Category Archives: My life

ambivalence

I recently stumbled across one of my most favorite pieces of running writing.  When I was in high school, there was a bit of a running fad that favored fewer miles.  Of course, this was the pre-internet age, but in my teens I was pretty convinced that I was “burned out” and other such nonsense when my times slowed down in 10th / 11th grade.  (Looking back, puberty and (healthy) weight gain had a lot more to do with it.)  In any case, it wasn’t until my junior year of college that I stumbled upon a community of running enthusiasts on the internet on the CoolRunning forums and became convinced of the opposite, that as far as running goes, more is almost always better.  The author of the piece above ran many, many miles and enjoyed the payoff.

The weather was warm enough to run in shorts and short-sleeves yesterday for the first time in, oh, six months?  Longer.  Who knows.  It was wonderful.  I took advantage and ran 8.5 miles, my longest run since before B was born.  It felt great, though I’m sore today.  I need to drag myself out for a shorter run this morning sometime soon before the rain starts again.

We’ve settled on a school for L.  We’re going to send her to a French immersion Kindergarten.  I have mixed feelings about this.  I wish we were living slightly farther North, in a better school district, but for a wide variety of reasons the cards did not fall that way.  We’ll re-evaluate the long-term path after next year.  You might wonder, why French?  Well, there are two French immersion schools near us and none in any other language.  I think there is a value in knowing any second language, regardless of what it is.  I also think that L is precocious and this will ensure she is challenged.  Hopefully, she won’t be TOO challenged.  Both B and I feel ambivalent about the whole thing, in contrast to how we feel about the preschool, which we love.  But we’ll give it a try.

swimming

L graduated from level 1 of swim lessons.  It’s been a long road, and I’m frankly just delighted.  It seems like a small thing, and she was beginning to tower over the other kids in her class.  It had just become obvious to me that swimming would be a challenge for her.  However, I have derived an enormous amount of joy from swimming and being in the water through the years, from just playing at the pool in the summer to swim team to being confident in deep water at Smith Mountain Lake and pool parties and on and on.  As an adult, I really feel water aerobics and my weekly swim were incredibly important to my mental and physical health, and I met one of my best friends in Seattle at water aerobics class.  Anyway, I’ve watched L gradually gain confidence and comfort in the water, and I see a clear path towards her becoming a confident swimmer over the next several years.  (A path paved with bribes and sparkly swimsuits, no doubt.)  Now, B is getting old enough to start swim lessons!

I myself have been swimming once a week.  I absolutely detest getting in the pool and swimming that first half lap.  It’s just torture!  After that, however, it’s quite pleasurable.  I always preferred breaststroke, but I’ve been swimming freestyle with an eye towards triathlon, and I’ve become so much more comfortable with freestyle.  I even tried some flip turns at my last session.  They went . . . ok.  I ended up with a nose full of water during one of them, and I basically found them exhausting.  But it was kind of fun to realize I can still do one, more or less.

My parents are visiting, and H is out of town.  My loyal readers will know that the latter has caused me a great deal of anxiety in past.  Today, I’m doing fine.  A friend told me to try and celebrate the small achievements, and so I’m going to celebrate how today has gone.  We’ll deal with tomorrow tomorrow.

Thanksgiving Friday

Why is it always women who are taking their clothes off?  I haven’t even read this specific article, but I think the general gist is that it’s a plus-size model trying to make a point about body-shaming.  But whatever the reason, it’s seems like it’s always women stripping down – celebrities who aren’t happy with this or that (Catherine Zeta-Jones being the latest), women who want to normalize breast-feeding, athletes making a point about something (thinking of Lindsay Vonn here), models, etc., etc., etc.  Personally, while I am totally against body-shaming, am massively in favor of women’s right to breastfeed everywhere without shame, and think Lindsay Vonn is amazing, I am tired of seeing press about women stripping down for one reason or another.  I never seem to run across men in their skivvies on the subway.  Personally, I am no fan of modesty in general.  It’s such a slippery slope.  I just wish women would get more media coverage for things other than their bodies, and I’m not sure strutting around in the nude or near-nude is going to help.

Also, I would like to point out that your average plus-size model has a waist smaller than mine.

On the subject of bodies, I’ve finally realized why my head is so big yet looks so small.  Folks, I have a narrow deep head.  Did I get squished during childbirth or something?  I’ve come to this realization in the process of trying to find a helmet that fits properly.  I’m ending up with these giant Men’s large helmets that look ridiculous on my narrow head and are also very heavy.  So annoying!

I’ve been continuing to enjoy cycling.  It’s hard to find time to do it when it’s not raining or dark, but when I do get out, it’s great.  Today I cycled 10.6 miles in a little over an hour with an average speed of 10.5 mph and a max speed of 24.6 mph.  That sounds pretty slow, and it is, but I am getting faster.  The local bicycle club here is Cascade, and they offer free group rides.  The rides are categorized as Easy (<10 mph), Leisurely (10-12 mph), Steady (12-14 mph) and on up to Super Strenuous (22+ mph).  There are few or no rides in the slowest categories, so it would be great if I could get my speed up to 12 mph so I could join in rides in the Steady category.  I’d really like to meet some other cyclists.

Right now, I’m in the process of trying to convince my friends to take up triathlon, but it’s a hard sell, mostly because of the swimming.  I did recently find out a co-worker I’ve been friendly with for many years wants to do an Olympic tri late this summer.  I can see that as a goal, though my main objective is to do any tri, no matter how short.  Seattle does not exactly have a wealth of short triathlons.  This one is very typical, with the “super sprint” having a swim of 400m, bike of 16.4 mi, and 3.1 mi run.  The Olympic distance is 1500m swim, 25 mile bike and 6 mile run.  Obviously, the swim would be the biggest problem for me.  Swimming a mile in open water is no joke.  As a point of comparison, the half ironman has a swim of only 1900m, with a 56 mile bike ride and 13 mile run.  The Olympic distance is disproportionately weighted towards the swim, which I think will be my worst “event.”  Anyway, one thing at a time.  I’ll start with a super sprint and then decide if I want to try something longer.

olympics

How I love the Olympics!  I took two hours off from work yesterday to watch the women’s gymnastics individual final – best decision ever.

I am also highly amused by the green pool mystery.

I am having a hard time getting excited about track and field, formerly my second favorite spectator sport (after gymnastics) due to all the drugs.  It seems like everyone is doing drugs, no doubt including a fair few Americans, though I do think Americans are cleaner overall.  If I ever find out Michael Phelps is a doper, my heart will be broken.  I will never be able to watch sports again.  No evidence of that so far, though, and I frikking love watching him win.  He really rocks my world.  I can’t explain why.  It’s been a rough summer, frankly, and it just makes me feel good watching him win gold medals.

Anybody done or contemplated doing a Tough Mudder?