Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Weekly Reads: Finding Audrey

I've been a fan of Sophie Kinsella since I picked up my first shopaholic book in college. So when I saw she was writing her YA debut,
Finding Audrey, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I was really wrapped up in the story, and was really intrigued by her portrayal of her mental illness. At the end, I felt like it was lacking... something, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's because I've been reading a lot of YA mental illness books that are so very dark and haunting. Who knows. Definitely worth a read!

My rating: 3.5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Weekly Reads: I Crawl Through

A.S. King can do no wrong in my opinion. She is an author that churns out unique/amazing/weird/awesomeness with every book she writes. I Crawl Through It is her newest and I received an electronic advanced reader copy of this book back in May and started reading it immediately.


But in a most delightful way. Per usual.

Read it, and everything else she has written. You won't regret it.

My rating: 5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

A boldly surreal novel from one of the best YA writers working today.

Four talented teenagers are traumatized-coping with grief, surviving date rape, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults--and they'll do anything to escape the pressure. They'll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them... until they learn the only way to escape reality is to face it head-on.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sioux Falls Half Marathon Recovery Week

I kicked off my Sioux Falls Half Marathon recovery about ten hours after the race by going to restorative yoga with Susan.

Wednesday night I taught a vin/yin yoga class at the running store. And I participated because man I needed some yin to help my muscles along. I opted out of the group run beforehand, so instead I just tortured my legs with the store's awesome stick/roller thingy.
Thursday I went to my first ashtanga class since last spring when I had 3 classes a week. Man did I miss it! And man did I forget the order of the poses. This was a HARD class to be taking while I was still recovering from the half. Uff.
Friday I joined up with Megan to take a vinyasa class in the morning. It was in the cool studio but I still looked like I had jumped in the lake when 60 minutes had passed.

And Friday night we had a group run at the store. Saucony dropped off a bunch of their shoes to test out on our run, they left us a bunch of swag, and they bought us some beer to motivate us to come run on a Friday night. #smart
Saturday morning I had grand intentions of going to ashtanga yoga before work, but Kyle had a rehearsal dinner the night before and didn't get home until late, which meant that I fell asleep super late. This was probably a good thing given how late we were up Saturday night. Uff!

Sunday Megan and I went to more ashtanga! I actually got through the whole series during this session. Whoop! Now to begin to memorize. Eeps!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Susan's Visit

I have been telling Susan to come to Sioux Falls and run the marathon since it first got added to the half marathon in 2010. She's fast, and could probably win it. About a year ago, she told me that her boyfriend, Eric was really good friends with one of the guys who was opening a brewery in town, so now they had twice the reason to come visit. Yessssss!

They got in on Friday, so we did some sightseeing in Sioux Falls after grabbing lunch and coffee. And by sightseeing, I mean we went to the Falls of the big Sioux river. And our cities namesake.
It was a gorgeous day, so we got to spend a lot of time walking around taking tons of pictures. 

We went to my new favorite restaurant for dinner, Ode to Good Food. Where we were served a palette cleanser of grapefruit sorbet with champagne. Yes please.


Once dinner was over, we went to the Fernson Brewery so Eric could see his friend.


I got to go on a second brewery tour, so before too long here, I should be able to give them to anyone who wants to listen.

Fernson recently started distributing their beer in cans. I loved seeing cans as far as the eye could see.

Mmmm beer.

It was only the end of the night when I realized that Susan and I had yet to even take a photo together. Not okay.
Saturday I was stuck working, so Eric and Susan got to spend the day exploring the city together. After work I went to packet pick up and then met them and Kyle for dinner at Redrossa.

Sunday after the race, Susan and I hustled up to get to a sports bar before kick off. GO PACK GO! 

Trifecta cheers.

She's cute, even if she is a Bears fan.


Beer and bling, a post race tradition.

We left at halftime to watch from my couch, in pajama bottoms, and with the added bonus of pug snuggles. Ollie is in love with Susan, and kept her comfy on the couch most of the afternoon. 

She also napped with a Packers snuggie, but since I'm a friend, I won't put a sleeping photo of Susan on the internet for the world to see. Just know that she looks very nice in green and gold and we would welcome her with open arms as a Packer fan. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Race Report: Sioux Falls Half Marathon

Sunday was my 25th half marathon and 11th consecutive Sioux Falls half marathon. My training had been sporadic, and my legs weren't quite recovered from my ten miler that I did on Monday. Oops. After riding my bike on a preview of the new race course, I decided not to race the course, and leave the Good Life Halfsy as my fall "goal race". I still wanted to run hard.

