async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: running
Showing posts with label running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label running. Show all posts

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Fool in the Rain

We had rain this week. A lot of rain. In fact, the drought we were experiencing is gone. The grass is green again and it looks like spring. I only wish I could share this rain with California. Believe me, there has been plenty to go around. 

Music fans will recognize the title of my post from Led Zeppelin's final album In Through the Out Door. It was the first song that came on when I was running in the rain on Friday. Kind of funny that at the end of that run, I passed a dog walker who was laughing at me!

Friday's rainy run

Sunday, September 6, 2020

I Got Lost

My anxiety was off the charts this week! Was it the full moon? The change of the seasons? The continued unrest all around us? It's probably a combination of all things. I'm seeing more and more anxiety in my little patients and their parents too. Online learning has really been stressful so far. It's just one more thing to add to all the goodness that 2020 has brought.

We all need a break. 

I continue to be grateful for running. I mentioned it in my coffee talk post, but hey, it's worth mentioning again that I ran 105 miles in August. Didn't see that coming. Between the heat and humidity and the return of some RA symptoms, running lately has not felt easy for me. The trails have helped me slow down--which in hindsight is actually a good thing right now. But there was a surprisingly speedy run this week too! 

And yes, I really did get 'lost' this week--keep reading for the details.

We're ending the week and summer up in Wisconsin. Bittersweet, isn't it? All of it.


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Heavy Thoughts, Heavy Lifting

Can we please just stop the madness? This was a week unlike any other so far this year. And I don't mean the weather, although here in Illinois, it was beastly hot and humid. 

Jacob Blake. Hurricane Laura. Kenosha Wisconsin. Kyle Rittenhouse. COVID19. 

Parents of my patients refusing to pull up their masks. Several telling me they've applied for a gun permit as I review safety questions as is standard for well child exams. 

The little things are also big things. They're symptoms of all the unrest and horror unfolding around us. I try so hard not to let any of it affect me. But it does. Sleepless nights. I write about this every week. It just doesn't end.

I just keep on running. And lifting. And praying for peace.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Embracing All That is Good

There's not much new to share this week and that's a good thing. I've been just mentally exhausted for the past couple of months. While every day feels a bit like groundhog day, the continual bombardment of news of the pandemic and politics is just wearing on me. Add to that the wildfires in California and the double hurricanes bearing down on the south--all I can say is that it has been one crazy year. 

My way of coping? I've been looking for the good in everything around me. I've been finding things to laugh about. This Jim Gaffigan comedy special on Amazon made my husband and me laugh so hard. The bit he did on marathon running is hilarious! I'm continuing to enjoy my job of caring for children and their families. It's been empowering working on getting stronger. And enjoying the beautiful weather we have been blessed with. Running with the sunrise. Exploring the trails. Connecting with friends. 

Wednesday's trail run

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Keeping On...

Disclaimer: I am an ambassador for roadID and receive complimentary products in exchange for sharing my love for them. I am an ambassador for RA Healthline and receive compensation for my participation. This post contains an affiliate link.

Stormy weather, a virus rages on, looting and riots in downtown Chicago, political turmoil...every day it's something new. I've been really busy at work doing school physicals, which this year more than ever have revealed deep emotional issues in so many of the children I care for. Life's really been tough for everyone. I'm grateful for the warm weather and the sunshine; for friendships and love, and these days, I'm especially grateful for running. My escape into the woods in particular gives me peace and clarity. That feeling mostly stays with me upon my 're-entry' into the real world once again. I try to bring my best to each day. 

How are you holding up?

Wednesday's trail run

Sunday, August 9, 2020

You Make Me Feel Brand New...

What a fabulous week for running, weather-wise. The heat broke and we were treated to some perfect running conditions. Cool mornings, temperate days... I felt like a whole different runner! While I can't actually say I felt brand new--I'm too old for that--my runs felt easier and I didn't have to take as many walk breaks. 

Fall is my favorite season for running. We're not there yet--in fact, the heat is back on as we speak. But it was sure nice to have a taste of the good life!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Ice Age Trail 21k Training Week 8

2020 sure is the year that just keeps on giving, isn't it? This week was another doozy. Covid continues to spread, riots and protests continue, Garmin gets hacked, and the race cancellations continue. We experienced a ridiculously oppressive heat wave which cut our time short at the lake. I'm all about looking for silver linings, but come on man! Can we please get a break?


