{Currently} August 2, 2016

Well well well. Back at it again.

I’ve had absolutely zero motivation to blog this year – considering I’ve only published two blog posts so far (!) and it’s already August. But for some reason I thought “yeah, I miss that little corner of the internet” today and decided to share what I’ve been up to.

Reading: I just finished reading Modern Lovers by Emma Straub last week. I’ve read fewer books this year than I have in the past 5 years (for real, I normally read about 25 books a year and I can count the books I’ve read this year on one hand…). I was so happy to pick up Emma Straub again after reading The Vacationers a few years ago. Her writing is witty and genuine and I feel like Modern Lovers could make for a great romantic comedy — fingers crossed Hollywood picks it up if they haven’t already.

modern-lovers-review-ew

Obsessed with: 

  • Coconut LaCroix — I love coconut and I can’t get enough of it at work.
  • Stranger Things — the hype is real, people. I started it on Friday night and finished the entire season by Monday evening.
  • Beautiful Anonymous podcast with Chris Gethard – the concept of this podcast is that a stranger calls in to a hotline, which Chris answers. They have 60 minutes to have a conversation about literally anything they want, but they can’t share any information that allows Chris to find out who they are (beyond their name and where they live). Some of the conversations are hilarious and others are sad and deep—it’s sooooo good.

Training for: Chicago Marathon – round 2! Chicago was my first marathon in 2011 and it was the most amazing experience. You may recall that my goal race was Chicago last year — before I experienced a stress fracture in my foot. When I decided to pick a fall goal race, I was a bit hesitant about the idea of Chicago again. I mean, what if I got injured? What if Chicago’s cursed for me? But it’s a special one. This will be Lucky #7 and there’s nothing like running 26.2 through the city you call home. I get goosebumps and my heart starts to pitter patter just thinking about it. So far, training is going well and I’m in *much* better shape 10 weeks out than I was before Carmel. Last Saturday, I ran 18 miles and spent the afternoon recovering at EDGE. I really should do that more often – after the cold/hot contrast baths and an entire hour in the recovery boots, I woke up on Sunday feeling like a million bucks (no soreness!).

2016-07-30 14.52.29

I have my first 20-miler this weekend and I’m surprisingly not anxious about it. The long runs have been going okay so far, with only slight hiccups caused my the heat (especially last weekend, when the heat index was over 100 degrees later Saturday). I feel like July is always a tough month for training — the combination of getting back to fitness AND dealing with the heat and humidity can be brutal. I’ve realized over the last year and a half or so, that I am no longer a morning runner despite my best intentions and I’m fine with it for now. I’d rather get 8-9 hours of sleep each night and fit in longer workouts after work (on the treadmill, if I really have to). That said, I’m pushing myself to get out the door much earlier for long runs from now until early October. I need to beat the heat, get the run done, and enjoy the best naps ever for the rest of the summer.

2016-06-28 18.15.40-2

Trying not to stress out about: wedding planning (!!!) We have most of the big things crossed off the list: venue, caterer, photographer. I’m making headway on a few other things (like dress shopping) and sleeping accommodations for guests, but sometimes it’s really hard to stop thinking about all those other little details that need to be nailed down eventually. We’re going for a very low-key day so I know that, in the end, it will all work out. The Man and I are getting married in June 2017, so we definitely have time to make those decisions — and I’m thinking the winter is going to be the perfect time to dedicate to that stuff. So now, focus is on marathon training, sleep, and work. Come November and December, I’m hoping I have more motivation to cross some more items off the wedding planning list. 🙂

What have you been up to lately?

-JP

 

 

 

Advertisements

{Currently} February 12, 2015

Reading: I just finished reading Station Eleven, as one of the books on my list of books I aboslutely must read in 2015. My sister pushed me to read it and I’m glad she did. I don’t normally pick up sci-fi-ish books but this one didn’t seem so other worldly. If you’re looking for a good book to read, I recommend it. Now…what should I read next? (as if I don’t have enough to choose from on my Goodreads lists…)

Obsessed with: This isn’t really a new obsession but I’ve found myself watching a LOT of Fixer Upper lately. I get sucked into design and renovation shows on HGTV all the time. I think it’s because my mom is always decorating and redecorating the house and I think I’ve somehow acquired that design gene. Once a room is ‘finished’, I always seem to find a way to justify changing it. Fixer Upper is entertaining mostly because Chip and Joanna are a hilarious couple. I appreciate that they don’t take themselves too seriously. I’m contemplating moving to Texas just to befriend them…and their kids… and their puppies (don’t tell Barklee Ann).

