The Little Things
July 26, 2016

One of my favorite things about summer biking is going out on beautiful trails and country roads. I love all the beautiful wild flowers on the sides of the road, and I love the sunshine as it goes across the fields. Summer biking feels immensely peaceful and life-giving to me, and that’s what made my lack of biking in June feel so difficult.

wild flowers

Last week I headed out for a 30 mile ride after work, eager to get off the trail and head to some country roads. My legs felt incredibly heavy the first 9 or 10 miles of my ride- annoying! The first part of my ride is slightly uphill, and often against the wind a bit, so aching legs certainly don’t help.

corn biking country road

There was also a heat advisory out that day, and the feels like was in the upper 90s as I was biking. With running, I couldn’t exercise in that temperature, but with the natural wind that biking creates, it definitely helps with my comfort level. That being said, I drank 50 ounces of Nuun in the 30 miles I biked, and definitely would’ve enjoyed another 10ish ounces.

Around mile 11 I stopped briefly to change what I was listening to on my phone, and realized that there were several teenagers in the area playing Pokemon. I snapped a picture quick of the flowers nearby as I watched them run around yelling about catching a bull. So funny!

wild flowers biking

I’m back to listening to audiobooks as I ride, but the book I was listening to during the ride wasn’t completely holding my attention- I kept zoning in and out.

I’m sticking to my same fueling and hydrating plan as previous summers, and did this during the ride:

My pace was slower than I would’ve liked, and my legs felt heavier than I would have preferred, but I’m so thankful to get some summer biking in, and rode with a smile on my face!

July 22, 2016

Disclaimer: I received one tube of Body Glide to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I remember the first long run I did where I experienced chaffing. I didn’t know what was happening, but several miles in a spot on my rib cage started bothering me, right on the bottom band of my sports bra. I got home and immediately went to see what was wrong, and sure enough, I had what looked like an inch and a half long burn. My first experience with chaffing. I don’t even want to talk about how that shower felt… ugh.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I went out to South Dakota and Wyoming to go hiking with my family (you might remember that I went out last summer and hiked there as well!). I had just received a Body Glide in the mail, and it was one of the first things that I packed. With all the sweating, hiking every day, and the camelback that I wore (but don’t normally wear), I knew that I would need it!

The first day I rubbed it around my rib cage and shoulders before we hiked Little Devil’s Tower.

Body glide devils tower

It’s gorgeous out there, and I didn’t want chaffing to get in the way, and I’m glad to say that it didn’t! I didn’t even feel the body glide on me as I hiked and enjoyed the views (and seriously- how cool does the Tower look)?

While it can seem a little greasy going on, it doesn’t make clothes greasy at all, which is excellent, and it comes off easily in the water!

I wore it hiking at lots of other places too- all over Custer State Park, Harney Peak, Sylvan Lake, and the Badlands!

body glide badlands

Body Glide is really ideal for hiking, and the container is great to stick in a hiking backpack and bring with you. It also provides some great protection against blisters! I’ve also worn it walking.

body glide

Another favorite way for me to use Body Glide is on my thighs when I’m biking. Bike shorts are tight, and after lots of miles, it can begin to rub and cause some pain. Body glide is perfect for that as well.

body glide biking

Comfy legs after a bike ride! No chaffing here 🙂

To me, body glide is essential for longer workouts, especially if you want to avoid pain while showering!

body glide biking 2

Packing a few summer workout essentials before a bike ride!

Now it’s your turn to share! What’re some of your “long workout essentials”?

July 19, 2016

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the Achilles tendinitis that has taken me out of running since the middle of March. I got some physical therapy exercises, and those seemed to help quite a bit, getting me through hiking 3-12 miles every day for a week out in South Dakota! I was told that once I could walk a few miles without pain, I could slowly get into running. That time has finally come!

Two weekends ago I went on a long walk (a little over 6 miles!), and decided that I was ready to try running. I did my typical run: walk 3:1 minute style, and ran 0.75 of a mile. That’s not much at all, but I definitely didn’t want to push it. I ran up to Melissa who was out walking with me, and yelled “it was so magical!”. It really felt that way. Being apart from something I love so much for the last 4 months has certainly had its tough moments, so it was really exciting!

running pic nicey treat

We celebrated with some Nicey Treat!

The next day I got fitted for a different pair of running shoes, and ended up with Nikes- we’ll see how they are once I start increasing my mileage a little bit. This past weekend I went on a 1.3 mile run, and it was really great as well!

running with rogue

I enjoyed running with my friend’s dog (they let me borrow her whenever I want to run or walk with, which is fun for me… and for her!), and we had a great run in the sunshine. I didn’t have pain after either run which is great. I’m hoping it’ll last.

