Saturday, February 26, 2011


Run: 9.95mi/1:39:50 (Soooo close. That's what i get for guessing my mileage.)

I was happy to wake up and find that it did not rain overnight like predicted. Instead, the rain waited until a few hours after I hung up my laundry to dry. Some helpful people back home (I was out at a friend's house) and a quick trip to the laundromat saved the day.

February 26th is a freakish day because I know three people with a birthday today:
1) My big brother, Joel
2) My new friend in Mexico, Hannah
3) Jenny, a friend I met on the internet, back when I was in high school and only weird people hung around on the internet. Ahhh, those were the days.

On my run today I kept skipping back to this Menomena song. Enjoy.

In the meantime I'm trying to work up the ganas to write a very personal post.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Unholy and Holy

Run: 6.1mi/1:01:00

The unholy things we do for running:
It worked, though. I took those pills, they settled down nicely, and less than an hour later I was running nausea-free. You can't be smart every day, but today was my day to be intelligent. Luckily I only have one more running day to have to do this.

(On a sidenote: I used the vacuum correctly today. With the canister. Clean stairs.)

My job at our church is to plan and coordinate the younger children's Sunday School class material. There's a story, an activity page out of a book, and then they do a craft. Not all the crafts that I think up are great, but I have to try to make them easy to do, relevant to the story, and easily done with the supplies we have. I also try to keep in mind our teachers. With sometimes 15-20 little ones in a class, I have to remember it can't be too complicated, or the teacher has to help everyone.

And with all of that explanation, I give you - Jesus walking on water! I'm pretty proud of this one.
I scanned that Jesus out of our activity page, copied it, and printed it. I don't know about you, but I think that Jesus looks pretty awesome. He's like "hey guys, what's up? Me? Oh, I'm just walking on water".

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Canisters and Stupidity

Run: 3.9/37:30

I have always gotten up at 5:30 to run. On the weekdays (shorter runs) I don't eat anything before I head out. However, I have to take these pills at 5:30, so I wake up and reach over to grab something to eat. Yes, I'm too lazy to go downstairs, so I prepare something the night before. I eat, take the pills, then get ready to go running.

It's making me nauseous. I don't think it's the eating, because I've eaten before long runs before and been fine. I supposed downing those pills isn't conducive to running. It's not fun to be a mile from home and feel like you want to throw up. I actually stopped after a while and decided to walk, then changed my mind and realized that I'd get home faster if I ran. Luckily, I don't have too many more days of this.
I would like to share a story with you. This story will highlight my own ability to be an airhead, and maybe I'll make some new blogging friends by demonstrating that I, too, can be an idiot.

There isn't much carpet around here. All the flooring is usually cement, tile, or linoleum. In my house the bottom floor is shiny white tile (the most loathsome kind), and the second floor is linoleum. The stairs, for some reason, are a very low pile carpet. It's frayed, it's coming up in some places. Whatever. I don't know the last time it was vacuumed. I've tried to sweep it, but of course that doesn't help much. I tried to vacuum it with my tiny hand vac, and that was a useless endeavor.

My mom has a small vacuum, the stand-up stick handle kind that runs on a battery that you plug into the wall. The lightbulb finally went off last week when I thought "hey, I've got some really gnarly stairs that need vacuuming", so off I went to borrow that vacuum. Five minutes later I was choking on dust that was blowing up in my face and not seeing much improvement on the stairs. I told my mom and we agreed that those stairs were just too bad for any help.

Fast forward to this morning. My mom was cleaning her bathroom (where all her cleaning supplies are kept), and she yelled out to me "Thanks for cleaning out the canister from the vacuum!" I replied that I didn't clean it out. See, when I do something really awesome (read: something I'm supposed to do) like clean out vacuum canisters or fill up the pure water container or pick up my hair out the sink, I take a mental note and congratulate myself. So I knew that I had never cleaned out that canister.

My mom walked out of her bathroom with the vacuum. I looked at it. There was a very large empty space on its front where the canister was supposed to be, and I began racking my brain and trying to picture what that vacuum looked like last week when I used it on my stairs. Canister? What canister? Is it possible that I...? No. I'm not that dumb. Should I say it? Should I even admit to that?

