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Jan 28

New beginnings

It’s very grey outside right now, at a little past 7 in the morning. Been up since 6, getting Sam off to school, and even though the waking pace for me is slow, it could be slower; I was up at midnight with an upset stomach – my own, for a change – and am wishing I had time for an extra cup of coffee before I have to walk the dog. I need to do that before getting Gabe up in twenty minutes, though, so the time is slipping past me quickly. (Unrelated, after reading an article about grammar myths last night, I honestly tried to start that last sentence with “But,” as I was assured was legal. It gave me twitches.)

"Get more sleep, Woman. You're being strange again."

“Get more sleep, Woman. You’re being strange again.”

At least it’s supposed to be a bit warmer today than the past few days, which bodes well for my run. I went and pulled the trigger on something I’d been considering for a bit: I hired a running coach. Now, I’m not under the impression that I’m some sort of advanced, elite runner, about to break into professional competition or something. No, this is for the opposite reason. I’d sort of like to make it through this training cycle without any need for medical help, you know? Not that I’ve had any serious running injuries (the torn shoulder and cracked ribs only sort of count, not being “running injuries” exactly, except as how they related to core strength and agility), but if we can keep my IT band and my lower legs from griping, I’ll be thrilled.

She’s a great gal, young, from South Africa, and she’s got rather ambitious (read: scary) plans for my training. For starters, she looked at the plan I was thinking of using for Lakefront 50, similar to the one I used for JFK, and deemed it woefully low on mileage. Eep? She also was appalled at my previous dropping of all things speed-related when I got into higher mileage. She’s only been working at me for a couple of weeks now, and I can say I am definitely spending more time at a gallop than a trot. Should be interesting to see where this goes. Today, my assignment is for a “Moderate Pace long run at least 6 or 7 miles. Nothing below 9 min miles.” It’s the “at least” that has me wondering; waiting to hear back from her about what precisely that means.

(And I just had to take a break to do the whole dog thing, and the ground is deceptively icy and treacherous. I think I’ll wait for a few hours’ more melting before attempting “moderate pace.”)

So that’s me, and Eric is also running again, since year’s start. He’s really sticking to it this time – not as a “New Year’s Resolution” thing, though the timing happened that way, but as part of a generalized effort to refocus and self-improve. In the past, I’ve seen him prioritize so many things and people over himself, much like his mother did, so I’m beyond thrilled to see him take this time for his own. So awesome.

Sam starts his new semester today. We had his conference on Thursday, and he managed As and Bs in all his classes. That was a relief; he’s had so many ups and downs all year that I had no idea what sort of grades to expect. His teacher assured me that was typical of most first-semester 6th graders, just getting used to more self-reliance and greater expectation of independence. I hope second semester is more level; it has math (and “math lab,” as well), a subject that troubled him in past years, but maybe the way he’s become slightly less shy recently will allow him to ask for help when he needs it. The math teacher is a really cool guy (think motorcycles and ink), but Sam…he just tends to clam up when he’s lost, and that won’t fly anymore.

Both boys were exhausted and had a (much protested, yet futilely resisted) early night last night; Gabe had his first slumber party the night before (“I got only a half-hour of sleep!” he says), and Sam spent the weekend in Green Lake at a middle school retreat with our church. Tons of fun were had, but it stacked up a bit, so they were at each others’ throats most of the evening (with Gabe intermittently shaking his fists and wailing at the sky, operatically, about how “every night is the same! Fighting and whining and arguing! I hate my life!”). Hopefully, the extra sleep they got after I firmly tucked them into bed will mean better moods today.

According to Sam's camera evidence, the kids were spiritually enriched via hallway sledding.

According to Sam’s camera evidence, the kids were spiritually enriched via hallway sledding.

Gah. So much to get done; so little time. And we had a big event on Friday night that I really want to give proper attention, not as a “oh, by the way” item, so remind me to do that tomorrow. (Preview: it involves Gabe, a stage, and applause.)

(Note: he does not really attend school with aliens.)

(Note: he does not really attend school with aliens.)

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