Towards the end of 2011, I joined a book club with some girls from my hometown. It was a great way to force myself to read more books and meet some new people. I really enjoyed my time in Book Club even if we only talked about the book for 20 minutes each time. Today marks the first Book Club since the beginning of our Book Club that I will miss. In order to fill my void this post is dedicated to February’s book and meeting.
February’s book club book was “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Wells. I enjoyed the book overall, but just like many other books I’ve been reading lately I felt like it kind of fell off towards the end of the book.
We enjoyed discussion about the book along with a cocktail and some yummy treats.
I made this dessert for Book Club because I felt like I had to redeem myself for making some healthy cookies last summer. It was rich and delicious.
The book was actually one where we all had read and had different parts of the book that we wanted to discuss. I was most intrigued with how manipulative the parents were to the children. No matter how hard they tried to break away, the parents would always knee themselves back in.
I would recommend this book to teachers and social workers especially because it gives you a greater picture of what some children have to deal with growing up. It allowed me to understand the circumstances that some children live through to make you understand why they act the way they do.
The book club minus a few!
What books have you read lately that are easy to discuss?
Last weekend in an effort to explore Atlanta, we went to the Atlanta Food Truck Park. My cousin’s boyfriend had read on their website that a Clemson graduate’s food truck was going to be there, so we felt obligated to check it out. Our first stop was Mac the Cheese food truck, where I got the Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. It was very delicious and definitely rewarding for the 6 hilly miles I had ran that morning. After carb loading, I tried some bubble tea for the first time, but failed to take a picture of it. We let our macaroni settle for a little bit and then ventured over to Freckled & Blue, the food truck owned by Clemson graduates. They were super friendly and gave us fries to share as a group. I would highly recommend anyone to try out Freckled & Blue.
Pictured above meatloaf hoggie, beer can bbq chicken sliders, tomato, basil & feta orzo, and hand cut fries
Like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to find out where their food truck is going to be.
The food truck park was very fun and I look forward to trying out more trucks in the future.
This post is a little outdated, since it happened about 3 weeks ago. It was the night before the first big snow storm, temperatures were in the 20s with the windchill making it feel like the teens. I met Joslyn at the high school football stadium and we did 8 x 400s. They were supposed to be at 5K pace so like a 9:00 min/mi for me. I think we did the first one in about a 6-7 min/mi pace and I felt like I was going to throw up. I decided then that I no longer cared about speed. I guess it didn’t help that it was extremely cold and it hurt to breath.
Her times are as follows for the last 5 repeats with me being a few steps behind her. I guesstimated that I did about an 8:00 min/mi average for my repeats.
Speed work is not fun, I think I will just stick to my slow running. My body will appreciate it also. I was pretty sore the next day and I didn’t know if it was from the track workout or all the snow I shoveled with terrible form. Needless to say, I haven’t done another track workout even though I was supposed to last week. It’s also really hard to track your pace without a Garmin. I’ve been really really wanting a Garmin lately because of all the stoplights I have to stop at and maybe I will be inspired to do speed work again.
What are your thoughts on speed work?
I am here! I got to Atlanta, GA last Monday on a beautiful 60 degree day. I packed my car to the brim with all of the essentials aka clothes and shoes. As soon as the car was unloaded, I hit the roads for a 5 mile run, mainly for my sanity.
There was still a lot of snow on the ground in Missouri from mother nature’s second major snow storm in 7 days. It definitely had me wishing for warmer days when we lost power for 12 hours.
All that snow did have some use to me as I used it instead of ice to pack my cooler.
I am loving the warmer weather here in the south, I have been able to run or walk outside every day without the brutal northerly winds. The only downside to running here in Atlanta is all the hills. There are a lot of hills. So many hills to the point that I don’t think I have ran on a flat surface for more than a quarter of a mile. I miss the Katy Trail!
I just keep telling myself that hills are speed work in disguise and that I will be super fast when I run on flat ground again, that is if I ever make it through these hills.
I was also greeted in an unwelcome manner on Tuesday night. It had rained through the evening and then the winds picked up. Well at 3 AM a branch flew off the tree and broke the window literally above my head. Luckily it was just the storm window that broke, but it was quite the rude awakening.
