Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Weekly Reads: All We Ever Wanted

All We Ever Wanted is the newest book by Emily Giffin. I typically look forward to Giffin's newest books each summer, as they're typically a nice light read while traveling or while sitting out getting some sun. This book, at first glance, had a lot more substance than her books typically do. That's good!

I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it! It was a fast read, told from multiple perspectives, that dealt with an important and timely topic for parents of teens.

My rating: 5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenage girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Training Book Review: Advanced Marathoning

With the Twin Cities Marathon on deck, it was time to re-read Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger. I've been following his half marathon plans for the last couple of years, and was excited to give his marathon training a go for TCM. I read this back in 2011 when I was in the peak of my PRs, and wanted to refresh my brain on the principles.

It was totally worth a re-read, and it helped reaffirm the training we've been doing leading up to this cycle. It gave me confidence in our plan, preparation, and goal for the fall. I'm really excited to put in the work and toe the line on October 7th to see what my legs and brain can do!

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Shave minutes off your time using the latest in science-based training for serious runners. Advanced Marathoning has all the information you need to train smarter, remain injury free, and arrive on the start line ready to run the marathon of your life.

Including marathon-pace runs and tempo runs, Advanced Marathoning provides only the most effective methods of training. You'll learn how to complement your running workouts with strength, core, flexibility, and form training; implement cutting-edge nutrition and hydration strategies and recovery techniques; and taper properly to reach peak performance.

With easy-to-understand day-by-day training schedules for 18- and 12-week preparation for weekly distances of 55, 55 to 70, 70 to 85, and 85-plus miles, Advanced Marathoning is simply the most comprehensive and efficient approach to marathoning. If you're ready to achieve your personal best, this book is for you.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Current Obsessions: Part V

It's been awhile since I've had a post dedicated to my current obsessions, so please enjoy.

  • Younger TV Show. Have you seen this show yet? It's DIVINE. I had heard about it, and then didn't have anywhere to watch it. Recently Spotify had a great deal to subscribe to Hulu for $.99 extra a month, and I was sold. And then I found Younger on there. I'm midway through season 3 and there's no stopping me. Also, I may be in love with Josh. 

  • New Balance shoes. I have been a Mizuno Wave Rider enthusiastic for years. I'm not fully committed to the current model, 21. Because of this, and because 605 Running Co. keeps having great deals on running shoes, I've branched out a little. I've been eyeing New Balance shoes mostly because I follow a bunch of NB sponsored runners on IG (Emma Coburn, Cory McGee, Jenny Simpson, Brenda Martinez) and every time they get a new shipment of gear or shoes, they show things off on insta. And it's all so cute. I love the colors and I want them all. I'm currently adding the 880s into my running shoe rotation and am happy to report that I knocked out my recent 18 miler in them. And look how cute! 

  • CSA box. A few years ago, I was a member of a CSA farm. I did it for two seasons and it was an awesome way for me to introduce new foods and recipes into my diet. I took two years off from the boxes of deliciousness. With marathon training going on this summer, I knew I needed to add in more vegetables to my meals, and signed up again. It ends up being about $20 a box which is just a steal and includes so much amazing fresh produce. And they're amazing and deliver it to my work. So convenient and I love supporting a local farm. I'll share some of my creations soon, hopefully!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Twin Cities Marathon Training Week 4

Monday Planned: GA+Speed 6 miles with 8x100
Monday Actual: GA+Speed 6 miles with 5 or 6 strides with the TRF.

Tuesday Planned: LT 10 miles with 5 @ 15k-HM pace
Tuesday Actual: 8 GA/recovery Miles. Uff da. I did my 3 mile warm up and my legs felt just heavy. My breathing was all over the place, it was super humid and I was very congested. The combination was bleh. I started the tempo portion and almost immediately threw in the towel. I opted to skip the tempo parts. Then I decided to cut 2 miles off of it. And then I had to take walk breaks the last 3.5 miles. They can't all be unicorn runs!

Wednesday Planned 4 miles recovery
Wednesday Actual: 3 miles recovery after a 60 minute POWER session.

Thursday Planned Rest
Thursday Actual: Rest. Sweet sweet rest. With some foam rolling before bed.

