Showing posts with label CrossFit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CrossFit. Show all posts

Monday, July 12, 2021

12 Things I Learned From My Worst Race

This is an updated version of a post published previously. With so many marathons taking place this fall and everyone training for them, I thought republishing this post would be helpful!

I can say without hesitation that my worst race ever was my first Chicago Marathon. I ran that race in 2011. That first marathon was SO BAD that I was ashamed to even tell anyone that I ran it. I was so disappointed in myself that I didn't feel like a real marathoner after I finished, even though I have the medal to prove that I crossed the finish line.

It took me 3 years to get up the courage to line up again and run the race I knew I had in me. I've run 3 marathons and many more half marathons since, but I still draw on my experience from that particular race to drive me through my training and races. In addition, the mental toughness I've developed since then has helped me push through my battle with RA, which is like an ultramarathon that won't quit. 

Since a lot of runners are gearing up to start training for fall marathons, I wanted to share some of the wisdom and experience I gained from that ill-fated marathon and my races since then. 

Dementia set in early on!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

I'm Broken

The week started off really well with a long run on a beautiful day in the forest preserve. I was eagerly anticipating my upcoming Saturday trail race in Devil's Lake State Park. It's a race I've wanted to run for several years. In this strange year that is 2021, registration just opened up about a month ago. I decided on the 10k distance as a way to check out the race and the trails, which are notoriously hilly. If it went well, I planned on doing the half marathon next year. Heck, I even had a blank recap post waiting in my draft folder. 

You know what they say about making plans, right? 

Once again, all my plans are on hold. Is the universe sending me a message? Or does someone have a Wendy voodoo doll? If so, please remove all the pins because...

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Getting Wet

Maybe it was the strawberry moon--did you see it?--but things kind of flip-flopped this week. We got a ton of rain--the drought is over! Everything is green again, but yep, the mosquitoes and biting flies have come to life in the woods. My insect repellent doesn't seem to be holding up to the challenge.

On the plus side, my wrist responded well to the steroid injection that I received last week. I am so grateful for that! While I know that my wrist isn't healed, it's been interesting to see what I can do without pain. I wear the brace most of the time for comfort but have stopped wearing it when I run and work out. Oh...and I tested it out behind the boat this weekend!

Monday's rainy run

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Sort of Sidelined

A few months ago, I developed pain and swelling at the base of my right thumb and wrist. I mentioned it to my rheumatologist, who performed an ultrasound and didn't find anything amiss. She referred me to a hand specialist, 'the guy' that she would go to. At the time, the pain wasn't terrible and it wasn't preventing me from doing anything except handstands, so I dragged my feet on scheduling an appointment. 

Out of the blue this week on Monday, I felt a sharp pain in my wrist. It felt like a rubber band snapped inside. I don't remember doing anything out of the ordinary, but maybe that Kettlebell Circus WOD on Monday morning pushed the already angry tendon over the edge? After a restless night, I woke up on Tuesday in a lot of pain. I slathered my wrist in my CBD salve, wrapped it up tightly, took some ibuprofen, and went to work. Later that morning, still feeling pain, I finally broke down and scheduled with the specialist. After an x-ray and an exam, he told me that he was putting me in a splint and that he wanted me to see 'the guy', an imaging specialist who would perform a musculoskeletal ultrasound on my wrist. He said I could still work out but nothing involving the wrist. And that includes waterskiing.

Welp. I didn't cry, but I sure wasn't happy. While I don't have a firm diagnosis, he thinks it's the flexor carpi radialis tendon--tendinopathy or a partial rupture. I'll know more after my ultrasound next week. Hoping for the best case scenario.

Go big or go home, I say. Although, I won't lie...I'm pretty bummed out about this injury. You don't realize how much you use your hand until you can't. I'm glad I can still run though. Can I just say how weird it is to be a runner with an upper body injury? 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Are You Ready for Summer? and I Tried it! Odlo Summer Running Gear

Disclaimer: I received gear from Odlo in exchange for my unbiased review. This post also contains an affiliate link.

After an underwhelming Memorial Day weekend--cool and breezy--as the week went on, Mother Nature turned up the thermostat! The heat is on--is it ever! and it looks like it's here to stay.  Time to adapt and adjust the training plan, I guess!

Sunday's trail run was steamy!

Sunday, May 30, 2021

A Lot to Unpack!

