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Monday, December 11, 2017

Summer Reading

For a teacher who's also a runner, the best part of summer break is being able to run whenever and wherever you want.  The second best part is being able to read tons of books, and this summer was a good one!

  • Running books
    • The Road to Sparta (Dean Karnazes)
      • I loved this book!  Very different than Run! or Ultramarathon Man.  Karnazes has a specific voice.  Very confident, very vocal.  His book conveyed his journey to trace Phidipedes steps, as well as his journey to connect with his ancestors, in way that was so poetic, so beautiful, that I felt connected.  I wanted to be Greek.  I wanted to there.
    • The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Alan Sillitoe)
      • Classic short story about running.  As a runner, I'm glad I read it.  As a reader, it didn't really do much for me.  It's short, so I'd say read it, just so you know what it's about.
    • Anatomy for Runners (Jay Dicharry)
      • If you're a runner you have to read this book.  Anatomy and physiology.  PT exercises.  A functional movement assessment.
  • Stephen King
    • Pet Sematary
      • I love every Stephen King book I've read.  This was no exception.  Suspenseful.  Plot twists.  Scary, but not too scary.  Great story.
    • Salem's Lot
      • Another great novel.  Scarier than Pet Sematary.  Highly recommend.
    • The Dark Tower:  The Gunslinger
      • This is the one King novel that I almost didn't finish.  It was so slow for most of the novel.  I almost fell asleep reading it several times.  Got better towards the end, and I'll continue the series.
    • Just After Sunset (short story collection)
      • King is a master!  Each story felt like it could have been a novel, but he managed to contain it as a short.
  • The Chemist (Stephanie Meyer, also wrote Twilight and The Host)
    • Loved this book!  I also loved Meyer's other books.  This one was refreshingly different. I almost forgot she wrote it.
  • Into the Water (Paula Hawkins, also wrote Girl on the Train)
    • I think I liked this better than Girl on the Train.  It didn't get great reviews, but I really enjoyed it.
Now it's December and I'm immersed in Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series.  I've read books one through three and I'm currently reading City of Fallen Angels.  I read book three in a day.  It's 541 pages.  It's that good.  It's a great YA series.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2017 Chicago Marathon

Unsanctioned Banana
The Chicago Marathon wasn't the race I planned. I ran 50 minutes slower than my April marathon, and "ran" is being generous. I walked. I got pulled off course and checked by medical personnel. My final 3.5 miles were saved by copious, unsanctioned bananas and I was so grateful to be able to even jog. I had horrible PMS, I screwed up my electrolytes in the week leading up to the race, and I stopped sweating in the heat. But it was the race I needed. As much as I wanted a time PR, I wanted a mental PR even more, and I had one. At no point did I get pissed and want to quit. I didn't beat myself up. I didn't worry about what people would think. I just wanted to finish.  When I finally saw the 800 meter sign, the tears started. I've never cried finishing a marathon before. I think I finally learned the meaning of the word "endure," and I'm grateful for the experience. Even more grateful for a weekend with Jason, Amanda, and Brian. You never know when your words or actions will resonate with people. Jason and Amanda's certainly did while I was out there.

I'm a little sad I missed an opportunity to run fast. But I've got goals for next April, and I'm mentally so much better equipped to achieve them. That's worth more than a few minutes off a marathon time. #thankyourunning #bettertogether #wolskiandwarzechatakechitown 
Wolski and Warzecha Took ChiTown
Photo Credit:  Brian Wolski

Photo Credit:  Jason Warzecha

Photo Credit: Brian Wolski

313 in 312
Photo Credit:  Brian Wolski

Photo Credit:  Jason Warzecha