Monday, September 18, 2017

What's On Tap-Fall 2017


Fall 2017 is going to be unlike any fall I've experienced  (in terms of running, that is).

Why?

There's a very conservative number of happenings on my roster this year. When I say conservative, I am not joking...I have three official events bought and paid for. That's like half of what I'd normally have on my calendar.

Oh well, those three events are sure to be fun. And, since there's only three of them, I plan to showcase them.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Emotions were RUNNING high


It was a roller coaster week of emotions!

With the (quite hopeful) potential of getting the (return-to-running) green light from the surgeon on the horizon, I wanted to be especially careful with my walking mileage (you know...so as to NOT jinx anything). Yeah...that was my plan on paper....

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Where are you running?


Some runners can be SO predictable.

Are you one of them? Do you find yourself running the same routes all the time? Or do you try to mix it up once in awhile?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Summer 2017---Thumbs-up? or Thumbs-down?



It was the best of times; it was the worst of times....

No, not Charles Dicken's famous novel, but the summer of 2017. Specifically, my summer.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Waiting Game....


The waiting game.....

Ever played it? You know, on those rare occasions when you've been...oh, I don't know...maybe side-lined from running for almost three months? Well, this is a game I've become quite familiar with, and I believe it's almost about to end. Stay tuned...I'll have my answer in a few days (insert a big smiley face and a {virtual} leap in the air).

Thursday, September 7, 2017

To Walk or to Run?



To walk or to run...which would YOU choose?

Until recently, my answer would have (obviously) been to run. No second thoughts, no debate.

Although walking and running share a lot of the same traits and features ( more walking benefits HERE), I have noticed a few differences that are often over-looked. It wasn't until I was forced to substitute walking for running that I (finally) got it. I not only recognized these differences, but also learned to respect them.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Change Is In The Air


As the new season approaches, there's gonna be some changes taking place.

Changes not only in how I usually train, but a major change from the (running) lifestyle I've grown to know.

Ever since I've been a serious runner, I have been in a constant cycle of training and rest/recovery, and then repeating. It's always worked great...I've had plenty of races, lots of fun with running friends, seen some new cities, and always respected the necessary recovery before starting all over again.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

It's almost Go Time!



YIKES. Is it really September? Seriously? The good news? It's almost time for my Return to Running comeback. The bad news? The days are getting shorter (and darker) as we (reluctantly) bid summer farewell.

The previous week felt like so much of a roller coaster. This week, though, felt much more calm...kind of like a peaceful ride on a tranquil lake. And, it feels like the recovery has finally turned a significant corner.....here's what went down:

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Can we talk? Over coffee?


It's been awhile since we've chatted about our summer training. Care to join me for coffee, tea (I'm having a chai latte'),  or any beverage of your choosing?

My summer training took on a different angle this year. My training didn't involve running, per se, but instead was all about coping with the reality of NOT being able to run. Ironically, I ran a marathon (Grandma's Marathon, Duluth MN) on June 17, had a full day of travel back home, ran a single #nevermissaMonday mile on June 19th, and that's when it ended. Summer began (two days later, June 21), and with it came the recurrence of a crazy knee bursitis...that turned infectious (and was overlooked/dismissed by one of my local docs), and had me on the operating table before months end (care to hear more of the details? checkout The Road to Recovery). 

Thus began the most difficult summer of my life (at least in recent memory).  Somehow through all the shock and unexpected drama of the situation, I managed to keep a pretty positive attitude as I journeyed #onward

Along the way, there were several key lessons I learned about myself through this adventure:

