Thursday, November 28, 2013

Being Thankful

Happy Turkey day to all of you! I hope you're all stuffing yourself silly with all the delicious foods today, regardless of if you got in a run to counteract some of the calories. Woof. I'm feeling especially grateful this year, so I wanted to write a post of gratitude. Cliche post, party of one!

The people I've met and friendships I have formed through running. Some of my very best friends I've met because of running and social media. Whenever I travel for a race (and meet someone for the first time while crashing at their apartment for the weekend, oh hai Krista!) I'm always floored by how amazingly awesome runners are.

My family and their health. My dad had a terrifying health scare this past spring and I am forever grateful for each and every holiday that I get to spend with him, my mom, and the rest of my family. I'm pretty lucky to be a member of our clan even if they do drive me crazy some/most of the time. :)

Kyle and the pug. My two besties, I'd be lost without them. The two best snuggle partners and partners in crime a girl could ask for.

Being healthy. Well, semi-healthy. I currently have a rib out of place keeping me from any turkey trotting or any "making room for turkey" calorie burning via running this morning. Super rude. But honestly, I've spent a LOT of time being frustrated with my body breaking down over running the past few years. I'm glad it's allowing me to do what I want to right now.

My job and all most of our patrons. :) While getting out of bed to go to work is never fun, being there almost always is. I adore all the teens that I get to work with planning and implementing programs that make the library fun for them. I had a teen come in to the library on Tuesday night, run up to the desk and say "I saw you in the paper on Sunday!" (there was an article about a book club I started in the paper). First of all, you're a teen and you read the paper? No wonder you're one of my faves, and secondly, he made my day. :) I look forward to seeing my little storytime munchkins in the library and my heart melts whenever they point me out as "their storytime teacher" to their family members. And everyone in between who'll stop in to say thanks for helping them find a book or recommend a title to add to my always growing to read list. Uff.

Also if anyone wants to spend the evening watching the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends that's totally going to happen over here. RSVP to Ollie.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Weekly Reads: Counting by 7s

Counting by 7s is one of the books suggested by my Mock Newbery group for possibilities for the 2014 Newbery Award.  My library has it classified as a teen book, but I think it's on the border of children and teen.  It's fairly lengthy at 380 pages.

Willow is adopted. She is a child prodigy obsessed with botany, medicine--specifically diseases and skin disorders, and the number 7. Tragedy strikes Willow from the onset of the book and you are able to see her character's quirks as the story continues. I couldn't put the book down; I adored it.

My rating: *****

Summary from goodreads:

An Amazon Best Book of the Year. A B.E.A. BUZZ BOOK 2013. A Junior Library Guild Selection. A Kids Indie Next List #4 of Top Ten Autumn 2013. A Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee 2014-2015 Master List.

In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family. 

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.
Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Another Short Term Goal

This weekend I spent a few minutes updating my running log (for the last month...wth, I used to do this IMMEDIATELY after a run I'LL HAVE ALL OF THE DATA FOR $500 PLZ ALEX). I realized that I'm about 150 miles from hitting 800 for the year. Some quick calculations later I figured that averaged out to just slightly over 4 miles/day until the end of the year. Hmm.....

Doable.... but a bit of a challenge, so CHALLENGE ACCEPTED (there is an exorbitant amount of caps lock in this post, much apologies).

I told Kyle my goal and his response was

KK: Almost to 1600 miles!?! That's awesome!!
JL: Um no... almost 800.
KK: Oh, that's like WAY lower than you've done before.
JL: Thanks babe.

I then kindly reminded him I was in grad school for 3/4 of the year and really only started running regularly again in June, and then I told him to go shove it (or else I just thought that part in my brain....).  I'm afraid to even look at my mileage goal post, because I think it is around 1600....

Hey, life happens, eh?

Thank God there's a 2014 for redemption!

Speaking of redemption, Saturday I had an AWESOME 6 mile run. I haven't had a 6 mile run that fast outside of the 2 10ks I've ran this year, and to be honest, even with a 2 mile cooldown, my overall pace wasn't that far off my 10k paces! AND the run was on hills.

Many thanks to the NCAA XC D1 and D2 championships for providing much runspiration pre-run, as well as Emily and other JFK 50 Mile participants as I watched the finishing stream for that as well and vowed never ever to run a 50 miler, like ever. But that ALSO helped get me out the door, because hello, they just ran 50 miles and look better than I do after a five mile jog. Craziness.

This pic.... can't even handle how much I adore it. Major runner girl crush on Abbey D! I should've attempted to solidify our BFF-dom when I got to watch her run in Des Moines this summer at the T&F C'ship.

