Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Countdown to the Marathon - T Minus 20 Weeks

Another week of training forthe Disney Marathon coming up on January 13, 2013. My training log for T Minus 20 weeks (August 22-28):

Miles ran:  20 (6 mi, 6mi, 3mi, 5mi)

Miles scheduled: 24 (but in my defense, I was tapering for a Half Marathon race this weekend and didn’t want to do a long run)

Cross training: Pilates x 2

My weight:  X – 1. Yay, lost one pound!

Running song o’ the week:  “No Air” by Jordan Sparks (my tribute to the awful humidity)

Audiobook:  7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It’s the abridged version, but I’m really enjoying this book. Should finish it this week. 

General Notes:  My legs were just so tired this week and I had breathing trouble with some of my more humid runs. I am looking forward to cooler, less-humid weather! I’m also looking forward to the kids going to school so I can get into a regular routine. I had my first “dark moment” yesterday when I could barely get through a 5 mile run – thinking why in the world am I doing this?  It’s not the last time that thought will occur to me, I assure you.

But I did get in two sessions of Pilates this week – my first ever. Loved it! If I could get in three Pilates or two Pilates and one Yoga every week I think that would be the perfect amount of cross training.  I like Pilates because it is “go get ‘em” style class – working the body (hard!) from beginning to end. Yoga was more of a “pausing & centering” style – still hard work but also about slowing down and breathing.  I like both of them but I am definitely more sore after Pilates.

(If anyone wants a comparison of Pilates vs. Yoga for runners, my friend Chantel (who teaches both and also runs) wrote one on her blog: )

Virginia Beach Rock & Roll Half this Sunday. Looking forward to a steady run – nothing fast or fancy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

In Which I Fight the Forces of Evil and Other Stuff, Ya Know?

This week the fall semester starts at the college where I teach. Once again I begin another four months where I have the opportunity to shape minds and lives. Generally my fervor and zeal about teaching reach a fevered pitch around this time in the semester that can best be described in one word:


But this semester something has changed.  I have an enthusiasm for teaching I haven’t felt in a long while. Part of it is because I applied for a new job over the summer, one I thought I wanted.  But when I realized all the concessions I would have to make – compared to my current job, especially in terms of the number of hours I would have to work each week – I decided to stay where I was.  The process of applying and interviewing for a new job showed me I have a lot for which to be grateful where my job is concerned.

But moreover, one of my colleagues sent me this – a poem by Taylor Mali entitled “Totally Like Whatever, You Know?” It’s brilliant, funny, and borderline life-changing for me.

Ours is an “aggressively inarticulate generation” – unwilling or unable to speak with conviction about much of anything.  I realize I have the opportunity to make a difference. To fight this inarticulation. And teach others how to fight it as well.

So I begin this semester with a renewed since of purpose.

To implore, to entreat, to challenge.

To teach…

To speak with conviction.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Showdown: AFI vs. IMDb (#65)

#65: The African Queen (AFI) vs. L.A. Confidential (IMDb)
I have been dreading making this choice all week.  These are both great movies – truly, two movies I could watch over and over.  Have watched over and over. To have to choose between them pains me.

Didn't I mention I was in Queen?
In the end, I choose The African Queen. Not because I think less of L.A. Confidential but because I feel Queen contributes more to the overall conversation of films in general.  It was Humphrey Bogart’s only Oscar performance.  Watching him with Katharine Hepburn is just delightful.  The entire thing is delightful. My 8-year-old daughter was entranced with the film and watched it, in its entirety with me (with all her 8-year-old questions, such as: what are leeches? Why is she making him sleep in the rain? Is that the same alcohol daddy drinks? Ummm… )

Certainly L.A. Confidential is atmospheric and dense. All the actors – main and supporting alike – move together like a well-oiled machine to bring us a superb narrative. Neo-noir at its best.  Pitted against many of AFI’s contenders, L.A. Confidential definitely would’ve won.  But not against Queen. Sadly.

So the score stands at AFI – 20, IMDb - 17

AFI’s Top 100
IMDb’s Top 100 (as of 1/1/12)

The Gold Rush (1925)
Memento (2000)

The African Queen (1951)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Chinatown (1974)
Unforgiven (1992)
The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948)
Tootsie (1982)
Modern Times (1936)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Life is Beautiful (1997)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Back to the Future (1985)
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Prestige (2006)
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Raging Bull (1980)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
All the President’s Men  (1976)
Singing In the Rain (1952)
Modern Times (1936)
Some Like it Hot (1959)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
The Apartment (1960)
Rashomon (1950)
Spartacus (1960)
All About Eve (1950)
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
Amadeus (1984)
Titanic (1997)
Once Upon A Time in America (1984)
Easy Rider (1969)
The Green Mile (1999)
A Night at the Opera (1935)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Platoon (1986)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Inglorious Basterds (2009)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Sixth Sense (1999)
Braveheart (1995)
Swing Time (1936)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Sophie’s Choice (1982)
The Apartment (1960)
Up (2009)
Goodfellas (1990)
The French Connection (1971)
Downfall (2004)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Gran Torino (2008)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Metropolis (1927)
Do The Right Thing (1989)
The Sting (1973)
Blade Runner (1982)
Gladiator (2000)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Toy Story (1995)
Unforgiven (1992)
Ben Hur (1959)
The Elephant Man (1980)

Next week, AFI’s Network vs. IMDb The Third Man.