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

Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Glass Half Full is Frozen

For the past couple of weeks, while the Midwest has been immersed in an early winter, I've been running outside, sucking it up like the warrior I claim to be. Heck, on Wednesday, I even followed my own advice from my post on Winter Running tips and layered up, completing a 6 mile run in subzero windchills. Because that's how we winter warriors roll. Trying to find our own sunshine, even when the skies are gray and there's snow on the ground.



Sunday, November 10, 2019

Feeling Good!

Another great week of running and CrossFit. Guys, I don't want to jinx myself but can I just say it: It feels good to feel good! Who knows how long I can ride this wave--RA is always lurking in the corner, but I'm going to ride this wave as long as I can. I'm continuing to increase my miles in preparation for the Schaumburg Turkey Trot Half Marathon, which takes place in 3 weeks.

Sunday's 3 miler, which was slow and a bit painful!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Don't Call it a Comeback

This post contains affiliate links. 

Don't call it a comeback, I been here for years
Rockin' my peers and putting suckas in fear
Making the tears rain down like a monsoon
Listen to the bass go boom...
~LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out

I returned to long-distance running with this week with a run in downtown Chicago at the Hot Chocolate 15k. Happy to pin on a bib for a distance longer than a 5k--my last long race was in January--but I'm not calling it a comeback. Let's just consider it getting back on track.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

A Second Opinion: How Do I Know Which Way to Go?

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to give medical advice, but to share my personal experience. You should always consult your medical provider for any concerns regarding your health. In addition, I am pro-vaccine and am not advocating for anyone to avoid a vaccine based on my experience.

Last February, I developed a rheumatoid arthritis (RA) flare that never seemed to end. Initially, I wasn't sure what was going on but my endurance was suddenly gone. Poof! It was as if I never had run a step in my life. My heart would beat into the red zone if I moved any faster than a walk. I was experiencing an uptick in joint pain and such severe fatigue that I could barely climb a flight of stairs without having to stop to catch my breath. Running became such a challenge that even the run/walk intervals I had used successfully in the past weren't helping me.

Was it the weather? Or something else? As the symptoms continued, I thought about everything that could have caused this flare. Then the light bulb went off. I had received a shingles vaccine week earlier-- could that have triggered an immune response that fueled my disease? Upon the advice of my rheumatologist, I held my dose of Humira the week before and after receiving the vaccine so that my immune system would properly respond to the vaccine. The day after I received the vaccine, I developed a fever and body aches. I figured it was just a typical vaccine reaction. I initially felt better but after a week or so found myself in a full-blown disease flare.

Unfortunately, this flare lasted for months. A course of steroids would tamp down my symptoms, but as soon as I stopped them, the flare would fire up again.

A long time runner, I have always used my runs to measure my health. I might wake up in the morning and feel bad, but if I have a run scheduled and it goes well, I know that I'm well enough to go to work and proceed with my day. I think most runners are in tune with their bodies and can read their symptoms pretty well. As a nurse practitioner, I joke that I have enough medical knowledge to be dangerous. The bottom line is that I have the ability to figure out what is happening with me.
If you have been reading my blog for some time, you know that I struggled with running and other endurance workouts for most of this year. I dropped down to the 5k in many of my planned races as well as DNSing races that didn't have a shorter distance as an option. It was disheartening as well as discouraging. In August, I wrote a post titled "Can I Even Call Myself a Runner". I was really depressed and frustrated. I thought I might not be able to run anymore.

My rheumatologist downplayed my symptoms. Among the other things she told me, she said that since my inflammatory markers were normal, my symptoms weren't due to an RA flare. Frustrated with her response to my concerns, I decided to seek a second opinion. Even though there was a 6 month wait for a new patient appointment with the rheumatologist I wanted to see, I was willing to wait. I knew that the flare would take time to resolve and that there was nothing magical to make it go away. I just wanted to find a provider who would listen to me.



Sunday, October 27, 2019

Catching Up

I may have missed last week's recap, but I have the perfect excuse. My sister and I took our annual sister trip--this year was #8-- to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. We had a great time even in spite of spending a day with Tropical Storm Nestor. We shopped. We ate some amazing food. We laughed. We made memories.

And yes, I ran on the beach.

I don't normally like to run on the beach, but I couldn't say no to this stretch of wide, flat, and packed sand. People ride bikes on this beach! It's probably arguable but the beach on Hilton Head is one of the most perfect beaches I've visited.

