Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Workout Roundup (or Not)

Well my friends it certainly has been a long time since I shared one of my Workout Roundup posts. I am still trying to get back into a regular blogging schedule and while I haven't posted my workouts for like forever, I have still been doing them.

I will say though, that some weeks are rocking and then other weeks I am lucky to get 2-3 workouts done. In addition, all of my workouts have just been runs with the exception of one week where I was incorporating pushups and light hand weight upper body exercises while I was cooking dinner. Nothing to really write home about, but hey, I was trying to utilize my time wisely.

Here's some photographic evidence of my running activity since March:
What other fun physical things have I done during the past couple of months? Well I ran 2 half marathons, both in April and 2 weeks apart from each other. I haven't done my race recaps yet, but they are coming. I have some great, and some not so great, race photos to share. Yes, I am probably actually going to put some bad race photos of myself up on the internet.

Remember that little goal I set for myself to run 1,000 miles by the end of the year? Wonder how that's going? Hmmm, me too. So let's see, the last time I officially checked-in with this goal was all the way back on January 22. Oh my!

Well let's see where I stand right now...

Week 1: 8.12 miles
Week 2: 16.59 miles
Week 3: 10.35 miles
Week 4: 4.00 miles
Week 5: 6.25 miles
Week 6: 0.00 miles
Week 7: 13.62 miles
Week 8: 22.27 miles
Week 9: 22.09 miles
Week 10: 10.75 miles
Week 11: 0.00 miles
Week 12: 23.27 miles
Week 13: 22.03 miles
Week 14: 5.15 miles
Week 15: 22.26 miles
Week 16: 13.00 miles
Week 17: 20.31 miles
Week 18: 21.49 miles
Week 19: 3.00 miles
Week 20: 12.01 miles
Week 21: 14.01 miles
Total: 270.58 miles

So the question is will I make the goal? There are 31 weeks left to the year. I need to run approximately 23.53 miles each week to hit the 1,000 mile goal. I think this is very doable if I can just get my head back into the game. The past few weeks I have been struggling. I know getting myself back into a regular workout routine will help me greatly. I have a couple of things in the works to help me with this. I look forward to sharing that with you in the next couple of days.

So tell me, how are your 2013 Goals going? Are you still going strong with them or did they go out the window once March came around?

I personally think goals are things that we can work towards. We don't necessarily have to achieve them in full to feel a sense of accomplishment. It's not a failure to not fully complete it, it's failure to completely give up on it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a wonderful long holiday weekend! For it being a long weekend it sure did seen to go by so fast.

My long weekend started a little early on Friday with early dismissal from my job. Too bad it was raining, windy and freezing cold. 
Saturday wasn't much better. The rain continued and it still felt like winter had returned. Oh yeah, by the way, part of upstate New York, close to VT border, received 3 feet of snow! It IS summer, isn't it?

I spent a good part of my day knitting and reading. My fingers were itching to knit on my Sock Yarn Blankie. During knitting breaks, I engrossed myself with a book my sister recommended to me that I am having a very hard time putting down. Thanks sis!
Sunday redeemed itself some. The rain left and was replaced with some sun. There was still a chill in the air with the wind that stayed with us. It was nice to finally get outside and enjoy the weekend just a tad. My honey and I spent a couple hours out on our favorite running trails. 
I took advantage of the sunny day to finally try my new Oakley running sunglasses. They survived my 9 mile run and I LOVE them! I also sported a new BAMR headband. It stayed put just like it's supposed to!

Monday was the best day of the whole weekend! It was sunny and the temps got warmer as the day progressed. Manny and I finally went and saw Star Trek Into Darkness movie. I really was excited to see it and was not disappointed. We ended our weekend with a little stroll through Astoria Park. It was perfect!

So tell me, how did you spend your holiday weekend?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Good March and April Reading

As some of you may, or may not, remember, I set some goals for myself early this year. One of those goals being to "Read 40 Books in 2013." I started the year off with a bang and during the first two months I read 10 books. 

Then March came along and I only managed to get through 2 books. I absolutely love to lose myself in a good book, but had great difficulty focusing, or even having the desire, to pick up a book with everything that was happening in my life.

April was a bit better month for me in the reading department (i.e., I read 3 books - 1 more than March). I started the month with a couple lighthearted books that I really didn't have to "think" or "focus" too much on in order to get through them. 

So here's what I've been reading:
11. Baltimore Blues (Tess Monaghan Series #1) by Laura Lippman
Finished March 8, 2013 

Amazon Description: 

"In a city where someone is murdered almost every day, attorney Michael Abramowitz’s death should be just another statistic. But the slain lawyer’s notoriety—and his taste for illicit midday trysts—make the case front-page news in every local paper except the Star, which crashed and burned before Abramowitz did. A former Star reporter who knows every inch of this town—from historic Fort McHenry to the crumbling projects of Cherry Hill—now unemployed journalist Tess Monaghan also knows the guy the cops like for the killing: cuckolded fiancĂ© Darryl “Rock” Paxton. The time is ripe for a career move, so when rowing buddy Rock wants to hire her to do some unorthodox snooping to help clear his name, Tess agrees. But there are lethal secrets hiding in the Charm City shadows. And Tess’ own name could end up on that ever-expanding list of Baltimore dead." 

