I hope it’s perfectly fine with you if I talk about something other than Melania Trump, police brutality, Brexit, or Kanye West.  The news literally gets weirder and darker every single day.  With the exception of the Taylor/Kanye thing, which I fully plan to discuss my theories on that at some point this week.

However, let’s take a total right turn, and talk about something not awful and stormy, but something really really necessary for summer survival.  Hydration!

Okay, so I’ve always been pretty good about hydration, especially since I spent those summers at camp.  At camp, I was there before canteens really started coming out with any significant ounce-age (not a real word), so I started making a habit out of buying 101-oz Deer Park containers and just toting those with me to camp.  And then again when I started running seriously, water was crucial to avoid bonking on long runs and not damaging muscle terribly when I went for a run.

Now, I’m still super active, and lifting more, but my drive to stay hydrated isn’t just for the purposes of keeping me afloat (tee hee) in a long workout or during a long day of teaching classes, but it’s also to keep me from having contractions and to get into the habit of drinking constantly so that I can keep my breast milk supply up once the baby gets here.  Plus I think it helps with some of the headaches I was getting really badly in the first tri…which we can also chalk up to the first tri just being a miserable time in life.

First off, here’s the trick I was kind of given by a nurse 21 weeks or so in, when I was overdoing it, and ended up spending a day on the couch with my feet propped up.  On the phone, the nurse told me to try and get 30 oz. of water in before lunch, and then another 40 or so after lunch.  Sounds like a lot, but it’s plenty doable with a few tricks I’ve mastered over the past few weeks that totally help you get more clear stuff in.  Plus, with all that liquid in, getting diet soda in is harder.  My like main vice, even though I consider myself fairly healthy, and plenty active is artificial sweetener, but I figured at some point that that can’t be awesome for the baby, so I’ve backed off a lot.  Tricks to stay hydrated, especially in the summertime!

Get cute/large water bottles or canteens.  

I’m a big believer in keeping some sort of water bottle with you at all times, because there will never get to be a point in the day when you’re like CRAP, I’ve had nothing to drink all day long!  I tend to gravitate toward larger, double-walled ones that are pricier, but can keep things cold.  The thing about the price is that it’s something that you’re toting around daily, and you’re not reaching for plastic bottles consistently, which is really not great for you, or for the environment.  I have a S’well (24 oz.), another S’well (17 oz.), a Yeti (30 oz.), and  I’m in the market for a larger canteen since I’m drinking more lately.

Really quick.  The S’well is cute, and a fashion statement I kinda, think, but it’s hard to shove ice cubes in it.  I stick to plain water from one of those tappy things at the water fountain for this.  The Yeti is great because you can get ice in there and it can fit in most machines.  It’s not very pretty though, and I had to buy a separate lid with a straw in it so I wouldn’t have to sip out of it like a coffee mug.  I am totally open to suggestions for a slightly larger, double-walled canteen.  


Start early!

I do my best on water on days when I have to get up really early for class, and I have to drink to get through classes.  On Friday mornings, I get up around 5am to get to my 5:45am class, and typically can at least get a Yeti in during/after class.


I really love anything carbonated, but I can’t slam Diet Cokes all day.  Just no good.  So, when I’m really wanting  something super super cold and bubbly, I’ve done a few flavored seltzers, in the the form of Dasani Sparkling, but my absolute favorite thing is to stop by the Burger King and get plain seltzer out of their Coca-Cola remix machine.  It’s always super cold, and overcarbonated, so it really has the most delightful effect.


Monitor your pee.

This is a sorta-gross trick I picked up, that I start using heavily whenever I’m heavy into a training cycle for a marathon. This trick sort of also depends on what supplements you’re taking – a multivitamin or a prenatal can turn your pee BRIGHT yellow, but otherwise, you should be operating in light yellow territory. The darker it gets, the more your eyebrows should raise.

Those are the best I can do on a few tips to stay headache-free this summer.

  • What are your tricks to keep your water intake up?
  • Any suggestions on a slightly-larger canteen that I can start to use as I try and get in a few more ounces throughout the day?

