Showing posts with label Running Coaches' Corner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Running Coaches' Corner. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Beaver Trail 5k Race Recap

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

When I planned my trip to see Holly last weekend, she sent me the link to the Beaver Trail 5k race. "I think we need a beaver shirt", she said. The race was new this year. I'd never run a trail race but the 5k distance made it feel accessible. The race was in Lagoon Park in Montgomery. Holly and I ran there last year, so I was glad to go back.

In spite of my running struggles this year or maybe because of them, a trail race sounded perfect to me. I figured that if I wasn't feeling well, I could walk the 5k distance. If I ran it, I could take it slow because...trail race! It was all good.



Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Essential Supplements in My Anti-Inflammatory Toolbox

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. The information in this post should not be subtituted for the advice and guidance of your own medical provider. All recommendations are based on evidence based testing shared via Consumer Lab.

Got inflammation?

You don't have to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease to have inflammation. Did you know working out causes inflammation? It's not bad news. Workouts done at high intensity causes inflammation as a result of damage to the muscles and tissues as you work them. This leads to soreness aka DOMS. If you've popped a couple ibuprofens after a particularly tough run or grueling session at the gym, you're treating inflammation. It's ok to use ibuprofen or other NSAIDs occasionally, but chronic use can lead to all kinds of problems including gastrointestinal and kidney issues.

After living with rheumatoid arthritis for 2 1/2 years, I've been changing my diet and taking supplements that have scientific evidence in reducing inflammation. At this point, I'll do whatever it takes to feel better and avoid taking pain medications. If you read my post on foods that reduce inflammation, you know I've been doing my homework. I want to share what I've learned about nutritional supplements and inflammation.



Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Essential Foods in My Anti-Inflammatory Toolbox

Got inflammation?

Sure you do! You don't need to have rheumatoid arthritis to have inflammation. While having RA has made me more aware of inflammation and steps I can take to curb it, if you move and breathe, you have inflammation.

Some inflammation is good. Runners and other athletes have inflammation. Soreness after a hard run or workout is a sign of inflammation and damage to muscles and tissues in the body. When the body repairs itself, we become stronger.

But other things in life, such as stress or certain foods, cause chronic inflammation, which can lead to health issues. Since my diagnosis with RA, I've made changes in my diet and supplements which I hope will help curb some of the inflammation associated with the disease. All of what I've learned can be helpful to anyone looking to improve their health.



Tuesday, April 16, 2019

CARA Lakefront 5k Race Recap

The CARA Lakefront 10 miler is a perpetual favorite for me. I've run the race multiple times. It takes place along the Chicago lakefront in late March or early April. Organized by the Chicago Area Runners' Association, the race is a true "runner's race" and as such, attracts some really fast participants. This year, my running friend Steph wanted to run it with me.

I've been struggling with running for the last couple of months and that is mostly due to an ongoing flare of rheumatoid arthritis. Just as soon as it seems that I've gotten my symptoms under control, the disease flares up again. It's been frustrating for me. The week before this year's race was to take place, I had the worst flare since my diagnosis. Not wanting to DNS or risk a DNF, I made the decision to drop down to the 5k. I figured that at the very least, I could walk the 5k while Steph ran the 10 mile distance.



Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Would You Run a Race You Most Likely Wouldn't Finish?

This year's Barkley Marathons have ended with no finishers. Since the inception of the 33 year old infamous race, there have been only 15 finishers.

Knowing that there's a pretty good chance you won't be crossing the finish line. It's got to be an ultra thing. Because we road runners can't even fathom signing up for a race that we most likely wouldn't finish.

Could you? Would you?



Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Is it Cheating? 9 Things Runners Do that Might Be Sketchy

We live in a time of unprecedented cheating--in school, in life, and in sports. Everyone wants to get ahead at any cost. With regards to running, it's become so out of control that there's a website devoted to runners who cheat in road races.

In the running world, cheaters are more the exception than the rule. Most of us aren't in this sport to win. We run for the love of the sport. We run for fitness. We run for the bling. But there are things that most of us are doing that could be considered cheating. For us recreational runners, what's the concern? It's not as if we're going to win the race, right? Are we really hurting anyone besides ourselves?

What do you think?



Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Running in a Bubble

I'm fortunate to be a part of a really supportive running community. It's really like a protective little bubble. We all really encourage each other. When one of us trips, someone is there to pick them up. Be it with words or a kind gesture, our running bubble feels just like one big happy family.

Until it doesn't.



