Favorite Things : May 12 – 18, 2018

crossfit, favorite things

Happy Friday! No exciting plans for this weekend except for a six mile run tomorrow and a bike ride on Sunday. Other than that, the plan is to start packing. We move houses in mid-June and are terrible administrative procrastinators, so we have to start packing as early as possible or else I am certain it is going to be June 14 and we will have so much stuff to purge and pack. Also, we’ve been married for nearly a year. I have no idea how accumulated so much junk already.

I am so sore in places I am sure I have never been sore before from Crossfit. The strangest area of soreness is my hands, like the muscles in my fingers ache. What is that? Still. I am loving it way more than I thought I would. More on that to come.

Without further ado, here are this week’s favorite things.

Advice for life: take your dream seriously.

One basic decision for happiness.

Bookmarked for swimming improvement.

Devon Yanko is a total bad ass.

How to spot bad science and fads.

Thank God for this defense of emotional book buying.

Put the phone down.

READ THIS: Scott Jurek and the idea of endurance.

Lists that do not include Toto’s Africa.

I have friends who run the spectrum of political ideas and while we discuss and disagree, I have never ended a friendship over political differences. This article on Roseanne from the NYT is worth a read.

Everyone lives with, works with and is related to people with dramatically different political opinions. And they mostly get along. But that doesn’t find its way into most of the commentary.”

On a less serious note, is 28 too old for a shark sweater? Asking for a friend.

xo, Ali


Favorite Things : April 28 – May 4, 2018

favorite things

So far it has been a nice and relaxing morning today. I was planning on going for a swim, but the pool is closed until next week. I made myself some tea and read for about an hour. I’m hoping to get a few more things done before I head into work at the archives for the day.

Nothing too exciting is planned for the weekend. I have a massage this afternoon and we’re going to have dinner with some friends of ours. I’m hoping to run six miles tomorrow, but we’ll see how the legs feel. I’m trying to take it easy, as I have felt more wiped out and stiff than usual on both runs that I’ve had this week.

And so, without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

An important reminder: travel is no cure for the mind.

Memento mori?

Tips for life-long athlete performance.

Probably something I should start doing: mapping my week for productivity.

Two great posts from my friend Emily. One pre-race. One post-race.

Great post on mental toughness.

Running and a sense of purpose.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Ali




Favorite Things : April 14-20, 2018

favorite things

Plans for this weekend: relax. Run ten miles(????). Relax some more. And maybe, just maybe nerd out and play Dungeons and Dragons for the first time at the local comic book store. I am trying to maintain weekends as weekends. That is, I just want to take the time to read some books out on the porch because it is sunny, do some laundry, and clean the house up.

I’m feeling pretty good. The elimination diet to figure out allergies is going well although I am getting pretty bored eating the same foods over and over and over again. I did get sick out of nowhere yesterday around lunch-time and ended up having to miss my Wilderness survival class — but almost every day was like that in March, so one time getting sick a week is actually a significant improvement.

Without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

I am feeling this so bad right now.

I suspect that I will be going into this half-marathon a little less trained than I wanted to be, but this made me feel a lot better.

Bad science news about wine!

Great article about a hike in the Grand Canyon.

Note to self: You cannot outrun a bad diet. Repeat. You cannot outrun a bad diet.

I’ve made it a point to check my bank and savings accounts every day — and I agree with this article, it helps!

I love skincare (I own like three things of makeup and the rest of my bag is alllll skincare) and I am sorely tempted by these products.

I sit on a tennis ball for my hamstrings on all long drives.

How to drink more water.

Last, but not least, I am nowhere near as fast or athletic as Devon Yanko, but this post on dealing with chronic illness had my heart.

