Category: Rants

Books I’ve read (or tried to) so far this year

By , January 12, 2018 7:38 am

I received all of these books as gifts, except Life’s Too Short To Go So F*cking Slow, which I bought myself.

What Made Maddy Run is about Madison Holleran, a college freshman and track athlete at University of Pennsylvania, whose death by suicide was a horrible shock to her loved ones and the college community. This story began as a column written by Kate Fagan for espnW, then Fagan developed it in to a book.

The book discusses Holleran’s story, Fagan’s story (she also struggled as a freshman college athlete), the pressure on young people, and suicide. I was mostly interested in Holleran’s story, not so much the author’s (ha, sorry), and found the insight on social media’s effect on young people (and everyone!) to be very interesting.

I struggled with keeping interest in some of the pages when it was copies of texts or chats, but other than that, the book held my interest. I recommend it! It leaves you with a lot to think about.

Life’s Too Short To Go So F*cking Slow is the story of Susan Lacke and her friend Carlos. In the beginning of the book, Lacke has just moved to Arizona as a newlywed, works at a university, and does not have her sh*t together. She is greatly intimidated by her boss, Carlos, who’s an orderly, hardass Ironman athlete.

One day Carlos tells her she is going to join him swimming the next day, and she goes. And keeps going. And becomes interested in swimming, cycling, then running. Eventually she starts doing triathlons. Carlos keeps pushing her, and doesn’t put up with her whiny bullsh*t. They develop a unique relationship that she cherishes. This book documents stories from their years of friendship.

Yeah, that’s a horrible description, ha, but this read was super quick and enjoyable! I finished it in just a few hours. If you like relationship stories, you’ll like this.

I saw an interview with Louise Green in Bicycling Magazine, and I enjoyed it, and it mentioned her book, Big Fit Girl, so I put it on my wishlist without looking it to it too much. Oops. I was hoping it would be more story-based, but it seems more like a “rah rah, love your body”/inspirational kind of book, with some reference information in it, and it’s not for me. I didn’t get very far.

Something similar happened with Race Everything by Bart Yasso. I tried to read it, but it was too reference-y, with lots of training plans, and tips, and not very much story telling (although there is some!). I think I should be reading Yasso’s book My Life on the Run, instead. Again, my bad!


By , December 27, 2017 6:39 am

People are already mentioning their anticipation of “resolutioners” crowding their gyms after the new year.


There must be something I am missing, likely because I only go to a large gym to swim, and teach at a small studio – the crowding tends not to affect me. (Is that all it is? People using the equipment/machines you want to use?)

But why all the grumbling, and meanness, toward someone who is only trying to get healthier? Someone who could potentially be a new friend? Someone you could potentially help out, and in turn, help them stick to their fitness goals?

Don’t dread the “resolutioners”!

I wrote about this two years ago, and I still feel the same way:

For the entire year, but especially January:

To all the friends/family/acquaintances/strangers you see beginning or restarting their fitness journey – BE ENCOURAGING. BE KIND. BE PATIENT.

People succeed when they’re part of a supportive group of people sharing a similar goal (in this case, becoming healthier). Be part of that group for them. It’s hard enough to be consistent with a fitness routine. Don’t make it more intimidating for beginners.

If you’re working out for the first time, starting up again, or trying to ramp intensity up – BE ENCOURAGING, BE KIND, BE PATIENT – with yourself.

It will be hard at first. Know that with consistency, it becomes easier. Don’t dwell on what you could do in the past. Life is static and we change. How boring would life be if we didn’t have continual hiccups giving us an opportunity to demonstrate our resilience?!

You can see the rest of that post, here!

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By , December 21, 2017 6:23 am
  • Happy first day of winter! The days only get longer from tomorrow until June 21!
  • We saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Saturday. I didn’t love it, but was mostly entertained, which is all I can ask for when seeing a movie in the theater!

  • Oh my gosh, poor Snow. I think his “friends” are hazing him. Every morning (and sometimes afternoon) we find his food bowl in a different spot – often in the middle of the yard!
  • A pet peeve of mine is when someone asks me a question once, and I tell them “no” or “I don’t know” and they ask again shortly after. It’s still “no” or “I don’t know.” Come on. Nothing changed in the last few seconds/minutes. I STILL DON’T KNOW.
  • Someone must have recently given out my blog email address because I am getting several emails a day asking me to post about products or share information for “immediate release.” Spam and unsubscribe.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 159

Random Thoughts Thursday 157

By , November 30, 2017 6:20 am
  • Is anyone else listening to Sia’s new album, Everyday is Christmas? I downloaded it a couple of weeks ago (thanks to a recommendation from a Facebook friend, Susan) and have been listening to it on repeat! Yay, new Christmas music!

