Sunday, May 31, 2020

May Books

I can't believe my goal of reading 17 books in 2017 (ha, I ended up with 88 in 201777 in 2018 and 67 in 2019!) has morphed into this passion for books. As you can see, my reading has slowed a bit, but my love for books has not! In the past couple years I've added longer distance races (which means more time running/ training and less time reading), we've remodeled our condo (I think it legit took us six months to finish the whole thing... DIY seems to take twice as long {and cost twice as much} as you originally think it will), and I've added another part time job (which means I'm now working 40ish hours a week, cutting down on my reading time). Even still, I love getting my read on whenever I can.

Truth be told, I was never much of a reader when I was younger (CliffsNotes were my best friend when it came to books), but recently I fell in love. Although I may not read at the same speed as I previously did when I first caught the reading bug, I still want to keep the hobby going (and what better form of accountability than to post a list of the books I finished at the end of the month?!). I don't have any set number of books I am shooting to read this year, but hopefully a lack of goal doesn't mean a lack of books completed. So, without further ado, let's jump into everything I read in May!

  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly - Normally I try and read the book before I watch the movie (because, let's be real, the book is always better {at least 99% of the time}), but this is one that I saw the film prior to picking up the book. In fact, although this movie was based on real life, I didn't really realize there was a book in the first place. I came across the book in our neighborhood free library and knew I wanted to read it. I was still in the middle of my unemployment stint when I grabbed this book, so I was able to devote as much time to reading it as I wanted. It did take me a little longer than I was expecting (I was having a hard time keeping some of the characters straight because the author would switch between them for long stretches and I'd have to remember who exactly everyone was), but the story is absolutely amazing. In case you didn't know, I thought I was going to be a math major when I went to college (eventually I decided on economics instead), so maybe a little of why I love this story so much. Women (and girls) stereotypically aren't supposed to be good at math... BUT WE CAN BE! And to see the hidden work of so many amazing African American women to help PUT A MAN ON THE MOON - I mean, YOU GO GIRLS! It has been a while since I saw the movie, but I do really remember enjoying it. Maybe this is one where the film does stack up against the book... maybe ;) I guess I'll have to rewatch it soon to see if it's the case. If you don't know the "untold story of the black women Mathematicians who helped win the space race", then I urge you to find out about these strong, courageous and insanely intelligent women! I would give it an 8 out of 10 (although I'd give the story itself an 11 out of 10).

  • I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai - Yet another book I grabbed from our neighborhood library and read while I was laying in the sun at our garage (due to COVID our pool is closed, so if I want to soak up some rays I have to bust out my beach chair and sit in front of our garage, haha). I had obviously heard of Malala, the girl who was shot by the Taliban for standing up for education, but only knew bits and pieces of her story. This book was a more in depth look at her life and the reality of what was going on in Pakistan. I would say this was incredibly eye opening for me. Don't get me wrong, I am not blind to the fact that we are spoon fed only the information that others want us to know, but man, this book really brought a magnifying glass (at least in my opinion) to the fact that the US public is only told a tiny bit of what is ACTUALLY going on. Malala reminds me of Anne Frank. These two girls (because, yes, they were literally GIRLS) inspire your rebellious spirit to question the status quo, to stand up for what you believe in and to survive at all costs. These girls were/ are wise beyond their years and remind me that there is so much more I can be doing. We can and will overcome the odds if we have the fire and fight in us that Malala demonstrates! I would give it a 9 out of 10.

With that, May has come to a close. My reading may not be going gang-busters like it has in the past, but I hope it never completely stops. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I'm always willing to add them to my library wait list!

PS I created an Amazon list that includes all of the books I've read and would recommend to others. Check it out!

What was the best book you read this year?

