Showing posts with label cycling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cycling. Show all posts

Sunday, May 13, 2018

I Crashed My Bike

This post contains an affiliate link.

Monday was a beautiful day. I woke up to sunny skies and planned to ride my bike to work after lunch. I took my yoga mat outside to do my weekly yoga class and settled onto my mat.

Then my phone rang. Mama drama again. I rolled up my yoga mat and spent a couple of hours dealing with that situation. I called work and let them know that I couldn't come in.

I was anxious, shook up, angry...and then...



Sunday, May 6, 2018

Back to Work

You can't keep a good runner down for long! After last week's RA flare, I went into full-on defense mode and started steroids. As the week progressed, I really started to turn the corner. While I've still been feeling the effects of the flare, my running gradually improved over the week.

I'm back, baby! For the most part, anyway. Here's how the week went down:



Friday, August 25, 2017

Runfessions: August Style

Hello? How did we already get to the end of August? The end of summer? The only thing that makes me realize we're there is that I have SO MUCH to runfess. It's almost scary how much builds up over the month. Thankfully, Marcia opens the runfessional every month and she doesn't even hand out a penance. Whew!

On with the cleansing...



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Doing the Opposite

It was a quiet week for me. I was still processing all the "well-meaning" but pointed advice my family gave me when we got together last Sunday. While I understand their concerns, everyone was telling me what I should and shouldn't be doing. Suddenly, everyone in my world has become an expert on rheumatoid arthritis. Some of the things people are telling me are quite frightening.

Just because something happened to your aunt, friend, cousin, etc. with RA doesn't mean it's going to happen to me. Correlation does not imply causation. With regards to running and RA, running does not hurt your knees. Running will not make rheumatoid arthritis worse. Rheumatoid arthritis will tell you when you can't run or you have run enough. Trust me on this one. As someone who is used to pushing through the pain of running, this has been the toughest lesson for me to learn. I have no choice but to listen to my body to guide me through my daily activities. While in the past, I could push through a tough run without stopping, my body won't let me do that right now. So I'm figuring out ways to safely and comfortably make it work.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Balanced and Back on Track

This is my favorite time of year. It's still warm enough to feel like summer, yet there is a change in the way it feels. Maybe it's the lower angle of the sun or those crisp, cool mornings, but it just feels different. Kind of the last hurrah of summer, in a sense.

Don't get me wrong, there will still be warm days into October. Trust me on that! All 3 Chicago Marathons I've run were warm ones. I like those warm fall days but not for running 26.2! But for shorter distances and bike rides, the cooler mornings and moderating warmth are a welcome change.

This past week, the heat broke and we had some spectacular conditions. I had some good runs and I walked the dog multiple times. She's enjoying these walks as much as me, although we've had to alter our schedule to accommodate the fading daylight. I'm looking forward to greeting the sun once again on my morning runs!

Balanced and Back on Track

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?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Trials and Errors

This was a week of trials and errors, both on and off the road. Some weeks are like that. I've been struggling with some career decisions and a couple of days off early this week gave me time to clear my head. Wouldn't it be great to have someone to tell us what to do? Fortunately, there's running and cycling to give me time alone with my thoughts.

It was also an interesting week on the blog. My post about taking photos for Instagram was really popular and that made me happy! But I think my Runfessions post may have offended some people when I talked about race bumper stickers. By no means do I judge any of you who put running bumper stickers--no matter what distance--on your car. You know I am supportive of anyone who runs, no matter what the distance. I know how hard it is to up your distance and to line up to run a race. But I've shared in the past about how I didn't feel like a real runner until I ran 26.2, which is why that will be the only distance I put on my car. Even my first marathon didn't meet my standards. This is my issue, my problem and I'm sorry if anything I said was misinterpreted. We are all on our own journey. This blog chronicles mine.

Along with that, my workouts were a test of patience. The high humidity was back again. I had some time constraints and weather related issues, and this week flexibility was the key to getting it all done.

