Showing posts with label Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness. Show all posts

Friday, April 3, 2020

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's catch up over a cup of coffee! Has it only been a month since we last shared a cup of joe? I don't know about you, but it feels like an eternity. Wow, have things changed since a month ago. Let me pour you a cup. I'm having Folgers (don't laugh) with a large splash of half and half. And of course, collagen.

Or maybe we should go straight to wine.

What would you tell me over coffee?



Friday, March 27, 2020

Runfessions: Socially Distant..but not alone

What a month it has been and it's not over yet. March blew in like a lion and it's probably going to blow out like one too. Wish it would take this damn virus with it. 

As you might imagine, with such a challenging month, there's been a lot of miles run. I have a ton of runfessions to share. Marcia is opening up the runfessional today. It's always been virtual, so we don't even have to worry about social distancing. 


Friday, March 20, 2020

Now It's Gotten Real: How Covid-19 Has Affected Me Off the Road

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

I feel like I need to start this post off with the disclaimer that is at the top of every email I've been getting from work (and there have been many):
"COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation and we want to keep you informed with the latest information..."
So even as I write this post, things may change as soon as I publish it. In fact, I've edited and updated it multiple times before today's publication. There are just so many unknowns and that, more than anything has affected me. I'm pretty flexible and I can roll with the changes, but the uncertainty is really making my head spin. The good news is that the anxiety I was feeling last week before that ill-fated trip to Florida resolved upon my return home.

Now, the goal is to stay healthy. And calm.

Obviously, COVID-19 is affecting all of us in different ways and I wanted to share what's going on in my life off the road too. I'm kind of curious how everyone else is managing--feel free to share in the comments or drop me an email.


Friday, February 28, 2020

Runfessions: February

Hooray for the opening of the runfessional! Even though February is the shortest month, there's no shortage of runfessions (and some crossfitfessions) for me.

Do you runfess? Marcia opens the runfessional monthly and cleansing the soles never felt so good!


Friday, February 21, 2020

Book Review: The Vail Method

Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Vail Method from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

As an aging runner who would love to continue to stay active, I was intrigued by The Vail Method. I'm not a fan of fad diets or methods that promise to make me feel 20 years younger. So when I was asked if I wanted to read and review The Vail Method, I was reluctant. This is a running blog! Did I really want to go down this path and review this kind of book? But after reading a little bit more about Dr Ehrlich and his book, I realized that I was actually the target reader for his approach.

In his ophthamology practice, Dr Matthew Ehrlich observed many older patients who were struggling with health issues. Experiencing some age-related health changes himself prompted him to help middle aged and older adults stay active and healthy. His passion for fitness and healthy eating led him to complete a fellowship in antiaging medicine. Using evidence-based medicine, Ehrlich developed his plan, a holistic and practical approach to getting and maintaining fitness, increasing energy, and peace of mind.

Sounds good? Let's dig in.



Friday, February 14, 2020

Loving...Not Loving

Happy Valentine's Day! It's been a long time since I've done a loving..not loving post. I figured that there was no time better than the day of love...or not love, in some cases, to share what's been making me happy lately. My cup doesn't always runneth over with love, though...



Friday, February 7, 2020

My Favorite Race Medal

I really should have titled this post: "My Medal Rack is Full". At the end of 2018, I realized that there was no more room on my medal rack. I thought about ordering a new one, but I had the thought that maybe I didn't need one anymore, that maybe I wasn't going to run so many races, and then there was the never-ending flare of 2019 which threatened to put the kibosh on any races at all.

In spite of all that, I accumulated a few medals last year. They've been hanging on the very end of the rack while I figured out what I was going to do. Last month while scrolling through Instagram, an ad for Groupon popped up. The deal was serendipitously for a medal rack. I have this conspiracy theory that Google, and maybe Facebook too, is always listening to us, although I don't recall discussing my medal rack situation. Anyhoo, I clicked on the ad and found the deal. The medal rack was 65% off the normal price. You could customize it--oh the pressure! and there were several size options.

It was a sign. I made an impulsive decision to buy the Groupon. I optimistically chose the largest rack and ordered it. It arrived yesterday. While I put all the medals from last year on one tier, I had the opportunity to take a trip back with a look at all my past medals.



Friday, January 24, 2020

Book Review: Spirit Run: A 6,000 Mile Marathon Through North America's Stolen Land

Disclaimer: I received a prerelease copy of Spirit Run from NetGalley and Catapult in exchange for my honest review. Spirit Run is scheduled to be released on March 3, 2020. This post contains affiliate links.

