Sunday, September 30, 2012

Training week 17

Can't believe it- tomorrow starts my last week of training with the last run of the week being Chicago -Sunday 8 a.m. start.  These 18 weeks have flown by.  I only have a 4 mile and 3 mile left before Sunday's big run.

Here is my recap from this past week:
Tuesday early a.m. 4 miler
Wednesday early a.m 4.5 miler
Friday mid-morning, while youngest at preschool 8 miler
Sunday/today late morning run after church 4 mile - Not giving the times this week- just doesn't matter.

It was a good week.  I feel pretty relaxed going into this week, my last week of training.  My goals for the week: eat healthy, keep hydrated (not with caffeine products: too much java or pop), take it easy ( no major cleaning/projects around the home), and last but not least: good sleep!  That one is hard for me due to my love for reading- so I'll have to get to bed earlier if I want to get my daily fix of a good book.

Speaking of...
I thought it was a perfect way to end my book finishing listening to my recent running buddy- "The Friday Night Knitting Club".  It was a great companion (audiobook) I listened to during the last few weeks of running.  Kate Jacobs, author, did a fantastic job of character development along with giving each of these different characters/ladies interesting stories of their own which were interwoven together.  When I googled the book I was happy to read that Julia Roberts is producing the movie based on this book and that there is a sequel "Knit Two" out also.  I look forward to reading or listening to it soon.  Great week to end week 17.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

What's your go-to song?

I had planned to send this request/favor out to you guys who read my posts a few days ago, but just didn't get around to it.  Better late than never...

  I'm getting ready for Chicago next Sunday and so I thought I should update my playlist and put in some new tunes to get me motivated for the big race.  I have put together several playlists over the years and have found that on race day some songs get skipped despite being some of my favorites- sometimes you just don't feel it.  I therefore, always over estimate my time on the road to make sure I have enough songs to get me to the finish line.  I also always just hit my shuffle so that I'm kept guessing on race day and looking forward to what I will be running to over the next mile or when it gets really long- what I will be running to the next minute.

So I'm asking you- What is your favorite "go-to" song?  You could run the race with me next Sunday when I add it to my Playlist.

So my BRB must have ESP because before I could get this post out she asked when she could "drop something by my house".  So I swung by on my way home tonight from errands and picked up - a lovely gift of 4 CDs full of new songs she had burned for me from her music library.  Now I know what this means: it means a mom of 3 who does tons for her family and friends took time to organize these great CDs for me.  Now she is pretty techno savy so I'm sure it didn't take her long, but still it is time and for a mom time is a very valuable commodity.  Thanks for the tunes- so looking forward to listening to them tonight as I watch Saturday night College football- and  making my first draft of Chicago 2012 playlist even better!

So let me know what song you would add and after the race I'll share my playlist with you so you can know who/what song made the cut.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mommy's Project 52: challenging

“All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hour’s toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one… characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.”
— Henry David Thoreau, American poet, philosopher, and author of Walden

The above could totally be used in a mom's everyday life in regard to any type of "challenge".  We all "run marathons", some of us more literally than others.  When I saw that this week I needed to write on "challenging" I immediately went to my upcoming "challenge" to run Chicago Marathon, but "challenging" seems to be the theme song for my parenting life recently- the training for the Marathon hasn't been as "challenging" as that.

You see- I'm a "challenged being" when it comes to being a mom, or so I think so.  I feel "challenged" by my two kids in a way I feel like I am failing as a mom.  I only have two, not 3, 4, or six- or that "crazy Duggar (sp?) mom" with like what is it 20?

Nope- just my two.  My theme song lately has been to introduce my kids as my son who is a second grader and my 4 year old daughter who is "4 going on 21".  She has been a "challenge" of late.  Many of you have already heard these stories if you know me via real life/not computer/blog life, so skip this part, but here is a brief recap of her antics.

1. 2 weeks of crying everyday at school and requiring her to be pulled from my body for preschool drop off.  Yes her life has changed some, new daycare room due to moving up in age and also starting 5 days of week preschoool (2 1/2 hours mon-fri mornings).  However, all of these changes occurred at the same daycare center she has been at for her WHOLE LIFE- I was amazed that moving across the hall to a different room and going to preschool 5 mornings a week turned her into such an emotional basket case.  I know the teachers well, oldest had them as teachers, and they are all great so don't think it was that.  Well the crying has stopped at school, but continued at home.

