Nature finds a way: Runfessions January 2020


I’m runfessing and sipping tea all in one post. There wasn’t a whole lot of running in January, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have things to get off my chest. There always seems to be a steady stream of things to tell you and odd things going on in my life. I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours!

The Vitamix has been christened. It will be used a lot in the coming years!

I would tell you . . .
I’d been eyeing a new Vitamix for a few years. Mine is at least 12 years old, maybe older. It sees a lot of use. Mr. Judy found me a good deal, and it sat on the the counter. And it sat . . . and sat . . .

I had soups I wanted to make (I don’t use it as much for smoothies in Winter) but I just never could seem to find the time. I finally made a Potato Leek Soup and the new Vitamix is christened. Now to figure out what to do with the old one  . . . which still runs, by the way.

I runfess . . .
#thestruggleisreal when it comes to getting out the door in Winter. January was actually on the mild side, despite some snow, some freezing rain, and some bitter cold. But mostly it was unseasonably warm, including running in that skirt for one long run!

Finding the skirt? It was not something I expected to need in Winter, so it was packed away. But in which cube? Getting out the door is hard enough without having to go through the Summer running clothes!

I runfess . . .
Running on the treadmill usually means I do a more thorough warm up, because I’m not out there freezing my butt off waiting to get started. Things got intense mid-month, I was stressed, I was busy, I was tired. I realized as I was running on the mill one day that foam rolling never even entered my mind — I runfess that I didn’t do it afterwards, either (because it was already lunchtime and I was hungry!).

I runfess . . .
I did pretty good with food through most of the holidays. Until I spent much of the week between Christmas and New Years at my moms. Of course spending another week with her after my Dad passed was also a struggle, with more eating out and not many healthy choices available some days.

Who knew eating at a senior living community could be such a food struggle?

I shake my head every time I see this. It’s not the only one, either!

I would tell you . . .
We had a planter outside on the deck, and we brought it in knowing it would probably fall apart out there during Winter. It has pots with dead herb plants on it. In those pots, which have not seen a drop of water in months, these seedlings are growing — that’s what the subject of this post refers to. Seriously, how?

Have you ever seen plants growing without any water (other than cacti)? 

Have you had to haul out Summer running clothes this Winter?

Open stuff immediately, whether or not you’re ready to use it?

What do you have to runfess from January? Come join us


I am also linking up with:


Coco and Deborah for the ultimate coffee tea date.

As well as Fairytales and Fitness

It’s a party this weekend!

The Cookie Monster . . .: Runfessions December 2019


. . . and #allthechocolate too! Actually, I haven’t done too badly with holiday eating. Yet. Why does all the sugar, carb laden food have to come out just when I’m at my weakest due to the cold and almost nonexistent sunshine? I runfess I’m actually glad I don’t have to attend #alltheholidayparties.

One thing does not look like the other. At least it was a left & right shoe — and I realized my mistake before I laced up.

I runfess . . .
It’s no secret that I am often misplacing things: my carkeys, my phone, my running clothes. The phone is a constant struggle for me because I’m not a power user when it comes to my phone. I’ve been pretty good with the keys since I’ve had a long stretch at home, although I’ll probably be on the road a lot again with my Dad in a nursing home.

Last week I couldn’t find the leggings I wanted to wear for a very cold long run. Anywhere. They’re thick, they’re fleece lined, I knew they were here somewhere . . . it was driving me crazy.

I did eventually remember where I’d put them, and yup, surprise! There they were. Not sure they were the right choice, even with the fleece my butt was frozen!

I runfess . . .
One morning in the beginning of December I woke up expecting rain to start soon — but it was going to hold off a few hours. I managed to hit the road by 7:30; the fact that it was a little warmer made it easier to motivate myself outside. I wasn’t expecting to run outside that day, though, and I swear those miles felt loooong.

