Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fit or Fiction?

I'm in need of some good karma, so I want to help out a good friend, fellow writer Liz Neporent, by posting this for her. Please don't post comment here, but respond diretly to her. Here's her plea:

Do you have a diet, weight loss, or fitness question you would like answered? Is there a fitness myth you would like busted? Or do you have a health and fitness topic you would like to see covered? If so, please send it to me and I will answer it on my AOL.com blog, Fit or Fiction.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Time to Cajole the Husband

Last week, Dimity and I had a lively debate via email about what verb to use to describe handling a husband who is less than supportive of a wife's mileage. She had "dealing with," but I thought that sounded too negative, suggesting "cajole" instead. To me, that word implies coaxing, enticing, sweet-talking, and it has a joke element to it. All the things that sum up how I finagle Jack to not get grumpy about my running.

The topic was much on my mind last week as I was trying to find a way to break the news to him that I am about to start training for marathon #6--Big Sur on April 25. As I was quick to point out to Dimity in our email exchange: "It's not a question of Jack 'letting' me do another marathon or not. Ultimately I have free will. It's just how much I want to rock the family-boat."

Ultimately I made the Big Sur proclaimation with a good news/bad news approach, without putting it in those stark terms. One evening, after the dinner dishes were cleared away, I shoo'd the kids down to their basement playroom so Jack and I could converse in relative quiet. I told him I'd decided I was going to take a break from my rowing team until at least May 1. As I had expected, he was very pleased with this news. (He's not opposed to rowing, just the drama that is constantly simmering on my team.) I waited a few good moments, then followed it up with, "And I'm running the Big Sur Marathon in late April." I then blah-blah-blah'ed about what a fabulous marathon it is, such as having just been named by Runner's World as the Best Destination Marathon in the U.S. I might as well have been describing, at length, the new pair of knee-high boots I'd gotten or the color of lipstick a friend had worn to book group.

Yet without saying much, Jack quickly got on board. Partly, I think, because with rowing out of the equation, I can now run long on Saturday instead of Sunday, thus avoiding the Sarah-run versus Jack-Mass log jam. I've now worked a mention of Big Sur into several conversations, making it seem a natural part of our family landscape. After about the third time, even Jack made some joking mention of Big Sur back to me, telling me he's okay with it.

I'm pleased to see my cajoling worked as I'd hoped.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

SBS Two-fer in New York Times

Sorry, folks: This morning during my track workout (1 x 2 miles at half-marathon pace; 2 x 1 mile at 10K pace; 2 x 800-meters at 5K pace), I suddenly remembered I had two articles in Thursday Styles section of New York Times. As it totally made me pick up my pace, I told myself I'd put links to the articles on this blog as soon as I got home.

Uh, that was 12+ hours ago! Another busy workweek...

Better late than never, right? Here's one on performance mouthpieces for runners and cyclists. After interviewing the Citadel researcher, a marathoning mom who saw an amazing drop in her average pace while using an Under Armour one, I was pretty much sold on trying one. The yoga socks article is about the 40th Gear Test I've written, but this one had the most beautiful photos ever. Skip the socks, but check out the photos online.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thomas Hardy Said It Best

Sorry for not posting this week: I can't remember the last time I was so hammered with deadlines. But I wanted to share this snippet from Tess of the d'Urbervilles, the classic by Thomas Hardy that I just devoured. (Read it!) If I had a free week, I'd write a term paper on, "Dawn and Dusk in Thomas Hardy's Late Fiction." In lieu of that, here's the paragraph that I think most running moms can relate to!

"The grey half-tones of daybreak are not the grey half-tones of the day's close, though the degree of their shade may be the same. In the twilight of the morning, light seems active, darkness passive; in the twilight of evening, it is the darkness which is active and crescent and the light which is the drowsy reverse."

Something to contemplate as the sky pinks up on your next pre-dawn run.