Friday, August 28, 2015

Good Things Friday

Nora often closes out her week by listing out some of the good things happening in her life, so I thought I'd follow suit and do the same!  Here are some of the good things going on!

1.  I have my appointment with a sleep specialist today.  I've been struggling with sleep for a long time, so I'm classifying this appointment as a good thing in my life because hopefully I'll be one step closer to sleeping better after this appointment.

I hope the person I meet with can make some sense out of my sleep log and has some solutions.  Averaging < 6 hours of sleep is not enough for me!
2.  I got the OK to take time off for our October Boston trip so that trip is going to happen! I'm really excited to see our friends, meet up with Kelly, and explore a new city with Phil!

3.  Speaking of travel, I get to travel to Kamloops to visit Amber in just under a week!  I'm really excited to spend 5 days with her exploring her area of British Columbia.  The pictures she posts are so stunningly beautiful so I can't wait to see the area with my own eyes!

4.  I didn't mention this before, but the weekend of my triathlon, I was side-swiped by a car when I was on the way to the race expo.  The damages were just cosmetic so it's not a huge deal but I was relieved to find out this week that the other insurance company is accepting liability so I won't have to pay anything out of pocket. The other guy was 100% at fault as he changed lanes without looking and did not see me, but you just never know what is going to happen when insurance companies are involved!

5.  I am wrapping up my 6th week of work and am really liking my new job!  It's crazy to me that it's already been 6 weeks.  Time flies when you enjoy what you do and the people you work with!  This past week I got to visit our HQ in Chicago, which was a jam-packed whirlwind trip, but I was able to fit in an early morning run along the lake.  Last time I was in Chicago, I was struggling with RA and unable to run so I especially appreciated being able to run on this trip!

Chicago, you are so pretty!
6.  Allison and her husband had Phil and I over for dinner last night.  It was great to catch up and after a couple of days of travel, it was great to eat a home-cooked meal!

7.  We have a fairly quiet weekend on deck.  We're staying in tonight and I will make this pasta dish for my olive-lover, tomorrow I'll run 20 miles with my club (eeks!) and on Sunday morning I'll volunteer at a trail race my running club is putting on.  Besides that we have no other plans which I am so happy about.

What are some good things happening in your life right now?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Currently: August Edition

And just like that, it's the last week of August!  Except it feels more like October in this part of the country.  :(  Come back, summer!  Here's what's currently going on in my world these days!

Reading:  The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen. Nora and Kelly both liked it so I am confident that I will enjoy it!  I just finished Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, which was a total CHORE for me to read (I'll admit it, I just don't like classics), so I needed something lighter and easier to get into after that!

Loving: watching Oscar grow and change.  I can't believe how big she has gotten since we got her in late June.  She has another vet appointment in a couple of weeks and it will be interesting to see how much she weighs!  The newest skill she has picked up is playing fetch.  I had no idea cats played fetch but she loves to fetch small balls and toy mice.

All tuckered out from lots of play time.

Oscar gets to have drinks from the bathroom sink.  She is a little bit spoiled!

Hanging out with Phil on his birthday.

Thinking:  about planning a long weekend trip to Boston with Phil in late October. A couple we are good friends with moved out there this summer as one of them will be attending a year-long grad school program at Harvard. It seems like the perfect time of year to visit that part of the country so I hope we can make it happen.  Plus that means I'd also get to see Kelly, introduce her to Phil, and meet her son Max!  The trip would be close to my Miami girls weekend so I just need to make sure I can get the time off from work.  Fingers crossed this works out! 

Frustrated: by my sleep challenges.  After several weeks of really bad sleep that's left me feeling like a zombie, I decided to see a sleep specialist.  My appointment is on Friday and I am hoping and praying that he/she can help.

Feeling:  a little overwhelmed by my schedule.  I feel like free nights are rare and I am not home much.  I can't complain because my schedule is full of things I enjoy doing and chose to say yes to...  but I really could use a week with fewer evening commitments.  I know things won't slow down in the next couple of weeks, but I'm hoping that September will be a little bit of a quieter month.

