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 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 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 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 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!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Half Full or Half Empty?

Shall we explore the half-full vs. half-empty in regards to my current situation?

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

My Take on Victory

How would you define Victory?

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

A Whirlwind Week

Ever have one of those weeks that felt like a whirlwind of activity? We endured 15+ hours of travel time (each way) as we journeyed across the eastern half of the United States (and back). Care to hear more? Read on....

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Five Things to Runfess over Coffee

Can we talk?

It's been a crazy few weeks, with lots of "a-ha" moments to contemplate, epiphanies to share, and runfessions to come clean on. Shall we chat about this over a beverage (of your choice)?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Pass or fail?


We're our own worst enemy.

Have you ever been guilty of that scenario? Do me a favor...look away (as I meekly raise my hand). Thanks, I owe you one.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Taking Things Easy....

With last Saturday's 10-miler behind me, and an "easy" 5K shakeout run the following body was craving some down time. So, I did my best to listen to its plea(s) and take things easy. Sort of....

Friday, March 24, 2017

Wintrust Lakefront 10 Mile Recap

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

My Favorite DAM race

If there's one race that keeps me coming back, year after year, it is Dam to Dam.

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

Monumental Moments (no thanks to Momma N)

What a monumental week!

Someone (ahem....ME!) had a milestone birthday, and Momma N did her damnedest to put a kink in the celebration. Care to hear what some of her antics were? Read on.....

Friday, March 17, 2017

High Steppin' in the SpRiNg

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

Leprechaun Chase - 2017 Edition

How do I celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Well, myself, being of Norwegian and German descent, I choose to pose as an Irish Lass for the day. And, in recent years, being a running Lass, I have run in the Leprechaun Chase.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Back in the fleece.....

Well, sort of by default, this week morphed into another scaled-back week in terms of fitness-related activity. But, in terms of fun? It was legit.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Current fitness trends that have me smiling

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

When in Florida....Sombrero Beach Run 10K

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

Shall we tame the Lion?

March. It came in like a lion, but it has been (momentarily) tamed. Well, at least in my world.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Kim be nimble, Kim be quick...

Kim be nimble, Kim be quick...
Remember that nursery rhyme about a little guy named jack? Well, I don't have any lighted candles to clear, but plenty of "fires" to tackle this spring.....

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Back on the (weather) roller coaster

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.

This past week was a roller coaster ride in terms of weather.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Warm Weather...So, what's there to Runfess?

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

Three Running Wishes

Have you ever fantasized that a Running Genie existed?

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

Yay for the sunshine!

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.