Trials and Errors

Friday, August 26, 2016

Runfessions: August Edition

I cannot believe it's the end of August! Which means it's time once again for Runfessions! Do you runfess? Marcia's Healthy Slice hosts this monthly wipe the slate clean linkup where you can let it all out. It feels sooooo good. I highly recommend it. It's been a tough month over here at the Long Way Home household and I've been waiting for this opportunity to blow off some steam and let the 'fessions flow...

Runfessions: August Edition

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Running with Mother Nature

It's been a steamy, stormy week but the running didn't stop! And yay for that. I took full advantage of the cooler air immediately after storms blew through several times and had some really nice runs that brought my confidence back.

I've been thinking a lot about how much the weather affects my running.

Running With Mother Nature

Clearly, the heat and humidity are a huge factor in my running. My half marathon times from hot and humid conditions are markedly slower than times from that distance run in much cooler conditions. I know that's pretty standard for most runners. But after watching the women's and men's marathons in hot and humid Rio this past week, I had to ask myself, is it possible to "heat proof" your running?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Can't Stop, Won't Stop!

Hot enough for you? This week, Mother Nature unleashed a fury of scorching, steamy weather on top of what has been an already hot summer for us Midwesterners. While a few weeks back I wrote a post about embracing the summer heat, loving these conditions is a challenge for even the most summer loving of us!

But you know the mantra: the weather might be hot but the workouts don't stop!

Ok, I just made that up.

But truly, the workouts haven't stopped. I just can't, you know....



Sunday, August 7, 2016

Staying Grounded, Staying Afloat

Life has been full of ups and downs this summer.

Thankfully, I've got running and yoga to keep me grounded. And I've always got my sense of humor to keep me moving forward.

It's been a really full week and there's lots to read here...

I could not get my legs all the way up this time!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Life Goes On....My Week on the Run

This was a tough week for everyone. It seemed that every time I turned on the news, there was a tragic story coming out of Florida. First, it was the story about the young singer, Christina Grimmie, who was shot and killed after a performance by a stalker. Then, the unfathomable killing of 50 people in a nightclub in Florida by a self-proclaimed follower of Isis. And while that story was still unfolding, there was the news of a 2-year old who was dragged by an alligator into a lagoon at Disney World while his parents watched, horrified. Meanwhile, the internet was all judgy-judgy towards these poor parents.

It was all just too much.

Some bloggers chose to write about the Orlando nightclub massacre on their blogs. I decided to stay true to my blog and continue to write about running. In fact, I published some humorous posts, which I had prepared in advance of all the bad news. When these stories broke, I seriously reconsidered publishing those posts. Was it inappropriate to write about pooping when everyone was dealing with such horrible news?

Humor has always been a coping mechanism for me. It isn't that I try to make light of horrible circumstances. But sometimes tragedy and bad news are just so overwhelming it can threaten to crush our spirit.

Instead, I choose to laugh about the oddities of everyday life. For me, humor is a distraction.

Thankfully, you all thought so too. No one called me out on my posts--the one about my random thoughts while running or my tongue-in-cheek post about pooping on the run (crude title and all). In fact, one of my regular readers, Paria, who writes beautiful, thoughtful posts on her blog Momontherunsanity and for Women's Running, and who penned a beautiful piece for that publication on the Orlando tragedy commented "LOL! I needed a good laugh! I haven't had one in days." 

I'm glad that I have humor as a coping mechanism. Life is hard. While I wrote about funny things, this week my thoughts have been with those folks affected by all the bad news coming out of Florida.

"Life isn't about waiting for a storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." -unknown

I am also glad to have running as a coping mechanism! After Sunday's tough run, where I had to call my husband to pick me up, I thought I was going to have to take some time off the road. My foot hurt badly on Monday morning--will this PF ever go away?--and I made plans to head back to the pool the next day for some aqua jogging. But Tuesday morning I woke up with no foot pain! It was a gorgeous morning, and the thought of heading to the indoor pool was not at all appealing. My run felt amazing and I'm so glad I chose to run.

Here's how the rest of my week shook out:

Monday: yoga on the deck. I thought I would try to stretch out my lower legs and give my foot some relief. I had Cocoa on the mat as well. Turns out, she likes yoga too!

