Friday Five 2.0: Winter Actvities

It’s Friday and I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!
Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

This week, the theme is Favorite Winter Activities

I’ll say it up front.  I hate the cold!!

If I didn’t run, I would never go outside.

I don’t ski, snowboard, ice skate, sled, snow shoe…nada!

Keeping that in mind, here are my favorites:

1. Running (only cuz I sign up for races & winter half marathons to make me get out there)



2. Tennis (Indoors) – I play doubles once a week.


3. Knitting – I am not very experienced but I have made socks, hats & scarfs.




4. Cooking (on the weekends) – I love to make soups & chili.


5. Reading  I always read every night before I go to sleep.

These two are recent favorites:

Image result for man called Ove

Image result for all the light we cannot see

I just started this one:

Image result for small grea tthings

Happy Running! What are some of your favorite winter activities?


Friday Five: If only I had more time…

I am linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!
Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers

Today’s topic is: Five Activities You Wish You Had Time For:

This is a tough one.  Running is my preferred activity.  I am glad that I can squeeze it in.  With work and family/social activities, there’s not much time left for anything else.

So these are things that I enjoy but don’t have enough time for…

1. Reading

I love to read. So I try to read before I go to bed.  But it’s always too late so I only get a few pages done.

2. Watching TV

Again, I am rarely home enough to watch TV.  I DVR a few shows (This is US, Grey’s Anatomy, Call the Midwife) but finding the time to watch them is a struggle. I know there a lot of great shows out there.  Who has the time?

3. Fitness Classes such as Yoga, Zumba, Spinning, etc.

I never seem to find the time for yoga and I would love to try some other classes, as well.

4. Quilting

Before running, I used to quilt.  I belonged to a quilt guild and went on retreats.  I haven’t touched it in years.  My artistic side enjoyed picking out the materials and assembling the squares.

my quilt guild buddies

5. Tennis

Also before running, I played tennis everyday. I was part of several teams as well. Now, I play only several times a month.

my 2010 team which went on to compete in Regionals

Happy Running! Which other activities do you wish you had time for?


Friday Five: Favorite Winter Actvities & Runfessions December


Every Friday, three DC area bloggers Mar at Mar On the Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC to host the Friday Five linkup.  Anyone can join with their own Friday Five post (yes, it must be a Friday Five!!)  They encourage you to visit other blogs on the linkup, comment, share and engage!

This week, the theme is  Favorite Winter Activities:

I’ll say it up front.  I hate the cold!!

If I didn’t run, I would never go outside.

I don’t ski, snowboard, ice skate, sled, snow shoe…nada!

Keeping that in mind, here are my favorites:

1. Running – I sign up for races & winter half marathons to make me get out the door.  I hate the treadmills so unless it’s impossible, I run outside.


HMRRC WS#4 - 15K

2. Tennis (Indoors) – I play doubles once a week. I have a contract on Tuesdays at 6-7:30 pm.  The women I play with are wonderful and we always go out to dinner afterwards.


3. Knitting – I am not very experienced but I have made socks and hats. I find it very relaxing especially in the evening by the fire. And you can multi-task – knit, chat & watch TV.

4. Cooking (on the weekends) – I love to make soups, stews, quiches & chili. Since during the week, I work and am busy every evening, I do my cooking for the week on Saturday or Sunday (my non- long run day.)


5. Reading  I’ve always loved to read. I read every night before I go to sleep. I still go the library and take out real books. When I am traveling, I’ll read on my iPad.

Loved these!!! any recommendations?

It’s that time again.  Time to get things off my chest with Marcia’s Runfessions at Marcia’s Healthy Slice
I runfess…
My hubby hates to shop and besides he is an awful gift giver.  He always buys me jewelry that I don’t need or like.  I used to keep it but now I just return it and pick out something else.
I, on the other hand, love to pick out gifts and always seem to know how to buy the perfect gifts.
So this year, I bought my own gifts – a wall hanger for my medals (my DIY one broke), new bands for my Fitbit and some more SkirtSports items.  I think I may even wrap them and open them on Christmas morning.

don’t you love this one?

If I write that I got the best gifts ever, you’ll know why.
I runfess…
I am trying get over that pitiful performance on my last half marathon (but it’s hard when friends are still asking you how it went) by thinking ahead to the next one.
On February 7, I will try to redeem myself – that is if it is not warm , windy and humid in Florida.  But I plan to have a better attitude about the whole thing and just enjoy running it.  I know the course is awesome and I can’t wait to spend 6 days in Florida with friends (while it is freezing here).
relaxing in the sun at Boca Grande beach

March 2013 in Sarasota. looking for sunshine this trip.

