async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: April 2020

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Some Things I've Learned After a Month of Quarantine

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

After over a month of quarantine, I've learned a few things. Some interesting and some odd.

I haven't left my house for the past 5 weeks except to go for a walk or run. It's been a very strange, unsettling experience. I'm not complaining. I'm well aware that things could be so much worse. I'm fortunate to shelter in place in my home. We have internet and home food delivery, but the lack of face to face connections has been tough. I'm living with an omnipresent anxiety, not knowing what the future holds.

Overall, I miss my routine but I'm settling into a 'new normal'. Having a sense of humor has been helpful too!



Sunday, April 26, 2020

And I Ran, I Ran So Far Away

Shhhhhh.....

I know I said in last week's Runfessions post that I wanted to run away but there was nowhere to go. As it turns out, there was.  I runfess that this weekend, my husband and I took a ride up to the lake house in Wisconsin.

Just a quick comment on the contrast we felt in Wisconsin compared to what we are experiencing in Illinois. The small little lake town where we were isn't seeing anywhere near the cases of COVID we are and people were pretty laid back. No one is masking and while some are social distancing, it isn't to the degree we have gotten used to. That doesn't mean we let down our guard. We brought all our masks and our own food from home, didn't go to any stores, and socially isolated ourselves in the cabin. So no judgment, please.

While my husband had some spring prep to do on the house, I had another reason to travel: my virtual half marathon. My plans to run it at home, using the same looping route I did for that virtual 19 miler, were thwarted by the weather. With a forecast predicting a 90% chance of rain, strong winds, and temperatures in the 40s, the last thing I wanted to do was to run a half marathon, and virtual one, in those conditions or on the treadmill. So off to Wisconsin we went.

The change of scenery felt good and the weather was decent.



Friday, April 24, 2020

Quarantine Runfessions

I thought March was long, but how about April? April has been indeed the cruelest month. All month we've been quarantined at home, stuck inside most of the time because it's cold and snowy and rainy.

That doesn't mean I don't have anything to runfess! I've still been running and working out, which has been about the only thing that's felt normal this month. Marcia has opened the runfessional--and not a moment too soon. Let's get right to it.



Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Book Review: The Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Eating

Disclaimer: I received a prerelease copy of the Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Eating from NetGalley and Health Communications in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

What runner amongst us hasn't struggled with fueling and nutrition? Carb loading? Protein? Keto? Supplements? There is so much misinformation out there. I was familiar with Dr Maharam's previous book, The Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Runninga comprehensive book on running and injuries that I read and enjoyed. I was excited to read his new book on nutrition. I was confident that I'd find expert advice in the Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Eating.

As a well-known and respected sports medicine expert, Dr Maharam served as the chairman of the International Marathon Medical Directors Association and the medical director of the New York Road Runners Club and the New York City Marathon, among other well known races. Sadly, he passed away suddenly in January after completing his book.

His co-author, Mark Fuerst, is a well-known health and medical writer.



Sunday, April 19, 2020

I've Got the Quarantine Blues

Cue the riff...

When I sat down on Friday to flesh out this post, I started writing lyrics to a blues song. "I woke up this morning feeling really down". That would have been my first line. I'm sorry, but after 4 weeks of quarantine, the uncertainty of where this is all going, and yet another dumping of snow, damn right I've got the blues--apologies to hometown boy Buddy Guy. He's alive and well, by the way. After listening to some of his songs, I felt a whole lot better. In spite of being called 'the blues', his songs aren't sad at all. I do love me some good tunes.

It's been another week of working from home, working out at home, and sheltering at home. Except going outside to run. I've enjoyed another week of good running. Looking at other people's social media accounts and reading blogs, it seems that a lot of us are enjoying our runs more than usual. I wonder if it's the lack of pressure, not training for anything, or just the relief of being able to be free and outside. I don't think I've ever been so grateful for running as I am right now. Nothing else is helping me shake off the blues as much as running. Running has gotten me through a lot in my life. What a great tool to help manage stress, sadness, and anxiety!

I have to balance my need to run with my need to avoid injury. Then I'd really be singing the blues!



Friday, April 17, 2020

I've Got Some Good Running News!

With huge apologies to John Krasinski, I'm bringing you my own version of Some Good News--but the news here is all for runners. If you haven't seen his SGN broadcasts, you need to. The uncertainty of COVID-19 pandemic has left most of us bewildered and anxious. News of the virus permeates our lives 24-7. Krasinski's SGN is my new favorite thing. Chock full of good news and not at all preachy or sappy, it's definitely worth a look.

