Saturday, May 27, 2023

A Week of Breakthroughs

I might have mentioned previously that I'm in the middle of training for the Leadville Silver 15 mile trail race in July. I'm at the point in my training where I'm tired of pushing myself--it's been a while since I've pushed myself this hard--and I'm just ready to be done. I remember feeling like this last spring when I ran those 3 races back to back. I was so happy to be done and to return to running just for fun. In fact, I bailed on a planned fall half marathon last year because I just didn't want to train that hard anymore. 

But then there was Friday's run, which was a reminder of what I am capable of. It's kind of funny when that happens.

In contrast to my running funk, I'm really excited about the progress I'm making in the gym! I continue to have breakthroughs in my training and that is making me so happy. I guess it's good to remind myself that even if I can't get faster as a runner, I can get stronger in the gym. Don't worry, I'm not going all gym rat after my races. I could never give up running, But as I look ahead to fall, I'm not going to sign up for any races, instead doing the Mammoth Challenge again and running just for the enjoyment of it. 

I'm just not sure how much more I want to participate in races. In a sense, this may be a different kind of breakthrough. Can I still be a runner and not race? We'll see how I'm feeling after next Sunday's half marathon. 

Or maybe it's just the pre-race jitters talking!

Mini Book Reviews: May 2023

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I won a copy of Up To Speed from Oh! Run Club and Pens and Paces.

What, only 4 books? It's been a very busy month and reading took a backseat to all the other May activities. Plus, 3 of the 4 books I read were long, immersive reads that required concentration. The 4 books I read could not have been more different, yet I enjoyed them all. I'm looking forward to some lighter reads for June!

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Let's Runfess

Disclaimer: I runfess that this post contains a few affiliate links. 

Here we are again at the end of the month, which means it's time to runfess! Do you runfess? On the last Friday of the month, Marcia opens the Runfessional where runners can cleanse their soles. And their souls. Long-time blog readers know that I always have plenty of things to runfess. In fact, this month, I had so much to runfess that I had to let a few things go. Don't hold it against me. 

Let's get to it, so I can start June with a clean slate!

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Work Hard, Play Hard

I continue to push toward my upcoming 2 races: the Chicago 13.1 in 2 weeks and Leadville Silver 15 miles in 7 weeks. I admit to feeling more tired these days. I know it's all part of training for a long distance race, but to be honest, getting older has rattled my confidence a bit. Am I doing too much? Pushing too hard? I have to listen to my body and so far it isn't pushing back...much... which is a good sign. I was happy to have Saturday at home to give me a chance to regroup and rehab. I've got to work on those niggles that I mentioned last week!

Sunday, May 14, 2023

The Niggles Will Not Win!

Oh, the niggles. If it's not my shoulder, it's my knee. Sometimes it's both. Just when I think I'm getting on top of these little annoyances, they remind me that I'm old, that I have RA, and that I'm pushing it. But thankfully, they aren't serious enough to keep me sidelined. I'm hoping that the rehab I'm doing is responsible for that. 

You may have noticed that in my recent photos, I'm taping my knee again. I'm not sure what happened, but last week, it started bothering me again. I was kind of surprised because I've been diligently doing my VMO exercises and have been pain-free for a while. Interestingly, running does not bother me, but descending stairs does. I had the PT at the gym check it, and she said it is not my patella, thank goodness! What she found is that the fat pad below my kneecap was swollen. She called it "Knee Fat Pad Impingement"--who knew that was a thing? and V-taped it with RockTape for me. I was instructed to ice it and take it easy.  

That's what they all say. When will I learn? Maybe after Friday's run? Read on...

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Earth Day 15 mile trail race

I ran this race a year ago and after being humbled and beat up by the hills, I vowed never to run it again. Yet, here I was, lined up for the 15 miler again. It's funny how time can dull the memory of pain. I knew what to expect and I was wiser this time. I had my fueling plan in place. I had logged lots of hilly miles on the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin. It was cold and it was windy, but I figured the trees would provide shelter from the wind. I wore one of my Inknburn fleece pullovers and my Brooks Moment tights. My plan was to run the three 5.2 mile loops consistently and not let that last loop crush me as it did last year.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

A Better Week but...

