Monday, February 28, 2011

Running at 800 Feet

I've been listening to an audiobook while I run/ walk around the track. Music would be an easier way to get into a rhythm, but, honestly, when you're only running for two minutes at a time, rhythm isn't too much of a concern. Music (or silence) would also be an easier way to "clear" my head, which, from what real runners tell me, is one reason why some people run. I am not a real runner. I clear my head in the shower.

So I've been listening to a book. It has it's benefits. As a non-runner running, I like to distract my mind from what my body is doing. Also, I've opted for Into Thin Air (by Jon Krakauer about his ill-fated summit of Mount Everest) as my first running book. It's a great book to run to because, as uncomfortable as I am running, I often think, "At least I'm not at 27,000 feet. At least I don't need an oxygen mask... yet." This is not an ideal way to "read" a book -- I much prefer to be curled up on the sofa where I can re-read sections I like (or sections I spaced out during) -- but as I'm getting to the really gripping parts of the book, I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next. I only listen to the book while I'm on the track. Ha-HA! I've tricked myself into looking forward to running!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Changes in the Air

Last week, the weather went into the 40s, which, in Minnesota in February is a veritable heat wave. So Ada and I were able bundle up and take a walk together with the dog for the first time in months last week. The puddles were deep and sloppy, but Ada giggled the whole time, especially when she could see Juno out in front of the stroller.

Sadly, it had to come to an end and we were slammed by a storm that left a foot plus of snow this weekened. Poor Ada has been stuck inside. She's made the most of it: tucking into the easy chair with her books and "Animal Baby" magazine while the snow swirled and drifted outside.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Step by Step

No, those aren't new shoes. In fact, I've had them for many years. These shoes are like an old person's car -- a lot of years, but not a lot of miles. This is because I'm not a runner.... yet.

But two weeks ago I started a six-week training program that ends with running for thirty minutes. I got this program here on the Women's Health website. The program is really gradual -- mostly walking so far -- which is just what I need. In previous attempts to become a runner, I'd go out and try to run twenty or thirty minutes right off the bat. It would kick my butt. This slow build-up will hopefully condition me so that the final thirty minutes isn't such a big deal.

So far, it's been, well, easy. Yesterday I was kind of dreading going to the gym. We had a huge blizzard this weekend, so I wasn't able to get into the gym on Sunday. For me, missing a day or two becomes an excuse to miss a few more days and then stopping my routine altogether. As I was scraping the ice off my car, I thought, "Maybe the end of two weeks is where I always hit a wall." I got to the Y and checked my iPod (where I have the regimen set up in my iCal) and saw that I only had to run in one-minute increments. I could do this! It was as if the Women's Health program knew that I needed an easy day at the beginning of week three so that I wouldn't dread the run/ walk. Lesson of the day: it's mostly psychological.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


These fabrics....

... became this little quilt for a new baby, Costa, who was born to my friends in DC on Christmas Day!

His birth snuck up on me, so it was a quilt-as-you-go quilt to speed things up and one side was a little crooked because I was rushing too much... but I'm just saying that it's an Amish "humility" block (aren't they the ones who it is rumored always put one intentional mistake in their quilts as a reminder that no one is perfect except for God?)

These greys....

... became a bowl for my brother, Pete. You can see it here.