2015 YA Runs a 5K is BACK!

So I know I’ve done a few running posts recently, my review of Breathe Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally as well as my road to running post, I’ve got another one I’d like to share with you!

Last year I was lucky enough to find on my Twitter feed news about some awesome people were combing TWO of my favorite things: reading and running! AND in the process we get to help out some people—the more readers in the world, the better! Melody Simpson is one of the ladies in charge of starting a campaign, YA Runs a 5K, and it’s awesome!

Even if you’re not a real runner, you can still participate in walking or jogging or running and your support still matters and that’s what counts! Last year participants who signed up were running The Color Run and this year I’m even MORE EXCITED: SUPER. HERO! I’m a geeky girl at heart so I’m SO SO excited to sign up!

If you’re in the Philadelphia area on June 6th, 2015 I urge you to make sure you can sign up! It’s going to be a lot of fun! Besides running and reading now they’re throwing in superheroes? Beyond awesome!

To find out more about it, please check out the links below:
Be a superhero and help out this great cause 🙂

The Super Run – June 6th, 2015 Navy Yard, S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA
YA Runs a 5K – Tumblr website with more info on the race details and more about registration
Announcement for the 2015 Run YA Runs a 5K will participate in!
Also follow Melody on Twitter for more info @melodysimpson

Happy running and I hope to see some faces in the Philly area on race day!

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Spring TBR List!

March 17: Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List, the weekly topic provided by The Broke & Bookish

With every season in the year, comes the time where new novels are released! For readers, the Christmas-time feeling is all year long because each season new books hit shelves and we need to consume them! Spring will soon be in the air which means warmer weather, longer days, sun shining, and the possibility of a lazy Saturday or Sunday hanging out on a blanket reading the day away! And the anticipated Spring titles are . . . .

    
We All Looked Up «March 24th, 2015
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda « April 7th, 2015
Things We Know by Heart « April 21st, 2015
Lying Out Loud « April 28th, 2015

   
An Ember in the Ashes « April 28th, 2015
The Girl at Midnight « April 28th, 2015
The Fill-In Boyfriend « May 5th, 2015
The Wrath and the Dawn « May 12th, 2015
P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2) « May 26th, 2015
The Devil You Know « June 2nd, 2015
 

 

 

How I turned frustration into strength – my road to running

This is a healthy, real-life emotional post I wanted to share with you all!

On March 29th, 2015, I will be running my first ever half-marathon, the Love Run in Philadelphia! Yep, that’s 13.1 miles to complete! I’m so nervous but super excited because when I started I didn’t think I would ever get here. I’m mostly there (distance-wise) and I’m ready to shout it from the rooftops because I’ve worked really hard for this.

I won’t lie and say the road to running isn’t bumpy; during my training I got sick (just regular cold stuff, stomach bug), I had lazy days, I had days where I was super busy and couldn’t squeeze a run in before work or after, but I have stuck it out and that’s the most I can be happy with.

For as long as I can remember I’ve never been happy with my weight and/or appearance. I’ve always been the heavy friend, always –to quote Taylor Swift, “she’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers” …I’m the girl in the t-shirts and hanging out on the bleachers. Even as I got older my rationale about who I am hadn’t changed much. And that’s something I definitely need to work on, have been working on for a while and sometimes I see improvements.

Running works for me because I can zone out. I end up caring about how much more until I reach the half mile point, or when I have a mile under my belt. How many more songs will it take until I finish my distance? Breathe in, breathe out. All of these things are traveling so fast within my mind that I’m not paying attention to much else…and that’s a really good thing because I have been known to do too much thinking.

So with my weight issues three years ago I started to work out with Jillian Michaels DVDs. I saw some results but I just was super adamant on not wanting to spend money on a gym membership (which I eventually did) so I was taking the cheap road and spending $9 on a workout DVD where you’re your only workout buddy besides Jillian and she won’t know if you cheat and skip out on a move or not. Despite seeing some slimming I just never felt like I was seeing enough of an improvement and I like food too much to officially change my diet for the better. Even with counting calories on and off and a small time at WeightWatchers, it just wasn’t there for me and I was losing hope. I did hear of one other way you could lose weight faster and that would change soon.

