Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Weekly Reads: The Chemist

The Chemistis the newest book by teen vampire author Stephenie Meyer. It was billed as a Jason Bourne type thriller (although in one review it was listed as a budding romance... uh... no). I listened to it on audiobook, and despite it being 17 HOURS LONG, I still plowed through it in just a few weeks team. It was fast paced and entertaining. Some of the "twists" were pretty transparent. But overall a good read!

My rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

In this tautly plotted novel, Stephenie Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she’s one of the world’s bestselling authors.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mizuno Wave Rider Love

Once upon a running Jerbear, I used to be a Asics nimbus lover. And then they started to just not work for me, so I went out searching for greener pastures. I had a brief stint with Saucony Kinvara. In fact, I think I ran most of my PRs in those shoes.... hmmm... However, I had some form issues I was working through and the lesser cushioning coupled with a mega heal strike led me to some injuries.

Around this same time I also started running in the Mizuno Wave Riders, which I loooooooove.

I'm currently on my eleventh pair of Wave Riders, and this doesn't include the small stockpile in my closet that I got for Christmas presents. I love that my training log includes a place for equipment, so I can easily see how much I spent on the shoes, how many miles I got out of the shoes, and the average cost per mile.

Most I've spent on the shoes: $115
Least I've spent on the shoes: $60

The most miles I've ever gotten on the shoes: 475 when I was training for my first marathon and at my lightest weight.
The least miles I've gotten on the shoes: 340 is what I tend to get now. I have actually retired two pairs at the exact mileage at 351, which is kind of crazy.

I can usually tell when a shoe is ready to be retired, and am always shocked when I look at the total mileage on there and usually realize I'm right. Due to my lesser running the last two years, I'm currently running in shoes that I bought in 2014/2015. Ahhh!! I will confess that I've been stockpiling cheap Wave Riders for years, so if I bought them in those years, they might have hung in the closet a bit before they were unveiled. My new training log doesn't list the purchase date, and my old one did. Sniffle. Extra data. :( Hah.

Another thing I love to see is the average cost per mile. The least cost was 18-19 cents with a couple of pairs of the kinvaras (mostly because they were cheap to start! they aren't very high mileage shoes). The highest was 31-34 cents per mile (mostly shoes that I paid full price for).

What's your ride or die shoe? Do you ever waiver?

**I haven't been compensated for this post in any way.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Too Cold to Hold Race Goals

The Too Cold to Hold half marathon was an excuse for me to go down to Texas to see my family, see Dominique, and a reason to keep my running up over the terrible winter months. I fell off the wagon a bit in December (see also: very very cold) and sucked it up in January because 13.1 miles is a long way to run if you aren't ready for it.

There are a few variables not on my side for this race. Mostly, I have been training in negative degree temps. So even if Dallas has a major cold front come through and its in the 40s the morning of the race, that'll still be 50 degrees warmer than what I have been running in. Eeps! Also, I've been following a base building program to gear up for my Brookings Half marathon training cycle. So I've been doing a lot of slow miles. That doesn't necessarily lend itself to a speedy race time, but that is okay with me, because this isn't a goal race!

I'm excited to run another half, regardless.

A Goal--2:07. All the stars in the night sky would probably need to align for this to happen.

B Goal--Sub 2:10. My training leading up to the Monster Dash half was really really strong, and I barely squeaked in under 2:10.

C Goal--2:12. This was my pie in the sky goal for the Sioux Falls half marathon last September, so it's kind of fun that it's my C goal for this race.