Breakfast of Champions

I runfess . . .
I fueled that unexpected run with the last two leftover cookies from our holiday party after Last Run (read about that race here). Hey, they didn’t have any flour, they had oats, they had nuts. Okay, they also had a whole lot of chocolate . . .

I runfess . . .
I further runfess that after that run, after walking the dogs immediately post run (one of my favorite ways to cool down), after eating my planned protein bar and feeding the dogs . . . I proceeded to chow down on a few Len & Larry’s protein cookies (the small ones, not the humongous ones).

#thestruggleisreal when it comes to the Cookie Monster in Winter

I runfess . . .
I also grabbed a few Little Secrets chocolate peanut butter candies before my run on Wednesday of the same week. After eating a  sensible breakfast, of course. These are like PB M&Ms, but with natural food coloring and less sugar. Which doesn’t mean no sugar. I took far less than a serving, but still. I blame the short December days!

Is healthy eating getting away from you this holiday season? 

Have the miles felt super long to you lately?

What was the last running item you misplaced?

What do you have to runfess from December? Come join us


I am also linking up with:

Racing Thoughts: Runfessions November 2019


I’m mining my 15k and my 5k for a few November Runfessions today. The Holidays are going to be pretty low key around here. Thanksgiving at my parents Senior Living Community (please God no drama), we celebrate Hannukah, which is not a big deal. So not a whole lot to runfess when it comes to the holidays. I hope wherever you are and whatever you celebrate, you enjoy this time with friends and family.

I runfess . . .
I seriously gave consideration to running another half marathon this year. After training for a 15k, I knew I was pretty much there. I got as far as looking a few up, trying to judge the drive.

I decided that even though I was pretty much trained, the stress of the travel — the potential for crappy weather on that travel — just wasn’t the right thing for me right now. I am both sad that I don’t get to see where I’m at, but thinking maybe my body needs this longer break right now (even though it feels pretty good).

Would I soldier on in pain in a half or DNF?

I runfess . . .
I also wondered after that 15k just what would I have done if it had been a half? The pain started before the halfway mark of a half. It was slowly but surely changing my gait — never a good sign. Would I have had the sense to DNF or would I have been stubborn and finished, risking a real injury?

When the sun is shining it’s easier to get out the door — but we don’t get a lot of sun here

I runfess . . .
I am forever procrastinating on getting out the door once the weather dips down into the 30s (and below). Sometimes it seems really cold in our house — or maybe I just imagine it? Then I step outside and it really isn’t so bad and I kick myself for waiting so long. Although sometimes it really is that cold!

Yup, I ran in these sunglasses one day & didn’t even realize it

I runfess . . .
I got done with a run one day this week, got to the car, and went to take off my running sunglasses to put on my driving sunglasses. Only I’d never actually put on my running sunglasses. I didn’t even realize it!

Well, good to know I can run in those, although kind of scary how bad my short term memory is lately.

My friends didn’t know I was out here running this

I runfess . . .
I kept my 5k last week (read about it here) on the down-lo from my friends. I didn’t tell my running friends beforehand (with one exception). I knew they weren’t interested in running it and sometimes I just want to go and do my own thing, I guess.

Do you procrastinate on getting out the door in Winter? 

Do you only race with friends or do you sometimes go solo?

Ever got back to the car after a run & realized something was odd about your outfit?

What do you have to runfess from November? Come join us


I am also linking up with:

There’a a lot to runfess over 10 miles: Runfessions October 2019

I have to admit I’m a little surprised by how many runfessions I could mine from one long run. I probably could have done even more! I’m joining Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and getting a few runfessions off my chest — and yes, all the photos are from that 10 mile run.

When the leaves are gone and it’s cold — how will I keep track of my HR?

I runfess . . .
How the heck do you keep track of your heart rate when winter comes? During winter I usually wear my Garmin around my jacket sleeve. That lets me pull my gloves through the jacket sleeve, making a nice, tight seal between my glove and jacket.

