Music while running with people, WE NEED IRON and what we are trying to do as a family.

**Yesterday I was switching over servers (still a few glitches today too)—>  to speed up how long it takes to load my blog and also so it stops freezing or redirecting you to an ad when you view in on your phone.  That is why the blog was down for a bit.  It also deleted all of the comments from yesterday morning and I can’t figure out how to get them back up.  I meant to answer some of the questions but they are gone now!! One question I do remember was how I listen to music while running with people!  I never listen to music while running with people unless we are doing speed work and I pop in my headphones for the fast intervals.  Josse and I discuss the pace goals before each interval so we are able to stick next to each other for most of the time.  She never listens to music but I NEEEEEEEEED songs with a fast beat to run with if I’m going to get these legs moving:)  

The two (mainly me) of us spent the morning cleaning our house because it was a complete disaster… somehow all of our suitcases exploded.  I got in 3 miles later on in the day at a 8:55 pace and then today I am practically running to another state;)  I’m seeing if I can get anything over 20.5 done tomorrow!  

The goal is to run a whole lot farther than I drive tomorrow.  

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I then sat and stretched out for a good 20 minutes.  I don’t want to overstretch my hamstrings out but I love just placing my feet directly up and staying there for a minute or two.  It isn’t a super intense stretch but it really helps my hamstrings to loosen up a bit.  Plus it is easy to do this stretch and I can scroll through Instagram while I do it.

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We went straight to lunch with The Megan.  Chicken and tortillas at the bottom of that goodness.  

We don’t see each other as much now that I don’t live in the same area as her but we make up for it with great lunch conversations.

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We took one to my sister too and Brooke insisted on wearing my sweatshirt.  My sister answered the door and saw this and told me that this is just the beginning of her wanting to borrow all of my clothes.

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My nephew’s obsessed with his blanket and sucking his thumb but now he walks around with the corner in his ear too. 

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Once Andrew got off work he met me at IKEA (the kids played at their kids club place… they love that place and it makes IKEA a whole lot easier for an hour:).   We needed a few more things for the house.  We kind of took a break from all things house related and are now getting back to it.   

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They were just a little excited to see him.  

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For dinner we had steak, corn, watermelon and sweet potato fries! For the sweet potatoes I just slice them up (I leave the skins on) and put them in a big ziplock and mix them around with some olive oil and salt. Then cook them on a pan (I cover the pan with aluminum foil) at 425 degrees for 30ish minutes (I check on them a bunch).  

Let’s talk about iron for just a bit (the reason I requested steak last night… I felt like I needed an extra dose).  Low iron levels are one of the biggest factors in a runner’s poor performance!  It can cause you to feel overtrained and fatigued.  

“For runners in training, the ‘normal’ recommended ferritin levels are markedly different from their sedative counterparts.  If you don’t have a physician used to working with athletes, they may wind up telling you that you are in the ‘normal’ range and have nothing to worry about when, in fact, an iron deficiency may be hampering your training.  Thus, as a runner, you need to be informed of your unique needs and be sure to speak up to your doctor.” (SOURCE—> GREAT ARTICLE about all of this).

I don’t take a supplement but I try to get in good iron through spinach and red meats but adding in a supplement might be something I talk to my doc about soon.  

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Okay, you might think this is strange but it is a total Utah thing and Andrew loves it (I like it too but I’m all about bbq sauce;)  It is called fry sauce and you mix mayonnaise with ketchup and boom.  One of the many random Utah traditions!

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Okay, this is kind of a long story but get ready for it.  One of Andrew’s grandmas told us about one of her favorite things she did when her kids were all living at home.  She has nine kids and each night she made dinner and they ate at the table.  The rule was that everyone stayed at the table for 20 minutes (even the little ones) and they ate and talked together.  The parents had a rule too—>  there was no correcting at the table.  It kept dinner a positive experience for everyone and a time each day for great conversation.   If she could do it with 9 (and my mom did too with 5) then we could do it with 2.  The kids lasted about 15 minutes but we will build up!  It was fun to just sit there and hear their little thoughts from the day.

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Beretta made sure to join in like she always does… she sticks right by Andrew the second he gets home ha!

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Time for a long long run!  This is what I took last week before my long run to help out my electrolyte levels and I felt so much better during the run (probably because we get stronger with our marathon training over time too;).  

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****An awesome podcast to listen to asap in your car/while you run/while you are cleaning… Do You Know What to Do if Your Life is in Danger When You are on a Run?  with Todd Williams****

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Do you ever listen to music while running with people?

