Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A run- I'm done

This morning I had to get on my treadmill to run 3 miles before getting myself ready for work and kids ready for before school program (single mom this week with hubby at training all week).

I am not a treadmill runner. I can't go long and I don't run fast so the "mill" isn't my first choice of workout options, but three miles I can do that.

Or can I? I pretty much knew the minute I started it was going to be one of those runs where I'm constantly in need of water (aka- I can't run and drink so if I drink that means I'm not running :)), or I'm constantly moving the towel to see my time and how far I've gone. You know if you peek every minute or two it really doesn't make it go any faster.

What was my problem? Why am I feeling so mentally and physically done? My ideas/answers in no particular order:
1. I'm needing a rest from running.
2. The wonderful heat wave
3. My 3rd grader, who I swear has the best selective hearing and ability to push my buttons to no end (if anyone has advice on how to instill coping skills and anti-frustration power for 3rd grader working on spelling words- well be it anything for the first time that he doesn't get perfect right away let me know). I reverted back to some WT mom yelling last night and that always bothers me.
4. I'm getting old- no I don't mean nursing home ready- just reality that maybe I will always be a 10 min miler, 9:30 at best with long distances.
5. I'm lazy- I'm not pushing myself.

So I only ran 2 miles. I just couldn't/didn't want to go any longer. It took me 20 min 58 sec. I got off the "mill" and you would have thought I'd run 6 or 10. I'm not writing this for sympathy or support. I'm writing this to share that running is real and life affects it. We all have off days, I'm hoping this is just one for this week and doesn't become a pattern or I may need either a rest or hubby to tell me to "suck it up" and push through it.

Now I'm sitting waiting for the courtesy car driver to stop dinking around so I can get to work- days got to get better. It is only 7:45.
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Ideal Bookshelf

I told you I'd get around to sharing "My Ideal Bookshelf" after reading Thessaly's "My Ideal Bookshelf".  Thessaly La Force (editor) and Jane Mount (artist) are the force (no pun intended) behind this book plus added bonus Thessaly is a Iowa Writer's Workshop Peep- Yeah!  The premise have people (some famous, some I've never heard of, but likely should know from all types of profession write about books that changed their life, favorite books, books that made them who they are.  They had a template at the end of the book that you could draw/color in your "ideal bookshelf".  Here is mine...

"Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides
This is my all time favorite bookclub book.  It was read, I think, in one of our first year's of book club.  Bookies have been going strong for 11 years and 2 months.  I thought this book was going to be all about a hermaphrodite, but it wasn't it was almost like reading historical fiction through a family's eyes.  If you haven't read it I highly suggest it.  However, "Marriage Plot" I would not recommend- totally disappointed in that one- Sorry Jeffrey. 

"Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm" by Alice Provensen and pictures by Martin Provensen  This book is a book from my childhood, and I think filled my love and desire to be a "farm girl".  I wanted to live on a farm like the farm I visited 2-3 times/year up until I was school age and then visited twice yearly up until a Senior in High school.  This farm- Maple Hill-, wasn't like my grandparents, exactly- grandparents only had dairy cows, dog and cats, but the pictures and descriptions of farm animals really grabbed me.  I still love looking at this book and although the pictures are a bit rudimentary, I love them all the more for the fact that they are not computerized and edited, but drawn by hand.

"The Alienist" by Caleb Carr is a great mystery + historical fiction (Teddy Roosevelt is talked about).  This is the first Caleb Carr book I read and then I went on to read "The Angel of Darkness"- somewhat the sequel to the "The Alienist" and loved it to and for the fact that one of the "bad guys" was actually a lady, which I think we sometimes forget about in real life.  Read it or both if you love mysteries and historical fiction.

"Little House on the Prairie"- the first 5 books at least- by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  My son is blazing through these right now and I kind of feel sad that I'm not reading them out loud to him, but his sight reading and skipping words has gotten way beyond my verbal reading ability so alas I will likely start reading them out loud to my daughter, although I'm worried she's not going to be as into them as he has been.  This book reminds me of my sister and father.  The three of us would sit on the couch in our living room and dad would read the book out loud before bedtime.  I always asked for more and my sister was not as into the book as I was so was ready for bed sooner than I.  These stories were so magical to me and again fed my love for "farm life".

"Beach Music" by Pat Conroy- this is likely my most favorite book.  I think I've read it at least three times, which my "Bookie" friend Mary would give me heck for because there are indeed too many books out there to read so why read one more than once, but I loved this book.  It is not a "feel good" book and has some deep topics, but Pat Conroy's writing is just so real that is reads easily and keeps me wanting to know what is going to happen, how are these people's lives going to turn out.  I've read "South of Broad" (My second favorite Conroy book) and "The Great Santini".  He is such a great author!  I love to read his books and hear the "southern voice" just fly right out of it.

"Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier.  I think I read "Jamaica Inn" first and then my mom told me I should read "Rebecca".  Another wonderful mystery written so that you can just see the black n white movie line of this book play out in your head when you are reading it.  It is great!  A classic book for me.  The ending gets me-maybe it will get you.

