Friday Thrive

Friday Thrive

Happy Friday! 

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. 

Friday Thrive


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. 

Friday Thrive


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! 

Friday Thrive

[Tweet “Hiking with llamas, @QALORing wedding bands, @runkeeper #workouts, and more in this week’s Friday Thrive from @thisrunrecipes”]

Who else needs an anxiety llama?
What’s your current favorite drink? 

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12 Responses

  1. I don’t think Ive ever tried pumpkin beer, but I don’t think its something I would like. I’ve done fruity beers before, but even those can be too sweet for me, and at the most I can just have one.
    Hope you have a great weekend!

    1. I’m not a fan of fruity beers at all, but a good pumpkin one is more spicy than fruity. There are some sweet ones out there though that are just gross! I hope you have a great weekend!

  2. I love so much about this and I love your opening. Although I think we need to do more than pray, I do believe in the power of prayer and anything else that may help us get though this nonsense. I also agree that there is so much more good than bad, love than hate, in our world and we can never lose sight of that.
    The llama story was absolutely needed!! I fear bears just walking my dog since we have several in our neighborhood so maybe I could walk the llama AND the dog! What a sight that would be!!
    Hooray for Alex Hutchinson – also one of my favorites and so sorry to see him go from RW. I hope he will continue to educate us though his writing elsewhere…
    Great idea with the wedding bands!! My husband lost his and I wear different ones…but I would like one to wear in the pool!
    Happy weekend my friend!

    1. I agree – fruitful prayer should inspire action in the person praying (and maybe others). Prayer itself is a starting point, not the endpoint. Like when Joan of Arc prayed and then went and fought on the battlefields of France and made a difference…
      And yes, you do need a llama for the bears around you! Star would keep the llama in its place the rest of the time. I know Ollie would love to have a llama to herd!
      I think Alex Hutchinson has a new gig coming soon! He hasn’t announced it yet, but hinted at it on his social media. I’m sad to see him leave RW, especially since he was what was keeping me in reading RW…
      Happy weekend!

  3. I read that Alex Hutchinson column and really liked it. Lots of great points in the article. It’s sad that he’s leaving and that Runner’s World content is getting pretty crummy these days. I’m glad we have quality blogs to read at least!

    I’m not particularly religious, but I don’t see where thoughts and prayers are a bad thing. I don’t think they are pointless like some do. I feel like that’s not ALL people should do when tragedies occur, but sometimes there is not a whole lot of other things you can do that help the situation. Still, everyone can bring a little more brightness into the world in some way and I think that’s what we should all try to do each day.

    I’ve never had pumpkin beer, but I’m not really a big beer drinker anyway. It’s still too hot here for anything pumpkin!

    1. I’m sad to see him leave RW as well – like you, he was really the only reason I read it! I have heard that he will be writing somewhere else, and I’ve seen some of his pieces on Outside’s website (he had a really good one recently on diabetes/insulin resistance and running there. And agree – prayer and thoughts are a starting point that should serve to inspire action, not replace action. Like you said, even small actions of extra kindness can make a difference.

      1. If you don’t read Trail Runner magazine yet, check it out. They have a few writers I really like and a lot of the articles apply to road running as well. I’m not really a trail runner but have gotten a ton of wisdom from articles by one writer, David Roche.

  4. I was so shocked by the news of the shooting, but also numb. When will this end? I feel so helpless and our government doesn’t seem to want to do anything about it.

    I’m interested in the longsleeve (with thumbholes!) that you’re wearing in the last picture 🙂

    1. I agree – the government doesn’t really seem to care. If they did, things would have changed after Sandy Hook.
      The long sleeve with thumbholes is actually an arm warmer! They are the Lululemon Swiftly arm warmers (from last season, so the colors now might be different). I’ve tried several brands of arm warmers and these are my favorite – they really are more like separate long sleeves from a good running shift than an odd arm sock like some brands.

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