NoƩ Alvarez was a nineteen year old college student, a son of Mexican immigrants, who, after spending a summer working alongside his mother at an apple packing plant, wanted to do more with his life. He was saddened by his mother's and other workers' acceptance of their lives. Struggling to fit in at college, Alvarez gave up his scholarship and decided to join a Native Americans/First Nation Movement called Peace and Dignity Journeys. PDJs are marathons that are meant to create awareness amongst Indigenous people of the Americas. Spirit Run is Alvarez's story of his four month journey with PDJ.



Friday, January 17, 2020

60 Blog Prompts for Runners

We've all been there. Sitting down to compose a post, staring at a blank screen, and just not feeling creative. Maybe you've drawn a complete blank.

It's also that time of year where we don't have a lot going on. It's winter and for most of us, race season hasn't started yet. It just feels so...empty.

You could just skip posting...but if you're like most runners, you're a bit compulsive and you like to stick to a posting schedule. What to do?

Don't despair! I'm here for you! I've got a handy dandy list of 60 topics that you can flush out fully into the blog post of your choice. I hope you find something here that you can write about!

Friday, January 3, 2020

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. And lots of cool photos. The holidays were awesome.

Good morning! What's new with you? Are you recovered from the holidays? Let's catch up over a cup of coffee. I'm pouring some Colectivo Wonderland, a holiday coffee which was a gift from my son's girlfriend. She also gave me this awesome mug, my new favorite. Besides the Colectivo, I received quite a bit of coffee for Christmas, so I'll be working my way through it during these cold, dark days of winter. With a splash of half and half, it's the best way to start the day.


Friday, December 27, 2019

My Top 7 Runfessions of the Decade

The month is drawing to an end and the year is drawing to an end...heck, the decade is drawing to an end. That can only mean one thing...a super-duper retrospective of the best runfessions of the decade. Marcia graciously hosts Runfessions and I am always so grateful for this monthly opportunity to cleanse my soles and my soul.

Ok, a quick runfession before we get started...I runfess that I've only been runfessing for 6 years! In fact, I've only been blogging for 6 years. But hey, it's the end of the decade and I've accumulated enough runfessions to fill an entire decade! In reviewing these old posts, I runfess that I enjoyed looking back and catching up on those runfessions. I also learned that I have some house blog cleaning to do. Old link-ups? Whatever happened to those blog hops? Remember those?

I'll get to that blog cleanup eventually! But today, in the true spirit of Auld Lang Syne, let's runfess!



Friday, December 13, 2019

How to Deal with Food Shamers

This post is an updated version of one that was previously published. I'm heading out tonight to a neighborhood holiday party and I needed a pep talk. You might too. And yes, I have a race in the morning.

'Tis the season for food shaming. The holidays are here, the parties are in abundance and so are the food choices. Be it at a social gathering or a work celebration, everyone is bringing their favorite fat-laden, calorically-dense offerings to share and we are all expected to indulge. Either that or face the music:

"You have to try my favorite bacon blue cheese dip!"

"Is that all you're having? No wonder you're so skinny!"

"You work out--you can eat as much as you want!"

"Oh, right, you're running in the morning."

Do you feel me? Why do people food shame others? And how do we respond without sounding defensive?



Friday, December 6, 2019

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Good morning! Would you like to join me for a cup of coffee so we can catch up on life off the road? I know how busy things are this time of year, but it always feels good to take a break and sip on a hot cup of joe! I'm drinking a Holiday Blend from Whole Foods. Super tasty and with my GLG collagen and half and half, I could drink it all day!

What's happening in your world?



Friday, November 22, 2019

Book Review: Older, Faster, Stronger by Margaret Webb

Disclaimer: I originally reviewed Older, Faster, Stronger by Margaret Webb in 2014. This is an update of my original post. It's such a great book that I wanted to revisit it. This post contains affiliate links.

I hope you don't think I'm being pompous by saying that I could have written this book. At age 51, after being plagued with running injuries, I decided to work with a CrossFit coach to get stronger so that I could keep running the rest of my life. She worked my muscles, while I was in charge of my running. That year was incredible for me. I ran my second Chicago Marathon, finishing with a 1 hour, 10 minute PR. That was the year that I finally felt comfortable with the fact that I'm in my 50s. I was in the best shape of my life and that reshaped my attitude about growing older.

Five years later, I still find this book as relevant as before. Those of you who regularly follow me, either here on the blog or on Instagram know that I've continued running, although my marathon days are behind me. I've increased my strength training to twice weekly and have continued to get stronger. While I don't buy into the "age is just a number" nonsense, I do believe that growing older doesn't have to mean giving up active pursuits! We just have to be smarter about it.


