Thursday, July 29, 2021

Some SUN*RUN*FUN 'fessions


There's a lot to be said about the fun (under the sun) that a runner gets to enjoy.

As per usual, there's been a lot happening in my little world of fitness this summer. While I have had a few brief moments questioning my life's choices (I say that in humor), I've been able to forge on and keep going. Perseverance is a good thing, am I right?

That said, I do have a few 'fessions to disclose as we bid the dear month of July a fond farewell...

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

"On Your Left" - Reflections from my first RAGBRAI


Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

After several years (like, maybe 15?) of whining, pleading, and sweet-talking from the hubby, I caved. He's long been a huge fan of RAGBRAI, and has ridden this week-long bike ride many times...and I finally agreed to ride Day-1 of the 2021 event. 

I would be "On-Your-Left'ing" with the best of them...

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Summer Smiling While the Sun is Shining


There's been a lot of smiling happening.

Believe it or not, we had an entire week of sunshine! 

We also had an entire week of summer temps and humidity, but it's a package deal and one I'm quite content with. I was able to see the sunrise most mornings, and that always ensures an awesome start to each new day.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

It Seemed Like a Good Idea - Clive Running Festival 10K


It really seemed like a good idea.

Honestly, runners have been known to do some crazy (irrational?) things. Throw in marathon training, during a post-pandemic summer (with oodles of races returning), and things may get a little out-of-hand.

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking with it...

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Desperately Seeking The Sunrise


You know how it is...you wake up early and head outside, eager to greet the new day amidst another sunrise.

Or is that just me?

Truth be told, we did have some sunshine this week...but the sunrises kept eluding me (until Friday). Definitely not a deal breaker on my fitness endeavors, but still.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Summer Fitness Options Aplenty ... and how to choose which to do


The heat is on; on the street. Can you feel it?

Trust me, I am NOT complaining (after all, I wait nine months for summer to return to Iowa every year). 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 going to be sweating anyways, I might as well enjoy the scenery.

That said, the extreme heat of summer is nothing take lightly or ignore. It commands all of your respect and every last ounce of common sense.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Midnight Madness 2021 Recap


Fifty years (and running) says a lot about an event's longevity.

Throw in some crazy weather, though, with an unplanned merging of two races (as well as a delayed start time), and you have the makings of a potential catastrophe.

...or the entire evening could just surprise you, for the better.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Rain Dance...Anyone?


Not quite sure what Momma N was thinking this week, but she could not make up her mind.

We had a lot of rain in the forecast, but quite a lot of it missed us. While I don't love a rainy run, I can tolerate those conditions once in awhile. In all honesty, a little bit of rain does feel good on a hot summer day (so long as it's not a torrential downpour or has lightning along for the ride).

I did get a little wet, though, but not all of that was from precipitation. The humidity remained high and certainly kept things interesting, so the "glistening & glowing" was full-on. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Racing & Pacing & Placing, Oh My!


Ever been a (self-imposed) victim of the podium?

Let me elaborate....once you snag a coveted age group award, at a particular race, you may find yourself  returning (in subsequent years) with the hopes of grabbing another. It can be both thrilling and stressful. 

The thing is, there are no guarantees.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Sully Freedom Fun Run 5K - 2021 recap



So, it was a 4th of July 5K on the 5th, none the less.

That's what happens (sometimes) when our nation's birthday lands on a Sunday. Not a problem; not an issue. But it does make for a fun play on words.

This was the 26th year of the Sully Freedom Fun Run 5K, and it (consequentially) was my first 5K in just over three months. The temps (and humidity) were just as expected, the race day excitement was on par, and (despite the previous day's 46-mile bike ride) my body was ready for some action. 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Facing The Heat Head On


The heat is on, and so is the humidity.

It's all part of the summer gig, but Holy Humidity Batman! We always have humid days in Iowa, but there's usually a break now and then. Well, this year? Not so much.

While we have had an intermittent day (or afternoon/evening) with lower humidity...more often than not, the high humidity has been there upon wake-up the next morning LOL. Thankfully, the early morning temps have been comfortable (60F-70F, on average), but my app has indicated the humidity has been in the 90th percentile most of those mornings.

