Thursday, December 30, 2021

A Seasonal 'Fession Fix

So, here we are again, back at the 'fessional for one last go-round in 2021.

You know the drill...we gather, we 'fess, and we move on, this time to a new year!

The 2021 holiday season has been like none other, at least in my world. Things were good, but things were just a bit...shall we say, weird.   

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Ready for Takeoff...

Can we just talk about the busyness of the season?

Well, truth be told, it's not just the festivities that had me busy this week. There was plenty of fitness action, household organizing, holiday prepping and some pre-adventure tasks to get secured.

Yes, there was plenty of busyness...good thing we have our fitness vices to keep us grounded, am I right?

Friday, December 24, 2021

12 Days of Fitmas 2021

I'm a huge believer in ending the year on a strong note.

It's also a busy, yet festive, time of year. Why not combine the two?

Well, that's just what some fitness friends, and myself, did!

Monday, December 20, 2021

2021 Highlights: The Year in Pics

It's just about time to bid 2021 a fond farewell...

While the year didn't play out the way many of us had hoped, it was a huge improvement from its predecessor, 2020. Well, at least in my little corner of the universe it was.

Shall we take a brief walk down Memory Lane?  How about a few highlights? Maybe some pictures can tell the story...

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Tis the Windy Season

Holy hyper wicked wind, Batman!

It was a week to hold on (tightly) to one's hat! The temps were a bit all over the place, but the wind was constant. Oh joy!

None the less, I was able to continue my daily "outdoor action" streak. The RW Run Streak continues, as does the (new) Peloton streak. Call me crazy, but it beats sitting idle (don't worry, I'm being careful and am not over-doing it with my #sweatequity). Rest assured (literally, LOL), I'm having fun this holiday season.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

5 Holiday Fitness Gear Hacks

A famous Christmas song, Deck The Halls, tells us to "don our gay apparel." But, I ask you, where's it written that it just applies only to formal wear?

This is, after all, a time of year for all things festive and fun. I believe that's true for fitness and fashion as well. Go bright or go home, am I right?

A lot of people have commented on my extensive collection of holiday workout gear. But, here's a #FitnessFashionFession...I really don't have as much as it may appear...

Monday, December 13, 2021

2021 Highlights: The Bling

2021 was an interesting year, especially in terms of racing.

Covid appeared to be dwindling, and many runners welcomed the return to live races. For myself, there wasn't as much racing, in comparison to previous years (with the exception of 2020), but all of my races were significant to me. A few were virtual, but the majority were in-person.

And I've got the bling to show for my efforts.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Merrily We Streak Along

 ...and the Streak goes on, as does the holiday season.

In a few days, I will pass the halfway point of this year's Winter Run Streak. Yeah, already! So far, the temps haven't been too outrageous, the streets have been (mostly) clear, and the holiday running gear has been making a few appearances. It's all good!

This week definitely had more "seasonal" weather, temps and wind (emphasis on the wind, LOL). I'm still rocking the daily #optoutside gig, though...

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Peloton: 5 Things I'm Liking (so far)

I never said never, but I did take my sweet time in checking out Peloton.

Let's just say it was well worth the wait.

While I am not a certified coach, trainer, or expert, I do know a thing or two about what works for me. I have just enough knowledge (and experience) to be dangerous, and I often times have difficulty with having someone else telling me what to do.  

Alas, the 2-month free trial promotion came along at a time when I was itching to try something different. There's nothing wrong with stepping outside one's bubble of I right?

Sunday, December 5, 2021

A "Temp" Turnabout

Turnabout is fair play, or so they say.

This has been a strange fall season. The warmer temps of summer held on a little longer than usual. Then, we had a couple of lightly snow-dusted mornings, followed by some intense ongoing wind. Oh, and then the temps did a major nosedive, and it seemed like the sub-freezing conditions were here to stay.

But, in case you haven't buckled your seat belts, the weather rollercoaster continued this week. With Thanksgiving's near sub-ZERO feels-like conditions barely in the rearview mirror, Momma N served up some unseasonably warm weather... to the tune of mid-50F's most of the week. 

Huh. Sit down and figure that one out, LOL.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

A Fallout Finale...via my coffee cup

Talk about your paradoxes.

