Sunday, July 31, 2011

Running with Ragbrai

So Saturday I started around 6 am to get my long run (12 miles) for the week done.  I wasn't that excited about the run, due to my day of yard work/house work the day before.  I was feeling a little tired from the already 15 miles I had run that week.  However, I started off and soon found myself enjoying the run due to all of the interesting bikers, campers, buses, etc to look at for most of the run. Ragbrai hit Coralville on Friday July 29th.  Saturday the 30th riders were heading out of town onward to their next Iowa town.  Ragbrai is a week long bike ride across Iowa that changes the map/route for the riders every year.  At the end of my run I turned onto Camp Cardinal Blvd and felt like I was a runner due to the welcome sign welcoming the riders into Coralvillelle  along with all the College Signs- The day before was College Spirit day in Coralville- and college signs were lining the road as a welcome to the riders.  I felt like I was doing one of my long runs during football season- tailgating, etc-  with all the fun to look at instead of just focusing on how gosh awful hot it was Saturday morning.  I don't quite get the fun of Ragbrai as I watched riders after riders leaving Coralville in the already scorching heat Saturday a.m., but then again maybe people don't get my running 12 miles Saturday a.m. in the scorching heat either.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

FW: Girls on the Run...

Image So another Marathon is upon me.  I'm training for my 4th Chicago Marathon, which will take place on October 9, 2011.  I'm raising funds for Girls on the Run International and am asking you for your support in the endeavor to raise funds during my training and runnning of the marathon.  This money I raise will be dedicated to Girls on the Run, Johnson County Iowa.  Due to my work hours I'm unable to volunteer coaching hours to this AWESOME program  so I figured the least I could do would be donate the funds raised during this marathon season to help those girls involved with Gilrs on the Run in Johnson county Iowa. 
If you have never heard of Girls on the Run here is the scoop:
The Girls on the Run® mission is to educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.

Girls on the Run, founded by Molly Barker in 1996, is a life-changing, learning program for girls age eight to thirteen years old. The program combines training for a 3.1 mile running event with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. The goal of the program is to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, and physical development.

The Girls on the Run objective is to reduce the potential display of at-risk activities among its participants. The goal is fewer adolescent pregnancies and eating disorders, less depression and suicide attempts, as well as fewer substance/alcohol abuse problems and confrontations with the juvenile justice system.

Mission Statement:
We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running
We envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams
Core Values:
Girls on the Run honors its core values.  We strive to:  
1.        Recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making
2.       Embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness
3.       Express joy, optimism and gratitude through our words,thoughts and actions
4.       Nurture our physical, emotional and spiritual health
5.       Lead with an open heart and assume positive intent
6.       Stand up for ourselves and others
Who could say "no" to an organization whose mission statement, vision and core values really get to the heart of where so many of us want to be, have been, or where we want girls we personally know to end up in in life.  If interested in supporting my endeavor please go to to donate. Your donation is tax deductible.  
I am thankful for any donations big or small to go towards this great organization and great mission, and as the bottom picture depicts- I hope I inspire you to donate to my endeavor.

marathon07 02 inspire

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Did I say running can be humbling?

So I've kind of held off on posting about running lately, because I didn't want to jinks myself.  Starting at the beginning of July I started back to running.  Matt, hubby, put together a running plan and I've been following it with no pain in the back or really anywhere.  So this week the schedule is 5,5,5,12.  My running partner/neighbor was so awesome tonight and watched my kids, fed them, and had dinner ready for me when I was done with running.  I ran tonight due to the fact that Matt has been out of town so I'm trying to get my runs in when I can.  So I'm doing my 5 mile run tonight and it is HOT!  I made the mistake of listening to the radio while running and got to hear that it was 90 degrees out while running with a heat index close to 100- GREAT! FANTASTIC!  Needless to say I had to walk a little tonight, because my legs were just feeling dead.  I couldn't believe how heavy my clothes felt when I got back from the run- HEAVY with the sweat from the great run.  Tomorrow I get to be humbled even further by running on the treadmill for 5 miles- that is about my max on the treadmill and that is with a movie, which I won't have due to having to run at the gym.  Oh well isn't it crazy what we do in the name of running. 

What is really funny is despite the horrible heat and the sweat dripping continuously into my eyes, despite wearing a "cool" bandanna- yep both the running hats were in the laundry so made my own sweat band- I felt really at peace running.  It is a total outlet for me and time to think about so many random things.  I really think physical activity can be some people's best therapy. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day of Reading

So last night Mason, Kate and I were in our normal bedtime reading positions and Mason said you know what we should do is spend one day reading all day.  He is so me- I had been thinking about finding a Thursday or Friday I'm off and doing just that.  So today was the day.  We started about 9:30 in the morning and finished some library books we needed to take back to Coralville Library.  Then we headed to the library and picked out books, books on tape, and music to listen too.  We came home after spending some time getting our reading loot and started reading.  We took a break for lunch and the kids enjoyed listening to the soundtrack of "The Music Man".  Then back to reading.  We all spent some quiet time alone reading and looking at books before heading out for some pool time.  "Pool time" you say- I know you are wondering how do you accomplish a day of reading in the pool.  Well the first hour we listened to a book on tape and the second hour was spent me reading to them as they were in the pool.  We again took a break for dinner and bike ride for ice cream, but finished the day off with some more reading.  It was a great day and both kids- I think- enjoyed it.  Here are some pictures from the day and also a list of all the books we read or listened too.  Some of the books I especially liked will have a comment by them, but none were bad reads.

