Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Time to start running up

Hills. We don't grow them here in Oshkosh.

Which means I haven't run a lot of them lately. But since I decided to run a half marathon in Raleigh, NC - the RunRaleigh Half Marathon - with by BFF Jess in April, that's got to change.

Because apparently Raleigh is hilly. And I don't want to die.

So when I sat down and figured out a training plan a week or so ago, I went back to something that has worked for me before. I pulled out my first plan from Coach Jim that I got way back in January 2011. It got me to my first 2:30 half marathon (in terrible conditions) and eventually lead to my current PR. So like I said, it worked. And I felt strong on hills. And considering my IT band has HATED hills for about the last 6 months, I'm eager to feel strong (sans a cranky IT band) when I encounter those hills in Raleigh in a few months.

So hill intervals it is.

And tonight was my first hill interval workout. Considering we don't grow hills in Oshkosh and everything has this layer of ice due to the crazy Wisconsin weather we've been having, I opted to head indoors for the treadmill.

After a one mile warm up, it was time for those hills. The first two felt pretty good. Number 3 was tougher. And that final interval? Absolutely brutal. But all four got done. And because that wasn't painful enough, I tacked on a 15-minute ab workout from the Nike Training Club app.

I'll be interested to see how the abs and legs feel tomorrow.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Getting ready for a crazy busy Saturday

I work a rare Saturday shift tomorrow.

It's the opening of sturgeon spearing season on Lake Winnebago. The two weeks or so each February where people head out onto Lake Winnebago with their ice shanties, cut a big hole in the ice and stare down that hole for hours, hoping to see the big one swim through. Then they hurl a spear at the fish and hope they don't miss.

But what's a sturgeon, you ask?

An ugly, prehistoric fish that's been swimming in Lake Winnebago for, well, forever.

And even though the ice conditions are questionable, people are still expected to head out on the ice tomorrow. And me? Well, I get to cover the opening day craziness. Really crossing my fingers people don't go through the ice, that would make for a long day and since my work day is already going to start at 6 a.m., it's going to be a long day regardless.

But it's not just sturgeon I have to worry about.

There's also the Badger game at 11 a.m., when Wisconsin takes on Michigan at the Kohl Center. I'm really hoping I'm back in my office by then starting to either write my story or work on editing video footage. Because I can totally multi-task and catch the Badger game at the same time.

And I need to find enough energy to get in my 5-mile run, which I'll most likely end up having to do at the YMCA either on the treadmill or by running around in circles.

And there are tentative plans to catch Silver Linings Playbook with a friend.

It's going to be a long day. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to need a nap.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Running in circles and dealing with rule breakers

It was dark. And I didn't want to get run over by some crazy speeding driver whose car slipped in the snow. But I also needed to run.

That left me with two options: The treadmill or running in circles.

I couldn't stomach the treadmill tonight. So I opted to run in circles on the indoor track at the YMCA where 11 laps equal a mile.

Thankfully I only had to run 3 miles.

And really, it wasn't too bad.

But no trip to the indoor track comes without the rule breakers. Tonight there were the three women who insisted on walking three abreast, taking up the entire three lanes. I had just enough room to squeeze between them and the wall.

That wasn't the worst though. The worst was the little kid who came up to the track and proceeded to shoot baskets. See the track runs around the upper levels of the gym, which was crawling with people shooting hoops or playing pickup games of basketball. Apparently this kid thought it was a better option to come up to the track, stand in everyone's way and shoot baskets from above the rim. So not only was he standing the way of those who were running or walking, but then he decided he needed to take a running start to shoot that jump shot.

A running start that he didn't even bother to wait until people passed him. Nope. In his mind he was the only one up there and he was free to do whatever he wanted. I caught a few nasty glances from passing runners and walkers.

Stupid kid.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

January Reading Recap

OK. I'm going to revamp the monthly reading recaps a bit for 2013.

There will still be numbers: Books, pages, comparison to last year. And there will still be a list of all the titles I've read each month. But I'm going to start posting a brief review of everything I've read. A short run down of what I liked about the book or what I didn't like. Think of it as a Good Reads recommendation and my thoughts on whether or not I think it's worthwhile to pick up. Yes, they're mostly for you guys who are looking for new stuff to read, but it's also for me. Because honestly, sometimes at the end of the year I look back at my list of what I've read and I can't even remember what some of the books I read are about. Kind of sad. Also, for those who are on Good Reads, you can find me here.

So the reading recap. Here it is.

I started the year off by finishing four books in January for a total of 1,483 pages. Nice start to the year. Well, that's a nice start on my goal of 45 books by the end of the year. Only 41 more to go. For comparison's sake, I read three books and 904 pages in January 2012.

In January I read:

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshlyn Jackson
Reached by Ally Condie
Rapture by Lauren Kate
Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate

And now for the new stuff. The short reviews. The number of stars is what I gave it on Good Reads.

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson  **
Every 15 years a family has one hell of a bad year. This book follows three generations (a grandma, mom and daughter) as trouble rears it's head. For the first time in forever, I seriously considered just quitting this book in the middle. For some reason, I just couldn't get into it. And then somewhere around page 180, it started to draw me in. And considering this is a 320 page book, that's WAY too long. The last chunk of the story was decent, but I just can't get past the memory that I struggled with this for so long. I really don't recommend it.

Reached by Ally Condie  *****
This was the final book in the Matched series. I thought it wrapped up the three-book series well. Hard to put this one down.

Rapture by Lauren Kate  ****
Another final book in a series. This was the fourth book in the Fallen series. As a whole, the series was kind of, meh. The first book was OK. The middle two were, oh my gosh, when is it going to get to a point? This last one was better. Kind of fast moving. Tied things up and made the story come full-circle. As a whole, do I recommend the series? I dunno.

Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate ***
I actually read this out of order. It was an add-on for the Fallen series and should have been read before the final book. It tells the story of Valentine's Day from the viewpoint of a bunch of different characters. Nothing special here and actually kind of blah. Don't bother.

So what'd you all read in January? I'm leaving the world of young adult literature behind for the month of February and hopefully going to start tackling my classic for the year. What is it? Well, you'll just have to stay tuned to find out.