Most everyone knows the fall season is not my favorite, but this week has been a nice treat. The thing is, I know it's just teasing me with the 50F temps and mild wind, LOL. Ironically, I'm kind of hoping this particular fall weather will stick around a bit longer. If only, right?

That said, even in the mild (almost balmy) weather, I'm still enjoying my chai latte(s). Honestly, I don't need sub-freezing temps to relish a hot comforting beverage. 

What's more, I don't need an excuse to crave some coffee talk with friends, even if it has to be a virtual coffee date. You, too? Shall we? 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Another Winter, Another Streak

Oops, I'm streaking again!

But, rest assured, this oops is intentional.

Thanksgiving has come and gone, so that means it's time for my annual "Get Me Through The Solstice" end-of-year ritual.

This can be a difficult time of year. The racing season has come to a close for many of us. The daylight is on a downward spiral. The weather is a bit dismal. A little incentive to stay active through the holiday season never hurt anyone, myself included.

Enter: the Runner's World Winter Run Streak.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Outside is Alright

Yes, it was another cold week.

But the fresh air? The breathtaking sunsets and sunrises? The company of friends? A house full of family?  All made for a worthwhile week of fitness and fun, and the frigid temps were bearable.

Yes, you read that correctly. The cold of the pre-winter season wasn't too bad...

Thursday, November 25, 2021

'Fession Time, Feelin' Fine

Here we 'fess again...time to bare (our running soles) and share (a few things).

Funny how each month I wonder if there will be anything that needs 'fessing, and somehow I never have any trouble finding it. Or, maybe these 'fess-worthy things find me?

None the less, here's what's going down at the Runfessional this month... 

Monday, November 22, 2021


Thankful. Grateful. Blessed. These three things are paramount, year-round, but especially this time of year.

This has been quite a year, for us all. So many changes, and still so many unknowns. Yet, so much to be thankful for.

I've written previous Thankful posts (in 20202019, 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 going to go with (mainly) what's been said before, but tweak some of it to make it more current.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Feeling Fall's Big Chill

How would I best describe this week? 

In a word, BRRR! If I could add a second word, it would be WINDY!

But I digress. As much as I detest the fall season, I desperately try to hang on (ever so tightly) to it. Why? Because I detest the winter season even more (at least in terms of the cold weather). 

While we didn't have actual full-blown (I use that term loosely, LOL) winter weather, we did have winter temps. There was some sunshine, thank goodness, so the chill of the wind wasn't as bad as it could have been, but still BRRR (have I said that already?). 

Monday, November 15, 2021

Tough Races Make For Tough Runners


That which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.

Have you ever been caught in an especially tough race, training run or competitive/endurance event? Were you able to dig deep and persevere to the finish line? Did you have enough grit to keep that proverbial white flag from flying?

I have had races where everything fell into place... the weather was optimal, my energy was on-point, the race course wasn't especially hilly or difficult. And, there have been many other races that took more work than usual to stay on course (no pun intended). These were challenging races that forced me to tap into my "grit reserve." 

Thankfully, these tough races have made me a much tougher runner...and stronger for the fight.

Here are some of them...

Saturday, November 13, 2021

with a little help from My Friends

Friends. Honestly, can we ever have too many?

I think not!

This week had all sorts of action, and the majority of it involved the company of friends while it happened. Lucky me! 

There was also plenty of chilly weather. Oh well, it can't all be sunshine and warmth. Truth be told, we are entering the season of darkness and cold...

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Knockin' Around in my Knockarounds

Disclaimer: I received two pairs of Knockaround sunglasses (to try out and 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.

The fall season's been so bright, I simply had to wear shades.

After all, we need to protect our eyes from the sun and wind. Besides, a little wrinkle prevention never hurt anyone. And, we might as well look stylish as we do so, am I right?

With my dry skin, and sensitive eyes, I've always been an advocate for sunglasses. Whether I'm outdoors, logging some miles in the running shoes, or within the confines of my car, I gotta wear shades. 

But not just any shades....

Monday, November 8, 2021

Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K race recap

 Yes, I'll gladly run for chocolate!

...and if I can do it with a friend? All the better!

