I Love Extremes & a Solution.

Back to back long runs—>  I get to do the first long run of the week with Andrew on the trails which makes it easy to get myself out there because I am excited.  The hard part of this training for me is going out for another longer than normal run the next day when I am tired from the previous day.

Solution = Run crazy early for the second run.  I don’t think I woke up until mile 8 which meant I didn’t think about being tired from the previous day.

9 miles @ 8:22 average with a group of friends.  Next week our back to back long runs are a 14 miler followed by a 10-12 miler.  We’ve got this.

Another solution for me to get in these second long runs is what Deena Kastor calls Strategic Joy in her book.  PS if you haven’t read this book yet, you need to… it helped me so much to finally get that sub 3.

I want to be an ultra runner and I am creating that runner with each back to back long run/each hill I need to hike up in training/each cold day I want to quit but don’t… my present moment needs to look like my dream if I want to get to that dream.  ‘I could be the creator of that moment.’  I can create joy in the second long run or the really hard parts of training for this ultra.

What do you want to be?  Are you living that way moment to moment?  <— I’ve been asking myself this question for so many different parts of life lately.

In this chapter she talked about a few things she did to help during the tough spots of training and how she created good things in the moments of her training:

*She approached them playfully (things like she would say ‘CHARGE’ to herself when going up a big hill).

*She got rid of the excuses (something I tried with my last marathon training cycle and it helped SO much)… excuses are pointless and they take us the opposite way of where we want to go.

*Visualizations (i.e. ‘I took deep, energizing breaths. I imagined the oxygen relieving the fatigue and gave the finishing stretch more effort’).

*She focused on random things like matching the rhythm of her ponytail bouncing to her cadence.

*She put herself in a mindset of enjoyment (like her breakfast routine of a scone and the newspaper before her long run or truly enjoying the conversations with her teammates during the run).

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I did some weights after my run in my bathroom because it was the only place that I was positive I wouldn’t wake up anybody.  I’m still following Megan’s strength for runners program about one time a week but I need to get back up to 2-3 times a week because I think that is going to help me a lot on race day.

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I love extremes.  Run, weights, breakfast/water guzzling, shower, wash hair, emails, kids up and to school on time… and then many days I live on the other extreme: wake up 15 minutes before school starts, run at lunch time, take a shower before dinner, avoid washing hair even when I really need to…

Why live in the middle of the spectrum when I clearly enjoy living on the far ends more.

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Andrew went out for his run a bit later and at 5 miles it started snowing really hard so he came home for an extra layer and a buff.

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Skye has been practicing standing on her own a lot lately.  She gets the biggest grin afterwards because she is so proud of herself.

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A few other new fun facts about Skye, she now growls at me (frequently) and string cheese is happiness for her (I’ll work on teaching her the proper way to eat string cheese).

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This has been one of my favorite snacks lately.  It gets me to eat vegetables during the day which is not something I usually snack on.

Carrots as the vehicle to get delicious guacamole into my mouth.

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Skye had her 1 year appointment with the dr and Knox didn’t want to be in the room with her during her shots so I took one for the team and joined him in the waiting room… Andrew stayed with her and I’m happy I got to avoid seeing that situation.

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Dinner, homework, bedtime and the normal routine before going to a Favorite Things party.

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Have you ever been to these before?  Everyone brings 3 gifts (each of the gifts that you bring is the same) of their favorites things to give away and you have a drawing to see who gets your 3 gifts and what 3 gifts you take home with you.

A few of us stayed super late… I left at ELEVEN PM (I don’t remember the last time I did that;):

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We also each brought some of our favorite treats.  I ran out of time to make anything so I picked up some Crumbl cookies.

Chocolate Chip, Muddy Buddy, Reese’s Peanut Butter Chip, Peppermint Bark and Red Velvet Delight:

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It was a very delicious night.

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Have any work parties/Friend parties/Ugly sweater parties/family parties coming up?  If you are working right now, what does your work do for the holidays?

What’s something you do to create joy in your running (on the hard days and/or the easy days)?

Anything that you do to get in more vegetables during your day?

-Dip them in guacamole and they are delicious.  

What would you bring to a favorites party (you can spend around $10)?