But I am still mulling over what I could have done differently so I don’t have a repeat performance. Is this normal?  How long does it take to forget a race?
I runfess…
I am disappointed that for the 2nd year in a row I didn’t get into the lottery for the NYC Half Marathon.  I really wanted to run that race. If only I were faster, (I think 2:05 finish time), I could automatically get in.
Any suggestions for a late March, early April half marathon???
The other spring halfs that I was considering are Brooklyn Half Marathon and the Steel Rail Half Marathon.  I don’t have the time or money to fly all over the place (& my hubby wouldn’t go) so I like to pick ones that are nearby.  They are both May 21, 2016.
Normally that would be doable and fall right after my tennis vacation in Naples. But this year, exams where I work don’t end until May 15 so my tennis vacation will be later and I will be away during those races.

love running but love these ladies more

Only for a second (sorry tennis ladies), I thought about bailing.  But I love my friends and now, my hopes lie with the VCM Relay.  I hope AJH is lucky again this year.

May 29, 2016

I runfess…
My sweet tooth is going crazy. Christmas cookies!! They’re everywhere!!  I can’t stop.  I need a support group.

christmas cookie exchange at work

Happy Running! What are some of your favorite winter activities? Anything to Runfess?


What I’m Reading Wednesday

I like to read and I like to run so joining this book club was a no brainer.


I was lucky to work at the NYS Bar Exam for two days and had nothing to do but READ.

Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home chose the book below:


Here is the summary from Goodreads (in case you are interested…)

This laugh-out-loud comedic memoir of life as an overweight runner moves along at a five-minute-per-mile pace. Jennifer Graham doesn’t run to lose weight—she runs because she loves it. And as much as she runs, her excess poundage never leaves. So she accepts her body type for what it is, and runs for the sheer joy of it. But along the way she must endure not only her self-made exhaustion and lactic acid, but also the bemused stares of neighbors, offers of a car ride from strangers, and disdain from the dominant strain of runner—those long, lean “shirtless wonders.”

The story revolves around her decision to run a serious half-marathon race, and her imaginary coaching relationship with the spirit of Steve Prefontaine. The late, great Oregon distance star gives her advice and encouragement, and doesn’t like excuses. (“Yeah, I know he’s been dead thirty-five years; it’s a minor metaphysical challenge.”) Moreover, the race is one month after Graham’s ex-husband is getting remarried (to a skinny woman), and the emotional rollercoaster heightens the intensity of her running. As she says, “If training for it doesn’t help me get over the pain, at least it will keep me preoccupied.”

Her irreverent, hilarious, and brutally honest story will appeal to runners and non-runners alike, fat or thin.

I downloaded it to my iPad and read the whole thing in ONE day.

I loved it.

And I smiled while reading the whole thing. I might have laughed out loud but I was at an exam where I was require to be silent.

I enjoyed the conversational tone of her writing and I will remember many of her inspirational remarks. I found myself nodding when I read them:

  • When talking about, though 50 lbs overweight, being able to run without stopping – “Maybe the difference between the people who can and who can’t has nothing to do with their bodies. Maybe the difference is what’s in their dreams”
  • When talking about those runners who ran the Boston Marathon in a Nor’easter – “No, we’re not (nuts). We’re addicts. We’re addicted to serenity and joy.”
  • “When I exercise, I feel good. When I don’t exercise, I don’t… I prefer to feel good…”
  • “There are some people who think that runners are snobs. These people are called non-runners. And they’re right, of course.  There is a certain hubris you develop when you do things no one else does.”
  • After running a half marathon – “There is a runner’s high, yes, but no less significant is the runner’s afterglow.  It is the delicious exhaustion of a body used to completion.”
  • After finding a pair of running shorts that don’t ride up – “What’s on my legs, how they feel, is as important as what’s on my feet.”  (I feel this way about running skirts and why I hate shorts.)
  • “In the beginning, I’d been rigid as a lamppost with regular routes, times and distances from which I didn’t deviate.” (Yup.  I took me years to discover those bike paths that I frequent now.)
  • (There’s) a significant communication gap between a runner and a non-running spouse.  The non-runners don’t know the right questions to ask.” (Yes, unfortunately true but not a deal breaker. I am happily married to someone who lacks “speed goggles.”)
  • “If someone is watching me…I tend to straighten my shoulders and lengthen my stride, pick the pace up just a little.” (Always…even if I think they may be looking.)
  • “… jack rabbits are faster. But in a race, I’m on my feet twice as long as they are.  Shouldn’t that count for something?” (Sure, I’ve felt like that especially when running in the pouring rain.)
  • About running a race with an iPod- “…it would take away from the experience. Why run in a group if you’re only going to be present in your head?” (I feel the same way. I never race with music.)
  • …”if I lived without mirrors and I was unable to see my face, I would think I was thirty-three.” (I feel younger than ever.  If if only there weren’t those wrinkles and gray hairs…)
  • “I believe walking has benefits, but running has more.”
  • “I believe everyone who can run, should.” (Yes!!)
  • “The sense of accomplishment is always within.” (Have to remember that!)

