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My real life is a lot like THS (True Hollywood Story) except there's no fame, fortune, or drug addiction. Instead, I'm happily married, have two children, and a dog who's prone to barfing at 3 am. I love them all, but I also have to run away from them every day. I always run back, though.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Miami Half 2010 Race Report

Short Version: I finished in 2:22:13, which is almost exactly the same time I finished 2 years ago -- just a few seconds faster.

Long Version:
Pre-race: I arrived at the race start at about 5 am and had no trouble with traffic or finding parking. In an amusing anecdote, when I was parking and getting my stuff together, I was watching some younger people who were clearly just leaving a bar or club. In particular, I was watching this young couple who were fighting with each other; it was quite the quarrel, and at one point, the girl's boobs popped out of her tube top (which, at that point, was more like a tube middle since it was only covering her stomach). Did this bother her? Apparently not, because she didn't even attempt to stuff her boobs back into her top -- she just kept gesturing and yelling like mad. It was the most amusing pre-race show I've ever witnessed!

After observing that spectacle, I headed off for the race start. I tried to keep a sharp eye out for Dawn, who flew down from Chicago for the race, but I never spotted her. Understandable though, since it's hard to find someone among 18,000 others.

The race began at 6:15, and it took me about 12 minutes to cross the start line, and then the race was underway for me!

Race: The race was scenic and fun, just as it was when I ran it 2 years ago, but just like two years ago, the crowd was tough to run with, and I never once got to break away from the congestion. This means that I felt like I never got the chance to run my own race at my own pace, but after the first few miles, I just accepted the fact that this wasn't gonna be any land speed record, and I went with the flow. It was a slower pace than I would have preferred, but I knew that fighting the crowd by bobbing and weaving wouldn't help me much. So, it just turned into a strangely comfortable, easy-going 13.1 miles.

Favorite parts: Seeing the cruise ships in the first two miles, running through the Art Deco district in South Beach during miles 4-6, running over the bridge during mile 11 that brought the race back into downtown Miami where we were greeted by a very enthusiastic crowd, and lastly, the finish: The big crowd, the finisher's chute, the "spinning palm" medal -- good times!

Post Race: It was a bit of a clusterfuck getting out of the finishing chute and out of the crowd, but my primary goal post-race was finding a porta-potty. I'd had to pee since...pretty much the beginning of the race but every porta-potty along the course had a line, so I'd skipped it, which means I pretty much ran 13.1 miles with a full bladder. So, after the race, I made a beeline for the bathroom and the relief was almost as satisfying as crossing the finish line!

After that, I quickly walked the half mile back to the car and then drove home. By 10:30, I was home, showered and playing with Norah -- who thought the medal was an excellent toy to play with: Maybe someday she'll want to earn one of these for herself!

All in all, I enjoyed the race, but have decided that Miami is just not the race, for me, to attempt any kind of personal record. Which is fine. Not all races should be run for the potential time benefit, some are simply for the experience and I think Miami is a good one for that!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Miami Expo and Race Intentions

This afternoon, I made my way down to Miami Beach to hob-nob with the pretty people and go to the expo for the Miami Half. I picked up my race stuff and got my shirt: And then walked around the expo for a bit. Lots of tempting running stuff, but while I wanted to buy a whole bunch of goodies, I was restrained and I just picked up a few essentials:
So, tomorrow, I'll get my race stuff in order, and then bright and early on Sunday morning, I'll be standing in front of the American Airlines Arena ready to run the Half. Therefore, I figure now is an appropriate time to list some of my goals for the race.

Pie in the sky goal: Set a new PR. Which means finishing in under 2:09:45. Yeah....

More realistic goal: Set a new personal course record. I ran the Miami HM in 2008 and finished in 2:22. It was my first half ever so I had no real clue how to run the distance, so now with some experience under my belt, it feels possible to beat this time. In fact, I think I can finish in 2:15, but there are some factors to consider with Miami (which I'll list below) that may not make this feasible.

Most basic goal: Finish with a smile.

So, what do I already know about Miami that makes me hesitant to insist that I can do it in the timeframe I've trained for? Several key factors I learned from my experience in 2008:
  • Miami is a big race. I heard at the expo that there will be about 18,000 runners starting at the same time (for both the half and the full). That's a decent sized race with big crowds to navigate and I'm corraled in the same place I was 2 years ago -- pretty far back.
  • I have a tough time establishing my own pace in a big crowd.
  • Plus, I tend to weave -- adding both time and distance to the run.
  • Miami is also not flat. The race directors claim it is, but it's not. At least not the half: There are two significantly sized bridges on the course and one of them is at mile 10. I don't have the opportunity to do much hill work since to run on hills in FL, you have to either find yourself a bridge or a landfill and neither is in my neighborhood.
  • Race morning traffic is bad and parking is bad, so to deal with this, I plan to arrive early. This means I'll be waiting around at the start for a quite awhile. This has two negative effects: One, I tend to stand and pace, wasting energy and exhausting my feet, and two, it's tough to remain mentally engaged in the excitement when the race start is preceded by so much boredom.

