Thursday, April 28, 2011

Training Weeks 12 & 13

These weeks were a bit compressed due to vacation. I didn't get in all my scheduled runs, but I did run while away in Hawaii.

Week 12
Monday - 5k tempo on the treadmill (yuck) at 5:47 pace
Tuesday - 7k easy at 6:17 pace
Wednesday - 9k with 8 hills
Sunday - 10k LSD (in Honolulu) at 7:26 pace

Total of 31k.

So the heat really sucked the energy out of me. We ended up walking a lot, and this run was partially up Diamond Head.

Week 13
Tuesday - 5k tempo in Kona, 5:45 pace - that one was TOUGH!
Wednesday - 6k, 6:43 pace
Thursday - 5k, 7:06 pace
Saturday - back in Honolulu, 13.5k including a 1.5 mile hike up and then back down Diamond Head crater.

Total of 29.5k.

So far this week, I haven't run one step. That's ok. I am really jet lagged, and traveled for a full day. I'm going to take this time to relax and will start back in this Sunday with my 18k LSD. It will be tough, but I'll do it and get back on schedule for next week.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Week 11

This week's training was good and bad. Not bad, really, but tired. I started the week with tired legs. Tuesday, I started off with a 5k tempo run before work. Wednesday, I ran with a new friend, and did 7 hills, for a total of 8.5k. Thursday was an easy 7k run with my clinic. Since I have plans tomorrow morning, I decided to do my long run today instead. It was tough. I ran alone, and in the afternoon in the lovely spring sunshine. Capris and a long sleeved shirt was too warm. My time was about 20 seconds slower per km than normal, but didn't feel slower.

Tuesday - 5k 5:45 pace
Wednesday - 7 hills, 8.5k, 7:38 pace (ran with a slower friend, and ran her pace)
Thursday - 7k 6:17 pace
Sunday - 16k 7:06 pace

I'm looking forward to my first Sunday rest day in months! This week was 36.5k in four runs. Next week, thankfully, is a cut back week.

Water for Elephants

... by Sara Gruen

First of all, I had no idea until yesterday that this was being made into a movie. I am interested to watch it now, though I'm sure I won't like it as much as the book. I didn't picture Jacob looking like Edward from Twilight, nor Marlena as a blond (played by Reese Witherspoon in the movie). I listened to this book as an audio book. I loved it. I had a hard time listening to a lot of it. It's an emotional book, and there is some graphic animal abuse that really bothered me to listen to.

This story is about a young man, just finishing vet school when he learns that both his parents were killed in a car accident. He doesn't sit his final exams, and doesn't graduate from school. Instead, he hops a train, and it is a circus train. The story is told from the perspective of young Jacob (in his 20s) and old Jacob who is 90, or 93, he can't remember. I LOVED the old Jacob parts, though I did choke up a few times while listening to him. Not so much fun when you're in the middle of a run!

You know that old Jacob has lost his wife, and his kids can't take care of him, so they put him in a home. He is mentally fine, just in an old man's body, and turns into a bit of a crotchedy old guy. He connects with one of the nurses at the home, and that relationship is quite touching. He recalls his past life some 70 years ago once a circus sets up in the lot next to the nursing home.

I just really enjoyed this one. Again, I don't want to give much away as I think you should all read it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


... by Amy Efaw

I ditched another book I was reading (and likely won't finish) to start After. I was hooked on the book within the first chapter. This book's main character is Devon Davonport. Blessed with the name of a stripper or soap star, Devon (middle name Sky, for "the sky is the limit") is determined to be nothing like her mother, Jennifer. Jennifer was a teen mom, having Devon when she was 16, and had an endless parade of men walking in and out of their lives for as long as Devon could remember. Scarred by the memories of walking in on her mother and numerous short term relationships, Devon is determined to be a strong, independent woman.

Devon is a soccer star, a straight A student, a hard worker. She's also the dependable one in her small family of just her and her mom. Devon hasn't known any other family other than her mom, and has memories of being a child and having her mom leave her alone for a whole weekend.

