Saturday, October 19, 2019

STOP! Taper Time

...and the Taper goes on...

I am not one to dread the Taper. In fact, I look forward to it with bated breath (quite literally LOL) with every training cycle. It's like a small reward for all the hard work that's gone into the race I've been training for.

That said, things have been a little different this go-round. Much like the training itself has been different in terms of long-run-schedule-juggling (more so than I ever have before), this Taper has thrown me for a bit of a loop as well. I'm still enjoying the Taper, but just this week I experienced a subtle taste of terms of weather (ahem, #wind #cold #rain) and not wanting to exert any extra effort in making workouts happen in said weather.

But, first things first...

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Autumn 2019: What's on Tap

Buckle up, Friends! It's gonna be a bumpy ride...

Things have started to get a little crazy and busy in my running world. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

I have an action-packed line-up of activities (fitness and otherwise) to keep me on my toes for the remainder of the autumn season. There's weekly races, family celebrations, and plenty of entertainment as well.

Care to hear a few of the details?

Monday, October 14, 2019

Run for the Roses 10K

Windy and chilly and hilly. Those are three words that best describe a potentially tough race.

It just so happens, those were the exact race day conditions for the Run for the Roses 10K. The forecast had promised sunny skies, but the sun was a no-show. The wind was ever constant and ever cold. Oh, and hills? They were pretty non-stop as well.

But, it was kind of fun to have a face-to-face showdown with Momma N. Right there, on a chilly morning, on a new (to me) race course.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

No Breaking My Stride

Sometimes you just gotta beat Momma N at her own game.

Case in point, the weather. Just go ahead and try to taper through it (as if simply running through it wasn't tough enough).

I'm no stranger to oddball weather (ahem, born and bred Iowan here), but 2019 has really thrown us some curve balls. What's a runner to do (or anyone, for that matter)? You face it, you adapt to it, and sometimes you adjust your plans accordingly. But you do not let it defeat you. Am I right?

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Allure of a Themed Race

How do you feel about themed races?

Are you one of those who eagerly gets in the spirit (and dresses for the theme)? Or do you "ain't got time for none of that nonsense?"

I have to say that a great thing about themed races is that they draw a lot of participants to the start line. Many participants are people who may not have been interested if it was just a typical road race. Even though some participants may not know all the appropriate race etiquette, it's awesome that they're there, supporting the cause and being active.

I have been running for more than 14 years, and have done a fair share of themed races. Care to hear a bit about a few of my favorites? Read on...

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Weathering the Week

Momma N was in quite a mood this week.

We were treated to the heat and humidity of summer. There was a fair amount of wind and rain. And, we flirted with winter-like temps as well.

It would be nice if she could just pick a lane.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Coffe talk? Chai chat? Call it what you will

Shall we gather together over a warm beverage? I'll be sipping a chai latte'.

Maybe we can chat about the latest race or tough training run (I have had both). Or, we could talk about this proverbial change of seasons (is it really autumn...because it kind of feels like winter, at the moment, in Iowa). How about we share a few laughs, as only friends would do, if we were huddled around an inviting table of friendly faces.

Oh, what WOULD we talk about?

Monday, September 30, 2019

Favorite Features of Favorite Races

I have run a lot of races.

What's that phrase...Too many races, too little time?

There are some races, though, that really stick out. Maybe the race course was fun, or maybe it was tough (and you really had to dig deep to stay in the game). Some race distances are easier than others, but all have their challenges. And then there are the select few that keep you coming back, year after year.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Peaking out the Mileage

Yes, it's just about that time...

My training mileage for the Marine Corps Marathon (October 27th) is peaking. Similar to climbing a rather large (but not necessarily ominous) mountain, my training for this big race is approaching its "peak." The long runs have kept increasing in length. The weekly mileage has reached new heights (no pun intended), as has the monthly mileage.

Thankfully, once this summit is reached, the taper will happen. My training will be scaled back, all in prep for the big day. But, I'm not quite there yet (stay tuned...that'll be happening in a couple of weeks).

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Runfessions - Farewell to Summer

I seriously cannot believe I just acknowledged the Farewell to Summer reality...

I've been in denial for the past several weeks, after all. Even in the midst of all the darkness-laden runs I've done as of late, a part of me kept hanging on to the last semblance of those warm temps that I adore so much.

Oddly, I'm not too sad. Trust me, I AM sad (just not sad enough to cower under the covers and refuse to step outside). In a strange, cathartic kind of way, it does feel good to move forward into the autumn season. Summer will be there waiting for me in 8-9 months. Let's not forget that in another three months, we'll pass the winter solstice and the days will start getting longer...but I'm getting ahead of myself. Glass half full, my friends!

None the less, let's runfess....

Monday, September 23, 2019

2019 Kickoff to Kinnick 5K - the race that went virtual

There's a first time for everything, right?

