Showing posts with label Tuesday Topics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tuesday Topics. Show all posts

Monday, June 20, 2022

Book Review: Next Level--Your Guide to Kicking Ass, Feeling Great, and Crushing Goals Through Menopause and Beyond

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

About 10 years ago, I was finishing up a yoga class, talking about running with one of the other participants. Another woman came up to us and joined in the conversation. She turned to me and told me that I should enjoy running now because, after menopause, I wouldn't be able to run anymore. I didn't hear the rest of what she said because I was so stunned at this declaration. I looked at her as she spoke and realized that she was exactly what I didn't want to become in my older years. I was still feeling great. I couldn't imagine that happening to me. I vowed that it wouldn't. 

For sure, in my mid-50s, there was a period of time when I really struggled with my endurance.  Fortunately, my strength workouts never suffered. I adjusted my expectations, cutting back running to 3 days per week and adding run/walk intervals into my runs to help me complete those long distances. I continued strength training and added a day of CrossFit to my weekly regimen. I also began to adjust my diet, finding that more protein and fewer refined carbs gave me more endurance and stable blood sugars. After a few years, things settled down for me and to this day, I continue to enjoy running the way I did prior to menopause. Albeit, a little bit slower.

A friend sent me a copy of Dr. Stacy Sims' new book, Next Level. Sims is an exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist who studies female athletes and performance. Next Level is geared to woman experiencing perimenopause and menopause. It's an amazing read--empowering and oh so helpful. I feel as if I have found my new training bible.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: May 2022

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received a PRC of Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm from Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for my review.

I'm wrapping up another good month of reading! At one point, I had 5 library holds come in at once--why does that happen? I had to let one of them go--I just couldn't read them all in the time I had. Fellow bookworms, do you get me? It's hard to pick a favorite this month. I went into a couple of the books not knowing much about them and not expecting much (Remarkably Bright Creatures, I'm looking at you) but after I finished, I had to stop once again to savor what I had just read. 

I hope you find something here that you might want to pick up!

Monday, May 2, 2022

Race Recap: Tear Drop Half Marathon

For the past 2 years, I've put the Tear Drop Half Marathon on my must-run list. But the pandemic interfered with those plans. This year with everything opening back up, I was finally able to make it a date! I still had Delta credits from canceling a flight for last year's race. This is my friend Holly's favorite race and she was all in, so I signed up. It worked out well since I was already training for a hilly trail race, the Earth Day 15 miler. Ok, so that was happening the weekend before Tear Drop. But Tear Drop is a net downhill! What could go wrong? 

Spoiler alert: nothing went wrong, but running that trail race the week before probably didn't do me any favors. No matter. I had a fun time!

Monday, April 18, 2022

Race Recap: Earth Day 15 mile trail race

For the past couple of years, I've had my eye on the Earth Day Trail races, held at the same trails where I ran the Frozen Gnome 10k in January. The pandemic put those plans on hold, but this year, the race was a go. Several of the women from my Trail Sisters group were planning on running, so it made it easy for me to commit. There are 3 distances: 50k, 15 miles, and 5 miles. I optimistically signed up for the 15 mile (25k) distance--thinking it would be a good training run for Ice Age in May. I've been building my miles over the past couple of months, spending most of my time on trails. Having run these trails before, I knew to expect a lot of hills. I felt both mentally and physically strong and ready for this race. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Mini Book Reviews March 2022

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

So little time, but so many books this month! I'm not sure how it happened, but I have 8 reviews to share. Maybe it's because they were all page-turners that I couldn't put down. My reads this month span the genres--I've got fantasy, an epic novel, literary fiction, a couple of thrillers, a biography, and a women's fiction novel. 

If I had to pick a favorite, I don't know that I could! 





Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: February 2022

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received an ARC of Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my review. 

I read some really good books this month, but there was one book that disappointed me. The School for Good Mothers (review belowwas a Read With Jenna book club selection with a lot of buzz. Jenna's books are usually a sure thing, and I waited a while for my turn to borrow it from the library, but this it just left me cold. I had one DNF as well, The Paris Bookseller, even though it was really well written, was not my kind of book. If you like classical literature and historical fiction, then you might enjoy it. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: January 2022

 Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of The Bright Side Running Club in exchange for my honest review.

Didn't January feel like the longest month ever? Reading-wise, I finished 6 books: a couple newish releases, some backlist reads, and a NetGalley ARC. Once again, Reese's book club selection was disappointing. So was Liane Moriarity's new one. No DNFs though, and that's a good thing. 


