Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The One in Which a Good Run Equals a Temporary Lapse in Judgement

So I did something mildly rash two days ago.  I registered myself for a half-marathon.  In less than a month.

Let's all pause for a moment to ask, "WHAT THE EFFING EFF WAS I THINKING?"

Ok. Let's continue.

My original plan was to very sloooooowly ramp up my mileage (dutifully following the 10% rule) and run my first half in July.  I went on a trail run this weekend, planning on completely 6 or 7 miles and somehow ended up running almost 11.  What can I say?  It was a beautiful day, it was the first dry trail I'd seen in months and I was running with some new running buddies and the conversation was good. 

Anyhow, one of them clued me in to this great half-marathon taking place next month only an hour a way.  Its a gorgeous course, at a gorgeous time of year.  And dudes, the finish line for the thing is at the New Belgium Brewery

So here's my plan:  I'm going to (as gently as possible) ramp up my mileage in the next 3 weeks while cross and strength training and doing my darndest to avoid an overuse injury.  Good nutrition, rest, etc. and I should be ok right?  What are rules if not to be broken?

My boys (both the husband sized one and the 3 year old sized one) are being incredibly supportive although they may be secretly laughing at me behind my back.  They're tolerating the long weekend runs and my general complaints about soreness, tiredness etc. 

The kiddo is insistent that when he's big, he'll run a race with me and win.  We'll see, little boy.  We'll see.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Report (plus Hair)

Though Otto still loves picture books and will sit and read as many as we are willing to commit to, I recently made the decision (after reading somewhere on the internets that this was a good age) to begin reading some chapter books aloud at bedtime.  Typically, I lay in bed beside him and we whip through 3 or 4 story books before lights out/snuggle.  Starting chapter books was going to be an experiment to see if one story (with little or no pictures, no less) could hold his attention for about the same amount of time. 

And holy crow, I had NO IDEA how well this would go over.  The kid's attention span is EPIC.

So far, we've read three chapter books recommended for preschoolers that I was able to get for next to nothing used on Amazon:   Mercy Watson to the Rescue, Moongobble and Me: The Dragon of Doom, and Three Tales of My Father's Dragon.

Three Tales of My Father's Dragon is by far our favorite (even though the others are quite good).  Written in the 40's by Ruth Stiles Gannet, this little book is highly enjoyable and right at Otto's 3 year old level.  My Father's Dragon is about a little boy named Elmer Elevator (the narrator's father, natch) who hears of a baby dragon who's trapped on an island of ruthless, wild animals.  In the first story (about 13 chapters), he travels to the island and has a series of adventures while trying to rescue the dragon.  He meets all sorts of animals and comes up with all kinds of clever tricks to escape their clutches and eventually attempt a rescue of the dragon.  The writing is simple yet descriptive and its fun to imagine all of the creatures he encounters.

It does have some minimal, black and white pictures but for the most part we're getting to use our imaginations to picture the story and Otto LOVES it.  Every night its "one more chapter?  Pleeeeeeeeease??" 

Since these books have gone over so well, I can't wait to start on some others.  Anyone have more suggestions of good read-aloud chapter books for this age?  I think he's still a bit too young for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Hobbit which are two that I'm really looking forward to reading.

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 On the adult side of things, I've read several great books lately.  My favorites have been Shadow of the Wind  and the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  I also (finally) read The Book Thief.  So I've had a bit of a WWII (and aftermath) sort of month. 

 Now, for bookclub, we're reading Devil in the White City which, quite honestly, is proving difficult for me to get through.  In a nutshell, this book juxtaposes two semi-related storylines:  one of the designers and developers of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago and one of H. H. Holmes, a serial killer in the city at that time.   So far, I'm finding the stuff about the architects and developers exceedingly dull and for as much tolerance and even enjoyment I get out of some horror, I've never been able to read/watch stuff about serial killers.  I think its because while zombies, monsters, devils, etc. don't REALLY exist, serial killers are very real.  And just...ew.

But I'll give it my best effort or at least read enough of it so I can bullshit my way through bookclub in a couple weeks :)

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As an unrelated post-script of sorts, I  DID cut my hair BUT I only went for the shoulder length.  Figured I could always go shorter, but its hard to go back if you cut too much off.    Here is a shitty picture taken in my car, but you get the general idea.  I had her make the ends super choppy which helps with the bulkiness and I can either air dry (a la below) or straighten depending on the time and effort I'm willing to invest on any given morning.  Long story short (uhHAHAHA), I loves it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


The picture above is a (crappy) example of what my hair looks like right now.  Longish.  Relatively lifeless.  Weird layers.  I pretty much only ever wear it down or in a pony tail for workouts.  Sometimes I do braids but not very often.  I've never been talented at updos and all that business.  And maybe its spring fever but I can't stop fantasizing about cutting it. 

Here are some examples of where my imagination has been taking me lately:

Option 1: A mid-length bob:

Really, I wouldn't be losing a ton of length with this but it would clean it up, add some choppiness to the ends which could be cute.  And I'm not saying I look at all like the lovely Gwenyth but I do think that our face shapes are sort of similar.

Option 2:  A chin-length bob:

 This one just makes me salivate...the feeling of getting all that hair off my neck and shoulders?  Cute ear-tucking length...sigh.  The only drawback would be not being able to ponytail it for workouts.  I also wonder how long this would take me to style in the morning...although I doubt it would take much longer than the looooooong time I take blow drying and straightening now.

Option 3:  Leave the length alone, maybe even continue to grow it but try to clean up the layers?  Even add some color maybe?

This one is the safest option and will keep me from haircut remorse.  But it won't be all new and bright and shiny feeling either. 

Thoughts? Let's do a poll!