Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Belated Giving of Thanks

I'm a little late posting this, but really, it is still that time of year: the time to be grateful, to express gratitude, to offer thanks. I might not have any turkey to go with it anymore (that's right, no more leftovers), but I do have twinkling Christmas lights to keep me company. So in no particular order, here are a few thank-yous that I should say more often:
  1. Thanks Coach Josh, for making me faster. I never thought I would ever enjoy speed intervals, and while I'm not sure I'd claim to enjoy them, plain old runs do seem sort of boring now.
  2. Thanks Gotham City Runners for making this running season so much fun. You guys are a wonderful, supportive group, and races just aren't the same without you. (Fingers crossed for April Fool's Day!)
  3. Thanks mom and dad, for your continuous love and support. A girl couldn't ask for better parents.
  4. Thanks Ryan for always picking me up when I'm down and cheering me on when I'm up. I know I can always depend on you, and that means the world.
  5. Thanks Klock family for your endless generosity and willingness to have me around. I don't think any other group of people will make me laugh as hard as you all do.
  6. Thanks Tyrone, for being my number one work confident. I'm not sure what I'm going to do when you finally go off and follow the job of your dreams! But you deserve it, so get out of here.
  7. Thanks Mark for always having adorable pictures and even more adorable stories of your kids handy to supplement long and potentially boring runs. It's quite the luxury to be a vicarious parent!
  8. Thanks [Work] Josh, for finding lost things, fixing broken stuff, and scavenging the rest. And of course for your tireless enthusiasm. No one loves the Pittsburgh Triathlon like you!
  9. Thanks body, for not breaking down on me during marathon training. It's such a relief to get through a running season with no injuries.
  10. Thanks Ellen and Nick, for making every day at work a lot more fun.
  11. Thanks Emily, for always having an open heart and an open home. Although we're both far away and super busy, it's good to know that some friendships are made to last.
  12. Thanks Kelly 1 for always making time for me when I'm in the 'burgh. And, of course, for being my #1 Excel consultant. I know you're busy and important, so I really appreciate it!
  13. Thanks Adrian and Esther for staying in contact despite oceans between us. Hopefully I will see both of you sooner than later!
  14. Thanks James and Tiffanie for picking up where Adrian and Esther left off. I'd never swim at all if it weren't for the two of you! (And I'd never have such entertaining email exchanges to look forward to when I go away either.)
  15. Thanks Jersey City Writers for kicking my butt into gear this year! I've produced more writing in 2013 than I have since it was required of me in college, and I couldn't have done it without all of you.
I'm sure I forgot a great number of other items, but this was delayed long enough. So a big "sorry" and extra-big "thank-you" to anyone/anything I missed! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snapshot Book Review: Sisterland

SisterlandSisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love Sittenfeld's writing, so I was going to read this book no matter what. However, reading the cover copy and learning it would be about psychic twins gave me pause. This didn't sound like Sittenfeld's sort of subject matter--nor my sort of subject matter--but I love this author, so I had to give it a go.

Ultimately, it wasn't really a book about psychic abilities at all. In fact, I have to wonder why that was even really included at all. Surely there could have been another sort of conflict that could cause such tension between Kate and her husband Jeremy and Kate's sister Violet. However, the book was ultimately a wonderful read about family dynamics and loyalties, as well as a look into how we deal with choices we make that we cannot even explain to ourselves.

I wish more time had been given to the fallout from the ultimate act--the "earthquake" so to speak (no spoilers!)--but I think it was also valuable to develop all of the characters' nuanced relationships with one another, as well. Sittenfeld is good at making you feel a certain way about characters, even if it's not a good feeling, and that, I think, is what makes her writing so authentic. I didn't like Violet, but as someone who doesn't always like my own sister, either, I could absolutely identify with Kate's emotions and actions toward her. And while I'm not married, I am dating someone as smart and wonderful and level-headed as Jeremy, and I could recognize how difficult it can feel to come up against that at times, as Kate does, knowing that she's being irrational but also being unable to feel or act any other way.

All in all, not my favorite book Sittenfeld has written, but still a solid read from an excellent writer.

View all my reviews

Monday, December 2, 2013

Trotting for Turkey

So I have half of a Thanks-Giving post written, but in the meantime, I'll post something else I'm thankful for: finishing the Prospect Park Turkey Trot in a respectable time!

In fact, as this is only the 3rd time I've ever race 5 miles, my time was actually a PR (Personal Record). However, based on my (much faster) 5k PR this past August, I'm convinced that I can run a faster 5 mile race. Still, coming off of a lazy marathon recovery, I can't really complain too bitterly.

Plus, we got gloves and a turkey-shaped finisher medal as our race swag. PLUS hot chocolate at the end of the race. So yeah, no complaints.

Results of this race:

Race Length
Finishing Time
Average Pace
Overall Place
Gender Place
Age Group Place
5 miles
72/ 2,227
8/ TBD