On Saturday, September 21, I got to experience my first-ever canceled race. The funny thing is, many of us took it upon ourselves to run the race anyways. Runners are stubborn like that.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Making It Happen

Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow and make things happen your own way.

It was another week with all kinds of weather changes (and subsequent challenges). Summer? Fall? Or wait, was it early fall or late summer? Both?

Not everything went as planned, but it all got done. In the end, that's really what matters, right?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Fall Fitness Transitioning Tips

Do you like running in the fall?

A lot of runners sing the praises of fall because they welcome the cooler temps for their runs.
Myself? Not so much.

Don't get me wrong; I do enjoy fall and the cooler temps can be pleasant. The cooler temps, though, can also be unpredictable and extreme (ummm, low-40's in the morning, high-70's in the afternoon, thank you very much).

Let's not forget the shorter days also throw in another daylight. My early morning runs (and occasional walks and bike rides) are now in 100% darkness. I'm still getting them done, but the change of seasons dictates I change a few habits for the time-being.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Taper - Yay or Nay?

How do YOU feel about Taper?

Dread it? Love it? Hate to love it?

Many runners dread the taper, fearing they will lose some of their fitness gains, endurance or speed by easing up on their training.

Myself? I'm a fan.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Going with Plan B

If at first you don't succeed, go with Plan B (or something like that).

How's that for a strategy? This week had me switching my plans around, pretty much on the daily. Not a bad thing, really, but it definitely keeps one's creative juices flowing in strategizing how to get it all done.

First world probs, am I right?

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Biking in the Dark...doesn't have to be scary doesn't have to just happen in the daylight hours.

With the daylight hours dwindling, there isn't a lot of natural light available this time of year. For those who work outside the home, the optimum daylight is even more scarce.

Have you ever been tempted to saddle up and ride under the stars, but were hesitant? Not sure how safe it is? Read on...

Monday, September 9, 2019

At-Home Workouts: Options Aplenty!

Did you know a gym is not a requirement for a good workout?

Easy for me to say, right? After all, I am a runner, and 98.999% of my runs happen in a non-gym setting (and, most of those runs also happen outdoors, in all kinds of extreme temps and weather conditions).

Granted, I do have a treadmill, but it's no secret that I seldom use it. I also have an elliptical, but that's reserved more for the colder months when it's too cold or dangerous to safely be outside. I don't have a gym membership, nor do I have a viable space in my house for a home gym. I do manage to work out almost every day, though, in some capacity.

I believe if I can find a way to make the workouts happen, anyone else can too.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Doubling Down

Doubling down. Double trouble. Double or nothing.

Call it what you will, there was all kinds of double duty going down this past week. Not only was there some major recovery happening (from Sunday's NewBo Half Marathon), but, technically, I was also coming off a "scale-back" from the previous week. Can you see the double objectives at play?

Fortunately, I made it work...

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Coffee Chat: Summer Don't Go...

What happened to summer?

That's the thought that's been on auto-repeat for the past couple of weeks. I could tell the days were getting shorter (those #5at5 runs have seen the sun rising later and later), and now the temps have gotten cool as well. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm just not ready for it to happen...yet.

In fact, there are several things I have enjoyed this summer. I don't want to see any of them coming to a screeching halt.

Let's gather for a virtual cup of coffee (or any beverage of choice), shall we?  Maybe there's a few others out there who want summer to stick around for a little longer....

Monday, September 2, 2019

NewBo Run Half Marathon Recap

Don't ya just love the draw of a fairly new (to you) race? Throw in a great organizational team, a timely race date (I'm looking at your, MCM training) and a small thirst for redemption and I'm there.

Such was the case for the 2019 NewBo Run.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Welcome to the Dark Side

Welcome to the dark side.

Let me clarify...this dark side is in reference to daylight (or lack thereof), not running. Ugh. Just like that, the early morning daylight has dwindled down to the barest of minimums. It's not a crisis, nor will it keep me from doing my early-morning thing (usually outdoors, none the less), but it is a buzzkill.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Runfessing my current reality

My current reality is one I've never experienced before.

I've been dealing with the (looming) change of seasons. The daylight is dwindling. My fitness has been evolving. Yadda yadda yadda.

So, there's plenty to runfess...

Monday, August 26, 2019

Running with your own Sherpa


Have you ever had the luxury of running with a sherpa?

A sherpa, in the most basic sense, is someone who is along for the ride (or run), with the sole purpose of supporting someone else. A lot of endurance athletes (for example: runners who do ultra races that encompass double-digit hours on their feet) have a support crew to assist them throughout their event.

In my case, I was the runner (embarking on a long run in a strange place) and my hubby was my sherpa (carrying some of my gear, keeping me company and acting as a tour guide), via his bike.

Sounds like a perfect scenario, doesn't it?