Oh well, since I can not change it, I choose to face it head-on. Such was the case this past week...

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Coffee Chat this 'n that


It may be (officially) summer, but I'm happily drinking my hot beverage of choice, on the daily.

Although I'm still not on the coffee-drinking bandwagon, all is still well and good in my life. The chai latte's suit me just fine, and I'm done with the "real" coffee FOMO....but I still am in love with the rich aroma of the stuff. In short, I'm enjoying the best of both worlds. Rest assured, I don't feel any less of a runner for my lack of morning coffee.

Alas, it's time for the monthly Ultimate Coffee Date, and I have my chai latte' in hand...shall we get this party started?

Monday, June 28, 2021

A Lot Can Happen in Four Years


Believe it or not, Voldy has a birthday today.

Remember him? He's the keepsake from that freaky (misdiagnosed) staph infection that landed me on the operating table for emergency surgery. 

While he was pretty ugly to look at, for a very long time, now he's kind of grown on me. Well, at the very least, I've gotten used to seeing all six inches of him on a daily basis. After all, things could have played out much worse had I not bypassed my local doc (and seen the specialist instead) on that fateful day, June 29th in 2017. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Going to Extremes


It was a week of extremes.

I'm not one to sit still, but I may have pushed the fitness a bit this week. Oh well, I'm still feeling good and not too weary for the ride.

The weather did it's own dance of heat, cold, humidity and wind...many of which were all on the same day. That was all fine and dandy as well. It is what it is, and there's no sense fighting it.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

'Fessing for June and All That Jazz


June has kinda had me dancing...

There have been some new things happening, a return of some "established" routines, and plenty of other things to be excited about.

With so many good things going on, there's a need for full disclosure...and what better way than to runfess it? You know, just lay it all out there and keep it real.

I'm game, are you?

Monday, June 21, 2021

I DID IT! Reflections on my 1-mile time trials


I did it! 

Yes, me. The gal who is not especially fond of the track, spent four weeks running 16 circles around it.

Whodda thunk, right?

For those who have not heard, I'm telling you now...I did four weeks of 1-mile time trials in May. Amazingly, they weren't so bad. Granted, they were not easy...but I walked away from them, literally, with no regrets and quite grateful for the experience.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Show Me Some Summer


...and just like that, it was full-on Summer!

We're talking daily sunshine, heat, humidity. The whole nine yards (and then some).

Thankfully, I was able to take most of my workouts outdoors, and that's always a good thing. There was plenty of action on foot and on the bikes, and even some sweat equity on the outdoor stairway. For myself, this is what the summer season is all about...getting outside as much as possible and soaking up all the sunshine (safely).

Thursday, June 17, 2021

It's a boy! Say hello to Fritz!


As many have seen by now, Gustavas (my mountain bike) became a big brother recently.

We welcomed Fritz, a hybrid bike, into the family on June 8th. Let me just say, it's been a smooth ride thus far (pun intended).

Care to hear a little more about this new addition to the family?

Monday, June 14, 2021

Let's take it Outside


Summer is (practically) here, and I have a tough time staying inside.

Several years ago, I got the idea to take my workouts outside, and it stuck. Obviously, not every workout can withstand an outdoor setting (those requiring heavy equipment or electricity, for example). That said, many workouts can be modified and adapted to the great outdoors. 

After all, why not? You're going to get hot and sweaty anyways, why not do it with a view?

Sunday, June 13, 2021

A Humid Heat Kind of Week


It was one of those "it's not the heat, it's the humidity" kind of weeks.

Believe me, I am no stranger to these, especially once the temps start climbing. Do I love the heat? Yes! The humidity...not so much. But, it's my reality and I'll take it any day over the frigid temps of winter.

And, I'll gladly run in it without too many complaints. After all, at least it's not snowing. Glass half full, and all that jazz.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Running "Things" that ain't my gig


How about a Keeping-It-Real tell-all on a few things that are #NotMyGig?

