Monday, November 28, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: Non-Fiction November 2022

Disclaimers: I received copies of books from Brooks Running, Amazon First Reads, and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

After my reading slump last month, I made the decision to declare this month Non-Fiction November! I later found out that NFN is really a thing in the reading world. And here I thought I starting something. No matter, this was an enjoyable diversion and a good reminder that I need to read more non-fiction. I picked a variety of books and enjoyed them all. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Solito. Hopefully, you'll find something here that you'll want to read!

Sunday, November 27, 2022

A Week of Gratitude

'Tis the season for gratitude! For this week's rundown, I'm sharing all the things I'm grateful for. It goes without saying that I'm thankful for this weekly space where I can connect with you all and talk ad nauseam about running and fitness. 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thankful for Runfessions!

It's the day after Thanksgiving, and I'm in my stretchy pants, ready to runfess. Every month on the last Friday, Marcia opens the runfessional, giving runners a chance to cleanse their soles and their souls. I'm always thankful for runfessions and there's really no penance. It's a win-win situation. It's also kind of fun, humbling, and entertaining. At least for me it is.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Some Areas of Concern

While my RA flare is winding down, I've got a few 'areas of concern' on my body: my right shoulder/scapula, my left knee, and my right SI joint. The left knee has been bothering me since that wipeout on the trails last summer. I've been diligent about doing my VMO activation work with the resistance band, but for some reason this week, it flared up again. My SI joint is also an old issue that has been quiet for a long time but has been talking to me over the past couple of weeks.  I'm dusting off the exercises I did while I was going to PT and hopefully, it will calm down quickly. 

The shoulder/scapula pain has been troubling me for about a month. It started with me waking up in the middle of the night with right shoulder pain and having to adjust my position. That usually took care of it and I mostly forgot about it. Then I started having pain in my mid-back, around my right scapula. Last week, SJ noticed that my shoulders were not aligned while I was doing bench presses. I always joke that know enough to be dangerous and I diagnosed myself with shoulder impingement syndrome. I consulted the PT at the gym and she agreed with me, giving me some exercises to do.

It's crazy that after feeling so good for so long, I'm experiencing all these 'hot spots'. SJ thinks that it's because I've been under so much stress lately--I'm tense, I have inflammation, and my cortisol levels are probably high. As we are in the middle of a heavy strength cycle at the gym, I will be focused on my prehab and being extra cautious with my body position during the lifts. It's a good thing that I'm not training for any races! I was also considering participating in the gym's powerlifting meet but I'm taking that off the table now. I really need to get back to yoga and stretching because clearly, my body is telling me something. 

Sunday, November 13, 2022

I Should Have Expected it....

Did you see the lunar eclipse this week? I'm not going to blame any of the week's craziness on it but still...

I've been feeling so good, physically at least, that I've been pushing myself hard. Running far, lifting heavy weights--who's old? On the other hand, my stress level has been at 1000%. With the so-called 'tripledemic' of RSV, influenza and Covid hitting my patients hard, I've been not only doing illness management but also providing reassurance to very anxious parents. That is on top of all the mental health issues that are pervasive in pediatrics. Other issues at work, such as the threat of being forced to pick up extra shifts in the ER, are very worrisome. All this has led to sleepless nights and mental exhaustion. 

So it should have been no surprise when I found myself in a full-on RA flare on Wednesday morning. Everything hurt. When it was apparent that nothing was going to make me feel better but a day on the couch, I called off work. Cocoa happily kept me company and we napped together. 

With the downtime, I contemplated my situation. At 60, I'm not quite ready to retire but the idea of looking for and starting a new job just doesn't make sense. Believe me, I do look. But the situation in healthcare is not good right now and I don't think it's going to be better anywhere else. It's frustrating and I feel stuck. As always, I am grateful for running and fitness to give me an outlet to manage my stress.

I was able to catch the lunar eclipse on my way to the pool!

Monday, November 7, 2022

Recap: Mammoth Hike Challenge 2022

Last year, I participated in the Mammoth Hike Challenge as a way to get out on the trails while I rehabbed my broken ankle and foot. Heck, even if I hadn't had an injury, I would have done it. I discovered the Ice Age Trail during the pandemic and fell in love with the beauty, the climbs, and the solitude. Regular readers know that I spend many happy miles on these trails, both hiking and running. 

When the Ice Age Trail Alliance announced this year's Mammoth Hike Challenge, I optimistically signed up, knowing that I would be out of town for a week in October. Even so, since I was running, I thought that maybe I'd be able to cover more miles this time. This year, the IATA awarded 10 bonus miles for participating in an official event, which I had earned from the Wisconsin Fall Colors Run. That gave me a little breathing room. But you know me...and I wanted to do all my 42 miles on the trail. Since this is a recap, you know that I did.

The challenge also requires that participants visit 3 official trail communities--towns adjacent to the trail that partner with the IATA. This year, the IATA added several new communities and I would expect more to join in the years to come. It's a win-win for both and encourages hikers to visit the towns. After visiting Janesville, I was on a mission to find murals this year and was rewarded in each of the towns I visited.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

I Had a Plan

So...remember that 2 weeks ago, I agonized over DNSing a half marathon? I even runfessed about it? Well, I have one more runfession regarding this race. Besides all the excuses I shared, I runfess... that I knew I needed 14 miles to finish the Mammoth Trail Challenge, so I decided to use my training to finish that instead. It's crazy how my priorities have changed. There's no medal for this event, I get a patch. It doesn't even matter. For me, it's all about that feeling of finishing something that means something to me.  

And no more runfessions about that race. I promise.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's catch up over coffee! It feels like we just did this, but here we are again. What are you having? I've got home brewed Starbucks French Roast with the usual GLG collagen and a splash of half and half. I have received a few Starbucks gift cards this year and I need to spend them!

What would you tell me over coffee?