The city was Chicago, the date was this past Sunday (November 7th), and the race was the Hot Chocolate 15K, a national series that has venues in various cities across the United States. Oh, and did I mention there was hot chocolate at the finish line?

Saturday, November 6, 2021

BRRRing It!

This week? Brrr, things got cold!

There was frost on the ground every morning (which does look quite magical and sparkly in the o'dark thirty hours) and the wind kept us humble. Thankfully, Momma N sprinkled in plenty of sunshine and kept the rain (and snow, LOL) away.

Alas, all those cold temps rewarded us with all kinds of beautiful color, courtesy of the trees. So it wasn't all bad. 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

How About a Chai Chat

Here we are again!

It's that time of year when I'm downing the hot chai lattes several times on the daily. It's also that time of the month for gathering and chatting (virtually) over chai, coffee or any beverage of one's choosing. 

If you have your mug in hand, let's get this chatter party started...

Monday, November 1, 2021

Taming the Treadmill Trepidation

The treadmill has been my nemesis for quite some time.

I'm not afraid of it. I'm not intimidated by it. I'm certainly not in a battle with it. But I avoid running on it at (almost) all cost.

A bigger-than-BIG goal of mine, each winter, is to have a much more open mind and a welcoming heart when it comes to indoor running. Heck, if I can make it through the 2019 Polar Vortex (and endure upwards of 20 Milly runs, all in one season), I can probably survive most any (near) catastrophic experience.

That's not an exaggeration.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

A Fall-Like Blowout

 Can you say WIND?

If so, you'll have a solid grasp on how this week played out for me. We're talking chilly temps, intermittent rain, and all kinds of stuff blowing through the air and against my face. 

Yes, there's a reason (actually, several LOL) I don't particularly like the fall season, and this week's weather was at the top of the list. It is what it is, right? Besides, if we didn't have some cruddy weather, we probably wouldn't appreciate the truly beautiful days.

Trust me, I had that mantra on repeat this week...

Thursday, October 28, 2021

How About a Few 'Fessions

 Here we go again...

Time to 'fess up and share a few (or maybe, five?) disclosures, bare the (running) soles, and move forward (mostly) unscathed. Sound good?

While things have been pretty uneventful (in a good way), I do have a few things to share that have me shaking my head. Don't worry, I'm also laughing as I do so...

Monday, October 25, 2021

10 Things About Those 20 Rides

One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, as runners, is that of another sport.

A bonus gift is the willingness to take on new challenges. Not just simple challenges, but big scary ones that take you out of your comfort zone. After all, comfort zones are pretty overrated and not much good happens within their confines.

Alas, I took on the challenge of weekly cycling, on an especially hilly bike path. And, I did it for 20 weeks, accruing 300+ miles of hills in the process. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

In Search Of...

Ever have one of those weeks where things just seemed...slightly out of reach?

The weather turned on me (faster, and more severe, than forecast), the full moon did its best to avoid me, and my race weekend's recovery was uneventful (as it should be). The reality that Fall is here - in full swing -  always hits me hard, but it is what it is. Summer's going to end and Fall is going to happen... might as well make the best of it, right?

So, I did...

Thursday, October 21, 2021

MercyOne 5-Mile Run - 2021 Recap


I think it's pretty sweet when the stars, moon, planets (and a plethora of other forces that be) all align on race morning.

It had been a four year sabbatical. This was a race that I'd run twice before and I'd had some decent success with my performance. Even though I had a somewhat big half marathon the next day, why not give it a go? Go big or go home, am I right?

So, I went big, and didn't stay home.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Back on Pace - 2021 IMT Des Moines Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a race registration for the IMT Des Moines Marathon weekend  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.

Well, this race never disappoints!

When it comes to repeat racing, I'm guilty. The IMT Des Moines Marathon weekend has entertained me 14 different times (since 2008), and this year was especially significant.

It was significant because it had been two years since the last time I had run this race course (#Covid), but this year I also was seeking a bit of redemption for my less-than-ideal finish at the DAM to DSM 20K (back on August 28th)...oh, and did I mention I also was running the MercyOne 5-Mile Run the day prior?

So, how did that work for me?

Sunday, October 17, 2021

A Topsy-Turvy Taper

With two races on the weekend's roster, this week was all about the taper.