Mom carried that clean canister out of the bathroom and I spoke up, "Wait, that canister wasn't always on the vacuum? Uh, maybe that's why the dust was flying everywhere..."

And then my mom and I laughed really, really hard.

You can't catch the dust and dirt if there's no canister.

And that, my friends, is a humbling moment.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Books: The Help

Run: 5.7mi/I have no idea

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

When I told a friend recently that I was reading a book about racism in the South, he said "you really like those kinds of books, don't you?" and he went on to remind me of a book I read a while ago (Cloudsplitter) that had a similar theme. I guess I do. I don't know if it's because it's not something I've ever experienced, a place I've never lived, or the simple astonishment at people's ideas and attitudes. Or, absolutely loving when people challenge those ideas and do something important.

The Help is a novel, an interesting read, an easy read. I was actually expecting something a little... deeper, but the story was told well and I consistently wanted to read the book. I enjoyed Stockett's ability to hint at plot progression and yet save the complete information until later in the story. Even with the central plot being interesting, there were mysteries to solve, and I just really wanted to know what atrocious things were hidden inside these lives.
I actually thought one of the more intriguing points of the book were the notes at the end, where Stockett reveals that she was raised by a black maid in Mississippi. While she goes on to share her thoughts on this subject and on the state of Mississippi, you can tell that it was most likely a struggle for her to write the book, and a struggle to correctly portray both sides of the color line. 

The Help has been a popular book. A friend lent it to me, and right before she lent it to me I found it atop Powell's Puddly Awards list. This is Stockett's first novel, and I look forward to what she'll write next.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Run: 4.4mi/45:00 

Since I took the weekend off (oops), I was definitely feeling it today, and didn't quite make all the miles I was hoping for. Maybe I learned my lesson.

One of the best things in the world is getting all your work done on Saturday so you can sit around and do nothing all afternoon and evening Sunday.

Speaking of awesome things, I found a website, 1000AwesomeThings that is making me smile. I guarantee you will find a handful of things that you agree are awesome.

For example:
An Inbox of Personal E-mails When You Wake Up in the Morning
Flavor Pockets
Peeling Your Socks off Under the Sheets
Walking on Grass with Bare Feet
Watching a Movie in The Basement with a Group of Friends (Hello college!)
Junk Drawers
Staying Up So Late That Everything Becomes Funny
Figuring Out How We Got on This Topic

... and many more.

And as my last contribution today - for Vonnegut fans:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The real reason I teach

No run today. I was scheduled for a long run, but it rained a lot last night. Our roads are all dirt/sand, and when they get poured on they can turn into a big slip 'n' slide, or just have huge puddles (lakes) that take up the whole road. Running in this is not fun, as you have to stop every two minutes to evaluate whether to go around something, walk through it, jump over it, etc. A short run in this probably would have happened, but an 11 or 12 mile run? I can't handle that. I keep praying that the sun will peek through and we'll have dry streets tomorrow morning. Or at least drier.

As for why I really teach? I discovered that this week. I taught all of the kids to say "I love you!" on Monday for Valentine's Day, and every day this week I've had at least 30 kids say "I love you!" to me. My evil plan has worked and I am being affirmed daily by the little munchkins that I adore.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Teaching English to Adults

Last night I started my first adult English class. Back in December I was approached by the husband of our cleaning lady and asked about what I charge for English classes. I told him that it would be fun to have a group of people, and that I would charge less per person if a group was formed. Finally, after my Christmas vacation, and getting all the details sorted out, we started class last night.

I won't lie - starting a new teaching project makes me nervous. Although I have control over the classroom experience and the materials I teach, I have absolutely no control over peoples' attitudes and/or perspectives. I constantly worry that what I'm teaching will not be relevant, useful, or well taught. I think every teacher worries about these things, so I know I'm not alone.

But, last night actually went very well. The nice thing is that out of the 5 people who came, four are related by blood or marriage, and the other guy goes to church with them, so they are all familiar and comfortable with each other. Also, they are all in their twenties, which makes me feel a little more on their level and we are able to interact well together.

The first night is always the test - How will they respond? Will they seem bored? Will they want to participate? How long will my activities take? Luckily, I planned enough material for the class, and I was able to see how much I should plan for next time.

