Showing posts with label Sunday Fitness and Food Link Up. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sunday Fitness and Food Link Up. Show all posts

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Running on Eggshells

You all know I love a good pun or idiom. For this Easter Sunday weekly wrap up post, I really couldn't think of any phrase more fitting to describe my running right now. Running right now is just the craziest thing. I dunno, I look in the mirror and I look like myself. At rest, I feel like myself.

Once I'm up and moving, though, it's a different story. Any activities--running or walking--require careful pacing. There's no dashing out the door with reckless abandon, which has always been my MO. Gingerly placing my feet, now when I run, I continuously monitor my internal sensors. Is my heart beating too fast? Am I short of breath? Do my legs feel fatigued? I don't even have to remind myself to go slow because my body just won't let me push any faster.

I try not to focus on all the negative but it does really feel like I'm running on eggshells. As I reflect back on the week, there were some positive reminders that I'm still in this body. I might be down but I'm not out. Not yet. Actually, not ever.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

Greetings from Illinois. As I write this, I'm in my running gear, waiting for the rain to stop so I can go outside and run. It's a cold rain--the 45 degree temperatures are a shock to my system. It doesn't take long to get acclimated to the warmth. The cold is a different story.

Why can't we all live at the beach?

After a week in the sunshine and tropical warmth of Florida, it's always tough to come back to real life. I'm so grateful I was able to get away. There's nothing like a dose of Vitamin Sea to heal both body and mind. While I was happy to be away from the daily grind, I have to admit that I missed my family and my pup.

Being a goal oriented gal, I did have one goal for this week and that was to relax. Regular readers know that I've been struggling with my newish diagnosis of RA. Along with the physical symptoms, I've been on an emotional rollercoaster as I adjust to all that accompanies a chronic illness.

If only life could always be as easy as it is at the beach. Indulge me as I recap my week away.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Arthritis Runner

I feel as if I've been given the wrong prize. You know, like when Steve Harvey announced the wrong Miss Universe. Or when the wrong movie was incorrectly announced as the winner at the Academy Awards. I keep waiting for someone to tell me there's been a mistake. If Steve Harvey was my doctor, for sure I'd be questioning him. I'd be glad to give up the title I've been handed.

Except that I wouldn't want anyone else to claim this "prize".

I've been writing more about running with rheumatoid arthritis than I ever intended. Immediately after my diagnosis, I wrote that I didn't want to be known as "the arthritis runner". I still don't. But the hard truth is that RA is affecting me more than I ever thought it would. Just when I think I'm feeling better and getting on top of my symptoms, RA is there to remind me that "you're not the boss of me".

Humbling. And somewhat distressing.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

I am....

This week in yoga class, the instructor started by talking about labels. She asked all of us to remove the labels that others have given us as well as the labels we give ourselves. She introduced a Sanskrit mantra: "so hum", which loosely translated into English means "I am". We did some pranayama (breathing), using the mantra "so hum".

You know I love a good mantra and "so hum", or I am, is as good a mantra as they come. Repetitive use of a mantra helps quiet the mind by giving the user a focus. The mantra "so hum" has a much deeper meaning, but for the purposes of this class and this post, I chose to focus on the "I am", letting go of negative labels and focusing on seeing myself in a positive light.

I am _________.

My mind wandered, as it often does during quiet meditation. While I breathed and so hummed to myself, I thought about how I see myself and how others see me. I could think of a few not so flattering ways people might see me as well as some not so positive ways I view myself. Taking a more positive viewpoint, I so hummed strength.

I would say that I see myself as strong. I bet most people would say that is how they see me too.

I am strong.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Trusting the Process: On and Off the Road

I turned a corner this week. I ran well, I held my balance poses in yoga, and I lifted 89% of my max doing deadlifts with Becky.

I am feeling good. If I didn't know I had rheumatoid arthritis, I wouldn't know I had it. Does that even make sense? As I continue to wean off the steroids, my aches and pains are barely noticeable. I have more energy. My mood is good. Most importantly, my sense of humor is returning!

