North Fork Race Photos!

First things first, I got a few more photos from the North Fork 50!!

These beautiful flowers were all over the course!

And I teared up AGAIN, when I saw this finish photo with Corrie!!!  Pure JOY!

Alright…back to real life!

Wednesday:   Muggy morning miles with awesome friends!

I took my Yeti to the smoothie shop so it wouldn’t melt so quickly.  It’s a thousand degrees in TN.

My new Hungry Runner Girl tank arrived!!  Caroline and I enjoyed some sunshine on the front porch.

The hubs is doing a juice cleanse this week.  Fun times in our house…lol!!


Follow your arrow wherever it points—>

I’m loving my joy tote from ED by Ellen!

We had an awesome group for this week’s Brentwood Breakfast Club!

It wouldn’t be BBC without breakfast.

Nashville is finally getting on the acai bowl bandwagon…woohoo!  This beauty is from Juice Bar.

My friend CB gave me a box of the new Skratch Cookie Mix, so I decided to bake cookies for the Fleet Feet Dirtbag Trail Mixer/Run.  The mix is really healthy.

Of course I added toffee and mini chocolate chips making it a little less healthy.  🙂

They turned out really well!

We had a great time!!

Except for my mosquito bites!


I hit the gym..10.10 miles on July 10th seemed fun!  Followed by a smoothie. 🙂

Have you seen the new chocolates at Starbucks?!!  This one is SO good!!!

Today is the last day to enter my PRO Compression GIVEAWAY on Instagram!  Find this image and follow the directions….it’s super simple!

Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, and Dark Chocolate…rank from best to worst! Dark, White, Milk

Do mosquitos eat you up?!

Tell me about your pet(s)!! 


The Friday Five

1.  I am loving my Kindness is Magic tank from Be Love Apparel.  ***P.S. They donate $5 from every order to their current service project.  Right now, it’s Alexandria House for homeless women and their children.

2.  The Dalai Lama celebrated his 80th birthday!!   Click HERE to read 17 of his most famous quotes.  My favorite is “My religion is very simple.  My religion is kindness.”  Just another reason to love the above tank!

3.  I posted last weekend about my new Yeti Rambler.  It lives up to the hype!!  I’ve used it for smoothies and coffee and it really keeps them cold and hot.  Thanks to Sam for the recommendation!!!

4.  I have been wearing my Ocean Turquoise Mala Beads almost every day since I bought them.  They’re made in Bali by Aum Rudraksha Designs.  Their jewelry is sustainably harvested, fairly traded, and ethically produced.  Click HERE to read more about Mala jewelry.

5.  My friends and I all had a good time taking this How Fit Are You, Really? quiz.  I got ‘under 20’ which totally made my day!  If you take the quiz, share your fitness age in the comments!

Happy Friday and Chose Joy!

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower 

We love cauliflower in our house and this is such an easy weeknight side dish.  It’s lightly browned, caramelized, and cheesy!

Toss the sliced cauliflower in butter.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Place in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (I was obviously a little heavy handed with my cheese measurements!).

Add the chopped parsley to the cauliflower and roast it in the oven again for about 5-10 minutes or until the cheese melts and it forms a light brown crust.

Remove from the oven and serve it immediately.


1 head cauliflower; cut into florets
2 tablespoons melted butter
Pinch of salt
3 light dashes of ground black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped parsley leaves


Toss the sliced cauliflower with the butter. Season with salt and black pepper. Place the cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast until almost tender about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the grated Parmesan and chopped parsley leaves on top of the cauliflower.  Roast again until the cheese melts and slightly crusty, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit

Related Recipes:

Roasted Lemon Parmesan Asparagus

Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Quinoa

Grilled Cauliflower “Steaks”

Track and a Pro Compression GIVEAWAY

***This post contains a Pro Compression Giveaway and a discount code to save 40% off your order!!***

Monday:  Fact…we meet to run at 5:30am on Mondays.  Fact…we start and finish at Starbucks.