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Calling All Experts: How Could This Run Have Gone Differently?

This post contains affiliate links.

I know I need to let it go, but I can't stop ruminating on Sunday's long run. It's not the first time the heat has taken a toll on me and with an upcoming half marathon at the end of July, I'm very determined to figure out what I could do differently. I ran this race last year and the conditions were very similar to what I ran in yesterday. I finished but it was a struggle, both physically and mentally. I've since embraced run/walk intervals, which I used yesterday, but even that wasn't enough for me.

I've always had a tough time running in the heat and humidity. Although I've run multiple half marathons in Florida, I've never come close to finishing like I do here in Chicago. Last February's Mercedes Half in Alabama was one of the most humbling experiences I've ever had as I finished with a personal worst.

So here's my request: I'm going to share the details of my morning pre-run routine and what went on during the run. We've got a lot of experts out there, so I'd be so grateful to those of you who do well in the heat if you'd share your advice. Southern runners, especially y'all, I want to hear how you run in these conditions pretty much all year. Tell me what I could do differently. How can I acclimate to these summer conditions? Is it possible?

I also want to know if there's really nothing I can do. Is it me? Do I just need to accept that summer running is tough and slow down to a walk?

Don't hold back. I can take it.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

8 Ideas for Fun in the Sun on Father's Day

This post is sponsored by Michelob Ultra but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Father's Day is coming up and it's time to think about how we're going to celebrate these special men in our lives. What will you be doing for Father's Day this year? I'm fortunate to have not only my husband but also my dad and father-in-law to spend the day with. We'll be barbecuing in the backyard, listening to bad dad jokes, and sipping ice cold Michelob ULTRA.

Let's toast to the ULTRADAD! The guy or guys in your life who inspire us to live life to the fullest! I'm sharing some ideas for things to do that are all about dads. I went back to the archives--aka my photo albums for a look back at what we've done in the past to celebrate the men in my life. 



Hit the Links
Golf is a tradition for a lot of dads. Maybe you're not a golfer, but why not rent some clubs and spend the day with your dad hitting a ball around the course? If you don't rent a cart, it's great exercise. If you're not a good golfer, you'll get a lot of exercise looking for your ball...

Run a Father's Day Race
Ok, my family hasn't done this. I'm the only runner in this household. However, if the men in your life run, sign them up to run with you in a race celebrating them! Even if they aren't runners, a 5k could be the gateway drug to a whole new healthy lifestyle. Running a race together could be a really fun experience for the whole family!

Ok, not Father's Day.
There was that first Chicago Marathon I ran back in 2011 where they all came to cheer me on...
Take a Trip Back in Time
Being raised by a car buff, I have a lot of appreciation for vintage cars. A few weeks ago when I was in Madison with my sons, there was an antique car show. It was a lot of fun to see all the cars and chat with the owners. I wished my dad was there. In fact, I took a ton of pictures and sent them to him.

My dad in his 1957 Thunderbird with my sons on Fathers Day 2013
Go Fishing
Personally, I can't think of anything I'd rather do than sit on a boat with a pole in the water, waiting for the fish to bite. Seriously. A wise person once told me that you can't fish and worry at the same time. My husband and I fish whenever we are up in Wisconsin. Even better is to go fishing with my dad. Spending the day together and talking? Sipping on an ice cold Michelob ULTRA? Catching the big one? Priceless.

The best part about fishing with my husband? He baits the hook and takes the fish off for me.
Oh, and he cleans and cooks the fish too!
Sleep Under the Stars
Is dad a camper? What do you think about pitching a tent and spending some time getting back to nature? Exploring the woods? Yes! Campfire? Yes, please! S'Mores? Ok!

A little backyard glamping and making s'mores with my father-in-law a couple of summers ago
Look at how little Cocoa is!
Play Ball
How about a day in the ballpark? If I were a dad, I'd want to head to Wrigley Field and watch the Cubs. No matter who you root for, a baseball game is a great way to spend time with the man in your life. Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack... and an ice cold Michelob ULTRA. Or 2.

Last summer at Guaranteed Rate Field watching the White Sox
Plan an Outdoor BBQ
What goes together more than dads and BBQs? While my husband doesn't run, he sure likes to cook! Traditionally, he'll make some kind of meat dish on the grill while we all hang out on the deck. Maybe we'll even play a game of cornhole.


