Thursday, March 31, 2011

'Thon Thursday

We're still moving into the new apartment (which we'll blog about soon) and I have a paper to finish (which I most likely wont blog about), but consistency in training is key, right? So my feet started feeling better by the end of last week. There was a 5k on Saturday that was supposed to be really fast so I wanted to run it for a post-HS PR, but the snow Friday changed that, since the run was up in the trails of Provo canyon. The first mile was super snowy and windy, the second had a stretch of switchbacks that were iced over and had to be slid down and so it wasn't until the last 1.5 miles on the Provo River trail that I could really get up to speed (and even that was icy enough to make me run carefully). My goal was to go out fast so that as few people would pack the snow and make it slippery in front of me. So I started really fast and got in first and stayed in first 'til the end of the race. Some people bunched up behind me on the downhill because my 5 Fingers didn't have as much tread as their sneakers, but besides that I was able to stay out in front pretty good. Everyone asked about the 5 Fingers, which worked great, even in the snow and we won something like $70 dollars in gift certificates as a prize for winning the race. So overall, it went great, even though they called the wrong name when they gave me the medal for winning. Here are the results.

This week has been fine. My heels have been a little sore as I've tried to run heavier in my 5 fingers. I have my longest run so far this weekend, at 20 miles, which I'll try to fit in before conference starts, but might cut into Saturday morning a bit.

My training schedule. You'll see that I'm considering doing 2 marathons now, including one in my hometown of Morgan. We'll see.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Iraq vs. Libya

This video has been given a lot of play on the internets lately, I thought we might analyze it a little bit (no need to watch the whole thing to get the tenor of the piece):

Lets look at the policies, and leave off the character attacks:

1) A full scale military invasion and occupation of a country is completely different than bombing military targets. It is especially different when those military targets are being actively used to slaughter political dissenters.  Saddam's mistreatment of his citizens to was used to justify removing him. Not much discussed was the fact that most of that military slaughter of his people (mostly Kurds) took place 10 years earlier when the US failed to militarily back a rebellion that they stirred up in the northern regions of Iraq. Libyans were being slaughtered now.

2) WMD's. When were WMD's ever used as a justification for this military operation (you can call it a war if you like, I don't think we're there)? They were certainly the main justification for the Iraq war. Maybe Bush didn't lie about believing there were WMD's in Iraq, but he certainly picked and chose his sources, ignoring the UN and US experts and basing most of his information on the reports of Ahmed Chalabi, who had little qualification to supply such information and who was most certainly lying out of political motivations, not only about WMD's but also Iraq's ties to al-Qaeda, which were also non-existent, but still used to justify a war.

3) The UN: The UN never signed off on an invasion into Iraq, no matter what the video implies. Sure, some allies went into Iraq, but they went in at the insistence of the US, not the larger international community. Sure, the security council doesn't speak for the whole world, but I am much more comfortable with that larger collection of countries undertaking policing actions than I am with the US taking it upon themselves to police, along with whoever they can convince to come along with them. What's that you've been saying for so long, the UN never does anything but just passes empty resolutions? Oh wait, they just did something.


I'm not entirely comfortable with our actions in Libya. I don't think we used all the political options we could, but the active slaughter going on justifies some rush and distinctly separates the Libya intervention from the Iraqi I think the one legitimate criticism (along with blind followers of Obama) in the video is that European anxiety over oil in part drove this action (although letting Qaddafi win and return to selling oil would have resolved the crises much more rapidly), however, the security council has a majority of representation outside of Europe (though some of those abstained). What really upsets me is that the restrained military action towards Libya, intervening in an active government slaughter of rebels, is compared to the wholesale and misguided occupation of a foreign country. The comparison is ridiculous. A more apt comparison would be Desert Storm (although Libya invaded no foreign country, Libya had basically split along political lines when Qadaffi started advancing) or Rwanda, where lack of international intervention led to an unimpeded genocide. Are you really saying that we should try to pursue political options for a few more months before doing anything militarily about Libya? Or is this just another desperate attempt to justify the debacle that was the war in Iraq?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Speech therapy

Our pediatrician has been a little worried about Theodore's speech development, and especially about his hearing since he failed the hearing test in the hospital and I totally forgot to go get it done again.

I wasn't terribly worried that he wouldn't turn out OK, but it's really hard to assess his progress myself when I only have super-smart girl toddlers to compare him too that speak in complete sentences at 18 months. I know boys talk later and are slower at these kinds of things, so I'm trying not to take it too personally. I figure that I read to him and he's around adult conversation a lot more than most toddlers... we play outside and go to the library for story time weekly. I'm exposing him to the world and he is soaking it all in, I can tell. He's just quiet, for now. He pretty much doesn't say any words... sometimes he says "mama" or "maaaaaa" which I think is milk.... but other than that we just get random sounds (he does consistently say "moooo" when we see a cow-type animal). He can sign about 10 words as well, so we're pretty confident he has the capability to learn more.