This week overall, I felt much better than I did last week. The heaviness in my legs started to dissipate and by Wednesday morning, I felt like myself again. Was it the change in the weather? Certainly, the sunshine and warmer temperatures made a huge difference in how I was feeling. However, after Wednesday's trail run, my left knee started to act up again. It's that same patellar issue--chondromalacia- that I've had on and off for the past year, ever since I wiped out on the trail and knocked my kneecap out of alignment.  I started doing my exercises but haven't gotten much relief, so on Thursday, I taped it. 

Since I don't remember aggravating it, I'm pretty sure that RA is the culprit. Thankfully, it only hurts when I go down a flight of stairs. Running is still pain-free and I am grateful for that!

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Let's catch up over coffee! What are you having? Today I'm drinking Metropolitan Red Line, a local Chicago blend. It's dark and roasty. And so good! As always, I have it with a scoop of GLG collagen and a splash of half and half.

What would you tell me over coffee?

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: April 2023

Disclaimers: I received an ARC of If We're Being Honest from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

April was a really good month for books for me! I read a prerelease novel, 4 new releases, and while waiting for library holds to come in, I dug deep into my TBR for an old selection from Reese's Book Club. All good reads, but my favorite book of the month was the last one I read--Adelaide was recommended highly by another book blogger. I almost didn't read it, but I am so glad I did. It was one of those books that got me in the feels. If I'm being honest, there's not a bad book here!


Saturday, April 29, 2023

When My Mind Writes a Check that My Body Can't Cash

The title of this post, tho...

Last weekend's trail race really beat me up. I felt pretty bad at the beginning of the week--not so much sore, but more like a total body illness. This wasn't typical post-race discomfort. Was it RA reminding me that it's always lurking, ready to strike when I push myself? Not one to poke the bear, I had to dial it back a bit and let the post-race inflammation dissipate. By mid-week, I knew I was going to have to renig on my commitment to pace my friend on 3 loops of her 50 mile trace race. It was a tough decision--I didn't want to let her down but I also didn't want to risk a full-blown RA flare. Fortunately, she was able to find someone to replace me right away. With rain in the forecast for Saturday, I knew I made the right decision.

By the end of the week, I felt like myself again. The what-ifs started to creep into my thoughts, but no. I made the right decision not to pace her. I should know better not to commit myself to something like that so close to a hard race. Lesson learned.

A couple of people have asked when I'm going to post a race recap. It's written, but I'm waiting for race photos. Like everything with trail races, in due time, I guess! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Trail Runfessions (mostly)

Well, here we are again at the Runfessional for that chance to clear our souls and our soles. Do you runfess? On the last Friday of every month, Marcia opens up the runfessional for those of us who may have strayed from the trail. There's no penance, just that feeling of cleansing and starting the next month with a fresh pair of running shoes. 

I poolrunfess... earlier this month, I went to the pool, dark and early, for my weekly pre-work pool sesh. I greeted the other 2 pool runners already tethered in and chattering away and started my workout. Not even 10 minutes later, my headphones warned me about 'low battery' and then shut off. Dammit. I left the pool to the locker room to get my backup pair but alas, they were also dead. I set my phone on the side of the pool and turned it up all the way but I could barely hear it over the racket next to me. Seriously, where's a shark when you need one?


I runfess... I have mixed feelings about trail races advertising a certain distance for a race, which may or may not be the actual distance you run. Case in point: my most recent trail race, the Earth Day 15 miler, was actually 15.76 miles when I crossed the finish line. I get it, the whole trail vibe thing is loose with the rules but still...this runner likes to know how far she has to plan for. And doesn't it kind of suck the life out of you when you think you're going to be finished at a certain distance, but when that number comes up on your watch, you don't know how much farther you have to go?



I runfess.... the ageism directed at us 'seasoned' runners by some younger runners is kind of rough. We get comments about how easy it is to BQ at our age. Or how there are so few runners in our old lady age group, that it's easy to get an AG award. An older woman in my trail race last Saturday told me the worst one yet: last year when she won her AG, a younger runner told her that she got the 'pity' award. 