At the time Older, Faster, Stronger was released, I was drawn to the book--because Webb's goal, at age 51, was to have her "fittest year". A lifelong runner, she wanted to shake off her midlife malaise and regain the level of fitness she enjoyed in her 20s as a collegiate runner. Her race goal? To place in the top 10 for the half marathon at the World Masters Games. Along the way, she consulted with experts and legends in women's running, using this information to crush much of the so-called wisdom about aging athletes.
"The difference between the front and the back of the pack tends to widen in older age groups, and often the vastly superior winners of older age-groups ran fast enough to be competitive in age groups younger than their own--clearly able to maintain their incredible speed through training, talent, or some other means of resistance to aging."
This is something I've noticed at races as I've moved through my 50s. The women at the top of the leaderboard are still amazingly fast. When I first saw this, I was shocked at the speedy finish times of some of the women in my age group. I can't help but wonder why? Is it genetics? Training? Diet? Webb tries to sort some of this out. She talks about the importance of sleep and diet in older athletes. While younger athletes can skip a night of sleep and still run well, can feast on junk food and not have it affect performance, the same does not hold true for the older athlete. I also liked her information on carb loading, which essentially is bad advice for older female endurance athletes. Apparently, we don't burn fuel like men do. Interesting! Webb also stresses the importance of cross-training, including yoga, which is so good for runners.

The iron nun, Sister Madonna Buder, at age 83, one of the women featured in the book. She has completed 300 triathlons and 45 Ironmans since taking up running at age 48! She qualified for Boston with her first marathon at age 52. 
There's a lot of detail in the book, and keep in mind that this book is really for running junkies and women looking to maintain or maximize their fitness as the years march on.
"A lot of research now shows that training--aerobic, anaerobic, and strength--has effects on the human body at any age. At any age, you can improve the human body. Exercise can literally keep you young. "
Now, this is good news!! These studies also show that all this exercise causes the release of growth hormone and that may very well be the fountain of youth. Interestingly, human growth hormone (HGH) has been used by endurance athletes to improve performance but is a banned substance. The research to support HGH in endurance sports is limited. That doesn't stop athletes from trying it.

In Older, Faster, Stronger, Webb outlines her race strategy in great detail, including the use of mantras or power words, in her case, one word for each loop of her race:
"fun, stronger, faster, and fearless" 
While I won't share the outcome of her race in this review, I can attest to the power of positive thinking and the use of mantras during a race. I often use mantras during a tough race. Mostly I remind myself to "run your own race" and not get caught up in what is going on around me. Listening to music, especially in long races, can help me shut out the world and get in my head to keep myself focused.

Webb also stresses the importance of bonding with other racers, particularly pre-race:
"For women, this prerace hug fest may be a potent secret weapon, as social bonding can release the hormone oxytocin, which has been credited with reducing fear, anxiety, and even inflammation" 
I completely agree with this, in fact, I just published a post on how to meet running friends. As I've grown older, it's become more important for me to have a sisterhood who 'gets' what I'm going through. Having those friends with me at the start line really helps me stay calm and makes the experience much more fun!

Webb encourages us to be proud of our efforts, whether we reach our goals or not:
"But an important lesson I have learned from my running career: While we can't control the outcome of a race, we can control the effort we put into it, and its important to celebrate that effort, and to celebrate ourselves."
I really enjoyed Older, Faster, Stronger. There are so few books that address the concerns of women who want to keep running as they age. If you are looking for a weight loss book or a guide for beginning runners, this is not that book. Older, Faster, Stronger is written for women endurance athletes who are looking for encouragement and guidance about running the rest of their lives. Webb nailed it, in my opinion. The book is well written and easy to read. Really, for me, I felt like I was talking to a friend about running.

I want to be fitter, faster, and stronger! Older? Not so much. Doing it my way!  /via @oldrunningmom @MargaretWebb @RodaleBooks #running #runchat 

Are you an 'older' athlete? If so, what are you doing to 'stay young'? Do you have any goals that you want to achieve? Do you use mantras at races? 

I'm linking up with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness.


Friday, November 15, 2019

Some Friday Randomness because...

Hey, hey, hey! It's FRI-YAY and I don't have a topic for a blog post. Instead, I have a bunch of randomness that I wanted to share. No ads, no affiliate links, heck, no advice. It's really a blog post about nothing...or a lot of little somethings.



