Showing posts with label pool running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pool running. Show all posts

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, January 28, 2023

Shifting My Focus

This is the week that SJ and I discussed my goals for the upcoming year. We finished up that heavy strength cycle and challenged my 1 rep maxes on the back squat, bench press, and deadlift. Now it's time to move forward. After coming off of that strong trail race a few weeks ago, I pulled the trigger (thanks Catrina!) and signed up for that Earth Day 15 mile trail race in April, the one where I hit the wall on the last loop. My goal is to not have that happen again. I also signed up for a 15 mile trail race in July in Leadville, Colorado with my youngest son. That is really going to be a challenge as the altitude is over 10,000 feet. It's going to be difficult to train for that!

What I want to do with SJ is work on building strength for climbing the hills in both these races. I climb a lot of hills on the IAT in Wisconsin, but I think I need to also build trail-specific strength in the gym. We got to it this week!

Thursday, January 26, 2023

January Runfessions

Here we are at the first Runfessions of 2023! Do you runfess? Every month, Marcia opens the runfessional to allow us all to cleanse our souls and soles. Oddly enough, I always have things to runfess. So let's get to it and let the absolution begin!

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Are You There Sunshine? It's Me, Wendy

This may be the gloomiest January I can remember, and that's saying a lot because January around here is always gloomy. According to local weather icon Tom Skilling, we've had 20% of our normal sunshine so far this month. Even though it's been warmer than normal, it's pretty rough waking up to gray skies every morning. I was fortunate to catch a little sunshine on my runs on Sunday and Wednesday! It's something you really appreciate when you live in the Midwest. I'm making plans to go out to California in early March to visit my sister again and I cannot wait to soak up the sun.

For now, I have to make my own sunshine.


How many of you remember the book Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume? Reading it was a rite of passage for so many of us growing up in the 70s and beyond. My copy was so worn out! The title of this blog post is an obvious take on that book title, but did you know that the eponymous movie is being released on the big screen in April? How can it even be as good as the book? The trailer looks pretty cute. The 1970s are having a moment and I for one cannot wait to see this movie!

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Kicking Off the New Year on the Right Foot

Cue the music... I'm thinking of the Black Eyed Peas' Let's Get it Started and if that song is now going through your head, you can thank me! I hit the ground running with a race on New Year's Day and that set the tone for how I want this year to go. Strong, happy, positive. I'm going to work on controlling what I can and the rest will just be background noise. That includes my job, which will take a back seat to prioritizing my mental health. I've set a goal of retirement in 2 years. The light is at the end of the tunnel, my friends!

With regards to fitness, I haven't set any goals for the year except to have fun. I'll continue to work on strength. Maybe I'll work on speed and race some short races. You know I'll be running the trails this year again!

I also got good news on the RA front. I saw my rheumatologist this week and my blood work was the best it's been since my diagnosis 6 years ago. I get to cut my medication in half. We'll see how it goes, but wow! What a nice way to start a new year.

You get what you pay for with free race photos!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

It's The Little Things

As if getting ready for the holidays wasn't stressful enough, this week literally brought me to my knees as I was sidelined for several days after coming down with the stomach flu on Thursday. My job is the gift that keeps on giving! Speaking of my job, I also had my annual review, and let me just say that blindsided does not begin to describe it. The cherry on my sundae of a week included the arrival of the so-called 'bomb cyclone' on Thursday, bringing high winds and bitter cold, but thankfully, not much snow.

It's the little things.

The good news was that because of the weather, our office was closed on Friday, giving us all a bonus day off. I still wasn't feeling great on Friday, so I welcomed that extra time to recover. Plus, my youngest made it home from Wisconsin. It's so nice to have him around!

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!