-I took Victoria Secret Lip Gloss, Trader Joe’s face masks (they feel so so good) and the chocolate covered Joe Joe’s from TJ’s (I wish I could have taken three pairs of new running shoes;).  I received Kodiak Cakes (dark chocolate), a cool dish cleaner, Chic-Fil-A gift card and a cookie shop gift card.  I’ll have my friend send me the list of everything that was at the party!

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So what did you take to the party as for favorite thing and what did you get to take home?! Do tell!


I totally forgot to add that last night, sorry! I took Victoria secret lip gloss with the Trader Joe’s face masks (they feel so good) and the Trader Joe’s chocolate covered Joe Joe’s! I took home a gift card to a cookie shop and chic-fil-a along with Kodiak cakes and a dish cleaner! Have a fabulous day Ashley!


extreme person here too – and on both sides. Ha! Used to have a saying with friends that unless you we’re living on the edge – you’re taking up too much space. Not sure about that now – but it was pretty funny then.

You’re doing great with your ultra training! And Skye – too cute! Love those baby stages – does she look exactly like Knox to anyone but me?


They look so much alike to me too! But I also see Brooke and Andrew in her too! I don’t see me at all haha:) I love your living on the edge quote.. so good! Have a beautiful day!


I love how you and your group of solid friends stick together and make sure that y’all get time all together! So fun!! I’m pretty sure that I would bring a froyo or Target gift card to a favorites party. Seems like the most logical thing to me. :)

Our company holiday party is tomorrow night. We don’t really do anything special around the office other than that. But the party tonight is at some swanky place and supposed to be a lot of fun! Have a great day, Janae!


Bringing froyo would have been PERFECT. I hope that the party is a blast, enjoy Natalie!


Favorite thing: Victoria’s Secret Lip Gloss.

Joy of running: run with someone who just loves running……..be it an 8 year old girl, an 85 year old grandpa……..someone who loves the feel of their body in motion…..run with them and feel the JOY oozing from their stride.


THAT’S WHAT I TOOK… it is just the best. Yes, yes, yes! It is absolutely contagious. The best. Have a wonderful day Erica!


Do a post where you tell us about some of the gifts you gave/received/were given/received at your gift exchange!!!!! I love getting ideas that way! My friend and I started doing this for birthday gifts–give 2-3 products you LOVE. Her bday is 12/20, and I’m giving her a pair of leather earrings from my favorite local earring maker : https://www.shopsofly.org/earrings I’m addicted to her earrings, and I’m giving her a tube of Monsieur Big mascara by Lancome!

I hear ya on the veggies. I can eat fruit out the wazoo and have it at pretty much every meal or snack, but veggies are so much tougher for me. I don’t hate them, but fruit is just more fun :)

I have a 9 miler after school. For me, that’s long for a mid-week after-school run. It gets dark at 4:30 pm here! I might need my headlamp to finish up! Yikes!

Oh, and my speedwork went SO WELL the other day; thank YOU for the encouraging words. I’m feeling so good and enjoying running so much right now. It’s so cool to see fitness from my marathon training carry over into this training cycle :)

Have the best day, Janae!!!!!!!!


I will have Megan send me the list of everything that was given (there were like 20 girls there so there were so many awesome things). Those earrings are all gorgeous! Enjoy your 9 miles today and WAY TO GO on your speed, you are so right about how it is carrying over!