I runfess... that I have to DNS my plan to pace a friend at an ultramarathon this weekend. She's doing a 50 mile race at 'my' preserve and I was supposed to run 3 loops (12 miles with her). Since I run there all the time, it was a no-brainer. But instead, it was no bueno. On Wednesday's shakeout run on the course, my left hip let me know it was not happy with the idea. Luckily, she found a replacement almost immediately. I'll be there to see her cross the finish line!


Now that the snow has melted, I've noticed the ridiculous amount of dog poop bags scattered around the preserve. I runfess... this makes me steam like a freshly dropped turd. If you're going to take the time to bag your dog's poop, then carry it out. You don't want to carry it out? Make your dog carry it out. Do what I do and tie the bag to the leash. But please DON'T leave it by the side of the trail or fling it into the woods. 


What do you have to runfess? What do you do when your headphone batteries die? How do you handle inaccurate race distances? Older runners: have you experienced ageism from younger runners? What to do about the dog poop problem?

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

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Getting Ready to Race

This week was all about getting myself ready, physically and mentally, for Saturday's trail race. I have to admit I was more than a little nervous about this race, having run it last year. I knew what to expect this time and that gave me a little PTSD. I cut back my miles and my effort, and did more yoga to stretch out my muscles. 

It was also a challenging week at work, with some really sick kids-one of which I sent to the ER and he was admitted to the PICU. I also saw a few new patients, including a toddler from Ukraine, who has a lot of developmental issues. The family doesn't speak English. Heavy stuff on top of feeling nervous about my race. Even though I did my best not to let it get me down, I did not sleep well this week! Now that my race is one, I'm pretty sure I will sleep much better this week!

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Spring has Sprung!

What a wonderful week of weather!!! We've been socked in with cold and gloom since forever, it seems. But April has been a joy so far. We had sunshine and warmth all week. I made sure to get outside and enjoy it as much as I could. The hubs planted lettuce and we've got chives. The grass is green and the landscape trucks are everywhere. The chorus of birds is sweet music. 

It seems that spring is finally here!

Monday, April 10, 2023

Book Review: The Longest Race by Kara Goucher

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Regular readers of this blog know that I do a lot of running book reviews. Because I do so many running book reviews, most of the books I review are gifted to me by the publisher. I found it odd that ARCs of Kara Goucher's new book were not available and that there weren't a lot of prepublication reviews. I decided it would be worth purchasing and after reading it, I understand why she kept her book quiet until publication day. 

It's quite a read. I'm going to do my best to share my thoughts about The Longest Race without spoiling it for people who haven't read it yet. Runners who follow Goucher know a lot of her story, and it was nice to read it from her perspective. But some of what she shares in the book she hasn't shared before. It's a cautious tale for young women with lofty running goals. 


Sunday, April 9, 2023

The Need for Speed

Was it spring fever? The bright sunshine? The shoes? Whatever it was, I felt the need for speed this week, running stronger than I have for a while. I'm pretty sure the improving weather was a big factor. This was a great week of fitness for me!

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Let's catch up over coffee!! What are you having? I'm sipping on my favorite, Colectivo Co-Optiva with a scoop of GLG collagen and a splash of half and half. It never gets old. 

What would you tell me over coffee? 

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: March 2023

Disclaimer: I received a PRC of Choosing to Run from the publisher and NetGalley. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

I started March's reads with a winner! Des Linden's memoir was compelling reading. While I waited for some library holds to come in, I hit the backlist for Share Your Stuff. I'll Go First, which had great reviews. I didn't love it and eagerly opened my first library hold, Stone Cold Fox. I could not put it down and it kept my heart pounding! Big Swiss was hilarious. Just hilarious. But it might not be for everyone. Speaking of everyone, Pineapple Street is the must-read of the moment. I found it to be just ok. Another popular read right now is Maame, which I enjoyed. 

I read a 7th book this month as well, but I am going to do a full review on the blog. Kara Goucher's memoir, The Longest Race, gave me all the feels. I could not put it down. I have a lot of thoughts on this one and will share my post next Tuesday. Stay tuned for that!

