Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mommy's project52: respectful

RESPECT by Aretha Franklin
(Ooh) What you want
(Ooh) Baby, I got
(Ooh) What you need
(Ooh) Do you know I've got it
(Ooh) All I'm askin'
(Ooh) Is for a little respect when you come home (Just a little bit)
Hey baby (Just a little bit) when you get home
(Just a little bit) mister (Just a little bit)

I ain't gonna do you wrong while you're gone
Ain't gonna do you wrong (Ooh) 'cause I don't want to (Ooh)
All I'm askin' (Ooh)
Is for a little respect when you come home (Just a little bit)
Baby (Just a little bit) when you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (Just a little bit)

I'm about to give you all of my money
And all I'm askin' in return, honey
Is to give me my profits
When you get home (Just a, just a, just a, just a)
Yeah baby (Just a, just a, just a, just a)
When you get home (Just a little bit)
Yeah (Just a little bit)

Ooh, your kisses (Ooh)
Sweeter than honey (Ooh)
And guess what (Ooh)
So is my money (Ooh)
All I want you to do (Ooh) for me
Is give it to me when you get home (Re, re, re ,re)
Yeah baby (Re, re, re ,re)
Whip it to me (Respect, just a little bit)
When you get home, now (Just a little bit)

Find out what it means to me
Take care, TCB

Oh (Sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me)
A little respect (Sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me)
Whoa, babe (Just a little bit)
A little respect (Just a little bit)
I get tired (Just a little bit)
Keep on tryin' (Just a little bit)
You're runnin' out of foolin' (Just a little bit)
And I ain't lyin' (Just a little bit)
(Re, re, re, re) 'spect
When you come home (Re, re, re ,re)
Or you might walk in (Respect, just a little bit)
And find out I'm gone (Just a little bit)
I got to have (Just a little bit)
A little respect (Just a little bit)

That's all I got for this Mommy's Project52 topic from last week ( I know I've been late with these topics, but I enjoy catching up)- Aretha Franklin Rocks and her message is so me- I just want a little bit (of resepct that is).

Lastly- I've always believed in respecting people not based on their age, money, success, etc, but rather respecting people who are nice, generous, have lived life, any age, any income level.  I hope as a mom I can instill this idea of respect into my kidos.  

Sunburst 1/2 Marathon June 2, 2012

So I took it as a sign that I needed to finally post about my 1/2 marathon race in June when I arrived home from work on Tuesday night to find a celebration dinner in honor of my PR and going under 2 hours for the 1/2.  My husband had planned a night of food, drinks and down time.  It was a great meal with great company.

Saturday June 2, 2012 I raced for the first time in the Sunburst 1/2 marathon in South Bend, Indiana.  I toed the line with my sister and husband.  It was a great morning to run- cool at the start and not too hot as the morning went on.  The race started downtown South Bend by the College Football of Hall of Fame.  My goal for this race was to run a negative split (first half slower than the second) and run it under 2 hours.  The week leading up to the race I struggled with sleep issues, not the best runs, and life stresses.  I was worried that the week was a foreshadowing of the race.

The race course was very pleasant, not overly flat, but not overly hilly.  The first half went well and I was a little over the 1 hour mark when I reached the halfway point.  I would reach my goal of running a negative split by running the last 1/2 in under one hour.  Water station and Gatorade was present frequently on the course, which I loved- love my hydration.  GU was present too at around the halfway mark, which I loved even more. I've never run with a water belt during races and it is somewhat a mental thing for me- maybe running without a water belt will make me run faster.  I know probably not, but I appreciate water stops throughout a race, because it is a point where I walk and drink and then get back in it.  Now my hubby thinks that walking slows me down and I'd finish with a faster time if I didn't walk through water stations, but due to my lack of coordination with drinking and running (I choke a lot and sputter if I try and run and drink out of open cups) I'll stick with walk and drink for now. 

