Showing posts with label strength training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label strength training. Show all posts

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 3, 2022

On The Comeback Trail

I didn't post a Weekly Rundown last weekend. If you follow me regularly, you know that I was diagnosed with Covid early last week. While I didn't feel terrible, I didn't feel particularly good either and there were no workouts to share. The one thing no one talks about is how Covid really saps your energy--probably one of the worst things that could happen to a runner. As the week went on, I started to feel a little more energetic. But mostly I slept. A lot.  

Needing a change of scenery, the hubs and I took a ride up to the lake on Saturday. The forecast called for a 4% chance of rain and I was looking forward to time on the water. I wasn't sure about waterskiing, though. A few hours after we arrived, it started to rain and it didn't stop all day. I guess it was Mother Nature's way of keeping me off my feet!

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Nearing The Finish Line

Malaise and fatigue set in this week. I assume it's a combination of another very active weekend out of town and the stress of life. I pushed through my workouts and by Friday, I started to feel more like myself again. The heat and humidity returned with a vengeance and the hubs and I opted to stay home this weekend. Did I ever mention that we don't have AC at the lake house? Why would you?

I'm heading out early Sunday morning to beat the heat and meet the Trail Sisters for a run. I also have a job interview this week. I think the interview will be a good experience but I'm not sure it's a job that I want to take. The hubs reminded me that with a milestone birthday for both of us this year 'we are nearing the finish line'. That gave me pause, but I thought it was kind of a funny metaphor for where we are at in our lives!

Sunday, July 31, 2022

A Clear Head and A Different Perspective

I returned home on Monday night after my fun trip to Alabama to see Holly. I shared on my Runfessions post that even though I packed my running shoes, they never left the suitcase. We spent the entire weekend on the water, mostly waterskiing but also sunning and boating. It was so fun and just what I needed. While I knew that I was stressed from work and feeling burned out, I just didn't realize how much I needed a break. 

I returned to work on Tuesday with a clear head and a different perspective. Later that day, I met with my medical director to discuss some patient care issues. I told her that I am starting to consider finding something different to do. Working in healthcare is more challenging than ever. A few years ago, we were all heroes. Now people come in after 'doing their own research'. They demand treatments and refuse vaccines, filing complaints against us if we don't give them what they want. There's also the increased volume of mental health issues that we are seeing and the lack of resources available to help our patients.  The demands from upper management to see more patients, have high patient satisfaction scores, and provide good care are pushing everyone to the breaking point. 

She and I discussed the 'talking points' that management throws at us in an effort to 'help us' deal with the stress of the job: find ways to cope and maintain work/life balance. I manage my stress just fine outside of the office! By this, I mean that I work out regularly, eat well and sleep well, and I work part-time. I'm fine when I'm not at work. It's not me, it's the job. She completely agreed with me. Unless that changes--which it won't--then I need to make a change. So stay tuned while I sort that out.

Lake Jordan sunset

Saturday, July 9, 2022

A Runner Walks Into A Doctor's Office...

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Ok, that title should be the start of a joke... do you remember my fall on the trails from a few weeks ago? The one where I thought I broke my finger? Well, the finger ended up being fine, but my knee has been giving me some trouble since then. With a 5k on Sunday that I wasn't planning on DNSing, I finally broke down and taped my knee, following instructions on YouTube. My knee felt so much better! But on Tuesday, when I returned to the pool, I had pain with some of the pool running movements. I contacted our sports medicine department at my work and the athletic trainer was kind enough to schedule me with Dr. Skiba on Thursday. I am happy to report that he doesn't think anything serious is wrong with my knee except for a bone bruise. He did tell me that it could take several months to resolve. But he and his AT approved of my tape job, so I ordered another box of RockTape to prepare myself for some more taping!

I'm really lucky to have access to Dr. Skiba. He was the medical consultant for the Breaking 2 project, which was sponsored by Nike back in 2017. If you haven't seen the documentary, it is well worth a watch. I refer a lot of my patients to Dr. Skiba and I've always wanted to meet him, but obviously not as a patient! He could not be nicer and more down-to-earth. We talked briefly about that project and he said he really enjoyed working with Eliud and the other two runners. It's pretty exciting having such a well-regarded and knowledgeable sports medicine provider available locally!

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Good News, Bad News and a PSA about Lyme Disease Prevention

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

So the good news is that I didn't break my pinky after last week's tumble on the trails. It's still a little sore, but thank goodness nothing serious. However, I have had some worsening knee pain since then. I must have bruised it when I hit the ground, but it has been randomly protesting all week. Interestingly, it doesn't hurt when I run. Things all came to a head on Friday, when I woke up with pain in all my joints. Yep, RA decided to flare, I guess, forcing me to dial it back. With a 5k planned for Sunday, I could only hope that things would settle down.  