2. She has never been a kid to tantrum, but wow- can she use her vocal cords to let us know  when she is mad these days.  She's been so loud that my husband's grandparents who are both hard of hearing, could hear our "princess" cry/screaming through air conditioned shut windows Labor Day weekend.  My son has started helping me shut windows when she starts her screaming/crying because he is likely embarrassed like I am in regard to "what are the neighbors thinking".  I'm seriously waiting for the cops to show up due to someone "disturbing the peace".

- Side note- dealing with a tantrum kid makes one understand fully what the word "challenging" really means!  Sometimes no matter what you do the tantrums have a life of their own and they just have to fizzle out on their own no matter what you do to make the insanity stop.  

3. So besides crying/tantrums/screaming she is a smart cookie and knows how  to push her mom and dad's buttons.  Case in point- last weekend I spent Saturday morning reorganizing her closet- taking out all those 3T pants that look like high-waters on her and all those shirts that fit her, but the sleeves end at her forearm due to being just too small.  So later on that afternoon when she decided to have one of her tantrums and I took her up to her room to help her cool off, she preceded to do a little of her own "reorganizing of the closet".  She pulled any piece of clothing she could reach out of her closet, including removing the hanger, and clothes were piled/thrown all over the room.  I so wished I had taken a picture of this- picture what not to wear meets a four year old's closet.  

She is a smarty- she totally thought I would go berserk, which inwardly I was, but outwardly I just started having her help me clean and reorganize the closet.

4. Taking kids to church on Sunday morning is sometimes a true "miracle" because it is so "challenging" getting my oldest out of bed and out the door for church and my four year old can handle only so much theology in her life.   The oldest is not a morning person so getting up to go to early service is not the fun highlight of his week.   His pouting/moodiness at church  lately has not been enjoyable.  These  two kids who of late have done more picking on each other, arguing, and as my husband says "I feel like we are holding a daycare in our pew" on a weekly basis it is adding to the "challenge" of parenting.

I feel like a broken record so enough- parenting is the most "challenging" job I've ever done in my life.  However, if I can see past these "challenges" I enjoy my kids much more.  So I will "fight to the finish" as Thoreau said above to "face the future as finishers".  

One of my favorite parenting quotes- 
"The days are long but the years are short."- Gretchen Rubin author of The Happiness Project 

So back on this "challenging" marathon course called parenting!  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Training Week 16

Two more weeks left.

This past week was the first week I felt a little of the "marathon crankiness" setting in.  I use to have this occur quite frequently during training in year's past- especially during my high mileage weeks, but after my little "fish tank" fun last summer I quickly realized no one should ever get cranky/grumpy when able to be physically able to train for marathons.  You should appreciate the ability and time you have for training.  I just couldn't get rid of my "ugh" towards my running this past week.  I was suppose to run 27 and only did 26- that always is bothersome to me, although 1 mile shouldn't cause you to fail at finishing a marathon. However, if you consistently don't finish your goal mileage for the week that can become an issue.  So I rarely like to miss my goal.  Then my slowness or lack of speed is still present.  I'm just running 10:15 min miles consistently and 10:15 min miles won't get me a PR for the marathon.

So I've been pretty "cranky" free, except this past week I started letting the self-doubt, voice in my head, set in.  Things I said to myself were: " Are you sure you have given it your all", " What if I don't PR the marathon?", "What if I get the bothersome pain tightness from hamstring that runs into both sides of my ass?", " What should I listen to- book on tape or spend $ and download new songs for an awesome Marathon Playlist?",

Really do any of these questions really matter?  Nope- Because...
Two weeks away and I've given all I can give; I can't change my training schedule or mileage now (people who try to pack it in at the end normally end up with injury prior to race day from over use or injure self on day of race.

So what if I don't PR- as one of my friends said "are you running to PR"- of course we all want to get better, but I'm running to finish something- a goal, to end healthy, have fun, and hopefully run fast, but if I don't run fast then not the end of the world.

