Wacky Yogurt Flavors With Heat

Does this have anything to do with running? Nope. But yogurt is frequently considered a health food. (or a demon food, depending on which audience you talk to!) So… whatever. Yogurt it is today!

Chobani Chipotle Pineapple yogurt

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Saw this on the shelves at the grocery store. The oddity, when compared with the overall dessert-ish vibe of the yogurt section, stood out and I knew I wanted to try it.

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Pineapple flavor of yogurt is nice, with little pieces of pineapple interspersed. It was a little thin or watery compared to many Greek yogurts.

Crunchy stuff isn’t sweet. The seeds have a tiny bit of flavor from the granola and the almonds have a subtle smokiness. The heat is there in the granola, but not overpowering. A big spoonful of the granola straight might be too much

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Mixed together, it’s just a nice crunch to the yogurt with a hint of heat underneath it all. It’s just enough to sense it but it’s not going to burn out your mouth. I have a fair amount of tolerance for heat and felt this super subtle but if you are sensitive this may burn more. Overall, kind of a pleasant mix!

Sriracha Mango yogurt


I was scared of this yogurt yet really excited to try it. Sriracha ketchup is a fabulous condiment, but I’d never dream of putting sriracha directly in my yogurt.

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The yogurt was pleasant, not overly sweet with just a few small pieces of mango. Again, this variety seemed thinner than most Greek yogurts.

All of the crunchy topping stuff was tasty. The sriracha heat was just right. I think I might be tempted to eat it as a snack.


Combining the mango yogurt and the sriracha crunchy things was awesome. Seriously, this was just yummy. The heat was just a faint background burn. Calling it a burn might be too strong, it was just slight intensity. I’d totally buy this again. Oh! Wait… I already have bought it again.

Disclaimer: Because people ask, I bought this with my own money after seeing it on grocery shelves. Nobody prompted me to buy or eat this. I did post a pic on Instagram and had people ask for my feedback on it, so I thought, “Why not write a post? That sounds like something you’d have done before blogging got wacky.”

Running Books to Inspire Teen Girls

Running Books for Girls
My sister-in-law reached out to me over the holidays and wanted to know if I had any book recommendations for a teen girl who is into running. I thought it was a great question, and I had fun revisiting books I’d read and thought might work for this request. Here are some running books for girls I recommend:

Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer

Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer

If you’re not familiar, Kathrine is the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with an official bib number. She didn’t sign up for the race trying to be a revolutionary, but signing up as K. Switzer let her slip through the registration process without being recognized as a woman and thus she changed history. It’s a great non-fiction read about how much change has happened in a relatively short time for woman rights.

Kara Goucher's Running for Women

Kara Goucher’s Running for Women by Kara Goucher

This book contains basics on how-to run and care for yourself during the process, but I think Kara Goucher always presents herself and the sport in a kind and approachable way. It covers the gamut of just starting to training for the marathon, as well as nutrition and keeping a balance.

Sole Sisters

Sole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running by Jennifer Lin & Susan Warner

This book compiles stories from women in all walks of life about how running influences their life. Stories of women who run to battle cancer, to survive after becoming widowed to a teen who connects with her heritage through running, they’re all here. I think it’s important to remind ourselves that even though we all live different lives, there are things that can tie all of us together at any age.

The Running Dream

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

The first fiction book I included, this one follows a teen who finds a way to fall back in love with running after she is in an accident that causes her to lose her leg. It’s a story of triumph and compassion that teaches important lessons about never giving up and how all people are worthy of love and friendship, even if they are different from us.

Finishing Kick by Paul Duffau

Finishing Kick by Paul Duffau

I liked this book because of how relatable it is. It’s not like it’s a grand story of someone overcoming a physical disability or illness or becoming a world champion… it’s just a nice fiction book about some of the standard things a teen girl deals with. Boys, sports, school… but all in an incredibly readable way and I think nearly all girls will feel some connection with Callie, the main character.


Now the funny timing of this… I had just recommended all of these books to my SIL when Paul Duffau, the author of Finishing Kick, reached out to me to let me know that the audiobook version of that novel was recently available. And he offered to let me give away a copy of the book here. And since I have enjoyed my interactions with Paul and his books, I was happy to do a giveaway.

In the interest of not encouraging the random giveaway entrants to play, I want to open it up to commenters on this blog post and on the post I will share on my Facebook page about this. I enjoy running with audiobooks (it’s part of what got me through over 50 books in 2015!) and I want to share my love of audiobooks and this story with people that I hope will be truly interested. (See my manifesto post about giveaways.)

So here’s all you need to do for entry… leave a comment with one of your favorite books or just say hello. I’ll choose a winner on January 15.

JillWillRun.com 2016 Manifesto

2016-manifesto.jpgBlogging has lost its luster, its appeal, its purpose for me. And I’m going to reclaim it. It’s my blog and I can make it what I want. Mostly.

First let’s just make something perfectly clear… I’ve received some opportunities through blogging that are amazing and I’m extremely grateful for that. But there are also some challenges that make it less fun. I mean… the allure of earning money from this site is definitely an exciting thought. But I do have a full-time job that expects much of me. I don’t need PR folks breathing down my neck demanding that I acknowledge their emails when the vast majority of the time, I was just fine not knowing about whatever they’re pitching. And I really don’t want to write a ton of sponsored posts where I have to awkwardly weasel in a catchphrase for a product, I’d like to maintain my voice. Sponsored posts are a great opportunity, but across the board they’re very stilted and I don’t want to become that.

