My Favorite Books This Year – 2020

This post was supposed to just be a post about books I read this year, but as I wrote it, I couldn’t help but think about my uncle who recently passed away. One of the people I would typically enjoy comparing book notes with each year was my Uncle Barry. He – along with my parents – is one of the reasons I’m such an avid reader today (he was a reading teacher and always bought me his favorite books when I was growing up). And this time of year, as I’ve grown older, we typically talk through the latest books we’ve read and what we’ve enjoyed over the past year.

I wish I had a chance to share with him my reading list this year. It is much larger than other years, thanks to the pandemic. I would’ve loved hearing if he had read any of these, and see what he would’ve recommended I start with next year. But instead, I’ll be sharing my recommendations with you. And, I hope you can share yours with me, too! I know I’ll be needing some new ideas as I continue to read/listen my way into the New Year.

*Note: These are all Amazon affiliate links. But if you have a local bookstore near you, PLEASE consider purchasing from them! I took most of these out from my local library, but the ones that I purchased I did so from my local store, Appletree Books. If you’re local, they offer free delivery AND make the purchasing process so easy!

In no order:

Half of a Yellow Sun

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Holly Jolly Miles

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone. I’ll be honest, this year’s Christmas didn’t really feel like Christmas. We were in Cleveland (we’re usually in New York) and it was just the four of us. But we made the most of it … and thanks to being here, I was able to keep up my running streak!

I’m now at 247 days, which means if I continue through the end of 2020, I’ll have gotten to 250 days, which I really can’t fathom. I know, I’ve seen people do year-long (or longer!) streaks, and I honestly have no intention of keeping this up that long, but I’m pleased with where I’ve come so far. My plantar fasciitis is still acting up on and off, but I have been stretching and rolling and icing, and even took some Aleve a few months ago and that seemed to help.

Here’s how this week looked – it was going well until our HUGE snowfall on Christmas Eve that lasted more than 24 hours! We got around 2 feet I think!

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In A Little Funk

Not to be a bummer, but I had a hard week.

I know, it’s the holiday season. Everything is merry and bright. It’s a time to be joyous and thankful and celebratory. But, between my uncle passing away, the realization how different this holiday season will be without seeing my family, and some work stuff, it just wasn’t my best week. And this impacted my running AND walking. I just didn’t have the energy to get up in the morning and run a billion miles, and hit snooze way too much. I didn’t have the time to talk long walks with the family and the cold, icy/snowy weather made it even harder to get out of the house.

I’m hoping that the coming week will be better. With only three work days, I have no excuse not to sleep in, get in a run and get outside with the family. So, fingers crossed that I can continue to keep my running streak up (240 days!) and get out of this funk.  

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I Have No Title For This Post

My uncle passed away this week. He had a heart attack the day after Thanksgiving.

He was healthy. I remember family vacations with him when I was younger to Fire Island, and he would work out nearly every day we were there. I remember him doing ab and leg exercises outdoors where we’d stay and even teaching me some at a young age. He was actually riding his bike when he went into cardiac arrest. A bystander saw him, called 911 and did CPR while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. Unfortunately, that did not save him. We buried him this week, over a Zoom burial (thanks, Covid). 

an old photo of my uncle and me as a baby

I don’t often share very personal stuff here. And, I know this is a post about running, but I feel the need to include just a few sentences about him. And I thought of him on most of my runs this week. Running has helped me get through the challenges brought on by 2020, and this week was no different. It wasn’t an easy week – personally and professionally – and I’m grateful to have running to take some time for myself as I try to find peace.

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First Snow of the Season

November came and went and was a pretty decent month weather-wise. Not too cold, pretty mild and plenty of seasonably warm runs in shorts and capris. I was spoiled. Because as soon as December 1 came, we got SNOW.

And I’m not talking about a few flurries, or even an inch here and there that makes it look all festive. Nope, I’m talking about 15+ inches of wet, heavy snow that came down and didn’t stop, making it somewhat hard to run.