Sunday, July 19, 2020

Ice Age Trail 21k Training Week 7

Maybe you noticed or maybe you didn't, but I didn't post at all this week since my last Weekly Rundown. It wasn't for lack of trying. I just couldn't come up with anything to write. To tell you the truth, I've been feeling pretty uninspired. I'm just so disheartened about current affairs and the overall bad behavior of people in general that motivation was hard to find. I'm tired of the pandemic. I'm tired of the politics. I'm tired of the lies. I'm just tired.

There, I've said it.

There have been some bright spots, though. My job, of all things, has been bringing me much joy. The kids are happy to see me and the parents express so much gratitude. There was, however, that dad on Friday who kept putting his mask below his nose, even after I told him to pull it up. It reminded me of that comic I shared a few months ago that compared putting your mask below your nose to letting your penis hang out above your underwear. Being the immature person that I am, I couldn't stop thinking about that during the entire visit. I'm glad I had my mask to hide my smile, but I had to hold back from rolling my eyes. 

My training also continues to bring me joy, which is no surprise. For many reasons, I'm really glad I dropped down to the half, but especially because we are having such a relentlessly hot summer. With no pressure to complete long runs in the heat, I'm enjoying my training so much more. And isn't having fun what it's all about? Yeah, I get it, running is hard, but in the end, it's all about that sense of accomplishment, of joy, of empowerment!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Ice Age Trail 21k Training Week 6

What the what? What happened to the 50k?

Summer happened. Not just any summer, but one of the hottest summers on record. Last Saturday, I ran my longest run in years, a 15 mile trail run. It was hard, it was hot and humid, but I finished with a smile on my face. No big deal, no butt chafing, and I checked that one off the calendar. I wanted to do a jumping selfie, but my legs were too tired.

Later that day, I was laying on the couch in the AC, recovering and not feeling well at all. My leg muscles were visibly twitching and my stomach was cramping. I focused on rehydrating and refueling. I was really dismayed that I couldn't sleep at all that night, tossing and turning, unable to get comfortable. I took a pass on the next day's run, instead opting for a bike ride. I felt strong on the ride, but when I got home, it was pretty much a repeat of the day before. Exhausted, I layed around all day and again, I couldn't sleep at night. I stayed in bed longer than usual on Monday morning, taking a pass on my crosstraining class. When I saw that the weather forecast for the upcoming week was full of 90s and humidity, I made the decision to drop down from the 50k distance to the half marathon in the Ice Age Trail Race.

It wasn't an easy decision. You all know how excited I was to secure a spot in the 50k. When I texted Marcia to let her know, she responded kindly, telling me she 'gets it' and that I shouldn't see it as a 'failure'. I don't. What I am struggling with is the realization that getting older and having RA means I can't do all the things. While I would never use either of those reason as an excuse for cutting back and slowing down, real talk here...at this point in my life, I'm lucky to be running at all. Running is first and foremost, my stress reliever. Running shouldn't be stressing me out. Running should be fun. 

Wasting a weekend on the couch, recovering from a hard run? Not so much.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

How to Get Clean After a Run Without A Shower

This post contains affiliate links. This is an update of a previously published post.

Ewwwwww, right?

It's hot and it's humid. I've been running on the trails. There's dirt and there's bugs. I'm wearing bug spray and sunscreen. Sounds lovely, doesn't it?

Sometimes after my runs, I have places to go and people to see. I don't always have time to stop at home and shower. What's a runner to do?

While it's not optimal, I've figured out a few ways to freshen up after a hot, sweaty, dirty run.  Here are a few my tips to help a runner get clean after a run when there isn't time or access to a shower.




Sunday, July 5, 2020

Ice Age Trail 50k Training Week 5

This was a fun and challenging training week as I took my trail runs to some of the state parks in northern Wisconsin. The change of scenery was great as was the different terrain. Training for the Ice Age 50k sure has opened up my running world. I feel like a whole different runner!

Speaking of that, I ran 125 miles last month! I was surprised at that total. I finished the Great Run Across Illinois virtual challenge with miles to spare. I did the east-west 210 mile challenge and between May and June, ran 230 miles. Now I'm done with all my virtual challenges and can full on focus on my training. Good thing too, because Marcia has really started to spice things up for me!