Sunday, April 2, 2023

The Slippery Slope

I woke up Monday morning feeling tired, achy, and queasy. Was it a bug? Or was it an RA flare? I'm pretty sure that RA was the culprit as Sunday's run felt harder than it should have. I blamed the rain and the cold, but I didn't feel great when I started. That run probably pushed me into the red zone. I probably should have turned around and gone home. But you know me. 

RA is a slippery slope.

I scrapped my plans on Monday to go to CrossFit and did a yoga class that focused on flexibility. While the yoga felt good, I still felt icky and spent the rest of the day taking it easy. Sometimes you have to listen to what your body tells you. Thankfully, this flare was short-lived and did not require steroids to calm it down. I felt gradually better as the week went on. It's been a while since I've felt like that. It was a good reminder to stay on track with my diet and sleep as well as my activities.

Weekly Rundown
Sunday: run 11 miles
Monday: Yoga with Adriene
Tuesday: pool running
Wednesday: trail run 5 miles
Thursday: strength training, lunch with Marcia
Friday: run 6 miles
Saturday: rest day

March miles 106.6!!!

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Iconic Runfessions

After all these years of blogging and runfessing, you'd think I'd run out of things to runfess. Shouldn't I have my act together by now? Well, what can I say? Thank you to Marcia for opening the runfessional every month and letting us clear our soles and souls.  I always say it's painless, save for the embarrassment of sharing things that I probably shouldn't. But isn't that what runfessing is all about? Am I the only one? Probably not. You know you have things to share too...

Let's get to it!

Saturday, March 25, 2023

All Mixed Up

Disclaimer: As a member of the Brooks Run Happy Team, I receive products in exchange for social sharing. All opinions are my own.

Not only is the weather all mixed up--we went from winter to spring and back to winter again, but my week was kind of mixed up too. I had to flex my workout schedule to accommodate not only the weather but also my 'niggles' and a fun opportunity with Brooks (more below). 

I was able to get everything in but I'm still bummed about a canceled field trip to the IAT in Whitewater on Saturday with the Trail Sisters Chicago Northwest. A late winter storm stymied our plans for a long morning of trails and vert. This storm dropped a foot of snow in Madison! The weather this year has sent me to the treadmill more times than I can ever remember. While I'm glad I have the option, can I say enough is enough?

Sunrise on the way into the city on Tuesday

Friday, March 17, 2023

What Time is it?

Does anyone really know what time it is? 
Does anyone really care? 
If so I can't imagine why
We've all got time enough to....  die, cry, fry, eat pie...(fill in the blank) ~Chicago

I don't normally struggle too much with going between time zones or turning the clocks forward. But between the two hour time difference between California and Chicago and springing forward to daylight savings time, my body did not know what time it was. It really hit me hard on Tuesday, when I got up at 4:30 to go to the pool before work. Thankfully, I was off work the rest of the week for my annual PNP conference, which I attended virtually from home. That gave me a chance to take it easy and get back on track. 

Of course, I got all my workouts in. I do have my priorities!

Saturday, March 11, 2023

A Week of Awe

What a week! If you didn't read last week's post, I've been visiting my sister and brother-in-law in California. I had a wonderful time! In fact, I hated the idea of leaving so much that my sister talked me into staying an extra day. I'm so glad I did! This was a trip that will keep me smiling for a long time.  I'm going to do my best to condense it all below, but I hope you don't mind me sharing a few more photos than normal. It was hard to pick which ones to share! Once again, a trip to California reinforces my opinion that it is the most beautiful state in the US.


Sunday, March 5, 2023

Greetings from California

Greetings from the high desert of California! I'm vacationing with my sister and her hubs at their winter place and I am having a great time! The weather has been perfect with sunny, blue skies and temperatures in the upper 60s. It's supposed to get a little warmer after the weekend. As you read this, we're on our way to Death Valley National Park, which we are all really excited about. 

So far, I've gotten some running and hiking in with lots of climbing. This makes me really happy because as you know, my training for April's trail race has not been optimal. The trails at home have been icy and muddy and it has been difficult to get any decent mileage on them. I'm hoping to do some quality work on these mountain trails while I'm here. We're having a lot of fun too!