No matter what my time is, I'm just excited for a little get away and a change of scenery while I run some hard effort miles!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Breakfast Update

One of my big goals for 2017 was to start eating breakfast more consistently (read: at all). A latte doesn't count. I wanted to do a check-in post with my progress, because that helps hold me accountable. If you follow me on instagram, you'll also notice, somewhat annoyingly, that I've been posting a lot of my breakfast pictures there.
I have been toggling between two breakfasts for the most part, depending on how much time I have, whether I'm running or not, and what I'm in the mood for. Once or twice a week I spend about an hour peeling and chopping veggies to roast. My favorite breakfast is a strip of bacon, already roasted veggies (beets, sweet potato, carrots, and brussel sprouts) thrown into the pan of bacon grease (mmmmm) to warm up, some red onion, and two delicious fried eggs to top it off. After a couple of weeks of considerable stomach pain I realized I was missing some healthy fat and eating a LOT of roasted veggies. I started adding half of an avocado to the mix and my stomach and taste buds have been very happy.

My other favorite breakfast is greek yogurt (I've even found a delicious coconut yogurt version!!) with granola, and whatever pretty fruit I have on hand. Yum.  Somehow making it in to a breakfast mandala makes me even happier to be eating its beauty.

Who's got some more breakfast ideas for me? I'd love anything I can make in advance!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Base Building Week 4

Week of January16-22

Monday Planned: General Aerobic 5 miles
Monday Actual: 5 General Aerobic Miles. This was the run I did where I was shocked how much quicker my pace is at my GA heart rate zone. Wahoo! After the run I id a 45 minute hot power yoga class.

Tuesday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Tuesday Actual: 70 Minutes of Sanford POWER.

Wednesday Planned: General Aerobic 4 Miles
Wednesday Actual: 3 General Aerobic Miles. The bike trails were very slick so we were pretty pokey. I had wanted 3.5, but the trail was so slick that I turned around at 1.5 miles. I taught vinyasa yoga after so I got some good stretching in with the crew.

Thursday Planned: General Aerobic 6 Miles with 6x100 meter strides
Thursday Actual: Rest. Still SO SORE from Power. Uff.

Friday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Friday Actual: Rest. Insanely foggy after work. Realized it'd be pretty dangerous to run in zero visibility as drivers don't typically see runners when the visibility is great. Bought an AWESOME reflective vest with a blinking light so I won't have this excuse in the future!

Saturday Planned: Endurance 8 Miles
Saturday Actual: Taught 2 back to back yoga classes. Planned to go out for 5-6 after yoga but it didn't happen.

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: Toni and I met up to do our long run. I was planning 8-9 with the last 3rd turned up to half marathon race pace. The bike trail was so slick we both decided it wasn't worth it to hurt ourselves before our upcoming halfs (she's racing next weekend too!). Got in 4.25 miles of ice skating.

Planned Mileage: 25 miles
Total Mileage: 12.4 miles. Uff. Taper? Sure.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Weekly Reads: The Female of the Species

The Female of the Speciesis one of the last books I read leading up to the Printz award. It had stayed off of my radar until a month out to the awards so I had to scramble to read it. It was INTENSE. Holy cow. Total Dexter vibes, and I loooooved me some Dexter. I don't know if it'll walk away with any awards (this'll probably post after the awards, so maybe I'll edit to include if I was wrong....maybe) but it is an intense gritty read that teens with devour. (It was fairly graphic with some depictions of rape culture, so if that's a trigger for you, read with caution.)

My rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Progress Post

I am heavily inspired by seeing progress in my running. Sometimes it's hard to see progress once you've been running for years and years. The major PRs every race are long in the past. For me, mine are in the very far past, but I hope to change that!

For the past several years, I've trained loosely by heart rate. The last season I used heart rate training for was Fall 2011. I ran the Fargo FM half in 1:55 after being up all night, and morning with food poisoning. I ran the Philadelphia marathon with friends and ran a 4:25, helping a friend snag a 25 minute PR. If someone offered me $1000 to run a 4:25 right now, I wouldn't be able to do it. And that was a comfortable 26.2 miles.

So I firmly believe that heart rate training works, and works well, especially for those who've hit a wall with their progress and improvement as a runner (heart rate training post coming soon!).

Over the past several years, I have trained loosely by heart rate training, but because I was rarely in really good shape, heart rate training can be very defeating. When you're out of shape AND trying to keep your heart rate in a super easy zone, it can result in paces that look more like walking than running, especially if you're running in the summertime!

