Tuesday, July 18, 2017

TLC of the Knee

Have you ever been sidelined from running, but wanted to maintain some fitness and muscle tone?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Goodbye to the Gimp!

The gimp is gone!

Did you hear that? After nearly a month of walking with an awkward gimp (both pre-surgery and post-op), I feel like a caged bird set free. It's been so long since I've been able to bend my knee (like, since a few days after Grandma's Marathon, June 17th), that the "Frankenstein gate" had become my norm.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Flashbacks and FOMO

Yikes!!! I'm in a current state of flashback-alitis and it's given me a serious dose of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). And it ain't pretty...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Have You Thanked a Healthcare Professional Lately?

Healthcare is something I have taken for granted most of my life.

I've always been pretty healthy, and (in the past 12 years at least) have been pretty fit. I've gone to the doctor for my annual physical and, on occasion, if I've been sick. I trust my doctors, and do what they tell me. I know they have the education and knowledge to truly know what is best for the human body, specifically MY body. As much as I appreciate the training and discipline it takes to work in the healthcare field, though, I had not really "gotten it" in terms of just how much heart and soul are required as well.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

A New Normal (for Now)

Life is about taking chances, don't you think? Expanding the comfort zone? Trying new things?

Well, welcome to my new (though temporary) kind of "normal."

Friday, July 7, 2017

Find a Way, Make it Happen

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Find a way, Make it happen. How's that for a new mantra?

July is gonna be a tough month this year. Ironically, we're already a week into it...so it should go rather quickly, no?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Oh, Dear Running. Old buddy, old pal, this is not "goodbye," but merely "see ya in a couple months..." (Hmmmm, that might make for an interesting song ... if only I were a song writer).

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Plot Twist!

Whew! It has been a whirlwind of a week (at least in my little corner of the universe).

Friday, June 30, 2017

Runfessions with a side of Lemonade

Shall we chat about life, fate, and the simple act of being blindsided?

Hold on tight, because I have a few things to runfess on the matter. You can have your coffee (or beverage of choice), but I'm going with lemonade (more on that later).

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017

One Challenging Recovery Week

Remember when I said that my last week of taper was pretty non-traditional (for me)?

Well, there seems to be a pattern here, because my first week of marathon recovery was pretty non-traditional as well. And not in a good way.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Good and the (not so) Bad

Did you all know I ran a marathon last weekend? (I know...I have not talked much about it)

Running a marathon is not easy. Sure, we all train for the big day, but even with a perfect training plan, there's no guarantee race day will be a perfect scenario for those 26.2 miles.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Grandma's Marathon 2017

Have you ever done a repeat marathon?

I have done many repeat half marathons (as well as 10-milers, 10K's and 5K's)...but to return to the course of a marathon, and run those same 26.2 miles a second time? Well, can you just see all the (implied)(assumed)(self-initiated) stress that could erupt?  (let me give you a hint.....pretending I had NO interest WHATSOEVER in PR'ing the course was part of my plan)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Tapering ...on steroids (literally)

Well, to say my final week of tapering (for Grandma's Marathon) was out-of-the-ordinary would be an understatement.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Running into the Sun

This was a beautiful, sunshine-filled week!

A lot of runners dread the summer heat, but I welcome it with open arms. Sure, the sweat equity is increased, but it's all good. I'll take the heat over the cold any day.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Have (running) Shoes:Will Travel

Have (running) shoes: will travel.

Have you ever employed that philosophy? It's only in recent years that I've started bringing my running gear along on vacation excursions. I'm not an avid "gotta-run-everyday" kind of runner, after all. As much as I love to run, I also embrace a few days away from it every now and then (it's called "balance").

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Dam to Dam & the Big Picture

One of the valuable lessons I have learned through my (almost) 12 years of running is to keep my eyes on the big picture.

Although Dam to Dam is my favorite event every year (sorry, that's only the 126th time I've mentioned that in a blog post), it's not always my goal race. Sure, I always hope to run it strong and stay ahead of the game with fuel and hydration. I also have enjoyed a few PR's at unexpected times. Since this race is always right after Memorial Day, though. It's a relatively "early" event in regards to summer racing...so I usually have other bigger events on my summer roster.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Shall We Taper?

Another week in training, and more mileage in the books. Grandma's Marathon is now two weeks out and I am officially (joyously) in taper!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Summer Running: Feelin' Hot Hot Hot

After a questionable spring, I am SO eager for summer running!

I know, I know....I'm kind of alone in a corner on this one, but I prefer the heated (albeit frequently humid) temps of summer.

Monday, May 29, 2017

My May Assessment

I'm not a teacher, but (today) I'm playing one on the blog.

May was an interesting month, in many ways. Shall we assess some grades?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Back in the SPRING of things

I think Momma N likes me again.