So here are some ground rules:

Running Pertinent Reviews = Happy Panda

I will still review running-related items (gear/shoes/clothes/gadgets)
I got my start reviewing running items that I purchased because I was interested in them and wanted to share my thoughts with others who might find it helpful. And some of my favorite things to review this past year have been things that I sought out myself. Although, there have been things that I will repeat purchase. If I get offered something for free in exchange for a review, I will consider it but it has to be specifically relative to running.

Supplement Reviews = Sad Panda

No more supplements
I’m tired of receiving bottles of pills. It just seems kind of insane to use my body as a testing ground on products that I don’t really care about all that much and there’s no real way to review it. “I swallowed some pills and nothing seemed to change, so it’s either fine or not fine?” I’ve had chronic health problems for the past couple of years and maybe some of these supplements I’ve been offered would help. But if that’s the case, I think I’ll seek them out myself. And probably not write about them, because I’m not really interested in sharing the details here. (Hence the vague mention.)

No post guarantees

If I hate a product, I may or may not write about it.
Some items are annoying and dumb, but really not worth my time/effort to even share them. I’m sure marketers would prefer to not have some really negative post about their product out there and I don’t need to waste my time. That said… sometimes things are just to the point of being so bad I will feel the need to post about them.

No Kid Clauses

My child is not part of the deal
Sorry people who offer to send me kid stuff… this is a running blog primarily. And a blog about me. (Like, the only thing that’s ME ME ME left in the world!) If I write about my child on this site, it will be on my terms and because I elected to do so. I’m not going to accept a freebie product with the condition that I force my kid to play with it, photograph my kid and share that online. I’m drawing a firm line on this.

Giveaways in Moderation

Giveaways are a pain
I have been inching away from giveaways. There are people who troll the web looking for giveaways and often I’ve noticed those are the people who end up winning. I try to be fair, I use a utility to run the giveaway and randomly select a winner. But I do feel a little pang of sadness when I give something away to a person who obviously spends their days tweeting about giveaways for a gamut of products to win anything and everything. I will limit giveaways even more and when I choose to hold one, it will be because I feel it’s a good reason.

My blog, my schedule

Time is valuable
I work full-time, my husband works full-time and in the off hours I like to play with my kid and be able to run. That’s pretty much it. I don’t have time to do all the workouts I would like to (yoga, barre, TRX, group classes, strength training). I like writing… a lot. When I was a little girl I said I was going to be a writer when I grew up. But I don’t like writing about something I am indifferent about. If I were a reporter, that would be different. But this is a personal blog and I am allowed to have my own opinion and choose what I write about and build my own schedule. And if that means I choose to ignore the blog for more personal fulfillment, I’m doing it.


 

I miss the feeling of community that blogs used to have. Comments are way down on my blog while traffic is up. I don’t know what the “right” course of action is, but I want to get back to enjoying blogging. And if I don’t feel that enjoyment during this year, then maybe I’ll just archive the site and move on. I’ll keep Tweeting/Facebooking/Instagramming as I appreciate the interactions that occur there.

Happy New Year!

See ya 2015, Welcome 2016

Another year has come and gone. Boy, these things tend to fly by lately.

My 2015 running started off with a BANG! as I was training to run a marathon for the first time in several years. I learned that it was a lot harder to train for a marathon as a parent than it was in the past. But I did it and running the Boston Marathon in April was the highlight of my running year.

Actually, much of my running felt good this year. If my surrounding life had been less stressful, it could have been a truly phenomenal running year. Maybe it was a truly phenomenal running year anyway. It seemed like I was finally improving in my running… something I’m still muddling over in my brain.

Professionally this was probably my hardest year ever. I’m hoping to get a reprieve in 2016.

In 2015, I ran a couple of half marathons, some 10Ks but I don’t think I ran a single 5K race this year. Odd… That can’t be right. (looking at my Athlinks account…) Oh, yep… I ran one in January of 2015. Forgot about that one.

I very quietly decided to do the Runner’s World holiday running streak, I think I only told one other person that I was doing it. And I actually found it quite enjoyable to get in at least one mile each day. That could have been my year ending on a pretty powerful note, but it was more of a whimper these past few days since I have picked up a cold or something that has settled into my lungs and that is making it hard to run beyond that my requisite one mile each day for my streak. At least I could do that mile each day inside, as the cold air is kind of painful on the lungs.

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And for my grand “art installment” where I snap pics of my shoes with the weather… I think I only missed 3 or 4 of my runs all year.

Right now, 2016 is looking rather void of plans. I have ideas and thoughts racing around my brain, but not much as been inked… or committed to a credit card. I am doing the Run 2016 miles in 2016 challenge with a couple of friends. I’d love to do a couple of relay races in 2016. I like the idea of getting into a pattern of at least one marathon a year. And I think I should be able to do more half marathons throughout the year than I have in the past few years. But all of these things require a good support and communication system, especially when you have a child.

I’d love to get a new Garmin. I’d love to test more wearable technology… I have a feeling I may do a Lumoid box a few times this year because I get a kick out of that. I will probably need to find my new running shoe since the Saucony Virrata has been my default shoe for a while and they stopped making it.

I’d like to figure out a balance of running/barre/yoga/strength training that works. In my mind, I always want to do all of those more days/hours than are actually available in a week. I need to accept the limitations I have and figure out the right mix of all those things!

What are your goals for the new year? Are you looking forward to the new year?