However, to my advantage are the following:

  • Experience. I am aware of all of the above difficulties and I think this is always advantageous, so I know that:
  • While the crowd is big, I just have to do my best to establish my own pace and run my own race and not get caught up in the race of my fellow race participants.
  • I must try not to weave. Always seems good in theory but is bad in practice.
  • While the course is not flat, it is very scenic, and while there is that big bridge at mile 10, the end of the bridge brings you back into downtown Miami into a very loud, fun crowd.
  • Yes, I'll get there way early, but I'll try not to stand around. Instead, I plan to sit around. Sitting on concrete at 5 am is not much fun, but it's better race preparation than standing on it.

So, there you go. I'm looking forward to the race no matter its outcome, so I'll let you know how it goes on Sunday!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stuff

First of all: Update on "the student" (who will from here on out be referred in that way with quotes and when you read that phrase, you should use an ominous tone of voice in your reading mind). Simply put: He didn't come to class. He emailed me to say he wouldn't be able to attend at all this week. I replied and advised him that it would be in his best interest to withdraw. Certainly, my response was lengthier and more compassionate-sounding than the above sentence, but my general gist was "Please don't return." He hasn't replied to me as of yet, and I checked my roster this morning, and he's still registered, so we'll see.

Second of all: I didn't run this morning like I had wanted to. I woke up with a clogged milk duct, and the little sucker is uncomfortable, and I think running would only aggravate it. Since the first clogged duct, I've had about half a dozen repeat offenders. They vary in severity and ease of dislodgement: Sometimes, it's not painful at all and it unclogs with one nursing, other times, it really hurts and it takes about a day to unclog (the present one falls into the latter category, as in, "it hurts like a motherfucker").

I've read extensively about breastfeeding in general, and particularly about these troublesome clogged ducts I've experienced in the last few months, and I do my best to abide by all the practices that should help me avoid them, but as one article said about them: "Sometimes, they just happen." Which I guess is just the suxxorz.

But, one thing I can't help wondering about is how running might be a factor. Particularly, my running bras. Are they not offering adequate support? Or, could they be fitted so as to inappropriately squeeze my girl parts and cause such milk blockage? Any running, nursing mothers out there who have input on this? I don't think I simply need to adjust the size, because they fit comfortably, but I'm wondering if there could be a structural disadvantage to wearing just "regular" running bras? Is there a brand or structure out there that could be better?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday's Time and Temp

Jerry took today and tomorrow off work, which worked out great for me this morning: I got to sleep in a bit, he made breakfast, and then I got to go for a 3 miler. It felt like a Saturday, not a Tuesday!

Some cool weather blew in overnight, so this morning, temps were only in the mid-50s, which is perfect, and even though my fingers and arms were a touch cold, overall, the temp was incredibly comfortable for shorts and a short-sleeved tech shirt. I think both the temp and the timing intersected at just the right nexus, and this enabled me to have a stellar run in 28:32 -- anytime I can run at a sub-10 min/mile pace, I feel like I'm cruising!

Too bad I can't always run at 8:30 am in 50 degree temps, but it does look as though I will be able to repeat at least the time and temp tomorrow, so we'll see if the result is the same.

Anyhoo...I'm off to class now and I have to admit that I don't want to go. This is the class wherein I had the student "incident" last Thursday, and I'm crossing my fingers that we can resume our work smoothly; however, the anticipation of the class is making me a bit nervous. But, time to go buck up and see what's in store for me. Hopefully, nothing.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Case of the Mondays

Today, I dropped Norah off at daycare, then got in my car, turned the key and...nothing. Wha??!! I had just driven from home to daycare and there hadn't been a single hesitation when the car started, but now, as I sat in the daycare parking lot, nuthin. Absolutely nuthin.

So, I called trusty Ryan, who brought along trusty Brian, and the two of them took a look and determined it was the battery -- dead as a doornail. We tried jumping it and...still nuthin. So, it ended up that Brian drove me to the auto parts store where I purchased a new car battery and he installed it.

