Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Marathon Training Recap Week 13

I spent the beginning of the week foam rolling my face off.

By Thursday I finally had all the ouchies out of my IT band. And by Saturday I decided to push my long run to Sunday.

Sunday I made it .1 of my 18 miles before calling it quits and walking back home. But not before stopping to stretch three times to see if that'd help. Nope. It's a different knee pain than what I've experienced in the past, and I attributed it to residual IT band soreness that I wasn't getting completely.

So instead of a 3 hour long run, I went for a 3 hour long ride. Not nearly as beneficial as the run, but it was still a great day to be out enjoying the outdoors.

Longest solo ride. Second longest ride ever. While maintaining my fastest long-long ride pace. Wahoo!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall Book Excitement

There are a ton of stellar books that are coming out this fall. I usually wait and review them right after they've been published, but I thought I'd give those of you that use the library a jumpstart on putting them on hold. You're welcome. :) If you're not a library person (I won't judge, but seriously... get yourself a library card! It's National Library Card Sign Up month after all!), and prefer to buy books, if you use the links in this post I'll get a few pennies to use toward future races.

Or pug rescuing.


Afterworlds is the newest book by author Scott Westerfeld of popular Uglies series fame. I have an e-arc of this one, but at 610 pages, I don't know that I'm going to get through in the next week I have it available to me. However, the buzz around it is huge. It's actually a book within a book (thus the 600+ page count I guess). Even if I don't get to this before it's published, I'll definitely pick it up from my library.

Summary from goodreads:

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings… 

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

If you need a book to fill the Pretty Little Liars tv hiatus sized hole in your heart, you might want to check out the newest by PLL author, Sara Shepard, The Perfectionists. As of right now, this isn't showing as the first in a series, which might mean that we just feel satisfied when we reach the final pages, unlike the PLL series, amiright??

Summary from goodreads:

In Beacon Heights, Washington, five girls—Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker—know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke...until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them. 

I'm so excited to get into The Young Elites. Marie Lu's Legend series was huge, and I'm sure this one will be just as awesome. I hope at least.

Summary from goodreads:

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

The Ship of Brides is by my beloved Jojo Moyes. This isn't actually a new book, it was released in 2005, but from my understanding it is being re-released because of her recent success. If it's anything like her other books, it'll be a must read.

Summary from goodreads:

The year is 1946, and all over the world, young women are crossing the seas in the thousands en route to the men they married in wartime - and an unknown future. In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other brides on an extraordinary voyage to England, aboard the HMS Victoria, which also carries not just arms and aircraft but 1,000 naval officers and men. Rules of honour, duty, and separation are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier's captain down to the lowliest young stoker. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined in ways the Navy could never have imagined.


Summary from goodreads:

David Nicholls brings the wit and intelligence that graced his enormously popular New York Times bestseller, One Day, to a compellingly human, deftly funny new novel about what holds marriages and families together--and what happens, and what we learn about ourselves, when everything threatens to fall apart.

Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful Connie into a second date . . . and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce.

The timing couldn't be worse. Hoping to encourage her son's artistic interests, Connie has planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world's greatest works of art as a family, and she can't bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead with the original plan is for the best anyway? Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage, and might even help him to bond with Albie.

Narrated from Douglas's endearingly honest, slyly witty, and at times achingly optimistic point of view, Us is the story of a man trying to rescue his relationship with the woman he loves, and learning how to get closer to a son who's always felt like a stranger. Us is a moving meditation on the demands of marriage and parenthood, the regrets of abandoning youth for middle age, and the intricate relationship between the heart and the head. And in David Nicholls's gifted hands, Douglas's odyssey brings Europe--from the streets of Amsterdam to the famed museums of Paris, from the cafes of Venice to the beaches of Barcelona--to vivid life just as he experiences a powerful awakening of his own. Will this summer be his last as a husband, or the moment when he turns his marriage, and maybe even his whole life, around?


Summary from goodreads:

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

Let's Get Lost 

Summary from goodreads:

Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost. 

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most. 

There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love. 

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

  Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned" is sure to be LOL funny.

Summary from goodreads:

"There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told," writes Lena Dunham, and it certainly takes guts to share the stories that make up her first book, Not That Kind of Girl. These are stories about getting your butt touched by your boss, about friendship and dieting (kind of) and having two existential crises before the age of 20. Stories about travel, both successful and less so, and about having the kind of sex where you feel like keeping your sneakers on in case you have to run away during the act. Stories about proving yourself to a room of 50-year-old men in Hollywood and showing up to "an outlandishly high-fashion event with the crustiest red nose you ever saw." Fearless, smart, and as heartbreakingly honest as ever, Not That Kind of Girl establishes Lena Dunham as more than a hugely talented director, actress and producer-it announces her as a fresh and vibrant new literary voice.