I say that with the utmost sincerity and humbleness. We've had some very questionable weather this spring, especially in recent weeks. It finally feels like the spring temps are here to stay...well, until the summer temps make their (much anticipated!) arrival.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Shall we RUNFESS?

Anybody know what time it is?

As the month draws to a close, that can only mean one thing for a lot of us runners....time to runfess some stuff. After all, we're only human, right? Not every thing in running (or life) is all rainbows and lollipops.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Can you say DOMS?

Yowza. Did my body take beating this week!

I know, I know. That which does not (actually) kill you will (actually) make you stronger. If that's indeed the case, I outta be sprouting some serious badass features soon.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Spring Fashion Essentials for Fitness

Fashionably late.

Those are the exact words to describe our spring this year. We had a taste of it in February, only to have winter return with an attitude in March. April was marginally nice, but May was when I finally felt safe putting my fleece-lined tights back in storage.

Alas, we now have extended daylight (which keeps increasing) and rising temps, as well as the onslaught of summer training for fall races. With all of these happening, it's time to consider a shift in wardrobe essentials.

Do you rotate your running gear by season? Spring is, after all, a time of renewal...why not apply that to your fitness wardrobe?

Here are my top must-haves for spring fitness!

Pretty arm warmers
I have said this before (though it bears repeating), but I wish I had the patent on these babies. Spring is the time of year (at least in Iowa) when a tank top (or even a short sleeve top) might not be quite warm enough when you start out for a run, but you don't want to commit to a long-sleeved top. Enter the arm warmers! Not only are these the perfect "transitional" on-the-go accessory, they also look like you mean business. They are quite practical too...you can roll them down to your wrists if they get too warm, or easily slide them off and tie them around your waist.

Funky headbands
My hair is always in my eyes (it's that chronic cut-the-bangs/grow-then-back-out plague I have). Seriously, the bangs don't bother me in day-to-day life (I'm a creature of constant change and evolution), but when it comes time for fitness, I want them outta the way. I wear visors a lot, but I really have grown to love funky & colorful headbands. And why not? They keep my hair off of my face and they add a fashion flair to any outfit. A bonus? They're not just for exercise...you can also wear them with street clothes.

Back in the tanks!
I can be a bit of a high-maintenance gal when it comes to running gear (especially from the waist-up). I like long-sleeved tops (hopefully with a V-neck or scoop neck), but I prefer tank tops. I'm not a fan of under-arm "bulk," so a tank is always my preference (even if I have to add a pair of arm warmers to keep my arms from turning blue).

My new Mizunos
We all love our running shoes, don't we? After a few seasons in Brooks Adrenalines GTS, I have gone back to Mizuno Wave Inspires. Don't get me wrong, I still love my Brooks kicks, but the recent model had been tweaked ever-so-slightly and I could feel a difference from the previous model. That's the reason I switched to them from Mizunos...but now the Mizunos have changed a tiny bit and they feel great again. My feet over-pronate with the best (worst?) of them, so I can really feel a difference when something gets "improved." Not a great situation, but that's my reality. Anyways, with my marathon looming on the horizon, it was time for some new shoes to finish out my training and get me to the start line.

A (very) light-weight windbreaker
I don't need my jacket very often, but it does come in handy on occasion. A year ago, I figured out a perfect combination for a cool and windy (and potentially rainy) half marathon...I layered a top with arm warmers under the jacket. The arm warmers were removable if I got too warm, and the jacket acted as a shield from the wind. The jacket is not lined, and does not offer much for warmth, but it does block the wind and rain (and it rolls up to a very thin "belt"if I choose to tie it around my waist). And, of course, it's a bright, pretty color!

Those are my basics (and coincidentally, my favorites) when it comes to Spring Fitness Fashion.

What are your spring necessities? Are any of yours the same as mine? Any new purchases this spring?

I'm linking this with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0. Today, we're talking about spring fashion...join the conversation!

And also with Nicole for the Fit & Fashionable Friday link-up

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Market to Market Relay:Teamwork on the Trail

Let's talk for a minute about #teamwork.

Sometimes it takes an entire team to make it happen, but all of the individual components have merit. Such was the case with the Market to Market Relay this past weekend.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Miles, miles, and more miles

The training continues.

May is already almost halfway over (how did that happen?) and my training is approaching its peak in regards to mileage. I received an email from Grandma's Marathon...saying that race day is five weeks away. YIKES!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Des Moines Women's 13.1:Balancing Racing with Training

What happens when a nation-wide event comes to a nearby city? And, let's just suppose, for a moment, this event happens right in the middle of your 26.2 training?

Well, if you're anything like me...you would go for it and register!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Why do a #5at5?

One of my favorite low-maintenance routine workouts is my #5at5 run.

Ever hear me mention it?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Spring Has Returned!

