Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Disclaimer: I never read The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and I didn't know much about the story at all. I should have read it, considering when it came out I was still in the teaching world, but, I did not.

If Martin Scorsese is directing a film, you just go to see it. A huge departure from his other movies, Hugo focuses on an orphan boy who lives in a Paris train station, and struggles to stay hidden. He holds close a treasure his father found, and is determined to keep it and fix it, as his father always wanted to do. A run-in with a shop owner changes everything for Hugo and he has to fight to keep what is his. Fortunately, a beautiful, intricate story unfolds.
We went to see the movie in 3D. This wasn't our intention but was our only choice for an evening showing at this particular theater. The 3D didn't seem to add much to the visuals, other than some cool clock gears here and there.

However, the visuals were stunning in their own right - the costumes and the scenery added an incredible depth to the story. And the story was good. I felt it was a little long, or lagging in some places, but the scenery and the acting made up for it. I also thought that the story felt incredibly original and a nice break from many of the kids' movies that are out today.

Monday, December 19, 2011

12k Race (wherein I want to die)

Well, it happened.

I ran that 12k yesterday.

A pretty good way to sum it up is to say that in the middle of the race I thought to myself, "I hate races. I'm never running another race again." And then at the end of the race I thought, "hey, that was okay".

The 12ks of Christmas race was held in Kirkland, Washington. I was encouraged to come run the race by Stevie, Adam's sister. She started running last winter, and has run a few races. I imagined that signing up for a 12k would help motivate me to get back into the running shape I was in before.

When signing up for the race, I mentioned to Stevie, "I should check out the elevation map on this thing", knowing that hills and inclines are not my best friends. Stevie replied, "Kirkland's flat!" Aha! Okay! Spoken just like somebody who knows what they are talking about.
Except she lied to me, and by the time I was already chugging up the second huge hill I was mentally shaking a fist at her. Unfortunately, she was long gone, in front of me.

The first half was brutal. Absolutely brutal. We realized after we arrived at the race that there was a larger hill at the very beginning. We thought this was doable: attack that hill and then the rest had to be downhill or flat. So, so wrong.

Instead, there were big hills for almost the entire first half of the race. And like Stevie commented after the race, you would get down with a hill, level out, and then go up another hill.

I made fairly good time during the first mile and a half (about a 9 minute mile), and that gave me a good head start, but those hills really did a number on me. I even had to stop and walk 2 times, and I've never walked in a race before.

Fortunately, there were downhills, and I made good time at the end of the race. My official time was 1:17:33, which makes for an average of 10:25 miles. I can't help but think that that's not bad for having walked a couple times, and for those stupid hills.

I also can't help but think what my time would have been had the course been flat. Grrr...

Adam snapped this picture of me at the end of the race.
 And this picture of Stevie and I in our post-race eating frenzy. No, I do not know why I'm making that face.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

23 1/2 hours

I found this video on Mark Remy's blog at . I think it's great, not just because the drawings are great (they are) or the presentation is interesting (it is), but because of the message (which is not just about running).

Czech it out!


Child door locks are great. They work effectively about 98.8% of the time (estimate). Every time a little child tries to escape from my car when another car whizzes by is another chance for those child door locks to save her life. Also, it's fun to laugh under my breath when they try to get out and they mutter "what... ?"

But today... today. I had parked the car at a funny angle when I dropped the oldest off at school, and the car parked next to us was really close. To avoid scratching up their car (and my car door) while trying to buckle in the little one, I devised a plan. The plan was to go down as such:

1) open door, hold door
2) let little one crawl in
3) shut her door
4) let her settle herself in her seat (as she MUST MUST MUST do every day, no matter what)
5) go around to other backseat door
6) lean over
7) buckle little one

This was a great plan. I felt confident. 

I slowly started step number 6 when I realized that I needed to get a little closer in order to buckle her carseat  buckle. And just as I crawled in, and the door latched behind me, I realized - child safety locks. The door had not completely shut, but it was latched, and although I wished with all my might that it would open, it would not.

Commence crawling over front seats, which, incidentally, is not easy to do in a small sedan, nor on a steep incline.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I don't usually write about movies on my blog, as I usually don't have much to say besides "I loved it!" or "It was terrible!" A great movie reviewer, I am not.

However, I would like to take this minute to say that Manfriend and I saw The Muppets on Sunday, and it was awesome. We, as two fully grown adults, sat there smiling and laughing the entire time.
As an added emphasis on how great this movie is: I did not grow up watching the Muppets. I'm not sure why. I remember Muppet Babies, but not the regular Muppets show or Muppets movies. Still, I thought it was a fantastic movie. So much so, that when I got home I e-mailed my sister in law to ask if my nieces had seen it yet. And when I got to work yesterday, I gushed about it. A good time, that movie is.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Running Week

Last week I decided I had to get serious about my running. Of course, this doesn't usually happy two weeks before a race, but in this instance, it did. After my 8-mile run, I did 3 easy miles on Monday. On Wednesday I did 4 miles, but did fartleks (short spurts of fast running, followed by easy running) for 2 of those miles. The fartleks helped so much, as on Friday I did 5 miles, and made awesome time. Okay, not awesome, but incredibly improved, and I was able to hold it for 5 miles.

On Sunday I set out to do 9 miles. I only ended up doing 8.75, but I stuck it out. I did not get euphoria, I did not feel super great, but I did it. This week I'm taking it easy and will probably run some fartleks tomorrow (Wednesday), an easy run on Friday, and the race is on Sunday.

I'm pretty nervous for Sunday, as I have no idea what my timing will be like at all, but I'm excited to run a race again.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Running on Autopilot

Well, that felt good.

I went into my run this morning thinking (knowing?) it would be a complete dud. As I continue to lengthen my long runs every Sunday, I assume that each one will be harder than the last. It's nice when it doesn't work out like that. Last week's 7-miler saw me counting everything (miles, minutes, paces), out of desperation for it to be over.

I had a girls night last night with my bestie, Steph. We ate Korean bbq, and then afterward got candy, soda, and sat down to watch Bridesmaids on DVD. I knew that was a bad idea the night before a long run, but I did it anyway. I dreaded my run this morning, thinking I would be uncomfortable, tired, and cranky the entire time.

Not so. I ran out to the 4 mile mark, turned around, and felt completely fine. After a while I realized I was on autopilot. I had found a sweet spot of a pace (although much too slow, in my opinion), and felt the flow. It was actually fairly amazing that it felt this good. I had only run about 7 miles in total this week, and I thought that would have hurt my run. Instead, I felt great, breezing through the run.

While I do believe that it is sometimes beneficial to monitor the many facets of running, doing it on autopilot proved this morning's run fun.