During my last "long" run for the Too Cold to Hold half, I was shocked at where my heart rate stayed during a run where my pace looked and felt speedy for my current fitness level. Two days later, I had a 5 mile general aerobic run. The first mile was around 11 minutes, which is pretty typical for my general aerobic heart rate zone, at some point I looked down at my pace during the second mile and it was 10:15. I waited for my watch to switch to the HR screen as I assumed I was running at too hard of an effort level, and was shocked to see I was on the low end of my heart rate zone for the run.


I ended the run with an average pace of 10:22, and that's with an 11 minute first mile. To see your pace drop almost 45 seconds/mile on a run is huge, and I let that propel a massive runner's high the rest of the day.

I may not be shooting for a massive PR this spring, but I am excited to put in the work to see where I can get my body. I'm excited for the base building cycle I'm doing right now, and I'm excited to continue that base building once I start my actual training program. I think this base will help to keep me injury free once the speedwork (my fave!) starts up.

So cheers to celebrating and taking time to notice your progress along the way. You deserve it!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Race Report: Brookings Half Marathon 2016

As I'm gearing up to start my training cycle for my goal race this spring, the Brookings Half Marathon, I thought it was probably about time that I write my race report from last year. Life went slightly downhill after the race (we found out that my mom's cancer had spread to her liver) and a race report seemed really trivial in the grand scheme of things. But I do like to look back on these. So here it is to the best of my memory.


Leading up to the Brookings Half Marathon, I had just started running again. After a rough winter where it seemed like one of my parents was in the hospital every week, sometimes both at the same time (in different hospitals! in different towns! GAH!), I barely had time to breathe, let alone to run. So when the dust settled a bit in the spring, I found myself heading outdoors, working off some of my stress and anxiety by pounding the pavement. I also learned that I'm better off bringing my running clothes to work and running from there, because if I make the 30 minute commute home, there's no way I'll head back out and go. Have you seen how cute my pug is? There's no way!

So with 3-4 weeks of "training" under my belt, my race plan was to start in the 10:45 pace, dropping down to the 10:30 pace for the bulk of the race, and then for the last 5k running as hard as I could. I had really wanted my parents to come up for the race, but they weren't feeling well, so I was excited that Kyle and his parents would be there to cheer for me, and I'd be able to meet up after the race with Megan who was doing a leg of the relay with Crossfit friends.

The first few miles of the race ticked off almost exactly as planned. Mile 2 was a bit of a downhill, so I wasn't too concerned that I was setting myself up for disaster. I did make the mistake of not running over the timing mat at the start. The start was the full width of the street and the timing mat was 10-15 feet long. I didn't want to run back once I realized it, so I ended up with a gun time instead of a chip time. Grrr.

1. 10:43
2. 10:28
3. 10:41

Around mile 4 I ran into a gentleman who was so much fun to run with, that I stuck by him for a good chunk of the race. It was a beautiful morning for a run, and he kept talking about it. He was also sharing his upcoming races. I soaked up his energy and just enjoyed the miles.

4. 10:26
5. 10:28
6. 10:37

During miles 6 and 7 we were running into the wind and it was the first time in the race that I wish I had extra clothes on, namely gloves. My hands were frozen solid. Brrr. I knew there were some long gradual inclines during the final 5k, so when my legs wanted to run a little bit faster with five miles to go, I let them.
7. 10:34
8. 10:21

The one and only "hill" on the course is around the 9.5 mile mark. There's a weird giant abrupt incline in the middle of the park. It's always super packed with spectators, which is awesome, but also has a super abrupt downhill that I always need to take it easy on so I don't blow out my quads, since my legs are tired at this point and it'd be so easy to just let my legs goooooo.

