Life Update

I’m coming at you this morning from a cute little coffee shop a few blocks away from my friend’s place in Philadelphia. I’ve been up here since Monday afternoon, intent on find a job ASAP. I’m keeping a positive outlook and I’m not quitting the search until something that is perfect for me pops up! I’ve had a few opportunities that just didn’t quite work for me, but I refuse to settle for something that I don’t want.

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So what have I been up to?

I ran a hot, hard, tiring 7 miles last Saturday that seriously made me reconsider my decision to run a fall half. I was dragging, my legs were exhausted (it could have been the BodyPump class I took 2 days before), and I just felt terrible. Onward with the long runs and I shall attempt 8 on Friday. I listened to my body and I took Sunday through Tuesday OFF completely with the exception of Corrin’s stairs and chasing squirrels – more on that later…)

Before leaving, I spent one last afternoon with this bugger at the pool and attempted to give him a mohawk…

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Monday Things…

I packed up (less than half of) my life and put it into my mom’s car…

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I sat at this same exact coffee shop to take my pre-interview call on Monday where I learned things about the facility that didn’t make me happy and was rather upsetting, as I was excited about this opportunity. So I headed over to Spruce Street Harbor Park, grabbed my book and laid in a hammock…

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I walked around, people watched, called and talked to a few people to ease my thoughts while I waited for Corrin to get off work…

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Tuesday was quite the adventure…

Corrin was uncomfortable Monday night and ended up going downstairs to sleep on a rug – her room is a loft on the 3rd floor and with no AC, it is brutal. About 3 minutes after she went down, I heard a trembling, freaked out voice saying “Saammmm….”. I was expecting a “There’s someone in the house…” or something crazy. I was not a expecting “There’s a squirrel in the guest room.”

Lo and behold – there was a baby squirrel in the guest room. Tuesday morning we woke up and he was still there. She went to work and I prepared for an interview. I sat downstairs and ate my pepper for breakfast and all of a sudden I hear this absurd screeching sound. It honestly sounded like a bird so I’m texting Corrin crazy things… “THERE’S A BIRD. THERE’S A BIRD IN YOUR HOUSE.” “I HEAR IT ABOVE ME IN THE GUEST ROOM.” “OMG I HEAR SOMETHING IN THE BATHROOM.” It was comical, yet terrifying because I didn’t know what was happening. I went to go grab my toothbrush from the bathroom and heard scurrying in the pipes behind the tub where her dad was doing work and the wall was open. I squealed and ran out and shut the door. My teeth did not get brushed yesterday morning.

And there we had it. There was not only a squirrel in the guest room, but there was a squirrel in the bathroom too! I saw the bushy tail and 4 feet under the crack in the door, filmed it and sent it to Corrin who was freaking out at work, Googling how to get rid of squirrels. If you know Corrin, you know she would rather do something herself than pay someone to do it…

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She came home from work ready to go! So into the guest room she went first…

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She got him out and he clung to the window sill for dear life. And didn’t leave the window sill for hours, occasionally turning around and trying to find a way BACK IN through the window.

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Next up: the bathroom. We don’t see the little guy when we open the door. We are just standing there searching, then I’m standing with my hand on the door and see him creep out from behind the door. We both squeal and I slam the door shut with Corrin still inside. (Hahahaha) I was the cheerleader outside asking for the play by play and yelling at her that she could do it! Eventually, out went squirrel number two, along with a sweatshirt, my towel and the bath mat – out the window. And we are now squirrel free. Hopefully.

Wednesday Things…

This morning I headed out for a run. My legs have still not felt good. They felt terrible on my run, I was lethargic and just did not feel right. I made it to the Liberty Bell (about 1.4 miles) before I stopped to stretch and take pictures with all of the other tourists.

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I had to get a little artsy…

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Then I made my way back home, walk/jogging. I think possibly I haven’t been replenishing properly. I used to always drink Gatorade or other things to replenish electrolytes after long runs but I haven’t drank that stuff in months. My plan is to get more things like that in me and see if that makes a difference – today I chugged some of Corrin’s Replenish powder from Isogenics in hopes that it would do the trick. We shall see!

And so that brings me back here, to this coffee shop with AC and lattes. Goal today: send out more resumes, contact more places that I have already reached out to via resume, and get a hold of my recruiter to make sure he’s still on the hunt. I’m already partially moved in, so it’s all or nothing at this point!