Anticipating:  my 21-mile long run on Saturday.  I'm a bit nervous as I missed the 20 mile run the weekend of the triathlon.  My training feels a bit off between missing that long run for the triathlon and missing last week's long run since I was at my parents cabin and ran 16 miles instead of 18 like everyone else did, so I really need to do a long run that leaves me thinking "OK, I can do this!"

Watching: the Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network, which started last night.  The Next Food Network Star just wrapped last week so I am glad I have a new show to watch!

Sad:  that this past weekend was the last weekend that we'll spend at the lake this summer.  Summer went by entirely too fast! I'm also sad that the weather for our last weekend at the lake was so crappy (rain, cold weather, high winds, felt like October).  That said, we still had a great time.  The crappy weather meant we played lots of games which always makes me happy!

Working: on incorporating more strength training into my weekly workouts now that the triathlon is behind me.  Ideally I'd like to get two strength training sessions in a week so hopefully I can stick to that.

Grateful: that Phil joined me for the last 5 miles of my 16 mile run on Saturday.  I've gotten spoiled by running with a running club - now I really dislike doing long runs alone!  Mentally, it really helped to know that I could look forward to his company for the last 5 miles, which we ran in a light rain/mist!  Even though it was cooler/rainy, it still felt great to jump in the lake after the run!

Post-run, pre-jumping in the lake.

Listening: to lots of podcasts, as usual.  Death, Sex and Money did a series of podcasts about New Orleans/Hurricane Katrina in honor of the 10 year anniversary of Katrina (side note:  I can't believe it's been 10 years!) so I have been listening to those lately.

Wishing: that summer would return.  I know that a lot of people are happy that fall-like temperatures are here, but summer is so short in the Midwest so I really don't want fall to arrive prematurely!  It's been overcast, rainy and cold here lately and I don't like it at all!!

What are you currently reading, frustrated by and grateful for?

Friday, August 21, 2015

RA-nniversary #2

This Sunday marks the 2 year anniversary of my RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) diagnosis.  In some ways, my diagnosis still feels fresh; in other ways, it feels like a distant memory.  I've certainly come far in the last 2 years and am so thankful that my disease is managed.  I had a surreal moment of reflection after my triathlon last Sunday. I thought back on my first appointment with a rheumatologist.  The waiting room had all sorts of depressing magazines about disease management and such, but in the pile of magazines, I found one that featured an elite triathlete with RA.  At the time, I was in a boot and in so much pain so it was hard to believe that maybe I'd consider myself an athlete again.  But I remember feeling a sense of hope when I read the story about her.

Now, 2 years later I've completed my first triathlon and I can confidently say that I am an athlete again.  I'm training for a marathon which is something I thought I'd never have the opportunity to do again.  I'm pain free, for the most part, and thriving.

But of course, it isn't all sunshine and rainbows.  I hate how many bottles of pills reside on my counter.  I hate that I get so many prescription refill reminders from Target that I can't keep track of which request is for which medication.  And I really hate Monday nights when I have to give myself my weekly injection.  On those nights I try to remind myself that a minute of discomfort is worth being pain free but I still mope quite a bit and usually have to find some sort of reward - usually a sweet of some sort.  I hate that aches and pains that wouldn't get much of a second thought plant the seed of worry over whether that pain is the first sign of a flare up.

And yet - in the grand scheme of things - life is good.  Life is really, really good. I try to remind myself that while I was unlucky to get diagnosed with this chronic disease, I am lucky that it was caught so early and is being managed so well.  Some days it's hard to think of myself as "lucky," but I know I am.