Getting back to running after injury makes me a little nervous, as I don’t want to make the injury flare up again. I’m hoping that I’ve found a good mix of things that’ll help keep it at bay!

So- there’s the up-to-date information on my running! I’m glad I am getting a bit of running in this summer. I was a little worried I was going to end up missing all the nice months!


July 18, 2016

I first heard about the book Mindset from a friend who told me that I needed to read it asap. Unfortunately, it took a few months to get it from the library, but a few weeks ago I finally listened to it via audiobook. I loved it, and part way through I knew that I needed to share about it to all of you.

Mindset is written by a Standford University psychologist (Dweck), and shares a wealth of wisdom on how to develop a growth mindset (compared to maintaining a fixed mindset). Amazon says the following: “A fixed mindset is one in which you view your talents and abilities as… well, fixed. In other words, you are who you are, your intelligence and talents are fixed, and your fate is to go through life avoiding challenge and failure. A growth mindset, on the other hand, is one in which you see yourself as fluid, a work in progress. Your fate is one of growth and opportunity. Which mindset do you possess? Dweck provides a checklist to assess yourself and shows how a particular mindset can affect all areas of your life, from business to sports and love. The good news, says Dweck, is that mindsets are not set: at any time, you can learn to use a growth mindset to achieve success and happiness. This is a serious, practical book. Dweck’s overall assertion that rigid thinking benefits no one, least of all yourself, and that a change of mind is always possible, is welcome.” And I agree. The author shares practical advice on how to develop a growth mindset, which leads to a greater success in work, relationships, and life. That’s what we want…. right?

mindset pic

While listening to Mindset there were so many moments I wished I owned my own copy so I could mark it up. Here are a few great bits of wisdom from the book:

“Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going.”

“Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
“the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning.”
I really enjoyed reading Mindset, and loved all the practical (and scientifically backed!) advice throughout. I’d definitely encourage you to not only read the book, but also consider how you can continue to develop a growth mindset!
Now it’s your turn to share! What do you think causes you to remain in a fixed mindset, instead of “risking it” for the growth mindset? 
July 12, 2016

I went to visit my cousins over memorial day, and as I was flying home, I had a layover in Minneapolis. The flight there had gone well, and I had finished a book on the flight (yay!).
ear injury pic 1

The plane started our descent into the airport, and immediately I started to feel really dizzy. Naturally I thought it was something related to POTS, so I pushed the flight attendant button so that I could get some water, and reached into my purse to pull out a salt packet. By the time I got the cup of water, I was shaking so badly I could hardly drink. I got the salt down with some water, but was so dizzy and spinning that I spilled the rest of my water (even with all of this, the guy in the seat next to me never said anything to me).

By the time we landed and he got up to stand in the aisle to wait to deplane, the world was whipping around me so quickly that I laid down and started crying. I’ve never seen the world spin by me in a blur, and I started to feel sick really quickly. I had no idea what was wrong, but I started to think that perhaps it wasn’t POTS. A flight attendant or two had to come down and basically carry me off the plane and set me into a wheelchair, as I couldn’t walk at all. They immediately called the paramedics in the airport, and laid me down at the gate until they arrived.

My blood pressure was good, so they immediately ruled out POTS, saying it was probably just motion sickness. AHEM. NOT motion sickness. I’ve been motion sick before, and it’s never been remotely close to what I experienced. They drove me through the airport in a cart to a little care area, but the dizziness kept getting worse until I started throwing up.

I should mention that I was completely alone while traveling, and was completely unable to care for myself. Really not ideal. There was no controlling this dizziness, and we realized that I was going to need to go to the ER.

ambulance ride

SO, I got to (ahem. HAD TO?) take my first ambulance ride, and landed myself in the ER. The paramedics from the airport were so helpful, bringing my luggage around with me, buying me some candy to get some sugar in me, and just spoke in really kind ways.

ear injury pic 3

Once in the ER I was told that I had inner ear damage due to the change in air pressure. I’ve flown multiple times a year for most of my life, and I’ve not even heard of this happening, so I certainly learned a good amount while in the hospital that day. Since that time, I’ve talked to two other friends who have had that happen to them. One was driving down the highway with the window open, and when he rolled it up, the spinning started immediately. So strange, right?

ear injury pic 4

hospital food. the juice and crackers were good though…

I’ve learned that there is no controlling the dizziness. I was given four different medications to try to help with the nausea and dizziness, hoping that I could fly home that night. After several hours I took a taxi back to the airport, and was wheeled through the airport (another first for me).

