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, May 24, 2019

Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie--A Seasonal Treat with Anti-Inflammatory Powers

Growing up near my grandma's farm, I learned a lot about unusual plants and using them for food. My grandma made all kinds of interesting treats. She'd send us outside to pick gooseberries for pie. We had a red currant bush in our yard and she would come over to pick the currants to make jam for us. We also had a rhubarb plant, from which she would take stalks to make rhubarb pie.

I didn't like rhubarb pie. While the pie was a custard, pudding-like consistency, the flavor was tart and had an odd mouthfeel. My dad loved rhubarb pie and since none of us would eat it, there was plenty for him.

My husband and his father also love rhubarb. I tried rhubarb in many different forms--pies, bread pudding, cake-- but was never able to feel the love for the ruby red plant.

Until now.



Friday, May 17, 2019

Book Review: The Rise of the Ultra Runners by Adharanand Finn

Disclaimers: I received a pre-release copy of The Rise of the Ultra Runners by Adharanand Finn from NetGalley. This post contains affiliate links.





"And there it is, deep in the pain cave, as they told me all along, that the fun begins." ~Adharanand Finn, The Rise of the Ultra Runners

Why on earth would anyone want to run a marathon? That's what people used to say to me when they found out I was running 26.2 miles. But for a lot of runners, the marathon is just the gateway drug to the ultrarunning world. What's the limit? I have no idea. My friend Kristina, who ran the Big Sur Marathon with me, has become an ultra runner and recently announced that besides running Western States, she's running a 250 mile race this year.

Hold up! 250 miles?

Have you noticed that everyone seems to be signing up for ultras these days? If you haven't, you're not paying attention. Ultramarathons have increased 1000% in the past decade. Some races, like the Western States 100 and the European equivalent, the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), which takes place in the Alps, require runners to qualify for the races. The rules are very specific.

Adharanand Finn, an accomplished road runner with a 2:50 marathon PR and author of Running with the Kenyans, decided to see for himself exactly what the ultramarathon phenomenon was all about. For his first race, he signed up for the Oman Desert Marathon, a 156 km race that takes place over 6 days in the Saharan Desert. He was completely unprepared for the experience, but ~spoiler alert~ he finishes. And so goes the start of his adventure in ultrarunning.


Friday, May 10, 2019

Pineapple Chai Smoothie: An Anti-Inflammatory Powerhouse

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Truth be told, I was always a cereal girl. When I was a little girl, for breakfast, I happily ate Lucky Charms and Capt'n Crunch while reading the back of the cereal box. If I was feeling the need for something healthy, I'd have a bowl of my mom's Total. As an adult, I didn't eat those cereals from my childhood, but I couldn't break the cereal habit. The day didn't start well if I missed my bowl of Cheerios. After my diagnosis a few years ago with rheumatoid arthritis, I started exploring dietary options as a way to help reduce inflammation. My wise-beyond-his-years youngest son, who is on a food journey of his own, suggested I try the morning smoothies I had been making for him.

Several years later, I've become adept at seeking out unique ingredients and finding combinations that appeal to my expanding palate. I can't imagine a morning without my smoothies. The smoothies I make are chock full of healthy ingredients and have no added sugar. With the right combination of fruits and yes, vegetables, a morning smoothie is the perfect way to start the day. I'm going to start sharing some of my recipes. While I'm not planning to turn into a food blogger, I have found smoothies to be a great way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet. I hope you try them and agree!


Friday, May 3, 2019

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's catch up over coffee! Sometimes it's nice to talk about things other than running. How do you take your coffee? I'm still using the GLG collagen and half and half in mine. Pull up a chair and tell me what's new in your world.


Friday, April 26, 2019

Runfessions: April

Can you believe it's almost May? We've had this prolonged cold season here in Chicago and I for one am super excited to welcome spring and warmer temperatures! With the end of April comes time for runfessions.

Do you runfess? I love this monthly opportunity hosted by Marcia where we get to cleanse our souls. If you don't have anything to runfess, then you're not a runner...



Friday, April 19, 2019

Book Review: Outrunning the Demons by Phil Hewitt

Disclaimer: I received a prerelease copy of Outrunning the Demons by Phil Hewitt from NetGalley and Bloomsbury in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

***
"And then I did what I have always done. I ran." ~Phil Hewitt
After a brutal attack where he was left for dead, accomplished marathoner Phil Hewitt found a new meaning of the importance of running as he sought to get himself back on track. In his new book, Outrunning the Demons, Hewitt shares his story as well as the stories of 30 other runners who have used running to overcome PTSD, addiction, anxiety, and depression. If you are looking for inspiration, this book will provide plenty.