I also identified with a lot of the story.

No, I am am not overweight and I do not run to lose weight.  In fact, I have gained weight since I started running.  (I would like to say that it is muscle but my clothes tell me otherwise.)

I remember running my first mile by measuring it with my car odometer. Then I progressed to the Nike sensor in the shoe and syncing it to my iPod.

I remember training for my first half marathon.  I didn’t tell anyone because I was afraid that I wouldn’t succeed.

Of course as soon as I crossed that finish line, I realized that I was addicted and wanted to run more.

I also realized that running half marathons was not just for elite super fast serious runners.  Anyone can if they put their mind to it.

This book is a great read for someone who wants to run, but thinks it’s just for skinny or fast runners. Graham makes running seem desirable for everyone, no matter their weight or speed.

If you’re looking for motivation to get started running, she definitely delivers. And if you’re an experienced runner, you will still enjoy the entertaining way she tell her stories.

If you like to read and like to run, why not join this book club too?

Here are Wendy’s instructions:

We’re going to read one book per month and comment or review it collectively on my blog or link to your blog! You don’t have to be a blogger to participate. And you don’t have to read the selection of the month if it doesn’t interest you. Any running or fitness related book is welcome. 

Just a couple of rules:
1. If you do link to my blog, all I ask is that you link back to me via your blog or whatever social media you participate in. Sharing is caring, after all! Plus the more people that participate, the more fun and lively the discussion will be! The link up logo is below and on my facebook page.
2. Please keep your comments friendly. Honesty is welcome, but try to keep it nice. 
3. The book I choose is just a suggestion. I’ll try hard to appeal to everyone, but it doesn’t always work that way. Any fitness/running/nutrition related book is welcome.
4. And if you have a book you want to suggest, please let me know! I’m open to suggestions.
5. I’ll post the book suggestion on my review around the 14th of each month. 
6. The link up will be open on/around the 14th of each month and stay open for 2 weeks. 
7. I’m going to try my best to have authors participate as well, so if you have questions for them, don’t hold back! Now’s your chance to get all your questions answered.
You can also join the Goodreads group that I’ve started. But all the discussions will take place on the blog. It’s just another place to connect!
Please use the linkup photo above on your review and link back to the blog.
Happy Running! Have you read this book?  If so, what did you think?

What I am reading Wednesday


Sorry this is not a running-related post (Well, it sorta is.)

I love to read and do it nightly but when I am on vacation, I read more.

I have a great local library so I can request anything and get it pretty quickly.

From Goodreads:

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

I enjoyed this book!  The movie was good but the book is much better.

From Goodreads:

Bruce Grierson explores what the wild success of a ninety-three-year-old track star can tell us about how our bodies and minds age. Olga Kotelko is not your average ninety-three-year-old. She not only looks and acts like a much younger woman, she holds over twenty-three world records in track and field, seventeen in her current ninety to ninety-five category. Convinced that this remarkable woman could help unlock many of the mysteries of aging, Grierson set out to uncover what it is that’s driving Olga. He considers every piece of the puzzle, from her diet and sleep habits to how she scores on various personality traits, from what she does in her spare time to her family history. Olga participates in tests administered by some of the world’s leading scientists and offers her DNA to groundbreaking research trials. What emerges is not only a tremendously uplifting personal story but a look at the extent to which our health and longevity are determined by the DNA we inherit at birth, and the extent to which we can shape that inheritance. It examines the sum of our genes, opportunities, and choices, and the factors that forge the course of any life, especially during our golden years.