The past year was an uneventful one for me health-wise and I just hope and pray that I have many more years like this to come!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Quick Lake Getaway

As I mentioned last week, I took Thursday and Friday off so I could make a quick trip to my parents' lake home.  My brother from Chicago and his family were up there for the week but I was unable to join them over the weekend since I had plans to see Music Man with Phil's mom.  I'm really glad I was able to take 2 days off from work so I could spend some time with them as it had been way too long since I'd seen them!

I got to the lake late on Wednesday night and was woken up on Thursday morning by my sweet niece, Anna, who is almost 4.  She crawled into bed with me and we chatted for a bit which was fun.  My brother made some awesome gluten free pancakes which were made out of cornmeal and called johnny cakes.  I was so touched by the fact that he did some research and found a GF recipe to try.  After breakfast we all changed right into our swimsuits.  I love being at the lake because all I usually wear is swimsuits and pajamas.

Sweet Anna
It was an overcast, hazy day but even an overcast day at the lake is a good day.  I love days like Thursday where the lake is like glass.

The calm water meant it was the perfect day to do some paddle boarding.  My niece and nephew had never been paddle boarding before so it was fun to introduce them to it.

Kolin got the hang of it right away and toodled around on his own quite a bit!

My parents got there later that afternoon and we spent the rest of the day catching up and relaxing outside.  On Friday morning, we woke up to an absolutely perfect lake day.  The sun was shining and the lake was once again like glass!  It was my mom's birthday so I am glad she got the gift of a perfect day at the lake!

I headed out for a quick 5 mile run and got back in time to join the family for my mom's birthday breakfast pontoon cruise. It was fun to cruise around and have breakfast and Bloody Mary's. 

The birthday girl and my dad.  I hope I age as well as my mom has!
My sister and her kids got to my parents shortly after we got back from the boat cruise so I got to see my 2 nephews and niece.  Our time together only overlapped by a couple of hours but I'm glad I was able to see them.  I'm always amazed at how much Evelyn changes every time I see her!

Bikini babe Evie!
Evelyn is not a fan of the sand so we brought the lake to her - she was very content to play in a small bowl of water.

And just like that, my time at the lake was over as I had to head back to Minneapolis for Phil's birthday get together that evening (his actual birthday is today!!!).  I was only there for 1.5 days so it was a very quick trip but a fun get away.  And luckily Phil and I will be heading back to the lake this coming weekend so I've got more lake time in my future!  Being at the lake is definitely my summertime happy place.

Where is your favorite place to be in the summer?  I love being in Minneapolis in the summer as we have so many lakes and other outdoorsy things to do, but nothing compares to being at my parents' lake home.

Monday, August 17, 2015

YWCA Women's Triathlon Race Recap

My first triathlon is in the books and it was a great experience!  I have a lot to say about the experience (warning - long post to follow!) but will start off with the night before.  I biked over to Phil's in the afternoon and we stayed in that evening and made one of my favorite pasta dishes which is chicken with a white wine sauce (with GF pasta, of course).  It was really good!

After dinner, I laid out everything that I was planning to bring to the race.  There is so much to remember so I am glad I had made a list last week!  I got everything to fit in my bag, though, so that is good!

After that we watched a documentary about how Champagne is made and I obsessively checked the weather forecast.  It was not looking good and the race director had sent out an email saying that the race may be cancelled if there was lightening so I was kind of freaking out a bit.

Luckily I woke up to overcast skies but no rain on Sunday morning!  I was so relieved!  My friend Courtney picked me up which saved me from having to bike to the race.  It was only about 3 miles away but I didn't need to bike any extra miles that morning!

We got to the transition area, got set up and took some pre-race photos.  Courtney is the person that talked me into doing this race as she's done it twice and loved it. However, she is 7 months pregnant so instead of doing the full race, she did the swim leg of the relay.