Lesson #1- Walking is a legit form of fitness.
I used to only walk when I was too tired to run, and never gave it much credit in regards to exercise. I remember reading (many, many years ago) that running didn't burn that many more calories than walking, though it was blessed with a bit more cardio (due to the faster pace, which requires more output from the heart). So why not walk? If it was almost as beneficial as running, and had much less wear and tear on the body and would allow me to get some exercise (even with my unbendable,  recovering knee)...why not give it a serious go?
Sometimes the hubby has joined me...
Well, most people know I don't do things "half-buttocks-ed." When my surgeon granted me the go-ahead for walking, I went with it. July 17th began my daily walking streak, and it's still going strong. All of these walks have been in the early morning (some days, there's even a few extra bonus miles in the afternoon and/or evening...you know, just for kicks) and all have been outside (except for one rainy, stormy Sunday morning I had to succumb to the 'mill #UGH).  Thus far, I have walked 231 miles with Voldemort (he's my suture scar), and I can feel all sorts of "newly defined" muscles in my legs (even more benefits to walking are highlighted HERE). 

Lesson #2-I'm no longer dependent on music.
Believe it or not, I have done almost all of these walks sans music (except for a couple of long walks that were 5 and 6 miles in distance and I was walking solo). Most of my early morning walks are 2-4 miles long, which take anywhere between 30-45 minutes...and those are mostly in the dark now (due to the sun rising later and later).  I'm not afraid of walking in the dark with music...I walk near the college campus, which is well-lit with street lights every 27-33 steps (I've counted), but I'm just enjoying the peace and tranquility. If I was running, though, that would probably be a different story.

One of the rare walks with music
Lesson #3-I really resent looking (and acting ) like an injured runner. After all, I technically never really was injured...the bursitis came from out of nowhere. There's a lot of speculation that it wasn't even a running-related thing (though, there's no doubt that running probably aggravated it). Even though I'm not "injured," I still have to treat this recovery (from an emergency surgery that shouldn't have happened) as if I were.
I even had a PICC line for three weeks (in  my right arm) to administer IV infusions after I was discharged from thehospital
Lesson #4-Foam rolling and stretching are valuable devices that aren't just for runners. I have really slacked off on the daily foam rolling, as well as the pre and post workout rolling and stretching. Walking utilizes some of the same muscles as running, but also many more. My walking stride has a definite heel strike (as opposed to my mid-foot strike for running), and my calves feel like they have ballooned in size. All of these muscles benefit from daily maintenance and TLC even if they're "just walking" for now.  I have been doing ankle rotations each morning, though, so at least I have maintained some of my "running" rituals.
ready to roll...
Lesson #5-I will never take any mile for granted, ever again. No matter how hot, humid, slow, or freezing cold, every mile is a blessing regardless of how it feels. Heck, just being able to move my body is a blessing. Although the surgery completely took me by surprise, I'm thankful it wasn't worse. There are probably countless other injured (or recovering) runners unable to even walk...and they would probably gladly change places with me if they were given the opportunity.


SO, there you go....a brief synopsis of my summer 2017 training (or lack there of). How was your summer? Lots of miles logged? Any lessons learned? Anything you'd do differently?

I'm linking this with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0. Please join us!! We're talking about our summer training today.

And, since it's the first weekend of the month, I'm also linking with Deborah and Coco for the Ultimate Coffee Date. What would you share with me, if we were having coffee?

Monday, August 28, 2017

Assessing August...




Did August make the grade?

That's a tough one for me to assess. After all, this was a very strange August, in more ways than one. Here's the report card:

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Recovery RoLlEr CoAsTeR


Up slowly, with anticipation. Down fast, feeling the rush of excitement. And let's throw in a few upside-down loops and quick turns....

That may sound a lot like a roller coaster, but it also kind of parallels my recovery. Thankfully, the slow-moving uphills have been equally neutralized by the thrill of the downhills, so all is good and things are still progressing forward despite a few sudden twists and turns.  I just wish the forward motion was a bit speedier (but, don't we all?).

Thursday, August 24, 2017

RuNfEsSiOnS for August




It's hard to believe summer is winding down, and I'm finding myself at a bit of a crossroads.

