Saturday, December 31, 2022

Down With the Sickness!

At the start of the week, I continued to need time to recover from the never ending GI bug that started to plague me in the middle of last week. I started to feel better, physically, on Monday, but some lingering symptoms kept me from getting too active. 

As well, the cold weather finally let go of us on Tuesday, just in time to return to work! I decided not to get up at 4:30 for pool running to give myself a little extra rest. It was a good decision, as I woke up to an email from the park district that the pool was closed due to a water main break. I rolled out the yoga mat and had a date with Adriene, which was the perfect start to a decent day. 

There was nowhere to go but up from there! 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

December Runfessions

It's the end of December, the holidays are just about over, and in a few days, we'll be singing Auld Lang Syne. But before we do that, it's time to clear our souls and soles by heading into the runfessional! Do you runfess? Marcia makes it easy by opening the runfessional on the last Friday of every month. It will feel so good to start the new year off fresh, wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, December 24, 2022

It's The Little Things

As if getting ready for the holidays wasn't stressful enough, this week literally brought me to my knees as I was sidelined for several days after coming down with the stomach flu on Thursday. My job is the gift that keeps on giving! Speaking of my job, I also had my annual review, and let me just say that blindsided does not begin to describe it. The cherry on my sundae of a week included the arrival of the so-called 'bomb cyclone' on Thursday, bringing high winds and bitter cold, but thankfully, not much snow.

It's the little things.

The good news was that because of the weather, our office was closed on Friday, giving us all a bonus day off. I still wasn't feeling great on Friday, so I welcomed that extra time to recover. Plus, my youngest made it home from Wisconsin. It's so nice to have him around!

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Hitting it Hard

I've been hitting it hard this month, lifting heavy weights to max out as we do this time of year, and this week I really felt it with heavy legs, especially on my runs. Running is my first love and I started strength training many years ago as a way to build strength for running and prevent injuries. Every year, when I hit my peak lifting weights and feel like this, I have to remind myself that I'm building for the upcoming year. With my focus shifting to trail running, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this plays out, especially on those hills of Wisconsin...and maybe beyond. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, just like we runners do with a goal race, I'm looking forward to being done with this strength cycle!

Monday, December 12, 2022

My Year of Bling and No Bling: 2022

After the disruption of the past 2 years, 2022 was the year when races and running returned to normal! Maybe a little too normal, as I ran 3 long distance races in the time span of 5 weeks. These were races that had been deferred from the year before.. I did DNS one fall race, a deferral from last year due to my broken leg. I didn't let the training go to waste though, using it to finish up the Mammoth Hike Challenge with a 14 mile run.

There were a couple of 5ks too. Those races rekindled my love for speed and pushing my pace. I'm considering working on that for 2023. But I'm getting ahead of myself--this is a recap!

All in all, this year was a really great comeback from a rough 2021! I've linked the title of each event to the summary if you want more details.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Another Runner's High

I don't want to jinx things, but my runs have been feeling really strong lately. I won't discount all that trail running I did during the fall, especially in October for the Mammoth Challenge. But I am definitely giving credit to my strength coach for this heavy strength cycle that we are wrapping up. Earlier this year, I shared that I felt as if she was pushing me too hard and asking me to lift weights which felt scary for me. We had a very difficult discussion surrounding this and she backed off a bit. When we started my strength cycle this fall, I was feeling ready to challenge myself again. For her part, SJ changed up the way I trained and I responded really well to that, both physically and mentally. I have really enjoyed this strength cycle and guess what? I'm going to challenge my 1RM in at least the deadlift and the bench press. I'm still not sure about the back squat, but SJ wants to work on those a little bit longer, so stay tuned for that.

This strength cycle has made me feel better about myself and that confidence has helped me on the road and at my job. On the road, over the past couple of weeks, I've experienced that runner's high several times after a run and it's been a while since I've had that happen! It happened again on Friday. What a great way to set a positive tone for the day!

Friday's mess of a run!

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Which Ever Way the Wind Blows

If there ever was a more fitting theme for the week, it would be the wind. Oh my goodness, has it been windy. The wind was a big factor in my runs this week. The wind was also the reason I still don't have my outdoor Christmas decorations up. Our neighborhood sets up Christmas trees in their front yards, but this past week, many of them were blown over, and/or the decorations were blown all over their yards. Because it was still windy on Saturday, I stayed inside, decorating the inside of my house, and plan to do the outdoor decor today.

An attempt to capture a photo for Friday's coffee talk post was stymied by the wind