After several days (or was it weeks?) of almost constant rain or cold or wind (or all of the above), it feels like Spring has officially returned. Can I get an "Amen?"

This was a crazy week (I think it falls right in succession with several previous weeks), but that seems to be the norm. Such is my reality. All is good.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Can we talk about the Klompen 5K?

Can we talk about the Klompen?

First of all, what is it? The Klompen Classic 5K run/walk is an event in nearby Pella (IA) that has been happening for the past 24 years. It's the big kick-off for the annual Tulip Time Festival every spring. It's an evening race, benefiting the area families sponsored by the Crossroads nonprofit organization.

This was my first year taking part in the celebration. The hubby and I drove up with our friend, Barb, and met another friend, Chuck, there. At the risk of sounding like a racing snob, I do not do many 5K races anymore. It's not that they aren't plentiful, but I just prefer the longer distance events much more. It's only recently that I have a new respect for the 5K distance, though. Although the distance itself is pretty short in terms of running (especially for runners who are accustomed to running much farther), that short distance becomes a pretty tough challenge if you try to run it at a faster-than-usual pace.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Drake Road Races Half Marathon Recap

This was the 49th year of the Drake Road Races, which are held in conjunction with the annual Drake Relays. The Drake Relays are like a small scale version of the Olympics...athletes from all over (elites, collegiate, and high school divisions) gather in Des Moines, IA and take their turns competing on the famous blue oval or within the confines of the accompanying field on the Drake University campus.

This was my fourth time taking part in the festivities. I did the 10K in 2013 (recap HERE), and the half marathon both in 2014 and 2015 (recap HERE). This year, the half marathon course was completely different than it had been in recent years (at least for the two times I had run it)...which means an automatic course PR (am I right?).

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The NonStop Running Continues

Another week down, and another week closer to marathon #7.

My reality (again) this week was the amount of "stuff" happening in the month of April. Truthfully, it's that way every year, but I feel like I'm still searching for that perfect level of organization to cruise through the process instead of always playing "catch-up." And a little more sleep would be nice...if there was time for it (LOL).

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Runfessions...My Current Reality

As April comes to a close, it's time to access what all went down in the past four weeks.

Over all, I'm very pleased with everything. My cross-training has been strong, I have started incorporating speed work into my marathon training, and my April mileage is currently standing at 89 miles (plus there's a half marathon happening on Saturday, so I will easily cross the century mark by month's end).

Despite all of the good...there are a few things I need to come clean on. Time to runfess....

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

OOPS, I did it again

Oops, I did it again.

Races, and more races. They just keep popping up from nowhere in particular and demand my attention (and, frequently, my registration).

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Nonstop Running...Literally and Figuratively

Can we talk about non-stop running? 

This past week had me running, not just in the literal sense, but in the figurative sense as well. Fortunately, my training was not affected...but a lot of other things had to take a brief sabbatical (like blogging) as I fulfilled my annual Prom volunteer duties (more of that later).

Friday, April 21, 2017

It's not a Race, it's a Training Run

Have you ever over-scheduled your race calendar?

I have (and not by accident).

Though I'm not a competitive, type-A, "in-it-to-win-it" type of a runner, I do enjoy racing. I'm also not a certified coach, but I bet any (or all?) of them would advise against too many races within a training cycle, especially if you're training for a major landmark race. My caveat to doing numerous races (while training for something bigger) is that I do them as training runs.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Back on Track (literally)

Back on track, literally. That's what went down this past week. 

As I gradually increase my mileage (you know, for that little marathon happening in June), it was time to better utilize my training days. I do most of my long runs on Saturdays, with a short shakeout run (usually only 1-2 miles) on Sundays. I always do a #nevermissaMonday run, so I decided to up the distance on those (which, consequently, are also short runs, 1-3 miles, at an easy pace). My Tuesdays and Wednesdays have been pretty mild (other than a miscellaneous stair workout and/or some strength-training). It didn't make sense to essentially have 3-4 "mild" days all in a row with the impending mileage increase....so I decided to enhance the #nevermissaMonday with a #5at5  nuance. These runs are also at an easy pace, and coming off of the weekend, are a great segway to the new week. Stay tuned...this is still a work in progress.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Am I blue?

Question: Am I blue?

Answer: No, but a lot of my recent race swag is. And that's what I'll be wearing this spring.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fight for Air Climb 2017

One of my most-utilized hashtags is #notjustarunner.

Running is, and probably always will be, my first and foremost preferred form of fitness (go ahead, try to say that three times fast!). But, running is not my one and only....I'm an avid advocate for cross-training, and stair-climbing is at the top of the list.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Grey Skies, Blue Skies, and Lots of Bling

Grey skies are gonna clear up....

...and I'm so happy they did! We had a rather damp and chilly week. Fortunately, that all turned around on Friday, making way for warm temps and lots of sunshine, and a busy, bling-filled weekend!