I hope all the snow and broken windows are not bad omens. Good thing I am not superstitious.
I have a lot more random old posts that I will have to catch up on over the next couple of days, but I wanted to get something out there since it had been awhile since I updated.
Mother nature struck Missouri with a vengance this week as we were pounded with about 11″ of snow. It was nice to have one snow day even though I had to take a vacation day, but having to take a second day was rather unwelcome. I am also worried I will not be able to get a long run in outside this weekend since snow is still covering the majority of the ground. Enjoy these few pictures I took of snow and my workout for the day, shoveling snow.
The path out the front door
My car and the snow
The amount of snow I was shoveling
My snow shoveling form needs some work
Now I am off hoping I will wake up tomorrow morning and all the snow will be melted. It will be 65 degrees and I will get a nice long run in. Wishful thinking huh?
I completed one of my goals for the year last night, a 5 minute long plank!!!! Granted I mountain peaked a few times, but for the most part I held a straight sturdy plank. The plank was done on my elbows and at the end of a rather intense boot camp class. Now that I know my arms will hold me that long, I am anxious to actually hold proper form for the full 5 minutes. Once I got past 4 minutes, I told myself what’s one more minute. I even held pretty good form for the last minute. It was much like running, what’s one more mile (minute), I’ve already done X number of miles (minutes). The plank is definitely a mental game, so I just zoned out and focused on the music not the sweat dripping in my eyes. I definitely jumped up and smiled when it was over, goal complete.
Yesterday also marked the one year anniversary of the day I began my running journey or as I called it my run-iversary. On February 19, 2012, I started Couch to 5K Week 4 Day 1 at Katy Park on a semi-warm Sunday afternoon. I wore too many layers of cotton everything and cross-training shoes that hurt my whole body. I heel striked my way around the approximately half mile paved path wheezing my way around the turns. I finished the 30 minute run/walk and thought to myself how do people do this. Fast forward one year later and I have completed numerous 5Ks, a 10K, and a half marathon which included 14 weeks of training and two 10 mile long runs. Now you’ll find me most Saturdays lacing up my shoes for a long run and considering anything less than 6 miles a short run. I really cannot believe how far I’ve come and how much I have grown to love the sport. I have made so many new friends and have so many great experiences because of running. Here’s to many more years and many more miles I will smile my way through.
I used to be a swimmer in high school. Much like running nowadays I never really claimed to be a swimmer because I was slower than most of my peers. I enjoyed it for three years of high school, but decided not to do it my senior year. It mainly had to do with the fact that one of our coaches never paid attention to the girls that weren’t very good aka me. My times were getting slower not faster, so I decided to quit the sport. Actually, swimming and dancing were my only forms of exercise in high school and I didn’t start regular exercise again until I graduated college in 2008.
Recently I learned that the local middle school was opening their pool up for open swim on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for an hour and the cost was only a $1. Naturally, I had to jump at the opportunity to try it out. I dug into the bottom of my dresser and found an old speedo swimsuit that I used to wear in high school. I was pleasantly surprised that it still fit, but it was also questionable in terms of support and color. I went to open swim this past Tuesday and swam laps for the first time since May of 2003. It was definitely a lot harder than I remembered, but yet I also felt stronger. I think the weight training over the years has helped me develop more upper body strength than I had in high school. Breathing was a different story though. Much like developing my lungs for running, I need to relearn how to breath for swimming. I ended up swimming about 800 yards in 40 minutes which included a lot of breaks. It brought back memories of swimming upwards of 2600 yards the first two weeks of practice. I definitely had the chlorine smell stuck in my nose most of the day after.
The questionable swimsuit
I wish I would have known about open swim last year when I had a sprained ankle, it would have been more exhilarating than sitting down lifting weights. I think I need to invest in a new one piece and goggles for future opportunities to swim laps and bring back high school memories. Maybe I should consider a triathlon as a future goal. Actually an indoor one like Julie did would be right up my alley.
I also have to include this picture because it’s too cute not too. I had some tight muscles after my runs this week and was foam rolling out my calves. My niece Claire was watching me the whole time, so as soon as I got done she had to foam roll her calves out too. Too funny!