I was in one of the later waves so had a lot of downtime between when they closed the transition area and lined us up but it went by fairly fast.  The first wave started at 8 am and my wave started around 8:39.  I was soooo ready to start and just have the swim behind me as I was very nervous about the swim since it's my weakest sport.  From here on out, I'll break down the race by sport:

Swim:  500 yards. Goal = 15 minutes; Actual = 12:40.  The swim actually went better than I was expecting.  It's definitely the weakest of the three sports for me but it went better than I thought it would.  One thing that helped is that it wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be.  When they released the waves, they had 4-5 swimmers start at a time, with 3-4 seconds in between sets of swimmers which meant that the swimmers were way more spaced out.  I was expecting to be kicked and hit and swam into but I only had one little collision.  That said, I was soooo happy when the swim part was over!

Courtney snapped this shot of me running out of the water to the transition area.
T1:  2:14.  The first transition took the most time as I had to put on socks and shoes.  I had rolled my socks which made it easier to put them on my wet feet quickly but it's still time consuming.  I had worn a water proof watch for the swim but I threw my Garmin on at this point so I'd have an idea of how fast I was biking and running.

Bike:  15.5 miles. Goal = 1 hour; Actual = 54:41.  I was really happy with how the bike went as my pace was 17 mph which is faster than I was anticipating.  I ate an applesauce within the first mile which gave me some extra energy. Those were the only calories I had during the race.  I probably should have had another applesauce during the run but all in all I felt pretty well-fueled.  I passed quite a few people during the bike ride and pushed it pretty hard on the pace, which made me nervous that I might not have much left in the tank for the run.  In the last mile I saw Phil so that gave me some extra energy and made me smile.

T2:  1:23.  This transition went really fast as all I had to do was dock my bike, ditch my helmet and throw a hat and my race bib on (which I pinned to my spibelt).

Run:  3.1 miles. Goal = 28 minutes; Actual = 26:31.  I saw Phil right away at the start of the run and he ran with me for a little bit.  He asked me how I was feeling and I told him I was tired but he gave me some encouragement and said to remember that running is my strongest sport.  I definitely needed that pick-me-up.  My legs felt pretty tired and if I had to guess, I would have said I was running slower than 10 minute/mile pace, so I was shocked to look down and see a pace of 8:30-8:40.  I was definitely very ready to be done at this point but I powered through!  I was so in the zone that I did not hear Phil, Courtney, and Courtney's family cheering for me at the end.  Those 3.1 miles were tough so I was shocked to look at my results and see that I maintained an 8:34 pace during the run!

Courtney's husband snapped this photo of me as I was coming into the finish.  You can tell that I am pretty 'in the zone'.

Total Time:  Goal = 1:50; Actual = 1:37:28.

Officially a triathlete!
Phil and I at the finish!
I was really surprised and very pleased with my time.  I ended up finishing 246th out of 935 participants and 44th out of 155 participants in my age group, which I feel good about.  My ultimate goal for this race was to finish and have fun and I definitely accomplished that!

So the big question that always gauges how good the race experience  was is - would I do this again?  And the answer is yes!  I think I would stick to this race, though, as it's really well-organized plus I think the sprint distance is the right distance for me.  And honestly, I liked that it was women-only race.  I feel like that made for a very supportive and positive environment.  I will say that my next triathlon will be done at a time when I'm NOT training for a marathon, though!  Training for two races simultaneously is too much.  Lesson learned.

Have you ever or would you ever do a triathlon?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Cabin Bound + Goals for the Triathlon

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Today is actually my Friday as I am heading up to my parent's lake home tonight to spend a couple of days with my brother from Chicago and his family.  I felt a little bit sheepish asking for time off during the 4th week in my new job but my boss was totally fine with it.  I have barely seen my brother and his family since last summer so I am looking forward to spending a couple of days with them.  I have to head back to Minneapolis on Friday afternoon (for Phil's pre-birthday celebration + triathlon weekend!!) so it will be a quick trip but I'll take what I can get!

