March Favourites

I’m slightly late with this post, but seriously…how can March be over already? I feel like running played somewhat of a back seat but I still notched up 95 miles which I’ll take as a success. When I wasn’t running (which was clearly most of the time), these were my favourite other things that I got up to. 
I loved my studies this month as well. I learned about the development of 0 – 2 year olds, including the way they learn language, which filled this linguistic geek with excitement and delight. I presented with my team on subsidized preschool in California (or the lack of it). I went on a field trip to an amazing preschool in Palo Alto which filled me with excitement about my new career and also made me despair a little of ever being as good a teacher as I saw there. I sat one online midterm exam and one classroom exam and survived them all…not got my grades yet. And then I gratefully embraced the midterm break! 
Once again, I surprised myself, given my study workload, by managing to read 4 books and one of them was heavyweight and pretty life-changing
Salvage by Keren David was neither heavyweight nor life changing. It’s a young adult novel I had to read and review for one of my Early Childhood Eduction courses. (I know, I’m as bewildered as you are). I’m not a fan of YA novels and this reminded me why. All the melodrama, coincidences and unrealistic characters. If you like YA, I believe this is highly regarded but if you like good literature, trust me…skip this one. 
Nora Webster, by Colm Toibin, was on some of those ‘Best Novels of 2014’ lists and I’d been waiting for ages for the library audiobook to get to me. It was my holiday/vacation ready in Hawaii…and it was so boring. The tale of a middle-aged widow (actually, she’s quite young, she’s only 46) adapting to life without her husband, it went nowhere, nothing happened and when my rental period expired two chapters from the end, I was not sad.

Run or Die,  by Kilian Jornet was a birthday present from Nicola. I’m a big fan of Jornet and a huge admirer of his running, but this book wasn’t anywhere near as exciting to read as it is to watch him run! I really enjoyed the chapter about when he ran (and dropped out of) Western States and it was fascinating to read about the suffering he endures when he does his 100-milers. He makes it look so effortless but there is so much pain involved. But overall, I was left a little flat by what I expected to be an awesome book. 
Which leaves the amazing book, Half the sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn was kind of life-changing for me. They’re a pair of journalists who published this book in 2010 about the challenges facing women around the world. Sex trafficking. Bride Burning. Female Infanticide. Fistulas. Rape as a weapon of war and subjection – that kind of thing. I listened to this on audiobook wilst running and had to stop several times because I was crying so hard I couldn’t breathe. It is not an easy book to read but I think it’s important that women read it and then get involved. I’m still trying to work out how I should respond to it – which ’causes’ mean the most to me, how I can best respond and help from where I am. There has been some criticism of the book but it’s incredibly powerful and I urge you to read it. 
This post needs a photo - and this was my favourite race of March
This post needs a photo – and this was my favourite race of March Photo: KP? Maybe?


We managed to get through some good TV this month as well although I admit to watching it in the background as I studied. We worked though all of the latest series of House of Cards (so good, I want Claire Underwood’s wardrobe) and Girls which is always fun, even if I thought this series was lackluster. (I don’t want Hannah’s wardrobe). Best of all, my friend Rod loaned me Running on the Sun about the Badwater 135. That race looks brutal and deeply unpleasant, I have no desire to do it, but I did cry a bit when the guy with the prosthetic leg limped across the finish line!
This month has not seen many spectacular cooking moments, mainly due to studying and being on holiday! However this (slow-cooker) Black Bean and Mango Chilli was SUPER EASY and delicious. The Husband actually said it was the best chili I’d ever made and that he barely noticed there was no meat in it. (kitchen treaty)
I am a BIG fan of running skirts – I like to think that they are more flattering to my British thighs and not insubstantial bottom than shorts. I spent some birthday money on the Winning Combo skirt from Roadrunner Sports and I AM OBSESSED WITH IT. The shorts are longer than on other skirts (no chafing, people) but it’s still really cute. The shorts don’t ride up, it fits really snuggly, it has a pocket at the back…I bought a second one immediately. Crazy in love. 
You know all the goss. Vegas. The cat cafe in Oakland. Hawaii. It’s been a good month! 
Looking forward to…
The Husband has a half-ironman on Sunday. He has used a ‘train less’ approach for this race (although he has tapered solidly) so I’m interested to see how he does. 
Running more. Since Kaiser, my running has been very lacklustre. I love running, I want to get back at it! 

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Grace says:

    I am an incorrigible child-development nerd, so I am looking forward to more tidbits from you on this front. (Psych majors should just not be allowed to have children, we will use them as case studies. Also, one of my completely useless skills is being able to observe a baby and age him/ her to within about a month’s accuracy; likewise a preschooler within about six months. I have never found a use for this in real life, but it’s great for winning bets with friends.)

    1. Cathryn says:

      I’ll email you my notes from 0 – 2 not because I’m some kind of expert (nope) but because it was so eye-opening I just kept wishing I’d known all this before I had my child!!!

      I had a male friend who could guess a woman’s age by the state of her elbow skin. (Not as creepy as it sounds, it was amazing).

      1. Grace says:

        Ooh, fabulous! I’ve been enjoying all the pop-science child/ fetal development books: Nurture Shock, Brain Rules for Baby, Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?
        And…yes that is a little bit creepy.

  2. Rachel Thompson says:

    Sent you an email to your address on here – seeking advice:)

    I mean to read Half the Sky, maybe in bite size sections! Women’s Aid seems a great route to supporting change globally. I was hugely impressed by a presenter/triathlete we met at Elland Road (Leeds United), she ran 250 miles between 40 footie grounds across winter Pennines, with injury and gastroenteritis to raise awareness of domestic violence. It really struck me if she could run 250 miles to raise money, why couldn’t I run 1?

    1. Cathryn says:

      Emailed you back, thanks for letting me know as I’m bad at checking this account. Thanks for the Women’s Aid tip and that Leeds story is amazing.

  3. “Train less approach” and “although he has tapered solidly”… I’m laughing so hard, I’m crying!!!
    I am looking forward to running with you SSSOOONNNN 😉

    1. Cathryn says:

      Il va me tuer s’il lit ce post!!

  4. bt says:

    @Cathryn — S’il reussit, il ne dirait rien! Si non, c’est la vie. Nous avons tous les mauvais jours.

    1. Cathryn says:

      Il rocked it! Swine! (ps…nice french, lady)

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