Birthday Feast

Today is Pete's birthday! Last year we traveled for both our birthdays to celebrate turning 30, but this year we're keeping it more low key. We're having a big meal that I've been working on for the last few days. The menu:

Happy Birthday Pete!


13.1 or Bust

You guys, I am running a half marathon in less than two weeks! That's 13.1 miles! The last one I did was in 2007, and after that race I spent years battling IT band injuries that were so bad I never thought I'd run 13.1 miles again. But, here I am. How did this happen, you ask? Lots of patience, determination and incremental progress. Here are my tips for coming back from IT band injuries:
  • Start running again slowly. And I mean SLOOOOOWLY. I started by running for one minute and walking for two. Every week or two I increased my ratio of running to walking by a minute or so, and if I was busy or sick and missed a week I re-did the last one. Many, many months later I was up to a 5k distance. Then, I slowly added mileage to reach a 10k training run. And, training for a half marathon followed.
  • Work on core and hip strength! For me, yoga and physical therapy exercises work the best. But, I also did a boot camp workout once a week that seemed to really help my strength. And, good old weight training helps too.
  • Stretch that lower back and hips! Yoga helps with this as well, and I make sure to stretch well after long runs.
  • Use a foam roller. Ideally, I would use one of these after every single run (I'm not always that dedicated). Here's instructions:

Now, get running! And, wish me luck, I'll be out in the rain on November 27 with 15,000 other runners!

P.S. Of course, I've already planned my food. I'm going to make pasta bolognese the night before with a beer. And, after the race we're going straight to Tom Douglas' Dahlia Workshop for a biscuit sandwich (a half marathon is probably the only way I can justify eating one).


Light reading list

All my graduate school reading has been making my head hurt,* and I've been dying for some fun, escapist reading to lose myself in before I go to bed at night. (I was trying to finish Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, but that was decidedly not meeting the criteria so I've put it aside for a while.) I'm especially interested in young adult books, since I'm spending quite a bit of time with teens these days. I asked some literary friends for suggestions, and thought I'd share them. I can't wait to read these!

  • I'll Be There, Holly Goldberg Sloan
  • Full-frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
  • Chime, Franny Billingsley
  • If I Stay
  • Repossessed
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society
  • The Wave
  • The Eyre Affair
  • Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
  • Marcello in the Real World
  • If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period
  • How to Steal a Dog
  • Shine, Lauren Myracle
  • The Help

I also added a couple to the list:

  • Garlic and Sapphires, Ruth Reichl (I love reading about food, and I think Reichl is the best food writer around.)
  • Charlotte's Web (I heard an NPR story on the author, and decided it was time to read this classic.)

I've also started reading one to two poems each night from a book Pete gave me: Good Poems, by Garrison Keillor. I recommend this book to anyone else who wants to start dabbling in reading poetry!

* Becoming a teacher is hard!


Is it already time for Starbucks holiday cups again?

Hello there. I am busy, but I have all sorts of things I'd like to post swimming around in my head (along with LOTS of graduate school reading and information.)

Today the holiday cups appeared at Starbucks again. I had to get a latte immediately, of course. Such is the draw of the cheery, red cups. It made me happy on an otherwise stressful, tiresome day.

The cup also made me start daydreaming about Thanksgiving recipes and knitting patterns. I'm going to skip the stressful parts of the holidays this year (I hope) and just focus on the parts that make me happy. I'll save the stress for grad school.

I have another couple posts I'll throw up in the next few days. But, I wanted to note that all the pictures from my blog have disappeared. I think I know why, and I think it would be much too difficult to fix. So, I guess they're gone. I'm taking this as a sign I should start posting new content again. Yea for happy cups! Boo for stress!