async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cold as Ice

"You know that you are...cold, cold, as, as ice...." ~ Foreigner

I know it's a bad song but the lyrics to Cold As Ice have been running through my head all weekend. We had a short break from the cold this week, but we traded that bitter cold and sunshine for rainy, windy, and gloomy. I'm not saying I like the cold, but I do enjoy seeing the sunshine. When you live in the Midwest, warm weather in January always comes with a price. Still, it was nice to shed a few layers, even if it meant getting wet.

The frosty conditions returned just in time for me to wrap up the Lululemon/Strava 80/40 challenge. I swear, the act of layering up to run takes longer than the actual run itself. I'm not just running for the prize--I do need to log miles for my upcoming half and the challenge gave me some incentive to do just that. But can we please see some moderation in temperatures? Please?



Friday, January 12, 2018

5 Great Running Blogs You Probably Haven't Read

How many of you participate in blog linkups? Do you drop a link, read a few posts that were linked ahead of you, and move on? Or do you come back later to see what's been dropped after you linked up? One of the purposes of linkups is to help bloggers grow through supporting other bloggers. Linkups also allow you to find new blogs that you may not have learned about otherwise.

I was a runner long before I started blogging, and even then I went to linkups to read running blogs for inspiration. I was so inspired by what I read that I started my own blog. My first post, titled The Gift of Running, was published 4 years ago. That first post wasn't read by many people and it's pretty rough, but you have to start somewhere, right? While my blog has blossomed over the past 4 years, it wouldn't have happened without the support of linkups and other bloggers.

Last week, I started co-hosting duties with my friend Holly at the Weekly Wrap linkup. We had 50 linkers. Since the link up is open for 3 days, there are late linkers who don't get a lot of love from people who linked several days before. That's a shame because there are some real gems at the end of the linkup! For today's Friday 5 post, I wanted to share 5 of my late linking favorites from the Weekly Wrap.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

5 Tips for Surviving the Treadmill

Disclaimer: This is an update of a post from 2015. 

Here we are, once again, with another polar vortex or whatever you want to call it. The east coasters have their bomb cyclone. Even the Floridians are cold! Mother Nature seems to be angry. I live in Chicago, but it's been colder here than Antarctica. The winter weather has been hard, except for Californians, although they've had wildfires and smoke to contend with. Running outside has been a challenge for everyone!

For most of us suffering in the cold, moving to a warmer clime, while attractive, is not a viable option.

If you've been following me at all,  you know how much I despise running on my treadmill. I'll run outdoors in extreme conditions just to avoid running on my treadmill. The cold doesn't bother me much when I'm dressed appropriately. But during the winter, unpredictable conditions make outdoor running a challenge. Wiping out on black ice is never fun.

There have to be pretty extreme weather conditions for me to take it to my 20 year old treadmill, and so far this winter, I've only had to use it once. Yes, it was a slog. But I survived and came up with a few suggestions about how to push through a run on the dreadmill.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Running Over Challenges

Disclaimer: I was sent a One Up Band non-slip headband in exchange for my honest review.

It's a new year with new goals and new challenges as well as new opportunities! Starting today, I will be joining Holly as co-host of the Weekly Wrap. I'm sad to see Tricia go and I know I've got big shoes to fill. While many of the WW regulars already know me, I'm looking forward to reading some new training recaps and getting to know some more runners. There's a new badge at the bottom of this post that you can use for the linkup. If you are unfamiliar with the rules of the road, I've copied them from Holly's blog and you can find them under the Weekly Wrap tab at the top of my blog. Please let Holly or me know if you have any questions.

So how was your week? I know that a lot of us have been challenged by the weather. Most of us have been trapped in the deep freeze for the past couple of weeks. Then there was that bomb cyclone out east, which made my cold weather seem a little less awful. I'm hoping everyone is safe, dry, and warm right now.



Friday, January 5, 2018

5 Things I'd Share Over Coffee

Once again, it's time to sit down over a cup of coffee and catch up. Doesn't it seem like we just did this? Time flies, that's for sure.

Let me pour you a cup--I've still got some Starbucks Chrismas blend here. Cream and sugar? Baileys? Bourbon? Want to just skip the coffee?

Let's chat.



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Look, Listen, and Feel: Using Your Senses to Improve Your Running Technique

Are you making New Year's resolutions? Setting running goals for the year? Do you want to run a new distance or PR a certain distance?

Back in the day when I was a new runner, I was really fortunate to run with a friend, Jayne, who had experience as both a runner and as a personal trainer. As we ran and worked out together, she gave me invaluable advice on which I continue to rely to this day. One thing that we really worked on was my running form. No matter what kind of shoes you are wearing or how much data you get from your Garmin, you'll never improve if you don't work on good running form. To this day, I am grateful to the advice Jayne gave me in that regard.

After reading Mindful Running last year, I started paying close attention to my form again. I was frustrated with my poor performance earlier in the year, culminating in that DNF at a Labor Day 10k. Something had to change and I began utilizing some of those mindfulness techniques on my runs. I don't think it's a coincidence that I started running some very satisfying miles after that, finishing 2017 on a high point. Running with good form increases your efficiency as a runner (you aren't wasting energy on unnecessary movements) and improves your running economy.



Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! This is my final weekly wrap and final blog post of 2017. Since I've already shared my year of bling, my blog stats, and my RA anniversary, what's left to talk about?

There is always the weather. If there is nothing else to talk about, there's always the weather.

We in the Chicago area are closing out the year with a blast--of really cold weather! It's been a tough, sole sucking week to be an outdoor runner and motivation is running low. Hibernating inside under a blanket is not the best way to kick off a new year of running, is it?

I did take myself for a run outside in the bitter cold on Saturday morning. After a torturous run on Wednesday on my geriatric treadmill, I couldn't bear the thought of another. Work on Friday was non-stop with really sick kids. Cabin fever was taking a toll. I was starting to feel anxious. So I bundled up and stepped out into the cold. The fresh air did help but it was a tough, cold four-mile run. How cold was it? It was so cold that my Garmin died 1 mile into my run. That was a first. How could I go on without my watch? Could I run "naked"? I considered going back home. Then I thought about Amanda "Too Tall Fritz" who was running a 50k that morning not far from my house and felt like a wimp. Where's my badassery? Where's my mental toughness?

As I thought about that, it occurred to me: It's a slippery slope, quitting on a short training run. I've got to get it together! I've got a half marathon in February to train for! Weather be damned! I'm going to have to suck it up and get outside. If I can run in these conditions, I can do anything. Right? I can do hard things! Mind over matter, can't stop won't stop, I can and I will. Quitting isn't an option. Right?