9. 10:00
10. 10:13

After the "hill" I really kicked it in to high gear. I knew I had a 5k left, and wanted to see how hard I could run. I had done some finishing calculations and realized that if I worked incredibly hard, I would just hit the high end of my A goal for the race (2:12-2:16). Mile 12 is a slight incline and Mile 13 is a slight decline, I had read my race reports from previous years and reminded myself of that so I wouldn't get discouraged when mile 12 felt HARD.

The last 1.22 miles I really gave it all I had left! This race is impossible to run decent tangents on, but I think .12 over is my personal best on this course!

11. 9:47
12. 10:06
13. 9:29
.22 1:51 (8:29 pace)


I ran 13.22 miles in 2:15:55, 10:17 pace. Yes that does mean I made it in my goal time just by the skin of my teeth. That also means that my official time is over 2:16 because I didn't step on the timing mat. Since this is far from a PR for me, and more of a mental win, I'm calling my garmin time *my* official time. :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Base Building Week 3

Week of January 9-15

Monday Planned: General Aerobic 5 miles
Monday Actual: Rest. My stomach was pretty upset, so I just went home and got ready for the National Championship.

Tuesday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Tuesday Actual: I got up with every intention of doing my five mile run. The wind chill was above zero! What a treat! In the 20 minutes it took me to pry myself away from the pug and her sweet snuggles, the temp had dropped 20 degrees, with 36 mph winds, blowing snow. I watched reality TV before work instead.

Wednesday Planned: General Aerobic 4 Miles
Wednesday Actual: General Aerobic 3.53 Miles. I didn't have quite enough time for 4 miles before I had to teach yoga, so I had to make due with 3.53. This is making me realize that 5-7 mile runs that I have on my training program on Wednesdays down the road will not happen. Hmmmm....

Thursday Planned: Lactate Threshold 6 miles, 16 minutes at tempo
Thursday Actual: General Aerobic 5 miles
Toni and I set out with this as the plan. It was -8 with wind chill, and the sidewalks were still covered in ice and snow covered ice. I decided around mile 2 that I'd be dropping the LT portion of the run because I knew we wouldn't get 1.5 miles without ice and both of us have the teeniest of left hamstring annoyances. When we turned into the wind, I thought I was going to die, so I asked Toni if we could cut it to 5 miles. She had gorgeous snowflake lashes. I had a gash on my neck from my gaiter freezing to me and then getting tore off. Also chafing in unmentionable places.

Friday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Friday Actual: Rest

Saturday Planned: Endurance 10 Miles
Saturday Actual: Endurance 10 Miles. Finally a run above 0 degrees! It was a beautiful day for a run, snowy bike path and icy in spots, bt I could feel my fac, feet, and fingers so that's a win. Since I didn't do the LT portion of my run earlier in the week, I did 3 minute pickups every 20 minutes. One of the best runs I've had in a long time. Reminded me why I love ten mile runs!

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: Rest+recovery. I foam rolled, sticked, and did corework.

Planned mileage: 25 miles

Total Mileage: 18.3 miles

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Weekly Reads: Fall of the Butterfly

The Fall of Butterfliesis the newest book by Andrea Portes. I absolutely loved her debut novel Anatomy of a Misfit, and couldn't wait to read her new one. I'm always a sucker for books that are set in a boarding school, so I was excited when that's where this one took place. This book was so captivating, and I read it in a small handful of days.

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Willa Parker, 646th and least popular resident of What Cheer, Iowa, is headed east to start a new life.

Did she choose this new life? No, because that would be too easy—and nothing in Willa’s life is easy. It’s her famous genius mother’s idea to send her to ultra-expensive, ultra-exclusive Pembroke Prep, and it’s only the strength of her name that got Willa accepted in the first place.

But Willa has no intentions of fitting in at Pembroke. She’s not staying long, she decides. Not at this school—and not on this planet. But when she meets peculiar, glittering Remy Taft, the richest, most mysterious girl on campus, she starts to see a foothold in this foreign world—a place where she could maybe, possibly, sort of fit.