The thing is, it didn't really feel like a taper. Since I was kind of in a holding & coasting pattern (since the cancellation of my September marathon), I haven't really been in a real training mode. I've done some long runs (10/11-miles) in the past couple of months, but no speed-training. The weekly mileage has averaged near the 20-mile mark. And there have been a few weeks with minimal mileage (and lots of biking) while I worked my way through some weird aches and (mild) pains.

Still, as we all know, a busy race weekend benefits from a not-too-strenuous week prior...

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Falling Back Into Autumn

It's that time of the year that I dread (almost) the most....the end of summer.

Granted, it's technically been Fall for a couple weeks, but we've had some decent late Summer weather so I've been able to play the denial card a bit longer. The majority of my runner friends, though, are ecstatic to usher in some cooler weather and kick summer to the curb. While I do appreciate the less intense heat and humidity this time of year, Summer will always be my favorite season for running.

None the less, I live in Iowa. We get to experience the change of seasons. As much as I love the summer heat, I doubt I'd love it so dearly if I lived in it year-round. That said, getting to experience both extremes of weather reinforces just how much I truly love summer more than winter.

As we close the book on Summer, I thought I'd share a few coping strategies to ease the transition into the cooler temps (and darker days) of Fall. Just as we need some "easing in" when the mercury rises, it's also best to be prepared for the shift towards the cooler days ahead. Read on!

Monday, October 11, 2021

A Few Tips to Save a Few Dollars

Running, one would think, it's the most inexpensive sport out there.

Really, all one "needs" is a good pair of shoes and the desire to lace them up and hit the road. Sounds so idealistic, simple and primitive.

But, runners know differently, am I right?

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Back in the PINK of things

 How is it that we're already a full week into October???

Thankfully, the weather felt like a continuation from the previous week's return-to-summer party. Granted, it wasn't quite as warm (until the weekend), but it definitely felt more like late-summer than early-fall. Add in all the pink colored stuff everywhere, and it was a pretty-in-pink kind of week.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Kickoff to Kinnick 5K...a fun virtual endeavor

What happens when a favorite event, that benefits a great cause, is happening the same weekend you're out of town? 

Well, I don't know about you, but I opted to register anyways and run this event virtually. 

The irony? This event is affiliated with the University of Iowa, and I was in the University of Maryland area for the weekend...and there may have been a football game happening with these two Big 10 schools. 

Oh, and my team may have been the victors.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

When Summer Stages an Encore

It's almost like Momma N knew she'd wronged me.

After the previous week's fast-forward to all things (late) fall-like, this week saw a resurrection of all things summer. We're talking daily sunshine and near-record-breaking temps. Let's just say, I was totally back in my element.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

October's Ultimate Coffee Date


Ahhh, here we are again...

Time to gather for some chatter. Time to share a few stories. Time to reflect on the past few weeks. And time to enjoy a cup of whatever beverage you so choose.

It's always fun to get together and share some conversation, laughs and an occasional hug.

Monday, September 27, 2021

I Never Met a Sunrise I Didn't Love

It's true. I'm a hopeless sunrise worshipper.

I'm also an art geek, so capturing the sunrise is something I thoroughly enjoy doing (pretty much on the daily). I'm also an early-riser, so this all works well with my lifestyle. Besides, sleep is overrated LOL.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Turnabout is (not) Fair Play

They say turnabout is fair play, but Momma N didn't want to play nice this week. 

I was dreading the end of summer, so I was already in a blah kind of emotional state. Suffice it to say I was not the least bit amused when the frigid fall-like weather arrived a day early. Nor did I appreciate the sudden plummet in temps and upswing of wind.

Alas, I did live to tell about it (or you wouldn't be reading this LOL). Just because I can handle the crazy Iowa weather doesn't mean I have to love it. But, I refuse to let it dictate my livelihood. Or something like that...

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Summer's Final 'fession Session

We all knew this was going to happen.

You know the drill...The solstice arrives, and from there on out, the days start getting shorter. The beautiful sunrise makes its appearance later and later. The early morning runs get cooler and darker. And, those bike rides start to feel even more windy.