These are the books Mason, Kate and I read together on our Day of Reading
On Top of the Potty by Alan Katz
Baby Bug Magazine Sept 2010
What do you do with a Kangaroo? by Mercer Mayer
You're the Scaredy-Cat by Mercer Mayer
The Wump World by Bill Pete
Friday Night at Hodges Cafe by Tim Egan
Snow by Elizabeth Wallace
Later Rover by Harriet Ziefert
Crab Cab (flip a word) by Yukido Kid  This book was really neat.  It was a great early read which looked at different word family's. 
Star Wars Journey Through Space by Ryder Windham
Lemonade and other poems from a single word by Bob Raczka    I'm not a big poetry person, but found this book very clever.  The author took the word and described the topic by then making words only out of the letters in the word.
Book of Big Brothers by Cary Fagan  Any family that has three brothers needs to own this book. The book is written by the youngest brother and talks of tales/stories of what the brothers have done together and hope to do in the future.
Appleard and Liverwurst by Mercer Mayer
When the TV broke  By Harriet Ziefert
Whats Under my Bed by James Stevenson
I can be anything by Jerry Spinelli
I know here by Laurel Croza
Spork by Kyo Maclear
Count Down to clean Up! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Pirates Guide to first Grade by James Preller
Pete the Cat I love my White Shoes by Eric Litwin
Eve of the emperor Penguin by Mary Pope Osborne
Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy by David Soman and Jacky Davis
Who do you Love? by Martin Waddell
Little Mo by Martin Waddell
B is for Bulldozer A construction ABC by June Sobel

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wonderful Children's Book

This book is by Alan Katz and the kids and I read it tonight.  It was fun for me to read it, because it really is a song book more than a "read before bed" book.  Each poem has in parentheses below the title "In the tune of..."   The tunes were quite easy, well most of them, and made the reading of the poems very enjoyable.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys child's poetry sung to a "fun" tune. 
Side note: I attended the Iowa City Book Festival this past weekend.  Saturday morning was mainly spent attending kids activities: Character Parade (Kate was really into the characters- Mason was more into crafts), Puppet Show, Tess Weaver author of The Opera Cat  read this book with real live opera singer accompanying her in the reading (this is another great book as is The Encore Cat and Frederick Finch Loud Mouth).  After lunch I left the kids and went to Women's Writer's Read ( no I didn't leave them alone Matt and my father in-law hung with them while my mother in-law and I went to the reading) which took place in the Women's Archives at the University of Iowa Main Library.  First off the Women's Archives is interesting in and of itself.  I could have just walked around and looked at all of the pieces of art work and pieces of works (kind of like a museum).  The head of the archives' husband was attending the session and before it started saw me looking at some of the relics.  He introduced himself and we got to talking and he is an archivist at the Herbert Hoover Library in West Branch.  I now have his contact info so I can call and have personal tour any weekday he is around.   I asked him, stupidly, whether he knew all there is to know about Hoover and he responded that Hoover lived to be 90 and he has worked there 9 years so he knows about 10%  of the man's life.  Anyways, back to Book Festival: The two women who read during this hour were very different in their type of writing, but both very interesting, gracious to each other and enjoyable.  The first who read was Julie Hanson from Cedar Rapids who writes poetry.  She just published her first book of poems called Untitled.  I'm not a huge fan of adult poetry, but I really enjoyed her poems.  She was very snarky and had a great reading voice.  The other reader was Edith Pealrman from the East Coast, believe it was New York who writes short fiction.  Her most recent book is Binocular Vision and the short story she read was fascinating, and again I'm not historically a fan of short fiction, but enjoyed the story very much.   She too had a great reading voice.  At the end of the session questions were allowed to be asked.  One lady asked the question of  the reader's favorite book and the short fiction writer sad Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (which I haven't read and hope to in the near future).  After she said her favorite the comment was made from audience that although she enjoys short fiction her favorite book is not short fiction, but a novel. Poetry lady responded Charlotte's Web- told you she was snarky :). Also, one of the members of the audience made the comment that she was very thankful for their great contribution to the festival and how nice it was to be read to because as adults we are so rarely read to.  I agree with this and wondered if that was why I actually enjoyed both the poems and the short fiction.  The last author I went to was Elizabeth Berg. She has written over 25 books (23 of them fiction, 2 nonfiction).  She was an ICU nurse first and then wanted to stay home with her kids and so she decided to try to become a writer.  She sent in an essay to Parents magazine for a $500 contest they were having then went back to being a nurse to later find out she won the contest.  She then wrote many articles for any women's magazine she could submit for. Her first book Durable Goods (which again needs to be added to my list) was accepted first time out and she reports never having any of her works rejected (remarkable!). She was very nice and easy to listen too, but I felt like she was holding back some of herself in her answers, which maybe you need to do when you are a celebrity.  She gave some great advice for writing: be detailed, but don't write out all details, be a good observer, and write, write, write and read, read, read.  It was great to be sitting with others in that auditorium and I wondered if any of those sitting around me would become the next "Elizabeth Berg".