Here are some of the highlights from the past 2 weeks of workouts.



Sunday, October 13, 2019

I Haven't Got Time for the Pain

Carly Simon sang it back in the 70s. Kimberly "Sweet Brown" Wilkins updated it and is forever immortalized on a meme.  I tweaked it to fit my week. I had a rheumatoid arthritis flare this week. Fortunately, the flare was brief. Because I don't have time for pain!

It's been a busy week! Let's get right to it.


Sunday, September 29, 2019

It was a Week of Mishaps but the Running was Good

Returning from an escape away is always tough. If only life could be that much fun all the time, right? If only every day could be filled with blue skies and sunshine...friendship and wine...boating and laughter...

Reality bites. I rode the wave (pun intended) for a couple of days. The good vibes carried me through my first day back at work. But by Wednesday, life took over and once again my feet were firmly back on the ground. Even the weather took a turn, bringing blustery, rainy, cool conditions which lingered through the week.

I had a few mishaps during my workouts, too. I think my body was tired. Being the stubborn warrior that I am, I kept on moving. Was it the right or wrong thing to do? Not sure. I do love to move my body, though. Even when my body pushes back.



Friday, September 27, 2019

Got Runfessions?

It's the end of the month and you know what that means, at least for us running bloggers. Yep, it's time for runfessions! Do you runfess? Marcia opens up the runfessional on the last Friday of the month so we can cleanse our souls. Or our soles...



Monday, September 23, 2019

We Fun SO Hard!

I'm a little overdue for a weekly recap--but when you read my post, you'll understand why! I'm resting on the couch recovering from an incredibly full and satisfying week. Sometimes life fills you up and makes you realize how truly lucky you are. This past week was one of those weeks. It was also my birthday week. I received some very good career news and I had some really good runs.

To top it all off, I headed south to visit my former Weekly Wrap co-host and waterskiing partner in crime, Holly. We were joined by the lovely Teresa for some fun in the sun, some running, and shenanigans. Who's old? Not us! Our motto for the weekend: We Fun So Hard!

We did!



Sunday, September 15, 2019

Crushing the Backup Plan

This year, I've become all about the backup plan. It's hard to let go of what you were, at least for me. I always pictured myself as a goal crusher. This year, I've become a backup plan crusher. I'm not saying this is a bad thing--it means I'm listening to my body and doing what feels good. Crushing the backup plan has become a lot of fun. I'm not training for anything, so along with running, now I'm getting to do all this cool stuff.

Maybe the backup plan is becoming the plan?



Sunday, September 8, 2019

That's More Like It...

With cooler temperatures come better runs. It's true that those tough hot summer miles do lead to better runs in the fall. I had a fast 5k this week and I'm going farther. That is more like it!

I was running so well this week that I reconsidered running the race I committed to DNSing--the Naperville Trails Half Marathon on Sunday. Reality kicked in when I woke up Friday morning in a world of hurt. Sore from my daily RA stiffness coupled with DOMS from CrossFit, it made me realize that I'm nowhere near half marathon ready. I was sad but not stupid. I could run a half, but at what price to my body? Committed to staying healthy, I listened to what my body was telling me and made good on my promise to DNS this one.



Sunday, September 1, 2019

Desperately Seeking Endurance

Another week, another recap as I continue trying to push myself to get out of this running slump. Maybe it seems like I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth when I say I don't care about running far anymore yet complain about my lack of miles. Maybe I'm just trying to make myself feel better about my running struggles.

Bottom line: I just want running to feel good again.



Thursday, August 29, 2019

Runfessions --August

Say it ain't so! We've reached the end of August and summer is winding down. I'm not ready! August was a busy month--I think I packed in as much as I could. No regrets about any of it, but I do have some runfessions. Because there's always something to runfess...

Let's head into the runfessional so I can clear my sole. Pun completely intended.



Saturday, August 24, 2019

You Are Stronger Than You Think

Last week I was at CrossFit, working on the weekly challenge. To improve grip strength, we had to hold all kinds of things for a total of 3 minutes. The weights of the items (plates, kettlebells, etc) were prescribed by the workout. But 53# kettlebells? I didn't think I could do it. I opted for 35# kettlebells and was standing with them when one of the other participants, a 60-something PT who has no filter, started ridiculing me for scaling the lift. I defended my choice. She kept at it and I started to get upset. She said to me; You are stronger than you think. Her son, who is one of the coaches, chimed in. He commented that I wasn't even struggling, that those 35# kettlebells were too light for me.