It was actually a problem that was solved fairly easily, quickly and cheaply, but because of the timing of it, I had already called ahead and cancelled my afternoon classes and the administrative staff had already posted in my classrooms that my classes would be cancelled, so even though I would've made my later class, I decided to just leave it cancelled. Otherwise, if I had shown up, I would have run into difficulty holding students accountable for the material if they had seen the signs earlier and not come. So, it felt like a flustered, discombobulated afternoon.

But, the bright side was that I got to pick Jerry up from the airport and then we both went back to daycare to get Norah and then head home. And since Jerry's now home, that meant I got to go for a short run -- so I went out for a 3 miler before the sun set and it felt good. Just getting that run in made me feel as though something got accomplished today!

I'm thankful that the battery died where it did and when it did and with help nearby instead of all the myriad other places that it could've happened, but it still sucked because it threw off the day, and it made my afternoon feel like a waste. Oh well, now I have a new battery! And, Jerry's home!

Oh, and we gave Norah her first taste of rice cereal this evening. She was not impressed ;)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

10 Things

So, I was tagged, like many of you, to list "10 Things That Make Me Happy" but since nearly everyone and their brother has done this already, I figured I'd do "10 Things That Make Me Happy Today."

1. Starbucks. If I could bathe in lattes, I would. For now, I have to settle for mere ingestion. 2. Going to the dog park with Norah and Scooter.
No, Scooter doesn't have rabies. He just has some kind of dog-park-induced-drooling-syndrome. As far as we know, there's no cure.
3. Norah took a nice, long mid-afternoon nap.

4. Which enabled me to do some beloved reading.
5. This afternoon, Norah and I made a quick trip to the mall and I bought myself a few new essentials: PJs and underwear. I'm sorely in need of new clothes in general, but I really did need new undies. The last new pair of underpants I'd bought were maternity.

No picture of those. Sorry, I don't want this to be that kind of blog.

6. Watched the Colts beat the Jets. It was a surprisingly close game in the first half, but in the end, the Colts deservedly won. I mean, how did the Jets get this far in the first place?

7. Norah went to bed at 6 pm. It makes me very happy to have a baby who goes to bed so early and so easily!

8. Took a shower and got into a pair of my new PJs! ($10 says Jerry refers to these PJ pants as "clown pants.")
9. Sat down to watch the Vikings/Saints game -- currently crossing my fingers for the Vikes, but I'm scared for them. To comfort my fears, I have Ice Cream Snickers: Perfect food for either celebrating a win or mourning a loss.
10. Knowing that tonight is the last night Jerry is away. He comes home tomorrow afternoon. Wa-hoo!

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Official:

Fridays are my favorite day of the week!

I don't have to work, but Norah still goes to daycare in the afternoon, so I get these 4 glorious hours to myself. So, today, I stopped by Starbucks on my way home for a Funday Friday Latte, and when I got home, I got to sip on my latte while I downloaded some new tunes to my Shuffle and uploaded some videos to send to family. Then, I cleaned the house and went for a short 3 miler.

At that time, it was about 2:30 and hot as hell. The temp was 83, but the "feels like" temp was 87. Not an ideal time or temp for a run, but it was the only time available to me, and I'm not gonna lie: It was hot and sweaty and hard, but I got it done. Due in some part to having my tunes to tunes to distract me from thinking about how hot I was (my new favorite running song is "Electrify" by Mute Math).

After the run, I showered and then it was time to go get Norah. Now, it's 6:30, she's in bed for the night and I think I'm gonna catch up on some blogs and then go read. I'm honestly hoping to be in bed by like 8!

TGIF

The back story to the student I mentioned briefly yesterday is this:

In class, I was having students get into small groups. In order to assign them randomly to groups, I numbered them off. I told them to remember their number, and I'd tell them where to go. It's a method of arrangement that I believe elementary school children can follow.

As they are getting up and moving about to their respective groups, this guy comes up to me and asks, "What number am I?"

I say, "I don't know. I told you to remember your number."

Him, at a raised volume, clearly irritated: "I don't know what number I am! What number am I?!"

Calmly, I say, "I don't know what number you are..." and I was about to tell him to just wait a second, we'll see which group is missing a person when he yells, "Fuck this shit!" and stomps his foot and then literally storms out of the classroom, slamming the door behind him and everything.

Have you ever heard of something so absurd?

So, I was a little shaken by his outburst, but was able to settle the class down (they, of course, heard him and saw his irrational behavior) and we continued with our task.