  Running this race was different than other races for me, primarily because it didn't take place in a big city, a.k.a Chicago.  I've run almost all my races in Chi-Town and it gives an electric feel of constant things to look at and constant crowd participation.  This race was different.  I felt like I was running in a suburban neighborhood on my long run for the week, just add 1300 people running the same route.  
Overall the course was fine, the roads were in good shape and we even ran along this path by the river that flows throughout the town, which was quite peaceful.  There was no shoving or elbows out due to there only being 1300 runners running this race.  The course was a point to point, but quite a few of out n backs along similar streets which I enjoyed because it allowed me to see my husband once (he was of course ahead of me so as I was coming into mile 6 he was leaving the other way).  I also saw my sister twice and it is always a lift to get a wave from a fellow runner who is family.

The second half of the race went well for me.  I picked up the pace and although I ran with no Garmin I did bring my watch and so I just tried to figure out, with my challenged mathematical brain, where I was with mileage and time. My sister and brother in-law who had previously run the half had warned me about some hills toward the end of the race.  Two in particular- one you could see and I saw it.  I was running towards the side of the hill and watched runner ahead of me start to walk up the pretty steep incline.  Luckily, where I train there are tons of hills, so I was up for the challenge and enjoyed powering by the walkers.  My brother in-law had warned me that immediately following this hill you turn and hit a much shorter hill, but just as steep.  It was nice knowing this in advance, because when I turned the corner I was ready to keep climbing.  I felt like I did great on the hills in this course and running up them, not walking, was very empowering.   The race ends in Notre Dame football stadium and so I really started pushing it when I saw the stadium in my sites.  I entered the stadium and crossed the finish line in 1:59:38.  I knew I probably was a little faster than that, because of the time to be added that took me to cross the start line.  I was elated that I finished in under 2 and knew I also had to have run a negative split in order to run under 2.  My kids, my brother in-law and my niece and nephew were all in the stands cheering for us.  Although that stadium, in particular, wouldn't be my first choice in finishing places (Go Blue!) it was a great place to finish a great race.

That's me to the right in orange shirt crossing the finish line.

Me again- in orange side shot of crossing finish.

I was really impressed with this race and think I will likely run it again someday.  It was nice to be able to park a block from the start line and finish in a stadium where any spectator, including little kids, could actually see their friends and family finish.  

Separate note- My husband did awesome this race.  He ran a 1:35: 42 (finished 68 out of 1304).  My sister had a great race too- not a PR for her, but she had been struggling with some of her long runs and was worried she was going to take longer than usual- but ended up running it at her pace.  

One thing I would've done differently for this race- checked my Ipod prior to the race.  I have an old Nano Ipod and I have a clip that is attached to the Ipod, which then attaches to my shorts- can't stand those arm band things.  Anyways, about 4 miles into the race the rubber band that was holding this clip attached to my Ipod broke.  The clip is old and I've needed a replacement for a long time, just haven't taken the time to order another one- anyways, the rubber band holding clip and Ipod no longer functioning I then was forced to run holding my Ipod the remaining 9.1 miles.  Not my idea of fun, but without my music the race would've been less enjoyable.    In closing here is the Playlist I listened to during the race- I picked some great tunes that helped me run extra fast that second half.  Now the songs are not written in the order they are played.  I always hit shuffle at the beginning of the race so that I'm constantly surprised with the next song.  Now sometimes the songs don't do it for me that day so I just hit skip, but I really can't remember skipping any songs this race.  
Sunburst Playlist:
Airplanes     B.O.B
All These Things I've Done     Killers
Awakening Soul     Mumford and Sons
Bleeding Love     Leona Lewis
Both Sides Now    Joni Mitchell
The Cave     Mumford Sons
Crystal Ball     Pink
Dog Days Are Over     Florence and The Machine
Dynamite     Taio Cruz
Fearless    Taylor Swift
Gimme Some Lovin'    Spencer Davis Group
Good Enough    Sarah McLachlan
Hometown Glory     Adele
I Gotta Feeling     Black Eyed Peas
Learning to Fly     Tom Petty
Little Less Conversation    Elvis
Little Lion Man     Mumford and Sons
Long Way Around     Dixie Chicks
Mercy    Duffy
Part of Me     Katy Perry
Raise Your Glass    Pink
Rolling in Deep     Adele
Sigh No More     Mumford and Sons
Stronger     Kelly Clarkson
Tik Tok    Keisha
Unwritten     Natasha Bedingfield
Us    Regina Spektor
Viva Las Vegas   Elvis
Waking Up in Vegas     Katy Perry
1234     Feist
Notice I'm holding my Ipod- UGH!

