Monday, November 29, 2021

Mini Book Reviews: November 2021

Disclaimer: Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for a PRC of The Maid. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

November was a mixed bag of reading for me. I picked up several critically acclaimed, best of 2021 books, but they weren't my favorites. This isn't the first time this has happened to me. Sometimes I think that the critics are looking for something different than the average reader. I read for pleasure and to escape. When looking for books to read, my advice is to do what I do and find a few book bloggers who like the same books as you do. Read what they like. Some of my favorite book bloggers include Susie at Novel Visits and Sarah at Sarah's Bookshelves. While you might not always agree with what they pick, it's a good start. I follow both of these ladies on Goodreads as well. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Enough Already

For the past 4 1/2 months since my injury, I've been patiently returning to running. There has been a lot of splashing around in the pool. Modified strength training. Walking and hiking. And finally last week, full-on running, using 3:1 run/walk intervals. I've been pretty pleased with what has mostly been uneventful, steady progress. 

Until Thursday. After my pool running session, I decided to set up our outdoor Christmas tree. The whole neighborhood sets up little trees in their front yards. It's pretty awesome and since it wasn't terribly cold, it was a good day to do it. I gathered the ornaments and proceeded to carry them outside when I missed a step in the garage and painfully rolled my ankle. Not my right ankle, thankfully. It was my left and oh did it hurt. I felt sick to my stomach and had to sit down for a few minutes to evaluate the damage. Nothing broken, thank goodness. I stood up and hobbled out to the tree. As I moved around to decorate it, I started to feel better. I finished my job and headed back inside to rub some CBD salve on the ankle and put it up for the day. As I write this, it's still sore and stiff but I'm able to run and walk without a problem.

Grateful nothing bad happened, I couldn't help but think, enough already! It kind of felt like a theme for the week.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Wet Runfessions

Another month, another visit to the runfessional. I swear, sometimes these posts just write themselves. Thank goodness for yet another opportunity to cleanse my soles. Marcia opens the runfessional on the last Friday of every month. I have to say it really feels good.

Let's get right to it!

I runfess... I do not understand the allure of Swedish Fish as fuel during running. Or at any time for that matter. I recently republished a post about race mistakes and Lisa shared an experience with chewing Swedish Fish while trying to smile for a race photographer. Her story reminded me that on my recent flight out west, Swedish Fish were handed out as the inflight snack. Umm, that would be a hard NO. They have no taste and are impossible to chew. I want to keep my dental work intact, thank you very much. Plus, chewing and running is HARD.

So is the act of drinking and running, which I have also never mastered I don't know about you, but I always have to stop to drink during a race. I runfess I discovered during my recent Fluid Running 10k, I cannot pool run and drink either. Clearly, I am lacking the essential skills for success. 

I runfess... when I went to the pool for my most recent Fluid Running sesh, I forgot to pack a few essentials. Like my flip-flops. Walking barefoot in the locker room? EWWW. Even worse...when I got out of the pool I realized I had also forgotten to pack a towel. Thinking I'd have to pull my clothes on over my wet skin, I spied the paper towel dispenser and yep, dried myself off with paper towels. 

I runfess... that I find a lot of interesting things by the roadside when I'm running. On a recent Friday morning run, I stopped to examine this package along the frontage road. SO MANY QUESTIONS!  I found something similar a few years ago. Who just flings these things out the window of the car? And I can I ask about the red bra laying next to it? What is the backstory here?

I runfess... that it is no big secret I like to work out alone. Over the years, I've had people want to run with me--remember that neighbor who used to wait for me at the end of his driveway? The one I had to break up with and tell him 'it's not you, it's me'? Now it's happening to me at the pool. I'm tethered to the ladder, headphones in my ears, minding my own business, splashing away in the corner, and the pool people are drifting over to me on their noodles, making small talk. The worst is the man who just floats in place, only his head above the surface. This week he kept floating backward towards me. I picked up my pace, hoping that the turbulence would push him away.


What do you have to runfess? Swedish Fish, yes or no? Can you drink water while running? What's the dumbest thing you've ever done? The most interesting thing you've ever found? 