Yes Please ...speaking of LOL funny.

Summary from goodreads:

In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book is full of words to live by.

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography Ok this fall will officially have all the books with all of the funny and lolz.

Summary from goodreads:

Tired of memoirs that only tell you what really happened?
Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the “u” back in “aUtobiography”? Then look no further than Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life. You will be born in New Mexico. You will get your big break at an acting camp. You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan. Even better, at each critical juncture of your life you will choose how to proceed. You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D. You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality. You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John’s yacht.

Choose correctly and you’ll find fame, fortune, and true love. Choose incorrectly and you’ll find misery, heartbreak, and a guest stint on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song. Yes, if you buy one book this year, congratulations on being above the American average, but make that book Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon Training Recap Week 12

Monday I took a rest and recovery day from a weekend of awesomeness. Sleeping in. Napping. Hydrating like a champ. Pug snuggles. You know, typical.

Tuesday I worked late, so I dug out a new pair of running shoes to hit the road for 11 miles. I wanted to run SO BAD when I was in KC, we passed so many cool running paths, so I was excited to get in a monster mileage week. Only 3 left until taper!

The run felt awesome, but my lower back was really tight toward the end. I was focusing on good running form, so I'm not sure if that was adding additional stress to my back or what. The last two miles  is on sidewalks instead of the trail, so I get stopped at traffic and I had to stretch my back each time.

Tuesday at work, I was in so much pain, I was actually crying out when I'd have to sit down or stand back up. I swear I've had every running injury in the history of the world except for back. WTF.

My back continued to hurt the rest of the week. I ibuprofened, and developed a new love affair with Icy Hot patches. OMG, life savers. The pain went away after Wednesday but I still had a lot of tightness and soreness all the way through Saturday when I went to pick up my race packet.

Since Sunday's half was my 10th consecutive at this race, I did NOT want to have to DNF it, but I was seriously concerned that was my fate. I talked to my co-worker and she said if I had to walk it, she'd walk the rest of the way with me. That's a friend. Hah.

I laid around all Saturday with an Icy Hot patch (FYI the knock off brand is not as effective, nor is it as sticky, spend the extra $ for the better quality, lesson learned) on my back, hydrated, and freaked out via text to any friend that'd listen. Thanks friends.

Sunday I woke up with a teeny bit of soreness, but nothing like I'd had all week. YAY! I still didn't know if running caused it, or if running just made it worse, but I was hopeful about the half!

My garmin died at 3.3 miles, and I still managed to stick close to my race plan of 6ish miles of long run pace, followed by 7 miles of picking it up. I didn't pick it up as much as I thought I did, but I was still really happy with my effort level.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Race Report: Sioux Falls Half Marathon

After being concerned about serious back pain all week long, I was ecstatic to wake up Sunday morning painfree. My excitement for the day wained when I went to put on my Garmin and learned that my battery had drained it instead of charging it. Deep breaths, be thankful you're not racing, be thankful this isn't the marathon. I put it back on the charger and it started doing the reverse charging thing that the Garmin 610 is known to do, so when we finally HAD to leave I wasn't sure what percentage of charge I actually had.

We got to the race start in time to see some marathoning friends depart! Go Emil! Go Ed! And for the first time in the history of all running time, my stomach wasn't angry. Yay! I ran in to my friend Julia, and we set out to do a warm up lap. Within a 100 meters, I had a completely new pain stabbing in to my knee. GAH! I stopped to stretch and it came back. Cue internal freak out. I stopped to do my hip and glute stretches, hoping that my knee would just pop. Soon it was time to start!

We were off, and the random knee pain was gone, thankfully. I started off a little faster than my planned long run pace, but it felt nice and easy. I also knew there were some decent hills coming up that would surely slow that pace down. My watch started to tell me the battery was low at mile 2. Womp. And then my mom surprised me by being around mile 3! She has very specific spectating spots so I wasn't even looking for her. I was enjoying the day so much that I didn't bother listening to my music.

I took my first GU at mile 3.5.

1.  10:06
2.  10:13
3.  10:27 (first hill)
.66  10:26 pace

I looked down at my watch during the downhill portion of Phillips Ave. when I realized it was dead. Oh well. I guess Jenn will get her wish for me to run a race without a watch. ;) I looked for Kyle on the downtown stretch and didn't see him. And I ran into my new running friend from Fargo, Janna! We really need to be running besties as frequently as we run the same pace in races. 

Then it was down to the falls. Usually my mom is at the falls, but I didn't see her at all. Instead I took in the view of the Falls. So pretty. Coming out of the falls is a decent hill. I was mentally preparing myself for mile six to come and to start picking up the pace. I was also checking in with my legs to see how they feel. I re-read my last 4-5 race reports Saturday night and every one of them I talked about my quads being destroyed at mile 6 and not being able to pick up the pace at all.

