Challenge

#FitReaders- Weekly Check-In April 14, 2017

Yeah, basically…

Sleep

Week April 14 ActiveWeek April 14 DistanceWeek April 14 Steps

On the plus side Leap4Life is working pretty well for me after a small hiccup of trying to hold myself back so future challenges have easier goals. I have joined a team and have successfully completed several individual (I even got third place in one event!) and team events. I am staying well hydrated, and my weight is holding reasonably steady. Basically, I am just pushing on. I’ll be going in for allergy testing and starting back on allergy shots this week hopefully. I don’t know if it will help the sleep thing, but it certainly can’t hurt. So that’s the update.

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Challenge

#FitReaders- Weekly Check-In April 7, 2017

I went ahead and got an immediate jump on April so I didn’t find myself in the same boat I was in the last couple of months. And it was nice, I knocked another minute off my 5K time. You forget just how…well not exactly easy, but, relatively effortless it is to improve your times when you are first starting out. It requires no special training or regimens. Those first few runs are just about proving that you can do something you were probably convinced you couldn’t do. Bodies are amazing things, Then once you do it, you realize you CAN do it. Those first few tries are so fantastic because they aren’t magical unicorn personal best times that will require extreme dedication to pull off again. You just have to pull on your shoes (or not as the case may be) and get out there. It is fantastic, heady stuff.

April 2017 5K Stats

Stats: Week April 1-7, 2017

April Strut My Stuff.png

I met my goals, so that was good. And for the month of April I am going to try to do at least a dedicated running/wobbling mile each week, if not an outright 5 K. Just kind of took it easy and let this past week or so be a refeed as I was stressed. On the sleep front, Fitbit has been promising sleep stages, which I still haven’t got.

April Week 7 DistanceApril 7 Week StepsApril 7 Week Active

I have also started doing some other stuff to earn money with my FitBit.

Walgreens Balance Rewards-gets you store credit.

Achievemint.com which gets you points that you can send money to Paypal.

Bounts-Which doesn’t have a ton of things you can get with your points, but you can use the pints to enter challenges and chances to win things.

HIGI-Which you earn points for activity, and also checking in at Higi stations, and for joining Challenges where you may win prizes. They also have a “store” to spend your points, but that is mostly a few discount codes. But if I am ever to pull the trigger on a Withings Aura, it is nice to known I can get 20% off.

AARP Rewards for Good-not that great of redemption program, but still it is something.

Leap4Life-This one I am super new to, so I am not sure how it will go, but it is more social than the other programs, and I think you can redeem points for giftcards.

 

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#FitReaders- Weekly Check-In March 31, 2017

March-5k-2017

March 5K

Whoohoo! I’ve knocked almost 5 minutes off my 5K time! And my actual running compared to my power walking is much more distinct. I mean it looks like actual running-like activity. Plus my heart rate was much more reasonable for what I was doing and I suspect I was at much less risk of giving myself a heart attack. It is absolutely amazing how much difference 16 pounds can make when you are trying to lug it around a track.

Stats: Week of March 25-31, 2017

Not too shabby for a presentation and traveling week.

Week March 31 ActiveWeek March 31 StepsWeek March 31 DistanceWeek March 31 Sleep

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#FitReaders- Weekly Check-In March 17, 2017

So, except for sleep (I really despise Daylight Saving) this was a pretty good week for me, physically. Eating wise I took a serious break, because heck, I wanted to. Cake an ice cream for the win! If I have relatively maintained my weight I will be happy enough. This has also been my first major travel since I started Fitbitting, and I think I did pretty well, all things considered.

FEB-2016-5K-1February 5K

The time was pretty reasonable considering I stopped to chat with a random neighborhood dude and forgot to pause the tracker. Also, I must have been wearing it funny, or the relative cold made it go wonky, because I was sweating like a beast and my heart was pounding. So, that is my February make-up, and I will need to do March’s next weekend. Time does tend to get away.

Stats: Week March 11-17, 2017

Week March 17 ActiveWeek March 17 StepsWeek March 17 Distance

Week March 17 Sleep.png

 

 

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5 star review, Challenge

March TBR Challenge 2017 & OpenLibrary – Son of the Morning by Linda Howard

Son of the Morning

This month’s challenge is “Comfort Read”,┬ábut my moods are too dicy to try to call anything I haven’t re-read a comfort read. So I offer you this gem from 1997, the exception that proves the rule in my general hatred of time travel romance-the only time travel romance I actually enjoy and a near annual re-read. What makes for a comfort read? I dont know, but this one is on my list. So this was on my TBR because I was due, not because it is new.

A scholar specializing in ancient manuscripts, Grace St. John never imagined that a cache of fragile, old documents she discovered was the missing link to a lost Celtic treasure. But as soon as she deciphers the intriguing legend of the Knights of the Templar — long fabled to hold the key to unlimited power — Grace becomes the target of a ruthless killer bent on abusing the coveted force. Determined to stop him, Grace needs the help of a celebrated warrior bound by duty to uphold the Templar’s secret for all eternity. But to find him — and to save herself — she must go back in time.
Summoning the magic of an arcane ritual, Grace steps back to the barren hills of 14th-century Scotland, enduring the perils of an untamed land to confront Black Niall, a fierce man of dark fury and raw, unbridled desire. Driven by a mix of fear and passion, Grace enlists this brazen knight to join her in a modern-day search for a killer. In their quest to protect a timeless secret, they uncover a love for all time — and a deadly duel of honor that risks everything they have.

Once upon a time, shortly after I had moved away to college, I was bored at my mom’s house and this was the longest book I had not read, so I picked it up, thinking blegh, and then was so sucked in I left several hours later than I had intended and even stole one of her precious books. So yes, I own a couple of copies, but this one is also available on Open Library, with the usual disclaimers.

This is also the book’s 20th anniversary, so it seemed like a good time to bring it up for people who may not have ever encountered it before. Due to the longevity of the book and the fact that so many different book blurbs have been used, I may be a bit more spoilery than usual.

On to the actual review:

Have you ever met someone who was sweet and kind of delicate that you always kind of figured would be the type to collapse and never recover when hit by tragedy? But then when they are, while they might have completely shattered, they somehow managed to glue themselves into a sharp ball of all that brokeness and somehow managed to survive and complete their objectives? Never the same again, but completely not what you were expecting either.

That is Grace St. John. A sweet woman with a solid simple life, she loved her brother and her husband, was nice to the neighborhood teen, and loved her job as a translator. In short a round little cream puff of a woman. And then suddenly, it was all taken from her. Her husband and brother both killed, she’s the prime suspect. She has no resources, no skills, and no fallback position; and absolutely no clue why any of this is happening.

Most of the story follows her journey as she fights to stay alive and to solve the mystery of why this has happened to her. It is a story of a woman putting herself back together, inexpertly mended and complete with really sharp edges. It is a story about obsessions.

And I found it remarkably fascinating and was literally not able to put it down, despite the fact that the romance was light (I mean the love interest is in another freaking century for most of the book), and despite the paranormal element (when I already didn’t care for time travel and paranormal was barely a blip on my radar at the time) it was GOOD. I mean I honestly didn’t know which direction the author was going to go; was she taking the topic seriously, was Grace cracking up, was it some coma dream? I just simply didn’t know!

Grace was just so interesting, and eventually so confident and competent that I couldn’t help but root for her, even when I thought she might be out of her damned mind. The love interest, well, I am meh over him to be honest, but Grace really dug on him, so I was even rooting for her to get him too. He was the trapped prince waiting for the queen to rescue him, and basically she did. It totally rocked and was kind of an eye opener for me at the time. The WOMAN could be the rescuer, could be the one to do the leg work. The man could be the object of desire and the one who waited. It kind of blew my mind.

As for how well it holds up. Well except for the payphones, it really held up quite well I think, but take my opinion with a grain of salt, because I am surely reading with my rosy colored sentiment glasses. But if you never picked this one up, thinking it didn’t sound like your cup of tea, well give it another look, because this one is I think a little something special and out of the ordinary, even today.

Son of the Morning

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#FitReaders- Weekly Check-In March 10, 2017

You know how you can know that something is weighing heavy on you, but not really KNOW just how much it is impacting your life? I got rid of a major source of stress the week before, and this week I slept better than I have in months, maybe even years. I feel reasonably good, which is helpful when heading into the hell, for me, that is daylight saving time. Plus I only have 14 pounds to go to reach my goal weight, so I am nicely ahead of my projected schedule. And I am reading again, whoohoo!

Stats: Week March 4-10, 2017

Week March 10 ActiveWeek March 10 StepsWeek March 10 DistanceWeek March 10 Sleep

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