November Coffee Date

Hello and welcome to the November edition of the Ultimate Coffee Date with Coco from Running With Perseverance and Deborah from Confessions of a Mother Runner.

I can’t believe I am writing “the November Edition” already. What happened to October? Please pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee (I take mine decaffeinated and black) or tea, and relax as I fill you in on three things that happened in my life last month.

First, let me tell you, I have been getting my sprints in.

My six-year-old grandson recently learned to ride his bike without training wheels, or “stabilizers” as he calls them. (Where did that word come from?)

For his first forays into stabilizer-free bike riding, I jogged, then sprinted along behind him in case he wobbled. The more confident he was on the bike, the less concerned he was that I was trailing him. It took him about 10 minutes to ride up the street on his own.

Now he’s working on learning tricks.

I guess I will need to find another inspiration for doing sprints.

Next, I believe sisters Meranda and Lacey (who write the blog Fairytales and Fitness) and I must lead parallel lives.

Two summers ago, they wrote a post about finding money while running. In the post, they described a social media challenge they were initiating in which all participants would log the amount of money found while running that summer.

I had occasionally found nickles, dimes, and even quarters on the street while I ran, but up until that point, nothing substantial. (I do have an interesting story about finding money while running, but that is a topic for another post.)

The very same day I read their post and entered the challenge, I found the pile of coins pictured above (I think it was $1.89) at an intersection.

I lost the challenge, however, when one of the sisters found a $5 bill on one of her runs.

This summer, they published a post entitled “Murder on the Trail“.

The murder referenced in the post title referred to two animal skeletons they found while hiking on a wooded trail. They published photos of the skeletons.

That same day, I found this in my neighbor’s back yard while returning from my run:

I should tell you that this photo was not taken on the same day I found the skeleton. It was taken about a week later, after a certain amount of scattering occurred. When I first found the skeleton, it was much more intact.

I am scared and/or excited to see what these sisters write about next.

Photo credit:

Finally, I recently came across this quote by Shalane Flanagan: “Over prepare, then go with the flow.

I love that philosophy and try to adhere to it in running and in life. It represents a mixture of hard work and flexibility, a tremendous combination.

It has been a while since I really raced. When I did, I trained diligently before each season, running long runs, track intervals, tempo runs, and, of course, easy runs.  

I put in the hard work. I over-prepared.

When race day came, I wore, but never looked at my watch. I wanted to run my race, whatever that happened to be on race day. I didn’t want the pressure of artificial expectations.

I accepted whatever the day had in store for me. I went with the flow.

I hope I get to race again in the near future. I think most of us runners are tired of over-preparing with no in-person races to run.

We are ready to go with the flow.

You can find the places I link up here.


  1. You must be so proud of your grandson as he’s learned to ride his bike without “stabilizers,” Laurie. My, he is one handsome boy! Yes, let us over prepare and then go with the flow each and every day, no matter what endeavor we engage in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sip sip hooray! β˜•οΈ I sipped caffeinated while reading this (I’ve been up since 4 a.m. ~although I’m an early riser, it’s not usually this early lol). Congrats to your grandson on the release of stabilizers ;I’ve never heard that either). And about the change~recently on a trail I dropped my change as two young girls were passing me~it was precious to watch them retrieve it as I happily hiked on while peeking over my shoulder. I’m running my race! Although not like I used to do, I’m staying moving at my pace and aiming for my prize. I’ll try to stay steady and work my way up to greater strength too! Thank you for sharing. I enjoy your posts~and newsletter! Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that quote, Laurie! I’m an over-preparer par excellence. I did it at school, I do it at work, I do it for races.
    I still have to learn to “go with the flow”. I always glance at my watch and pressure myself.
    Good reminder, thank you!

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  4. I like knowing you find surprises (the good and the sad) when you run. And that you can stop to take a picture occasionally. That philosophy seems like a good one even for non-runners like me. Have a lucky-find November!

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  5. That is a FANTASTIC quote. You could have been at our dinner table last night…convo about kids feeling nervous to present school projects.Troy said ‘Know your stuff. If you’re prepared, you won’t be nervous.’ Yours has a nicer ring to it, though πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your husband gave great advice! It is exactly what I used to tell my students before they presented their science fair research. That, and “Have fun!”


  6. It is definitely a challenge to train with no race in sight. For me virtual are not races.

    Going with the flow is a great recommendation. Too many runners get caught up in paces per mile and stress out about their finish times.

