Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tyranena Half Barrel Race Report

Some of the funnest runner peeps I know.

I ran my fourth and final half marathon of the year on Nov. 2, the Tyranena Beer Run Half Barrel.

This was my second shot at running this race, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite fall races. Maybe it's because of the late start - seriously, an 11:30 a.m. start means I can sleep in my own bed and not have to get up in the dark in order to make the 1.5 hour drive to Lake Mills - or the full lasagna dinner they give you after the race in addition to all the usual post-race snacks. But mostly likely it's the people. Due to its location, this race draws a ton of runners from the Madison and Milwaukee areas, which means of a ton of my friends do it.

So who would argue with running a little race and then hanging with friends for a bit? Not me.

I went into this race with no expectations, other than to run some miles, have fun and hang out with my friends. And you know what? I accomplished every goal.

I ran with my friend Aaron and we ended up leapfrogging our friend Erica throughout the race.

The important things to know?
  • I ran every single hill
  • Of course I stopped at the unofficial beer stop right before Mile 5
  • I was a bit disappointed the guy manning that beer station didn't know the Badger score, even though he was decked out in Badger gear. In his defense, I guess he was probably busy providing beer to runners.
  • The Glacial Drumlin Trail was absolutely gorgeous with all the fall colors.
  • The three of us may have had in-depth discussions about the need for an additional beer stop some where on the trail and all of the delicious food we'd be eating in 5 miles. Yes, we were hungry.
  • Speaking of hunger, it's hard to fuel for a race that doesn't start until 11:30 a.m.
  • My legs decided they were done somewhere around Mile 10, which unfortunately is right when the race course dumps you off into an industrial/business park.
  • Aaron left me around Mile 11.5.
  • In general, the weather was perfect. Except for the final mile when you were running right into a somewhat nasty wind. That was kind of brutal.
  • I did pass two people in the final mile.
  • I finished, collected my medal and walked into the post-race party tent just as they were announcing the Badgers beat Iowa. Made me a happy girl.
Then it was time for food, beer and friends. It wasn't my fastest half marathon by far, but it was a fun one. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

I'll be in catch mode for the next few posts

Things I should probably blog about include:
  • Fox Cities Half Marathon
  • Tyranena Half Barrel
  • Madison Marathon spectating
  • Gratuitous Badgers pictures and other lovely sites from campus
  • My decision to start incorporating YMCA classes into my workout schedule
  • The desire to actually set goals and train for 2014 races.
In a perfect world, I'd already have touched all of these things already. I mean really, Fox Cities Half? That was two months ago already. Oops. But the world isn't perfect. Obviously. In a nearly perfect world, I'd blog these things chronologically. But it's not a nearly perfect world either.

So I'm going to do whatever I want. And that means write about those things in whatever order I wish. So hold on to your hats. It's going to be a random ride over the next few days.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

October Reading Recap

A month between posts. That's what this blog has come to.

Oh well. I'm back. I guess. I have things to write about, I was just going through a funk last month. Maybe November will be the month I get back on track. Maybe.

So let's start with a quick recap of what I read last month. Because while I wasn't blogging, I was reading. I finished five books last month that checked in at 3,179 pages. That brings the yearly total to 64 books and 22,765 pages (give or take a few since some books were Kindle titles without page counts).

So what'd I read? Take a look:

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
Allegiant by Veronica Roth

So yeah, a few re-reads last month in preparation for the release of Allegiant.

And now for the brief reviews, complete with number of stars given out on GoodReads. Follow me here if you’d like a more timely update on what I’m reading, what I think and what’s been added to my to-read list.

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson ***
I picked this up because I really liked Devil in the White City. This one? It was OK, but not as good in my opinion. It was interesting to read about what was happening in Germany during Hitler's reign from an ambassador's perspective. The first half (the background/ buildup) was slow. The second half was much more interesting.

Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth  both *****
I really liked both of these. Do I need to say more? And like I said, they were re-reads.

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin  ***** 
OK, these books are intimidating mostly due to the number of pages. But they're so, so good. This one started a little slow, but right around the halfway point it picked up speed. Then it was non-stop twists and turns. So many good parts. By far, my favorite of the three books so far. 

Allegiant by Veronica Roth  no rating yet
I finished this a few days ago and I'm still not completely sure what to think. It definitely was the weakest of the three books in this series, in my opinion. The first 75 percent of the book was good, pulled you in. The ending? Well, I kind of knew something like that would happen, but I guess I'm still a bit in shock that the author went about it that way. Read it yourself and tell me what you think.

So 11 books and two months stand between me and my 75-book goal for the year. Good thing I have a stack of books just waiting to be read. What are you all reading?