Saturday, August 31, 2013

August in Review + I Heart 3 Day Weekends

August In Review

Total Miles: 143 up from 77.7 last month.  Doing, werkk!  (85.5 last August.  Also did some looking for previous Augusts, since I'm freaking about over what I'm capable of running in next Saturday's half, and this is my highest August EVER.  Which is stellar because August is always miserable weather.  WHOOP!) 
Total Time: 27:06:33 up from 14:35:30 last month.  So. Many. LSD runs.  #basebuilding
Total Runs: 18 for an average of 7.94/run.
Highest weekly mileage:  8/19-8/25 46.0 miles 8:49:40
Favorite run: I did my first tempo run in a REALLY REALLY long time on the treadmill this week.  I was scheduled for a midweek LR of 11, and I set out to do it before work.  It was 96% humidity, and I ran so slowly, and felt so crappy that I had to cut it to 8 miles in order to get home in time to get ready and go to work.  I hit the treadmill after work to make up my mileage, and decided to attempt my tempo miles.  I did 5 total, with 4 at tempo, and ALERT!  I'm not as slow as I thought I was!  (although I'm still pretty slow).  It made me excited to start the next phase of my Pfitz training that focuses more on speed now that I have a pretty solid base built up.

Most hardcore run:  I had an 18 miler last Sunday.  I got started at 6:30am to "beat the heat" and it was a "feels like 90+" for the whole last hour of the run.  This 18 miler took me longer than it takes most people to run a marathon (this may or may not be an exaggeration).  But I didn't give up or throw in the towel, so I gave myself 5 B.A. gold stars.
Favorite race: NA
Bike Miles
: I intended on riding it a couple of times....
Favorite Jam:  Still rocked out to Miley quite a few times, but after the VMAs I can't listen without a visual image.  


Today is day #1 of my three day weekend, and so far it has been magical.  Ollie and I have had plenty of time to snuggle.  I finished season 2 of Modern Family.  (Who has season 3 and 4 for me to borrow, plzzzz???)  I started Orange is the New Black and I'm OBSESSED.  Already 1/3 of the way done.  Big day, I KNOW.  Pug and I took a nap, since we'd had such a STRESSFUL day already.  And now we're watching the Crimson Tide ROLL all over Virginia Tech.

And I have this giant stack o' books to attend to before Tuesday.  (Ok, I clearly won't finish all of these by Tuesday, what with the binge watching of OITNB that I plan to do, but a girl can dream, right??)

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE not being in school???  ZOMG.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Spring Race Plans

Every time I get in the thick of my race training, I always start to think about "what's next."  I had tentatively planned for the Eugene Marathon next spring, but after it got switched to the summer, I was no longer interested.  I obviously don't have to decide any time soon, but I'm a big planner, so it's nice to think in advance.

Here are some of my options:

  1. Oz/Garmin Marathon in Olathe, KS.  I think I have Dominique on board for doing it if I decide to, plus it's a short drive from Kyle's bestie, so I think we'd have a place to stay, plus a super fun celebratory weekend.  The drive is about 5 hours which isn't terrible.  It's the end of April so it should still be cool, but being 5 hours south of here, it could be warm, and likely humid.  Possibly windy....
  2. Lincoln Marathon in Lincoln, NE.  Niki is trying to twist my arm on this one.  I could hang out and stay with her, meet her adorable TWINS, and enjoy a fairly flat marathon course.  It's the first weekend in May, so again it could be warm, humid, windy or all of the above.
  3. Brookings Marathon in Brookings, SD.  Meh.  My parents, Kyle's parents, and friends could spectate which would be awesome.  Kyle (or Megan, if she's not running the full/half) could probably bike sherpa for me if I asked really sweetly.  The downside:  it's always windy.  It's a pretty small race, so parts would probably be me running alone.  And I kind of like marathons to be destination-esque, because they're still a pretty big deal to me.
  4. Fargo Marathon in Fargo, ND.  The race was moved up a weekend which actually appeals to me.  The course is crazy flat, and the spectators are out of this world.  It was super fun in 2011 (despite a shitty race) because SO MANY of my runner friends did it, that I'm afraid it wouldn't be that great if no one else did it.  Perhaps I'll start campaigning now....
  5. Brookings half.  Maybe I'll go the spring half marathon route?  Attempt a few halfs in the spring, but keep the higher mileage to see if that helps me knock some time off my PR?  I did really enjoy the half course in 2012.  If I went this route, I'd probably try to do a half in Mpls in March, and another in St. Cloud in April.
Where are you racing this spring?  Would you like my company??  Now's your time to campaign!! :D

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Weekly Reads: First Affair

The First Affair is the most recent book written by The Nanny Diaries' authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Krauss.  Their books are always very light and fluffy "feel good" reads and I'm sure this one won't be any different.  This book was just released yesterday, so pick it up asap.  But let's synchronize our reading of it, so we can discuss after, mmmk?