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Workout Recap - Week 22

Sunday, May 24th – 15 mile run, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Monday, May 25th – 15.5 miles (2 solo 10Ks and 3 miles with the hubby)

Tuesday, May 26th – 45 minute yoga class, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Wednesday, May 27th – 8.2 mile run

Thursday, May 28th – 60 minutes on the stationary bike, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Friday, May 29th  13.2 mile run, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Saturday, May 30th – 13.1 mile run with the hubby {McDot Baker's Dozen}, Foam Rolled and Stretched

One of my highest mileage weeks in a while (65 miles), capped off with a donut hole half marathon. I will share about the adventure on Monday, but for now I will say I was NOT built for food challenges (although the hubby obviously was ;)). 

How were your workouts this past week?

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

An Ode to a Friend

The hubby and I have been BEYOND BLESSED in the friend department. We really lucked out and have some FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC friends who have become family (we call them FRAMILY), which is especially amazing since the majority of our family lives in Michigan {in case you didn't know, we met while going to school at the University of Michigan, but I packed up and headed West to California four days after graduation and someone followed me ;)}.


Since we were on our honeymoon when our church's Growth Group sign up was (our version of a Bible Study group that you "do life with"), we asked friends of ours who had recently gotten married to sign us up for a group with them. Little did we know that one decision would change the course of our future. I know, I know, that may sound a little dramatic, but the friendships we made in that group and because of that group have greatly impacted who we are today.

We didn't get a professional picture of all of us together at Rachyl and George's wedding, so this will have to do...

We like NEVER get dressed up, so you better believe we capture it whenever it happens...

And although we have some wonderful friends who live down the street, we also have some absolutely awesome friends who live hundreds of miles away. One such friend is celebrating a birthday today and I HAD TO share a post in his honor.


You see, Pavement Runner and I connected a few years back through social media (besides our framily, my most encouraging and supportive friends are those I met via social media, but anywho, that isn't the main point of this post...). If I had to guess I actually think our paths crossed through the PRO Compression ambassador program, since we were both part of the OG crew. I don't think we've ever actually truly talked about it before (and with my fibro fog I probably have forgotten any pertinent details at this point), but I'm sure this is how the story went... He probably reached out to me for something on behalf of PRO {i.e. working an expo, helping set up a meet-up, etc}, I probably fan-girled a bit (because he was THEE @PavementRunner) and then he got stuck with me. I doubt he even knew what he was getting into by being nice to me, but for some reason he keeps me around as a friend, so I'm not going to rock the boat and ask questions ;) (In the process of finding photos for this post, I actually got to the bottom of our officially meeting. We met at the 2014 runDisney Avengers Expo, then had an infamous meal at California Pizza Kitchen where I sassed a waiter {with a smile}.)

Left: Our first picture together / Right: Post-CPK dinner picture

But, in all seriousness, this guy is one of THE BEST! As of this point we have run ten full marathons together, two ultras and many, many shorter distance races. If you've ever run with someone for more than a few miles, you know what I mean when I say while you are running your walls come down and you can quickly talk about anything and everything. I am luckier than lucky to be able to share miles and smiles with this guy. He seems to be able to talk me into almost any race or crazy challenge because it means I get to spend time with my BRF (best running friend). He has seen me at my low points and I've seen him at his and we've been there to bring each other out on the other side. Not only does his friendship mean the world to me, but he has welcomed the hubby and me into his family (if you don't know his wife, daughter and son, then you are missing out because they are just as quality as he is... maybe even more ;)).

Just a few of the pictures from races that we've done together over the last FIVE AND A HALF YEARS!

One quick story before I wrap this up to show you HOW AMAZING this man is (just in case you didn't know that already). Remember a few months ago when although I had a qualifying time for the New York City Marathon I didn't get a spot. Well, before I was able to secure a spot via a New Balance rep, THIS GUY OFFERED TO FUNDRAISE FOR ME! Yep, he wanted me to be able to experience the race firsthand (instead of going to New York on my own and doing a NYC McDot Marathon) and was going to do the work of fundraising on my behalf. Thankfully (for his sake) it didn't come down to that, but if you've ever done any fundraising, you know it is NOT an easy task and he was willing to take that on for lil ol' me. I mean, WHO DOES THAT?! A best friend, and an AMAZING one at that, that's who! #HeRocksMyFreakinSocks

A couple of my favorite "non-running" photos

I'm forever grateful to have this guy in my life. If you would, do me a solid and go wish him the happiest of birthday on whatever social media platform(s) you use. {@PavementRunner on IG, Twitter, Facebook, etc.} He doesn't love when all the attention is on him, but, you know what?! It's his birthday, so let's scream it from the mountain tops for this one day!


