Tuesday, August 14, 2018

HIIT me up!

I've been HIIT'ing a lot this summer.

In an effort to keep improving on my running , I have been stepping outside my comfort zone and adding HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts to my weekly routine. Although I was in decent shape before I ever did any of these types of workouts, I have noticed a pretty dramatic improvement in my overall fitness since HIIT'ing on a weekly basis.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Going With the Flow

Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow.

Am I right? When things are out of your control (hello, Iowa weather, I'm looking at you), you just gotta make do with what you're given. At least that's what I do.

This past week had me going-and-flowing, practically on a daily basis...

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Five Running Songs That May Surprise You

It's no surprise I love my music.

Although I'm not taking my Ipod along with me for every run these days, rest assured I always have it fully charged and ready. There's nothing like a fast beat and/or fancy guitar work to keep my pace strong and help the miles go fast.

In going through some of the favorites, I realized I have a few songs that are "typically" not my taste, but they are favorite songs to listen to as I log some miles. My playlist is pretty eclectic, and these five featured favorites will prove that.

Monday, August 6, 2018

A Big Hairy Audacious Goal

Ever have a big hairy audacious goal?

You know...a goal so big that you almost were afraid to even think of it or say it out loud (or blog about it)?

Well, I have a few such goals...and here's one of them:

I really want to get my 13.1 time closer to the 2-hour mark. Ideally, I'd LOVE to spank a sub 2:00 before 2018 is over and done. ((gulp))

Friday, August 3, 2018

Up to Speed

Where the heck is summer going???

I'm really having a tough time believing we are in August....didn't we just celebrate the summer solstice, like last week?

Anyways, it was another action-packed week for me. Even with a couple "sleepy" days, I managed to stay ahead of the game with my fitness endeavors.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Coffee Talk: Bottoms Up!

Shall we gather together and chat for a bit? Over coffee?

It's that time of the month for our virtual coffee get-together. Anything you'd like to chat about? What would you share, if we were having coffee together?

There are a few things I could share, and they're not all running-related.....

Monday, July 30, 2018

How about July!

Let me begin with a runfession of sorts....

I did not set any goals for July. What? Gasp! Shocker! What was I thinking?

I had a lot of things happening in July, and just never got around to fine-tuning any specifics on a strategy to get through the month. I know, my bad. Sometimes, though, not having stuff etched in stone can work in one's favor.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Back in Training Mode

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! I'm back in training again!

Yes, indeed. Marathon training officially commenced this week. In all actuality, my marathon training isn't really that different from other training except for the rather lengthy training runs in the final weeks before taper. But I digress.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Runfessions - Recent Reality Checks

When is the last time you had a reality check?

For myself, there have been ample opportunities as of late. Reality checks are actually good for us...they keep us humble and, often times remind us that we are human and not without fault.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Chicago R'n'R ReMix 2018

The 2018 Chicago R'n'R Remix was quite the epic experience.

I'm no stranger to the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series (I ran St. Louis in 2013 and Las Vegas in 2017), and I also ran Chicago before (in 2014). This particular endeavor, though, will stand out as quite an epic extravaganza.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Much to Smile About

Have you smiled lately?

This past week had me smiling all over the place. Sure, I'm a glass-half-full kind of person and I usually can find something to smile about. But this week? The smiles just came all on their own.
Care to hear the details?

Monday, July 16, 2018

Midnight Madness 15K Recap

I had a thirst for redemption...

Have you ever run (or attempted to run) a race that turned out to be (quite literally and figuratively) a hot mess? 

Enter the Midnight Madness Road Races. I first tackled this event back in 2016 (recap HERE). What happened to me in 2016 was every runner's nightmare...horribly hot and humid weather, an uncooperative body, and nonstop pain and frustration that ended with my first-ever (and only) DNF. Last summer was a non-issue (#sidelined from surgery), so this year was my first shot at redemption from the disaster of two years ago.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sweat Equity:101

It's not the heat, it's the humidity.

Boy, oh boy, did we have our fair share of humidity this week in Iowa. We had pretty warm temps, too. Mind you, that is NOT a complaint. I love the heat (probably more than most people), but I spent the majority of the week "glowing" all over the place.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Pay it Forward on the Race Course 

Have you ever thought about paying it forward on the race course?

We've all heard of race etiquette, but paying it forward takes your best race day manners a step further. Positive actions not only affect your performance, but they also impact others. It's not always all about us, after all. Why not try to share the race day love with others?

