Thursday, September 28, 2023

Fall's First 'Fession Session of '23

I must 'fess up and come clean...

How can it already be time to hit the 'fessional? Weren't we just here, 'fessing all things running (and otherwise) with our friends? Yikes...and where, oh where, did September disappear to so quickly???

Thankfully, I know I'm not alone. And also, quite thankfully, I know I'll feel much better after a session of 'fessing, so let's get right to it....

Monday, September 25, 2023

20 Hilly Trail Rides: DONE!

As the saying goes, "I can do hard things."

That's not only true with my running, strength-training, and stair-climbing, but with biking as well. Case in point, that hilly bike path that I talk about each week in my WRD posts. 

For the past few summers, this bike path has been a part of my late spring, summer and early fall fitness regimen. This was the third consecutive year of making it a weekly ritual (during the biking season) and I'm ever grateful for how it has morphed into must-do thing.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

In Denial...

You should know the drill by now...

The temps start feeling like fall, and I do my best (most stubborn act of denial) to stay in summer gear for as long as possible. Yes, I may be donning the arm warmers and calf sleeves, but dammit, I'm still in shorts and tank tops most of the time. 

The irony is that I really detest being even the slightest bit cold. Seriously, admittedly, I really have a tough time letting summer go. And this week was no exception (even though the Fall '23 season officially commenced this weekend). 

Monday, September 18, 2023

Fall Fitness '23: What's Happening?

Anyone else think it feels odd to be chatting about fall fitness endeavors...already?

Even though the calendar indicates otherwise, I'm still in a bit of a summer mindset. At least the weather still has a bit of summer-like feels, so there's that.

So, what's on tap for Fall 2023?

Saturday, September 16, 2023

I Can't Complain (much)

I'll admit it: I'm fighting the seasonal shift from summer to fall...but I can't complain (much).

We had cool mornings most of this week, but the temps were back in "seasonal" range by mid/late morning most days. Even the wind behaved itself (for the most part). But, there's no denying summer is winding down.

For me, the best means of coping is to make the best of what remains of my favorite I did. 

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Favorite Fitness Must Haves For Fall


If I've said it once (LOL), I've said it probably hundreds of times...I hate to see summer ending.

It's no secret I'm totally (hopelessly, if you will) in love with the summer season, and pretty much every aspect of it. Yes...the heat (even the humidity), the long days and the joy being outside without needing to think about layers. 


But, I also respect  if it was summer year-round, I might not appreciate it as much.

That being said, this time of year is tricky. We've already begun the summer-to-fall transitioning, and there are a few key items that play a huge part in making this annual "right of passage" a little more bearable.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Summer's Roller Coaster Relapse


Summer just can't seem to make up its mind.

We have a dreadfully hot and humid week followed a pretty cold one. Then, it relapses back to the heat that is expected this time of year, only to take a nosedive back to the cold a few days later. Granted, it's very much a first world problem, but it's also frustrating trying to figure out the appropriate layers.

This week was all over the map, in terms of temps and weather conditions. Oh, and did I mention the wind was a piece of work as well? Such was my reality...

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Desperately holding on to Summer

Argh, ever have that feeling that something is slipping away, faster than you can drag it back?

Well, my friends, that would be summer, My Summer. I'm grateful to actually have a summer season, but it's a buzzkill that it doesn't last a fraction of what our Midwest winter entails. As much as I feel like whining about the change of seasons, though, I really try to focus on what remains.

That being said, this past week certainly looked (and felt) like a preview of Fall 2023. No kidding, we had temps in the 50F's almost every morning! I cannot deny those temps are ideal for running, but not in late August (in my ever-so-humble opinion). At least it wasn't snowing...

Thursday, August 31, 2023

A Late Summer Coffee Chat

It's been quite a summer, and August has been quite a month!

Pardon my sorrow, but I am a tad bit sad to see summer winding down. Even though the forecast is showing a grand return to more seasonal temps this next week, there's no denying what's to come afterwards. The dwindling daylight and cooler mornings have served me up a bitter taste of reality (aka fall, or "pre-winter," LOL). 