Life got busy and I missed last week's rundown. Again. But it was worth it. For the first time in almost 2 years, I took a trip to the south to visit my friend and former Weekly Wrap cohost, Holly. In spite of a few glitches in my travels (I'll share that on Friday's Coffee Talk), once I got there, we picked up right where we left off. It was a fun trip and as always, too short! I'm still riding high and grateful to Holly and her husband for their hospitality. 

Meanwhile, life goes on as usual. There was running and strength training; this week, after several years  of working towards it, I finally attained my goal of a strict pull-up! Weather-wise, we went from summer to winter and back to summer again. 

I have a lot to unpack here; I'm going to try to hit the highlights of my past 2 weeks and keep you from glazing over. If you want to see more details, check out my Instagram!

Giant pinecones in Alabama!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Smarter, Not Harder

I don't know if it's the cooler weather or allergies or what it is, but on Thursday this week, I was commenting to Sammy Jo about how long it has taken me to recover from that race I ran a few weeks ago. I'm definitely not bouncing back as quickly from a hard effort like I used to, that is for sure. Even though this week I felt really good on Wednesday's trail run, when I got home from work in the evening, I had dinner and I was asleep by 9 pm. 

I guess it's like the old cliché, I have to train SMARTER, not harder. I know that I've still got some speed and strength in me, but I can't waste energy doing activities that don't have any value. For now, I don't have anything planned, running-wise, until the fall. I'm looking forward to continuing to explore more segments of the Ice Age Trail and running my local trails as well. 

Changing my mindset and not pushing myself so hard--this may be my biggest challenge yet!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Recovery Week plus I Read it! Racing the Clock

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received a PRC of Racing the Clock from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

This week was all about recovery. Boy, did I need it after my race last Saturday. While I could not be happier with the outcome of the race, pushing myself that hard really took a toll on me. When we runners say we 'left it all on the road'--that is what I did at my race. It's such a satisfying feeling, but as you would expect, I paid for my effort! I experienced DOMS at the beginning of the week, with lingering fatigue into the end of the week.

To aid in my recovery, I dialed back the output on my activities this week. I slept a lot. I ate foods that would help with inflammation and recovery. I used my Chil Wellness CBD products, to calm my aching joints and muscles. As the week went on, I started to feel better. Proper recovery is so important! 

I don't have any other races on the calendar until September. I'm looking forward to 'just' running for a couple of months. Obviously, if something interesting opens up, I wouldn't rule it out! But for now, I'm taking it easy.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Blown Away

Literally and figuratively, this week I was blown away.

Spring weather in the Midwest is always a wild ride. We often joke that if you don't like the weather, wait a minute and it will change. Sometimes it feels like you have all 4 seasons in one day--a few years ago at the CARA Lakefront 10 miler, we started out with sun and 70 degrees, only to finish in the wind with temperatures dropping to the 40s.

Oh, that wind! Even though the Windy City got its nickname from its windbag politicians, Chicago is known for its fierce winds that blow off Lake Michigan. We've had our share of wind this spring and this week was no different. Apparently, any large body of water will do as I battled winds at my race around Lake Monona on Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin. 

But the wind wasn't the only thing the blew me away this week--there were some good runs, including another live race and a hike to one of my favorite spots.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

I'm Languishing ...plus I Tried it! Nathan SaferRun Personal Alarm and Strobe

Disclaimer: I received the Nathan SaferRun Personal Alarm and Strobe in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Earlier this week, Shiastho messaged me with a link to an article that I had just pulled up on my computer. Turns out great minds do think alike! The New York Times article we both read describes the feeling of not being depressed but not feeling well as languishing, the 'middle child of mental health'. A few months ago, after I received my second dose of the vaccine, I was so hopeful, but that hope faded quickly. Nothing was changing. I felt stuck. 

Apparently, I've been languishing.

Earlier this year, I described my feelings in a post about anxiety. While I've gotten my anxiety under control, that blah feeling remains. I'm not depressed. I'm just meh. That 'meh' feeling is what the NYT article addresses. The article suggests looking for small wins as a way to get past languishing. The author suggests finding 'flow' by immersing yourself in an activity or project. She also suggests setting boundaries, a time when you can't be interrupted. My runs have been that for me, particularly my time in the woods, which gives me a break from all the noise and usually brings me joy.

But then my run ends and it's back to life as it is. 

However, there is hope. The verdict in the George Floyd murder trial gives me hope for healing in our country. And while COVID cases are on the rise, with 50% of adults in this country having gotten at least one vaccine, that increase in cases isn't explosive. The country is slowly opening back up. I ran a live race in Chicago last weekend, a city with one of the strictest lockdown policies in the country. 

