Thursday, November 28, 2019

Black Friday 'Fessions

Can you believe it's that time of the month...again?

It's time to Runfess. A time to cleanse the soles, if you will, and move on to the next month in our running shoes. It's really good for the soul, as well, to come clean on a few (or several) things. After all, who needs that kind of baggage?

Here's what I'm runfessing this month...

Monday, November 25, 2019

Grateful. Joyful. Blessed.

Grateful. Joyful. Blessed. .

There is SO much to be thankful for...and not just this time of season, but year-round.

I've written previous Thankful posts (in 2018, in 2017, in 2016, in 2015 and in 2014), and I honestly don't know if I could say it any better. Bear with me, I'm gonna go with (mainly) what's been said before, but tweak some of it to make it more current.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Falling Back Into a Routine

Ahhh, doesn't it feel good to be back in a routine?

After a couple weeks of marathon recovery, followed by some bitterly too-cold-to-be-outside weather, it feels like I'm back into a routine. Even though a routine can get stagnant, there's a definite element of comfort and familiarity to it as well.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Off-Season doesn't mean On-Couch

Have you ever taken an off-season?

Many are afraid of declaring an off-season, fearing all (or some) of their fitness gains will disappear. An off-season is not a time of complete and total laziness. It's actually a time of maintenance, while recovering from a busy, action-packed or demanding season.

Myself, I had several races on my calendar this past year, especially in the last four months. All of these races were sprinkled in with training for the Marine Corps Marathon. The dominant activity was running (no surprises there), which encompassed long runs on most weekends, weekly speed drills, and many short, easy-paced runs as well. There also was plenty of cross-training to keep my muscles strong and stave off injury.

Alas, the final race of the season has come and now it's time to recover, regroup, and ready myself for the what's next. Enter: Off-Season!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Winter Running - We Got This!

Inside hibernator or opt-outside warrior?

If you're a runner and have ever debated about staying in (on the treadmill or indoor track) or heading out (in the snow), what option would you choose?

I spent my first-ever winter, as a runner, paying homage to my treadmill. In all honesty, I seriously was so new to the running gig, I did not know any better.

Summer eventually returned, and I took most of my runs outdoors. Only, when winter came back that next year, I had changed as a runner. The comfort zone of the treadmill had morphed into a vortex of boredom for me. Having gotten used to rolling hills and varying terrain, my body no longer liked the repetitious belt and unchanging scenery of my treadmill's locale.

UGH. What's a runner to do?

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Enter Winter...ALREADY?

Winter? Already???

Okay, let me set the record straight regarding Winter...

Although I'm a die-hard #TeamSummerRunner gal, I do not hate all other seasons (least of all, Winter itself). Actually, I embrace the change of seasons. But Winter showing up nearly two months early does not a #BlissfulRunner make.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

5 Strategies That Rocked My Recovery

What now?

As most of you know, my racing season has come to a close. I'm still running (duh, that's what runners do LOL), I'm just not cranking out high mileage for awhile.

With no warning, Winter staged a nasty early arrival in Iowa. We're talking single-digit temps and sub-ZERO mid-November. I'm an outdoor runner, year-round, but even I was caught off guard with this sudden downward swing in temps.

I have to admit, though, this frigid Arctic Blast wasn't all bad because it kept me INSIDE at a time when being OUTSIDE could have botched my marathon recovery.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Let's Warm Up!

I runfess...I was a late arrival to the Warm-Up Party.

Sure, I would do a few (static) stretches before a race, and maybe an occasional march-in-place. But an actual warm-up? Even before a training run?  Not likely.

It's not that I thought I was above going through a warm-up ritual, I just never really thought it was especially necessary for just an average runner like myself. After all, I was never in contention to win any races (spoiler, I'm still not LOL). Did I really need to "warm up" if I wasn't seriously "racing?"

The short answer...yes.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Filtered Fall-Out

It's been a week of meh. Not a crisis, but my current reality.

Let's just say the weather has been un-seasonal (and not in a good way). Though the calendar still shows November, the temps have been as cold and crazy as January. The sun has been playing Hide and Seek. The wind has been blowing. The snow has been falling. I could go on....

But, I've been honoring my MCM recovery (and am feeling {almost} 100% brand new). The running was very low-key this week. Definitely not a deal-breaker, but an odd shift in routine compared to the past 14 weeks of 26.2 training.

And, did I mention the weather?

When things feel blah, I do my best to un-blah them...which may (or may not) explain my small #filterfetish this week.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

P.M.D.D. - Post Marathon Distress Disorder

Post Marathon Distress Disorder (or PMDD, for short). - I've got me a case of it.

It may not be an authentic, documented mental condition, but I can attest to its validity.

When a big race is on the agenda, you train for it. When it's a REALLY BIG race that's been at the top of your bucket list forever, you train even harder. You look forward to the big day and do everything in your power to ensure you're ready, physically and emotionally.

There's all kinds of early morning runs. There's shoe rotation. There's the fueling strategy. There's frequent weather-stalking. And there's plenty of race day stress, due to the aforementioned weather stalking.

But what happens after the finish line?

Monday, November 4, 2019

2019 Hillbilly Hike Half Marathon

Yes, there are hillbillies in Iowa. And some of them show up for races on cold mornings.

Let me set the scene....

Temps were cold (how does 32F grab you?), the trail was frosted over (and quite slick), and we had 13.1 miles between us and the finish line. It was a point-to-point endeavor, so there was no turning back. But, we were promised biscuits and gravy, chocolate milk and homemade pie at the finish line.

Sound intriguing?

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Focusing on Recovery


We all know that recovery is part of the program when it comes to fitness. Throw in a marathon,  which includes not just the race itself, but all the numerous weeks of training that got you to the start line (and across the finish line), and one's body needs some down time.

As much as I curse Momma N, her twisted exploits on weather actually worked in my favor this past week. It was very cold, very windy, very damp. There even was some white stuff on the ground. All of it kept me inside, which allowed me to focus on non/low impact cardio....inside. I'd say it was a success.