Feature Friday: I THINK I'VE LOST IT, Tell Me What To Do Next, and The Extra Mile By Pam Reed Book Review

Happy Friday! Wohooo. Finally! I can’t wait to sip coffee in my PJs this weekend! What is something you’re looking forward to this weekend? I’m all about sleeping in this week and will be getting in some speedwork this afternoon (3 x 1 mile repeats) and then I’m not sure what the weekend plans are yet! TBD. (almost typed TBD, which I’m pretty sure that makes no sense at all.

Hey let’s change the subject and look how cute Stella is!


Also I signed up for another race lottery last week thinking that I won’t get chosen (I did this a few years ago and didn’t get in)

Typical runner—> Hey! There’s a race lottery! Let’s put my name in because I never get chosen for ANYTHING! Yeah…except I guess 2019 is my year?!?

Chicago lottery - got in.

NEDD Mt. Washington Road Race - GOT IN!?!?

I’m so excited, but also equally TERRIFIED! It’s 2.5 weeks after my 50 miler, so I’m honestly just planning on using my fitness from that (I’ll start incorporating more treadmill hikes on my ‘off running days’/ after treadmill runs for a few minutes) and will do very little running post-50 miler before the race. I don’t really want to start doing any sort of running until mid to late July after my race (they say it takes your body the same amount of days to recover as you ran.. so 50 miles ran ….50 days to recover —> which puts me somewhere near the beginning/ to middle of July).

Watching this video of the race gave me goosebumps of both fear/excitement. Average 12% grade over 7.6 miles.. I totally got this…….

I recently finished The Extra Mile: One Women’s Personal Journey to Ultra-Running Greatness by Pam Reed.


I really love to give good book reviews and very rarely do I like to see anything as ‘negative’, however this book was not the best. I 100% respect and appreciate Pam’s honesty and think she absolutely incredible for everything that she has gone through (she really DOES have an incredible story!). Unfortunately the writing in this book just didn’t do it for me. It seems to jump around a bit too much and there isn’t enough ‘cohesiveness’ throughout the story to have hooked me. Some parts really are great, but she never really tells any secrets to her success in ultra-running (she says that she isn’t anything special —> she’s FINISHED Badwater 5 times including winning it all twice?!?).

She does describe more about her eating disorders, which I really appreciate her honesty and openness. If there was a bit more flow through the book, I think I could have really gotten into it. I still really loved her personality and think that she is an amazing runner, just not quite the book for me!


3 things you’re doing this weekend?!? —> sleeping. lounging in my PJs. Hopefully going skiing!

Favorite time of day to run? —> there’s nothing like an early morning run for me.

OK well since I’m clearly on a lottery-entry streak…tell me what race lottery I need to enter next!

Feature Friday: Still Me By Jojo Moyes Book Review

Happy Friday! Finally we made it to Friday and hopefully I’m out there crushing my first 20 miler this training cycle this morning (outside)! I’ve powered through this crazy hectic week and on Sunday, I cannot wait to just sleep in, put my legs up, and not have any early morning obligations to tend to! I also finished my 4th book of 2019, Still Me By Jojo Moyes this last week.

While I’m much-more of a non-fictional type of reader, I really enjoyed this one! It had more depth than other fiction novels that I’ve picked up recently. It’s light-hearted and I honestly had no idea that it was part of trilogy series! I will absolutely be picking up her other books because I fell in love with the main character as she stumbles through life in NYC as a caretaker for an Upper East Side power-couple. Her viewpoints of her situation (and also those who have an obscene amount of money) made her super relatable and I could totally see a lot of my younger-self in her (she’s still trying to figure things out and what her passion in life is)!

It wasn’t what I would consider a “breeze through read” either, which I appreciated. I think that there’s a time and a place for those types of books (aka a beach), but this one had enough substance to it, then it made for a great read at the end of the night (and then also the next day because I was so engrossed with the storyline). I’d love to hear if anyone else has read this series or any of Moyes books? Which one should I pick up next and are they all equally fantastic?


Three things you’re doing this weekend? —> sleeping in on Sunday, baking something delicious, finalizing plans for another ski trip!

Feature Friday: Running With The Kenyans Book Review, Trying Something New-To-Me

Happy Friday! Finally we are out of January and into a MUCH shorter (hopefully less cold) month. I’m also trying something new-to-me diet-wise for the month: going vegan. NOW before you get all judgmental and say things like ‘how do you plan get to all your iron’ or ‘why would you want to do a thing like that?’ - hear me out. Whenever I find myself either in a food-making slump, having stomach issues (I had some major cramps on my long run last Sunday), or just in general not excited about my breakfast/lunch/dinner options —> I look to switch things up. I would really love to find out what types of foods agree with my gut and which ones don’t and eliminating everything besides fruit/ vegetables/ beans/ grains (gluten-free) seems like the way to go at the moment. I don’t forsee it as lasting longer than a month because I truly love pizza, burgers, steaks, chicken, BACON all that goodness. I also love cheese. But if I’m able to find out which foods make my body feel great and which ones do not- I think that worth it for the month. I have so many recipes I can’t wait to make and will be absolutely loading up on things like Molasses (in my granola), Tempeh (I’ve never tried it, but honestly it is so good for you- it’s made from fermented soybeans and has loads of B vitamins, calcium, iron), Chickpeas, lots of nuts. I am most certainly NOT doing it for “losing weight” “getting stronger” or to potentially boost my running performance (unlike this article mentions Scott Jurek did it for). I would love to just cut down (or maybe out?) the digestive issues that sometimes wreak havoc on me throughout the day.

ON other news- let’s do another book review!