Having a name for how I've been feeling gave me that 'aha'! moment, even though it means I'm languishing. Sometimes, it's just nice to know that it isn't just you. We got this.

Wednesday's trail run

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sure, Why Not?

In spite of rising COVID cases everywhere, life continues its slow return to normal. This week's highlights include a return to a favorite race and a hike in a beautiful state area in Wisconsin. I had an RA flare midweek, which slowed me down for a day or so but didn't stop me from lining up at the start line on Saturday. 

So yeah, pretty much life as usual. I mean, why not?

Making my way through the gorge at Parfrey's Glen

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Whew!

It's been an overwhelming couple of weeks for me! Between Cocoa's surgery, working on the lake house, my continuing education conference, and some other family issues, something had to give--and that was blogging last week. With falling readership, I have been considering shutting down the blog, but I really do enjoy our little runblog community here. In a year of virtual races and isolation, the interaction with other bloggers and readers has really been a lifeline at times. 

So here I am, sharing a brief update of running and training from the past 2 weeks. I'll also share a Cocoa update at the end of the post. Long story short, she's doing great! So am I. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Twisted Logic

 "Sunlight, opened up my eyes, to see for the first time, it opened them up.... 
...Don't fight for the wrong side, say what you feel like, say how you feel...
You'll go backwards, but then
You'll go forwards again,
You'll go backwards, but then
You'll go.." ~from Twisted Logic, Coldplay

Listening to music while running Friday morning, this song came on and it's stuck in my head. Good thing I like Coldplay! It pretty much summed up how it's been going lately. One step forward, two steps backward. 

RA continues to flare and after last Sunday, when I developed so much pain, I started a course of steroids. Thankfully, the low dose I'm taking dialed down the pain to a dull roar, but hasn't shut it down completely. Unhappy about the flare but grateful I can run without fatigue, I was also fortunate to have planned a few days off work for some continuing education. It was all virtual and a great way to learn, and the time away from the office did me some good.

Speaking of going backward, we found out this week that my sister has COVID. Yep. After a year of social distancing and masking, after completing chemo and surgery, she was carelessly exposed and now she's sick. It just makes me so mad! Soapbox alert: Your actions have consequences for others. We're getting so close to the finish line. We can't let down our guard now. Wear your mask! 

Moving forward, we went up to the lake this weekend to spring clean and put things back in place now that most of the repair work is done. The new carpet and bathroom flooring are in! It looks so fresh and I am even more excited for summer to come. We're doing a few other little things to spruce up the place. We're not doing a lot of redecorating since the eventual plan is to tear it down and build a house for retirement. For now, it's great to have our little getaway!

Flying on Friday

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Motion is Lotion

This week, RA didn't play nice at all. I don't know if it was the cold, blustery weather we had early in the week or a post-vaccine immune response, but I was achy AF. It doesn't really make sense to blame it on the COVID vaccines, because I got the second dose over 2 months ago. But something triggered my immune system. I'm writing this on Saturday and my hands are still swollen, inflamed, and achy. Joint pain woke me up in the middle of the night a couple times this week and I had to take ibuprofen, something I try not to do very often. I have avoided steroids so far, but I am considering taking a short course, just to shut this thing down. Thankfully, I'm not experiencing much fatigue as I have during other flares, so in spite of the pain, I've able to run and work out. 

Running and working out during a flare might not make sense to some people, but as we RA warriors like to say, 'motion is lotion'. I know that I'll feel better once I get those joints moving. That was the case all week. I did have to modify my workouts a little bit, though, to accommodate for the pain. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

On the Way Up

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

After hitting the skids in February, I can say that things are definitely looking brighter! Once again, this week we were gifted with a lot of sunshine and the snow is gone. The trees have leaf buds on the branches. I spotted robins on my runs. My daffodils are even poking through the dirt. I know it's too soon to put away my winter coat, but it sure felt good to not have to layer up for my runs this week. In fact, I even got to wear shorts one day. 

Off the road, life has been pretty uneventful. My sister had her surgery last week and everything went well. The pathology report came back clear, meaning she is cancer free! This is all such good news! Today we're having lunch and going for a walk. We're even talking about planning our sister trip for the fall. Things are definitely looking up!

