Hello! I am back. I am tired. But I had quite an adventure.
So let's do this in highlights per state, shall we? But first! The bulk of my fall book tour is now over, but not quite! On Thursday night, I'll be at the Pineland Striders monthly meeting in Medford, N.J., and on Sunday, I'll be doing a group run then reading at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. We run at 9 and I start talking at 10.
And now, on with the show:
Powell's. A destination for any reader and/or author, I think. I checked to see if they had my book, of course, and after finding one copy on the shelf, I looked up and realized they had a few more copies on display. On display! I signed them (with their permission) and then wandered. What a great experience to just roam around picking up books I'd never heard about before. I went twice on this trip and bought so many books that I shipped some of them home.
Portland Running Company. I was up for 22 hours straight on the first day of my trip, and I was worried that I'd be flat at the first book stop. I don't think I was — not given how many people laughed from start to finish. Great way to kick things off.
Xtabay Vintage. I've been following them on Etsy for years and finally got to go into the store and try stuff on. Lovely! I bought a 1960s summer day dress and a 1950s letterman sweater (that's what they called it, but there's no letter on it – still, very retro sporty). That's the other reason I had to ship a box home.
Wildwood Trail in Forest Park. I read about this trail in the book Wildwood – NOT about the one at our Jersey Shore. Very green and lush (and relatively easy to hike, which was great since I did it the day before the marathon)
Portland Marathon. I already wrote about this in a special edition of the newsletter. I sent the link to it to the Portland Marathon and got back a copy/paste of a statement they made on Facebook that seemed to blame the media for the uproar over the race director's comments. Er…no. He said about the same thing in two different outlets. I'm having a hard time believing that it's our fault. Then again, "blame the media" is a catch all attempt to foist blame on someone else.
Super Jock 'N Jill. I was in Seattle for less than 24 hours, so I didn't get to do much, but I did check out the Greenlake area of the city – and Greenlake itself since that's what we ran around. This is the first time I've run the day after a marathon, and I did OK. The biggest issue was a blistered toe. Super Jock 'n Jill is an OG in the independent running store world. They've been around for more than 40 years. Fun times.
Amtrak Cascades Line. Waaaaaay different than taking Amtrak on Northeast Corridor, starting with assigned seats. I ended up moving to the bar car after my seat mate continued to put himself into my space (and then wouldn't move fully out of his seat when I want to move so I had to step over his seat to get out. Lovely.) The conductors offered to give me another seat, but it was a nice view with a table to work on.
Oak Creek Canyon. I hiked part of the West Fork trail, stopping here on my way from Phoenix to Flagstaff, and it was the right kind of hike to do two days post-marathon: flat. I thought I'd have trouble with the attitude, but was fine. I'd wanted to hike the entire out and back, but I was travel weary and worried about returning in the dark. Water crossings via rocks aren't my favorite, but I made it across with only a little water getting into my shoes.
Arizona Trail. An unbelievably beautiful hike on a perfect fall day. I started at Aspen Corner. Another flat hike, but my highest yet at 9,000 ft!
Run Flagstaff. This one was fun because almost everyone bought a book before I started talking – it just worked out that way. Thanks to Team Run Flagstaff for co-sponsoring.
Grand Canyon. I had to, right? (Even though I'm a dummy and didn't know it was about an hour from Flagstaff when I booked this trip) I hiked three miles down on the Bright Angel Trail then three miles back up. It was warmer than I anticipated, but I had plenty of water and food. A great experience to wrap up the trip.
And that's it! I'm back to the grind, sort of back on east coast time. Oy. More coffee please (I picked a terrible time to try to cut back, didn't I?)
"Why an IT services firm sponsors the New York City Marathon" for CIO.com.
Jen Talks About Her Book
"Acclaimed author to share running loves story" in Arizona Daily Sun
People Talk About My Book
"5 Books to Start Reading for Major Running Inspiration" on Bustle
What I'm Reading
I read a LOT on this trip, mostly because I was flying or on a train for long stretches of time. On the way to Portland, I zipped through Champagne Supernovas: Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen and the '90s Renegades Who Remade Fashion by Maureen Callahan. I turned 10 in 1990, so I wasn't much aware of any of this other than outrage about heroin chic at the end of the decade. This is a very interesting book that filled gaps in my pop culture knowledge (even though the only things I know about fashion comes from the Fug Girls and Tom and Lorenzo). Then I read two Powell's buys. First was Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart, a memoir about the summer of 1945 when she moved to New York City to have a summer adventure and wound up working at Tiffany's, which was delightful. And then I read The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau. I thought this would be kind of a meh business "follow your dreams" book, but it turned out to be much more inspiring than that, and gave me a few ideas! Now I'm onto The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home by George Howe Cult, which is so well written that I want to chuck out everything I've done and start all over again.
I should also note that the Hamilton soundtrack has finally wormed its way into my brain. I know, I know. I'm always a bit behind the curve.
I have a big running nutrition guide coming out tomorrow in the New York Times – keep your eyes peeled for it, or tune in next week when I link to it!