Sunday, October 25, 2020

Thumbs Down on the Weather


Talk about your roller coaster rides!

I'm not talking about an amusement park endeavor, but the whacked-out weather that was my reality this past week. WHEW, it was quite a ride!

It's no secret I'm a die-hard hot weather gal, so this simulated winter wonderland (of sorts) was most unwelcome.  It was laden with all kinds of 4-letter words not many of us want to hear...mist, rain, wind, and snow.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

A Bit of a Sneaky Streak Seeker


I have a bit of a confession...I'm a bit of a sneaky streak seeker.

I'm not embarrassed, nor the least bit ashamed. And, I must confess that I'm not really sure how it all began, nor do I wish it to end.

Streaking, in terms of fitness, has its merits. It also has potential downfalls, if done carelessly. But there's a pretty significant sense of accomplishment in knowing that you completed (or are still maintaining) a streak.

Monday, October 19, 2020

If I could live (and run) anywhere...



If I could live and run anywhere...

Gosh, the possibilities are endless. I won't name any specific cities (that could potentially elicit some drama...and we don't need any of that these days). But I definitely could give you some ideal settings and backdrops. 

Care to hear a few?

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Against the Wind...on the daily


How do you like your wind? 

Myself? The wind is pretty much my biggest nemesis. It doesn't keep me inside, but it's definitely not my favorite dragon to slay.

That said, I can't exactly brag about slaying any dragons this week. I certainly did battle with plenty of them, though, both on bike and on foot. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Five Ways To Intensify Your Strength Workout


Are you a fan of strength workouts?

It's no secret that I am! 

It's been just over 10 years since I was introduced to the world of strength-training, and it's been a pretty fun ride. While I'm not a coach (Ha! As if! LOL), I have learned a lot about the sport of pumping iron.

I'm also a creature of habit. It's all too easy to get stuck in a routine and not venture very far from that which we feel the most comfortable. 

Fortunately, I'm also one who is always looking for new ways to do old things. Such is the case with my at-home workouts. I don't have much for fancy equipment, but I do have a few sets of dumbbells. They get a lot of use, usually weekly.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Speaking of Rest...


Rest. 

It's a necessary part of the program, so why is it so tough to honor and respect?

Not that anyone was asking, but I'll give you my answer:

I think "resting" is tough to do because there's not any one perfect way to do it. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Let's Rally!

It's been quite a week!

Although Momma N kept the wind coming, she did bless us with some decent summer-like temps and weather conditions. I guess she can play nice, on occasion. I'll give her that.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Favorite Memories, via the blog


My life embarked on a fulfilling journey when I became a runner.

And, my world took an interesting turn when I became a blogger.

Blogging has been a fun, time-consuming, scary and oh-so-rewarding experience. Not only has it been a great way to network with fellow runners, but it's been an archive of some significant running memories and milestones.

We all go through difficult times in our personal and professional lives, and running is no exception. Often times, I have turned to my own archived blog posts to renew my spirit and enthusiasm for the sport, as well as my confidence. Let's face it...it's not usually our abilities that falter, but our faith in them that does.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Weathering The Week


Let's just say it was a windy week in Iowa.

I think most people know I'm a huge all-things-summer gal, so this intro to Fall 2020 was a bit of a challenge to embrace. I can tolerate the cooler temps, but Momma N was insistent on also blessing us with wind on a daily basis. And it wasn't a warm breezy kind of wind, either.

Oh well, at least she's not dropping any of the white stuff on us yet (knock on wood).

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Chai and Chatter and (bicycle) Chains


What say we gather (virtually, of course) and chat for a bit? 

You can have your beverage of choice (hot or cold), but I'm opting for a chai latte.' We can discuss the latest happenings in our lives, and give each other a (virtual) hug of encouragement and support. After all, COVID-19 has not yet left us and things are a bit strained at the moment.

Care to join me?

Monday, September 28, 2020

Running Mistakes...Anyone?


Running mistakes? 

Yes, I've made a few (actually several, but who's counting?).

The thing with mistakes, running or otherwise, is they are part of the process. If we did everything perfect all the time, I question just how much we'd actually learn.