"Gorky Park" by Martin Cruz Smith.  This book I read on the way to Virginia to visit grandparents when I was a Sophomore in High school.  This book is a mystery and it had me- no really I didn't stop reading.  We got to my grandparents house and I kept reading- pretty unsociable, which you may guess isn't me- but I just couldn't put it down.  I felt adult reading this book- KGB, romance, murder, etc. 

The Bobbsey Twins of Lakeport by ?.  So Edward Stratemeyer wrote the first volumes supposedly, but the volumes I grew up with (the purple spine with black covers/pictures and no dust covers) were likely writted by Lilan Garis, (4-28).  These books were another bedtime staple in my home growing up and my father again read these books to my sister and I.  Last summer my son, daughter and I read the first 3-4 volumes of my purple spine set, but alas we all weren't as hooked as I was as a child.  I felt the verbiage was antiquated, but alas seeing these books on shelves of used book stores makes me want to open my pocket book up to complete my set. 

"Misty of Chincoteague Island" by Marguerite Henry.  I loved and still love horses.  This is on my bucket list to go visit the island sometime in my lifetime.  I would ultimately like to go for "pony penning day", but not sure that will happen due to excess people and time/money.  This is a great story of the love for animals.  It brings you back to a "simple life".  If you have a child or you yourself are a horse fan and haven't read it you need to.

Last but not least- "to be continued" meaning- yet to be determined- the last book in my "ideal bookshelf".  I'm looking forward to it taking me at least 50 + more years to find that one and hopefully read some pretty great books during my search for that book. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

For Sale

So this may explain why my writing has really not been up to par lately.  Our house is for sale and we are building a house.   To see a for sale sign in your yard, your first yard, your first house, your home you've raised thus far two children who love each other, their parents, grandparents and cousins along with other family members very much.  To say this is "surreal" is likely an understatement, but not surprisingly I'm not too emotional.  This kind of event happens to hit my emotion button at weird times.  For instance, my youngest is getting ready to head to kindergarten and I can guarantee I won't be a mom teary eyed at kindergarten drop off, but catch me on some Friday morning at our local Starbucks and I'll have tears in my eyes because my youngest won't be sharing "coffee time" with me, but instead becoming "educated". 

It has been a crazy summer, and crazy year- really.  The process of building your "forever home" is exciting, intimidating, scary, empowering, and real life chaos.  However, our process has been relatively smooth thus far, with no "huge" bumps in the road.  (Knock on wood).  Our house  getting ready for the market was stressful, hard, hard work, and at times not the friendliest environment between husband and wife, but thanks to great in-laws and awesome kids and equally hard working spouse and myself the house is in tip top shape and we are already reaping the benefits of our hard work by some 1st and 2nd showings within the first 24 hours of being on the market. 

So now what- yes we have a few more things to finalize for our new house and a few "to do's" on the old house, but it feels strange not to be so frantic. I'm utterly inpatient and so waiting for the house inspection of our current home will likely drive me to drink heavy "chattynatty" pours if I'm not careful.  However,  not to be eating dinner at 9:45 pm every night of the work week due to not having to do manual labor when getting home from our normal "work day" will be nice.  So I kind of feel strangely at unease with this "free time".  This "what are we going to do when this is all done"- thoughts will haunt my I fear.  I know I'm strange, but I got the same way when my wedding was over- I got kind of sad.  Not that the house is over, but it is the thought of it ending that makes me a little sad.  Of course, I will be so grateful for the beautiful- "forever"- home we will have, but it is strange to think of what will fill my time- I know, I know, stop whining or moping and enjoy life- Yes that is what I will do! 

So for now, having a little beer to celebrate our week's work and enjoying the fact that I get to sit and write about this instead of thinking of it in my head and not having the time to write it down. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

July Running Recap

These days I seem to be behind on everything. I'm helping my daughter do thank you notes for her birthday that occurred at end of June. So I guess posting about July's running halfway into August isn't horrible- right?

I ran a total if 53 miles in the month of July. This is in stark contrast to where I was last year (80+). However, it is a different year of training for me. When training for 1/2s you don't decide to go further than 13.1- or at least I don't so my higher mileage runs just aren't there. I ran the Chicago Women's 1/2 at the end of June and so the first week in July was recovery and mainly July was a focus on bike, swim and run in prep for tri. My longest run in July- 6.

So what I'm learning- I like running, but if I don't have longer distance race I'm training for I just don't get in the higher mileage. This is ok but makes the goal of 1,000 miles a year pretty unrealistic. So I will keep running and training for my last 1/2 of the year and then move forward and reassess for next year's goal.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Oswego Tri

Before I forget the details or just move onto another event I'm making myself sit down and eat dinner at 9:30 pm and write this post about the Oswego "I tried a Triathlon" husband and I participated in this past Sunday.
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                                                    This is the before     This is the after

We have done the event before.  We both placed third for our age group last year.  This year we both wanted to do better.  I wanted to be better in both the swim and the bike and husband was diligent with going to the pool weekly at least and thus wanted to do better at swim.  He also purchased a nice road bike this year and we were hoping the nicer bike would make the 6 miles go by even faster for him. 