If I do get hamstring/ass pain so be it- all I can do is foam roll  and stretch as much as possible and leave the rest up to the higher  being.

Lastly- my music/book selection is really trivial- lucky I'm in a race that allows Ipods, etc and lucky enough to own an IPod.

So I take a breath and can't believe I only have two weeks more left of my training schedule.  The time has flown by and I've trained on my own and know that my self-doubting voice  needs to go back to sleep for at least two weeks more.

Past week: 4.66 miles Tuesday a.m. was just dog tired and couldn't seem to push myself to do the full 5.  Wednesday did a speed work out on treadmill- 3 miles at great pace (8:50 mile pace), paid for it the next  day with sore tired legs during my 6 miler.  Then 12 miles Saturday a.m.  Cold and Windy out- feel like I didn't know how to dress for the weather- overall o.k. clothes, just needed to have gloves.

So moving onto this week- 4, 4, 4, 8- yep its a taper.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Training week 15

Able to post this week a little early.  I'm only doing three days of running this week due to the long run.  I did get a swim in and a spin at the gym too.  Here is the recap.  33 miles of running total

Tuesday woke up and ran with my head lamp for the first time.  Thanks to the coach.  It was dark, but not too cold.  I had a good 5 miler.

Wednesday night I did a 30 minute spin at the gym while my son was at soccer.  His practice was next to the gym so it worked out perfectly for me to bring my daughter with me to the gym and let her eat her dinner while I rode on the bike.  She did pretty good.  I did get a "look" from one older lady when she left.  It was one of those "great another kid being babysat by a Iphone while her mom is selfish and is working out" looks.  No really- I only had about 10 more minutes left on bike and daughter was done with her dinner and was ready to leave.  So I bribed her with the Iphone.  You know what my daughter likes to do with my IPhone- no crazy birds, or zombie games, but instead loves looking at my photos from the phone.  It can entertain her for quite awhile- 10 minutes minimum :).  I just smiled at the "old grumpy lady".

Thursday- read "hamster wheel" posts from earlier in the week for details- short story- it was raining so ran 8 miles on the treadmill.

Saturday, today, ran my 20 miler.  I'm again a little disappointed in my time 3:30- wanted closer to 3:15 or 3:20, but am happy that I finished the second half strong.  I listened to another book on tape/E audio from the library- "The Friday Night Knitting Club" by Kate Jacobs.  I really am amazed at how I've fallen into friending audio books this training season.  I've always found it hard to stay focused on the stories when listening to audio books, but with running this training season it has been different.  I was pretty amazed at how fast the 20 miler went by and that is thanks to my friend "Eaudiobook"

Another great week- I stretched and foam rolled a lot more than I have in the past and I think it helped with my sore muscle issues.  Now I taper- only 3 weeks until the marathon.  This was the first week I kind of was missing my adult beverages and chewy candy and so wanted to make peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies- guess it is a good thing I'm tapering.

Mommy's Project 52: silly

Lately I feel like my life is somewhat lacking "silly".  I'm getting old and crotchety and missing my "silly" ways.     So I'll keep this mommy's project topic quite simple.  Below are some great pictures that make me laugh and want to be silly.

Enjoy the silliness!
This was my daughter's Halloween costume when she was two- my second grader looks quite cute in it- you think :).

The Cousins!  They are getting older and so sometimes it seems the only way we get a nice picture is by letting them do some "silly" faces after the serious picture. 

Cousin Sandwich- love my daughter's smile- can hear her laugh from here!

My nephew is hilarious and I love how my niece snuck in some rabbit ears.  Love these "silly" kids.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My morning on "hamster wheel"

I conquered. "the wheel". I ran 8 miles in 1hr 15 min. So what did I do for that hour and 15 min?

I listened to two Another Mother Runner podcasts and then switched over to my "girl power" playlist. A little Aretha, Katy, Florence and the machine, and Kelly helped me finish strong.

It was a good run and my time was good. That is one advantage with treadmill you can set your pace and just run. The towel over the treadmill is a must for two reasons: I sweat a lot- so quick way to towel off and secondly watching the time and mileage is mentally taxing on me.