Care to hear a few of mine?

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Rewinding back to Summer


I'm all about Summer.

The temps. The sunshine. The warm breeze(s). The proverbial "glistening and glowing" following an outdoor workout. It's all good, and thankfully, there was plenty of it this past week. 

Even though we are now on the dark side of the Autumnal Equinox, and the daylight is decreasing on the daily, this past week gave me a brief rewind back to Summer. You can bet I was outside, enjoying every last minute of it.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

stress fracture 'fessions


 

Please forgive me, dear runners. It's been 42 days since my last run..

I wish I could have been running this past month, and I wish I was #runfessing about it now. But I am gonna break stride (see what I did there?) and share some #StressFractureFessions this go-round. After all, this stress fracture has been my reality since August 19th, when it was first diagnosed.

Anyways, shall we begin?

Monday, September 21, 2020

All Fueled Up with SiS


Disclaimer: I received a supply of Science In Sport gels to review as part of being a Bibrave Pro. Learn more about becoming a Bibrave Pro (ambassador), and check out Bibrave.com to review, find, and write race reviews.

Ever find a product that felt like a perfect fit, right from the start?

As a runner, I had my go-to brand of gels that I used for fuel. I used them for many training runs and races, for many years, with never any glitches. I don't know if their formula(s) changed, or if my body chemistry (for lack of a better metaphor) was altered...but in recent years, those gels were no longer compatible with me or my fitness needs.

It felt like starting over when I began my quest for a new fuel. You know the drill...trial and error with various other forms of fuel (different gels, chews, powders), some with water (and some without), before running (or during a run). Yadda Yadda Yadda.

I had tried the SiS gels a couple years ago, and was really excited to try some new varieties. Let me sum this up in four words...These Gels Are Great!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Riding Through the Last of Summer


Yikes. Where, oh where, did my summer go? 

Oh, yeah...I've spent the last five weeks sans running, power-walking or stair-climbing. The daylight has dramatically diminished. And, the temps are flirting with a fall-like crispness. That's not all bad, but ugh. It's definitely not summer anymore. 

This past week brought back some much-missed sunshine, and the rain stayed away. I was able to #optoutside on a daily basis, so I really cannot complain.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Speedwork...Anyone?


Confession...I never had much of a need for speed.

Although I've been a runner for the past 15 years, speedwork only made an appearance in recent years. In all honesty, it still isn't much of a priority.

Although it is exciting to set new PR's, I have never based my love of running on how fast I could go. Frankly, I'm kind of a klutzy and awkward athlete. Running fast does not come easy for me, nor do I look especially graceful or svelte in attempting to do so.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

"Raining" It In


Things turned rather cold and damp this week.

We're talking rain, wind, and unseasonably cold temps, almost on a daily basis. Long sleeves, leggings/tights, and gloves were pretty much standard on the bike rides this week. There were a few days where even a headband (over my ears) was necessary. 

It's technically still summer for another week, but Momma N certainly got this week's weather wrong.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Not My Usual DAM to DSM


For everything there is a season...

...and for every challenging circumstance, there is a solution.

As a runner, there are few things more frustrating than an injury. Often times, we can feel the injury gently knocking on the door, other times it comes crashing through the doorway.

The same goes for race cancellations. We've all had a few (or several) of those to face this year. 

And then there's MY reality....

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Sidelined? So What!


 

Sidelined doesn't have to mean sedentary.

Thank goodness for small miracles, because sitting still is not my gig.

As this goes to press, I'm entering Week 3 of Stress Fracture Recovery. Woot! Yay for me, this is my first-ever fracture of any kind...and it hasn't been too painful or frustrating. Yet.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

My current coffee "situation"


My current coffee "situation" is not like anything I could have imagined a few weeks ago.

Things aren't fabulous, but they're manageable. Fortunately, I'm not prisoner to a pity party, nor am I dwelling on the things I'm (temporarily) not able to do. Again, it's that "big picture" perspective. Knowing that I have 100% control of my attitude is pretty empowering.

That said, there are a few things I'd like discuss over coffee. Care to join me? 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Best Running Advice: Be Grateful


I have been an avid runner for over 15 years.