The trails at Peninsula State Park were rooty and rocky.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Ice Age Trail 50k Training Week 4

Another week of fun in the woods! Seriously, I'm writing this from the north woods of Wisconsin. I've shared here on the blog that my parents have sold my childhood summer home and I'm here with my boys for one last hurrah. I'm grateful for the gift of having a place like this to make so many memories, both as a child myself and with my own children. 

Running-wise, I'm especially grateful this weekend for being able to get some miles in up here. Not only have I been able to run some trails here, the temperatures have been cooler than at home. Summer running at it's finest...


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Ice Age Trail 50k Training Week 3

Training felt real this week as I hit my highest running mileage in years! With the mindset of running for distance instead of time, I don't feel as intimidated with my training plan as I did in past years training for my marathons. I cannot stop marveling at how refreshing it is to just run and to even take walk breaks when I need them. I'm not saying that it's easy but training for a trail ultra is a whole different mindset. 

I'm still feeling tired but for the most part, I'm sleeping better this week. I continue to worry about the unrest in our country and the COVID hotspots but I've really limited my news time and that seems to have helped me a lot. 

Saturday's trail 10

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Ice Age Trail 50k Training Week 1

This post contains an affiliate link.

With all the race cancellations happening, I optimistically embarked this week on my training plan for the Ice Age Trail 50k, rescheduled for September 26. Will it actually take place? Only about 250 runners did the 50k last year, so as a smaller race, hopefully it won't be canceled. The race takes place completely on the trails of the Southern Kettle Moraine Forest in Wisconsin. Reading about other trail races and how they are adapting to the challenges of the pandemic makes me think that with some changes--think staggered start times and hands-free aid stations--this could actually work.

We'll see. For now, I'm sticking to the plan that Marcia has made for me. I've got this.



Sunday, May 31, 2020

An Escape

The week started off so well. Memorial Day was spent at home with my family. Both boys came over and as always it was great to have everyone together. As the week progressed, the heat was on and I did my share of complaining about slogging through swampy conditions on the trails.

Then came the terrible news out of Minneapolis and following that, the subsequent protests and violence. While this is a running blog, I just can't post this week without commenting on how much the turmoil in our country is affecting me. Sleep was a challenge--I woke up in the middle of the night in a sweat with the image of George Floyd, on the ground, pleading for his life. I don't understand how a person develops such hatred for another, without knowing anything about them except for skin color or religion or whatever. This could have happened anywhere. It has to stop. I don't have answers but I don't think violence and destruction are useful.

All of this is happening on the heels of the COVID pandemic, which is causing a great deal of fear and divisiveness as well. I'm feeling overwhelmed and helpless with all the bad news. I wrapped up my week with a heavy heart, once again. I am grateful for the love of my family and friends. I am grateful for the running, which gives me a chance to escape and process my feelings.

I pray for peace.



Sunday, May 24, 2020

Muck, Ruck, and WTF

Disclaimer: As an All Community Events ambassador, I receive free entries to their events.

Maybe it was the relentless rain, maybe it was the sad-to-me news that my parents sold the lake house, or maybe it was the continued stress of the pandemic, but this week, I had an uptick in RA symptoms. Boo! It’s been a while since I’ve felt the beast. In a strange way, the timing was good since I’ve been trialing that TENS unit. Let’s just say that the TENS got a lot of use this week. On Friday, I finally had to break down and take some ibuprofen, which definitely helped.

In spite of it all, or maybe because of it all, I managed to get my runs and workouts in. I received news this week that my CrossFit box is opening up in June, but that things will be dramatically different. I’m a little reluctant to go back to group workouts. I understand that they will be limiting the class sizes to 8 and there will be distancing between participants. I’m just not sure if I’m ready. I’m glad that over the past couple of months, I was able to get a home workout routine established and I’m content to continue that for the time being. 




Tuesday, May 19, 2020

11 Must-Have Items for Runners with Arthritis

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

While it might seem counterintuitive to have rheumatoid arthritis and be a long distance runner, there are many of us with RA who manage to keep on running. I was a runner for many years before I was diagnosed with RA. While I've had my struggles with disease flares and joint pain, I've made it work. So many people have told me that running is going to destroy my knees, but my believe has always been that arthritis is going to ruin my knees, not running. Research backs me up on this. As long as this body lets me run, I'm going to do it.

