In honor of it being almost Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share some of the things I've been loving in my life lately.
- My Valentine This is a constant love for me. Not just "lately" but "always". As many of you know, we have a marriage journal that we write to each other in from time to time. It was fun taking a few minutes to write to him this morning while my daughter finished her preschool valentines. Gosh, this man is special to me!
- New Brooks Launches There are very few things in my running world as sweet as putting on a new pair of Launch shoes. Oh baby, I love these shoes. I really hope that Brooks never ever ever stops making them because they really are a great shoe for me. Right out of the box, they feel like a small slice of running heaven. And I LOVE the new colors!!
- Early Reading It wasn't too long ago that my oldest daughter (now almost 7) was learning to read and now my almost 5 year old is too. It has been so fun to watch her pick up these little B.O.B books and sound out the words to simple stories like Dot and Dot and Mit. I'm so proud of her and my teacher heart is especially happy. I've also been loving this time in my daughters' life where we can all enjoy a good read aloud from a longer book at night instead of just picture books. This week been living in the book Matilda, written by one of my all-time favorite authors, Roald Dahl. I used to love reading this book to my students and now I'm having a great time reading it to my girls. We've flown through it and will be done in less than a week's time. It is really neat to see them both excited about it and have them beg for just one more chapter!
- Story Time/Early Literacy I may not be teaching in the classroom right now but I'm still finding ways to fill my teacher heart. One of the things I've been doing that has made me feel connected with the world of early literacy and children is the leading of story-time once a month to a group of preschool kids. I always leave feeling happy and energized. How can one NOT be energized after being part of a Bear Hunt and the Bean Bag Dance?! I'm also excited to read some Valentine's books to each of my daughters' classes this week as well. So far, my passion for early literacy instruction, teaching kids, and helping kids love reading and writing is still a pretty HUGE part of my heart. This is a good sign that I'm not done with this field yet and I will most likely return to my graduate studies and teaching in the classroom someday after my kids are older.
- Sports Beans I tried these sports beans for the first time on my 20 mile run yesterday. Although I wasn't running fast enough to "need" a lot of fuel, I do think that these little guys will be something I use in the future for racing. I used one bag gradually over the course of my run, taking a few at a time with sips of water. I'm pretty sure I will like this method of fueling better than gels. We shall see. I do think that I will want to wear my water belt in Boston or at least have a hand held water bottle that I can throw away if I need to. It is nice for me to be able to take sips of water when I WANT and not just at the water stations. Especially if I will be fueling gradually over the course of the marathon instead of taking my fuel in full doses at set times. Even with gels, I like to take a little bit at a time over a few miles as opposed to just taking the whole gel at once.
- Training My training has been going really well these past couple of weeks. I've felt strong and my body is responding well to the mileage and workouts. Knocking on wood here as I hope it continues to go smoothly. Last week I finished the week with a 20 miler (yesterday) that brought me to 68 miles. 68 miles WITH some speed and tempo and an easy 20 miler @ 8:13 average pace ending with 3 miles close to marathon pace. This makes me happy! I felt strong the entire 20 miles and never felt like I was dying or too tired. For most of the run, I was pretty consistent with low 8's or 7's for my miles. And my average is with an almost 9 minute mile warm-up to start.
- Sushi Dates Last night my daughter and I tried a new restaurant for our sushi date. I LOVE that my six year old loves sushi and that we can share it on our special dates. Last night she tried some salmon rolls and even gobbled up the fish eggs on top. So cool! Next time she said she'd try some octopus.
- Movies I don't watch much television or movies but the other night I found this movie Morning Glory on netflix and really enjoyed it. I know it isn't new but it was new to me and I didn't want to turn it off even to go to bed at a decent time before my 20 mile run the next day. Made me smile and definitely entertaining.
- Recovery Food Okay, really bad picture here. Gross even. But I had to take a picture of this dish as I stuffed my face on the way to church after my 20 mile run. This was the food my husband made for me for post run recovery. So Yummy! It consisted of quinoa and red/brown rice blend, chicken sausage, broccoli, spinach, Udo's oil, chia seeds and a bit of hot sauce.
I'd love to hear what you are loving lately!
So, What ARE you loving lately??
Do you like Valentine's Day and what do you do to celebrate? I already said that I love Valentine's Day but I don't make it about buying a bunch of stuff. We make our own valentines with the kids and my husband and I just make an extra effort to write a love note to each other, light a candle or two and sometimes enjoy a special meal together. Nothing fancy really. And he knows me enough by now to know that I would rather have a hand written note on scratch paper ANY DAY over a store bought card with a generic message in it. If he does get a card he knows better than to just sign his name after some message that was written by Hallmark (one of my greatest pet peeves).
Happy Monday! Hope to get caught up with you tonight.Amanda