5 Things – May 2021 Edition


Happy May – the best month of the year! It’s finally warm, the days are getting longer, my Spring semester is over, my 12 hour race is coming up, and it’s my birthday month. I freaking love this month.

I haven’t been writing because I have been either 1. working, 2. schooling, 3. running, or 4. scrolling on my phone. I’ll admit it. That being said, I figured I’d memorialize five(ish) things that I have been loving lately. Let’s get to it.

Up first! My Hydroflask.

post-run tacos featuring Hydroflask

I feel like I’ve probably written about my Hydroflask before, but man I do love it. During the work week I aim to drink at least four bottles a day (160 oz) and it makes it so easy. I love that it holds so much water, stays cold (though you need to add a decent amount of ice to keep the ice frozen), and tolerates being banged up. Not to mention, perfect for stickers.

I can leave it in the car during long trail runs and when I come back the water won’t be frozen (winter) or boiling hot (summer). It’s also so big and bright that I can’t miss it, which helps as a reminder to stay hydrated!

Next, foam rolling.

A little over two months ago, I decided I wanted to foam roll at least five times a week. Peloton has a handful of 10 minute foam rolling videos and they have been a godsend for keeping me consistent! Sometimes we roll in the morning before work and sometimes we do it right before bed. I mostly circle through the videos for calves, glutes, hamstrings, and quads. When we first started foam rolling, it was painful (in a good way) all the time and I had to keep a lot of my bodyweight off the roller. Nowadays my muscles have adjusted to the sensation and it just feels good!

I have been trying to hone in on “train hard, recover harder” and I love foam rolling and doing yoga or stretching. We foam roll Monday-Friday normally, but stretch practically every day. I think that I recover faster after long runs and generally feel less tight and stiff than I have in the past when running a bit.

It has also made me more aware of what’s going on with my body and muscles, which I can appreciate. The other day I think I pinched my sciatic nerve a bit and the left side of my body has been protesting. Instead of freaking out (okay, I freaked out a little because my left hip region has given me serious grief in the past), I kept foam rolling and stretching and am taking two solid days off running to let it relax. I have also been cycling between icing and heating my hip, lower back, and hip flexor.

I have always been terrible at recovery, so this is one I am particularly proud of. I even track it on Strava to keep myself accountable!

Third, tailgating.

Tailgating is many things to me. Sometimes it’s hanging out in the trunk with the seats down, reading a book as Patrick runs 50 miles. Other times it’s popping up our little camp table and chairs to have a picnic after a trail run.

It’s just really fun to not be in a rush and to stay outdoors. Sometimes you get the craziest looks from folks, but that’s half the fun! It feels like camping and it’s very relaxing.

Fourth, being vaccinated!!!!

This one really should’ve been first, but omg the COVID vaccine. As of 5/19 I will be fully vaccinated (aka 2 weeks past my second dose) and I am so happy. A week after my first dose I got COVID arm, which was interesting. I had an inflamed, itchy rash near the vaccination site on my arm.

The second round I mostly felt tired and had a lingering headache for 2 days or so. I got Moderna and all in all would 1000% do it again.

Fifth, making new recipes.

Spaghetti carbonara

In the fall we got really in the habit of making new recipes and it was really fun. We had a rhythm, too. I’d come home from work, we’d run or workout, and then we’d get dinner going. It probably helped that it was getting darker and cooler and weekly mileage wasn’t quite so high, but it was also a nice way for us to hang out at the end of the day.

At some point we fell off of that, I think because runs took longer and I had grad school classes that had lots of virtual meetings in the evening. Nevertheless, we are hoping to get back in the swing of it. We have so many cookbooks and the weather is beautiful for grilling or sitting outside. This week we are making an eggplant and feta galette out of Sababa by Adeena Sussman. I’m tempted to make a berry galette to pair with it for dessert.

I’m pretty pumped for this summer. Vaccines, warmer weather, camping, (hopefully) weekend beach trips! My big run is coming up on the 29th and I’m looking forward to it. I have loved training for this, but it’ll be nice to not have a prescribed long run either. We still can (and will) trail run, but we can seek out shorter, different trails that weren’t appropriate for our training plan. Or we can swap them out for long day hikes and backpacking. That sounds amazing too.

I hope you are having a wonderful May! And how in the world is it almost halfway over?!