Showing posts with label reading time. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reading time. Show all posts

Friday, July 1, 2016

A Midpoint Check-In for 2016

Hello, reader/runner friends!  Today marks the first day of the second half of 2016, so I thought it would be fun to check in with how I'm doing on the reading and running fronts so far this year.  I have also been admittedly absent around here lately, so it serves as a way for me to let you know what's going on in my little corner of the world these days.

Let's start with Reading:

So far I've read 25 books this year, not bad!  I didn't set a goal for 2016, but I've read a LOT of great books in that group of 25, and as such the reading has been easy.  It's nice when you don't feel like you're getting hung up on a lot of slow reads or DNFs.

It's hard for me to pick favorites, but a few contenders for the "best so far" of this year would be What Alice Forgot , Everyone Brave is Forgiven , and Alice & Oliver.


I went back in my Nike+ history and found that I've run 426.5 miles this year so far--woohoo!  I have never kept track of my yearly mileage or set a monthly/yearly mileage goal, but I went further back to 2015 and found that I ran 364.2 miles in the first 6 months of that year.  I think this Four Seasons Challenge is definitely helping me stay motivated!  Last year whenever I finished a big race, my 70-100 mile/month frequency would plummet down to 25-40 miles/month if I had nothing to train for.  Now that there's always a race on the horizon, I'm getting out there more often and am feeling more consistently race-ready.

Two of the Four Seasons races are done...the next is in just a few weeks (Shoreline Half on July 16), though I'm using it as a training run for the September Rochester Marathon.  Marathon training is going REALLY well, but the July training schedule amps up the mileage quite a bit, so check in with me again in August to see if I'm still so enthusiastic.  ;)
Me at the 19K finish line back in May...yeah, hoping I can look like that at the marathon finish too!

My most significant news of late is that I am going back to school.  Yup, again!  A bachelors and a masters didn't seem like enough, so I decided to add an associates degree (haha).  This fall, I'll be starting classes to get my degree in Fitness and Recreation Management (with a concentration in Personal Training).  The eventual goal is to get a job as a personal trainer once Tater Tot is in school full-time.  That's not for several more years, so it gives me time to spread out the coursework.  You can get a personal trainer certification without going to college for it, but doing it that way does not require any hands-on experience, which I would like to get before heading into the workforce.  The degree requires an internship, so I'm pretty stoked about the opportunity to gain experience in the field before I (hopefully) get a job!

This is a huge career change for me (you may remember I was in higher ed administration before), but one that I am extremely excited about!

That's where I'm at these days.  I know I post less frequently, but I do so love my blog and all my bloggy friends--I hope that, as always, you'll stick with me through this new busy season in my life!  :)  While I know I'll have to trade some pleasure reading time for textbook reading time this fall, I have such a long list of excellent TBR books that I know I won't be ignoring it completely!

How's your 2016 going so far??

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Updates: Reading, Running, and Redheadedness

Hello, friends!  I know, things have been largely silent around these parts lately.  So, I figured it's time for some updating, as well as some new plans for the future format of the blog.

I have three categories of updates to share, so let's start with:

1. The New and Improved Redheadedness of the Well-Read Redhead

I cut ALL my hair off, y'all.  Well, almost all.  It FELT like all.
Ignore my laundry on the chair.  Why does my nose look so big?  I hate selfies.  Also, yes, my hair is darker, but I promise still red.
I needed a haircut badly, and was feeling completely frustrated and out-of-love with my long hair.  I'd been debating a pixie cut for 5 years or so, but never had the confidence to pull the trigger.  However, my disdain for my long hair (the blow drying!  the straightening!  the wrangling while running!  the constant put-it-in-a-hat on bad hair days!) reached a peak, and it was time.  I sent pixie cut ideas to my stylist-friend Mandy, brought some wine over her house, and The Cut was made.

Final verdict: why didn't I do this sooner???  I am in love with my newly shorn hair.  Yes, I have to style it each morning (pixie cut bedhead is a serious thing), but the styling time is minimal and very easy.  I thought I was going to want it a bit longer/messier, but soon after the cut realized that I prefer it a bit shorter and sleeker (my husband referred to Claire Underwood in her brunette phase...haha).  Yes, I will be keeping this style up for some time!

2. Running (Or Lack Thereof)

I had a big thing written here with my running updates (it's been a little rocky lately), but it was making this post too long, so I'm saving it for a Well-Read Runner post later this week.  Check back soon!

3. Reading (Or Lack Thereof)

Obviously, not a lot of book talk has been happening around here.  I've been struggling with two things: one, finding adequate reading time, and two, finding the motivation to blog about it.  I actually finished a book at the end of September that I have yet to find the energy to write an entire post about--a first for me since I started blogging 3 years ago.  That said, I don't want to give up this space, as I still love to recommend books to others, and this is my favorite vehicle for doing so.  What's a girl to do?

I've decided that, for now, the best thing is for me to read low-pressure (meaning, no deadlines).  So, I will be taking a hiatus from blog tour reviews for a while (yes, even for TLC, and you know I love TLC tours).  I will finish out the last two books I'm doing for TLC with full reviews, and then it's all free-range reading for the forseeable future.

With that, I will be making the blogging-about-books more low-pressure as well, by switching to mini reviews for a while.  My current plan is to do one post at the end of each month with mini reviews of everything I've read (and at the rate I'm currently reading, it won't be that long of a post!).  While this does mean less posting overall, I have a lot more enthusiasm for that format right now, and I think it's more important for me to have energy behind my posts vs. a larger number of posts.

Even though I haven't had a lot of time for reading, I am actually loving my current read: Dracula by Bram Stoker.  I've been saving this as a spooky October read for a long time now, and it is perfect for the season!!  Can't wait to share a bit about it here next week.

Alrighty, that's all for now.  I know things haven't been nearly so active around here as they were in the past, but thank you to all that are sticking with me as I figure out the blog's next stages!

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Biggest Reading Pet Peeve, Ever, In The World, For All Time.

Readers, the diatribe I'm about to launch into is not a new topic for literature lovers.  However, since I've never mentioned it here at the Well-Read Redhead, and because I've had a recent run-in with this problem, I felt it was vital to put it up for discussion.

WHAT...THE...HELL is the deal with strangers who want to talk to me while I'm reading in public?

Most recent example:

Last week I went outside to enjoy some reading during my lunch break.  Generally, my reading spot at work is inside this big gazebo in one of our courtyards.  It's perfect because it's always shady, has benches to stretch out on, and is hidden from a lot of the nearby buildings by bushes and flowers.  The perfect private reading alcove.  (I may or may not refer to it as "MY Gazebo" in my head.  I'm a little possessive.)

Anyway, in all the times I've sat there to read, I've always had My Gazebo to myself.  However, last week as I was reading, another woman (who I had never met) came into My Gazebo with her lunch to eat.  Okay, no problem.  I look up, we exchange "Hi"s, she grabs the bench on the other side, and I go back to my book.  She reaches into her lunch bag and starts munching away.  We are peacefully co-existing.


She looks up at me and says, "I'm glad I found this place to eat.  The student union is crazy today."

And I'm like...

But okay.  I nod and say, "Yeah, busy time of the summer in there," and...go back to my book.

BUT OH NO.  She continues.  "Beautiful day.  So glad the humidity went down.  Hasn't it been awful lately?"

"Yup."  (Back to reading.)

"I hope it stays like this.  I'm taking vacation next week and it would be great if we had more weather like today's."
Luckily, after my lukewarm response to that, she ate the rest of her lunch in silence and moved out of My Gazebo about 10 minutes later.

The non-readers out there might think I'm being bitchy or antisocial.  But let me just lay it out for you: if someone is reading in public, they do not want to be disturbed by someone they don't know unless that person has something of terrific importance to say.  This would include things like:

-"Excuse me miss, but there is a bomb under your seat."  (You should verify first that it's a real bomb and thus a real threat.)

-"It appears that that plane in the sky is about to crash on or near your person."

-"Derek Jeter just walked into the room and intends to propose marriage to you."  (insert childhood celebrity crush of your choice)

-"Oh Em Gee, I read that book and LOVED it!  Let's discuss!"

I'm sad to say that I've had interruptions like the one above countless times.  On commuter trains, in libraries (LIBRARIES!!), at a coffee shop, you name it.  Don't get me wrong, people--I'm social.  I strike up conversations in elevators and grocery stores and wherever.  And of course if a friend were to interrupt me while reading, I would welcome it.  But I'm not looking to make new friends when I have a book in my hand.  JUST NO.

The moral of my story is this: the next time you want to interrupt a stranger who is happily ensconced in a book, because you have nothing to do and figure this is a great time to discuss last night's So You Think You Can Dance, pull out your iPhone.  Or plan your grocery list.  Or doodle on a napkin.  Just don't do THAT.

What say you, readers?  Am I too touchy?  Do you have other reading pet peeves that take precedence over this one?  Or is this a problem of yours as well?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How to have your books...and a sig other too.

A little while ago on Twitter, I was asked by my friend Cari (whose non-book blog you should totally check out):

Cari Renn (@CariRenn)
@TheWRRedhead could you do a post on your thoughts on diving into books without isolating the hubby all night/week long?

And I replied with:

Well-Read Redhead (@TheWRRedhead)
@CariRenn Hmmm yes I will think about that one!  Going to be a tough post because I have not perfected that art yet...LOL.

True story though, right?  If you have a significant other, AND you love reading, life gets hard sometimes.

My husband doesn't dislike reading.  In fact, when we go on vacations, he often gets lost in some book or other.  But during a normal work week, reading is not his idea of relaxation--mostly because he is in a PhD program while working full time, so he gets his fair share of reading in already.  It's okay, I get it--I didn't read much for fun when I was in school either.  But it's hard to be always reading when your significant other isn't--and even if they are, not much chit-chat happens when you're both buried in different books.

The main issue is that reading, while AWESOME, is a very solitary activity.  After our son goes to bed, Hubs and I love to relax together in our family room downstairs.  His idea of relaxing is vegging in front of the TV, flipping through all the channels, and eventually landing on DIY Network, or a repeat of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  (Seriously, is that show ever NOT on?)  While I stretch out on the other end of the couch, buried in a book.

So, what to do?  How to spend good time together, but also Read All The Things?  Well, I thought about it a bit, and I've put together a few suggestions from my own experience.

1. Share the room.
You may have noticed above that Hubs and I sit on the couch together most nights--him watching TV, me reading.  As a reader, this is not easy to do, because I prefer to read in silence.  However, rather than retreating to the bedroom with my book, I always stay in the family room, because at least we are together.  The only real concession is that I end up reading a little more slowly, which I can live with.

2. Keep in "touch".
Just because you're both involved in different activities, doesn't mean you can't relax together at the same time!  Sometimes Hubs and I sit head-to-foot on the couch and give each other foot massages while I read and he watches TV.  Yes, we are both doing different things, but we are also both giving out awesome foot massages, so everybody wins.
(Note: in these cases, an e-reader comes in handy for one-touch page flipping.)

3. Pick one solitary activity per night.
One thing I struggle with is that many of my other hobbies are also anti-social.  Reading, scrapbooking, blogging, schooling people at Hanging With Friends on my phone...none of these are things I can do in collaboration with my husband.  And it's easy to start the night reading, then want to do a little scrapping, and then maybe work on the blog...but no.  Each night, I try to limit myself to one of these activities.  That way, my husband doesn't feel like I'm moving from one thing to the other, and never including him.  Try not to overbook yourself during your downtime if you want to also be present with your sig other.  (Of all my suggestions, I think I find this one the hardest to follow!)

4. Schedule breaks.
Sometimes it's fun to schedule in a break for you and your SO to drop your activities and hang out together.  For example, Hubs and I will agree that at the end of his Sons of Anarchy episode, I'll pause reading and we'll have an ice cream break together.  The advantage is that you know exactly how much interrupted reading time you're going to get, and you can plan accordingly.

5. Make up the time elsewhere.
Torn between spending the evening with your SO, and finishing the last part of Gone Girl?  Wake up a half hour earlier the next day to finish it up.  Plan to do the elliptical machine instead of the treadmill at the gym for your next workout, so you can read on the machine.  Think through your day, and find other times where you can squeeze in that reading!

6. Take a night off.
The most obvious (and important!) suggestion: take a night away from reading every once in a while.  I know, blasphemy!  But the best together time that the Hubs and I have happens when there's not a book (or a computer, or a phone...) between us.  We have movie nights, DIY project nights, fancy dinner nights, etc. where our other hobbies don't come into play.  Plan ahead or do it impromptu--either way, it's nice to switch gears every once in a while.

How do you balance reading with your romantic/social life?  What suggestions do you have for other voracious readers?
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