Cocoa and me in side stretch. She did this multiple times!
Tuesday: 5.18 miles/44:40 Push-ups.


Wednesday: Yoga with Kathy at the studio. This was an amazing restorative/therapeutic class. We held each pose for 3-5 minutes. It was almost yin-like. I felt fabulous, physically, after this class. I left class feeling more at peace than I had in awhile. During our poses, she provided her usual insight and wisdom. One thing she said stuck with me all week: "find your innate goodness". What a great thought to have as I headed to my wild, crazy job in the clinic!

Thursday: 5.5 miles/ 46:43 It was a cloudy, humid, windy morning and I fought through this run. I was shocked and pleased at the pace I eaked out. After running, I went to see Becky where she tested me on my strength. Grateful that I had been doing my homework, she was pleased. She had me work on a new high bar move, kipping bar swings. Apparently I have tight shoulders and can't fully get into this one. More homework. I finished up with 50 kettlebell swings and 50 atomic situps. The situps took me forever. I'm uncoordinated and my core is wimpy. More homework.

Do you sense a theme here?


Friday: rest

Saturday: 5.18 miles/43:29. I stopped 3 times at the playgrounds on my neighborhood route to do my homework: high bar hangs, scapular pullups, and those kipping bar swings. I also did 80 pushups (sets of 25, 30, and 25). Gittin' 'er done.


Sunday: The pup woke me up at 4:30 am to go outside. After I took her out, she wanted to bite me for a while. Finally, she settled down and we fell back asleep until 7:15. By then, the temperature was already heating up. I also had a few things to do, so I decided to ride my bike today. The only bad thing about going later in the morning is that there are more people on the paths and on the road. I don't know if it was the heat or what but people were driving like maniacs today. Mrs. Kravitz called 911 after 2 drag racing cars almost took her out of commission. Seriously, I hope they got caught. That was frightening. I was getting ready to cross the street when I heard them coming. They were flying. That got my adrenaline pumping! The rest of my ride was uneventful, except for a snake crossing the path! Yikes. It was 90F when I got home.
25.27 miles/103 mins.

Hydrating and fueling with Tailwind
News you can use:

My giveaway ended on Friday! Congrats to Amy from The Tiny Terror for winning her choice of an item from SKINS! Thanks to everyone who participated.

If you didn't win, don't fret! I've got a discount code for you so you can purchase the item you wanted from SKINS! SWEATPINK-SKINS20 will get you 20% off any item except sale items! The code is good until July 31.

The book club linkup opened on Friday and will remain open for 2 weeks! It's not too read this month's book and post your review. Or if you want to read another fitness related book, feel free to link that one up.

Have a great week!

I'm linking this post up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!












I'm also linking up with Angela and Ilka! Check it out!

Friday, June 3, 2016

5 Reasons to Ride Venus de Miles

Last year I rode the Venus de Miles Illinois bike ride. I had such a great experience that this year I applied to be an ambassador and was accepted! My sister, whose house is on the route, met me at the finish of the ride. She was so impressed as well that she signed up to ride with me this year. She even bought a new bike! She has also recruited several of her friends to ride.

So what's the big deal about this ride? Why should you sign up to ride with me? Besides the fact that it is so much fun? I share with you 5 reasons why you should ride Venus de Miles this summer.


1. The race benefits the Greenhouse Scholars. Greenhouse Scholars was founded to assist high-performing, underprivileged students throughout college and after. Not only are these students given tuition assistance to attend college, they are paired up with mentors who guide them along their path. They are also linked up with peers to help them navigate challenges. There's networking, internships, and other benefits to this select group of students.

At last year's ride, my sister and I were able to meet and talk with a few of the Scholars. The two Scholars I talked to were attending nursing school at UIC. I was so impressed with how poised and articulate they were. It was after I met those students that I realized this was an organization I wanted to work with. I love their mission.