When Willa looks at Remy, she sees a girl who has everything. But for Remy, having everything comes at a price. And as she spirals out of control, Willa can feel her spinning right out of her grasp.

In Willa’s secret heart, all she’s ever wanted is to belong. But if Remy, the girl who gave her this world, is slip-sliding away, is Willa meant to follow her down?

Andrea Portes’s incandescent, heartfelt novel explores the meaning of friendship, new beginnings, and the precarious joy and devastating pain of finding home in a place—a person—with wings.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Tracking Your Running

I will not lie. I love data. I think maybe I've said that a time or 1200 on here before. To further prove my insanity, there have been some runs this winter where I've worn TWO WATCHES to compare data and see how accurate things are. Data, data, data. My next pug might be named Data.

I have been tracking my runs since 2005. I originally started tracking on a paper log that I got from Runner's World. Sometime after that I started tracking on Cool Running (lol, I first typed Cool Runnings, and had to search it to see if that was correct. No I wasn't tracking my information with a Jamaican bobsled team). At some point in time, they shut down their running log, or it was bought out by Runners World. They automatically transferred all of my data over there, which was awfully nice of them and made the transition seamless.

Somewhere during this point I started using Daily Mile, which as I've talked about before, felt more like BragBook. I continued tracking my mileage and details privately on Runners World as well. About a year and a half ago, Runners World announced that they were shutting down their online log too. [Sidenote: I'm starting to feel like I've been dumped several times over here....]

A lot of my friends were on Strava, and that seemed really fun. Until I quickly realized that there was no easy way to transfer TEN YEARS OF DATA. Runners World gave me several different files with all of my data on it, and of course none of them were compatible with Strava. I even reached out to them to see if there was anything I could do to make it work. Nope.

I found Running Ahead, and honestly the biggest appeal to me was that my data was able to be uploaded from my giant files of information! I have been using it for the last year and a half, which hasn't been the strongest year and a half of running so at the start of 2017 I realized there were some under utilized summary functions. I was able to add a yearly goal, and a monthly goal and it gives me metrics toward my progress and I L-O-V-E it.

This fall, I ordered myself a Believe Training Journal. It arrived the week before the Sioux Falls Half, and a I love it. While I love having an online log that I can access from anywhere, there is something about putting a pen to paper and recording your immediate thoughts and reactions. I also love that there are goals and journaling exercises interspersed throughout the log to keep you motivated. Journaling has rekindled some big goals and dreams, and it's been fun to have a renewed since of inspiration.

What do you use to track your mileage? What goals are you dreaming of, big/small/medium?!

Friday, January 13, 2017

2016 By the Numbers

Miles ran:  589.9

Miles away from my goal (set in October):  110.1

Miles away from last year's mileage: +448.4

Miles per week average:  11.34. However I didn't really start running until mid April so 15.52 is probably closer to accurate.

Miles per month average:  49.16 (69.5)

Time spent running:  113:11:12 or 7.7 days!


Half Marathons: 3

10 mile: 0
8 mile: 1

10K: 1

5 mile: 0
4 mile: 1

5K: 8!

1 mile: 0

PRs accomplished:  2 (auto PRs :P)

Pairs of shoes purchased: 2. I ran so little in 2015 that I was still using up shoes I stockpiled then!
Hotel nights booked: 1

Flights taken: 0

Race road trips taken: 1

Number of runners met: Countless. I love Sioux Falls Women Run and 605 Running co!!

States crossed off my "run a race in every state" list:  None.

Awesome Race Photos garnered: 

Number of sub 4 crash and burn attempts: 0! Oh man, someday this will be a thing again, right?

Number of times I was proud of my racing efforts: 2 halfs and 7 5ks!

Number of times Kyle ran with me: 0 but he did bike along side of me for a few runs which was nice. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Breakfast 2017

One of my goals for 2017 is to eat breakfast more. I know, I know, I KNOW I need to eat breakfast. But I don't. Most of the time. I will *always* choose an extra 15 minutes of sleep over eating breakfast, and then I'll pick up a latte on the way to work and call it good. And then I'm starving at lunch, my lunch doesn't tide me over until dinner, and then I'm hungry and cranky for supper and don't spend time making a delicious and healthy dinner. And repeat. Throw in a workout/run and I'm even worse for the wear.

