Saturday, December 31, 2022

Weather: Say WHAT?!?

Well, well, well, can you say weather whiplash? 

If there is such a thing as weather whiplash, I'd say we experienced it in all its glory (and then some). 

The weather "pendulum" swung from seasonal temps to extreme cold, then did an abrupt 180 to unseasonal warmth. Yikes! Trying to stay ahead of the game, in terms of what to wear and when/where to work-out was a challenge. As a result, the round-the-clock weather stalking took on a life of its own because there was my daily #OptOutside obligation and streak runs to be done.

It's a good thing we runners know how to make do in undesirable circumstances...

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Yes, a Final 'Fess for 2022

 Seriously, friends, how did we get to the final 'Fession of  '22?

Time seems to keep accelerating, and I cannot seem to keep up with it. Maybe that's a good thing, since I have ZERO time to sit idle and succumb to boredom. Yeah, that's the story I'll go with, LOL.

So, here we are again, knocking on the door of  the final 'Fession Session for 2022. As always, I have a few (or, in this case, five) 'fessions to disclose... 

Monday, December 26, 2022

2022: The Year in Pics

What a year 2022 was!

There were some struggles. The weather was challenging at times. And the running miles took a big hit.

But, there are were many beautiful sunrises to witness in person. Some decent age division awards came home with me. My love for biking took on a life of its own. And, there was a lot of fun along the way. 

Care to hear a little more about my 2022 experience? Or, at the very least, see a few pics? Read on...

Saturday, December 24, 2022

And just like that It's Winter

Just like that, Winter made its grand entrance...and it didn't do so quietly.

It also didn't come alone, bringing with it an ill-timed bomb cyclone. And, as most know by now, this bomb cyclone didn't just affect my stomping grounds (in the Midwest). It swept its way across the USA and messed up a lot of holiday travel plans and kept many locked-up inside to avoid the dangerous weather in its path. 

A big UGH. But, alas, the fitness still prevailed. We can't control the weather, but we can definitely control our attitudes...and we can still get it done inside.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Desperately Seeking Sunlight

Darkness falls across the land....

Well, at least it looked and felt like darkness most days this week. Ugh. We had precip (rain AND snow, thank you very much), almost daily cloud cover, and wind (LOTS of wind). I did continue my #OptOutside streak, as well as my #RWWinterRunStreak, so my #IowaTough grit was thoroughly put to the test. 

Alas, as I've said numerous times, I refuse to let Momma N win. Whatever she throws at me, I'll face it head-on and rise to the challenge. That doesn't mean I have to like it, though.

Monday, December 12, 2022

2022: The Year in Bling

I believe that every race has its own unique story.

Whether it's a challenge that was overcome, a reward for countless miles of grueling training, or a lesson learned about our own grit, determination and perseverance...every race is special. Even if it's a race you've run numerous times before, it's probably going to be a different experience each and every time you make your way to the finish line. 

While most of us don't need medals to validate our love for running, they do make for nice keepsakes. Each year brings more adventure to myself and my running shoes, and 2022 was no exception. 

Care to see the bling I brought home, this past year, and hear the stories behind the medals? Read on...  

Saturday, December 10, 2022



If we were talking busyness, this week was a doozy.

We're talking all kinds of work-related stuff, daily run streaking, and a host of pre-holiday to-do's that needed attention. Oh, and did I mention we have a college graduation happening soon (like next weekend!)?

I was especially thankful for each and every fitness fix (aka coping vice) that I had at my disposal this week....if you know what I mean. 

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Weathering Another Wild Ride

If we were to talk about this week's weather, I'd have to compare it to a wild roller coaster ride.

We had cold temps (no surprises there), and we had out-of-control wind (much more than usual, and we usually have a lot). Oh, and there were a couple days that had unseasonably warm temps, with oodles of intoxicating sunshine and barely even a slight breeze. Then, within hours, those very temps plummeted 60+ degrees, and the wind (again) took on a life of its own.

 Alas, such is the reality of Iowa. Thankfully, I'm #IowaTough so the #OptOutside streak lives on (now over two years strong).

