27 January 2012

Friday Faves

I'm heading out of town early tomorrow morning for business.  I'm procrastinating and delaying the pain of packing.  I've been inspired by Graham Hill's TED Talk called "Less Stuff, More Happiness."  I'm determined to pack as minimally as possible.

I was forced to play with Play-Doh this week.  Forced!  Worse--I was observed playing.  So I opted to be as twisted as possible. 

I made this!  It's a beauty.  Croque-Madam.  A poached egg makes everything more amazing.  Gruyere is worth the extra money.  Oh my, is it!

My new arm warmers came in the mail.  Lovely things.  Completely lightweight and orange.  

Now if only, I could get that orange Vespa, I've been desiring.  What an orange dream that would be!

I really hope that my whirlwind conference down in SoCal will inspire me and give me new faves to share.  

22 January 2012

2012: The Plan

  • 10K in January:  Done!
  • 10K in February:  Need to register.  Will bring the Boy along for the Kid 1K. 
  • 13.1 in March:  Registered since forever.  My $35 Half! Training right now. 
  • 13.1 in July:  SF again!  Going for my Half it All Challenge Medal!  
  • 13.1 in November:  Haven't decided which half I'll tackle in November, but I want to do one. 
  • 26.2 in December:  Going to register as soon as registration opens.  I heart CIM.  
Goals:  10KPR in February.  13.1 PR either in March or July.  I'll have to look at course elevation profiles.  26.2 PR in December (fingers crossed).  

^That's ambitious.  

20 January 2012

Friday Faves

I need to focus on the good and delightful more often.  So each Friday,  I will sum up the best of the week.  

Tuesday was freezing.  Twenty-three whopping degrees when I took this picture.  I tucked my hair into my coat's collar which I had to put up in order to stave off the uncontrollable shivers.  Yay for cold days that let me bust out my coat.  This is the first time that I've worn a coat in ages.  

I'm on this quest to figure out how to tame my hair.  Somehow I did something different or the weather was just right so that my waves cascaded in this amazing way.  I had to take a picture because my natural hair NEVER.  LOOKS.  THIS.  GOOD. 

I had an unexpected excursion into an area where SHOES ARE NOT ALLOWED.  Check out how fortuitous my sock choice was that day.  All of the other karate moms were probably so jealous.  Injinji's are superior for running, but when you are not amongst runners, cute socks are better.  

The bestest, most favoritest moment of the week?  The little man passing his karate test and getting his first belt.  He also earned the Most Improved Award.  It's about time.  The poor kid needed some uplifting moments.  And this one, he earned!  

Oh hey!  Is that a meal?  Yes.  And I made it.  I don't make anything.  Ever.  I am quite clumsy in the kitchen.  I never really liked cooking.  But Pinterest is changing my attitude towards food.  This is called a Baked Egg Boats.  It involves some of my favorite things:  bread, eggs, and cheese.  

All in all, a solid week.  My husband had stellar Friday as well.  A haircut and a motorcycle license in ONE DAY!  

13 January 2012


The dread and fear and doubt that I feel before having to do a tempo run is directly proportional to the joy and feeling of confidence that I feel when I surprise myself by not only finishing the tempo run but also by finishing faster than I thought I could.

07 January 2012


One week into January and I think that I have finally settled upon some reasonable resolutions for 2012.  It is quite easy to make resolutions; it is much harder to edit the list down into something manageable and powerful.

Here they are in no particular order:

Work on my running technique and form and what not.  
Make bed in morning before leaving the house for work.  
Don't apologize for having a BMI in the normal range.  
Resist urges to rage against things that I have no control over.   
Wear moisturizer daily and nightly.  
Develop a habit of calorie counting.  
Go on more dates with my husband.  

05 January 2012

Runs for Soufflé

My husband can make these out-of-this-world, joy-inducing, magical Chocolate Gingerbread Soufflés.

Just look at it. 

There is nothing better than this dessert.  It is an experience for nearly all of the senses.  The smell, the texture, the taste, the look.  I took the recipe and figured out how many calories in each serving.  576.  My run today supposedly burned 463.   It was a challenging run.  I didn't want to go out and do it.  I'm still struggling to get back in the swing of training.  

It was worth it for that bit of heaven in a ramekin.  

I think that I need to make a shirt that says Will Run for Soufflé as a counter to the Will Run for Beer shirts.  

I'm so not the person I thought that I would grow up to be!  

03 January 2012

Looking Back: A Few of My Favorites from 2011

I usually try to get this written before the new year.  I'm a little late this year.

These are some of the things that I loved this year.  These are the things that made me proud to be human.  The sorts of stuff that make you feel joy.  This is my list of favorites of 2011.

Let's begin.

KINDLE (Formerly known as books)
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt.  Read it now.  Here is my review.

Rewriting:  Things To Do With Texts by Joseph Harris.  Professional reading, but I am so glad I received a copy.   If you teach composition, you should pick it up.  If you want to be a better writer, you should pick it up.  

iPOD (Music and Podcasts)
Since I have satellite radio, I can happily stay in certain corners of the musical world (ahem...Pearl Jam radio!) and not be exposed to anything new.  But somehow, fortuitously, I came across these acts. 

