async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: Runfessions over Coffee

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Runfessions over Coffee

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

What a month! 

For the past couple of months, I feel as if I have started every Runfession and Coffee Talk post with that same statement. Just when we thought things were getting better, that we had things under control...nope! 2020 seems to be hell bent on showing us that we most definitely are NOT in charge. It's been a wild ride so far. I guess we need to just strap in tightly and hang on to our masks for now. Who knows what's next?

Today is one of those Fridays where the worlds of Runfessions and the Ultimate Coffee Date Collide. Let's chat. What are you having in your mug? I'm finishing up my jumbo tub of Dunkin' Donuts coffee with a spoonful of GLG collagen and that generous splash of half and half, of course.

No half and half in this cup

If we were having coffee, I'd runfess... earlier this month, I received this mug and flowering plant from one of my families that I see in my clinic. It was a complete surprise and I didn't do anything special--the mom said she just though I needed a pick-me-up from the stress of dealing with the pandemic. Since going back to work after being home for 6 weeks earlier in the pandemic, I have gained a new appreciation for my job and the families I get to care for. 

If we were having coffee, I'd runfess... that I've been cutting back on blogging this month. I just don't feel inspired. It's hard to come up with things to write about when there aren't any races. I'm not going to post just to post. I am continuing with the Weekly Rundown as a way to journal my training and also to stay connected with the runblog community.  


If we were having coffee, I'd runfess... my amusement at the response of some runners to the Garmin outtage. While you all know I'm a data gal--I like to see my distance and time-- IMHO, it's all just for fun. It's not like we're elite runners here. I had to laugh because I got an email this week from Strava that someone beat one of my segments in Wisconsin. I had no idea this was a THING. Ok then!


If we were having coffee, I'd momfess... my youngest son is taking a gap year from college. He's a chemistry major and all but 2 of his classes and labs are going to be online. What a tough time to be a student. He was hoping to intern in a lab this year--that is not an option right now. I'm fine with him taking the year off, living in the house he's renting with 8 other guys (yikes) and working, waiting for a vaccine so that he can resume classes and labs in the classroom. Hopefully, he'll resume his studies next year.

And that's a whole other thing..

If we were having coffee, I'd cleanfess... I spent Sunday afternoon purging the boys' basement playroom. Ok, yes, my boys are in their 20s. It needed to be done. I get it. But mamas, tell me how hard it was for you to go through all your kids' playthings? My husband helped me for a while and I did ok. We dragged several large bags to the curb for the garbage pickup. There's still work to do. But I am glad it's done. 


If we were having coffee, I'd dogfess... Crazy Cocoa continues to limp on and off with that leg injury. This pup loves to chase her ball and that keeps aggravating the injury. Does that sound familiar, my running friends? I think the only solution is to put all her balls away so she can rest and heal completely. She's taking her doggie motrin. I wonder if my TENS unit would work for her? How to get the electrodes to stick to her fur... hmmm...

Ruff life

If we were having coffee, I'd musicfess... that I've been listening to..gulp...Taylor Swift's new album, folklore. Now before you think I've completely lost my mind, her new release is unlike anything I've ever heard from her. It's more like indie pop/folk than the anthemic earworms she's released in the past. After watching her documentary, Miss Americana, I looked at Taylor Swift in a whole new light. This album seals that impression. 


If we were having coffee, I'd runfess... that I didn't read any running related books for the blog this month. I do have Kilian Jornet's newest release in my iPad, but I just wasn't feeling it. I did read other books this month--in fact, I had to let a few go as per usual all 5 of my holds came in at once from the library! Here's a synopsis--you can find my full reviews on Goodreads. 


  • The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorp is an unusual coming of age story between 2 misfit teens who develop an unlikely friendship. It's crazy and quirky in all the best ways. I completely enjoyed this one!
  • Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan is the story of a friendship that develops between a naive, young college student working as a nanny and the unhappy mother of the child she is caring for. Both characters make a lot of mistakes and do a lot of growing. This was very well written--I felt all the emotions as I read it. 
  • Sea Wife by Amity Gage takes place on a boat as the family leaves land to cruise across the Caribbean. The wife has emotional issues and the husband is in debt to an investor. The story is told journal style in alternating narratives, which would seem annoying but works really well. I could have done without all the sailing details, but the domestic drama as well as the descriptions of sailing through a few storms made me turn those pages!
  • Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West is set on Chicago's south side and is the story of a young girl, left to live with her violent father after her mother is found murdered. There are multigenerational background stories of domestic violence throughout the book, which helped provide context for the story. It's just so sad. And so good. 
  • The Vanishing Half  by Brit Bennett is my favorite read of the month. This story of twin girls, raised in a small southern town where only light-skinned black people life, was just fascinating to read! Both twins leave home; one marries a dark-skinned black man and the other lives life as white. It's interesting to see how this all plays out and yes, worlds do collide.
Finally, if we were having coffee, I'd runfess... to this continued pervasive feeling of sadness, helplessness, and loneliness. I wish people would stop being so ignorant about wearing masks and preventing the spread of the disease. I hope for an end to the violence that mars the protests happening in the cities. I hope for an end to the hateful rhetoric on all sides. It is so ugly in our world right now, isn't it?