Fighting tears, my voice cracking, I told them to stop. Fine. I put down the 35# kettlebells and picked up the 53# pair. I held them one minute before I put them down to give my hands a rest. You held them for a minute? he said. See? You are stronger than you think. I finished the exercise, holding them for 2 consecutive minutes. When I was done, he and his mother congratulated me. I told them they were mean and the mood lightened.

Why did I get so upset? There's no crying at CrossFit, right? Why did I think I couldn't hold those kettlebells? Would I have pushed myself to lift heavier without that 'encouragement'? Am I holding back when I could be doing more?



Sunday, August 18, 2019

Can I Still Call Myself a Runner?

It's been a few weeks since I've posted a training recap. Summer's kept me hopping! As much fun as I've been having, the training hasn't stopped. I'm not training for anything official, though. I have a half marathon on the calendar in September but unless some sort of running miracle happens, that race is going to be a DNS.

For me right now, running is kind of a non-thing. I've been pretty much phoning in my runs this summer. As much as I consider myself a runner, the fact of the matter is that for the past 6 months, running has felt hard. God knows I've whined about it enough here on the blog. I've given up trying to figure out why. And you know what else? I'm not really bothered by it right now. I've been so busy staying active doing other things that the low mileage hasn't affected me. I'm sure that come fall when life slows back down, the running struggle is going to become real again.

Maybe the cooler temperatures will bring some kind of running miracle? A runner can only dream. Who am I kidding? With the almost non-existent mileage that I'm logging right now, can I even call myself a runner?



Sunday, July 28, 2019

'SUP!

This post contains an affiliate link.

Greetings from the north woods of Wisconsin! I'm up in Door County for a long weekend, taking a quick blogging break from all the activity to recap the week. It's really amazing how busy we are in the summer, isn't it? Maybe that's why winter is so long--it gives us time to rest up!

Anyhoo, it's been a full week with not a ton of running but lots of other activities. I also took advantage of Amazon Prime Day and bought myself an inflatable SUP. Over the weekend, I gave it a full workout. Spoiler alert: it was a great purchase!



Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Joy of Running

I received The Joy of Running from Penguin RandomHouse in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Seriously, how do you find joy while running in this hot, sticky blast furnace of a summer?

You find a way to make it work. You talk yourself through the tough spots using positivity instead of complaining about how much it sucks. It does suck. We all know running in the heat and humidity sucks. Telling yourself it sucks isn't going to make it feel better. You're out there, you're moving, you're sweating, you're doing it.

Maybe you slow down so you can get there. Maybe you change your goals. Maybe, like me, you drop your distance. While I'd love nothing more than to get some long runs done to prepare for my fall half, my body doesn't want to do that in this heat. I'm making peace with the fact that I can't always get what I want out of this body. I do what I can with what the day gives me.

The win isn't in the finish time, the win is the finish. That is what brings me joy. Never give up.

Wednesday's hot 5

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Hot Fun

The heat is on! This week was a warm one and looking ahead we've got more of the same to come. The weather this year has been wacky, from that polar vortex in January, to all that rain in May and June, and to this blast furnace we are currently enduring. What's a runner to do?

We adapt and make the best of it. There were early morning runs and late nights on the patio listening to music and hanging out with the boys. Lots of hydration. Summer is all about fun, right?



Friday, July 12, 2019

Why Runners Shouldn't Play the Comparison Game

Last weekend, I worked packet pickup at a race I was running on Sunday. When I arrived for my shift, I sat down next to the other volunteer, a woman likely close to my age. She introduced herself and we chatted a bit, talking about running, naturally. She was literally off to the races, telling me about her accomplishments. As we talked, I started to feel a little annoyed. I mean who belongs to 3 running clubs?

She does.

Somehow, we started talking about Door County, that place in Wisconsin where I've vacationed since I was a little girl. She commented that she's going to do a century ride up there in September. It's really hilly there and I mentioned it. Oh, she already knew that. She's got that covered. She lives in a nearby town where there are tons of hills. I had to restrain myself from putting up my hand. Stop. Just stop.

Do you know anyone like this?



Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Stampede 5k Race Recap

I've run the 10k distance of my hometown race many times, but this was my first time signing up for the 5k. Health issues and struggles with endurance and the summer heat made the shorter distance the best option for this year. I could have done the 10k, but it's a race and I wanted to race it, not just run it. You get me, right?