Summary from goodreads:

Jamie McAlister has resigned herself to the fact that in this job market, her painfully expensive degree might only get her a position at Starbucks, when she suddenly lands a prestigious internship at the White House. Although she doesn’t hit it off with the other interns—lockjaws who come from so much money that ten weeks without a paycheck doesn’t faze them—she is eager to work hard and make the best of the opportunity while it lasts.

An unexpected encounter late one evening with the charismatic President Gregory Rutland seems like just a fleeting flirtation, but when he orchestrates clandestine meetings and late-night phone calls, their relationship quickly escalates. Jamie knows what she is doing is wrong: he’s married, he has kids, he’s the President. Yet each time she tries to extricate herself, Greg pulls her back in.

With the conflicted desires of the most powerful man in the world driving her to her breaking point, Jamie can’t help but divulge intimate details to those closest to her. But she must have confided in the wrong person, because she soon finds herself, and everyone she cares about, facing calculated public destruction at the hands of Greg’s political enemies, and—perhaps no matter how much he cares about her—at the hands of Greg himself.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cabin Weekend

After work on Saturday, I finally made it out to Kyle's parents' lake cabin with the pugbear in tow to finish celebrating Kyle's birthday.  We had dinner and then it was time to go out in the pontoon for a ride.  

Kyle had to kayak out to the pontoon because something wasn't working right.  And while his dad was charging the battery, he decided to take Ollie out for a stroll.  She's wearing her Packers coat because there was a pre-season game on Saturday.  Also she looks adorable in it.  So there's that.

Ollie has been out to the cabin more than I have (dang you school), so she has a "spot" on the pontoon and it's in the driver's seat with her Grandpa!  Captain Ollie, at your service!


The night wouldn't be complete without a fire pit and s'mores.   Mmmm.  I <3 smores.

Sunday morning was spent with a cup of coffee overlooking the lake.  And GORGEOUS summer weather.  Bliss.

Which segued into mid-morning book reading in the same chair overlooking the lake.  

And then Kyle coerced me in to taking the kayaks out with him for a spin.  At the last minute he decided Ollie would come with him again because I was too big of a wuss to have her in mine.  But after she kept trying to jump ship out of his kayak, we finally switched her, mid-lake.  Oy Pug.  She loved it though.

Once we got back to land, I figured we might as well find out if she could swim, so I took her for a little swimming lesson.  She can swim for about 8 seconds before she starts to sink like a brick.  Then we had the bright idea of finding an old school life jacket for her to wear since we don't have a doggie one yet.


Cabin weekends are the best.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Current Obsessions + My Running Doesn't Suck Anymore

I think I've mentioned this before, but I have a fairly obsessive personality, as I'm guessing most endurance runners/athletes do.  I've been working with my new co-workers for about a month now, and one gal already caught on that I eat essentially the same 3-5 lunches everyday.  I'm so predictable.  Anyway, I thought it'd be fun to share some of my current obsessions.

1.  Compression socks.  Extra points if they have argyle.  Since "fixing" my running form, my calves are tight ALLOFTHETIME.  I'm foam rolling like a mother, but the compression socks help while I'm lounging around, or even the first couple of hours at work before we open to the public.

2.  Pug kisses.  This will probably never change.  Bad breath and all, I love em!

3.  Fat Tire beer.  I was obsessed with this beer when it first came to South Dakota a few years back, and have been craving it non-stop the last month or so.  I know some consider it a "bad" good beer, but I love it.

4.  5 or 6am runs.  Who would've thought this one was coming??  This summer has been pretty brutal weather wise, save for a few nice weeks, so the early morning runs were a must.  However, after getting in to an early bedtime routine, it's pretty easy to wake up before the sun, and get my miles knocked out before work.  I'm also finding I have way less tummy issues first thing in the morning, so that's a huge plus.

5.  Breyer's Heath ice cream.  I had one half gallon in my freezer on Friday.  I no longer have that half gallon in my freezer on Sunday afternoon.  You do the math.

6.  Modern Family.  #obsessed  I don't know why this didn't get added to my TV watching schedule a few years back, but I'm kind of glad that it didn't because I'm tearing through the seasons one after another.