We had a speech therapist come to our home and evaluate him for the Provo Early Intervention Program, and from how he scored, he qualifies for speech therapy. Before I had a kid I didn't think I'd be in to this sort of thing as I'm trying to just accept him and let him progress at his own pace, but it's free and they come to my house so why not? Right? I figure it can't hurt and he seemed to enjoy playing with the little games the speech therapist brought last time. Plus, she was really nice AND a vegetarian. I can't imagine what you really do for speech therapy for a toddler that doesn't even really sit still... it'll be interesting to watch. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

'Thon Thursday

So I had a really great weekend, with a good tempo run on Friday and a great 18 miler on Saturday. My goal was to average under 8 minute miles and I ended up at 7:53, which made me quite happy. It was a beautiful run coming down out of Provo canyon and following the Provo river trail. My foot started hurting me at mile 16, but I finished. It ended up being hurt worse than I thought, probably a strain of one of the muscles, so I've taken it easy this week, and though there is still a slight twinge, I feel like its finally better. It is 9:00 at night and I am debating going for some laps around the gym, but I might just give my foot one more day off. It was a traumatic day, with Theo going in for surgery and me presenting my capstone paper for middle east studies (I'll post about that later). So going to bed early might be in order. I've signed up for a 5k up Provo canyon this weekend and I would like to see how well I can do with some rest, as opposed to the one I ran a few weeks ago coming off of a hard week of training. It should be a fund day in the park, either way. If anyone wants to come join us, it should be fun (and relatively easy) 5k.

I was going to post my training chart, but it does something weird to the HTML of the blog, so I'll just start linking to it here.

Also, I've started running in my five fingers. Because of the pain in my foot, I haven't given them a good run, but I've been walking in them a ton, and in addition to seeming to help my foot, they are all sorts of comfortable and a great conversation piece.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Skip this if you don't want to hear about our kid's teeth

We went to a pediatric dentist today. Just the appointment was traumatic in itself... Theodore HATES anyone messing with his mouth. It took three people holding him down to get an x-ray. He has about four cavities on his front teeth and a few spots on his molars that are soft.

Meaning, we get to go to the surgery center on Thursday where he will be put under general anesthesia to get them filled. Lovely. Also, we are strictly forbidden to night-nurse, ever. Sigh and tear and... dread.

The dentist said it was probably due to poor nutrition while his bones and teeth were developing during pregnancy. And considering for the first 20 weeks I was puking my guts out and eating tomato soup, saltines, and peppermint tea, I can see why we are having problems. If someone had told me back then my fetus needed calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus to grow strong teeth and bones, I might have been able to force down some smoothies or ice cream or something. Well, better luck next time (insha'allah).

But... thanks Austin for the article. I would have never looked at his teeth if I hadn't read it.... and now we can avoid serious dental problems in the future because we are being proactive to fix the issue now. Phew.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What the heck am I supposed to feed my child!?

Here's the thing blog readers: I've become a little too obsessed with eating habits lately. Between Kayla's whole foods posts and Austin's sharing of an article on tooth decay and a raw foods diet based on the work of Dr. Weston Price, I am currently on the verge of collapse. I keep looking horrified in our fridge and cabinets at the boxes upon boxes of toxic grains and the ultra-pasteurized milk and the processed Annie's cheddar bunnies! Now, mind you, we are healthy eaters, and I have been since my single days. I was known to throw together some stir-fried tempeh and kale greens for dinner on a regular basis. We eat less weird stuff now but still our meals usually consist of beans, lentils, quinoa, bulgur wheat, homemade bread, and a handful of different veggies and fruits. But, we also have some processed food like crackers and cereals and the occasional frozen pizza (I have a weakness for Totino's... WHY, oh, WHY?)

I've been pondering this a lot lately because A) I'm having a hard time getting Theodore to eat much of anything that is not strawberries,  bananas, oranges, or bunny crackers.... and B) I think he may have tooth decay (scary!) He has a spot on his tooth that was recently discovered by me today after I finished reading up on childhood tooth decay. I may be overreacting, and it may be nothing, or it may be a huge divine coincidence that I caught it. He has a little bit of a hole on his front tooth near the gumline, the same tooth that has a little crack on its jagged edge. I started doing a little research, and it's not uncommon for toddlers to have tooth decay! Now, I kind of knew this already, but I thought it was usually attributed to baby bottle mouth from drinking out of bottles or drinking tons of juice. But now I'm reading that night-nursing in a toddler MAY cause tooth decay... and we night-nurse.... A LOT (of course, there are others that stand by the claim that says breastfeeding absolutely can never cause dental caries).