I'd really like to start working out in the morning, which is what has prompted this. I can't cycle + run on empty, and I'll kill people at work if I work out for 1+ hours before work and don't eat. Eeps. Murderous librarian? Pass.

Lay it on me people, what's your favorite breakfast options? Bonus points for things I can pre-make in bulk but stuff that won't have a gross consistency from being made in advance and reheated (I have super weird and intense issues with food textures. I usually can't eat leftovers because of it.)

I can meal prep lunches until the cows come home--giant salads, lots of extra goodies, but why are breakfasts so hard?!?

In exchange for your help, here's my favorite breakfast (that takes for-ev-er but is totally worth it (also paleo and gluten free if that's your jam).

1. Crisp bacon (2 strips)
2. Cut half an apple into small bites and saute in the bacon grease with a little red onion and some cinnamon (prepare for your house to smell like heaven) 3-5 minutes
3. Chop up sweet potatoes (the white ones are the best, but the orange ones will do) and saute for forever (12-15 minutes).
4. Fry an egg and put it over the top.
5. Bask in your culinary amazingness.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Base Building Week 2

Week of January 2-9

Monday Planned: General Aerobic 4 miles
Monday Actual: 4 Miles recovery. Since I did my long run on Sunday, I switched my four miles to recovery to save my body. It was super icy out so that helped keep the pace slow and my heart rate low. Avg HR 143.

Tuesday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Tuesday Actual: Sanford POWER session, 60 minutes.

Wednesday Planned: General Aerobic 5 miles, 6x100 meter strides
Wednesday Actual: General Aerobic 4 miles. Stomach was really upset so I did Friday's workout. Treadmill miles so my HR was higher than I had hoped it'd be because it was hot in there!

Thursday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Thursday Actual: Rest. Sweet sweet rest. Red wine drinking. Is that considered cross training?

Friday Planned: General Aerobic 4 miles
Friday Actual: General Aerobic 5 miles, 6x100 meter strides. Really glad I swapped my Friday and Wednesday run because I was able to do this run outside. Even though there was ice and dark areas, I was still able to open up my stride for a little bit of speedwork. Despite running considerably faster than Wednesday (probably 40 seconds per mile), my heart rate was significantly lower. 

Saturday Planned: Rest
Saturday Actual: Rest

Sunday Planned: Endurance 9 Miles
Sunday Actual: Nothing. :( A bunch of my friends were running 36 miles for their birthdays. I wanted to run with them in the morning, but it was so cold. -20, no thank you. I had plans to run with two of my friends after the Packers game. I tweaked my back in the morning, and then my stomach was super upset during the game. All signs were pointing toward, no run. Sadsies.


Total Mileage Planned: 22 miles
Total Mileage Actual: 13 miles

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Weekly Reads: Wedding Girl

If I'm being honest, I can say that the only reason I picked up this book was because there was a pug on the cover. I'm such a sucker. Wedding Girl was so much better than expected, I was shocked! Normally when I crave a good light, chick lit read I'm annoyed when I'm done reading it, because it didn't really scratch the itch and ended up lame. Not the case with this one. So enjoyable.

My rating: 4 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

You’ve Got Mail meets Julie & Julia in the new foodie fiction from the author of Recipe for Disaster.