I was pretty much denied a real summer (and would like the summer temps to return so I can enjoy them a bit longer). That said, I'm also eager to move forward and enter a new season...a season of renewal, if you will.  As you know, my world was turned upside-down on June 29th (full details HERE) and a new "friend" entered my life. I named this friend Voldemort, and on Thursday, Aug. 24th, we celebrated our 8-week anniversary. 8 weeks!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fitness and photos...


Have you ever take a selfie after a run?

If you're a runner with any type of social media account, the odds are pretty high that you've taken one (or many) selfies in your time. Am I right?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Scaling Back


What say we scale back the mileage, and give the body (and mind) a bit of a recovery week? 

Funny how that all worked out at a time when a small setback was on the verge of staging an appearance. Yes, you heard that correctly, a small setback almost became a reality in my Road to Recovery strategy this week (full details on what lead to my recovery situation HERE). Care to hear what happened?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ever played the Fueling Guessing Game?


Fueling is a tricky jester to tame.

Why is it such a challenge? Like a lot of things of running, it's not a perfect science. Throw in the fact that every runner has their own unique body composition, likes, dislikes, tummy toughness (or lack there of) and needs....and it can really be a game changer.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Upping the Mileage


Yikes. This walking stuff is tougher than marathon training. It definitely hurts so good (in several places).

I oughtta know since I've trained for five marathons (and two ultras).

Friday, August 11, 2017

Running: It's a Family Affair


Got family? How about running shoes? Ever combine the two?

I don't have a lot of experiences running with my family, per se, but I do have some pretty great memories none the less. Even if they're not always by my side at the start line, they've been a significant part of my support system....and there have been a few races in the mix as well.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Are YOU Race Day READY?


How well do you prepare for Race Day?

You've (hopefully) done all the necessary training. Preparing for the big race day, though, involves more than just logging miles in your running shoes.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

#onward


I'm always coming up with new (to me) hashtags, and #onward has been my latest and greatest.

Granted, I'm still moving through recovery (full details HERE), but I'm also moving onward from what got me there. It's hard to say when or where the finish line will appear or if I'll even be aware of it happening. After all, aren't we always moving towards something, or away from something else, in our quest for adventure?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Can we talk about Walking?


Walking. Now there's an activity I have long taken for granted.

After all, it's one of the first milestones we master as babies. We learn all the mechanics necessary to move forward on both feet (while staying in balance) AND paying attention to our surroundings so we don't trip and/or face plant.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Road signs...are runners exempt?



Road signs.

We see them everywhere, directing us through traffic and telling us what to do. Often times, the signs are there for our own safety and protection. Aren't we expected to respect them, even if there is no clear and present danger?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Better Faster Stronger


They say all good things must come to an end, right?

Well, I beg to differ. I think this is true not only for good things, but also difficult things as well. That said, I had another week of decent milestones, accomplishments, and victories on my continued Road to Recovery (complete story HERE, on my blog's new Road to Recovery page).

Thursday, July 27, 2017

What's there to Runfess?


July has been a month like none other.

First of all, there was that unexpected emergency surgery that landed me in the hospital (and kept me there) for the entire first week of the month (extensive details HERE). Then, the prospect of not being allowed (or even able) to run. And let's not forget the continued IV antibiotics (three at-home infusions, everyday).

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Running Fluff on the Frugal


Running doesn't have to be an expensive sport.

After all, the bare basics are a decent pair of running shoes, appropriate clothing, and your commitment. Most of the other stuff is just fluff (albeit functional stuff) that often makes a runner smile.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Epiphanies Aplenty


This has been a busy and somewhat action-packed week for me. It definitely had me moving and grooving the most since my Road to Recovery journey began....

I had several epiphanies this past week (it seems like all of this non-running-business has lit a different set of light bulbs within my brain). Prior to the past several weeks, I was a very dedicated early-morning runner. Like with anything else in life, I didn't realize how much I dearly LOVED having that early-morning ritual until it came to an abrupt halt.

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

#GlassHalfFull


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").