  • On Tuesday Facebook changed the size of group page cover images, making all existing images cropped. I was annoyed, but figured I’d just reformat them. I changed the images to the two pages I administer to the new size, but every time I uploaded them (at the right size), Facebook zoomed in on them, essentially cropping them, again. I tried a few more times and eventually just padded the images so that you could see the content. What a sloppy annoying mess.
  • The honeymoon period has worn off with my work detail. I still like the work itself significantly more than my last position, but some of the typical office bs that I was able to deal with better at the beginning of the detail is starting to get to me now. I’m not surprised. Just tired.
  • My mom is doing the Holiday Mile Challenge with me and is kicking butt at walking her mile each day. I’m proud of you, Mom!
  • Here’s the watch face I am rocking right meow! (The snowflakes “fall” in the background!) Notice – no visible step count, ha ha ha.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 156

Random Thoughts Thursday 156

By , November 16, 2017 6:15 am
  • Gah, it’s hard to believe all of the holiday celebrations start so soon! Who else has something going on every week until the end of the year?
  • Speaking of holiday celebrations, remember when I said I hate looking for restaurants? Guess who got voluntold to plan a party for thirty-five people? SO not happy about that. Especially that I have to get all the options together by end of the day tomorrow. And was just told to do it yesterday.
  • When Mom and I were at NeoCon, we didn’t have time to see everything, so we only went to showrooms I needed to visit for work, and showrooms with awesome giveaways (ha). Mom insisted on going in to one that didn’t interest me, but then came out with this lunch bag and I decided to get one too. And… I freaking love it. It’s the only lunch bag I’ve ever had that fits all my food in it. So, thank you, Mom, for going in to that small showroom I said “no” to. Ha ha.

  • Blah. Garmin Connect changed the “last 12 months” display from a line chart showing number of activities to a bar chart showing overall mileage by activity and me no likely. I referenced the line chart often to compare the amount of my current month’s activities to the previous month’s (I used it as motivation!). I can’t see that information anymore, since it’s in miles. And swimming basically disappears!



  • Ha ha ha, look what found its way back to my house! The MBP Bracelet went back and forth between mom and Christina, and then came my way. I was NOT surprised to see it in this package. Heh, package. (Isn’t that an adorable cat bed it’s resting on though?!)

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 155

Random Thoughts Thursday 155

By , November 9, 2017 6:28 am
  • Two years ago, I wrote about the ponytail rule my middle school track coach had –
    he didn’t want to see any lateral sway in our ponytails when we ran. The implication was that it meant you were running inefficiently. In the comments, we couldn’t figure out WHY. Well, guess what I saw in an article in the November/December issue of Chicago Athlete? A somewhat explanation. Ha! I am still going to wear my hair in a bun and not worry about it though.

  • Anyone who eats out with me knows that I LOVE Red Robin because they have a vegan and vegetarian burger option, and bottomless (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) fries. They are phasing out those burger options though, and replacing it with just one vegan* “ancient-grain-and-quinoa” (read: “trying to look healthy”) burger, and guess what? It’s gross (taste and texture). So gross I didn’t finish my burger last time I was there and I ALWAYS FINISH MY FOOD. Why Red Robin, why? Steven emailed them last month about the change and they sent some generic response. I emailed them again this week pleading they bring back the Boca burger (no response yet). That used to be my easy go to place with big groups of people, and I don’t think it will be anymore. Bummer.

  • A local station started playing holiday music on Tuesday. Yay! I love holiday music, and it’s fun when the season is over, because then I get to hear all the new tunes I missed when they came out because I was listening to holiday music.
  • Has anyone else started using the new google calendar? I like how it adds images to some of my events based on the title, like this one with swimming:

*They told us it was vegan on the phone, but we can’t confirm it on their website

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 154

Random Thoughts Thursday 139

By , June 29, 2017 6:21 am
  • Our power went out last night! Why am I excited? Because our generator kicked on right away, and we were able to keep watching Game of Thrones during the storm (and more importantly, our sump pumps keep running). The generator ran for an hour and a half, then the power came back on.
  • Khali was freaked out during the storm. She wanted Data to comfort her, but all he wanted to do was give her side-eye.

