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

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!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Fall Racing Plans!

Disclaimer: As an ambassador for All Community Events, I receive free race entries.

Fall is the best time to run, in my opinion! After slogging through the hot, moist conditions of summer, a runner's reward comes in the form of cooler mornings and easier runs. This year is different, though. Almost every race has been canceled. What's a runner to do? Where do we find our motivation to keep training?

Race directors have been digging deep to find ways to keep their programs going. With so many virtual offerings, runners are feeling burnt out. There have been some unique events that have been really popular, such as the GVRAT 1000 and the Yeti Ultra races. But what about events for those of us who don't want to run quite that far? 

I've got a few virtual races lined up for the fall that I'm pretty excited about! Instead of just paying the fee, running the distance, and getting the swag, these events will take place on the actual race course--this is about as close to the real thing as possible. 

I'm also signed up for a live event! Time will tell if it actually takes place.


Sunday, August 2, 2020

A Change of Pace

Following the news of the cancellation of my fall race, I took this week to regroup. I'm having a hard time getting my head around all that is happening in the world and in my own little world. It's been overwhelming, to say the least. I shared a lot of that on Friday's post--since this is my weekly training recap, I won't go into details here.

Always a sure thing, this week even running couldn't help me shake off my funk. I blame a lot of that on the swampy conditions we had here all week. Although I had the beginning of the week off work, we mostly hung out at home. I did get my workouts in and at the end of the week, had run 93.3 miles for the month of July. Darn, so close to 100! Not bad, all things considered--steamy hot weather, my mental funk, and that race cancellation. Not to mention a little bit of RA stiffness and pain. 

I'm looking ahead to the cooler conditions of fall and I've optimistically got a few things on the calendar. I'll share more on Tuesday's post. The running must go on!


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Runfessions over Coffee

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

What a month! 

For the past couple of months, I feel as if I have started every Runfession and Coffee Talk post with that same statement. Just when we thought things were getting better, that we had things under control...nope! 2020 seems to be hell bent on showing us that we most definitely are NOT in charge. It's been a wild ride so far. I guess we need to just strap in tightly and hang on to our masks for now. Who knows what's next?

Today is one of those Fridays where the worlds of Runfessions and the Ultimate Coffee Date Collide. Let's chat. What are you having in your mug? I'm finishing up my jumbo tub of Dunkin' Donuts coffee with a spoonful of GLG collagen and that generous splash of half and half, of course.

No half and half in this cup

If we were having coffee, I'd runfess... earlier this month, I received this mug and flowering plant from one of my families that I see in my clinic. It was a complete surprise and I didn't do anything special--the mom said she just though I needed a pick-me-up from the stress of dealing with the pandemic. Since going back to work after being home for 6 weeks earlier in the pandemic, I have gained a new appreciation for my job and the families I get to care for. 

If we were having coffee, I'd runfess... that I've been cutting back on blogging this month. I just don't feel inspired. It's hard to come up with things to write about when there aren't any races. I'm not going to post just to post. I am continuing with the Weekly Rundown as a way to journal my training and also to stay connected with the runblog community.  


If we were having coffee, I'd runfess... my amusement at the response of some runners to the Garmin outtage. While you all know I'm a data gal--I like to see my distance and time-- IMHO, it's all just for fun. It's not like we're elite runners here. I had to laugh because I got an email this week from Strava that someone beat one of my segments in Wisconsin. I had no idea this was a THING. Ok then!


If we were having coffee, I'd momfess... my youngest son is taking a gap year from college. He's a chemistry major and all but 2 of his classes and labs are going to be online. What a tough time to be a student. He was hoping to intern in a lab this year--that is not an option right now. I'm fine with him taking the year off, living in the house he's renting with 8 other guys (yikes) and working, waiting for a vaccine so that he can resume classes and labs in the classroom. Hopefully, he'll resume his studies next year.

And that's a whole other thing..

If we were having coffee, I'd cleanfess... I spent Sunday afternoon purging the boys' basement playroom. Ok, yes, my boys are in their 20s. It needed to be done. I get it. But mamas, tell me how hard it was for you to go through all your kids' playthings? My husband helped me for a while and I did ok. We dragged several large bags to the curb for the garbage pickup. There's still work to do. But I am glad it's done. 