What did you bring to the Favorite Things party as gifts? I’ve never heard of that–but it sounds like so mch fun. I need to keep that in the back of my head for sometime in the future, especially sometime when Tom and I aren’t mentally stuck in a transient state and we’re in that process of rooting ourselves in one place and we want to start creating traditions with friends. It would be WAYYYYYYY too easy for me to bring–within that $10-ish price range–a book, or a container of almond butter (IT’S TOTALLY A THING TO MAKE GOOD ALMOND BUTTER A GIFT…TRY FIGHTING ME ON THAT ONE!!!), but I might get really practical and get something like a smartphone holder for the car (which has saved my butt more times than I can say for times when my GPS needs to be turned on, and this model is on sale right now for $10: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HKMSMFL/ref=sxbs_sxwds-deals_2?pf_rd_p=c32a1f21-f427-444c-bab6-1b04bcb652a2&pd_rd_wg=AwgST&pf_rd_r=BTSX8KVF300Z5R7S3EYM&pd_rd_i=B07HKMSMFL&pd_rd_w=vmnjB&pd_rd_r=8f97ceff-ee49-4c7d-93f6-b14bf5a1c709&ie=UTF8&qid=1544708119&sr=2), or I might get this super cute little pouch for gathering all of the random “stuff”that can easily get lost in the bottom of your purse/work bag/baby bag/carry all/etc (https://www.strandbooks.com/tote-bags-pouches/pouch-well-read-woman), or I might share one of my most favorite CDs in the entire universe (this one: https://www.amazon.com/Southeastern-Explicit-Jason-Isbell/dp/B00D4FCTTI/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1544708370&sr=8-4&keywords=jason+isbell, or this one: https://www.amazon.com/Boxer-National/dp/B000O5AYCA/ref=sr_1_1_twi_aud_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1544708408&sr=1-1&keywords=the+national, or this one: https://www.amazon.com/Living-Ghosts-Patty-Griffin/dp/B000002G4U/ref=sr_1_9_twi_aud_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1544708429&sr=1-9&keywords=patty+griffin, or this one: https://www.amazon.com/Come-Around-Sundown-Kings-Leon/dp/B01EUKLOSM/ref=tmm_acd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= partnered with https://www.amazon.com/Only-Night-Kings-Leon/dp/B001C3KCSY/ref=pd_sim_15_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B001C3KCSY&pd_rd_r=1506ba55-fedd-11e8-ad41-8f23dcbec3f4&pd_rd_w=4idmn&pd_rd_wg=zC4X9&pf_rd_p=18bb0b78-4200-49b9-ac91-f141d61a1780&pf_rd_r=AMN5A5D4PWPGRM8CXNPE&psc=1&refRID=AMN5A5D4PWPGRM8CXNPE because I can’t choose between the two and they’re both inexpensive enough to give the pair).

Or–well–I might get a pair of socks. I have a few athletic sock obsessions (Bombas quarter socks for spin class, Balega Hidden Comforts and Balega Silver socks as well as Dry Max thin with cushion for running…), but I really, really, REALLY love the whimsy of the Blue Q socks for under jeans (even WITH the scatalogical language this pair is hilarious and oddly quite empowering: https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Womens-Novelty-Socks-Carpe/dp/B01N12S1FZ/ref=sr_1_36?ie=UTF8&qid=1544708718&sr=8-36&keywords=blue+q+socks+for+women).

I taught a 60 minute version of an RPM class this morning to sub for another spin instructor, and I went harder than I think I ever have on a spin bike (and my coaching was in beyond-top-form). Right now I am starving. And thanks to that picture on your post I WANT COOKIES. I WANT ALL THE COOKIES…EVERY DANG TYPE OF COOKIE. Right now. Kthanxbai. :)


I took Victoria Secret Lip Gloss, Trader Joe’s face masks (they feel so so good) and the chocolate covered Joe Joe’s from TJ’s!! You just shared so many fun ideas, thank you! Oh I love Balega so so much! GO GET COOKIES!


Knox is such a sweet big bro! Hopefully Skye felt okay after her shots! We’re havibg my school Christmas party on Saturday at our secretary’s house. We do a white elephant exchange and bring lots of yummy foods! Next week we have secret Santa all week, which is fun!
I would take Flair pens as my favorite thing. That looks so fun, what did everyone bring to yours?
Have a great day!


Your party Saturday sounds like a blast and enjoy the secret santa! I need to look up flair pens now! I took Victoria Secret Lip Gloss, Trader Joe’s face masks and the chocolate covered Joe Joe’s from TJ’s ! Have a wonderful day Jenny!


AHHHH those peppermint bark cookies look amazing. I might have to try to make some on my own!


Yes do it and if you find a good recipe for them let me know…it was so so good. Have an awesome day Victoria!


I hear you on the hair washing.. I just don’t see the point!
Have you ever tried a hair mask?

Gosh I’m loving winter running so much!! It’s been dry in Colorado but the mornings are cold. Perfect for speeding up a bit!