Have a lovely weekend!

xo, Ali



Favorite Things : April 7-13, 2018

favorite things

I received my results from my endoscopy yesterday. Turns out everything looks good (hello again, sweet, sweet dairy and gluten), so I do not know. I do not know what is causing my eosinophilia. It has been suggested that it might be stress — which honestly, would not be all that surprising. But I kind of just don’t want to think about it anymore. I know that is bad, but I have been worrying about this for a month and a half now. I feel a little bit better. My stomach looks fine. I feel like I’ve wasted time in doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, this endoscopy, just to keep being told “everything is negative.” Well, everything except for that my white blood cells are high. Fine. Fine. I don’t want to mess with it anymore.

For the most part I’ve been feeling fine. My stomach still hurts after I eat, but nowhere near as bad as it was in March. Now, at least, I can consistently function. And the good news is that I’m healthy. So fine, money and time were spent, but I know that for the most part I’m fine.

This weekend the travel continues. I’m going home to visit my mom in Ohio and we’ll be there over the weekend so that next week a normal week can finally begin.

Without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

I recently joked to a friend that I can tell what kind of conservative someone is by the thinkers they quote. I agree with this article — Alexis de Tocqueville is overly used — but I think we differ on the reasons. Tocqueville on Algeria though emphasizes my own.

This interview with Mike Strzelecki fro Ultrarunnerpodcast is great.

What a beautiful story of human kindness.

I actually hardly ever buy running clothes, but I really love this Nike top.

Reminder for two weeks from now: The race ain’t the only clock.

As my half-marathon comes closer, I keep watching this video of the trails. And yes, I  always tear up.

xo, Ali




Favorite Things : March 31 – April 6, 2018

favorite things

Greetings from Philadelphia! Here are this week’s favorite things.

I like this idea from Cal Newport on “slow” social media.

C’est pas vrai! Cheeseburgers are now apparently more popular in France than the classic ham and cheese baguette. They show some people who argue this is not exactly true, but Jonathan Fenby notes at the end of his book, France: A Modern History from the Revolution to the War with Terror, the decline of French food in France. He notes, “Eighty per cent of croissants were reckoned to be made in food plans in the early twenty-first century” and that “in 2014, France exported more vodka than cognac.”

When making your to-do list: schedule life first.

And when living your life: run your own race.

On the #metoo movement. Can we enjoy the art of monstrous men?

Advice for life: be prolific.

Amelia Boone’s race report from the Barkley Marathons.

I spent way too much time on this article.

I like the idea of reading Joan Didion more than I actually enjoy reading her, but this article was interesting.

xo, Ali

Favorite Things : March 24 – 29, 2018

favorite things, Uncategorized

A day early due to Good Friday tomorrow. I’m not running this week (more on that next Monday), so this weekend will be hopefully finishing this third chapter and other things I wanted to get done for April. We go to Philadelphia next weekend and will spend a few days in Connecticut visiting Bruno’s parents, so this upcoming week will hopefully be spent checking off to-do’s.

And without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

All the best philosophers walked, especially my beloved Rousseau. I’ve been thinking about adding an after-dinner walk with Bruno to the schedule instead of the usual plopping on the couch and reading/Netflixing.

On my every day damn day list: an hour of reading, ten minutes legs up the wall, and an hour and a half of writing. No matter what.

A funny article on the benefits of early rising. I definitely agree with the point about “me time” in the evenings. I’m usually too tired, so it usually works out for me much better in the mornings.

Important: Media diet pyramid. Get your information from more books, people!

With all my on-going stomach problems, I’ve been thinking about starting to brew my own kombucha. This brew-your-own kit would look a lot nicer than a jar sitting on the counter-top.

I’m the worst trip-planner ever, but I think it worked out for me when we spent five days in Paris during our honeymoon. We never took a taxi (except from the airport to our airbnb and then when we left to the train station) and the only thing I had to do was go to the Pantheon (to see Rousseau, of course). And while we did do some touristy things, mostly we walked around, stopped at cafes or gardens and read. Apparently that is how you should do it.

Nobody finished the Barkley Marathons this year.

Back in the day, my high school friends and I would watch Super Troopers all the time, probably almost every weekend before going out or when there was nothing to do. I even once had my ringer for my cellphone (an LG EnV!) as the song from the scene with the Germans…yeah, you know the one. Proving that I never developed a more sophisticated sense of humor, I have watched the Super Troopers 2 trailer over and over and crack up. I initially was not expecting much, but April 20 can come any day meow.

I run on Dunkin’ Donuts. And now I want these running shoes so I can literally run on Dunkin’.

And last, but not least, if you read anything today, make sure it is this article.

Have a great weekend and Happy Easter!

xo, Ali

Favorite Things : March 17 – 23, 2018

favorite things, health

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that I was pretty sick, as in, can barely keep down any food sick. I went to see a doctor, went to the hospital for an ultrasound, and some bloodwork. I’ve still been in a lot of pain, but it depends on the day. I had thought some probiotics and yogurt was making it better, but then yesterday, I had a pretty bad day again. Mainly just sick, in bed, researching symptoms, and watching Happy Endings on Hulu(why was this show cancelled?!). Except this time, I’m pretty sure it was a little bit self-induced.

I had a follow-up appointment with the doctor on Wednesday. Turns out my bloodwork showed a high amount of eosinophils, which is apparently a white blood cell connected with food allergies (I’m not a doctor, my authority is my lady doctor). The good news is, I feel like I have some evidence my pain is not in my head. The bad news is I was gifted with a list of eight foods to avoid (you know, dairy, gluten, soy, fish, eggs, etc.) and told to basically just work my way through them and see what is up. Then I was scheduled for an EGD (I’m not even going to type out the full name), but it’s one of those scans where they stick a camera down your throat and take pictures of your innards while you are looped up on a sedative. It’s in April, but I’m assuming, given how I’ve been feeling this last month, they will find a mess.

So I rewarded myself with a cheeseburger (completely rational, right?), the last cheeseburger (at least for now). And I was up at around 2:30 Thursday morning and have been sick ever since, munching on gluten free crackers and ginger tea.

And with that, I will end the health update.

Without further ado, this week’s favorite things:

How we spend our days and purpose and, of course, running.

I live in Michigan and had no idea about the Michigan Ice Festival.

Another great blog post from my friend Emily, with the always important reminder: act how you want to feel.

As long as I can remember my favorite genre of books have been memoirs. Then when I was in high school I read Smashed by Koren Zailckas approximately fifty million times and my favorite sub-set of memoir became the addiction memoir (I love human self-overcoming). I told the aforementioned Emily this week that I was becoming tired of memoirs and joking said I was losing my empathy, as in, “get your shit together.” Within ten minutes of the phone conversation though, I discovered a new memoir by Leslie Jamison, called The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath, which looks phenomenal and I think Bruno already pre-ordered for me. In a surprising twist, Jamison has been referred to as the “Queen of Empathy” for her previous collection essays called The Empathy Exams. Go figure and point taken, universe.

I have mixed feelings about Esther Perel, but I thought her advice on marriage after children worth booknoting.

The science of running breaks (not that I want to take one right now).

We have friends coming over for dinner tomorrow night. I’m thinking (as a last hoorah) some croque-monsieurs (made with homemade sourdough bread, of course), arugula salad with this vinaigrette, and finished off with some chocolate pots de crème.

xo, Ali


Favorite Things : March 10 – 16, 2018

dissertation, favorite things

Well. I’m caught up. I’ve started the third set of edits and hopefully will be well on my way to get this chapter turned in by the end of the month. I still feel anxious (what else is new?), but I’m hoping that as I get closer and closer to turning the chapter in that anxiety will eventually recede.

Not much on the docket for this weekend. I run twelve miles tomorrow and some fellow graduate students are having a St. Patrick’s Day party in the evening. Still not drinking, we bought some Q ginger beers (still kind of festive, get it…”ginger” beers…ok, I’m still twelve) and I’m making some cookies to bring.

And without further ado, here are this week’s favorite things:

Long, but poignant essay on privilege.

These pictures make me want a skateboard.

Not a vegan, but I was still interested in this list.

Also, not a fan of baseball, but this article on Ichiro Suzuki was fascinating.