I’ve been enjoying this time checking out my new digs and it’s only making me more excited to live in this city with one of my best friends. I have until October before I need to move in – so fingers crossed that something that is perfect for me pops up soon!

I’m not sure when I’ll check back in – Friday after our 8 miler, we will be heading up to Point Pleasant with Corrin’s family for the long weekend and I can’t wait to be at the beach! Have a great week y’all – Happy Hump Day!

Running Survey

I like surveys. Readers like surveys. Surveys are fun. Here’s a survey about running for your Friday morning. Have a great weekend!

1.  Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?

Well, a beach would most likely mean flat – so I choose that. But my favorite place to run is on a lake. Specifically the lake next to my house, in the fall.

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2.  If you could choose the flavor of gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?

Light blue. 100%. The Frost Glacier Freeze is the best.

3.  If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?

New shoes! You can never have enough running shoes! Brooks all the way. Although, you can also never have enough running tights.. or compression socks.. or running tanks.. or jackets.. Sigh.

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4.  Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?

If I’m training for something, then I like to follow a training plan. If I’m not specifically training for a race then I just see how I feel and go with it.

5.  Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?

Definitely start uphill when my legs are fresh. I despise hills. Which is why I’m scared of this upcoming half. :(

6.  When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

In the summer I love to swim! I live next to my community pool so it’s free to just go swim laps. If I can’t get in a swim, then I would say just elliptical/arc trainer type stuff at the gym.

7.  What is your preference—>  Out and back, point to point or loop runs?

Hmmm.. I would have to say loop runs.

8.  If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a—>

Good pair of shoes! As a physical therapist, obviously my recommendation will be a new pair of shoes that fit your foot right! It seriously can make such the difference in injury prevention up the entire chain.

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9.  Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?

Deer. Allllllll the time. Mama deer, baby deer, bucks. I run in the woods mostly on trails.

10.  Ever gotten lost while out on a run?

Thankfully, no.

11.  If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be?

Eggs are usually my go to – so an omelette would be awesome to have waiting for me. With veggies and avocado. Oh, and a scoop of nut butter, please and thank you.

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12.  Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?

Shorts. But with this summer time training – the chaffing is real. Capris prevent that, but are too hot. It’s a lose-lose.

13.  At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

Generally around 20 minutes in I think I get in a groove.

14.  What do you do with your key when you run?

I don’t typically carry one (read: ever). I leave my house unlocked generally, or I can go in through the garage.

15.  If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?

Probably the one I PR’ed in: the Ocean City 2014 Half.

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16.  What type of run is your least favorite type of run?

Hills. Easily, hills. I love interval training. And long runs make me feel so good when it’s done.

17.  What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on?

Knowing that if I don’t go run, I will die on October 17th when I go to start my half.

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18.  When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start?

Front door! Unless I’m meeting a friend somewhere to run, but that’s pretty rare.

19.  When running in daylight—>  are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?

I’ve never run in sunglasses – I think they would be super annoying.

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20.  When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?

Knowing how amazing I will feel once it’s over; also, the faster I go, the faster I’m done. Also – if we’re being honest here – sometimes on the treadmill, I stare at my chubby thighs in the mirror the entire run to motivate me to keep going. ::No shame::

Training Update

Not having a job, having literally nothing to do during the week, but having weekends jam packed with activities, has made for an awkward training plan thus far in my training. But I’m going with it and just doing what I feel my legs can handle during the week. Here’s the past week of training

Wednesday 8/19

Legs were feeling my Tuesday lifting session – 3.5 mile walk listening to podcasts.

Thursday 8/20

45 minutes of cross training at the gym: Arc trainer and elliptical split.

Friday 8/21

6 miles on the Boardwalk. Slow and HOT – but I got the miles in :)

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Saturday 8/22

Walking in heels all day and owning the dance floor at Sarah and Sean’s wedding :)

Sunday 8/23

So, so hungover. Barely made it the three hour drive home. Slept all day. Zero work out.

Monday 8/24

1000 meter swim. Stretch and foam roll.

Tuesday 8/25

1 mile warm up. 6 hill repeats (Fast run up hill that is at least 6% grade if not more – estimating the hill is about .1 mile long – walk/jog back down once I stopped sucking wind). 1 mile cool down to get home. Hills will be the death of me in this race.

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Wednesday 8/26

The plan today is to hit the gym and lift after helping the sister set up her classroom for a few hours.