Friday, April 12, 2019

Would You Run The Boston Marathon if You Were Given an Entry?

Earned, never given.

That well-used mantra pretty much sums up running the Boston Marathon. Entries to the legendary race are obtained through running a qualifying marathon time. Competition for entries is fierce.

The race is this Monday. Yet over the past week, I saw several posts from popular bloggers who received complementary entries from race sponsors. My first question was: how? My second question was: could I accept a free entry to run the Boston Marathon, knowing that I didn't "earn" it? Would I?



Friday, April 5, 2019

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Happy Friday! Let's sit down over a cup of coffee and catch up! What do you take in your coffee? I've got half and half and some GLG Collagen--I swear by this stuff! Have you tried it? Just 2 tablespoons are all you need. Tell me what's new in your world. 


Friday, March 29, 2019

Runfessions: March

Wow, can you believe it's the end of March? The weather is still wacky--it was warm and now it's threatening snow. March is definitely going out like a lion. Good riddance, I say and bring on spring!

The end of the month also signals the opening of the Runfessional. Yep, it's time to runfess. Marcia hosts this cleansing of the soles and let me tell you, it feels good.

What do you have to runfess?

Everything I tell Cocoa stays in the vault.

Friday, March 22, 2019

How to Push Yourself to Work Out When it's the Last Thing You Want to Do

Just like every Thursday is for me, today was strength training and bootcamp day. Last night before I went to bed, I checked out the workout posted on the website and signed up for the class. No hesitation, no rumination. It's my Thursday routine.

This morning, I woke up with a headache. Every joint in my body ached. It was dark, cold, and rainy. I laid in bed and wrestled with thoughts of staying there. I thought about skipping my workout. Cliche or not, the struggle was real.

I made the decision to get up and have a cup of coffee. Coffee makes everything better, right? Still not feeling well, I made a smoothie, took my vitamins, and considered my situation. No one was forcing me to go, right? I could text Sammy Jo and tell her I wasn't feeling well. Or I could take some ibuprofen and try to chase away my headache and joint pain.

What do you think I did? I think you know. Not only did I start to feel better, but I also had a great workout. I lifted heavy on my deadlifts. I made it through 5 rounds of a tough AMRAP that included a total of 1750m of running.

You never know if you don't try, right?



Friday, March 15, 2019

Book Review: Running Home: A Memoir by Katie Arnold

Disclaimer: I received a prerelease copy of Running Home: A Memoir from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.


*******************

"Some days I can no longer tell if running is madness or the clearest kind of sanity."

Katie Arnold is probably one of the best runners who happens to write. You might not have heard of her, but chances are you've read one of her articles in the New York Times, Runner's World or Outside Magazine, among others. She is also an elite ultramarathoner with an amazing list of accomplishments including first woman in the 2018 Leadville Trail 100 run.

Katie's love of running started by accident when her father signed seven-year-old Katie and her sister up for the Fodderstack 10k classic. Her father, David Arnold, a National Geographic photographer, wanted to take a picture of the sisters crossing the finish line. It took her almost 2 hours to finish. After the race, he had the girls run and crawl across the finish line multiple times so he could capture the moment on film. On the way home from the race, Katie had an insight:
"Suffering and perseverance were their own rewards. They could make me stronger. They could make all the tricky bits of life seem easier." ~Katie Arnold, Running Home: A Memoir.


Friday, March 8, 2019

50 Ways to Be a Runner

"The problem is all inside your head, she said to me
The answer is easy if you take it logically
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be fifty ways to be a runner
She said it's really not my habit to intrude
For the more I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued
So I repeat myself, at the risk of being cruel
There must be fifty ways to be a runner, fifty ways to be a runner
Just slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan
Don't mean to annoy, Roy, just listen to me
Skip the bus, Gus, don't need to discuss much
Just a quick three, Lee, and get yourself free"
 ~~adapted from Paul Simon, Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover

Can't get off the couch, grouch? Need a push outside, Clyde? Lost your way, Kay? Just listen to me. Slip on your shoes, Cruz and show us your moves. There are 50 ways to be a runner. Probably more. Get yourself free...



