Showing posts with label Trail running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trail running. Show all posts

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Trail Time!

With no races planned right now--save for the Shamrock Shuffle 8k in March--I refocused on trail running again. Training for my half marathon was fun and all, but I sure missed my trails. Not only do I love running in nature, but I also enjoy just running for fun, with no paces to hit and no set distance to complete. With the weather improving, the timing is just perfect. I'm looking forward to watching spring arrive. My spidey senses are tingling for an early spring, as the birds have been singing and the deer are frolicking. We've been hitting record temperatures this week, with more predicted for next week. Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 17, 2024

It's All Good

On Saturday, I always sit down to finish up my weekly rundown. I write up my workouts in all week long and at the end of the week, I try to find a common theme to come up with a title for my post. This has been a pretty uneventful week and I have to admit that I was at a loss for a title! In fact, it's been all good this week. So there it is...

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Starting the New Year on the Right Foot

I've been reading a lot of posts about goals, 'word of the year', 'ins and outs', and resolutions. I think most of you know that I kind of just roll with what the year hands me. Already, I've signed up for a Chicago half marathon that takes place next month. My youngest son is going to join me and I know several other local runners who are doing it as well. I hoped that our mild winter would continue, but it is Chicago, and it looks like we are going to get some winter weather in the coming weeks. To prepare for this race, I'm going to do more running on the roads and focus on consistency. I'm a little less focused on my time. I want to feel good when I cross that finish line!

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Mission Accomplished

I continued my quest to hit 1000 miles for the year and on Wednesday, my mission was accomplished. I didn't stop running, though! I kept up with my usual routine, adding a few more miles to my yearly total. I'm feeling very satisfied with how my year went, both on and off the road, and that is a great feeling!

Saturday, December 16, 2023

A Record Breaking Week!

Ok, the title of this post might be a bit misleading...but I did have 2 big PRs at the gym this week! I might not be able to PR in my running shoes, but it is nice to know that I can still make gains in the gym. This made me so happy and was a really nice way to wrap up my year of fitness. 

I haven't made any plans or set any goals for 2024. Right now I'm content to soak up what was one of the most fun years, both on and off the road, that I've had in a while. My running shoes took me to some really fun places--from running the mountains in Palm Desert to running that trail race in Leadville, Colorado to running on the beach in Santa Monica at Brooks' Hype Fest! I ran the streets of Chicago, trying out a new half marathon on the boulevards of the west side. And while I didn't run in Alabama, my feet got plenty wet while I skied behind Holly's boat. Don't forget about that sister trip to Banff! Of course, there were all those miles I ran on the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin, culminating in completing my 3rd Mammoth Challenge in October. 

While I take some time to catch my breath, I'm also waiting to hear if I've been invited back to join the Brooks Running Collective. In the meantime, I'm just going to lace up and enjoy my miles. At this writing, I have 38 miles to get to 1000 for the year. I had no idea I was that close, so let's see if I can dial it up for the next 2 weeks. You know I love a challenge...

Sunday, December 3, 2023

'Tis the Season!

'Tis the season for:
- snow, which we've had twice already and it has melted both times,
- holiday prep, which I've been embarking on this weekend. I already have some shopping done, the tree is waiting for decorations, and I'm planning on baking today,
- holiday fun! I had two fun events planned for this weekend,
- holiday themed runs--I don't have any on the calendar this year...yet,
- sneezin'. I'm battling a cold virus and trying to power through it as much as I can. On Saturday, I had to bail on my planned 3rd strength sesh and plans to go to the holiday light show at the Botanic Gardens with my sister. 
 
  

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Turkey Trotting

It was another fantastic weather week--sunshine every day! This is so unusual this time of year for us that I can't help but comment on it. I am loving it. The realist in me knows it's going to come to an end and in fact, as you read this, we are receiving snow. 'Tis the season, after all!