Monday, February 27, 2023

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's catch up over a cup of coffee! What are you having? Today I'm enjoying a cup of Dark Matter Westown Bakery Blend that I picked up last week while meeting up with Deborah. Freshly roasted, it is just perfection with a scoop of GLG collagen and a splash of half and half. My new coffee maker has made me love coffee even more if that is possible! It's fun to try all the different local roasts.  

What would you tell me over coffee?

Mini Book Reviews: February 2023

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of  Commitment from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my review. This post contains affiliate links. 

In books as in life, you win some, you lose some. I read 2 disappointing books this month. Both of them were quick reads, so I stuck it out, finishing them both. There was a big, fun surprise on my TBR from 2020 that had me asking myself why it took me so long to pick it up. Last but not least was Jenna's pick for January, a book that started out meh but made me smile as I read the last lines. I love when a book redeems itself! 


Sunday, February 26, 2023

Running Happy

In spite of the wild weather we had once again this week, I managed to get all my runs outside.  It seems like all we do is talk about the weather, but I think most of you will agree with me that what we've been experiencing is anything but normal. Winter in the Midwest is always turbulent, but this season has been unprecedented, with more to come next week. At least it gives us something to talk about!

What I haven't been able to do is get some quality runs on the trails.  Between the ice and the mud, training for my hilly April race is not optimal. I continue to focus on quality time in the gym and on the road, hoping that will be enough.

No matter what, getting outside definitely helps me manage all the stress in my life. As always, I am so grateful my body lets me do this!

thanks to Deborah for this fabulous photo!

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Intense Runfessions

Can you believe it's already time to runfess? Since February is the shortest month, it makes sense. What doesn't make sense is how many runfessions I came up with for such a short month! Oh well..when you gotta runfess, you gotta runfess! Thank goodness Marcia opens the runfessional so we can cleanse our soles and start fresh at the beginning of a new month.

What do you have to runfess?

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Real Talk

Fitness and running continue to be a bright spot in what feels like every day taking me on a wild ride. I truly do not know what I would do without my sweat therapy right now.

Work has completely gotten out of control. Just when we got a chance to catch our breath after the onslaught of illnesses last fall, we started seeing a lot of non-English-speaking asylum seekers from war-torn areas across the globe. These patients present all kinds of challenges. The language barrier is just one struggle. The mental health crisis continues and resources are scarce. I've also recently had a couple of my young patients experience horrific abuse and that has really taken a toll on me.

On the home front, both my parents are starting to have major health issues that require me to accompany them to appointments and help them with medical decision-making. My sisters are supportive, but as they are all out of town, the burden falls on me.

I am doing my best to stay positive and focused on the good things in my life. Don't get me wrong, I have had my share of meltdowns, usually over the littlest things. But no matter how overwhelmed I feel or how busy I get, I vow to always make time to get all my workouts in. It is my therapy that gives me the strength to push through my day.


Saturday, February 11, 2023

Staying Upright

You probably won't be surprised by this revelation: this is not my favorite time of year. As a devoted outdoor runner, late winter poses a struggle to find a satisfying place to run. While I love the growing warmth of the sun, the freeze/thaw cycle makes for treacherous conditions. In anticipation of my upcoming trail race in April, I need to start building miles again and climbing hills. Ideally, that would be on the trails, but for the next couple of weeks at least, I think I'll be lacing up my road shoes. I'm not complaining--it is what it is. But I can't help but be a little envious of runners who live in places that don't have ice! 


Sunday, February 5, 2023

Ain't Nothin' Gonna Break My Stride

Ain't nothin' gonna slow me down. Oh no! I got to keep on moving...

Nothing, you ask? As you sing along with this earworm...

I've been struggling with some right shoulder pain over the past couple of months. I haven't mentioned it because up until recently, it hasn't been enough to affect my activities, although sometimes it does wake me up at night, forcing me to find a position that I can lie in without discomfort. Lately, though, it's gotten worse, probably because we've been doing more overhead lifting in the gym. I'm feeling a snapping sensation when I move my shoulder a certain way. The PT at the gym told me what I already knew, that I have shoulder impingement and as a result, my right scapula is winged. I've started doing some stretches and PT shoulder work to prevent a rotator cuff tear. Because no one needs that. 

