Thursday, September 29, 2022

Fall's First 'Fession Session


Here we are again...another month is winding down, and another 'fession session is on deck.

Funny how it seems that once the daylight started noticeably dwindling (which, for me, wasn't until after Labor Day), time seems to have sped up exponentially as well. Anyone else, or is that just my observation?

Anyways there's been a lot happening, so I have plenty of 'fessions to share. In the interest of time, though, I'll do everyone a solid and just disclose five for now. Fair enough?

Monday, September 26, 2022

Kickoff to Kinnick 2022 race recap


Seriously, is there anything better than returning to a fun race that benefits a great cause?

Such is the case with the Kickoff to Kinnick 5K. 

This past Saturday, I took to the streets of Iowa City and to the field in Kinnick Stadium. I donned the University of Iowa black and gold colors. I persevered through a long, tough climb. I put up with the unexpected damp weather. And I even waved to the kids in the Stead Family Children's Hospital.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Read on for a few more details...

Saturday, September 24, 2022

...and so Summer goes...


They say that all good things come to an end, right?

Such is the case with the summer season. It's almost like that final "official" day of summer got tapped with Momma N's seasonal wand, and POOF! The temps plummeted and the daylight dwindled even more.

It's not all bad, by any means. But still. Thankfully, we will have some beautiful colors in our midst as the trees undergo their seasonal change, and the humidity will be at a much more moderate level. That said, I love my summer heat and it's a buzzkill to be on the other side of the equinox.

Monday, September 19, 2022

My Fall Preview for '22


How can it be racing season. Already???

It really snuck up on me this year. I don't have answers, but I suspect it's because this was the first summer, in nine years, that I wasn't training for a full marathon. Of course, it's been three years since I've actually run a marathon (thank you, Covid)...but I did train through the the past two summers until those marathons were either postponed or outright cancelled.

Alas, here we are with the '22 fall season (almost) underway. Care to hear what I have on the roster?

Read on...

Saturday, September 17, 2022

A Sunny Sequel to Summer


Can I share a not-too-surprising secret?

I'm not looking forward to the start of the fall season. But, bless Momma N's dear heart, she was quite kind in gifting me another week of summer weather...and the forecast is showing it will continue for several more days this next week. 

But still. 

It's not that I detest Fall, I just do not like that it's a precursor to Winter. Maybe Momma N could sense my trepidation? Alas, this past week was a nice one, in terms of weather and whatnot. 

Monday, September 12, 2022

Describe Oneself...


Have you ever thought about what motivates and inspires you?

In an effort to come up with some motivating mantras, my mind kept wandering towards my own (perceived)  personality traits and preferences. It's no secret that I use a lot of hashtags on social media, and I don't think it's a coincidence many of them reflect my interests as well. 

Anyways, I did manage to come up with a few (somewhat) simple words that best describe myself (in my humble opinion). I even took it a step further, and included some corresponding hashtags, because why not?

Are you ready? Here goes... 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

All in Good Fitness Fun


Well, it was another one of those weeks.

Things were (mostly) decently cheerful in my little corner of the world, for which I'm quite grateful. But, as we all know, there was some heart-breaking #ish happening elsewhere. 

I don't have answers, nor am I going to preach about Eliza's tragedy or the loss of the Queen. I trust most everyone else shares in my frustration, anger, and grief. There's strength in our solidarity, though, and there's comfort in our coping outlets, via fitness.   

 And, that's what I'm choosing to focus on, for this blog post.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Weathering It Out & About


Don't ya just love playing the Weather Game?

When getting outside on a daily basis is a self-imposed obligation, it's often a gamble on when (or if) the weather will play nice. Thankfully, it's much easier to grin and bear it in the summertime. 

This week had a mix of all kinds of weather...rain, heat, sunshine, and plenty of humidity. It didn't keep me indoors, though, and my #optoutside streak is still going strong. It's the little things, right?  

Thursday, September 1, 2022

(Hopefully Not) The Last Sip of Summer


Well, here we are again!