I had a very productive and busy fitness week, including a Turkey Trot under the Thanksgiving sun with my son! But by Saturday, I was feeling tired, achy, and just off. As much as I wanted to go to the gym for that 3rd day of strength this week, I did not. Sometimes you just have to listen to what your body tells you, am I right? I am hoping a day of rest will prevent this from turning into something. I've been seeing a lot of sick kiddos in my clinic.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Still Can't Beat It!

And by that title, I'm referring to this fantastic fall weather! The leaves are mostly off the trees but it's still relatively mild and that sun just keeps on shining! No complaints--I'll take this fall as long as it wants to stick around. It's been an uneventful week for me and I'm happy about that too!

Saturday, November 4, 2023

A Wild Week

Wild seemed to be the theme for my week! The full moon was last Saturday, so I can't blame it on that, right?

The weather this week was definitely wild! The transition between fall and winter is always crazy, but this week, it was all over the place. We had 1.2" of snow on Halloween, which didn't set a record but was definitely unusual. Fortunately, the sun came out in the afternoon, but it was cold for the trick-or-treaters. By the end of the week, we were back in the 50s, which felt like summer. 

It was also a wild week at work. We're having a baby boom! I don't ever remember seeing so many newborns, but I am here for it. I seem to have at least one, maybe 2 newborns on my schedule every day. Our schedules continue to be full and there are more sick kids coming in, as you would expect in the fall. It's definitely keeping me on my toes.

It's never dull around here!


Saturday, October 7, 2023

Big Weekend

It's marathon weekend in Chicago and even though I'm not running the marathon, it's still a big weekend! So many RHT members are running Chicago this year as well as a lot of local friends. I've got my marathon tracking app loaded up and I don't remember ever having as many runners listed as in years past. It's so much fun! I ran the 5k on Saturday--see below--and on Monday, I'm going to a meet and greet with Des Linden. My friend Kristin came to town to spectate with me! 

Saturday, August 26, 2023

A Vacation and A Staycation

I'm going to apologize in advance for this very long post--I missed last week while I was out of town attending Brooks' Hype Fest, so you get a 2 week recap. With Michelle as my witness, I did bring my laptop to California, with every intention of posting last Sunday. But in the evening when we returned to our room, we were both so exhausted that we literally passed out. I shared a daily recap on IG and even that felt inadequate--we just did so much in the 4 days we were out there. I recapped it all on a blog post, which you can read HERE. My RHT teammates continue to post recaps on IG and while I am amazed at everyone's creativity, looking at their posts, I can hardly believe everything we packed in those 4 days!

The smartest thing I've done in a long time was to work up until the day I left for California and then to take the week off work after returning home. This gave me a chance to rest and regroup. It was really nice to have time away from work to focus on other things--and there was a lot going on that needed my attention. 

Most importantly, I came home to a sick little pup. Cocoa is going to need surgery on that other ear and I am bringing her to the UW Madison vet school for her appointment on Monday to discuss the plan. I'll share more details next week. 

I had my foot ultrasound on Thursday. The pain has been improving and I can run on it, but it still lets me know that it's not right. Interestingly, the radiologist who scanned it told me that there was no plantar plate tear (woot!) and no neuroma (double woot!). There was some fluid around the joint and he suspects a bad bone contusion from when I landed on the rock a few weeks ago. I still need to talk with my ortho to confirm, but this is very good news. Obviously, I would have liked an answer, but at least all the bad stuff is ruled out and hopefully, I'll be back to normal soon. 

Saturday, August 12, 2023

A Little Bit of Running

I did a little bit of running this week. No, my foot is not better. But I'm finding a way to run with it. 

Running the trails gives me very little pain. I think this is due to the softer surface of the trails but also the stiffness of my trail shoes. Running on pavement gives me a little more trouble. I had the idea that maybe splinting my foot where the toes meet the forefoot might be helpful. To do that, I used a thin elastic headband and wound it around that part of my foot. Voila! Landing on the makeshift splint took some of the impact off the ball of my foot. It wasn't perfect, but at least I could get my miles in. 