The Garmin needs to be in contact with my skin, and I already know that it’s super sensitive to anything nudging it and breaking that contact, causing me to think I’m having a heart attack as my HR spirals out of control.

Maybe it was for the post run food (sweet potato salmon burger)

I runfess . . .
Mr. Judy asked why I was running 10 miles last week. Apparently he was wondering if I’d signed up for a half without informing him.

Nope, but the 15k is almost 9.5 miles. I hope to actually do a little warmup before it, as I know that the warmup really helps. So that’s almost 10.5 miles (or maybe 10). So many runners can just go out and run 10 miles (or 13, or more), but my body is happier when I’ve trained for the distance.

10 hilly, windy miles . . . no fuel . . . no problem

I runfess . . .
When I first started running I was a GU addict. It said to take one every 45 minutes, so I did — even on short easy runs. I liked chocolate GU! Yup, I gained weight training for that first half.

I’ve learned from those mistakes. Nowadays I rarely have anything to eat on the run until I get past 8 miles. Until I ran my 9 miles . . . with nothing but Saltstick chews. Then 10 miles.

Seriously, who am I? Very unlike me. Yet both runs were fine. I didn’t even think about taking fuel with me, except briefly as I got ready to leave. I do eat a decent breakfast a couple of hours before a long run, though. I also think that it’s better to fuel on the run when you get past 8 miles (which for me is just under 2 hours) — your body does need the carbs and it helps to prevent the rungries later.

It’s not the first time I’ve run up here, but it was the first time I noticed this fountain.

I runfess . . .
Since I discovered how to see my heart rate without other information (see below), I’ve been playing games with myself trying not to peek at distance. I can live without knowing my pace for easy runs, but sometimes on a long run, you wanna know how much you have left to run, right?

It was a mighty battle with myself not to peek at the distance left in that last mile during my 10 mile run. I wanted to be done — running by heart rate means more time on your feet, and although this was a pretty good run, I was still definitely ready to be done!

Who knew this was hiding in my Vivoactive 3?

I runfess . . .
I discovered something new about my Vivoactive 3 on my 10 mile run last week. One of the data screens just displays your heart rate, divided by zones:

  • Warm up
  • Easy
  • Aerobic
  • Threshold (can help improve speed, apparently)
  • Not sure what the last one is, the death zone, LOL?

So now I have a way to run by heart rate without even knowing what my pace is at all. I’m not 100% sure how I set it up, the heart rate zone setting up has been confusing to me, but now I can turn off alerts for heart rate because it’s super easy to see where I am — unless it’s speed work, in which case it’s just one part of what the watch shows me (along with distance and average pace) because I need to know what my pace is for speed work.

Do you like those zones that Garmin has for heart rate? 

Do you just live with exposed skin in the dead of winter?

Ever been surprised by a feature of your GPS watch after you’ve had it a while?

What do you have to runfess from October? Come join us


I am also linking up with:

The one where I skip stuff: Runfessions September 2019


I usually try to refrain from the “ohmygosh it’s already _____” statements. But ohmygosh I can’t believe September is almost over. Truly, with all the unexpected travel to my parents it went by in the blink of an eye. I’m joining Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and getting a few other runfessions off my chest.

Except suddenly when I wanted to take a photo, it got a signal quickly! I had to stage this photo on a non-running day.

I runfess . . .
Lately the only reason my dynamic warmups have been happening are because it takes my Garmin Vivoactive 3 longer than I’d like to get a satellite signal most runs, leaving me enough time to do a quickie (and sometimes longer) dynamic warmup.

This past Monday I finally tried just seeing if it would pick up a signal on the run, like my old Vivoactive did. Apparently it will. Good, because I was really getting cross about how long it took to get a signal most days.

I runfess . . .
I am surprised that I’ve already had to resort to running in capris a few times when morning temps were in the low 50s. I’m always laying out two outfits, one with capris, one with a skirt.