At least there will still be plenty of warm days to enjoy for the time being.

Nonetheless, August has come and gone and it's time for the monthly gathering, with mugs in hand, for some chatter. I have a few things to bring to the table (see what I did there?), so shall we get started?

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Holy Sweltering Sweatfest, Batman!

It's been said, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Well, I say, "Go ahead and face the heat, and smile as you do so."

Yes, I completely acknowledge and accept that I'm in my own party with that notion, LOL. That being said, this past week was a hot one in Iowa! We had triple-digit feels-like temps, daily, that started Saturday (of last weekend), and the heat didn't break until Friday (overnight) of this week. Yes, I did get outside everyday, and I had the daily laundry to show for it...but at least it wasn't snowing. 

Thursday, August 24, 2023

'Fessing & Sweating (not necessarily in that order)

Didn't we just gather 'round the 'fessional, like last week? 


I guess it's a good thing I've had a whirlwind of activity (and an overdose of fun) in the meantime. Seriously, I cannot complain. That being said, it does make the time go far too quickly. 

Alas, here we are. Shall I get this 'fession party started?

Monday, August 21, 2023

1,000 Days of Opting Outside

It all began on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2020.

I was slated to start another Runner's World Winter Run Streak that very morning. The Run Streak officially starts on Thanksgiving Day (and goes through New Years Day), so I was primed and ready to go.

That particular run streak was going to be a significant one, due to the fact that I was just coming off a 2-month running sabbatical (recovering from my first-ever stress fracture). Like all run streaks, I'd planned to do my usual 3-4 runs per week, and then do a very easy-paced 1-mile run on all the days that would usually be non-running days. The big difference, that year, was that most of my "regular" runs would be short and easy-paced (no speedwork or long runs on the weekends) since I had to keep things very conservative on the recently recovered foot as I rebuilt my running base.

The run streak went off without a hitch, but then I got a wild idea once January 1, 2021 arrived...

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Where Did My Summer Go?

Suffice it to say that things were a bit out-of-sorts this week.

After a few weeks of outright denial, reality smacked me in the face. The sunrises (that I love so dearly)  are coming later and later, and the morning (and some of the evening) temps are on a downward spiral. These are all things I'd noticed, but they really became evident this week. Ugh...why, oh why, is the summer season so short in Iowa???

It wasn't just the seasonal shift in daylight and weather, though, that affected my livelihood. The Iowa State Fair was underway, and I simply had to make a trek (or two) to see the sights (and compromise my already-jacked sleep schedule). 

Alas, you only live once and I  believe in seizing each moment, day, and week whenever possible. So, that I did...

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Keeping At It; Keeping Fit!

You know how it is when there's nothing on the immediate (racing) calendar...

It can get a little tricky keeping busy with no upcoming races, but it can also be a fabulous time of carefree fitness. The trick is staying active, maintaining some (or most?) of your fitness and not overdoing it (much, LOL). 

Such has been my objective most of the summer, and this past week was no exception...

Thursday, August 10, 2023

For the love of the Bike


We all know that biking has pivoted to a prominent spot in my fitness regimen, right?

Believe me, it's a reality I never saw coming. I mean, I've been a runner for over 18 years now. How could something (anything) ever step into (let alone, share) the limelight?

Well, it happened, in a relatively short span of time. And, I'm ever grateful for the experience.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Keeping Things Light

Wow, how is it August? Already?

 After last week's crazy biking extravaganza antics, I thought it wise to keep things somewhat light this week. I eased-up on the biking miles, took a reprieve from focused lower-body strength, and tried (sometimes unsuccessfully, LOL) to get a little more sleep. 

Ironically, I have been noticing the daylight showing up a little later each morning (that's what happens when you're usually up and dressed before the sunrise). ((sigh))

Nonetheless, this week kept me on my toes as I kept my workouts fun and low-key, yet effective.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

A Sip of This; A Chat About That

July was a busy month in my little corner of the world, and that's just the way I like it. I also like gathering with friends, over coffee (or any beverage of choice) and having a feel-good chat session.

Honestly, is there anything better than time with friends, seated 'round a table, sharing laughter and lively conversation? I think not!