Since there's no pressure to train for anything right now, I'm freely taking walk breaks when I need to. It feels good to be back out there and I'm hoping that I can continue to do this while I wait for the tear in my plantar plate to heal. 

Will it heal? I may as well pull out the Magic 8 ball. There's very little research done on the treatment of this injury. For now, I'll continue to splint the foot and hope for healing. 

Saturday, June 3, 2023

When Birds Attack

Unless you saw my Friday IG post, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about! Luckily for you, I'm sharing the recap below. It's late spring and it seems that this week, nature is feeling itself. I blame the heat. It's been really hot this week, especially for this time of year. Hot weather makes people more violent, so why not birds too?

As you read this, I'm hopefully crossing the finish line of my first road half marathon in over a year. I had sworn off long distance road racing, but the Chicago 13.1 intrigued me--it's not the usual location for a long distance race in the city. The course runs the boulevards, a network of sprawling streets that run from north to south in the middle of the city. Beautiful historic architecture lines the boulevards and most of them have large green spaces for recreation. Being a big fan of my city, I'm looking forward to exploring this on my feet. 

Note to self: this is a training run. It's going to be a hot one, so that will be my mantra. Check my IG later for updates.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Work Hard, Play Hard

I continue to push toward my upcoming 2 races: the Chicago 13.1 in 2 weeks and Leadville Silver 15 miles in 7 weeks. I admit to feeling more tired these days. I know it's all part of training for a long distance race, but to be honest, getting older has rattled my confidence a bit. Am I doing too much? Pushing too hard? I have to listen to my body and so far it isn't pushing back...much... which is a good sign. I was happy to have Saturday at home to give me a chance to regroup and rehab. I've got to work on those niggles that I mentioned last week!

Sunday, May 7, 2023

A Better Week but...

This week overall, I felt much better than I did last week. The heaviness in my legs started to dissipate and by Wednesday morning, I felt like myself again. Was it the change in the weather? Certainly, the sunshine and warmer temperatures made a huge difference in how I was feeling. However, after Wednesday's trail run, my left knee started to act up again. It's that same patellar issue--chondromalacia- that I've had on and off for the past year, ever since I wiped out on the trail and knocked my kneecap out of alignment.  I started doing my exercises but haven't gotten much relief, so on Thursday, I taped it. 

Since I don't remember aggravating it, I'm pretty sure that RA is the culprit. Thankfully, it only hurts when I go down a flight of stairs. Running is still pain-free and I am grateful for that!

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Ain't Nothin' Gonna Break My Stride

Ain't nothin' gonna slow me down. Oh no! I got to keep on moving...

Nothing, you ask? As you sing along with this earworm...

I've been struggling with some right shoulder pain over the past couple of months. I haven't mentioned it because up until recently, it hasn't been enough to affect my activities, although sometimes it does wake me up at night, forcing me to find a position that I can lie in without discomfort. Lately, though, it's gotten worse, probably because we've been doing more overhead lifting in the gym. I'm feeling a snapping sensation when I move my shoulder a certain way. The PT at the gym told me what I already knew, that I have shoulder impingement and as a result, my right scapula is winged. I've started doing some stretches and PT shoulder work to prevent a rotator cuff tear. Because no one needs that. 

Fortunately, it hasn't affected my running. Yet.

So if you see me walking around with my shoulders back and chest out, just know that I'm not trying to attract attention. I'm just dropping my scapulae. Or if I'm sitting and I have my arms wrapped around the back of the chair, just know that I'm trying to open my pecs and roll my shoulders back. The exercises are simple but effective! They kind of remind me of the old chest opener we used to do in gym class: "we must, we must, we must increase our bust!"