But then IT happens. The book is written with a balance of the present, and memories of the past. When we actually meet the characters, Devon is home sick from school as her mom gets home from working her graveyard shift at the grocery store. Jennifer is pleased to get to spend the day with Devon. Devon seems to be in a bit of a trance, not talking to her mother. Then the police arrive. Seems someone has found a newborn baby (still alive) in the garbage can out in the back alley. Jennifer tells them her 15 year old daughter is home from school and may have heard something, so they come in to talk to her.

Devon doesn't want to talk to the police. In the process of trying to get her to talk, Jennifer takes the blanket off Devon and they see her sweatpants are covered in blood. Devon passes out and wakes up in the hospital. Then she gets carted off to jail.

The character development is fantastic. You have a main character who ditched her newborn in the garbage can, but you empathize with her. You want her to get help, and to be able to rise above this terrible situation. It's a sad book that looks at some harder sides of life. But it is also somewhat uplifting. I really enjoyed it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Training, Week 10!

Another week done... 

Monday - rest

Tuesday - 4k tempo in 22:30 for 5:37 pace
Wednesday - 10k including 6*500m hill repeats, 6:23 pace
Thursday - 6k easy, 6:30 pace. This did not feel easy though, my legs were really tired from Tuesday and Wednesday. 
Friday - rest

Saturday - unplanned rest. Saturdays are my "play it by ear" day. If I'm tired, I take an extra rest day instead of an extra easy run. 
Sunday - 16k LSD, 6:48 pace. This did not feel easy either. I ran the first 4.5k alone to meet my clinic, then ran with them, and I really should have stuck with the 2:15 pace group, not the 2:00. But, the 2:00 leader saw me and said "are you running with us?" and I said "yep". I did run at the back of the pack, though, and backed off when they were going too fast. I'd always catch them on the walk breaks. Left them just as my garmin was at 15k and ran the last km alone. I am very pleased to say that I ran Maple Street! And, at the 14k point of my run. 

So that was 36k done in 4 runs. No wonder I am tired today. Actually, I made a better effort at hydrating and refueling today, so I don't feel as bad as I have other Sundays. I also let myself take a nice little nap after my second breakfast. 

Bring on week #11. 

Secret Daughter

... by Shilpi Somaya Gowda.

I started reading this one the other night and couldn't put it down. That was a nice change from the other book that I'm still in the middle of reading. It's a story about a girl, Asha, who was adopted from India. The story follows her life, and the lives of both her biological parents and her adoptive parents. Coming from my family, I find the adoption stories interesting.

Kavita and Jasu are her birth parents. They come from a small village in India, and cannot afford to keep a daughter. Asha, or Usha as Kavita called her, was the second daughter that Kavita gave birth to. The first was killed moments after her birth. Kavita cannot live with that horror again, so arranges with her sister to take this one to an orphanage, and tell Jasu that she died in the middle of the night. A year later, Kavita gives birth to a boy, Vijay, and Jasu is overjoyed. The family struggles a lot throughout the next twenty years.

Somer and Krishnan are the adoptive parents. Krishnan, or Kris, is from Bombay and went to the US for medical school, where he met Somer. He had intended on coming home to India to practice with his father, but he chose to stay in the states and start a life with Somer. When they discover that they cannot get pregnant, Kris convinces Somer to adopt a baby girl in India, and they travel over to pick up their new daughter.

Asha grows up, and you see the struggle that she has with feeling like she belongs, and is accepted. She fights with her mom, like a lot of teenage girls do, and feels the need to learn more about India and that part of her history. She moves to India for a year and lives with her paternal grandparents, and searches out her birth family.

I really liked the way they poked around the relationships in this story. I felt that some of it was obviously glossed over, but they got into some real issues that I could identify with. Everything wasn't happy, but it seems that people finally accepted what they were given in life, and learned to be thankful for what they have.

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's happened....

... I'm noticing the withdrawal from my "sites" for Lent. 

I gave up my three most frequented sites for Lent (though I am still allowed to log in on Sundays). The first few weeks were pretty easy, other than the habit of typing in the web address and getting to the log in screen and realizing what I'd done. Luckily, I had logged out, so I didn't break my fast. 

But I have to confess... A few times, I've gone to two of the sites and browsed without logging in. I have felt disconnected from some of the people that I've talked to only online for so long. Today, I want to log in. I won't. And I will make more of an effort to not "browse", which really is cheating. 

Only three more weeks....