7.  Ice cold showers.  There was a particularly steamy long run last week that ended in a freezing cold shower, and my pleasurable outbursts were so frequent that Kyle came in to the bathroom to make sure I was alone in there.  True story.

8.  Watermelon.  There have been runs that the only thing that has gotten me to put one foot in front of the other is the promise of super cold, juicy watermelon waiting for me.  God I love watermelon.

9.  Audiobooks.  Sometimes.  I enjoy listening to audiobooks while I'm driving because I feel like I'm accomplishing something other than just getting from point A to point B.  But man there are some terrible narrators out there.  So I've learned to not be afraid to give the audiobook the ol' heave-ho if necessary and pick up the book copy instead.

10.  Coffee mugs.  I haven't drank black coffee in months (insert tears here).  Oh wait!  I did have a few sips of it on Friday morning!  My poor tummy seems to revolt from black coffee, or perhaps it's drinking the black coffee on an empty stomach that is doing the trick.  Either way, my beautiful coffee mug collection has been sitting in the cupboard, sadly waiting for me to come back to it.  I do have some more mug designs to do as soon as I get my hands on some plain coffee mugs.

And now for what I'd like to call, "Stop trying to make ______ happen."

Stop trying to make pumpkin beer happin, Jerbear.

I love pumpkin.  I LOVE beer.  I keep trying every breweries take on the pumpbeer, and I just end up disappointed every time.  Just drink your PSLs, and your Fat Tires, and come to grip that these two items will not co-exist in one beverage for you.

(Ok, with that being said, if you DO have the magical pumpkin/beer combo that will cause me to retract this statement, I'd totally be on board.  My dream pumpkin beer would be a stout with a hint of pumpkin and spices, but I'm guessing that either a stout is too heavy for a light pumpkin flavor to show through, or pumpkin beers are marketed at girls who tend to like to drink light fruity beers, and I'm not a light fruity girl.  Le sigh.)

Oh and in other news, I knocked out 46 miles this week, my highest weekly mileage since February 2012.  Not bad for comeback Jerbear.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Weekly Reads: The 5th Wave

 The 5th Wave was recommended to me as "a YA book about aliens, but way way better than you'd imagine a YA book about aliens would be."  Luckily the rec was coming from a co-worker who has identical YA taste as I do, so I took her word for it, but unfortunately the hold list was a bazillion people long, so I've waited and WAITED to get my hands on the book, but am now finally diving in!

I'm about 40 pages in so far, and I'm already obsessed.  I'm not the hugest paranormal fan, but if a writer is capable of making me believe this *could* happen, you better believe I'm on board!  I wish I could take the day off to read this puppy non-stop.

The summary from goodreads:

The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Happy Birthday KK!

As I was running this weekend, I was reminded that Kyle's birthday was coming up on the 16th.  I had to stop and think for a minute about how old he was turning.  28.  28!!  When did he get so old??  He still seems like he's 24-25 to me.  And then that reminded me how old I was, and I quickly moved on from that thought.  :)

Happy birthday to Ollie's second favorite person in the whole wide world.

Happy birthday to the best pug dad a person (and pug) could ever ask for (even if you were vehemently against owning a pug for the first year or so we were together).

Happy birthday to the strongest guy I've ever met.

Happy birthday to the best fisherman in the world (next to Big Jer, of course).

Happy birthday to my best friend, insanely goofy counterpart, loudly snoring, sleep walking, sleep talking, leg twitching, bear armed love, Kyle.

Hope you catch ALL of the feeshes and get ALL of the pug kisses in your 28th year.  :)

Love you,

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Weekly Reads: The Interestings

I started listening to this book on audiobook a couple of weeks ago.  I tend to keep my audiobooks around 8-9 hours of listening time, because any longer and I get mega distracted/bored/etc.  I took a chance on this one which is 18 hours long, only because the hold list for the book is so terribly long.  The book delves in to the lives of a group of kids who dubbed themselves "The Interestings" while at performing arts camp in the 1970s.  The story follows their lives through adolescence and beyond, and showcases the group shattered by controversy.

More from goodreads:

The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.

The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken.

 While I don't know if I would recommend the audiobook (I usually have to LOVE a book on audiobook to even continue it, but as I said, I'll have to wait forEVer if I don't listen to it, and I'm not willing to do that) I would highly recommend the book so far.  Fingers crossed it continues to hold my attention over the next trillion hours of listening. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Non-Injuries (ish)

I have been working like a beast to keep myself injury free as I'm ramping up the miles on Pfitz' marathon training program.  And so far so good.  Sort of.

