Sunday, August 26, 2018

Tough Times


It's been a tough week.

Physically, things have been alright. There's been some good runs, lots of walking, and a little bit of strength training as well. On the emotional front, though, things have have been tough.

But first let's chat a bit about the fitness and how I got my sweat on this week...


#nevermissaMonday
I was up and out the door relatively early, just before 6:00 a.m. (so I had some daylight). I have been doing 3-mile tempo-ish runs (with pick-ups in the final 400 meters or so) on Monday mornings for the better part of the summer. I was contemplating adding a fourth mile, but didn't get started quite as early as I'd have preferred, so I stayed with the usual three miles. My weather app showed a mere 10% chance of rain...and that 10% showed up in the final mile. Nice. Thankfully, it was a light rain and actually felt quite refreshing in the humid morning air.
A little bit of rain never hurt nobody. No harm, no foul.
Another typical Tuesday
You know what they say about the best-laid plans, right? My plan was to take Max along for an invigorating fasted-cardio power walk, but he had other plans....like to putz along and take his sweet time sniffing every stray blade of grass along the street. After a couple blocks, and maybe 15 stops, he did his business, and I promptly took him back home. And then I headed back out on my own.
2-mile power walk around the college campus (still sporting the R'n'R Las Vegas timing tag from last November)
Wednesday's workout
I met up with my runner gal pal, Barb, for our weekly early-morning 5-miler. The temps were chilly and, having heard the sad news about Mollie Tibbetts the day prior, our conversation was heavy (more on this below). Our #5at5's are almost in complete darkness now, especially when there's heavy fog.
A chilly 5-miler in the wee hours
Thursday's white flag
Having not yet done any HIIT workouts for the week (they usually happen on Tuesday evenings), and being Thursday is my "usual" day for speedwork, I had the bright idea of combing the two into an action-packed multi-tasking endeavor. The thing is...sometimes your heart, soul, mind and body just are not into it. I had not slept well the past two evenings, my mind was overloaded with thoughts of Mollie, and my body was feeling pretty rundown. 

The plan was to do six sets of a basic HIIT circuit, and end each with a sprint around the hilly block across the street (which is 1/3 mile in circumference):

*15 arm or shoulder reps (with 12-pound hand weights)
*10 burpees
*10 push-ups
*1/3-mile hilly sprint

After three sets, I called it good. I did get a little bit of arm work, 30 burpees, 30 push-ups, and a mile in total distance (with negative splits at least). Not bad for 20 minutes of sweat equity, but it still was only half of what I had set out to do. Oh well. It's alright to cut a workout short once in awhile, especially when you're just not feeling it. And I definitely wasn't feeling anything on Thursday.
just not feeling the workout...
Finally Friday
Woot woot! How about some rain to start the day? Even though Friday was a rest day, I still wanted to get in a little bit of fasted cardio before heading to work. I grabbed my umbrella and did a short 1-1/2-mile power walk around the college campus. Problem solved.
just walking in the rain, I'm walking in the rain...
Saturday's sweat session
Barb and I had a 6:00 a.m. start to our 15-mile long run (or possibly a 16-miler, if things went really well). In keeping with the recent return-to-summer temps (and humidity), we had heavy fog and what felt like 100% humidity in the thick air. I was a soggy mess already by the third mile. We pulled over for a potty stop at the 9-mile mark, and when we headed back out a few minutes later things got a little tough. I definitely felt recharged from our brief stop, but I could tell my body was starting to do that gradual shuffle/drag thing where it gets increasingly more difficult to pick up one's feet. Barb was fighting a side ache in the final miles, and my feet were getting heavier by the minute, so there were a few walk breaks. I was completely saturated...I could feel my shorts clinging to me (not necessarily in a good way) and every piece of fabric was dripping, literally (as evidenced in the pic below). We made it to 15, and decided that would do quite nicely. Besides, as tough as these miles were, they weren't about us...they were run in honor of Mollie
15 tough #MilesForMollie
Sunday sweaty Sunday
I got out for an easy-paced 2-mile recovery run, and things all felt good. Honestly, at mile 14 on Saturday, I was wondering how I'd muster the strength to go 12 miles farther come October 13th...but everything felt nearly fully recovered Sunday morning. Isn't it amazing what one's body can do?
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor
Even though it was only two miles, the sweat was dripping off me...again
Overall, most of the workouts went off fine (except for the near crash and burn on Thursday morning). My running mileage continues to increase slightly each week, and tallied at 26. My walking came in at 18 (but there will probably be a few more miles walked after this goes live). I'm good with everything. This next week will be slightly scaled back as I have the NewBo Half Marathon next Sunday. Crazy how 13.1 miles seems almost like nothing after having run 14 and 15 miles recently.

