Another Trail Run is in the Books!


Great run with the Brentwood Breakfast Club!

Yes, her name is Jen too.  Yes, we regularly wear the same clothes to group runs!  This was the second time in two weeks.

Jason and I are getting ready to head to the beach.  That calls for a pedicure.

It was National Burger Day, so of course I celebrated with a Veggie Burger for dinner.

For dessert I heated up a packet of San Clemente Cookie Dough to make a gooey partially baked cookie…so good!


Because we’re about to head out of town, I moved my long run up a day.  My sweet friends joined me in the woods.  🙂

It was the hottest, most humid run I’ve had so far this year.  We got to see the coolest owl!!  (Thanks to fellow Dirtbag, Jennifer for taking a great picture!)

I was definitely a muddy mess by the end.

I must have lost a lot of salt, because I was craving avocado rolls and stir-fried tofu for dinner.

What type of wildlife do you typically see on your runs?  What’s the craziest animal you’ve seen on a run?  I usually see deer, chipmunks, squirrels, but rarely do I get to see an owl up close.  Sometimes I see snakes…oh and once we saw two bobcats!

Do you have any summer vacation plans?  Where to?  

Are you racing or running long this weekend?  Share!

Sushi…yay or nay?  What’s your go-to order at a sushi restaurant?  

Happy Weekend and Choose Joy!

The Friday Five

1.  I bought a New Balance Ice Graphic Tunic at the Boston Expo.  I have worn it so much that I went ahead and ordered it in another color.  (They run big.  I wear an XS and it’s still loose.)

2.  Mantra Bands.  I LOVE these bracelets.  Obviously, I’m partial to the Choose Joy, but they have so many wonderful options!!

3.  R8 Roll Recovery.  After numerous recommendations, I finally bought an R8 Roller.  It’s so nice not having to contort my body to try and foam roll areas like my inner thighs.  Plus, it’s actually small enough to pack in my suitcase when I travel for destination races!

4.  Amphipod Hydraform Jett-Lite Thermal Running Water Bottle 20oz.  Amphipod has redesigned their handhelds and with some terrific updates.  I especially like that they replaced the pop top with a Jett Squeeze cap.  It’s easy to drink on the run and so much easier to clean.

5.  Friday feel good…Senior Class Donates $8000 to Principal Battling Cancer

Happy Friday and Choose Joy!

She’s a Brick House


The sunrise was gorgeous on the way to the track!  (Don’t worry, I was in the passenger seat…not driving.)

Track Tuesday was the return of the Brick Workout.  It’s all about running fast on tired legs…long distance at a slow pace, medium distance at a medium pace, short distance at a fast pace.

Note: For the next few weeks I’m doing “trackish” speed work, because I’m training for a trail ultra and I’ve learned to not push my speed workouts year round.  I’m running based on effort and less on goal split times.

4 mile warmup plus strides
2 x 1600m (1 minute recovery)
2 x 800m (400m recovery jog)
2 x 400m (400m recovery jog)
1 mile cool down

I can’t let a Tuesday pass without a Taco Tuesday joke!

I am addicted to my fruit infuser water bottle.  My current favorite is lemons with a drop or two of liquid stevia, because I have to trick myself into drinking water by making it taste like lemonade.

Our dinner was a kitchen sink dinner.  It didn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s what I was craving.


I met up with some friends at Percy Warner Park for a trail/road combo run.  It was super hot and humid, but we had a blast!  Apparently my crazy hair and I were pumped to take a finish photo!  Oh, and logged another 1,050ft of gain.

I devoured this pineapple when I got home.

Not only do I love their mango margaritas, I love the Rosepepper Cantina in Nashville for their hilarious signs.

Tequila…yay or nay?  I like it in a frozen fruity drink, but can’t do it straight.

Do you do speed work year round or do you take some time off?  I’ve learned that I can’t push it year round.  I still do light speed work, but the downtime is good for me.

This is big debate in our house.  Do you consider fruit healthy?  I could live off of fruit alone.  My husband tries to limit the sugar.


Simple Grilled Brussels Sprouts

This is a super simple and delicious way to grill Brussels sprouts! It’s the perfect side dish for your summer barbecue.

While the grill is heating up, halve all the fresh brussels sprouts and place them in a large bowl. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic.  Let this marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Throw all the sprouts into a grill basket and grill on low for about 40-45 minutes.

Stir occasionally. The outer edges will start to brown. (I love the brown crispy edges best!)

Remove and serve.  Optional garnish: Grated Parmesan cheese and/or lemon juice.  I like to grill my lemon first and then drizzle the juice over the cooked Brussels Sprouts.


1.5 pounds Brussels Sprouts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic; minced
salt and pepper to taste

Optional garnish: Grated Parmesan cheese and/or 1 grilled lemon


Clean, trim, and slice your brussels sprouts in half.

While the grill is heating up, clean, trim, and slice your Brussels sprouts in half.  Place them in a large bowl.  Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Let this marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Throw all the sprouts into a grill basket and grill on low for about 40-45 minutes. Stir occasionally. The outer edges will start to brown.