It's Arthritis Awareness Month and I'm sharing some favorite items that keep us arthritis warriors moving. I'm a member of 2 very positive and motivating Facebook groups, Runners with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Athletes Beating Rheumatoid Arthritis. I polled both groups and asked the members to share some of their favorite items that help them manage RA while they keep on running.



Sunday, May 17, 2020

Trials and Trails

As the weather improves, have you noticed that everyone is going outside? On Friday when I drove home from work, the streets in my neighborhood were filled with people. There was a large crowd gathered at the neighborhood school, where there was a funnel cake truck. Driving felt like an obstacle course as I avoided walkers, runners, and people on bikes. No one I saw was social distancing or wearing masks.

So here's the thing: just because things are opening back up doesn't mean we can let down our guard. The virus is still active. Our numbers here in Illinois--the Chicago area-- are flat, but they aren't going down yet. People are acting as if their rights are being infringed upon when they are asked to stay home or wear masks. Guys, it's not a political issue. It's a public safety issue. Even if you don't think you're going to get COVID because you live in an area with low numbers or if you just don't care, keep in mind that you might infect someone who could become seriously ill from it.

I guess I have a different perspective because of my role as a nurse practitioner. This week, we were back to 50% of our schedules and mine was full. We see well visits in the morning and sick patients in the afternoon. We are still doing some telemedicine. My clinic is designated as a 'non-URI' clinic, meaning we are not seeing anyone with fever or COVID symptoms. Unfortunately, some slip through the cracks--on Friday I had a patient who wasn't completely truthful about her symptoms but presented with a fever and a runny nose. I had to wear full PPE when I went in to see her, but I was forced to send her to a 'URI site' for an evaluation and testing. If she tests positive, she potentially exposed everyone in my office.

It's frustrating and it's scary. 

I don't want to get all preachy here, but these thoughts have weighed heavily on my mind this week. I am having difficulty sleeping. It's a lot to process. As always, running was my therapy. Like everywhere else, though, the trails and paths were crowded with walkers looking to get outside.

Wednesday's agility run

Sunday, May 10, 2020

All You Need is ___________

Disclaimer: As an ambassador for All Community Events, I received a free entry to the Great Run Across Illinois Virtual Challenge. This post contains affiliate links.

Fill in the blank.

It's been a really challenging year so far for many of us. This is a running blog and while I like to keep the focus on running, today I have to comment on some of the issues facing us off the road. As if climate change and corornavirus weren't bad enough, another story hit the news this week that affected many of us--both as runners and as decent people. You'd have to be living under a rock to not have heard about Ahmaud Arbery, the 25 year old black man who was shot in February while running. The killers were a white father and former police officer, and his son. The story remained under the radar until this week, when a video of the event was released.

Guys, this isn't a political blog and there's so much I want to say about this incident. I can't sit back and not acknowledge the pervasive undercurrent of racism in America. As a white woman, I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to live with that kind of fear. As a caring human being, this story hurt my heart so much. Lacing up my shoes and heading out for a run is a freedom I take for granted.

So on Friday morning, after a sleepless night, I got up early and headed out with the sunrise to run 2.23 miles for Maud, on his birthday. Throughout the day, millions of runners and walkers did the same thing. My heart was full as I saw my social media feed filled with #irunwithmaud posts. While this horrific incident raised our awareness, it's important not to forget Ahmaud, how he died, and the poor manner in which this case was handled. Everyone matters.

#irunwithmaud


Sunday, May 3, 2020

100 Miles!

This month, I hit the 100 mile mark for the first time since January 2018, totaling 107 miles for the month.  In spite of all that is happening now, what with COVID19, races being canceled and social distancing, as far as running goes, 2020 is turning out to be pretty good so far. I'm ok with not running a ton of races, as long as I get the chance to tackle that 50k trail race in September!

I runfess...that I chased that 100 mile benchmark for socks. Smartwool had a Strava challenge where if you logged 100 miles running, you were awarded a $25 gift card. I'll do anything for good running socks. My sock obsession was once again satisfied. So was my ego!

Monday's recovery run where I hit 100 miles for the month.