Tag Archives: books

I’m Back + Exciting Things

Wow!  It’s been over a week since my last post but I’m back!  Time has flown by in spite of my limited time spent lifting, jumping and running as I roll on with marathon recovery and down time before my next training cycle begins.  I’ve been busy with three exciting things I’m ready to share so here’s what I’ve been up to these last seven days:

1.  Decision Making.  I know in this post I said I wasn’t sure about my next marathon or if I’d even run another one.  Well, one of my I’m Back announcements is that I will be back.  I’ll be hitting the road for 26+ miles on 12 March 2017 for the 3rd One City Marathon.  It might be a quest for redemption or just to prove it was really the sock’s fault or more likely both.  I know I can perform better and now I’ve given myself the chance to confirm it on the same course on, hopefully, another perfect day.

2.  Reading.  While standing, of course.  Taking a break from hours of running in a week doesn’t give me an excuse to sit on my rump.  Rest is not recovery!  It’s been a while since I’ve opened a running book but right now I’m back to it with Chi Running.  I’m always hungry to I'm backlearn more, hone my coaching abilities and find new ways to help guide my clients to crush their goals.  So far it’s been a nice compliment to what I know about similar training theories like Crossfit Endurance and Pose Method.  When I’m back running more than three or four miles at a time in a few weeks I’m excited to see what I’m able to apply to my own activities.

3.  Creating.  I’m not an incredibly creative person in terms of art but when I get my mind set on something I’m all in.  I started FitNicePT ages ago and while I love my clients and what I do every day, personal training isn’t my main focus.  I’ve moved on to being more of a running coach and that’s where I’d like to grow.  It’s challenging to start a new project but I’m back on the grindstone and looking forward to where this project is going to take anyone who’s a part of it.

Meredith

What have you been up to?  What are you reading?

January 2015 Right Now: A New Year!

It’s time to really kick off the new year.  My January 2015 Right Now features what I’m eating, scheduling and reading.  I’m excited about what the new year has in store and look forward to sharing some of favorites with you each month.  Here’s what I’m loving right now:

This recipe.  It’s easy to make, filling and a great way fuel my long run each week.  It also works wonders when it’s cold, rainy and all gloom and doom outside.  Hello, warm!  It takes some time january 2015 right nowto cook but makes a great freezer meal.

My spring race schedule is set!  I’ll kick off 2015 with Rock n Roll Arizona this weekend then have a break until serious training starts in February and racing again in March.  Rock n Roll DC and Shamrock, where I’m pacing the 1:52 group (yay!) are back to back in the middle of March and things wrap up with my target spring half in May.  I’m excited to have chosen the Prairie Fire Half Marathon in Wichita for both my Kansas race and target spring race then wrap things up with the EquiKids Cross Country 5k.

I’m reading Mark Divine‘s The Way of the SEAL for the second time.  My first read was just that.  I read and took what I could from the book.  When I cracked it open for the second time, my intentions were to start practicing the techniques and skills described in the book to see how I could benefit.  From the moment I began to reread the first chapter, I knew it wouldn’t be that simple.  I’ve reassessed my goal of implementing all 12 methods at once and have elected to work through two chapters each month.  I spend 30 minutes, twice a day specifically working on the principles Coach Divine describes is his best seller and sporadically during the day.  As I work to have better control over my thoughts and emotions, I’m excited to share my progress as the year moves forward.

That’s what I’m loving in my January 2015 Right Now and I hope you give the stew a try while registering for a spring race and settling down to pick up a good book.

Meredith

What’s your favorite winter recipe?  Are you reading something good?

Weather, Wine and Reading

I posted on Tuesday about a dream I had last Friday night, and since I’m posting a few days after the fact this week, I’ll tell you about my Monday even though it’s Thursday 🙂  Monday brought plain old nasty weather with sleet and about an inch of snow creating some slippery conditions that forced me to do some at home crosstraining instead of getting a run in.  After the workout, it was time to throw some salt outside, make dinner and relax.

wineAll evening long, snow came down, school closings were announced and work report times delayed.  I made a brand new beef stir fry (you can find it here, on the FitNicePT blog when it’s published), and Doug and I decided to open one of the bottles of wine we had picked up last week.  I did promise to review each of them, and after scanning the wine rack, our winner was the 2011 Running with Scissors Cabernet Sauvignon.  At only $10.99, we weren’t exactly expecting very much, but it wasn’t a total disappointment.  It was an easy drinking, light bodied, not very fragrant California red wine that tastes grapey and has little aroma.  Another year or two in the bottle might do it some good, but for a crowd or an everyday, house wine, it’s a great value.  We partnered it with a beef stir fry, and I expect it would pair well with just about anything since the wine isn’t too powerful, but have to say a hearty, flavorful food will easy overtake it.wine

While sipping on a glass of wine, I settled into the couch with my latest book, Lone Survivor.  I had been to see the movie, and since I’ve found in most cases where a book has been translated into a screenplay, the book is superior, figured I needed to give this one a try.  So far, it’s been excellent.  Well written, fast moving and incredibly engaging, I can’t wait to dive back in.