Yes, I'm a runner (I have been for 16+ years). I love lacing up and hitting the streets. I know the importance of fueling, hydrating, and re-hydrating after a long run or an especially hot/humid day.

But, there are several things most runners embrace that I have to turn my back on and take a pass. Trust me, there's no FOMO (or not much LOL). After all, running is a pretty individual thing.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Feel the Heat; Run with Caution


Summer's here, even if the calendar doesn't yet say so.

Personally, it's my favorite season for running. Yes, it's hot. It's also, more often than not, quite humid. Although it's not always comfortable, I don't have to guess how to dress for it (#GlassHalfFull).

Summer running has its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to health and safety. Most have worked hard to get to a certain level of fitness, and most aren't willing to give all that up for the sake of staying (safely) inside. 

It IS possible to continue running outdoors, even in the heat of summer...here are a few suggestions to consider:

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Gimme Gimme Some Sunshine!


Can you say SUNSHINE?

I say that because there was ample sunshine, and summer-like temps, for most of the week! Even the humidity played nice, for the most part. And the wind? Well, it definitely had its moments, but it didn't  give me too much attitude.

Overall, it was a pretty busy week, but that's just the way I like it.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Coffee Chat...this & that


Well, here we are again...a new month (already?), a new season (Yay! My favorite!), and lots to chat about (I'm game).

I've got my mug in hand. Keeping it real, I have not made much progress on becoming a "real coffee connoisseur." Honestly, I'm not losing any sleep over it (pun intended LOL), but I'm still double-fisting the chai latte's most days. And I'm okay with that.

That said, I'm ready for our monthly gathering (of sorts) over coffee, and I look forward to our usual lively conversation. 

Monday, May 31, 2021

Global Running Day - Let's RUN!


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 30, 2021

Can We Just Pick A Lane?


Well, well, well. Momma N seems to have been going through a state of confusion.

Warm and humid one day, windy the next. Followed by pleasant temps, without any wind! Oh, and just for good measure, let's drop the temps (by 30+ degrees) and threaten a late-season frost advisory!

Bless her dear erratic heart, at least she didn't throw any snow in my direction. 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

5 Mayfessions for Friday


While the mayham was at the minimum, the month's fly-by-fast momentum was at the max.

Crazy how the (almost) 31 days of May seemed to have gone much faster than the 30 of April. But who am I to complain? May ushered us away from all the cold crap of Winter, and now we are approaching the official start of Summer. 

Before I cue the warm weather bliss, allow me to share a few Mayfessions...

Monday, May 24, 2021

Long Run, here I come


The long run ain't easy.

Rightly so, it should have some level of difficulty to it. After all, the long run commands a long distance, often times a longer distance than previously (recently) run.

It can be both exciting and stressful. It can be downright defeating. It also can be ever-so-empowering.

More often than not, one doesn't know how a long run will play out...until it's actually happening. The best we can do is to prepare for it...

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Rockin' the Rain Dance


Well, it wasn't a total washout.

But, it did come close (at times). After several weeks with little-to-no precip, the rain gods felt it was due time to send some of their love to Iowa... like, on the daily. Momma N also contributed summer-like temps, complete with summer-like humidity levels...also on the daily. Lucky us!

I'm not exactly sure how I managed to dance around all the rain, but I was able to get all of my runs done (outside) this week. Thankfully, on the occasions when I was able to sneak out for said runs, my energy level(s) and pace worked in my favor. No complaints, and no regrets. That's just the way I like it.

Before I share the details, welcome to the Weekly Run Down!

Monday, May 17, 2021

Stepping Out, Literally - 2021 Fight for Air Climb


Every step counts. And, this year, those steps happened outside.

The 2021 Iowa Fight for Air Climb, took to the steps at Principal Park in Des Moines. The date was May 15th. The new outdoor venue was perfect, the climbers were ready, and all the necessary COVID protocols were in place. 

So we came, we climbed, and we conquered.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Just A Jugglin'


It was an interesting week, in  more ways than one.

There were plenty of switcheroos happening, changes of routine, and juggling of workouts. Most everything got done, but there were a few instances of unplanned rest as well. Oh, and there was a new venue to an old favorite event. 