 My finishing time: 1:59:08 (9:06 pace) and was 563 out of 1304 and 161 out of 638 for women.  

One final funny- the night before the race my sister and I were getting our racing outfits ready and she started to laugh.  I didn't know what was so funny, until she pulled out her race shirt.  Yep- we both had separately gone out and bought the same orange Trek Shirt from Kohl's.  So race day we were twins :).  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Marathon Training Schedule 2012- Chicago Here I Come

So I'm a tad bit behind on getting this out, because I've actually been training for 2 1/2 weeks already.  I always have this great idea that I'm going to write a little story/book after I get done training one of these years for the Marathon.  I'd write about the training schedule, my nutrition (what I eat during the 18 weeks of training- honest documentation of my ups and downs), my thoughts or ideas that are hatched on my long runs, and of course the mental struggles I meet along the way.  Well since I'm already behind by 2 1/2 weeks I probably should leave that for another race, another year.  But for now- I am going to try and do a better job with some weekly updates of the training schedule.  Its a way for me to track my progress, but it is also a way to show people how you can get the training done despite being a mom, wife, part time professional, and still have some fun along the way.

So first thing first-  I should tell you how I came to this schedule/training plan.  I had this idea that I was going to switch things up this year, because I want to try for a Marathon PR (my best time running the marathon).  So I thought I needed to look to a more advance plan including speed work, strength training and cross training.  I looked online.  A lot of the plans you have to pay for and I wasn't interested in that.  I then received "Train Like a Mother" by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea (they wrote "Run Like a Mother"- one of my all time favorite running reads- read it if you haven't).  Well they have "Finish It" and "Own It" plans nicely organized in calendar form for 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon and marathon.  The only issue- I was totally intimidated!  The "Finish It" plan alone was a lot more mileage than I've done in previous marathon training plans and  the runs weren't your typical run 6 miles or run 6 miles at Pace.  They instead introduce a whole regimen for running 6 miles- their 6 miles would read:  6miles: as 10 min WU: 2x2 min in 24, 2x4min, in 23 all with 2 min, recovery; 10 min CD . You need a abreviation key, which they give you to even understand what they are saying.  O.K. for all you Math junkies (my BRB included) this is right up your alley, but not me.  All these numbers confused me and I thought "How the heck am I going to remember this plan in the run".  I actually have a friend on dailymile who is using the "Own It" Marathon plan in this book and I asked her via Internet- "How do you remember this schedule?" Her response "sometimes I write it on my forearm in marker".  Sorry- as you know by the picture I sent last night after a mere 4.8 mile run I'm a sweaty mamma and hence I'd have black magic marker running all over me and my clothes if I wrote on my arm.

So now what- well I spent a week in agony- no really I was stressed out trying to figure out how I was going to train this year and also throw in training for the sprint tri in August.  So I went to my coach- my hubbie.  I asked him to look at some schedules I was looking at and asked for his input, especially what to do around my 1/2 marathon in July (Rock N Roll Chicago) and the Sprint Tri in August.  I needed help figuring out what mileage I should shoot for pre races and post races without totally losing my training schedule and mojo and avoiding injury or worse  turning into cranky, BI***Y training ChattyNatty.

You know what he said: "Why are you changing what has worked for you so well in the past".  He made me stop and think and he was right- in the past 4 marathons overall I've gotten faster every race (last year was 5 minutes off my PR, but if you factor in that I didn't start training until July due to "fish tank" fall I think I did great).  I've also never really had major injury that has prevented me from finishing or even toeing the line for Chicago (now the first year I did get a steroid injection in my right foot due to over use/inflammation of some annoying tendon in my leg that was referring pain to bottom of foot- but I still was able to start and finish my first marathon).

So I've modified a little, but am generally sticking with Hal Higdon.  I am moving up to his Marathon Training Schedule: Novice 2 and I'm adding some miles to some of his shorter runs in the week by 1 or 2.  I'm not moving up to his intermediate plans because then Hal has runners running 5 days a week and I don't think I can mentally run 5 days a week and also try to get a bike and swim in there too.  