I joined friends for 6 miles and added 3 more solo miles.

I had the yummiest post-run apricot!

Caroline thought I should be rubbing her belly instead of folding laundry.  She couldn’t be bothered to put her tongue in her mouth for her picture.

You guys!!!  I made a new chocolate banana nice cream.  It rocks my socks!  I’ll post the recipe soon!!  P.S.  I ate the entire batch and called it dinner.

I went to Fleet Feet for the Zooma Nashville course reveal run and party!

I joined these ladies for 3 miles, cupcakes, and champagne!   Use discount code: EMILY15 when you register HERE!!

I made sure to do my track prep before I went to bed.  Picky Bar, Gu, Cocogo (discount code: JENCHOOSESJOY all caps),and my splits.

Track Tuesday:

My workout…(spoiler alert: it kicked my butt)
4 mile warmup
9 x 400m (60 second recovery)  Goal: 1:37  Actual: 1:38, 1:37, 1:37, 1:36, 1:36, 1:37, 1:37, 1:38, 1:34
1 mile cool down
My legs were super heavy.  I could really tell that I ran a 50k 10 days ago.  I managed to hit most of my splits, but it was a LOT harder than it should have been.

I couldn’t wait to shower and put on my Pro Compression socks!!!!  I don’t run in compression socks, but I LOVE them for recovery!  They’re like a hug for tired, sore legs.

I used to wear compression sleeves for recovery.  Pro Compression helped me to understand why compression socks are the better option for recovery.  Read about it HERE!

Because Tuesdays are for Tacos!

We opted for vegan taco salads for dinner.  We even used Tofutti “sour cream” and liked it!!!


Prize: 1 pair of Marathon Socks or Sleeves of your choice for 1 lucky winner!  Winner will be randomly selected at 11:59pm CST on Saturday July 11.  Giveaway is open to US Residents ONLY.

To Enter: Visit my Instagram.  Follow @JenChoosesJoy and @ProCompression.  Tag 2 friends in my Instagram comments section.

BONUS: Everyone gets to save 40% off Marathon Socks and Sleeves with code PRO15 at!

This giveaway is sponsored by Pro Compression.  I was given product in exchange for this giveaway.  All opinions are my own.

Anyone else celebrate have tacos for Taco Tuesday?  What are your favorite toppings?  I love beans, corn, mushrooms, and tofu.

Have you tried Tofutti sour cream?  Thoughts?  We’re slowly tried to sub dairy products for vegan alternatives.

Do you run in compression socks or sleeves?  Do you use them for recovery?


Grilled Zucchini and Squash with Lemon Salt

We are loving grilled veggies this summer and this grilled zucchini and squash recipe is one of our favorites!  The lemon zest really brings out the flavor of the vegetables and keeps the dish from tasting salty.  It’s like adding lime and salt to a margarita…it just works!

Start by cutting off the tops of the squash and zucchini and slice them into spears.  Place them into a large ziploc bag. Add the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, 1 Tablespoon lemon zest, and the juice of two lemons.

Seal the bag and make sure to mix everything up well.  Let sit for 15-20 minutes.

While the veggies are marinating, preheat your grill to medium to medium-low heat.  Place the zucchini and squash on the grill and turn as needed.

Remove from grill after all three sides are cooked.

Place the remaining lemon zest and Parmesan cheese on a cutting board, add 1 teaspoon salt, and chop the salt, cheese, and lemon zest together until you have lemon salt.

Sprinkle the lemon salt over the grilled veggies.

Serve and enjoy!


3 whole Zucchini (medium Sized)
3-4 whole Squash (mine were small so I used 4)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
3 whole Lemons, Zested
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (additional)
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese (grated)


Chop off the tops and bottoms of the zucchini and squash and slice them into quarters, lengthwise. Place them all in a very large (or two regular sized) plastic zipper bag. Drizzle in olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon lemon zest and the juice of two lemons. Seal the bag(s) and smush them around a bit so that the zucchini and squash are coated. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes to marinate.