Thursday, December 1, 2022

A Holiday Coffee Chat

Anyone else craving some chat time?

How about we each grab a mug (of our favorite hot beverage) and gather together for a bit. After all, it's a busy and crazy time of year, not to mention the weather is anything but delightful. It's always nice to share a few laughs (and maybe a few hugs) among friends. 

What say you? 

Monday, November 28, 2022

The '22 Streak is a GO!

 Alas, the 2022 Streak has begun!

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 for many of us. The racing season has come to a close. 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 26, 2022

Now That's Much Better!

There's a certain sweet satisfaction when (most of) your undesirable circumstances do a #180, am I right?

After the previous week's crazy cold "winter preview," this last week catapulted us back to more seasonal temps (that were actually borderline unseasonably warm, just saying). The healing hammy continued its upswing with more feeling-good vibes. And, the running saw a little more action.

So, yes, things were definitely much better in my little world (#HappySigh).

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Hmmm...Runfessions, anyone?

Things that make you go another trip to the Runfessional.

Even with all things to be thankful for, there's still plenty that needs 'fessing, am I right? I mean, we're only human, myself included. It's best to get these things 'fessed and finished, so we can forge ahead into the holiday season.

Care to share a few 'fessions with Yours Truly?

Monday, November 21, 2022

Blessed and ever so Grateful

It's that time of the year, again and already.

While I reflect, almost daily, on all the good that's come my way, I especially try to draw on all that gratitude this time of year. After all, the holiday season is a busy time. It's easy to let one's focus veer towards all the chaos, rather than all the blessings, if we're not careful.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Going With the Frigid Flow

Holy Temperature Swing, Batman!

I think we all knew the late-season heat wave wouldn't last, but Winter came bustling in with record-breaking speed...and it's not officially the winter season for another month! What the WHAT!?!

None the less, I refuse to give in to the cold temps and psychotic wind. I maintained my almost 2-year #OptOutside streak, bundled up accordingly, and hit the outdoors everyday. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Taking the Ride Inside

Sometimes, opting inside is not only the best option, it's the only option.

Such is my reality for the next several months, at least in regards to biking. I know, quite the first world problem. 

Not only am I thankful to have an indoor bike a mere 2-minute walk from my bedroom (on a slow-moving day, LOL), but I am even more grateful that I LOVE riding it. Of course, I'd much rather be outside, in the fresh air...but certainly not this time of year (in the limited daylight), and certainly not in the midst of an Iowa winter.

Have you ever taken your cycling indoors? Here's a few things to consider if the opportunity presents itself...

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Whatever It Takes

Whatever it takes, I'm on board.

Especially when it comes to an injury-related rally-back situation, keeping the focus on the rehab (over the FOMO) is paramount. This has been the case for me, with my most recent healing hammy scenario.

The past week had me digging deep to stay on task with the rally-back action, and it kept me busy... 

Monday, November 7, 2022

About Those 25 Weekly Rides...

Sometimes you just gotta set a lofty goal and go for it.

After all, anyone who has ever trained for a big event (say, for example, a half marathon or longer) usually makes the commitment well in advance of the actual event itself. Often times, it's the commitment that fuels the fire to put in the work to reach your goal. 

Such was the case with these 25 Weekly Rides of 2022...

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Embracing My Current Reality

My current reality?

It's definitely not what I would have pictured or imagined a few weeks ago, but that's not a bad thing. Not in the least.

This past week saw very little running (umm, how does a single, solitary mile grab you? LOL). Instead, it entertained all kinds of other fun fitness things, which is always a good thing. 

And, the weather? Well, it was a brief summer-rewind situation...and that was a GREAT thing.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

If we were having Coffee

Is there anything better than a comforting hot beverage, especially when the weather feels less than perfect?

Truth be told, I can drink a hot beverage anytime (no matter the season or the weather) and be quite content. Although I don't drink true coffee, per se, I often have a coffee mug in-hand on a daily basis. 

