So long, January, I hardly knew ye.
I suppose there’s no way I can do a comprehensive recap since my last post, and I am increasingly ashamed at the intermittent nature of this blog during the last couple of years, so regard this as a tentative attempt to get back into some kind of groove.
Maybe picking up an actual running/training schedule will help with this. Bonus: it happens to be related to a bit of news in Grimsaburger-ville. Spouse, Nuala, and I will be headed to Ottawa and upstate New York at the end of May to race and visit with a lovely family we miss desperately. I will be doing my second half marathon with Lenore. The good news is that the distance seems perfectly reasonable now, and I’ve been running very well since I invited Prozac back into my life a month and a half ago. I did 10 miles at an easy pace last weekend and felt awesome. I even spent the last 2.5 chatting with Mom on the phone (I run with my iPhone to track my pace and play podcasts…and talk to whomever calls) and didn’t lose my breath, which I think means I was hitting precisely the right pace for an easy run. I’m being more careful about my nutrition (stuff like this and this) and I think that’s making a huge difference, along with integrating more actual speedwork into my training week. It’s safe to say now, at the tender age of 34 1/2, I’m in the best shape of my life; more importantly, I have a good idea of how to go about building from here. Bring it on!
Nuala is doing fantastic. Her teacher stopped me on the way in to pick her up the other day and said, “I just have to tell you. Nuala is so funny. She is just so. Funny.” She proceeded to tell me stories about how expressive she is (putting her hands to her face and saying, “Oh, dear! This piece won’t fit!” or running into Ms. Jenn after being in the art studio all morning and saying, “Ms. Jenn! I’ve forgotten to shake your hand this morning!”) and how delightful she is at school. I said how difficult it is to tell whether she’s really funny or whether we, as her parents, think she’s so funny because we’re her parents, but we knew for sure that being in this school had done wonderful things for her. She doesn’t throw tantrums anymore, I said, and because of that, she’s kind of teaching us to parent differently–we’re more patient than knee-jerk disciplinary, I think. Her teacher then gave us a great compliment: she said she can tell that Nuala is listened to at home, because she pays attention to adults differently, more cooperatively than many of her peers. It is awfully nice to have some confirmation that we’re on the right track, and to know that Nuala is getting consistent messages about her behavior and abilities at home and school. A side note: she apparently has a higher than average aptitude for art? Ms. Jenn says she goes about painting and drawing with an unusual amount of focus and manipulates a paintbrush with more ease and confidence than her peers.
In short, she’s a genius and we’re doing everything right. Ta-da!
As for the stuff that takes up most of my week…things are busy in the office. I think of fall as the busy time, but I’ll be swamped until spring break, and I think that’s likely to continue year after year. On top of my regular work schedule, I’m teaching a course this spring and I’ll be spending this weekend traveling to Washington, DC to wrangle with 70 applications for a national scholarship to study Urdu in Lucknow, India. I am really, really looking forward to the solitude that travel and room service encourage, but I do still have to get through a massive pile of applications. I just got an email that reminded me I haven’t submitted my scores yet: that’s because I haven’t finished reading the damned applications. Word to the wise: never expect anyone in academia to deliver anything on time, unless you consider “two weeks late” to be “on time.”
I wish I had a little daylight in my schedule to do a lot of things, but mostly to do the visiting I need to do. It’s been a while since we’ve seen family, and it’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen my Florida family. Hopefully there is more travel in our near future!