Another month has arrived, and with it we have another opportunity to (virtually) gather. We could even have a (virtual) coffee talk. Just imagine all the things we could chat about over coffee (or any drink of one's choosing).

I don't know about you, but September has me hanging on to every last minute of Summer that I can. The daytime temps are still mostly summer-like, but the autumn "chill-in-the-air" is starting to make an appearance in the mornings. That's not a bad thing...but to this summer-loving gal, it's always a "reality bites" time of seasonal change when Summer starts slipping away. 

That being said, shall we gather for a chat session? What ya say? Are you game?

Monday, August 29, 2022

Fall...It's-a-Comin'


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

Granted the majority of my runner friends are ecstatic to usher in some cooler weather and kick summer to the curb...but not me. Well, I do appreciate the less intense heat and humidity, but I have a special place in my heart for all things summer.

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

As we embark on the end of summer, I thought I'd share a few realities and some coping strategies to ease the transition into the cooler temps (and darker days) of the fall season. 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!

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Rebounding!


Can you say Rebounding!

After a week of playing host to the virus, and isolating myself from most of the world, I was ready to be back in action. Thankfully, the virus hadn't kept me down (much) in the previous week, so resuming my fitness routine wasn't a big adjustment.

I can assure you, though, it felt awesome to be back on the "other side" of Covid.  

Thursday, August 25, 2022

August's 'Fessions? Full Tilt!


There's nothing like a good cleansing session at the 'Fessional.

Let's just say that things have been a little crazy, and my world has been a little topsy-turvy recently. And, the dwindling daylight has got me in a bit of a funk (seriously, I really hadn't much noticed the days getting obviously shorter until this week!).

Unloading a few 'fessions does wonders for one's mind, body and sole(s), if you know what I mean.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Favorite Summer Must-Haves


It's true, we all have our seasonal favorites when it comes to fitness gear.

The summer season is no exception. While some of these favorites have been around for awhile, in my fitness gear arsenal, there are a few new-to-me discoveries that have been big players this summer.

Care to hear about a few of mine? Read on... 

Saturday, August 20, 2022

It Is What It Is


It is what it is, and this past week was its own breed of something.

Hey, if nothing else, we gain our most strength by overcoming obstacles and unforeseen struggles along the way. Life would be quite boring without a few challenges, am I right?

Such was the case in my little world. Nothing I couldn't face, and nothing to keep me down. But there definitely were some moments...

Monday, August 15, 2022

Running & Racing Through the Alphabet


With all the sharing of places and spaces and races, throughout the alphabet, it was only a matter of time before I joined the party.

Most of us take great pride in taking our running with us when we travel. Besides, we all know the best way to explore a new-to-us location is via the running shoes. 

So, buckle-up and get ready! I'll take you on a journey of where my shoes, legs, and Garmin have taken me...

Saturday, August 13, 2022

and we're Back in Action


After a scaling things back, in the previous week, this past week had me back in action.

The weather played nice, for the most part, granting some cool mornings and not-too-dreadful daytime temps on several occasions. The humidity was still a bit balmy, but that's all part of the summer-in-Iowa gig. As long as we're not blessed with both high temps and heavy humidity, it's a win-win in my book.

Monday, August 8, 2022

RAGBRAI for a day: Take-2


Yes, I did it again.

With my love for all things cycling front and center, my heart was leading me to do it again. Not an entire week, but simply (I use that term quite lightly) for a mere day. 

It wasn't just any day, either. It was the final day of a famous 7-day trek (of numerous cyclists) across Iowa. 

I loaded up my hybrid, Krystal, and we made it happen.

RAGBRAI for a day...

Saturday, August 6, 2022

All. Is. Well.


Another week down, and another recovery session in the arsenal.

Funny how it seems like (almost) every-other week I'm recovering from one event or another. 

This week? It was all about the legs. Everything actually felt great following the previous week's high-mileage biking, but I knew to keep things low-key anyways. Call me crazy.

And all went well. 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

A Full Cup


There's the catch phrase "my cup runneth over," and I can relate (in a very good way).