Top pastry chef Sophie Bernstein and her sommelier fiancĂ© were set to have Chicago’s culinary wedding of the year…until the groom eloped with someone else in a very public debacle, leaving Sophie splashed across the tabloids—fifty grand in debt on her dream wedding and one-hundred percent screwed on her dream life. The icing on the cake was when she lost her job and her home…

Laying low, Sophie moves in with her grandmother, Bubbles. That way, she can keep Bubbles and her sweater-wearing pug company and nurse her broken heart. But when Sophie gets a part-time job at the old-fashioned neighborhood bakery, she finds herself up to her elbows in dough and reluctantly giving a wedding cake customer advice on everything from gift bags to guest accommodations. Before she knows it, she’s an online wedding planner. It’s not mousse and macarons, but it pays the bills. But with the arrival of unexpected personal and professional twists, Sophie wonders if she’s really moving forward—or starting over from scratch...

Monday, January 9, 2017

Comparing Yourself to Others

When Dailymile first came out I was obsessed (back when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth, do any of you even know/remember dailymile?!) Most of my first local running friends were ones I met through the site. I loved that the site made me feel like I was a part of a community. I loved being able to get and receive positive feedback from my running friends. And I loved the graphs of data. But I hated the comparison and competition that inevitably seemed to take place on there.

Being a runner, I'm a very type A person. I'm obsessed with data. I love comparing data and using it as a predictor for future race successes. Since I've struggled with a strong running mentality through much of my running career, it's always nice to look at data and have it provide you with the mental confidence that you can race at a certain pace. When you're able to look at everyone's data and workouts so freely it's easy to compare yourself, what paces are they hitting for workouts, what are their PRs looking like.

A couple of years ago, a lot of my friends started using strava to log their runs. Luckily for me (or perhaps unluckily for me?) there wasn't a way to transfer my existing running log to their site. I wasn't willing to lose almost ten years of data, so I found something else. And I don't missing seeing people's workouts and paces. There's no judgment of myself or others if I fall short of a goal because my numbers did or didn't stack up to another's numbers.

Now my *own* data, man I spend an eternity analyzing that crap! You should *see* the spreadsheets I have, monthly mileage, weekly mileage, average weekly mileage leading up to marathon PRs and good performances, the same with half marathon performances. CHARTS AND GRAPHS, CHARTS AND GRAPHS! Because it doesn't matter what anyone else is doing around me, the only way I can succeed in my goals is focusing on me. And I'm okay with that.

Do you, boo.

(That's still a thing people say, right?)

Friday, January 6, 2017

December in Review + Goals

December in Review

Total Miles: 27.3 down from 55.8 last month.  Up from two miles last December. :|

Total Time:  5:08:41 down from 10:25:35 last month. 

Total Runs: 7 for an average of 3.9 miles/run. I need to learn to be less of a wussy winter runner!

Highest weekly mileage: Even though the last run of the week was technically in January, I only had one solid week of running in December. 
12/26/2016 – 1/1/2017:19.3 mi3:33:56

Favorite run: I did a 4 mile run on the treadmill and got to run next to one of my speedier runner friends. It was so nice to "run" with her.

Most hardcore run: Ha, none, really. I did mile repeats at my 10k pace and had to go slower on each one. Oops.

1600 repeats

TypeDistanceDurationElapsed TimePaceNotes
1Interval1 mi8:538:538:53
2Interval1 mi8:5717:508:57
3Interval1 mi9:0126:519:01

Favorite race: None!

Bike Miles: 0

Favorite Jam: I've been listening to my yoga playlists on my runs, there isn't a song I've been playing on repeat much. Shockingly.

January Goals
  • 83 Miles--Since I'm shooting for 1000 miles in 2017, this is my average mileage per month!
  • Core work 3x a week.
  • Clam shell with resistance bands before runs I do from home, standing glute activation on runs from elsewhere.
  • 2 morning group runs (this'll be HARD!)
  • 2 cycling classes

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Minimalism Challenge

When I was going through yoga teacher training, we studied the yamas and the niyamas. One of the yamas and niyamas that really stuck out to me is "asteya". While this Sanskrit word translates literally to "not stealing" it also breaks down to not hoarding materials you don't need and/or mindlessly consuming natural resources. Uff.

