Friday, February 27, 2015

And so it begins...

Starting Monday I'm officially 52 weeks away from the Rock N' Roll New Orleans Marathon. That seems like a really long time, but in running time, it's short. I am quite nervous, particularly about my foot.

I like to be honest on the blog, so I will admit I'm scared shitless. But, I've mentally prepared myself for the focus these next 52 weeks will bring. Physically, I'm concerned.

The important thing is to not start off too strong and boom, get injured. So here's my little unofficial plan by months:

March - April: Cardio, cardio and more cardio. I'm going to workout an hour a day (probably super early in the mornings). Build up my cardio. I'll also strength train three times a week. For my half marathon, I really did not focus on upper body strength. I've read a lot of material since then that says this should be an area to work hard.

May - July: Build a base with running. This will have to go super slow. Ideally I need to run an easy four to five miles before starting the official training plan.

August - January: Follow my training plan to a T. Can't really skip runs at this point. It's do or die.

January: Run the Louisiana Half Marathon. This one is super expensive and I can't believe I'll pay as much as I am for this damn race. BUT the flip side is I really need the race environment experience, it helps me get a long run in and I'm trying for the "Double Down" medal in which if you run both the Louisiana Marathon and the Rock N' Roll NOLA marathon you get a special medal. :)

Another good thing is it will be a good test to see how I function running 13 miles. It "should" be fairly easy by this point. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Yes!

February: Taper month. I'm really concerned about this, but everything I've read and heard is to TRUST THE TAPER. Um, ok?

Diet: I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing. Low carb, high fat. I've been researching this a great deal and I'm ready to continue on that journey.

Training Plan: This week I ordered two different books that incorporate two different views on training.

I'll most likely go with this one:

Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide: Advice, Plans, and Programs for Half and Full Marathons

Hal is the Godfather of marathon training. I haven't looked at the plan yet, but I've looked at his other plans. I think this one is quite doable, especially for first-timers.

The other option is this: 

The Hansons Marathon Method: A Renegade Path to Your Fastest Marathon

I'm 90 percent sure I won't use this plan. It involves six days of running a week. SIX. The point is to always have tired legs and have your body adjust. The marathon should seem "easier" than it would be otherwise because you've worked yourself like a dog. I bought this book mainly for the race tips and information. Also, I'm just curious about how difficult it really is. I follow a few bloggers who used this and who hated it during the training. But swore they'd use it again. I'm not sure I have the dedication, want, desire and athletic ability to run six days a week. But we'll see.

In the meantime, I'm drinking gallons of this:

Do you have any races coming up? Have you ever heard of somebody starting 52 weeks out? I think I'll have a weekly post that will count down the weeks. This is obnoxious, like if your toddler is 2 years old and you are still saying "she's 24 months old." However, this blog will keep me accountable and I can go back and see what I've done.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book review: Summer House With Swimming Pool by Herman Koch


I became a fan of Herman Koch when I read his other book, The Dinner. This guy has invented many characters you love to hate. In both books I'm not sure I found any characters likable or redeeming, except for maybe the children.

In this one we are told the story from one odd doctor, Marc Schlosser. 

From Goodreads:
"When a medical mistake goes horribly wrong and Ralph Meier, a famous actor, winds up dead, Dr. Marc Schlosser is forced to conceal the error from his patients and family. After all, reputation is everything in this business. But the weight of carrying such a secret lies heavily on his mind, and he can't keep hiding from the truth…or the Board of Medical Examiners.

The problem is that the real truth is a bit worse than a simple slipup. Marc played a role in Ralph's death, and he's not exactly upset that the man is gone. Still haunted by his eldest daughter's rape during their stay at Ralph's extravagant Mediterranean summerhouse-one they shared with Ralph and his enticing wife, Judith, film director Stanley Forbes and his far younger girlfriend, Emmanuelle, and Judith's mother-Marc has had it on his mind that the perpetrator of the rape could be either Ralph or Stanley. Stanley's guilt seems obvious, bearing in mind his uncomfortable fixation on the prospect of Marc's daughter's fashion career, but Marc's reasons for wanting Ralph dead become increasingly compelling as events unravel. There is damning evidence against Marc, but he isn't alone in his loathing of the star-studded director."

This was set in or around Holland. The important thing to know is they are not in America. I'm not even sure the Dutch really feel it's ok to have nude men around kids and tweens. I bring this up because the thinking in this book is so far off than what I think as a parent. However, the novel is not graphic.

So many decisions were made in the book that I disagreed with. That is the crux of the book. I told my reader friend "I hated everybody." 

The book was like a train-wreck and I could not look away. The scenarios make you wonder what would you do in those situations. It's uncomfortable, yet intriguing.

I'd recommend this to readers who like serious matters, Gillian Flynn novels and questionable doctors. hehe.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Running articles for you runners out there

Here is my version of interesting articles and blog posts I have read recently regarding running:

Jen A. Miller competing in the Run the Bridge 10K in Camden, N.J., in 2009.

Real Runners Do Take Breaks by The New York Times. Should runners walk in races? It shouldn't really matter to anybody else but the runner. The writer gives an honest look at what running and walking gave her in marathons. Jeff Galloway, whose shtick is the run/walk method, is quoted. I used that method in my half marathon. The problem I found was I had trained my body to walk so all it wanted to do was walk. I'm not bashing it because it works great for other runners. Just not for me.