Because after all my planning for my first class I realized that, oh yeah - I have two classes to prepare every week now. Better get busy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Run: 6mi/1:01:45

What a slow morning. At one point I was going so slow (and could feel it) that I thought to myself "I feel just like I did running that silly half marathon". That's when I knew it was a slow morning.  The funny thing is that when the sun really came up, I could see my shadow as I ran beside the packing plant, and I could make out the craziness that are my quads. I keep thinking that they must belong to someone else.

I sat down this morning to eat with my oldest Kinders class. Arroz con leche. All of a sudden Rodrigo showed me a plastic bag that had a big something wrapped in foil. He announced that his Mom had packed him some burritos. He unwrapped the foil and offered me one. A homemade bean burrito? Thank you very much. And yes, when I say homemade, I mean that tortilla was made by hand. And fresh, too. There are defintely perks to this job.

There was a time, many years ago, when I was wary and cautious of anything homemade outside of Cande's cooking (Cande is our cook at the daycare). I worried about refrigeration. I worried about how old the food was. I worried about cooks not washing hands. And you know what? In the number of years that I've been here, I can count how many times I've been truly sick on one hand. And one of those times I had made my own food.

So yes, I will eat a bean burrito that was prepared in a one room house where the cook may not have washed her hands before she prepared it. I'll eat week-old pasta salad, and food that's been sitting out without a cover on it. And yes, I'll even eat a bologna sandwich made by Maria, who lived in a tiny shack with a dirt floor.

I will not eat pig skin, though. You can't make me do that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Run: 4.3mi/38:30

I'm not sure if it was the delicious dinner Gabby made for us last night, or the great late-night conversation I had, but this morning I felt great. Instead of cooling down the last 1.3 mile, I kept up my speed and ended on a high note.

I've had to start taking what I'll now refer to as "old lady pills", which require me to eat something when I take them, and at odd hours. I've scheduled it so that I take them as soon as I wake up, which means I have to eat something as soon as I wake up as well, something I'm not used to doing at all, as all of my runs I do before breakfast. I was a little paranoid about this whole process, and just started last night. I put my pills and my granola bar next to my bed so that when I woke up in the morning, it would all be right there.

How did I know I was paranoid? Because as soon as I woke up this morning, I tore into that granola bar. As I was chomping away at the first bite, I looked at the clock, which said "3:08". Yeah. Not 5:30. I put that bar down and went back to sleep.
I tutor a 4 year old girl in English twice a week. Although she tests my patience quite a bite, she's a funny character. Last week she asked me, "Miss Meghan porque vienes con su cabello suelto?" (Why do you always come with your hair loose?). While I wanted to answer by saying "Because I'm not Mexican, and I don't wear my hair back every day" or "Because my hair is beautiful and I want to", I simply said "Because I like it", which was good enough for a four year old.

During our class she has figured out that if she goes to the bathroom, it gets her out of thinking about English. Yesterday she went once, and then about half an hour later, as we were reading Green Eggs and Ham, she said she had to go again. "Okay," I said, "but quickly. Fast!" As she tiptoed to the door of our study room, she looked around, looked back at me, and told me to keep reading. She told me to keep reading so that the maid and her babysitter would think she was still in the room with me.

I had to laugh, because that's totally something I would have thought of as a kid.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Run: 5.3mi/53:00

Lots of love around here yesterday, so let's start with those kids. I attempted to teach them to say "I love you!", which went over differently in all 5 classes. Isaac, one of our 2-year-olds, and I had a yelling competition over it. Some of the kids were a little too shy to say "I love you" their friend sitting next to them. But, I could tell that most of them understood it when I said "I love you"' to each of them, because they smiled. Awww, isn't that sweet.

We colored hearts.
Somehow my last class of the day turned into a dance party. I take no responsibility.
In the evening the girlfriends came over. It was so nice to spend time together. We all brought our items and prepared and cooked it together. I made my own croutons for the salad!
And we exchanged valentines, which was lovely. Mine looked like this at one point:
But I personalized them all.