What would you tell me over coffee? Any 'fessions? Read any good books this month? Will you listen to Ms. Swift's new album? Are your kids going back to live classes, studying online, or a combination? How are you feeling after 5 months of this pandemic?

I'm linking up with Marcia for Runfessions and with Deborah and Coco for the Ultimate Coffee Date.








40 comments :

  1. I’ve always liked Taylor Swift but haven’t heard anything from the new album yet. I do enjoy a variety of music but I also love pop. Girl has serious writing chops IMHO.

    I’m sorry your son had to take a gap year. Who knows, maybe it’ll turn out to be great for him? So hard on all the kids.

    Hugs, Wendy. So sweet of your patients to send the flowers/mug. See, there is good in the world too!

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    1. There's a lot of good in the world! We just have to look for it.

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  2. Funny, I had to look back at my recent Runfessions/Coffee posts so as not to use the same title (or intro) because it feels like I'm writing about the same stuff every month. I've also let a few weeks go by with less blogging...and the world has not stopped. The college thing (and school in general) really makes me sad. Our son graduated in December from Iowa, but he'd been considering hanging around an extra semester and taking a few extra classes...we're all quite glad he opted to just walk the stage and be done. The youngest finished her AA a year ago and had planned on steno school next month (she'd been wait-listed), but she's perfectly content working and not dealing with advancing her education for the time being (and we are, too).

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    1. I'm surprised to hear that steno school is still a thing! And a wait list too. I hope she gets in.

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  3. I love Swifts new music. A lot!

    I feel the same about blogging. I’m running out of things to say. I used to look forward to training and writing race recaps.

    This really sucks for kids.

    Hope things improve. I laughed when you took away her toys. Maybe someone should take away my shoes. Lol.

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  4. The last part was about your dog. Lol

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  5. It's hard not to be cynical about school right now. I feel like there's bound to be an outbreak and any in-person learning will stop...again. The gap year is a tough decision but a good call, I think. OMG I LOVE that pic of Cocoa! Lady of leisure! Hang in there my friend. Life is a shit show right now for sure.

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  6. So nice of that mother to give you a flower mug! I'm sure you deserved it. Small acts of kindness can really go a long way.
    I don't have kids but I imagine that cleaning out your sons' toys and stuff can be very emotional. Good that you got it done and over with!

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  7. I have not really listened to TS's new album but I used to like her. Tough decisions about school for sure. My son is going back to IU w most classes on line. No tuition decrease which I understand both sides of. Hope Cocoa feels better that photo is how I feel sometimes. Sorry about the coffee date mix up!b Come again next week for another cup. Did not think the Garmin thing was that big of a deal either really. I use Strava to keep track of my own workouts and don't use it as a social thing. Have a good weekend

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  8. I feel like the more kids' stuff that we get rid of the more we still seem to have. I don't think we'll ever get to the bottom of it all. Ruby and Vanishing are both on my TBR list. I runfess (or should it be "couch-potato-fess") that I really want to see Miss Americana and Becoming, maybe I will finally make that happen this weekend.

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  9. What a super nice and thoughtful gift! I think that sometimes we get things we didn't know we needed, and it sounds like that was a very nice pick me up for you.

    I'm with you on the blogging. I'm pretty much just doing the Weekly Run Down, my Tuesday posts and the Runfessions and that's it. I honestly don't have much to say and when I have free time I'd rather spend it doing something that makes me laugh because I need that outlet right now.

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    1. I so feel you on that. Laughter is really life giving right now!

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  10. I'm going on 18 weeks of working from home--my company has a phased approach for people to return to the office but it's all voluntary at this point. The original plan called for us all to be back after Labor Day but now I'm hearing January. And that is just fine with me.

