I cannot begin today’s post without addressing the Las Vegas shootings. My heart broke when I read the news on Facebook early Monday morning. Born in 1989, I struggle to clearly remember life without mass shootings. While incredibly fortunate to have never been in the wrong place at the wrong time, the fear of mass shootings and public bombings permeate our lives now. Each one is deadlier and more terrifying than the last.
I know it sounds trite to say that the victims and their families are in my prayers, but I firmly believe in prayer. I pray for the repose of the souls of the deceased, for the consolation of their families, and for prayers to lead to change. And I pray also for the citizens and responders in Puerto Rico, because one tragedy does not minimize another.
Now, onto this week’s Friday Thrive for a lighter note. The world can be a shitty evil place, but it is also a wonderful place and the moment we lose sight of all the beautiful, joyful, and funny things, we let the shitty evil stuff win.
While certain aspects of running form may vary based on individual, there is a difference between an inefficient stride and an efficient one. My latest workout for Runkeeper’s blog is a form run, which interjects strides into the run to improve cadence and form drills after the run. This run takes only 30 minutes, which means even on your busy days, you can still make improvements in your running.
And so we begin with llamas: “On Backpacking with an Anxiety Llama.” We all need to smile a bit more, and so you should read this article about backpacking with llamas. I should preface this recommendation with the caveat that I adore llamas and alpacas. This article made me squeal with delight, beg Ryan to let us rent a llama for our next trip, and cue up several llama videos on YouTube.
These are a few of my favorite lines from the article:
“[F]ighting is common among llamas, and when they fight, they fight to win.”
“Turns out llamas are weird about all bodily functions, which we discovered soon after starting our trek. Hoss and Winchester sneezed prolifically, with large volumes of snot accompanied by a silly neck wiggle. And anytime their feet touched water, they stopped and defecated. Despite our four-legged friends’ incontinence—or perhaps because of it—our plan seemed to be working. The badly timed bowel movements kept us from thinking about being disemboweled by bears.”
‘They make some weird sounds, though.’ These range from hees and haws to high-pitched, piercing squeals if a predator approaches. ‘It sounds like Jurassic Park down there sometimes,’ he said, motioning to a field near his house.”
I need one. The fear of bears – and, honestly, people – has prevented me from completely relaxing on a backpacking trip. Plus, llamas are just so adorably funny looking.
Pumpkin beer often sounds better in theory than it actually tastes. Too many pumpkin beers are overly sweet and taste more like an explosion of brown sugar and cinnamon than anything actually pumpkin. However, this Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin beer contains actual pumpkin and all the good spices that highlight pumpkin pie – without cloying.
Alex Hutchinson’s Sweat Science column for Runner’s World has long been one of my favorites. He possesses the remarkable ability to explain scientific studies without being pedantic or dumbing down the content. In his final post for Runner’s World, “The Seven Pillars of Running Wisdom,” Hutchinson shares the most valuable messages from his five years of writing. These seven pillars include monitoring your body’s signals throughout individual runs and the entire training process, relying on smart nutrition and training rather than supplements, and that running – even a lot – is good for you.
For our wedding anniversary last month, Ryan and I gifted each other with engraved QALO rings. We have already had a few close calls with our wedding bands (mine was fractured during a hike and thankfully repaired, Ryan almost lost his in the Sammamish River when teaching Ollie to swim). I wear my QALO ring for every workout now and love it. No more fear of losing my band on a cold rainy run or breaking my ring on a hike!
Who else needs an anxiety llama?
What’s your current favorite drink?