Archive for the ‘ Running ’ Category

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

This weekend seemed like a small sampler of how buy my June is going to be. Not only is it one of the busiest months for me at work, but I already seem to have plans piled up around my ears. Lots of it will be fun just not as laid back as these past couple months have been. Saturday I got to see Olympic hopefuls for the U.S.A. Equestrian Team compete at a course in Devon, PA. Today, went to a christening for the son of close friends that took up almost the entire day. While it’s great to see friends and enjoy the beautiful weather, I also thrive on my alone time to write, read, and relax. 🙂

I can’t complain too much as I have been reading a lot lately. Here’s what’s new:

  Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs – I’ve been on a Reichs kick lately and have devoured her last three books. She’s a perfect summer on the porch read. Her books are filled with detailed mysteries, heart pounding plot twists, and great characters. Also perfect for a day at the beach!

  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – This is another book that I should have read a long time ago, but for some reason never had. I appreciated this book, but felt as though it would have been more profound if I had read it when I was younger. I remember reading 1984 when I was young and it just blew me away. This one, not so much. It’s a thought provoking concept of the future and playing with the idea of a utopia (kind of) society. If you haven’t read it, it’s definitely one that should be on your TBR list.

  Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed – When a colleague of mine saw this book she exclaimed, “Oh, that sounds like a horrible story!” I was confused as I had read the blurbs on this memoir and thought the idea of a woman hiking to find herself again sounded like a great story. But what she thought when she read the title was that this woman got lost literally and then was found literally. I could see how the tagline would be a little confusing without any prior point of reference. Regardless, I’ve been listening to this one on CD and loving it. I love memoirs to begin with, but combine one with soul-searching and the outdoors and it doesn’t take much to win me over.

  Jubilee by Robert Kirkman – I picked up this graphic novel because it was penned by Robert Kirkman and I’m a huge fan of his Walking Dead series. So far though I’ve been a bit disappointed by the lack of wow factor. While the story progresses, it’s not very exciting and definitely not what I would consider a good representation of Kirkman’s work. Still, it is a fun, fast read.

Hope you have a great week! Happy reading! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

Another wonderful weekend with great running weather. Hope you were able to get out and enjoy the weekend too! The nerdiest part of my weekend was when I took my long-haired dachshund Jackson to the local pet store to get his caricature done. It proved to be very entertaining. Lots of dogs of all shapes and sizes were there and Jackson had a great time checking things out. I’m still on the fence as to whether this was okay to do or if I should get out more…Regardless, I have a great picture of my pup now. 🙂

When I’m not playing the eccentric dog-owner, I’m reading and working on my novel. Here’s what I’m reading now:

  Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet -Daniel is an autistic savant born into a world that doesn’t quite understand what autism is yet. He falls on the highly functioning side of the spectrum and chronicles both his fascinating view of the world as well as how he learns how to become more socially at ease. It always interesting to me to hear stories of how differently people think and see the world. For example, Daniel has a unique relationship with numbers where he visualizes them differently than others, so to raise money for an epilepsy foundation he memorizes over 22, 000 numbers in pi. !!! I’m lucky if I remember my phone number most days. I listened to this book on CD and it was very well done.

  Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott & Sam Lamott -I’m also listening to this memoir on CD which is read by both authors, although mostly by Anne. She has a great dry wit that really catches me off guard, so I find myself laughing a lot (which probably looks pretty creepy to passing drivers, but oh well). This story chronicles her son’s first son. Sam is only 19 and dealing with school, a young girlfriend, and a new baby aren’t always a recipe for blissful peace. Listening to this one makes me want to read her memoir of Sam when he was young called Operating Instructions as I’m sure it’ll be just as entertaining.

  What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami -I’m long overdue in reading this highly touted memoir by novelist Murakami. He writes in a journal-like style with jotting down his thoughts on different dates and giving readers an inside look into how he thinks, why he runs, and how he became a novelist. It’s an interesting running book as it delves more into the day-by-day workings of a man’s mind rather than on a longer narrative. If you’re a runner or a writer, then you will like this little book.

  Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson – So said Winterson’s mother to her in regards to her daughter being gay. Adopted and raised by a domineering mother who prayed fervently and would alternate locking her daughter in the coal cellar or outside all night, this memoir captures Winterson’s unique voice perfectly. Readers walk with Winterson as she comes to terms with her upbringing and how those experiences shaped her life as a person and a writer today.