The number of NON-injury-injuries I've had this past week are through the roof.  It started on Wednesday's early morning mid-week long run.  10 on the schedule.  It was one of the most amazing runs I've had in a long time.  I had some minor chafing (or so I thought) towards the end, but nbd.  Until I got home, and realized my right thigh was absolutely shredded.  I wore a skirt to work, and it was unbearable.  I complained so much that a co-worker found a gauze pad for me to throw on top of it.
(This was the LEAST angry it looked. Finger included for size reference.  Owie.)

I took a rest day Thursday to let it dry out and scab up.  Friday I wore my super shorty short booty shorts for my tempo run before work.  I know a lot of people go with longer shorts to keep chafing away, but my legs rubbing together don't cause issues.  I have enough natural lubrication in the form of sweat to keep that from happening.  (I also used body glide to be safe.)  (Did I just use the term natural lubrication in my blog?  Yes... yes I did.)  My issues is from my legs rubbing with any sort of fabric or seam in between them.  Needless to say, I had a stellar tempo run, no thigh issues.   However, I ended the run with a plethora of blisters on my feet.  Most were small water blisters.  But one on the inside of my big toe was ginormous.  And partially a blood blister.

I did some doctor work on the blister Friday after work--poke, drain, bandage, only to find it was full again a couple of hours later.  Usually my blisters just look bad, and don't hurt at all, but not this bugger.  Ouch.  I continued to pop and re-drain before and after runs throughout the weekend.

Saturday I wasn't thinking when I set out for my recovery run.  I threw on shorts and a tank because it was sunny.  Since my thigh chafing had scabbed, I figured I'd be fine with whatever.  I still used body glide, because clearly I learned that all important lesson.  Well wouldn't you know it, I managed to chafe OFF the chafing scab!!  Holy effing ouch.  Fairly certain I will have a nice scarred reminder on my inner thigh of the time that my Lululemon shorts and I were above body glide and chafing.  We were so wrong running gods, plz forgive.

THEN Saturday night I started to feel something tight in my neck.  I tried to massage it out.  (And coerced Kyle in to giving it a hand.)  But no success.  I went to bed with dreams of a delightful long run swimming through my head.  I woke up in the middle of the night in so much pain, I couldn't even lift my head without using my hands to do the work.  I popped some ibuprofen and tried to fall back asleep.  My alarm went off at 5:30am, and my neck was still throbbing, so I turned off my alarm and fell back asleep.  9am I woke up, popped some more ibuprofen and worked on getting ready for my long run.

Naturally since I'd waited to mid-morning to get out there, it was super steamy and miserable by the time I actually started to run.  But the good news, other than not being able to look left for oncoming traffic/bikers/etc without turning my full body to the left, it managed to loosen up a bit, and continued to loosen during my shower after the run, and I was able to sleep through the night without ibuprofen.

But hey, at least it's not my IT band, hips, and/or knees, right??

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What Have I Been Missing?

While in grad school, I had to put a lot of funsie things on the back burner.  Television, to name one of the many.  When Spring Breaks would come, or time off for Christmas, I would obsessively try to watch and catch up on a tv show that I felt I was missing out on.

Some of these obsessive TV marathons include:

  • Scandal
  • The Vampire Diaries (which I've since stopped watching)
  • MadMen (still working on this one, although it's hard to binge watch it)
  • Breaking Bad (Kyle and I worked through this whole series with the intention of finishing when the new season came on TONIGHT, but accidentally finished a few months ago and have been twiddling our thumbs ever since)
  • Pretty Little Liars (Don't judge. Jenn and Megan were obsessively watching and I didn't want to be left out!)
  • Arrested Development (Just the last season. I intend on rewatching these all someday and making Kyle join in)

What am I missing?

Currently on tap, I have snagged Modern Family season 1 & 2 from TJ.  Kyle and I have also recently started House of Cards.  I have Orange is the New Black queued up on Netflix as well as Friday Night Lights, but I have to be missing something else, right??


Friday, August 9, 2013

Weekly Reads: Under the Dome

I've had Steven King's Under the Dome on my list to read for quite some time, so when I heard that a TV mini series was coming on to CBS this summer, I had to tune in, and drag Kyle along with me.  I would've liked to have read the book first, but I had zero time for fun reading, especially for 800+ pages of fun reading.  We're almost halfway through the season, but the main premise is that, unexpectedly an impenetrable dome crops up over a small town with no way in and no way out.  No one has any idea where it came from or who caused it, and we slowly start to learn that many of the people inside of the dome aren't exactly who they say they are.

