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 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


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


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 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 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.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Keeping fit while on a trip

Have you ever felt guilty skipping a workout (or several) while vacationing?

Personally, I feel minimal guilt (if any) if I scale-back the fitness while traveling. Honestly, there's probably a good reason why I'm on vacation in the first place...relaxation!

But who am I kidding? Most of us who live an active life feel out-of-sorts if we're NOT being active, even while on holiday. Our bodies (as well as our minds) are used to being in motion. For some, it's how we wake up in the morning. For others, it's part of our routine (after coffee or breakfast). Some rely on fitness to wind down before lights out.

What's a fitness junkie to do?

Let me introduce you to the fine art of compromise...

Sunday, June 7, 2020

and then suddenly...It Was SUMMER!

and then was SUMMER!

Yes, summer arrived this week, leaving no doubt that it was here for the duration. As much as I love all things summer, I do appreciate an itsy bit of acclimation. That said, summer has arrived in my world, and I'm ready to roll!

We had plenty of sunshine, a good doze of humidity, and a few thunderstorms...but I was able to get outside every day. No complaints, no regrets.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Coffee, Chai, & Chatter

Here we are again.

A new month. A new season. A new set of things to chat about.

Shall we gather (virtually, since that's the thing to do these days), and have a chat? You can have your (virtual) coffee, or any other beverage of choice. Myself? I'll be sipping a hot chai latte (yes, even in the heat of summer, I prefer my chai's hot).

Monday, June 1, 2020

Global Running Day...shall we?

We are runners, and runners run.

We have the gear, and we have the gadgets. We even have our own special day, Global Running Day!

Since its inception in 2009 (when it was first called National Running Day), this special day is celebrated, annually, on the first Wednesday of June. In 2016, its name was officially changed to Global Running Day (source). 

Shall we celebrate? I'm game, are you? 

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Scaling It Back

I was due for a scale-back. 

So I took one last week. No frills. No guilt. No regrets.

Have you ever taken a scaled back week? I know most of us talk about them, and we all know we need them...but, let's be honest. They are tough to commit to.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

A Mayhem of 'fessing

The month of May may be winding down, but there's still some mayhem at play.

No, that's not a riddle, but merely my reality.

Even with a relatively race-free summer calendar, there is still plenty to keep me busy. And, quite honestly, that's how I thrive. But, first things first...shall we clear the air a bit and runfess a few things?

Monday, May 25, 2020

Summer Running Hacks? I Got a Few..

Running? Yeah, we all have our own way of doing it.

Some of us even have a few tricks up our (compression) sleeves. 

After all, why not? As much as we all love our dear sport of running, it would be pretty boring if there weren't a few shortcuts along the way. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Switcheroo, Anyone?

A switcheroo? Yeah it happens. This week was a prime example.

By definition, a switcheroo is a sudden unexpected variation or reversal, often for humorous purpose (source). Well, I did my best to find the humor in how this week played out. Although the laughing was at the minimum, it still was there. After all, if we can't laugh at ourselves, our attitudes may need some adjusting.

Not many things played out as planned this week. UGH, there was plenty of switcheroo'ing (if that wasn't a legit word, it is now) going on, and I am most thankful to have made it through (somewhat) vertical and still smiling.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Fitness Options for Honoring Memorial Day

Memorial Day is all about honoring our fallen heroes. 

Usually, most little towns, big cities, and mid-size communities have some kind of tribute to memorialize those who served in the armed forces (but are no longer with us). Typically, there are graveside ceremonies, town hall concerts, and parades. 

Things are a little different this year, with social distancing and COVID-19 restrictions. All the more reason to be mindful on how you honor the day.

In addition, there are those of us who are fitness fanatics...and we have our own options for commemorating the day. After all, isn't that what we do best?

Monday, May 18, 2020

Best Race? Worst race? Is there such a thing?

I've done a lot of races in my time.

In fact, I don't even know the exact count. I have kept almost all of my race bibs (minus a few strays from the early years before I considered myself a "real" runner, that is), but please don't ask me to count them.

I have had some great races, and I have definitely had some nasty ones.  

If I were to name my best race experience, though, it would be tough. There are too many factors (the weather, the terrain, the crowds, the training that got me there, etc.) to name the absolute best one that I've experienced. The 2013 Quad Cities Marathon, though, would definitely be a contender.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Spring? Is that you?

I'm just gonna go ahead and say this out loud....I believe Spring is officially here to stay!

What's more, this next week is forecast to have summer-like temps. Thank you, Momma N!

A lot of our blossoming trees have shed their colorful petals. Many of the summer perennials are filling in. And, just a couple days ago, I could smell the sweet scent of lilacs in the air.

Yes, as the weather took a solid turn for the warmer, I was able to #optoutside everyday. There was all kinds of daily walking, legit cross-training, and the running felt pretty sweet as well.   

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Little Bit of Everything HIIT Workout

I'll say it again....HIIT me up!

Not everyone's a fan of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Some have never tried it, some may be scared of it, and some simply have other preferences for cardio. And that's okay.

Myself? It's totally changed my game as a runner and as an athlete.