We made it!!!!
It wasn't easy. At times, it was quite scary and filled with much anxiety, fear and heartache. But it's over and it's done.
We made it!!!!
It wasn't easy. At times, it was quite scary and filled with much anxiety, fear and heartache. But it's over and it's done.
2020 ought to be in pictures...
Well, truth be told, I have lots of pictures from 2020.
I have plenty of memories, too. Some memories are a bit more significant than others, so how about I share a few of those? Maybe a few (or 12) monthly memories?
It was a festive week of fitnessing in my little corner of the universe.
You know the drill...if I have workouts happening this time of year, I don the festive red and green and get sweating. At least that's my formula for a fun week (or even an entire holiday season). Go bright or go home. And smile as it happens. Works for me.
Shall we share a few final 'fessions for this train wreck of a year?
Truth be told, while 2020 dumped many unforeseen challenges on us, it wasn't all gloom and doom. After all, I'm a strong believer in finding the sliver lining of every cloud (because EVERY cloud does have one). Let's suffice it to say the past nine months have given me many opportunities to strengthen that skill.
Recently, there's been a lot of stuff happening...
As much as I dis on winter weather, I cannot deny the beauty of it on occasion.
After all, bright sunshine reflecting on white snow makes for a pretty tranquil setting. We didn't get any new snow this week, but the morning fog made for plenty of frosty mornings none the less. 'Tis the season, right?
Disclaimer: I received a pair of Turtle Gloves 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.
There's that saying...Cold hands, warm heart. And, that usually applies to me all.the.time. Especially in cooler weather, my hands (and fingers) will feel the chill before any other part of my body. Brrr.
Enter Turtle Gloves.
It seems like each week has some kind of crazy spark to it, and this week was no exception.
After some decently "warm" December weather (by Iowa standards), things turned more "seasonal" on us. A mid-week heat surge, though, reignited the energy flow...only to be tapped out by week's end.
Alas, the seasonal weather (and subsequent temps) brought us back to our current (winter) reality. All is well that ends well, but that brief heated interlude was pretty sweet while it lasted.
Should we talk about 2020 bling?
Or shall we discuss the lack thereof ?
It definitely was a year like none other. As much as I love my race bling, this year was a bit weak on the (live race) quantity...but the quality was on-point. It's been said that every picture tells a story, but I would argue that most medals would have a story as well (even the virtual ones).
Take a look...
The streak is alive and well!
Yes, I'm (briefly) streaking again. It's my yearly ritual (since 2013), so I'm not going to elaborate on the details. Let's just say, it's going well (thus far) and everything feels good as new.
This week's weather was pretty sweet. The temps were a bit seasonal (cold LOL) at times, but the sunshine was pretty much non-stop. Even this summer-runner gal was quite content with all things "winter" this week.
As with all things virtual (that word has been on permanent repeat for too long, just saying), it's time for gathering over a virtual cup of coffee (or beverage of your choosing). We could even sit around a virtual table and munch on virtual snacks.
That said, at least the conversation would be real.
And, let's not forget, we are in the midst of a crazy holiday season (with its own set of new Covid-compliant rules). There's also a grand bon voyage to 2020 in the works.
Yes, there's plenty to chat about. In fact, let me go first...
'Tis the season, and it's a festive time of year for many of us!
Despite the crazy ride 2020 has taken us on, many are in good spirits with the upcoming holidays. We still have our fitness vices, after all. Even if many of our regular holiday-themed races aren't happening in real life, many are promoting virtual options.
Granted, for some, the virtual gig has lost its appeal. At the very least, though, we can lace up, get outside and pound out a few miles in our running shoes.
...but why stop there? Why not have some festive fun in the name of fitness? After all, a few bright colors and some funky patterns never hurt anyone.
It was quite a week.
Although there's plenty to be grateful for on a daily basis, Thanksgiving Week is a perfect time to really zero-in on all that is good. Granted, there are many "bad" things that are out of our control. Ultimately, though, our attitude and perception of everything (good and bad) is all on us.
At least that's how I see things LOL.
Here we are...time to 'fess up and feel good about it.
Things have continued to stay on the crazy side "normal," but 2020 is winding down. It's been a tough year, in so many capacities. It's also been a year of change, adjustment, and growth...none of which are bad.
Alas, as November winds down, there are a few current things I'd like to bring to the 'fessional...
It would appear Fall's Finale is upon us.
The temps are back to their "seasonal" range, the leaves are disappearing, and the daylight is quickly dwindling. In my little corner of the universe, though, it feels like the fall season was a near-miss.
After all, I spent the majority of the season off my feet. Well, I did some hobbling around (in an ugly orthotic boot), and I enjoyed many miles on the bike. But there wasn't any walking or running until recent weeks, so the opportunities to really see and experience Fall in all its glory were at the minimum.
I'm alright with that, though. I like Fall, but it signifies the end of Summer (which is my favorite season), and we all know what comes next. None the less, this week saw many great things happening in my fitness world and otherwise.
I've had to stray from my usual routine in recent months (you know, #stressfracture). Yet, here I am...feeling ready, and raring to get back at it. Only now, the weather is a tad bit colder than it was three months ago.
As much as I dread the cold weather, it's a reality in Iowa. That said, I don't have to love it to tolerate it. After all, my attitude is all on me.
Here's a few cold weather reminders that'll assist me in facing the winter in my running shoes...
My favorite things. Sigh.
I don't know about you, but my favorite things are ever evolving. I'm not fickle, but my needs change...in terms of the current season or my state of fitness.
I'm also pretty open-minded, and am always on the lookout for new-to-me things to try.
Here's a few of my (current) favorite things. Don't worry, while I have linked the sites for these favorite items, none of them are affiliate links. They're simply must-have necessities that I use regularly and adore.
And so it goes, and so it goes. So I shall go with the flow, too, I suppose.
Pardon my paraphrasing, Billy Joel, but it's been an interesting week in my little world. Nothing bad (thank goodness), nothing crazy (well, within reason LOL), and there certainly was plenty to appreciate.
Question: Do you carry your phone with you when you head out for a run?
I sincerely hope your answer is YES!
Having your phone along, while out and about, is pretty much a given these days...isn't it? It's not only a security blanket (of sorts) should there be an emergency, but it's a vital source for workout apps, music/podcasts, and GPS assistance. And let's not forget all those pics and selfies just waiting to be documented.
Currently....over coffee, I might actually be drinking a cold beverage.
No, I don't mean an adult beverage either. We've had some unseasonably warm weather this week, so I've been downing the cold, flavored water like it's my job. Don't worry, I know this weather won't last, but I've been enjoying it on the daily (like that's my job as well).
None the less, it's that time of the month for gathering and gabbing. Imagine, if you will, a virtual coffee date with friends. What would you care to share?
Can you say BREAKTHROUGH!
Although my stress fracture rally-back has been going well, I still have had some fleeting moments of fear and paranoia. After all, a stress fracture still is a broken bone...and that little itty bitty bone in my foot has to bear my full body weight.
I took one of my rally-back runs to the great outdoors, though, on Saturday, and whoa! It felt like I truly was back in my element.
When she pivoted from running to cycling, she was embarking on new adventure .
There was much to be learned. There also was much to be embraced and celebrated.
Yeah, this happened to a runner. Suddenly, a stress fracture forced her into a 2-month (at the minimum) sabbatical from all things on-foot.
But, it wasn't all bad. In fact, it was a pretty incredible journey with Gustavas, her ever loyal mountain bike.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....
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.
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?
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.
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...
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.
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.
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...
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).