2. There are 2 locations for the rides: Boulder County (Longmont), Colorado, which takes place on August 27, and Lake County (Lake Forest), Illinois, taking place on July 23.  I've never been to Boulder but I'm assured it's lovely. I can vouch for the beauty of the route in Lake County, though. If you don't live locally, it would be worth the trip for a destination ride.

3. There are 2 distances for the ride: a 25-mile ride or a 62-mile ride. Once again, I'll be riding the 25-mile course. Remember, this isn't a race, it is a ride, so you can go at your own pace. There are volunteers along the course to guide riders. There are also rest stops where you can refuel and rest before continuing on.

4. Don't have a bike? You can rent one nearby. Or if you don't want to ride but want to participate, there's a 5k run/walk option as well.

5. There's food at the finish! We're not talking hot dogs and hamburgers. Last year's ride was supported by Whole Foods, who catered a lovely lunch. Under a white tent, I might add. There was also Goose Island beer, wine, and cocktails, as well as non-alcoholic options. This is a first class event.

Last year's ride really was an amazing experience. Sometimes we just need to leave our competitive drive at home and just have fun with our friends! I had no regrets riding this one for fun and a good cause.

Want to join me? You can register here. Be sure to use my code LONGWAY to receive $10 off your registration fee.

Can't participate? You can donate! Here's the link. Click on my name, Wendy Rivard, to donate.

If you want to learn more you can go to the Venus De Miles website. Or you can read my recap from last year! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I hope to see some of you out there on the road! Or under the tent, sipping on an ice cold frosty one.

Have you ever done a bike ride for charity? What distance would you ride? Padded shorts--yay or nay?

I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta aka Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for the Friday Five!




Sunday, April 3, 2016

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9

I finally settled down into my "new" training plan for the Big Sur Marathon, which involved very little running and a whole lot of cross training. I was pleasantly surprised by the week, and I feel a whole lot more confident heading into the final stretch of my marathon prep.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: I had 8 miles on my marathon training plan. I put on my big girl bathing suit and went to the pool for some pool running. Armed with my new waterproof iPod, I "ran" around the diving well for 70 minutes. I had some company this time. There were 3 "pool noodlers" drifting back and forth across the diving well. There was also a guy hanging out in the middle of the diving well. He wasn't moving, and he was there for the longest time. Not sure what he was up to, I kept close to the perimeter of the pool. Eventually, he got out of the pool and went to the sauna. At exactly 8 am, the lifeguards blew the whistle and I had to get out of the pool. Since it would have taken me about 70 minutes to run those 8 miles, I felt like I had an equivalent workout. Minus the pounding on my feet.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
Happy with my "run"! And my tunes.
Wednesday: I had hill training on my marathon plan, so I decided to do intervals on the bike trainer. I found the perfect workout on the GCN channel on YouTube. The Power and Endurance workout consisted of multiple long intervals with varying cadences. The goal was to maintain your same effort throughout each interval. Holy quads! And hamstrings. This was tough and it was good! I was so glad I had my Wahoo Blue SC cadence sensor to help me monitor my cadence as well as my miles per hour. The monitor kept me on track for the entire workout. 15.39 miles/1:04

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
Power and Endurance right there...
After I finished, I should have gone to yoga class but instead stayed home and did Rodney Yee's Power Yoga DVD. I've been doing this one for years, and it's a great total body workout. It was a nice substitute for my studio class.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
Half Moon on the bench. A balancing act. With wind.
Thursday: It was back to the pool for more pool running. I only planned on an hour today. For the most part, I had the diving well to myself. The chatty lifeguard was there today, and he kept me company for about 20 minutes. The rest of the time I listened to my music. I felt like I finally got the hang of pool running--I felt like I was actually running, not just flailing around the pool. At the end of the hour, I wanted to keep going, but I forced myself to stop. That's a good sign, right?

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
Trying to take the selfie without anyone noticing...
Then I went to see Becky for some CrossFit. She hooked me up to the sled and put resistance bands on my ankles, having me monster walk across the gym. I also did sumo deadlifts, leg lifts on the GHD machine, and V-ups with a ball that I passed back and forth from my ankles to my hands. Let's just say my core needs a little a lot of work. It was kind of embarrassing, really. I finished up rowing all out for 3 minutes. Both Becky and I were thrilled to see that my pacing improved dramatically from the past 2 weeks.

