re-integrating running into life, #20BooksOfSummer

By | May 23, 2021

that title sounds so dramatic, which it isn’t meant to be, but not sure how else to phrase it. As we move back toward normalcy, whatever that means, post covid-19, the weekend of May 15-16 was my first chance to look at how to integrate my covid running routine with “real life”. I knew that if I had to miss consecutive days of running, I’d be fine as I’d done it for quarantine but really, really didn’t want to. I love the routine I’ve gotten into for the last year and determined to keep it up as we transition back to “real life”.  This was a really good two weeks with various friend visits. I’d say normalcy will include learning to blog from my phone, but we all know that’s a lie 😀

this always makes me smile

This came across my twitter feed again recently. Always true and can never see it too often.

Weekly Run Down with Kim and Deborah:


Week of May 10

  • never miss a Monday: 8a dentist appointment, which is ~3 mile run in each direction. Perfect for a 30m playlist. Selena country on the way down and Matty Maggiacomo’s Hamilton on the way home. Downside? Non-Stop in my head all day. Great song, but an awful ear worm.
  • Tuesday: glad I got out for a walk since it was a (good) long work day. Listened to Rogue’s  Church of the Long Run which makes it even more amazing that I chose (and succeeded) with them for the marathon training since their belief is way higher mileage than I’m interested in. Oddly, we didn’t do as many 20+ as Chris discussed and wonder if that was a NYC decision or one he changed his thoughts on recently. If I do a fall Half, I’m planning to train, but not sure whose plan I’d use yet.
  • Wednesday: four miles before work and the Julianna Margulies book talk after

friends at FRIENDS

  • Thursday: couldn’t do the office run group due to plans after work so ran in the morning and went almost 4.5 miles. I started thinking about why I always did four miles when I did five often last summer and well why not run a little longer as the morning daylight lengthens. Will also help me get out earlier as the temperatures rise. After work had an overdue meetup with a friend to see the FRIENDS experience. Such a fun, silly and safe event.

summer nights!

  • Friday: Rochester bound. Lovely patio evening after dinner. It was so nice to have a normal weekend getaway. Between marathon training and COVID, I really missed those.


fair food!

  • Saturday: morning run to Canandaigua Lake, afternoon with the lilacs. Oddly the first time I’ve run while in Canandaigua and was thrilled to find a pretty albeit hilly route down to the Lake. I’m not usually one to think about “earning” a meal or working one off, but let’s just say that I wasn’t saying no to a funnel cake. The Lilac Festival felt safe and distanced and dare I say normal? Despite being aware of it for 20+ years, this is the first time the weather and calendar cooperated.

Dewey !

  • Sunday: meet Dewey. Alas he isn’t mine, but I was so glad to be there for his homecoming. And yes, that’s a case of wipes for scale. Adorable little pandemic kitty.

Week of May 17

Canandaigua Lake

Pretzels are healthy, right?

  • never miss a Monday: wanted to go a little longer than Saturday’s but still do the lake so I wiggled around a little. No flatter but nice and scenic. Paired it with a delicious lunch before I started the drive back home.

good morning world

evening happy place

  • Tuesday: morning walk to get out the car stiffness. Stunning morning. Re-entry wasn’t too crazy and I got out in time to have a picnic by the river. The dropping of the outdoor mask requirement is nice in that I really did miss these picnics.

I’m melting!

  • Wednesday: summer came. This picture just cracked me up since it looked like I felt. The run was good though.
  • Thursday: luckily temperatures dropped some and the office run group was a much better run. Before and after meeting with the group was Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos on Double Date. I learned about that podcast when Marlo Thomas was on Go Ask Ali earlier this season talking about her book. Fascinating topic as someone who has known since childhood that I had no interest in marriage. I don’t think I want to read a 600 page book on marriage, but the podcast segments are fun.

gorgeous walk through the Park

  • Friday: on Wednesdays we wear pink and on Friday afternoons, we museum. After the Guggenheim we had a lovely walk through the park. It’s getting busier, but will always be a wonderful oasis.

I <3 playing in the dirt

yep, run break meets critters

  • Saturday: I’m not even sure when it last rained, and the bridle path looked like that. The dirty legs don’t even do them justice. Let’s just say I’m glad I have dark floors until I swiffered later. Dirt + sunscreen is just childhood and while it was way hotter than I’d like, the run/walk with a friend was a wonderful catch up as it had been a few weeks. Followed that up with sushi, pedicure and some lovely reading time by the river. Perfect Saturday.
  • Sunday: museum, dinner with a friend and a flyby hello with another. I’ve been mostly pain free with the hamstring, and glad to see this was true even after the longest run/walk with it.


20 Books of Summer:



Liz reminded me about this challenge, which I attempted in 2018 and since I seem to be in a good reading head space, well why not try it in 2021. 746 Books is the host,  and that post has all the “rules”, such as they exist. Basically you pick whether you want to read ten, fifteen or twenty books, and which books those are. No rules as to print or ebooks, or whether you own them or not. If you’re doing the challenge, you can add your link. Any one else here besides Liz doing it?

Part of me thinks I should level up on the challenge and read those I didn’t get to in 2018 or since, but my reading tastes have shifted since then and a few I either don’t remember or don’t appeal to me. I’ll finish filling out the list before June 1. Need ideas? Here are some from Goodreads. I love the idea of reading one book set in every state, but that’s not for this challenge.

My list in no particular order. Bold/Linked are done.

  1. Daniel Silva, The Cellist. July release by my favorite author
  2. Mason Funk, The Book of Pride in June during Pride month.I loved the unsung heroes.
  3. Katie Heaney, Would You Rather? More Pride reading. Loved this.
  4. John Paul Brammer, Hola Papi. Quick, poignant read
  5. Ben Cleary, Searching for Stonewall Jackson. Been wanting to read this for some time. Nothing like a deadline.
  6. Chris Liddell-Westefeld They Said This Day Would Never Come
  7.  Jess Phoenix Ms. Adventure. 
  8. Lexie Kite More Than a BodyUnderwhelmed, this wasn’t the book I thought it would be.
  9. Joshua Jelly-Schapiro Names of New YorkThis started slow but was really food.
  10. Craig Taylor New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time. And thritto. 
  11. Spike Carlsen, A Walk Around the Block. Ooh this looks fun complement to 99% Invisible
  12. Craig Taylor, Londoners because my Kindle tells me I never actually finished this, although I thought I had. My own rules, re-reads count if I find I did finish this in print or something.
  13. James Patterson 21st Birthday. A girl needs her trash.
  14. Lee Child 61 Hours
  15. Diane Capri Jack Frost
  16. Pamela Newkirk, Diversity Inc. A friend of a colleague, and while this was written before George Floyd and the attendant DEAI focus, I’m curious to how it fits in.
  17. Will Gompertz What Are You Looking At?
  18. Abby Hoy, Yes, You Can Wear That. Not much of a fashion person, but this seemed interesting from NetGalley
  19. Zeba Blay, Carefree Black Girls. NetGalley queue.
  20. Mike Anthony, Life at Hamilton: Sometimes You Throw Away Your Shot, Only to Find Your Story.


  1. Sarah Broom, The Yellow House. Started this in May, but wasn’t the right time with the library queue. Still want to read it, but it’s a long one, so alternate.
  2. James Poniewozik, Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America. I want to read this, I own it, but I’m not sure I’m in the head space.
  3. Bill Hayes, How We Live Now. Do picture books count? Also, might finish this in May. ETA: Finished in May, replacing it with his How New York Breaks Your Heart

37 thoughts on “re-integrating running into life, #20BooksOfSummer

    1. cari Post author

      Thank you! And thanks for hosting this fun challenge.

  1. Liz Dexter

    Dewey! It is interesting for people adjusting back. I learned a lot running in lockdown, needing to get our for more runs more days, finding out I can run 5 days a week / 3 days in a row if I want to, and I’ll be taking that forward although with training for my autumn half and possible mara next year, I might need to drop the number of runs per week again so I can do cross- and strength training.

    And hooray for 20 books! Your list looks very sensible (I have Jonathan Van Ness’ autobiography for Pride month) and much more doable than my terrifying one!

    1. cari Post author

      I was going back and forth on posting Dewey, but then when I melded 20 Books… with the Run Down I knew I had to. Learning I could comfortably run back to back but shouldn’t run three was interesting. Reminds me, should do a running lessons in lockdown post. We both have fun lists.

  2. Kim G

    I think it will be interesting to see how people get back to “normal”. I know it will take me a while before I feel more safe with everything being fully open.

    Hooray for pain-free running!

    Yum to the fair food! You can never go wrong with Funnel cake 🙂

    1. cari Post author

      Same. I still can’t quite wrap my head around long time indoors or seated, whereas walking through museums (masked) feels OK. It’s definitely going to be a process. And funnel cakes are mandatory. Are they even legal fairs without them?

  3. Kimberly Hatting

    You have a busy summer on tap! I am not a cat gal (#allergies), but little Dewey is precious 😉 Doesn’t it feel good to be on our journey back to normal!

    1. cari Post author

      oh yeah, all of my clothes that Dewey loved on went right into the laundry and that’s part of why he’s not mine. But luckily my allergies are minor enough that I can visit with him without major issue. There was no danger of my suitcase mewing with a stowaway
      And yes, so nice to do things we took for granted.

  4. Deborah Brooks

    I love Daniel Silva and I am looking forward to reading this one! 20 books is a lot. Love how much you are loving all the Peloton classes. Running to and from a dentist appointment counts double in my book. Have a fantastic week and looking forward to seeing you rock the Brooks shirt

    1. cari Post author

      Hah! Was going to wear it yesterday but glad I didn’t because of all the dust. I’m not sure it ever would have been white again. It will probably pop up in this week’s run down.
      Thanks for being a part of my Peloton fun and can’t wait to discuss the Cellist with you!

  5. Chocolaterunsjudy

    Running is an every changing target. You just gotta go with the flow, so to speak.

    I didn’t have a car when I went to school, so never made it to the Lilac Festival (and haven’t been back since I graduated). I do love lilacs, though, we have one bush.

    Dewey is adorable! He certainly got my attention. 🙂

    1. cari Post author

      We never had lilacs in mom’s lawn since they don’t like the soil. Other than graduation when we were otherwise busy, semester was always over before they’d bloom.
      He got mine too. So much fun for the end of the weekend

  6. Jessie

    Adjusting to normal life for me will mean running an hour or more earlier than I can now with wfh! I’m dreading it. I love the flexibility of wfh for running.

    Sounds like a lovely getaway with lots of good eats and some nice runs!

    1. cari Post author

      It was a wonderful getaway with the benefit of being a “Safe” space in terms of COVID, etc. Not sure I’m ready for a hotel type getaway yet.
      Hope you can navigate the sleep and don’t need to go back to the office until after the long runs of your marathon training are done.

  7. Coco

    Yay for running and seeing friends! Are you going into the office now? I’m going to dip my toes in that water in June …

    I’m such a slow reader because my eyes are so tired at the end of the day. Plus, I’m doing a puzzle now. I’m really enjoy Rose Code though.

    1. cari Post author

      We’re not back in the office yet, but did just do the survey about a return, so it’s close.
      I’m not a puzzle person. One day!

  8. Jenny

    Oh darn- I was hoping Dewey was yours so we could get more pictures! We got our “Covid kitten” last July and she totally saved our family! So cute and loveable.
    Last week when I confessed that I ate a pretzel the size of my head and drank beer the night before my 5k time trial, everyone assured me that I needed the carbs. Who am I to argue?
    I love your 20 books challenge! I might join, but pick the 15 option- i love reading but I know my life, and that’s more realistic for me.

    1. cari Post author

      Oh absolutely, I didn’t finish the last time I did it, but enjoyed having the goal to work toward. I look forward to seeing what books you choose.
      There will be many Dewey pics, hopefully. He’s just too cute. Glad you have the enjoyment of a covid kitten too. They’re game changers!

  9. Michelle D.

    Yay for seeing friends and moving a little closer to normalcy!

    I love Canandaigua Lake – haven’t been up there in a couple of years. Great running, but yes, hilly!

    What a great book challenge – I’ll be curious to hear which are your favorites.

    1. cari Post author

      Oh I totally could have spammed you with Canandaigua Lake photos. My college roommate and her family live just up the hill, emphasis on UP. LOL. They’ve been there since 2005 when they moved from Farmington.
      I originally thought of ordering them by interest, but I want to read them all!

  10. Zenaida Arroyo

    I thought Dewey was your new kitten! He is just ADORABLE!! I am also a huge fan of funnel cakes. Never day no! 🙂 I won’t do the challenge but I am going to check out the books on your list. Summer will be a great time for reading!!

    1. cari Post author

      I can’t even imagine how little you get to read during the school year. Any books you recommend? I wish Dewey was mine!

  11. Darlene S. Cardillo

    So happy to hear that you got to Rochester and especially at lilac time. I’d always hoped I worked there at that time. But no. We have some bushes.

    Welcome back.

    Friends I’ve met is the biggest takeaway from running. In addition to fitness.

    Great challenge. I read a lot but would never take the time to document it.

    Fall half? I’m only doing Cape Cod if you do.

    1. cari Post author

      Goodreads makes the documentation easy. I almost never am that excited to blog about a book, with the exception of Daniel Silva.
      I’m leaning toward a fall half for some structure, but we’ll see

  12. Renée

    I may need to live vicariously through you as far as getting back to normal goes… we’re not quite there yet. i can already tell you I’m dreading going into the office. Getting up early only to go for a walk is much more desirable that getting up early to go to work.

    I love Dewey, what a cutie <3.

    I am going to attempt to read one book this summer. One. 20 is a lot. I haven't even read 20 in the last few years. How sad is that?

    1. cari Post author

      We all do what works for us. I’m at 34 on the year so 20 over that three month period is doable, albeit a challenge. If you told me I had to binge a series or something? Nope.
      I’m not ready to go back to he office or really anything indoors that isn’t a private house where I know the people/their habits, so it’s going to be an interesting transition

  13. JENN

    I have fallen off my reading. I’m saving books for after my extraction, since I don’t have much of a TV in our room and I probably will spend a few days holed away up there.

    I would die for Dewey. And for funnel cake. But Dewey most importantly.

    Re-entry is WILD. Sometimes it feels so freaking normal, and then other times it’s like “OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING???”

  14. JENN

    I have fallen off my reading. I’m saving books for after my extraction, since I don’t have much of a TV in our room and I probably will spend a few days holed away up there.

    I would die for Dewey. And for funnel cake. But Dewey most importantly.

    Re-entry is WILD. Sometimes it feels so freaking normal, and then other times it’s like “OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING???”

    1. cari Post author

      Same on the TV — no electronics in the bedroom gets violated with the Kindle, but I didn’t grow up with TV in my room and have never gotten into it. Kind of glad for that.
      Dewey edged out the funnel cake for me too.

  15. Marcia

    Looks like a great week! Patio evenings are the best. It is my goal to have as many as possible this summer. Love the 20 books idea! Glad the hamstring is cooperating!

    1. cari Post author

      Yes! My version of the patio is benches by the river and I totally concur.

  16. Debbie @ Deb Runs

    Awww, Dewy is so cute!

    It sounds like you’re starting to do a lot of things you haven’t been able to do for a while. I’m loving how things are opening up and getting back to normal.

    1. cari Post author

      Same. I’m not ready to go full “normal’ yet, but the baby steps are comforting

    1. cari Post author

      Thank you! You as well. Off to check out your list

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