I just realized that all of these are memoirs! I love reading about people from different walks of life and the stories they have to tell, but this week was especially memoir-centric. All well worth reading too. Happy reading! 🙂

Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

People always talk about the benefits of running, but what about for 15 minutes of fame? Zeddie Little’s “ridiculously photogenic” photo was snapped during a 10k race in South Carolina and has since gone viral on Twitter, Facebook after it was uploaded on Flickr. Little even had an interview on Good Morning America and his story has been run on news sites all over the web. Running really does have great benefits! 🙂

 

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

This past week was a great one for reading on my porch. Sunshine, warm breezes, the smell of spring, ahhh… So while I got a little distracted and had to go off and play disc golf every once in a while, it was a great week for springtime reading.

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach – Felton Reinstein is used to being called Squirrel Nut and being an outsider. But one day he wakes up and realizes he is really, really fast. Soon he’s playing football and being one of the jocks. But Felton realizes it won’t fix everything that is wrong in his life. At some point he’s going to have to stop running and face bigger issues that are going on in his life. Adolescent angst and running? This is going to be a great book. 🙂

 

 

Dead End In Norvelt by Jack Gantos – The winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, Dead End is marketed as the entirely true and wildly fictional story about a kid named Jack Gantos. (Not sure what that means, but someone clearly thought they were being clever…) The story sounds extremely entertaining however with small town eccentricities and exaggerated obituaries. I’m listening to this one on CD and its narrated by the author. A great motivation to drive to work!

 

 

  The Great American Ale Trail by Christian DeBeredetti – As a beer lover I’m constantly on the lookout for new books that center around the craft of beer making and enjoying. I also love road trips, so while drinking is driving is never good, this book is perfect for when I reach a destination and am looking for restaurants and brewpubs that serve unique craft beer selections. And more often than not, places that serve good beer, serve good food too. I’ve already taken note of breweries and/or brewpubs around my area to visit and can’t wait to try them out.

 

 

Hope you’re enjoying this spring weather as much as I am. Happy reading! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

Another amazing weekend! Not only did I get to go to my favorite trail for my long run, but I also went to NYC to watch the half marathon. Members of the American Olympic running team, Meb Keflezighi and Kara Goucher, participated as well as other amazing runners from around the world.

We got front row spots right along the finishing chute and were able to see the runners sprint (SPRINT!) past us then run back within touching distance with the flag of their countries draped across their shoulders in a victory jog. Incredible. I felt a runner’s high just from watching. 😀

I have to admit, I’ve been too distracted by bright and shiny cookbooks to finish any of the novels I posted last week. I love cooking and I wanted to integrate more seasonal ingredients into my dishes and find more fun vegetarian recipes to try. Here are some of the books I picked up this week:

  Bean by Bean by Crescent Dragonwagon – First, this cookbook might sound a little gassy, but it is chock filled with dips and stews and salads that are filled with healthy goodness that look and sound delicious! Second, how can you not read a book by someone named Crescent Dragonwagon? I mean, really.

  Cooking Light: Cooking Through the Seasons – A perfect start to more seasonal cooking, this cookbook offers a wide selection of dishes that make use of the freshest ingredients in every season. While this book offers a selection of meat based meals, it also has recipes like Roasted Baby Spring Vegetables and Banana-Rum-Coconut Cookies. Yum!

Farmstead Chef by John Ivanko & Lisa Kivirist – Highlighting foods that can be homegrown or farm fresh, the authors are the owners of the Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast and want to bring their passion for eco-friendly foods to people everywhere. This cookbook has recipes from pancakes to breads to pizza, pasta and sandwiches.

  Welcome to Claire’s by Claire Criscuolo – A collection of favorite recipes from Claire’s Corner Copia, a vegetarian restaurant in New Haven, CT. Some of the 350 recipes include: Spicy Thai Sunflower Noodles, Summer Tomato and Basil Quiche, and Grilled Cheese Florentine. I may need to run to the grocery store soon!

Despite all the healthy, fresh ingredients found in the pages above, all this food makes me happy I run regularly! 🙂

Happy reading!

Are Newtons the Next Running Craze?