With that in mind, I try to have as much fun as possible whether I'm gunning for a PR or just using the race as a training run.  Here are five simple actions (that don't take any extra effort) I have learned to prioritize whenever I pin on a race bib:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Two Races in Four Days...Why Not?

Ever run two (unrelated and unplanned) races in the span of four days?

Just recently, I said, "Why not?" and gave it a go.  

Although both races, the Sully Freedom Fun Run 5K and the Lake Red Rock Balloon Fest 10K, were a lot of fun, both had rather unique and challenging circumstances. We don't grow by cowering within our comfort zones, right? Why not be adventurous and try new things? 

Let me set the scene by doing a little compare and contrast...

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Embracing all that's Tough

This past week was an interesting one, to say the least.

It was a great week, but it also had some tough moments. Battles fought. Hills conquered. Heat endured. Victories won. Care to hear the nitty gritty?

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Chatting Over Coffee....

Shall we chat?

What's the latest and greatest in your little corner of the universe? If we were chatting over coffee, what would you tell me? Let me share a few tidbits from my recent endeavors, and then I'll gladly listen to yours. Fair enough?

Monday, July 2, 2018

Summer Running Coping Strategies

I think we're all feeling pretty hot, hot, hot right now.

It is the summer, after all. It's gonna be hot. There's bound to be some sunshine, and the humidity will probably make things tough.

We all experience the heat differently. Sweating through the triple digits does not make one a badazz nor does postponing a run make someone else a wimp. Plain and simple, we all are going to have different comfort levels when it comes to what seems feasible and what seems impossible in the heat of summer.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Let's RALLY!

This week was all about the Rally.

Have you ever had to rally before? I have spent the past 12 months in a rally of sorts, assuming the title role in the Runner Who Rallied Back saga. A few days ago, June 29th, marked the 1-year anniversary of my emergency surgery (full details of  that adventure are HERE), so this past week has been sort of a lengthy and introspective walk-down-memory-lane.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Runfessions - Stronger Tougher Fierce Grateful

This has not only been an interesting week, it's been quite the year as well.

I'm not talking about 2018 specifically (that would be this post), but I'm referencing the past 12 months. Anyone remember what happened on June 29th, 2017? Exactly one year ago, I was wearing a hospital gown. In an operating room. Undergoing emergency surgery for a staph infection that had been undiagnosed (until a few hours prior).

All of my summer plans, running and otherwise, came to an abrupt halt.

But, let me runfess, it wasn't all that bad.

Monday, June 25, 2018

My 2018 Assessment (thus far) 

So, how has 2018 treated you so far?

Things have been going alright for me. There have been some lessons learned, new workouts to try, several events to take part in, and a few happy moments as well.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Outrunning the Rain 

And the crazy weather of 2018 continues....

Seriously, this has been the oddest of years in terms of weather. First, our winter refused to pack up and vacate until mid-April. Then, summer promptly arrived on the scene a couple weeks later, giving us ZERO time to acclimate. Just this past week, we celebrated the summer solstice...you know, the first day of summer...with temps in the low-60's. What the WHAT???

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Post-Worthy Pics...5 recent favorites

How do you feel about the pics on social media?

I saw that yesterday (June 21) was National Selfie Day. Yes, you read that correctly...there actually is a day that celebrates people taking pics of themselves (and posting them for the world to see). 

Although I play the (shameless) selfie game, pretty much daily, I do have mixed feelings about it. Most of what we see on social media is "filtered" (literally and figuratively) to reflect what the person posting wants us to see about them or the lifestyle they lead.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Summer 2018 - What's on tap

Although the temps have shown (and felt) otherwise, summer has not officially begun...yet.

I have been looking forward to Summer 2018 for almost a year, believe it or not. Since my summer last year was a bit jacked (full details HERE), I plan to take full advantage of every available opportunity to be outside (preferably in my running shoes) this year.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

All is well

 I can honestly say, "All is well."

It wasn't necessarily a stellar week in terms of high mileage or specific training goals met, but it definitely was pretty solid in terms of fitness and feeling good. Here's what all went down...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

What about Speedwork? 

I’m not a fan of speedwork. 

Unlike a lot of runners, I don’t get an adrenaline rush or a feeling of power in running fast. That’s not to say I don’t relish a faster-than-expected finish time now and then, though. I just don't let my speed (or, often times, lack there of) dictate my livelihood. Besides, I'm more of an endurance runner anyways.

That said, on occasion I do incorporate some speed sessions into my training. Although I am not a speedwork enthusiast, I do see the benefits of pushing one's pace now and then. Not only does consistent speedwork enhance your performance, it also breaks up the monotony of your workouts (physically and mentally).

