Saturday, February 17, 2024

It's All Good

On Saturday, I always sit down to finish up my weekly rundown. I write up my workouts in all week long and at the end of the week, I try to find a common theme to come up with a title for my post. This has been a pretty uneventful week and I have to admit that I was at a loss for a title! In fact, it's been all good this week. So there it is...

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Moving Forward

I runfess... I am happy to have that half marathon behind me. 

Every race teaches us something new. What will I take away from this race?

I won't play the age card or blame my struggles on RA, but long distances are definitely becoming more difficult for me. This week, it felt good to dial it back a bit--to just run and let my body recover. I'm trying to sort out what happened on the race course and why I struggled with my breathing. Did I run too fast at the start? Was I affected by the poor air quality? Was I anxious? 

For sure, I wasn't properly fueled, having forgotten my smoothie at home. My on-course fueling plan was a bust. But the other factors? 

As I put this race in the rearview mirror, I'll continue to reflect on what works and what doesn't. I'm not ready to give up on the half marathon distance!

Sunday, February 4, 2024

F3 Lake Half Marathon Race Recap

The F3 Lake Half Marathon is Chicago's unofficial start to race season. Although it's been around for 15 years, I've never done it. The weather in January in Chicago is unpredictable and usually awful. This year, except for one week in January, we've had really mild, sunny conditions. My friend and fellow Brooks ambassador Frankie put pressure on me to sign up. I took a leap of faith and hoped for the best as I filled out the application. My youngest son wanted to join me, so I signed him up too!

Life and a Race

My anxiety level was high this week and it wasn't just due to my impending half marathon. 

There was last week's sad news that my young patient had passed. This week, my parents asked me to fix their computer again. Like many of us, they are struggling with many passwords, however, their solution is to keep creating new user names and passwords, which eventually gets them locked out of their accounts. I arrived with new solutions and was greeted by my mom, sporting a black eye. My sister had warned me that on the day before, my mom was on her treadmill when the phone rang. She forgot to stop the treadmill and fell on her face. It looked pretty bad, but she seemed ok when I got to their house. 

It was also her birthday and when I set her up for a Zoom call with her high school friends, she asked me what happened to her face. I calmly told her, and my dad and I exchanged worried looks. The next day, I called him to check on her--he thought she was fine, but I urged him to take her to be checked out. I was worried about a brain bleed, and she had a head CT which was clear. Whew. 

My sisters and I have been worried about my mom for a while now. She always took care of everyone, including my dad. Trying to get him to step up after all these years has been challenging. I'm the only one who is local, which is also another challenge. We'd like to see them downsize and move somewhere that would provide more support, but my dad isn't ready to give up his garage and his old cars. I get that.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Mini Book Reviews: January 2024

Disclaimer: I received ARCs of Come and Get It and Martyr! from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links.

I kicked off 2024 with the resolution to read my NetGalley ARCs before they are published! I have so many that I have fallen behind. I love that they send me so many books to review but now I am below 80% and need to fix that. Moving forward, I'll be sharing a mix of upcoming new releases from NetGalley as well as library holds and backlist books. 

This month had 5 very different books. My favorite one was Martyr!. You can't judge a book by its cover and when I first received Martyr! from NetGalley, I thought I wouldn't like it at all. The first sentence grabbed me and the book didn't let go. It won't be the book for everyone but it gave me a lot to think about. 

It's been a little frustrating trying to find good books to read lately. Every time I pick up a book that everyone is raving about, I'm disappointed. I've got 3 NetGalley books coming up for this month. Let's see what I find.



Sunday, January 28, 2024

Better Days Ahead

It's the end of January, it's gray, and I'm glad to see this month come to an end. The days are getting longer and my early morning runs aren't as dark as they have been. The bitter cold we were experiencing has gone away and we're back into the 30s and 40s. The snowpack is dwindling quickly.

It's also race week! Earlier this month, I optimistically signed up for a half marathon--one that I've avoided in the past because who wants to run 13.1 miles in the dark of winter? Thankfully, we've had mostly mild temperatures, and looking ahead to next weekend, the forecast calls for more of the same. So fingers crossed it doesn't rain. 

I'm as ready as I can be for this race--I'm not going to race it, but plan to attempt to maintain a steady 10m/m pace. Let's just hope my tummy behaves and then everything else should fall into place. Sometimes that's enough.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

A "Real" Winter

In spite of, or maybe because of that nice warm fall we had, we are now experiencing a full-on old-fashioned winter. It's the kind of winter that people reminisce about--"remember all the snow we used to get when we were kids?"--and I'm thinking that some memories are enhanced by time. 

Throughout the fall, I kept saying that we were going to pay for all that nice weather we were having. It seems like the universe always has a way of evening things out. It's been bitterly cold--schools have been closed most of the week-- and it's snowy. I'm not complaining except when it comes to running. I think I've run on my treadmill more this month than I did in all of 2023. As you read this, we are up at the lake and I am attempting my long run on the road. It's still very cold, but it's pretty, so fingers crossed I'll get all my miles in. You can check out my IG for the final verdict.

The forecast this week is for a thaw and while that sounds good in theory, it's likely not. Seasoned midwesterners know that usually means icy surfaces. I may finally have to cave and buy those Kahtoola spikes I've been eyeing. I wonder what kind of conditions we'll have for my upcoming half marathon?

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Be Careful What You Wish For

I haven't been minding our mild winter at all. But I was hoping for a little snow- just to make things pretty and wintery. I should have known better because as extreme as the weather has been the past couple of years, at the end of this week, we got hit with a really wild snowstorm. Friday morning began with about 6 inches of heavy, wet snow and wind that chased me back inside before I could even start my run. As the morning went on, it changed to rain, turning the snow into slush, changing back to snow again, dropping about 4 more inches on top of the slush overnight. The wind continued, and during the day on Saturday, the temperatures began to drop.  It's going to be cold and windy for the next few days, which means most likely I'll be spending quality time with my TM.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Starting the New Year on the Right Foot

I've been reading a lot of posts about goals, 'word of the year', 'ins and outs', and resolutions. I think most of you know that I kind of just roll with what the year hands me. Already, I've signed up for a Chicago half marathon that takes place next month. My youngest son is going to join me and I know several other local runners who are doing it as well. I hoped that our mild winter would continue, but it is Chicago, and it looks like we are going to get some winter weather in the coming weeks. To prepare for this race, I'm going to do more running on the roads and focus on consistency. I'm a little less focused on my time. I want to feel good when I cross that finish line!