Alas, I'm feeling the need for some chatter and camaraderie. What ya say, shall we make it happen?

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

RAGBRAI "X3" - 2023 recap

It's been said that third time's a charm

Little did I know that phrase would ring true in terms of RAGBRAI and my participation in it. 

It's also been said go big or go I did just that. You only live once, am I right?

Any regrets? None, whatsoever. 

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Sticking with the Ride...literally

Was it a week!

Not only was it very hot, it was equal parts humid as well. In all honesty, it was quite a "sticky and icky" week in Iowa. And, when I referenced "sticking with the ride," I truly meant it in the literal sense because every piece of clothing was sticking to my perspiration-laden skin.

And, as you'll see, I pretty much "stuck" with my bike as my main form of fitness this week. That's not a bad thing, but it certainly was anything but typical. That being said, I have no regrets.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Some Heated 'Fessions

The heat is ON, my friends.

The humidity is off the charts, as well. 

As I've said, it is July. I wouldn't expect anything less...but Momma N certainly isn't cutting us any slack in Iowa!.

It's also time to gather around the runfessional and come clean on a few things. I'm game, are you?

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Beating the HEAT!

If you can't stand the  heat, you gotta find a way to cope.

Well, we all know I love the heat, LOL. I'm not a fan of the accompanying humidity, but it's kind of a package deal this time of year. 

This week gave me ample opportunities to not only beat the heat, but to also bask in it. Best of both worlds, at least in my ever-so-humble opinion.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Lots to Laugh About

Oh, was it a week!

Although I can't help but wonder if Momma N was playing some twisted jokes on me with the weather, I called her bluff and laughed right along with her. I mean...torrential rain and hail? Pop-up rain, mid-walk? Insane wind? Off-the-charts humidity?

And, let's not forget my willingness to test my grit (and sanity?) on a few occasions...

Monday, July 10, 2023

Sully Freedom Fun Run - 2023 race recap

Is there anything better than a rally-back race?

I guess the first rally-back run is pretty epic, too. But, when a nasty bike crash (17 days prior to race day) leaves you questioning if you'll make it to the start line...that race day finish line was all that and more.

Case in point, the 2023 Sully Freedom Fun Run 5K.

Saturday, July 8, 2023


...and just like that, I'm back!

Funny thing about my brief sabbatical from all things running, it already feels like I never left. No regrets, and no complaints. And I'm ever-so-grateful for the process of recovery.

So, let's just say this week was all about the return to running, and a whole lot more.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Ice Ice, Baby (just not in my coffee)

So, yeah. Here we are again...ready to gather over coffee, or any beverage of choice.

Most know I am not a coffee connoisseur (though I find the fragrance quite heavenly, LOL). I am a foo-foo cappuccino gal, though. Even in the heavy heat and humidity of summer, I want my "traditional" hot beverage to be - you guessed it - steaming hot. There's something about the warmth from the drink that I find quite soothing and matter what the mercury is showing outdoors. 

That probably comes as no surprise since I'm a heat-loving gal anyways. I guess you could say I'm the polar-opposite of Elsa: the heat never bothered me anyways, LOL... with beverages or in terms of outdoor fitness fun. 

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Modified Maintenance

...and the modified maintenance continues...

As we all know, it's important to have a variety of fitness in our arsenals. That being said, this variety is really advantageous when one particular sport-of-choice is off the I right? 

Thus, Week-2 of my '23 Running Sabbatical unfolded with lots of low-key modified action...

Thursday, June 29, 2023

A Summer 'Fession Fest

Alas, it's the first 'Fession Session for the summer of '23.

Call me crazy, but it seems like it was just a few days ago that I was 'fessing with the best of them. Yet, here I am again (and I know I'm not alone, LOL). Funny how that happens!

Anyways, it's been a doozy of a summer thus far for me...

Monday, June 26, 2023

...about that little crash

After several seasons of cycling, it finally happened.

My first-ever crash, that is, and it was a doozy!

Care to hear some thoughts, reflections, and musings?

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Recovery rewind

...and, just like that, I'm back in recovery mode!