It's been a busy summer, and I know it's far from over (at least in my world). There's been plenty of fitness, lots of fun, numerous beautiful sunrises to witness and some great milestones achieved.

Also, given the time of the month, it's a perfect time to gather, grab some coffee (or any beverage of choice) and have a gab session. I'm game...are you?

Monday, August 1, 2022

Seize the Century!


I came. I rode. I conquered. But I didn't do it alone.

As most know, my love for cycling has exploded in recent years. Last summer, I got the wild notion of doing a century ride (and so did a few of my friends). After all, I had ridden 88 miles (and change) in late July, for RAGBRAI. Surely an extra 12 miles weren't very far out of reach.

After almost a year of talking, scheming, and a lot more biking, my first 100-mile ride came to fruition on Wednesday, July 27th. 

And, here's the story... 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Pedal Power: ACTIVATE!


So yeah.

I may be a runner, but this week was all about pedaling action. After all, runners don't need to expend all their fitness energy on running, am I right? 

As most know, my cross-training has exploded in recent years. Strength-training had been there all along, but walking earned a valued spot when I was side-lined following emergency knee surgery. Then, two years ago, a stress fracture lead me to the bike...and the rest is history. 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

July's 'Fession Festival


Well, here we are, already, returning to the monthly stop at the Runfessional.

Seriously, it's a good thing we have this little 'fessional fix each month. There's been a lot of #ish going down, and it's beneficial to have a place to rant and rave about it. Besides, it's good for the souls AND soles of us runners.

Shall we get this 'fession festival underway? 

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Rockin' the Heat


It was quite the week in Iowa.

The temps were warm. The humidity was high. The sunshine was strong.

And I loved (most) every minute of it.

I mean, it IS July. Even when the temps get uncomfortable, there's always plenty to love about the summer season.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Clive Running Festival 5K recap


You know the drill:

Your favorite running friend spontaneously texts you Friday mid-morning, telling you she's doing a 5K on Saturday (that she'd forgotten she'd registered for). She spontaneously asks if you want to join her. Obviously, you spontaneously accept her invite.

And so it goes...

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Summer at its Sultry Best


The heat was on in Iowa this past week.

Believe me, that's not a complaint...but it certainly was a steamy week, weather-wise. I'm grateful for air-conditioning, and the creative ability to cleverly find new ways to deal with my hair when the humidity tries to wreak havoc with it.

Above all else, I'm just thankful we don't have to worry about snow, ice or sub-freezing wind chill. It's really the little things... 

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Let's #ExploreIowa!


Have you ever been guilty of taking your very own state for granted, at least in terms of fun things to see and do?

Full disclosure: I used to be guilty of that offense.

Then, a couple years ago, I discovered the world of biking...and things took a turn for the much better.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Midnight Madness 10K race recap


Everybody loves a fun race on a hot summer night, am I right?

Or maybe that's just me. 

The Midnight Madness 10K was the place to be, this past Saturday evening, if you were itching for some summer heat and humidity. The thing is, I've done this rodeo before and knew what I was getting myself into by toeing the start line.

And I did it anyways....

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Make Mine a DOUBLE


Let's just say it was a week of seeing (and doing) double.

It wasn't planned, but that's how things played out. I'm a strong believer in going with the flow. Besides, it's kind of fun to shake things up once in awhile, you know? 

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Sully Freedom Fun Run 2022 Recap


I guess it was just one of those days...

You know...when things kind of just fall into place, albeit a rocky start and questionable weather. 

This was the 27th annual running of the Sully Freedom Fun Run, and it was my seventh time making an appearance on the race course.  What can I say? I'm a sucker for repeating a fun race that supports a great cause.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Heavy on the Pedals


It was a Heavy On The Pedals kind of week, and the timing was immaculate.

After all, my right hip has been in a funk recently and I have a couple of races coming up. Why not give the compromised body parts a rest and have a little more fun on the bike(s)? 

Besides, the bike therapy is three-fold: my endurance is enhanced, my legs are strengthened and the creaky joints get some recovery time. Honestly, it's a triple-win!

Read on for all the deets...

