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 Bibrave.com 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 bliss...so 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?

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Back in Maintenance Mode


And just like that...we're back in maintenance mode.

Yep. My reality took an unexpected turn this week. 

What can I say? One thing we have absolute control of is our attitude, and I embrace that fact. A sense of humor is also invaluable. Thankfully, I have both in my arsenal.

Oh, by the way, did you hear? My marathon (scheduled for next month) won't be happening.

Monday, August 16, 2021

8 Tips to Ease that Race Day Anxiety & Fear



You've (hopefully) done all the necessary training. Preparing for the big race day, though, involves more than just logging miles in your running shoes. 

I've been running (and racing) for 16+ years. Needless to say, I have learned a lot through trial and error (emphasis on the errors).

A little planning ahead of time can ease the race day stress. It may not eliminate the start line nerves, but having a lot of the details ironed out before the big day will make getting there a little easier. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Resurrection of the Daily Rides


Well, this was a week I could not have foreseen...but not necessarily in a bad way.

We do what we can with what we have, am I right? And, we make the best of whatever situation we find ourselves in....well, at least I do LOL. 

Biking was front and center this week, and Gustavas and Fritz went head-to-head for attention. Care to hear who garnered the most mileage?

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Refuel. Rehydrate. Replenish. with Ultima Replenisher



Disclaimer: I received a supply of Ultima Replenisher stickpacks 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.

When you're feeling #HotHotHot, what you #GotGotGot in the recovery arsenal is paramount.

As runners, and all athletes for that matter, we need to be conscious of not just staying hydrated, but also keeping the electrolytes in check. This is an ongoing situation, but is especially crucial during the warmer months.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Favorite Quick HIIT Fixes


It's been said that time is of the essence...

The thing is, time is (often times) in limited supply for many of us. We all have the same 24 hours each day, and we all have the same seven days each week. Those days and hours, though, have a tendency to get loaded down with work, family, and household obligations.

Sneaking in a workout, or even some personal time, can be a struggle.

It's those really busy days when I turn to an old standby...HIIT!

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Rise & Shine, Rinse & Repeat


Sometimes, you just gotta keep rising, shining, and showing up.

Even when you're a victim of late night (Olympic) star gazing, staying on track (no pun intended) is beneficial. That said, a few aches and pains will come and go...it certainly helps having a beautiful sunrise, on occasion, to brighten one's spirits.

Such was the case this past week. 

Thursday, August 5, 2021

An Olympic-Sized Coffee Chat


How about an Olympic-sized coffee (or caffeinated beverage of choice) to withstand the current status quo? 

Yes, please, and thank you.

When it comes to the Olympics, I'm not a huge diehard. That said, I've been serving my time on the couch, this go round, and my entire routine has been temporarily upended. Not necessarily in a bad way, thank goodness.

All that aside, shall we grab our mugs, cups, or glasses and have a quaint little virtual gathering? I'm game, are you?

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Welcome to the Kim Gym


All is fair in fitness and fun. While my "home gym" is pretty bleak in comparison to some, it gets the job done. 

After all, it's not about a fancy-schmancy set-up, or an elaborate mass of equipment. It's about commitment to your own well-being. And, a little bit of creativity never hurts.

C'mon, step inside. I'll show you around and make some introductions.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Rock What You Got


Sometimes, you just gotta go with what you're given.

We've had an unusually extended heat wave. We're talking nearly three continuous weeks with near record-setting temps and continuously high humidity levels.

With a September 18th marathon on deck, I've been keeping pretty active on the bike(s) and on the feet. I've been in constant motion and was due for some scaled-back recovery time. 

Wouldn't you know, Fate intervened and allowed both to happen...all within the same week. Lucky me. I like it when that happens! 

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).