My Reading List: September 15 – 19

1) There’s no place like home. Women’s Health lists 23 signs you’re from a big city and I’m just eating them up, but not more so than its opening line: “City life requires a certain level of spunk. You didn’t just end up here, you earned your right to be here.” Damn straight I did. And in the 7 weeks I have been home, I’ve had more coffee and wine than I can comprehend, been asked how to get places by random tourists whom I’ve probably also silently screamed at for walking like trolls, eaten out way too much, paid too much in rent, and joked with a stranger about the idiot who off-loaded a Metro train because he thought he and his mountain bike were small enough to jump from the escalator and through the closing doors without getting caught. Ahhh, life in our nation’s capital is grand. It has some downfalls, of course– last week I got the blunt end of one too many people’s pure rudeness and I don’t particularly enjoy forking over the sum total of three house mortgages in Nebraska every month to rent a studio in Arlington– but after almost a year back in my home state, I would put up with all of that if it means I am in love with my life.

2) For the past month, I’ve been getting physical therapy for instability in my very weak hips, so my PT has prescribed a series of hip drops to help me regain some strength before the marathon. I was delighted to see that Competitor had an article about the benefits of the “dark horse” exercise; dark horse because, for a relatively simple action of dropping your hip off the edge of a step and lifting it back up, you get an insane burn. It might not get me where I need to be before the race, but I’m already starting to bust through the 10:00 pace ceiling and run back in the 9:00 ranges, so yes, I will take that.

3) I ran across this article from The New York Times that talks about workplace wellness programs. This is an area of discussion that I have personally not thought of all that much but would love to converse about. Pretty much everywhere I have worked has had a fitness center or wellness program of some kind. I actually got my start as a runner through my $17/month membership to the ugly yellow-painted gym in the basement of the federal building in Lincoln, Nebraska. The last company I worked for gave employees who participated in the Lincoln Marathon in May 2014 a gift bag with Gu, granola bars, and some other healthy running items. One company I interviewed with even offered to pay entry fees for the marathons and half-marathons that I registered for— um, dream job! The article discusses things on a macro-level: do employee wellness programs help curb employer medical expenses? Does it lead to discrimination for those who can’t participate? How is this concept doing on a national level as far as reducing obesity rates? Well, I don’t know about that, but I have appreciated it when employers let me duck out at 4-4:30 to catch a run before the sun goes down in the winter so I don’t have to jeopardize my safety by running in the dark or take a longer lunch to catch a gym class– especially when I am training for a marathon and have runs that can last an hour during the week. Even though I usually prefer to run after work when I need to clear my head of the day. Most of the time I am in the office early and stay late to work anyways, so as long as I feel like I have a balance going on, I’ve personally got all the wellness program I need.  P.S. I’ve honestly written some of the best emails/memos while I am running. It clears the mid-day fog away like a charm.

This is a short list this week because I’ve been swamped this week, but please enjoy. Have a good weekend!

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