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Friday, December 21, 2012

MN Running

The Christmas vacation is going well -- lots of travel, lots of fun times so far -- and the running too has been grand.

On Tuesday, when we got here, I hit the road for a 4 miler, Wednesday I did a fun 7 miles, and yesterday, I went for cold and slippery 3 miler.

Today, I rested.

Tomorrow, it's gonna probably be the treadmill, but with temps in the single digits, I'm not gonna complain about that!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Like a Prom Dress

We're off!

Minnesota, here we come!  We're bracing ourselves for the frozen north, and I'm sure it'll be a shock to all our systems, so we spent the weekend -- in between cleaning, laundry, and packing -- soaking up the outdoors and the warmth and sun of South Florida.

As for the running?  Well, I've got my tights!  My goal is simply to fit in what I can; it's gonna be a busy trip, but I'll make some time to run.  I'm sure I'll need it so I don't lose my mind.

I'll probably post a few periodic things to the blog over the next 12 days, but for the most part, expect radio silence.  So, enjoy your own holidays!

Later gators!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Funnies

Norah has had some good ones lately.  Thus, my holiday gift to you:

"Here, Mom," handing me a wrapped gift from under the tree, "open this.  It's coffee."


"Oh my gosh!  Guys come in here!  My poop looks like meatballs!"


"I want Brady to come over to our house and sleep in my bed"

Me: "But where would you sleep then?"

Norah: "In my bed too!  I'd sleep next to him!"

Me: "I think that will kill your father."


In an effort to spread out the gift opening a bit, we decided to let the kids each open a gift last night, and at bedtime, Norah had a case of gift-openers-remorse.

"I should've opened the red one.  I wanna put this back in the box and open the red one."


Norah's argument that she should get her turn on the iPad:

"But, Mom, there's new games on there: I can make Mac&Cheese and I can make cupcakes..."

Me: "I know those are fun, but Dad's using it right now."

Norah in the whiniest possible voice: "But, he's not sharing!"

"Just be patient, you'll get your turn and you can mix up Mac&Cheese to your heart's content."

"But, it's MY iPad!"

Me: "No, it's not, it's mine."


This morning: "Mom, you gotta wipe Caleb's nose.  He's got a lot of boogers and they're bothering me."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Santa: Take the Sweat Away!

After nearly 2 months of gloriously pleasant "winter" temps, in the last few days, South Florida has greeted the return of icky hot, humid weather.  I realize that for those living in the frozen north, that might sound delightful, but for me, the temperate winter months in SoFL are about the only perk to running in a sub-tropical region.

So, to be greeted by 80+ degree temps and 90+ relative humidity is not welcome this time of year.  Last night when I ran, I returned home as soaked in sweat as I would be in mid-summer.

Not cool, December, not cool.

Of course, I suppose I should try to savor it: Next Tuesday we fly to MN where I'm gonna freeze my tookus off for 10 days (I haven't experienced a smidgen of winter in 4 years -- the last time we were in MN at Christmas time -- and am most certainly de-acclimated to cold and snow).  So, I know I shouldn't be complaining, but I can't help but be kinda looking forward to running in the cold instead of the heat.

I'm gonna regret that sentence, aren't I?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Back to the Gym

At the start of the semester, I had been making treadmill running at the campus gym a regular habit.  I don't love the treadmill, but I was taking advantage of a window of time in my day and, with the timing, the treadmill was the best fit.

Then late September struck and several things happened at once: I got sick (for about 6 weeks), my semester really got underway, and the weather cooled off.  This trio had me out of the gym for more than 2 months.

That's not a bad thing.  I prefer to run outdoors even if it is at night, in the dark.

But, this week, I decided to give the gym one last hurrah! before the end of the semester.  You'd think with finals week this week, I'd be buried in work and wouldn't have the time to squeeze in a run with the treadmill, but while I am buried in work, my schedule for finals is irregular this week, so I have some extra pockets (and even a day -- Thursday, I think I'm planning to stay home) of time that I don't normally have in any given work day.

So, this morning, I arrived on campus, outfitted in my running clothes and totting my gym bag.

It's been so long, it took me 3 tries to get the code for the faculty locker room correct.  And, then at the front desk of the gym, the girl behind the counter exclaimed: "I haven't seen you in forever!"

The good thing about it being finals week is that students are all at home pulling their hair out and mainlining coffee, and they're definitely NOT crowding the gym at 9 am, so I had my pick of treadmills and never got even a single treadmill neighbor while I ran.

I dutifully ran my 3 miles, but lordy, it was tedious -- that never changes.  I pretty much stared at the digital display the entire time counting down the mileage and the minutes until I was done.

Afterwards, I showered (in the locker room where they now have HOT water -- yay!) and got ready, and now, sitting here in my office, I feel that sense of superiority that a runner gets having gotten her run done in the first part of the day.  Really, I think that's the only advantage I can say this morning's run had.