Ever had any scary experiences while out on a run?  What did you do?

Any food, drinks or sauces that are unique to your state?

Iron… what do you do?  Ever suffered from an iron deficiency?  

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110 comments

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I went to Ikea over the weekend, it’s a beautiful wonderland! haha I love the showroom, it always gives me such great ideas!

I’ve had a couple of scary experiences that have taught me not to run too early when I’ll be out all by myself. Now I wait until the sun is about to rise and I know a lot of other runners and people walking their dogs will be out.

Although, I guess even that’s not a safe bet. Yesterday a 60 year old woman in the town next to me was choked, raped and robbed while out for her morning walk at around 6am, which is a time I consider safe. It’s so sad that we have to be worried about these kinds of things! I saw someone comment on the news article that reasons like this are why the commenter doesn’t walk or run outside. That’s just terrible. I’m definitely going to listen to the podcast you linked to during my drive into work today! Thanks!

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Oh seriously the showrooms are amazing and made me want to redo my kitchen now haha! Oh bummer about your early morning scary experiences… I love being out with a bunch of other runners/walkers too. I can’t believe what happened in the town next to you… that is absolutely horrific.

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One earbud in and one out when I have music and friends!

I love pasta with butter and whipped cream cheese. Sounds gross but it’s my comfort food.

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I feel like I would love that combo a whole lot too!

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I run by myself or while my husband bikes with me, but I usually have my IPOD and he listens to a podcast. I have come across a scary raccoon in the middle of the day that wasn’t acting right. I am pretty sure it had rabies and I was so nervous I stopped far away from it and waited until it left the path. Tennessee/the South is known for lots of things: sweet potato pie, cornbread, biscuits, sweet tea (nowhere else in the country quite understands our sweet tea!), moonpies, goo goo clusters, and bbq sauce (which I love, especially on sweet potato fries!). I just tried bbq sauce at a restaurant yesterday that was made with “Mexican coke”……….coca cola imported from Mexico where they use sugar instead of corn syrup………….it was delicious bbq sauce!

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Oh I want Andrew to start riding his bike with me too! Ohhh raccons freak me out! I want to visit Tennessee for all of those different foods (and I need that BBQ sauce).

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Right before Badwater in 2013 I began having major issues running and I had no idea what was causing it. I was constantly tired but could not sleep, I was irritable, I was out of breath just walking up stairs. It is a true wonder and blessing from God that I could make it through that race (b/c it was truly a bucket list race for us). Afterwards, I got my iron tested and, sure enough, I was in an extreme state of depletion. Now, I keep track of my iron intake and make sure to up it if I am feeling sluggish.

We are no music people unless we are in the late stages of an ultra and can get music on our good old fashioned AM/FM radio. Then we can listen to it together and sing along and still talk. This does not happen often, though, b/c most of our ultras are in such remote locations that you cannot pick up a signal.

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I’ve never done an iron supplement other than while pregnant. I generally am okay with spinach, meat, and fortified cereals. Occasionally my iron levels get low and I can tell because random bruises start popping up in places I haven’t bumped. So far when that happens I’ve been able to evaluate my diet, bump up leafy greens and red meat, and bounce back.

I usually don’t listen to music. I went this entire last marathon training cycle using it only for 2 miles on one long training run and then mile 14 onward on marathon day (I had NO ONE around me for miles and miles and although my goal was to make it to 16 or 17 before music, I just couldn’t cope that long out in the lonely nothing).

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Fun fact: Swiss people mix mayo and ketchup too! We call it cocktail sauce (because we like fancy names).

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We mix mayo and ketchup here in Louisiana too, and dip our shrimp in it.

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Oh I love it and I’m going to call it cocktail sauce too… that sounds a lot better!

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Swedes too :)

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Dutchies too! And we acutally call it cocktail sauce as well ;)

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I need to make a trip to Ikea soon, thanks for reminding me! ;p I pretty much never listen to music when I’m running with someone because even if we’re not talking, I feel like listening to music puts up a wall and you lose that feeling of companionship.

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Love the Mario Shirt – where did you get it???

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I wouldn’t be able to run without music! Actually, my iPhone has died mid-run in the past and I’ve actually called it quits because my motivation dropped to a zero!

Iron –> I’m on 3 supplements a day and it’s crazy how little energy I had before this… I think it’s so important to have your iron checked regularly as I’ve struggled with anemia for 4-yrs and it’s really taken a tole on my fitness levels.

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oy vey, me and iron. talk about scary experiences while out on a run. I was just getting to running after coming back from an IT band injury and could barely go for 5 minutes at a 10 minute pace, which was wayyy slower than I was used to. I tried pushing it but my body just wouldn’t have it. I got off of the treadmill and went to go do some arm work and started getting light-headed and seeing spots. I immediately went to urgent care and found out that my hemoglobin levels (what measures iron) were a 6. normal ranges are 13-16. My levels were the equivalent of a 70-80 year old extremely feeble woman. So, that wasn’t great. I don’t know how I didn’t notice it. I just felt like the exhaustion was part of being an adult. Nope. After what seems like a million tests later, I found out that my body just doesn’t absorb iron particularly well and now I take supplements to regulate it. It didn’t take all that long for me to see improvement after I started the pills. Soon enough, I was back to my semi-speedy self and feeling great about it. It’s always something in the back of my mind though and whenever I hear ANYONE comment about why they don’t know why they feel so tired, I always recommend getting their iron checked haha.

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Oh Steph, that is WAY scary. Like really scary. 70-80 year old feeble woman levels… wow. I am so glad that you figured out what the problem was and can fix it. Seriously such a huge problem for women and especially runners too. Thanks for sharing!

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I take iron supplements the week up to and during my period. Not sure if it really helps but I Feel like it does so that’s the important thing, ha.
PS-I love how fast your pages load now! I used to pull it up and walk away for a minute, but today it came right up, woohoo!

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Oh thank you Jessica!! It seriously was driving me crazy how long it used to take!!! Good call taking iron leading up and during your period. So smart!

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WHERE DID YOU GET THE MARIO SHIRT!!!???

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HEY Jessica… isn’t it great? I died when I found it and I’ll share the story why I love it so much tomorrow too;) https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vans.com%2Fshop%2Fnintendo-mario-warp-pocket-t-shirt-black&pid=uid6400-23984920-92

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Super random, but I love the Mario Brothers shirt! Where’s it from?

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Pork roll I’m pretty sure is unique to NJ…and absolutely delicious as a breakfast food!

Going to have to give that Vega sport stuff a try!

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Let me know how it works for you! I need to get to NJ for some breakfast:)

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If I wear headphones I keep one earbud out, whether I’m with a group or not. (except on the treadmill). I need to hear what’s going on around me for safety as well.

Eggcreams started in NYC and I love a good one every now and then. No egg, no cream but delicious.

I have had problems with iron over the years. I eat a ton of greens but I don’t eat a lot of meat, oddly we are having steak tonight. My husband picked one up yesterday to grill this evening. I do supplement and make it a point to eat foods that are high in iron: oysters (love), tofu (eh), raisins, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and molasses are all good choices. Iron absorbs better when paired with vitamin C, especially if it’s a non-meat source.

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Bobotie and oxtail I’m sure are unique to South Africa. My sister lives in Australia and she says the oxtail are sold with the pets meat and in South Africa oxtail is very expensive.

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NO WAY!! Yeah, that is probably pretty unique to SA. So Andrew and I really want to go their someday! If we ever do we will have to go on a run together!

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…and I’ll cook some oxtail! lol

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I love the 20 minutes at dinner idea! We recently decided to go technology free during the school week. My kids are struggling a bit as it’s just the second week, but it’s allowing us much more time to talk and hang out. They aren’t so eager to go watch TV. I think it’s actually going to be harder for the Husband long term ;)

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I LOVE that idea too. Brilliant. We will have to talk about this idea too… thank you for sharing Gena!

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Blog problems are the worst! But I am happy to report I was able to red yours on mobile today without any problems.

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I am totally iron deficient ….. My iron levels test normal but my Ferritin levels are way lower than normal. I take liquid Iron twice a day. I have recently started training for my first half marathon in 4 years ( after a serious knee surgery) and I have been wondering why I have no energy. Thanks for the article on the iron cause I am thinking that maybe I need to up it a bit while I am training.

*Just came across your blog a couple of days ago and I am really loving it :)

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Welcome Karen! Thanks for joining along:) So interesting about your test results but glad the liquid iron is helping so much! Keep me updated with how your training is going and if upping your iron a bit helps even more!

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Fry sauce…dont knock it til you try it! If I am running with someone I usually wear 1 headphone in the ear furthest away from them and have the music turned down quite a bit. That way if there is a lull in the conversation it isn’t completely silent, plus I think the music helps keep my pace up. Loving this cooler, fall Utah weather and I am super excited to get in some trail runs and hikes!!!