Friday: Rest Day. But I couldn't pass up the amazing morning sky, and stopped to grab a high lunge on my way to work.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
High Lunge
Saturday: I had 4 miles on the plan, but decided to run 5. I must have been half asleep when I looked at the thermometer because I sure didn't dress for the actual temperature. It was cold, it was windy, and yes, those are giant snowflakes in my selfie! My foot felt pretty good during the run. Even more remarkable was how great my legs felt. And yes, I've still got some speed in me. 5.23m/8:31m/m

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
Yes, it's snowing! It's spring in Chicago.
Sunday: I had 18 miles on the plan. Yep, it was supposed to be my long run. Although after discussing this with Marcia, I had an idea of what I wanted to do, I also discussed this workout with Becky. Interestingly, her idea was the same as what Marcia suggested. Split the run with the bike. So I planned on doing 10 miles on the run, which would take me about 90 minutes, and 20 miles on the bike which would also take about 90 minutes. I checked the weather, and it was supposed to be crazy windy--again. With the wind blowing hard out of the south, I decided to run the bike path, which is about 10.5 miles, and is a straight shot east to west. I settled into a nice easy pace, carrying my Tailwind for fuel. I felt so good that I actually considered just going for it. I knew that would be a bad idea but it wasn't without some internal struggle that I turned around at the halfway point to go home. The foot felt pretty good until about mile 8 when it started to hurt. I was starting to feel tired, and I adjusted my stride to keep from landing so hard on that foot. That seemed to help, and I got home without too much pain. I was really tired though, and not happy that I had to go back out on the bike. I knew that with those windy conditions, it was going to be a tough ride. 10.46 miles/9:04 min/mi

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
10 miles on the bike path
I changed out of my sweaty clothes, drank a protein shake, refilled my Tailwind, and headed back out to the bike path, this time on my bike. Between the wind and the 45 degree temps, I initially needed to do a lot of self-talk to keep moving forward. There were a few points along the ride where I thought the wind was going to blow me over. I've never ridden in those conditions before, and it was a little unnerving. The sun started to come out and it warmed up nicely. I rode to the Forest Preserve and promptly was yelled at by an elderly man who I passed on the path. Apparently he didn't hear me coming and wasn't happy about it. Why are people so angry and confrontational? Everyone else that I passed was friendly. When I got home, I was surprised to see my time: 1:25:58/20.24 miles. If nothing else comes out of this crazy training plan, I am getting faster and stronger on the bike!

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
This is actually the same spot on the bike path as my picture above. The sun came out and it warmed up during my ride. Super windy, though!
After this week's training, I'm feeling fairly confident about my marathon. Even though my running hasn't been optimal, I think I had plenty in the tank before I pulled back on the running. I wasn't surprised when I saw my running mileage for March was 57.68. The cycling (there was a lot in March: 166 miles) and the pool running have kept me on track. The long run today was tough, but I got it done. And Kristina promises me that we will run slow (she's going to have to reel me in) and that should help my foot a lot.

If you've gotten this far, thanks for sticking with me. It's been an interesting journey, if nothing else.

Finally THANK YOU to everyone who suggested the pool running and the waterproof iPod shuffle. There will be pool running for a while after the marathon, and I'll be using that thing for a while. I need the music to move me around the pool. Listening to my running playlist summons up those endorphins I get when I'm on the road. The pool running has been a great backup plan.

How was your week? Anyone else training through injuries? Tell me your injury success stories! Snow, anyone?

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for their Weekly Wrap! I love seeing what everyone else is doing. Have a great week!