Still, while it's a singular advantage, it's a significant advantage because tonight, at home, when I have that extra time, I will appreciate it.

Now, onto that mountain of papers.  Anyone wanna read those for me?

Friday, December 07, 2012

Foto Friday: Christmas Cards

Getting two kids to look and smile at the camera at the same time is just about as difficult for me as solving a word problem in an Algebra class -- a task I deem impossible and usually just abandon.  But, this year, I lucked out and managed to snap this pic of the two kiddos for our holiday card: A Christmas miracle!

Like finding a four leaf clover, this shot was purely a stroke of good fortune. 

Among the outtakes, there were about 1.2 billion other pics that featured one of them looking, no one looking, someone crying, someone picking his or her nose, Scooter's butt, or Caleb pointing at something using his middle finger.

One of these years, I'm gonna just use "those" pics.  It's more representative of the true nature of this household, which is place where a girl can sneeze masking tape out of her nose at the dinner table or where a boy stands up and pees in the bath tub every. single. time.

Still, I always refrain from using those "bloopers" because I figure the holidays are a time of magic and make-believe, and with such perfectly posed smiling pics, I can kinda trick myself into believing that these two are nothing but sweet, obedient angels.

They sure look that way, don't they?

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Running Buddy

Last night, I was getting ready for my run, and Norah declared that she wanted to go with me.  She didn't want to ride in the stroller, she wanted to run.

I said okay, and she got on her running shoes, and off we went!

At first, she was truly into the running:

"Look at me running, Mom!  I'm so fast!  We're super runners!  This is so fun!"

Then, after a bit, she declared she was "super tired" and needed a walk break.  From there on out, we basically ran intervals -- run for about 1or 2 minutes and then walk for a few minutes, then run again.  In total, we went 1.25 miles, and it took us 28:50.

We took some detours so we could view some houses' Christmas decorations and lights, we took some detours so Norah could pick up sticks or so she could inspect a hole in a tree, and we took one detour so she could "walk through the dirt."  And, all along, we chatted.  Norah, like most 3 year olds, basically narrates every single thought that enters her head, so it went a little like this:

"Ariel's not my best friend anymore."
"Natalie is my best friend now.  She has the same shoes as me."
"Brady's also my best friend.  Because I like him.  And he likes me.  He told me."
"Brady said I could come to his house and play."
"I want Brady to come to my birthday party."
"My birthday's in August.  That's really far away.  I'm gonna be...how many am I gonna be?"
"I want a Barbie cake for my birthday."
"I want Barbies for my birthday too."
"I told Santa that I want a Barbie for Christmas."
"Santa's watching so I have to be good so I get presents and candy.  I've been good."
"Brady's been good too."
"Brady has an elf that watches him and tells Santa if he's good or bad.  He's good.  I don't have an elf."

To me, even though I could've run a full 3 miles in that time, the "run" was priceless.  Since I got pregnant with Norah, and ran with her then, I've always hoped that running could be something we share as she grows up, and in my mother-daughter-running-fantasy, I've hoped for runs exactly like this (well, maybe more actual running, but that's a process).

It was kinda hard to put aside my selfish desire to get MY run done, but in all other ways, it was a great run.  Mostly because of the wonderful company.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

#1,000 and Jury Duty

So, the last time I blogged, I left you sitting on the edge of your seat about my nearly 1K for the year's mileage, so first let me relieve you of the burden of that anticipation:

I did indeed get my final miles in last Thursday and Friday so that I hit 1,000 by Nov 30th.

Over the weekend, then, I got Dec kicked off with 2 short runs (3 miles and 4.5 miles respectively).  I don't really have much by way of Dec running goals -- the month will be busy (I have less than 2 weeks remaining in the term and then we fly to MN for a 10 day vacation over the holidays), and I don't know how much running will get done.  So my Dec approach is just run what gets run.

In other breaking Jess news, I had to serve on jury duty yesterday.  It was a long day of sitting and waiting, but on the whole, it was actually a kind of pleasant day.  I just sat and read all day.  I never get to do that anymore!  It helped that I am reading a really engrossing book:

I'm actually reading like 3 books right now (hopping around between them depending on my mood), but this one has sucked me in.  I started it Sunday evening, and after yesterday's marathon jury duty reading session, I'm 2/3 through it.  In many ways, the plot is a bit predictable, but it's compelling nonetheless.  Plus, it's very fast-paced and the reading is easy, so I'm speeding through it, which is kind of a nice break from the other two books I'm reading which are a bit denser and more demanding (Book 3 of Game of Thrones and the Lincoln biography Team of Rivals).

Back to the jury duty business: I didn't get selected for a jury, so what sucks is that I'm still obligated to call in every night for the next two weeks, because I may still have to return to serve within that timeframe.  Worst timing ever with the end of the term, but whatever.  I think the likelihood of getting called back within the next two weeks is slim, but we'll see.