And, wouldn't you know, it's time (already) for another gathering of like minds for some stimulating chatter as we sip our beverages of choice. Myself, I'm indulging in my most recent new favorite, a hazelnut cappuccino. How about you?

Monday, October 31, 2022

It's Time for Planksgiving '22

How do you feel about planking? Ever wanted to give it a try?  If you're already a proficient planker, have you thought of upping your game ? 

Or maybe you're just simply craving a little challenge to get you through November, before the holiday season really takes off?

Have no fear...Planksgiving '22 is here!

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Gimme an I!


All is fair in fitness and fun...until an injury rears its ugly head.

Yes, I said it. 

INJURY. Not exactly a runner's (or any athlete's) favorite word that begins with I.

I had a feeling said "ugly word" had been flirting with me in recent weeks, and I was taking all the necessary precautions to keep it at bay. But, wouldn't you know? It still made its grand entrance...

Thursday, October 27, 2022

October 'Fessions and all that jazz

...and just like that, it's time to enter the 'Fessional and bare the soles...

Let's just say there's been some stuff going down recently. It's always best to 'fess-it-out on the blog (you know, among friends and such). A runner cannot keep all this stuff unmentioned, am I right?

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Weathering the WHIPLASH

So, yeah. The weather, in Iowa, was anything but smooth this past week.

Extreme shifts in temps were the norm. We're talking mid-winter "feels" with the sub-freezing mornings and psychotic wind. There also was a much welcome 50-degree jump in temps, which catapulted us back to the heat of summer (minus the humidity).  

Figuring out the clothing situation was a major guessing game. But, the good news? At least it wasn't snowing!

Monday, October 17, 2022

Principal 5K Road Race - 2022 recap

Have you ever, as a runner, had a last-minute change of course (literally)?

Well, this wasn't just a change of course, it also was a change of registration. Switching from the half marathon to the 5K not only shaved 10 miles off my race day, but also gave my recent bodily grievances a break. Oh, and there was that unexpected age group award...

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Acting on Impulse


Sometimes you just gotta go with your gut, have faith, and seize the moment.

And that's just what I did, almost on the daily, this past week.

The weather kept me guessing (what's new?), the hip felt great (yay!), and the glute/hammy saw significant signs of improvement (whew!). So, we acted on a few impulses...

Monday, October 10, 2022

Breaking-out of the Burnout

Running burnout.

There's two words that do not fit together very nicely, am I right?

Thankfully, I don't think I've ever truly suffered from said burnout. There have been times, though, when I have needed to scale things back a bit and/or shift my focus. There may also have been some goals that got modified along the way as well. 

All of which has been fine and dandy. After all, I'm still running.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

A Week That Had Me Going...HMMM...

Well, this was a week that kept me going HMMM on the daily!

The weather kept changing (not necessarily in a bad way). The recent (mild) drama with the glute and hip flexor took turns as to which was feeling better (sometimes it was both at the same time!). And the running staged a conservative comeback. 

Yeah, things that made me go HMMM, indeed.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Coffee & Chai & Chatter and Whatnot

There's been a definite chill in the air these days.

Thankfully, most days (thus far) it's been mostly an early morning chill, which gives way to an afternoon warm-up. Rest assured, since I'm out and about on most of those chilly mornings, I'm relishing a warm beverage upon my return back home. Of course, this is my usual (year-round) routine,  but as my cold hands cradle the warm coffee cup, this morning ritual feels that much sweeter this time of year.

Speaking of which, it's that time of the month, already, for our virtual Ultimate Coffee Date. I have my mug in hand, how about you? What say we gather and chat for a bit...

Shall we get this party started?

Saturday, October 1, 2022

"Welcome" to Fall, Y'all

Well, here we are...entering October and "enjoying" the early stages of the fall season.

If the first few days of Fall 2022 were any indication of what's to come, it was not looking pretty. Thankfully, things turned much warmer as the week wore on. 

This week brought me a tad bit of frustration with lingering aches, pains, and discomforts aplenty.  If that wasn't enough, the weather had me questioning why I call the Midwest home. But, it is what it is...and we soldier on, right?   

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


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


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.