I got home without problem (but felt really drugged up), and was picked up by a friend. I spent the next almost week just laying around waiting for the dizziness to go away.

So, my Memorial Day trip turned into something much more than I bargained for. I’m glad to be feeling back to normal. This also explains why I haven’t been biking in June- I didn’t feel like it was safe to be on the open road while feeling as badly as I did (since biking involves lots of head movement). Between the achilles tendinitis and this ear issue, I certainly had a weird start to my summer!


*Also- can anyone tell me why my pictures show up sideways? I’ve even gone in to rotate them and save them, and they still will often show up sideways 🙁

July 11, 2016

One of the great things about being a BibRave Pro is that I get to learn about all sorts of cool products and brands, some of which I review for you on this blog. I also get great discount codes, and want to be able to share them all with you, so I created a discounts page for all of you. I’ve broken them down into separate code sections for races and products, so check out both sections, and make sure to check back regularly for more codes to products and races! Here’s the link to the discounts page!


July 11, 2016

June was a huge reading month for me, so I’m excited to share a few of the books with you. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

Book List June 2016

The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own: I really enjoyed this book by Joshua Becker (and am currently taking his “Uncluttered” online course right now!). It’s worth a read.

The Newcomer, The Hero, The Chance,  and The Promise: The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th books in the Thunder Point book series that I started last month. I’m still enjoying them, and love that the series draws in new characters each book while also continuing old storylines a bit.

Beachcombers: I didn’t like it much at. I don’t have much to say about it.

Thirteen Reasons Why: This book is about someone who commits suicide, but leaves a series of tapes behind explaining what led up to that choice. It was an interesting premise for a book, and held my attention well. I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Soul Surfer: This was a random choice because I was about to get in the car to drive for an hour and needed a quick book to listen to. There were interesting points, and her resiliency was impressive.

Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West: This story was equal parts fascinating, horrifying, and heartbreaking. The author was born into a labor camp in North Korea and imagined to escape. It’s worth the read.

The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time: This is Arianma Huffington’s new book, and I had added it to my “to read” shelf after seeing a 10-15 minute interview with her about the book. The book was boring in parts, although there was some interesting research.

The Body Keeps The Score: Written by one of the leading researcher’s on trauma, this book has helped challenge previous ideas of therapy with trauma, and had practical chapters for therapists at the end as well. I wish this was mandatory reading for almost everyone 🙂

Growing Up Amish: I listened to the audiobook of this, and was glad I had because I wouldn’t have wanted to waste the time to sit down and actually read it. I listened to it while weeding and cleaning, and it held my interest well enough.

The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice. This was another book that was heartbreaking and fascinating (this seems to be the theme of my past 5 weeks of reading).

So that’s what I read in the month of June! I tried to keep a mix between educational, life-learning, and fun sorts of reading, and I think I did a great job of it! If you are looking for any other book lists or recommendations, check out my book review page

Now it’s your turn to share! What have you been reading lately? Are there any “must read” summer books that you’d like to share!?


July 7, 2016

After a slow March and April for reading due to work, I’m officially into my summer season which means more time for reading fun! I’ve read so much in May and June that I am going to have to separate the months. I also meant to post this particular post before my trip over the 4th of July, but forgot. Oops!

Book List May 2016

The Matchmaker: I love Elin Hilderbrand books in the summer, so I kicked the month of May off with this book. It was one of my least favorite books of hers I’ve read so far. Meh.

The Siren: I’ve loved the Selection Series by Kiera Cass, so when I found this book, also by her, I was excited. While I didn’t love it as much as The Selection Series, I really enjoyed this book. The book follows a group of girls who are Sirens, and I enjoyed their storylines!

Fairest: Levana’s Story: While I finished the Lunar Chronicles back in April, I was looking forward to reading this spin off story of one of the characters!

The Beach Club: While I’m on vacation, I really reading a beach-themed book, and The Beach Club was a perfect book for vacation! This book takes place at a hotel on Nantucket.

Chat Love:  I received a copy of this book on Kindle for free from the author. This book was very “Sex and the City-esque”, and it was a fun and easy read.

The Passenger: This book is about a woman on the run who is consistently changing up her identity as she runs around the U.S. This book was different than ones I typically read, but after having multiple people recommend the book to me, I decided to give it a shot. It’s worth the read!

The Crown: This was the 5th book in the Selection Series, and just came out recently. I loved the conclusion to this series I’ve enjoyed so much! If you haven’t read the series yet, check it out!

When Breath Becomes Air: I wrote a post all about When Breath Becomes Air here. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve read lately!