And that is enough photos for one day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dia de Amor y Amistad

Run: 5.3mi/52:40

I'm not much of a Valentine's Day person, but...

~I already got some pretty great valentines in my e-mail inbox. You can't beat that.

~I'm all set to teach my kids "I love you" today, while we color hearts and I give hugs. I promise to take pictures.

~I'm looking forward to cooking dinner with my girlfriends tonight, and simply enjoying each others' company. Oh yeah - and exchanging homemade valentines, because that's how we do.

~For your Valentine's Day, I'll leave you with this super romantic song: Replay by Iyaz featuring Sean Kingston.

Books: UltraMarathon Man

UltraMarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner by Dean Karnazes

I'm fairly certain that every other runner has already read this book, and that non-runners won't care, so I'll make this short and sweet.

His first attempt at the Western States 100 was a success. His first attempt at the Badwater failed. He "ran" a marathon at the South Pole. He runs 200+ miles to raise money for children in need of transplants. He runs in the morning, he runs after work, he runs through the night.
The nice thing about Karnazes is that he wasn't always a runner. He ran in middle school and his first year of high school, and then had a 15 year (or so?) break before he took it up again. That's something that a lot of runners can relate to. And, although Karnazes seems crazy in his actions, he's actually pretty level-headed in his approach to running, which is nice.

Most of all, it's just an interesting read to see what his extreme races were like, how his body felt, and the thought process through it all.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Run: 10.2mi/1:39:10

++I really have to wonder what's up with the guy who's out walking his dog in the morning and carries a baseball bat. Is it to be intimidating? Does he hit baseballs for his dog? Is he a scary attacker? I don't know, but I ran right past him and he didn't hit me. I win!

++I had planned a run that involved running across town, out to the restaurant I normally run to, back home, and back out to the restaurant again, which would equal ten miles. Instead, I didn't want to do the out and back a second time, and I made up a really horrible course off the top of my head. It was bad.

++To remedy my bad fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants "plan", I pretended I was Dean Karnazes running the last 4 miles of his first attempt at the Western States 100 miler. Yeah, I wasn't quite Dean Karnazes but it was fun to think of it like that. My legs did hurt.

++The dogs were out in full force today. I hate them.

++Lucy ran almost all of the last 7 miles with me - her longest run ever. She's a champ. The best part is that toward the end I was making loops around my house and when she was feeling spent, she just went home. She's funny like that.

++I was reminded this morning of how scared and sensitive Lucy is. When I went out for my first three miles, I left Lucy tied up. I know she barked the whole time I was gone. When I came back to get her she was barking her head off, and as I approached her I pointed at her and said "I'm going to give you a tranquilizer!", and as I moved to take off her chain, she cowered next to the ground. I had to tell her I was just kidding. Lucy was abused in her formative years and still has quite a bit of fear.

+And I, personally, was just two tenths shy of running my first 30-mile-week ever. I'll take it!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Getting it Done

Things accomplished this morning:

Wrote two Sunday School lessons
Prepped all crafts and activities for Sunday
Finished two attendance charts for Sunday School
Planned my tutoring lesson for this afternoon
Started on valentines
Went to the bank
Went to the papeleria for copies

I went to bed last night realizing that once again I had put off all these things I needed to get done. Monday and Tuesday I feel fine. Wednesday and Thursday pass by. All of a sudden it's Friday and just when I thought I had all weekend to get it all together, I've made plans that take away that time. The kids ended up having a big Valentine's Day party this morning, which cancelled my classes, which was absolutely fine by me.

Once in a while I think I should plan better, use my time more wisely. Then I remember that I've always been like this, and working with an impending deadline helps me get things done.

I wanted to embed a live video of Julieta Venegas on the accordion, but it won't let me embed it. Instead, you can see it here.

Sleeping In

Rest days are hard for me. I have no problem taking a rest day after running 4 days straight, especially when I have a long run to do the next day. Instead, my problem is about sleeping in, because my body doesn't like to do it. I woke up at 3:45, 4:45, 5:08, and finally 6:30 when my alarm went off. I don't know why my body thinks it's okay to do this, but it does. What it means is that I can't get a decent night's sleep. Tomorrow I'll be up early to do that long run again, but Saturday night I'm taking sleeping pills. That's all I have to say about that.