Wednesday's trail run

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Are You There Sunshine? It's Me, Wendy

This may be the gloomiest January I can remember, and that's saying a lot because January around here is always gloomy. According to local weather icon Tom Skilling, we've had 20% of our normal sunshine so far this month. Even though it's been warmer than normal, it's pretty rough waking up to gray skies every morning. I was fortunate to catch a little sunshine on my runs on Sunday and Wednesday! It's something you really appreciate when you live in the Midwest. I'm making plans to go out to California in early March to visit my sister again and I cannot wait to soak up the sun.

For now, I have to make my own sunshine.


How many of you remember the book Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume? Reading it was a rite of passage for so many of us growing up in the 70s and beyond. My copy was so worn out! The title of this blog post is an obvious take on that book title, but did you know that the eponymous movie is being released on the big screen in April? How can it even be as good as the book? The trailer looks pretty cute. The 1970s are having a moment and I for one cannot wait to see this movie!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

It's The Little Things

As if getting ready for the holidays wasn't stressful enough, this week literally brought me to my knees as I was sidelined for several days after coming down with the stomach flu on Thursday. My job is the gift that keeps on giving! Speaking of my job, I also had my annual review, and let me just say that blindsided does not begin to describe it. The cherry on my sundae of a week included the arrival of the so-called 'bomb cyclone' on Thursday, bringing high winds and bitter cold, but thankfully, not much snow.

It's the little things.

The good news was that because of the weather, our office was closed on Friday, giving us all a bonus day off. I still wasn't feeling great on Friday, so I welcomed that extra time to recover. Plus, my youngest made it home from Wisconsin. It's so nice to have him around!

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Another Runner's High

I don't want to jinx things, but my runs have been feeling really strong lately. I won't discount all that trail running I did during the fall, especially in October for the Mammoth Challenge. But I am definitely giving credit to my strength coach for this heavy strength cycle that we are wrapping up. Earlier this year, I shared that I felt as if she was pushing me too hard and asking me to lift weights which felt scary for me. We had a very difficult discussion surrounding this and she backed off a bit. When we started my strength cycle this fall, I was feeling ready to challenge myself again. For her part, SJ changed up the way I trained and I responded really well to that, both physically and mentally. I have really enjoyed this strength cycle and guess what? I'm going to challenge my 1RM in at least the deadlift and the bench press. I'm still not sure about the back squat, but SJ wants to work on those a little bit longer, so stay tuned for that.

This strength cycle has made me feel better about myself and that confidence has helped me on the road and at my job. On the road, over the past couple of weeks, I've experienced that runner's high several times after a run and it's been a while since I've had that happen! It happened again on Friday. What a great way to set a positive tone for the day!

Friday's mess of a run!

Sunday, November 13, 2022

I Should Have Expected it....

Did you see the lunar eclipse this week? I'm not going to blame any of the week's craziness on it but still...

I've been feeling so good, physically at least, that I've been pushing myself hard. Running far, lifting heavy weights--who's old? On the other hand, my stress level has been at 1000%. With the so-called 'tripledemic' of RSV, influenza and Covid hitting my patients hard, I've been not only doing illness management but also providing reassurance to very anxious parents. That is on top of all the mental health issues that are pervasive in pediatrics. Other issues at work, such as the threat of being forced to pick up extra shifts in the ER, are very worrisome. All this has led to sleepless nights and mental exhaustion. 

So it should have been no surprise when I found myself in a full-on RA flare on Wednesday morning. Everything hurt. When it was apparent that nothing was going to make me feel better but a day on the couch, I called off work. Cocoa happily kept me company and we napped together. 

With the downtime, I contemplated my situation. At 60, I'm not quite ready to retire but the idea of looking for and starting a new job just doesn't make sense. Believe me, I do look. But the situation in healthcare is not good right now and I don't think it's going to be better anywhere else. It's frustrating and I feel stuck. As always, I am grateful for running and fitness to give me an outlet to manage my stress.

I was able to catch the lunar eclipse on my way to the pool!