I have received a  lot of valuable advice in that time. The advice has come from running experts, coaches, online research, and fellow runners. 

I know what shoes are best for my feet, the value in warming up (and cooling down), and how to pace myself in a race of (almost) any distance. I have learned to run my own race and to opt out of the comparison game. Although I'm still very much a work-in-progress, I'm thankful for all that I've learned.

The most valuable lesson, though, has come from my own experience...and that is to always be grateful.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Reroute #downloading


There's nothing wrong with rerouting once in awhile.

Thank goodness we don't have to be stuck on a one-way path on our feet, on the bike or in life. Besides, taking a detour will allow us to see a few bonus details we otherwise wouldn't have experienced. At least that's what I'm embracing at the moment. 

As my fitness world adjusts to my current reality, I'm having to reroute my routine. It's been an interesting challenge thus far, and certainly remains a work-in-progress... 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

It's 'fession Time, but Where Do I Even Begin...


It's 'fession time, but where do I even begin?

As if 2020 hasn't been a wicked ride on a broken roller coaster, August has not exactly been a picnic in the park.  In fact, the past month has thrown a tank of lemons in my direction. 

It's a good thing I have an affection for lemonade! By the way, I'll take that lemonade straight up, sans anything mixed in, because I don't trust myself not to spill.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Going For A Group Ride


There's a first time for everything, and this was a fun endeavor for this first-timer.

I'm talking biking here, specifically group bike riding. Only this was more than just a group ride...there was food and drink, and plenty of door prizes. Several friends were in tow. And there were a whole lot of laughs along the way.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Detour!


How about a plot twist, you know, just to make things interesting?

As if 2020 hasn't been crazy enough, the month of August has certainly thrown a few curve balls my way. Somehow, I've kept my big girl pants properly hoisted and have been able to soldier through (most of) everything. This week, though, got a little nutzo...

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Riding the Storm Out #Literally


Yikes. Can you say DERECHO?

Trust me, that's a word I'd never heard of prior to this past week. It was a week that demanded a lot of juggling and some rearranging, and a lot of attention to priorities. It definitely gave me a good test of patience and grit...but that's all good (I say that in retrospect LOL).

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Kinda Outta Kilter


It was one of those "outta kilter" weeks.

Isn't it crazy how when things get tough, they multiply (and/or just keep getting tougher)? Fortunately, tough times makes us tougher. Once the battle is over, we're much stronger for the fight...but it can seem pretty ominous at the time. 

Such was a peek into my life this past week.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Gimme A (coffee) Break


If there ever was a coffee date I've been needing, it would be this one.

Actually, I'd be savoring a chai latte. As much as I love the aroma of coffee, I've never acquired a taste for the stuff. I do adore the quaint atmosphere of a coffee shop, though. And if there are a few friends, gathered around an intimate table...well, all the better.

I'm not a stress-filled, anxiety-consumed person...usually. Things have been a little out-of-the-ordinary in recent weeks, though, and I'm eagerly waiting for a break in the action, so to speak. There's a lot to be said for things returning back to their original positions.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Enjoying the Sun; Getting it Done


Have I ever mentioned how much I embrace the sunshine?

Even when the temps are warm (or hot & humid), there's something about the sunshine that brightens my day, literally and figuratively. Seeing a sunrise always brings a smile, and guarantees a great start to the day.

Or, is that just me?

This week was full of sunshine, pretty much everyday. And, those sunrises! The #artgeek in me had plenty reasons to smile.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

'fessing with the best of them


It's that time of the month and, yet again, there's plenty to 'fess about.

I know, I know...these are supposed to be runfessions, but I have a few extra 'fessions that need to be shared as well. After all, most of us runners have lives outside of our running shoes, right?

So, let's get started...

Monday, July 27, 2020

2020 (virtual) Bix-7 recap


The Quad-City Times Bix-7 is yet another favorite race that succumbed to a virtual format.

To say this was like any other virtual race, though, would be a drastic untruth. But, hey, this 2020. We got to make the best of the situation...so that's what we did.

