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Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekly Review: Bozeman

View from our temporary rental parking lot
I'm back for the Weekly Review linkup with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin and I thought I'd do a GIANT recap of our first 8 days in a new city to help me remember what we've done so far.

March 11–19
Saturday: 2.8 mile run 
Sunday: 2 mile run
Monday: Hike (College M Trail)
Tuesday: 3.14 mile run
Wednesday: Hike (Hyalite Canyon), 2 mile run
Thursday: rest
Friday: Hike (Sourdough Canyon Trail), 3 mile run
Saturday: Hike (Drinking Horse Trail)
Sunday: rest

2017 Total (Running): 163.6 miles

Elevation, Acclimation, and Weather
The elevation is about 4,800 ft. Our neighborhood in Columbus was 700 ft, so getting used to the higher altitude took a little while. Besides having to stop during runs, we both took naps in the first half of the week, and got a bit dehydrated. Luckily, we didn't have headaches. Also: the weather has been fantastic! We've been so spoiled with temps in the upper 40s to upper 60s. It's nuts!

First brewery stop
Activities by day
We kicked off our first non-moving day in Bozeman (Saturday) exploring Main Street for brunch (Jam!) and shopping (we found the running store). Afterwards we went on a 3 mile run around our hotel and a nearby pond. We both needed to stop for air and after two miles Alex bailed and I ran back to the hotel alone. Later that night we went to our first brewery for dinner and drinks (Bridger Brewing).

On Sunday we moved into our temporary rental, then went out for shopping and lunch (the Pour House). Later, I explored the neighborhood on foot for 2 miles. What's weird about running here is my paces are exactly the same, but I have to take breaks. One positive: Bozeman itself is very flat. If I want hill training I have to go up in the mountains.

Halfway up the College M Trail
Speaking of mountains, we did our first hike on Monday with the dog. The College M Trail was a steep climb (about 900-1000 ft gain over a mile) and took us to a fantastic view of Bozeman. Before that we went to the bank to get pre-approved for a home loan and try another brunch place (Nova Cafe). That night we went to Montana Ale Works for happy hour.

The pond in our neighborhood park
On Tuesday we finally met our realtor in real life (I've been exchanging emails with her for about a month) and saw 6 condos and houses. We found one we loved and drafted an offer later than afternoon. (We got it, but can't move in until the end of April.) Afterwards I ran 3.14 Pi Day miles. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath, but it was a decent run.

The frozen water at Hyalite Canyon
On Wednesday we went to Hyalite Canyon to check out the frozen reservoir. We took the dog and did a mini hike until the snow got too deep and he refused to go on. I don't think he enjoyed that hike as much as Monday's because when we got back to our apartment he refused to go outside! Alex and I went for a run to check out a nearby neighborhood (and the giant houses). It was hard to maintain a faster pace with him but at least it was only two miles. Luckily, he was exhausted after. ;)

Thursday was overcast so I worked on my current freelance project. In the afternoon we checked out a fro-yo place and another brewery (White Dog). Alex went to the running store to scope out the run group while I continued to do work. Glad I didn't go because he said it was a bunch of guys faster than him and one fast girl. Ugh. I wanted low key! The runners said it was abnormally empty because of spring break, so I guess we'll see. I hope it turns out to be a group I can join...

Sourdough Canyon Trail was a bit slushy
On Friday we went back to Main Street to buy postcards, explore book stores, and check out Bagels, Etc for lunch (so good). We also went to the library and got library cards and checked out a few books. I'm currently enjoying Big Little Lies -- the first book I've read in eons! (This move really interrupted my normal reading schedule.) That afternoon we went on another short hike on the Sourdough Canyon Trail, then celebrated St. Patrick's Day at Bozeman Taproom.

Close to the top of Drinking Horse
Saturday kicked off with more freelance work while Alex ran to the storage unit to find stuff. We spent the afternoon hiking Drinking Horse Trail, which was another short but steep climb with a great view of Bozeman. I think it was my favorite trail so far. I can't really imagine running it yet, but at least it was only 2.5 miles. Since we had nature time, we had to follow it up with beer at MAP Brewing.