Do you remember how you and your BFF met?

Monday, May 25, 2020


I've got some news that apparently I've been holding out on for a couple weeks (not necessarily because I was meaning to, but mostly because the views on the blog have TANKED in the last couple months so I haven't been very motivated to sit down and write... not to mention I haven't had any races to recap and life in quarantine has been the same ol' same ol' for so long that I didn't feel like I had anything important to share). Anywho, let's get on with it... If you follow me on social media you already know, but I figured I'd make it blog official... I'M BACK AT CARLSBAD RUNNING CENTER!

I am so excited, and I just can't hide it...

Yep, after six weeks of being laid off, they were able to secure a small business grant from the government and bring the staff back on. I have actually been back to work for a little over three or so weeks now. The first week was mostly just online orders that we were preparing and shipping, the second and third weeks we were partial open, but just for curbside pick-up and appointments and now with San Diego County "opening up", we are able to open our doors again.


Obviously business looks A LOT different than it did pre-COVID (we are wearing masks and gloves, limiting the number of customers in the store at one time, wiping down the credit card machine after every use, disinfecting everything folks come into contact with after they leave, etc), but it feels so great to have a routine again. I mean, don't get me wrong, I loved having all the time in the world to run, snuggle with the pup, etc, but I also was missing human interaction besides the hubby (even if it still has to be behind a piece of fabric and at a distance of at least 6 feet).

I hate that you can't tell if people are smiling under their masks... but thankfully my "smile lines" give me away ;)

I'll be honest, I have no idea what will happen once the grant money from the government comes to an end, but I'm praying that family-owned, mom and pop shops will survive. Hopefully we were all supporting our local businesses before the coronavirus, but let me stress how important it is to do so now. Being able to click "add to cart" and have your Amazon delivery show up a few hours later is great and all, but I promise supporting your local companies will have a far greater impact than the convenience is worth. If at all possible, please continue to patronize your neighborhood places.


PS And because the picture was too cute not to share, I am just going to say, I'm not sure how Walt the Wiener Dog will do once the hubby is no longer working from home... Let's just say he might go into a bit of a depression for a few days.

I walked into the office to see the hubby and pup cuddling after the hubby had gotten off a work zoom call.

Are you currently working?

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Workout Recap - Week 21

Sunday, May 17th – 15 mile run, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Monday, May 18th – Rest Day, Foam Rolled and Stretched 

Tuesday, May 19th – 45 minute yoga class, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Wednesday, May 20th – 90 minutes on the stationary bike, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Thursday, May 21st – 5.55 mile run, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Friday, May 22nd  10.10 mile run, 5.34 mile hike with the hubby and pup, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Saturday, May 23rd – 6.3 mile run with the hubby, Foam Rolled and Stretched

On Sunday, while I was at work and getting up from the floor, I tweaked my knee somehow. It was a bit painful the rest of the afternoon and evening, but when I woke up on Monday morning every step hurt. I took a complete rest day on Monday, did some yoga on Tuesday, biked on Wednesday and decided to take the knee out for a short run on Thursday. Thankfully by Thursday everything felt back to 100%. Although I was hoping to get in many more miles this week than I ended up recording, I am happy to be pain-free! PS I'm potentially pondering running my 50K again next weekend to see if I can better by time and move back up in the East Coast vs West Coast standings... but we will see how the body feels when the day arrives ;) {seeing as it's just a "virtual race", I don't need to push it if I feel like my body won't be happy...}.

How were your workouts this past week?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Walt Wednesday

Some people do a "Wordless Wednesday" post, where they simply share a photo or image, but I thought I'd make a little series out of my Wednesdays. And since I love alliteration so much, why not go with Walt Wednesdays (obviously everyone can use a little break from the seriousness, scariness and sassiness of life - and what better way to help put a smile on your face than with a cute wiener dog picture, am I right?!)... So, without further ado...