Glad I got the 8 miler in and so glad didn't lose my sanity during the run. Hopefully I won't have to be challenged like that again for a long time.

Sent from mBox Mail
Hotmail for iPhone and iPod Touch

What to do?

You have a 8 mile run planned while youngest is at preschool and it is raining. You normally would run outside but hubby is out of town and your one of those paranoid moms who worries about what could happen during 2 1/2 hrs of preschool and no parental contact. So I planned on running outside with iPhone but now with the rain am not wanting to risk a ziplocbagged iPhone. So option B- run 8 miles on treadmill. I'll let you know how that goes and what the Frick I did for 8 miles on "hamster wheel".

Sent from mBox Mail
Hotmail for iPhone and iPod Touch

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oh the day I've had and then I realized

So Tuesday a.m. I woke up at 4:44 a.m. to my daughter crying.  She wanted to come and sleep with me and hubby.  Now if it were lets say 6 a.m. I'd say sure, but 4:44 a.m. it is not snuggly/wuggly time it is "let me please get another 45 minutes of sleep before I need to get up and go for a 5 mile run" time.  But, alas, my 4 year old is winning out lately and it is making it not fun to be around her.  She is screaming, crying, stomping her feet, throwing things- she  is having a TANTRUM and did I say she is 4- UGH!  So I said "screw it" and let her get in bed between hubby and me.

Well then I couldn't back to sleep.  I was bothered that my daughter was lying next to me in bed sleeping peacefully and I wasn't sleeping peacefully.  I started doing my "what am I doing wrong, why is she acting this way, what am I doing to not stop the behavior" oh and then the random "when am I going to fit in an oil change for the minivan?".

So after about 20 minutes of lying there I said "screw it" and got up and just started my run earlier than planned.  I tried a new running accessory this a.m.- Head lamp.  Yep- I'm officially a running geek- when I get the fluorescent running vest than I will reach the ultimate "Running Geek" status.  The head lamp worked great and I needed it for that early of a run.  Although I'm loving the cooler running mornings it stinks that they are darker running mornings now- O.k. enough of the running tangent.

I returned home, took a shower, got dressed for work and my bathroom door opened and the "hellish 4 year old" says " mommy I like your outfit"- is she bipolar?  So i kiss her goodbye and off to work.

Three hours later I'm sitting at the workplace and I'm already hitting exhaustion- did I mention it is only 8 a.m.  Well I made it through the day and then went and picked up "the 4 year old" who came bounding up daycare stairs singing "no crying/ no whining at drop off or preschool".  (Another story for another time, but the short story- the first 2 weeks of transitioning to a new daycare room and a new preschool room she cried     either at drop off or going from her daycare room to the preschool room which is all within the same building; hence the song at pick up).  Skip forward to bath time- MELT DOWN CITY!  I swear I'm waiting for the police to show up at my door because of how ear piercing the screams are coming out our open windows.  My son helped me quickly close as many windows as we could due to her screams/crying.  He knows the routine pretty well by now due to her gracing us with her TANTRUMS on an almost every other day basis recently. After forcing her to be in her room- shutting door and walking away- I returned to ask her to join me and son in nightly reading.  She fell asleep during my reading of "Stormy"- third book in the Misty of Chincoteague series.  I carried her to bed and exhaled as she said "goodnight  mommy".

And then I realized... Today is 9/11- no I realized that about oh mid-morning, but I reminded myself that after both kids were safely, soundly asleep in bed.  I remind myself that today's morning escapades and later night escapades with my youngest are nothing compared to what could be happening, what I could be thinking about or remembering in a horrible "first person" way.

So what if I had to get up earlier than planned- I was able to run- safely.
So what if I have a 4 year old that is pushing all the worst "chattynatty mommy" buttons- at least I'm able to have those buttons pushed, not like some of those unfortunate moms and dads that got to experience 9/11 in the "first person".
So what if I am not doing the best parenting/discipline I should be- at least I'm able to experience being a parent to healthy kids alongside my living/breathing hubby and not like some of the widows who also got to experience 9/11 in "first person".

So I just couldn't post this post on 9/11 because my frustrations with my 4 year old are nothing, NOTHING, compared to what life could be.  So I'm utilizing the scheduled Post option provided by blogger.