I recently finished Running With The Kenyans by Adharanand Finn. This book was a bit slow to start for me, but then I couldn’t put it down when he started to go into more detail about his training for his first marathon. Finn & his family packs up from London and moves to Kenya to study the Kenyan running way it Iten (one of the most popular (if not, most popular) running/training destination in the world). While there, he decides to sign-up and train for his first marathon and recruit several local runners to train with him. I love how he recaps their long run sessions (how mentally he felt through the run- I could totally relate) and the community that he describes there.

While he never truely uncovers the ‘secret’ to why Kenyans are such exceptional runners, they are all so humble and he does an excellent job of describing each individual that he meets (even Mary Keitany!). If you’re interested in an insight into training for your first marathon, Kenyan running, or just travel in general- I highly recommend this book.


I’d love to know your thoughts on the book if you’ve read it?

Any books you can recommend to me?!?

If you are a Vegan + runner —> send me your favorite recipe!

Feature Friday: Michelle Obama's Becoming Book Review!

I really enjoyed Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. I thought that it was so well-written and wasn’t softened down at all. She really does tell it all and I loved how she used words that I had never before heard (i.e. I had to look them up in the Dictionary!)- I feel that it’s extremely rare when you read something these days and have to look up a word that’s used (or maybe that’s just me and the normal types of books that I read).


There were so many similarities that I found between her life and mine in her book and I especially loved one thing that she really continued to draw upon- we are planting the seeds to our life, but then we just need to sit back and watch them grow. —> I LOVE thinking of everything in my life this way and it really helps take a lot of the pressure off of everyday things that are ‘out of our control’ (same with running). If we’re putting in the work necessary for the seed to grow, then all we can do is continue to nurture it and wait.

I also thought how fitting it was how much she talks about her love for Chicago- I may need to read this book again right before I run the Chicago Marathon this year. It did get me really excited to see if the marathon passes by any of the major icons she mentions in her book (or in the neighborhood where her and Barack lived?!?). Another book that really tied into my running choices this year (Shoe Dog by Phil Knight was the tie to Eugene/ Eugene Marathon last Fall for me).

Another weird connection that I found out pretty immediately in her book- is that her father had MS. This is the second book that I’ve picked up (without knowing) that the author has a very personal connection to MS. She discusses the impact of his MS so well and I could relate to so many of the situations she describes (along with both her fathers’ feelings about the autoimmune disease, along with her views from the outside).

She does such a wonderful job tying in how she became First Lady, but also doesn’t sugar-coat it. She very plainly describes how difficult it was in certain situations to be in the limelight and how she came from a very typical middle class family, but was able to seek every opportunity that was presented to her. Another big take-away that I took from her book and one that I want to start implementing into my life —> how connections that she made helped open up doors (professionally) to both her and Barack. You never know who may meet that could help you later on in life!

Overall- this is a definite must-read in my book. I finished it in less than 2 weeks and honestly would have finished sooner if I had extra time on my hands : )

Have a great weekend and let me know your thoughts if you also read her book! I’m getting my long run in this morning (12-15 miles) and will hopefully get on the ski slopes one of the two days this weekend.

Here’s also a cute little photo of Brady because…why not ;)


Weekend Recap & Little Fires Everywhere Book Review!

Happy Monday! Gosh this weekend we had BEAUTIFUL weather here. It honestly felt like Spring (aka it was 35* degrees and we were all out there wearing shorts…i kid….kind of ; ) ….). How was the weather where you were?!? We didn’t end up going to Winter Park (we may on Christmas Day though!), but got in a bunch of fun activities here.


Flashback to Friday afternoon at the Library. I think I *may* have over-estimated my fast reading abilities! Let’s see how many of these I can read in the two week period before I can renew them…


HI Mapes! All stretched out watching the best Christmas movie (in my opinion…)- Christmas Vacation!


Accompanied by some Hot Cocoa with mini marshmellows…a must in hot cocoa!


We also had some fun re-decorating our tree thanks to Brady. We actually set it back up not just once, but TWICE this weekend. Also I took down some ornaments in hopes that may he’ll be less tempted to try to climb it and knock it down again…


Saturday morning I had Alex take some photos for me (of me running, wearing my 2018 medals, etc.) and we also went out for a walk. It was so lovely out, I never wanted to come back in!


Followed up my 5 mile run with some recovery jasyoga! Then we watched the Incredibles 2 after dinner (we had the Bison Chili from RFCFES cookbook).


Sunday morning breakfast! Eggs + Avocado = perfection.


Another run on Sunday midmorning, then we met up for a walk down by the lake. They actually groom the trails in the winter so it’s pretty easy to walk above the snow (in most parts) and also super fun to cross country ski on them!


Followed by a Sunday afternoon of baking Spelt Banana Bread, going to the gym to get my strength in, teaching skating, and then making some Homemade Mac ‘n Cheese with Broccoli!



Book #17 of the year is complete! I LOVED Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It took me a while (around 100 pages) to get into the story and then I honestly couldn’t get enough of it! I stayed up way too late many nights reading and becoming captivated by her storytelling. She does such a great job of laying the groundwork of the characters in the beginning that by the time a large event happens, you’re so invested. It takes place in a rural Ohio town following multiple storylines of characters, so there really is something for everyone to relate to in this story. There are mixed-emotions between two families and I found the story (at times) so ironic. I also had no idea how each “fire” was going to be set (and by which character)! So good until the very end. I also thought her narrative and overall language used was very similar to Jodi Picoult’s.


Favorite Christmas Movie?

Hot cocoa—> what do you like in yours?

How do you like your eggs? —> normally scrambled with some spinach, onion, cheese, and a side of avocado!