   I have a confession to make. I’m a sucker when it comes to neon workout gear. So when I saw the latest issue of Runner’s World and its article on Newtons running shoes with all the glossy, brightly colored photos of brand spanking new shoes, I was a goner. Utterly. Hopelessly. Done for. I am that person that advertisers hope to attract. The raccoons of the human race. The ones that see something bright and shiny and must have it. Ok, maybe I’m not that bad, but that was my initial reaction. And that coupled with my interest and intrigue with the concept of minimalist running, made me want to read all about Danny Abshire and his neon shoes.

Without reiterating the entire article, Abshire wanted to make a shoe that would “Make you run like you were born to run” (a slogan on the Newton website). After years of research and development, Abshire made the latest addition to the Newton family of shoes, one that has a lower heel-to-toe drop that promotes a forefoot strike. Ideally, one should run on her forefoot not her heel which, developed properly, will make you more efficient and less prone to injury.

One of the problems of transitioning from a cushioned shoe to a minimalist one (be it a pair of Vibrams or Newtons) is that users are often still running with the same gait as before and therefore not running more naturally and still run the risk of injury. But if a shoe can almost force your gait to change, like the Newton heel drop design, then maybe that’s a good thing. I’m not convinced one way or the other in regards to minimalist shoes vs. more cushioned running shoes, but I do think that Newtons are going in the right direction. Maybe my next pair of running shoes will be a pair of neon Newtons. 😀

Happy running!

 

 

Is It Running Season Yet?

   My Pilates teacher asked me during my last class if it was running season yet to which I replied – “It’s always running season!” But I do understand where she’s coming from. It’s tough running, or doing anything really, outside during the short, cold winter days. Especially for those who just beginning to run and aren’t fully into the addictive power of the sport yet.  Now, as the days grow longer and the weather warmer it’s easier to get outside and be active.

But if you still need motivation to move from your bum and into a healthier life, here are some things that might give you the kick you need.

1. New workout gear – I’m not saying to go buy an entire new fitness wardrobe, but having clothes/shoes that make you feel good about getting outside for a run/bike/swim. I highly recommend going to a running or sports store to try gear on first or read reviews before purchasing as every person’s body is different and you want the best support and comfort to make your workouts as enjoyable as possible.

2. Find a routine – There are some great programs for those looking for that extra push toward their fitness goals. For example: Couch To 5k (C25K) that encourages participates to ease slowly into running to prevent injuries and burnout from going too hard, too fast.

3. Workout Buddies – Find a friend to partner up with and get your butt in gear. Having someone who will keep you accountable when you don’t feel like working out is great motivation to stick to your plan. If none of your friends schedules jive with yours then hit up your local gym, running or biking store where there are often group runs, rides, or people searching for workout buddies.

4. Rewards – I know how easy it is to get sidetracked on the way to reach your fitness goals, so build in little rewards along the way to keep you motivated. A new piece of clothing, a new download for your Kindle, or some dark chocolate. 🙂

5. Setting a goal – Having a goal helps in making sure you stick to the habit of exercising on a regular basis. Maybe, like with the C25K, you sign up for a race in a couple months, or a bike ride or a sprint triathlon (a very short swim, bike, run tri).

Most importantly – have fun!!! Make your workouts fun and before you know it you’ll be wanting to get out and moving! 😀

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

Had a great weekend running around in the beautiful weather. Got to go on a much needed 7-mile run. It started as a “I think I’m going to go for a nice 3-mile run maybe longer if I feel okay” and then my legs didn’t want to stop moving! I loved it. 🙂 Mid-fifties, sunny, with a nice breeze that cooled me off without being challenging. Ahhh…

I have some great books in my reading pile too. Here’s what I’m reading now:

  The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks – I’m listening to this YA book on CD. I have to admit I don’t immediately jump on every vampire/werewolf book that comes out because a lot of them seem so similar that it’s like reading the same plot over and over. What grabs me is a story about a boy who doesn’t know he’s a werewolf, who isn’t charming and brooding and filled with an overabundance of wolf testosterone. (Is that such a thing?) That’s how this story begins and with a title that makes it seems more like a PETA story, I’m already hooked.