Monday, January 10, 2022

Frozen Gnome 10k Race Recap

Last year, I optimistically signed up for the Frozen Gnome 10k, thinking that since it was outdoors on the trails, it wouldn't be canceled. Covid had other ideas and the race was made virtual. The organizers encouraged runners to come and run on the course anyways, which I did. It was so much fun and you can read that race recap here

With everything opening back up in late 2021, I again optimistically signed up for the race. This year, it wasn't canceled! Early on a cold but sunny Saturday morning, I drove out to the park where the race would take place. I was excited to run it and cross the actual finish line!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: December 2021

Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of The Unsinkable Greta James from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The Taste of Ginger was provided free as an Amazon First Read. This post contains affiliate links.

I bookfess that after waiting forever to be able to download Liane Moriarity's latest, Apples Never Fall, from the library to my e-reader, I accidentally hit the 'return' button instead of 'read' and poof! It was gone. Ugh! I put myself back in the queue. I continually work on mindfulness--but it seems I've got to do a better job.

Fortunately, there were plenty of other great options for me to read this month.

Monday, December 20, 2021

2021 Year in Review: Finding My STRONG

When I chose the word STRONG as my word for 2021, I clearly had no idea how deep I was going to have to dig to find my strong. At the time, I already realized that 2021 was going to be challenging. I think that after 2020, we were all crazy optimists and thought things were going to be better. We were so full of hope for the new year. Of course, nothing magical happened with the turn of the calendar. It never does. I know that and you know that. But it never hurts to hope, right?

The year kicked off with that turmoil in Washington D.C. and I started off the year battling anxiety and despair. But instead of succumbing to my feelings, I acknowledged them and vowed to "find my strong". At times, it felt as if the universe was out to test me on this declaration! I had a lot of personal struggles this year, besides that battle with depression and anxiety. There were some significant injuries--the tendon tear in my wrist, SJ joint dysfunction, and the broken ankle and foot. I didn't figure on starting the year with an injury bingo card!

I already reviewed my year of bling, so I'm not going to talk about races in this post. Instead, I'm going to use the outline of my original word of the year post from last January to evaluate how I did on my journey to find my strong. Did I find it?

Grand Tetons National Park

Monday, December 13, 2021

Bling Interrupted: 2021 races

2021 started off with so much promise for many of us runners. As more people received the Covid vaccine and case numbers started to decline, races began to open up again. After last year, I made a vow not to run any more virtual races, unless a live race I registered for was required to go virtual. I feel pretty lucky that only happened to one of the races I registered for.

Even though this year's racing season started off really promising for me personally, there still weren't a lot of live options and after the spring, I didn't have anything on the calendar except for a trail 10k in July and 2 trail races in the fall. If you read my blog regularly, you know that in July, I broke my ankle and foot after falling from the rope at CrossFit. I was forced to DNS that 10k and one of my trail races. The RD of the other trail race let me defer until 2022.

I do have bling from 3 of the 4 races I ran prior to my injury. Just as good, in a different way, is the bling I received this fall for completing a trail hiking challenge, my first hiking patch. I'm excited to share it all with you! There are links to the race recaps in each section if you want to read more.

Monday, December 6, 2021

10 Great Gifts for the Runner in Your Life

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from certain purchases.

Ho ho ho! A little late with my annual Holiday Gift List, I wanted to once again share some of the things I've loved over the past year as well as a few things that I'm wishing for. If you read my blog regularly, you know that I'm spending more of my time on the trails and my list reflects that! But there are items here for any kind of runner. I hope you find something for yourself or for the runner in your life.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Mini Book Reviews: November 2021

Disclaimer: Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for a PRC of The Maid. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

November was a mixed bag of reading for me. I picked up several critically acclaimed, best of 2021 books, but they weren't my favorites. This isn't the first time this has happened to me. Sometimes I think that the critics are looking for something different than the average reader. I read for pleasure and to escape. When looking for books to read, my advice is to do what I do and find a few book bloggers who like the same books as you do. Read what they like. Some of my favorite book bloggers include Susie at Novel Visits and Sarah at Sarah's Bookshelves. While you might not always agree with what they pick, it's a good start. I follow both of these ladies on Goodreads as well. 

Monday, November 8, 2021

Recap: Mammoth Hike Challenge on the Ice Age Trail

After I broke my ankle and foot in July and was sidelined from running and racing, I considered what I could do while I healed. As time went on, I was able to slowly increase walking and hiking. Optimistically, I signed up for the Mammoth Hike Challenge, sponsored by the Ice Age Trail Alliance

The Mammoth Hike Challenge required participants to complete 41 miles during the month of October, all on the IAT. The only other requirement was to visit 3 Ice Age Trail Communities. There are 15 official Ice Age Trail Communities, towns that have chosen to support the IAT and welcome visitors from the IAT.