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Which Ever Way the Wind Blows

If there ever was a more fitting theme for the week, it would be the wind. Oh my goodness, has it been windy. The wind was a big factor in my runs this week. The wind was also the reason I still don't have my outdoor Christmas decorations up. Our neighborhood sets up Christmas trees in their front yards, but this past week, many of them were blown over, and/or the decorations were blown all over their yards. Because it was still windy on Saturday, I stayed inside, decorating the inside of my house, and plan to do the outdoor decor today.

An attempt to capture a photo for Friday's coffee talk post was stymied by the wind

Sunday, November 27, 2022

A Week of Gratitude

'Tis the season for gratitude! For this week's rundown, I'm sharing all the things I'm grateful for. It goes without saying that I'm thankful for this weekly space where I can connect with you all and talk ad nauseam about running and fitness. 



Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thankful for Runfessions!

It's the day after Thanksgiving, and I'm in my stretchy pants, ready to runfess. Every month on the last Friday, Marcia opens the runfessional, giving runners a chance to cleanse their soles and their souls. I'm always thankful for runfessions and there's really no penance. It's a win-win situation. It's also kind of fun, humbling, and entertaining. At least for me it is.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Some Areas of Concern

While my RA flare is winding down, I've got a few 'areas of concern' on my body: my right shoulder/scapula, my left knee, and my right SI joint. The left knee has been bothering me since that wipeout on the trails last summer. I've been diligent about doing my VMO activation work with the resistance band, but for some reason this week, it flared up again. My SI joint is also an old issue that has been quiet for a long time but has been talking to me over the past couple of weeks.  I'm dusting off the exercises I did while I was going to PT and hopefully, it will calm down quickly. 

The shoulder/scapula pain has been troubling me for about a month. It started with me waking up in the middle of the night with right shoulder pain and having to adjust my position. That usually took care of it and I mostly forgot about it. Then I started having pain in my mid-back, around my right scapula. Last week, SJ noticed that my shoulders were not aligned while I was doing bench presses. I always joke that know enough to be dangerous and I diagnosed myself with shoulder impingement syndrome. I consulted the PT at the gym and she agreed with me, giving me some exercises to do.

It's crazy that after feeling so good for so long, I'm experiencing all these 'hot spots'. SJ thinks that it's because I've been under so much stress lately--I'm tense, I have inflammation, and my cortisol levels are probably high. As we are in the middle of a heavy strength cycle at the gym, I will be focused on my prehab and being extra cautious with my body position during the lifts. It's a good thing that I'm not training for any races! I was also considering participating in the gym's powerlifting meet but I'm taking that off the table now. I really need to get back to yoga and stretching because clearly, my body is telling me something. 

Saturday, November 5, 2022

I Had a Plan

So...remember that 2 weeks ago, I agonized over DNSing a half marathon? I even runfessed about it? Well, I have one more runfession regarding this race. Besides all the excuses I shared, I runfess... that I knew I needed 14 miles to finish the Mammoth Trail Challenge, so I decided to use my training to finish that instead. It's crazy how my priorities have changed. There's no medal for this event, I get a patch. It doesn't even matter. For me, it's all about that feeling of finishing something that means something to me.  

And no more runfessions about that race. I promise.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Can I Runfess Something?

Sorry Marcia, but I'm going to need to runfess early.

I runfess... I took a DNS for Saturday's half marathon. This was the race I deferred from last fall after I broke my leg. I haven't done any runs longer than 9 miles...my son had a rugby game in Madison on Saturday...my knee is bothering me...I wasn't feeling it. All excuses and all enough to make me decide mid-week to skip the race. 

It's so not like me to do this. But it sure feels like the right thing to do.

I can't remember the last time I DNS'd a race. I felt a little guilty about it, but mostly I felt relieved. I'm not a quitter, but this race was causing me a lot of mental stress. It's my son's last year playing college rugby and I don't want to miss a game. I want to get more trail miles for the Mammoth challenge. 

What I don't want to do right now is run a half marathon. 

Running is my stress reliever and when running is the cause of my stress...

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Busy, busy!

