I really enjoyed introducing the Friday Thrive last week, so I will be making this a regular feature on the blog. I like sharing the little things that I enjoyed or found interesting from throughout the week! It’s like having a cup of coffee or a beer together on Friday, except virtually.
Jim Gaffigan’s Cinco on Netflix is hilarious. Ryan and I were both laughing so hard that we were crying, especially with the jokes about spring in the Midwest (it really is only one day!) and how people dress in the Pacific Northwest. This quip describes us and pretty much everyone else in Seattle:
“The entire Pacific Northwest, everyone’s dress like there could be an impromptu hike at a moment’s notice. ‘Well, I’m going for a coffee, but you never know when a hike might break out.'”
That is, in fact, the PNW life. I’m almost never not wearing Prana, Patagonia, Saucony, or something that was purchased at Backcountry or REI. The coffee part is true as well.
A few weeks ago, Ryan and I wanted chocolate chip cookies but didn’t want to have dozens of cookies around or put the effort into baking a full batch. A quick Google search led me to this recipe for single serve chocolate chip cookies, and I’ve made these numerous times since. I am not sure if discovering this recipe was good, because we don’t have to make a full batch of cookies if we want one and be tempted to eat several at once, or bad, because it’s so easy to make two large chocolate chip cookies on a whim.
These cookies taste the best if you take the time to let the egg and butter come to room temperature before baking the cookie. I prefer to use dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate chips and then serve these cookies hot out of the oven.
One of my latest articles for Runkeeper discusses how cross-training can improve your running. To be technical, cross-training here refers not to strength training or yoga (those are supplemental/ancillary workouts) but aerobic workouts that serve the same purpose as running. Swimming, cycling/spinning, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, and the elliptical are all examples of cross-training workouts for runners.
Cross-training can improve your aerobic capacity, which in turn improves your endurance and lays the foundation for more speed training, while reducing risk of running-related injury. Most cross-training workouts are low-impact and utilize different muscles than running, so your joints get a break and you strength other muscles.
Do you cross-train or just run? I noticed a significant improvement in my running when we moved to Seattle and took up hiking. Snowshoeing is my current favorite form of cross-training, especially on the trails at the nearby ski resort’s Nordic center.
Allie from Vita Train 4 Life wrote this fascinating article for Women’s Running Magazine: Can The Timing of Eating Carbs Actually Help Ward Off Colds?” It’s a must-read if you are a runner trying to avoid getting sick during marathon or half marathon training. Post-run recovery doesn’t just help you improve as a runner and avoid soreness; how well you recover after a hard workout or long run impacts your immune system.
The article that Burdick cites, a piece from the New York Times, also concludes that eating carbs during strenuous exercise (primarily long runs or longer speed workouts) can actually boost immune function as well. Forgoing carbohydrates during long runs can train you to avoid hitting the wall during the race, but they are best done once or twice per month and when your immune system isn’t suppressed due to other factors.
This weekend, Ryan and I are heading off to Bend, OR! Bend is a hub of running and outdoor sports right now and Mt. Bachelor is supposed to have amazing snowboarding and snowshoeing. Plus, one of favorite breweries, Deschutes, is located in Bend. Be sure to follow on Instagram for our running and snow sport adventures! I will also be sharing our trip as I take over Rainier Fruit’s Instagram on Tuesday, February 21.
And finally, here’s a photo of Charlie to start off your weekend with a dose of cuteness. (Someday Ollie will sit still for a non-blurry photo. Someday.)
What are you watching, eating, running, or reading this week?
Where’s your next vacation taking you?
What are your plans for the holiday weekend?