I'm sitting at my family's kitchen table this lovely July evening, listening to the cuckoo clock and LOTR Return of the King soundtrack (after worthy efforts earlier to expand my musical taste by second-hand listening to my brother's hip-hop Pandora station). I'm watching small insects crawl across the sliding glass door and non-committal attempts at rain on the part of the sky. And I thought I would share some highlights of my summer.
. . . and it is now about 45 minutes later. I got a sudden desire to write on Emily J's Facbook profile, even though she won't get it for several more days. And then, in the process of finding a picture of my most recent shoe purchase (see below) I got distracted by a new fashion blog and online boutique. I have moved on to the Love Actually soundtrack. Slightly more modern, but still a soundtrack. Hmm. So anyway. . .
WHAT I DID THIS SUMMER
- Visited a J.Crew "sample sale" at the distribution center in Lynchburg, Virginia. I was looking up a code for 20% off or free shipping or something and came across a comment where someone made mention of a "distribution center sale". I was intrigued by the possibility of such a thing, and upon Googling it I discovered that there would be just such a sale the following weekend! My mom and brother came along for the four hour drive (Josiah was looking for college clothes, and what better place to get that preppy look, right?) and we were not disappointed. The place was a big warehouse from which they mail out people's online orders. It was set up like a garage sale, with cardboard boxes labelled with clothing styles/sizes set up on tables in a big ring in the corner of the warehouse. We got there about an hour early to wait in line, and it was definitely worth it. Once they let in a certain number of people, no one else could come in until someone else left. Upon entrance they handed us a big plastic garbage bag and price list. I didn't really know what to hit first. A lot of people swarmed the shoes - that was definitely the easiest place to find your size. For other things you just had to dig through the boxes. It was kind of hit-and-miss as to what you could find. But find stuff we did! I got some shoes, a pair of boots, two turtlenecks, matchstick jeans, a dress, and a couple of headbands. And a suit coat, skirt, and cropped pants. Josiah got some great kahkis, dress shirts, ties, and a couple of blazers. My mom got a skirt and some sweaters. Not everything was in perfect condition, and once we were home we discovered that a rather noticeable recktangular hole in the back of one of Josiah's shirts. Bummer. Somebody must have wanted a sample (attempt at wordplay).
Wow, that was pretty boring. Once I got started I felt the need to chronicle every little detail. And I didn't even mention everything like the fact that we dressed in skirts and athletic shorts and sleeveless shirts so that we could try things on without dressing rooms. Oh! and I am now on their email list, so hopefully I'll find out next time there's a sale. It's about four hours from DC, and if anyone's interested it's definitely worth the trip. It makes everyday J.Crew sales look expensive (they actually kind of are). Just to brag a littl--that is to say, to entice you to come, I got these $100+ shoes for $30. Even if none of the clothes fit (and you're bound to find something...I did) you can get shoes. They had boxes and boxes of shoes.
While I'm on the subject of shoes, here's the picture of the black Circa Joan & David "Beauchamp" Oxfords that I got at TJ Maxx for $7 (I know all that info because I had to look them up online because my camera is broken and I couldn't take a picture myself).
They're a little. . . adventurous. . . but I am up for the challenge. I'm not sure if it's actually a trend that will work for me, but for $7 I may as well try, right? I'll let you know if I can pull it off.
WHAT I DID THIS SUMMER, CONT'D.
- Ran the Crazy 8s. I made the distance in time! My sister Julie was a big encouragement, my running buddy for about the first month. After that, she decided running wasn't for her -- she's really into tennis right now -- but she definitely helped me get back into it. If you ever want to start running, I highly recommend running with a friend. I've also enjoyed running with my cousins who are MUCH better runners than I am. I go with them on their long slow runs or we go to the track together for speed workouts.
I ran the same race back in 2007 and then kind of slacked off. This year I have decided to do a bunch of other races to keep things interesting. The week following the Crazy 8s, my cousins persuaded my brothers and me to do a 7-mile trail run on top of Bays Mountain. Although it was farther than I had trained this summer, I had run 6.3 a couple weeks before and I figured I would just run slowly. And I did. . . at an 11:12 pace!
On Sunday, my brother Caleb and I tried a speed workout called "Tabata" after the scientist who researched it. It's only 4 minutes long (aside from warm up and cool down) and goes like this: run as-fast-as-you-can-like-a-bear-is-chasing-you for 20 seconds, then jog or walk for 10 seconds. Repeat 8 times. Whew. It went a lot faster than I expected, but hurt so much more! It hurt my chest. . . I don't think I've ever had to breathe that hard in my life. I told Caleb that I should have consulted with a doctor first. But no heart attack. I recovered nicely and might even be crazy enough to try it again next week. Apparently you can do this with any exercise (lunges, squats, pushups, etc.) and there are even .mp3 tracks available online of upbeat songs that people have edited to include audio signals for each interval. The benefits that Dr. Tabata found in his study include increased speed and VO2 capacity. I guess time will tell if I'm doing it correctly. We read about it in Trail Runner magazine (which they were giving away at the last race).
WHAT I DID THIS SUMMER, CONCLUDED
I am a very lazy writer. And now that I've put off writing for so long it would take way too long to write about it all. So I'm switching over to list format. If you would like to hear more about any one of these, tell me in the comment section and I will expound in future posts. I'm afraid I have bored most of you blathering on about clothes and running. *sheepish grin* Here's some other things I did.- Started reading the biography of Alcibiades in Latin (really need to finish)
- Learned Scott Joplin's "Pine Apple Rag" (almost)
- Played piano for church one Sunday when all the organists were out of town (yay hymns)
- Bet myself money on Flaab.com to lose weight (and won)
- Went to a conference of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools in Atlanta, GA (where I saw many Hillsdale alumni)
- Visited a friend in Wilmington, NC (and went to the beach)
- Washed and waxed the family mini van after replacing hub caps (two were missing from the old set. . . redneck, anyone?)
- Slept in a LOT
WHAT I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO
- Family reunion in South Dakota
- Teaching a Latin review course
- Missing my family when I go back to Maryland
- Attempting to see a DC United soccer game
- Visiting IKEA and redecorating my room
- Buying jeans
- Joining the Annapolis Striders or some other running club
- Going to "Jazz in the Garden" at the NGA Sculpture Garden
- Thrift shopping in Baltimore
- Seeing friends again
- Teaching my second year of Latin