The fact that this time it's due to a freak accident, rather than a legit sports-related injury, is a bit of a buzzkill. Honestly, I don't know which situation is worse, LOL. 

Alas, a bit of a running sabbatical was forced upon me. No sense in crying into my Gatorade; I sought refuge elsewhere. We all know I'm not good at sitting still anyways

Monday, June 19, 2023

Summer '23 - What's On Tap

Here we are, on the verge of the official first day of Summer, and I'm eager for what's in store.

Summer is my favorite season, after all. Not just in terms of weather, but also in terms of daylight, color, and outdoor options aplenty. It's all good, save for the fact that the season is far too short.

Alas, that just means we need to appreciate every single day of it! It doesn't hurt to have some fun events and activities to look forward to...

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Ready for Action!

Ready for some action? 

Me? In a heartbeat!

After a scaled-back week of running, strength work, and biking, it was time. My body (and especially my mind!) was ready to get back into a routine of daily fun and fitness. Besides, we all know I'm not good at sitting on the sidelines, with my feet up.

Movement is medicinal. Motion is lotion. And all that jazz...

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Re: Recovery

Welp. It was bound to happen.

An action-packed weekend, in the heat and humidity, can make one a bit tired. Even those of us who thrive on limited sleep (as well as the heat of summer, LOL), can feel the effects. 

The solution: a Week of Recovery.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

DAM to DSM Half Marathon - 2023 race recap

Oops, I did it again.

Another DAM race, on a favorite race course, that is.

This past weekend was my 16th DAM to DSM (formerly Dam to Dam). The weather was a bit on the steamy side (#understatement), but the event was its usual fun and challenging self. 

Truth be told, I just cannot stay away. This was my first long distance race, in 2008, and I have eagerly returned every year since. It's no surprise I feel a great deal of love and loyalty for the race course and all the D2D fanfare. 

Saturday, June 3, 2023

The Heat is ON!

Momma N handed us a 3-week early gift of summer weather this week. 

Mind you, I am NOT complaining about the heat (and the subsequent humidity), but even I appreciate a bit of an acclimation, thank you very much.

I'm still maintaining my #OptOutside streak, so I got to experience said summer heat (and its humidity, LOL) on the daily. At least it wasn't snowing, right?

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Coffee & Chatter? Yes, Please!

 ...and just like that, summer seems to be in full throttle!

School's out, the heat is on, the daylight is long, and it's time for some coffee and chatter. Although I won't be partaking in actual coffee in my cup, rest assured, I'll still be drinking something hot and steamy. I'll also have plenty to chat about.

Shall we get started?

Monday, May 29, 2023

Market to Market Relay 2023 - Rockin' the Flock

What happens when seven fun-loving runners team-up for a 76ish mile relay across Iowa?

A flock-rockin' good time is sure to happen! 

After all...we had the van, the fuel, the water, the body balm, the matching sequins-enhanced hats, and an unassuming flamingo mascot. How could it not be a good time?

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Out & About

So there I was again...

It was (yet) another week of recovery (this time from M2M), maintaining (aren't we always?) and taper (D2D is coming up on June 3rd). It's both a blessing and a curse to have so many favorite races all happening within a short time frame. I do it every year, and I have ZERO regrets, but it does make for a busy and active season.

This week was all about finding that sweet balance between continued training and downtime. How did that work for me? In a word - perfection!

Thursday, May 25, 2023

To 'Fess or Not To 'Fess

 ...and here we are again.

Time to bring all those 'fessions to the 'fessional and clear our bodies, minds, and soles. Honestly, just when I think I've 'fessed all there is to be 'fessed, life keeps happening (and, honestly, that is a GOOD thing, LOL).

Shall we get this 'fession party off and rolling? Okay, here goes...

Saturday, May 20, 2023

A PrEvIeW of SuMmEr

Ahh, the sweet taste of summer...

Or, at the very least, an early preview. Even though we still have (officially) another month to go, this week had all the makings and feels of my favorite season. There were some beautiful sunrises to behold, post-workday bike rides, and some serious sweat equity banked.

Truthfully, it was ALL good.... 