My mom’s eyes nearly bugged out of her head one morning when I headed out for a run in capris and a tank top. Seriously, I wish I had a photo of that look! Mind you, this is a woman who wears turtlenecks all summer long.

I runfess . . .
This Monday’s run had me out the door without foam rolling. I’ll revisit this next week in my September grade, but foam rolling has been very scanty lately, and I miss it! I just knew I had a very narrow window to get out there for a run that wouldn’t be life-suckingly-bad once the clouds burned off.

It was the right call.

Using the little guy so my running  clothes wouldn’t get white blotches on them

I runfess . . .
In that same run I headed out without applying sunscreen. Usually I do it first thing when I wake up to avoid getting it all over my running clothes. I used to use Sun Bum, which is clear, but I tried another one that was on sale and it gets on everything.

I do have one of those small solid ones for my face, which I used. I also used it on my shoulders, neck and decolletage. Unfortunately I couldn’t reach my back. Really not good, and I runfess it’s not the only time it’s happened this month.

Sunscreen, even on a cloudy day, is really important, y’all! Do as I say, not as I rarely do.

I runfess . . .
I had one night when I got home from a visit to my parents where I ate the Garden of Eatin’ Sweet Potato chips my mom gave me (because of course she thought this healthy version tasted like cardboard) and greek yogurt for dinner. I was exhausted! And I’m human. Those sorts of instances are the exception — for sure! — not the rule.

What do you skip when you’re running out of time? 

What’s your go-to I’m-too-tired-to-even-reheat-something meal (not ordering in!)?

Have you had your first pumpkin whatever yet? Not me.

What do you have to runfess from September? Come join us


I am also linking up with:


I do it my way: Runfessions August 2019


Not only are we into the unofficial end of summer, for the most part, lately, the weather has been hinting at Fall. Are you ready to let go of Summer and plunge into Fall? I enjoy every season, except Winter. It’s just never been my thing. I’m joining Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and getting a few other runfessions off my chest.

Easier to find things when it’s all put away!

I runfess . . .
I have a clean secret: it’s the mountain of washed, unfolded laundry that’s been living on top of my dryer this Summer. Usually I’m not quite this bad, but YTT took up a lot of time — at least it’s a clean secret, and not a dirty little secret.

Since I wrote the paragraph above a few weeks ago, I have actually tacked the mountain. Now it’s just a little spilt soil.

I runfess . . .
I am only loosely running by heart rate. I have a couple of books that talk about it, and I reread one and did some calculations. I still haven’t looked at the second, newer book. It’s similar to the way I did Galloway: my own way. Not paying strict attention to the “rules”, just seeing what feels right to me.

I’m probably still not running as slowly as I ought to if doing HR training, but I am running slower on my easy runs. Which has been a big help on those hot, humid days when I got out too late lately.

I runfess . . .
That I think HR training is great for runners, like me, who have a hard time with “perceived effort”. I know if I didn’t have HR data available to me now, I’d probably be looking at my pace and running a lot faster even when I shouldn’t (hot days, easy runs, days when I slept poorly the night before, days after a race).

I runfess . . .
I also find myself running a lot of positive splits these days, because my HR definitely seems to go up as I run, although that’s also dependent on my route. It will be interesting to see what happens when fall arrives — yes, some trees are already turning and losing their leaves — and cooler morning temperatures are the norm.

Yup, even these capris are Skirt Sports

I runfess . . .
I have a lot of summer dresses. Dresses are so easy, amiright? Except . . . as I’ve slowly built up my Skirt Sports wardrobe (which yes, includes dresses), I find myself not wearing my other Summer dresses that much.

I am able to live in Skirt all Summer long, since I don’t work — and when I get a job teaching yoga, I can still sort of live in skirt (only it will be tights, and yes, Skirt Sports makes those, too). I no longer need so many dresses, so I’m in the process of going through them and paring down.