YES, I have tried the hair mask from TJ’s. Do you have one you really love? Enjoy those cold mornings and getting in some speed:) Thanks Emma!


As much as I dislike winter/cold/dark, I LOVE to run when it’s snowing :)
Go get ’em, Skye!! What a tenderheart Knox is.
Potluck party at the gym (CrossFit) on Saturday. There will probably be a karaoke machine, and I’ll be hiding behind something. Work lunch at a restaurant today & I can’t decide between a delicious cobb salad or a burger. What to do?
I find times/routes that I can really push hard on tough running days, then back off a bit and savor how much I worked.
I would probably bring some type of Burts Bees product to a favorites party. Or cake pops from Starbucks!


I say go for the burger… it’s easier to make a good salad at home than a really good burger ha… and I just realized you probably already ate haha. I hope you get in a run soon when it is snowing! Burts Bees wins… the best. I need to try those cake pops. Have a great day Corey!


Love all those tips about running mindset, and I also like what you wrote here: “What do you want to be? Are you living that way moment to moment?” I went to a workshop on mindfulness for teachers yesterday and we talked about setting intentions in the morning for how we want to be in our day. I try to do that for running as well (like a mantra). I also like to remind myself that we are meant to move and it should bring us so much joy–like how Skye is excited to be learning to walk! I want to keep that enthusiasm as an adult.


I love that idea of setting intentions in the morning of how we want our day to be! I’m right there with you… I never want to loose the awe I feel about what we get to go out and do each day. We are so lucky! Have a wonderful day:)


Ok, I’m very intrigued by this Favorite Things party! Can you explain how it works? Did you bring 9 items total, 3 of each of your favorite things? How do you decide who you pick from? Do tell!!!


Hey Sam! Sorry, I didn’t explain it very well. Yes, I brought 9 items total… 3 little gifts in each gift (wrapped all together). You write your name on three slips of paper and put it in the bowl and then you choose out three names from the bowl and you get gifts from the three names that you picked out. I hope that makes sense… let me know if you have any other questions.


Love it! I am totally going to host one of these parties. :)


I use the carrot “chips” as my vehicle for hummus. It’s a good way to get extra goodness in there!

When I was visiting old friends in the midwest last week we had a gingerbread house decorating party. It was so much fun!


Gingerbread house decorating party= sounds amazing. I want to do that next year with friends. I hope you are having a beautiful day today Samantha!


That is such a cool idea! I would take soft lips chapstick (the only kind I use), one of those pineapple slicer things that cores and cuts the pineapple, and hand warmers!
I eat more veggies too when I have guac to dip them in!
A lot of the parties have already happened, but tonight I am going to a running scavenger hunt sponsored by a local mom and pop running store where prizes are up for grabs and hot coffee and treats are promised at the end, should be fun! And tomorrow we are going to Rock City…. a local landmark (the original owner invented mini golf!) and every Christmas they have the “garden of lights”……..everything is decked out in lights and you can see them all over! It’s an outdoor park on the top of Lookout Mountain!


Okay, I need that chapstick and that pineapple cutter. That scavenger hunt sounds amazing, enjoy! Tomorrow sounds like a blast too. Have the best time Loribeth!


Have any work parties/Friend parties/Ugly sweater parties/family parties coming up? If you are working right now, what does your work do for the holidays?
– I don’t have too many parties lined up – a potluck at Crossfit and some family get togethers on Christmas Eve. My work has 10 different offices, so each one kind of does their own little thing. Nothing fancy.

What’s something you do to create joy in your running (on the hard days and/or the easy days)?
– I try to appreciate the scenery around me and find beauty wherever I can. Also, I focus on my body and form and think thankful thoughts/be grateful that I am out there.

Anything that you do to get in more vegetables during your day?

– I LOVE veggies so it isn’t hard…mix them into rice/pasta/etc. for lunch, bring slices veggies and hummus for a snack…

What would you bring to a favorites party (you can spend around $10)?
– Hmm…definitely chapstick! I can’t get enough of that. Gift cards, mini-spa or pedicure kits, maybe some homemade treats?


Love all of your favorite things gift ideas! Enjoy the potluck and time with your family on Christmas eve. I am the same way when running… I love to soak in that scenery. Thanks Laura and I hope you have a wonderful day!