My Sober June

I did it!  We made it!  Sober June absolutely flew by, and I did it without any cheating!  No alcohol for a month!

Sober June

I have to admit, I was really intimidated by the entire idea of not drinking for a month.  We’re dinks, I’m a runner, and I’ve centered a lot of my social activities around drinking for as long as I can remember.

I go to run club, run a few miles, then drink a beer.

I invite friends to catch up over dinner, we order some beers.

I’m working on the group fitness schedule for the next month, and I would pour a glass of wine to keep me occupied as I sifted through emails, making sure that we didn’t have any holes for the following month.  It was just something I did.

But I read Andy Cohen’s book when it came out late last year, and he made mention of doing a sober January, which was really curious.  Andy loves to drink, and features a drinking game on his show, which sometimes airs 4 nights per week during the high season.  But he did it!  So maybe I could, right?

So like I mentioned here, a friend posted on Facebook about 5 or 6 weeks back that he was curious about what it took to do a sober June.  I was intrigued, and after a really good hangover, and a horrendous bout with strep throat, (or strep thoat as they say here in the south). I was ready to be done with alcohol for a while.  So I jumped, both feet in, after reading a few articles on going sober for a month, and went for it.

Surprisingly, after a day or two, it wasn’t super hard!  I drank lots of other things.  Seltzers, fake beers, coffee, and tons of water, but I never felt a huge urge to grab a beer and start chugging.

A few times when it was hard?

I had a stressful day at work, and instead of heading home that night, which I really couldn’t afford, I headed to a coffee shop where beer was also served.  I really wanted a glass of wine, which I had gotten used to treating myself to, like if you get your work done, you’re “allowed” this treat.   The feeling was short-lived, and I decided on a cup of tea instead.

It was a smidge hard at first with dinner, when you just wanted a beer.

But other than that, it really wasn’t so complex. 

As I write this, it’s the first of July, and I haven’t run to the store for a bottle of wine.  Even better, I’m thinking of running to the store for fro-yo later.  I believe I plan to drink on the 4th, as I’m going to visit friends, and I’ve planned on it all month.  But one good thing about this is I don’t necessarily feel the need to drink in a social situation.  And I think that that’s what this month of sobriety has taught me.

Stay tuned for my tips on doing a sober month!


Random things Friday.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post like this, but I think these posts are really good because they give you an accurate picture of what goes on inside my brain. Which is a LOT. And I don’t necessarily mean in the MENSA way, I mean in the ADD, pass the Adderall kind of way.

Onto the random things!

1. I wanted to run long on Thursday morning, but I fell asleep with a pretty severe headache and a touch of a sore throat. I almost NEVER get sick so it was sort of alarming. I woke up yesterday morning after some pretty fitful dreams, with an even bigger headache, and I spent most of the morning on the couch answering some emails and chugging coffee and water to try and get the headache to go away/flush some of that nasty stuff out of my body.

2.  I noticed some people who ran Tobacco Road had posted some of their times and photos from the race.  Check out this proof!


So I ran 13.1 miles after arriving at a race late, and since I was late I could not check a bag.  this means I had my jacket (that was wayyyy too expensive for me to ditch), my water, and my phone, all with me.  Oh well, race ended well despite some residual soreness from having to fight my way up from the back of the pack during the race.  Check out that lobster red face!

3.  I think I found some tickets in a really good section of Stevie Wonder in Newark in April to surprise my dad with.  For the most part I don’t think my dad reads this blog super often.  If he happens to be reading today my surprise is ruined.  Also, is there a reason why ticket scalpers need to make all of our lives extremely difficult by buying up all the tickets?  A lot of times they have to drop the price down in the final days before the concert.  That has to be stressful.  Is that worth it?  Can’t they be normal people and get a second job that requires not gumming up Ticketmaster for the rest of us?