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Thanksgiving Miles

Happy Thanksgiving week! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This year was a different celebration and much smaller, but it was still nice to be with family and B cooked up all of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes, plus more. We feasted on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, butternut squash – and B made them all! I contributed with two pies, including my first pumpkin pie.

But we did more than just feast, we did our own Turkey trot, and we were able to take a few long walks with my parents, so I got in a few more miles this week than last. Here’s how the week looked:

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2021 Cleveland Marathon Ambassador

I’m excited to share that I’ve once again been selected as an ambassador for the Cleveland Marathon!

The race is in May 2021, so I have yet to decide which event(s) I’ll participate in (hopefully part of the challenge series), but no matter what happens with racing in 2021, I’m so happy to be back.

The Cleveland Marathon holds a special place in my heart. I’ve run the Challenge Series every year since they started it a few years ago.

I’ve run the half marathon too many times to count.

I’ve run the races pregnant (I did the 10K/5K Challenge Series events when due with both kiddos). With FW, I still managed to run it. With LM, I was less than a week away from my due date but I did hobble across the finish line, with B beside me the whole time, carrying FW!

It was my first postpartum half marathon. My first virtual half marathon.

And in 2021, who knows what the race will be. I’m hopeful that we’ll be back to “normal” or at least in-person events, but only time will tell!

In the meantime, here’s how I’m staying in shape. This week included some walking and running, but nothing out of the ordinary. Here’s what it looked like:

As you can see, I’m still keeping up with my running streak! Yesterday was day 212. I hope to continue as long as I can, but I know that with winter coming, it may end soon.

This week, I had a few fast (for me, right now) runs. My Saturday 5 miler was done at 9:30 min/mile pace and it felt great!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your ideal running weather? Though it’s admittedly easier for me to get out of the house in run when it’s in the 60s or so, I prefer 40s once I’m out there.
  • Do you your Thanksgiving plans look different this yeaR?

I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down.

200 Days of Running

This past week I hit a running milestone I never would’ve imaged (or strived for) — I made it to 200 days of my running streak!

In 200 days, here’s what running has looked like:

Total miles:

  • Average mileage: 5.75 miles
  • Number of races: 3 (all virtual)
  • Number of stroller runs: 10
  • Number of treadmill runs: 8

But, I think my days of streaking are coming to an end. The mornings are getting colder and some days I think about how nice it would be to just let my body rest, especially as my plantar fasciitis has been hurting on and off for the past few months. But until then, here’s how my week looked:

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When It’s 70 Degrees in November

I don’t know about you – but I feel like after all the events of this week, I’ve aged several years. Was it really only a week since my last update? So much has happened in the world and it has been a rollercoaster of emotions!

Thankfully, we had some unexpected reallllllly nice weather this week. It was in the 60s and 70s, which meant I got in some extra outdoor runs and NO treadmill runs at all! I also was able to get in two stroller runs, which seemed harder than usual, but was a nice way to spend some one-on-one time with FW while getting in 6ish miles each time.

Here’s a look at how this week went. I got in 40 miles of running, more than 10 of walking and I hit day 198 of my running streak!

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Almost to 200

As of today, my running streak is at 193 days. That means that I have officially run every single day for more than half a year! When I started this running streak, it was honestly by accident. I ran the Cleveland half marathon (virtually, of course), and I don’t typically run after a race like that, but I wanted to do their challenge series so the next day I ran a 5k. Well, I felt surprisingly good during my virtual 5k and decided to not take any days off.

Not taking any days off turned into a running streak. I don’t know when i realized I was officially streaking, but here we are, at 190+ days of running every single day. And my average run for that time period is 5.77 miles.

This week was another week when I thought the streak may end. We had a different kind of streak here – a pouring rain streak. And by pouring, I mean POURING. It was a downpour Wednesday, Thursday and Friday when I woke up in the morning, but I decided to turn to the treadmill and not give up. And Saturday, when the weather finally turned and I normally would’ve run outside while B watched the kids, B was out of town so I wasn’t sure I’d get in a run.

Well, here’s how the week turned out:

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