Thursday, July 25, 2013

A lovely read...

Every now and then a book comes along that grabs you within the first pages, and you can't put it down.

I loved this book.  This will be one that I remember when the year is done and I am trying to remember what were the best 5 books that I read all year. 

This is a modern day Jane Eyre, and it is beautifully written.  Although there may be slight imperfections in the story, Gemma is an heroine that is easy to embrace, and her tale of pushing forward is one that was equal parts compelling and enjoyable to discover.  I liked the period setting, and that it took place in Scotland and Iceland.  It was foreign and familiar all at once. 

After I finished this book a few days ago, it took me a while to want to pick up another one.  It also helps I was really tired before bed each night, but it was almost a let down trying to figure out "what next".  My oldest is now 7 years old.  How did that happen?  We have celebrated birthdays, and then battled the stomach flu, and now the summer continues to race on.  After yesterday's run, I discovered that I was indeed a slug on Sunday morning.  I guess my body knew that something was coming (read stomach flu) and I was moving at a much slower pace for that jog - almost 1.5 minutes slower each mile than Wednesday morning! Learning new stuff all the time...

The curse of the white shirt also struck this morning.  I should have recognized the sign when I got toothpaste on my shirt this morning.  Got that all cleaned up and walked in to work to look down and see chocolate icing all over the front.  Classy look!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Seven weeks.

Gotcha eh? I bet you aren't expecting me to say that I am seven weeks in to a run/walk 10km training program... You know better, our two lovely children are more than enough!

I can't believe it has been 7 weeks.  In the beginning, I could jog 1 minute, and would walk 4 minutes.  That first training piece was 35 minutes.  This mornings jog (end of week 7 of 13 weeks of training) was 54 minutes... I can now run 4 minutes 40 seconds, and then I walk 1 minute 20 seconds.  For week 8, it jumps to 5 minutes jogging, and 1 minute of walking.  I am doing the old school Sun Run training from years ago that plans your training over 13 weeks.  You start off with the 30 second segments and end up being able to run about an hour.  In the very least, I would love to be able to run for 15-20 minutes, and then stop for a minute, and then continue on.  Maybe once I feel like I am in a decent place with this, my goal would be to go out for 45 minutes, 3 days a week.  That would be about 4 miles/6-7 km I think.  Seems reasonable...

Now why does it feel better to say JOGGING and not running?  I think it is because I feel if I say jogging, no one expects me to be sprinting.  I also am not really a running fan.  Jogging, I can get behind!  Who knows why that really means something to me.

The last seven weeks have passed quickly. I have come to look forward to my jogs, and seeing how far I have come, and what I can do now.  I am glad to be doing something physical again.  I am running at 5:20ish in the morning.  The mornings have been amazing as the sun is coming up about 5:40 and the weather this June and July has been exceptional.

I plan to do a 5km in early September (Run or Dye) and I hope to do a 10km in early November.  Next year, I will be doing the Sun Run and who knows what else.  I don't really see any distances beyond a 10km in my future, but who knows.  I used to be only able to run for a minute.  Perhaps a year of training, and 10kms will be nothing! Who KNOWS!  It is amazing, but training works.

Consistency, a little at a time.  Not setting a crazy, blistering pace.  Just getting out there.  I love the quiet mornings.  This morning's jog was the first time I have gone for a run and it has been "soothing".  The rhythm of just moving, and watching the run, and looking at the fields as they slowly moved by, and looking out for slugs, listening to the frogs, in a word, awesome.

It also really helps to talk to other people that run, or are training, and have physical goals.  We help to motivate each other.  It also helps to put it out there, since people ask you then, and it helps keep (me at least) accountable.  It also means the world that when the alarm goes off at 5:10 am, my dear hubby rolls over, and says to me "running day!".  It all helps.  Especially the support at home.  I have a skirt I want to fit in to by September, and a coat he bought me a few years that has never fit and I LOVE.  One day I will post a picture of me in this lovely green coat and I will NOT look like a stuffed sausage in it.  Goals are so important, as are little rewards along the way.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Better than others in this genre

It feels like admitting to a guilty pleasure that I enjoyed this book.  In the beginning 100 pages, I could feel my slightly feminist side starting to come out as the lead female character was pretty hopeless for a while.  There are some pretty opinionated reviews about this book, and many of them seem to seize on different aspects of the Witch's (Diana) or the Vampire's (Matthew) character that are negative and positive (okay, mostly not all that favourable to how parts of this relationship are developed) in the early stages of this book.  Read in this way, there are definitely elements of this novel that I can't say thrilled me.

Then you get caught up in the story, and stop trying to analyze every element, and truly what kind of portrait of "man" or "woman" is being painted.  I enjoyed it.  I like how the story evolved, and that there is the group of 9 (3 daemons, 3 witches, and 3 vampires) that form a counterbalance to the congregation.  I enjoyed it.  I would like to read the next in this trilogy, I won't run to pick it up since the third book isn't even close to being published. but having suffered through Twilight, this is a far better use of your time.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


What, I turn 40 and weeks start to go even faster?  What is up with that.  I have written a great any posts (in my head of course), and read a few books, and I have even started to jog a few miles here and there.  I figured I would start with a catch up post, and then likely I will work some "time" magic and post backwards at list the books I have read since I last posted in early June.

The biggest thing for me is that I have finally decided to fix one of the main disconnects in my life - that is to get more physical activity - for stress relief, to connect with my body again, of course to lose weight, but also to just feel better.  I think this has been a process that I have been working up to since last September, and it is finally coming together.  I have started a run/walk 10 km program like the one I did for the Sun Run in 2002 (OMFG that was a lifetime ago).  It really does start with just putting one foot in the front of the next and just going for it.  It helps I am walking a lot more at work, and it really wasn't that big of a leap that first week.

Of course, these 13 week programs start you off fairly gently with a 30 second run and then a 4 minute/30 second walk.  For the first half of the training, you go up by 30 second increments until your body can handle less breaks and more "runs".  I am more of a plodder, but I am slowly getting there.  It feels great to be doing this - I am doing it.  I haven't not been able to make 3 runs a week, and I am not almost done my 6th week of training! 

I am not out to set any speed records, I am out to beat personal bests (considering I think I can run more now at 40 than I could at 16 that isn't hard) and to just do it, for me, for my family.  I am running at 5:30 am, and I like it.  What has happened.  I am channeling my family heritage and embracing mornings.  I kind of like them, it is almost a secret.  We are having an awesome summer, and running at 6am, before everyone is out, and it is just the hint of a warm day, it is pretty magic.  I feel lucky to be out there.  I am also finding strange an unusual things on my jogs: sunglasses, a blackberry charger, a man's watch, and some mini levels.  Strange.

The running is my exciting change. The weather is also awesome.  I can't remember a July starting off this nicely.  My little peanut is now 4, and my big guy is almost 7.  We are planning his first birthday party with friends and he will be going gold panning.  I am happy to be embracing some of our BC heritage at Fort Langley.  We even get to have a bonfire!! Now how cool is that? 

Did I mention B and I also picked 34 pounds of berries and I made 15 jars of strawberry jam?  Seriously, it just seems the weeks are going by so fast.  It is either Friday, or Monday.  Or garbage day.  I guess that is the next honey do to cross off of my list tonight as I wait for ICBC to answer the phone.  The ongoing saga with my vehicle.  Still not fixed.  Still not happy with the business doing our repair.