Well here is the plan:
Week 1:  3 mi, 8 mi, Cross Train and Strength (Spin bike 11.5 mile and 20 min strength workout)
This week was lower miles because I had just run 1/2 marathon weekend before
Week 2: 4 mi, Speedwork Track Group, 5 mi, 10 mi, CT/Strength (Spin 10.5 mile, 20 minSWO)
Week 3: 4 mi, Group Run (4.72mi), 6 mi, 4 mi, CT/Strength
Week 4: 4mi,  Speedwork, 5 mi, 11 mi, CT/Strength
Week5: 5 mi, 4 mi, 4 mi, 12 mi, CT/Strength
Week 6: 5 mi, Speedwork, 4 mi, 9 mi, CT/Strength
Week 7: 4 mi, 3 mi, Chicago Rock N Roll 1/2, may CT/Strength
Week 8: 4 mi, 3 mi, 8 mi, CT/Strength
Week 9: 6 mi, 6 mi, 4 mi, Tri Sprint
Week 10: 4 mi, 7 mi, 4 mi, 15 mi, CT/Strength
Week 11: 5 mi, Speedwork, 5 mi, 10 mi, CT/Strength
Week 12: 5 mi, 8 mi, 5 mi, 17mi, CT/Strength
Week 13: 6 mi, Speedwork, 5 mi, 18 mi, CT/Strength
Week 14: 5 mi, 8 mi, 5 mi, 12 mi, CT/Strength
Week 15: 5 mi, 7 mi, 20 mi, CT/Strength
Week 16: 5 mi, Speedwork, 5 mi, 12 mi, CT/Strength
Week 17: 4 mi, 3 mi, 4 mi, 8 mi, CT/Strength
Week 18: 4 mi, 2 mi, Chicago Marathon

Week4- Week 8 Need to swim 250 yards once a week plan to do it Wednesday a.m. so that I will then run Wed evening.  We'll see how that works.  I'm not training too hard for the swim portion of the Tri- just enough so I swim smoothly and don't totally wear out right at beginning of the tri.

I'll keep you posted on how the training goes.  I next need to figure out my nutrition issues- I've kind of fallen off the wagon and am going back to old comforts (had my first Diet Coke since January 2010  when in Hawaii (just craved it and thought "I'm on vacation why not" and since the trip have probably had 6 Diet Cokes- not that it is the worse thing I could pick for a vice, but then what follows are the other non-nutritional stuff- Peanut M&M's, etc). Always a work in progress!

Mommy's Project 52: beautiful


My Daughter- one day old, loved her fine hair and perfect skin.

My Son and Daughter- his smile is BEAUTIFUL!

Can't remember if I staged this or not, but how BEAUTIFUL- maybe her first kiss from big brother.

She'll be 4 next week and I can't believe how BEAUTIFUL she still is.  She melts my heart with her cries, smiles, and her laughs.  I tell people she's 4 going on 20.  She's going to be my child that wants a tattoo or maybe two.  She's going to question her mom's idea of appropriate curfew when she gets that age. She's a dancer (not ballet or anything- I mean that "wedding, Keg Party, dance club" dancing and so she'll have a lovely time dancing  and making memories throughout life.  She loves animals, especially dogs and cats, and to see her talk to our cat Blue like a human being is Beautiful.  Maybe I'll be able to live vicariously through her when she heads off to vet school.  

She loves her brother, her father, her cousin and her Papa's- she loves the guys in her life.  Now she also loves the ladies too, but the first people she asks about are these men in her life.  She'll be my tomboy with her blue Milk and Cookies "Best Friends" shirt or her Pluto shirt (two shirts she would wear every other day if I let her).  She'll forever try to keep up with her brother.  She'll be strong and beautiful.

She is my daughter and she is BEAUTIFUL!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Running with Rae

So tonight I went to We Run in North Liberty, Iowa and ran with Rae Heim.  I've included some of her story below (the start of her story is the first part taken from her facebook Rae's Run Across America)
and I also put in the Soles4Soles info for those interested.

First off, anyone who does any type of charity work be it little or big is a "good peeps" in my book.  However, people like Rae who step up in a huge way with a huge challenge amaze me.  