So there you have it! This weekend I have a 7 miler on the schedule. I need to start writing out my training plan every week to make sure I stick to it. I think I’m doing pretty well so far sticking with my 3 runs a week, listening to my legs and doing at least 2 days of cross training.

One thing I’m learning while training with this half: stick to spring races. Training in the summer is brutal. No matter how early I wake up, I can never beat this humidity and I feel so exhausted and thirsty no matter how far I’m running. I need to invest in a water bottle to carry with me because that 6 miler was rough. Thank goodness for sand wash off showers – yes, I was that runner sticking my face in the faucet on the boardwalk. My hope: that that perfect fall running weather hits us sooner rather than later!

Sean and Sarah Tie the Knot!

This weekend couldn’t have been more perfect – the perfect weather, the perfect ceremony, the perfect party, all celebrating the perfect couple! This is gonna be a bunch of photos just dumped on ya, so prepare yourself!

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Friday

The weekend started out on the right foot (or left foot) with a hot and humid 6 miler on the boardwalk on Friday morning…

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Which was followed by running errands and getting things ready with the bride to be. Soon it was time to get ready for the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. The venue was absolutely beautiful….

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View from the upstairs deck – where cocktail hour was held
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Before the chairs were all set up

The rehearsal went smoothly, and then it was time for dinner!

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Groom’s cake!

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We took full advantage of taking pics with the beautiful background..

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We opened our gifts from the bride: these awesome bags and earrings that we wore during the wedding!

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The food was amazing: I didn’t snap any pictures. But it was Italian themed: Caesar salad, pasta with your choice of sauces, chicken park, and an amazing seafood scampi that was to die for.

Saturday

We were woken at 6:30 am (I know, what!?) to the bride-to-be’s “IT’S WEDDING DAY” announcement. I was the lucky one that got to be in the same room as her – because I am allergic to cats and that room from cat free. We had to be at the yacht club at 9 to start getting pretty, so we woke up and prepared for the big day!

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Time to get the bride ready!

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The little details throughout the reception were seriously amazing…

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And the bouquet’s were beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

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And the pictures pretty much stop there because I left my phone in the bridal suite a lot of the reception. But the night was filled with drinks, dancing and amazing food! It was the perfect weekend celebrating two of the best people I know. As I mentioned, and the man who married them added in to the ceremony – Sarah and Sean are “relationship goals” – they are what others strive to find in life, so in love and the best picture of how your partner should be your best friend.

Congrats Sarah and Sean and thank you for letting me be a part of your special day!

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Thinking Out Loud

If you’ve noticed, the majority of my recent posts have been on Thursdays. And have been Thinking Out Loud posts. It’s just so easy to throw together these posts without putting much thought in to it – and that’s my kind of blogging. Also, my life has no particular order these days, so the randomness of TOL just fits with me lately. Without further ado…

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  1. First things first… Tonight I am heading down to the Eastern Shore to be a part of the wedding of two of my favorite people in the world: Sarah and Sean!

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I am so excited that I get to be a part of their big day and I can’t believe it’s snuck up so soon! I can’t wait to tell you guys all about it!

2. In my downtime, since I have a lot of it, I’ve been planning my future bedroom at my friend’s place in Philly. It’s so fun looking at new bedding and throwing around different color themes. So far I’m thinking I like navy and gray with pops of coral. However, I’m debating keeping my black curtains – just to avoid the cost of more things – which means I would knock the navy and do gray and black with a pop of another color. Thoughts?! Here are a few comforters that I’ve had my eye on…

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I just can’t decide on a definite color theme! Ah!

3. A few years ago, I refinished an old desk that we had in to a new desk.. (I thought I had a post about it, but I guess not… hahaha) But fortunately, I still have the paint and it still is good to use! It’s a dark granite color which is perfect for my vision of my new room – so that’s my newest project, refinishing an old dresser to match my desk!

4. Speaking of my desk, I was trying to figure out the best way to utilize it in my new space. We only have one bathroom, so I had the idea of creating my desk in to a vanity space! While at HomeGoods the other day, naturally I started looking at the mirrors and found the perfect one…

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I didn’t buy it.. Because well, I don’t have a job yet, I’m not moving yet until I have a job, and my bank account needs to be watched very closely because of said unemployment. But it’s the perfect size and would look perfect with the theme I’m going for. Plus, it was only 25 dollars! Win!