After the 45 minutes or so, place them in a large bowl serve and garnish if desired with Parmesan cheese and/or grilled lemon**.

**Slice lemon in half and grill cut side down for about 2 minutes.


Related Recipes:

Lemon Grilled Asparagus

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries

Sweet Potato Pomegranate Salad

Three Day Weekend Wrap-Up


Pre-run coffee in my Boston mug.

On Friday, I ran a 4 hour trail run.  Saturday, I joined Jason and ran a little over 2 hours to practice running on tired legs.  I don’t focus on pace when I trail run, but I’ve had quite a few folks ask about it.  I’m definitely a lot slower on the trails!

When I got home, I made a dateorade.  It’s creamy, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon goodness!  It’s also vegan and raw!

I was craving salt, so we headed to Chuy’s for lunch.  I promise there’s a salad in that bowl!


First person in an empty gym and a recovery run on the treadmill…

Yes, I was listening to T Swift!

I followed the gym with breakfast with Jason.  I definitely have a healthy appetite….fruit, oatmeal, green juice, and coffee!

And we headed to Smith Park for a little more trail time.  It was a gorgeous day and we wanted to spend as much time outside as we could!

I picked up my first Go Pro!  I have no idea how to use it yet, but I’m excited to learn.

To get some more outside time, we had dinner on the Burger Up patio.  Sunday Funday!

Monday: Memorial Day

Click HERE to read 10 Facts About Memorial Day!

We woke up to ominous skies and headed to Percy Warner Park to get our run in as fast as possible.  We finished just in time!

After a full weekend of running, I made sure to drink Tart Cherry Juice for recovery.

Now, I feel just like Caroline!

Who has a GoPro?  Do you like it?  Share your tips!!

Dates…yay or nay?  They’re like candy for me!

What’s your favorite song to workout to right now?

Share your peak and pit from the weekend?  Peak: Having a low-key weekend at home with Jason.  Pit: The rainy Memorial Day weather.


Memorial Day


As many of us in the United States are enjoying the three-day weekend, it’s nice to pause and reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day.

1.  It was originally called Decoration Day.  In 1868, three years after the Civil War ended, Union veterans called for the creation of Decoration Day as a nationwide decorating of the graves with flowers for those who died in the war.  On May 30th of that year, 5,000 observers decorated more than 20,000 Union and Confederate graves at Arlington National Cemetery.

2.  As with many holidays, there is controversy over the first Memorial Day.  In 1865, a group of former slaves created a proper burial site for more than 250 Union soldiers.  About 10,000 people gathered that year to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers.

3.  Memorial Day originally began as a way to honor those who died while serving in the Civil War.  During World War I, the holiday was expanded to honor fallen soldiers in any conflict.

4.  Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be observed the last Monday of May in 1971.

5.  Four Federal holidays are observed on a Monday: Memorial Day, George Washington’s birthday, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.

6.  Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day.  Memorial Day is a day to remember those who died while serving.  Veterans Day (November 11) celebrates the service of all US military veterans.

7.  A National Memorial Day observance continues to be held at Arlington National Cemetery.  The Old Guard places little American flags at the gravesites of service members buried at Arlington National Cemetery on the Thursday before Memorial day every year.

8.  All Americans are supposed to pause for a minute of silence at 3pm local time on Memorial Day to pay tribute to the men and women who died serving the nation.

9.  Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA contains the remains of more than 400,000 people from the US and eleven other countries.

10.  More than 4 million people visit Arlington National Cemetery annually.



Shhh…I Eat Carbs


After celebrating our Anniversary on Wednesday night, Thursday involved a lot of coffee.

We met up with the Brentwood Breakfast Club for a run and breakfast at Puffy Muffin. (Follow The Brentwood Breakfast Club on Facebook to see our weekly routes!  Everyone is welcome to join us!!)

We hung our patriotic swags for the Memorial Day weekend!

Normally, I run a double on Thursdays, but I moved my long run to Friday this week.


First car at the park just after sunrise.

4 Hour Trail Run.  3,000ft. elevation gain.  I felt great!!!

With wonderful company from Corrie and Sam!

Fleet Feet Nashville is having a big Memorial Day weekend SALE!!  I stocked up!

Check out their $50 shoe table!!

I ordered two venetian mirrors to go above our nightstands and they arrived…love them!  I wonder how long it will take Jason to hang them? (hint, hint)

And for dinner, I was craving pasta!

Lots and lots of carbs!!

A couple of housekeeping items…

Congratulations to @brivers14 on winning the Garmin Forerunner giveaway on my Instagram Page!

Cocogo is having a big Memorial Day Sale!!  I use Cocogo in my handheld for long runs and track workouts…love it!  Save an ADDITIONAL 10% when you use code: JENCHOOSESJOY (all caps) at checkout…30% TOTAL SAVINGS!

Do you carry a handheld or pack when you run? 

What do you drink during your workout?

What are your Memorial Day plans?