My normal morning routine is to get up at 5:30, although sometimes my body just knows it's time to wake up and a few times this week I was awake at 5:20. I check my e-mail. I spend five minutes convincing myself to get out of my warm bed. I spend another 5 minutes convincing myself to put on cold running clothes. I get ready. I put my shoes on, go outside, and get Lucy off her chain (this is also the point where she leans up against my legs and whines because I've tied her up for the night). Then she barks and jumps around and we're ready to go just as the sun is glowing above the mountains. I get up this early because there are less people, it's cooler, and because breakfast starts at 7:30 at our daycare. I'm excited the sun is coming up earlier.

But this morning I did some other exercises. I don't know why I didn't think of this before - but I ran the stairs in my two story house. Because I live alone, I wasn't bothering anybody by pounding up and down those stairs at 6:30. Unbelievably, I got tired pretty fast. I'll be doing more of these, trying to build on how many I did today.

I'm in the middle of reading Ultra-Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes (which of course I'll review when I'm done), but I came across a quote to share:
"Whether my affliction was clinical is anyone's guess; I never did submit to testing. Some seek the comfort of their therapist's office, others head for the corner pub and dive into a pint, but I choose running as my therapy. It was the best source of renewal there was. I couldn't recall a single time that I felt worse after a run than before. What drug could compete? As Lily Tomlin said, 'Exercise is for people who can't handle drugs and alcohol.'"
SR is giving away BIC headbands on her giveaway today. You can check it out here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Books: Tortilla Flat

Run: 6mi/59:00

Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

When I read any Steinbeck, I feel at home. Whether I enjoy the characters, the plot, the setting, or not, it doesn't matter, because Steinbeck is my man. If I could write a love letter to any author, it'd be Steinbeck. If I could go back in time and watch any author write a book, it would be Steinbeck. If I could sit down and have dinner with an author of my choosing... it'd be Steinbeck. There is something about his writing that I find smart, yet accessible. I don't consider myself a reader of high brow literature (because I'm not), so Steinbeck is the perfect author for me. He novelizes (is that a word?) societal events, he creates witty and interesting characters, and he describes places in a way that makes me want to visit. And somehow he does all of that while writing on my level. Yes, this is my author.

I haven't read Steinbeck in a couple years, so it was still to my surprise when I opened Tortilla Flat and found myself so comfortable in his writing. When I read any Steinbeck, I feel home.
I have to preface my review by saying all of that. Now, I understand that Steinbeck had a sort of fascination with Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and I understand how Tortilla Flat fits into that purpose. It's an enjoyable, quick read about a group of male friends who consistently have to quick wit their way through life. I found myself shaking my head and sighing most of the time, so I didn't quite enjoy the plot of the whole book. However, of course, Steinbeck's writing makes up for it. I would probably place this book at the bottom of my Steinbeck list, but I still enjoyed reading it. Someday, when I finish reading all of Steinbeck's work, I'll rank them. It will be my life's greatest work.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Run: 4mi/37:00

The best part about this is that I maintained a 9 minute mile for the first three miles. This may or may not be a result of going to bed at a decent hour.

Yesterday was overcast, cold, and windy, and it completely ruined my plans for sitting out in the sun to read. But today looks promising, definitely promising.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Looking good, smelling good

Run: 5.3mi/51:30

I pick up most of my classes by their daycare classrooms and lead them to my house, where I hold English class in half of my living room. The children get passed off to me by their teacher, and I grab the hand of the child who is first in line, while the rest hold on to the shirt of the person in front of them. The other day, as I took his hand, a 5 year old said to me "Profe Meghan, you smell good, like cake. I want to eat you." And his teacher and I had a good laugh.

Yesterday I held 4 year old Obed's hand and he said "Profe Meghan, you smell like marshmallow."

It's my hand lotion. Apparently it's a big hit with the preschool boys.

Edited 6 hours later to add: This afternoon, Edgar, in my oldest class, asked me if I had showered this morning. I confirmed that yes, I had. He asked why, then, was my hair still wet. I had to explain that because I have a lot of hair, it just stays wet a long time. And then suddenly, all of my Kinders were smelling my ponytail.