Friday, July 1, 2022

Taking a Chill, Having a Chai, Enjoying a Chat


Well, here we are again.

Another opportunity to chill out, over a chai (or any beverage of your choosing, hot or iced), and have some friendly chatter. 

Things have been rather low-key in some regards, but also crazy active in others. It is what it is, and I choose to just keep on keeping on. It's all good.

Monday, June 27, 2022

For the Love of My Shades


Did anyone catch the little known fact about yesterday, June 27th?

Well, it was National Sunglasses Day!

Personally, I think every day should be National Sunglasses Day, because our eyes need all the TLC we can give them. Also, let's not forget the fine art of wrinkle prevention. I mean, seriously, does anyone want to look older than what their birth certificate indicates?

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Grinding It Out


Let's just say it was a week filled with all kinds of grit and grinding.

We're talking random aches and pains, and an out-of-the-blue series of unfortunate events. As always, there's much to be said of having a positive attitude and a willingness to smile when things are sketchy. It is also most beneficial to embrace gratitude and celebrate one's blessings.

After all, our mindset is our own choosing, even when our circumstances are compromised.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Some Summer Fun 'Fessions


All is fair in fun & 'fessions, right?

It's hard to believe Summer 2022 is (officially) a reality, and we're already facing another turn at the 'fessional. When they say time flies, they aren't kidding.

It's been an interesting few weeks since my last 'fession session. You know, life and all that. Of course, I've got plenty to say...but I'll limit it to just the top five 'fessions for now (you're welcome, LOL).

Monday, June 20, 2022

National Selfie Day! Let's Celebrate!


Did you know that June 21 is National Selfie Day?

Yes, you read that correctly...there actually is a day that celebrates people taking pics of themselves (and posting them for the world to see). 

Although I play the (shameless) selfie game, pretty much on the daily, I do have mixed feelings about it. Most of what we see on social media is "filtered" (literally and figuratively) to reflect what the selfie-poster wants us to see about them or the lifestyle they lead. In other words, you don't see very many real-life images of us in our less-than-desirable states (and I don't think that's all bad, LOL).

While we all have our own preferences on the selfies we share, I do get a lot of questions on subject matter and content. So, in celebration of this most auspicious day, I'll share a few tips and strategies I utilize...

Saturday, June 18, 2022

#Maintaining #NoComplaining


Back in maintenance mode, and things are feeling fine.

Admittedly, I love the excitement and anticipation of a big race dictating my summer running. That said, I gotta runfess, it's also nice not having to strategize (almost) every fitness endeavor I choose to do.  

Such was the case this week. I'm still embracing the low mileage gig (in terms of running), and I'm saddling-up the bike whenever the weather is favorable. And, I'm smiling as I do so. 

Monday, June 13, 2022

Summer '22: What's To Do?


The Summer of '22 is already (unofficially) underway...what's a fitness-minded gal to do?

I'm glad you asked! 

Myself, I don't plan to spend very much of my Summer '22 indoors, nor do I expect to be sitting (un)comfortably still.  With no major races happening until the Fall, though, I have ZERO plans of over-expending myself with lofty goals or intensity.

There are a few objectives I have, though, as we approach the first official day of Summer '22...

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Keeping it Low-Key


Things had been a little crazy of late, fitness-wise, and my body was ready for a well-deserved break.

So, how about a week of (somewhat) easy-peasy recovery?

While my recovery looks different from that of others (as it should...none of us have the exact same routine, nor do our bodies need the exact same recovery regimen), I could tell it was due time for a low-key week. I kept the running mileage ultra conservative, I scaled-back on the biking, and I even caught a few extra hours of snoozing (yes, me!).

Are you curious how that all played out?

Monday, June 6, 2022

DAM to DSM - 2022 race recap


Everyone's got a DAM favorite race, am I right?

Myself? It is DAM to DSM. I first ran this epic race in 2008. It sucked me into the world of distance running, and I have not looked back. In fact, I've returned every year since.

This past weekend, I earned my 15th D2D medal. There's the saying "Always earned, never given," and those words rang true to me, this year, on the 2022 D2D race course. 