4.  CamelBak Eddy

I drink out of this thing on the regs. All sorts of watery beverages. Water, sparkling water. You know, I get pretty crazy. Well I happened to be looking at the bite valve on this thing last week, and it was full of mold. Which is kind of terrifying. But also explains why ::knock on wood:: that I’ve not been really sick in a long time.  Like I don’t count a little sore throat that I’m dealing with now.  But I’ve been ingesting all sorts of disgustingness while I’ve been trying to stay hydrated for some time.  Gross.  Also intriguing.

5.  My performance appraisal is next week.  Eep.  I hope it goes well.  It kind of makes my stomach hurt to think about it.  I’ve done a good job at my job, and I love my job, but I know there are things I can improve on.  And I want to take the time between this PA and next years to kill it even harder.

Tell me one random thing!

Race week! Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh!

It’s race week.  Which I almost forgot with everything going on around here, but I am so so so excited for the Rock ‘n’ Raleigh, but it’s so interesting to be doing races at a time in my life when I’m busier than I could ever have imagined, and all in positive ways.

This time last year, I ran these races with a very specific goal in mind, wanting to get better and better.  Now, I want to run fast, surely, but I also want to run strong, and feel happy and healthy throughout the race, and warp it up with a smile like this one.


Without further ado, here are some of the things I strive for this week, and in the race on Sunday morning.

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  This time last half marathon, I was vomiting violently from a little stomach bug I’d contracted.  If we can stay healthy, hydrated, and not drink this week, that would be great.  I will certainly allow myself a beer the night before, but other than that, I’m gonna chill on what I drink, and focus on consuming a good bit of water.
  • Rest.  I’m not good at this.  I am going to sleep this week.  I am going to sleep this week, dammit, if it kills me!
  • Foam rolling.  From last week’s 15-miler, the lactic acid has built up into my legs, and during a little maintenance run yesterday, my legs burned the entire time.  I grabbed the foam roller after, and rolled, and need to stay on that in general, and not neglect my poor legs/quads/butt.
  • Compression.  Along the same vein, I need to be sleeping in my compression socks to keep my legs fresh and rested for the race.
  • Time goals? Eh, it’s funny where I am at this point in my life, but until I get married, I don’t feel like I’m gonna be too crazy about time goals.  As long as I feel good and strong throughout the entire race, I feel okay.

Anyone else running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh? Racing this weekend?  What are your goals leading up to/the day of the race?

What do I do with coconut water?

So the awesome folks at Zico sent me over a case of both plain and chocolate coconut water, and I have to admit, I totally didn’t even know what the heck to do with it.

I like coconut candies? I like shredded coconut, but for whatever reason, me and coconut water never got on particularly well. But it’s been all over lately, and I think it’s worth another look.


So Zico Pure Coconut Water is marketed really well. It comes in sweet little bottles that look chic, so you’d actually want to be seen drinking it. The draw of coconut water, as a supplement to your normal water intake (not a replacement!) is that it contains a few additions that you might need, especially after prolonged periods of exercise. Endurance athletes, especially, may find this useful, because coconut water can replace sodium and electrolytes lost without laying on a ton of sugar or calories.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 bottle 14 fl oz (414 mL)Serving Per Container: 1
Ingredients: 100% natural coconut water from concentrate, natural flavor.
Amount/Serving % DV*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Calories 70
Cal.from fat 0
Sodium 180mg 8%
Amount/Serving % DV*
Potassium 610mg 16%
Total Carb 16g 5%
Dietary Fiber
Sugars 15g
Protein 0g
Amount/Serving % DV*
Calcium27mg 4%
Phosphorus 30mg 2%
Magnesium35mg 10%
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are
based on a 2000 cal. diet
† Not a significant source of protein

The way I chose to incorporate it was to use it in a recipe!


Excuse the fact that my life is a complete mess there on the coffee table. Just…don’t judge me.