Thursday's Strength Session

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Oops! I Did it Again

Almost one year ago, I fell from the rope at CrossFit and broke my ankle and my foot. While I'm happy to have recovered completely from that injury--it could have been so much worse--I'm always nervous about falling again. Well, read on, my friends, because to quote Britney Spears, "Oops, I did it again". I'm grateful that this mishap was nothing serious and that I was able to finish my run and go to work. I woke up pretty sore on Thursday, so I decided not to tempt fate and canceled my strength session with SJ. I also figured that my body deserved a break.

And now that song is going through your head. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...

I'm looking into finding a padded running suit for myself. Do you think Brooks makes one?

I was doing such a good job of avoiding all the tree roots, too!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Time for a Break

This week, we went from below normal temperatures and rain to above normal in one day.  With my upcoming Ice Age Trail Race on Saturday, I watched the forecast like a hawk. As happy as I am to see it warm up, I do not like to run in the heat. As the week went on, I reduced my mileage so as not to tax myself too much before Saturday's half.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Enjoying the Ride

For this old runner who is training for back-to-back races without a formal training plan, things are progressing nicely! I added up my miles for March and I hit 100 miles this week. The last time I ran 100 miles in a month was 1 year ago! I'm only running 3 days per week, so I'm really happy about this. In addition, I'm feeling stronger on my runs. The extra day of CrossFit has definitely made me stronger and has helped me improve my speed on the road and the trails. While my goal isn't to run faster, I do want to run more consistently and pace myself better, and that is happening. 

My main goal is always to have fun when I'm running. I also have to protect myself from injury. Personally, I'm just happy to be running again and running well. I'm enjoying this 'freeform' training and it will get me to the finish lines of my races. 

Now, if only the mud would dry up! Rain rain go away!

Ice Age Trail Lodi Marsh Segment

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Too Old to Run? and I Tried it! Naked Protein Cookie

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Naked Nutrition sent me a package of Sugar protein cookies to try in exchange for my honest review.

On Monday, I ran into a neighbor who I hadn't seen for a while. In what became an awkward conversation, he said he was surprised to see me still running. I asked him what he meant and he kind of stammered a non-answer. The insinuation was that I'm 'too old' to be doing this anymore. He didn't say it in those words, but trust me, that's exactly what he meant. 

This week, Tom Brady announced that he's going to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for one more year. He's 44 and holds nearly every NFL QB record. While he's the oldest QB in the league, he's not the oldest QB to start a game (that honor goes to George Blanda at age 48). No matter how you feel about him, he's the GOAT and is still at the top of his game. 

Now, I'm no Tom Brady, but my point here is: who gets to decide when one is too old to participate in sports? I should give this topic the full blog treatment. Ageism is pervasive in our society. I think the baby boomer generation is doing a good job of changing expectations, but we've got a ways to go. 

Speaking of old, I completed my screening mammogram, breast ultrasound, and DEXA scan on Monday and my colonoscopy on Tuesday. Everything was normal except my bone density, which has unfortunately declined alarmingly. This really bothers me because I'm doing everything that I'm supposed to for bone health: weight-bearing exercise, eating healthy, and taking lots of Vitamin D and calcium. As my rheumatologist said, the only thing I can do is not get old. Ha! So it's back to my regularly scheduled program and hoping that what I am doing will slow the bone loss.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Math is Hard

If you've been following my Instagram this week, you already know what the title of this post means. Twice this week, I miscalculated my workouts. This has happened to me before and while I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, when I'm in the middle of an activity, I cannot do the math. During Tuesday's CrossFit WOD, I incorrectly counted my reps and ended up doing more reps of the activities than I needed to. During my trail run on Wednesday, I didn't plan my route ahead of time, figuring I'd get about 7-8 miles. Well, I ended up with 9.5 miles when I was done. It's fine, but seriously, why is calculating miles or reps so hard during a workout? 

Of course, I turned to everyone's source of expertise, Google, and was surprised at how little I found on the subject. Basically, what I learned is that your ability to perform the workout math declines because the blood flow and your focus are going to the task at hand. The good news is that this is temporary and soon after the activity, your ability to focus is actually better than had you not worked out. 

And really, isn't that what really matters?

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Muddy Shoes

Like so much of the country, we are on a roller coaster ride of weather. There's a saying about the weather here in Chicago: if you don't like it, wait because it will change. We've finally had some warmer weather, a little teaser of spring, that has melted most of the snow and ice. I ran in the mud and it was a blast!

I know it's too soon to get excited about spring, but this so-called 'false spring' was just what I needed to put a smile on my face this week!

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Sometimes You Get Just What You Need

What a challenging time of year to be an outdoor runner! 

We've had that freeze/thaw thing going on for a couple of weeks, where we get a warm sunny day with snow and ice melt followed by a blast of polar temperatures, which freezes it all back up again. In spite of there being ice everywhere, with adjustments to my normal running routes, I have been able to navigate safely and get my miles done outdoors. I've got a 15 mile trail run in April and then the Ice Age Trail Half Marathon in May and I've got to start building my miles again. 