Best of all?  I'm still standing, and I'm smiling as I do so.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Reunited with the Road


Oh, has this been a long time coming!

I don't think it's a secret how much I love biking. Although I had Sebbe, my indoor bike, to entertain me over the winter, my first (biking) love is the outdoor scene. 

Unfortunately, Momma N has been more than generous with unseasonably cold temps (complete with wicked wind), so my 2021 rides have been pretty sparse...thus far. But that hasn't made them any less exhilarating.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Welcome to my Battlefield


If there was ever a week of battle strife, this would be it.

The warrior: Myself.

The opponents: Wind, Cold, and DOMS (not necessarily in that order).

Seriously. This was a very productive week, but it was hard-fought. It felt like each day brought a different challenge to the fore front. I'm not one to shy away from tough workouts or discomforts, but this week gave me a run for my mental (and physical) mojo.

...and that's not all bad.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Got Coffee? Let's Talk!

 


Here we are again....gathered virtually over coffee (or a favorite beverage), and chatting. 

Seems like we were just here because April flew by rather quickly, at least in my world it did. We had warmer weather, and we had a few revert-to-winter days (actually, a good consecutive 10 days...but who's counting).

A lot went down... Plenty of sunshine! Some outdoor biking! My longest run (a 10-miler)! And my first half marathon, post-stress fracture! The days have gotten substantially longer and there's the scent of blossoming trees and blooming flowers everywhere. Things have been pretty nice.

So, whatever shall we talk about?

Monday, May 3, 2021

Crafting the Perfect Running Outfit


It's been said before...running is SO very personal.

We all have differing preferences when it comes to a favorite distance, a desired speed, or time of day for logging the miles. Some of us run daily; some less frequent. Many of us participate in races, and some chose to run just for the joy of it.

It's all good. We're lucky such a sport exists that allows for such individuality.

I'd bet a new pair of shoes that most of us LOVE our running gear, though. How we go about piecing together running/workout outfits, though, is where it gets interesting. What works like a charm for one runner, may not be comfortable for others.  That's all good, too.

Here's my take on crafting the perfect running outfit...

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Rising & Shining, Running & Smiling


"Lest there be sunshine, to combat all the crazy wind."

I don't remember who penned that quote... maybe it was me?

After the mini polar-freeze-like conditions of recent, this past week put us back on track for some seasonal weather. Thank you, Momma N! Only, I gotta say she was a bit too generous with the wind, and most of the forecast precip missed us. But, oh well. I love all the sunshine, as well as the warmer temps, so I'm not going to complain.  

Thursday, April 29, 2021

All is Fair in Fitness and 'Fessions

 


All is fair in fitness and 'fessions...at least that's what I'm going with.

It's that time of the month, when it's only right (and needed!) to 'fess up a few things from life and reality. For the most part, all things are pretty quiet and stable... 

My stress fracture may be history, but I suspect a relapse will always be lurking in the back of my mind. Momma N, and her army of weather gods, has kept me guessing...but she has not kept me inside. And, the increasing daylight, before and after my workday, has been absolutely wonderful.

So what could I possibly have to 'fess about? Trust me, there's always something...

Monday, April 26, 2021

Spring - Then vs. Now


What's up with Spring 2021? 

Things are a little different, now, than they were a year ago. There's still a lot of unrest and unknowns, but things are definitely moving in a better direction, at least in terms of "normalcy" for us runners.

Thankfully, I didn't put my running shoes (or other fitness accessories) in storage once Covid hit the fan, but there were some necessary adjustments last Spring. Now, as the vaccine is allowing for more freedom (and/or peace of mind... for some, at least), I find myself (again) adjusting my regimen.

Shall we do a then vs. now comparison?

Sunday, April 25, 2021

One Last Cold Blast


 

Holy Freezing Buttocks, Batman!

If there ever was a week of roller-coaster-like weather antics, this would be it. We're talking drizzle, snow and frost for starters. Fortunately, things turned more seasonal, with some warmer temps and (almost) nonstop sunshine, as we approached the weekend. Whew!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Feelin' Fine: Back in a Bib

 


The bibs are back, and I couldn't be happier!