Prepare the indoor or outdoor grill to medium to medium-low heat. Grill the zucchini and squash on all three sides until nice and tender, being careful not to burn them. Remove the zucchini and squash to a plate as it gets done.

Pile up the rest of the lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon kosher salt on top. Use a knife to chop the salt, cheese, and zest together until it becomes…well, lemon salt! Add more salt if it needs it. Sprinkle the lemon salt over the plate of grilled veggies and serve.

Recipe adapted from: The Pioneer Woman

Related Recipes:

Lemon Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Chipotle Cauliflower

Simple Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Weekend Wrap-Up

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!

I’m pacing a fall marathon training group for Fleet Feet.  If you’re in the area, you should sign up to train with us!!  We had a really fun group for this week’s 12 miler!!

This was also Day 1 of my NYC Marathon training!

It was a super hot and humid run.  I looked like I had jumped in a pool, so this cold kiwi didn’t stand a chance when I got home!

Nothing says America, like tex-mex for lunch!

Jason and I went to downtown Franklin for their 4th of July festival.

And, we picked up a coffee and the greatest homemade oatmeal cream pie from Honest Coffee!!!

Sadly, we had big storms all night.  The local fireworks and grill-outs were cancelled.  We decided to go to Sunflower Cafe and I’m so glad we did.  Their vegan BBQ sliders were the bomb!


I had the gym to myself for a surprisingly good treadmill run.  My legs are still heavy from the North Fork 50 last weekend, so I stopped at 8 miles.  I’m not 100%, but grateful that my body has bounced back pretty quickly.

I met Jason at First Watch for a fruit and oats breakfast.

After rave reviews, I broke down and bought a Yeti mug.  Apparently they’re the greatest mug ever.  I’m curious to give it a try!

Kindness is magic…so is coffee.

The sun finally peaked out.  I got to enjoy our front porch while the patriotic swags were still up.

We had dinner on the Burger Up patio…salad with a quinoa patty and rose to drink.  Perfect!

How was your 4th?  Did anyone else have to cancel plans because of the rain?

Do you have any Yeti products?  Thoughts?

Are you running a fall marathon?  NYC?

Peak and Pit from the weekend?  Peak: A nice, low-key weekend!  Pit:  The rainy weather.


Still Feeling the Colorado Love


I was up way too early.  This seemed fitting.

Two things were wrong with this picture…

We had an awesome group for the Brentwood Breakfast Club run!!!!

I think everyone was happy because of the upcoming long weekend for the 4th of July!

I was super excited to wear my new Colorado tank!  We had the best trip!!

Jason sent me the prettiest flower from Garden Delights.  🙂

I made another Pitaya (dragonfruit) bowl.  I am addicted!

Corrie sent me this pic…yet another reason why we’re friends!

Our Dirtbags trail mixer was cancelled because of storms, so we decided to take an Orange Theory Fitness class.  It kicked my arse (11% incline at 9mph!!!), but I had a blast!

I met Jason for a dinner of avocado rolls and tofu.

And came home to a fun mail day!


I went to the gym and ran 9 miles at 8:41 pace followed by crepes and coffee at the Perch.  BIG CONGRATS to the Nolensville Running Club for their awesome Nashville Scene cover photo!!!!

I picked up a smoothie for lunch…love this!

A little more Colorado love…How awesome is this Rocky Mountain necklace?!!!

I visited the Little Gourmand.  It’s the cutest French market…aka heaven for me!

Jason and I tried out the new “cool kids” coffee shop in Germantown…Steadfast Coffee.  I loved their homemade almond milk!

Loved this post from Amber Dodzweit!!!  Substance over superficial!!!