Summer ends, and Fall begins. Don't get me wrong, it's not ALL bad, but it's my least favorite change-of-season. Why? Because, at least in Iowa, it happens practically overnight and then ushers in Winter a very short while later. 

But I'm getting ahead of myself. With Summer coming to a close, I have a few 'fessions to bring to the forefront...

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Have A Strategy

This was a week of strategy.

I found myself, numerous times, giving in to spontaneity. Having a plan of action, albeit whimsical, was necessary - on the daily - to keep things (somewhat) functional and on track. At least that's what I kept telling myself. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

"Give it a try," she said...

It's okay to try new things; actually it's great to do so.

It's also okay to try doing "old" things in a new way.

Case in point, there are a few new and/or different things that I've been doing in my little world of fitness. They've been a little scary, and I did have some doubt how things would play out. In retrospect, though, these things weren't as tough as anticipated. And, I came away much stronger, physically and emotionally, for the challenge of doing them..

Monday, September 13, 2021

Hmmmm, Options Aplenty...

In case you haven't heard, my much anticipated marathon bit the dust (well, sort of).

As much as I was looking forward to the Air Force Marathon, I'm totally at peace with NOT running it. It was to be my 10th marathon, and it may still be (someday), but for now it's off the table and deleted from my 2021 calendar. 

Actually, I  have my eyes towards a Fall full of care-free fun (did you try to say that three times, really fast?).

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Back in Black (and gold)

Well, this definitely isn't the taper I had in mind.

Had the Air Force Marathon not gone virtual, I would be basking in my second week of 26.2 taper bliss. Alas, with the big Cy-Hawk football game (the Iowa State Cyclones vs. the University of Iowa Hawkeyes) on deck for Saturday, this week also would be full of black and gold that's what I chose to focus on instead.

So how did that work for me? In two words: quite well! 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Who's Your Real Competition?

Who should we really be competing with?

Often times, it's difficult to know just where one belongs in the field of fellow runners. Whether you're just starting out, or have been running for awhile, it's tough to know just where you belong. 

Pin on a race bib, and it can get even more complicated.  All of these fellow racers toeing the start line; all from varied life experiences, genetic lines and training regimens...are any of them actually realistic competition for you or  me?

I have given this plenty of thought. After all, I have been lacing up my running shoes for 16+ years. Here's my take on who we (realistically) should be competing with....

Sunday, September 5, 2021

A Breath of "Fall" Air


Where did my summer go?

Apparently, Momma N is in a much bigger hurry to shut-down the summer season than I am. The days are getting markably shorter, and my dear sunrise is arriving later and later each morning. Alas, I'm determined to get outside everyday and embrace what's left of summer.

That's the plan, and it kept me smiling most of the week. 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

A Time For Chai & Chatter

So, here we are again....gathered around the proverbial virtual table in our virtual coffee shop, sipping our virtual beverages of choice (I'm having a chai latte').

What are you drinking? How have things been?  Do you have any fun things to share and/or discuss? How's your weather? Any races or training snafus?

Care to play along? Go ahead, grab your mug, make my day...  

Monday, August 30, 2021

DAM to DSM - 2021 Race Recap

As the saying goes, "always earned, never given."

That's true for many things, in running and life in general. It was the paramount mantra that got me to the DAM to DSM finish line on Saturday morning.

I have said it many times, but this event is one I look forward to every year. With Covid-19 wiping it off the grid for 2020, this race was a long time coming.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Going With The (weather's) FLOW


Well, it was a week!

And Momma N certainly had her own agenda for what kind of weather she was serving up for me. She kept me guessing, she threw a few surprises my way, and she definitely tested my tolerance for her antics.  

It's a good thing she keeps me entertained because there were never any dull moments.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Got a Few 'Fessions?

Got a few 'fessions? 

Rest assured, I have a few. Actually, I have several things worthy to 'fess-up about...but I'll spare you a lengthy post and just share five (you're welcome).

There's been a lot of things going down, and some exciting things on the horizon...

Monday, August 23, 2021

Favorite Finds in my Running Arsenal

We all have a few favorite things when it comes to running.

While my Arsenal of Running Essentials has evolved over the years, it has many items that are invaluable to me. In the past year, though, a few key items have been added that I can't imagine life without.

Care to hear about them?