This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Big Sur Marathon Training--Week 3

Last week's recap ended after that long run in the polar vortex. That brutal 12 miler on Sunday really wrecked me, and I was as sore the next day as I have ever been after a marathon! Anyways, I did a lot of foam rolling, and by Tuesday, was ready to hit the road again. Here's the recap of my week.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 3

Monday: Scheduled rest day

Tuesday: I had a 6 miler on the plan. It was still pretty cold but the sun was shining and I wanted to catch the sunrise. These winter sunrises have been spectacular! This was not a bad run at all, and I even stopped to do a side plank. Because there's always time to strike a pose. 6.25m/8:50m/m
Snowy Side Plank
snowy side plank
Wednesday: It was sunny and 32 and I made the decision to take my speedwork to the road. My treadmill is not calibrated correctly, and my treadmill mile splits have been messing with my head. I know, mind over matter, right? But I really wanted to go outside. So I drove over to the retention pond with the 2 mile loop where I did all my speedwork training for my last 2 marathons. Unfortunately, the park district didn't plow the path from Tuesday's snow, and I didn't think it would be safe for me to run fast there. Disappointed, I headed back to my neighborhood, and made the decision to run on the streets around the big park where I take all those running selfies. I had mile splits x5 to do, and away I went. When I took off my hamstrings both gave me a little twinge, as if to say, hey, WTF do you think you are doing? But they cooperated, and even though the people who live on those streets probably thought I was a freaking lunatic, I got it done and then some. 6 loops around took me back to my car and what I saw on the Garmin astonished me: 8:04, 7:55, 8:02, 7:59, 7:53. You betcha. And now I have a new place to do my speedwork.

Speed work--Big Sur Marathon Training Week 3
Boom! Don't mess with me! 
After that I went to yoga. The theme was twisting, and naturally, we did a lot of twisting poses. I was really stiff at first, but it was good medicine after running like I did. My instructor introduced a pose which was new to me. It's called Brigid's Cross. I could not find a picture of this one anywhere! I can only describe this pose like a reclined revolved triangle on the mat, a pose which is a challenge for me standing up! It was tough. I felt really good after class though. 

Thursday I rode an hour on the bike. I found an cycling interval video on YouTube made by CTXC. Their videos are pretty good, except that for the majority of this video I "rode" behind a guy in white shorts again. Ugh! He did have a black panel that was strategically placed, so I should be grateful for that, right? After I finished, I sat in hero's pose to stretch out my quads. Still feeling twisty from yesterday, I threw in a twist. I hoped to twist that image of the guy's white bike shorts out of my brain. Oh, and I also needed to loosen up for my workout with Becky. 
Twisted hero's pose
Twisted hero's pose
After that, I went to see Becky. This was a drop down week for me, meaning lower weights. But higher reps, naturally. I did cleans into front squats and deadlifts again. Then she put a resistance band around my waist and my knees and had me squat onto a bench while she pulled on the resistance band. Hello hamstrings!
squats with resistance bands
Squats with resistance bands
Friday was another scheduled rest day.

Saturday was predicted to be sunny and warm! The winds, which were hurricane-like on Friday, were down to a gentle breeze. I was out early to get my run in before I had to go to work. It was 48 degrees and I caught a beautiful sunrise. I also caught some speed. Hello, old friend! I'm glad to have you back again. 5.52m/8:27m/m

Sunrise run!
This run made me so happy!

Sunday I had 8 miles on the plan. The weather conditions were so much better than last Sunday's--it was 37F, no wind, but overcast. I decided to run to the retention pond. I started out fairly quickly and tried to reign it in, but my legs wouldn't have it. My foot felt good, so I went with it. I finished up at my house with a huge smile on my face! This was a quick one! 8.42m/8:34m/m.
Mid run triangle pose
Mid-run triangle pose
Mantra for the week: "Trust the process".

No kidding.

Overall, I'm really pleased with the week and my progress. Although I'm not running Big Sur for time, I'm happy to know that I can still knock out some fast mile splits. I had a slow start to 2016, and I was worried that the inevitable slowing down with age was starting to happen. Not yet. Whew. 

I really have to credit my coach--I have to believe that all this hard work she makes me do is paying off once again on the road. I do trust the process because this has happened every damn time we do a strength cycle. Hard work pays off.

