Showing posts with label Wednesday Word. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wednesday Word. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Why Runners Should "Keep it Real"

After I posted yesterday about my race fail from Sunday aka my first ever DNF, the floodgates of support opened. I was overwhelmed and touched by all the messages I received from other runners, readers, and followers. It's humbling and it's amazing how much we all care about each other. One comment that I received multiple times and that stood out to me was: "thanks for keeping it real."

I never gave it much thought that so many people aren't "keeping it real". When I think about it, though, keeping it real is probably the exception rather than the rule. Fitspo? Curated feeds? Humble brags?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

10 Tips to Strengthen Your Writing Muscle and Compose Amazing Blog Posts

I love to write. If I could make a living by writing, I'd quit my day job in a heartbeat. For now, I'm happy to have my little piece of the internet and that I have people who read what I write. Readers tell me that they enjoy my posts, and I wanted to share some of the tips that I use to make my blog posts shine. Keep in mind that I'm no expert. Just my two cents.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Just Call Me Grace: The Not-So-Nimble Runner

It's happened more times than I care to admit.

I'm just running along, lost in my thoughts or my music, when all of a sudden my feet go out from under me. Maybe it's black ice or maybe a crack in the sidewalk. One time it was a sprinkler head, buried in the grass. Sometimes it's just been my feet.

Before I hit the ground, there's that moment when time stands still. Where the thought "oh, sh*t, this is going to hurt" crosses my mind.

Then crash! I land on my back, my knees, my face. Most of the time, when I have fallen, I haven't gotten hurt badly. Once after a particularly dramatic spill, a guy in a car stopped and asked if I was ok. Ashamed, I just waved him away. There was also that incident when I tripped over the curb on the way into Target and fell face first into the bike rack. That stunt bought me an ambulance ride to the ER, a concussion, and 5 stitches in my eyelid.

This winter, I've had a few close calls with black ice but each time I was able to stay upright. I was shocked every time. Was it luck? Or was it some kind of skill? Or am I becoming more nimble in my old age?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Finding Stillness in Motion

"True power is finding stillness within motion. " ~Lao Tzu

The concept of finding stillness within motion is central to yoga. Holding poses can be so meditative. But have you ever thought of running as meditative? I have and I do. After training for many long distance races, I find that I enjoy the training as much as I do crossing the finish line. What is it about running those long solo runs that help me to reconnect with myself, to find my inner peace?

Isn't that why most of us run?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Running: The Healthy Addiction

"You talk about running a lot", my sister said to me last week. "Actually, you talk a lot!"

Guilty on both counts. When I started my blog, my Facebook page, my Pinterest, and Instagram, it was in an effort to channel my "obsession", aka my love for running and need to talk about it. Instead, it seems to have merely fueled the fire. I think I talk about it even more because I feel validated now. I get a lot of positive feedback on my blog, my Facebook page, and my Instagram page, and that just warms my heart. I have to remind myself that people who don't run might not get it or want to hear about it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Fall marathon season is slowly winding down. One of my favorite times of the year, I've been reading a lot of marathon recaps. It never gets old. I find a lot of inspiration from my fellow bloggers. Sure, some runners make it look easy. Wouldn't that be nice? Most of us know that running a marathon isn't easy.

There's something special about crossing that finish line. All those miles training and it comes down to one day. Your training may have gone perfectly and suddenly, you have hip pain. Or you have tummy issues and need to make multiple portapotty stops. Maybe it's the weather. No matter what the circumstances, the marathon is where you are forced to dig deep and drive to the finish line.

Skipping the race? Nope.

Quitting? Not an option.

Taking the Long Way Home

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Runners, We Get Each Other

The best thing about writing this blog, and the reason I started it, is to reach other runners. The idea was to connect with people who understand me. Instead of telling me I'm obsessed, you all encourage me. When I'm hurt, you feel me. Training? You advise me. Mishaps? Runfessions? Chafing? Runners' trots? You get me.

You are my people.

My family doesn't want to hear about it. My friends pretend to want to hear it. They all politely ask me about running. It's like waving a steak under a dog's nose. I'm so eager, so excited, so passionate about my running that I can hardly hold it in. I vomit up a dialogue of my past runs and then...

Their eyes glaze over. 