5. The other night I was stressed with the job search and needed s’mores. Note: I didn’t say wanted, I said needed. Some things are just a necessity ;-)

Win: We had graham crackers and we had chocolate. The problem: We only had mini marshmallows. Solution: Enter toaster oven broil.

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These were the gooiest, messiest, most delicious s’mores ever. One note: next time, add the chocolate after you broil the marshmallows, not before.

6. We had a crab feast on Sunday – it’s not summer in Maryland with crabs…

IMG_7122So we had some extra crabs that me and my sister picked through to have some meat for the week. Enter best dinner ever… Crab avocado lettuce wraps!

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7. I’m slowly working on the book The Girl On The Train.

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8. I’ve contacted a recruiter. I’ve just gotten to the point where I’m really frustrated and I needed a little extra help. He sounds legit and like he knows what he is doing. So fingers crossed that this can lead to a job! I’m not doing anything until Monday on the job search front – just focusing on the wedding festivities!

And there’s that! Have a great weekend everyone!

Reads Lately

I’m not working. I have zero responsibilities – besides looking for a job. I’ve been spending a lot of time at the pool. And have been spending so much time reading! If you’ve been around for a bit, you know that reading is my next escape, next to running. There are few things I love more than getting lost in a great book – and I’m known for knocking them out daily.

So, here are the books that I’ve picked up lately at the library and my brief thoughts on them – I don’t do reviews, they’re too lengthy and I’m really bad at reading for reviewing – I just read to read!

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Liane Moriarty – Big Little Lies

From Goodreads:
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

My thoughts: This was an easy read that had a twist at the end that I wasn’t expecting. I’m a fan of this author so I grabbed it when I saw it on the shelf and I’m happy I did. Overall, good story line and intriguing read that made me want to figure out what happened from the beginning.

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Liane Moriarty – Three Wishes

From GoodreadsAustralian triplets Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle are about to turn thirty-three and one is pregnant, one has just had her life turned upside down, and one is only just keeping hers from skidding off the fast lane. Meanwhile, their divorced parents have been behaving very oddly indeed.

In this family comedy by Liane Moriarty, we follow the three Kettle sisters through their tumultuous thirty-third year — as they deal with sibling rivalry and secrets, revelations and relationships, unfaithful husbands and unthinkable decisions, and the fabulous, frustrating life of forever being part of a trio.

My thoughts: There were definitely some unexpected twists in here that kept me reading. Overall, similar to the previous one, an easy read that drew me in enough to keep me reading.

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John Green – Paper Towns

From GoodreadsQuentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew…

My thoughts: I was definitely more inclined to pick this one up because it was recently released in theaters. (I like reading books before the movies come out, because let’s be honest, the book is always better). I thought this book was written well and I loved the mystery aspect of it, but Green portrayed it in a fun, making jokes way rather than in a “OMG we need to figure this out” type of way. I’ll probably check out the movie next, because, why not.

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Jessica Knoll – Luckiest Girl Alive

From GoodreadsAs a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Aliveexplores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears. 

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

My thoughts: Okay, so the plot twist wasn’t what I was expecting, but when it’s compared to a “Gone Girl”, I was expecting way more. It wasn’t as intense and page turning as Gone Girl, so I wouldn’t put the two on the same level. Definitely was an interesting read; it touches on tough, sometimes disturbing topics – similar to other Gillian Flynn books (Dark Places, Sharp Objects) Overall, a decent summertime read.

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Jane Green – Summer Secrets

From GoodreadsJune, 1998: At twenty seven, Catherine Coombs, also known as Cat, is struggling. She lives in London, works as a journalist, and parties hard. Her lunchtimes consist of several glasses of wine at the bar downstairs in the office, her evenings much the same, swigging the free booze and eating the free food at a different launch or party every night. When she discovers the identity of the father she never knew she had, it sends her into a spiral. She makes mistakes that cost her the budding friendship of the only women who have ever welcomed her. And nothing is ever the same after that.

June, 2014: Cat has finally come to the end of herself. She no longer drinks. She wants to make amends to those she has hurt. Her quest takes her to Nantucket, to the gorgeous summer community where the women she once called family still live. Despite her sins, will they welcome her again? What Cat doesn’t realize is that these women, her real father’s daughters, have secrets of their own. As the past collides with the present, Cat must confront the darkest things in her own life and uncover the depths of someone’s need for revenge.