10 Things Not to Say to Injured Runners by Run Haven. This is a good read, particularly if you've been injured. I've had some of these faux pas said to me and I've said some of these to runners myself! I'm sorry!

Meatless Meals Recipe Round-Up by This Runner's Recipes. There are some really good-looking recipes for those who want a non-meat option. I eat some type of meat/chicken/fish once a day for the protein. But I actually have had a lot of vegetarian-type meals. I'd like to give those acorn squash pancakes a try because I've not been successful with acorn squash so far.

Planks for Runners and Plank Workout also by This Runner's Recipes. Planks are my nemesis! I don't mind a regular plank at all. It's those darn side planks that I can't come close to doing properly. It's something I plan on working on after my 30 Days of Shred with Jillian. Which, by the way, has been a real form of torture in the Nth degree. 

I hope your week is going well so far!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book review: Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend


First things first, this book is Bible-based. So for those who are not Christian, I can tell you this won't be the boundaries book for you. While the entire book does not quote Bible verses, the premise of laying down boundaries comes from a Biblical perspective. If that makes sense. It probably doesn't.

The book points out that God does not want you to take on too much. That is a big problem for me. I've focused on others needs a lot. Particularly on those family and friends who honestly did not give that same care back to me.

The book points out that WE are the problem because we have not laid out boundaries. I agree with this. I've never been assertive enough and it's come back to bite me.

The book uses the Bible to point out times when God is saying, "hey, let it go. You can't change them. You are not taking care of your needs and the needs of your immediate family. You need to be there for THEM, not the OTHERS."

Not sure why I keep capitalizing words ... I liked the examples the book gives. Starting on page one I found myself thinking, "yep, that's me." I don't say "no" when I should. I don't say "not right now" when I should. 

I've started utilizing the solutions in the book. It's funny how what the psychologists said would happen as a result, did happen. I've heard a lot of "Oh I assumed you would do this" or "I thought you would give her the news," etc...

Yet, nobody's world has fallen apart. In fact, mine has gotten a lot better. 

If you want a practical book that actually gives real solutions (unlike many self-help books) this is a good start. It will make you question why you do what you do. But it also gives modern-day examples for those of us doormats out there and how to set real boundaries that can be followed.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Weekend

I had a great weekend except for my little head cold I've got going on. HAHAHAHAHAH!!!! I knew I'd jinx it by saying I went the 30 days of my detox without getting sick.

In my defense, the weather here is wonky. It can be 35 one day and 70 the next so I think it's this back and forth nonsense that's got me a tad under the weather.

I did take a workout break yesterday and today because I'm trying to let my body do it's thing and work more on getting rid of the cold instead of fighting with Jillian Michaels.

Saturday we took Emily to the library. For some reason, most of the library programs or activities are during the week when the kids are in school. This Saturday was a super fun class which taught the kids about money. They had play money and got to actually buy toys! They also made a bank. Now Emily is all about the money.

Yesterday we went with my friend and her son who is Emily's age to see the Spongebob movie. It was odd, but funny. It's Spongebob, after all, so it is strange and bizarre. But the kids liked it and had a good time.

I've got my chicken broth cooking in the crock pot as we speak. Today starts a fun weight loss challenge at work so I'm participating in that to give me extra motivation. For now, I'll focus on somehow getting adequate sleep, getting vitamins in and drinking water like I've been on a desert for a week.

How was your weekend? Did you catch the Spongebob movie?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Book review: Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin


The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)


This trilogy was completely unexpected. I bought the first book on a whim last year because the Nook book was $1.99. It was one of those books I passed up reading for other books.

It ended up being the perfect series just when I needed something to keep my mind off other things.

From Goodreads:
"Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can. 

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. 
There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. 
She's wrong."

I can't go into too much detail without giving out spoilers. The one thing I will say is it's a long, long trilogy. Many, many pages. Be prepared, it's like a Stephen King novel with the amount of pages. That was my only real complaint was I thought the last book was too long.

The story was well-developed. I did not like some of the flashbacks (as I never do) because they were confusing at times as to what was flashback and what was present day. 

No love triangle here. Mara has her one and only that she's focused on keeping. The reader will have to use a bit of the suspension of disbelief concept because some of these twists were a bit unbelievable.

I think overall the ending wrapped up OK. This is a series I'd recommend taking time to invest in.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book review: The Madman's Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepherd




I truly, deeply loved this trilogy. I was sad when I got to the end because it's over. But, I relish in all of the many, many pages of fun the books brought me.

This book is part weird, part bizarre, part WTH? and part wow, I love how it's all connected. My grammar is not that good in these reviews. But I speak how I feel! LOL!

Moving along, from Goodreads:
"Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood."

You can read my previous review of the first book, The Madman's Daughter, here.

The first book takes you to Dr. Moreau's island. The second brings you to London where there is a Jekyll/Hyde situation. Finally the third is set in the Scottish Moors where Juliette meets descendants of the Frankensteins. Yes, those Frankensteins.

At times, Juliet got on my nerves. Her decisions would always bring more problems and more atrocities. But, she's just a teenage girl. She's learning from her mistakes.

I thought the final book was a good ending to the triology. I loved all the covers, but my favorite was the final one.