Friday, November 8, 2019

Book Review: The Pursuit of Endurance: Harnessing the Record-Breaking Power of Strength and Resilience

This post contains affiliate links.
"Endurance isn't the ability to overcome pain, it is the ability to embrace it with no end in sight."
"Endurance is about trusting the invisible voice you believe in, even if nobody else does. Because there's just as good a chance as not that something's really there.
"But endurance is the ability to continue despite past results and with disregard for future outcomes." 
Jennifer Pharr Davis, author, National Geographic Adventurer of the year, and record holder of the fastest-known time on the Appalachian Trail for four years --her record was broken by Scott Jurek, whose book North details his Appalachian Trail run-- shares stories of feats of endurance as well as her own story in the very engaging The Pursuit of Endurance. Like Jurek's book, I expected The Pursuit of Endurance to be Pharr Davis' story, but instead, she shares her story along with the stories of many others who have inspired her. Interspersed throughout the book are tips and advice to guide the reader to developing endurance as well as mental toughness. She believes and espouses that anyone who really wants to do can push themselves farther than they think.


Friday, November 1, 2019

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's catch up over coffee! Once a month, Deborah and Coco host a coffee chat where a bunch of bloggers talk about what's going on in our lives. Besides running, that is! I'm having a cup of that yummy Colectivo Co-Optiva that I picked up again in Madison last week. Don't you love regional coffees? Do you take anything in your coffee? I've got half and half over here...


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Scary Runfessions

It's scary how quickly the days pass by! It's also scary to think Christmas is only 61 days away! Thank goodness for running and all the stress relief that it brings to my life. I'm also grateful for the monthly runfessional, hosted by Marcia's Healthy Slice. As always, I have a few scary runfessions because that's how I roll. But the penance is painless and I can start November with clean soles. Although I'm loathe to say goodbye to the sand in my shoes...



Thursday, October 17, 2019

14 Things You'll See When Spectating a Marathon

Last Sunday, I spectated the Chicago Marathon with Marcia at in the Bloggers' Press Box at mile 13.5. Even if you're not a runner or you've never run a marathon, watching a marathon is an exciting experience! We were tracking a list of our running friends but only saw one. I actually got dizzy scanning the throngs of runners as they went by. We were there for 4 hours and saw every group of runners from the elites to the back of the packers.

There was a lot to take in! Even though we didn't see our runners, we still saw a lot! A marathon is so much more than just running.



Intensity
The elites were focused, eyes on the road ahead, not acknowledging cheers from the crowds.

Joy
Many of the runners in the middle of the pack were running with smiles on their faces, waving to spectators cheering them on.

Tears
We saw runners, walking with their heads down and tears streaming down their faces. Injury? Disappointment? Been there, done that.

Inspiration
The Achilles runners leading the disabled runners. Oh.my.heart.

Source

Chafing
One woman was walking sideways, alternating from side to side, trying not to let her thighs touch.

Limping
There were runners hobbling, stopping and starting, favoring one extremity. From our vantage point at mile 13.5, they had a long way to go to the finish line. Would they make it?

Costumes
Not as many as you'd think! Lots of superheroes. We also saw a king! And Forest Gump.

Run Forest, Run!

Cramping
Runners were stopping to stretch their calves on the curb. One actually laid down on the sidewalk to stretch out his legs. I heard comments from several runners that the cold wind was making them cramp up.

Misplaced runners
Participants wearing bibs that didn't match up with the runners around them. Corral K running up towards the front with the B corral runners? Corral C in the back of the pack? How does this happen?

Random objects
A banana tossed to the side of the road by a runner landed at our feet. Gel packs everywhere. Items of clothing littered the street.

Clothing
In spite of the chilly temperatures and strong wind, there were a lot of runners in tanks and shorts. Brrrr! I was dressed in my down coat with a hat and gloves.

Patriotism
The international runners wear the colors of their homeland with the name of their countries on their shirts.

source
Safety 
Homeland security officers walked behind us, guns strapped to their waists, while local police manned the intersections. Helicopters were buzzing overhead.

Support 
Family members on the sidelines, awaiting their runners. The runners spotting their loved ones, dashing over to the curb for hugs and then back on the course.

Renee did find us in the bloggers' press box!
The marathon is such an exciting and inspiring event! But did the experience of spectating the Chicago Marathon make me want to run another one? Such a tough question! Put it this way: would I like to run Chicago again? Yes. Could I run Chicago again? Probably not. At this point, I can't envision committing the time to the training nor the physical toll that it would take on my body. I'm content to spectate. I'll see you all next year!

Have you ever spectated a marathon? Tell me something you saw!


Spectating the Chicago Marathon gave me all the feels! /via @oldrunningmom @chimarathon #runchat #running #chicagomarathon

I'm linking up with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness.






Friday, October 11, 2019

Could How You Tie Your Laces Be the Secret to Winning Races?

Disclaimer: I received 3 pairs of Lock Laces Original™ in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are mine.

You're probably thinking what the hell, Wendy? I know how to lace and tie my shoes. But I bet you didn't know that the way you tie your shoes can make a difference in how they feel on your feet and ultimately how you run.