My chattynattyness has gotten the best of me in this one- sorry for too much sharing/whining/ and mommy frustration.  I think something must be in the water because a few other mom's I either know via blog  land or real life land have reported the same TANTRUMS, "defiance", and wonderful outbursts occurring in their world too.  So I share the above in hopes that someone reads this and thinks "Yes- I'm not the only one that is either experiencing a similar situation or have experienced the same situation"- of course minus my 9/11 remarks- We all need to remember 9/11 and be thankful to hopefully not have had a "first person" experience on 9/11.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Training week 14

Tuesday 5 mile early morning at a 10:30 pace (52 min)
Thursday 8 mile mid morning at a 10:15 pace (1 hr 22 min)
Saturday early morning 12 miles at a 10:16 pace (2 hr 3 min)
Sunday early afternoon 5.12 miles at a 9:44 pace (49 min 55 sec)

So these are just numbers right?  I ran a little over 30 miles this week and 3 of the 4 runs I thought I was running pretty fast.  However, I wasn't running as fast as I thought I was during 2 of them.  The question- Why do I think I'm  running fast, but I'm not running faster? I have been trying to check my watch during the runs this week and quite a few times my pace was below 10 min mile so I started thinking "Am I checking my watch only when I think I'm going fast?"- Maybe, but I really don't want to be a clock watcher so now what...

Does it really matter?  No really does it really matter if I'm running 10:30 pace or 9:44 pace.  At the end of my life probably not.  Does giving my all matter?  ABSOLUTELY!  So I carry on with my training with little less than a month left before Chicago.  I will try and run fast when I can and likely will continue to be who I am- which looks like a 10:15 pace runner.

Upcoming- this week is a big one.  Only 3 runs this week due to one being a 20 miler.  I'm still having some muscle soreness in my butt muscles ( I know TMI) along with tight hamstrings so will plan to make it a priority to be stretching on those days I'm not running and also getting some pool time in to work some of my other muscles.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Random Books

Enclosed are a bunch of books I've either read or listened to recently.  Reading is like a relative of running for me in regard to "therapy" and "happiness".  Reading allows me to get away, to be alone and to just be me in my choices of what to read and when to read.  It gives me genuine happiness and a book is a like a "good friend" for me.  So here is what I've been "friends" with recently.

I had been wanting to read this book for awhile.  I am interested in reading about Paris and/or France, because I hope one day to visit there.  Anyways, I decided to try this book out as my new running buddy over the past few weeks.  It was a great running buddy.  It entertained me through many runs including an 18 miler, 12 miler, 15 miler, and other shorter ones.

The below taken from the author's own website for The Paris Wife.  I don't think it gives anything away and supports why I so enjoyed the book- its Historical Fiction- YES!


Ernest and HadleyIn Ernest Hemingway's introduction to his memoir, A Moveable Feast, he writes, "If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact." I'm hoping my novel will work to illuminate not just the facts of Ernest and Hadley's years in Paris, but the essence of that time and of their profound connection by weaving both the fully imagined and undeniably real.
When I began to research my book, beginning with biographies of Hemingway and Hadley, and with their delicious correspondence, I knew the actual story of the Hemingway's marriage was near perfect; it was a ready-made novel, ripe for the picking. I didn't have to invent a plot for them, nor did I want to. My work would be to use the framework of historical documentation to push into these characters' hearts and minds, discovering their motivations, their deepest wishes.