Friday Planned: Long 18 miles
Friday Actual: Long run 18 miles! Toni was back (!!!) so we got to spend 3 awesome hours running together. My stomach was a mess, and her knee started to bother her with 3 miles to go, but it was great to get out for that long of a run. Historically, 18 milers have always sucked for me, so it was good to feel strong for this one, despite a stomach that wasn't quite cooperating.

Saturday Planned: Rest
Saturday Actual: Ressssssssst.

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: Recovery run 3.2 miles. Felt a lot better than I expected it to! And I found a quarter on the run, so I'm basically a professional runner who gets paid to run now.

Total Mileage Planned: 38 miles
Total Mileage Actual:  38.2 miles

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Weekly Reads: Invisible Ghosts

Invisible Ghosts is the newest book by Robyn Schneider. I absolutely loved The Beginning of Everything (<--link to my review of that title) and will pick up anything she writes. Even though the description of this one really didn't get me very excited about it.

But then I read it in an entire sitting, because it was just that good. And the characters and the relationships, and the paranormal element, and the teen love story. Oooh, I just loved it so much. I even delayed going to a fun bonfire while I finished it.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Rose Asher believes in ghosts. She should, since she has one for a best friend: Logan, her annoying, Netflix-addicted brother, who is forever stuck at fifteen. But Rose is growing up, and when an old friend moves back to Laguna Canyon and appears in her drama class, things get complicated.

Jamie Aldridge is charming, confident, and a painful reminder of the life Rose has been missing out on since her brother's death. She watches as Jamie easily rejoins their former friends--a group of magnificently silly theater nerds--while avoiding her so intensely that it must be deliberate.

Yet when the two of them unexpectedly cross paths, Rose learns that Jamie has a secret of his own, one that changes everything. Rose finds herself drawn back into her old life--and to Jamie. But she quickly starts to suspect that he isn't telling her the whole truth.

All Rose knows is that it's becoming harder to choose between the boy who makes her feel alive and the brother she isn't ready to lose.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Tips for Running in the Heat

We've had some pretty intense heat here so far this summer. I talked to my dad last week, and the first thing he said after answering the phone was, "You weren't running in all that heat we had last week were you??" I had to inform him that yes, I did, and yes, I survived it. Being a dad, he was worried and a little bit annoyed at me that I hadn't been "smart" and not run outside.

But one of my big goals for this summer is to embrace the heat. I know that training in all the heat and humidity this summer will only help me hit my goal in the marathon in the fall. But that doesn't mean I've been an idiot while doing it.

Here are some tips for running safely in the heat:

  1. Hydrate. I carried my 12 oz. handheld on every run. Even the 3.66 mile recovery run. It was 100* heat index after all. Refill often. During the 8 miler in insane heat, I filled up my handheld halfway through the run. I also focused a lot on hydrating in the afternoon leading up to the run. Including an extra bottle full of nuun. As well as making sure to drink another big bottle full of water on my drive home. And eating more vegetables to get in some extra hydration through foods.
  2. Run with a buddy. My BRF has been out of town, and running in 100 degree sucks. Period. So I recruited buddies for all of the extremely hot runs. This was both to save my sanity and ensure I wouldn't skip the run, but also for safety reasons. With everyone in my family having heart issues, it's always in the back of my mind that I might have been dealt a shitty hand genetically. It never hurts to be extra safe and have a body in case the worst occurs on a run.
  3. Slow down. On Monday nights run, we were supposed to do 8 miles with 6 or 8 strides. I knew pretty early on that doing the strides weren't going to happen. We slowed the pace way down, and skipped the strides completely. We also stopped to recuperate at least twice in some shade. My stomach got super angry at overheating, so we even had a half mile walk break during the 7th mile. NBD, miles are miles in this heat!
  4. Plan your important workouts accordingly. I was lucky in the extremely hot week that I didn't have any important workouts, outside of a long run. On the long run day, I got started at 6am to ensure I could run during the coolest part of the day. I actually am enjoying doing the rest of the runs in the heat after work, but those are runs I know I can slow down as necessary. If you have to do a workout in the heat or humidity, focus more on effort than pace. Don't kill yourself to hit a pace goal, because you'll likely need to call the workout early which isn't ideal either!
Are there any other tips you'd add?? Let me know! We can beat the heat together. :)

Friday, July 20, 2018

2018 Goals Check In

We are over halfway through the year (when did that happen?!?), so it's probably time to check in on my goals for 2018 to see where I'm at.