Ever since I was a young girl, I always enjoyed mystery novels (Hello! I read Agatha Christie before I was a teenager) and am always on the lookout for new authors to try. I came across this series based on a co-worker's recommendation and I was not disappointed with the book at all. Now only if I could get book #2 in eBook format from my library.

12. Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
Finished March 24, 2013

Amazon Description:

"On the morning of December 26, 2004, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Sonal Deraniyagala lost her parents, her husband, and her two young sons in the tsunami she miraculously survived. In this brave and searingly frank memoir, she describes those first horrifying moments and her long journey since. She has written an engrossing, unsentimental, beautifully poised account: as she struggles through the first months following the tragedy, furiously clenched against a reality that she cannot face and cannot deny; and then, over the ensuing years, as she emerges reluctantly, slowing allowing her memory to take her back through the rich and joyous life she's mourning, from her family's home in London, to the birth of her children, to the year she met her English husband at Cambridge, to her childhood in Colombo; all the while learning the difficult balance between almost unbearable reminders of her loss and the need to keep her family, somehow, still alive within her." 

I found this book through one of my favorite magazines and I immediately put it on hold. On my fourth night of reading it, I mentioned to my honey that this book was completely heart wrenching and it brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't begin to imagine the pain the author was going through after losing her entire family. I even said that I didn't really know why I was still reading it. The next morning I found out my brother unexpectedly passed away. I now knew and understood the pain and grief of the author. I believe that this book came to me when it did for a reason. After not touching the book for almost 2 weeks, I finally finished the last few pages I had left. I don't know if I was expecting a happy ending or a step-by-step answer to how she overcame her grief and moved on with her life. What I did learn was that grief and mourning is a long process. The pain is real and raw. It takes time for the pain to lessen, but it never really truly goes away completely.

13. Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty
Finished April 13, 2013

Amazon Description:

"Australian 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."

After reading "Wave", I was desperately needing a more uplifting book. I had previously read Liane Moriraty's book "What Alice Forgot" and remembered my sister had read "Three Wishes." This book was absolutely what I needed. Life is crazy for these three girls and from the very beginning you just have to find out how/why one of the pregnant triplets gets stabbed in the belly with a seafood fork by one of the other triplets!

14. The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass
Finished April 16, 2013

Amazon Description:

"For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined."

Oh my gosh! This book sucked me right into it. It all started with the cover. I've been know to read a book because of the cover, and for me, the book lived up to it. This is the first in a trilogy for Young Adults, but who really needs to be a Young Adult to enjoy certain books? I found myself rooting for America and wanting her to make the right choices and to not screw things up for herself. At one point I may have even said, out loud, "Don't be stupid" while reading before bed one night. Of course I thought there would be resolution of some sort by the end of this book, but noooooo. Thankfully Book #2 was recently published and I won't have to wait too long to find out what happens.

15. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Finished April 26, 2013

Amazon Description:

"WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
 Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming. With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable."

Oh boy. What can I say about this book? I enjoyed it more that I did "Gone Girl", but at times it was a tough read for me. The main character did not have an easy life growing up (i.e., she cut her entire body). Now she has to (or rather forced to) go back to the town, and her mother, that caused her to do the things she did to herself and report on the mysterious murders of two young girls for her newspaper. I will say that this book was well written and had me turning the pages, even despite the subject matter. 

So tell me, what have you been reading? What should be on my must read list?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Three Things Thursday

I've had some great feedback about my "Three Things Thursday" posts, so I thought this would be a great post to get things rolling again.

One thing I love about these posts are all the random photos I find I take with my phone. Ever since I switched to the iPhone in December, I am constantly whipping it out and probably taking way more pictures than I most likely should. It also allows me to take selfie pics much more easily and therefore providing you with some entertainment.

So here we go...

Random Thing #1:
This is me doing some mindless reading in bed while I was waiting for my honey to come home from work the other night. I look all studious with my glasses. 

Random Thing #2:
I took these pictures on Greek Easter. I absolutely love Manny's facial expressions! They make me giggle. I may have also video taped him hula hooping that day. 

Random Thing #3:
I am a nail polish loving individual. I went through a phase last year where I was obsessed with buying a new one almost every week. So, of course, this Essie Spring Color Polish display caught my eye a few weeks ago. My heart loves these colors!

Your turn! Share some randomness from your life with me!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Blogging Again

It's been quite awhile since I last posted. Two months and six days to be exact.

During this time away, I have thought often about posting again. However, each time the thought entered my mind, I was at a loss for words. I didn't want to write another post until I found the strength to write this one first. Because you see, I can't move forward without acknowledging why I have been absent from my blog for so long. Maybe it's part of my healing process.

Now I think it's time. I think I am ready.

On March 12, I received a phone call that no one ever wants to receive. This call changed my life forever. My parents were on the other end to tell me that my brother had unexpectedly passed away that morning. I can still hear the words in my head as if it was just yesterday.

The past two months have been incredibly hard. There are the good days, then there are the bad days. There is not a day that goes by where I don't think of my brother. Even through all my running and working, he is always on my mind, even when I have a smile plastered on my face. I miss him more than he probably could of ever imagined.

I know the process of healing takes time and is not the same for everyone. I know eventually it will get easier. I know that getting to that point will take however long it takes and that is ok. 

Here's to you big brother! I will always remember you with that wonderful smile you always had on your face.
 Frederick A. Klumpp III
June 16, 1963 - March 12, 2013

I love you and miss you!