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

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. 

Monday, July 26, 2021

The Wackiest Olympic Marathon in History

Last weekend, my son was sitting at the kitchen counter, laughing. When I asked him what was so funny, he told me that he was reading about the 1904 Olympic Marathon. Soon, I was laughing along with him. Since most of us are caught up in the summer Olympics, I thought it might be fun to share highlights from the 1904 Olympic Marathon, unquestionably THE strangest Olympic Marathon in history. 

This makes a story I heard about a woman slipping on the banana peel at the 2011 Chicago Marathon, dislocating her hip, popping it back in, and crossing the finish line sound kind of tame, right?  Makes my worst race ever sound like a walk in the park! 

This may be the craziest marathon ever!


Monday, June 14, 2021

Book Review: Stronger than the Dark by Cory Reese

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Stronger Than the Dark in exchange for my honest review. This post contains an affiliate link.

Ultramarathoner Cory Reese's life is literally an open book. He shares openly on social media. He has also written three books, sharing his trials and tribulations on the run. His newest book, Stronger Than the Dark, is even more personal and raw than the previous two. In it, he shares his struggles with depression as he deals with the diagnosis of a chronic health condition and exiting the Mormon church. 

He finds answers while running the Vol State 500k, which he recaps with his usual irreverent and self-deprecating humor. His revelation? Instead of fighting depression, we need to embrace suffering. Running has taught him that:

 "We are here to endure, to help others turn pain into peace, and be a beacon of kindness and compassion." ~Cory Reese

Monday, June 7, 2021

Tastes like Blueberry Pie Smoothie

Earlier this spring, I was preparing to make a blueberry smoothie. I gathered all the usual ingredients but I just couldn't get excited about blending them all together. I was in a smoothie rut and I'd been there for a while. All winter, it seemed like I was making the same rotation of smoothies, week after week after week...

You get me, right?

I asked myself how I could tweak this old standby, the blueberry smoothie, into something fresh and exciting. And then I had a thought. 

Wouldn't it be great if it tasted like blueberry pie? Blueberry pie, you say? Tell me more...


Monday, May 3, 2021

Race Recap: Lake Monona 20k

I've always had a love for the city of Madison, Wisconsin. Back in my college days, I used to visit the campus and since that time, the city has had my heart. Built on a thin stretch of land between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, the state capitol building sits at one end of the main street and the University of Wisconsin campus at the other. Our lake house is a 30 minute ride away and over the years, we have spent a lot of time visiting the city and attending various events. There's an amazing farmers market on the capitol square May through October. So many fun festivals. I've run multiple races there. It was no surprise that my youngest son chose to attend school there.

Last summer while visiting my son, I took my running shoes to the Lake Loop, a designated running route that encircles Lake Monona. While the Lake Loop is about 11~ish miles around, that day, I only ran a portion of it. I vowed to return to complete the entire loop. The Lake Monona 20k, a race that runs around the lake, went virtual last year and was scheduled to be virtual this year as well. But 2 weeks ago, the race was approved to go live and I eagerly signed up! After all, I had just trained for and run the CARA Lakefront 10 miler, so my legs were trained and ready to go. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

SI Joint Dysfunction: How You Can Fix It Forever

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Got low back pain? While there are different types of low back pain, one of the most common causes, especially in women, is problems with the sacroiliac joint. SI joint pain usually occurs on one side of the low back. There are a variety of reasons for SI joint dysfunction including injury, repetitive high impact activities, muscle weakness, hormonal changes, such as with pregnancy; and arthritis. 

I experienced SI joint dislocation several years ago after lifting a wreck bag during a CrossFit workout. This was not my first time experiencing pain in that area, but it was the most severe. Luckily, there was a physical therapist in the class, who assisted me with putting the joint back in place. She gave me exercises to do, which helped control some of the pain, but the issue never completely resolved. This past winter, I began experiencing increasing pain on the affected side with walking and running. My gait and my ability to strength train with proper form was altered as I attempted to control the pain. After discussion with my rheumatologist, I sought care from a physical therapist who specializes in women's pelvic health. 

There are a variety of treatments for SI joint dysfunction. I'll be sharing some of the more common remedies as well as my experience with pelvic health PT.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Race Recap: Wintrust Lakefront 10 miler

I've run this race so many times that I've lost count. Last year, I was signed up for it, but COVID had other ideas. Set to take place in April, it was initially postponed to July. Then it was canceled and changed to a virtual race. What a disappointment! While I ran plenty of 10 milers last year, I didn't designate any of them as my replacement race. My heart just wasn't in it.

Last fall, CARA held a 5k trail race at a suburban preserve, trialing social distancing and spacing runners. I ran it and was impressed by the thoughtfulness of the process. Clearly, so was the city of Chicago, who agreed to let CARA stage their annual 10 miler this year. This is the first live road race held in Chicago since the start of the pandemic. Hopefully, it will set the tone for similar events to carefully take place. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Product review: Mizuno Wave Horizon 5

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 running shoes in exchange for my honest review.

Ahhh....is there no better feeling than slipping on a new pair of running shoes? That fresh cushion beneath your soles? When Mizuno Running contacted me to see if I wanted to try the newest model of the Wave Horizon, I jumped at it! A couple of years ago, I received a pair of the 3s and loved them. I was excited to try them again. 

Bottom line: They made them even better!