Fortunately, it hasn't affected my running. Yet.

So if you see me walking around with my shoulders back and chest out, just know that I'm not trying to attract attention. I'm just dropping my scapulae. Or if I'm sitting and I have my arms wrapped around the back of the chair, just know that I'm trying to open my pecs and roll my shoulders back. The exercises are simple but effective! They kind of remind me of the old chest opener we used to do in gym class: "we must, we must, we must increase our bust!"

Wednesday's trail run

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Let's catch up over coffee! What are you having? I'm having some Colectivo Bucky Badger blend that we picked up in Madison last week. Since it's Colectivo, it's as good as you'd expect it to be. Add a scoop of GLG collagen and a splash of half and half and it's heaven in a coffee mug. 

What would you tell me over coffee?

Monday, January 30, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: January 2023

Disclaimer: I received ARCs of Central Places and On the Savage Side from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

What a great start to another year of reading! Instead of being overwhelmed with library holds all coming in at once, I was able to pick and choose what I wanted to read without rushing through them all. I was lucky to read a hot newish release by Barbara Kingsolver, an author whose epic novels never disappoint. NetGalley has been very generous this month, offering limited time reads that I didn't have to apply for. One of them was by Tiffany Daniel, another author who I am familiar with and who also never disappoints. Interestingly, both the Kingsolver and Daniel books were very different variations on the same theme, poverty and opiate abuse in rural Appalachia. Do yourself a favor and read both. Not only will they make you count your blessings, but they both will give you a lot to think about. 

The other three books were also excellent. I hope this is the pattern for the rest of 2023!

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Shifting My Focus

This is the week that SJ and I discussed my goals for the upcoming year. We finished up that heavy strength cycle and challenged my 1 rep maxes on the back squat, bench press, and deadlift. Now it's time to move forward. After coming off of that strong trail race a few weeks ago, I pulled the trigger (thanks Catrina!) and signed up for that Earth Day 15 mile trail race in April, the one where I hit the wall on the last loop. My goal is to not have that happen again. I also signed up for a 15 mile trail race in July in Leadville, Colorado with my youngest son. That is really going to be a challenge as the altitude is over 10,000 feet. It's going to be difficult to train for that!

What I want to do with SJ is work on building strength for climbing the hills in both these races. I climb a lot of hills on the IAT in Wisconsin, but I think I need to also build trail-specific strength in the gym. We got to it this week!

Thursday, January 26, 2023

January Runfessions

Here we are at the first Runfessions of 2023! Do you runfess? Every month, Marcia opens the runfessional to allow us all to cleanse our souls and soles. Oddly enough, I always have things to runfess. So let's get to it and let the absolution begin!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Race Recap: Frozen Gnome 10k

Recently, I ran my 3rd Frozen Gnome 10k on the local trails at Veteran's Acres Park in Crystal Lake, Illinois. In 2021, I ran this race virtually, on the course, and returned in 2022 for the live event.  This has become one of my favorite trail races--I love the location, the distance, the swag, and the fact that it is in January! The race organizer puts on great events and I was excited to rerun it!

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Are You There Sunshine? It's Me, Wendy

This may be the gloomiest January I can remember, and that's saying a lot because January around here is always gloomy. According to local weather icon Tom Skilling, we've had 20% of our normal sunshine so far this month. Even though it's been warmer than normal, it's pretty rough waking up to gray skies every morning. I was fortunate to catch a little sunshine on my runs on Sunday and Wednesday! It's something you really appreciate when you live in the Midwest. I'm making plans to go out to California in early March to visit my sister again and I cannot wait to soak up the sun.

For now, I have to make my own sunshine.


How many of you remember the book Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume? Reading it was a rite of passage for so many of us growing up in the 70s and beyond. My copy was so worn out! The title of this blog post is an obvious take on that book title, but did you know that the eponymous movie is being released on the big screen in April? How can it even be as good as the book? The trailer looks pretty cute. The 1970s are having a moment and I for one cannot wait to see this movie!