Well- we both accomplished what we wanted to... I placed third again for my age group (official time 50:30   - breakdown 250 yd swim 5:01, 6 mile bike 26:29, and 2.1 mile run 18 min).  My swim went much better, less anxiety and smoother strokes this year.  My bike was great and I felt strong.  Husband improved to- took a minute off his swim time and 3 minutes off bike time, plus he is just fast when it comes to running.  However, my overall time was about a minute slower than last year.  It wasn't do to my effort, but instead due to being a girl, who needs a little support (if you know what I mean) and struggled getting my sports tank on over my wet swim suit.  I put the tank on and took it off at least two times because I kept on getting my arm tangled in the wrong whole of the sport tank (it had a bra and a tank together).  So I finally got my self situated and was off, but I felt like I lost precious time with the mess up at the swim/bike transition.  Next year I'm going to plan on swimming with my running bra over my swimsuit and then throw a shirt on after the swim therefore no arms going in the wrong hole problem. 

I really enjoyed the tri and am feeling the urge to go bigger with participation in longer triathlons, but just not sure I'm ready financially to make the commitment (definitely need a new bike if I'm going to ride longer, likely would need a wet suit if participating in tri that takes place in cooler temp/time of the year).  You know me and my grand ideas- I'll of course let you know if any of it comes to fruition.

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She is so proud!

Lastly, my favorite part of the tri, other than when it is over and I get to have a Popsicle :)... is watching my daughter, nephew and niece participate in the kid's tri following our event.  It is super short, but the kids love it.  My son is too old to participate and he is already making comments like, "mom I have four years to train for the tri"- yep 12 year olds can participate in the Oswego tri- my sister thinks his first time out he will smoke both my husband and me- She's probably right!

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The kid tri participants- Yep they got a ribbon and Popsicle just like me :).

Monday, August 5, 2013

July Reads

While my family and in-laws are watching GoldRush I'm taking time to catch up on some much needed posts. I feel like time is just flying by and I just can't keep up with life, let alone the summer.

This past month I read the following and listened to one audiobook. The audiobook I really enjoyed. It was "The Art Forger" by B.A. Shapiro. It was a really enjoyable story about an artist. And her job of being a Degas replica specialist and gets involved in some interesting detective work as an artist and in some interesting relationships. Added bonus some historical fiction about Degas. I highly recommend it.

My book club book this month was Amy Tan's " Saving Fish from Drowning". I really enjoyed the story line. I felt lie the story could have been cleaned up a little and some pages cut out, but otherwise thought it was worth my time. I felt kind of like I felt when reading Ann Patchett's State of Wonder. I still like Amy's "Bonesetter's Daughter" book better.

One great find in te cookbook section at the library was "A Homeamade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table" by Molly Wizenberg. I enjoyed this look at Eric life and family experiences via recipes. Each chapter ended with the recipe that was somewhere and somehow featured in that chapter. I loved the family stories and really want to buy the book for the recipes. Anyone who loves to read and cook should pick this one up.

"My Ideal Bookshelf" by Thessaly La For e was a great and entertaining read. The premise is to think about what your "ideal bookshelf" would or does look like. She then asked people from all walks of life: careers, ages, gender, ethnicity, etc what their "bookshelf" would look like. Some of the books I'd never heard of, some I had read and are favorites, some I disliked and some I've had on my "to read" list for awhile.   The other thing  I loved about this book was one page was the reader's story about their shelf and the other page was what the book spines of their shelf would look like if someone was looking at their shelf. The artwork was beautiful. Te artist and editor even give you your own blank template at the back of the book to pick your own favorites for your bookshelf and illustrate your book's spines. I'll share my bookshelf with you in the week to come.

Lastly,I read "March" by Geraldine Brooks. It is Mr. March's story during the period of time "Little Women" takes place.  I thought it read like Historical fiction and I really enjoyed it, although it is at times a sad story. I love this author and "People of the Book" is still my favorite of her's. I recommend reading them both.

I didn't get much kid's lit read this month. I think this is because 1. I'm not making time to read to kids daily (oldest is plowing through Little House on Prairie books and Bones- I know odd twosome. My youngest meanwhile is trying to be like her big brother and "read" on her own. 2. I thought I was going to have all this time to read to them on our travels this past month, but I ended up doing a ton of driving during vacation. So instead I'm still reading the same chapter book I started end of June and unfortunately have to return it due to "fines" I owe on book- I know shame on me!  Hopefully I will have at least one chapter book in the August Reads post.

On to bed now in prep to get good shut eye before tomorrow's tri. I'll have to fill you in on my workout life in the next few days too. Goodnight, hope a good read is sharing the last few minutes of your day with you.

This was suppose to post Saturday night, but something went wrong so getting it out now.