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Adaptability. Flexibility. Going with the Flow.

Adaptability. Flexibility. And going with the flow. That was the theme this week...

That's life, especially when you're a runner.

Weather was a factor. The muscles had their moments of crankiness. And there was a shift in routine, due to travel. Alas, everything worked out just fine.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Biking - Running's Perfect Partner

I certainly never could have seen this coming.

So many miles (many of which happened in the wee hours)! It got my heart pumping, I was blessed with some fasted cardio, and there was plenty of sweat equity earned along the way.

There were some flat routes, and there were many hills climbed as well. My endurance, as well as my grit, was tested on numerous occasions. And, each time I finished...feeling quite accomplished.

I'm talking about my new fitness fix - biking. And it has been a total game changer for me this summer.

Monday, August 19, 2019

8 Tips to Get 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. 

I've been running (and racing) for over 14 years. Needless to say, I have learned a lot through trial and error (emphasis on the errors).

A little planning ahead of time can ease the race day stress. It may not eliminate the start line nerves, but having a lot of the details ironed out before the big day will make getting there a little easier. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

This week's Fitness? All kinds of "F" bombs...

This week had so many "F-it!" moments...but all in a good way.

Perhaps I should elaborate, a bit? We're talking fitness, after all. Some of these moments were fun and freaky, some demanded unexpected flexibilty with my schedule, and there may have been a few (or several) filters used in the pics highlighting said moments.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Running - Doing it My Way

The comparison game is a bunch of crock.

I think we've all played it to some extent (at least I know I have). We've played this stupid game as women, as moms, as friends, as community volunteers, as wives, and as athletes. It does us no good. And, quite frankly, I'm done with it.

 Enter the genre of running and it can get especially tricky. It's really quite ridiculous, after all, to compare one's running abilities, objectives or standards to those of others. After all, we have different genetic makeup, varying degrees of "free" time (for training), and we all are driven by different stimuli.

I have long contemplated where I fit in within the sport of running, and I have tried to be a "real runner." It's only in recent years that I finally realized we all define "real runner" by our own individual goals and aspirations. And, finally, in recent years, I have achieved true contentment with MY running.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

There's the SUN, let's get it DONE

Oh, how I love the sunshine!  I certainly love being outside as much as possible. Thankfully, it was a week full of both.

Even though the sunrises are happening a bit later than I'd prefer (and the sunsets are happening earlier), I'm still enjoying the great outdoors. I  have been #optingoutside on a daily basis, which is perfection in my world. No regrets!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

4-Letter Words for Runners (that aren't so bad)

There are certain 4-letter words that many runners consider taboo.

Quite often, these words are usually spoken (in public, at least) with the utmost distaste. For a lot of  people, the best solution is to simply avoid them. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

...but what about that comfort zone?

Monday, August 5, 2019

Family Fitness in the running shoes

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.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

By the Dawn’s Early Light

What can I say? I love the early mornings!

With an 8:00 a.m. start to my workday, it works out best to get my fitness fix(es) done bright and early. This past week was no exception to that routine. I was blessed with near-perfect weather (though a bit chilly on a couple mornings) and a bounty of beautiful sunrises.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Shall we chat? ...over chai?

Shall we chat? Over chai?

Well, if you're more of a coffee person, I'm totally good with that. Either way, what say we grab our mugs, find a table, and have some chatter.

What would you share if we were having coffee (or chai) together?

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

2019 Bix-7 Recap

Supposedly, the third time is the charm. For myself, though, the fourth time was where the magic happened.

I'm talking about the Quad City Times Bix-7. This past weekend, I returned to this famous event (after a 5-year hiatus), with all kinds of hopes and aspirations for a PR. After all, 2019 has been pretty kind to me in terms of my racing endeavors, including a couple of hot and humid races earlier this month. Why not hope for the best?

Sunday, July 28, 2019

A week of Miles and Smiles

Well, it's been quite a week, from start to finish.

There's been running (duh!). I've done some walking (nothing new there). Speedwork made a reappearance (it's been awhile...). There was quite a bit of action on the bike (what the WHAT?!?).

The week played out nicely, and I'll be smiling about this week for quite some time.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

'Fessing up for July

 Well, what's to runfess this month?

Quite honestly, I don't have much to grumble about. My mileage has been decent. I've had a few races, and those have gone well. My cross-training has been legit. Everyone's in good health....

...but there a few things I'll share. After all, it's that time of the month...time to Runfess so we can all sleep a little better at night (since a lot of us probably have an early-morning workout on tap).

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Riding The HEAT WAVE

Shall we talk about the 2019 heat wave?

Recently, Momma N dropped a major heat wave on most of the US. Honestly, it happens every year (most likely, several times, depending on where you call home). But doesn't it always seem to be the "hottest one on record?"