  • I’ve mentioned this before but I am going to be more specific this time (and could definitely dedicate a whole post to this rant). What is with people one-upping each other on Facebook when someone else posts an athletic achievement? I constantly see people posting a specific distance they ran/biked/swam and instead of (some, not all) commenters simply liking it or saying “good for you” they just comment with how they did more that day. Sigh. PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW YOU WORKED OUT MORE! I also see similar stuff when people post what time of day they worked out (“I worked out earlier than that,” etc.). Sigh. I guess some people don’t care about sharing what they do, until they can use it look like they are doing more than someone else? And this is (part of) why I don’t post or do much on Facebook.
  • At the same time, I also don’t get people who lie about their athletic achievements on social media. The truth is out there, and the internets will find it. Ha ha.
  • THIS IS NOT SPONSORED! Steven bought some OxiClean to work on a stain and holy schnit, this stuff is the bomb. My running hydration vest was so stinky I thought I was going to have to throw it out and get a new one, but I soaked it in OxiClean and hot water and it doesn’t smell anymore! It also got the smell out of some other items. I had tried other methods (vinegar, soaking in detergent, sports wash) and they’d never worked – I am really excited this does!

  • ALSO NOT SPONSORED. We bought a handheld vacuum to clean up cat hair and other small messes and so far I really like it! I will post the brand/model after we use it some more.
  • I send my mom and snis pics during my runs and my snister said (about the one below) “that looks like it should be a Dell desktop background.” Ha! Now I will have to try to send them more “desktop background” worthy pictures.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 138

Another reminder!

By , April 17, 2017 12:19 pm

So soon? Crazy!

I was scrolling through my Instagram recommended feed this weekend and clicked on a picture and was really disappointed by the text, which was that person making fun of another person they saw working out during their workout.


It really bugs me when people on social media* make fun of other people (strangers) they see working out (or doing anything!), and ESPECIALLY if they’ve included a picture of them. I know annoying things happen and it feels good to vent about it and have other people agree, but it’s just NOT COOL.

If what’s happening is a real issue of safety, or someone is heavily violating gym etiquette, get an authoritative figure involved.

Otherwise, I don’t want to read** about someone who does xyz too slow, has bad form, sweats too much, looks stupid in their gym clothes, and so on and so on. Unless it’s about how you’re helping them, focus on you! And support the other people who are out there trying to get healthy, even if they are annoying AF!

*Just do it offline! Vent to a friend!
**Ha ha, so don’t read it, right? I don’t – when I see stuff like this, I usually skip it. I just happened to see this on Instagram!

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By , April 6, 2017 6:46 am
  • My mom loves to wrap gifts. I don’t, and am horrible at it, so when I was in my hometown last weekend, I brought my baby shower gift for her to wrap! Darn – looking back at it, I should have brought all those April birthday gifts for her to wrap, too!

  • I forgot to mention two things in my 5K race report. One, I forgot my headphones. Gah! I was so mad when I realized it, forty miles away from home. Then I remembered how fast Pete runs without them, and told myself to suck it up. Two, when I was telling my mom I forgot my headphones, I said “at least I didn’t forget my racing flats!” Then, once she realized I was racing on shoes with less support, she worried about it that night and until after the race when she asked me if my feet hurt from using them. Ha ha. No.
  • Woo hoo! I saw this sign at the nearby Van Patten Woods Forest Preserve last week. The Forest Preserve is making a wider shoulder to get to Van Patten Woods, and extending a trail from it to another preserve – Pine Dunes Forest Preserve. This all equals safer running for me! This small expansion is part of the Millennium Trail. Once that entire trail is completed, I’ll be able to run all the way to my old townhome (about twenty miles away) and even further beyond that!

  • Steven and I enjoyed our “book club for two” last summer and have been wanting to read another book together. We finally picked one out – Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. I like reading about real people, and Steven likes reading about businessmen, so I hope it’s another winner!
  • Blah. I’m so sick of seeing people trying to one-up each other online. Guys, we all live normal, mediocre lives. If you can’t say “good for you,” when someone shares something they’re excited about, just move along. Seriously.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 129


By , December 9, 2016 6:17 am

After class this morning, I was talking to the owner of the studio and he mentioned that he saw my picture on the Frosty Foot race brochure, and commented on how it is now a 2 mile race.

Um… what?


Rachel is on there too!

When I sent in my registration form for this race, it mentioned the race would be at a new area, but said it would be a 5K. This is my goal 5K each year, and I have already started training with it in mind and, so to hear it got changed to a 2 mile race made me feel upset. Which I realize is completely silly – it’s just a race.

So I guess now I have a few options:

  1. Train for the two miler
  2. Find a different 5K to train for and still do the two miler
  3. Find a different 5K to train for an ask for a refund on the two miler
  4. Ask for a refund on the two miler and train for nada! Ha!

Blah. It’s a crappy move on their end to switch up the distance after registration has been opened. I wish I had a copy of my original registration form! I can see online that they switched it to a three miler, before it became the two miler.


And now it’s listed as being an all-terrain course, so, yeah… meh. But there’s worse things in life so whatever! At least the people who work there are super nice – they actually called when they got my registration form to confirm my new address. Hopefully they’re as nice when I call this time just to see what’s up with the switcharoo.

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