The night started with a group run which in all truthfulness wasn't that great for me.  I'm not use to running at 6pm at night in the heat and wind.  I ran with Rae for about the first mile and I chatted with her of course.  She said the first week was the hardest of her challenge.  She had no rest days and was mentally spent.  She now runs 3 off 1.  She averages about 20 miles daily.  She use to run with a jog stroller, but the  wheel broke and now she is just running with a back pack on her back.  She carries her  water, fuel, Ipad, other supplies for the day run in the backpack.  So she's not only running barefoot, but military style with pack on her back.  I asked her what she was going to do when she gets done with this and she didn't really know, maybe apply to UNLV or college in California.  After about a mile we parted ways.  I ended up running most of the rest of the run solo- which I kind of feel is a norm for me these days.  It's not a bad thing, but I do miss running with other people especially my BRB.

I finished the run- it really wasn't my best- and then Rae spoke to the group about her "Running Across America".  She is only 18 so she kept the talk short but sweet.  She started the run in April and the worst part of the run she said, thus far, was the state of New Jersey.  People honked at her, in a nice way, gave her the bird and yelled absurdities the whole run across New Jersey.  She said the Midwest has been funny because she has been pulled over 5 times by cops thinking she is a homeless person or hitchhiker or runaway.  She tells them she is running across America, but she doesn't think any of them have believed her.  If the road gets too hot she runs in NINJA 5 five finger socks.  She was asked who motivates her and she said her mom and sisters and also the kids she has met across America at different stops who say they are going to run because she does and that keeps her running.  It was a great ending to a tough run.  Super impressed with this young lady.

Here is Rae- barefoot- talking to the group

Yep- I look sweaty momma (no my hair isn't dyed in the front I'm that sweaty- guess I should've kept my hat on :).  Rae was super nice and got picks with everyone from the group run.  

From Sea to Shining Sea --
"When I was fifteen years old, I became passionate about something that I never thought to be possible. I entered a seven-mile road race on a whim; I entered about three hours before the race was scheduled to begin. I had never run more than a mile and absolutely hated the thought of pounding the pavement. But somewhere and somehow during those ridiculously hilly seven miles in Davenport Iowa, I fell in love with the very concept of running.
I am seventeen now and still very much in love with my former enemy. Although I have not been running long, I have finished five half marathons and two full marathons, the last three of which I ran fully barefoot. I continue to be amazed each time I cross the finish line; I never thought I would even run two miles.
I had an epiphany of sorts about five months ago. I finally realized why I was running, what my purpose behind it was. I want to help people. I want to make my running have an impact on other people’s lives. I want to tie my running into the soles of others.
I am planning on running across the United States of America, beginning on April 1st, 2012. I am raising money for the Christian Organization, “Soles4Souls”. The concept of their company is to find shoes for people in need. Although I am a barefoot runner I know shoes are important to people’s lives; after running 26.2 miles barefoot it is very apparent how well off the majority of us are. "
-Rae Heim

Rae has been living in Las Vegas since January. She's a manager at Anytime Fitness on East Lake Mead Blvd & training in a little more weather friendly climate than Iowa. She is currently running about 15 miles on weekdays and up to about 27 miles a day Saturday and Sunday.
April 1st is getting closer and closer... exactly one week until she makes her flight across country to Boston to begin her journey.

To Donate to Soles4Souls click on the link below:

To Donate to Rae's Personal Travel Expenses send a check to:

Rae Heim - Runs America
119 4th St. #505
Des Moines, Iowa

You will receive a postcard receipt for your expense donation. Please include your address.


Our Mission

Soles4Souls collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-business efforts to eradicate poverty.Soles4Souls’ other two divisions, Clothes4Souls and Hope4Souls, provide the same relief and support through clothing and other necessities.

Our History

Soles4Souls has a simple concept: we procure shoes and get them to those in need.
In the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that hit Southeast Asia, Wayne Elsey, the Founder ofSoles4Souls® Inc., felt compelled to do something. Like many of us, he did not know what to do. He was at home one night, watching TV and he saw a picture of a single shoe washing up on the beach. That triggered a few calls to some other executives in the footwear industry and the subsequent donation of a quarter of a million shoes to victims in the devastated countries.
A few months later when Katrina hit, Wayne called the same group of friends, and through our continued support, we have sent over a million pairs of shoes down to the gulf coast communities affected by the hurricane. In all honesty, he admits that he did not expect such an immediate and successful turnout. This left him wondering, why not start a non-profit and do this all the time? One year later, Soles4Souls was formally created.
It has been that simple: changing the world one pair at a time.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mommy's project 52: thankful

So Thankful.  This past week I was able to go to work, run my runs, and come home to two happy kids.  Why- my mother in-law.  She came and stayed with us for a week and helped get oldest to b-ball camp and keep the youngest busy with reading, crafts, and activities.  