Not everyone will share in the joy many runners are feeling. I get that. It's kind of a luxury we may have taken for granted prior to Covid. 

But, alas, races are (slowly) making a comeback, and I'm pretty jacked. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Drake Relays Road Races Half Marathon - 2021 recap


 It was one of those days where everything just fell into place.

The weather was near-perfect. The Covid protocol was on-point. The course was its usual hilly self. And my post-stress-fractured self was ready to truly test my grit, my fitness, and my rally-back efforts.

Enter the Drake Relays Road Races. And, while we're at it, let's run a half marathon!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Sunny. Windy.Chilly. Mix & Repeat.


It was a week! There was a lot of sunshine (yay!), an abundance of wind (buzzkill!) and frigid flashback-to-winter temps (brrr!). 

But the precipitation stayed away, so there's that.

It also was a bit of a taper week for yours truly. I still ran on my usual running days, but I laid off of the lower-body strength work, stairs and HIIT. I also did plenty of walking (and some biking) to keep my legs loose. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

IMT Des Moines Marathon Weekend: Why I'm So Giddy


 

Disclaimer: I received a registration to the MercyOne 5-Mile Run as part of being a Bibrave Pro. Learn more about becoming a Bibrave Pro (ambassador), check out Bibrave.com to review, find, and write race reviews.

The IMT Des Moines Marathon. Oh how I love thee.

Well, it's not just the marathon, but ALL of the events affiliated with race weekend.

Even though race weekend is six months out (October 16th -17th), I'm already feeling pretty giddy. There are many reasons why I'm totally pumped for this weekend. Care to hear a few? How about five?

Monday, April 12, 2021

Running with Friends has it's Benefits 


It's been said, by myself and others, that there are no friends like runner friends.

Heck, we all know the ins and outs of running. If there's anything we don't yet know, the odds are greater-than-great one of our runner friends can enlighten us.

Have you ever taken the time to list the many ways we benefit from running with these awesome friends? I'm not talking about our online running friends (who are invaluable in their own right), but our in-person running comrades.

Let me cite a few (or several) ways these particular peeps are beneficial to runners... 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Weather Forecast #FAIL



Ever played the "Guess The Weather Cuz The Forecast Failed" game?

Well, I have, repeatedly. At least that was the case this past week.

Case in point, I have two weather apps I follow. Both seemed to be in agreement on what the weather was going to be doing. However, what they both showed, in the forecast, didn't quite play out as predicted. Not a crisis, but definitely a frustration (actually several).

Monday, April 5, 2021

Summer Running - It's My Jam


It's no secret that I love Summer. 

And, I love summer running. I can say, in all honesty, Summer is my favorite season for running.

While many find the heat (and humidity) of the summer months too much to bear, I find it invigorating. After all, I'd rather be too hot than too cold. Call me crazy.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

...and out came the Sun!


Let me start by saying, "Holy Wicked Wind, Batman!"

Allow me also to say, "Thanks for the beautiful sunshine, Momma N. It made the psychotic wind a lot more bearable."

Whew! All things said, it was a CrAzY week of weather in Iowa (and, I believe, elsewhere). That which doesn't kill us, makes us ever so much stronger. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Grab Your Cup, Let's Huddle!


The recent Iowa weather has been windy. And the temps have been cold. 

After a beautiful taste of early summer, the (current) frigid outdoors have left much to be desired. Nothing that a warm beverage can't fix, right?

How about we huddle together (virtually, still) and share some conversation around a (virtual) table. Care to join me?  

Monday, March 29, 2021

Chocoholic Frolic 5K Race Recap


A lot of us are eager to get back on a race course.

A lot of us will do anything for chocolate.

How about a race that features chocolate? Sounds pretty sweet, am I right?

Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Sun Will Come Out...Tomorrow


Got sunshine? 

It didn't happen in Iowa this past week. Not to worry, I know the sun is always shining even if it's hidden by a few (or several) clouds. There may have been some rain, and the temps were on the chilly side of Spring, but all went well. This next week is looking like a 180, though.