About ten minutes later, he returned and asked if he could speak with me outside. So, outside the classroom, he apologizes to me for his behavior and explains that he has a medical condition that doesn't enable him to handle "stress" very well. Ummmm...getting into a small group was stressful? Uh-oh. So, I ask him first if his condition is registered with the office of disabilities, and he says "no," and then I ask him: "Based on the situation today, do you really think you're capable of successfully handling a college course?"

He tells me he wants to try because he needs to "prove to himself and to his doctors" that he can.

So, I told him I accepted his apology and was willing to give him a second chance; however, I made it clear that his outburst was offensive and unacceptable, and that if anything even remotely similar happened again, that's it. I'll withdraw him from the class. He accepted this. I asked if he wanted to re-join the class for the day, but he said no, he needed the time to cool off, which was smart of him.

Because I've never had anything like this happen in my classroom before, I sought out the dean of my department later in the day to discuss it with him and see if I should file some sort of written account of what happened mostly because I'm almost certain this student will not finish the term with me and I'd like some documentation about this event to support any action I may take in the future. The dean of my department said yes, I should go speak to student affairs and file the necessary paperwork documenting the experience, which meant sitting down with that dean and repeating my story again -- so, like I said, the incident not only disrupted that individual class, it also disrupted my office hours and took up most of my afternoon because of these brief meetings and taking the time to sit down and fill out the necessary paperwork.

So, that's the full story. Hard to believe that it was set in motion because he couldn't remember his number, right? Yes, clearly, this individual does suffer from some sort of "condition," but while I'm sympathetic to that, if he is unable to conduct himself in an expected matter, no matter the condition, he's unfit to be in my classroom. So, we'll see.

What sucks is that this is only the 3rd week of class! Oh well, now it's Friday! Thank god.

*And, yes, this is my 10th year teaching. I started teaching college classes as part of a graduate assistantship when I began graduate school when I was 22. I'll be 32 in April. Which is certainly young for higher ed, but I get told all the time that I look like a student -- this has its advantages with the students...most of the time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

5 Month Stats

Norah had a check up this morning and here are her 5 month stats:

Height: 25 3/4 inches (68th percentile)
Weight: 15 lbs (48th percentile)

So, a little above average for height and about average for weight.

The doctor gave the green light on starting solids, so when Jerry gets back, we'll probably begin by introducing rice cereal. Up until this point, she's had nothing but boob milk, so to have cereal is gonna blow her mind.

Otherwise, it was a good check up -- she's healthy and on track in all developmental aspects -- and she just had one shot and she didn't even cry.

That's about all I got today: I have not had a good day (I had a student yell "Fuck this shit!" and storm out of my classroom earlier today and dealing with his outburst sucked up most of my afternoon: Hello paperwork and a meeting with the dean of student affairs! Good lord, in 10 years of teaching at the college level, I've never had an incident such as this. This term is not off to a good start). So, I'm just looking to get through the rest of the evening and call it a day. That'll be in about...5 hours or so.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Early Again

This morning, I got up for another early run, and once again got a 3 miler done in the pre-dawn hours. It wasn't fast (31:33), but at least it's done.

Jerry leaves today for a 5 day trip to MN, and I am not looking forward to his being gone. In large part, this is because I'll miss him (we rarely spend the night apart -- the last time was in October 2008), but it's also because his absence means I'm flying solo mio here at the homestead, and that's a bit daunting.

Thankfully, our good friend Ryan is helping me in an enormous way by picking up Norah from daycare today and tomorrow and watching her both evenings while I'm in class. I'm certain that Norah will enjoy her evenings with Ryan and Miller, but adding the logistics and execution of her stay there just adds that much more to two already busy days for me, so my goal for today and tomorrow is simply getting through them, and then by Friday, things will be easier for me.

But, that's why it was nice to get that short run out of the way early this morning. I won't have time for it later in the day today; plus, it just helped relieve a bit of the anxiety I'm feeling about Jerry's imminent departure. I won't get the chance to run tomorrow (and I'd probably rest anyway since I've run the past 4 days in a row), but on Friday afternoon while Norah is at daycare, I hope to have the time to fit another run in -- otherwise, I won't get another chance until Jerry gets back on Monday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Return to O'Dark Thirty

This morning, I got up and was out the door for a pre-dawn run. It's been a few weeks since I've been able to muster the energy and resolve to run first thing in the morning, but today, I was up and on the road by 5:15 am for a 3 miler (31:12). And as painful as it is to get up and run at that hour, admittedly, it sure is nice to have it done. Plus, it's nice to be showered and ready for the day before Norah gets up -- just makes the whole morning easier.