Yesterday (Sunday) I put the finishing touches on my freelance project while Alex ran errands to prepare for his first day of work. Minus work, it was a lazy day.

Besides freelance, I'll spend this week filing our taxes and spending a lot of time doing boring transition stuff from our old house and setting up new accounts here. I'm really hoping it all calms down soon so I can veg out and soul search before I get another full time job.

All-in-all, it was a very eventful first 8 eight days. I'm so thankful for the great weather and I'm happy to report Bozeman is even better than I expected. I'm happy I agreed to move here. I miss my friends, but I do not miss Columbus. I think this area of Montana is the perfect fit for Alex and I. Every trail mentioned above was less than 30 minutes away (and most only a 10- 15 minute drive). I can't really believe we live in a completely different state, but at the same time it feels like it was meant to be.

Have you ever been to Montana?
Did it snow in your neck of the woods this week?
Unseasonably warm like here?  

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Weekly Review: Wahoo! The house sold!

This week's sky shot -- Friday in Cincinnati
After a few crazy weeks preparing our house for sale (and being SICK), I'm back for the Weekly Review linkup with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. I'm not really training for anything because of our upcoming move, but I had a solid week.

Week February 20–26
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 2 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: rest
Saturday: 10 miles
Sunday: 3.2 miles

Total: 22.2 miles
Elevation gain: 289 ft
2017 Total: 140.1 miles

The past two weeks were all about prepping our house and unfortunately I was sick for 9 days straight (and ran 5 miles total!) On Monday the photographer came to take photos for the listing - which marked a big milestone for us. Afterwards, we went to trivia with our old group and while we didn't win, it reminded me why we used to go every week!

On Tuesday we ran a ton of errands and even though I was still a little sick, I got in a solid 3 miles.

Brewdog on Wednesday
I was also able to run in the middle of the day Wednesday, but unfortunately my running shoes were DONE (~320 miles) and I felt like I was running with about 20 extra pounds, so it was a good run to cut short. That night we tried a new brewery with a friend (we're trying to hit a bunch before we move and that one opened this week).

New shoes are dog approved.

Luckily, my new shoes arrived Thursday so I took them out for a 4 miler. It was a solid progression: 9:18, 8:50, 8:41, 8:14. I think Thursday was my laziest house day of the week -- and much needed!

Our house was listed Thursday at midnight, so I woke up Friday to our first showing request. We hit the road for IKEA to get a replacement faucet for the bathroom and during our drive to Cincinnati I received at least 10 requests for showings between Friday and Sunday. When we got back to Columbus we got a call from our realtor. We had our first offer! The offer came with a tight deadline (because 7 other people were drafting offers and they wanted us to accept theirs first). It was a fantastic offer including a 30 day closing and no repairs! We have an inspection this week, then we'll move forward. It's not 100% final, but barring any complications the house sold in less than a day!

Part of my group! (I'm holding the yellow water bottle.) 
After two weekends of sickness, I was finally able to get back to my training group Saturday! It was 78º on Friday and the temps plummeted overnight. Our run started in the low 40s. It was sunny and I wondered if I'd overdressed, but by mile 5 the sun was gone and we were caught in a hail storm! After the tiny hail balls stopped the wind picked up and the last 5 miles were in the upper 30s. Brr!

Another brewery on Saturday (Sideswipe)

We still had a few showings on Saturday (just in case), so Alex and I had to stay out of the house for most of the day. Luckily the showings after 4pm were canceled when our agent marked the house as "in contract," so we were able to relax a bit before going to a party at our neighbor's house. Saturday was a long and exhausting - but fun - day! It's funny how much we wanted to go home and relax!

Sunday runday funday
I woke to a migraine Sunday (I blame the constantly shifting weather), but managed to get out to breakfast with our neighbors while Alex did a full day of tree work. Post-breakfast I felt pretty icky so I hung out in bed most of the day, finally going outside around 4pm for a short run. I'm so glad I did. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Only 44º, but that's perfect running weather for me! Post-run I made dinner, did a bit of packing/organizing, and watched Twister in memory of Bill Paxton. 

Did your area have a crazy heatwave? 

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Books of January 2017

Oh shoot. I almost forgot my January book round up! Our move is under way and we're currently decluttering, donating, and prepping our house for sale (we don't move for a few weeks). My brain is fried and I'm exhausted. But back to January...

It was my final month of work (11 years at the same place yada yada) and it was mostly filled with backing up files and going away bar outings. Luckily, I got out of town a few times: Athens, OH for a trail ultra documentary (with Devon Yanko) and DC for...things. Alex also went out of town- and got his upcoming job in Bozeman. Beyond travel and work, I ran a few races and somehow managed to keep up on my reading (/audiobook-ing). Without further ado...

- - - - - - - - - -

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Rating: 4 / 5
I ended up listening to most of this on audiobook instead of reading and I'm glad I did. First, it's divided into five parts and is overly long. And second, the narrator had different voices for each character, which is always impressive.

Part one was really fun and did a great job setting the scene for friendship and romance. I dug Bex's time at Oxford, even if it's a little unrealistic she'd magically find herself in such an exclusive circle. And if you haven't heard, this is obvious Kate/William fanfic (names changed, characters edited). Some similarities were striking, but I think the authors handled the intersection of real and fake pretty well. Unfortunately, each part got a little slower and less interesting. Luckily Freddie (Harry) was there to liven things up while Nick was away.

I eye rolled the few obvious reveals (view spoiler) and Lacey. Move back to America and get your own life, grrrrl. The final section was also infuriating because it felt so manufactured. After 8 (?) years of being together (minus a break) we're supposed to believe there would be doubt the day before? Blah. I would have liked more about Bex finding her footing. She got pretty boring by the end.

Despite anything negative in the review above, I'll continue to read any book the Fug Girls release. They're funny ladies.

I'll Take You There by Wally Lamb
Rating: 4 / 5
I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.
I have a few Wally Lamb books on my to-read shelf at home, but kept avoiding them because they are really long, so I was relieved to see this book wasn't. I got into the story immediately - probably because the main character's daughter is roughly my age. I liked the set up, the setting, and Felix's memories.

I wasn't wild about the "supernatural" element. In fact, I think it could have been omitted altogether. Felix could have taken a trip down memory lane prompted by his daughter's assignment. The trip could have veered slightly and covered Verna's story (via diary?) and I think he could have come across Lois Weber during his film school research. Oh well.

Despite my complaint, I enjoyed reading this and I appreciated the intention. Sometimes it's hard for me to read women-centric lit written by a man, but Wally Lamb did a great job. And many of the women's issues he discussed are, once again, timely (which I can't believe I'm saying in 2017!).

You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson
Rating: 4 / 5
I ended up listening to most of this, but it'd be fine to read, too. The audiobook is read by the author, which is my preference in a memoir / essay collection.

I enjoyed the intersection of feminism, pop culture, race, and humor. I'd recommend to anyone who's read and enjoyed Roxane Gay or comedienne memories. Standout sections include "Uppity," "Casting Calls...," and "The Angry Black Woman Myth." She breaks down some infuriating situations with class.

I'll ding it one star for the "Letters to Olivia" section. It didn't seem as polished as the rest.

Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy #2) by Stephen King
Rating: 4 / 5I flew through this book when I had time to read, but it's not as good as the first one. Probably because Hodges isn't in it for over half of the book. I did enjoy the stories of Peter and Morris and that ending (very, very end / last page) was kind of.... interesting. I jumped into the next one (halfway finished as of today).

Casanova, Volume 1: Luxuria by Matt Fraction
Rating: 3.5 / 5I liked it... then I didn't... then I liked it again. Honestly, I think it bugged me early on how sexual the sister was with her brother. Beyond that, the art was great and the story was bizarre (which I enjoyed). I feel like this would make a good cartoon like Æon Flux (NOT the movie).