When life gets overwhelming, how do you de-stress?

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Workout Recap - Week 20

Sunday, May 10th – 100 minutes on the stationary bike

Monday, May 11th – 45 minute yoga class, 3 mile run with the hubby (2 solo miles, 1 with the pup), Foam Rolled and Stretched 

Tuesday, May 12th – 7.77 mile run

Wednesday, May 13th – 10.10 mile run, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Thursday, May 14th – Rest Day, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Friday, May 15th  14.14 mile run and Stretched

Saturday, May 16th – 90 minutes on the stationary bike, Foam Rolled and Stretched

With last week's 50K, this week was a cutback week (where I dial back my running mileage), so instead of my 50-55 mile weeks, I got in 35 miles, 2 bike sessions, a yoga workout and a rest day. I will take it! The body is feeling great (the first couple days after the 50K my right hip flexor was a bit tight, but I tried to roll it out and give it some extra lovin' and it seems to be back to its normal self again). Now it's a game of wait and see if the fall races on the schedule will go on or be cancelled/ postponed. I'll continue to run no matter what, but I will probably need to follow some sort of training plan at some point if the marathons in October/ November are a go. {Here's to hoping they are, I miss my running friends!}

How were your workouts this past week?

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Workout Recap - Week 19

Sunday, May 3rd – 9 solo miles and 6 miles with the hubby 

Monday, May 4th – 4.44 mile run, Foam Rolled and Stretched 

Tuesday, May 5th – 45 minute yoga class, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Wednesday, May 6th – 7.57 mile run, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Thursday, May 7th – 60 minutes on the stationary bike, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Friday, May 8th  East Coast vs West Coast 50K (#IRunWithMaud), Foam Rolled and Stretched

Saturday, May 9th – Rest Day, Foam Rolled and Stretched

59.24 miles for the week (including a 32.23 mile run) - BOOYA! And the body feels surprisingly well after that long run this week. My right hip flexor is a little tight, but nothing a few days of some extra love and foam rolling can't take care of. Next week will be a cut back week, with less mileage (maybe 35 or so), and then I'll be back in the 50ish miles per week for another few weeks. Since I don't technically have any races on the calendar until October and November (and who knows if those will stay or get cancelled/ postponed), I don't have a running schedule currently - just running on feel and doing what I want. It'll be nice to have a plan and be working towards something, but, for now, I'll enjoy the freedom I'm allotted.

How were your workouts this past week?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Walt Wednesday

Some people do a "Wordless Wednesday" post, where they simply share a photo or image, but I thought I'd make a little series out of my Wednesdays. And since I love alliteration so much, why not go with Walt Wednesdays (obviously everyone can use a little break from the seriousness, scariness and sassiness of life - and what better way to help put a smile on your face than with a cute wiener dog picture, am I right?!)... So, without further ado...


When life gets overwhelming, how do you de-stress?

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Workout Recap - Week 18

Sunday, April 26th – 6.2 mile run with the hubby

Monday, April 27th – 14 mile run, Foam Rolled and Stretched 

Tuesday, April 28th – 45 minute yoga class, 3 mile run with the hubby (the first two we ran just him and I, the third we grabbed Walt and he joined us for a mile), Foam Rolled and Stretched

Wednesday, April 29th – 8.08 mile run (including November Project Sunrise 6K)

Thursday, April 30th – 11.3 mile run, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Friday, May 1st  12.42 mile run, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Saturday, May 2nd – Rest Day, Foam Rolled and Stretched

Another 55 mile week - BOOM! Thankful my body is still feeling great while I am putting up decent mileage. Maybe adding in my core workouts, daily burpees and weekly yoga is helping more than I expected ;) Thinking about tackling a 50K next week, so will dial back the runs at the beginning of the week to make sure I have enough gas in the tank for a 31 mile run sometime in the second half of the week. But, nothing's set in stone, so we'll see how I'm feeling when the day comes ;)

How were your workouts this past week?