Another rough week with an intriguing, pleasantly surprising and, for lack of a better expression, Erin (it's my new favorite word) finale. I wrote on Thursday that speedwork was successful. It was. But since I had missed Wednesday (which was supposed to be my speedwork day) I had to choose between doing the 20easy and the 35tempo paces that were supposed to follow it on my running schedule. I didn't want to run on Saturday since I was planning on doing a half-marathon distance today (Sunday) so it had to be one or the other. I went on Friday and set out to do the 35tempo, but couldn't help but run pretty decently fast for me (a 10 minute mile), so, instead, I just did the compromise and did a 20tempo-ish.
So, THEN, the plan was to lay low on Saturday. No walking, no stress, no standing, just relaxation and good eating and lots of sleep so that I could get up Sunday morning and do my half.
Weeeellllll, 1) I got up early, cleaned the kitchen and taught the neighbor's older daughter (we'll call her "E") to make pancakes. There was some standing involved.
Then, 2) I went to the farmer's market with Sam (the neighbor's daughter watched the kids at our place while we went together...oooooh, a market date!!!) and ended up getting a BUTT LOAD of veggies to put up and since I'm stubborn about taking the car anywhere, I forced Sam to take the bus, but then to walk back. Well, the walk back meant that we were weighted down with such heavy eats at brocs, caulis, cabbages, carrottes, etc. Not great for the feet.
Then, 3) I wanted to get as many of these things blanched and into the freezer as possible, so I stood in the kitchen chopping, washing, blanching, cooling, etc (I roasted some eggplants and zukes for more pesto). So, there was MORE standing.
And 4) Since we were nearly out of flour and organic sugar cubes and the next day (today) was Sunday when ALL STORES are closed, we went to the supermarket. More walking.
Finally, 5) By the time we got home, hosed off the kids and got ourselves into bed, it was midnight. The clocks fell back last night in France so it was technically only 11, but still, *shrug*... I woke up the first time around 4:30 with the baby. Then again later at 5:30. Then 6:30--where I took one look out the window at the fog and said, "I'm not runnin' in THAT!" and plopped my head back down on the pillow.
Eventually, (around 8) I got up and headed to the park. My feet hurt, my knees hurt, I was pessimistic about the fog, I hadn't eaten enough the night before and was sure I was gonna be hungry, but I left anyway, promising only to do what I could.
But... Long story short... I did it. I should put exclamations by that because that's how I feel. I DID IT!!!!! Not only did I finish, but even WITH that damn heavy hydration belt, not enough sleep, not enough to eat and only one carb gel (what was I thinking? I have a huge stash of them, why didn't I take more?), I shaved 27 minutes and 10 seconds off of my half-marathon time from January 14, 2007.
It's a Personal Record (or PR as sporties know it). And a damn fine one. Think of how much faster I had been able to finish had I just had optimal conditions!!!
The best part is that I finished in 2:53:19!!! And my average pace was 13:13!!! That's 30 seconds per mile UNDER the minimum pace for marathon finish! I'm on the right track!!!
If I continue to train just as I am right now... AND IF I DON'T GET INJURED... I can finish the marathon in time.
However, I've decided that that's not enough. I want more. I want five hours. I think if I cross train and drop another 20 pounds, I'll be able to kick that marathon's ass in 5 hours. So, I've decided to continue my training as planned, add biking twice a week and swimming hopefully three or four times a week and then some weight/abs training here and there (once or twice a week after runs). That, along with more closely following my old Weight Watchers lifestyle that helped me drop (and maintain) 42 pounds in four months, I SHOULD be able to drop 20 more by Jan. My sis, who's also doing the marathon with me, said she's committing to doing the same thing (she did her half yesterday and did it about 7 or so minutes faster than I so we're at about the same training level right now). I told her that the day AFTER the marathon, she and I can hit a chinese buffet and really dig in (they have one there with my fave all you can eat sushi!!!), but that until then, it was bread and veggies, beans and fruits!
So, cross your fingers on that one.
I have only one thing to say about the book and that's that I'm procrastinating. I figure the parts that need adding are addable in December. We'll see if I can get the lead out of my ass this week and put on those finishing touches before NaNoWriMo.
Sam is letting me read pretty much the whole Kingsolver book to him. It's AWESOME. He laughs when I laugh, cries when I cry and even asked Ryan today if he wanted to raise chickens. Ryan's response: "Can we do it right now?" That's my question, too. I look forward to this farm with a child's impatience. But I know that there are steps that have to be taken. Thinking about the farm and knowing that it's becoming a family endeavor makes those steps that much lighter.