Sunday, March 7, 2021

A Slow Return to Normal and Mini Book Review of I Hate Running and You Can Too

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Is it just me or does it feel like things are starting to get better? At least with regards to opening back up, that is. I'm not talking about dropping the mask mandate--it's a little too soon for that. With the approval of the J&J vaccine this week, I'm starting to feel much more optimistic. Even better---this week, I found out that my favorite race, the Lakefront 10 Miler, is going to take place on April 17. Live. On the actual course!! In Chicago!!!

Can you even believe it?

Of course, I signed up. With a guaranteed refund if the race is canceled, I saw no downside to jumping right in. Fingers crossed that I get to cross that start line! 

The sun is shining, the snow is melting...I can just smell the optimism! 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Runfessions: February

It's the end of February and I could not be happier. It's been a long, cold month, the pandemic rages on, and really, doesn't every day right now feel like groundhog day? I almost considered not runfessing this month, you know, same old, same old, but my soles are heavy and in need of absolution. I haven't missed a monthly runfession session yet. Thank goodness Marcia opens the runfessional on the last Friday of every month. And here we go...

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Hello, Sunshine!

In spite of the continued cold temperatures and yet another snowstorm on our doorstep, optimism is in the air. The sun has been shining most days this week and that always makes the coldest day feel warm, right? I'm not downplaying the devastating conditions that have hit our friends in the south. Living in the midwest, we know how to "do" winter and while we may complain about it, we are able to move through the snow and life goes on. 

Sadly, though, winter proved to be a formidable foe as last weekend my husband drove up to the lake to check on the house and walked into burst pipes and water everywhere. We always leave the heat and water on as a preventative measure, but due to this prolonged bitter cold spell, the frost line is too deep. What a mess! He was able to get a cleaning service and a plumber to get the repairs started. Dealing with the insurance company was much more difficult and they reminded him that they are busy with the Texas disaster. The good thing is that we will be able to do some much needed purging and renovations. My hubs is back up there this weekend, pulling out the carpet and filling up a dumpster with years of accumulated stuff. Me, I stayed home with Cocoa, who would have only gotten in the way of this big project. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Feeling Salty

Holy shit, it was A WEEK. 

Sorry for the salty language, but yeah, it's been a week. We've been watching The History of Swear Words on Netflix and it is a hilarious look at swearing. It's definitely not for everyone, but for this first week of 2021, it seems to fit quite well. Laughter is the best medicine and this show gave me a much-needed release from the omnipresent anxiety that not only am I experiencing, but am seeing in friends, family, and patients as well.

Who could have predicted the horrendous events that took place this week in our nation's capitol? There were warnings, but judging by the carnage, no one seemed to take them seriously. The tumultuous past couple of years have turned the country into a pressure cooker, although some say the pressure has been building for years. So many people make the comment that 'they aren't political' or even that 'it doesn't matter who is in office'.  We have to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Even if it means 'being political', whatever the hell that means. If you think your vote doesn't count, well, this week really proved that it does. 

I feel like for the past year I've needed to have a disclaimer in my posts: This is not a political blog. This is a running blog. All opinions posted here are mine. I'd like to get back to the business of just writing about running. Heck (hell?), I just want to run. Have I told you lately how much I love to run? This week, there was plenty of that.


Sunday, December 27, 2020

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Christmas 2020 was unlike any other as we celebrated, socially distant. Christmas Eve was just the 4 of us, with homemade pizza. After dinner, my youngest son's girlfriend joined us for a lively game of Fibbage, followed by Quiplash. We spent the evening laughing ourselves silly. Christmas Day was again just the 4 of us. We opened our gifts, did a Zoom exchange with my parents, sisters, and their families, and enjoyed a roasted goose for dinner. 

Prior to the holiday, my youngest son started complaining of a sore throat on Tuesday; by Wednesday he had a fever. I was feeling a little panicked. He swore up and down that he hadn't been exposed. I believed him--none of his 8 housemates have had COVID and a recent COVID antibody test was negative. I was pretty sure that my immunity to the virus from the vaccine I received less than a week ago wasn't very strong at that point, and inwardly I crumbled. 

The next day I took my still febrile son to the immediate care at my office. He was swabbed for COVID, flu, and strep and tested for mono, even though it was too soon for the monospot to be reliable. Everything was negative, which was kind of a mixed blessing. I mean, I don't want him to have anything, but clearly, he did, and wouldn't it be better to know what it was?