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Seriously… isn’t this weather the absolute best right now! Good call on your one headphone in! LOVE IT!

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While they can be found throughout Canada now, they were first found in my city of Ottawa…Beavertails. If you’ve never had one, you need to!…it’s fried dough (in the shape of a beavertail) that is topped with things like whipped cream, banana slices, crumbled oreas, cinnamon sugar and chocolate hazelnut spread.

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Okay, I need a beavertail right this second. That sounds like heaven. Looks like we are coming to Ottawa!!!

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I’ve never had an issue while out running by myself. Now I mostly run with my big dog and feel pretty safe with her. However I’ve always taken extra precautions like listening to my music low enough that I can hear people talking, making sure I have good form (and look energized) as I don’t want to look tired and an easy target, and lastly I make eye contact and either say hi or smile and nod while I’m passing by. I feel like 1. People are more likely to remember me if there was ever a have you seen this missing girl segment 2. It deters an attacker as I will more likely remember what they look like. 3. It just brightens people’s day!

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Amazing tips. Thank you Kathy for sharing those with me… I will be taking on your tips now too! Also, running with a dog is the best and you are so right about smiling to help brighten people’s day. Hope you are having a fabulous day!

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Fry sauce has been a norm all of my life as well living in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. The combo sounds so strange when you say it out loud, but it is delicious!

The scariest running experience I have had was probably about 5 years ago. I was running downtown Portland and was coming back over the Hawthorne bridge at the end of my run heading towards where my car was parked. A group of guys who looked to be about 19-20ish range were up ahead and just kind of staring at me. Turns out they were basically waiting for me… I tried to veer around them (hard to do when there are cars whizzing by on the bridge) but they grabbed my arms and shoulders and tried to pull me into their circle…. THANK GOD at that exact moment a bicyclist came speeding around the corner and actually hit one of the guys on the outside and they both fell onto the bridge (no cars at that moment). I took that opportunity to run as fast as I could back to my car. I know the bicyclist was OK as I heard him yelling at the kid when I was running under the bridge… Looking back now I am guessing those kids were on some sort of drugs the way they were acting. I am not sure what they planned on doing in the middle of the morning with cars going by on each side of the bridge, but I have always been thankful for that bicyclist.

Now that I am older if I were in that situation I would just turned around go back and cross to the other side of the bridge when I could. I was about 23 though and just thought I could go around. Wrong. Lol. I haven’t had any other scary experiences since then and would rather not ever have to.

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Oh Ashley, that is absolutely terrifying! I am so beyond glad that the cyclist came when he did. Wow. That is really scary!

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I had to take an iron supplement for awhile. I’m glad I don’t have to anymore because those pills were huge!

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For some reason, your blog would not come up on my computer yesterday, but today I got caught up with you! Yesterday’s post you mentioned tight hamstrings due to speed work. I get the same thing as soon as I start adding speed work into half-marathon training. Two years ago after over training (what else?), I developed high hamstring tendinopathy. After seeing a sports medicine specialist, I finally got on the right path and he gave me some great exercises to do. For one, don’t stretch the hamstring so much. If it hurts, it is already inflamed and needs to relax. Instead, he recommended alot of strengthening exercises. The best one is the ‘bridge’ but instead of feet on the ground, you put them on a chair. As you lift your hips, you can really feel the hamstrings working. Hope this helps!

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OH I am so glad it is working for you today. Thank you so much for sharing your hamstring tips… that is absolutely what I needed. Doing some bridges on a chair tonight! THANK YOU!!!!

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Another great one is with your feet on an ab ball! Less stable surface requires more stability through the core as well as strengthening the glutes and hamstrings.

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I’m so glad you brought the Iron thing up. After having my last baby I’ve been really sluggish even though I’m now sleeping through the night. I didn’t even think about Iron, but now I’m pretty sure that has something to do with it. Time to eat more red meat!

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Oh Jenny!! Keep me updated with how you are doing and hopefully you get some great energy asap!

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We do fry sauce here in Montana too. My husband introduced me to it when we were dating. Somehow I’d managed to live here for seven years before anyone enlightened me.

The scariest thing that happened to me was having a bear run across the road in front of us. Fortunately I was running with a group and we looked at each other and said “holy crap, was that a bear?” It made me extra sensitive to sounds for the rest of the run. Unfortunately, my favorite trail to run on is known to have mountain lions in the area, so I only run there with a group. I’ll go hiking there if I have a gun, but that’s a bit rough on the run :O).

My dad just recently went to the hospital because he was having symptoms similar to when he got his pace maker. Turns out he was severely anemic and had to go to the hospital for iron infusions once a week! I had no idea severely low iron could make you feel so awful.

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A BEAR… OH MY GOODNESS. I would pass out! So glad you have fry sauce in your life now:)

Oh I am so glad your dad got everything figured out and I hope he is feeling a lot better.

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I have found that listening to music while running with others helps keep the pace set — when we just talk, our pace will ebb and flow with the conversation! Now, I just pick a playlist on my phone and crank the volume way up. As long as we’re running close we can all hear and hear each other talking.

OMG! I was scared white on my long run Saturday! It was 16 miles (a first!!) and I was almost at the halfway mark. I was listening to a podcast quietly and running solo down a country road. All of a sudden I feel a cold, wet nose touch the back of my leg and I FREAKED! Turns out it was just a sweet old collie farm dog coming to say good morning. His owner heard my scream bloody murder and was fussing out the doggie for running to me (and into the street).

I normally hear dogs as they bark and run up to me (and it scares me stiff because I don’t want to be bitten by a random stray — so I get out my pepper spray). This doggie was not barking at all! His tail was wagging and he was just checking me out.

If you were watching from your porch, you would’ve seen a seriously funny display of genuine terror at an adorable pup.

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Oh I would have freaked out too!!! HAHA love that the dog was just coming over to greet you;)

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So, the mayo and ketchup mixing is actually a German thing… we do that too :) and try mixing the mayo it with Curry Ketchup if you can get your hands on it. It’s delicious.

Eating at the table with my family is one of my fondest memories and J and I try to make a point to eat our dinners at the table and talk about our days.

Great you’re pointing out the importance of iron – esp. for us women runners. I pay a lot of attention to my iron levels, because I once ended up in the hospital (transfusion included) because of iron deficiency anemia (http://www.theinbetweenismine.com/2016/07/11/that-time-when-iron-deficiency-landed-me-in-the-hospital/) . That is no laughing matter. You can get iron deficient even if you eat a diet rich in iron, so it’s a good idea to get your levels checked.

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Wow. Thank you so much San for sharing your story. That is really scary. I was tested not that long ago but I want to go in again ASAP to see. Thank you!

CURRY KETCHUP and mayo… that sounds fabulous!

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I have been scared during a run and changed my route. I was running in a different state, AZ, and I was going down a road that only a few houses were on and it was mostly desert and brush (really remote). A man ran out of one of the brushes about a 1/4 mile away from me and I turned around and booked it!!! Rather safe than sorry!
I LOVE that dinner table tip!!!
I have been wanting to get my levels checked when I go into the doctor’s next!

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Ummm yeah… I would have sprinted away too. That is freaky!

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LOVE your Mario shirt! And one of my former students always used to mix mayo and ketchup. I didn’t realize it was a thing!

I had one really scary experience once when I was running. A little more than a year ago, I had a gun pulled on me. I was all alone on a very dark morning, and literally no one was anywhere around. I did the only thing I could think to do: run away as fast as I could. I don’t think the guy actually wanted to shoot me (I think he wanted to rape me), so he didn’t fire the gun as I ran away. It was honestly one of the scariest moments of my life, and I’m so thankful nothing actually happened. I ran on the treadmill for months after that because I would get anxiety attacks about having to go outside. Thankfully I live in a safer area now, but it can still be scary to run alone. Sadly, I have to run earlier than all of my runner friends on weekdays, so I don’t get to do the whole buddy system thing. :/

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Okay, Natalie. Your story gave me the chills as I read it. That is so beyond scary and I am so grateful that nothing happened to you. I would have been on the treadmill too. So happy you are in a safer area. Gosh that is scary.

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I am really anxious to listen to the podcast. Thank you for sharing!

Scary Experience: When I was in college on a normally busy trail, I passed a man walking that just made me feel uncomfortable. I turned around about a mile later and when I passed him again, he had his pants unbuttoned, flashing me. I SPRINTED home as fast as I could. In retrospect, WHY didn’t I call the police?!

Food: Nebraska’s weird food is a “Runza,” which is also the name of a fast food restaurant here. We also serve chili with cinnamon rolls on the side… which is much better than a Runza ;)

Iron: I actually thought I was maybe a touch anemic and went to by doctor to get tested. Turns out, I have mild hypothyroidism. Boo!

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Hmmmm I have never heard of Runza before. I think I would really like cinnamon rolls on the side of any meal:) Oh bummer about the mild hypothyroidism… what are they having you do for that? Okay… your scary experience has me freaked out big time. I would do the same thing and run so so fast away. That is scary stuff and who the heck does that kind of stuff???

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You are so sweet to reply to comments! Thank you :-) I have to take a little prescription pill every morning and so far it has made a huge difference. Modern medicine is a blessing! Have a great evening!

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How is your sisters other new baby? You don’t talk about him much at all.

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HEY!!! He is doing great! I actually haven’t seen my sister very much lately (we moved a little bit away from them now) and whenever I go over he is sleeping so I don’t get much time with him! But he is a big time smiler and sleeping better (which my sister is very thankful for especially ha)! Have a fabulous day Rebekah!

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Awww glad to hear!!! Would love to see more of him too!! He is adorbs. Sad you are further from them but you guys are such a close fam that distance would not make a big dent in your love for each other <3 <3

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Today’s post didn’t show up in my bloglovin’ feed today and I almost panicked! Wonder if it has to do with the server. p.s. I’m sure you know this but your about me section needs an update :)

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AHHHH I keep forgetting to update that! I will today, thank you!! Hmmmm will you please let me know if it shows up on tomorrow’s bloglovin’ feed for you?

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I like the idea of the 20 minute at the table rule, what we do is go around the table and say our best, worst, silliest from the day. It keeps the conversation going and we hear about everybody’s day!

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Okay, we are going to have to copy you. Best, worst, silliest… I cannot wait to hear what the kids have to say!!!

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I like that 20 min rule thing I will have to try that with my kids. It might be a bit hard to not correct though. When I was pregnant with both of my kids and after having gastric sleeve surgery I had a bit of anemia. All three times I took iron pills for a while, but I don’t take them any more.

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Yep… that is the hard part for us but we really want the kids to have a positive experience at the table so we are just going to be biting our tongues haha! Glad the pills helped so much when you had anemia!!!

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I started feeling fatigued after upping my mileage and training intensity & my coach figured out that I needed to take an iron supplement. I really think that most serious distance runners can benefit from one. I eat literally like 6 cups of spinach/kale a day and I was still deficient. (No test, but I’ve felt so much better since I’ve been supplementing.)

Love your blog! Longtime lurker. Finally commenting :)

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HEY DYNISE!! THANK YOU FOR READING and your comment! Okay, I am so glad that you got on the supplement to help. SIX CUPS and still deficient… so glad that you are in a better place. Hope you have a fabulous rest of your day!

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That podcast sounds very useful. I’ve never been in danger while out and about thankfully, but it’s always good to know all the tricks and tips to keep yourself safe.

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I was anemic about 10yrs ago. I couldn’t figure out why I would be so gassed after 5mi and I’d been running these hills for years. After complaining about being tired someone asked if I had a metallic taste in my mouth. YES! I was put on a supplement and wow what a difference that made.

Earlier this year I was nearly attacked by a German Shepard. I screamed so loud I scared it away, thankfully! Sadly now I’m skittish anytime I see a dog.

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NO WAY… oh I bet you were so confused about what was happening to you and your running… glad the supplement helped a lot. Okay, that freaks me out about the dog. I’d be hiding every time I saw one on a run!

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I had to take iron supplement pills when I was pregnant. Nothing tasted good to me in the beginning of my pregnancy and I was lacking iron in my diet. Taking the supplement helped with my energy level and I was able to go on walks and do light workouts during the rest of my pregnancy.

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Polly, I am so happy that you figured out what was wrong and the supplements helped you so much. Pregnancy is hard enough on the body let alone having an iron problem too!

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I have always been anemic, but in the last year started taking an iron supplement occasionally so that I am able to donate blood (the Red Cross requires a normal to high iron level, that I cannot seem to get to on my own) and generally feel better on a daily basis. Per the recommendation of my doctor, I have been using Blood Builders (http://amzn.to/2co4Fdt) , which mitigates a lot of the icky side effects of normal iron pills (read: tummy chaos), and is so natural and gentle that it is frequently used for elderly patients in nursing homes (a fact that makes me much more comfortable adding it to my regimen).

Congratulations on your recent wedding – have been reading for years, and your posts are always a bright part in my day (aka as soon as they are up in the morning)! Best to you and yours!

xo, Erica

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Oh thank you so much Erica, that means a lot! Okay, so the reason I don’t take iron supplements is because I feel awful afterwards. I’m getting these asap. Thank you for sharing!!!

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Mixing mayo and ketchup is so common in my country. We call it “pink sauce” and we normally put it in our grilled cheese sandwiches. Or we mix it with tuna and we make that a sandwich. So good.

Last year I was running when I started to suspect of a neighbor following me. I quickly noticed and went to a safe place while my roommate came to pick me up. I Stopped running for a couple of months after that.

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PINK SAUCE… I love it! Okay, and that sounds amazing with a grilled cheese. Andrew and I will try that for sure! Okay, that is really freaky and I hope you don’t live by that neighbor anymore!

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No, I don´t! he actually moved. By the way I hope you guys like the grilled cheese sandwich with the Pink Sauce:)

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I always listened to music but for the past 2 runs, since they were very short runs, I ran without any music. I still have my phone on me in case of emergency but it was a nice soothing break. I just focused a lot on my breathing and the sound surrounding me. Very different feeling!
I think in HI, everyone likes furikake- I noticed that a lot of foods have furikake sprinkled on them. I always grew up putting furikake only on rice so it was new to me!

I like mixing ketchup with hot sauce! Becomes tolerable spicy sauce.
Or mixing mayo with tonkatsu sauce. That’s always tasty too!

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It really is crazy how different the run can be when you can hear your footsteps and your breathing and everything around you! Okay, so I’ve never heard of ketchup with hot sauce but I love both things so I am going to try this asap!

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The fire station across from my work started doing blood drives a few years ago and it was so convenient that I was donating every 8 weeks or 16 weeks. Eventually they notified me that my iron levels were too low to donate and to see my doctor ASAP. Turns out I had extremely low ferritin levels, which can be common for runners in general and especially if you donate blood regularly. I hadn’t noticed how sluggish I was until I started taking iron pills and my energy levels soared.

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WOW!!! Thank you so much for sharing Michelle and I am so happy that they told you that your levels were low so that you could get it fixed!!!

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I have some serious iron issues because of a bleeding disorder. While I have gotten transfusions and such before, I have learned to manage my levels with iron with food. One of the most helpful things that was told to me is that in order for iron to be best absorbed, it needs to be eaten with vitamin C. I always take a small swig of orange juice anytime I have an iron heavy meal. This has seemed to work like magic for me! Good luck!

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Ashley!!! I did not know that… I will totally be copying you and taking some OJ with any iron. Thank you for sharing and I’m glad that you have learned how to deal with it so that you can feel good!

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I just wanted to say your blog makes me so happy when I read it in the morning. It’s so nice to see you and your beautiful family!!!

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Sana… thank you SO much!! That means a whole lot to me. I hope you are having a really great week!

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Where did you get your Mario shirt? And does it come in men’s sizes, too? (Or maybe it’s a unisex shirt?) My husband is in love with Mario and I would love to get him one!

I love hearing about the family dinner time! If I ever have kids, that is something I want to put into place, too!

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Hey Hannah!!! Here is the link to the one I have. Seriously I am obsessed with this shirt:

https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vans.com%2Fshop%2Fnintendo-mario-warp-pocket-t-shirt-black&pid=uid6400-23984920-92

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Iron supplements–what a great idea! I’ll definitely look into those! I’m sure they’d help. I’m with you on the whole running safety thing. I’m fairly new to running distances and blogging and I recently wrote my own post on that. It’s so scary to run alone… I run on the indoor track a lot, now. I wish I could get those hills in, but I have to save those for group runs because I’d much rather be safe. I’ve recently caught up on your blog and I truly love reading everything! You’re always so positive and you’re truly an inspiration! Excellent job! :)

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Thank you so much for pointing out the importance of low iron levels…especially for women runners. As a runner and a vegan, it’s super important for me to monitor my levels consistently. I have had slight anemia in the past…which I could easily fix through my diet. But while training for Boston marathon in 2014 I became extremely low…my level was 6.3 at one point (normal is 12-16). My symptoms were so bizzare (to me) and not the ‘usual’ because I was so low. I have since started supplements and have been feeling super since then.

I love the family dinner idea!!! We had to sit at the table as a family and I have such fond memories of this. But I was laughing so hard at the 15 minute thing because I remember when my brother, twin and I would get bored we would ‘act up’ and annoy my parents so much that they would excuse us!! Hahaha

I never listen to music for outdoor runs because I want to be aware of everything. Too many distracted drivers!!! I’ve had two run-ins with dogs….one knocked me over and I had to go to urgent care….and the other one was quite wild…but luckily a man was nearby and threw a stick so the dog would chase it and made sure I was all clear.

I don’t eat it,…but pork roll (Taylor ham) is definitely a Jersey thing!!! my husbands favorite….Taylor ham, egg and cheese on an everything bagel. Very jersey.

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HI~ I love reading your blog…do you mind sharing what you take on your long runs for nutrition and how often? Thank you…alli

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YES YES YES!! I will do a post on this next week!!!

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Mayo and ketchup is a blast from the past!!!!! We made this mixture on pizza day in high school!!! It was all the rage. We must have gone through hundreds of gallons of the stuff. And I grew up in Florida. Good luck on the long run….you CAN!!!

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In Italy we put fry sauce (or ‘salsa rosa’, as we call it since it is pink-ish) on fries ALL the times!!!! I talked my very American husband into trying and he loves it, of course

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Both my husband and I work full time, but we always eat together as a family. I don’t know how long we sit there but our rule is that you have to stay until everyone is done. It’s probably about 20 minutes as well :) We like to talk about our day and even my just turned 2-year old will talk about his day at daycare – “I play Maggie! I play Hazel! I play Miss Michelle!” It’s so cute :)

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The only time I listen to music is when I’m on the treadmill. All the people I run with like to talk…so no music during friend runs.

Some of these stories are seriously scary! The scariest thing that happened to me was a GIANT raccoon ran in front of me while I was running in my neighborhood. I’m pretty sure I screamed. If I have to run when it’s dark, I’m either with a group of friends or my H follows me around on his bicycle.

I was anemic several years ago. I couldn’t even run to the end of my street. I think my ferritin was something like 4. Anything below 20 is not good for endurance athletes. I was cold a lot and craved ice all the time.

My doc called me the day after a horrible race and told me to go get some iron supplements right away. I told him about how bad I felt during the race and he asked me “Did you finish?” LOL! Of course I did…because runners are so stubborn.
I felt better within a week of starting supplements. I like to take the liquid at night before bed. I feel like that works best for me. And yes…I eat red meat at least twice a week now. I’ve got my ferritin back up to over 50. I still get it checked twice a year. I think all runners should do this…especially women

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I keep my earbuds in even if I am not listening to music when I run in a group it depends if it is an easy pace or a workout. If I need to go fast, I need some tunes!

My Crohn’s disease comes with anemia as a side effect. At my worst my hemoglobin was like a 3 and my ferritin was at a 0. I now get iron infusions at regular intervals and monitor it since I can’t handle any sort of supplement (side effects from iron supplements kind of kill someone with a messed up GI system already!).

Once my levels regulated it was amazing. I had trained depleted for years and finally had REAL energy vs stubbornness which got me through a few years of being sick (and not knowing).

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My dad will never ever run without music, so if I’m running with him I’ll listen too. For me, it depends on what the other person is doing. But I very rarely run with someone else anyways, I like it to be my alone time :)

I think I get iron deficient a lot but I haven’t started thinking about my iron intake until very recently. I’ve been super exhausted a lot and need to start thinking of ways to up is consistently.

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I run with music 99% of the time. Even if I’m with friends. I always run with only one earbud in (for safety, so that I can always hear what is happening in my environment) but if I’m with friends I’ll keep my volume low so that I can also hear them talk and if we’re really in a conversation where I find the music distracting I just pause it (I have the pause/skip button on my headphone cord).

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I think I’m iron deficient right now! I donated blood last week (with barely high enough levels) and no wonder the slow treadmill speed is killing me! I’m going to look for a supplement and read your article you posted. Thanks to all the other gals who commented too…if I get a half PR on Oct 2, y’all get credit!!!! :-D

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I love fry sauce! Fun fact for you: Fry sauce was invented in Twin Falls, Idaho by the guy who use to own all of the Arctic Cirlces. I’m from Idaho and now live in Arizona and seriously miss Fry sauce!

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so funny you addressed the music w/ friends thing…bc on my past few runs, i think, why are they listening to music running together instead of chatting? (fairly certain no one was doing speed work ;) ) totally makes sense bc i NEED the tunes to get me going, too, but if 2+ people are just out for a run, enjoy each other IMO.
we never had fry sauce…i’d just use straight up mayo to dip those babies in!

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I have always had low iron levels and I usually supplement daily, but I try to get it in through food too. I can definitely tell when I am running low on iron…such a difference in my energy.

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Iron is so important! One thing that sucks about supplements is that it takes a few weeks for your digestive system to get used to it. I can 100% tell when I’m not getting enough though. Energy levels are down and my body just feels achy all over. Crazy that one vitamin can make that much of a difference.

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