  • Run 1400 miles.--I'm slightly behind on this goal. This was my BIG mileage goal that hinged on staying 100% healthy for the year. At the end of June, I was a little behind the goal to hit 1200 for the year. Hopefully a strong healthy cycle of marathon training will make 1400 a possibility again, but I won't risk injury to hit it, so TBD!
  • Run 100 miles each month.--Womp womp. March and June didn't happen due to some cranky knee issues.
  • Run a Sub 1:55 half.--Not this spring, but I still have another shot in Dallas in December. I can say with all the confidence in the world that I was in shape to run under 1:55 for Grandma's, and that is a huge statement.
  • Run a marathon PR. (EEPS!)--TBD.


  • Rescue another pug.--I tried really hard to make this work in April and had my heart broken.
  • Read 150 books.--On track! 
  • Do a check in with a nutritionist to reign in my fueling for BIG RUNNING GOALS.--I need to give Lizzie a call!


  • Re-establish my meditation practice.--YES! 
  • Take 1-2 trainings toward my 500 hour certification.--maybe one this fall.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Twin Cities Marathon Training Week 3

Monday Planned: GA+Speed 8 miles with 10x100 
Monday Actual: 8 GA miles in the blazing heat, 95 with the heat index. Needless to say I nixed the strides so I didn't die. Gosh it was so hot. Heat training at its finest!

Tuesday Planned: Rest
Tuesday Actual: Sweet sweet rest.

Wednesday Planned GA 8 Miles
Wednesday Actual: GA 3.38 miles. I had planned on doing 3, expecting to slow way down because it was just disgustingly humid out. But then Chris and I took a turn onto a bridge that was closed and we had to reroute, and I was close to jumping in the river to just end things right then and there. Uff da. 100+ heat index. I also had POWER in the morning.

Thursday Planned Rest
Thursday Actual: Rest. I strongly considered making up my leftover miles from Wednesday night. I even had my bag packed. And as the last few minutes ticked off the clock at work, I just COULD NOT make myself run in the extreme heat and humidity again this week, especially on my own. I really just wanted a night to snuggle my pug.

Friday Planned: Recovery 4 miles
Friday Actual: Recovery 4 miles. I woke up bright and early for the coffee run, and messaged the ladies I was hoping to run with as it was raining. One after the other they all bailed on me. None the less, I persisted! And then I got ten minutes from home, and it started to lightning. So I came home, pulled Ollie out of her kennel and changed back into PJs to sleep. I did the 4 miles after work instead and let me tell you, 85 degrees felt like HEAVEN after the week of oppressive heat and humidity we've had!

Saturday Planned: Long 16 miles with 10 at MP
Saturday Actual: Long 16 miles with 7 at MP. I had Kristin's company for the first 7 miles that just flewwwwww by. We picked up to marathon pace mid-way through mile 7 as I hadn't realized we were that far into the run already, since it was going by so fast! I hit a really nice groove and got in 7 MP miles (9:20s-9:30s for now) but then my heart rate really started to creep up, so I went off of effort for the last 3 miles instead of pace. Somewhere along the way, I lost my 3rd salt pill, so I suspect that's why I started to feel pretty bleh the last few miles. Still super pumped to run that well, and knock out that long of a run with a workout, with most of the hard miles solo!

And then I taught yoga. Busy morning!

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: 3.6 recovery miles. I was really nervous that this run would feel like garbage, as most recovery runs after long-long runs do. And it was hot and humid so I thought for sure I'd need to stop and walk to keep my heart rate where it needed to be. But it was a-ok and my legs felt fine, and I met two neighborhood pugs in the process!

Total Mileage Planned: 35 miles
Total Mileage Actual:  35 miles

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Weekly Reads: When Life Gives You Lululemons

When Life Gives you Lululemons is the third book in The Devil Wears Prada series. I thoroughly enjoyed the original, and didn't much care for the sequel, so I wasn't sold on even reading this title. But then I saw an ARC available of it, and I remembered that Lauren Weisberger always tells such a nice summer time, light story, and I was suckered in.

And I'm glad I was.

This was so much more enjoyable than I thought it would be, and I found myself wanting to pick it up during my 15 minute breaks at work (this is a sign of a very readable book). When my lunch break was over and I only had about 40 pages left, I was so bummed to have to wait to see how it ended up. Perfect book for the summer time, either at the beach, poolside, or lying on the couch in the AC because it's just so damn hot out.

My rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Weisberger returns with a novel starring one of her favorite characters from The Devil Wears Prada—Emily Charlton, first assistant to Miranda Priestly, now a highly successful image consultant who’s just landed the client of a lifetime.

Welcome to Greenwich, CT, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.

Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton, Miranda Priestly’s ex-assistant, does not do the suburbs. She’s working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.

Karolina Hartwell is as A-list as they come. She’s the former face of L’Oreal. A mega-supermodel recognized the world over. And now, the gorgeous wife of the newly elected senator from New York, Graham, who also has his eye on the presidency. It’s all very Kennedy-esque, right down to the public philandering and Karolina’s arrest for a DUI—with a Suburban full of other people’s children.

Miriam is the link between them. Until recently she was a partner at one of Manhattan’s most prestigious law firms. But when Miriam moves to Greenwich and takes time off to spend with her children, she never could have predicted that being stay-at-home mom in an uber-wealthy town could have more pitfalls than a stressful legal career. 

Emily, Karolina, and Miriam make an unlikely trio, but they desperately need each other. Together, they’ll navigate the social landmines of life in America’s favorite suburb on steroids, revealing the truths—and the lies—that simmer just below the glittering surface. With her signature biting style, Lauren Weisberger offers a dazzling look into another sexy, over-the-top world, where nothing is as it appears.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Electrolyte Epiphany

I want to preface this post by saying, I feel like an idiot.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way.

I'm an extreme sweater, always have been, probably always will be. It doesn't matter if I'm in excellent shape or terrible shape, I sweat. Honestly, I think the better shape I'm in the more I sweat, but I don't have actual scientific evidence to back that up. Over the past 18 months I've started getting monthly-ish massages to keep my body in check. My massage therapist is a friend of mine, also a yogi and Reiki guru, and someone who is very passionate about healing and whole body health. So obviously I love talking to her about all things mind and body, especially as it relates to my running.

Over the past year, as my running has really gotten serious again, there have been some aches and pains and some severe enough that I had to stop running for a week or two as a precaution. This is a far cry from previous years where I'd keep pushing through and then just be broken for months. So yay, that's a plus for me, I guess.

Another thing to note, is I started strength training almost two years ago. And despite doing it weekly (with some missed sessions here and there) I am incredibly sore after each strength workout. This spring, I got in a bad habit of skipping my strength because I'd be so sore from the workout, that I'd miss 2-4 days of running. And then I'd get hurt during running because I wasn't doing my strength workouts to keep my hips and glutes in check. GAH!

Late this spring, my massage therapist was talking to me about electrolytes. She was talking to one of her other endurance athletes (as she is not) and they mentioned what they used during their workouts. I used to use Nuun, I think during my last marathon cycle (so 2014) and just didn't think it did that much for me. I switched to Gatorade cut 50/50 with water and thought that worked better for me, but caused some stomach issues as I was taking GUs for my fuel. I never picked nuun back up after that. I also started utilizing salt tabs on my long hot humid runs, which I thought was sufficient. I also eat a pretty salty diet because I am such a salty sweater, and I know my body wants/needs to replace all that is lost. Bring on the nachos and kale chips.

After Sara's comment about the electrolytes, I thought it couldn't help to try to add nuun back to the equation, especially to try to figure some things out before marathon training starts. I'm 100% focused on running a strong marathon in October, and to do so I need to stay healthy, run a lot of miles, and not miss my strength sessions.

My last long run before Grandma's half, I drank a bottle of nuun after the run. And the next day, I felt the best I ever had after a long run. I started to do a lot of research about electrolytes and discovered a lot of things I deal with are spot on for people who have an electrolyte imbalance. Light bulb moment! I felt like such an idiot (see above). I get terrible headaches all of the time, my stomach is constantly a mess, extreme muscle fatigue from intense workouts running or lifting, irregular heart beat. Yikes.

I kept reading handfuls of peer reviewed research articles and they all kept pointing to the same thing, if you're an endurance athlete, you need electrolytes on any workout longer than an hour. If you're a super salty sweater, you probably need it sooner.

My next POWER lifting session, I drank nuun after the workout, and for the first time ever, the next day I wasn't sore. That weekend I had Grandma's half, and drank one bottle of nuun each day leading up to the race, and the morning of and that's the best I've felt on a race.