My long runs had been in the 10:20-10:35 range, so I thought with the hills I would be in the 10-10:30 pace for the day.

It was a gorgeous morning, very cool for this race, 52 at the start. The first couple of miles were flat and fun, and then the hills started up.

1. 10:04
2. 10:09

I meant to start closer to 10:30 pace, but I definitely got swept up in the race flow, and knew I'd slow down once the hills started up. We had our biggest hill during mile 3, and I ducked into a portapotty as soon as I found one, since I hydrated WELL before the race and thought my bladder was going to explode from the moment the starting horn started.

3. 11:09 (bathroom break :35 seconds)
4. 9:49

I still struggle at running downhill without having my quads seize up, so I took it really easy on the downhills and then would counter by trying to put in a solid effort on the uphills. I was already feeling tightness in my quads during mile 3. Eeps.

5. 9:56
6. 10:09

I decided to take advantage of the flat middle miles, knowing there were hills to the finish that would probably kill me. I picked it up a bit and wheeeee was having a lot of fun.

I was feeling really good through the halfway point, and started doing some math to see what my second half pace would need to be to get under a 2:10! 

7. 9:52
8. 10:09

Rookie mistake. I took my salt tab at 1 hour, and my second GU at 6.5 miles, and not too long after my stomach started to revolt. My stomach was really upset before the race, but that's really common for me, so I'm not sure what was up.
I pulled back to allow my stomach to settle a little bit.
I knew the hills started up again for miles 9, 10 and 11. And I was fading.


I ended up taking quite a few walk breaks during the last 4 miles. I was pooped. Running ten miles as your max run, and having a course that launches up hill during miles 9-11 is hard. Blech.

Proof of the struggle.
And then I saw Tom! And Sara! And Mallory! And Jovi!

And that put a pep in my step.

9. 10:57
10. 11:26
11. 10:41

The race leveled off in the final two miles, but I was pooped. I think I even took walk breaks in the 13th mile! Uff.

12. 11:52
13. 11:00
We got to the track with 300 meters to go, and I was ready to be done. But hey, it's a trick. Wheee!!!
I ran the final .17 in 1:24 for a pace of 8:08 pace (aka ready to be done pace).

So I had thought I'd run a 10-10:30 pace, and I was definitely on the high side of that estimation. My garmin had me at 2:18:24 for a pace of 10:31.

My mom and day were there, but my dad had gone to the car because his back was hurting him, so I got a picture with my mama.
And my husband to be.
And Kyle and his parents.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Weekly Reads (Listens): Good Girl

I've been meaning to read The Good Girl for the past year, and finally got around to it this month. Except I picked up the audiobook to see how that worked out for me. It was told from four different points of view, so surely I'd hate the narration of one of them right? Wrong. I loved the narration. And the story. I listen to audiobooks almost exclusively when I'm driving, but I found myself bringing in the CDs to listen to during halftime of the Alabama vs. Wisconsin game (roll tide!). So good. Must read.

My rating: 4 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

"I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will."

One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

500 Hour Yoga Teacher Training

On the last day of our 200 hour yoga teacher training, the owner of Lotus House of Yoga talked to us about the next level of training, the 500 hour yoga teacher training. This training would be an additional 300 hours of training. While the 200 hour training is seen as the "undergrad" level of training, so to speak, the 500 hour is the "masters" level.

It's a very small monetary commitment to sign up for the training, and then the weekend trainings are workshop based and pay as you go. While I don't ever intend on teaching yoga full-time, this really appealed to me. When I'm excited and passionate about something, I want to learn everything I possibly can about it! I decided I'd sign up in early 2016, and set aside the money I make teaching to pay for the workshops as they come up.

The workshops are primarily in Omaha and Lincoln, and there are quite a few of my classmates that are planning to do the 500 hour as well, so we could certainly carpool and share lodging when I'm down there, which will be great.

Recently my yoga studio announced that they are bringing up instructors to Sioux Falls for trainings, each of the weekends totally 25 hours toward my 500 hour certification. When I told Kyle about it,  he asked if I wanted the workshops for my wedding present. YES!

So in almost a month, I'll be starting my 500 hour training, and I'm so excited!