Also, I splurged on a pair of new booties. Obsessed. They were really comfortable right out of the box.

2015-02-07 14.06.38

Restocking: my supply of Nuun. I think the last time I placed an order was October (gasp!), so I bought a ton of different flavors this time around. I’ve been trying to drink *at least* 24 oz of water before noon every day. After I stopped training for a specific race and dedicated time to recovery, I fell into the bad habit of sipping coffee all morning (it takes me a long time to finish one cup) and realizing once I sit down to lunch that I haven’t yet had any WATER. Morning workouts are few and far between these days but I’m doing myself zero favors by waiting to consume water until so late in the day.

Happy about: how I’m responding to training lately. It’s only my 6th week back to consistent mileage and I’m slowly but surely starting to feel like myself again. My PR at Monumental feels like such a long time ago (and it kind of was); I keep reminding myself that running isn’t necessarily going to feel that great in the beginning, but each week seems to improve. The first 4 weeks back in a routine were a slog with plenty of easy miles, zero true workouts, and a fair amount of cross training. Besides an angry piriformis and a few visits to the chiropractor in January, it was a standard little base building phase. At the end of February, I started adding small workouts like: 4 x 1200 at tempo pace with 400 m recovery and 10 x 1 min surges.

I like the routine of my hip strength and core strength routines, spin, yoga, and 5 runs per week (between 25-35mpw) right now.

2015-02-08 11.30.46

My sister and I ran a few miles together over the weekend. Looks a little different now doesn’t it?

October vs. February

Spending time: in Holland, MI with my family. Last weekend, I took the Amtrak up to Holland to spend the weekend with my mom, sister, and brother. We all had a free weekend and made plans to go up there and relax. The state park there is busy in the winter, with residents checking out the frozen lake. I couldn’t believe how far out people were walking – you could barely even see the water beyond all of the ice. Can’t wait to go back and enjoy it this summer 🙂

2015-02-07 14.28.16 2015-02-07 14.28.28 2015-02-07 14.29.16

Surviving: the winter blues. When Chicago received 22 inches of snow last week (one of our biggest blizzards ever), I thought, “okay, this isn’t so bad.” But the next day I woke up with a big old ‘deeeeeerrrrrrrrp’ & thought, “when the heck is this going to end?!”. I trained through the past two Chi winters to prepare for Boston so I’m no stranger to dealing with the elements. There’s something about just making it happen that makes you feel like a badass while everyone is inside running on the treadmill. Last year, I would do anything just to get to the lakefront and get a solid workout in. But I don’t have Boston on the horizon and I’m fine with ‘resorting’ to the treadmill for most workouts (the only run I’ve consistently done outside is my long run, mostly because I have the time to get to and from the lakefront path). It’s been fairly sunny lately, but those grey days are a big downer. I increased the amount of Vit D I’m taking and treating exercise like it’s my own personal sunshine. 35 days until spring, folks!

2015-02-01 11.55.57 2015-02-01 11.58.51 2015-02-01 11.59.21 2015-02-01 11.59.38 2015-02-01 12.00.11

Relaxing with: hot epsom salt baths. Summer = ice baths. Winter = epsom salt baths. I bought Dr. Teal’s salt bath for tension and fatigue a few weeks ago. I add in a little bit of bubble bath (because why not?!) and take a hot epsom salt bath after most of my long runs. Winter training is so different from training through the summer. In the winter, I sleep in and have a lazy morning drinking coffee while I procrastinate my run. In the summer, I chug a half a cup of coffee and get my butt out the door before the temps climb too high.

Are you surviving the winter? Are you loving it or are you over it?

-J

{Currently} November 10, 2014

In my post-marathon haze, I’ve realized just how boring a blog can be when LIFE isn’t really included in the whole training rundown. I used to be good about including life’s happenings in the weekly training recaps, but last cycle was anything but normal. I really enjoy reading Erin’s “currently” posts, so I decided to steal the concept. (So thanks for the idea and I apologize for stealing it, E!)