This has got to stop.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hot Enchilada

"It is worth while to be kind and generous," he said. "Not only do such actions pile up a house of joy in Heaven; but there is, too, a quick reward here on earth. One feels a golden warmth glowing like a hot enchilada in one's stomach." - Pilon, in Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

Janae is having a fun giveaway. If I were to win the giveaway, Janae would have the feeling of a hot enchilada in her stomach, for sure. 

I want to win all of the stuff in the giveaway, but mostly the sunglasses because I live in Mexico where it's sunny every day!

Super Sunday

Run: 4.3mi/43:30

Yesterday we went out to our pastor's house.  He and his wife had invited all of our gang over to watch the Super Bowl. We have no TV at our place, so it was nice to be invited by some people who do have TV. There was a lot of food. I won't go into Super Bowl specifics (mostly because I have nothing to say), but I did step outside to take some pictures during the second quarter.

Our pastor and his wife live at the beach about 45 minutes south of us, in a cute little house with a nice garden.
So this is for all of you stuck in the snow/cold/rain/wind. Don't get me wrong - it's still cold here at night and in the early mornings. When I started my run this morning, my nose hurt because it was cold. But I guess the days aren't so bad, eh?

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Fíate de Jehová de todo tu corazón,
    Y no te apoyes en tu propia prudencia. 

Proverbios 3:5

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Run: 8.3mi/1:24:00

I'm slowly working my way back up to what I was doing before the race. Two weeks ago I only did 8 miles for the whole week (that was the week after the race). Last week I did 17. This week, almost 26. Looking good, feeling good.

Nike announced their plans for a GPS watch. Most runners use a Garmin. The new Nike watch hasn't been released yet, so I don't think there are too many opinions about how well it works, but I can tell you one thing right now: it's sexy. It looks about a million times better than a Garmin, that's for sure.
Looking at it makes me pretty happy I didn't ask for a Garmin for Christmas.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bright Lights

Run: 5.3mi/52:00

I wore the winning combo this morning: Pink running shorts, a neon green tech shirt, and to top it all off: my orange watch. I was a little self-conscious about subjecting passersby to that sort of scene, but I shrugged it off. It only got to me when I looked down every once a while and was blinded by my own shirt. The thing is that the shirt is really comfortable and the perfect weight for the chill of the mornings here (and by chill I do mean 44 degrees).

I ran with my new mace this morning. I thought I could stick in the waistband of my shorts, but that didn't last long, so I had to carry it. I do need a better system, though, because it doesn't fit snugly in my hand, it's a little awkward. I will figure it out, though. The only thing I am concerned about is spraying myself in the face. I hope I can at least avoid that tragedy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Make 'Em Laugh

No run. Although I told myself and others that the sore hip didn't matter, when my alarm clock went off this morning, I felt it was a good excuse to stay in bed. It feels fine today, thank goodness. 
Hey - have you guys heard about these new things called Readers and RSS feeds? Oh wait - you already heard? Two years ago? See, I'm really behind when it comes to new technology because... well, I can't think of a good reason other than I'm poor. Yes, I realize that's no excuse for not using a Reader.

Okay, well I just set mine up and it's... it's... amazing. Chances are, if you are reading this and you have a blog, then you're on my Google Reader. Your chances are great because I saw that I don't have very many subscribers (yes, I looked myself up), and I don't follow that many blogs (I can't keep people straight). Now my new obsession is checking my Reader ten times a day. Believe it.
My best friend, Stephanie, and I have a motto, and it's "Bringing joy wherever we go". This usually just means that we like to make random strangers laugh while we're out in public. Last year this usually happened on our monthly trips to Target with our bantering back and forth in front of the poor cashier (and yes, they usually laughed). 

The night before our half-marathon we took a trip to Target together and Stephanie pondered over a water bottle to buy. I stood around, minding my own business, stating that I would probably pick up a disposable water bottle for the race the next day. Then Stephanie suggested something that made me want to hug her. "Do you want to get a bottle? I'll buy it for you. We could get matching water bottles." 

Best friends. Matching water bottles. What more could you ask for? So we stood there, in that aisle, contemplating our best choices. 

