milwaukee running festival + giveaway!

Thanks to the lovely Tracey, I have become part of the (inaugural) Milwaukee Running Festival’s street team!  Since it’s never too early to set goals and register for fall marathons, here are some reasons why you should do this race.

  • Milwaukee is only 90 miles away from Chicago.  Theoretically, that means you can sleep in your own bed the night before the race.  If not, then stay at a hotel in Milwaukee!  The casino has a new hotel!  Also, there are plenty of breweries close by… because carbo loading should obviously include beer, duh.
  • The race director is seriously awesome.  He’s in charge of both indoor races, as well as my beloved Bacon Race (for which registration just opened, wink wink nudge nudge).
  • The course map is cool.  While it’s only preliminary at the time of this writing, it’s sure to hit the highlights of Milwaukee.  While there already is a marathon in Milwaukee, it’s point-to-point and isn’t really a tour of the city that (in my opinion) major marathons should be.
  • There’s something for everyone!  If you’re not ready to do the marathon, the weekend of activities will include a mile race, a half marathon, and a 5K.
  • It’s an inaugural event!  Major bragging rights, people.  It’s a chance to get in on the ground floor and be like one of these guys.  Personally, I have done several inaugural events, and I cherish every one of those experiences.
  • Beer.  There will be beer at the finish line.  And given the amount of breweries in the immediate vicinity, it will no doubt be from a local hotspot.  Untappd badges, here we come!
  • Me!  I will be there, running the marathon.  If you don’t like me, then I don’t know what to tell you.

If that list isn’t enough to convince you, I have a surprise… A FREE ENTRY!  That’s right, I’m giving away a totally free entry to one of the Milwaukee Running Festival races.  Just leave a comment and let me know why you would like to do this race!  Do you need the state, or do you just like running an insane amount of marathons (COUGH, ERIC, COUGH)? will pick the winner, and I’ll announce it on the blog one week from today.  If you tweet about my giveaway, be sure to tag me, and I’ll add another entry for you!

Disclaimer – As part of the street team for the Milwaukee Running Festival, I was given a complimentary entry in exchange for promoting the event here in Illinois.  All opinions, as always, are my own.

february reading recap

If you missed last month, you can find it here.

February by the numbers –
Books read –  17
Pages read –  4879
Pages per day –  174

2015 by the numbers –
Books read –  32
Pages read –  10411
Pages per day –  176

Here’s what I read in February:
For Whom The Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway)
The Ghosts of Havana (Mike Dennis)
Man-Slaughter (Mike Dennis)
Franny and Zooey (J.D. Salinger)
Wreckage (Emily Bleeker)
The One That Got Away (Simon Wood)
The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
J is for Judgement (Sue Grafton)
The Best of Me (Nicholas Sparks)
K is for Killer (Sue Grafton)
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest For Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Daniel James Brown)
L is for Lawless (Sue Grafton)
Chasing the Sun (Natalia Sylvester)
Dear Cary: My Life With Cary Grant (Dyan Cannon)
The Art of War (Sun Tzu)
Lady Chatterly’s Lover (D.H. Lawrence)
Into the Free (Julie Cantrell)

A brief review of everything (with stars, out of 5):
For Whom The Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway) ****
I wasn’t sure that I liked this book, but then the ending came, and wham.  It was a good one.  Kind of a snoozer (as in, I kept nodding off randomly) until the end.  But the end is a winner for sure.

The Ghosts of Havana (Mike Dennis) ****
2nd book in a mystery series set in Key West.  I loved this one – the twist was so exciting and made perfect sense.  Quick and easy read that I mostly completed on the treadmill.

Man-Slaughter (Mike Dennis) ****
Just as good as the other two.  Fast-paced, easy reads that kept me entertained the whole time.  Good treadmill reads, and perfect prep for Key West!

Franny and Zooey (J.D. Salinger) ****
RGRC #107.  This was my first time reading any Salinger, and I really enjoyed this book.  Two little interrelated short stories.  I can only wish that there were more :/

Wreckage (Emily Bleeker) *****
A free one for me through Amazon Prime.  The story is interesting, the characters are well-developed, and there are many twists and turns.  HIGHLY recommend!  (I also selfishly want one of you to read it so that we can talk about it.  Okay, thanks.)

The One That Got Away (Simon Wood) ****
Another freebie from Amazon Prime.  Really good serial killer thriller.  Sometimes you just need a page-turner (especially when you are on two flights with a layover in between).

The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway) ***
Old man, big fish, boats, blah.  Definitely not my favorite of Hemingway.  Glad it was short.

J is for Judgement (Sue Grafton) ****
Standard alphabet mystery.  I liked the plot of this one a lot.  Good twists and turns, and actually kept me guessing until the very end.

The Best of Me (Nicholas Sparks) *
I don’t know why I read this drivel.  It was bad.  So, so bad.  I regret the time spent on this very much.

K is for Killer (Sue Grafton) **
Didn’t really understand the ending on this one.  Not her best.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest For Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Daniel James Brown) *****
This book is amazing.  Fans of Unbroken will appreciate it.  It’s only $2.99 on Kindle… download it now!  You won’t regret it.  One of the best books I have read this year so far.

L is for Lawless (Sue Grafton) ****
Great book.  Interesting plot, and even better ending.  Finally got a good one, because the last couple weren’t much to write home about.

Chasing the Sun (Natalia Sylvester) ****
I think this was a freebie from Amazon Prime forever ago, and I just got around to reading it now.  Really interesting story, but it was the characters and the way they reacted to things and played off one another that was the best part.

Dear Cary: My Life With Cary Grant (Dyan Cannon) ***
I didn’t imagine that life with Cary Grant could be so awful, but here we are.  I found myself screaming at the book, telling her to run away.  She didn’t listen.

The Art of War (Sun Tzu) ****
RGRC #108.  Short read.  The annotated edition was hard to figure out, but once I did, it was an easy read.  (I didn’t read the commentary, because it bored me.)  Basically, I’m Bill Belichick now.

Lady Chatterly’s Lover (D.H. Lawrence) *
RGRC #109.  Not my cup of tea at all.

Into the Free (Julie Cantrell) ****
VERY slow in the beginning, to the point where I was ready to give up.  But then it hooked me, and I couldn’t put it down.  Reminded me a lot of Water For Elephants for some reason.

training feb 23-mar 1 [111]

Training Stuff:

Monday:  1.16 miles (10 min, avg pace 8:38) + 0.19 miles walking (3:01 min, avg pace 15:54) = 1.35 miles
Tuesday:  4 miles (37:10 min, avg pace 9:18) + 0.50 miles walking (7:20 min, avg pace 14:41) = 4.50 miles
Wednesday:  5 miles (45:55 min, avg pace 9:11) + 0.36 miles walking (5:05 min, avg pace 14:07) = 5.36 miles
Thursday:  4 miles (36:36 min, avg pace 9:09) + 0.38 miles walking (5:24 min, avg pace 14:12) = 4.38 miles
Friday:  1.15 miles (10 min, avg pace 8:43) + 0.17 miles walking (2:44 min, avg pace 16:09) = 1.32 miles
Saturday:  1 mile w/ Jakre (8:43 min)
Sunday:  13.11 miles (1:54:51 min, avg pace 8:46) + 0.65 miles walking (10:08 min, avg pace 15:36) = 13.76 miles

Total Mileage:  31.67
Total Mileage (month):  146.26 (Feb), 13.76 (Mar)
Total Mileage (year):  315.2

Total Time:  4:05:57
Total Time (month):  23:51:30 (Feb),  2:04:59 (Mar)
Total Time (year):  51:24:54


  • I got to run outsiiiiiiide for my long run!  Very minimal ice, and pretty warm.  It was magical.
  • Why don’t people understand “on your left”?  It’s baffling.  It does not mean – call me names, make me pass on the right, or stand in the middle of the path like a jackass.  Good grief.

fun february

Miles Run/Walked – 146.26

Miles Biked – 4

Races Run –  1

Miles Raced –  24

PRs at said races –  0

Medals earned –  1

Age group awards – 0

New thing done – did not shower during Ragnar!

Blog posts written – 25

Non-race report blogs written – 22

New beers I tried – 36

Books I read – 17

Biggest achievement – Getting through the Key Deer Reserve without losing my shit.  Third time’s the charm, I guess!

Biggest disappointment –  Not finding any cool races to do.  I finally got the itch back, and I want to scratch it with the safety pin from a bib number!

Things (races) to look forward to in March – Circular Logic Marathon, Shamrock Shuffle 8K

How’s the streak? – 1007 days and counting!

guest post from @ortonpants


Hi everyone!  Your friendly neighborhood lion is here!  I know, I’ve taken quite the hiatus… some may call it a sabbatical.  What did I do while I was gone, you ask?  Wrestle alligators and drink beer, pretty much.  Oh, and taking dance breaks for “Shake It Off.”  Catchy tune.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re all wondering why I’m here.  Remember when I wrote this post last year?  Wasn’t that so fun?  Yep, exactly.  So it’s back!

Sadly, Santos T. Goat has grown wildly popular since last year, and his fee has upped tremendously.  I’m a firm believer in cheap labor, so I hired someone new to play the role of the lamb.

Meet Hungry H. Hippo.  He wears a tie because he's fancy. (Photo credit - Mo)

Meet Hungry H. Hippo. He wears a tie because he’s fancy.
(Photo credit – Mo)

So that’s it!  Mo will put logos in her training log, and then I’ll be back to recap at the end of the month.  Have a great March, friends!