Before turning another page, I’ll knock out my final long training run before the Shamrock.  It looks to be wet and windy tomorrow, but at least it’s only 10 miles!  I can’t believe how fast it’s approaching.  I was just feeling like training was dragging on forever and the race would never arrive, but lucky for me, it’s almost here.

Meredith

Do you have a favorite everyday red wine?  What are you reading right now?

Two Books are Better than Two Movies

Movies are great.  Except for when they come from a book.  I’ve recently finished two novels, one of which is about to hit theaters and the second of which is slated for a fall release.  February 7, 2014, Robert Edsel’s The Monuments Men will be in your local movie theater, while Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places will show up in September.  I won’t recommend either film, but I won’t put the kabash on going to see either of these movies either.  Why?  Because the book is always better than the movie, and I loved both books.

dark placesHaving read these two wonderful novels back-to-back, it was interesting to sit back afterwards and think about how they would translate into film.  Dark Places seems ripe for translation to screen, while I really struggled to see how The Monuments Men will work in another medium.  Of course, lots of books seem like they’ll make great movies and end up being, eh, not-so-good on the big screen.  Take one of my all-time favorite flicks, The Godfather, and one of my favorite television series, Game of Thrones, a a pair of examples.  The movie/show is amazing.  Until you read the books.  Writing rich in detail, plot lines that twist and turn, and small but important characters are dulled, dropped and deleted from film editions.  For me, that sometimes makes the movie a disappointment, even though I understand the difficulty of taking a book to the big (or small) screen.

The Monuments Men was a fantastic tale of war, friendship and adventure that I really do not see making a good film at all.  The production company has enlisted a stellar cast and, I’m sure, not spared a dime in its efforts to create a success.  With pages and pages of moviesfootnotes following the story’s end, it’s hard to imagine how that much history will appear on screen.  Intricacies in the characters’ relationships, in their missions and the history lessons they teach the reader won’t be easy to put on film, and to be honest, I’m not sure I want to see it there.  Each sentence that doesn’t make it from the text to the script will feel like a gaping hole in the tribute to a group of people who fought valiantly to save both our own culture and the enemy’s.

Dark Places, on the other hand, is sincerely a thriller.  This is one I can’t wait to see.  The novel’s plot, characters and design beg to be taken to the movies.  I’ll be interested to see what is left out of the film, and unlike with The Monuments Men, believe absences won’t necessarily hurt the genuineness of Flynn’s story.

In in the end, I expect to find The Monuments Men a let down, but wholly expect to enjoy Dark Places.  Nothing can ruin the books for me, but the books sure can ruin the movies.

Meredith

Do you think books make good movies?  What are your favorites?

Beach It

Saturday dawned a gorgeous day and not even a nagging headache could make me want to stay inside.  A short morning run in the sand and Boot Camp were both breezy and cool with a typically beautiful sunrise to match the weather that came with The Great Cool Down.  After a Saturday afternoon nap that managed to clear out my nagging three day old headache and a few very exciting loads of laundry, it was off to a lovely dinner at Rudee’s on the Inlet (I review it here) and a few games of darts in the garage before heading to bed in preparation for a big beach morning.  It wasn’t, and isn’t, very sunny today, likely due to the predicted rain this afternoon, but the clouds kept the crowds away and I was able to accomplish my goal of finishing A Dance with Dragons with only the sound of waves to distract me.

Checking the last page of A Dance with Dragons off my list was the icing on the ‘get stuff done’ list, as a great week of workouts finished up yesterday with three miles in the sand as a final prep in the sand for next Sunday’s Fall 2013 season opener, the Sandbar 5K.  Recently, all of my training in the sand has been barefoot, but as I mentioned last week, I plan to race shod in a pair of old runners.  I wanted to get back into shoes for a training run because I know how much my stride changed when I took them off and could only assume it would change again with them back on.  It did.  My pace increased in the packed sand and the deep stuff was slightly easier to navigate, so I’m happy I’ve decided to race with my rubber soled friends.  This first race week of the Fall season will feature interval speed work, two short, hard runs at 2 and 4 miles, one day of strength training and only one day of rest before the race.  Before a half marathon, I finish running three days before the race and take two days to let my muscles recover before running 13.1 hard miles, but for a short run like the Sandbar, I should be alright with just one.  If I don’t feel good about the race afterwards, I’ll have to sit back and figure out why, then chalk it up to the learning curve.

Something I definitely feel good about, however, is finishing A Dance with Dragons.  Regrettably, closing the cover of it has left me yearning for the sixth tome of George R.R. Martin’s epic to hit his publisher’s desk, but it sounds like it might be a while.  I’ve made mention of the book along the way, but now that it’s all wrapped up, my official review is here.  Next on the shelf is Bruce Cameron’s A Dog’s Purpose, a best seller told from a dog’s eye view of the world.  Like Marley and Me and The Art of Racing in the Rain, I expect a few tearful moments but an overall delightful story.

Now it’s on to Race Week and work to finish prepping for the launch of FitNicePT’s newest program, the Virginia Beach Mother Runners, on August 1st.  The next seven days look to be fairly exciting, and I’m ready to get Fall 2013 under way!

Meredith