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Never Have I Ever...

"Never Have I Ever..."

Have you ever played that game?

As a runner, I can envision an interesting twist to this revealing game.  Shall we play?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

True Colors Shining Through

Do you ever let your true colors shine?

It's no secret I'm a #colorfreak (probably due to my #artgeek nature), but I'm not only referencing color in the literal sense (though I did wear some bright attire this past week). I'm also referring to one's "true colors," one's internal gut instincts. Those instincts are there for a reason, they pull one to do what's right or in their own best interest, despite what the main stream may dictate.

This past week was all about letting my true colors shine, especially in terms of my own well being. Having just run the Dam to Dam 20K on Saturday (June 2nd), this week was all about a proper recovery. Here's what went down...

Thursday, June 7, 2018

5 "True Runner" Falsehoods

Calling oneself a "true runner,"often times, is not immediate.

Having not grown up with a running background, I had a lot of preconceived ideas on what "true runners" were all about. Most (if not all) of these notions became apparent when I started running myself. It took me awhile (and several miles, blisters, and expensive pairs of shoes) before I considered myself a "true runner" and not a poser.

I had to get past many of the stereotypes and see for myself what really constitutes a "true runner." Thankfully, I have seen the light, but there still are a lot of naive people (non-runners AND new runners) who could benefit from a little bit of intel.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Dam to Dam 2018 - An epic ending of an era

Dam to Dam 2018. #39Forever. The 39th (and final) Dam to Dam.

Although I had been looking forward to this race, I was also kind of dreading it as well.

To give you a little bit of insight (in case you've never, ever, heard me mention this race), Dam to Dam is the one race I look forward to the most every year. It was my first-ever long distance event (in 2008), and it started me on a whirlwind of distance running and racing that has kept me quite happy. Not only did I run D2D in 2008, but I have returned every year since, making 2018 my 11th consecutive appearance on the Dam.

The Heat is On

The heat is on, at least in Iowa.

It's totally crazy how hot (and humid) it got so quickly. Our temps catapulted to the upper 80's/90's a couple of weeks ago, and have not returned to "normal." I'm not complaining, because I much prefer the heat to the cold, but it's been a bit much (even for me). I even heard a meteorologist make the comment that we're actually about a month ahead of schedule in terms of the temps! May 2018 was our second warmest May on record, ironic that April 2018 had been our second coldest April on record. Isn't that crazy???

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Shall We Chat?

Shall we chat?

You know, over coffee? Just you and me, sharing the latest? What you say?

Well, if we were to get together, here's some of the nitty gritty that I'd share:

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

6 Favorite Tunes That Move & Groove My Runs

Are you a music-on-the-run kind of runner?

Granted, music is not necessary to get the run done. Give me some comfy shoes, a bright ensemble of clothing, and favorable weather conditions and I'm a very happy gal. If I'm running with friends, even better. But if I'm running solo, I usually prefer to have music with me.

It's no secret that I love music. Especially on long runs, music is vital for keeping me entertained. I typically don't have the volume very loud, but just having a little bit of "ambiance" really helps me enjoy the experience. I don't rely on music for speed or cadence, but hearing the tunes and the rhythmic beats certainly gets (and keeps) me energized!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Riding out the storm

I seem to be referencing the sea (and subsequent weather) a lot lately.

It's not that the weather itself has been bad, but my life has been rather "stormy" in all the busy-ness of recent months. This past week was no exception, but there were some moments of smooth sailing...

Thursday, May 24, 2018

MAYDAY! Runfessing the latest


Ever heard that term? It's often used as a distress signal by a ship lost at sea.

I'm not really in distress, nor am I on a ship, but May has been a crazy month and I have felt a bit lost at times. Maybe the craziness is what caused the month to fly by at record speed. None the less, there have been some things happening that have left me in a state of wonder, confusion, and exhaustion. Fun times, right?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Feels like Summer!

Summer, my dearest Summer, how I have missed thee.

Finally, I can honestly say, with ZERO reservation, that I love the weather as of late. Although the calendar still shows Spring, it's definitely looking (and feeling) like Summer in Iowa. We had a week of non-stop sunshine and summer-like temps, and I (for one) thoroughly enjoyed almost every moment of it.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Let's Huddle - Market to Market Relay 2018

Let’s huddle.

Yes, the temps were gonna be chilly and the wind was blowing. Also, there were intermittent rain showers and thunder storms in the forecast. It's a good thing we're all friends.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Running like CrAzY

In case you're wondering, I've been running like crazy (and not necessarily in just my running shoes).