BTW, the Skirt Sports Labor Day Sale is on! here.

Any big secrets you need to spill? 

Does your clean laundry get put away immediately — or does it like to hang around?

Stick to the rules or do your own thing?

What do you have to runfess from August? Come join us


I am also linking up with:

Finally Coming Clean: Runfessions July 2019


I’m joining Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and at the end of this post I have what might be a surprising runfession to a lot of my readers.

I runfess . . .
I actually brought an insulated backpack to Firecracker 4 (which I left in the car, as they don’t allow that sort of thing into the building where you do packet pick up).

In that backpack was my PackIt bag (has built in gel packs — it’s genius for keeping things cold — you can buy one at my Amazon Affiliate link here). In my PackIt was:

  • My small water bottle (didn’t have to drink warm water on the run)
  • My cooling towel (they dry out wicked fast when it’s hot out!)
  • My Sqoosh (terrycloth wristlet to wipe off sweat)
  • A ziploc of ice, so I could keep everything cold while waiting for the race to start

People may have made fun of me, but they also enjoyed helping themselves to some of that ice to cool down before the race.

I runfess . . .
One of my favorite tricks to keep water cold on hot runs is to put my half filled water bottle in the freezer the night before. Then you just fill up with water the morning of, and voila! Cold water.

Except I kept forgetting to do that. So now as soon as I use one, I half fill another bottle and stick it in the freezer so at least I have one bottle of cold water waiting for me.

I do give the swimsuit two thumbs up (even while wishing the back came up a bit higher on the bottom)

I swimfess . . .
I bought one of Skirt Sports new swimsuits months ago when they were running a sale on swimwear. Little did I know the pool I swum at regularly had already closed. So there it sat, dry, mocking me.

I finally got the chance to wear it at our party/bookclub meeting last weekend. I do wish the back was not quite so low cut and the leg openings were higher up, but other than that, it was really comfortable and I would definitely recommend it — you can buy it here. You can use code SSA490Jud for 15% off most non sale items.

I runfess . . .
You’ve heard me say it a million times recently: I’m not training for any big goal race. There are several reasons for that, most of which I can’t go into on the blog presently. However, that leads me to my last and final runfession — I decided to tackle a big, hairy goal I’ve had for a long time. Something that scares me and motivates me. I signed up for it over this summer because I knew I had the time, and even though I knew it would be time consuming, it’s consumed far more of my time than I expected. It’s my last runfession for July below.

When you’re motivated and excited about something, it’s not hard to get up early and stay up late to pursue your dreams.

Didn’t want to share this photo until I shared what I’m up to

I runfess . . .
I’ve been keeping a big secret from y’all. Some readers have noted an increase in my yoga practice on this blog. In February I signed up to do my 200hr Yoga Teaching Training (or YTT as it’s known). It’s something I’ve thought about for literally years, but there was something that nudged me to finally pull the trigger.

I am roughly 2/3 through the program (which is online), and sometimes I feel as though my head will explode with all the new information I’m learning. Am I the best yogi? No, not really. There are poses I can’t do. There are poses I can. There are poses I do really well, and others I don’t do so well. Let me share a little secret with you: yoga isn’t about being the best; it is about being your best you. And not just in your yoga asana practice.

Aspiring to teach yoga does not at all mean I do it perfectly; and that isn’t the true aim of yoga anyway

I hope that I pass and can find a teaching job — it’s both nerve wracking and exciting at the same time. Much like this blog and my running, I want to show people that you don’t have to be the best at something to reap its benefits. That you don’t have to have the body of a goddess to do yoga.

I haven’t completely decided if I will fold yoga into this current blog (probably) or start a new blog. Don’t be surprised if you see more yoga cropping up into my IG (follow me here) or here on the blog.

Any big secrets you need to spill? 

What would you do if you no longer needed to work?

Ever bring some ice to a hot race?

What do you have to runfess from July? Come join us


I am also linking up with: