Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

What I listen to When I’m on the Run

As someone who listens to music on the run, in the car, at work and nearly everywhere else, I get so sick of the same tunes. Although I resisted at first, I’ve been getting really into Spotify lately (I thought Pandora was the best thing ever). Since joining a month ago, I’ve discovered some great new artists and CDs that are perfect for working out.

Warning: Do not judge me for this list! The variety of what I listen to can make me look insane. I can easily switch from country to rap to broadway musicals (like 9 to 5-my fav!).


1. Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die”

They say she’s like a self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra. It couldn’t be more true. Her voice is so soulful but her lyrics are a little disturbing (with an album name like “Born to Die,” it really isn’t a surprise!). But I’m loving this music lately, especially songs like “Radio,” “Dark Paradise” and “Blue Jeans.” Plus, she’s a total fashion maven. #girlcrush.

2. The Black Keys’ “Brothers”


I am obsessed with this album. It is the best running music that you can just zone out to. Brenton has had the CD on our iTunes for years, but I didn’t start listening to it until recently. One of my favorite songs is “Everlasting Light.” Oliver likes that one too :)

3. The Nashville Soundtrack 1 and 2

And the judgment begins :) I love this TV show, so it’s no surprise that I think the soundtrack is amazing. The whole cast is filled with great actors and they actually sing their own parts. Some of these songs, like Hayden Panettiere’s “Telescope,” are good enough to be on country radio. I can’t wait for Season 3 of the show this fall. And more music, of course.

Question: What are some of your favorite artists to listen to while you’re running/working out?

Thursday Things

She’s alive! This week has flown by with work, running and everything in between. So without further ado, he’s what I’ve been up to lately.

1. I had no idea yesterday was National Running Day! It was pretty dreary around these parts, so I didn’t get to run outside. But every chance I get I’m hitting the trails with Oliver.

Laurie wrote a touching post about why she loves running, which made me think about my own running journey.

I love running because it gives me the chance to think. I have my BEST ideas when I’m either running or in the shower (TMI but who cares!). I have been known to completely lose myself in thought and suddenly I’ve gone another mile without even realizing it. 95% of the time I’m also running with Oliver.

Running bonds us like nothing else. There’s nothing Oliver loves more than scampering with the wind blowing through his floppy ears. I honestly think Brenton is missing out (he doesn’t run unless he’s being chased). Sometimes when I listen to music I say to myself, “Oliver would love this song” because it seems like his cadence is in perfect rhythm with whatever I’m listening to. If he could talk, I’m sure he’d say his favorite band is the Black Keys :)

Oddly enough, I hated running before I rescued Oliver. If I had to run, I much preferred a treadmil and running outside scared me. Now I’d glady exchange the treadmil for a run outside. Whenever we get back from a run, Oliver sticks to me like glue and follows me everywhere. Does anyone else experiences this?

2. My Gatherings column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was published on Sunday. It was all about going into uncharted territory in the kitchen. Although I can make a TON of complicated foods (like eggrolls, homemade pasta and cakes galore), I can’t make Minute rice to save my life. I kid you not. I don’t even buy rice because it tastes like crap whenever I do try to make it. It’s either burnt, too watery, gummy or just inedible. So for me, tacking risotto was quite a feat. Brenton helped me with the stirring part but I measured and cut everything. I was thankful for his help because putting on a spread like this isn’t easy. You have to time everything out perfectly, style each dish and take photos. Brenton took this picture and did a fabulous job. He’s so talented!

For any good cook, part of the fun is exploring new menu possibilities. How about a meal of Roasted Beet Salad with Crumbled Feta and Pea Shoots (clockwise from left), Asparagus Risotto and Lemon Poundcake with No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream and Strawberry Compote.

3. I’m so excited for the weekend! Brenton and I are watching “Life of Pi” tomorrow night, which I heard was really good. We have leftover homemade mac and cheese and pulled pork in the fridge for dinner, but I’m having a mad craving for Asian….again. On Saturday, my mom, my nephew Triddy (i.e. Tristan) and I are going antiquing in Lake Geneva, Wi. Bring on the bargains and vintage finds. Speaking of vintage, I posted a decrepit chair on here a month or so ago and I finally finished reupholstering it! It looks fantastic, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

Question: Any weekend plans? What do you love about running?

Thursday Things

Happy Thursday! As we speak (or as I type, rather), I’m making my second Alpha Bakery Banana Bread of the week. We’re headed to Appleton for a funeral tonight, and Brenton’s family could use some comfort food (don’t we all?!). Unlike my healthified version from Monday, I don’t have any white whole wheat flour or cacao nibs. So I’m making this loaf exactly like my dad and I used to make it, complete with walnuts because every good banana bread needs nuts. Here’s what else I’ve been up to:

1. When it comes to comfort food, there’s nothing higher on my list than a casserole. After writing this article for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, I discovered that you can make a casserole out of pretty much anything (baked mac and cheese, lasagna, even a breakfast strata).

One of the coolest things about researching and writing this article was that I got to interview Bobby Deen! (yes, that was an inaudible squeal) He was the epitome of southern charm and so down to Earth. He has a complete chapter on casseroles and one-dish meals in his new book, “From Mama’s Table to Mine.” I included a recipe for his Mexican Fiesta Casserole, which fed Brenton and I for days (the consequence of making any casserole in a two-person household).

2. I’ve been living in Zensah’s Seamless Power Running Jacket. The fabric is ultra breathable, soft and moisture wicking. You can tell this is a quality fabric as soon as you pick it up (I was introduced to Zensa when I first tried their compression socks). One thing I especially like about this jacket, besides the thumb holes, is the pocket in the back. Most people would use this for a key. I use it for poop bags. #TheLifeOfADogOwner


Giveaway Winner!

Thanks for everyone who entered the Dreamfarm giveaway. The winner is…

Congrats, Tara! Please send your address to by Saturday, Feb. 23, so I can get your prize out to you asap! If I don’t hear from you by then, I will choose a new winner.

Of Possible Interest:

Restaurants Turn Camera Shy (The New York Times)

10 Terrific Food Documentaries to stream on Netflix Tonight (The Kitchn)

Question: What’s your favorite casserole recipe? (links welcome!)

Icebreaker Marathon Relay Recap

We survived! The Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay that is. Laurie, Karissa, Sarah and I duked it out against 99 other relay teams.

The race didn’t start until 1 pm on Saturday, so I had all morning to drink coffee, clean and hang out with Oliver. The race takes place inside the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee (It looks like a skating rink with a track around it). Here was my race outfit: lucky pink tank top (which I wear for every race), grey capris, Zensa argyle compression socks and Mizuno Wave Inspire 9 sneakers.

My breakfast that morning consisted of coffee and baked oatmeal (which I must really post about sometime. It’s the best!).

I wasn’t hungry enough to eat my banana so I took it along with me to eat between laps. Since we had 4 girls running 26.2 miles, we each ran 4 laps at a time (1.1 miles).

I ended up just eating the Clif Crunch bar and the banana. While constantly running, my appetite went down to zilch.

Go team Buns on the Run!

Laurie and I decompressing before the race.

One thing I didn’t expect was for the track to me so dry. For some reason I wasn’t that thirsty and only drank about 16 oz. of water the whole time I was there.


Our teammates Sarah and Karissa. Karissa loves cats…almost too much!

Laurie bookin’ it.

Between reps we warmed up with the sexiest blankets you’ve ever seen (covered with dog hair no less).

We placed 59th out off 99 teams and finished at 3:40:53 with an average pace of 8:26. I think we did an awesome job considering we switched runners 26 times (and each time we had to swap out an ankle timing chip). Also, we didn’t take ourselves too seriously. Most of us considered this race a workout and didn’t train too hard. This winter I’ve been running only 2x’s per week plus a bunch of strength training and other cardio. So considering that, I was pleased with my performance — and the rest of my team. These ladies did an awesome job and made the whole event worth it!

Although this was a fun race, half marathons are more my style. I’d much rather get the running over with and party at the end! Since we have so many races around Milwaukee, I’d love to run a 10k or two this summer (hopefully with Laurie and Brittney!). I always run my races alone and it is much more fun when you have a friend along.

Question: Do you have a running sweet spot?
(i.e. a distance you stick to for races?) I find it hilarious that I’ve run 3 half marathons but only one 5k. I need to add some diversity!

The Icebreaker is Here

Some things just creep up on you — like getting sick, a messy kitchen or even a race.

That’s how I feel about the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon relay this Saturday. I have not run on a track since high school, nor have I ever ran on a relay team. This coupled with the fact that I haven’t been seriously training means our “Buns on the Run” team (yes, that’s our team name!) is bound for greatness.

Ok, before you think I’ve been eating potato chips couchside all winter, I have been working out a lot. My idea of a fun run is lacing up and bringing Oliver for a 5-miler through the Oak Leaf Trail by our house.

I’m more concerned about getting out there, hitting a certain distance and getting a tan. That’s why I love the half marathon so much (minus the getting a tan part), Once you start talking about mile repeats and the like, I pretty much lose interest. I wonder if there’s a training plan called “going out there and doing my thing”?

In addition to running, I’ve been meeting with  my personal trainer about once a week and doing a lot of cardio (I’m loving the elliptical these days). I also want to get back into doing more classes at my gym. Since I left Xperience fitness, I miss my BodyPump like crazy. Instead I’ve tried their Interval, core and yoga classes.

So the fact that I’ve been varying my workout routine and staying active gives me confidence that I’ll hit our 8-minute mile time on Saturday. I’ve already thought about what I’m going to wear — definitely my Mizuno Wave Inspire 9 and Zensa Compression Socks. I’ll also probably wear my Lululemon capris and a running jacket. It’s supposed to be in the 50s inside at the Pettit National Ice Center where the race is being held.

Before I leave for the day, I wanted to show you my nephew’s latest picture. I visited him this weekend and he just lights up any room he’s in. He’s 10 months old and just took his first steps last week. He also has 7 teeth and loves to eat. He even ate a whole veal parmesan patty the night before…with a banana. At least he can now walk all of his calories off :)

Question: What sneaks up on you?

Besides races, I always feel the holidays sneak up on me…then the sneak away. I can’t believe they’re over for the year!

Race Medal and Bib Hanger + Giveaway Winner!

I’m back live! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday! We spent time up in Appleton visiting Brenton’s family and down in Kenosha with my family. It was Tristan’s first Christmas, so we had a great time opening presents and playing with his new toys. With a few extra days off work, we also had time to work on some Pinterest projects.

For the longest time I’ve wanted to create something that holds my race medals and bibs for my half marathons.

Pinterest Inspiration:

race bib & medals display



My version:

This project was very easy. I got the wood from Hobby Lobby for $2.99. Then I painted the wood a slate blue and distressed it with steel wool. I also painted some clothes pins to hold the bibs. Finally, I bought the hangers for the medals at Menards for a buck or two. Voilà! For more race medal hanger ideas, see my running page on Pinterest.

The next project I did was completely girly and I love it! It’s a DIY necklace holder with knobs you would find at Anthrolpologie.

Pinterest Inspiration:

Jewelry holder. easy.



My Version:

Instead of spending $8-12 for Anthropologie knobs, I only spent $2 per knob at Hobby Lobby. This really saved me money on this project. I think the whole necklace hanger cost me about $13 (the wood was scrap but we bought a small container of paint to distress the wood).

Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered by 2-year Blogiversary Giveaway for a set of William Bounds Salt and Pepper Mills! The winner is…

Congrats! Please send me your shipping information and phone number to and I’ll have this sent out to you asap!

Don’t forget! You still have a few days to enter my giveaway for a 1-lb box of Enstrom Toffee!

Question: How was your holiday?! What do you like to do when you have extra time?

Cyber Monday Deals for Runners

I scoured the ads on Thursday with one goal in mind: new running shoes. Most people would just head to Kohl’s for something like this, but the wrong shoes can affect your whole body and even cause injuries. I’ve been to Performance Running Outfitters in Milwaukee and they do a great job fitting runners with shoes that work.

It’s because of them that I got hooked on Brooks Adrenaline. My oldest pair is from my first half marathon in 2010 (the blue ones at the bottom). I got my red ones a year later and then went manly with all-back about 6 months ago.

Although I like Brooks, I figured you could always get something better. Anyways, back to the deals. I’m obsessed with bright shoes and Saucony was offering 20% on their site (which you can still take advantage of through Cyber Monday with code 20HOLIDAY).

I pretty much had my mind made up when I visited Run Away Shoes in Appleton on Friday. I know, I know. You cannot and should not buy a shoes based on looks, but their ads in Runner’s World completely sucked me in (which is surprising considering I work in this industry and know all the tricks).

But after trying on about 9 pairs, I finally broke free of my Brooks addiction. I settled on the Mizuno Wave Inspire 9.


I loved how the Mizuno hugged my heels so they didn’t pop out during runs (which sometimes happened with my Brooks). My feet also felt very secure without the shoe being too bulky.

At first I thought the color was little out there, but the electric blue is growing on me and now I love it. But hot pink with green would be even better (are you listening, Mizuno!?) I bought these on Black Friday at Run Away Shoes in Appleton for $113 with 15% off. I thought this was a pretty good price considering some of their shoes can run up to $140-$150.

Question: Did you buy anything on Black Friday? Are you loyal to any brand of running shoes? And what do you do with your old ones? I’m hoping Pinterest can help me with that last one, but I doubt anyone is crafting with old sneakers.

Welcome to She's on the Run! I'm Alysha, a copywriter and food writer living in Milwaukee. I live to run, write and explore wonderful food - this blog is how I find balance while constantly being on the run. Feel free to reach me at with any questions or comments.
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