As for the run, I got to wear a new shirt that I bought yesterday at Target: Despite how much I love shopping for running clothes online or at my LRS, Target really is a great place for affordable picks, and I think the quality of the apparel is pretty good too. So, I almost always cruise by the sportswear section when I'm on a Tar-Jay run, and yesterday I spied this tech tee, as well as several others that were similar. For $14, you really can't beat the price, or in this case, the style!

And, after running in it this morning, I think it just may well be my new favorite running shirt!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'

On Friday, Norah rolled over for the first time -- with a lot of coersion, and admittedly, some assistance from us. Since then, we spent the weekend trying to get her to repeat it on her own, but she refused (we tried bribing her with toys, but while she's interested in them, if they're outta reach, her attitude is simply, "eh, oh well").

Then, today -- we all had the day off so we spent the day primarily at home -- she rolled over (no coersion or assistance) 3 times!! We made such a big hoopla over it, you'd think she had solved the energy crisis.

Of course, as soon as we whipped out the video camera in an attempt to capture her new feat on film, all she wanted to do was smile and giggle at the camera (at 5 months old, she already understands how to pose and ham it up for the camera), so we have no footage to prove that she rolled over, but I give you my word that she did, and I'm sure I'll eventually trick her into doing it whilst being filmed.

So, that was really the day's excitement. After she went to bed, I went for a 4 miler (40:37) and that pretty much wrapped up the day.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Long Run: Fail

I had a 13 miler scheduled for this weekend, but because I just wasn't "feeling it" yesterday, I post-poned it for today. So, this morning I set out and still "wasn't feeling it." A few miles in, it started to sprinkle, which wasn't so bad because it was pretty hot and very humid, but then the sprinkle became an actual rain and my initial lethargy turned into outright dislike for the run, so I threw in the towel and ran home. So, instead of 13 miles, I only logged 7.

Once I got home, it really started pouring, so I didn't feel as bad about ditching the effort, but I still have the lingering guilt that ensues when a run doesn't go as planned. I know I shouldn't beat myself up for giving in and cutting it nearly in half; however, since I have been running so consistently lately and I haven't missed or cut a run short since starting my HM training, I am feeling the inevitable shame over the suck-factor on this one.

Oh well. I can't be awesome all the time.

Besides, I don't have time to dwell: I must now shift my energy toward the afternoon's football: Go Vikes! The stupid Cowboys, with their pretty-boy Romo, are going down!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Fiver

After missing the 50 minute mark by one second in Wednesday's 5 miler, I wanted to use today's 5 miler for a second shot at the goal, and not only did I meet it, I exceeded it: 49:12! For an average pace of 9:51/mile. Yay me!

And, ironically, it was way warmer this afternoon than it was on Wednesday (the cold spell seems to finally be lifting and temps were back into the mid-70s today), so I guess my hypothesis about the cool weather fueling my newfound pace was just hooey.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Three Things Thursday

  1. Today, when I was driving to daycare, I heard Norah making some tell-tale poo noises in the backseat, so being the kind mother that I am, I didn't just hand her off like a football to the daycare ladies with a "Hey, she's shitty; see ya later!" Instead, I went ahead and changed her. Mistake. It was a complete blowout: A shit-spolsion, if you will. So, I ended up having to change not just her diaper, but her entire outfit, and afterward, I felt like I needed a shower. Or to be dipped in bleach. How does a being so small produce so much crap?!
  2. It's only the 2nd week of class and I already hate some of my students. Well, that's not fair. I actually just hate one of them. For the class he's in, we've met 3 times. And he's been significantly late each time (on the first day, he informed me that he was 30 minutes late because he'd "woken up 15 minutes before class" -- this class begins at 12:30 pm). Today, I asked him to stay for a moment after class and I told him he needed to strive to be there on time because I find tardiness to be a significant interruption. And he told me, "Well, I don't know if I even really want to be in this class." "Fine, then please withdraw from it," I told him. His response: "But, it's a required course, so I'm kinda stuck in it." Deeeep breath. Deeeeep breath. Then, my response: "The course is a graduation requirement, yes, but being in my class is not. I suggest you drop it if you can't be here on time and take it in the future with another instructor." He just sulked away.
  3. I *puffy heart* falafel, and today, between classes, I was at this Mediterranean restaurant getting myself one of these tasty treats and the perky girl behind the counter asked if I had my student ID with me so I could get the student discount. I could have hugged her for her naivete. "No," I told her, "I'm a faculty member not a student, and I don't believe you give a discount to college faculty." "Oh!" she said, "You look like you're my age!" Again, could have hugged her. She looked to me to be no more than 19. So, my meal's total was, like, $9 and I left her a $3 tip. It only occurred to me after I left that she may have been working this angle all along, but I choose to believe that she genuinely thought I looked 19!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hump Day Fiver

For the past two weeks, I've had a tough time motivating myself to get up in the early AM and get my runs done. Today was no exception. So, because I have night class tonight and am therefore on campus all. day. long, I packed up my running stuff and brought it along just as I did last week, and just like last week, I was able to carve out an hour in order to get a 5 miler done.