Okay, so I tend to use this one for a kind of meal replacement for breakfast, as I tend to only do like a piece of toast or something like that before I do an early morning long run, to replace lost sodium and such. I know, that for me in particular, this is important, because my sweat seems to be a little saltier – usually after a long, long run, if I let the sweat dry before I hop in the shower, I literally have salt crystals on my face.

sweet-ass recipe with less dairy and sugar than your normal

-Get your frozen fruit together. For the plain coconut water, I stuck with the tropical theme and did a sort of tropical medley. This is like mangoes, pineapples, strawberries, and a few peaches. Fill up the cup you’re gonna sip this out of like 3/4ths of the way.
Protein/Iron/Nutrition Addition do a little dollop of plain Greek yogurt or a handful of spinach in the blender. The yogurt will make it creamier, and the spinach will turn it green. Don’t let the green freak you out.
Dump it in the blender. All of it.
Cover the fruit with the coconut milk. And blend til the center tornado in the blendah is really moving.

And drink it up! Feeling creative? Do strawberries, and swap the plain coconut for the chocolate! Or if you love the taste, chill some, and keep it on hand (along with a protein source) for after a long workout!

Hydration Motivation

If you live on the east coast, you’ve been sweating for like a pig for the last week.

I was so tired of the heat in North Carolina, that I actually bragged to friends about the cool, breezy, humidity-free oasis that awaited me. Now, imagine my surprise when I arrived to Reeders, and it was 90 degrees with 77% humidity! And we work out in the big barn, so extra stinky, and extra hot.

Staying hydrated has been a challenge for all of us, so I bring you Cheri’s tips for Staying Wet (hydrated)

8, 8 oz glasses is not necessarily a thing anymore it’s highly subjective, and a great starting point, but it’s really based on weight. So how can you guesstimate how much water you need, especially in heat like this?
Bring a large bottle everywhere. I mean everywhere. Have it by your bedside, take it to breakfast, lunch and dinner. Keep it full, and literally sip it like you would a coffee from Starbucks, constantly.
-It’s gross, but check your pee. . If it’s a weird color, like super dark, or it smells weird, drink up.
Spice up your water if you suck at drinking water, try sparkling. It’s kinda like soda, except it has zero flavor. Super delicious, and yore still getting some hydration.
Skip the haterade Gatorade, and go for something like Nuun. Nuun less sugar and calories. If you must do the Gatorade, water it wayyy down.
Skip the soda, skip the tea, and skip the beer. Just for the week, they’ll make you pee out all your electrolytes, and work against the ultimate goal of keeping you hydrated.

And finally, if you’re nauseous, dizzy, or hot headed, chill, you’re probably dehydrated. Drink up and stay cool, my friends!

The key to 17 miles…

I didn’t bother posting yesterday…we celebrated our national holiday, the Beyonce Bowl, and you guys couldn’t care less what I have to say. But how dang good was that halftime show? Let me say that if the power had gone out during the halftime set, I may currently be hospitalized. Onto the good stuff!

I ran my long run yesterday, 17 miles.

I was kinda nervous since 16 didn’t feel so hot. But I think it was partially because I didn’t bring my Camelbak with me, and dehydrated muscles perform like a car with just a teensy bit of gas left. Also, I think 16 is the point where, if my blood sugar isn’t quite where it’s supposed to be, my body is like ::side-eye:: “Nope, Cherisse, not gonna happen today”.

But I started early, took a few Powerbar Gels and some Clif Shot Blocks with me, and settled in for a long ride. So the key to the 17-miler is…


Katy Perry Pandora
-Pull out all the advice people have given you. Yoga Kerri told me just settle in and understand you’re going to be at it for a long time. While some folks may be snug as a bug, you’re going to be freezing your tush off, eating caffeinated gummy snacks. Embrace it.
-Pre-run compression (pictured above from the night before) is where it’s at for me! Compression isn’t just for post-surgery folks, runners have jumped on the bandwagon. Calf cramps, ugly swelling, and hopefully clots, in some cases, are banished with these guys. They don’t just look cool, they actually have a function!
-A whole lotta sweat. All that dark on my shirt? 17 miles worth of sweat. Which means a whole lotta water. Seriously, don’t skimp on the water. You will feel like garbage and that ain’t cute.
Essie, “Go Overboard”.

Next week is 18 in my marathon training, and I feel a little better about it since 17 went so well. I seriously did a little victory dance there on the side of Glenwood as I finished. Workin’ on my moves for next week!!