Oh, and in other Oh s---- news, today marks one month left in my 20s. OMG!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pug Photo Booth

So the pug and I were super bored the other night, so I tried to take a pic of us. Somehow a singular pic turned in to a full on photo shoot of me mimicking her. Every time I flip through these I basically start crying from laughing so hard. Please enjoy.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Weekly Reads: S

When I first heard rumblings of the new book S., co-written by amazing screenwriter/director/producer/etc etc etc J.J. Abrams, I knew I needed to get my hands on it. When the book trailer came out, I was beyond obsessed.

I currently have the first copy at my library and I'm afraid if I don't make time to read it before it's due back, some of the pieces will be missing from the book and I'm somehow miss out on part of the story! Genius, GENIUS idea. Man.

Addendum 11.23.13:

Ok, so I'm actually starting this in a few moments. I opened the book and thought, wth, where do I begin???? So being the good little budding librarian that I am, I started to research just *how* this book should be written. (This book clearly should've come with a User's Manual!). I found this information from a review on Amazon by C. Childs  (I hope this is enough credit for this individual, but this is taken from his review of Amazon and is how I plan to read the book. Go here and tell him how helpful this was so I don't feel bad about posting his "how to").

"As cool as all the inserts are, trying to keep them from falling out of the book as you're reading is a pain, so take them out and use post-it notes to mark what page they came from, then put them in an envelope that you can easily access.

Now, J&E's notes are not entirely in chronological order. You can generally go by the color of the ink between them to tell what phase of their story you're at.

First, there's Eric's pencil notes to himself about the actual book. Then, the convo between J&E begins when Jen picks up Eric's book and sees his notes and begins commenting on them in the margins. He sees this and writes back. Those early messages are Jen: Blue Ink - Eric: Black Ink

At some point after they go through the book a first time, they go through again. This time Jen: Orange Ink - Eric: Green Ink.

Then a third time Jen: Purple Ink - Eric: Red Ink

Finally, a fourth time (which seems to be after the denouement, in which they retrospectively discuss what has transpired). These are less frequent, and both Jen and Eric are in Black Ink.
***Read each chapter of the main text of SoT, ignoring all of Jen & Eric's notes. Upon finishing each chapter, you're going to want to go back and read only the blue/black notes and any referenced inserts. Then, move on to the next chapter. After you finish the whole book, go back and read only the orange/green notes and referenced inserts. Then purple/red, then black/black.***"

So now I'm off to dive in!

Summary from goodreads:

J.J. Abrams and acclaimed novelist Doug Dorst create a reading experience like no other in this dazzling novel of love and mystery. 

One book. Two readers. A world of mystery, menace, and desire.

A young woman picks up a book left behind by a stranger. Inside it are his margin notes, which reveal a reader entranced by the story and by its mysterious author. She responds with notes of her own, leaving the book for the stranger, and so begins an unlikely conversation that plunges them both into the unknown.

The book: Ship of Theseus, the final novel by a prolific but enigmatic writer named V.M. Straka, in which a man with no past is shanghaied onto a strange ship with a monstrous crew and launched onto a disorienting and perilous journey.

The writer: Straka, the incendiary and secretive subject of one of the world’s greatest mysteries, a revolutionary about whom the world knows nothing apart from the words he wrote and the rumors that swirl around him.

The readers: Jennifer and Eric, a college senior and a disgraced grad student, both facing crucial decisions about who they are, who they might become, and how much they’re willing to trust another person with their passions, hurts, and fears.

S., conceived by filmmaker J. J. Abrams and written by award-winning novelist Doug Dorst, is the chronicle of two readers finding each other in the margins of a book and enmeshing themselves in a deadly struggle between forces they don’t understand, and it is also Abrams and Dorst’s love letter to the written word.

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Running Plan

This week I could have been spotted sitting on my couch, rubbing my hands together in glee as I scour the interwebz for the perfect half marathon training program. Did I mention this yet? Spring will be half HEAVY. Like, all of the halfs. ALL.OF.THEM. Anywhosits, I started looking for a training program to start up pretty soon, because I tend to fall off the wagon otherwise, but then I started to realize that would mean I was training for the first half marathon of the spring for 16 STRAIGHT WEEKS. News flash: 18 weeks almost killed me when training for 26.2.


I've had three non-race running goals in the back of my head for the last couple of years, so I started tossing those ideas around.

  • 1 month running streak
  • 60 mile week, 6x10 mile days (I don't know why this sounds so "fun" but it does!)
  • 1 mile time trial

Well, a running streak doesn't sound like much fun at the moment, and I know that it usually takes me a month to recover fully from the marathon, and I need to have rest days as options if necessary.

It will take me quite awhile to work up to a 60 mile week, and it doesn't make sense to attempt six, ten mile runs during our time of year with the least amount of light. I do think I can factor this in to my spring training session though! Hopefully....

Which leads me with the time trial! "Back in the day" I was a miler before I became a sprinter, and I loved the mile. I think my best time was a 6:07 or a 6:17. Since then I've raced one mile a couple of years ago at the end of a 5 mile, 5k, 1 mile challenge. I was wiped and came in at 7:14 on a very downhill course. Hmm....