In spite of the ice and snow or because of it, I've had to slow my roll a bit. It's actually been ok because I've seen some really cool things on my runs this week!

Friday's sunrise snow run

Saturday, February 19, 2022

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

This week, Sammy Jo and I sat down and had a candid discussion. A few weeks ago, she pushed me a little harder on a lift than I felt comfortable with. While I did say something at the time and she reduced the reps, she still had me lift the weight. I was upset that she wanted me to continue, but I didn't want to let her down. I left that session feeling sore and unsettled. Those feelings simmered. When I saw her the following week, I said something about it to her, but it didn't go well at all. After taking some time to think about it, I walked into this week's strength session, prepared to discuss it but also ready to call it quits if she wanted. 

I explained how I felt about lifting something so heavy. I felt scared that I was going to hurt myself. I didn't want to disappoint her. I didn't want to disappoint myself. I felt like she thought I was a wimp for saying it was too heavy. And I apologized for not saying something at the time. Then it was her turn. She didn't hold back. Bottom line: she said she knew I could do the lift. She said she would be ok if I couldn't. She wants me to tell her how I'm feeling at the time. Most importantly, she said it's ok to fail on a lift. In fact, she told me she expected it on the one that scared me because she knew how heavy it was. She'd rather have me try and fail than not try at all. This, she said, is how to get stronger. 

And isn't that the goal?

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Dear February,

Dear February,

As you know, I really don't mind winter, as long as there's snow on the ground and a few sunny days. I also don't mind a snow-free path, even if it is cold out. But every year, you mess things up. You throw in a warm day and melt the snow, only to freeze it and turn everything to ice. It would be great if you could make up your mind. 

Anything but ice. 

Sincerely,
Wendy

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

There's a saying that runners are friends you haven't met yet. I've met some of my best friends through running. Of course, with any group of people, there's bound to be a few who aren't your type. But have you ever met someone who left you scratching your head? 

Random horseshoe tree on Sunday's trail run

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Fighting the Good Fight

For those of us who work in healthcare, especially those of us who are working with patients, things have never been so bad as they've been the past couple of weeks. I don't talk much about work here on the blog, but I don't think I've ever felt as burned out and run down as I have lately. This current surge is affecting children more than we've seen with any other strain of Covid.  I'm testing multiple patients throughout the day and the large majority of them are testing positive. Combine that with the mental health crisis we are seeing in pediatrics and yeah, it makes for a tough day. 

The good news is that at least here in the Chicago area, the numbers of Covid cases are starting to level off. My hope is that this variant continues on its fast and furious pattern, burning itself out soon. Fortunately, none of the kids I've seen are very sick. I wear my N95 mask all day with the hope of not getting sick. 

It's increasingly hard to motivate myself to go to work. Making sure that I get in a run or a workout before my day begins has continued to keep me grounded. I also have tried some meditation through the Happify app and that simple act of breathing and centering helps to keep my anxiety down. I'm certainly not ready to leave my job, but I am ready for things to normalize somewhat. 

Saturday, January 8, 2022

How Low Will You Go?

When you live in the northern part of the US, you get winter. This week, we had arctic-style temperatures and yeah, it was cold. On Thursday, I was working out with SJ when a fellow athlete walked in and asked, "why do we live here?" 

I get it. I'm not a fan of the cold either. But I do like the snow and when you live here, you have to make the best of it. I grew up in a rural area of Illinois and we played outside all winter long, sledding, ice skating, and snowmobiling. I was an avid downhill skier, although the hills we have for skiing would be laughable to those of you who live out west. 

I've learned to dress for the cold so that I can get my miles done outside. As long as the wind isn't blowing, I can tolerate just about any temperature. But every once in a while, I have to take my runs to the treadmill. It happened once this week. You know it's cold when Cocoa won't stay out for long. 

I ask you this:

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Another Idiot Runner

Who's an idiot? Apparently, me...and a few other runners I saw on Wednesday's snowy, muddy, slushy trail run. I was crossing the parking lot, deciding between calling it quits and continuing on for a couple more miles. A group of 4 runners I had seen earlier on the trails was stripping down in the sunshine and preparing to leave, when one of them called out to me. "Another idiot runner!" I stopped and he laughed, gesturing to his running companions. "All of us," he said, laughing. 

I don't know if running the trails in the snow and slop constitutes a diagnosis of idiocy, but I laughed and continued on, telling the group I had been planning to stop but challenge accepted. I mean, how could I stop after that backhanded compliment? I ended up going 2 more miles before returning to my car.

Wednesday's sloppy trail run

Sunday, December 26, 2021

'Tis the Season to Keep Moving

Just because it's the busy holiday season doesn't mean I put my workouts on the back burner! Au contraire, my friends. If anything, I'll cut back on holiday prep to squeeze my workouts in. This year feels more stressful than usual to me. Between the chronic stress of the pandemic and the explosion of Covid cases in the past couple of weeks, I need to move my body more than ever! Thank goodness for it all. 

Friday's foggy run