 Yep, I'm one of those extremely lucky and thankful people who married into a great family.  My mother and father in-law are both amazing people.  My mother in-law especially has this unbelievable ability to be probably the most generous, patient, loving, and just all around "good " person I know.  She does amazing things for me and is one of my "go-to" people when I need some advice/guidance, especially when it comes to raising the kids and trying to be a good mom.  She is one of those people who instills confidence in me, just by talking to her.  

She has a teaching background and so is super helpful with trying to figure out the best ways to help  my kids learn.  She has been the person who comes up with ideas to stimulate my oldest child reading aloud. The two of them are now starting a book club, I again was thankful to be invited to join.  She supports all that we as a family want to do and accomplish.  

I know that I'm lucky and hope all the time we spend together,  hugs, and thank yous really do let her know how Thankful I am for her in my life and our family's life.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Speed workout- I survived

So tonight I attended the first speed workout one of our local running stores is hosting. It is from 5:30-7 pm (I thought I'd last maybe 60 minutes). The stores plan is to have this every Wednesday night here on out at our local university track. I of course never one to shy away from these type of challenges ( baptism by fire, jump right into the deep end, 'who says you should have a 10 K or even 1/2 marathon under your belt before running a full'). So I got to the track 2 minutes after 5:30, which is unheard of because I'm one of those annoying people who gets to places 5 min before hand, but the traffic and drivers who were holding to the 25 mile speed limit made me late. So the group was already starting their warm up. So I jumped on in and ran .8 miler for warm up. Then we did group stretch and introductions, and some static and dynamic workouts as group. This was then followed by breaking us up into groups (newbie and seasoned speed demons). Well you can guess what group I leaned to- newbie ( I get my miles in but I'm no Tazmanian devil). Our workout following the 10 minute warm up and stretch session went as follows: 200 at 40-50 sec pace,400 at 1:40-1:50 pace, and 600 at 2:40-2:50 pace. Pacing is hard and I really stink at pacing so I loved that the coach kept us in check. He was super helpful with form and talking about not losing form when speeding up After the 600 we reversed (aka did ladder) and did 600, 400, 200 with goal of maintaining the paces for each distance. I thought it was a good workout. I didn't feel overly taxed physically,but it definitely was a different kind of running. My legs and arms needed to obviously move quicker. My breathing was at first hard for me to find my rhythm, and the wind hitting me right in the face didn't help. However, I completed the whole ladder with no feelings of "I'm going to die, or barf, or both" at the end of the runs. I'll definitely be back. This will be the main way I plan to fit my speed work in for my training schedule. One thing I did find was I'm not going to be able to monitor my mileage real accurately because the starting and stopping of the Garmin was too distracting for me. So I'm just going to try and add up our total sprint distances we do for the night- average it. Side note it was just me and another lady there tonight, and I had no problem with it. The guys were all super supportive and we, despite running as a group, all did our own thing. When we went around introducing ourselves and saying a little bit about our running history this one guy said he took a late start to running (50 now 56), but despite this late start has run 14 marathons- amazing! I'm hoping this speed work, added to my cross training, and long runs plus regular training miles will all equal a happy, healthy, and maybe faster Chi-town finish this fall. Keep you posted. Oh- and I will be trying to finalize my training schedule for this coming fall marathon real soon- into week 2 of training.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kids Summer Reading:Part 2

Another summer reading project will incorporate my kids and my love of art and reading.

The kids will pick different art pieces to rent from the library. Yep free art- gotta love the library! This piece will hang in our dining room for a couple of weeks and along with the painting we will check out some books on the artist, period or style of art, and even look at specifics on the piece the kids have picked.

The child who doesn't pick the area on the world map to study will get to then be the picker of art. My youngest picked, with I believe some heavy influence from her older brother, Grant Wood's American Gothic.