I love the idea of favorites party! I might need to suggest that for our family Christmas next year. Not everyone in my family loves the white elephant gift exchange we do now. I would probably take: Krispy Kreme donuts (or a gift card to there), coffee beans, and my favorite bottle of wine.

My work does holiday lunches. We had one yesterday for our division at my favorite local Italian restaurant (they have the best Focaccia bread). Then my department will have another lunch on Friday at Olive Garden. I feel like I am carb loading this week with all this pasta.


YES… try it out. It’s so fun. And now I need a Krispy Kreme donut. Enjoy lunch tomorrow… pasta is the best! Have a beautiful day Corrinne!


So, I found and sweater shaped cookie cutter a few weeks ago so we’re having some friends over this weekend to decorate “ugly sweater cookies”! Of course you can also wear an ugly sweater to the party! During my last half marathon I kept telling myself “what’s the worst that can happen?” while trying to keep my speed up. It really helped! I’ve hosted a “Favourites” party in the past and my contribution was Baby Lips chapstick, love that stuff! I try to pack a mini V8 in with my lunch for some extra veggies ?. Have a great day!


I need that cookie cutter! HOW FUN is that party you are doing… enjoy! I need to try that Baby Lips chapstick, sounds amazing. Enjoy your mini V8 today and have a beautiful day.


We have a work party this afternoon actually at a local Mexican restaurant, so I’ll stop by that for a bit. Tomorrow night is a restaurant crawl downtown with our ugly Christmas sweaters :)

I have to say how much I love this question about creating joy while running! Especially on these days when it’s cold and sometimes dark when I’m leaving to run. This morning, it was my birthday and I was excited to share it with my running buddies and to start my 37th year off with a bang!

I love most veggies. Sometimes Costco carries a cilantro jalapeno hummus and it’s amazing, their guac cups are the best too!

I have brought my fav polish to a favorite things party, TJ’s cookie butter, and right now I’m in love with TJ’s gluten free peppermint Jojos!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARISSA!!! Your 37th year is going to be incredible and I am so glad you started it with your running friends. I NEED COOKIE BUTTER… I forgot about that stuff. I hope you have a beautiful day and enjoy the Mexican restaurant tonight and the restaurant crawl tomorrow… sounds like a blast.


I like to throw a bunch of spinach in my morning smoothie. And at my office we’ll often cut up a bunch of raw veggies and set out a variety of dips for lunch – hummus, sour cream & onion, green goddess and thinking we need to add guacamole because that looks perfect! And I just love those early years when kids get so excited and proud of themselves with each new accomplishment (standing, taking steps, learning new words). I feel like as adults we need to tap into that awe and wonder too!


I totally agree with you… why aren’t we as proud/smiling/clapping when we do great things. We need to learn from these little ones! I love that your office does that! Let me know what you think about the guacamole addition. Have a beautiful day Michelle!


I went to a favorite things party last year! It was so much fun! I brought a bath bomb and some of my fav lip stuff :)

I’m tempted to get Megan’s workout you mentioned, I’ve been using the same program and switching it up might help my motivation! What other equipment does it take (besides some dumbbells)? Thanks Janae :)


Hey Danielle! I LOVE it… it really is so great/hard/amazing. All I use for the workouts are my weights, a yoga mat and the window seat in my living area as a bench/step-up tool! That’s it. I hope you have an amazing day and let me know if you try it.


I’ve only done one favorite things party and I loved the idea! I brought some of my favorite pens.

I struggle with veggies. I need all the tips on eating veggies because they are just not appealing to me.


Love your solution to getting a second longer run in – that is totally something I would do. That and getting things done when everyone is sleeping (freetime!) & avoiding washing hair even when it needs it… – do what works!! I don’t listen to music when I run, but I always listen to something on the treadmill. Usually podcasts.
I have never heard of a favorite things party, but it sounds fun! My company has a holiday party tonight that I can’t go to (not all that disappointing for me), but I do get to go to a neighborhood cookie exchange Friday with my new neighbors! I have cornflake cookie wreaths because they are quick and yummy. I will have to pickup some carrots and guacamole to balance out all the cookies I will eat!


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