Showing posts with label ice age trail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ice age trail. Show all posts

Saturday, December 16, 2023

A Record Breaking Week!

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

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

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

Sunday, December 3, 2023

'Tis the Season!

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

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Still Can't Beat It!

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

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Hello, My Pretty!

Disclaimer: As a member of the Brooks Run Happy Team, I received a complimentary pair of the Brooks Ghost Max in exchange for social shares. I really do love them!

So much prettiness again this week! My sister and I wrapped up our trip to Banff and headed home on Monday. Luckily, we had decent weather in Chicago, which helped ease the landing. Work was insane, but I was still riding the wave of a nice trip with my sister. Even better, our fall colors are peeking right now, so there's plenty of beauty right here at home. We headed up to the lake on Saturday where the colors are spectacular. There was a little bit of sunshine, but the clouds blew in and kind of dimmed the glow. It was still pretty for my run!

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Wrapping up the Week in Banff

Buckle up, pour yourself a drink, get a snack, because I'm recapping not only my experience spectating the Chicago Marathon, but also the first part of my weekend in Banff. My sister and I traveled to Canada for our 11th annual sister trip. It's hard to keep topping our previous trips, but our long weekend in Banff may have been our best trip yet. I have so many photos and it was hard to pick just a few to share here. Oh, and I had a big run on the Ice Age Trail in there too! And did I mention I met Des Linden?

What a week!

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Motion is Lotion

I don't know if I'd call it a full-on RA flare, but this week I was really achy. I blame the ridiculous humidity that plagued us at the start of the week. Even with the mid-week temperature and humidity drop, the pain lingered on, but I just kept moving. You know what we RA warriors say: Motion is Lotion. It really does feel better once I get moving and it sure beats sitting on the couch all day. It was a crazy week at work and that was another reason for me to keep moving!

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Wrapping Up My Training Cycle

One week to go until the Leadville Silver 15 miler! I wrapped up my training cycle this week, very pleased with how it all went. You might ask when I officially started training. And I would answer that's a good question. While Earth Day wasn't my goal race, I did put in the work for that one too. It could count for training. Realistically, it wasn't until May that I really began to focus on my mileage, building on the work I did for Earth Day. Even more so, I put emphasis on getting lots of elevation. 

So here are the stats for the past 8 weeks:

Total miles: 208 miles
Total elevation: 7285 ft

I am so grateful to have access to those Wisco trails. When I totaled up my vert, the Illinois trails didn't even make a dent. The total elevation at Leadville is 1676 ft. With all my climbing, I am definitely ready for that! What I'm not ready for is the altitude, which at its peak on the course is 10,896 ft. Chicago sits at 597 ft. There's really no way for me to prepare for that. 

I wonder if I can bring portable oxygen in my hydration vest? 

What I have done: I've been 'doping' aka taking iron supplements for the past 3 months with the hopes of getting my hemoglobin higher, which would increase my blood's oxygen-carrying capacity. My son brags that his hemoglobin is 17, so he's hoping for success with that. I've also been taking creatine, along with my usual supplements, hoping to build a little more muscle mass to help me run strong. Research on running at altitude lead me to plan to arrive the day before the race, to allow as little time as possible to let the altitude affect me. 

With no goals but to finish and have fun, I am looking forward to running on some different trails and spending quality time with my boy. What else could a runner ask for?

Saturday, March 25, 2023

All Mixed Up

Disclaimer: As a member of the Brooks Run Happy Team, I receive products in exchange for social sharing. All opinions are my own.

Not only is the weather all mixed up--we went from winter to spring and back to winter again, but my week was kind of mixed up too. I had to flex my workout schedule to accommodate not only the weather but also my 'niggles' and a fun opportunity with Brooks (more below). 

I was able to get everything in but I'm still bummed about a canceled field trip to the IAT in Whitewater on Saturday with the Trail Sisters Chicago Northwest. A late winter storm stymied our plans for a long morning of trails and vert. This storm dropped a foot of snow in Madison! The weather this year has sent me to the treadmill more times than I can ever remember. While I'm glad I have the option, can I say enough is enough?

Sunrise on the way into the city on Tuesday

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Ain't Nothin' Gonna Break My Stride

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday's trail run

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Hitting it Hard

I've been hitting it hard this month, lifting heavy weights to max out as we do this time of year, and this week I really felt it with heavy legs, especially on my runs. Running is my first love and I started strength training many years ago as a way to build strength for running and prevent injuries. Every year, when I hit my peak lifting weights and feel like this, I have to remind myself that I'm building for the upcoming year. With my focus shifting to trail running, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this plays out, especially on those hills of Wisconsin...and maybe beyond. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, just like we runners do with a goal race, I'm looking forward to being done with this strength cycle!

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Good For the Ego

All things considered, turning 60 wasn't so bad. I get it, it's 'just' a number, but it's the whole idea of that number! Nothing changed for me except that I'm in a new age group. I'm still running and even ran a speedy 6 on Friday. It was just what I needed!

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Camp Week is Here!

Disclaimer: As a member of Brooks Run Happy Team, I received a pair of Caldera 6s to trial and review. My opinions are all my own.

As you read this, I'm at Brooks' Camp Run Happy with Deborah! We're in Park City, Utah for a whirlwind weekend full of activity. I'm planning on posting a full recap soon, but in the meantime...you can check my Instagram for lots of photos. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The One Where I Promise NOT to Complain About the Weather

That title ought to get me a lot of views! HA!

