Keyed In: July 12, 2009
RUN THE SEASONS
One of my favorite running programs I had developed over the years was called Run the Seasons. I ran 100 days with my schoolchildren and after each run we would record something that we observed by means of ART. We ended up with a beautiful seasonal display at the end of our 100 days.
From Kids Running: Have Fun, Get Faster & Go Farther
When I run, I ALWAYS think about what would go on my Run the Seasons chart if I were still doing this program. Yesterday it was oyster-colored, umbrella-bell-shaped crops of thin mushrooms. I've never noticed these before. Must be the downpours we've had lately. I will try to photograph them today.
One of the things I will miss about working with kids running dot com is working with Ed Poirier. He wrote an advice column for the site. Upbeat, industrious, and all-round nice guy. I have invited him to column here. If you would like to read a column by Ed, please send me a note. firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll forward your note for encouragement to him. He writes about kids: running, track, cross-country, fitness, health, triathlons, and wellness.
For 9 years and 3 months, I was on kidsrunning.com as editor and received a ton of email from visitors. Before that I WAS carolATcoolrunning.com, and the same - lots of visitors. Independent now, I'm wondering if ANY of my visitors have found me, if you have PLEASE email. Integrating running with life, kids, art, education, and writing is too much of my life to let go.
Keyed In: July 10, 2009
Reading A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards by Ann Bauer
Just started. Is keeping my attention on just the first 3 pages. I already made a connection between the place called nowhere and my travels on my Muddy Dog Running Logs. I will report back, later.
This is one of the things I love about summer vacation - time to READ. Lots of it. It's almost like when I was just out of college. I'd go to the library and come home with ten books, all in a stack, and read them all.
I also checked out The Enchantress of Florence: A Novel from the local library in CD form and am listening to it in the car. Makes me want to go on long rides. I don't have a clue what is happening in the book, but I am intrigued by the language, vocabulary and sentence structure. I don't think that I am a good listener, so I'm wondering if this will train my listening skills.
Keyed In: July 8, 2009
Reading The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm
Story about the journalist- subject relationship and the unethical extremes some authors will go to get a best-selling book.
Reminds me to be content with my moderately selling books. I wrote them honestly. They came from my heart and my intention was to do something good for others.
Keyed In: July 6, 2009
My bookmarks are in! I'm always nervous when getting something printed, that the colors won't come out right or that a layer will be missing. But these came out EXACTLY as I designed them and I haven't found an error yet. I'm trying not to look too hard. I am ANXIOUS to see who the first visitor will be who will earn the bookmarks. Come on kids (and parents). Lace up those running shoes, print those Muddy Dog logs, and have some fun. Note: You might think that anything can be a bookmark- a scrap of paper, a ribbon, an old envelope, and you are correct. But these bookmarks are my original art made with Adobe Illustrator - drawing, and brushes of charcoal and watercolor -with overlays and a lot of love. They make good collector's items. Their theme? Kids Running, of course!
Keyed In: July 4, 2009
Independence Day! My first day keying in as "ex-editor" of kidsrunning.com. 3,282 days of editing, designing, and creating that site.
3/16/2000 - 6/30/09
I'm hoping my visitors will find me. If you do find this site, please send me a note and let me know.
Just finished reading The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon.
KEY WORDS: Science fiction, autism, and introspective.
Haven't you ever been intrigued by an individual and wondered just what they were thinking? Elizabeth Moon attempts to let you know by telling her story through the voice of a high-functioning adult with autism.
THE PLOT: A government funded program provides a work setting with frills such as a bouncy gym, for autistic adults. The boss tries to mandate "a cure", brain surgery for all.
THE BEAUTY OF THE BOOK: Elizabeth Moon touches on the genius and innocence of an autistic (perhaps Aspergers?) individual. Lou Arrendale has has learned the rules of social interaction, works with patterns, and continually changes.
THE READER: Readers will identify with the character, often seeing him as more normal than the "normals", all the time rooting for him. Why do we all have to be the same?