I took the stack of my "hippy books" (i.e. books that talk about how to get back to basics, doing organic farming, even how to build your own house out of trees from your own land by making your own freakin' lumber) into our bedroom and night before last, we fell asleep each looking at our own respective "hippy book." That's hot, isn't it? Every time I think about it, it makes me get all romantic-y and stuff. He's REALLY hot when he's reading how to put in solar panel shingles and windmills. I have a feeling that he'll spend his spare time engineering different experimental ways to put power back onto the grid (other than the job he's working already and getting paid for).
Wanna hear a funny/sad story? Sam and I went to take the bus and there were these two kids sitting there. They were probably about 10 or 11 (or so). One of the kids asked if I wanted to sit down on the bench and I said no, but thanks anyway. Then, Sam and I started arguing--but using our inside voices--about whose way of getting to market is faster... We did this in English. So, these little fuckers (pardon my "French") started saying the things they knew in English, just to be little fuckers. Things like, "Hey, fuck you beeetch!" and "Suck my deek!" and so on and so forth.
They're kids and they were unaccompanied. I know this and I know they would probably act differently in front of their parents, but I can't HELP it.... Kids like that really piss me off. I've never witnessed this phenomenon in the States (maybe it has to do with not having lived downtown in any big American cities? you city dwellers tell me? are tweens little punks just to be little punks?). I mean, I've "babysat" a lot of little punks at the library when I worked there, but they were mostly respectful about their language at least. These kids were little assholes (speaking of language *blush*) and when I'm around these kinds of kids, I can't help be feel stressed out. I didn't acknowledge them, but instead spoke French very loudly so that they'd know that I understood both their French and their English and that maybe they should just talk amongst themselves instead of going out of their way to annoy us. But I didn't want them to know it was working. *sigh* Such a paradox.
Anyway, just in time, the bus comes and we all get on. Sam and I are near the middle in the standing up part (where there's this special cushion along the sides of the bus specifically designed for people who want to stand up and lean) and these kids are in the back. But they get up and go to get off and I hear an older man near the middle say, "EH! That's disgusting what you just did!" I look back and see a huge puddle of spit on the floor. Grody. The kid ignores him. The older guy gets louder. "Hey you, young man! What do you think you're doing?" The kid looks at him and proud and smiling says, "Spitting. I have the right, don't I?" The older guy says, "No, not in the bus like that. Who taught you to do that?" The kid says, "Me." And then, the other kid says something in arabic which made the spitty kid laugh. I doubt it was very nice. They said some other things in arabic before getting off the bus and the older guy just started grumbling.
Okay, here's the funny part. I was SO happy those kids got talked to. I almost even said, "YEAH!" after every time the older guys spoke, because he was expressing the exasperation I was feeling with these punk kids.
Sam says, "Yeah, but most people would just say, 'they're just kids.'"
Here's the sad part... they ARE kids. But they're going to grow up. And they're going to be the loser kids who spraypaint people's cars. And other vandalism. Etc.
The other sad part is that these kids act this way because even though they're born here, they don't ever feel like they are home. These are descendents (maybe even 2nd or 3rd generation) of maghrebin families who moved to France just before, during and after the war in Algeria. But because the racism is SO concentrated and part of the culture, these kids never feel French. Why WOULDN'T they spit on the bus? It's not THEIR bus even though they've been taking it all their lives. It's not THEIR country even though they've grown up here. Whose fault is that? Everyone's. It's their parents'... who tell them that they are not from here and that they need to be cautious of white people and need to keep themselves separate. And then there are the actual French people who reinforce it by actually treating them like they are foreigners. And the kids, in turn, fulfill their role by doing the things that make the white people nervous--out of boredom, out of resentment, out of pain--which makes them the self-fulfilling prophecy. It sucks. Because then, the kids who are really cool and respectful and nice get treated like all the other punks... And some of THEM become punks because they have already been treated like they are and so on and so forth.
It makes me mad and sad and a teensy bit scared.
But anyway... blah blah blah... I noticed this problem when I was here ten years ago when I dated a Parisian guy (of Moroccan descent) and had to deal with all the racism surrounding that relationship (from BOTH sides, btw). Sadly, not much has changed in ten years.
To end on a happy note, A's sister E is coming over every day this week to learn how to make certain things. Monday it's bread, Tuesday it's Madeleines, Wednesday it's brioche and Thursday it's cookies. I'm SO glad to find a protege!!!
The kids are on vacation for ten days. A is going to be out of town which sux cuz that means Ryan is going to BORED. But it also means that he can detox a little and we can work on some school work (which I'll talk about next time, cuz there's stuff afoot).
Well, I got a MESS of vegetables to freeze waiting for me in the kitchen (I did brocs and cauli's last night, but I got carrottes, cabbages, leeks and the pesto to finish tonight). Be good kids!