Time trial it is! I plan to keep my weekly mileage in the 20-30 mpw range and reintroduce speedwork back in to my training! I think a short term speedy goal will help me get excited about the speedwork. Plus, if winter rears its ugly head, I can always do a treadmill time trial if absolutely necessary (although I really don't want to).

Even better than a one mile time trial, is

a 30th birthday mile time trial!

Might as well start off my 30s with my fastest mile so far!

I might try to convince some friends to join me (especially if the weather is nice enough to do it outside!), although most people are probably stuck working the day after Christmas (womp womp), but they'd have to let me win! jk. kinda.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Madison Weekend

I have been looking forward to my weekend in Madison for the past 7 months! Less so for the actual 26.2 miles, but more for all of the fun with all my favesies Wisconsin chicks! After consulting google maps the day before I left, I learned that Madison was actually 7 hours away instead of the 5 1/2 that I originally thought.  Woof.

I started out at 8am on Friday morning after a quick stop at Starbucks for caffeine and ice water. Hydration FTW. Armed with 5 audiobooks for a 14 hour round trip drive, I was ready to go!

Roughly a bazillion hours later (and 2 confusing roundabouts later, seriously, roundabouts?? I don't *get* the point of you) I arrived on Krista's doorstep. We decided to head to the expo and then grab some dinner.

Great pic and backdrop, wind you're a turd.

Next up was dinner. Amazing beer and cheese curds? Yes please. This trip is already off to a great start.

After dinner it was back to Chateau Kbug for pajamas and NaNoWriMo time.

While hydrating.

Saturday we woke up, Krista went for a shake out run like a good little PR star (check out her recap, dare you not to get teary eyed) and I hit the foam roller with coffee in hand. I like to think that Krista had this green mug on hand just for this Team Green member.

We had big plans Saturday afternoon to see the newly remodeled downtown public library (squeeeee!), do some more NaNo writing, and just see some of the sites.

Our first stop was Panera for lunch #1. Technically it could be considered breakfast, but I had a cookie, so let's pretend it was lunch #1, ok? Then it was off to the library. Gorgeous gorgeous library. Poor kbug was hauling around a 97 pound laptop so she wasn't enjoying the 5 story library (!!!) tour nearly as much as I was, and I was trying to limit my time on my feet, so I didn't spend nearly as much time gawking and photographing as I would've liked on a non-marathon eve day. There was an entire FLOOR for the Children's department, and that alone was bigger than my ENTIRE LIBRARY. Just amazing.

We wrote for quite awhile (or I did, Krista showed her ragey side via twitter of all the loud and obnoxious people in the library, hah) and I finally hit 10k+ words! Days late, but still! MILESTONES!

We swung by the expo again to again contemplate buying merchandise, and paused to enjoy the Capital a bit on the way there.

This little cheese store caught my eye and after laughing out loud I had to snap a pic. #genius

Yes, <3 WI

After our tour of downtown, we went back to Krista's to wait for Anne's arrival! We had plans to go to a neighbor's apartment and cook a big pasta feed for dinner. Meanwhile, to settle my pre-race nervous stomach, when in Wisconsin, amiright?

Dinner was amazing and so much fun to spend an evening with a bunch of runner girls without having to wait an hour for a table and another hour and a half for dinner, all the while panicking about eating far too late the night before a marathon (yes this happens to me every time!)


Race Recap

Immediately after the race, Renee and Jen went to grab us a table at a nearby restaurant, while we went to grab non-sweaty clothes out of Krista's car. I have no problem doing some post-race celebrating without a shower in this kind of weather, but on a normal weather day?? No. Freakin'. Way. A quick changeroo and we were off to lunch and to watch the PACKERS game. I was on such a post-race high that Jen and Renee were kind enough to shield me from our updated quarterback situation, thanks gals, much appreciated.

We sat down and I had been thinking about a bloody mary and a spotted cow the entire race, so I had to order both, and double fist. Mmmm. Unfortunately the food tasted really off to me, so the drinks were the most enjoyable part of the meal. But the company more than made up for it!

My twin Anne.

Rest assured, I did have the meal of my lifetime later Sunday night when Kbug and I hit up a Mexican food place and had a life changing chimichanga and an entire trough of guacamole. Mmmm.... I'm still dreaming about it.

Best race host everrrrrrr.


I was lucky to have Monday off from work to start to make my trek back to SoDak. I almost had a major accident when I tried to leave without all of my delicious Wisconsin beers in Kbug's fridge! Luckily we both remembered at the same time, and we were reunited. I also had the genius idea to grab some beers on my way out of town while fueling up. So I was that girl getting 12 beers at 10am on a Monday morning. NBD.

Until next time Wisconsin!