By the way... As much as I joke about the pool people, I am a huge fan of pool running. Pool running kept me fit and ready for running while I recovered from my injuries over the past 5 months. I plan on continuing to keep pool running in my fitness regimen over the winter. I've been using the Fluid Running system and have tried many of their different workouts. The classes are appropriate for all fitness levels! You don't need to be a swimmer to be a pool runner. If you are interested in trying Fluid Running or gifting it to a friend, Fluid Running is offering 30% off the Fluid Running system. There is also 30% off any workout (up to 3). Use the code BF30OFF to save! This offer is good from Black Friday through Cyber Monday only. 

I'm linking up with Marcia for Runfessions and with the ladies of Fit Five Friday: DarleneMichelleReneeJenn, and Zenaida.




Sunday, November 21, 2021

So Much to be Grateful For

With Thanksgiving coming up later this week, it's time to reflect on all that we are grateful for. Let's be honest, for so many reasons, 2021 has been a really crappy year. I'm not going to talk about any of that. It's Thanksgiving and I'm going to focus on the positive, the stuff that kept me going in spite of what was truly a very difficult year for me personally:

And this week, my return to full-on running. 

On Thanksgiving, we'll be celebrating in person, with my entire family. I'm looking forward to it!

Wednesday's trail run

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Digging Deep

I was tired and achy all week. Was it the time change? The dramatic shift in the weather? Work stress? RA? On Thursday, I woke up to a dark, windy, rainy morning. I felt unusually achy and even after my cup of coffee, was unable to shake it off. It's been a long time since I have felt this bad, and all things considered, I guess I was due for a day on the couch. 

It's never easy for me to surrender, but I canceled my strength session with SJ and my haircut. With Cocoa by my side, I snuggled under a blanket, slathered my knees and wrists with my favorite CBD salve, and read a book. Sometimes the body knows best. I'm glad I listened.

Friday's dig deep empowering run

Monday, November 8, 2021

Recap: Mammoth Hike Challenge on the Ice Age Trail

After I broke my ankle and foot in July and was sidelined from running and racing, I considered what I could do while I healed. As time went on, I was able to slowly increase walking and hiking. Optimistically, I signed up for the Mammoth Hike Challenge, sponsored by the Ice Age Trail Alliance

The Mammoth Hike Challenge required participants to complete 41 miles during the month of October, all on the IAT. The only other requirement was to visit 3 Ice Age Trail Communities. There are 15 official Ice Age Trail Communities, towns that have chosen to support the IAT and welcome visitors from the IAT.

Normally when I am running, 41 miles would not be a difficult challenge for me. Could I do 41 hiking miles in one month? The other concern for me was that I don't live in Wisconsin, so participating in this challenge would require that I journey up north most, if not all the weekends in October, and hike distances that I hadn't seen in months. We have a lake house near Lodi and I planned on doing most of my hikes on the segments in that area. I vowed not to hike the same segment more than once for the challenge.

I decided to give it go, to give myself a goal to keep moving on my way back to running. I'm recapping my experience for other hikers to read as well as a way to remind myself that I can do hard things!

Sunday, November 7, 2021

A Shocking Amount of Miles

I didn't total up my monthly miles for October until I started preparing this post. Shockingly, I had 90 miles, a combination of running and walking miles. Twenty-seven of those miles were on pavement, the rest on dirt. I am surprised and grateful that my body let me move so much. Most of the miles were due to my push to complete the Mammoth Trail Hike, which I did on Sunday. I'll have a full recap of the challenge on Tuesday. The challenge was a great motivator for me to move as recover from my injury. I learned that just because I'm not doing much running, it doesn't mean I can't move like a runner!

While I have a long way to go before I log 90 running miles, I'm going to keep working my way back with that goal in mind. It's going to be a long road-pun intended--because my ankle mobility is still limited. My right glute isn't firing properly either, which is the main reason I can't just get up and go. I'm going to continue to work on strength and stability, doing my exercises at home and at the gym. I'll continue to do walk/run intervals, gradually increasing my running as my body allows.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's catch up over coffee! October was a long month, and I'm so happy to be able to sit down and chat. What are you having? I'm having the usual cup of Dunkin with a scoop of GLG collagen and a splash of half and half. 

Monday, November 1, 2021

Mini Book Reviews: October 2021

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the PRC of Win Me Something and Running is a Kind of Dreaming.

October was a mixed bag of reading. There were a couple really good books, a couple of meh reads, and a DNF. While it feels like for most of the year I've been lucky to have an abundance of good books to choose from, October felt like a little bit of a dry spell. I dug into my NetGalley list as well as my Kindle downloads for a few books. Gotta love a good backup plan and I was not disappointed! I need to do that more often.