Since then I've continued to drink it after runs and workouts. I've also brought it along for 2 of my marathon long runs, as well as drinking after. On a couple of super hot days this past week, I drank it in the afternoon before the run. It's seriously making all of the difference in the world. It would be embarrassing to tell you how many ibuprofen I was probably taking on a daily basis for this headache, or that knee pain, or that tweak in my back from lifting. DAILY. I think I needed ibuprofen once in the past couple of weeks. Which is probably more on par with "normal".

I'm really excited to get some clarity on this and am excited to see how it helps my training going forward. Now I just need nuun as a sponsor ASAP, because those little tubes are adding up FAST. Thank goodness 605 Running Co. carries them so I can stock up whenever I'm there for a group run! (#notanad)

Friday, July 13, 2018


I have a confession to make. I, Jeri, have never watched The Bachelor or The Bachelorette before.

Until this season.

I've always thought the show was dumb, or maybe I just missed out on living with a group of girls that was obsessed with the show. Either way, when the last season rolled out, I decided to give it a try. Nothing like joining the party SUPER LATE.

I can't say it's my favorite thing to watch on TV but holy wow I understand why people get so wrapped up in the show. I'm pretty obsessed with the tv show UnReal which is basically a behind the scenes fictionalized version of a similar show. And am enjoying myself greatly.

Now who else is Team Colton, V-card and all???

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Des Moines USATF Championship Weekend

A few weeks ago I made a solo trek to Des Moines for the USATF Championships. My mom and I went 5 years ago when I was just starting to get obsessed with professional track and field, and it was such a blast to go back now when I'm full on 100% track and field nerd. At any given time you can find several hours of track recorded on my DVR from some Diamond League meet or another.

605 Running Co. asked me to take over their instagram to take them along for the trip, and it was such an honor and so much fun. I arrived on Friday which was day two of the competition with mostly prelim events.

Women's 800 meter rounds:

Women's 100 meter:

Men's 100 meter dash: Unpictured Noah Lyles' amazing winner's dance after the race, down the track. 

Day 3 was on Saturday. I started my day at the Farmers Market which was basically a million blocks of all the things and so very hot. After lunch I made my way back to the track. 

On deck: the women's steeplechase and the women's 1500 meter showdown between Shelby and Jenny. Go BTC!

Women's steeple:

Women's 1500 meter: Shelby Houlihan is a beast and has a gear that is next level. UNREAL.

After Saturday's events, I walked next door to the Mexican food place that my mom and I had gone for dinner when we went to this event last. I had to laugh as I pulled up to the hotel, as I somehow had booked a hotel in the exact same neighborhood as before.

I was starving so I ordered entirely too much food. Oops.

Sunday morning it was up and at them for the final day of action. I wore my Bowerman Track Club tank in anticipation for hopefully meeting one of the Bowerman Babes. And to cheer on Shelby as she attempted her double in the 5k.

Women's 200 semis: Jenna Prandini is amazing and I've been a big fan of hers since her days at Oregon.

Women's 800 meter final: Ajee Wilson is amazing. So fun to watch her strength and speed. 

Women's 5k! It was cool to see Karissa Sweitzer in her first post-collegiate race, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want her to join the BTC to continue her growth and domination. And then it was even cooler to see Shelby, yet again, turn on the sprinter's legs the final stretch of the race to dominate the field.

After the race, I had this grand plan to make my way over to the 100 m. curve so I could meet Shelby and snag a picture with her after she had done the post race interviews. Much as these gentlemen were doing with Clayton Murphy, 800 m. champ.

While I was waiting I noticed that the men's steeple was delayed. Which was weird as the meet had been spot on down to the second all weekend. Within minutes there was an announcement that a major storm was rolling through Des Moines and the meet would be suspended until it ended. I went next door to safe building and called Kyle to get a weather update as my internet was wonky. He thought it'd be done within 45 minutes so I opted to stick around. And while I was waiting, I ran into Laura Roesler, North Dakota athlete, and former Oregon Duck. She's basically the prettiest human in person and didn't mind putting her arm around me even though I was extremely sweaty.

About an hour later, I overheard some of the security guards say that the storm was just starting, and that it'd be at least another 2 hours before the race would restart. With a 5 hour drive ahead of me, I opted to hit the road, since I had to work the next day. I looked like a drown rat by the timeI got back to my car. And spent 4.5 hours of my drive in treacherous driving conditions. Uff da.

Don't worry, I'll be back next year!