Now, if I could just get that PF to go away, things would be darned near perfect. Is that too much to ask? While it's not any better, it sure isn't any worse, and for that, I am grateful.

How was your week? Any successes or achievements? Is the weather getting more tolerable by you?

I want to welcome everyone from Kristen's Blog Hop! Today's my showcase day, and I'm excited to share my training log with you. This is what it's all about for me. Running is my metaphor for life. Work hard, dream big. And never ever give up.

I'm also linking up this post with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap! As always, they are the hostessses with the mostest! Check out what everyone else has been doing. 






Friday, February 5, 2016

5 new things to love on the run!

It's the month of love, right? I've been trying out some new fitness related items! Besides the SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt that I'm reviewing and giving away below, what else am I loving on the run? Or the bike....or the mat?


For inspiration: 
For Christmas, my sister gave me a Momentum wrist wrap with the mantra "just breathe" written on it. I'm sure she had no idea that so far this year I would need frequent reminders to do just that. I wear that bracelet every day and am grateful for the prompting. I just love it. My friend Zenaida hosted a giveaway on her blog, and I won a Momentum wrap from her! That one reads "stronger than yesterday". Sometimes I wear both. I need all the reminders I can get to stay tough! Since you can customize the mantras, you can make the wrap all your own. I had one made for my coach Becky with her favorite mantra "good vibes only". I can't believe she didn't already have one. I also ordered a wrap for one of my little patients who just finished a year and a half of chemo and radiation. Hers says "you are your own superhero". She is my superhero.

http://www.designsthatmoveyou.com/home/wraps
photo courtesy of Momentum designs
For fun!
One of my readers, Barbara Valentin, reached out to me about the book club. She's an author of contemporary romance novels and wanted to know if I would be interested in reading her book, False Start (affiliate link). The story is about a newspaper reporter who gets assigned to train for and run the Chicago Marathon. The catch is that she has to work with a coach, who just happens to be her ex fiance's brother. While this isn't the book genre we read for the book club, the book sounded like it would be a fun read. Valentin offered to send me a copy for my kindle, free of charge. Valentin is a great storyteller, and this light entertaining read would be enjoyable for anyone looking for something fun to read. Plus it's about running, and that's a win!

affiliate link
For the bike:
So it's no secret that I've been spending time on the bike trainer. I really enjoy this form of cross training. But how to track my speed, my cadence, and my miles when I'm not moving forward? I did my homework, and instead of buying a bike computer, I bought the Wahoo Blue SC Speed and Cadence sensor. (affiliate link) This device works via bluetooth with my iPhone. It's compatible with Android as well. I downloaded the Wahoo fitness app, but you can use it with a variety of fitness apps. Being a numbers person, it's been fun tracking my rides. I'm looking forward to the warm weather rides and road testing it.

affiliate link

But wait...how do I use my iPhone on the bike? Have no fear, there are plenty of handlebar mounts out there. Again, I did my homework and chose the Koomus Bike2Go Universal Smartphone Bike Mount Holder Cradle (affiliate link) (KB2GUSBMHC for short). I had my son install it for me, which he did in no time flat. I love it. The cradle is adjustable and holds a variety of phones. You can also adjust the tilt. There's a tether that inserts into your headphone jack in case the phone slips out of the mount. I've only used the KB2GUSBMHC on the trainer, so I'll fill you in on it's performance once I'm back on the road.

affiliate link

For the run:
Ok, now to that SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt. I knew that when SLS3 asked me to review it that I was already going to like it. Double Pockets? Yes, please. Waterproof? Yes, please. You know I love my SpiBelt. But even though it stretches, it doesn't hold everything I need. Plus I hate having everything all in one pocket. I'm always afraid I'm going to drop something and lose it.  The SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt solves that problem for me. Now I have a pocket for my phone and one for everything else. The pockets are large enough to hold my iPhone6. The waterproof material is a plus since I run outside no matter what the weather. It comes in a variety of colors. The belt is wide, adjustable, and comfortable. The only problem I had was since I like to wear the belt low around my hips, it would tend to slide up and I had to keep adjusting it. Other than that, I really can't recommend this belt enough. I'll be taking it out for a long run this weekend, so we'll see how it really performs!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017DRIKFY

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017DRIKFY
you know that's not me!
photos courtesy of SLS3 and Amazon.com

What running/fitness gadgets are you loving lately? Any running related books you want to recommend?