From Goodreads:

One part personal quest to discover running greatness after age 50, one part investigation into what the women’s running boom can teach athletes about becoming fitter, stronger, and faster as we age, Older, Faster, Stronger is an engrossing narrative sure to inspire women of all ages. A former overweight smoker turned marathoner, Margaret Webb runs with elite older women,follows a high-performance training plan devised by experts, and examines research that shows how endurance training can stall aging. She then tests herself against the world’s best older runners at the world masters games in Torino, Italy.

From Goodreads:

This is not just a book about running. It’s a book about cupcakes. It’s a book about suffering.

It’s a book about gluttony, vanity, bliss, electrical storms, ranch dressing, and Godzilla. It’s a book about all the terrible and wonderful reasons we wake up each day and propel our bodies through rain, shine, heaven, and hell.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author, Matthew Inman, AKA The Oatmeal, comes this hilarious, beautiful, poignant collection of comics and stories about running, eating, and one cartoonist’s reasons for jogging across mountains until his toenails fall off.

Containing over 70 pages of never-before-seen material, including “A Lazy Cartoonist’s Guide to Becoming a Runner” and “The Blerch’s Guide to Dieting,” this book also comes with Blerch race stickers.



I am looking forward to reading the above books.

Happy Running! Have you read any of these? What did you think? Any other good running books to recommend?


Friday Five: Off From Work Actvities


Every Friday, three DC area bloggers Mary at Mar On the Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC to host the Friday Five linkup.  Anyone can join with their own Friday Five post (yes, it must be a Friday Five!!)  They encourage you to visit other blogs on the linkup, comment, share and engage!

This week, the theme is Free Friday. So since this is my only stay at home vacation of the year, I’ve chosen to post about My Top 5 Off Work Activities.



Of course, what else?  I can run in the morning, in the afternoon or in the evening.  I can run when the sun comes out or it has stopped raining.  I can run near home or drive to a bike path or to a park.  I can even run with a non-working friend. It is so delightful!!


at the Crossings Park at 10 am with Judy


I don’t enjoy it but I know it good for me to do something other than running.  However when I work, I don’t have (make) time for it.



I do enjoy it and before I started playing tennis and running, I used to cook a lot.


2 of my favorites things to make

This week, I’ve made eggplant parm, tuna noodle casserole, meatloaf, vegetable soup…my hubby’s favorite dishes since he has to work.



and I did finally finish this scarf

I started knitting when I couldn’t run or go to work. I find it relaxing and I like to make things for others.  I used to quilt but knitting is portable and I can bring it anywhere.



I’ve always enjoyed reading.  But who has the time?  I read before I fall asleep at night but when I am not working, I can read anytime.

Happy Running! What do you do when you are off from work?


What I’m Reading Wednesday


Sorry this is not a running-related post.

Monday & Tuesday while I was proctoring the NYS Bar Exam I did a lot of reading:

From Goodreads:

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were at the ready at Halderson’s Drug Store soda counter, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a summer in which death assumed many forms.

When tragedy unexpectedly comes to call on his family, which includes his Methodist minister father, his passionate, artistic mother, Juilliard-bound older sister, and wise-beyond-his years kid brother, Frank finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal.

On the surface, Ordinary Grace is the story of the murder of a beautiful young woman, a beloved daughter and sister. At heart, it’s the story of what that tragedy does to a boy, his family, and ultimately the fabric of the small town in which he lives. Told from Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer, it is a moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.

I just loved this book!  I couldn’t put it down.

From Goodreads:

This debut novel tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I. who becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy. With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring mixed attention her way. Growing up in the 1980s, she learns to swallow her overwhelming grief and confronts her identity as a biracial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white. In the tradition of Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, here is a portrait of a young girl – and society’s ideas of race, class, and beauty.

I loved this one too!  I highly recommend it!

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Not done yet.  Just reading it to see what all the hype is.  So far, it doesn’t compare with the writing and character portrayal of the two books above.

From Goodreads:

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.

I haven’t read it yet but I will soon.

From Goodreads:

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Laneis told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark

Looking forward to reading this one, as well.

Happy Running! Have you read any of these? What did you think? Any other good books to recommend?


The Alchemist and Running Dreams

Paulo Coelho‘s book is currently one of my favorites.

Here are some quotes:

  • “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” 
  • “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” 
  • “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” 
  • “The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” 
  • “People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” 
  • “Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.” 
  • “I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now…
  • “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.” 
  • “When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.” 
  • “Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.” 
  • “If you start by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work towards getting it.” 
  • “making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.” 
  • “Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him.”
  • “There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”
  • “At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”
  • “People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.” 
  • “Never stop dreaming.”