Besides thinking about my time at the lake, my mind is also on the triathlon which is on Sunday morning.  In an ideal world, I would have focused more on training for the triathlon but I did the best I could on top of marathon training.  I know I am going to finish the race which is really all that matters.  My ultimate goal is to finish and have fun, so I guess you'd call that my "A" goal.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to achieve that so my "B" goal is to finish in under 2 hours. But, because I like to push myself, I've got a stretch goal of finishing in around 1:50, which would be my "C" goal.  In order to achieve that "C" goal, here's is how each of the segments would need to go:

Swim - 15 minutes.  The swim is 500 yards.  I have not timed myself during any of my swims and I always swim further than 500 yards so I have no idea what to expect for the swim.  15 minutes seems like a reasonable goal, though.  This is definitely the biggest wild card of the three sports!

Bike - 60 minutes.  The bike portion is 15.5 miles.  I've biked quite a bit this summer but I am always having to slow down for intersections and such so I have no idea how fast I can go when I don't have to start and stop.  I'm hoping that I can do the bike ride in about an hour as that's just shy of a 4 minute/mile pace which seems doable.

Run - 28 minutes.  If it was a stand alone 5k, I could certainly finish it in well under 28 minutes but considering that I'll have already swam and biked, I expect my running time to be a bit slower.  28 minutes equates to about a 9 minute mile so I might be a little bit optimistic on that as I imagine I'll be tired when I hit the run!

Overall goal - 1:50, which gives me about 7 minutes between the 2 transitions.

Will I achieve this?  Who knows.  But since I am a competitive person, I can't go into a race without a challenging goal!  If all I achieve is my "A" of finishing, then that is A-OK, too.  

This is my last post of the week as I'll be focusing on having fun with my family!  Have a great rest of the week, everyone, and send me some good race vibes on Sunday morning!  If you've done a tri, do you have any words of advice for me?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Weekend Review

Hello, Monday!  As usual, the weekend flew by. It feels like time speeds up during summer weekend as they come and go in the blink of an eye.  Here's how I filled mine!

On Friday night I met up with a former co-worker for happy hour.  It was a nice night so we were able to sit outside on a rooftop bar.  It was nice to catch up over a cocktail!  After happy hour, I headed to Phil's and we got take-out.  Phil had taken Oscar to the vet while I was at happy hour and learned that she weighs 4 pounds now - she weighed 2 pounds when she was at her last vet appointment 4 weeks ago so she is growing fast!!

After dinner we started a game of Monopoly.  I had to be in bed somewhat early due to my run the next day so we didn't finish but we will at another time.  It's probably been 20+ years since I played Monopoly but it was fun to play.  Oscar enjoyed spectating (and playing with the dice). 

On Saturday morning I met up with my running club for a destination run in Eden Prairie, which is a suburb of Minneapolis.  We usually run in the central part of the city but the coaches like to change it up once in awhile so we don't get bored with the routes.  We did an 18 mile route.  It was very humid and the route was so hilly (which I wasn't expecting since we did a really hilly long run last weekend) so this run really kicked my butt. It was the first time in this training cycle where I finished and felt a lot of discomfort.  My legs hurt, especially my calves, and I chafed on my back from my water belt so I was not in the best mood after the run.  But I guess the long runs can't all be great. 

So many hills, and that big one in the middle was not fun.

I had no motivation to do anything after that run, but I made myself go to the grocery store and do some meal prep - and then I laid down for 2 hours and despite feeling exhausted, was unable to nap.  I reeeeally wish I was able to nap but unless I am sick, I just can't.

On Saturday evening, Phil and I met his mom for an early dinner and then his mom and I went to The Music Man.  Our seats were amazing and the show was so great!  If you live locally, I highly recommend going!

On Sunday morning I woke up bright and early so managed to get a load of laundry done before going to mass at 8:30.  My legs were still pretty tired from the run the day before but I talked myself into going for a bike ride after church.  My goal was to bike at least 10 miles but I ended up doing 14.5 miles.  The bike portion of my tri on Sunday is 15.5 miles so at least I came close to biking that distance.

