I love dogs.. I love running.. I love running dogs!

Hey friends!

This weekend, I had a pretty good race. More on that later this week, because I don’t have my official results yet, and don’t have race photos yet!

Buuuut.. This weekend I will be running ANOTHER race. A half marathon. Excitement!! More on this later again. I’m such a tease.

This post is REALLY important to me, though.

Since my dog died last December, I’ve felt.. Incomplete. I need a dog in my life. I have since I was born, for 19 whole years of my life. Dogs were a part of me since before I ran.

Since I started running, I knew that one day, I wanted a running dog. A companion that would always be there for me – to protect me, to keep me company, to be a friend, to encourage me. I also knew that I wanted a rescued dog, because so many dogs don’t have homes.

I’m not going to get a dog right now, because I’m in college. But, I’ve recently been presented a great opportunity.. To run rescue dogs who need exercise.

There are A LOT of rescue dogs in the world. One of my mom’s friends owns a dog rescue, and my mom was donating food to her from her pet store. They got to talking, and my mom mentioned that I really wanted a dog to run with, and that maybe we could adopt one of her’s down the road. My mom’s friend said she had so many dogs that should go to runners. And then an idea was formed in my mom’s head. Since we can’t adopt a dog right now, why don’t I just run the dogs when I’m home to help out?

Well, since I’m home from spring break, I did it on Saturday. And I had so. Much. Fun. My mom and I took two dogs that are especially high energy – Danish and Chris.

Danish on the left, Chris on the right!

Danish is probably an energizer bunny in disguise. I was prepared to take her out until she mellowed out – but she didn’t slow down. Ever. And when we stopped, after six miles, she sat down for a second.. And then proceeded to start to play like a puppy.

She was also really good at running! Even though she pulls when walking, when we were running she just cruised along next to me, like she knew what she was doing. Seriously, a diamond in the rough.

After running them, I got an idea – why not post their pictures in the running store? Runners want companion dogs who can run. So, that’s what I’m going to do.

Who would want this face to be without a home?

Obviously, I’m never going to be able to be a dog rescue, but I hope that by running dogs for rescues, I could essentially train them to be running dogs, and increase their adoptability. When dogs are easier to adopt out, then more can be saved.

SO, that’s what I’m planning on doing whenever I’m home.  I’m thinking of talking to my high school’s track team.. Maybe it’ll evolve into something more? Maybe it won’t. I just want to help dogs get homes, so I know I’ll be doing it whenever possible.

Fellow runners, if you like dogs, maybe talk to your local rescues (usually privately owned ones are easier to work with) and see if you can get something set up? It’s fun and a great way to spice up your running!

What causes are you passionate about? Are you a dog or a cat person? How was your weekend?

Have a great Monday guys!



Happy Friday! Race Preview

Hey friends!

HAPPY FRIDAY! I seriously thought this day would never come. In the past two weeks, I’ve had 3 take home midterm exams, which included two 5 page essays and one exam that took me four hours to complete. It took someone else 5 and a half! It was one of the hardest exams of my life. Except for organic chemistry.

This was me at every moment this week.

ANYWAYS, I’m skipping class today and taking the train home. I don’t think I could’ve made it until tomorrow.. Plus, I want to get super rested for RACE DAY on Sunday! Trains always mess up my schedule, so my mom made the executive decision for me to come home early. I’m happy with it. 🙂

I got almost NO sleep last night. My friend really wanted me to go out with her, so we went to hang out with some soccer bros. Totally not my scene, but it ended up being fun! To be honest, I hadn’t intended on staying out at all. I even put in my laundry before I went out, which means I had about an hour and a half until I had to get back to switch it without someone touching it.

..I ended up coming home three hours later, and stayed up until 1:30 AM doing laundry and packing. Then, I woke up at 5:30 to do the last finishing touches! My friend who was driving me ended up sleeping in, so getting to the train was interesting. When I got there, they were holding the train for me and about to leave. I am SO lucky I got on it!

Since my brain is mush from doing work all week, I’m not even attempting to finish the other two parts of my take home exam, which are due after break. Instead, I’m reading up ultra training and blogging it up. Much more fun than looking at a geologic fold/thrust belt in Pennsylvania!

So, since I’ve been thinking about my race so much, I thought I’d give you guys a little preview! Get excited!

Race Preview: Backyard Burn Series Wakefield Park

10 mile trail race, 9AM start (but it’s kinda like 8AM because of daylight’s savings time..)

Flat course (elevation profile like the one below, but slightly different course will be used)

Image from thehaysay.com!

Expected weather: 40-50 degrees, sunny

On my body: Maybe a long sleeve shirt, plus compression shorts

On my feet: Saucony Kilkenny XC4 Flats

The good: I’m so happy that this course is almost flat! I have been training on hills, but I looove the flatlands.

This is what I usually train on.. So I should be okay. 🙂

The bad: My knee has been acting up. This is mainly on hills though. Also, I haven’t really run on trails that much.. I ran on them over the summer, and this past week I got to do 8 miles on the side of the road, which is like a hard packed dirt trail.