I took a slightly different path and ended up on a really nice asphalt trail that bordered a canal. This was great because I didn't have to worry about traffic and I got the majority of the run done without having to stop for lights.

In the end, the 5 miles took me 50:01. Damn. I had been hoping to get it done in either 50 flat, or under. But, I'm getting closer. With the sub-30 min 3 miler from yesterday, and my pace picking up on most runs, I am encouraged to see that I'm finally making headway in terms of returning to my pre-preggo pace. I'm sure this cool weather we've had of late has been some help, but I also know it's the result of the months I've been working at it so I'm pleased to see some progress.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Five Months

As of yesterday, Norah is now 5 months old. It was a day marked by, I guess, her rather controversial pants ;)

Norah had a big month with her first Christmas, as well as her first New Year's (although, she didn't do anything different to celebrate that -- going to bed at 6 pm is really not in keeping with the holiday's traditions).

Her biggest milestone this month was laughing out loud, and it's something we act like clowns for in order to get her to do. Of course, for all our effort to make her laugh, who does she find funniest in our household? Scooter. He cracks her up. And he's not even trying. Not fair.

She hasn't rolled over yet, but she seems to be getting close. When she's on her back, she'll roll way onto her side:
But, she just stays there and seems to have no desire to go any further. And, on her tummy, she's strong enough to lift her chest, shoulders, neck and head off the ground, but again, no momentum, and apparently no desire, to use this strength to roll.
We've joked that we should get her a t-shirt that says on the front: "I'll roll over when I want to." And on the back: "There, are you happy now?" In truth, I know she'll get around to it when she's ready, but she's so close, that I keep anticipating it to happen. Of course, I'm sure she'll do when we're least expecting it.

She's also getting really good at sitting on her own. She can sit, without being held or propped up for a few seconds on her own, but every pic I try to take of her doing it comes out looking like this:
Tiiiimmmmber!

Soon, I'm sure she'll be mastering that as well. In fact, I kinda think she'll master sitting on her own before she does rolling over. But, we'll see.

In general, Norah continues to be a sweet baby who still sleeps and eats well and has just a really easy-going disposition. I've read and heard that things really start changing around 6 months -- introducing solid food, teething, rolling over, sitting up, etc -- so I'm trying to cherish this time while she's still immobile and not yet cranky from the dreaded teething!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Brrrr...By the Numbers

Temperature this morning in South Florida: 37 degrees

"Feels Like" Temp: 30 degrees

Number of miles Jess ran: 12

Time: 2:01:13

Average Pace: 10:06/mile

Number of apparently frozen lizards spotted on the way: 11 (it was really inexplicable -- they looked as though they had frozen and died mid-scamper across the sidewalk; 6 of them were iguanas that were about a foot in length)

General thoughts: While 30 degrees is a shock to my system, I'd rather run 12 miles in 30 degree temps than in 80 degree temps. Despite the initial cold I felt in the first few miles, I settled into a comfortable pace pretty quickly, and on the whole, the run felt really good!

In non-running numbers, Jerry wanted me to take a poll today about Norah's pants:
He says they are, and I quote, "The most uggo pants" he has ever seen and he claims that Norah will look back on pictures of herself in them and feel ashamed that I dressed her in this outfit.

I counter that they are cute, not to mention that the shirt and pants are a combo outfit and so they match each other; thus, they MUST be coordinated together.

Either way, we agree that she is cute no matter what, so don't judge her general cuteness, just the pants; so whatcha think? Are they "uggo"? Or, are they cute and stylish?

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Rained Out

I had initially planned to do my long run today, but it has been raining pretty steady since about 5 am and it is forecast to keep coming down this afternoon and evening. It's a not a warm rain either. It's cold and pretty miserable, so I'm postponing the run until tomorrow when it's supposed to remain cool but at least be sunny and clear.

In the meantime, it's just been a quiet, rainy day.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Just because it works once...

...doesn't mean it works again.