There are also a variety of other factors like my prenatal diet, his nutrition during tooth formation (only breast milk and the occasional bite of falafel.... oh yeah, and all the FREAKING CANDY those Egyptians gave him.... damn them!), and genetics. Now, I have awesome teeth with nary a cavity but Tim has a mouthful of cavities and crowns and root canals, oh my! But is it really genetic, or is it the fact that maybe his mother didn't have the best nutrition when she was pregnant or he didn't have the best nutrition growing up, or is it the fact that Utah doesn't flouridate its water (damn Libertarians!)?

Oh geez, I'm getting all worked up about this.

And to add to all of this, we (meaning Tim and I) had a long debate about drinking raw milk and alternative medicine and etc, etc. He's not so sure about any of it... but we'll continue to discuss the matter and figure it out. There is so much that is hard to prove but I'm a believer in chiropracty, essential oils, and an holistic approach to our bodies rather than over-medicating and over-diagnosing.

I've also learned where I can buy raw milk in Orem. I think we might switch over to raw dairy, whole sprouted grains, organic produce, grass-fed meat and eggs. Thankfully, we'll be gardening this season since we have space in our backyard, so we'll have free (or relatively cheap) produce for a good while. And I know there are a number of local farms where we can get meat or eggs.

I have a feeling our food budget will be greatly increasing next month.

That being said, Tim also raises an interesting point: should we increase the amount of money we spend on food to increase our health a little bit (like, we could stick to store-bought produce and grains and milk rather than going the extra step to get it local and organic and raw), or should we donate the money to help feed those that are without or with little, where it would do a world of difference in their lives but maybe only minimally improve ours?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Retail extravaganza

Sometimes... we get on a roll with this whole buying thing and go a little overboard. Today was the REI Member's Only Garage Sale, and Casey really wanted to go, so naturally we went along. Tim and I having really been wanting "five fingers," or shoes for barefoot running. I've never been any good at running because my feet always hurt so bad because of the high arches, so I'm hoping with these I can strengthen my feet and it will work out better. Long story short, there was a drawing to get in, and I did not get a pair at the Garage Sale... Tim did though, and besides a rip along the seam, they are in great shape and were only $34. I ended up buying a pair at full price, but I think it'll be worth it because I'm not sure I'll like them and REI has an unconditional guarantee on everything. Hence, the reason they have garage sales, to get rid of the merchandise that's been returned throughout the year. There was some sweet stuff like BOB Revolutions and Chariots and nice gear, but we ended up getting just the shoes (I had a nice North Face fleece but Tim set it down and lost it) and missed out on a lot because of the lottery thing. Also funny was that we set down our Boba carrier and an REI employee took it back and put it on the racks to be sold.

After REI, Ikea was having another "Eat for Free" day so we hit that up next. After spending $87 on lunch for five adults and two kids, we spent $107 on random stuff for us, the Lees, and Melissa's mom (who was with us today) and so it came out to be a pretty good deal. Now, normally we would never spend so much on the food, but we got the works with drinks and desserts and Gogurts and chocolate milk for the kids, and everyone had a nice time. It wasn't quite as cool as last time because we were all kind of tired and the kids were getting cranky at all the shopping, but it was still cool. And we came home with:

Ever since Theodore played with Sarah's at game night, I've been thinking of getting one. He LOVES drawing, especially with chalk so I think he will like it. We're going to wait to play with it though until we move (unless there is a desperate boring afternoon on day, but the weather is supposed to be nice all week).

And we got other random items like a night light, under bed storage, bath mat, and popsicle molds. We almost bought a dining room table and couch for our future place of residence since we won't have anything, but I've instead opted for scouting out KSL and yard sales in the coming weeks. Ikea is cheap, but used is cheaper AND better for the environment. But where are you going to find a used bath mat? Yish.

Speaking of bath mats, I can't wait to have a BATH TUB. We are moving in t-minus one week plus some days. Anyone want to come help me pack?

I love giveaways

I love blog giveaways. I haven't really won anything that cool... two free fro-yo coupons and some video editing software (that is cool actually... I just have never gotten around to using it) BUT my sister Lauren just won an ORBIT TRAVEL SYSTEM from Babble, worth about $900. I don't actually see the big deal about Orbit, and I would totally just sell it and buy something else sweet. I think probably because we don't drive anywhere, so a cool car seat/stroller combo doesn't appeal to me, and we didn't push Theodore in a stroller until he like a year old and I plan on toting the next baby around the same way. But still awesome that Lauren won it.