Tonight we looked at the books we checked out and also read about the piece and artist through good old Wikipedia.

He was an amazing artist and his Regionalism (art looking/depicting rural Midwest) is very detailed and makes me feel as if I'm part of the piece/time period. After reading up on Grant Wood the three of us did our own art work. We gathered inspiration by looking at his own works of art highlighted in the two books. It was a great first "artist" project for our summer reading program.
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Friday, June 8, 2012

Mommy's project 52: sweet

Sweet is: your newborn's perfect 10 fingers and 10 toes, hearing your child say "I love you", watching your child sleep at night, French silk pie, gummy bears, fresh summer peach, watching your children play together (happily- no screaming or tattling), a bride's bouquet on her wedding day, summer corn, the smell of bed sheets after they have line dried, a good Reisling ... To me it brings to mind pure happiness.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer Reading Kids: Part 1

Caldecott Winners
This summer I've thought of a few ideas to keep us busy with reading.  The first one will be to participate in our library's summer reading program.  However, I wanted to take it a step further.  So here is another little project we will be working on this summer.  Reading Caldecott Winners and doing projects of some sort related to the winners we read.  We started with two greats (and one I had never read).  

Cadecott is named in honor of 19th century English Illustrator Randolph Caldecott.  It started in 1938 and has been awarded every year since.  I don't know that we will get through two a week due to vacations, etc, but we did two this week and already have picked our next two out.  

Book 1- The Garden of Abdul Gasazi
written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg

I had not read this book nor had my kids.  We really enjoyed the story- it is magical- just like the drawings in the book.  We decided to make our own "Garden" by tracing animals and then taking leaves from outside and doing rubbings onto the animals.  Then my youngest glued the animals onto our own garden picture.  Good fun.

Book 2: Where the Wild Things Are 
written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak

This is a great story.  I really enjoy reading it each time.  We decided to make our own "where the wild things are" island.  It was really fun!  To help with the monsters and Max my oldest free hand drew Max and then we decided tracing the monsters and then coloring them would be the easiest.  He also free drew the boat Max arrives to the island on.  

Two great books and projects to kick off our Caldecott Summer.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

May Running

Looking back at May, it has been a pretty good month of running.  I ran 87 miles.  I ran my first 10K, in Hawaii, and finished up the 1/2 marathon training plan in prep for my 1/2 marathon in June.

I know I've already blogged once on the 10K experience, but here is a brief, but more formal recap/critique of the race.  The race took place on the Pearl Harbor Bike Path.  My sister and I thought it would be fun to sign up for a race while we were in Hawaii.  So we typed in Oahu' and May races and found this one.  I think it was the perfect distance for a race during vacation.  The race started at Lehua Elementary school and Navy Housing.  It was a timed race and I was the proud racer who wore an ankle timer.  My sister and I joked that it looked like we were prisoners all running with these velcro timers on our ankles (there is a first time for everything).  The bike path was not the most scenic.  Oahu' has some very nice trails, scenery, but the bike path we were on gave us instead a view of homeless people camping out in their tents and a stench which almost made me vomit at 2 miles into the route.  I was also disappointed in lack of view of the harbor. I was also glad it was only a 10K, because me and heat just don't jive and by 30 minutes into the race it started to heat up. I was super thankful to race with my water belt on. I know I'm sounding a bit negative, but it really was a good race for me.  I ran it in 55:05 (8:53 mile pace).  I was fourth for my age range (out of 11 :)) and 50 out of 144 racers.  Both my sister and I were glad we  did the race and its fun to say you've done a race in Hawaii.

The following are some fun quotes/ideas I read this month in The Runner's Book of Daily Inspiration: A year of Motivation, Revelation and Instruction by Kevin Nelson.  It was another month full of great running quotes and ideas.

May 3 " If I ever stopped running, I'd feel terrible, as if I were slowly decomposing.  I enjoy being fit.  There's a feeling of independence".- Bill Rodgers, marathoner

May 6 "As my eyes search the prairie, I feel the summer in the spring."- from a Chippewa song  Kevin Nelson added: Until you've run a marathon, you've never experienced it.  But once you experience it, you realize it's there: the lure of the finish. ... The finish line in a marathon-in any race, really- works like a magnet, drawing runners to it....keep your sights set on the finish, knowing that as you come closer and closer to it, your energy will increase.