Sunday, January 15, 2023

No Harm, No Foul

This week, the universe reminded me that I should never get too comfortable when things are going well. On Wednesday night, I woke up with a throbbing pain in my back molar. I didn't recall biting down hard on it or anything, so I took some ibuprofen and went back to sleep. The pain returned the next morning and worsened when the day went on, so I finally broke down and called the dentist. Worst case scenario? I have a cracked tooth (there's a crown on it, so she wasn't sure) and will need an extraction. A better case scenario would be that I need a root canal. Either way, it was abcessed and she started me on antibiotics. I continued on around the clock ibuprofen.

By Saturday, the tooth was feeling better, so I was able to run my race (see below). I'm still taking ibuprofen but not as often, and I have an appointment with an endodontist on Thursday. I've never had a toothache until now and I have to say that it is a pain like no other. I think we runners are pretty darn tough and I really had to dig deep to get through the past couple of days. But there was no way I was going to DNS my favorite race!!! My dentist didn't tell me I couldn't run, but I know she wasn't thrilled about it. No one gets us runners, am I right?

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Kicking Off the New Year on the Right Foot

Cue the music... I'm thinking of the Black Eyed Peas' Let's Get it Started and if that song is now going through your head, you can thank me! I hit the ground running with a race on New Year's Day and that set the tone for how I want this year to go. Strong, happy, positive. I'm going to work on controlling what I can and the rest will just be background noise. That includes my job, which will take a back seat to prioritizing my mental health. I've set a goal of retirement in 2 years. The light is at the end of the tunnel, my friends!

With regards to fitness, I haven't set any goals for the year except to have fun. I'll continue to work on strength. Maybe I'll work on speed and race some short races. You know I'll be running the trails this year again!

I also got good news on the RA front. I saw my rheumatologist this week and my blood work was the best it's been since my diagnosis 6 years ago. I get to cut my medication in half. We'll see how it goes, but wow! What a nice way to start a new year.

You get what you pay for with free race photos!

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Let's catch up over a cup of coffee! What are you having? I'm drinking a cup of Philz Julie's Ultimate, a new-to-me brand that the hubs gifted me for Christmas. With a scoop of GLG collagen and a splash of half and half, it's like heaven in a coffee mug. 

What would you tell me over coffee?

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: December 2022

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I wrapped up 2022 with a total of 77 books read. I don't set reading goals--that's just too much pressure! Reading books is one of my guilty pleasures and I don't want to feel bad if I can't get through one to meet a goal. It's hard enough when all my library holds come in at once and I only have a few weeks to read them all!

Everyone has been posting their favorite reads and after reading so many books, I can remember only a handful of them. Tops on my list are Lessons in Chemistry, followed by Unlikely Animals. These 2 books checked all the boxes--they grabbed me within the first couple of chapters, I didn't lose my interest, I didn't want to put them down, and they've stuck with me for a long time after finishing them. The characters were interesting and quirky. The stories weren't clich├Ęd. And they were different.  A couple of other books are worth mentioning as well: What Could Be Saved, Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance, Remarkably Bright Creatures, Carrie Soto is Back, Hurricane Girl, Now is Not the Time to Panic, and Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.

I also read a few non-fiction books, most of which were really good. Non-fiction November gave me an excuse to explore some books that were on my TBR but just couldn't find the time to read! I continue to refer back to Next Level, which validated and educated me about how to train after menopause. It's also on sale for kindle for $2.99 right now! Other favorites include Good for a Girl, Corrections in Ink, Solito, and Running While Black. 

This is just an observation of mine, but it seems to me that many of the books I read this year were unnecessarily long. I don't mind a long book if the story cannot be condensed--in fact, I'm reading an amazing one right now--but there's nothing worse than reading a book that just meanders on and on. Just get to the point! It reminds me of a hair stylist I used to go to who took an hour to cut my hair but mostly spent her time fluffing it. Chop chop! Good editing is a must to make a book crisp and interesting.

Over the holidays, my sister and I were comparing favorites and it was a good reminder that not everyone likes to read the same thing. Multiple times this year, I read highly recommended books only to be disappointed. People always ask me how I find the books I read and mostly, I pick books that are recommended by a couple of the book bloggers I follow. I hope that you will find a couple here that you might like!