Monday, May 29, 2017
Sunday, May 28, 2017
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
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.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Thursday, May 18, 2017
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?
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
What are your spring necessities? Are any of yours the same as mine? Any new purchases this spring?
And also with Nicole for the Fit & Fashionable Friday link-up
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Sunday, May 14, 2017
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
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
Sunday, May 7, 2017
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?
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
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
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
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
Sunday, April 23, 2017
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
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. 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
Tuesday, April 11, 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 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!
Thursday, April 6, 2017
I'll share a few random things that have left me in a juxtaposition of thoughts and feelings about these very random things. I consider myself a glass half full kind of person, but I'll let you decide. Here's the latest and greatest:
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
I have been running (consistently) for almost 12 years, and I have never actually broken the tape at a finish line (and the odds are ever-in-my-favor that I never will). But I have had some substantial victories.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Monday, March 27, 2017
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Friday, March 24, 2017
Sometimes all the stars, moons, and planets align and races just happen to occur at opportune times in your training. Right?
Such was the case this past weekend. I have been building my base back up (in prepping for my next marathon), and the Wintrust Lakefront 10-Mile was the perfect distance at the perfect time. When Wendy (from Taking the Long Way Home) extended an invite to visit the Windy City and run this race with her...well, it was a no-brainer.
Monday, March 20, 2017
Hands-down, this is my absolute favorite event. In fact, I just registered for my 10th consecutive Dam to Dam last week. And, Runner's World magazine gives this event a nice mention in their April 2017 issue (page 91).
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Friday, March 17, 2017
Have you ever taken it to the stairs?
As a Fight for Air Climb veteran, I have been taking it to the stairs every spring since my first Climb (in 2013). Did you know the simple act of climbing stairs mimics running hills (on steroids)?
Of course, the incline of a (man made) stairway is usually a bit more steep than a simple (naturally occurring) hill you 'd find on the countryside or in your own town. In my humblest of opinions, that's what makes the challenge of running stairs even greater!
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Thursday, March 9, 2017
What do you think of trends? Do you follow them, or stay strong in doing your own thing?
When it comes to fitness, a lot of things are ever-constant: endorphins feel good, injuries happen, cotton is a no-go if there's gonna be any kind of perspiring happening. Yadda yadda yadda. We all know, though, that things need to evolve with the times, and it's (often) best that we change as well.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Any ideas on what happens when there is a BIG birthday looming?
Well, in my little corner of the universe, the husband plans a surprise trip to a warmer climate. Oh, and he may also find a race for the both of us to do in the area.
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Well, this is Iowa.
Have you heard the saying that if you don't like the weather, give it a few hours? Yep. Iowa. I don't know where that quote originated, but it probably was an Iowan (or at the very least, a Midwesterner) who penned it.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
We've had some amazing weather in Iowa recently. February certainly was the polar opposite to January in terms of outdoor temps and sunshine. I have been outside everyday in some capacity, and it's been wonderful!
So, what's there to runfess? Well, although the recent weather has been fantastic, there are a few things I do not like about it...
Monday, February 20, 2017
You know....they'd appear in a fluid puff of smoke from a magical foam roller, and graciously grant you three running-related wishes? (No? Am I the only one who's had such fleeting thoughts?)
Anyways, my running wish list is pretty lengthy. If I were to narrow it down to the top three, though, here's what I beg of my genie...
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Can I just say, "Yay for more sunshine!!!!"
February, at least in Iowa, has been well worth all the crap we endured in January. Of course, I make that grandiose proclamation knowing full well that these spring-like weather conditions most likely will not usher us into an early summer. I'm in Iowa, after all, and Momma N probably has at least one more "real" winter hurrah that she will dump on us if we pack away our parkas too soon.