In case you missed them, here's my posts from last week:

In other news:
Did you see my #FridayFashionFlair post on Instagram? I love a great denim jacket, and I have had this one for several years, so it's a much-loved piece in my closet. Honestly, it goes with everything, including a funky-patterened maxi dress! Of course, I added the sparkly sandals, just because.  What do you think? Do you have any similar pieces in your wardrobe? As always, you're welcome to join the party...post a pic of a featured outfit, grab the hashtag (#FridayFashionFlair) and drop me a tag (@runningonthefly).
Don't forget the lipstick!
Ahh, these darn kids. Why do they have to grow up? We loaded up the youngest daughter and got her all moved into her dorm at college.

Finally, the big elephant in the room....Mollie Tibbetts. Most everyone has heard of her tragic story by now. Although I did not know Mollie personally, our youngest daughter did. She lived in Brooklyn, a small town in central Iowa, a mere 20 miles down the road from my hometown of Grinnell. To say that this has been a tough, emotional week would be a nasty understatement. So many have been affected by her tragedy...family, friends, Iowans, runners and women. Having a daughter that knew Mollie, and given their closeness in age, this hit way too close to home.

There has been much discussion in the news and on social media on where we go from here. I am sickened by what happened to her. I know it happens elsewhere, and this is not the first time. That said, I am a firm believer that we need to fight for our freedom to continue running as we always have, but we also need to be mindful of our surroundings. If we keep ourselves locked up inside, we are letting the evil ones have power over us. Personally, I'm not okay with that.
We cannot let evil win
A beautiful thing has been happening, though...runners have been rallying. It's been all over social media this week...the #MilesForMollie movement. Mollie was an avid runner. The running community is strong and loyal; when one of our tribe is taken from us, we run in their memory as a means of honoring them. It's been empowering to see all the runners who have rallied on Mollie's behalf. If you were one of the #MilesForMollie runners, thank you!

Coincidentally, I was approached by Angelina Salcedo, a reporter for WOI out of Des Moines. As part of a feature on the #MilesForMollie movement, she wanted to hear my story (as well as a few other women in the area who have also been running for Mollie). If you're interested in seeing the story, the video is HERE.

So, that's a wrap on the past week. It's been busy, It's been emotional. And it's been tough. But that's reality...things aren't always picture-perfect, nor do they always make sense.

How was your week? Hot and humid weather return (or maybe it never left)? Did you partake in the #MilesForMollie movement?

I'm linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap. This weekly check-in is such a great place to connect with fellow fitness-minded peeps. Please join us!

Let's connect : Facebook Instagram  Pinterest Twitter

54 comments:

  1. Such a sad story. It just shows that women aren't safe no matter where they are. Many years ago I was running up in northern Wisconsin along the road. A car of drunken guys pulled over. One of them said "leave her alone" and they drove off. I've never forgotten it. I mean, what if?

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    1. Oh gosh...glad you had a happy ending. It's sad and scary that there are creeps out there who don't think twice about their actions or the impact those actions have on so many (not just the victims).

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  2. You had a super solid week of workouts - congrats!

    I really enjoyed taking part in #MilesforMollie this weekend. I know that when this happens, there's always discussion about what women "should do" in order to stay safe. That always irks me because women shouldn't even have to worry about stuff like this. But that being said, I do try to run when it's daylight and in somewhat busy areas. I did tend to look over my shoulder more on Saturday's long run, which made me mad, but it just felt like something extra I could do to protect myself.