There is more within the website for The Paris Wife. I recommend the site after you are done with the book.
The next book I want to highlight should follow the above because reading the above encouraged me to seek this book out and read it.  I had been wanting to read some of Hemingway's books for awhile (I read Farewell to Arms in high school, but had not read any of his others).  So due to the above taking place when he wrote The Sun Also Rises that was only sensible to follow The Paris Wife.
Here is Wiki's take on the book: 
The Sun Also Rises is a 1926 novel written by American author Ernest Hemingway about a group of American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to theFestival of San Fermín in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights. An early and enduring modernist novel, it received mixed reviews upon publication. Hemingway biographer Jeffrey Meyers writes that it is "recognized as Hemingway's greatest work",[2] and Hemingway scholar Linda Wagner-Martin calls it his most important novel.[3] The novel was published in the United States in October 1926 by the publishing house Scribner's. A year later, the London publishing house Jonathan Cape published the novel with the title of Fiesta. Since then it has been continuously in print.
My take is that a good book is easy enough to read, but yet hard at the same time.  Ernest Hemingway's writing is to the point and you can't skip over words/sentences because you'll miss the meat of the story, because all of it is the meat.  There is no fluff.  It is well written, concise  and to the point.  I really enjoyed reading this book after I listened to The Paris Wife because so much of that book takes place where he sets Sun.  I also love that the book is dedicated to Hadley and their son- who are in The Paris Wife.  I think I'll likely next read Moveable Feast to follow-up The Paris Wife, Sun Also Rises, because this book takes place during his time in Paris with Hadley.  
The next book is completely different Native Guard.  It is a poetry book by Natasha Trethewey.  It won her the Pulitzer prize for poetry.  
The following is the inside jacket cover of the book I borrowed.  
Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Natasha Trethewey's elegiac Native Guard is a deeply personal volume that brings together two legacies of the Deep South.
The title of the collection refers to the Louisiana Native Guards, a black regiment whose role in the Civil War has been largely overlooked by history.  As a child in Gulport, Mississippi, Trethewey could gaze across the water to the fort on Ship Island where Confederate captives once were guarded by black soldiers serving the Union cause.  The racial legacy of the South touched Trethewey's life on a much more immediate level too.  Many of the poems in Native Guard pay loving tribute to her mother, whose marriage to a white man was illegal in her native Mississippi in 1960s.  years after her mother's tragic death, Trethewey reclaims her memory, just as she reclaims the voices of the black soldiers whose service has been all but forgotten.
I'm not a poetry reader, but have been trying to pick up poetry when at the library and force myself into reading the poems slowly so I can feel like I'm getting the point.  That is generally what I've struggled with in poetry.  Sometime it is just to abstract for me.  Natasha's poems were not abstract and I felt like I was reading short stories when reading her lines of poetry.  The book I borrowed also came with a CD with Natasha reading some of the poems.  I haven't listened yet, but am looking forward to listening as I drive to work next week- think it will be a good way to start the day.
Last month I read The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor.  However, I didn't read all of the stories within this work.  I read a few of them and would encourage anyone who hasn't read her work to try it out.  I wanted to read some of her work because I kept on "running into her".  Not literally, but in different books or articles I had read.  I had never read any of her works so thought it was a sign that I should find out who this Flannery was.   The below is a brief description from Amazon about this fascinating lady.

About the Author

Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers. O’Connor wrote two novels,Wise Blood (1952) and The Violent Bear It Away (1960), and two story collections, A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955) and Everything That Rises Must Converge (1964). Her Complete Stories, published posthumously in 1972, won the National Book Award that year, and in a 2009 online poll it was voted as the best book to have won the award in the contest’s 60-year history. Her essays were published inMystery and Manners (1969) and her letters in The Habit of Being (1979). In 1988 the Library of America published her Collected Works; she was the first postwar writer to be so honored. O’Connor was educated at the Georgia State College for Women, studied writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and wrote much of Wise Blood at the Yaddo artists’ colony in upstate New York. She lived most of her adult life on her family’s ancestral farm, Andalusia, outside Milledgeville, Georgia.
Here is the Table of Contents and I've tried to highlight the one's I read. 
The Geranium The Barber Wildcat The Crop The Turkey The Train The Peeler The Heart of the Park A Stroke of Good Fortune Enoch and the Gorilla A Good Man Is Hard to Find A Late Encounter with the Enemy The Life You Save May Be Your Own The River A Circle in the Fire The Displaced Person A Temple of the Holy Ghost The Artificial Nigger Good Country People You Can't Be Any Poorer Than Dead Greenleaf A View of the Woods The Enduring Chill The Comforts of Home Everything That Rises Must Converge The Partridge Festival The Lame Shall Enter First Why Do the Heathen Rage?Revelation Parker's Back Judgement Day
I know it isn't many but her stories were not "feel good" stories and after awhile I needed a break from the topic of race, anger, hate, murder, etc.  I believe she was a very talented author and I hope to return to this book someday and finish what I started.  I think I'll look for it in the bookstore sometime soon.  