    My half PR was without a watch. I am tempted to do that again. Very freeing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Laurie, that’s crazy that your life paralleled Fairy Tales and Fitness’. Finding a skeleton on the same day as they wrote must have felt a bit eerie. I love seeing your grandson riding his bike and how fun that he’s confident enough to pick up speed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was just such a strange set of coincidences! My grandson is not going off jumps and doing tricks on his bike – trying to keep up with his older brother!


  8. Over prepare and go with the flow. Like that too. Oh how good was that for your grandson on the bike. I still remember the thrill of learning to ride on a two wheeler. Oh, and yes, I hope that soon you know the result of this awful election and that there is not too much after-nastiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can remember sprinting along with my boys as they went without training wheels; it’s amazing how fast they can catch on once they get going isn’t it? I think that overprepare and go with the flow line applies to much of my life. I plan and plan and prepare but in the end life just happens and I’ve learned that if I just go with it I’m a much happier and less stressed out person. (of course there are times that is much easier said than done!).

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  10. congratulations to your grandson on riding on his own – I remember trying over and over to ride a bike – I got bruises to prove it – my folks never gave me training wheels so you just kept trying

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  11. it does seem like you are on some kind of similar wavelength with the running sisters, Laurie. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues. πŸ™‚ I love the slogan “over prepare, then go with the flow.” I need to adopt that attitude in a few areas of my life, I think. And I hope you’re able to run an in-person race soon … what fun that will be!

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  12. I love your following statement Laurie,
    “I wanted to run my race, whatever that happened to be on race day. I didn’t want the pressure of artificial expectations. I accepted whatever the day had in store for me. I went with the flow.”
    There’s a real lesson in that in the race of life…Don’t you think? πŸ˜€

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  13. I very, very rarely find any change at all. Pennies once in a blue moon. A nickel once. That’s about it. I have definitely found animal skeletons on a hike. And of course a lot of road kill on the run.

    I don’t think I’ll be racing for a long time. Even though there’s been a few live races in this area, in general, it’s so different from what we’re used to, it’s just not what I want to do. Everyone is different, though, and thank God for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately, I have found a lot of road kill on runs too. I just found out my favorite race of the year is on in January, but it definitely will look different from other years. I am still excited to do it, though. I guess you have to worry about passing the virus along to your mom. I don’t blame you for being extra cautious.

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  14. This year has been all about going with the flow. After all, sometimes that’s our only option, which is why I think a good attitude (and a grateful one at that) is more beneficial than all the over-preparing in the world. Recently, I found $16 (all clumped together) on a morning bike ride πŸ˜‰

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  15. Way to go for learning to ride without stabilisers. That is what it is called here in the UK. I used to keep the money I found out walking in a jar and see how much I collected in a year.

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  16. Yikes on the animal remains. There’s a fair amount of that out here where I live. Comes with the trails I guess. The deer carcass was a bit much. Hooray for no more “stabilizers”! Haha!

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  17. I once found a $20 bill on campus at Virginia Tech (and for a college kid that was HUGE), but I’ve only found a few coins on my runs.

    I love that your grandson calls his training wheels “stabilizers.” That’s awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have one exception where I found a lot of money, but I do often seem to find coins. I might write a post one day about finding a bunch of money on a run.


  18. “Go with the flow” works for me in this new normal of constantly adapting. I have to admit that a younger version of myself might have been more adaptable. Your grandson is grinning ear to ear over his triumph of ditching the training wheels. My father said “no training wheels” and no “in between bike from your tricycle to a two wheeler” – yikes. Also, we had a gravel road in our sub – it was a new subdivision. I learned to ride my two-wheeler at my friend’s house because her father let her ride her bike on the grass and did the same for me. Your grandson is going to break a few hearts one day – he’s a handsome young man.

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    • I need to work on more “go with the flow”, less “overprepare”, Linda. Your father sounds like a tough taskmaster! I have to tell you this about my grandson. He is 6 – in first grade – and already there is a girl in his class who thinks she is his girlfriend. She calls him “my Henry”. So funny!

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      • It’s difficult to abide by that credo sometimes Laurie. I either “overprepare” or “overworry” it seems. Yes, he was a tough taskmaster … I came home riding it and said “Sandra Nazark’s father taught me in the backyard.” That is funny … “my Henry” but I did think he’d break a few hearts one day, but I was not thinking about now. When I was 6, my girlfriends and I thought boys had cooties πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hate worrying so much – with the recent rise in COVID stats, I worry all the more … I am glad for walking, just as you are for running, as it gets us out and about and doing something we love to do. We are the same age so that must be why!

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