So, currently this is what’s happening!:

Reading: Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl. I’m almost done with the book and I think I still have mixed feelings about it. She’s received a lot of attention because of some specific passages and apparently had to cancel some book signings because of how they were received. I started watching her show, Girls, on HBO after seeing her film Tiny Furniture a few years ago. Most of the time, my reaction to her writing and to her show is somewhere between “omg this is a train wreck and I can’t look away” and cringing in embarrassment. That said, I think it’s refreshing that there is a show out there that portrays at least a few real life situations that 20-somethings have to deal with — even if it is a bit exaggerated. Next on my list of books to read? Wild by Cheryl Strayed (*finally* getting around to it!) and The Innovators by Walter Isaacson. I have them both on my iPad and now I just have to find the time to read them. Shouldn’t be too hard now that I’m not training, right?

2014-11-09 09.43.40

Decorating: Now that I’m not training and starting to feel like recovery is happening post-26.2, I suddenly have so much energy at the weirdest times. I go from being so sleepy to super energetic and back again. I have to do something with those spurts of energy and lately it’s been all about decorating and furnishing the apartment, two months after moving. I went on a cleaning rampage on Friday night and was going to go crazy if I didn’t hang some of our artwork and decor up on the walls. (Reverse taper crazy?) We finally decided on a look for the dining area & stumbled up on a customer furniture maker online, thanks to an ad he listed on Craiglist. This guy has been great to work with and had us choose the wood, stain, and style of our custom dining room table. I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT IT! It’s going to arrive just in time for Thanksgiving. We’re going for the rustic, industrial look.

2014-11-07 12.35.24

The chairs I bought online …

2014-11-07 12.35.59…and an example of the table that is being built this week!

Can’t stop smiling about: My sister’s half marathon PR at Outer Banks this past weekend! I woke up at 7 AM yesterday when I heard my phone ding. I had a few texts from her husband, updating the family on how she was doing. I signed up for text updates from the race but they never came through (until 1 hour after she finished the darn thing)! She looked so happy and relaxed at Mile 8 and I was so anxious to hear how she did! She ran a super strong and consistent race and I couldn’t be more happy for her. It’s been a crazy training cycle because she’s been dealing with chest congestion and an annoying cough for over a month (not kidding). Her doctor thinks it may be a specific allergy that she deals with at the same time every year but an allergy test didn’t come up positive. The fact that she ran such a strong race with breathing that wasn’t 100% clear is so awesome! I’m really excited to see what you do in the spring, Lin!

2014-11-09 11.59.07

This is Lindsey at Mile 8, screaming “I think I’m going to PR!!!!” Wahoooooo!

Drinking: A lot of beer (too much? never). Duh. #recovery

2014-11-08 16.44.18

Corey & CT

“Brunching” at 2 pm with these two (and Jacq!) normally turns into a long afternoon over a few drinks. It’s the best kind of Saturday.

Listening to: Serial! I first heard about Serial on the Slate Culture Gabfest podcast. I listen to a few podcasts off and on whenever I have the time, mostly on a lazy Sunday afternoon or right when I finish up work for the day. The story is already fascinating to me, only 1 episode in and I’ve heard it only gets more intriguing. It’s interesting to hear about people ‘binge-listening’ to this podcast just like they would binge-watch a show on Netflix. Has that ever happened before? I like it. Also, it’s the best kind of listening for an easy recovery spin at the gym. 53 minutes of spin with 53 minutes of Serial.

Planning: Our trip to Honolulu! In 5 weeks, my sister Brittany will run her first marathon with Saucony’s #26Strong program! We’ve been talking about and looking forward to the marathon since February of this year and I can’t believe we’re actually planning what we want to do, see, eat, and drink while we’re there! The plan is to run every single mile of the marathon with Brittany, as long as she wants me to. I am in full support of her racing it on her own if she really wants to OWN it. I’ll help her in any way that I can, for as long as she wants me to. My plan is to recover and slowly build some mileage in the next few weeks. I’m taking recovery seriously, now 8 days after 26.2. I haven’t run a single step (except to catch a bus the other day!) since the race so this week I’ll add in a few easy runs with some recovery spins at the gym to get back into a routine. I don’t plan on doing any tough speedwork & my longest run will probably be around 16 miles before we head to Honolulu. Brittany’s training is going so well and I’m really excited to share the experience with her. We nerded out about running Honolulu together when we were in LA for the Competitor photoshoot in July. Note: lots.of.makeup! Also, that’s an interesting facial expression.

So, what should we do while we’re there?! AKA, what *can* we do after running 26.2?

What have you been up to lately? Doing things you didn’t have time for during training, like me?

-J