Friday, March 1, 2019

Coffee Talk

It's the start of a new month and that means it's time to sit down for a cup of coffee! I don't know about you, but I so enjoy my morning coffee with a splash half and half. How do you take your coffee? Let's chat!



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Is Blogging Dying? 6 Reasons I'm Not Quitting

Is blogging dying?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've been writing this blog for over 5 years and I've seen a lot of blogs come and go. Participation in blog linkups, as well as online link threads, is down. From my own perspective, when I review my stats, my blog views are down. What's going on? Is it worth to keep blogging?

Social media and mobile platforms have taken control. Over the past couple of years, Instagram has exploded, reaching its highest number of users ever. I've noticed a trend of users posting more than a statement with their photos, some even posting race recaps or several paragraphs of dialogue. So while fewer people are blogging, it seems that they've taken their thoughts over to Instagram. With a 2100 word per post limit, you can write a mini-blog post on Instagram.

I get it. Instagram is quick and easy. Everyone is busy and overscheduled. Sitting down and writing a blog post takes preparation and time. Reading blogs? Who's got time for that?

I'm not ready to give it up yet, though. Here are my reasons for sticking with blogging.



Friday, February 22, 2019

Runfessions: February

It's the last Friday of February and that means its time for runfessions! Is it just me or did February just fly by? Anyways, Marcia has opened the runfessional, so let's head in and cleanse our soles...




Friday, February 15, 2019

Book Review: Good to Go by Christie Ashwanden

Disclaimer: I received an advance reader's copy of Good to Go from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. This review contains affiliate links.


"The explosion of recovery products and services can seem ridiculous because in its most basic form--a return to readiness following an intense workout or competition--everyone intuitively knows what recovery is and how to achieve it." ~Christie Aschwanden, Good to Go

Runners and other athletes are always looking for that magic bullet to help us bounce back faster from a hard workout or a long run. We agonize over fueling and diet. We take supplements. We foam roll. We roast in a sauna or freeze in a cryo tank. We wear compression. It's not just amateur athletes--the pros are all about recovery and will go to any extreme to recover from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), even soaking in a vat of red wine, so-called "vinotherapy".

In her newly released book, Good to Go, author Christie Aschwanden explores the science of recovery. Not only does she share funny anecdotes and the science behind some of the recovery methods, but Aschwanden herself also tries some of the methods purported to help with recovery. Taking one for the team, so to speak.


Friday, February 8, 2019

Ode to a Treadmill

My 22 year old treadmill died this week.

The dreadmill, the device of torture, the hamster wheel, the necessary evil for a runner living in the midwest--whatever you like to call it-- finally called it quits. On a recent icy day when conditions were too hazardous to run outdoors, I took to my old, reliable treadmill to complete my run. I couldn't get it to start, so I tripped the circuit breaker. The power came on and I started to run. After only a couple of minutes, the treadmill came to an abrupt stop. I again tripped the circuit breaker and resumed running, but again, the power went out. I could not get it to start again.



Friday, February 1, 2019

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Greetings from Chiberia! It's been so brutally cold this week that my coffee pot has been on around the clock. I've got a fresh pot brewing, so let's sit down and catch up on life off the road. What would you tell me over coffee?

Dreaming of warmer weather and fun times...

Friday, January 25, 2019

Runfessions: January

January just flew by, which in my mind is a good thing! This month has been such a whirlwind that I cannot believe it's time for Runfessions again. I'm glad Marcia reminded us that she's opening the runfessional today. I needed to dig deep for some runfessions today, which is probably a good thing too, right?

This post reminds me of those days as a child when I used to confess my sins to the priest. Sometimes I had to think of sins that were worthy of a confession. Seriously. What kind of sins does a young girl commit? I'm sure he sat there listening to me confess about being mean to my sisters and thought: "yep, I'm living the dream". I wonder if anyone ever shares anything juicy in the confessional? Is a priest obligated to call the police if someone confesses to a crime?

Fortunately, I don't have any crimes to runfess. There were some shenanigans this month. But as with most lapses in judgment, it was all worth it...



Friday, January 11, 2019

How to Be A Runner

In the very back of the last couple of issues of Runner's World, there has been a recurring feature called How to Be a Runner. "Regular runners", people like you and me, select their preferences of all things running from a list. I kind of love stuff like this. I'm heading out of town to run a race as we speak and I thought this would be the perfect lazy blogger post for a Friday.

Feel free to copy and paste your own answers!