Friday, July 15, 2011

Last Week

We did a "staycation" in Oswego, Illinois.  We spent the whole week + at Matt's parents house.  The following pictures are a quick look at some of the things we did while home.  It was great relaxing, eating good food and being with family. 
One of our first adventures this Air Classics Museum in Sugar Grove, Illinois.  It was fun looking at the different planes and hearing Matt and his dad sound off the names of each and everyone. 

Go Kartzs!  Mason actually got to drive his own after this race.  He loved it so much the grandparents took Kate and Mason back for another ride this past Saturday.

Matt spent time looking at family photo albums during the week.  I think all of us had a good time chuckling at our fashion style over the years.  Matt loved wearing miss matched tube socks- he'd be in style according to the kids I see around these days. 

We celebrated Kate's third b-day by everyone wearing a Hello Kitty Tattoo. 

Our 3 year old- looks like trouble to me.

A couple of boxes from the VW basement had old g.i. joe, star wars, lego and fisher price toys.  The kids had a blast playing with them all week.  I think Matt enjoyed it too.

Again, Morton Arboretum was beautiful.  True picture of how great and relaxing nature can be.

Art was found throughout the Arboretum and I loved this one particularly.

Matt and I have been doing a "day in Chicago" since summer 1993- crazy to think in 2 years it will be our 20 year anniversary of this day.  The day comprises the two us, just the two of us, taking a train into the city and over the years we have done various things throughout the day- boat ride, beach walking, shopping, eating, etc.  We, these days, don't have much agenda other than walking, window shopping, eating/drinking and just enjoying our time together. 

Again, great week- thanks to Matt's parents for such wonderful hospitality. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Reading

So this was a great book and totally easy summer reading.  Monic McInerney also wrote Alphabet Sisters which was a good read too.  I just love these kind of "no brainer", but yet a little mystery beach books.  It had great character development and multiple story lines, with one major one.  Really enjoyed it.  Highly recommend it for anyone looking for a break from the "heavy" stuff.  It always amazes me how you read one or two of an author's books and then you find out there are a lot more... 4 others to read on her list.  I did this with Jennifer Weiner at first too after reading "In Her Shoes", but she has had so many out now I can't keep up with her.  It always makes me wonder if a. the author had some of these books pre-written or 
b. she/he has a ghost writer who is helping them grind them out like a factory line.  I always think ghost writer when I start to not like the books that author puts out if there are too many in a couple of years. I needed a book like this and thank Monica for such a fun read. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Morton arboretum

We had a great day at the arboretum. It was so peaceful. Wish we had something like this by us. Well we don't have one in Iowa city but there are several in the state of iowa. I look forward to visiting some of them in the near future. I really love being outside and I enjoy gardening and nature - minus Mosquitos. So this is another day that fullfills my goal of more time outside with the kids. Enjoy the pictures from our day. More to come from the real camera later.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Oh so humbling

So day 2 of running and not the best run of my life. I haven't intentionally stopped running in any race since after my first marathon. I had to stop running today due to a side pain 1.5 miles into my little over 5 mile run today. It was humbling. Between the heat and my deconditioned state it just was defeating to have to walk. However, still no real pain/discomfort. So I tread on. As my one friend recently responded to last post "life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do about it". So I guess I better get doing.

I love those kind of responses from friends because they get me refocused and back on track- no pun intended. So onward to some Internet searching for 12 week training schedules so I can RUN Chicago.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

And so I start again

I ran 3 miles this morning. It felt good and bad. For those of you who don't know I fell the 1st of June while cleaning the kids fish tank. It won me a ambulance ride, ER visit, pain meds, PT and no runningfor a month. I was told to try running when July 1st hit. So here I am- 2 days late- but back on the path.

So the good- my back didn't hurt at all- Yippee! The bad- a month off is hard to come back from. Now I have to figure out what I'm going to do about training for the marathon. How do I get the mileage in a 12 week training schedule and do it so I don't over train and injure myself.

But to remind myself of earlier post " you must be present to win" I'm going to bask in the happiness of being back out there again right now.

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