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


MAYDAY!

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.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

"Spring" Training


Isn't it April? Spring? Where are you?

As much as I have been  loving the longer days, I'd be especially over-the-moon joyous if the weather was a teensy bit warmer. And, how about the wind? Well, there could be a little less of that as well. But maybe that's just me?

Oh well. Even though the weather has been questionable, the training continues.

This past week was another action-packed one. There was running (obviously), walking, dancing (more details below), and oodles of cross-training. Life is pretty decent even if the weather is not so desirable.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Five #hashtags Worth Chatting About


Shall we chat about #hashtags? 

I have to admit I use them frequently. After all, they evoke a lot of feeling, additional information, insight, and humor without really saying much.

I have been #hashtagging (is that a word? If not, it should be) all over the place recently. Care to hear my Top 5?

Monday, April 2, 2018

Well, hello April! What's Happening?


How did April get here so quickly?

It's no surprise that March is one of the longer months....not just in terms of those 31 days, but especially due to the less-than-desirable weather (aka #wind). Don't forget, I'm in Iowa. Once that winter wind starts blowing (like in October), it does not lighten up until late April.

Anyways, a new month means some new goals and objectives are in order. Shall we discus?

Sunday, April 1, 2018

A Break from the Weather 


Our spring break could not have come at a more opportune time.

Remember that nasty snow storm that happened upon us last weekend? Well, let me refresh your memory....it rained all night (Friday evening), most of Saturday morning, and then turned to snow. And that snow continued to fall most of the afternoon on Saturday. Sunday was bright and sunny, but cold. Although the icy tree branches looked kind of magical in the bright glow of the sunlight, I was over and done with any beauty of winter.

Fortunately for us (the hubby, myself, and our youngest daughter), we made our way to the airport late Sunday afternoon and flew the heck outta there. Destination: Florida!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

What Shall I Runfess?


Well, it's that time of the month already....how did that happen so quickly?

You know what I'm talking about, right? It's time to come clean. Bare the sole(s), so to speak. it's time to Runfess all that went down in March so we can start April with a (somewhat) clean slate. Care to hear the latest?

Friday, March 23, 2018

Here's to Warmer Days Ahead


It was hard to come up with a theme from this past week.

After all, we should be celebrating the start of spring...except the temps are not indicative of that. I should be basking in the glow from the previous weekend's half marathon (recap HERE), but that race was kind of buzz kill. And, I should be excited about our family's trip to Florida instead of anticipating the roller coaster of events awaiting our return.

The glass is half full, though, and I'm grateful to have things such as these to experience. Life would be boring if we had optimal weather everyday, nonstop fulfilling races to run, and a lack of family adventures. So, onward!

Running in the Dark


How do you feel about being out and about in the early morning (or late night) hours? 

It's no secret that I do a lot of my running in the dark, often times before the sunrise. I'm not exactly certain when this routine began, but it has morphed into a pretty satisfying way of life.

I live in a somewhat small Iowa town (population is just over 10,000). Although I'm comfortable running in the dark, there are numerous things I do to ensure I'm safe. I respect that everyone has their own level of comfort when it comes to personal safety, and not everyone lives in an area as conducive to being outside in the dark as I do. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

St. Paddy's Half Marathon


Have you ever done back-to-back St. Patrick's Day-themed races?

Fresh off of the Leprechaun Chase (RECAP) from a week ago, I dressed in green and ran another race this past weekend.

This was my first time running the St. Paddy's Half Marathon. Not only would it be the longest distance I've run since the R'n'R Las Vegas (November 13th), it would also be the earliest I have ever done a race of this distance in the spring.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Still Running Against the Wind


The wind is a ferocious beast, and one that refuses to play nicely.

Granted, the calendar is still showing winter (for a few more days), but we have had a sprinkling of spring-like weather. This is Iowa, and it is March, though. The weather is usually a crap shoot and whatever shows on the calendar is no guarantee of what Momma N will hand you on any given day.

None the less, she persisted (myself, not necessarily Momma N). Here's what went down this past week...

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Walking in the Wee Hours


Shall we walk? 

I have recently taken to walking in the wee hours again. Even though I’m not nursing a recovering suture seam (ugh, remember last summer?), I’m utilizing walking and all its benefits... simply for my own well being.

How seriously do you take the act of walking? Have you ever gotten in the routine of starting the day (often before the sun rises) in your walking shoes? Read on...I'll share a few reasons why walking in the wee hours has numerous benefits....

