Showing posts with label Tuesday Topics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tuesday Topics. Show all posts

Monday, January 30, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: January 2023

Disclaimer: I received ARCs of Central Places and On the Savage Side from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

What a great start to another year of reading! Instead of being overwhelmed with library holds all coming in at once, I was able to pick and choose what I wanted to read without rushing through them all. I was lucky to read a hot newish release by Barbara Kingsolver, an author whose epic novels never disappoint. NetGalley has been very generous this month, offering limited time reads that I didn't have to apply for. One of them was by Tiffany Daniel, another author who I am familiar with and who also never disappoints. Interestingly, both the Kingsolver and Daniel books were very different variations on the same theme, poverty and opiate abuse in rural Appalachia. Do yourself a favor and read both. Not only will they make you count your blessings, but they both will give you a lot to think about. 

The other three books were also excellent. I hope this is the pattern for the rest of 2023!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Race Recap: Frozen Gnome 10k

Recently, I ran my 3rd Frozen Gnome 10k on the local trails at Veteran's Acres Park in Crystal Lake, Illinois. In 2021, I ran this race virtually, on the course, and returned in 2022 for the live event.  This has become one of my favorite trail races--I love the location, the distance, the swag, and the fact that it is in January! The race organizer puts on great events and I was excited to rerun it!

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: December 2022

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

I wrapped up 2022 with a total of 77 books read. I don't set reading goals--that's just too much pressure! Reading books is one of my guilty pleasures and I don't want to feel bad if I can't get through one to meet a goal. It's hard enough when all my library holds come in at once and I only have a few weeks to read them all!

Everyone has been posting their favorite reads and after reading so many books, I can remember only a handful of them. Tops on my list are Lessons in Chemistry, followed by Unlikely Animals. These 2 books checked all the boxes--they grabbed me within the first couple of chapters, I didn't lose my interest, I didn't want to put them down, and they've stuck with me for a long time after finishing them. The characters were interesting and quirky. The stories weren't clich├Ęd. And they were different.  A couple of other books are worth mentioning as well: What Could Be Saved, Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance, Remarkably Bright Creatures, Carrie Soto is Back, Hurricane Girl, Now is Not the Time to Panic, and Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.

I also read a few non-fiction books, most of which were really good. Non-fiction November gave me an excuse to explore some books that were on my TBR but just couldn't find the time to read! I continue to refer back to Next Level, which validated and educated me about how to train after menopause. It's also on sale for kindle for $2.99 right now! Other favorites include Good for a Girl, Corrections in Ink, Solito, and Running While Black. 

This is just an observation of mine, but it seems to me that many of the books I read this year were unnecessarily long. I don't mind a long book if the story cannot be condensed--in fact, I'm reading an amazing one right now--but there's nothing worse than reading a book that just meanders on and on. Just get to the point! It reminds me of a hair stylist I used to go to who took an hour to cut my hair but mostly spent her time fluffing it. Chop chop! Good editing is a must to make a book crisp and interesting.

Over the holidays, my sister and I were comparing favorites and it was a good reminder that not everyone likes to read the same thing. Multiple times this year, I read highly recommended books only to be disappointed. People always ask me how I find the books I read and mostly, I pick books that are recommended by a couple of the book bloggers I follow. I hope that you will find a couple here that you might like!

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Holiday Gifts for Runners

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I was gifted the Fluid Running System. I was also gifted Born to Run: The Ultimate Training Guide. I was gifted items from Pens and Paces in exchange for sharing them with my readers. As an ambassador for Brooks Running and RoadiD, I receive complimentary gear. These are all items I own and love. All opinions are my own.

Every year, I post a holiday gift list for runners. Sometimes I include items I'd like to receive but this year, I'm featuring items that I own and love. Everything has been tested by me. Hopefully, you'll find something here that will make your runs better and more fun.

So what's on my gift list? I'd love plane tickets to do some traveling. I've got some fun plans for the upcoming year that I'm hoping come to fruition. Continued good health is always a wish, too! What's on your wish list?

Monday, November 28, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: Non-Fiction November 2022

Disclaimers: I received copies of books from Brooks Running, Amazon First Reads, and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

After my reading slump last month, I made the decision to declare this month Non-Fiction November! I later found out that NFN is really a thing in the reading world. And here I thought I starting something. No matter, this was an enjoyable diversion and a good reminder that I need to read more non-fiction. I picked a variety of books and enjoyed them all. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Solito. Hopefully, you'll find something here that you'll want to read!