Mountain Vision: Lessons Beyond the Summit: A book about one man’s journey to climbing Everest, filled with leadership lessons. Fairly cheesy at points, but the parts about climbing were interesting. It was a really quick read.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less: I really enjoyed this book! Again, it wasn’t a long read at all, but it held a lot of great lessons in it. I found that I kept snapping pictures on my phone of various paragraphs in the book.

The Wanderer (Thunder Point #1): My cousin read this book recently on a trip, and suggested I give it a try. This is book one of nine in a series on a quaint little coastal town in Oregon. I really enjoyed it, and it hooked me- I’m still reading the series!

So, those are the books I enjoyed in May! None of these books felt like I had to really struggle through them except for The Matchmaker. If you’re looking for other books I’ve read this year, check out my January Book list, February Book list, and my March and April Book list.

June 21, 2016

So  there’s been a total lack of running talk on this blog since my 8 hilly miles post in the middle of March. That training run was most ideal, and all I needed to do after that run was go to Mexico and do a few short runs and I was set for the Carmel Half Marathon in April. Obviously things didn’t go as planned.

I felt great after that run, and really felt great for the next 12 days. I was doing a lot of physical work in Mexico, on my feet all day, and everything felt fine, until Thursday of that week.

I was in the squatting position for several hours that day as I was weeding outside, and I remember feeling sore that day. I also got attacked by ants, so that didn’t help as both my feet swelled up a bit. The next day I was out walking, and ended up having to sit down several times in the street because my foot hurt to bad. Not ideal.

I came back and figured that if I rested for the week I could get a run in that weekend, but by that Saturday morning I figured that I needed to just rest it and I’d be fine. Not so, my friends. I obvious DNS’d the half marathon, which was aggravating as I completed the full training cycle.

I did the whole R.I.C.E thing for about 6 weeks, and it was still aggravating me, so I finally got myself to a physical therapist. My suspicions were confirmed- I have Achilles tendinitis- boooo! As I started compensating for that, my posterior tibial tendinitis that flared back in 2013 flared up a bit again too. NO FUN!

I’ve been doing PT exercises for the past few weeks, and that seems to have helped! I walked 2.75 miles this Saturday (with KTape on), and had no pain while walking or after walking. The morning was beautiful in downtown Indy.

body glide

(Disclaimer: I received this body glide for free to review as part of being a BibRavePro Ambassador)

The body glide came just in time for my morning walk. As a sidenote- I walked to a Dunkin Donuts for coffee (1.1 miles there) only to discover it didn’t open for another hour. Booo! I was really looking forward to that iced coffee!

Anyways- back to the topic at hand. I haven’t run since the middle of March, and it’s the longest I’ve gone without running ever… well, at least since I started running in 2011. It was pretty sad at first, and while there are days that I miss it, my schedule has also gotten used to extra free time. I am eager to run again, and am hoping that I’ll be able to run by my birthday. For now, I continue to ice massage, use KTape while exercising, and do my PT exercises regularly.

Fingers crossed I’ll be running a bit by August!



June 20, 2016

I’m so excited to tell you a little about the book When Breath Becomes Air. I heard about the book several months ago, and immediately added it to my “to read” shelf on good reads. I ended up reading it last week during a flight (yes- in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down), and I’ll tell you that the ending to the book, especially the epilogue, had me in tears. Yes. I was that person sitting on a plane crying while reading- yikes.

When Breath Becomes Air is written by Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgery chief resident who was diagnosed with lung cancer. From the start of the book, we learn that he passed away in 2015, so I’m not spoiling anything by telling you this. This book is his personal memoir of facing death. He lets the reader in to his wrestling on how to live well when looking death in the face, on how to suffer well.

When breath becomes air

Here are a few quotes that stood out to me:

“Lucy and I both felt that life wasn’t about avoiding suffering.”

“The tricky part of illness is that, as you go through it, your values are constantly changing. You try to figure out what matters to you, and then you keep figuring it out. It felt like someone had taken away my credit card and I was having to learn how to budget. You may decide you want to spend your time working as a neurosurgeon, but two months later, you may feel differently. Two months after that, you may want to learn to play the saxophone or devote yourself to the church. Death may be a one-time event, but living with terminal illness is a process.”

This book deeply moved me, and I’m so thankful that people had so strongly encouraged me to read Paul’s story. The book ends with an epilogue written by his wife, since Paul didn’t live long enough to finish his own story. But that’s the beauty of life with our loved ones: when we pass away, our loved ones carry our story on for us, and this book does it beautifully.

If you’re looking for more book suggestions, check out my book reviews page.