Sunday afternoon was all about being productive as I did some more laundry, ironed and made a list of all of the things I will need to pack for the triathlon next weekend.  The evening was very relaxing, though.  I did a lot of reading, played my piano and had crock pot chili for dinner (it's a great recipe, but I substitute ground turkey for the chicken as I think chicken breast get really dry in crock pot recipes).  And yes, I realize it's odd to eat chili in the middle of summer but I eat soup and chili year round!

I ended the day admiring the view of the beautiful pink evening sky from my patio.  I will never tire of this view!

How was your weekend? 

Friday, August 7, 2015


Happy Friday!  I had another busy week that has left me feeling pretty tuckered out so I am very glad that it's the weekend!  Here's how my week shaped up!

The high of my week was going out to dinner with another couple.  They treated us to dinner as a thank you to Phil for mowing their lawn/watching their house while they were in Europe for 2 weeks.  It was fun to catch up with them and hear all about their trip - which included some time in Paris! 

The low of my week was more sleep issues...  This is getting beyond old.  I do not know how it is possible to be so exhausted but sleep so poorly.  One night I got a whopping 2 hours of sleep.  Here's hoping things start to improve soon as I'm really struggling with the sleep deprivation.

A book I am reading is The Three Weissmanns of Westport.  It was recommended to me as a book that would count toward the "retelling of a classic" reader harder challenge category as it's a play on the story of "Sense and Sensibility," which I have not read but might read to fulfill the "written before 1850" category.

A recipe I made was Cajun Chicken Pasta which turned out pretty well.  I left the cream cheese out as I didn't feel like buying any (I never eat cream cheese) and I also skipped the mushrooms since Phil doesn't like them (boo!), but it still tasted pretty good!

For my workouts, I ran with my club on Monday, swam with Phil on Tuesday, and ran with my club on Wednesday.  I didn't feel great yesterday so took an extra rest day and today will also be a rest day but tomorrow I will run 18 mile and on Sunday I will do my last long bike ride before the triathlon, which is next Sunday!

The best podcast I listened to was the "Fighting Cancer" episode of TED Radio Hour. It was interesting and encouraging to hear about the progress being made towards fighting this awful disease. 

The best money I spent was on the registration fee for a trail run that I will do with Amber when I visit her next month!  And the best part is that it was only $22 - if only more races were that cheap!

My plans this weekend include happy hour with a former co-worker tonight followed by a night in with Phil, running with my club tomorrow morning, going to Music Man with Phil's mom tomorrow night (which I am really excited about) and not much else besides that although I know I'll still fill my time!

Have you made any new recipes lately?  What was the high of your week?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Thoughts on this Training Cycle

I'm just under 2 weeks out from my triathlon and about 9 weeks out from my marathon so I thought it'd be a good time for a "check-in" post about how the training is going.  For my other marathons, I did weekly training posts but this time around I decided not to do that.  Truth be told, I don't feel like I'm 100% focused on either race, or not as focused as I was in other training cycles.  That's not to say that I am not working hard, because I am.  I just think that training for 2 different races at the same time has sort of taken away from my ability to really focus on either event. Plus, I've had other distractions like moving and starting a new job.

Maybe some of my lack of obsessiveness over my training plan has to do with the fact that this is my 4th marathon.  That's certainly not a high number of marathons but I'm at the point where I've done enough marathons to know how training works.  Plus being in a running club takes some of the planning out of my control as I trust that the coaches are putting together workouts that will get me to the starting line healthy and ready to run my race.

In an attempt to put some thoughts together on training, here's what's different/interesting about this training cycle:

1.  The long runs got long fast.  Because this has been a busy summer for me, time has gone by especially fast, which means that the long runs got long real fast.  I mean, our first 20 miler is in 2 weeks (but I will have to miss it as that is the weekend of my tri and there's no way I am going to run 20 miles and then do a triathlon the next day).  My body has handled the higher mileage well but it just boggles my mind that I'm already doing 16+ mile long runs!