Sunday, January 3, 2016

It's a wrap!

It's the end of the year as we know it...

It's time to take down all the holiday decorations and get back to my regularly scheduled life. But first, I've got a few loose ends to tie up here on the blog. The Weekly Wrap, hosted by Tricia and Holly, is the perfect place to do it! You may want to check out what everyone else is posting and while you are there, wish Tricia and Holly good luck on the WDW Marathon, happening next weekend!



So let's get this party started! First things first, a few leftovers from 2015:

I did a data dump with my Garmin and found all kinds of fun statistics. I'm kind of a numbers geek. My Forerunner 10 gave me a surprisingly large amount of interesting (at least to me) data. I've summed it all up in this fun infographic:


This week I received a few reminders of some awesome events I participated in this fall.

My official Chicago Marathon participation certificate arrived:

In case there was any doubt.
I also received some photos from the Underground Polar Express run that I participated in a few weeks ago. A fun day with friends, it was a great event for a good cause. I'll be back. So fun.

Me, Marcia, and Sara

Never one to miss a photog! But check out the shirtless guy behind us. Really? In December? At a Santa run?
This past week, I hit my final goal for 2015, that #RunThisYear goal of 2015 kms/1252 miles that I set for myself one year ago. That is my highest yearly mileage ever, and this was my first year ever that I didn't miss any time on the road for injury. I am thrilled with that, and I need to give credit to my coach Becky, who has worked hard with me to strengthen and balance my glutes, hips, and hamstrings. She also developed a marathon training plan for me which was tough, but effective. Low miles, lots of cross training, and plenty of mental toughness sprinkled in.


As promised, after this run, I hung up my running shoes to devote some time to recovery. Hoping my hiatus will be brief. But I need to get this PF under control. My love/hate relationship with my faux Strassburg sock continues. Got heel lifts? Downward dogs? Compression sleeve? Foot strengthening? Did you even know this was a thing? According to this article, it is THE thing for PF.

So yes, I'm doing those heel lifts. What else can I do?

The first thing I did was treat my feet to a pedicure on New Year's Eve. Afterwards, I slipped on my new Oofos sandals, which I won from Kim at Kooky Runner. I think I'm in love. Let's just say these flip flops are my new favorite thing! Have you tried them yet?

It's all about the pretty toes...and the super comfy shoes!
I also went to see Becky for my weekly workout--she had me doing more cleans, front squats, and deadlifts. Since she's a corrective exercise specialist as well as an endurance coach, I asked her for any advice she could give me that I wasn't yet doing for my foot. She talked with me about doing some arch rolling on the lacrosse ball as soon as I get up in the morning, before I even stand up.

Since Becky was on board with my plan to take some time off running, I was able to leave the CrossFit box with a bike trainer to use for the winter. Can you say win?

Thanks to YouTube, I rode for an hour on Saturday through the Italian countryside and on Sunday, I rode along the beach and up a mountain. I'll be sharing more about indoor bike training in a separate post, but let's just say it is a worthy successor to the treadmill. Equally as boring and tough. I wore my heart rate monitor to make sure I was getting a decent workout, and I stayed in "the zone". Oooh, the pain! The sweat! My husband had to turn on the ceiling fan. I chugged my Nuun hydration throughout.


Completely non-running related but worth a mention: I went to see the movie Sisters with my sister Lisa. We had heard that the movie had received mixed reviews. But it's Tina Fey and Amy Pohler! We both thought it was hilarious. In fact, we laughed so hard we cried. If you liked Bridesmaids, you'll like this one. There are so many one-liners that I can't remember them all.

We decided that we need to up our dance game. Not that we ever had one...

What did you do this week? Ready to go back to reality? Seen any good movies (besides Star Wars?)