Reggie Watts.  I believe I was introduced to him on a Radiolab podcast.    He is a comedian who is also musical.  He uses his voices and a machine to create these songs. There is something delightful about his work. He won't be everyone's cup of tea. In fact, I would recommend waiting until you get home from work to explore his work on Youtube.  Here is one of my favorites that I feel comfortable linking to:  A Future in the Future.  Warning.  Profanity! 

Thao with the Get Down Stay Down.  I can blame Radiolab for this one as well.  When I saw Radiolab Live in Berkeley, she also performed.  Good stuff.  Body

I think that I learned about Theophilus London from a playlist on a lululemon blog.  His stuff reminds of the good parts of being 13 years old.  It doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement, but I mean it to be.  I am fully aware that most people won't like his stuff.  I'm in my thirties.  It's been years since I've cared what you think about me.  So there.  Sorry to Interrupt and Why Even Try

It is no secret that I am a fan of the banjo.  I can't believe that it took me so long to find Mumford & Sons.  I love their entire album Sigh No More.  I love how the music swells.  I love the voice.  White Blank Page

SCREEN (Film and TV)
Game of Thrones.  
Loved it.  Can't wait for it to return.  Read the two books in the series and then stalled in Book 3.  Tyrion is my current favorite.  I also dig Ayra Stark!  Bronn and Tyrion Buddy Cop

Midnight in Paris  
This movie was like a gift to all of us out there with degrees in American literature.  It was so delightful.  I don't think another film made me smile so much all year.  Owen Wilson was excellent in the Woody Allen character.  The writing killed me!  Gil said at one point:  "Prufrock is like my mantra!"  What's not to love!  Who wants to fight!

Pearl Jam Twenty
Ten came out in 1991.  I was 13.  Vs. came out in 1993.  I remember waiting for Vs. to be released. I remember going to the mall to buy a copy. (An act that my son will never experience.)  I'm fairly certain that listening to all that Pearl Jam in those formidable years meant that I've imprinted on Pearl Jam.  I crushed on Stone Gossard and fell in love with Eddie Vedder's voice. Watching Cameron Crowe's documentary on Pearl Jam was a strange yet positive experience.  There seems to be a narrative arc in all of our lives.  Any documentarian could find one, I suppose.  Pearl Jam's narrative arc seems to mirror all of our lives.  Maybe just mine.  Not literally.  Symbolically, in a Joseph Campbell monomyth type of way.  They raged against their station in life and then started to mellow and find a bit of peace.  Reminds me of the rage of my teens and early twenties softening as I hit my thirties.  I really liked Backspacer when it came out.  There was a joy in that album that wasn't present in their angrier earlier albums.  The nostalgic impact of seeing clips of Tabatha Soren (!) in MTV clips was amazing.  There is a lot about being young that I miss.  MTV is one of them.  It was a better time.  Let Me Sleep and Given to Fly

Wunderlist:  This thing has saved me as my responsibilities have increased.  This year I teach three different courses.  Each with their own to do lists.  It has become difficult to keep it all straight.  I love how I can sync the app on my desktop to my phone.  

Words with Friends:  "Words games for smart people." --Alec Baldwin

KT Tape.  I don't understand how it works.  It may be a placebo.  I don't care.  It is a placebo that works.  Aches and pains go away with this stuff.  

California International Marathon.  Loved this race.  Will return.  

01 January 2012

Rio Grill Resolution Run--Carmel-by-the-Sea

I checked the weather yesterday.  The forecast was amazing; therefore, I registered for the Rio Grill Resolution Run in Carmel for today.  I opted for the 10K rather than the 5K because the 10K course featured ocean views.

This was my first 10K race.  Overall it was a positive experience despite my lingering cold, lack of running fitness (RECOVERY!) and the dreaded hills.   The weather was amazing.  Maybe a bit too warm.  It felt like spring.

As a resolution run, there were many walkers out on the course.  I do wish the organizers would have better corralled the participants--especially considering the bottlenecking that occurred during the trail uphill portion of the race.  Oh well.  It was a resolution run.  No harm.  Happy that many went out for a walk or run when many Americans do not do a darn thing.

Did not expect the half mile major hill at the beginning of the race.  My Timex data says that it is a 5.4% grade.  Honesty check:  I don't know what that means really.  Quite abstract bit of data.  This darn cold and the high number of participants on that uphill trail meant that I wasn't going to make any good time on that section.  I didn't fight against the universe and went with flow.

I ran the rest of the course the best I could.  I could feel that my lungs weren't 100% with my cough.  Ran across finish as it read 1:07:30.  Chip time was 1:07:00.  Hey!  No messy seconds holding on!  Cool.  I just realized that since this is my first 10K, it means AUTOMATIC PR!

I'll have to do much better next time--which may be in February.  This next one won't have hills.  Or decent views.