When I sat down to write this, I promised myself that I wouldn't complain about the weather and I won't. Even though we had a week of rain and clouds. Even though I had the blahs and was feeling pretty anxious all week. 

Instead, I'm focusing on the positive things: 
  • We had a peek of the sun on Wednesday and Saturday brought full-on sunshine which did wonders for everyone's moods,
  • We are no longer in a drought,
  • My husband mowed the grass this week for the first time this year,
  • The leaves are starting to bloom on the trees,
  • I got a fun Brooks Run Happy package of spring/summer gear this week,
  • The forecast for next week has us warming up significantly. Even Saturday got us up into the 60s.
I stuck to my workout schedule which helped a lot. Here's to hoping the sunshine and warmth will help chase those blahs away. 


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!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

RA Checks In

Throughout my recovery from my ankle and foot fractures, I secretly marveled and was grateful that RA remained quiet. My recovery has been steady and I've been able to increase my activities accordingly. However, this week, RA reminded me that it's always around. I've been having a flare and while it hasn't sidelined me, I have felt pretty achy and my joints are swollen. I'm not sure what triggered the symptoms--the change in the weather? Or maybe my 3 1/2 hour hike on Sunday had something to do with it. As always, I am grateful for what I CAN do, even when I don't feel like it. 

As we RA warriors like to say, motion is lotion. I do actually feel better once I get moving. Let's hope this flare just fades away. 

Friday's walk/run

Sunday, September 12, 2021

It's Still Summer, Sort of

This is my favorite time of year and so far I am not disappointed with the weather we are having. Cool mornings and warm afternoons make for perfect running conditions. Oh, right. I'm still not running. But I have been walking and this weekend, I was able to get out for one last ski around the lake. 

My foot and ankle still aren't completely healed. When I push myself a little too much, they let me know about it. This week, I have a follow-up appointment with the ortho. I'm looking forward to getting another x-ray and evaluating just how much healing is happening. I know I'm not ready to start running again--although I may have tried a little bit. Getting closer!

Thankfully, I have a lot of alternative activities to keep me fit!

Ice Age Trail hike

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Just Keep Swimming

As I continue to heal and feel better, this week I upped my cross-training, adding rowing to my injury recovery regimen. I tried walking again this week, but this time, out of the boot. I couldn't move too fast, though. And I got out on the lake on my SUP, on a perfect summer day. It sure would have been nice for some waterskiing...sniff sniff. While I am so happy that are so many activities I can do, I had the realization that it really is going to be a while before I get back to running. That is a bitter pill to swallow. 

I see the orthopedic surgeon next week and I'll have more of a plan after that. For now, I'm taking Dory's advice from Finding Nemo--Just Keep Swimming.

Monday's Fluid Running session

 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

I Can't Have One Without the Other

Running and lifting, running and lifting, go together like birthdays and gifting, this I tell you sister, you can't have one without the other... ~apologies to Frank Sinatra.

After getting my final diagnosis this week of a tear of my flexor carpi radialis tendon--that's at the base of my right thumb--my first thought was, well, at least I can still run. But then it hit me: over the past couple of years, I've become so much more than a runner. As long-time readers of the blog know, I've been strength training and doing CrossFit as a means to supplement running and to prevent injury. Running was always my favorite way to move my body. I identify as a runner, not a CrossFitter. 

Then I hurt my wrist and with that came the realization that while running is still number one, strength training and CrossFit have become essential activities in my fitness regimen. Much like I do with running, with my strength training, I set goals and I train to achieve them. With this injury, I've had to cut back on my training and I miss it. After I got the news this week that confirmed the tendon injury, I felt really sad. That surprised me, because like I said, I can still run. But you know what? Running isn't enough anymore. 

There, I've said it. Now, I know. I promise to behave and let my wrist heal so I can get back to ALL the THINGS. 

The lake is calling...

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Smarter, Not Harder

I don't know if it's the cooler weather or allergies or what it is, but on Thursday this week, I was commenting to Sammy Jo about how long it has taken me to recover from that race I ran a few weeks ago. I'm definitely not bouncing back as quickly from a hard effort like I used to, that is for sure. Even though this week I felt really good on Wednesday's trail run, when I got home from work in the evening, I had dinner and I was asleep by 9 pm. 

I guess it's like the old cliché, I have to train SMARTER, not harder. I know that I've still got some speed and strength in me, but I can't waste energy doing activities that don't have any value. For now, I don't have anything planned, running-wise, until the fall. I'm looking forward to continuing to explore more segments of the Ice Age Trail and running my local trails as well. 

Changing my mindset and not pushing myself so hard--this may be my biggest challenge yet!

Sunday, March 7, 2021

A Slow Return to Normal and Mini Book Review of I Hate Running and You Can Too

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Is it just me or does it feel like things are starting to get better? At least with regards to opening back up, that is. I'm not talking about dropping the mask mandate--it's a little too soon for that. With the approval of the J&J vaccine this week, I'm starting to feel much more optimistic. Even better---this week, I found out that my favorite race, the Lakefront 10 Miler, is going to take place on April 17. Live. On the actual course!! In Chicago!!!

Can you even believe it?

Of course, I signed up. With a guaranteed refund if the race is canceled, I saw no downside to jumping right in. Fingers crossed that I get to cross that start line! 

The sun is shining, the snow is melting...I can just smell the optimism!