Taking the Long Way Home

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Nuisance Inside My Head

No sooner did I sign up for Grandma's Marathon did the voices in my head start their relentless chatter:

"You can't do another marathon."
"You're too old to do another marathon."
"That PF is going to come roaring back."
"Seriously? Another marathon?"
"What are you trying to prove?"
"What are you thinking?"

Do you know these voices? Ever heard those comments? Do you ignore them or succumb?

Those voices used to get under my skin. At this point, as I consider my 5th marathon, I just look at them as just a nuisance.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

When Running Rubs You the Wrong Way

While spectating Sunday's Chicago Marathon, Marcia commented on a guy running by with bloody nipples. I was busy scanning the crowd for our runners and of course, missed that spectacle.

"It's only mile 13," she commented. "He's going to have a tough race!" Indeed.

I thought about this. So many jokes have been made about bloody nipples that I didn't think it was a thing anymore. Apparently, that guy didn't get the memo about prevention.

Of course, if you are a long distance runner, you've experienced some sort of chafing. Sweat +friction=chafing. Hopefully, for most of us, it's not bloody nipples (ladies, am I right?). But it's the rare runner who hasn't experienced some sort of skin irritation in areas unknown.

Unknown, that is, until the post-race shower....

When Running Rubs You the Wrong Way

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Best Kind of Run

Have you ever had one of those runs where you finished and you just felt completely fulfilled?

Maybe it wasn't particularly special. Or maybe it was. Was the sun shining? Or was it cloudy? Did you run fast or slow?

Or did it just feel good?

That was my run on Sunday.

The Best Kind of Run

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Myth Busting: Fact Checking Some Conventional Running Wisdom

I just finished watching the presidential debates. While most of you know where I stand, this isn't a forum for political debate. It's a running blog, but I have to admit that Hilary's repeated request for fact checking inspired me to do some fact checking of my own--not on politics, but on running myths.

Just log onto Facebook and the running advice abounds. I'm no expert but I know enough to be dangerous. There's good advice, mediocre advice, and bad advice. As a medical provider, I base my decisions on evidence. Anecdotes and stories are great, but "correlation doesn't mean causation.

But then there's that advice that keeps appearing. Similar to urban legends, these running "tips" keep showing up on social media. For today's Wednesday Word, which is wisdom, I thought I'd put on my professor cap and try to dispel some commonly accepted running wisdom which isn't quite so wise.

Myth Busting: Fact Checking Some Conventional Running Wisdom

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What Do You Want To Accomplish?

Once again, I sit down to rewrite a post that was already written. My husband and I were talking after dinner, sharing a glass of wine. I told him a story about my run today.

I was running in the park. I approached a lady who was texting on her phone, oblivious to anything around her. She had a little dog on a leash, which was fully extended. She didn't see me coming, but the dog did. Teeth showing, growling, he charged at me. Given the chance, I'm pretty sure he would have ripped my leg off. She looked up as I cried out, "your dog!". She didn't know what to do and I made a wide berth around her. Over my music, I heard her say "sorry". I just gave her "the look".

You know the look. If you've been a runner for any length of time, you've thrown that look at cars who blow stop signs. At cyclists who ride a little too close for comfort. And at clueless dog owners.

The look that says: "what are you thinking?"

As I ran past the dog walker, I kept thinking to myself, what is the point? Either you walk the dog or you text. You can't do both, right?

I guess you can, but what are you trying to accomplish?

What Do You Want to Accomplish?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

One of the things I fear most about getting older is being afraid to try new things.

You hear this a lot. Change is hard. The whole comfort zone thing.

One of my really good friends got a new car this year. Her previous car was 20+ years old. When I saw her new car, I was stunned. A Cadillac? Isn't that something our grandparents drove? Are we that old? But that isn't what bothered her. For her, the hardest part was getting used to all the technology. She didn't know how to work all the gadgets. She wanted her old car. It was comfortable. It was easy to operate. This new car "beeped at her", she said. She "hated it".

How did this happen? My fearless friend, afraid of a car?

It's funny, because, in my job as a pediatric nurse practitioner, the kids I see all have no fear. They bang on my computer. Grab the otoscope off the wall and play doctor. Operate their parents' phone like a tech expert.

What happens as we get older? How do we prevent ourselves from becoming fearful of new things, new experiences?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Picking Up Pennies

On one of my runs this week, I found a penny. I stopped to pick it up and put it in my SpiBelt.