That being said... Progressive Pioneer is having an awesome giveaway of "No Plastic" utensil kits and wooden toys from Enchanted Cupboard. Both look amazing... you should check them out. And enter the giveaway because I love it when people I know win giveaways! Yay for Lauren!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lullabies for Theodore

Tonight it took an especially long time  to get Theodore to go to sleep, and I always lay down with him in the bed and nurse and sing until he falls asleep. I usually just stick with old favorites like Primary songs and nursery rhymes, but after about half an hour I had exhausted the usuals and was trying to come up with new songs to sing. I had a sudden craving for Death Cab for Cutie songs, and realized that I had forgotten the words to a lot of my favorites. So, I have renewed my love of them through a Grooveshark playlist, and I'm remembering how surreal their songs feel and how complex their lyrics are. They remind of a simpler and more complicated time in my life... before I met Tim and settled down into the life we are living now.

I think is our new bedtime ritual song... I love it:

I Will Follow You into the Dark

Death Cab for Cutie | Myspace Video

Blogging about Death Cab for Cutie reminded me of all the other music I used to listen to and dream about... I'm sure I've mentioned my mad lesbian crush on Ani DiFranco before. She is an earth goddess born into the flesh. Her music speaks to me. I went to her concert with friend Elisse back in the summer of 2008, and it was probably the greatest night of my life. I'm not even exaggerating. Elisse and I did not even know each other and it was the first time we hung out, but how can you not do some good ole female bonding over Ani and her music!? I remember when "Untouchable Face" came on, we danced and jumped around and screamed the lyrics. Yes, there are a few very explicit words in the chorus, but how can you not? I've never felt so liberated and alive. Weird, but true. And the two of us were both engaged/seriously dating so it's not like we had annoying men in our lives to be angry at. It just feels good to scream that word at the top of your lungs and everyone around you is doing it too.

I really need to go to another Ani concert.

And Ani DiFranco isn't just a raving lesbian feminist either... she's a motherly, natural-birthing, breastfeeding feminist. I have a beloved issue of Mothering magazine passed down to me from Valerie Hudson that holds a cherished spot on our bookshelf. Mothering magazine + Ani on the cover + main article of Ani talking about her home birth and breastfeeding her darling little girl = the best gift ever. And Dr. Hudson had no idea at the time how much I loved Ani DiFranco, she was just passing on some old magazines...

I love the second comment: "Ani is proof that God is a woman"

Ani DiFranco - Smiling Underneath from Artists Den on Vimeo.

Mmmmmm. I'm off to bed now that I've had my fix.

Marathon Thursday

So, in order to keep my motivation up mid-week, I think I am going to start posting how my Marathon training is going (I might switch this to Marathon Mondays so it rhymes, but we'll see)

Here's my schedule so far: 

MonTues IntrvlsWed HillThurs HillsFriday TmpoSat LongRacesTotalEnds
648.567Run for Red 5k31.53/5/2011
635356Riverton Half283/26/2011
6353520SL 10 Miler/Win Cir Half424/2/2011
9686814Ogden 10k514/9/2011
968687SLMarathon Half444/16/2011
9686821Fri SJor 10k/Win Cir 30k584/23/2011
968687Cake Walk 5k444/30/2011
9686813.1Provo Half50.15/7/2011
6333126.2UV Marathon42.26/11/2011
Days DoneConfirmed Races

Map key (skip over if you don't really care): Everything is in miles, the races in red I am for sure doing, the ones in black I'm thinking of doing and are on the Saturday they are next to. The boxes in green are the days I've done. Tuesday I do some intervals, like fast, slow, fast, slow. Wednesday I run steady up one of the many long hills in Provo. Thursday I go up and down one of the steep hills next to campus 7 or 8 times, Friday I try to run my marathon pace (7:15 min/mile) for a certain distance and then Saturday is my long run. 

So far things have been going great. I've only missed one day a week so far and I want to keep that as my standard. Not missing any days would be great, but sometimes things come up. My Garmin watch has worked better than I even hoped, which is saying a lot. If your looking for a smart running investment for a committed runner, check these things out. The long runs are what I've felt best about. Both the 12 and the 15 I averaged less than 8 min/mile which was my goal, even though the 15 was only a couple seconds faster. I want to keep that pace up through my first 20 mile run and then try to get faster for my next to 20+ mile run.

Surprises so far:

I've almost completely given up my expensive running shoes and now just run in my old cross country flats all the time. I've been wearing huraches and going barefoot long enough that I think the musscles of my feet reject the shoes now because my feet KILL every time I finish a run in them. Maybe I'll try to ease back into my running shoes, because I know they have benefits too, but maybe not.