Becky always says it and my rheumatologist said it too: Trust the Process.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Group Run: It Was Time

Instead of life turning me upside down as it has been threatening to do for the last couple of months, I've taken charge. I'm making some pretty major changes in my diet, eating beets and kale and all kinds of foods I wouldn't have allowed past my lips just 2 months ago. I'm listening to more positive, upbeat music instead of the angry rock that has fueled my runs all these years.

This week I really pushed out of my running comfort zone and met up with a running friend and her tribe for a Saturday long run, which I hope was the first of many more to come. It was time.

When Steph asked me to join her and her friends for their Saturday long run, I didn't hesitate. Me, the runner who craves the solace of the long run? Who am I? I blame my boldness on the steroids I'm currently taking. Actually, I'm blaming everything on the steroids, but that's a topic for another blog post.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Cruise Control

After completing the lululemon/strava run challenge on Sunday, I dialed back my miles. It's nice to be "just" running again. Between some personal stress and our new president, I need my runs to help me sort things out. There is some prep work to do as I gear up for marathon training in March, but for now, I just get to run. I've got some mental fitness to work on and it's nice to have the freedom to do that.

No gears, no heart rate training, no goal paces. I've got it on cruise control.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017


I wear my winter miles like a badge of honor. Snow? I'm out there. Polar vortex? The cold never bothered me anyways. Ice kind of scares me--I had an encounter with black ice this week that scared the cr*p out of me. But overall, I'm outside, putting in the miles and avoiding the treadmill as much as possible.

On Saturday, the sun came out and the temperatures skyrocketed to the 60s. When you make plans to run with blogger friends, conditions must be perfect. Wouldn't it be great if that was how things really worked?

For this January weekend, Mother Nature gave us her very best effort.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For...

This week was full of ups and downs for me, emotionally. The newness of being diagnosed with RA has worn off, and frustration with still having symptoms is settling in. I was really optimistic when I started on my medications--hoping that I'd be symptom-free by now. I had no idea what an RA flare was all about. I also didn't realize how tired I'd be. A few weeks ago, I asked for a small reduction in my hours at work. This week, I was granted that schedule change but it didn't come without a struggle. That too wore me down.

Running was the one positive spot this week. My runs went well. My legs felt fresh and light, and the miles passed without a problem. Maybe slowing down isn't going to be such a bad thing after all?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Frost on My Running Shoes

 It's been a cold one here at the old TTLWH headquarters. Every morning, I vowed to run on my old ancient treadmill, but once I saw the sun starting to rise, I bundled up and headed outside into the polar vortex for my runs. 

Every damn time this week. Because the sun makes me feel warm, even on the coldest mornings.

It's been a good week of running!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Finding Joy in the Journey

Ho ho ho! The holidays are upon us but at Taking the Long Way Home, the workouts don't stop! In fact, no matter how crazy things get, I make sure to set aside time to get it done. I don't know about you, but I feel so much more calm and focused after a workout. With all the time spent planning and preparing for the holidays, it feels good to make a little time for myself. I know that I'm a better person if I get my "me" time. Besides, what better way to feel a little less guilty about overindulging in holiday treats than by burning those calories on the road or in the gym?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Curious Incident of the Toe in the Nighttime*

Long-time readers of the blog know that for the past couple of years, I have been plagued by foot issues. For the past year, it's been plantar fasciitis that has kept me sidelined. Prior to that, I had stress fractures in both feet and issues with my big toe joints. Everything has been behaving itself lately and I was so happy to run my most recent half marathon pain-free! In fact, my feet felt so good that the night after the race, they were up for a night out of dancing and karaoke.

But a runner should never become too complacent, right? For fear of awakening that sleeping giant in my feet, I am diligent about using my Spenco Insoles**, rotating my shoes regularly, doing my foot exercises, and backing off on my miles when needed. It's been a recipe for success.

Until it hasn't.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanks for the Miles

Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on all that is good. At our family gathering, we each take a turn to express our gratitude for the blessings in our lives. I'm a big believer in silver linings. In spite of some tough breaks this year, there was just so much good that came out of every bad situation and I'm so grateful for that.