This isn't out of the ordinary for me--along with all the odd things I see on the run, I find a lot of change. I always stop to pick up any coins I see. You never know if it will bring you good luck, right?

Have you heard the saying, "Find a penny pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck"?

Do you think a dime gives 10x good luck? What about that $20 I found a few years back?

Running pays. In so many ways.

Picking Up Pennies

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

It seems like a radical idea these days.

I had this thought on my most recent bike ride when I had yet another encounter with an aggressive driver in a large SUV. I was riding on the road when he drove by me as if I wasn't there. He was so close I could touch the side of the car. There was no excuse for him not to move over. The road where I was riding has a large median strip and there were no cars coming in the other direction.

When I approached the driver at the stoplight, I asked him if he tried to run me off the road. He got defensive. "No, I did not try to run you off the road," he replied. I told him I was glad about that and asked him to be more careful the next time.

As I rode away, I fought tears.

This is getting old. But it's not just the bike.

Why are people so mean?

I don't know about you, but I've noticed just a general loss of kindness and civility these days.

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Capturing the Radiance of the Sun: Taking Photos for Instagram

One of my favorite things to do is taking pictures with my iPhone. I've always had cameras but never seemed have the knack for capturing the right shot. Maybe it's because I was limited to film and had to wait for my pictures to come back from the lab. With digital photography and my iPhone, I get to see my pictures right away. I'm always amazed at the quality of photos I grab with my iPhone. I've been able to experiment and hone my picture-taking skills. Some filtering helps enhance what I capture as well.

I get a lot of requests for advice on taking fitness photos. I like to play with the sun and the sky and I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned with you. I'm no expert, though. A lot of what I've learned has been through trial and error, and there's been some dumb luck too. You know, right place, right time...

Today, I'm going to share some of my secrets for capturing the sun in my photos!

Taking Photos for Instagram

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

So I Run...

No one tells you how hard it is to be a mom.

When my boys were younger, being a mom was easier. Little boys, little problems, right?

Hugs and kisses and wiping tears away. That's all that I needed to do.

Now? Not so much. Big boys, bigger problems.

"A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child". 

So I run.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A LIfe Without Running...

Imagine if you will, a life without running.

Maybe you can.

I've given it some thought. I've had a tough go of it this summer. I've finally conceded to this relentless PF and pulled back on my mileage and my pacing. By doing so, I've lost a lot of fitness. Combine that with the heat and humidity of summer and my runs have been really tough.

I miss those easy 8-10 milers that I normally run on the weekends.

I miss the fast paced 5-6 milers I bust out during the week.

I miss training for a race.

Right now, I'm happy if I can finish 4 miles without stopping to walk.

I blame the weather and PF but is there more contributing to my problems with running?

Is this the inevitable slowdown that comes with aging? Can I accept that? Should I just hang up my shoes?

People do stop running as they get older. The proof is in the numbers. When I moved from the 45-49 age group into my current old lady group, the drop in the number of participants was dramatic. Arthritis happens. All that wear and tear on the joints takes a toll.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hot Wheeling: Venus de Miles Ride Recap

Another fun Venus de Miles Illinois event is in the books!

I participated in the 25-mile ride last year and was so happy with my experience that this year I applied to be an ambassador. The Venus de Miles ride benefits the Greenhouse Scholars, which is an organization dedicated to providing "personal and financial support to high-performing, under-resourced college students". This is a great organization and I was thrilled to be a part of it again this year! I summed up the mission of the ride in a blog post earlier this summer. Today's post is the recap of this year's event. There is also a ride coming up later this summer in Colorado.

My sister lives less than a mile from the start of the Illinois ride. Since she was riding with me this year I met her at her house.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Runner's Gotta Do...

I came home from work Monday and told my husband I was "this close" to a nervous breakdown.

Life 1, Wendy 0.

How do non-runners deal with stress?

I'm pretty sure I have some ideas about that. All of them tempting. None of them healthy.

I've been dealing with this latest flare of PF by taking time off the road. This latest break has lasted 3 weeks. I did run that 10k a few weeks ago, but other than that, I've behaved myself.

Normally when I take time off from running for injury, I'm ok. But this go round? I'm struggling. Probably because this injury has lasted so long. On Monday, I hit critical mass.