Keyed In: April 15, 2009
LINK 1: Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)
I totally forgot. I read the book Twilight this winter. It was the number 1 selling book on Amazon and I was curious. I admit that it kept my interest. Recently, I watched the movie and I think I liked the film more than the book. As compared to the old vampire movies, it was light hearted, lacking the darkness and passion that was intriguing in 1931 version of 'Dracula' with Bela Lugosi. Still, I found it entertaining - like a good piece of cake that I could sink my teeth into :)
Keyed In: April 13, 2009
LINK 1: The Treasure of Health and Happiness
Here's a list of what I'm reading and have read the last few months. My chapter book! I'm reading my "treasure" to second graders to help them make personal connections. This is a comprehension skill they have difficulty with in their anthology series, but when using my book, their hands fly up with connection after connection. They listen and connect. I record the connection on a sentence strip and when the chapter is finished, they write a paragraph on one of their connections. Simple connections:
My sister runs faster than me. Once a mosquito buzzed around my head. I have two dogs. My dog eats paper. I took swimming lessons.
LINK 2: The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome by Tony Atwood. This book is a must for anyone working with a child who has been diagnosed with Asperger's. It gives you the basics that will help you understand and work with the child. A bit of a tough read, but I made myself read every word since this book is packed with info.
LINK 3: Ten Things Your Student with Autism Wishes You Knew - quick read.
LINK 4: The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children by Ross W. Greene
This book should be required in Teaching or Parenting 101. It'll help you prioritize your goals and values. I'm sorry that it took me so many years to discover this book.
LINK 5: Starring Lorenzo and Einstein Too by Mark Karlins
I will read this to my schoolchildren and let you know their reaction.
LINK 6: Poems with Moxie
I saw Robert Pottle perform at "Just Desserts" as part of a Massachusetts Literacy Conference. Standing O for this poet. I've been reading his funny poems to my schoolchildren to reward them for good work. If you're a teacher, read one and laugh at yourself while you do so.
LINK 7: Relentless Pursuit: A Year in the Trenches with Teach for America (Vintage)
It's school vacation so I finally have time to start this teaching novel.
LINK 8: Rules by Cynthia Lord
In my quest to learn more about children with autism, I read this young adult book. It was a compelling read - very enjoyable with a satisfying ending. Highly recommended.
LINK 9: Not a book but a MOVIE Chasing a Dream
I loved the preview and am recommending this to everyone I know. Hallmark Channel April 25, 2009. See it!
What I Thought About When I Thought About What I Talk About When I talk About RUNNING
Keyed In: August 11, 2008
LINK 1: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
I first heard of Haruki Murakami by looking up the Amazon running book stats. Since I check these often it wasn't the ranking that got my attention but the title. I was intrigued. The title: It's too long by modern standards, and it speaks to deep thought as well as another culture. I ordered the book and anticipated its arrival.
To my surprise, it wasn't the running that stood out. In fact, I found the running sections ordinary. Now, understand that I am a runner, and have read about running day-in and day-out for the last 13 or so years. I know triathletes, ultra runners, and people who thrive on doing the extreme. So running with goals, sticking with it, running on a daily basis, marathons, triathlons, never walking- always running, are ideas that I hear and see everywhere. To a non-runner, Haruki will seem like a star, but to me, it's fairly ordinary, even with Haruki still having these goals in his 50s.
What did intrigue me (besides the title) was his style of writing. It's a simple book, very clear, and easy to comprehend, so what clues are there in the book to his style, the style that has made him a famed writer? This is what I wanted to discover. Surely not the repetition of "I'm the kind of person who...," to explain This is who I am. This is my way. This is me.
After a few chapters, I started the book over and read each sentence carefully to see what I could discover. And here are a few samples, quotes so to speak, that make Haruki's writing special.