Relieved about that negative COVID test, but knowing there was still the possibility of a false negative, I was glad that we already planned on a socially distant holiday at home. The risk of exposing my extended family to whatever he had would have forced that anyway. As the weekend progressed, my son's sore throat got worse and the fever continued. His symptoms didn't seem like typical COVID. We got late-breaking test results this morninng: it's non-group A strep, a variation that we don't normally treat. I offered to call in a prescription of antibiotics for him since he's still pretty miserable, but he's going to tough it out. Just like a man, lol. 

This is where we're at right now-- where every illness is COVID until proven otherwise, but anything else is preferable. 

Guys, I am so tired of COVID, but I can't just ignore it. I am faced with it every day in my job. We are so close to getting on top of it, but people just can't seem to get that. If I get a little salty about it, please consider my perspective.

Weekly Rundown

Monday: trail run 5.6 miles, Yoga with Adriene
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: run 5 miles
Thursday: rest
Friday: run 5.27 miles
Saturday: trail run 6 mile
Sunday: CrossFit wod with 2250m run
Year to date: 1198 miles

Running

Holiday week; my training schedule was up for grabs. With a dentist appointment scheduled for Wednesday morning (I broke a tooth), I took my shoes to the trails on Monday. I'm so glad I did. It was a cold but absolutely gorgeous morning. To mix things up, I parked in a different lot and found a new-to-me trail into the woods. This was a twisty, up and down path with lots of downed tree trunks. I took full advantage of some agility training, leaping over them. These trails are truly the gift that keeps on giving!


It was ridiculously windy on Wednesday, so I ran my neighborhood loop, ensuring that I wouldn't run into the wind for any length of time. It was a good plan and my splits were all over the place, depending on the wind. I stopped at the park to play with handstands and surprised myself by easily kicking up and holding them! 


I always run on Christmas morning and even though it was bitterly cold, the sun was shining when I headed out to the bike path. There were a few other die-hard runners and walkers out there too.


Saturday was another cold morning, although not as cold as the day before. I decided to go to the preserve along the DesPlaines River. When I got there, the parking lot was closed. So I drove to another parking lot, which was also closed. Odd. There is a nature center in this preserve, surely, I thought, that would be open. It was and I parked in the lot, running through the little nature area to the trail. From there, I ran south 3 miles in the cold sunshine. When I finished, I stopped to ask the employee about the closed parking areas. She said they would be closed for the season to allow workers unrestricted access to do maintenance on the trails. Oh, right! 🙄

a beautiful cold bluebird day!

CrossFit/Strength

I received a new wooden plyo/jump box for Christmas and was excited to see that Sunday's WOD included box overs! The WOD started with 2 rounds of a 4 minute AMRAP: 5 box overs, 5 burpees, and 10 single arm DB power cleans. After a 2 minute rest, there was another 4 minute AMRAP of 5 handstand pushups or decline pushups, 5 per leg single leg v-ups, and 10 single arm DB snatches. After a 2 minute rest, I finished up with a 2000m run (subbed for a 2000m row).

Cocoa testing out my new plyo box

It Felt a Little Like Christmas...

I runfess...I really enjoyed our little family holiday this year. Don't tell my mom. Earlier in the week, my husband and I did a drive-through light show that was choreographed to music. While we enjoyed it, it definitely wasn't something I want to do again. I'd rather walk and enjoy at my own pace. 

My sunroof came in handy for photos

On Christmas morning, I woke up to photos sent from the mother of the family my office adopted for the holidays. Oh my goodness, was that what my heart needed to see! I shared them with wonderful coworkers, several of whom sent photos of their own little ones opening gifts. What a blessing they all are!

My husband, boys, and I opened our gifts. That Goose Island Bourbon county stout I scored last month put a big smile on my very stoic husband's face! Best.gift.ever. He was stunned and told me he too had entered the lottery but didn't get an entry to purchase it. We gifted my oldest son, who loves to cook, a silver Kitchen Aid mixer that I scored on Black Friday. My youngest got a new snowboarding helmet after cracking his old one when he crashed last March. I got some Vuori joggers, which I haven't stopped wearing except for a run, along with the plyometric jump box

my sick boy and nurse Cocoa

We Zoomed with my family, but most of the gifts we mailed to my sister and her family out east hadn't yet arrived. While it was nice to see everyone, Zoom is definitely not a substitute for the real thing. After dinner of roasted goose, we watched the new Wonder Woman movie, which while not my typical movie, I have to admit I enjoyed it. I could use some of her skills! Goals for 2021. 

This year was very different than Christmases of the past, but we made the most of it and it was really nice!

How was your holiday? Were you able to squeeze in some workouts? Did you get together with family or did you do a virtual get-together like we did?

I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown.