It's finally here!

It's finally here!

After nearly a year of planning (I recently discovered that I'd bought tickets, along with my five compadres, to the USATF Olympic Trials last July), the time has finally arrived for me to take off to Eugene, Oregon, to meet up with some amazing women, enjoy some beautiful scenery, drink some fabulous beer and cheer my head off for some of the most dedicated, hardworking and inspiring athletes (here is a breakdown of the 14 Oiselle athletes who will compete at the USATF Olympic Trials, as well as a schedule of events!) that I'll ever be able to see in person. 

Packing is going to be a challenge.

Packing is going to be a challenge.

I haven't felt compelled to blog in several days, so I haven't; I've been reading quite a bit (summer reading is my favorite) and making preparations to leave both work and home. While there are certainly benefits to feeling needed, I've been on the (new) job for almost twelve weeks and let's just say that most everyone in the hospital knows I'm here now and they are taking advantage of the opportunity to reach out to their staff chaplain. I love it here, and I stay busy and it's tough to break away, but I know I need to recharge and take time for myself.

Pre-vacation mani = self care!

Pre-vacation mani = self care!

For those of you who are interested in the Trials, I'm planning to blog my way through the trip and, since a local friend has requested that I "blow up Facebook," I'll apologize in advance for posting videos and seemingly repetitive pics of fast people running around in circles at Hayward Field. If you want in on the action, you can find me on Instagram (itstaraleigh), Twitter (@runningreading1) and Snapchat (tlcrunner)!

For those of you who also enjoy summer reading, here's a little reading update:

Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel, published on June 14 by Riverhead Books, started off with a bang; as my friend and fellow book lover Sarah says, there's nothing quite as good as an excellent read on "wealthy people behaving badly." I had really high hopes for this one, and highlighted a gagillion passages in the first half...and then the excitement sort of fizzled away. I still gave it four stars on Goodreads, but it kind of let me down.

From Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel

From Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel

Next up, First Comes Love by summer standby Emily Giffin, published on June 28 by Ballantine Books; I've always enjoyed Giffin's stories yet I felt less engaged, less invested in this one than I've felt with any of her previous books. I'm thinking that my tastes have changed, I've grown a little older, and maybe this just isn't the type of read for me right now. In addition, I struggled to find a connection with the characters in this story; I finished it, mostly because I was interested enough to read the ending, but, for me, it wasn't up there with her other novels.

I've most recently finished Listen to Me by Hannah Pittard, which will publish on July 5 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; I loved her novel Reunion, so I jumped at the opportunity to read her latest. While it was completely different, I truly enjoyed this one; the main characters, a married couple, are on a road trip to visit family and things just get...weird?? It's part mystery/suspense, part relationship drama, part self-discovery? I'm still thinking about it, even though the ending left me wanting more. It's definitely recommendable!

My first (of several...getting anywhere by air from Little Rock is never simple) flight takes off really early tomorrow morning and I should end up in Eugene at around 3:30pm PT; the first Trials event (an exciting one!) takes place shortly after, so I'm looking forward to getting out there. We have lots of fun activities planned, including a 10K race on Monday, July 4, and I'm going to do my best to document the fun so that I can enjoy it over and over...#totallytrials16.

Tracktown USA - Day 1

Tracktown USA - Day 1

It's just a mile.

It's just a mile.