Shortly after I finally saw Kyle.

He likes to get his finger in the shot, I guess. :)

After this we headed back toward the bike trails. I took another GU around mile six and also realized that I'd forgotten to take a salt pill, so I downed that too. I knew there'd be clock around the halfway/10k point, so I was hoping to get an idea of what my time/pace was. Well, there was a mat, but no clock. And the spectators were saying "halfway done!"

Except not much further away was mile 7, soooooooo ??

According to the results I hit 6.9 miles in 1:11:57 for a pace of 10:25.

I asked a couple at mile 7 what time their watch said hoping I could estimate a pace and finishing time, and they told me they were on pace for a 2:20 half. Which... didn't help at all. Hah. Still nice of them to tell me! I was enjoying picking up the pace and gaining energy on passing people. That probably sounds rude, but it does re-energize you (just as it de-energizes you when you're on the opposite side of it, trust, I've been there plenty).

I heard a couple of gals saying they were on 9:30 pace, so YAY! I was doing even better than I expected. Shortly after mile 8 we had a MONSTER downhill that I tippy toed down so my legs didn't die. I knew I'd be seeing Kyle, Emily, AND my mom. Yayzies.

I saw Kyle at Lincoln High School, and was bummed that I didn't see Emily anywhere. Waaaah.

A few minutes later I saw my mom screaming in her usual spot. YAY! I was actually somewhat concerned when she wasn't at the Falls. I'd hoped there was just traffic issues, and not anything serious. Worrywart: party of 1.

And then, out of nowhere, I saw Emily waiting to cheer for me! YAY! I took my last GU shortly after I saw her at mile 10, and finally cranked the tunes up.

I picked up the pace in mile 10, but it might have been too much. I had to pull back a little bit during mile 11, and then kicked it back in with 1.5 miles to go. I would've guessed I was close to my 8:30 goal pace during this part. But I would've been wrong. Hah.

I saw a guy at mile 12 a ways ahead of me, and set my sights on catching him. The chase is on! Spoiler alert: I didn't catch him. When I finally got close enough to the finish line to see the clock I was shocked to see it at 2:10! I would've guessed I was in the 2:05-2:06 range. Drat!

I finished and immediately saw my mama, and then Emily.

And then I learned that I can't follow directions when it took me years to find Megan. She finished her 2nd post baby 5k and killed it. Obvs.

And then everyone left me and I jumped into the line for a massage. I looooove that this race gives free post-race massages. Wahoo!!

I stuck around after the massage to watch some marathoners finish, until I realized that it was making me cry which is embarassing, and that it was FREAKING.ME.OUT. Seeing marathoners pain faces reminds me of how painful running 26.2 miles is! EEPS!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Weekly Reads: Falling into Place

Falling into Place is the debut novel by writer Amy Zhang. I received an e-ARC of the book to review as a librarian and the YA title received some strong buzz, so I was excited to tear in to it.

The story is told in a unique way. We find out about Liz's attempted suicide on page one, and then spend the rest of the book uncovering all the moments in her life leading up to that moment. It's also told from an interesting perspective. It was a fairly quick read, and I wanted to find out how it ended, but I didn't really connect with any of the characters, which was perhaps the intention? I'm not sure. I was floored to finish the book and read the author's note that it was written by a high school student in Wisconsin. Impressive.

My rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. 

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Kansas City Weekend

We took off for Kansas City to visit Kyle's BFF and wife as soon as I was done working on Friday night. We got in way past my bedtime, so after some hellos, the girls left the besties to catch up. We woke up and headed off to Bass Pro Shop to make Kyle happy. :)

After what felt like hours there, Liz was done working, so we headed to Weston for the Brewery Tour.

It was roughly a trillion degrees out, and the tour wasn't for another hour and a half, so we checked out some of the adorable shops, and stopped for some pizza.

And beer. Obviously. 

The tour was awesome. There was so much history in the building. We toured down in the cellars and sampled our beers in an underground bar. 

After Weston we headed back to KC for IRISHFEST!! Unfortunately it was still a trillion degrees out, so I sweated like a beast.

Me and Liz waiting for the boys. The theme of the weekend.

I probably need this fountain in my everyday life. #teamgreen

I spent all of Irishfest trying to get Kyle to try on a kilt because he'd look great. Him in this dress was as close as I could get.

After Irishfest we went out for dinner and I had the greatest salmon sliders of my life. 

Sunday was spent lamenting the drive back to South Dakota. We did make our way downtown to have some amazing buffalo chicken pizza at Minsky's. YUM. We also checked out another little town outside of the city, which I'm currently blanking on. And then it was time to make the 5.5 hour drive home in severe thunderstorms, tornado warnings and threats of hail. Let's just say I was a really fun travel partner. :P