hours continuing education activities required for my APRN license. Because the learning never stops, right? No worries, I also squeezed in a run before the seminar started. I mean, what's really important here?

Before I settle in to my Zoom classroom for the day, I've got some fun stuff to share with you. There's just  been too much goodness to share in my Weekly Rundown posts, so I bring you the Friday Mailbox!


Monday, October 12, 2020

Why Runners Need to Take Rest Days from Running

Much like politics, there are a few subjects about which runners disagree widely. Fueling, training, and rest days are probably the three topics where you can ask a group of runners their opinions and you'll get an earful. While preparing this post, I went to the running boards on Reddit to see what the community had to say about running and rest days. I found the discourse fascinating and opinions were mixed, but the overall consensus was that if you are a recreational runner, you should take regularly scheduled rest days. 


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Kinda Felt Like Flying

This week was all about recovery for me after my race last weekend. Running continues to be the best way to work through life these days. Right now,  I'm not following any specific training and it's been fun to just wing it. While I do have a live 5k and a virtual half next month, they aren't goal races. Instead, my strength coach and I are shifting focus to a heavy lifting cycle. 


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Race Recap: Prairie State Half Marathon

Disclaimer: As an ambassador for All Community Events, my entries to their events are comped. All my opinions are my own.

Live from Long Grove....it's the Prairie State Half Marathon! 

When I signed up for this race last summer, I was really skeptical that it would actually take place. But Illinois continues to maintain strict guidelines with regards to openings and gatherings, much to many people's dismay. With a continued low COVID positivity rate of 3-4%, the race was given the green light!

After my disappointing virtual half marathon a couple of weeks ago, I hoped that a live race atmosphere would be what I needed to redeem myself. After all, I've been running strong this fall. I tried not to get myself worked up about it, though. Would I have to suck it up and accept that I was really slowing down? Or was my poor performance on that last half just due to me having a really bad day? 

Running in A Bubble

Optimistically, I start these recaps on Thursday afternoons, while I've got my feet up on the couch and time to sum up the week thus far. The funny thing is, for the past couple of months, I've had to change my title or my introductory paragraph prior to publication on Sunday. Things just change so fast that it's almost impossible for me to set a theme even a few days in advance!

This week so far has been so tumultuous and stressful that really, will there be any reason to scratch this post and start over? I sure hope not. Even the weather can't make up it's mind. For the past week, almost every day, we've had sun and rain on the same day, even at the same time. 

As always, I've found solace in my running shoes. Running has been the one thing that remains constant for me. The trails feel like a safety bubble and I just don't want to leave. When I run in the woods, I leave the world behind. September was another 100+ mile month for me and as of today, I am at almost 900 miles for the year. The last time I ran over 1000 miles for the year was 2017. I did not plan to run this much, but my body is letting me do it. 

Running is such a gift, isn't it? I feel so fortunate to be having such a good year on my feet. I am hoping that this continues. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's catch up over coffee! It's amazing that in spite of feeling like every day is groundhog day, I have things to share with you. What are you drinking? I'm excited to have some Starbucks Komodo Dragon in my cup. With a splash of half and half and a scoop of GLG Collagen, of course. My hubs gifted me with 2 bags of Starbucks for my birthday. I know, Mr Excitement, right? I'm actually good with it. Keep reading and you'll see why. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

5 Things Runners Can Do in 2020 for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is the month of pumpkin everything, falling leaves, and cozy sweaters. October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You'd have to be living under a rock not to know about this, but with all the focus on COVID-19 this year, people aren't talking much about anything else. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, after skin cancer. Early detection is the key to survival. Breast cancer can also happen in men.

Breast cancer has affected many of my friends and relatives. I've lost several people I've loved to the disease. Spreading awareness is especially important to me. Without the big events that usually happen in October, I wanted to share some things that runners and walkers--heck, anyone can do to spread the word about breast cancer.