Between work and life in general, it was a really busy week. Thank goodness for my runs and workouts to help keep me balanced. I've got a lot to share here! Let's get to it!

Friday morning sky

Saturday, October 1, 2022

And Just Like That...It's Fall

It's a little cooler than it's supposed to be this time of year and that's really got me feeling fall! No complaints--we have gorgeous blue skies and perfect conditions for running. I do admit to feeling a little guilt at enjoying these conditions in light of the horrible tragedy following Hurricane Ian in the south. 

My favorite part of Florida is the gulf coast. Over the years, we've spent many happy vacations down there. We've stayed in Ft Myers Beach, Naples, and Sanibel, as well as several other locations that weren't as severely affected by the storm. Several of my friends and neighbors have relocated to that part of Florida. We've heard from most of them, but not all. I cannot imagine what it is like to lose your home or worse to a storm like that. I hope and pray that everyone affected is able to recover quickly. 


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, September 17, 2022

Savoring the Last of Summer

Even though it's still quite warm, the air has a different feel to it! Maybe it's a Midwestern thing. I'm sitting outside on my deck as I write this, listening to the cicadas singing and looking at the browning leaves on all my tomato plants. On my trail runs, I've also noticed some foliage changing colors. The mornings are cooler, too. I just love this time of year and I'm doing my best to savor it because we know what's next. 

I also love this time of year because it reminds me of training for and running my fall marathons. While I always had a love/hate relationship with those long runs, I really do love the training journey. Even when it doesn't always turn out as planned--you get me? Anyway, there's just something about fall running that is really special.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

I Finished Her Run

Disclaimer: As a ROADiD ambassador, I receive complimentary products to try and share. My opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.

Fellow runners, you'd have to be living under a rock not to have heard the tragic story of Eliza Fletcher, the young mother of 2, who was abducted last week during an early morning run. Her body was found several days later and a suspect has been arrested. The reaction of the running community is one of shock. Non-runners have a different take, the most common is the belief that she shouldn't have been running alone at 4:30 in the morning. Or at any time of day.

This makes me angry and sad. When my boys were young, I had no choice but to get up and out the door by 4:30am in order to get my runs in before my husband left for work.  I always joked that I ran with the skunks and the newspaper delivery person. People asked me if I was scared and I have to admit that I never was. While I never liked running in the dark, I loved the solitude of my early morning runs before I started my busy day as a mom and a nurse.

While those uber-early morning runs are in the past, I still prefer to run by myself. I still enjoy the solitude of being out on my trails and in my head, soaking up nature. Don't get me wrong. By running alone, I know that I am vulnerable. I carry my phone with me and when I remember, I wear my GoGuarded ring. I do my best to stay alert. Very rarely have I seen another person that made me leery, but when I do, I change my direction.

Would someone caution a man not to run by himself? Why do women have to feel so unsafe when they are running alone? And why do people blame the victim for incidents that happen because they are alone? 

I have no answers. But I finished her run.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Wow, didn't July just fly by? And I unintentionally made a little poem...

Let's catch up over coffee! What are you having? The hubs brought me some Colectivo Co-Optiva, which is my favorite blend. With a scoop of GLG collagen and a splash of half and half, it's like heaven in a coffee mug. 

What would you tell me over coffee? And can you stand one more Little Miss meme? I do love them.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Running for Fun

I am wrapping up a much needed week off from work! With the hot humid weather and my knee issue, the timing was perfect to cut back on my running miles and do a few fun things. While my knee is feeling much better this week, t was really nice to chase adventure instead of miles! This week reminded me of how wonderful running really can be.

While I'm posting this in the link-up today, I finished this post earlier in the week. As you read this, I'm wrapping up my fun week with a trip to Alabama to visit Holly. I won't be updating this post while I'm there. I don't want to jinx myself, but I'm pretty sure our activities will include lots of waterskiing, maybe some running or hiking, and maybe some kayaking. You can check my IG for photos or wait until next week when I share some in my weekly rundown!