It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? & Weekend Update (7/13/15)

July 13, 2015 It's Monday! What are you reading? 28

Last week was a SLOOOW reading week; I barely finished one book! I’m not sure what was going on…I just kept picking up newspapers and magazines instead of my book (oh, and catching up on all The Bachelorette and Unreal I missed during vacation). I also spent a lot of time catching up on reviewing my vacation books. So, not a ton of time devoted to reading. All my ducks are now in a row, so this week should be different.

I finished reading…

Girl at War, Sara Novic

Girl at War
 by Sara Novic (May 12, 2015)
I absolutely loved the parts about Ana’s childhood during the early 1990’s in a war ravaged Croatia, but am still pondering the sections about her life ten years later. Review (possibly mini) coming soon.

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

Circling the Sun, Paula McClain

Circling the Sun
 by Paula McClain (July 28, 2015)
I’ve only read the first few pages of this one, so no thoughts yet.

Next up, are…

Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee, Bull Mountain

Go Set A Watchman
by Harper Lee (July 14, 2015)
I read the first chapter (it was published on Friday in the WSJ and The Guardian) and…I was kind of “meh” about it (can I even say this??). I pre-ordered the book and am planning on reading it, but have really tempered my expectations. Hopefully, I’ll be proven wrong. 

Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich (July 7, 2015)
Katie at Bookish Tendencies loved this debut “multigenerational saga of crime, family, and vengeance” (Goodreads) set in North Georgia. Plus, a front cover blurb from Wiley Cash doesn’t hurt.

Weekend Update

Running N Reading Weekend Update Link-Up
I’m linking up with Tara at Running N Reading’s Weekend Update.

So, after a bit of a snafu (my original race being canceled for low participation – boo!), I’m officially signed up to participate in my first sprint triathlon, the West Point Triathlon on August 16. This race is a half mile open water swim, 12 mile bike ride, and a 5K run. I started training last week using an abbreviated version (7 weeks instead of 13) of this plan from

My Week One Observations

  • Clip-in cycling shoes are not nearly as intimidating as I imagined. I adapted to using them pretty quickly.
  • However…going fast on the bike outdoors is much scarier than I imagined! I found myself riding my brakes on downhills because I felt out of control and ended up at a much slower average pace than I’d been doing in spin classes. This does not bode well for me as the whole point of racing is to GO FAST! It appears I’m also kind of a weeny about riding in traffic, so I didn’t venture far outside of my neighborhood during this first week.
  • I was a swimmer growing up, so the swim doesn’t intimidate me as much as the bike. I swam a couple times over vacation (including two open waters) and felt pretty good. BUT…at the end of my first open water swim in my hometown (off of the beach where everyone’s kids play, mind you), I was greeted by a used condom floating in the water. Thank you, Long Island Sound!
  • I only ran once last week (which is the least I’ve run in a week since I was pregnant!) and my legs felt absolutely dead. 

Is it normal for the addition of biking and swimming into your routine to make your legs feel totally different for the run? What’s the grossest thing you’ve encountered on an open water swim?!

28 Responses to “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? & Weekend Update (7/13/15)”

  1. Kay

    I’ve been looking forward to Circling The Sun for what seems like forever. Guess it’s been quite a while since I first heard about it. Happy to know that the publish date is finally close. Good luck with your training – and as to the ‘floating’ object – ick, ick, ick!!

    • admin

      I feel the same way about it! I’ve had it on my Kindle forever, but for some reason wasn’t super excited about it. But, am now enjoying it way more than I thought I would.

    • admin

      I was scared to read that article after the blaring spoiler headline! I didn’t know what other details I didn’t want to know might be in there 🙂

  2. Brona

    I had a flick through Circling the Sun today but felt rather underwhelmed by chapter one…but it most definitely could be me at the moment.

    I love that your ducks have lined up….mine are still all over the place, but the duck analogy will make me smile for days to come – thank you 🙂

    • admin

      I was a little underwhelmed by the very, very beginning as well, but it got better quickly. Beryl had quite the interesting upbringing!

      And – ha! Glad my ducks made you smile!

  3. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

    I understand the slow reading as I’m in the same place. Only my distraction has been Scandal on Netflix 😉

    Bull Mountain is firmly on my radar and I’ll be watching out for that one!

    Have a great week 😀

    • admin

      I saw that on your post! And – I need to join Netflix immediately..there are so many shows I’m dying to binge watch (Scandal being one of them..and Bloodline and Kimmy Schmidt as well).

      You have a great week as well!

  4. Gina

    I find the transition from swim to bike a hundred times easier than bike to run. In preparation, I try most times to get off my bike, change shoes and run for five minutes just to get used to the weak legged feeling. A friend also suggested a quick hamstring stretch after changing shoes to lengthen the cramped muscles from biking. The weirdest water thing was a lady swam right into my crotch at the beginning of a race scratching the heck out of me. I was so shocked; it threw me off.

    • admin

      That’s a great idea…I’ve definitely had that brick leg feeling and will try your tip after my next ride! Have you ever had that feeling on your runs that don’t immediately follow the bike? That’s what happened to me last wasn’t following a ride, but I had ridden a fair amount earlier that week.

      And…WHAT?! That’s crazy! Do people get super aggressive in the race?

  5. Shannon @ River City Reading

    I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do about Watchman at this point. I didn’t pre-order it, but planned to buy it tomorrow. Now I’m going to try to grab it from the library (mine doesn’t do holds until it’s physically there) and see how it goes.

    • admin

      Hope you get your hands on the library copy! I’m still deciding whether to put my current book aside to start it immediately or wait until I finish what I’m reading (probably later this week). I don’t do that well with reading more than one book at a time…

  6. JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing

    Bull Mountain is getting a lot of buzz lately and it sounds like a book I’d like, but I’m going to pass on Go Set A Watchman for now. I may reread TKaM next year and then pick it up.

    • admin

      I do feel like lots of people are talking about Bull Mountain right now! I think a re-read of TKAM is definitely a smart move before GSAW (I re-read it in June)…and maybe waiting until the hype dies down a bit.

  7. Amanda

    I really want to get Bull Mountain and Girl at War soon. I am very excited to read Circling the Sun soon as well. Go Set a Watchman – I’m holding out for now I think. I just don’t think I can do it.

    • admin

      After reading the first chapter of GSAW, I kind of got less excited to read the whole thing 🙁 But, I think I’m going to do it sometime this week anyway.

  8. Kathy @ Kathy Reads Fiction

    I’ll be reading Bull Run later this week, and can’t wait to dig into it. I’m putting off GSaW until next week probably. There are still others I need to get finished first. I wasn’t impressed with the first chapter that much, but TKaM started slow for me, too. I really don’t want the spoilers I’ve read to hurt my opinion of it, so I’m not paying any attention to anymore news posts about it.

    • admin

      I wasn’t impressed with the first chapter either 🙁 It tempered my expectations a bit. And, yes to avoiding all the spoilers! It will be hard, but I’m going to try.

    • admin

      I’ve never really been a biker, so don’t really know what long rides feel like without them. But, a friend who’s done a couple triathlons said they make a huge difference, so I just went with it. I’m just so glad I haven’t wrecked yet!

  9. Diane

    I’m not rushing out for the Harper Lee book, but will be curious to read other readers thoughts. Hope its enjoyable for you.

    • admin

      I hope so too 🙂 And I’ve heard some others who are going to wait a bit as well.

  10. Carmen

    About GSAW, there was a major spoiler about Atticus on NBC’s news broadcast last night. I got upset because Atticus was the best of the best.
    I am reading Circling the Sun too this week. I liked the preface and the first chapter, but the heat has me exhausted and I keep falling asleep because of it so I’m reading at a slower rate than the slow I was reading up to a week ago.

  11. Tara @ Running 'N' Reading

    Sorry for the late comment; trying to catch up after vacation – ha! A condom?!? Nice, really nice. Ugh. I don’t bike but, as you know, Jonathan does and he felt the same way about clipping in; lots of people kept telling him that he’d fall a bunch of times and that it would be a tough learning process, but he’s never had any trouble. He has, however, explained to me his feeling about riding fast on the road…same as yours! I was blown away! After all this talk of a new bicycle so you can go faster in races and now it’s scary? HA! I would be a nervous wreck, though, without a doubt. I can’t even imagine. I’m afraid Girl at War may not hold my attention; otherwise, I would’ve already gone for it.

    • admin

      Ha! I’m glad to know I’m not the only budding triathlete that’s scared of speed on the bike! I’m getting a little better with each ride…my average mph is increasing slightly with every time out. So, there’s hope!

      Welcome back from vacation (hope you had a good one!) and I know the feeling of digging out 🙂

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