Today, I brought my running stuff with me to school in the hopes that I could again fit a run in between my afternoon and evening classes, and while that was initially promising, it quickly turned out that it wasn't gonna happen today. Primarily this is because I have had a busy day dealing with students: Students who want to be added to my classes, students who want to transfer from one section to another, one student who will be gone next week who needed the work he'll miss, one student who was gone yesterday who needed the work she missed, etc, etc, etc. I can't believe it's only the 2nd day of classes!

Oh well, I kinda knew ahead of time that the chances of a repeat were slim, and in the future, I know such a run won't be possible: I need that time to get actual work done. So, looks like I'll be moving today's intended run to tomorrow, which is fine -- no class on Fridays for me anyway :)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Office Hour Alternative

As promised, I was able to get the chance to run after class this afternoon. I brought my running clothes with me to work, and after my 2-3:15 class, I changed in my office and was out on the pavement for the run by 3:30.

I don't usually run near my work, so I had little plan in terms of route; I just went south and decided to see where it took me. The first 1.25 was pretty busy in terms of both car and pedestrian traffic. Schools were just getting out and it was pretty congested, but once I got farther south of that, there were fewer lights and less commercial property, so less traffic. I ran until 2.5 miles and then turned around and took the same path back for a total of 5 miles.

Despite the traffic at the beginning and ending of the run (I discovered that people pulling out of McDonald's drive-thru are only looking at their Big Macs -- they are NOT watching for runners), it was a good run. The weather was in the low 50s, with clear skies and a light breeze which was a big improvement over the chill this morning. I decided to wear shorts and a long sleeved tech shirt, but chose to take the shirt off about a mile into the run. I was a little cool, but in the shirt, I was too hot -- this would've been the perfect run for arm sleeves, but I just can't justify buying them when I'll maybe get to use them once or twice a year.

I think the cool air, and certainly the lack of humidity, help me run a little better and I ran these 5 miles in 50:26 for an average pace of 10:06/mile and I even ran my 2nd mile in 9:40!

I was back in my office by 4:30, and while I don't have showering facilities nearby, I brought a towel and some deodorant to freshen up. And to be honest, with such cool, dry weather, I feel like I barely sweat, so my hair may not look great for my class tonight, but otherwise I think I'm pretty much stink-free. Besides, I don't want to look and smell too good: I wanna keep those students at bay ;)

Stinky and Cold

This morning, I got up at 6:30, checked the weather, and it was 34 degrees outside! I have lived in South Florida for 6 years, and I have never seen the temp dip so low here. In fact, Jerry had a thin layer of frost on his windshield this morning and had to actually utilize an ice scraper!

In the house, it was 66, so Jerry and I made the executive decision to turn the heat on. Since we live in a condo, we are partially insulated by the unit above us and to the side of us, so in the 5 years we've lived here, we have never once had to turn on the heat. Yes, the temp in the house has dipped into the high 60s before, but we just put an extra blanket on the bed at night and cuddle up.

But last night, we both were worried about how warm Norah was that neither of us slept very well. She was in warm, fleece PJs, and we put two blankets on her, but then when we put blankets on her, we worry about her choking or something -- even though she falls asleep in one position and pretty much doesn't move the rest of the night. So, this morning, when we all got up, Jerry announced: "I'm turning on the heat."

The result? It's warmer in here but it stinks! 5 years of never turning it on means all that dust that has settled in there is getting burnt off and the aroma is like burning hair. Which is probably paritally true.

Anyhoo...I never thought I'd say this, but I didn't run this morning because it was too cold! And it was too tough to leave the warm, snuggliness of bed. However, I plan to bring my running stuff with me to work today and run between classes. I have about 3 hours after my last afternoon class and before my evening class, and because it's the first week of class, I have the time to burn. And by then it should be in the 50s. I'll let you know how it goes.

Stay warm everyone!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Au Revoir RW

For 5 years, I've been subscribing to Runner's World. But as of February 2010, I will no longer open up my mailbox once a month and discover a new issue. That's right. I did not renew my subscription.

For a long time now, I've felt that the magazine has little to offer me: The articles are all virtually the same, and the majority of their articles can be found and read for free on their website. But, I have held onto the subscription for the past few years in order to get the log book, which has been where I record my mileage for the past 2 years. However, Publix (local supermarket) sent me a 2010 log book because of my registration in the Miami HM, so I no longer need the RW log. So that was my last reason for holding onto the subscription.

So, I will now be $25 richer each year. What should I do with my extra moola?

Monday, January 04, 2010

Chilly 3 Miler

As I said earlier, today was incredibly cold (for FL) with temps dipping as low as the 30s last night, and today it didn't get above the high 50s. I know that's nothing compared to the cold some of you are currently experiencing, but to hear the words "wind chill" and "frost advisory" here in South Florida, well, it's as close as hell gets to freezing over.