My thoughts: I really liked this book. It kept me reading and wanting to figure out how Cat’s life would turn out. It’s a tough subject matter to write about, but Green does a good job of really diving in to Cat’s character. Overall, two thumbs up.

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S.J. Watson – Before I Go To Sleep

From GoodreadsAs I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child, thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me… 

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love–all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. 

Welcome to Christine’s life.

My thoughts: I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. I had to know what was going on and had to figure out how it ended. I finished this in less than 24 hours. Loved it. Now I’m scared to see the movie.

So there you have it! I’ve read all the ones listed above in the past week or two… And in my recent trip to the library (aka an hour ago), I snagged these four:

S.J. Watson – Second Life

Jane Green – Saving Grace

Harper Lee – Go Set A Watchman

Paula Hawkins – The Girl On The Train

Plan on them being finished in the next week – maybe week and a half since I have a wedding to be in this weekend ;-)

And speaking of books – I recently saw 2 books that were turned in to movies:

  • The Giver
    • I was curious to see this because it was one of my all time favorite books that was part of our schooling curriculum – honestly, I don’t remember much of it, since we read it in 7th grade, but I do remember that I loved it.
    • The movie: I thought was pretty good. Since I can’t remember much of the book, the movie was kind of a blank slate for me but I liked the futuristic aspect of it and could appreciate how it could stir up some discussion, had I read the book more recently.
  • Insurgent
    • I was a fan. I’ve heard mixed reviews, and maybe it’s just my love for the character that plays Four, but I enjoyed the movie. Again, I haven’t read the book in awhile and I’m sort of one of those – read to read, not to remember every budding detail – so I thought it included everything that needed to be included for those non-readers to get the idea of what’s going on.

Do you generally like books turned in to movies? What’s your favorite?

Training – TOL

A few months ago I was having race fever, mostly due to the fact that I had typically run a race in the spring for the past few years, and because of school, I wasn’t able to get one in. So I signed up for the Baltimore Half Marathon in October. We are now about 11 weeks out and my training has officially started. With this being my 4th half marathon, I’ve sort of got things figured out, but in a lot of ways, I’m still trying to figure out what works best for my body. So in this Thinking Out Loud, let’s chat about the things I’m keeping the same, and the things I’m doing different for Half Marathon Number Four.

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  1. First things first, I got my new shoes and so my feet, knees, hips and back are happy.

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I stuck with my Brooks Defyance. They’ve never done me wrong and I just had to stick with them!

2. I’ve learned that less is more for my body. I was running 4-5 times per week when I trained for my first half marathon. I can’t do that anymore. My body can’t handle that anymore. I learned from my last race that running three days per week actually worked out great for me – and I had a 12 minute PR.

3. I’m going to listen to my body more. Ever since I tore my calf muscles from overuse last summer, I’ve been super cautious when it comes to how I’m feeling during and after runs. When I feel a twinge when I’m running, I adjust my gait pattern, tighten my core more and try to work around the pain (thank you three years of PT school for allowing me to run and think about my body at the same time). After runs, I live in compression socks, foam roll and stretch.

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4. I’m going to do all of those things listed above, more. I slack sometimes with the after run care – because it was a struggle to fit in the run typically with school, let alone time to stretch, foam roll and take care of myself. Now that I won’t have to rush off to study, I’ll have more time to commit to caring for my legs and my body.

5. No more “It’s okay, I ran 6 miles today.” At the ripe age of 26, I no longer have the metabolism of my 18, or even 24, year old self, and it’s starting to show. I’m going to be more conscious about what I’m fueling my body with before, during, and after my runs. No more eating 3 bagels just cause I want them. Not to say I won’t be treating myself occasionally, cause that would be a lie, but I just need to focus more on what I’m eating and not gain weight while training.

6. Specialized training. If there’s one thing I’ve heard about the Baltimore Half, it’s hills. So, in order to conquer them on race day, I need to train with hill repeats! Last training, I incorporated at least one day of sprints/interval training. This time around I’m thinking this:

  • 1 long run a week – duh, that’s a given
  • 1 hill repeat run OR a track workout/interval run
  • 1 tempo run of 3-5 miles during the week
  • 1 shake out run – EASY, as needed/depending on how I’m feeling
  • 1-2 days of strength training/cross training
  • 1-2 days of complete rest

And there ya have it! I don’t know if this race will be another PR like last time given all of the hills, but I’m going to train my best and we will see how it goes come October!