Our youngest will be graduating from high school in a couple weeks, so there's been a lot of stuff that's kept me on to go this past week. It's all good, though. After all, life would would be pretty dull if I just sat around, painting my toe nails and eating bonbons.

Monday, May 7, 2018

5 Spring - to - Summer Transition Hacks

What happens when Spring is practically a no-show, and it immediately feels like summer?

Well, if Momma N ain't gonna give you a transition period, you simply have to make do on your own. Even if the daytime temps suddenly feel like mid-July, it still may be chilly in the morning or early evening.

What to do? Too cool for bare arms, but too hot for fleece? And, that wind!

Here's a few things to try:

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Running on Empty

It's almost like all the stars, moons, and planets (and quite possibly the sun itself) all aligned with perfection in recent weeks. And then they all scurried off, in their own directions, immediately afterwards.

I'm talking adrenaline here, and how it all ran out (quite literally) on me this past week.

Apparently, my body has a knack for drawing on the last miniscule reservoir of  the stuff when it's a do-or-die situation (or, in my case, a crazy 2+ weeks of nonstop activity). When all the crazy said activity came to a halt, so did my energy source.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Can we talk?

It's that time once again.

Time for coffee (or your favorite beverage of choice), time for chatter, time for catching up with (virtual) friends. What would you share if we were meeting for coffee?

Monday, April 30, 2018

Every Picture Tells a Story

Doesn't every picture (good or bad) tell a story?

Being a runner (and a blogger), I'm seldom ever without a phone/camera at the ready. Occasionally, though, other people are able to capture my special moments without any cues from me. Those, my friends, are the pics that truly speak volumes.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Moving and Grooving

It was a pretty monumental week, on so many levels.

To put it in runner's terms, it was comparable to a marathon...only this was the second half of a challenging course en route to that epic finish line. Having survived the previous week (leading up to Prom, and all the necessary preparations), this week was all about recovery (for myself, from the Drake Half Marathon) and dance recital rehearsals (for the daughter and myself).

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Runfessing The Latest

April has been a most peculiar month.

There's been all kinds of extremes with the weather. I've had some interesting spur-of-the-moment Aha moments. I have learned some new things (hip hop dancing, none the less!). And, just recently, I have taken a few steps out of my comfort zone.

Here's a taste of what went down in April...

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Drake Relays Half Marathon 2018

Dang! I'm not quite sure how I pulled this one off, but I'm pretty happy (and, dare I say, proud?) of how well the race went.

Anyone who knows a thing or two about competitive running (at least within the vicinity of Iowa) has probably heard of the Drake Relays (more info HERE). Hosted at Drake University (Des Moines, IA), this annual event attracts a very competitive field...elites, collegiate stars, and high school greats are all in attendance for this "mini" version of the Olympics.

In conjunction with the Relays, Drake University also hosts the Drake Road Races, for those of us who are not quite in the same (competitive) caliber as those who have qualified for the actual Relays themselves. There's a half marathon and a 5K. This year, they also brought back the 10K. All three of the Road Races events were held on Sunday, April 22nd, and kicked off the 2018 Drake Relays events.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Not My Typical Week

This definitely was not a typical week for me.

Well, it's not like each and every week is a carbon copy of the others, but this past week was a doozy. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it was challenging none the less.

Monday, April 16, 2018

What I’m Gonna LOVE about Spring

There’s a lot to love about Spring. 

If memory serves me right, I think Spring comes right after Winter. In Iowa, though, we’re still waiting for Winter to come to an end.

What's so great about Spring? As a runner who runs outdoors almost exclusively, there are several things, actually....

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Just Run

Just Run.
That has been my mantra this past week.

In all reality, don't most of us runners already subscribe to it? After all, running is there when we need an escape. It makes us feel good. It's one of those "constants" that we can always rely on. And, it's something we can do (almost) anytime, in any place, and in all kinds of weather.

Such was the case for me. In the midst of all kinds of "reality checks" this week, running was its ever-so-reliable self.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

5 Recent Aha Moments 

Have you ever had an aha moment? Or several? All in the same week?

Well, welcome to my world!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Fight for Air Climb 2018

I took it to the stairs on Sunday morning, April 8th.

Four buildings. 85 flights of stairs. 1,796 steps. It was all good!

I climb in honor of friends and family members who have successfully kicked butt (and stopped smoking). I climb in memory of my late mother-in-law who was a lifelong smoker and suffered from COPD in her final years. And I climb in tribute to those who are struggling with lung disease.