Awesome stuff, right?

My dream is to continue to be able to run for a very LONG TIME!

My dream to run in fun and scenic places.

My dream is to run my longer races faster!

My dream is to have my 5K speed come back!

dream big

Happy Running! Have you read The Alchemist or any of Coelho’s other books?  What is your running dream?


What I am reading Wednesday and Book Giveaway Winner


Congrats to Ja @Ja on the RUN!

From Goodreads:

Panoramic in scope, Away is the epic and intimate story of young Lillian Leyb, a dangerous innocent, an accidental heroine. When her family is destroyed in a Russian pogrom, Lillian comes to America alone, determined to make her way in a new land. When word comes that her daughter, Sophie, might still be alive, Lillian embarks on an odyssey that takes her from the world of the Yiddish theater on New York’s Lower East Side, to Seattle’s Jazz District, and up to Alaska, along the fabled Telegraph Trail toward Siberia…

This book was just OK.  I didn’t love it and I almost quit on it but it grew on me.

Believe it or not, I read THREE books while on my recent vacation:

From Goodreads:

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone…

I really enjoyed this book. I liked her writing style of mixing the past and present and adding humor to her struggles. It almost made me want to tackle this hike…NOT!!

From Goodreads:

… is the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heartbroken. At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that “love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer. . . .” A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune. Maria’s despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. In this odyssey of self-discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness — sexual pleasure for its own sake — or risking everything to find her own “inner light” and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in the context of love.

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! I read it in one sitting at the pool.  It’s not just about sex but so much more…

From Goodreads:

This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within…

After reading Eleven Minutes, I picked up this one. So many memorable/profound quotes.  It may have replaced The Little Prince as my all-time favorite book.

From Goodreads:

IF your dreams pull you in one direction and your heart in another, which should you follow? This is the question that haunts Kate Meadows, a world champion athlete whose eight-year-old daughter Sophie is battling a recurrence of childhood leukemia just as Kate is about to compete for her last chance at an Olympic gold medal. For years, Kate has sacrificed everything for her family and watched her best friend and closest rival, Zoe Castle, conquer the world stage. Kate has never won gold and will have to go through Zoe – who has everything to lose – to get it. Now her child is facing a life-threatening illness, and the stakes are higher than ever. How can she do what is right for her daughter without abandoning all of her dreams?

I chose this book because I loved Little Bee by this author and the Olympics are coming up.  I can’t wait to get into it.

From Goodreads:

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret – something so terrible it would destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others too. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive . . .

I hope I enjoy this one as much as her other novel, What Alice Forgot.

From Goodreads:

Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

I liked this author’s first book – Eat, Pray, Love which was autobiographical but didn’t like or finish her second book. This one is a fiction so we’ll see….

Happy Running! Any books that you like to recommend?


Book Giveaway

Vanessa Runs,  a fellow runner recently wrote a book that I think you’d enjoy, The Summit Seeker. It’s a memoir about her transition from non-running to long-distance trail runner.

Here’s the Amazon description:

Some people run for weight loss, general fitness, or the ability to eat whatever they want. In The Summit Seeker, Vanessa Runs explores trail and ultra running on an emotional, psychological, and spiritual level. 

Vanessa started running to battle her demons, to heal her deepest wounds, and ultimately, to find her peace in the mountains. Her vivid descriptions of spectacular trails call you into wild places where you will find rugged beauty, expansive wilderness, and deep personal insights.

Weaving her personal stories of struggle, hunger, and adventure, Vanessa tugs at our heartstrings and appeals to our most primitive drive as a species: to survive.

Author’s Bio:

Vanessa Runs is an ultra endurance trail runner and journalist. She has written for UltraRunning Magazine, Trail Running Magazine, and A 100-mile nerd, an elevation junkie, and a mountain-loving nomad, Vanessa lives and travels in a Rialta RV with her boyfriend, dog, and cat. Read her full bio, check out her articles, and follow her travels at:
Although I am not a trail or an ultrarunner, I am excited to read this book.
If you’d like to win a copy of this book:
  • Leave a comment with the name of your favorite running-related book.
  • Follow my blog. (Leave a comment that you do.)
  • Tweet, blog or post on Facebook about this giveaway. (Leave a comment on how you did.)

For extra points:

  • Follow me on twitter. (Leave a comment that you do.)
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The deadline is Monday, January 13 at  midnight.

Happy Running!