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.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Red Flannel Run 2018

As many of you know, I had a terrible (no exaggeration!) dilemma on my mind last Friday.

As with many difficult things, what does a runner do when they're faced with a potential crisis (again, no exaggeration!)? They seek out the advice, counsel, and support from fellow runners. And, as usual, the runner friends came through (full details are on last Friday's post, Should I Stay, or Should I Go?).

The 29th Red Flannel Run happened on Saturday, February 10th, and (thankfully!) I was there to take part in the festivities. I first ran this in 2011, then returned in 2012 and 2013, I had to take a pass in 2014 (due to a scheduling conflict), but returned in 2015, 2016, and 2017. I have always run the 5-mile race, but there is also 5K.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Can you say SNOW???

If I had to pick a theme for this past week, it would have to be SNOW, because we got  lots of it!

It's really too bad I totally jinxed myself on a recent post (Runfessions, Anyone?) where I proclaimed that I thought the worst of winter was in the rear window. HA! Apparently, Momma N was not about to go down without a fight.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Ok, so here's my dilemma...

I have a favorite race, the Red Flannel Run (a 5-miler) happening on Saturday (Des Moines, IA). And there's a lot of snow in the forecast for Friday and cold temps on deck for race day (and possibly more snow that morning as well).

But, I have run this race many times, and the cold never bothered me anyway (well, not much #iowatough). After all, this is Iowa, and it's February. Historically, it's always cold for this race, although there have been a couple years where we've had pleasant temps in the 30's and there's usually been ample sunshine.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

I'm Content

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. 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, aspirations, or goals 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 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.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Back in the Training Mode

Ah, it feels good to be back!

My off-season officially came to a close this past week, and my Back in the Training Mode season became a reality. Here's what all went down:

Thursday, February 1, 2018

What Have I Done For Me lately?

How often do you take stock of what you actually do for YOU?

Recently, I  realized that I'd been doing well in the self-service department. I have tried new workouts (Hello? Burpees galore!). I've let myself sleep-in a few times (with ZERO guilt). And I've been more mindful of my nutrition. Not bad, huh!

Would you like to hear the latest?

Monday, January 29, 2018

Fun Times on a Favorite Trail

Do you have a favorite little home town race? You know, one that keeps you coming back every year?

It's true, I enjoy the big races...with their official timing mats and fancy tech shirts (in gender-specific sizing, none the less). They usually have nice bling and draw a huge crowd, some even have bountiful post-race spreads of food and drink.

But, often times, those big events lack the small town charm the smaller races offer. One such (somewhat) small event that I have done numerous times is the Grimes Farm Run.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Now That's More Like It

Ah, now that's more like it.

The mild weather. The increasing daylight. The on-going fitness. Life is good.

What all went down this past week, and why are things feeling pretty good?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Runfessions, Anyone?

There's been a lot of interesting stuff happening.

And I have had a lot of interesting thoughts on the matter. It's a good thing it's that time of the month...you know, when we runners can bare it all among one another and breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Runfessions, anyone? I'll share a few of mine with you....

Sunday, January 21, 2018

If These Shoes Could Talk...

If your running shoes could talk, what would they say?

Probably a lot.

Is there anything we love more about running than our shoes?  Well, yes, we love our running friends, we love our bling, we love the rush of adrenaline at the start lines...but oh, how we love our shoes. Seriously, the shoes are the major players that make it all possible.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The (weather) Pendulum Swings Back...

Seriously, We keep going from one extreme to the other.

Momma N is up to her old games again. Last weekend, it was bitterly cold...like sub-ZERO with "feels like" temps. And, this weekend, we entertained late spring-like weather. Mind you, I am NOT complaining about the warm up, but a little transition between the two extremes would be appreciated.

As I have said before, if you can't beat Momma N, call her bluff and face her head-on.
Here's how I stayed in the game...

Thursday, January 18, 2018

What's to love about winter?

Winter fitness is not for the faint of heart.

I say that as a 13-year veteran of winter running.

It's no secret that I much prefer the heat (and even the humidity) of summer. As an Iowa gal, though,  cold winters are my reality for several months every year. Although I do a fair amount of whining and complaining about the winter weather, I don't let it keep me inside (much). My glass is always half full, even in the midst of cold fingers and frozen toes, because every run is a blessing.

Monday, January 15, 2018

No gym? No Excuses!

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 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, January 14, 2018

NonStop Action

Wham. Bam. Thank you, Ma'am.

Our temps had started to gradually warm-up over the previous weekend. Seriously, anything above freezing felt so tropical and heavenly! Then, things made a turn for the cold...again....

It was great being back outside, but there were was some indoor action as well. Here's how the week played out:

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Keeping It Inside...on the Stairs

Baby it's been cold outside (FYI, I am SO over and done with that phrase, I had to modify it).

It's no secret I'm an outdoor runner. Even though dear old 'Milly (my almost 17-year old treadmill) is always available, I seldom ever want to play with her. In all honesty, I don't think she is too fond of me, either. After all, she's heard all the nasty things I've said about her (as well as the numerous explicatives I've said in her presence).

Recently, it's been downright frigidly bitter in Iowa. It's a given that running is my main go-to for fitness, but it's not my "one and only." Besides, it's (currently) my off-season, and I don't need (or want) to run excess miles for the time being. Since I am running less, I still need (and want) some additional cardio, though, and my preferred form of indoor fitness is found via my stairway!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Winter Running Hacks for 2018

I take great pleasure in beating Momma N at her own (twisted) game called "Winter."

How about you? Do you face her head-on, armed and ready, or do you prefer to stay inside?

Living in Iowa, it's a given the winters are gonna be chilly. In fact, the winters in Iowa can be downright brutal. But, there's a small clause to my running this time of year...I do not like 'Milly (she's my treadmill) and she does not like me.

Thursday, January 4, 2018


It's safe to say that my Outdoor Running Mojo has left the building...but I, on the other hand, have been staying inside all week.

That's right. This Iowa gal, who ran outdoors for 40 consecutive days, has been hibernating indoors ever since New Year's Day. And, I'm quite content with that.

We have had three solid weeks of sub-freezing temps, and most days the "feels like" temps were sub-ZERO. Granted, Iowa is usually a cold month in the winter, but this is the coldest (and longest) stretch I can remember.

Welcome To My Off-Season

Welcome to 2018! Welcome to January! And, welcome to my off-season!

First of all, I'd like to invite you to pull up a chair (or stretch out on a yoga mat) and join me for some chatter. There's a few things I'd like to discuss...

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

We're off and Running!

We are not even one week into 2018 and my race calendar already is seeing quite a bit of action.

By the way, did anyone else start the new year off in their running shoes? I had one bit of Running Streak business to finish up, as well as the annual New Year's Day group run with a few local friends. In  keeping with the recent arctic blast, our temps on NYD were the coldest yet...how does -20 grab you?