Saturday, May 13, 2023

An a-MAY-zing Week

Was it a week!

Let's see...there was plenty of fitness fun to be had. There was a graduation (sans pomp and circumstance) from PT. And, Momma N kept busy sending all kinds of crazy antics in our direction.

 Never a dull moment, but that's also what kept it (somewhat) less-than-boring...

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Music & Running

Shall we talk about music? How about running? Or how the two work in unison?

Truth be told, there were many years that my runs didn't happen without music. Unless I was running with friends, music was every bit a necessity as were my running shoes. 

I guess I used it as a crutch. I thought I needed it to keep me entertained, motivated, and energized.

Then the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon happened, and all that changed...

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Just Cruisin'

Baby, let's cruise...

With back-to-back half marathons, over the course of seven days, cruising through some recovery was in order. We're talking minimal running, extra stretching, continuous walking and all kinds of time in the saddle.

I even tried to "bank" a few extra hours of snoozing, which is no easy feat for yours truly. Nonetheless, this week of recovery, was much needed and well-utilized.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

May We Chat?

Can you believe the MAYhem is well underway?

It's hard to believe we are already 1/3 of the way through 2023. Time flies, am I right?

Anyways, it's time for the monthly gathering of friends, mugs and chatter. It's always nice having a coffee chat and playing catch-up.

Shall we get this May Chat started?

Monday, May 1, 2023

Kewash Trail Half Marathon race recap

Let's just say it was just meant to be. Finally.

Ever have a race that has been on your radar for years, only it never fit your schedule?

Well, finally the stars, moons, planets (and any other forces that be) all aligned. At long last, I was able to run the Kewash Trail Half Marathon.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Recovery or Taper?

It WAS a week.

There was a frost advisory that lasted for several days. There was a mini heat wave. There was recovery from Sunday's race. And, there was a bit of a taper for a last-minute race on Saturday. did all that play out? I'm glad you asked; read on...

Thursday, April 27, 2023

An April 'Fession Session

And, here we are again.

Another month has flown by, at record speed, and it's time to come clean on a few things. You know, time to 'fess-up and clear the air. 

Shall we get this 'fession party started? 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Drake Road Races: Half Marathon 2023 recap

Some would call me a glutton for punishment.

I'm referring to my yearly return to the hilly race course of the Drake Road Races Half Marathon. While the route has changed a few times in the eight years I've been running it, it has ALWAYS been very hilly.

Given the time of year (ahem, #SpringInIowa),the weather has always been a wild card as well. I'm not bemoaning unseasonably hot weather either. Instead, it's usually unseasonably cold and crazy windy. Thankfully, the past couple years have blessed us with clear sunny skies, but there have been numerous years where it was cloudy, damp, rainy and gloomy.

And yet, I keep going back, year after year...

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Wind, Be Gone!

Let's just say it's been a tad bit windy.

Thankfully, we did have some warm days this week, and we also had a fair amount of sunshine. But that wind! Most days brought us wind speeds in the upper-teens and 20's. Nonetheless, whether it was a balmy breeze out of the south or a frigid blast from the north, the wind was a beast to battle. 

Alas, it's a good thing I'm #IowaTough...

Thursday, April 20, 2023

My Earth Day Endeavor

Has this ever happened to you?

On a recent long run, a portion of my route was a littered mess with not only garbage, but also numerous discarded "mini shot bottles." 

My conclusion was that some of the nearby tire plant's employees were either frustrated with their jobs or disliked whomever was waiting back at home for them, LOL. While it's not my place to judge people for their drinking habits, I did feel a strong compulsion to at least pick up some of their rubbish.

Hence, I deemed my Wednesday run a pre-Earth Day plogging endeavor. 

Monday, April 17, 2023

Welcome to My Day

How about a peek into a typical day in the life of me?

I work outside the home, which dictates an early start to most of my days. Lucky for me, I'm an early bird (and I'm also a night owl, LOL). I'm grateful to be a high-energy gal since I don't have coffee in my arsenal (nope, not a coffee-drinker).

Anyways, here's a glimpse of what goes on in my little world of work, fitness and fun...