Monday, March 12, 2018

Leprechaun Chase - 2018 Recap


Not only was I chased by a herd of lads, but I was also passed by an entire lot.

Did you get all of that? It happened on Saturday, March 10th, at the sixth annual Leprechaun Chase 10K (Des Moines, IA).

This is such a fun event, with a most unique format. The lasses (all the girls) get a 5:30 head start, and the lads (all the guys) then follow suit. Almost everyone is dressed in green and most are on a quest for their fastest 10K finish possible. Whoever crosses the finish line first secures not only bragging rights for winning, but they also secure a free green beer for their entire entourage (fellow lads or lasses). The lads were leading, 3-2 (from the previous five years), prior to the start of the 2018 Chase.

Here's the low down on what happened this year:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Almost Blown Away


It's been windy in Iowa.

Actually, it's been windy everywhere recently. It just feels especially windy in my little corner of the universe. Our temps have been doing the "flirting with spring/reuniting with winter" thing all week. As much as I love the impending warmer season on tap, I get frustrated in figuring out how to dress for the daily roller coaster flux in temps.

Alas, it keeps my (running) life interesting.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Victory - Take 2


How would you define Victory?

I have been running (consistently) for almost 13 years. I have never 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.

Monday, March 5, 2018

My Journey with Milly


The treadmill.

Oh, I have plenty to say about this mentally (and physically) challenging piece of equioment.

Some runners love it. Many detest it. A handful are neutral and simply put up with it due to extreme circumstances.

Myself? I'm not a fan, by any means. I'm very thankful to have one in my house, but her and I do not always get along cordially. By the way...did you know my treadmill has a name, Milly?

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Spring is coming...I think


Spring is coming...I think.

The calendar shows March and the days are getting longer. We're due to set our clocks ahead this next weekend. And, in Iowa, we have (almost) nonstop wind from November until June...but even that is starting to feel more balmy than bone-chilling.

A huge bonus, with the impending spring season, is being able to be outside for pretty much every run without the worry of ice or snow. And I was ever-so-happy that was my reality this past week. Here's what all went down...

Thursday, March 1, 2018

When your cup runneth over

You know, sometimes my proverbial cup feels ever so full.

Has that ever happened to you? When you just have a lot of warm and fuzzy feel-good things happening? What's more, do you take notice and pause to cherish them for a few moments?

Although February wasn't exactly the most pleasant month (ugh, the weather!), it did kind of wind down in a nice manner. I'm grateful for every good thing that happened, and I'm especially thankful that I was able to recognize them as they occurred. Here's five recent feel-good things that have made me smile....

Sunday, February 25, 2018

February 2018 - Pass or Fail?


February 2018. It has been an interesting month.

Following my annual "off-season" (better known as January), February is the month when I transition back to a more consistent training mode. I make more of an effort to lace up and get outside and start rebuilding my running base. Granted, after almost 13 years of running, scaling back my running for one month doesn't set me back very far, especially since I continue with my cross-training. But it does feel good (mentally as well as physically) to be prepping for upcoming races and events.

How did February shake out? Did it make the grade? Let's assess what all went down....

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Gloomy, Not Doomy 



You've all heard the phrase, "Gloom and doom."

Talk about your gloom-ridden weeks. Cold temps, rain, sleet, ice.... mix and repeat. Gloomy weather kept me inside more than I'd prefer, but I did my best to keep the doom away. After all, I think there's a sun hidden up there in the atmosphere...somewhere...

Hmmm...Shall We Runfess?


Shall we runfess? It is that (blogging) time of the month, after all.

There has been a lot of stuff on my mind recently. We all know it's not good to keep things all bottled up inside. Running (and all things related) is no exception. Shall we get started?

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Change of Seasons


If I were to cherry pick one thing I like least about running, it would have to be the change of seasons.

Actually, allow me to elaborate...it's not so much the change of seasons, but the change in the weather during each season that tests my patience. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Another Week Closer to Summer


Another week done, another week closer to summer.

You read that correctly...I'm already looking forward to summer! Spring is all fine and dandy, but summer is where it's at for me. We did get a taste of spring-like temps this week and that just lit my summer fire.

Anyways, I had a great week of workouts and banked some substantial sweat equity. Here's what went down in my little corner of the universe...

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Shall We Train? 


What do you say, shall we start our spring training?

Although we are still in the dead of winter, spring is really not that far away. If you have any spring events on your calendar, chances are really good that you've already started training for them.

My spring calendar is shaping up rather nicely...and (dare I say?), it's already pretty full.