It is Summer, after all, and Summer is historically hot, at least in my area. Instead of cowering inside, wishing it away, I try to make the best of it and enjoy it for what it's worth. As I have said (repeatedly, in recent weeks), I'll take this melting heat, any day, over the freeze of Winter. At least it ain't snowing, right? We gotta keep that frosty mug half full!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Running Walking Biking in the HEAT

Baby it's hot outside...

Trust me, I am NOT complaining (remember, I waited 10 months for summer to return to Iowa). The heat does make it a bit more of a challenge to enjoy the great outdoors, though.

I'm still taking most of my cardio workouts outdoors. Even when the mercury is off the charts, and it's hotter than Hades, I usually shun the inside option. I figure if I'm gonna be sweating anyways, I might as well enjoy the scenery.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Midnight Madness 2019 15K Recap

Here we go again!

I first took part in the Midnight Madness Races in 2016. I was registered for the 15K (which is the combo of the 5K and the 10K, run back-to-back on the same evening). Long story short, it didn't go well; the 5K resulted in a personal worst (thanks to a major struggle bus adventure) and I pulled out of the 10K after the first mile (my one and only DNF to date). I had some wonky hip flexor thing going on and I should not have even started the first race.

I returned in 2018, hungry for redemption. I ran the 5K much better (5th place AG), and also was able to snag a 3rd place AG in the 10K. Redemption was all mine.

This past weekend, I returned to defend my 10K AG honors, here's what happened...

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Going All Out

Sometimes, you just go all out and hang on tight.

It's been an exciting week, complete with a dramatic roller coaster ride in terms of weather, fitness, and all things outside.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Say hello to Gustavas

It's been a long time coming.

Not my getting a bike, but actually christening said bike with an official name.

But let's rewind for a minute...

Monday, July 8, 2019

Fifth Season Health Solutions 8K Race Recap

I'm all about a running a race on a significant holiday, and the 4th of July is no exception.

I love dressing for the occasion (in red, white and blue). Here in the Midwest, it's usually going to be warm, so that eliminates the stress of proper layering. Independence Day is a holiday that brings a lot of people out of hiding, so crowd support is usually a given. And if it's a new-to-me event, all the better!

Thursday, July 4th, was the date, and Cedar Rapids, IA was the setting for the 34th year of the Fifth Season Health Solutions Races. My friend, Barb, and myself were doing the 8K, while the hubby was running the 5K. The start time was 8:00 for the 8K and 8:15 for the 5K...and we were excited!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

What day is it...again?

It's been an out-of-sorts kind of week.

The temps were especially muggy, there was a holiday, and I ran a mid-week race. All of which was great, but I think I spent the majority of the week in a state of confusion and flux. First world probs, right?

Thursday, July 4, 2019

A Coffee Date...shall we?

If we were having coffee, I'd probably be opting for water.

How's that for a buzzkill on this much-awaited, monthly coffee get-together? It's not that I'm anti-coffee...I simply just do not care for the taste of it. But, I could sit in a coffee shop all day, basking in the heavenly aroma of the stuff.

That said, it's gotten so hot in Iowa ((finally)), that I'm slamming the water like it's my job. That's all good...the heat AND all the water. Glass half full (no pun intended LOL).

Anyways, there's a lot of stuff I'd share with you, as you enjoy your java...

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

A journey of Gratitude

It's been an interesting two years.

It hasn't been easy, but it's been very enlightening. Definitely not a journey I'd choose to repeat, nor wish on anyone else, but it left me with some valuable lessons. And I'm ever grateful for the experience.

In case there's any doubts, I'm talking about my journey with Voldy.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Suddenly Summer!

Suddenly, it's Summer!!!!

That's right, Friends, the calendar proclaimed it to be summer (over a week ago), and it finally feels like it has officially full steam, none the less.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Runfessions for June

Gosh it seems like I was just runfessing to y'all, like last week.

As per usual, lots of stuff has been happening, in the running shoes and otherwise.  We stay "young" by staying active, right? At least that's my theory.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Running is a choice; My Choice

I have made some interesting choices recently, and all have come with interesting outcomes.

What's especially interesting is how many of these choices all came together on an unsuspecting #nevermissaMonday run.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Welcome to...Summer (?)

Happy Summer...or is it?

Seriously, Momma N!  Can you cut us a (weather) break?

The calendar officially indicates it is Summer, but the temps have still been waivering in Iowa. Granted, at least it isn't snowing, but this warm-weather gal really wants the real feel of summer. Anyways, that's all minimal. I was still able to get outside everyday, so things are good.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Hot Summer RUNNING

Some like it hot, and some not so much.

We're talking about running here, specifically running in the summer heat!

I'm all about running in the hot summer temps. Granted, I realize I'm one of very few who glorifies the summer heat...but it's really not THAT bad. Honestly!