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    1. I thought the #MilesForMollie was a nice tribute, empowering, and therapeutic. I agree, so much discussion on all of this (and other cases like it) involve what women should be doing....why is it all on us? So Not Fair.

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  3. Mollie (and others) were definitely on my mind today. I don't know what I'd do if I were personally attacked, but I haven't been, so I try to run smart and yes, run outside. Although there were some (thwarted) attacks on a certain running route & I won't run there alone right now.

    We got a break in the humidity this week but it's not done with us yet. I'm taking a slight break this week though!

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    1. My mind has been on Mollie for so long, and after this week a lot of those thoughts shifted to the broader spectrum of other victims and women in general. It's really sad.

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  4. That looks like such a pretty campus. I didn't start my run in rain on Tuesday, and ended it with rain. Thankfully it wasn't cold, and I didn't get too wet.

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    1. The campus is really nice, and has lamp posts every 20 feet or so, so I feel very safe running there when there's limited (or no) daylight.

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  5. Wow, didn't realize your connection with Mollie. Such an awful story and while it seemed likely, I kept hoping for some other ending.
    I really hope some good will come from her death, reminds me of Polly Klaas in some ways, and a young girl who became the face of domestic violence here when I was a child: Hedda Nussbaum still brings chills to me.

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    1. It is a tragic ending to the story, but a lot of good has come out of it. I keep hearing about people paying it forward again, and it's given women runners a great forum to band together with our Miles For Mollie runs ;-)

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  6. Looks like a great week of workouts and way to power through that tough long run. Mollie's story is so tragic, but it's always good to see runners come together and unite after something like that.

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    1. The running community has totally embraced Mollie and her memory and legacy.

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  7. It was a tough week for you emotionally. Running and runner friends sure helps. Thinking of you and your community xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Deborah! There has been so much support from fellow runners (and non-runners as well) through all of this ;-)

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  8. I love your #MilesforMollie. Such a worthy cause. I hate having to watch out when I am running on a rail trail or lonely path, but that is the sad truth. I am not running at all right now, and wondering how I will ever do 26 at MCM in October. Injuries are the worst! UGH!

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    1. It's infuriating how we have to constantly be on high alert for something as simple as a run...

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  9. My friend and I ran Wednesday morning after hearing about Mollie. Of course, we were on extra high alert that morning. It's just so sad that we can't even go for a run without being scared out of our minds.

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    1. I agree...it's crazy we can't be completely relaxed and at ease doing what we love

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  10. The story of Mollie just broke my heart. It's been nice to see so many runners running in her honor.

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    1. Every time I see another runner use the hashtag, I get teary-eyed. It's great what runners do for each other <3

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  11. It's been inspiring watching the way the community has rallied around the news of Mollie. I didn't realize it happened so close to home for you. While I can't run much yet, I thought of her on my pool run.

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    1. It's been a tragic ordeal to sort through...I think a part of me is still in denial it really happened.

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  12. What a sad sad story...I can imagine that hits close to home in Iowa with your daughter knowing her. Just so sad. Great to see the running community come together like this.

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  13. Mollie's story is so sad. I can't imagine what her family and friends have been going through. It's amazing how many #MilesforMollie hashtags I've seen in the last few days!

    Enjoy your first week of empty nesting! If you're like me, your little Max will get some extra TLC this week. Thanks for linking.

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    1. Seeing all the hashtags has been heartwarming ;-)

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  14. It's so horrible what happened to Mollie. And it's so hard to know how to respond. I personally don't want to stop running on my own, but I can see how others -- and family members -- would think the risks aren't worth it. ~sigh~

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    1. I know...I keep getting messages from well-meaning loved ones, asking about my safety and what precautions I'm taking

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  15. So sad about Mollie.

    I am not as careful as I should be when I run.
    15 miles! Wow. I struggled weith 12 but I was alone. Running alone is HARD!