When I say "we," I'm referencing (1) the Bix-7 event itself (I was an ambassador, so I got to see things--somewhat--from an insider perspective), (2) the virtual race course I ran on on race day, and (3) my awesome virtual team of badass runner friends, Team On Fire.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Just go ahead and GLOW


There's been all kinds of glistening and glowing in my world this week.

I'm quite alright with that. It's summer in Iowa; it's gonna be hot and it's gonna be humid (and not necessarily in that order). Besides, a little bit of sweat never hurt no one.

It was another week of (mostly) outdoor fitness, and I'm alright with that, too.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

100 Days of Walking


I may be a runner, but go ahead and call me a walker, too.

Honestly, I will not take offense to being called a walker. Some runners shun walking, and may even be ashamed to walk during a run or a race, but not me. After all, walking has served me quite well, even before April 16th.

What's so significant about April 16th? That's when the Outdoor Walking Streak began.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Warm Weather Outdoor Options


It's been a hot summer thus far.

Trust me, I am NOT complaining (after all, I waited 9 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 make it a priority to take 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.

That said, the extreme heat of summer is nothing to take for granted. It commands all of your respect and every last ounce of common sense.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Fitness Fun With or Without the Sun


It was another interesting week in Iowa.

There were some hot days, and there were some pleasantly cool mornings. Some with sunshine, and some without. And, again, I was able to take most of my fitness outdoors. 

I am ever thankful for the opportunities, and pretty grateful for the privilege.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Favorite Running Places & Spaces


We all have our favorites, don't we?

There are favorite foods to eat. Most of us have a favorite pair of shoes. Some have a favorite color (and some of us have several). 

Many of us are runners, and we have our favorite running routes.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Keeping in Stride by Opting Outside


Can you say Humidity?

Better yet...can you feel it? Humidity is no stranger to Iowa summers, but it's really been intense in recent weeks. I think we've had constant high humidity, every day, for the past three weeks. We did get a brief (maybe six hours?) reprieve Friday morning, but the humidity returned with a vengeance by mid-afternoon.

It is what it is, and (as I have said several times) I will gladly take the heat (and humidity) over the frigid temps of winter. After all, it's only here for such a short while...I wish I could say the same for Winter.

I believe this was week #4 of taking all of my workouts to the great outdoors. I don't get to enjoy that year-round, either, so I try to take advantage of the extended daylight and outdoor conditions.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Let's Take a Ride...a Long Ride


"Let's go for a ride," he said. 

It was the hubby's idea, and this ride was estimated at being upwards of 50 miles.

Oh, and this wasn't a car ride; it was a bike ride. Prior to this, my longest ride had been 20 miles on a borrowed road bike (for the Flying Pigs Duathlon, August 2015). This ride would be substantially longer, and it was on a mountain bike. 

What could go wrong?

Monday, July 6, 2020

Sully Freedom Fun Run 2020 recap


Well, it had been a long time coming, at least in my world.

After a 4-month hiatus, a live race became a reality for me. To say I was excited would be an understatement. After all, if this was any other year, I would have probably had at least eight other races done in that time span. Thankfully, there was a slew of virtual races to keep me busy. 

When I got word about the 2020 Sully Freedom Fun Run, though, it didn't take me long to register.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

It's Feeling Hot Hot Hot and Humid


Anyone else feeling #HotHotHot this week?

Summer does get hot in Iowa, and we certainly have our fair share of humidity. We usually get an intermittent day (or a few) with reduced dampness in the air...but that wasn't the case this week. It is what it is, and I'll gladly take this over sub-freezing temps and snow. I'm just grateful my body can tolerate it. 

That said, it was another week of outdoor daily fitness. Hey, if I'm gonna get my "glow"on, I might as well be outside with the sunshine and fresh air. 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Just Chillin' with a July Chai


Don't mind me, I'm just chilling with a (hot) chai latte,' in the July heat.

 Can't you just see (or feel) the irony?

We all have our drinks of preference, and I'll choose a hat chai (most days) over anything else. The summer heat, and subsequent humidity, came barreling in this past week. Personally, I don't mind the heat much, but the humidity really does a number on my hair. Oh well, at least it's not snowing.