Definitely worth reading and thinking about: submissive sex in the age of #metoo.

Usually I wake around 4am — an old article on why that is the most productive hour.

The always wonderful Ann Patchett on baking and retraining your shrinking attention span.

If you read anything on this list, read this one: life after cancer diagnosis.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Ali






Favorite Things : Week of March 3 – 9, 2018

favorite things, running

This week was quiet. I am having my first big hurdle to consistent training and dissertation writing, which is frustrating. I’m not good with plot-twists. I like routine. I like sameness day after day. I’m ok with not doing the usual — as in I watched my nephews on Monday and did zero work — provided that I had plenty of time to harness my expectations that the usual is not going to happen.

I had a great working day Tuesday, but for the past week I have been experiencing some increasingly intensive stomach pain. I’m not sure if it is related to Sunday’s migraine, but I’ve just really struggled keeping anything down. I checked all the possible suspects — not pregnant, no fever so not a flu, etc. Yesterday we decided to go to a walk-in clinic, which led to an ultrasound and blood tests.

The ultrasound came back with nothing on it and I had to re-do the blood tests, but mainly I’m just frustrated. I want whatever it is to be taken care of now. I am so scared that I am not going to be able to run my half at the end of April, lose the little speed gains I have made in the last several weeks of hard-fought consistency. I really, really, really do not want to start over. Again.

And with that panicky introduction, I will leave you with this week’s favorite things:

I loved this piece from Ashley Ford at Cup of Jo so much. I do not have kids yet, but I think about how different it will be to raise them compared with how I was raised. Most likely they will not be milking on a dairy farm before and after school. Considering that both Bruno and I will have our Ph.D.’s by the time we have kids, they will most likely have a very different culture being raised than I did. The differences probably between how Bruno is raised and how our kids are raised are perhaps even more stark –he was a Brazilian immigrant, grew up speaking Portuguese in the house, and even left the states to go back to Brazil during his childhood to return back here. It is just interesting to think about. I, too, like the women in this article fear that my kids my end up “too happy” and not understand struggle and working for what you want.

This shirt.

Productivity advice. Common sense, but I can always use it.

I enjoyed this article on the new rebranding of Johnny Walker as Jane Walker. Frankly, I exceedingly dislike consumerist feminism (as in “buy this because it supports women!”) and this phenomenal article really calls out this problem with the liquor industry: Women, Booze and the Vote

I’ve been making my own sourdough bread, but sometimes I feel lazy. This looks like a good possible substitute.

Hopefully someday I’ll have what I need to be an ultrarunner.

I can hardly go a day without dropping an “f-bomb,” but I really do not like it in writing. Let me rephrase that, I think there are very few writers who can cuss in their writing without it sounding gratuitous or like the writer is trying too hard. Anyways, I guess my f-bomb habit is good for me.

Have a good weekend!

xo, Ali




Favorite Things : February 24 – March 2, 2018

favorite things

And another bites the dust. All I can say is dissertation chapter three is growing and the miles are flying by. Tomorrow I head back to Ohio for a weekend visiting family. I haven’t been home since around Christmas, so homesickness is starting to be at around an all-time high.

Campus will be on spring break, but Bruno and I are not — so it will be just another regular week for us, although I will not have to work at the archives — aka more time for Rousseau.

And without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

I’ve loved this poem for years. It explains so perfectly why I wake up so early (between 4-5!).

I’ve just recently starting wearing red lipstick, well actually lipstick in general. I’m not much of a make-up person. I don’t even wear foundation or any sort of cover-up! Anyways, these beautiful shades are making me think I should broaden my lipstick horizons.

Adding these work-outs to my Wednesday to-run list!

Bruno and I moving houses this summer. The décor of our current place is very bachelor meets graduate student, so these wall décor ideas are giving me some ideas and plans.

I made this for dinner last night. It was definitely a winner.

I’ve been wanting a motorcycle jacket for so long. I’ve wanted this motorcycle jacket for all of today.

Have a good weekend!

xo, Ali