Casanova, Volume 2: Gula by Matt Fraction
Rating: 4 / 5
Lordy, I almost wanted to make a chart, diagram, or SOMETHING to make the timelines more tangible (before and during this set). And, gosh golly, I think you need a Masters in Comics to really GET THIS on a deeper level. This is a pretty good review, especially re: the art and references to other works.
- - - - - - - - - -

As always, these reviews were taken from my Goodreads. For past months, click here.

What's the last book you read?
What are you looking forward to reading? 

Monday, February 06, 2017

Weekly Review: Jan 30–Feb 5

Monday night
I'm back for another Weekly Review linkup with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. I'm not really training for anything because of our upcoming move, but I had a decent week.

Week January 30–February 5
4.1 miles
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 3.1 miles
Thursday: 3.2 miles
Friday: rest
Saturday: 10 miles
Sunday: 4.4 miles

Total: 24.8 miles
Elevation gain: 482 ft
2017 Total: 99.6 miles

Monday was my first night run in eons. I decked myself out in reflective gear and ran through our neighborhood, then along well-lit streets. My left hamstring was super tight, which kept my pace down, but it was a good run.

Wednesday's dinner. Slow cooker liners are amazing!
Tuesday was a rest day, but Wednesday was a decent 3 miler. I wish it was farther, but the rush hour traffic kind of drove me batty. Too many street crossings = too many stops. Thursdays 3 was a bit of the same, but at least I ran faster.

Friday was my last day of work. I've been at the same place for 11 years and it was time to be done. The past year wasn't very good professionally (I haven't learned anything new), so I'm looking forward to a new challenge in Bozeman... assuming I find one. ;) Anyway, it was a rest day because my work friends and I went out for pizza and beer.

My cookies!
Saturday was a training group run. I was in a terrible mood and wasn't sure I wanted to run 10 miles, but upon arrival I was gifted beautiful cookies and found myself surrounded by friends. I ran with my pal Andrea (among others) and our conversation lifted my spirits. I felt great after the run and I was so happy I went. We went to hang with my dad and step mom after (to get them to try sushi!), so it turned into a great day, but I was exhausted by the end!

Sunday runday.
On Sunday, we went to early lunch with my mom and step dad (trying to get in those last visits before we move - sob). The food was tasty, but once again I was exhausted mid day after being social. After a little down time, Alex and I packed more donations, cleaned a few rooms, and eventually went out for a run. The weather was amazing (50º), so we had to take advantage! It was a fast run for me (8:19 pace - and that's with a slower solo mile!), so I felt pretty accomplished by the time we turned on the Super Bowl. I was mainly interested in the commercials and Lady Gaga, but what an exciting game it turned into! I suppose I was rooting for the Falcons, but just because I always root for the underdog.

Did you watch the Super Bowl?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

We're moving!

Our new city from above.

I've skipped the last two Weekly Review linkups with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin because I'm not really training for anything anymore! Why? Well, the title says it all...

We're moving!

Alex got a great job in Bozeman, Montana. At the same time, the company I've worked for the past 11 years (!!) is facing a bit of a slowdown, so the timing was right for me, too. I don't have a job lined up, but I've found a few prospects.

We're not leaving Ohio until the first week of March, but it put a wrench in my training. I can no longer participate in the 5 races on my spring calendar. While I'm bummed, I soothed my soul by signing up for the Missoula Half Marathon on July 9.

I know some of you saw the news on Instagram, but I figured I'd make it blog official. As for training? Right now I'm running for fun because I know I'll have to adjust to elevation in March (~800ft in Ohio to 4,700ft in the Gallatin valley.) I'm also back with my running group on Saturdays so that will make milage fun. I'm off work starting next week so I hope to fit in runs between all the work that needs to be done on our house! Should be interesting...

Have you ever moved out of state?
Have you been to Montana? 

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