May 7 "Health is the mystical and mysterious balance of all things by which we stand up straight and endure". - G.K. Chesterton, writer  Kevin adds: A "second wind" may be mysterious in origin, but its effects are real and undeniable.  You can be struggling as a runner and then not... Believe in your capacity for a second wind.  Believe that if you need it, you always have more energy to call upon.

May 8 "I like finding out what my body can do." -Charles Steinmetz, ultramarathoner

May 13 "The quality of our expectations determines the quality of our actions".- Andre Godin, philosopher

May 16 "If you hear a voice within you saying, 'You are not a painter,' then by all means paint... and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent van Gogh  Kevin adds: If the negative voices are saying, "You are not a runner," ... then by all means, set your sights on your goal and go for it. Only through action will these voices be stilled. The negative voices inside you possess only the power that you give them.  Act against these voices, and you will rob them of their might.  

May 17 "The secret of getting ahead is getting started.  The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." - Mark Twain

May 18 "Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own, sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction." - William James, philosopher and Kevin adds: There comes a point in running when you simply cannot go one more step.  You're so tired, so utterly tired...You're completely spent, and all you want to do is sit down on a curb and cry.  We all have our person "walls", where we seemingly reach the limits of our endurance or desire or both... This is one of the most inspiring elements of running.  People break through walls all the time... Like so many others, you will find that your personal wall has the consistency of air, and when you finally pass through it, your limits as a runner and a human being will expand. 

May 21 "As long as I can remember, I've been absolutely hagridden with ambition.  If I could wish to have anything in the world it would be to be free of that ambition" - Tallulah Bankhead, actor  Kevin added: Ambition causes frustration.  Every runner knows that.  You may be happy running, say, a few times a week.  You run a couple of miles each time, and it feels so good that you decide to do a little more...With greater ambition comes greater expectations.  You start timing yourself, and you get serious about it... Ambition has its place in the world, and it may even have a place in your running.  But not every day, not all the time...Let running be a break from all that, and some days, just go out and enjoy yourself. 

May 23 "See everything. Overlook a great deal. Improve a little."- Pope John XXIII  Kevin added When you improve a little in running, you improve a lot. define it, success comes only a little at a time.  Dramatic breakthroughs are a fiction, the stuff of movies and novels.  For most runners, success is achieved through small, gradual, incremental almost imperceptible improvements.  But that is a lot.  Get it out of your head that only big improvements are worthy of praise or attention.  Little improvements add up to big improvements over time. 

A great month of running and running quotes/ideas.  Onward to June and marathon training- hope to find some inspirational quotes to help improve my training and running.  But also hope to do what May 21st suggested: just go out and enjoy yourself!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Anniversary and PR

So a year ago today I was recovering from "the fishtank fall". (short story- last walk from bathroom to youngest kid's fishtank fell on wet bathroom floor and had to take a ambulance ride to ER). After being in the ER I returned home at 4 a.m. And for the next few days I pretty much moved from bed to bathroom. I had to take a month break from running and then trained in 14 weeks and happily finished Chicago marathon.

Side note- I'm still so grateful to my friends who came to my aid- TP for leaving her margaritas and coming to my aid as the ambulance guys helped medicate me and then preceded to watch my kids and later help me go #1 upon return home :), to my BRB who too came to my aid while ambulance crew was medicating me, visited me day after, and most importantly helped me get back to running and finishing my 4th Chicago marathon. To HB who came to give me support in ER and not laugh to hard when I passed out in ER. My friend Skeeter who drove me to PT and LM who brought me mags and treats for recovery. my husband who reworked my training schedule to help me train appropriately yet strongly with only 14 weeks -outcome of a 4:28 Chi marathon time.

Fast forward to today (1year later) I PR'd my 1/2. I'll write about race in detail later, along with my recent 10K report from Hawaii. I finished in 1:59:08. My goal this year was to run a sub 2 "1/2" so I can check that off the "to do list". I feel good and feel super happy with the race I ran. Pretty sure this is the first race I've run a negative split. ( lingo meaning ran 2nd half of race faster than 1st half). Crazy how much can be accomplished in one year.

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