Monday, October 31, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: October 2022

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

I've been in a bit of a reading slump this month. I've found myself struggling to get through several books that were actually very good, and even DNFing one that just didn't grab me. You know how much I love to read and this has troubled me. Interestingly, an article in this month's Bookish newsletter addresses the reading slump and gives suggestions to help break out of one. One of the tactics, changing genres, is exactly what I plan to do for November! I've got a few nonfiction books on my TBR and have declared it 'Non-Fiction November'. Hint hint, that's what I'll be doing next month. Does anyone want to join me?

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: September 2022

 Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

This month, I read 5 really good books. They were all books that I couldn't breeze through, full of great writing and were completely immersive stories. They were also longer than the books I've been reading lately. It made me wonder if these authors used the downtime of the pandemic to pen some really excellent reads! Whatever the reason, I can't pick a favorite this month, so you'll just have to read my reviews and decide for yourself. I also have to comment even though I'm not a fan of Good Morning America, they are picking some really good books for their book club! I've already got this month's selection queued up on my Kindle!

Monday, September 19, 2022

A Runner Looks At 60

Where did my 50s go? It feels like I just agonized over this, but here I am, on the cusp of another decade. These milestone birthdays do get more painful. I'm just going to say it: turning 60 is messing with my head. I've never felt my age and I don't now, but over the past couple of years, I've noticed a change in how others see me. When I look in the mirror, I don't always recognize the old person looking back at me. I don't see myself as old and when people comment that I 'look good for my age' or some other similar statement, it always makes me pause. As do comments like "are you still doing that (running)?

It's as if I've crossed into some taboo territory where women of a certain age are supposed to disappear. If I was a man, would people say things like this to me? Will women ever overcome the stigma of aging? 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Recap: Camp Run Happy

In addition to my excitement of being part of the Brooks Run Happy Team this year, I was invited to attend Camp Run Happy in Park City, Utah! This was the first year a live camp would take place and the team was ready for it. Over 100 team members from the US and Canada were in attendance. As you can imagine, it was an incredible experience. I wanted to share some, ok a lot of photos, as well as some of the highlights of this very short trip but very fun trip.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: July 2022

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received a PRC of Now is Not the Time To Panic from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review. 

July sure flew by didn't it? Reading-wise, this month was a mixed bag of books for me while I waited for my library holds to come in. As usual, all 6 of them came in at once towards the end of the month. So stay tuned for my August reviews, as I furiously make my way through the pile. Meanwhile, I read a prerelease by a favorite author of mine, a quirky little read by another familiar author, a trashy thriller--who doesn't like those?, a novel about time travel from my Kindle TBR, and 2 books from my library holds. This was a very satisfying month of books!

Monday, July 11, 2022

Book Review: Running in the Midpack

Disclaimer: This post has an affiliate link.

On my nightstand is a stack of running books, waiting to be read and reviewed. At the top of the pile was Running in the Midpack, a book I won in a giveaway sometime last year. I guess I haven't been in the mood to read another how-to-be a runner book and so it sat along with the other running advice books that I have yet to read. I was joking about my running TBR pile with Liz, a book blogger and fellow runner from Great Britain. She also had a copy in her TBR and suggested that we do tandem reviews. I strung her along for a few more months and she finally pinned me down. So my request is that after you read this review, you go over to her blog to read hers.  She's a full time book reviewer, so her review will be very different from mine!

Throughout all my 30+ years of running, I've always been a middle-of-the-pack runner. In my early running years, I was pretty disappointed by the idea of being in the 'middle'. I'm a perfectionist and as much as I'm loathed to admit it, I always try to bring my best to whatever I do. So being a midpack runner did not fit with my drive to be the best. As an older and more experienced runner, I've grown comfortable with my place in the pack. After all, it's not about competing with others, it's about competing with myself. Right? At least that's what I tell myself.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: June 2022

Disclaimer: I received a PRC of Carrie Soto is Back from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my review. This post contains affiliate links.

I don't normally have a 'theme' for my monthly reads, but reflecting on the books I read in June, I'd say that each book I read is woman-centric. In fact, each of the books has a strong woman (or 2 or 3) as the main character. I'm happy to see such strong representation, in light of what has happened in the US over the past couple of weeks!

Monday, June 20, 2022

Book Review: Next Level--Your Guide to Kicking Ass, Feeling Great, and Crushing Goals Through Menopause and Beyond

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

About 10 years ago, I was finishing up a yoga class, talking about running with one of the other participants. Another woman came up to us and joined in the conversation. She turned to me and told me that I should enjoy running now because, after menopause, I wouldn't be able to run anymore. I didn't hear the rest of what she said because I was so stunned at this declaration. I looked at her as she spoke and realized that she was exactly what I didn't want to become in my older years. I was still feeling great. I couldn't imagine that happening to me. I vowed that it wouldn't. 