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Riding the Stride


A lot can be said for the fine art of prepping for a big race.

There's the taper, but also the daily fitness "fixes" that we all know and love. Finding that perfect balance, which is an individual thing, is tricky. It's also well worth the trial and error in seeking it.

Thankfully, for me, I have my trusty bike(s) to keep me happy when I'm scaling back on other vices. It was an active week of tapering, so to speak. And a week of eager anticipation of a favorite race... 

Thursday, June 2, 2022

What's In My Cup?


 

I'm feeling the need for some coffee time and chatter. Anyone else?

You know, it's already that time of the month for gathering, coffee cups in hand, for some conversation. May seemed to fly by, in record time, and I'm hopeful it ((finally)) took the last of the winter-like temps with it. Don't worry, though, the wind still remains.

Anyways, grab your beverage of choice and let's get the party started...

Monday, May 30, 2022

Global Running Day - Let's Do This!


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, on Wednesday (June 1st)? I'm game, are you? 

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Just Keep Movin' & Groovin'


No matter what Momma N throws my way, I gotta keep moving and grooving.

What can I say? It's my best coping strategy. After all, sitting inside will not make the iffy weather pass any quicker. 

It was another week of (mostly) undesirable weather. Some rain (though not as much as was in the forecast), unseasonably cool temps (again), and plenty of wind (I ask you, what's new?). But, it still was great to get outside and face each day head-on.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Mayfessing...


Well here we are again...or is it just me?

Another month, and a few more 'fessions to disclose. 

Shall we get this 'fession party started?

Monday, May 23, 2022

Girl Power: Market to Market Relay 2022 recap


Girl Power.

There's something about rallying together, over the course of 76ish miles, and getting it done. All kinds of grit. Lots of perseverance. A few tears along the way. An endless supply of support, encouragement, and laughter. And a finish line like none other.

I'm talking about the Market to Market Relay. And the sisterhood of six other runners and myself. And 12 hours (and nine minutes) of running. And a crowded van. And a nearly 18-hour day together... 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Riding the Recovery, literally



This week was all about recovering and riding, which made for a perfect pair.

Fresh off the Market-to-Market Relay (and my 14-mile contribution), my body was ready for some down time. As I have said many times, if I've said it once, my body prefers recovery-in-motion. What better way to spend some quality time with Krystal (the new bike), getting to know one another?

My running muscles appreciated the TLC that the bike provides. My entire body benefited from the cardio fix. And my mind and soul soaked up all those feel-good vibes from being outdoors. Talk about your triple wins! 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Bring On Summer!


 

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, as well as any form of fitness that I can take outside.

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.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Des Moines Women's 10K race recap

 


Well, suffice it to say it was a "mother" of a day.

It may have been Mother's Day, but it wasn't a typical Mother's Day for me. For 2022, Mother's Day came with the added bonus of a morning race...and it was a doozy!

We're talking all kinds of crazy (especially in terms of weather), blessing Iowa's capital city for the Des Moines Women's 10K on the morning of May 8th. It's a good thing I have a sense of humor, because Momma N certainly didn't want to play nice...

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Suddenly Summer


How about a sweet fast-forward right into Summer?

Momma N really had her game messed up this week! She kept forcing the wind on us (pretty much on the daily), but she also abruptly upped the temps by 40-ish degrees. As much as I embrace the heat of summer, I do appreciate a bit of an acclimation, thank you very much. I will gladly take it, though, and give winter a final kick to its backside. 

Fresh off a challenging 10K race, my body was more than ready for some recovery time. The heat and humidity, in a sense were pretty well-timed in that I didn't have a lot of intense outdoor fitness stuff on tap for the week...so maybe Momma N did me a favor?

Monday, May 9, 2022

Fight for Air Climb - 2022 recap


Every step counts.

All 3,336 of them. On a warm day. In the sunshine. At a baseball stadium.

The event: The Fight for Air Climb.

The objective: To climb for those who aren't able, to promote health and fitness, and to raise funds (on behalf of the American Lung Association) to aid those who suffer with lung disease.

The climber: me (and numerous others).