Last but not least: Here Lies Linc by Delia Ray.  This book is one of two for September's book club.  The other is Singing Hands also by Delia Ray.  The first book was picked back in the Spring of 2012, but due to the author being unable to attend our meeting we moved it back to another month when she was available.  For those who read the first a second by the author was chosen.  I hadn't read either so I wanted to make sure to get both of them done by the time book club rolled around at the end of September.  The first Here Lies Linc is about a boy Lincoln Crenshaw whose mother is an eccentric College Professor at the University of Iowa.  She has studied cemeteries and knows quite a bit on the study of graves, etc.  The book was totally enjoyable.  It is very well written because it really could be read by any age range.  That is when you know a young adult fiction is a good book.  The characters were animated, colorful and the story line was well constructed and I enjoyed the mystery.  I very much look forward to meeting this author at our upcoming book club because- big surprise- I have tons of questions for her- How did she write the story from a young male teen perspective? did she study graveyards/cemeteries for quite some time before writing the book?  How long did it take her to write the book?  What is her writing style or routine?  Again can't wait for this month's book club.  I'm not quite into Singing Hands yet so don't have a lot to add on that front.  Two totally different story/plot lines.  

Well that is all for now.  I'm onto another audiobook whom I'm hoping will be my next favorite running buddy- 20 miler coming up next weekend and I'll need a good "friend" for that one.  Happy reading!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mommy's Project 52: teaching

Teaching is I think a  fundamental part of being a parent.  Whether we want to recognize it or not we "teach" our kids all the time.  We "teach" them through our actions, words, behaviors, ideas, and outlook.  We "teach" them in little ways: how to open those darn yogurt containers and in big ways: how to read a book.  But the thing is we are being taught at the same time.  My kids each have taught me many different things- here are a few....

1. Never wake sleeping babies.
2. If a baby doesn't like a pacifier within the first 1-2 weeks of life try it again, they may surprise you and like it.
3. Kids eventually do sleep through the night.
4. Yelling really doesn't accomplish anything but teaching them how to yell back at you or others.  (it is the worst to hear your child yell or say something in anger that you have said yourself- they've learned it from someone- you).
5. Each child/sibling is different no matter if they came from the same two people.
6. If you expose kids to a variety of different arts/entertainments/sports/books- they will be just as eccentric as their parents.
7. Christmas isn't really about the presents, it is about the memories and time together.  From my youngest, I've learned that the Christmas presents she "really, really" wants are normally the ones least  played with- go figure.
8. They are little kids, but have emotions just like big people: crabby, moody, unexplainable- so just give  them love, ignore the outbursts, and try to not take their behavior personally (still trying to learn that last one).
9. Talk to them about their days like the little "big" people they are and they will be excited to share their days with you.
10. Parenting is the toughest job I've ever had, but most rewarding.

I think 10 is enough for now- Thanks for teaching me my children!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

August Running Recap


This is what my runs look like for the past month.  If you haven't tried it yet- DailyMile is great!  All you have to do is login, track your workouts and you can pretty much add whatever you want to from weather, to clothing wore, to "pick your smiley or non-smiley face" scale.  Anyways- above gives you the "list" form of my August runs.  I put in some major time, but it paid off.  I ran 118 miles this past month.  I'm injury free and still going and as you can see I have more "good" runs than "alright or Blah" above- another good sign.

Here are my favorite August quotes/ideas from The Runner's Book of Daily Inspiration" by Kevin Nelson

August 3 "Don't overwork; enjoy yourself.  Be creative above what you do.  The motivation for running has to come from inside.  If you're not enjoying it, you won't be motivated."- Martha Cooksey, marathoner
The author's answer to the above quote is to "cut back".  Either on mileage or days of running.  I thought his signs of overworking were pretty spot on: chronic fatigue, listlessness and increase in aches and pain.  I'd add crankiness, even though exhausted difficult to sleep, and of course with me craving bad foods to help boost energy: candy, pop, coffee, fatty foods (fries, burgers, etc).