Cocogo is having a July 4th Sale!  Save 20% + an additional 10% off with discount code: JENCHOOSESJOY (all caps)!

Charlotte update:  Thanks to everyone for your kind words and prayers!!  Charlotte has been suffering from facial paralysis.  She had an MRI this week and we discovered that she has an inner ear disorder that has caused fluid build-up and nerve damage.  We can’t correct the paralysis, but we can drain the fluid and prevent any further damage.  It’s great news!!

Any exciting 4th of July plans?

Who’s racing this weekend or running long?  I start training for NYC marathon this weekend!

Do you love smoothie bowls?  Acai bowls?  What are your favorite toppings?

The Friday Five

1.  I love Ellen DeGeneres, so I was super excited when she launched ED by Ellen.  Of course I “had” to order her Joy tee and tote!

2.  Dry Brushing.  This is my favorite body brush and click HERE to learn more about the benefits of dry brushing.

3.  I dry brush before I shower and then apply this Gardenia+Tea Antioxidant Body Serum post-shower.  It smells heavenly, isn’t greasy, and immediately soaks into your skin.  Use the code: TODAYSHOW15 to save 15% off any order at One Love through Sunday, July 5th!!!

4.  I just finished reading 80/10/10.  As with any nutrition book, I don’t agree with everything, but this book is great reminder to eat more raw, vegan food!

5.  I have loved tracking (aka stalking) Scott Jurek’s attempt to break the Appalachian Trail record!

Here is a cool, mid-run interview!

Happy Friday and Choose Joy!!!

Time Trials Are Fun & June Miles


We had to be at the Denver airport to fly home by 4am.   This pic sums it up.

Speaking of the airport, I posted a crazy mural from their baggage claim HERE.  You guys directed me to some super fun conspiracy theories about the Denver airport.  If you love conspiracy theories, you MUST read more about the Denver airport!

I was happy to find my favorite Umpqua Oats for breakfast!  Food and coffee made the early flight a lot better.

When we got home, we unpacked, picked up a smoothie, and I hit the gym for a recovery run.

Track Tuesday:  Time trials are fun…said no on ever.

We kicked off the Fleet Feet Summer Speed Sessions with a 1 mile time trial.

I went into this time trial with zero expectations.  Actually, I was amazed that I even felt up to attempting it.  I ran a 6:29.  Not my fastest time, but I’m super proud considering it was 3 days post-50k.

Also, I knew I was back in TN when I saw the morning humidity…eek!!

I went to Juice Bar for a Cocoa Banana Smoothie and I had a free one on my account…always a good day when that happens!

And, then I went for a much needed post-race/time trial sports massage with Robin Frazier at Franklin Massage Center.

For dinner I made Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower…yum!!!  Recipe coming soon.


Woke up to this….married life for the win.

I posted my North Fork 50 Race Recap!  Click HERE to read it if you haven’t already, or if you just really want to read it again. 😉

I wanted to do a nice and easy, FLAT run.  My sweet friends obliged and we got together for a great morning run.

Jenn baked rhubarb bars and brought me a couple.  They were SO good and perfect with a big mug of coffee!!

Another month is in the books!  I loved this months training for North Fork.  I felt strong, injury free, and really relaxed for every run.

June Miles: 344
YTD: 1,915

How was your June training?

What’s your next race?  Is it a goal race or a “just for fun” race?  My next race is the Cumberland Plateau Stage Race.  It’s a weekend of trail running with friends and we’re running it for fun.

What’s your favorite smoothie flavor?  I used to always get green smoothies, but lately I’ve been on a chocolate kick!


North Fork 50 Race Recap!

As many of you know, my sweet friend Corrie wanted to run her first ultra-marathon to celebrate her 30th birthday.  She chose the North Fork 50, we trained together, traveled to Denver with a group of friends, and had an amazing race experience!

I woke up around 4am to have some coffee and my good luck race breakfast…banana bread.

