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

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.