On April 15th, 2013 Boston was celebrating its city’s day as well as one of their exciting community events, the Boston Marathon. 26 miles are run by thousands of individuals and thousands more come out to support and cheer all of those hardworking runners on! (Great, I’m tearing up writing this because it’s the truth no matter how clichéd you think I am) We all know what happened next.

That day I felt really terrible for the victims. Everyone who was effected and most importantly, every runner and supporter who ironically lost their leg(s) that day…it just broke my heart. I cried a lot and thought how freaking awful were these individuals to bomb such a happy occasion with this hate and hurt so many innocent people! People who were RUNNING now have a really long and difficult road to recovery to possibly running again, and may never want to try. After I got sad, I got angry and thought, “How can I come home every day and not want to take advantage of having two working legs, when these poor victims don’t have that simple right anymore?” It just…it really got to me and in addition to trading in my DVDs, I decided to become a runner instead.

I downloaded C25K, Couch 2 5K app for my iPhone, and decided I was going to make a real goal. I was going to attempt to find time to run and I set my goal that May to run my first 5K in October of that year. The app starts you off slow, you run on and off 1 minute to 1.5 minutes and you do that for 28-30 mins with a 5 mins warm-up and cool down. In the following weeks, you progress to 3 minutes then 5 and then 8 minutes and so on. I remember when I got to when I had to run 5 minutes in a row—I thought I was going to die. I was getting anxiety about it because I was barely managing the three, and kept thinking, THAT’S A WHOLE SONG! I’M ATTEMPTING TO RUN FOR AN ENTIRE SONG! SOMEONE HELP ME! Hahaha!

Oh if only my old self could see me now! Most recently the week I had to run my 12 miles I was so proud I ran 4 miles for 45 minutes without stopping for a breather or water and walk it off! Now that may be child’s play to some runners, but for me that was seriously monumental!

Since getting that inspiration on that tragic day in April, I’ve run (officially) seven 5K’s, two virtual 10K’s (run on your own, anywhere, pay and receive a medal—HOLLA! An honor system basically), and signed up for a 10K but had to pass on it because travel plans changed. This year I have my first half-marathon, a 15K, and a 5K already signed up for and I hope to run that 10K I didn’t get a chance to run the year before. I’m really proud that I’ve been keeping up with it and I’m hoping one day in the near future I can try for a full marathon!

I need a real trainer to help me get to running 26.2 miles…oh god I want to throw up thinking about that, haha, but thinking about running 5 minutes in a row once gave me that feeling too and I conquered that so I have faith and know in time I can attempt it and make it happen!

Family and most importantly my friends have cheered me on telling me how proud they are and some days I get it and some days I don’t. Running doesn’t seem like it’s a big deal. It’s just using your legs to get from one point to another. But some days… some days I get it. I get the appreciation people tell me because running isn’t easy and it isn’t for everyone.

The fact that I can make a conscious decision to get out of bed, lace up my sneakers, put in those earbuds, and owning that treadmill or pavement does feel pretty good. And that does take effort that I always sell myself short on. Again, some days I get it—I see the hard work I’ve put forth, and some days it just feels like second nature to run because it’s another day and that’s what I have to do, I don’t need praise to do it because I just will.


xx Linz aka The Kid

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally | Review

Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks series) | Available for Purchase: Amazon « Barnes & Noble « Book Depository
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: July 14, 2014
Pages: 320, Kindle Edition
Received Copy: Personal library

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

It’s very appropriate that I read this book during March as I have much more in common with main character Annie Winters, than your average reader: I’m a runner and am currently training for my very first half-marathon.


It’s a struggle every day and I could relate to Annie on so many levels, as I’m sure anyone who runs or excels in a sport/activity such as this needing much dedication. Annie starts off with good intentions in finding herself, grieving, and honoring the death of her boyfriend, Kyle, a runner never getting to complete his official run.  Annie is torn throughout most of the novel between feeling the need to move on from Kyle but also from the shell of the person she’s become since Kyle’s death.

I loved reading Annie’s growth and also learned a few tips for if I ever want to move on from running halves to full marathons. Most likely I can’t train on my own for it, but I loved reading about the community runners have, they all struggle and work hard to literally run to their goal. Matt and Jeremiah are her trainer and love interest, brothers as well, and are there for Annie almost every step of the way and I found that support comforting, again because I experience it with a group of my friends who are running as well. I definitely will be checking out more from Miranda Kenneally…I know this was part of a series and it’s not the first in the series but consider me hooked!

 

aspects of running…
Because I am a new runner (started running in the past 3 years) I can understand the struggle and dedication you have to go through in order to see yourself grow as a person and athlete. It’s something I hardly ever take credit for because it seems like, “Oh it’s just running” but in actuality it isn’t. There is so much mental that gets paired with physical when you put your body through this. I’m not a fantastic runner but last year after medical procedure on my back I went back to running after taking off two months and I barely could run for a mile. My pace was 18 minutes. Now it’s a year later and my fastest pace is/was (I’ve felt under the weather so I’m not on top of my game) around 10:30 minutes. I took off EIGHT minutes! Next time you want to just sit around and watch the clock for eight minutes you’ll see just how long that is.

who is Annie?…
I thought Annie’s progression throughout the story was really well written and paced just right. She’s had time to process and wallow in her grief but now she’s ready to make sure Kyle is remembered the right way. She knows the struggle of finishing high school and starting college—a brand new experience that can be seriously nerve-wracking, especially never having left home. Some days she’s proud of how far she’s come, other days she wants to figuratively die because her body is working hard to keep up with the running. Again as a runner, I know this all too well.

the Browns…
Matt Brown is Annie’s trainer, Jeremiah Brown is her friend and potential love interest, and the Brown family is a big ol’ happy family that I really enjoyed reading. Things are rocky between Annie and her mom, so conversations are short and frustrating because moms just love to address topics the children don’t want to talk about. The Brown family was a friendly bunch, even their grandpa made a special appearance in this novel. Jeremiah obviously was pretty swoony: Little Duck River…HOLLER! hahaha! And Matt as her coach was always so dedicated and caring of her. Not as just a client but as someone who really wanted to see Annie succeed in her running for Kyle.

please sir, may I have another?…
I think this is a growing trend I’m seeing I just need a little more. At the closing of the book, things just seemed a tad bit abrupt and I wished to read a little more of Annie’s future. The readers receive a good portion of closure but, things could’ve been taken a step further than where Kenneally leaves you. Not epilogue worthy, but maybe a few more pages to finalize everything. But maybe those are just my own feelings but just a little bit more would’ve been awesome to read.

Again I most definitely will be checking out more books in the Hundred Oaks series Kenneally has written—don’t worry they’re not my TBR list for sure! And on another note, wish me luck for my race! I’m so nervous…as I write this out, my longest run so far is 11 miles! So I have 2.1 miles to go before I’m officially race ready even though if I can run 12, 13.1 isn’t much harder but I still would love any and all encouragement! If Annie can do it, I can do it too!

 

xx The Kid

March 10: Ten Books For Readers Who Like Dark Themes

March 10: Ten Books For Readers Who Like ________, I’m picking today’s topic as Dark Themes, the weekly topic provided by The Broke & Bookish

 

So I’m putting a different spin on this week’s Top Ten list. I’ve recently been watching a creepy TV show and have read some dark books (currently in the middle of one) and realized this is a genre I don’t read enough of so I decided to link the two. I’m not sure why I like to read stories such as these, I guess I feel for the victim and always want answers.

This list is different from others because I’m combining creepy reads with creepy things to watch (TV/film). Film is my specialty but I love reading so here I am finding a happy medium with this list. I give you my breakdown of seven dark themed reads and three tv shows to follow up with 🙂

      

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor Lucy Christopher
This story is just hella-creepy. I can’t even begin to explain the weird behavior from her captor, Ty, does. He lives in this bizarre fantasy-land that if he takes Gemma she’ll really like living in the middle of nowhere with him and learn to not miss her family or the rest of the world. He’s been watching her for MUCH longer than the reader anticipates and luckily there’s no sexual violence toward her. The creepiness would be out of control on this one if that were the case. But it’s definitely worth the read, especially in the unique letter format the story is written in.