"As if the concept of clouds doesn't even exist." - Haruki's way of describing a sunny day
"...as if it remembered, 'Oh, I've got some errands to do,' it whisked itself away without so much as a glance back." - Description of a rain shower
"...slicing through the air like they had robbers on their heels." - Sprinters
"...pound the rock with a chisel and dig deep into the hole..." Finding his creativity
- Anyone who likes to read about running.
- A new marathoner looking for inspiration for reaching goals and sticking with running.
- Writers who want to look closely at style and sentence structure.
- People who enjoy biographies.
A BIT MORE - Other things that made the purchase of this book of value to me:
I enjoyed the little things Haruki would talk about when he wasn't running in a "cozy homemade void" - the Italian lady who wore a different outfit every day, his loss of patience with everything in sight at the end of his first marathon (a reverse running of a famous course in Marathon, Greece.)
So running log aside, this was a book that caught my interest, and intrigued me enough to want to read more by this author. I'm starting at the beginning and am going to read the first book that Haruki wrote as a novelist, Wild Sheep Chase. I'll go into this blind. I have no idea what this book is about - and hope it's not about running, but pray that the style will intrigue me enough so that I will want to absorb and analyze every line.
Flat Loop Hot Soup
Keyed In: August 5, 2008
LINK 1: NEWSDAY: Kids Running: Have Fun, Get Faster & Go Further
An author's joy and frustration. Lawrence Striegel of Newsday interviewed me recently and was kind enough to give my book Kids Running: Have Fun, Get Faster & Go Farther visibility in two weekend articles on kids' triathlons. Hooray! We write and illustrate for the joy of creating, and in order to continue this passion, we need our books to sell. And of course without mention or marketing our books will never reach our intended audiences. The love, the sweat, and the tears will be for nought. If you are a published or unpublished author you will understand.
So the author/illustrator is overjoyed when a kind journalist pens in his/her book title, and when the overseeing editor doesn't cut it.
But, wait! Oh no! The headline is all wrong. The very large BOLD letters 'Kids Running: Have Fun, Get Faster & Go Further' have a single letter difference from the actual title.
If you google this (I tried) my book doesn't come up in the search. One letter difference a "u" instead of an "a" shows how sensitive these searches are and OUCH! I hope the readers read the finer text where Lawrence has spelled the title of my book correctly. Not Lawrence's fault of course. Journalists don't write the headlines.
Another day in the life of a struggling author.
LESSON LEARNED: Never use a commonly confused word is a title of a BOOK you want people to find by Google search.
LINK 2: NEWSDAY: Triathlons are challenging kids to go the distance
Author's Note: I had more fun writing the poems in Kids Running than anything else. Whether this book sells or not, the joy I got from writing and illustrating this little unique book will always be worth the hours spent. And this was the attitude I had while I was creating my third children's book. Above mnemonic adapted from Kids Running, p. 57, "Flat loop. Hot soup. 5-K Saturday. Flying Crow. We go."
Mother Nature - Always Spinning
Keyed In: August 3, 2008
LINK 1: PMC Tent
The day started out with cool but pleasant weather. My husband, his sister Elaine, brother Bernie, brother-in-law John, and sister Beth (who had her own battle with cancer this year) wished me luck at the starting line.
The Pan-Mass Challenge - great ride, noble cause, well-planned, full of fun and hard-paced challenges, along with lessons learned.
2008 lesson? You can't out-pedal mother nature.
With thunderstorms looming, I stayed on task with my pre-planned day of efficient cycling for those 110 miles from Sturbridge to Bourne. Got to Bourne ahead of the rain, trucked my bike, took a long luxurious shower, felt pleasantly exhausted, but still full of energetic enthusiasm.
My fundraising goal had been met, my miles pedaled, it was time to relax and have a real meal. After all, I had started my trek at 6:00 a.m. and entered Bourne around 3:30. Minus a bit of time at the 5 water stops, and 1 visit to a bike mechanic, I never stopped pedaling for those 9 1/2 hours - Probably 8 plus hours of cycling in one day. So I entered the tent like a squirrel who discovered a grove of oak trees after traveling for miles down an almost barren road. Certainly there had been ample food on the way at the unsurpassed PMC water stops, but I had taken only nibbles due to my time-saving methods.