How I’m feeling: Awesome! I think that I can actually RACE this race. There is a prize for top 5 in each age group. My age group is probably small, based on results from the first race in this series. I think I might be able to compete though! I’m going to push myself hard and not beat myself up if things don’t go ideally. I’ve only been running for a little while, and a lot of my competition are experienced trail runners.

I'm still a n00b at this! Maybe I can fool people into thinking I'm legit by wearing my run MSP shirt?

Today, I’m having a complete rest day because I’m stuck on a train all day. Tomorrow, I’ll be going on a short trail run at home to shake out the kinks. I’ll also be carbo-loading for the first time ever! Idk if it’ll help physically, but it definitely won’t hurt!

I see lots of oatmeal in my immediate future..

So, that’s about it! I hope you all have AWESOME Fridays and weekends!

Are you TGIF-ing? What are you looking forward to this weekend? Any fun plans?


Monday Runday Four

Hey friends!

I hope you guys enjoyed yesterday’s post on minimalism. I just want to clarify real quickly though, I don’t think that minimalism necessarily works for EVERYONE, and I don’t think that there is one “right” way to run! Sorry if I came off like that at all. When I re-read, I was a bit put off. I do LOVE minimalism, but obviously it’s just a minor force in the entire sport, and I love the entire sport of running!

My life.

Anyways, it’s time for my weekly RUNNING UPDATE!

Last week, I took more no-running days than usual, and kept around the 40 mile mark (42 maybe?). But, this was because I was focusing on ENDURANCE last week, so I had several longer runs.

In fact, I had a double day on Thursday where I did two seven mile runs. LOVED it! And yesterday, I got in 9.5 miles. Not 10, unfortunately, because I had some serious DOMS from lifting on Saturday.

Running that much is something I’d never have been able to do a few months ago! I’m really happy that I’ve been able to progress so far. With only about three weeks until the big race day, it’s nice to know I can run a solid 9.5 miles while sore.

I did do some short speed work this week, and I was still able to push myself more than last week and see a gain (well.. loss) when it came to my times. Wahooo!

This week, I’m just gonna see how things go and do what my body wants. Last week, it wanted longer, slower runs and the week before it wanted to be a speed demon. Maybe I’ll do a more even split this week? We shall see.

On a slightly related note, this is how I’m motivated to do speedwork some mornings..

The girl next to me ALWAYS looks at my treadmill display (which is annoying because I generally don’t look at her’s), so I’m forced into speedwork.

How was your Monday? Are you excited for the week? Do you prefer speed/intense work, or long steady state efforts?

See you for WIAW friends!


Minimalism: What is it?

Hey friends!

Sorry for the short disappearance. I had work to do, unfortunately. College kills me sometimes.

Obviously, today’s post is part of my Minimalism series.

A lot of people know about “minimalism”, but some assume it’s just about crazy people running barefoot through the woods.

Others associate it with those funny, sometimes colorful foot gloves that people wear. The “FiveFingers”.

Some say it’s a trend, some think it’s here to stay. But what is it?!

Minimalism is distinct from barefoot running, first of all. While barefoot running is a type of extreme minimalism, I believe that you can be a minimalist without running barefoot. Let’s be specific on what barefoot running is – it is, essentially, running in your bare feet or with socks on.

I do not think that running in Vibram Fivefingers is barefoot running. I think it’s minimalist running. Yes, the shoe is “barely there”, but it’s still a shoe. But a minimal shoe.

So anyways, back to minimalist running.

Happy minimalist!

A minimalist runner can define a range of people – but they all have one thing in common. They use shoes that allow the foot to work in a more natural way. This can be done by significantly less shoe, a wider toebox, and a lower heel-to-toe drop.

What does this do? By having significantly less shoe, it allows your feet to feel. Our feet are extremely sensitive, but putting a bulky running shoe takes away from that – essentially, it’s like blinding an explorer. When you have less shoe, your feet can feel the ground, feel the impact of it, and react, adjusting your stride and impact better and more naturally to fit the kind of surface your running on. Minimalist runners often strike the ground on their forefoot or midfoot, as opposed to traditionally shod runners, who may heel strike, which is harder on the joints.

A wider toebox allows the feet to work more, strengthening the feet. And when you strengthen the feet, you strengthen the arch of the foot, which was evolved to be shock absorbent. I’ve seen a lot of minimalist runners who had problems with collapsing arches in shoes have this condition get better when their foot was allowed to earn its keep.

The lower heel to toe drop reduces the chance of heel striking, and allows the calf muscle to lengthen, more efficiently mimicking a barefoot stride.

Merrell minimalist shoes are perfect examples of an ideal minimalist shoe!

There are varying levels of minimalist shoes, which I’ll go over next week. I hope you enjoyed this for now, and if you’re thinking about transitioning to minimalism, please remember that it must be GRADUAL. GRADUAL, GRADUAL, GRADUAL. Or else, you could seriously hurt yourself. I will be talking about the transition eventually, but for now, if you’re seriously thinking about minimalist or barefoot running, or just interested/want to check my facts, look at this website from Harvard:


Lots of science has gone into their study, and this is where I got most of my facts. I hope you enjoy! Have a great Sunday friends! 🙂

Any questions about minimalism? Have you ever incorporated some barefoot work? How’s the weather where you are?

It’s snowing here, so I’m off to the gym for a 10 miler.. My mind may implode.