For sure, in my mid-50s, there was a period of time when I really struggled with my endurance.  Fortunately, my strength workouts never suffered. I adjusted my expectations, cutting back running to 3 days per week and adding run/walk intervals into my runs to help me complete those long distances. I continued strength training and added a day of CrossFit to my weekly regimen. I also began to adjust my diet, finding that more protein and fewer refined carbs gave me more endurance and stable blood sugars. After a few years, things settled down for me and to this day, I continue to enjoy running the way I did prior to menopause. Albeit, a little bit slower.

A friend sent me a copy of Dr. Stacy Sims' new book, Next Level. Sims is an exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist who studies female athletes and performance. Next Level is geared to woman experiencing perimenopause and menopause. It's an amazing read--empowering and oh so helpful. I feel as if I have found my new training bible.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: May 2022

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received a PRC of Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm from Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for my review.

I'm wrapping up another good month of reading! At one point, I had 5 library holds come in at once--why does that happen? I had to let one of them go--I just couldn't read them all in the time I had. Fellow bookworms, do you get me? It's hard to pick a favorite this month. I went into a couple of the books not knowing much about them and not expecting much (Remarkably Bright Creatures, I'm looking at you) but after I finished, I had to stop once again to savor what I had just read. 

I hope you find something here that you might want to pick up!

Monday, May 2, 2022

Race Recap: Tear Drop Half Marathon

For the past 2 years, I've put the Tear Drop Half Marathon on my must-run list. But the pandemic interfered with those plans. This year with everything opening back up, I was finally able to make it a date! I still had Delta credits from canceling a flight for last year's race. This is my friend Holly's favorite race and she was all in, so I signed up. It worked out well since I was already training for a hilly trail race, the Earth Day 15 miler. Ok, so that was happening the weekend before Tear Drop. But Tear Drop is a net downhill! What could go wrong? 

Spoiler alert: nothing went wrong, but running that trail race the week before probably didn't do me any favors. No matter. I had a fun time!

Monday, April 18, 2022

Race Recap: Earth Day 15 mile trail race

For the past couple of years, I've had my eye on the Earth Day Trail races, held at the same trails where I ran the Frozen Gnome 10k in January. The pandemic put those plans on hold, but this year, the race was a go. Several of the women from my Trail Sisters group were planning on running, so it made it easy for me to commit. There are 3 distances: 50k, 15 miles, and 5 miles. I optimistically signed up for the 15 mile (25k) distance--thinking it would be a good training run for Ice Age in May. I've been building my miles over the past couple of months, spending most of my time on trails. Having run these trails before, I knew to expect a lot of hills. I felt both mentally and physically strong and ready for this race. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Mini Book Reviews March 2022

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

So little time, but so many books this month! I'm not sure how it happened, but I have 8 reviews to share. Maybe it's because they were all page-turners that I couldn't put down. My reads this month span the genres--I've got fantasy, an epic novel, literary fiction, a couple of thrillers, a biography, and a women's fiction novel. 

If I had to pick a favorite, I don't know that I could! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: February 2022

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received an ARC of Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my review. 

I read some really good books this month, but there was one book that disappointed me. The School for Good Mothers (review belowwas a Read With Jenna book club selection with a lot of buzz. Jenna's books are usually a sure thing, and I waited a while for my turn to borrow it from the library, but this it just left me cold. I had one DNF as well, The Paris Bookseller, even though it was really well written, was not my kind of book. If you like classical literature and historical fiction, then you might enjoy it. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: January 2022

 Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of The Bright Side Running Club in exchange for my honest review.

Didn't January feel like the longest month ever? Reading-wise, I finished 6 books: a couple newish releases, some backlist reads, and a NetGalley ARC. Once again, Reese's book club selection was disappointing. So was Liane Moriarity's new one. No DNFs though, and that's a good thing. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

Frozen Gnome 10k Race Recap

Last year, I optimistically signed up for the Frozen Gnome 10k, thinking that since it was outdoors on the trails, it wouldn't be canceled. Covid had other ideas and the race was made virtual. The organizers encouraged runners to come and run on the course anyways, which I did. It was so much fun and you can read that race recap here

With everything opening back up in late 2021, I again optimistically signed up for the race. This year, it wasn't canceled! Early on a cold but sunny Saturday morning, I drove out to the park where the race would take place. I was excited to run it and cross the actual finish line!