If we were having coffee, I'd dogfess... Crazy Cocoa continues to limp on and off with that leg injury. This pup loves to chase her ball and that keeps aggravating the injury. Does that sound familiar, my running friends? I think the only solution is to put all her balls away so she can rest and heal completely. She's taking her doggie motrin. I wonder if my TENS unit would work for her? How to get the electrodes to stick to her fur... hmmm...

Ruff life

If we were having coffee, I'd musicfess... that I've been listening to..gulp...Taylor Swift's new album, folklore. Now before you think I've completely lost my mind, her new release is unlike anything I've ever heard from her. It's more like indie pop/folk than the anthemic earworms she's released in the past. After watching her documentary, Miss Americana, I looked at Taylor Swift in a whole new light. This album seals that impression. 


If we were having coffee, I'd runfess... that I didn't read any running related books for the blog this month. I do have Kilian Jornet's newest release in my iPad, but I just wasn't feeling it. I did read other books this month--in fact, I had to let a few go as per usual all 5 of my holds came in at once from the library! Here's a synopsis--you can find my full reviews on Goodreads. 


  • The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorp is an unusual coming of age story between 2 misfit teens who develop an unlikely friendship. It's crazy and quirky in all the best ways. I completely enjoyed this one!
  • Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan is the story of a friendship that develops between a naive, young college student working as a nanny and the unhappy mother of the child she is caring for. Both characters make a lot of mistakes and do a lot of growing. This was very well written--I felt all the emotions as I read it. 
  • Sea Wife by Amity Gage takes place on a boat as the family leaves land to cruise across the Caribbean. The wife has emotional issues and the husband is in debt to an investor. The story is told journal style in alternating narratives, which would seem annoying but works really well. I could have done without all the sailing details, but the domestic drama as well as the descriptions of sailing through a few storms made me turn those pages!
  • Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West is set on Chicago's south side and is the story of a young girl, left to live with her violent father after her mother is found murdered. There are multigenerational background stories of domestic violence throughout the book, which helped provide context for the story. It's just so sad. And so good. 
  • The Vanishing Half  by Brit Bennett is my favorite read of the month. This story of twin girls, raised in a small southern town where only light-skinned black people life, was just fascinating to read! Both twins leave home; one marries a dark-skinned black man and the other lives life as white. It's interesting to see how this all plays out and yes, worlds do collide.
Finally, if we were having coffee, I'd runfess... to this continued pervasive feeling of sadness, helplessness, and loneliness. I wish people would stop being so ignorant about wearing masks and preventing the spread of the disease. I hope for an end to the violence that mars the protests happening in the cities. I hope for an end to the hateful rhetoric on all sides. It is so ugly in our world right now, isn't it?

What would you tell me over coffee? Any 'fessions? Read any good books this month? Will you listen to Ms. Swift's new album? Are your kids going back to live classes, studying online, or a combination? How are you feeling after 5 months of this pandemic?

I'm linking up with Marcia for Runfessions and with Deborah and Coco for the Ultimate Coffee Date.








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

Watermelon Mint Smoothie-- Cool, Refreshing, and Anti Inflammatory

Before I share the details on my newest favorite smoothie, I have to give a shoutout to Julie from Running in a Skirt, whose Watermelon Mint Smoothie recipe gave me the inspiration to create my own. I would never have considered combining watermelon and mint, but with an abundance of mint in the garden, I needed to find a way to use it. And wow--what a yummy and refreshing combination!

Watermelon is the quintessential summer treat! In spite of watermelon's sweet, light character, watermelon is a nutritional powerhouse! Besides being relatively low in sugar compared to other fruits, watermelon is loaded with vitamin C. Watermelon also contains anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory elements as well as potassium and magnesium. The high water content of watermelon makes it a great post-workout snack. 

I absolutely love watermelon! With the availability of the smaller melons and seedless varieties, there's no excuse for not eating watermelon. Mint enhances the fresh taste of watermelon and the two are commonly served together, in smoothies, juices, and teas.