Wednesday, October 01, 2014

time + BOOKS

The list of books that I read this year is short but -- well, at least there is one!  I think I'll just consider that a victory considering the circumstances.  However, I am really missing regular reading lately.  As an adult, I have not been a voracious or fast reader.  But until recent years, I was a steady and consistent one.  I plodded my way through every Murakami novel, even the mammoth 1Q84 (while pregnant with Annabel).  But then I had her, and . . yeah.

There is simply less time in my life for books since I became a parent*.  But there is still some.  I am (finally!) working very hard at decreasing the amount of time I spend on email and social media.  I have actually been really successful with the pact I mentioned in a previous post, and now I'm tracking both email and social media usage too with the goal of:

-- 3 email checks/day

-- social media playtime only in time-limited, designated chunks:  when I first wake up (usually this is just 5-10 minutes), around lunchtime at work (if time), and while Annabel finishes watching her Mickey Mouse clubhouse once C has gone to sleep (also time-limited for obvious reasons).

The result?  Too early to tell yet.  I've only been consistent for 2 days :) But I am thinking that these changes will yield some extra time, particularly in the evenings which is when I like to read.  And therefore: I am hoping to bring books back into my life.  I have many titles on my amazon wish list, all ready to be downloaded at any moment.  

Although oddly -- I am struggling with an odd desire to go back to paper books recently.  I do love the instant gratification and energy efficiency of digital books.   And I appreciate the lack of clutter (although -- paperback books are similar in price and if I am not going to refer back to them/reread there is no reason not to just give them away!).  I also like the lit screen which means not having to mess with a reading lamp in bed.  But I somehow find myself less motivated to pick them up, and I get distracted more easily while reading them. Hmm.

Do you like digital or paper for pleasure reading?
Anything awesome that you have read recently?  I like both fiction and non.

A few selections on the wish list:
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper 
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
random non-fiction pick: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Next year, I'm also excited for Gretchen Rubin's Before and After and Laura's yet-to-be-renamed-formerly-known-as Mosaic :)

* Just because there is less free time in general.  But not none.  I'm going to do a D-I-T-L post again soon!

Monday, September 29, 2014

feeling decisive

I am in a rather decisive mode right now.  If I decide that I want to do something, I AM JUST GOING TO DO IT.  That sounds so obvious and incredibly cheesy but -- it's not.  Because sometimes things that I want to do -- even if they are for myself -- impact others, and often I got lost in the debates and the details.
I wanted to try eating paleo.  I worried about:  what the others in the house would eat, what others would think of this decision, and (fine) whether I would be super-sad without grains / legumes / cheese in my life on the regular.
I wanted to start running (and racing) longer distances again.  I worried about:  how I would fit in longer runs, being judged by others for wanting more time for myself, feeling guilty about wanting this time. 

I got tired of overthinking things and just took action.  And somehow this has actually made me feel energized to make more things that I want happen -- bigger things and smaller things.  A sampling of some other things I want to do:
* Make a weekend playgroup happen (even a sporadic one)
* Read.  Actual books.
* Quit certain internet/phone distractions for good.  I know I have written about this a zillion times before, but in this mode I think I might actually stand a chance at success.  A friend and I made a pact to stop a particularly irritating one and so far it has been fantastic. 
I don't know what has spurred on this energy.  But I'm going with it!


not bad for 'feels like' = 91F
a starting point at least!

Friday, September 26, 2014

saying yes to myself

I really miss running -- like real running with intervals and long runs and tempo, not just 3 mile jaunts around the neighborhood.  I've mentioned that my paces have slowed recently, but I am determined to get some speed back.  I miss the structure of a training plan.

6 months after having Annabel, I ran a half.  That was probably a little overzealous, but it worked out.  C is currently 7 months old, and I think I'm just now ready to start training for real.  

I'm in this phase where if I am just in the mood to say YES to myself, so:

HALF, not the full -- I'm not ready for 3hr long runs!

I'm signing up!  I have 17 weeks to train starting Monday!

My faaaaaaaaavorite part of doing any race is designing and figuring out the training plan -- scheduling in all of the runs and cross-training.  I want to run 3-4 times/week and cross-train (barre, weights, etc) on 2-3 days (with one full day completely off every week). 

Possible plan sources:
- I have Train Like A Mother and the training plans in there are nice and varied.  The "Finish It" looks a little easy but the "Own It" looks a little hard :) Maybe I'll craft a hybrid?

- I've had great success with the FIRST plan (my marathon PR) and love that it just calls for 3 runs/week, but I think it looks too hard for me right now.  

- A custom plan from McMillan Running or another online company.  I love the idea of a plan created *just for me* because I'd like some professional guidance with respect to how I should pace, but it's pricey!  ($126 for a 16 week plan.)

What is your favorite training plan?
Anyone else training for a winter race?

(In Miami, this is definitely the right time frame to train!)