Normally when I am running, 41 miles would not be a difficult challenge for me. Could I do 41 hiking miles in one month? The other concern for me was that I don't live in Wisconsin, so participating in this challenge would require that I journey up north most, if not all the weekends in October, and hike distances that I hadn't seen in months. We have a lake house near Lodi and I planned on doing most of my hikes on the segments in that area. I vowed not to hike the same segment more than once for the challenge.

I decided to give it go, to give myself a goal to keep moving on my way back to running. I'm recapping my experience for other hikers to read as well as a way to remind myself that I can do hard things!

Monday, November 1, 2021

Mini Book Reviews: October 2021

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the PRC of Win Me Something and Running is a Kind of Dreaming.

October was a mixed bag of reading. There were a couple really good books, a couple of meh reads, and a DNF. While it feels like for most of the year I've been lucky to have an abundance of good books to choose from, October felt like a little bit of a dry spell. I dug into my NetGalley list as well as my Kindle downloads for a few books. Gotta love a good backup plan and I was not disappointed! I need to do that more often.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Book Review: Running is a Kind of Dreaming

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Running is a Kind of Dreaming from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Jason Thompson is an ultrarunner. He's a clinical psychologist. He's also a survivor of a traumatic childhood, mental illness, and substance abuse. In his memoir Running is a Kind of Dreaming, Thompson shares his life story, reflecting as he suffers through a 200 mile ultramarathon around Lake Tahoe. His story makes for compelling reading and I found myself rooting for him to finish the race as successfully as he conquered his demons in his life. It's a powerful and intense read.


Monday, October 4, 2021

Mini-Book Reviews: September 2021

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received a copy of Three Sisters, Damnation Spring, and Running is a Kind of Dreaming from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

September was full of good reads! I was lucky to get my hands on a bunch of library holds. In fact, so many books came off my hold list that I had to let some of them go. I also vowed this month to work on my NetGalley shelf. 


Monday, September 27, 2021

Anxiety: Using an App to Help Manage Your Symptoms

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Happify and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. Happify is not meant to be a substitute for mental health services. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, contact your healthcare provider or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255.

I don't know about you, but 2021 feels more stressful to me than 2020. In 2020, I had all the optimism that there was an endpoint to all the turmoil. I had the expectation that things would be better in 2021. Instead, we continue to battle COVID-19 and deal with all the fallout from 2020. According to the CDC, the percentage of adults with anxiety and depression increased to almost 42 percent by February of this year. The largest increases were in young adults ages 18-29. Access to mental health services has been stretched and it is estimated that only 37 percent of adults with an anxiety disorder are actually receiving treatment. 

Anxiety is a very treatable problem. There are a variety of options for anxiety sufferers besides psychotherapy and medication. Relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, exercise, and acupuncture are some alternative options for the treatment of anxiety. 

Earlier this year, I shared my own struggles with anxiety. I also shared some of the tools I've been using to help me manage my stress and anxiety. Recently, I had the opportunity to try out Happify, an app full of science-based activities and games to help manage stress and anxiety. The Happify app aims to help people build their well-being skills and develop positive life-changing habits. Optimism, resilience, gratitude, positivity... these are some of the skills that can be learned to lead to a more happy life.

Can an app do that? 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Mini-Book Reviews: August 2021

Disclaimer: I received a PRC of Beautiful Country from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.


Thanks for all the great feedback on last month's book review post! I didn't know if it would be pretentious of me to post my reviews like that, but everyone seemed to like it! I have a few favorite book bloggers that I look to for recommendations, so I hope you will find something that you might want to read here. This month, I continued to heal from my injury and had plenty of downtime for reading. I read 6 fiction books and 1 non-fiction book this month. There was also a running book and I'm sharing my thoughts on that below. 

As always, feel free to share your thoughts with me, either in the comments section or privately. Thanks for reading! By the way, if this post looks oddly formatted to you, I've had some issues with Blogger. Sorry about that!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Injured and Can't Run? Fluid Running H2Go Product Review

 Disclaimer: Fluid Running H2Go system was kindly gifted to me from the company. All my opinions are my own.

Earlier this summer, I broke my ankle and foot after falling from the climbing rope at CrossFit. After I fell, I initially thought I just rolled my ankle, but the x-rays proved me wrong. I was sentenced to at least 6 weeks in the boot and told that it would probably be 3-6 months before I could run again.

An avid runner, I went through all the emotions. Sad, angry, anxious, fear of gaining weight--you name it, I felt it. After a couple of weeks of a full-blown pity party, I made up my mind to find activities that I could do. The last time I had an injury that kept me from running was over 5 years ago. Back then, I did stationary cycling and pool running, but it was all on my own. With this injury, I discovered that my local park district has pool running classes. I also learned about Fluid Running.