 

 

  Timeless by Gail Carriger -Here’s another series that involves vampires and werewolves, but in such a quirky way I can’t help but devour each new book. There are vampires who are more concerned with fashion than blood, werewolves that act as babysitters, a preternatural that turns supernaturals mortal, and a toddler that blends all these aspects together. Not to mention the delightful steampunk elements that are threaded throughout. A perfect book for any mood.

 

 

  All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps by Dave Isay – StoryCorps was started in 2003 with the idea of capturing stories and preserving them for future generations. A person visits a StoryCorps booth, sometimes alone but more often with someone they love, to tell a story that they want to honor the memory of. This book is a compilation of the love stories both happy and sad from those sessions. I got choked up at almost every story just because they captured such beautiful memories of the human spirit.

 

 

I hope you’re reading week is just as enjoyable as mine is! Happy reading! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

Happy (Almost) Valentine’s Day! I hope everyone gets shown – and shows – a little extra love this week. Although I do fall in the “I want to show my loved ones that I love them every day, not just Valentine’s Day” I still think the holiday is fun. 🙂 I had off from work today which has afforded me the opportunity to catch up on my To Do list. I’ve gotten a chance to do some writing on my novel, which is progressing nicely, and watch the most recent Downton Abbey – yay! Love days off! 😀

I’m reading and listening to some wonderful books right now. Here’s what I’m enjoying this week:

  Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – I’m really enjoying this book on CD. The narrator is wonderful and it doesn’t hurt that the topic is interesting too. McDougall seems to have done a thorough job in his research on running and, more specifically, why some runners are faster, healthier, and seemingly indefatigable. I’m not quite finished, but I believe the argument and conclusions that follow are on the merits of barefoot running and going back to the days before the running shoe revolution. Stories about the featured runners and the history behind some of the longest, most challenging races are really interesting. Makes me wish I were reading it so I didn’t have to stop when my drive was finished! The only aspect I don’t like is how McDougall writes like he has a bone to pick with Dean Karnazes, another, very well known, ultrarunner. I don’t know if Dean turned him down for something, but McDougall comes across as being petty. It’s strange when the rest of the book is so positive and really detracts from the story McDougall is trying to tell.

 

  Legacy by Molly Cochran – I’m not very far into this YA paranormal book, but I’m already in love! Cochran has a wonderful way with storytelling. It has everything I look for in an engrossing paranormal read – mystery, attractive love interest, protagonist with unrealized powers, delightful setting and side characters. I have a feeling I’m going to rip through this one quickly! 🙂

 

 

 

 

  100 Bullets written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Eduardo Risso – What would you do if a stranger offered you the chance to get away with murder? Thus begins the graphic novel series 100 Bullets. With a premise like that, how could I not read it? The illustrations are classic and keep in tune with the integrity of the plot. There are actually, as the title suggests, a hundred untraceable bullets, one gun and a promise that no repercussions will take place against the person who decides to use the gun and the bullets. Although I’m only on the first one, I’m already intrigued and am looking forward to reading the others (there are 12 in the series).

 

 

 

Happy reading! 🙂

I am a ___________

  I am a runner.

I am a daughter.

I am a reader.

I am _________.

On a run yesterday, I got to thinking – I always do my best thinking on runs – what makes us who we are? A little philosophical, yes, but mostly just curious. It started when someone my fiance spoke with said she wasn’t a runner, but then went on to say “Yeah, I only run a couple half marathons a year and a few other races…” Um…what?? But it got me thinking, what makes us who we are? When would that person say definitively – “I am a runner.”?

So here’s what I’ve come up with so far in my theory: 1. You are who you desire to be or 2. You are what circumstances have placed upon you. For example, I am a runner. I feel confident in saying I am such because every day I either think of running or I am running. No, I don’t run marathons. No, I don’t figure out my split times. Yes, I strive to be a runner by practicing, reading and talking about it as much as possible, hence, I’m a runner.

As for the other requisite, I am what circumstances have placed on me. For example, I am a daughter. I didn’t choose to be a daughter, but as soon as my parents had me that’s what I became. I’m reading John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars – a wonderful, real book about kids trying to live with cancer – and in one part, a parent laments that she won’t be a mother anymore if her child dies. I disagree with her statement. I think that if you become a mother nothing can take that from you.

And as for this weekend, I strive to be a writer and so a writer I shall be. 🙂

Happy writing!