Reading and Listening to: Summer 2018

Since I always listen to podcasts and have been on a reading spree this year, I wanted to introduce a new quarterly post about what I have enjoyed listening and reading to. This is by no means everything i’ve read and listened to but some of my favorites. Don’t forget to share your favorite summer reads and listens in the comments!


  • Ologies - Kalology (BEAUTY STANDARDS) with Renee Engeln: Ologies has been a summer favorite of mine in general but I loved listening to this frank discussion of beauty standards. I’ve put Renee’s book Beauty Sick on hold at the library and can’t wait ot dig in.

  • Friends at the Table - Twilight Mirage: I’ve been listening to this season of Friends at the Table since Summer 2017 as it came out in real time. It’s a gorgeous example of storytelling through an actual play podcast. Be prepared for long episodes but it’s so worth it!

  • Go Fact Yourself: We love (and support) the Maximum Fun Network and Go Fact Yourself has been a great podcast to listen to. Mainly because I listen to this like I watch Jeopardy and try to play along.


  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer: I read this in four days, mostly over our camping trip to Cascade River State Park. It’s along the same vein as Gregory Maguire’s Wicked Years series but with the Queen of Hearts. So if you loved Wicked, I’d suggest picking up Heartless.

  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan: I picked out this book without even realizing there was a movie coming out. I’m trying to expand my reading outside of white authors and decided to give it a try. I loved it and cannot wait to see the movie (plus read the rest of the series). I listened to the audiobook version and it had a great narrator (I’ve stopped listening to audiobooks solely due to the narrator before).

  • The Alice Network by Kate Quinn: Another example of me trying to get out of my normal reading habits, this time adventuring into a different genre with World War I/World War II spy mystery. I loved the intertwining timelines and again, I listened to this and the narrator is awesome.

Reading and Listening to_ Summer 2018 Pinterest.jpg

My Three Marathon Training Secrets

Well, I don’t have any secrets to help you magically run a marathon on little training or be super faster. But I do know what’s been helping me out with marathon training and wanted to share it with you.

I won’t guarantee they’ll work for you as well as they have for me but it can’t hurt to give them a try. Before race day of course. Because nothing new on race day. Ever. Bonus secret right there.

Schedule your runs for when you feel your best

The further I get into marathon training, the more I’m finding out that morning runs are better for me during marathon training. Mostly because I don’t feel like I’m about to cook in my own skin when I head out at 7 a.m. I can’t always get my runs in the morning but I’m working on moving runs to the morning when I can.

This helps me look forward to runs more (again, not roasting on my run) and also I’m not dreading my runs after work every time I look at the forecast. This means sacrificing other things, like sleep, because I have to get up earlier to run earlier. That just means I go to sleep a little earlier than normal so I get a somewhat decent amount of sleep.

Carbs, carbs and more carbs

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I feel like a subtitle for this training cycle is Operation Eat All The Carbs. But it’s seriously helping. I’m not feeling extra tired or hungry at the end of the day and I feel like that is because I’m eating more carbs than I was during other training cycles. It might also be that I’m eating enough to support my running. But figuring out how to fuel yourself properly is really important.

Find something good to listen to

Audiobooks are my savior during marathon training. Unlike podcasts, I have a reason to look forward to my next run to find out what’s going to happen. I’m still listening to podcasts every once in awhile  but it’s so much better on my long runs to listen to one continuous story. And, of course, I’m still listening to music on my pace runs.

What are your secrets for marathon training?


Running Past 13.1


This past Sunday was a big mileage marker for me. It was my first run past 13.1-ish miles. And as I talked about in why I decided to run a marathon, it's a distance I never thought I'd run. And now I've done it and I'm going to be running even more miles past 13.1. I actually enjoyed running 14 miles. Yes, it was challenging. Yes, I was a gross sweaty mess afterwards. But I enjoyed running it. It's becoming more and more apparent that long distance running is what I enjoy. Getting out there for a couple of hours is what my body enjoys, even though I'm speeding through it.

I headed out at about 6:45 a.m. and got parked and started my run by about 7:15 a.m. One thing I'm going to think about it getting out there to run a little bit earlier. Yes, it means I'm going to get up earlier but the temperature rose about 10º while I was running and I finished it at 80º. Hence the giant salt crystals on my body. I know it's not going to be a whole lot better as we get more into summer in Minnesota but the less heat I'm running in the better. And it will still feel amazing on race day with a start in the 30s and finishing somewhere in the 60s.


For this run, I didn't listen to an audiobook. Instead, I worked my way through my backlog of podcasts since I had just over 3 hours in my queue. I think it made a huge difference to be listening to different things throughout my run rather than the non-fiction audiobook I've been listening to. I'm going to try an audiobook on an upcoming long run but it will probably be the next book in the Outlander series which will still mix it up with different POVs changing throughout my run.

I think what also helped with this run is that I was running a new-ish place. I ran along the river from St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis (and back), which I haven't done in one shot before. I've done parts of this route with different races but I didn't really remember running them. I love running along the river and it was gorgeous running in downtown Minneapolis. It also helped that I got in a lot of people watching in downtown since there was always people around me.

I did get a little lost on this run. Well, not lost since I knew where I was in a general sense but lost because I ended up going down a path that didn't lead where I though it was going to go. I ended up on Nicollet Island instead of running along the river so I didn't get to run across the Stone Arch Bridge like I planned. Next long run I'll be switching up my route so I'm going to the opposite way.


Originally, I had planned on heading to the gym to foam roll before heading home but I nixed that idea at about the halfway point. I was way too gross to go anywhere in public plus I knew I would just want to get home after I was done. I drank probably about 18oz of water along the run and had a Gu but mentally I was done. I had packed a smoothie and water in a cooler for post-run (best idea I've ever had) so I just chugged down my smoothie on the drive home.

I foam rolled as usual, with Vinnie circling me wanting to sniff but not wanting to get that close, and then hopped into a cold bath. With my running clothes still on. And Vinnie decided to join me since I left the bathroom door open. But it felt really good after my run once I got over the initial shock of the temperature.

I'm really excited to see how my future long runs go since I'm just adding on mileage, both weekly and to my long runs. So far, I'm not feeling too sore the days after it but I'm sure that will change as I keep on adding more. I'm hoping my sleep gets a little bit more regular too. I napped for about two hours after my long run and ended up going to bed at my regular time, but woke up at 2 a.m. and couldn't fall back asleep quickly.

How did your first runs longer than 13.1 miles go? Any tips for me?