In the spirit of his broadcasts, I combed the internet for Some Good Running News and I found a lot of running news to make us smile! While most runners are aware of and maybe even participating in some of the many virtual runs with a cause, there is a lot of other good news out there.

Writing this post was a welcome distraction for me. I may have had a little too much fun with some of the graphics. Maybe I should have gone for a nice long run...



Tuesday, April 14, 2020

What Runners Need to Do to Stay Safe During The Pandemic

Disclaimer: I am a nurse practitioner but that does not mean I am an expert on COVID-19. For the latest up-to-date information, please go to the CDC website. I will be updating this post as things evolve. As of 4/15, I have updated this article to reflect current recommendations.

This week, I feel like I'm moving forward from feeling shell-shocked about the pandemic to adjusting to our new normal. It doesn't mean I'm feeling less anxious--there still is just so much uncertainty around this disease. Here in the Chicago area, the cases of COVID-19 are supposed to peak sometime this week. There is good news and that is we are seeing fewer cases than was predicted. That is because most of us in the Midwest have been following social distancing guidelines for a few weeks.

Does that mean we should let down our guard? Will life go back to normal? I don't think so. The virus is still going to be around for a long time. The downside of social distancing is that many of us haven't been exposed to the virus and will still be vulnerable. Until a vaccine is approved, we're still going to have to take precautions.

Runners can still run. Running benefits our health, physically and mentally. Most importantly, running and other physical activities boost our immune system. That doesn't mean we can be careless.  There are quite a few things runners can do to lower their chances of contracting the virus.



Sunday, April 12, 2020

My New Normal

After 3 weeks of working from home and socially distancing, I'm starting to get used to my new normal. I'm not saying I like it, but I'm settled into a daily routine, which gives structure to my days. I still wake up every morning feeling sad, but knowing that I have to log into my computer for work and/or I have my workouts to do is a big help. Talking to my patients and to family and friends is a lifeline for me.

One thing that is not helpful is scrolling through Facebook. I'm trying to avoid it as much as I can because the negativity is as contagious as the coronavirus. The posts on the virus don't bother me--trust me, I've got the daily briefings from work--it's the political posts that are sucking the life out of me. This past week, I was watching our governor's daily briefing on Facebook Live and the nasty comments that people were posting were so upsetting. They were just plain mean. It doesn't matter what side you're on--the nastiness goes both ways. This should be a time of unity, but it seems that we're just spreading farther apart.

I'm pretty sure if I were busier, I wouldn't notice as much. For now, I just have to look away. Thank goodness for running!

Saturday's tough long run

Friday, April 10, 2020

Songs to Outrun a Pandemic

With all the virtual runs I've signed up for, I needed some tunes that would put me in the right mindset. Today, I'm sharing my Spotify playlist of songs I chose to outrun a pandemic.

Yes, that's Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot watching me navigate this pandemic. She's keeping us safe!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

I'm the Reason You're Social Distancing

Yep, it's because of me.

I'm the reason you are being told to stay home and to keep your distance from other people. It's because of me that you have to wash your hands for 20-30 seconds while singing Happy Birthday or Raspberry Beret. It's all my fault that you have to wear a mask or a scarf when you go out of the house.



Sunday, April 5, 2020

More Challenges

There are so many challenges right now. Most of them aren't fitness related. Every morning, I wake up feeling down, but running and working out is definitely a bright spot in my day and a mood lifter as well. Another perk of exercise is that research shows that working out boosts your immunity. I am happy to have my fitness challenges to take my mind off the real challenges, at least for a while.

In spite of the ample availability of virtual challenges to keep us moving and active, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) came out this week with a strong recommendation that no more virtual races be scheduled between now and the end of May. The concern is that since the stay-at-home recommendations have been implemented, at least in most of the states, there has been a big increase in people using paths and trails, which compromises social distancing. In the afternoons by my house, the sidewalks and trails are clogged with people out for a walk or a run. One of my favorite fitness paths, the retention pond where I do a lot of training, has been closed for this reason. I hope that all my favorite trails don't get shut down. I'll continue to go out early in the morning with the hope of avoiding most of the crowds.


Friday, April 3, 2020

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's catch up over a cup of coffee! Has it only been a month since we last shared a cup of joe? I don't know about you, but it feels like an eternity. Wow, have things changed since a month ago. Let me pour you a cup. I'm having Folgers (don't laugh) with a large splash of half and half. And of course, collagen.

Or maybe we should go straight to wine.

What would you tell me over coffee?