I looooove having stuff. And I have a lot of it. When Kyle and I moved out of your apartment last winter, I had major anxiety when paring down our stuff. We were going from a tiny apartment to his parents' basement to an unknown house. But we had lived at the apartment for three years and the amount of "stuff" you acquire without thinking about it is insane! I think I took 8 garbage bags full of stuff to the Goodwill, threw away several bags of stuff that no longer had value to me, and wouldn't have value to anyone else, and gave away things that no longer served me ie: I can't drink black coffee anymore (sniffle, sniffle) so I gave away a coffee pot, a keurig, and a french press, sniff sniff.

My main hobbies are running and yoga, and I have a LOT OF STUFF for these activities. I've been running distance since 2005 and while I got rid of a lot of too small running clothes a year ago, I still have a lot that I've either never worn (race shirts) or haven't worn in years (maybe I'll be an XS again and these shorts will fit! uh... no.)

I started listening to The Minimalists podcast and one of the challenges that they presented was to take a month, and each day of the month purge a number of items that matches the date. So on the first, one item, second, two items, and so on.

On New Years Eve I was home alone (because my husband ditched me for fishing), and I decided to start going through some of my things in preparation for this. I thought it'd be easier to tackle it a week at a time, because I know I'll be too lazy on a week night to purge X amount of things.

I have a GIANT stack of workout clothes that I don't wear anymore and haven't worn for years. I'm going to let one of my (tinier) friends go through it and take anything she wants. At first I thought, ooh I should organize a workout clothes swap! And then I realized, derp, that defeats the purpose. :P Anything she decides she doesn't want, I'll check in with my women's running group to see if anyone there needs anything. I know when I first started running, have a tech t-shirt changed the running game for me! From there everything will just get donated.

I also have a few boxes that have yet to be unpacked from our move (9 months ago) that I hope to tackle one of these weeks and contribute to the pile. While the concept sounds easy, I did the quick math on it, and I'll be purging 450 items from my life! That's crazy! But what better time to do it, then in a new year, fresh start!

Who's joining me?!? :D 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Base Building Week 1

Week of December 26-January 1

Monday Planned: General Aerobic 4 miles
Monday Actual: 5 miles of ice skating
It's my birthday so I'll ice skate if I want to!! And then drink beer during the daytime with friends.

Tuesday Planned: 1 Hour Sanford POWER
Tuesday Actual:  1 Hour Sanford POWER
I'm obsessed with the weekly POWER classes, I'm so stoked that they're going to continue this winter, AND that they'll fit my work schedule. I credit this class significantly for keeping me injury free the past couple of months.

Wednesday Planned: General Aerobic 3 Miles
Wednesday Actual: General Aerobic 3 Miles
Group run at 605 Running Co. with a couple of gals. It was really icy in spots so there was a bit of walking and some walk breaks for my running friend. 

Thursday Planned: General Aerobic 4 Miles
Thursday Actual: Rest
 I had planned to go to the gym and hit the treadmill after work, but my stomach was super upset, so I went home instead.

Friday Planned: Rest
Friday Actual: Rest
After skipping my Thursday run, I had actually planned to do it Friday after work, but see notes from Thursday, stomach was still super angry at me. More rest.

Saturday Planned: Endurance 8 Miles
Saturday Actual: General Aerobic 3.27 Miles
I was going to meet up with a bunch of my running friends for a MASSIVE group run at 605 Running Co. but I woke up and didn't want to do anything. So I ate fresh baked cookies in bed with the pug, and then ate ice cream for lunch. After the Alabama game (ROLL TIDE!), I laced up my shoes and headed out for an easy loop around town. I kept the pace easy and my HR in the GA zone. Before the run I did my clam shell exercises with my new resistance bands!

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: Endurance 8 Miles
I recruited some lovely runner chicks to join me for the first run of 2017! It was a chilly morning for the first half into the wind, but I got really warm really fast once it was at our back. The miles just flyyyyy by when you have company and are chatting it up. I need to remember this when I want to bag a group run. 

Total Mileage Planned: 19 miles
Total Mileage Actual: 19.3 miles