So, this afternoon, I went for a quick 3 miler when I got home from work, and it was tough for me to decide what to wear. I really have a hard time when the temps are in the 50s or 60s: I know how to dress for extreme heat and extreme cold, but temps in the middle kind of baffle me. So, I decided on shorts and a sleevless tee. Mistake. My arms and fingers got COLD! (Yes, I am a wimp and will wither and die if I ever move back to an environment with a true winter.) I so should've gone with the long-sleeved tech shirt that has thumb holes so it kind of functions like a shirt with low-grade gloves. I guess I'll save that one for my run on Wednesday (the cold is supposed to persist all week).

Aside from the cold, the run was pretty good, and one benefit of running in cool weather is that I hardly sweat -- a glorious change of pace. But however nice the run felt, I don't have any digits for it since the Garmin again failed to locate satellites. It's a 205. I've had it for a little more than 3 years, and yes, all the data had been downloaded and deleted, and it was fully charged. Maybe it's got its toes halfway in the afterlife. I don't know. Or, maybe it too was just cold!

Back to Work

After two weeks off for winter break, today I have to return to work.

On the one hand, I do NOT want to go back to work. I have grown accustomed to wearing sweatpants all day long and not worrying about showering, but now I have to get back to a schedule and put on real pants. Boo.

Yet, on the other hand, my schedule still affords me half a day home with Norah, and I have no class on Fridays, so it's not too bad. Plus, I think escaping to work in the afternoons and evenings will be kinda nice; taking care of Norah all day long is tough work, especially since afternoons can be her crab apple time.

Thankfully, I don't actually have class today or tomorrow -- they don't begin until Wednesday -- but it is a duty day for me so I have to be on campus. This is actually good because I did not do a thing school-wise over the break, so I have some organizing to get done before my classes begin.

Hope everyone else has a good Monday; I think it's a slow one for everyone today since most of you had a 3 day weekend, and you're waking up to freezing temps pretty much everywhere today. In fact, it's even cold here in FL: It actually got down into the high 30s last night and right now is only 41. That's like the apocalypse here!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

11 Miles and Some Change

I kicked off my 2010 mileage by running a planned 11 miler this morning, except my plan wasn't planned out as perfectly as I thought, and my course was slightly longer than 11 miles, so my run ended up being 11.41 miles. That's okay. A little extra never hurt me. Plus, I finished the run in 1:57:53 with an average pace of 10:20/mile, which I was pretty pleased with because this puts me right on track for a 2:15 finish time for Miami at the end of the month.

Again, I was lucky to wake up this morning to some cool air, and despite the fact that I didn't get started on my run until 10:30 am, I still got to enjoy perfect running temps. I love "winter" running FL: Sunny, clear skies with a slight breeze and temps in the low 60s. Wish it could be like this year round!

Friday, January 01, 2010

2010 Goals and Resolutions

Resolutions? None. I figure I've tried my hand at this in the past and have failed every time, so I have taken it as a sign from Nature that a person need not mess with perfection.

Goals? Sure, I have lots of those, but prepare yourselves, they're more broad and vague than most congressional hearings; plus, I figure that by keeping them this way, if I don't accomplish any of them, at the end of the year I can just say, "I don't remember making that goal."

For your reading convenience, I have categorized them for you. You're welcome.

Personal
  1. Be the most awesome wife and mother I can. I'm already pretty awesome, but I'm sure I could crank it up another notch in order to accomplish the superlative "most."
  2. Re-read some favorite books. In 2009, I read 37 books. Not bad considering my leisure time was spliced into about a quarter of what it was pre-baby. I seem to average reading about 40 books a year, and let's be frank: They're piling up. Time to re-visit a few that I particularly love.
  3. On the financial front, I'd like to save more. My savings account took a serious hit during my maternity leave (I was not paid for my time off), and I'd like to re-build it.

Professional

  1. Apply for tenure. As of August, I will have been a full time tenure track professor for 3 years, which means I'm eligible to apply for tenure. The process is somewhat convoluted and slow-moving, so I don't want to aim to actually get tenure in 2010. Tenure affords me many things: Greater job security, a (slightly) larger salary, opportunities to apply for travel funds, and eligibility to be nominated for a plethora of awards and grants that the college offers faculty.
  2. Publish another short story.

Running

  1. Run more miles.
  2. Run those miles faster than my current pace.
  3. Make the half marathon my bitch.

There ya go. 2010, look out. I plan to do more and do it better.