    I've seen so many people pop off about masks as a violation of their rights, or (almost worse) wearing them with their noses out. Seriously?

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    1. I'm not getting the whole politicization of mask wearing! Condoms, seat belts, bike helmets...we do it, right?

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  11. Currently drinking Diamond Head roast from Lion Coffee. My favorite race swag is from a 15k in Hawaii, a canvas bag that says, "All you need is love. And a little ice cream."

    I've been okay with being home until recently. I miss my friends and family. I miss going to restaurants and wandering in stores with no particular purchase in mind. I really miss getting hugs from the little ones in my life. A friend has a newborn that I can't hold. At the same time, I'm watching friends who had not been careful, that are now sick and slowly recovering. Thankful, more than ever, that I can still get out and run/cycle.

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  12. I'm trying to think of the positive... I realize how incredibly lucky I am, especially given all the chaos. Please know that I'm sure I'm not the only one who REALLY looks forward to your Runfessions - the topics, open thoughts, clever gifs! Thank you, Wendy!

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  13. It's definitely been another rough month! That's a tough choice for your son to have to make, but it sounds like he is doing what makes the most sense for his situation. The school system I work for is going 100% virtual through January (at least) which is crazy to think about.

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    1. I saw 13 kids for school physicals today and I heard 13 different plans for school this fall. What a mess.

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  14. I made (or highly suggested) that my girls watch Taylor Swift's documentary to help change their opinion of her because it surely opened my eyes. They did and now also have a new respect for her.
    I hope Cocoa feels better soon. I have no idea how you would keep a dog from wanting to play. Good luck with that!

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    1. It's been interesting! Even when she's hurt, she makes do, running on 3 legs. We could learn a lot from dogs.

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  15. I’d tell you we switched the coffee date to next weekend, but there’s always more to chat about, right?! I’m not sure I knew your son was majoring in chem — that’s what my degree is in. It doesn’t seem like something amenable to on-line learning, but I hated lab so maybe I would have liked that.

    I read the Vanishing Half recently too. I also read A Good Marriage that you had reviewed. And, I read Such a Fun Age in one weekend which so unlike me. Now I’m reading the Hunger Games prequel — it’s interesting enough.

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    1. That's so interesting that you were a chem major in college and ended up going to law school! And I don't know how I missed the news that you rescheduled the coffee date, but judging by some of the other posts, I'm not the only one!

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  16. I'm sorry about the gap year for your son but it totally makes sense. I really feel for all of the kids right now. My oldest son leaves for campus in a couple of weeks and I'm bracing myself. I feel like the world has gone mad and I don't want to send him out there :(

    I'm trying hard to look for bright spots - some days are much harder than others...but they are there.

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    1. My boy will be out there--but I think he made a good decision. He already has a job and they're giving him more hours and promoted him to shift leader. I don't think this is a bad thing at all. Just hard for me to accept. Tough times. <3

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  17. Poor Cocoa! I hope her leg heals quickly, and yes, she sounds like a lot of runners I know, myself included.

    My sons are well past college age, but my daughter-in-law is a math teacher. The public schools are closed in our area through the end of the first semester, but private schools are planning to open.

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    1. I don't understand schools opening at all. I think remote learning should be universal until a vaccine is available. Clearly I'm in the minority. So many people are not taking this virus seriously. I had a patient come in for a school physical last week--a well check--with a 102 fever. Um no? And then the mom wanted me to see the sibling. What don't people get about this? Do you want to expose me and my staff?

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  18. I runfess that I ran today in 97 degrees and questioned my life choices. Also, I heard the Betty song by T. Swift and liked it.

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  19. Strava started doing this to me too this week with the local legend segments. Hello, I don't care that I ran this way 3 times in 90 days and that someone else just beat me with 4 times. Who cares?? Some marketing "genius" at Strava must've thought this would be motivating or something.

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    1. Clearly they are trying to capitalize on this! Haven't you been bombarded with Strava plus marketing emails? JUST STOP!

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  20. I didn't understand the Garmin drama either. It was inconvenient, but whatever. We move on.

    Little man does not want me anywhere near his toys LOL! There are only a few things I would hold onto for sentimental reasons and the rest... see ya! Oh, and Legos. Legos are sacred. Every so often, I have him take a box for donations - he just doesn't play with things much anymore.

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    1. He's still young! My guys are in their 20s. If they got upset with me getting rid of their toys, I might question it. I did keep a few things for the 'grandchildren'. Not that I want any right now. But we had some pretty awesome stuff!

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