We left the hotel at 5am, drove a little under an hour, and arrived at the race for 6am packet pickup.  This left us with plenty of time for packing gear and potty stops before the 7am start.

Ladies: here’s one of the many reasons to run trails… NO LINE for the women’s restroom!!!

This start line rocked because you didn’t have to use porta potties, but….

Start temps were in the upper 40’s and peaked in the upper 70’s….WITH NO HUMIDITY!!!

The start and finish area were right beside the North Fork of the South Platte River and Pine Lake!

The start line was super chill.  The race director made sure we understood the course markings, warned us about mountain bikes, and said “ready, set, go.”

And, we’re off….

The course had 3 big climbs.  The first started immediately and lasted for about 3 miles of upness.  (Not a word, but it works for me.)  The next big climbs were around mile 15 and mile 25.

**Note: Nashville is around 550ft above sea level, so this was a huge jump in altitude for us!

The course is mostly single track trails in the Pine National Forest, although you do run a few Jeep roads and share the trails with mountain bikers.  Here’s our motley crew enjoying some downhill!

The 50k course let’s you visit your drop bag twice (because of a loop on the course) at miles 14 and 24.  We were having way too much fun at mile 24!

The terrain seemed to range from pine forests to desert-esque with beautiful rock formations.  The sun was intense!  I re-applied sunscreen at the aid stations and still got a little pink.


I carried 2 handhelds and drank Cocogo (discount code: JENCHOOSESJOY) and the sports drink on the course.  I made myself drink more than I usually would because of the high altitude.

Aid station food…another reason why trail running rocks!

  • Pretzels, chips, goldfish
  • Watermelon
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches….I ate my weight in pb&j’s!
  • Gu
  • Gummy bears, candy bars
  • Oatmeal cream pies and Fig Newtons
  • Salt tabs
  • Sodas.


I have struggled with pretty severe altitude sickness my whole life. I started taking Diamox on Wednesday and flew out to Denver on Thursday. I felt nauseous on Friday, but never got sick. I felt great for the rest of the trip!  My side effects: appetite suppressant, tingly toes and fingers, and super thirsty (but that may have just been the altitude).

The Finish!!

As I typed in an earlier post, my main goal was to run with Corrie for her first 50k.  We stuck together the whole race and she crushed it with a finish time of 7:16!!!  Finishing with her is my favorite memory from the whole trip!

Our group had 3 first time ultra-marathoners…congrats to Corrie, Bob, and Alicia!!!!

The finish line is right in front of a huge pavilion where they’re grilling out and serving lunch.  The finishers and spectators get to eat in the shade while cheering on the finishers…genius!

The Finisher Award…super cool!

Finish line pose with my gorgeous friends!

The Platte River was freezing…the perfect post-race ice bath!  The current was pretty strong, too.  I was afraid to let go of my rock.

I love my Ultra Dirtbag family!!!

The stinkiest post-race trunk EVER!!

I loved this race, so I made a little list of Reasons to Run the North Fork 50:

  • You get to park at the starting line
  • Indoor bathrooms with no line for the ladies room
  • Race morning bib pickup
  • Well marked course…none of us got lost!
  • Beautiful scenery. Wild flowers. Rock formations. Water. Snow capped mountains
  • Well stocked aid stations that were never more than 6 miles apart.
  • The friendliest volunteers…seriously!  These folks were so kind and helpful!
  • Pottery finisher medal
  • The post-race lunch even included veggie burgers!
  • Cheap flights to Denver
  • It’s a very runnable course and makes a great first ultra.
  • Cold river at finish equals ice bath
  • Easy drive in/out for spectators at aid stations
  • Last 4 miles are downhill
  • No humidity!!! Ok maybe this one is a little selfish. When I run in Nashville, I’m soaked. I finished North Fork and was dry.

Big thanks and congrats to Alicia for finishing her first ultra and for sharing her race photos with me for this post!