2.  Different fuel.  The last time I ran a marathon, I totally bonked at the end because I physically could not force myself to eat another gu which meant I did not have any calories for the last 6+ miles - which is NOT good.  So this time around I have been using these single serving applesauce packets.  You know, the ones designed for kids.  They have 60 calories/pack whereas the gu has 100 calories/pack so they are in the same ballpark.  They are a little bit bulkier so it's harder to carry 3+ packets on you, but it's worth the hassle because eating real food > sucking down super sweet gu.

3.  I'm so tired...  I forgot how tiring marathon training is.  Throw in triathlon training on top of that plus a new job, which is going great but is mentally fatiguing as I learn the ropes and that = tired Lisa.  This might not have been the best time for me to also go off Ambien as that's contributing to my exhaustion as well but I thought maybe my exhaustion from training would offset eliminating the sleep aide.  I'm tired during the day and I am also tired during some of my training runs/bike rides.  I'm hoping to see an improvement once I am done triathlon training as I am planning to go from 1 rest day to 2 rest days after the triathlon is behind me.

4.  ... but not ridiculously hungry.  In past marathon training cycles, I had many weeks where I felt like I had an insatiable appetite, but that hasn't really been the case thus far.  I am definitely eating a bit more than I usually would but I don't feel as ravenous after my long runs as I did in past training cycles.  I've been trying to eat something with protein right after my long runs so maybe that is helping!

5.  Swimming will never be my strong sport.  Even though I grew up swimming in lakes and feel comfortable in the water, it's never going to be my strong sport.  I've done quite a few open water swims and while it's getting a little easier, I don't come away from any swims thinking, "dang I killed that!"  My mindset on race day will be to just get through the swim part so I can focus on the sports that I enjoy/feel comfortable doing.

All in all, I'm feeling healthy and on track to do well at both of my upcoming races.  Maybe the distracted way I've been feeling is good as I haven't really had time to obsess over how my training is going.  And sometimes a lack of obsession is a good thing!  I guess we'll find out on my race days...

Are you training for anything this summer? 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Music, Books, Miles and Looks of July

And another month bites the dust!  *Insert cliche phrase about time going too fast*


I Belong To You by Brandi Carlie - Since I saw Brandi Carlile last night (!!!!) I had to share one of her songs for this month's recap.  This is one of the songs from her latest albums.  It's a live performance so the sound quality isn't great but you can see how talented she is live.

Shots by Imagine Dragons - This song has such a catchy beat.  I've loved it from the first time I heard it, which isn't too surprising as I pretty much loved every song on the band's first album. Although I will say that this song has a very different sound compared to their first album.


July was a strong reading month for me as I read 7 books! My favorite out of everything I read was The House Girl.  Similar to previous months, any books with a star behind them counted towards the read harder challenge.

Overwhelmed:  Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte - 3 stars
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut - 3 stars
As Always, Jack:  A Wartime Love Story By Emma Sweeney - 3 stars
The House Girl by Tara Conklin - 4 stars
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean* - 4 stars
The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard - 3 stars
Dog Crazy:  A Novel of Love Lost and Found by Meg Donohue - 4 stars
Above Us Only Sky by Michele Young-Stone - 4 stars


July was also a strong running/biking/swimming month for me.  I hit the triple digit mileage mark for running as I ran 118 miles!  I also biked 92 miles and swam 3.75 miles (5 x 0.75 mile open water swims).  I logged a lot of miles but only fit in 3 strength training sessions which isn't great but between triathlon and marathon training I struggle to make time to strength train. 


My looks for the month were kind of unremarkable.  I didn't wear anything new or exciting.  It was a pretty warm/humid month so my outfit selection has been all about finding things that I won't get too hot in while biking to/from work but are warm enough so that I won't freeze at work... and that's pretty tricky!   The only notable outfit was the dress I wore to a wedding but I already shared a photo of that...  Hopefully I'll wear some outfits worth sharing in August.