Salad piled on my plate in the ever-packed PMC tent, I spent some time trying to elbow my way through the hungry crowd to find a seat. I sat. Salad tasted good, almost anything would. I was ready to get a burger or a tasty substitute, but I needed more water so I went in search of drink.
The rain had started, the wind was now blowing, thunder? I wasn't sure. The waves of sound I heard were coming from the cyclists, like the oohs and aahs of a crowd watching fireworks. "What's this?" I thought. "Cheers from these crazy riders, each time lightning strikes somewhere?" But then the oohs and aahs sounded alarming as if the imagined firework display had gone wrong.
I turned and saw the cyclists exiting the tent, thousands of them. Do I keep looking for the water or should I leave? Is the tent on fire or do they think it's going to come down on us? As it turned out, there was no fire, and the tent was not coming down, but the high winds had knocked out a tent support pole. (Later that day, the cyclists were allowed to reenter the tent, but by that time my hunger had passed and I was happily occupied with conversation.)
So I spent my after-the-trek relaxation time, holed up in a crowded building, under a pavilion, and later on the bus, without food but with some needed chatting with other cyclists who told me their stories as to why they ride the PMC. I met my first Living Proof PMC Cancer survivors.
Those conversations - the ones I had with Charles and Laura because I had nothing to do other than be sociable, brought me back to the real purpose of the ride. And as we started to talk, I realized that the barrenness of the road traveled was the void of conversation, I had along much of my 110-mile trek. I became hungry for more.
A community of cyclists is a good way to think of the PMC. With a community comes sharing, and personal stories. This is what will bring me back to the PMC once again next year, the century-plus ride that I always think will be my last.
Note: I did meet up with Courtney for the last 15 miles of my ride. I stayed with her, a first-year PMCer, who was doing the PMC on scant training, an older bike, NO clipless setup or toe clips - just sneakers on pedals. I didn't mind slowing down a little. I had pedaled the earlier miles without talking to anyone. This companionship made my ride more enjoyable as we finished together.
Lesson Learned #2. Never forget the REAL REASON for a charity event. It's not for the physical activity, the food, or the frills, but for the cause, the cause of saving lives of precious people.
LINK 2: A Walk in the Woods Leads to Nation's Most Successful Bike-a-Thon
Next book on my list to read.
LINK 3: Dubious Doublets by PMC rider, Stewart Edelstein. For word buffs, English teachers, and writers. Dublious Doublets shows the common routes of seemingly unrelated word pairs. More later.
From the Amazon's Editorial Review, "You'll discover, for example, why the words flamenco and flamingo are both related to the complexions of the Dutch, how the biblical son of Isaac is related to a French garment and a Halloween decoration, and what going berserk has to do with playing hopscotch. You'll also uncover the common roots of such seemingly incompatible dyads as bully/friar, muscle/mouse, and everyone's favorite, feather/hippopotamus."
Keyed Up - Friday before the Pan-Mass Challenge
Keyed In: August 1, 2008
LINK 1: pmc.org
I will sign in later today, get my jersey, buy gifts for friends, stuff myself on some delicious tortellini (they'd BETTER serve the same recipe this year), and I'll be all tingly and excited the moment they snap the ID wristband on me.
I started the day by getting my hair colored and flat-ironed. No idea why! I'll have a helmet on tomorrow. And the forecast? Thunderstorms. The weatherman's advice, "Pedal FAST." I will try. My husband cannot ride this year. He had a knee replacement on June 30. But this is his event. He has lost too many family members to cancer.
An excellent cyclist named Keith, (not my son - another Keith who also is a cyclist extraordinaire) helped me train. If I make it through this ride, it will be due our training rides on Sundays. Need someone to teach you how to ride? Let me know and I'll email Keith - my Sunday PMC trainer.