Anyways, it's that time of the month most of us look forward to...time for gathering round a table and chatting, virtually that is.  Shall we get started?

Monday, June 29, 2020

To Catch a Sunrise...


I've had a thing for sunrises lately.

I guess it's a byproduct of my being an avid #artgeek and an early-riser.

Honestly, the summer season is so short (at least in Iowa), I refuse to let all these sunrises go to waste. I'm not only willing (and able) to sacrifice a little bit of sleep, but that's what my body seems to prefer. Heck, most mornings I'm awake before any alarms go off. 

There are many benefits to getting outside early on a summer morning, though. Catching a beautiful sunrise is just a bonus.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Summer Heat Meets the Street


Baby, it done got hot.

In the state of Iowa, that is. Don't worry, I'm not complaining (though a tad less humidity would be nice).

As I've said a time (or ten) before, I wait upwards of 10 months for summer weather to arrive. I don't spend much time indoors (other than for working and sleeping), so the heat and humidity are just part of the reality. I'm good with that.

I was able to take all my workouts outdoors again this week, so there was plenty of sweat equity deposited in the fitness bank. I'm totally fine with that as well.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Runfess? I Think YES!


It's really a good thing we have the opportunity to runfess each month.

If we were talking full disclosure, there's always a few things that I need to come clean on anyways. I've learned it's always best to runfess and move on. I can only imagine it's the same for others...am I right?

That being said, here's the latest...

Monday, June 22, 2020

My Summer Running Essentials


Summer, easily, is my favorite season for running. 

I love the fresh air (even on a hot, humid day). I love the sunshine. And I love logging all those outdoor miles. Even without much happening this year for Fall races, I still plan on running and training as if there were (though with some modifications).

A huge part of running is the having the necessary gear. Having the "right" gear, though, will vary from one runner to another. Just as we all train differently, we all have different preferences on what we deem essential.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Cruising into the Solstice


...and just like that, the solstice arrived.

I gotta admit, I have mixed feelings about the summer solstice. I'm all about the heat of summer, the extended daylight, and all things green, flowering, and beautiful. But once the solstice hits, we start that downhill jaunt to winter. Even though the days will stay long and bright for awhile, they will be (ever-so-slightly) getting shorter. UGH.

All the more reason to get outside, everyday, and enjoy these summer days to the fullest. And I did just that this week, taking all of my workouts to the great outdoors.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

So.....Now WHAT?


So...anyone else looking at a big question mark for the Summer of 2020?

You probably heard that my marathon has been cancelled. Yes, I'm bummed, but I'm not heart-broken. Don't worry, I will not be hanging up the running shoes or giving up on my fitness. Things are going to be different from what I've come to know for the past 12 years, though.

Honestly, this is going to be way out of my comfort zone. I'm not afraid of all the unknowns or lack of schedule. But with no big Fall race on the calendar, I feel like I'm embarking on a journey into the great unknown.

It's both exciting and a bit eerie, but it is what it is.

Monday, June 15, 2020

12 Weeks of 5K’s Virtually UN-Canceled


I guess you could say my training took an interesting twist this Spring. 

With all of my races either getting canceled, or assuming virtual status, nothing was looking normal. COVID-19 may have wreaked havoc on my races, but I wasn’t going to let it dictate my (running) livelihood. 

Thanks to the UN-Canceled Project, (promoted by Run The Edge), I fostered a new game plan. 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Outside Is Alright


Opting outside for the win!

It's summer, after all. As I've said a time or two (or several), I've waited a good nine months for this weather. I'm not going to "enjoy" it from the confines of my house.  

Quite honestly, there's no place I'd rather be than outside. Fortunately, this past week afforded me the opportunity to take my workouts outdoors, on a daily basis. Let's just say there was a whole lot of sweating and smiling going on.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

10 Days, 10 Pics



10 Days. 10 Pics.

If you were asked to share 10 random running pics, that all had significant meaning, would you be able to do so?

Sure, we all probably have hundreds (thousands?) of running pics to choose from. Could you narrow it down to just 10, though?
 
Oh, and here's the challenging part, you aren't supposed to say anything about them. Just the 10 pics, over the course of 10 days. No explanations.