"Purple? No way. What is that on that bottle - it looks evil. Who even uses a bottle like that?  Hey - if we're getting matching water bottles, they have to be cute. Aww we're going to have matching water bottles. I get a matching water bottle with my bestie!"

That's when we realized there was another girl in the aisle, and as I looked over at her, I could see her trying to conceal a smile. And that's when I said "We gotta stop, 'cause this girl thinks we're crazy". The girl replied "Ha. No, I'm not listening". Yeah, right.  
We picked out our water bottles. I may be more than 1,000 miles away from my Stephanie, but at least we've got matching water bottles, you know? We're totally mature women in our late twenties. 
Speaking of the half-marathon, my parents arrived home yesterday and brought with them some of the stuff I didn't want to lug on the plane two weeks ago. Included in that were my items from my half-marathon - my shirt and my medal. 

I don't know who in their right mind chooses a shirt this color, but I tried it on and I decided that a Mexican morning can deal with it. I'm seeing a winning combo of lime green shirt and pink running shorts in my future. It's really loose, it has long sleeves, I'm wearing it. But don't tell anyone.
And the medal. The race was put on by the Willamette Valley Road Runners. I'm just happy it's shaped like Oregon.
Also in among my things? A whole lot of books to get started on. A couple of them are old favorites that I dug out of storage to read again. Most are new to me.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Run: 3.4mi/32:00

Let's talk about the Ugg boots. Please?

I used to think they were ugly, and I think I still kind of do. My original reasoning behind asking for a pair of these boots was to just keep warm. On a normal evening here I'm just completely cold, and I figured that sheepskin lined calf height boots just might keep me warmer than say, a thin layer of canvas ala Converse or Vans. And you thought I wasn't smart...

So I got the boots for Christmas (thanks, Mom!) and soon realized how comfortable they were. Warm and comfortable. I started taking to wearing them after long runs, because after I run 11, 12, or 13 miles, I really don't care what anyone thinks, and wearing these boots feels goooooood. Well, that's not true, I do care what people think. I still won't go out in sweatpants. At least not yet. I should aspire to that someday. 

But since being back here in Mexico, I've gotten into the habit of slipping the boots on in the morning for that cold trek to breakfast. It's fast, it's easy, it's warm.

I've gotten used to them, and I like them.
Apparently five year old Alexander like them, too. On Monday, as we sat in a circle and sang, he touched my boot. When we stood up to sing "If You're Happy and You Know It" he said "Profe Meghan, me gustan sus zapatos" (Teacher Meghan, I like your shoes). I ignored it once, trying to keep him focused on our song. He said it again, touching the boots one more time.

"Thanks, Alexander."
"Yeah, I like them."
To appease his fashion sense, I pulled up the leg of my jean to show him that they were boots, and not just shoes. He seemed pleased with this, but wanted more.

"And the other one?"
"It's exactly the same. Let's sing."

I don't know if Alexander likes the softness of the boots, the obvious comfort factor, or if he's trying to win me over, but whatever it is, I like it.
I think I pulled some sort of muscle a little bit this morning. The discomfort went away, but now it's back. Do I ice it? I have no idea. I didn't run that fast this morning, so I'm curious as to how that happened.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Books: In Defense of Food

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan

Someone gave me this book to read. Incidentally, someone also gave me Michael Pollan's other book The Omnivore's Dilemma. Are people trying to tell me something?

While The Omnivore's Dilemma is more of a look into how we get our food, In Defense of Food urges us to look at how we eat. Okay, not just how (as if someone needs to tell me how to insert food into my mouth), but what to choose, how to choose it, and the things to avoid. Pollan starts off the book by delving into America's obsession with "nutritionism" and ends with the food rules, which are simply broken down into: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants". It sounds simple, but when you think about what's being offered in today's supermarkets, it will make you look at everything with a skeptical eye.

That makes it sound horrible, but it's not. Every once in a while it's a good idea to reexamine a part of your life and see where you can be better, whether it's running, parenting, relationships, and the importance of how we feed ourselves is no different.

Runners: I'd highly recommend this book, if you haven't read it already.

Run Run

Run: 5.3mi/53:00

I guess that's all I have to say about that. New book review to come.