I'm excited to see how it ends up, and then even more excited to read the book and do some comparison!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Best Week Ever + July in Review

Did anyone watch that show on VH1, Best Week Ever?  Is that still on?  I think I would be an adequate candidate for that show this week.

Exhibit A:  I graduated from grad school on Saturday.  Roll tide.  Mom and Pops surprised me with roses and took me out for dinner on Monday.

Exhibit B:  My library opened a brand new branch on Tuesday.  It was announced this spring that I was one of the lucky five who was getting to transfer to the brand new branch!  It was a ton of work getting it ready to go, but Tuesday was one of the best days of work I've ever had in my life.

Exhibit C:  I woke up BEFORE my alarm today and set out for my 10 miler.  The sun came up after the first two miles and I realized that my HR was waaaay below my recovery zone.  So I decided to pick up the pace until I was hitting the correct HR zone.  1 minute/mile faster later and boom!  10 miler done.  I'm not quite back to where I was pre-slacker, but I'm getting pretty damn close.  Keep up the good work legs!

Exhibit D:  Another great day of work.  I was chatting with a girl who told me about the books she checked out yesterday at the grand opening.  One of the author's she was reading wrote one of my favorite young adult books of all time, When You Reach Me, and when I showed it to her, she had to check it out and promised to tell me what she thought of it.  I die.  And then later, a little girl needed help with something and she was carrying around my favorite pug book.  And we got to talking about our pugs.  And THEN, later in the day, a teen boy came up to me with his "impossible quest" to find a book that he was reading back in May that he didn't know the title or author of, and when I figured it out, and showed the book cover to him, he freaked out and gave me a high five.  And then my little librarian heart swelled up to 32x its original size.

July In Review

Total Miles: 77.7 up from 48.3  last month.  Damn you laziness in Vegas for squelching my hundy club!  (33.8 miles from July 2012.)  
Total Time: 14:35:30 up from 8:26:44 last month. 
Total Runs: 10 for an average of 7.77/run.
Highest weekly mileage:  7/15-7/21  41.7 miles 7:43:32
Favorite run: I knocked out a ten miler before work the Friday before I went to work, and it was one of those runs where you're in such a zone of awesomeness that you forget you're running until you're an hour in to the run.  Plus running in to the sunset is always killer.
Most hardcore run:  The 8 mile GA run in 90 degrees with high humidity that almost killed me dead.  Keeping your HR at the appropriate zone when it's THAT HOT is hard.  (Guess when I made the switch to morning running?  If you guessed "the very next day" you are a big WINNER!)
Favorite race: NA

Bike Miles: Oh yeah, I have a bike.  Hmm....Favorite Jams: Miley Cyrus' We Can't Stop played on repeat for a solid three miles today.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Weekly Reads: Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger

There are a handful of writers that consistently have fun summertime "beach reads" published in the May to July months each year.  Each spring, I start counting down their publication dates until I have my hands on these books.  Beth Harbison is definitely one of these writers.

I have read everything she's written, and they're always great, light, fun reads.

Her 2013 novel is Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger, and I've been desperate to start reading it!  Of course it should come out when I'm crazy wrapped up in the last couple of weeks of my masters program.  Oh, have I mentioned that I'm graduating tomorrow???  Because yeah, that's happening.

But back to fun summer reads....

Summary from goodreads:

Ten years ago, Quinn Barton was on her way to the altar to marry Burke Morrison, her high school sweetheart, when something derailed her. Rather, someone derailed her—the Best Man who at the last minute begged her to reconsider the marriage. He told her that Burke had been cheating on her. For a long time. Quinn, stunned, hurt, and confused, struggled with the obligation of fulfilling her guests’ expectations—providing a wedding—and running for her life.

She chose running. With the Best Man. Who happened to be Burke’s brother, Frank.

That relationship didn’t work either. How could it, when Quinn had been engaged to, in love with, Frank’s brother? Quinn opted for neither, and, instead, spends the next seventeen years working in her family’s Middleburg, Virginia, bridal shop, Talk of the Gown, where she subconsciously does penance for the disservice she did to marriage.

But when the two men return to town for another wedding, old anger, hurt, and passion resurface. Just because you’ve traded the good guy for the bad guy for no guy doesn’t mean you have to stay away from love for the rest of your life, does it?

Other books I've loved by Beth include:

Any other authors I need to add to my summer time must read list??