Sit back and enjoy a nice cold Michelob ULTRA
All these activities have one thing in common...being outdoors and being active. Spending time in the sun makes everyone thirsty, and nothing tastes better and quenches the thirst than an ice cold Michelob ULTRA. With only 95 calories and 2.6 grams of carbs, Michelob ULTRA is a beer dads can enjoy without feeling guilty. Sharing a beer with the men in my life is one the best ways to celebrate them. Even better is sharing a Michelob ULTRA in one of my dad's vintage Michelob glasses!

How will you be spending Father's Day with the special dad in your life? Do you need a bad dad joke? What did the daddy spider say to the baby spider? You need to spend less time on the web... Do you need any gift ideas? Check out the Michelob ULTRA Beer Gear website for more!

I'm linking this post with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for Tuesdays on the Run, Debbie and Lora at Running Coaches Corner,  as well as Annemarie and Nicole for Wild Workout Wednesday!




Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How To Be a Good Social Media Steward

As a blogger, I am very active on social media. I co-host a linkup on Sundays and read a lot of blog posts. I participate in 2 sharing pods on Instagram and look at a lot of Instagram posts. While I love to hate on Facebook, I have an active presence there with a page and participation in several sharing groups. I use Twitter but still don't really get it. Pinterest is one of my number one referral sources and so I work really hard to develop pins that are attractive and likely to be repinned.

So you might call me fairly well acquainted with social media. I wouldn't call myself an expert. I play by the rules. I come by my likes and shares fairly.

Sometimes social media makes me cranky. Not only because people don't follow the "rules" but because they're posting things that maybe they shouldn't. Based on my observations, I've got some tips for playing nice on social media.



Tuesday, May 8, 2018

How to Train for a Long Distance Race Through the Heat of Summer

After suffering through what felt like the longest winter ever, I know I'm not alone in welcoming longer days and warmer temperatures. It feels great to peel off the layers and not freeze when I step out the door. Except that for most of us, running in the heat is tough. Having trained for a few fall marathons through some really hot summers, I know that it can be a challenge to get those miles in when it's hot and humid.

Every single time I've signed up for a fall marathon or a summer half marathon, I ask myself why I do this! But over the years, I've gotten a little smarter about training for long distances in the heat. I thought I'd share some of the tips and tricks that have worked for me.



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

9 Ways To Show Your Hard-Working Runner's Feet Some Love

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I am an ambassador for Tabio socks and receive socks as part of that relationship. I received a pair of Athena sandals from OESH shoes in exchange for my honest review. As always, my opinion is my own.

Now that spring has finally arrived, it's time to bare those feet! Are your feet spring ready? I took my socks off to do yoga this week and was a little disgusted by the condition of my feet. Even with regular pedicures, I've got some pretty scaly heels. Calluses? I've got them. I also have that black toenail, which I'm literally trying to hang on to.

Running is notoriously hard on the feet--both inside and out. I've said it before and I'll say it again: when my feet are happy, I'm happy. For today's post, I'm happy to share some tips and products that make my feet very happy.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How To Stay Safe on the Run: Self-Defense

How many times have you been on a run and was spooked by a creeper?

It's happened to me a few times over the years. Once, I was out for a long run in the local forest preserve. It was an early morning and I approached a guy with a hoodie pulled over his head. I couldn't see his face, but something didn't feel right and I did a quick 180 and sped back out of the preserve. Another time, I was running at the retention pond and passed a creepy looking guy. I finished my loop and headed towards home-until I ran face to face into the creepy guy. He grabbed my shoulder but I shook it off and ran towards the local school.

I was lucky.

This past weekend, I was fortunate to be able to attend a session of Girls Fight Back and a self-defense session presented by FIRE, a local women's self-defense training system.  The free program was sponsored by our local high school district. While the program was geared towards young women, I was curious and I thought it could be useful for me personally since I do run alone the majority of the time.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Race Recap: Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k

Earlier this spring, I received an email about the Shamrock Shuffle. There was a one-day-only price special of $39. For a Chicago race, that sounded like a bargain. It had been a long time since I last ran this race--the last time was in 1995! I thought it might be fun to revisit it, plus the distance--an 8k-- was really attractive to me. I contacted my friend Steph and she said she was in.

Fast forward to the present. Steph is injured and winter won't let go. All week, I agonized over my decision to run this race. Plus, I just ran that spontaneous Sarasota Half Marathon last weekend. Did I really want to trek into the city for an 8k? I had opted for having my packet mailed ahead of time, so I didn't have to go to the expo. Bottom line, I don't want any DNSs this year, so I sucked it up and headed into the city for the 2018 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.