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    1. Oh, Barb and I both took turns struggling on Saturday...in each other's company LOL We were determined to finish out our run in Mollie's honor, though...and that definitely took the focus away from us

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  16. I can't believe how often I'm hearing about things happening to runners lately. I used to be able to go out and run alone and not worry about anything. Now I carry pepper spray, mostly without music, and always alert to what's going on around me, just so I can go run on my own sometimes. It's so sad to me that it's become something we have to worry about.

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    1. I agree...running is supposed to be relaxing, not a constant "high alert" endeavor

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  17. It sounds like a tough week :( The mileswithMollie tribute has been great to see and I hope it makes people more aware of what women have to deal with just to go outside on a run :( There was an article I saw over the weekend that said it was "Startling" how many women had been harassed on a run and all I could think of is that it's not surprising to women.

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    1. Agreed. It's frustrating how much of the "safety responsibility" is shifted to US to do...

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  18. Such a sad story, and I can't imagine how it affected you with the closeness to the situation. I had her on my mind on Saturday as I logged some Miles for Mollie.

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    1. SO many of us runners had her on our minds.....so sad ;-(

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  19. I am so sorry, I didn't realize you had such a close connection to Mollie. I did see the video where you were featured. It's such a sad story and I think it's wonderful you were able to run in her honor, especially in tough conditions.

    You're right, every week isn't going to be perfect, but you make the most out of it! Great work this past week.

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    1. Thanks, Janelle ;-) We just have to make the best of what we're given, right?

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  20. It’s so hard to be personally affected by tragedies like this. My heart goes out to your area, and especially your daughter. None of us should have to live in fear of this happening to us.

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    1. I agree...none of us should have to live in fear. Living in fear just gives the evil ones power over us.

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  21. The Mollie Tibbetts story is a tragic one, and I am so sorry for your community's loss. We had a mass shooting on Sunday about 30 miles from where I live with several deaths and injuries and I just wish there was a solution to the senseless loss of life. I am thinking of you during this tough time. :(

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    1. I'm thankful you and your family were safe. Yes, what is it with all the evil in the world?

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  22. I was just waiting to find that someone I knew was connected to Mollie - I'm so sorry. We haven't really had the #MilesforMollie here in the UK, we didn't get much reporting on her, which is crappy but I suppose we've had our own stuff (a double murder of two women by the daughter's ex-boyfriend is our local news at the moment, ugh). But I will gladly dedicate my club run to her tonight in honour, too, of my American running friends. I hate that in this situation women get told what to do rather than men being reminded to not rape and murder us. Hm.

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    1. and more distraction about the perp being illegal vs. the actual actions. So sad.

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    2. I agree...somehow it seems to always come back to the "victims" having to take action...

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  23. It's definitely a scary time, with things like the Mollie situation. I agree with you though as far as maintaining our freedom to run, but being aware of surroundings. I find myself frequently scanning the area in front of me when runs and try to remember to check behind me every few minutes.

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    1. I feel really safe in my town...but with what happened 20 miles away, I know I still have to be on the defense..

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  24. I definitely ran some Miles for Mollie. I agree with you 100%...it's sad, but we can't let someone like that take away our ability to do something we love. I never run with headphones anymore and I have apps on my phone that alert my family members when I'm running and I pause for more than 5 minutes. I try to be as conscientious as possible when I'm running. I'm sorry it hit so close to home for you.

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  25. Mollie's story is so sad, but it so moving what you and other runners are doing in her honor. Her family must be overwhelmed by the outpouring not just in Iowa, but nation-wide. ((hugs))

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    1. I can't imagine what her family is going through....I hope all the love they're receiving from the world gives them some comfort.

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  26. I am sickened over this whole thing. It truly can happen anywhere. What a difficult time for everyone involved. Prayers for healing.

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    1. It's really sad. But, it is empowering how so many runners have risen to the occasion.

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  27. I remember when I first heard about Mollie missing, I was in my hotel room in Florida and I think we were actually getting ready for a race. I had been following the story right up until that evening I heard the outcome! I will be watching the video you posted!

    I love your Umbrella pic!

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