Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

Just a quick note, as an excuse to post a couple photos. It seems that one of my Trailhead friends has a little too much time on his hands. So he made me a present that fits with “the imbalancing act,” allowing me to wear my La Sportiva Crosslites on all sorts of occasions. These were presented to me last Saturday morning at (of course) the Open Eye.

As it turns out, the heels are about 3 sizes too small for me (so I don't have to wear them to my next academic conference, thankfully), but another Trailhead woman was kind enough to model them for everyone (thanks, Trip!). But you get the idea. Note the craftsmanship – I especially like how part of the Crosslite has been nailed to the heel of the pump. Thanks, Edge (and photo credit to Sidetrack, aka a Breath of Fresh Air Photography).

(Yes, they are even cooler in Hipstamatic view).

Training for the Vermont 100 continues, although I don’t know if I’m getting in quite as many miles as I should. Then again, I’m tired enough – and busy enough with other things -- that I can’t see adding in more training. I was in Washington, DC earlier this week, so I had a couple shorter runs along the Potomac. The C&O Canal is always a pleasant place to run (especially in a heavy spring rain), and I also explored the trail (although there’s not more than a couple miles of it) on Theodore Roosevelt Island. And there’s always something nice about running among DC's monuments.

New trail shoes have arrived – another pair of Crosslites (my go-to shoe; my last pair has way too many miles on them, so time for new ones!), as well as the Quantum, which just became available a few days ago. I haven’t tried out the Quantum yet, but I like the fit – and my four year old daughter is very excited that her mom finally has some pink running shoes. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

One of Those Weeks

Things that I should have done during the last week:
  •  Data analysis for a conference paper (not late yet, but will be very soon).
  •  End of the year evaluations for graduate students.
  •  Getting in touch with contributors to an edited volume.
  •  Reviewing grant proposals and dissertations for two different review committees.
  •  Running lots of miles – the Vermont 100 is two and a half months away!
  •  Beginning to engage in the annual, Sisyphean fight between what grows in my yard and me, whilst attempting to avoid the poison ivy that permeates the landscape (and I’m very allergic to it).
  •  Power yoga class…haven’t been in a couple weeks, and miss it if I don’t make it once per week. I'm no good at it, but I'm certainly more flexible than I was a year ago, and I like the "in the moment" that it requires.
  •  Physical therapy exercises. Really must fix that hamstring.
Things that I did do during the last week:
  • Stayed home to take care of one or both kids while they were sick. A GI bug made the rounds of our preschool (and of our town, it seems), and my girls took turns having it. A husband traveling means that I got all of the sick kid duty (and all of the vomit, too…). They’re on the mend now. 
  • A field trip to the North Carolina Zoo with the girls and their preschool. I’d never been to the NC Zoo before, despite driving by it many times on the way to the Uwharrie National Forest. We had a lovely day, despite torrential rain early that morning. And it was fun to spend time with both the girls and their classmates’ parents. But this was far more exhausting than my typical Wednesday! Oddest moment: having just been in the Sonoran Desert last week (quick work-related trip to Tucson, with early morning running outings to Sabino Canyon and Catalina State Park…Great scenery, fabulous trails!), visiting the Sonoran Desert pavilion. The saguaros are cool either way, but cooler when accompanied by canyons and mountains! 

  • Reviewed some grant proposals. Ever so slowly.
  • Ran some miles – usually after morning dropoff (see above, re. solo parenting). The weather is still bearable for an 8:30 or 9am start, but it doesn’t bode well for productivity at work. Favorite run of the week: a 25 miler at Umstead State Park, with some Trailhead friends, plus Shannon. Weather was near-perfect, and so nice to be on different trails, playing hooky with friends. I also ran a 9.5 mile loop from Carrboro that included four miles of hilly Damascus Church Road, and a return via Jones Ferry. I liked crossing this intersection, too:  
  •  Helped with the Philosopher’s Way Trail Runs, one of the two annual Trailhead-sponsored local races. Packet pickup on Friday, course monitoring on Saturday, the latter with the little girls in tow. Highlight: four year old doing her first kids’ race. She also loved hanging out with the Trail Goddesses, ringing a cowbell and borrowing a tiara (here’s video of the Trail Goddesses’ aid station at last year’s race: My two year old also wanted to do the kids’ run, but her idea of doing it consisted of allowing me to carry her, while jogging next to my four year old, for the entire mile. 
  •  Did some gardening, with help from the girls. This was the first time that both of them were interested in what they could find out in the yard – earthworms, centipedes, slugs. They stayed out “working,” with their gardening gloves on, for over an hour. Definitely a record, and we did manage to clear out about five percent of the overgrowth.
Next week, I’ll try to get some balance back – definitely more time spent on work (my co-authors and colleagues would like a little more balancing in their direction, I’m guessing), and finding time for yoga and physical therapy exercises. And I plan on enjoying the return to two-parent normalcy at home.

In other news, I received my La Sportiva team kit last week. What fun…I am so lucky to be part of their team! I’m looking forward to wearing the various race jerseys from Greenlayer and the DeFeet socks, as well as using my new Petzl MyoXP headlamp and the Ultimate Direction hydration pack.  I’ve run many times in the Greenlayer shirt that was done as a special edition fundraiser for Uwharrrie 2011, and it’s super comfy. Reviews to come….