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

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.

Life's Short. Run Fast.

Well, well, well. Here we are at the end of September. Time sure flies when you're having fun, right? Are we having fun yet? I celebrated a birthday on Monday and hell no, I'm not telling you how old I am. Because you're only as old as you feel and I'm feeling pretty good right now. Knock wood. What a difference a year makes. 

My husband and I also celebrated an anniversary. 32 years! We don't really celebrate anymore but he bought a nice bottle of wine and cooked a yummy dinner for me. 

We've been fortunate here in the Midwest to be enjoying an amazing stretch of weather. With October knocking on the door, I know that the warm weather is going to end soon. It helps me to be outside.  It's been a really tough week for me--some personal stress along with the ongoing COVID battle and continued unrest in our country. I'm so grateful for running. It truly has been my therapy. 


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Runfessions: I Don't Have Any, Really...

 No runfessions? Who me? I kid you not. The world is crumbling around me and it seems like the only good thing right now is running. My runs are my escape and my therapy.

But as she does every month at this time, Marcia opens up the runfessional, where we runners get to 'fess our running sins and cleanse our soles. I can't miss the opportunity for absolution, right? 

I can do this. Heck, I was raised Catholic and back in the day, I had to dig deep to come up with sins to confess. Imagine being the priest and having to listen to a little girl confessing that she got in a fight with her sister or didn't make her bed. My penance was usually a few Hail Marys and some Our Fathers. Priests probably live for juicy confessions--but that makes me wonder, do people ever really confess major sins?

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Product Review: Sudio ETT Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Sudio ETT earbuds from Sudio in exchange for my honest review.

My love of music is no secret to anyone who knows me. I grew up with an appreciation for good music of any genre. When I listen to music, I want the delivery of sound to be the highest quality. One of the reasons I like to run alone is the ability to lose myself in the rhythm of my feet, moving along the path to the beat of the songs playing in my ears. When it all comes together--a good song accompanying a comfortable run--there is really nothing closer to perfection. 

Recently, I had the opportunity to trial Sudio ETT earbuds. Sudio is a Swedish audio company that makes speakers and earbuds. On the company website, Sudio promises "that if getting lost in the music is all that matters, Sudio is for you."  These sound like they were made for me!

Catching My Breath

I spent most of the week recovering from my ill-fated virtual half marathon. I'm pretty sure I must have been fighting some kind of stomach virus, because I didn't feel well for most of the week. Needless to say, I skipped CrossFit on Monday and cut back on my miles this week. I'm not good at listening to my body. Actually, I should say I listen to my body but I don't always like what it is telling me. I think a lot of runners are like this, which is why we end up getting injured. 

I had to keep reminding myself that a few days off here and there are not going to affect my fitness at all and in fact, may even help. Running on fresh legs is a pleasure that we goal-driven runners often forget about. 

It's no good to be injured or ill, especially this time of year when the weather is usually perfect for running. Especially this year, 2020, the year that keeps on giving. As I have all year, this week I needed running to be there for me. It seems like every day brings some new challenge--we barely have time to catch our breath before the next crisis. After the news of RBG's passing, I had to dig deep. The response from my friends and from the community was reassuring. I need to just breathe. 


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Book Review: Above the Clouds: How I Carved My Own Path to the Top of the World by Kilian Jornet

 Disclaimer: I received a prerelease copy of Above the Clouds by Kilian Jornet from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

"I accept that, inwardly, running is everything."~Kilian Jornet, Above the Clouds

I've been intrigued by Kilian Jornet for a while. I've heard that he's arrogant, but man, is he an incredible athlete. Last spring, while running a 10 miler on my treadmill, I watched a video of the 2010 Western States 100 miler in which he competed against Anton Krupicka and Geoff Roes, among other famed ultrarunners. In contrast to the casual, rugged appearance of these guys, Jornet looked like a sprite in his white running kit. I marveled at his fleet footedness, but even more so at the audacity of wearing white to a trail race. Jornet didn't win that year, but he went back and came in first in 2011. The video and my thoughts kept me occupied for that treadmill run. I wanted to learn more about this guy. 

Jornet grew up in the Pyrenees mountains of Spain and attended a mountain skiing school. He took up running in the summer to stay in shape for 'skimo'. His training and discipline made him uniquely prepared for ultramarathoning. He dominates in moutain running and has crested Mt Everest twice. There are the doubters, but after reading this book, there's no doubt in my mind that Jornet is one of the best athletes of our time. This guy knows how to cross train!

 In Above the Clouds, Jornet shares his story. 


Monday, September 14, 2020

Race Recap: Naperville Trails Half Marathon

Disclaimer: As an ambassador for All Community Events, I receive complimentary entries to all their races in exchange for social sharing. My opinions are my own. The Naperville Trails Half Marathon this year was a virtual event. 

A recap for a virtual event? Please don't click away. Would it be better if I called it a pseudo-race or a simulrace? It was definitely more than a virtual race. There was no actual start or finish line, no spectators, and no post-race party, but the actual running part felt pretty real for me! 

All Community Events did their best to provide an option that would make the Naperville Trails Half Marathon as close to a live event as possible by providing live directions and tracking via the RunGoApp. Initially I was skeptical, but decided to give it a try. I've been wanting to run the Naperville Trails Half Marathon for several years but for different reasons, I wasn't able to participate. 2020 was going to be the year but as you know, very few live events are happening. 


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Fool in the Rain

We had rain this week. A lot of rain. In fact, the drought we were experiencing is gone. The grass is green again and it looks like spring. I only wish I could share this rain with California. Believe me, there has been plenty to go around. 

Music fans will recognize the title of my post from Led Zeppelin's final album In Through the Out Door. It was the first song that came on when I was running in the rain on Friday. Kind of funny that at the end of that run, I passed a dog walker who was laughing at me!

Friday's rainy run

Sunday, September 6, 2020

I Got Lost

My anxiety was off the charts this week! Was it the full moon? The change of the seasons? The continued unrest all around us? It's probably a combination of all things. I'm seeing more and more anxiety in my little patients and their parents too. Online learning has really been stressful so far. It's just one more thing to add to all the goodness that 2020 has brought.

We all need a break. 

I continue to be grateful for running. I mentioned it in my coffee talk post, but hey, it's worth mentioning again that I ran 105 miles in August. Didn't see that coming. Between the heat and humidity and the return of some RA symptoms, running lately has not felt easy for me. The trails have helped me slow down--which in hindsight is actually a good thing right now. But there was a surprisingly speedy run this week too! 

And yes, I really did get 'lost' this week--keep reading for the details.

We're ending the week and summer up in Wisconsin. Bittersweet, isn't it? All of it.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Coffee Talk September

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Good morning! Let's catch up over coffee! I'm drinking Dunkin' with a scoop of GLG collagen and a splash of half and half. I know, I need to mix it up but right now comfort feels good! Don't you agree? What are you having this morning? What would you tell me over coffee?