August 4 "Beyond a few tests and some prescriptive advice, there is really nothing I can do to you or for you.  If anything happens, it will be because you do it to and for yourself." - Dr. Art Mollen, advising runners
Author's answer for the above: revisit past success.  "go back to the tried and true". I love this line from Kevin "In a sense, going back to basics is a return to trusting your instincts... Most likely, you've layered on complications where before it was simple".  I think this line is not only true of running but others things in life like parenting,  marriage, friendship, etc.  Basically I took away don't make it complicated- simplify it.

August 11 "Whatever the emotion, whether it ranges from annoyance to rage, from disquiet to terror, from guilt to remorse, one of the best remedies is vigorous action.  Sport is the therapy best suited for the instant treatment of emotional distress". - George Sheehan, philosopher- runner
I couldn't agree more!

August 15 "That daily life is really good one appreciates when one wakes from a horrible dream, or when one takes the first outing after a sickness.  Why not realize it now?"- William Phelps, writer
Kevin wrote "Here's a sure cure for the running blues: take a forced holiday from it.  That will cure your blues in a second."
Yep this is true for me.  Prior to "fish tank accident" last year I would become extremely cranky and start to detest my training about week 12-16 or so of my 18 week plan.  However, when forced to not run for a month last summer and truly be worried I wouldn't make it through training let alone run the Chicago Marathon last year, I came out of that event/time with a new outlook.  I am rarely cranky when it comes to my weekly runs.  Yes, some runs are harder than others, and yes I get down when my times are slow, but I don't detest running or feel like I have severe PMS during weeks 12-16.  I take each week for what it is- another week I'm lucky to be running.- seriously, take a break from running if you are getting burned out- don't let yourself run/work-out, etc and after lets say a week of that look at how you feel and if you are a "runner" you will be chomping at the bit to get back out and start running.

August 17 "Good enough never is." - Debbi Fields, founder, Mrs. Fields Cookies
I think when you have been running for awhile this line is so true.  As a runner you are always striving for a faster time, longer mileage, quicker recovery, leaner  physique, etc.  "Good enough never is"!

August 20 "This is a magic moment for me.  It's something I've been dreaming of all my life."- Lameck Aguta of Kenya, after winning the Boston Marathon
Kevin's take: "One of the most wonderful things about running is that magic moments are still available, and that they are available to all in the most ordinary ways."
We all have "magic moments" in life- not only running related, but life related: getting married, buying your first home, traveling to a place you've dreamed of going to, reading a book that made you a different person, and of course becoming a mom.

August 22 "One of the best things about running- if not the best- is running with a friend... You've heard it before, but it's so true: there's nothing like good conversation to make a run fly by." -Gail Kislevitz, runner
I never knew about the benefits of running with a friend until last year.  Two words: Free Therapy.  Yep that is what a running buddy is.  Not only do the runs fly by, but it is truly therapy.  Last year was a magical year of running for me, because I overcame an obstacle- injury and also decreased training time due to injury.  I don't really think it would've been so "magical" without my BRB.  This year has been different.  BRB is running with me in spirit and we talk about runs/training, but she's taking a sabbatical from running world and so I'm back to running solo.  It truly was a wonderful experience last year and I hope I will soon again experience it.  Miss you BRB!

August 30 "Every time you live through something like this, you'll be tougher for the next time.  You've just got to keep fighting and fighting and fighting until it breaks, and it will break." - Dusty Baker, baseball manager, advising a young, slumping player
Kind of timely due to some of my longer runs I've struggled with this month of August.  I just have to keep "fighting and fighting and fighting"!

August 31 "How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward." - Spanish proverb
It is at times hard "to do nothing".  This is a motto of not only a runner, but also a mother runner.  I need to be better about planning "resolution-free day" (is what Kevin calls them).  Planning is sometimes my middles name, but you can always plan rest or "resolution-free day" into the "to do's".  Something to shoot for.

Well that ends August and so I march... well really RUN on into September.  Only 5 weeks left until Chicago Marathon so I best stop writing tonight and get to my foam roller and stretches.  Best of luck to those of you who are training/running races this month.