I'm also grateful to be ending this year on a high note, with regards to running and fitness. Instead of recovering from a fall marathon and dialing down my mileage, I'm gearing up for my final race of the year. Next weekend, I'm traveling to Florida to run the Panama City Beach half marathon with a few of my fellow bloggers. Without all the miles I've normally run by this time of year, my legs feel fresh and young. This week was the best running week I've had all this year. I'm hoping to ride that wave (pun intended!) all the way to the finish line of this waterfront race!

Taking the Long Way Home

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

As I reflect back on the week, a few quotes seem fitting:

"You can run away from your problems, but you're just gonna find new ones that pop up." -Zoey Deschanel (New Girl)

"Run away, run away..." -Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"When I was a kid, I wanted to be older. This shit is not what I expected. " -unknown

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Keep Calm and Run On!

After the events of last week we all need a mantra. Once the election was over, I thought that things would be more civilized but the opposite has occurred. Protests, petitions, and nastiness has prevailed this week. I'm moving on. It's not that I don't care. It's that I can't expend any more mental energy on the election results. And so I run on. Namaste.

Taking the Long Way Home

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Running On the Sunny Side of the Street

The amazing fall that we have been having continues into November. With the exception of one rainy day, this week was sunny and warm. Perfect running conditions...perfect conditions for trick or treating...perfect conditions to celebrate a Cubs World Series win...perfect conditions for just about anything. Doesn't everything feel good when the sun is shining?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Color Runs...

Autumn in the Midwest is the season of color. Sure, it's nice to see green in the spring after the white and gray of winter, but fall is when things really pop around here. In a sense, it's nature's last hurrah before shedding its foliage and getting ready for winter. Seems ironic, right? Just when it's getting cold, gray, and drab, the trees decide to get naked. Who thought this was a good idea? Don't we need color in the winter?

I don't make the rules, I just live here. And I'm savoring every last moment of nature's show before winter takes over. Not only are the leaves colorful, but the sky has been giving us a nice show in the morning and at night.

This past week was peak season for the colors and I savored it--both on the road and off. Even on the cloudy days, the colors of the leaves made me happy. My weekly training summary is all about the colors of fall!

Taking the Long Way Home

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Running Into Fall

Fall has finally arrived in the midwest. It was slow to come--summer just didn't want to let go. The foliage is starting to turn into those beautiful colors we wait for. While it was still very warm at the beginning of the week, the temperatures settled into what is considered "normal" for late October. This is the best time of year to be a runner. The scenery is a feast for the eyes, and with cooler temperatures, it's the return of long sleeves, tights, and thumbholes!

The only bad thing about fall is that we know what's next. But let's not think about that. Here are some of the highlights from my week on the road and the mat.

Taking the Long Way Home

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Reflections on the Long Run

I've been working on building up my mileage again. Having suffered from plantar fasciitis for the past year, I took some time off and seriously reduced my mileage after I ran the Big Sur Marathon in April. While I can't say I'm 100% recovered, I'm pleased to report that my foot has remained mostly quiet since I've started running more again. I've become cautiously optimistic.

This morning I had a 12 mile run to do. I never formally train for a half marathon but I do work on upping my miles from my base and adding in some speed work to make sure I have enough endurance to go the distance. I woke up to thunderstorms and pouring rain. I was also feeling a little sluggish after indulging in an amazing pasta dish last night for dinner. The restaurant was very generous with its wine pours and I may have had more than I should.

So my motivation to complete this 12 mile run this morning was around zero. I laid in bed for a while and pondered the mysteries of life. Not really. I just did some mental gymnastics to convince myself that I needed to run. After a cup of coffee, I reluctantly filled my Tailwind bottle. I shared my itinerary with my husband, told him I'd be back in about 2 hours, and headed to the bike path.

Reflections on the Long Run

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sisters, Doing it for Themselves

It's always hard to come back to reality after a really fun trip! My trip to Austin with my sister was a whirlwind of activity, food, and fun. Because even out of town, the workouts don't stop. I'm sharing some of the highlights of our trip on this post.

I'm also sharing a synopsis of the last 2 weeks of workouts. Since I was out of town last weekend, I didn't publish my usual weekly wrap-up post. In the interest of brevity, there won't be a lot of workout details in this post, but if you follow me on Instagram (and you should!), then you know I've been moving and posing.