Don’t Look Back Jennifer L. Armentrout
Main character Samantha wakes up not knowing how she lost her memory from days before and learns that her best friend was killed the night she disappeared. It’s the process Samantha goes through in trying to figure out her old life and the missing memories, the flashbacks she gets, and who to trust when things start revealing themselves. And Samantha receives a few notes reminding her that she shouldn’t look for things she’s obviously forgotten. The mind can be a dangerous place; it hides things because it can’t deal with that trauma. Extra creepy.

Dangerous Girls Abigail Haas
I couldn’t imagine being framed for a murder. I couldn’t ever imagine knowing anyone who was murdered. It’s just so crazy to entertain the idea but for Anna whose on Spring Break with her friends in Aruba, things might turn out differently than planned. The reader is taken on a journey through a murder trial, the time before the murder, friendships thriving and deteriorating, and the verdict. This is a tale that certainly has the reader turning the pages so fast on this whirl-wind ride!

     

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Joyce Carol Oates
I read this short story in college and it was seriously creepy! I’ve wanted to read more from her and this story definitely intrigued me. A self-absorbed teen during the 60’s has difficulties with her mother and her homely older sister habitually lies about where she spends most of her summer nights…at the Big Boy or down some side alleyways with boys she shouldn’t be with. One night a stranger sees her and comes to her house. He’s 18, she’s 15, but after she decides to leave with him she realizes maybe it wasn’t a smart idea after all. Definitely worth the read—the stranger is creepy and you’re left wondering what happens next to main character Connie.

Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
Now despite some mixed reviews for the ending and overall of this book, I would like to say I *am* a fan! Gillian breaks up the story into points of view with main characters (husband and wife) Nick and Amy Donne, as well as time period break up which gives the reader a sense of where things develop and where they become out of control. I really felt attached to Nick and then BAM! NICK I HATE YOU, WHERE’S AMY?! A lot of mind games and a lot of questioning characters until the reveal and then you see how twisted this all plays out (the book is pretty similar to the film). I also love that Gillian wrote this. I’m not exposed to a lot of writers who can tell stories like this, and even if I do, they’re most likely male, so I love that she’s conquered this. Even for the movie/book hype you should still give it a shot.

Dark Places Gillian Flynn
See? I told you I liked Gillian’s style and this book was…crazytrain crazy! Libby Day survived her family’s murder one early morning in January at the age of seven. The incarcerated killer? Her older brother Ben. As Libby grows up and loses the money she received from the murder publicized she’s looking to make a quick buck and avoid all of the issues she’s developed over the years. Gillian writes gritty and it’s easy to feel how poor the Day’s are, their misery, the bad luck they deal with—just small farm town, America they live in and how that affects everything. You never know who it could be…oh so Ben might not be the killer? HMMM?, and Libby’s quest for the truth has her second guessing the obvious, now learning how many lies were told to help end that fateful night for her family.

Sharp Objects Gillian Flynn
WHAAA??? Another Gillian rec?! Yes! I’m currently reading it—literally only 50 pages in so I can’t give you an overall recommendation but I have no doubts Gillian will deliver! There’s a second missing girl in the area of Wind Gap, Missouri where main character Camille Preaker is from. Going back to her hometown is something she dreads which sounds like it’s nothing to stick around for, but will most definitely bring on the drama that I just eat up while reading! Hopefully I’ll finish and review soon!

Now this is where my influence for the post came in!

The Fall starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan, Netflix – 2 seasons
This show is on a whole other level of Creep! Jamie’s character Peter is a serial killer and has this special disturbing talent hidden from his family and everyone else. Gillian Anderson plays a terrific female lead investigator in the series and tries to get into the mind of someone so deranged as Jamie’s character. It must be a very daunting task to delve into the mind of someone so wicked and makes murder into a game of sorts, but it’s worth watching for sure!

The Following starring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, FOX – 3 seasons
This show is actually a hybrid of creepy and reading! WOOHOO! Joe Carroll, James Purefoy, a former professor who was obsessed with creating murders correlating with Edgar Allan Poe stories. (hello extra creep factor) He then becomes a full-fledged murderer and was caught but has a huge fan base outside the prison walls he does time in for so long. As he made his escape you have no idea who is a part of his cult—his Following, making the lives miserable for the FBI, including Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) aka Joe’s favorite play thing. The layers of his Following are intricately woven through many individuals who are hidden in plain sight…as well as deranged copycat killers.

The Killing starring Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman, AMC/Netflix – 4 seasons
I’m leaving the Netflix link because you’ll be able to see all four seasons there. This show man…this show. I can’t remember how I discovered it but I know I started watching not too long after I took my first (and only…sadly) trip to Seattle, where the show takes place. It’s a remake of a Danish crime drama and starts out with the murder of Rosie Larson, a teen who’s body is found in the trunk of car at the bottom of a lake. For the first two seasons, Rosie and her storyline are at the forefront mixed with politics in a race for the next Mayor. You follow Detective Liden, the woman who has a rocky past but damn good at her job—ready to leave the force and start off fresh in California, and Detective Holder—former druggie now turned cop and basically an Eminem wannabe. Their chemistry is everything you could hope for a duo dealing with the dark themes from rape, murder, prostitution, etc. on the streets of Seattle. Season three dives back into a murder that happened in Liden’s past a case she was on and a now reformed Holder (suit and everything). Season four is the finale, picking up a new case but tying in with the past which have new secrets to keep quiet. AMC cancelled it after season two but picked it up for season 3. It got cancelled again but picked up AGAIN by Netflix where you can stream all four seasons! This show doesn’t get nearly enough praise it deserves—stream it now!

Bonus show to watch:

Broadchurch….THE REAL BBC VERSION, not Gracepoint the fake US version that will never be as good as the British one.
(sorry I have strong feelings about this) starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman, BBC America – 2  seasons, it reads there’s a renewal for S3 but that hasn’t filmed yet

The murder of a boy in a coastal town starts to tear the community apart, pointing the finger at all and creating more drama than necessary. I still haven’t finished season 1…I KNOW!! But I’m two episodes away. I actually went to finish this because season one is on Netflix to watch instantly and I was ready to finish the series when I said, “Screw it, let’s watch The Fall instead” …whoops! But S2 is currently on BBC America and I know it will not disappoint. The Killing and Broadchurch are very similar in keeping the mystery afloat and the suspicion high.

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Now if you’re feeling like a crazed psycho who needs some love, please head over to Danielle’s blog, Love at First Page, to read up on some fluffy top ten picks! Have you read any of my picks? Watched any of the shows?! Do you obsess with mystery, murder, and the creepy? hahah Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

xx Linz aka The Kid

Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS

March 3: Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years (you can extend it to 5 if you need to), the weekly topic provided by The Broke & Bookish

There is nothing more that I love than to be a book pusher—an activity I can never get bored of! If anyone is in need for a good recommendation I will always happily give them some of my beloved titles. As I started writing the list I found myself going back through my reading list and actually there are a whole bunch I had a hard time not putting in my top ten. Decisions were agreed upon, so here are my all-time favorite reads from the past few years:


   

Anna and the French Kiss
Just One Day
The Siren (The Original Sinner’s series)
My Life Next Door


(Loved these titles so much the first time they’ve still won my heart):

                       
Attachments
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Throne of Glass
The Winner’s Curse
Pivot Point
Something Real
                      

As I rounded up my list I found that I had a lot of novels where I had identified with the characters on their self-discovering journeys. I seem to fall in love with the MC who figures it out, probably a direct correlation to what I’m clearly missing in my life, but that’s for another time, haha!

Have you read any of these? What are some of your recent ALL-TIME FAVORITES!!?? #iwillalwaysaddmorebookstomyTBRlist

Au revoir 😉 xx The Kid