But the real point of this piece, is that because I started the day at the beauty salon, I had time to start reading a new book called What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. I always take a book to the salon to block out boredom. I don't mind boredom when I run, but in the salon it can be excruciating with or without conversation. Haruki talks about returning to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2005, running 186 miles one July, a month that it rained only twice. July 2008, the month set aside for my long training, felt rain just about every day with the threat of severe thunderstorms. I managed to get my rides in early, but I believe that my luck in escaping the driving rains and threatening skies has ended. You see, I can't duck out of the rain on the PMC. This is a ride I do to the finish, no matter the conditions.
Haruki's book - Number 1 selling running book by Google Search today. It's a running/writers' book, a memoir, and it's my introduction to this runner/writer. Haruki makes running and writing seem easy. He has a simple style, laid back and conversational with an occasional analogy for impact. Haruki calls himself an ordinary runner, but he has avoided injuries, runs almost daily while in his 50s, has run marathons in many states, and runs alone.
LINK 2: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
kidsrunning.com The number one kids running Web site (by google search) on the Internet. I am the founding editor of this run-to-stay-fit and run-to-have-fun Web site. KidsRunning.Com is an affiliate of Runner's World magazine.
FOOTLOOSE: Amby Burfoot's Notes From the Road Runner's World Blog by Amby Burfoot Runner's World magazine Editor-At-Large and the winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon and the many, many time runner of the famous Manchester Road Race. Amby is also a journalist extraordinaire as well as a proponent of children's running, health and fitness.
Girl Who Loves to Run BLOG - Author Brianna K. Grant's thoughts on running and life-balance related experiences
usatf.org Sponsor of our kids running bookmarks. For all your track and field needs. Find a running club. Discover the Junior Olympics.
Kids Running Clothing by SOARK The real thing!
prettysporty.com High School, College, XC, Track & Field Photos and more
teachers.net A great place for teachers to chat, post, and share ideas.
pecentral.org One of my first "friends" on the Web. Full of ideas and activities for P.E. teachers and educators.
Huey Pearson's Wellness Tip of the Week "Encouraging You to Adopt a Physically Active Lifestyle"
NASPE-Forum NASPE-Forum is a moderated Internet discussion forum for in-depth discussions on topics of interest to physical education, sport, and physical activity professionals.
Gerry Cernicky's Web page
Visit a reference and resource P.E. Web site that includes lead up games and activities, holiday activities, classroom management model, brain gym a scope and sequence / rubrics , fitness calendars, technology, homework ideas and podcasts , along with photos, exercise videos and slideshows. Questions about P.E.? Gerry is a great one to ask.
Project Aces World's Largest Fitness Class, May 7, 2008
FitKids Online Lots of information about kids' fitness, sports, and nutrition
explodethecode.com An online interactive computer program for children with dyslexia. It's my first choice for a classroom tech tool.
mathcats.com Math cats is a Web site with creative open-ended math explorations.
Pan-Mass Challenge On the first Saturday in August, I participate in this charity fundraiser to benefit Dana Farber, via the Jimmy Fund, by cycling mega-miles.
Miles for Miracles You can run the Boston Marathon for Children's Hospital Boston.
Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation Fidelco dogs give freedom and independence to visually impaired people and German Shepherd dogs are the dogs of our choice.
Kendrick Fincher Memorial Foundation The mission of this foundation is to promote hydration and prevent heat illness.
breakawaybooks.com All of my books have been published by Garth Battista of Breakaway Books. Breakaway books: sports, literature and life.
FRIENDS TO BE REMEMBERED FOREVER
Ray Crothers Footloose Blog Piece by Amby Burfoot
Happy Feet, Healthy Food, Your Child's First Journal of Exercise & Healthy Eating
The Treasure of Health and Happiness
Kids Running: Have Fun, Get Faster & Go Farther
© 2009 Carol Goodrow