Monday, November 24, 2008

An early reader for senior marathon runners! exciting! I just adore Cynthia Rylant's Mr. Putter and Tabby series. And today I realized that her latest title in this marvelous collection of early readers is Mr. Putter and Tabby Run the Race. Here is a little preview:

It was April.
Mr. Putter and his fine cat, Tabby,
were full of April energy.

They always got extra energy in April.
Flowers were blooming,
birds were singing,
showers were showering. April!
Mr. Putter and Tabby felt it.

Mrs. Teaberry next door must have felt it, too.
She called Mr. Putter one April morning
"There's a race," - she said.

"A race?" asked Mr. Putter.

"A marathon!" said Mrs. Teaberry.

Uh- oh, thought Mr. Putter
He was sure Mrs. Teaberry was going to ask him
to run the race with her...

"Aren't we too old to run a race?"
asked Mr. Putter.

"It's a senior marathon," said Mrs. Teaberry.
"Nothing but old people!"...

"I have not run anywhere in thirty years,"
said Mr. Putter.
"I don't think I remember how to run."

And so continues the dialogue between enthusiastic Mrs. Teaberry and reluctant Mr. Putter.

I think this would be a sweet book for any (older) or retired marathon runner who might have beginning readers (children or grandchildren) in their homes.

And PLEASE consider supporting your local independent bookstore!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Boston Fit Girls

This weekend the O'Hearn School team (Dorchester) participated in the Milton Best Buddies 5k race event which wraps up the season for the Boston Fit Girl teams. Race conditions were hardly ideal; very cold and windy. And while most adult runners are accustomed to discomfort and running through horrible weather conditions, I was very concerned that these 9 and 10 year-olds might be miserable out on the course. Fortunately the girls were troopers. They bundled up with hats, mittens and scarves and persevered through the 3.1 miles. There were also plenty of teachers and parents along the course cheering for and encouraging the girls to keep up the good work. Because of this darn heel injury, the 3 mile distance is about all I can run before the pain starts to really creep upon me. At least I was able to be out there on the course with the girls and see the smiles on their faces as they crossed the finish line. Congratulations O'Hearn Fit Girls and THANK YOU to Kim, Leah and Erin who were GREAT coaches!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I must have met Keats on a long run

"I have met with women whom I really think would like to be married to a poem and to be given away by a novel" - John Keats

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What is this blog all about?

Initially when I started the bluestockingrunner blog, my goal was to share tips and stories about my training and fundraising for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge. There were many other (young) runners who already had blogs, and I was entertained by their posts and thoughts. I must admit that I felt silly starting my own blog as it seemed a bit narcissistic..I mean, who really cares about my weekly long run or what I ate for breakfast that fueled me for the day? Nevertheless, I found that I enjoyed the process of creating a post as it became a sort of writing exercise. While I consider myself a good reader and critic of good writing, I am not at all confident in my writing skills. And the only way to get better, whatever the activity, is practice, practice, practice!

Very early on in my blogging life I discovered that I couldn't resist posting about books (mostly children's literature) as I'm a former children's bookseller and currently work part-time as a Middle school librarian. I spend LOTS of time reading kiddie/young adult lit and just LOVE it.
So of course I want to share (or at least express for myself) thoughts about current favorites.

For all of you who are passionate about running and marathons, there are an equal amount of individuals who love to share their thoughts about great books for kids. I'm not sure how often these two passions overlap, but I can identify at least a handful of writers who are avid runners including Printz Award Winner, Laurie Halse Anderson (Chains, Fever, Speak), Wendelin Van Draanen (Sammy Keyes mystery series), Coleen Murtagh Paratore (Wedding Planner's Daughter), and recently I discovered Alison McGhee (author of one of my new favorite titles, Julia Gillian and the Art of Knowing) is also a runner, although she has not YET run a marathon. Gee, I wonder how many more of my favorite writers are also runners?

In addition, I can identify a few Dana-Farber runners who work in publishing and are lovers of literature, including Kristina (aka: the marathon mama) and Abby (see abby run). Although their passion may not be the children's literature genre, Kristina may have an interest in the picture book recommendations for her little reader, Henry. And who knows....there may even be a couple librarians, booksellers and/or writers on our 2009 DFMC team.

There are also occasional posts about my Fit Girls running/reading program and stories about the joys and frustrations of raising my 3 children (Kallie 16, Beau 15 and Hannah, 10).

Basically my blog is a mish mash of thoughts, comments and recommendations that represents the wide range and variety of my interests, hobbies and responsibilities, all of which are important and special to me in their own unique way. And I sheeplishly admit that I find blogging somewhat therapeutic (and fun!). So I think I'll try to get back to both blogging and blog reading on a fairly consistent basis. Trying to write a review of a new book title , sharing a passage from a beautiful poem, moaning about an injury, or best of all, reading an account of a friend's recent PR half-marathon ( Congrats, Abby!) is A LOT more interesting than folding laundry - and now the basement is now calling me for one more load! Ugh!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A River of Words: A Story of William Carlos Williams

so much depends
a unique picture
glazed with exquisite
beside my night
This fabulous new picture book biograpahy of William Carlos Williams is a treat for poetry fans of all ages! Oh, I do miss my days as a chidlren's bookseller when I was actually paid to read, shelve and sell so many wonderful literary gems that celebrate both language and art. Thank goodnes I am a faithful reader of children's literature blogs to stay on top of what's new and remarkable in the wonderful world of picture books. A River of Words will be featured in this Sunday's NYTimes as one of the best illustrated books of the year. Thank you, author Jen Bryant and illustrator Melissa Sweet for sharing your gifts and talents with the rest of us!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cortisone Shot

While the cortisone shot was painful, I was not at all prepared for the AGONY I experienced a couple hours after leaving the doctor's office. Yikes! I couldn't even walk on it and was almost in tears due to the pain. When the motrin finally kicked in I began to feel better, but I still can't put any weight on the foot. After some internet research I believe I am experiencing a "cortisone flare":

There is approximately a 20% chance of an increase in pain the day after the injection. This is known as a "cortisone flare" and is almost always a good sign. This is poorly understood phenomenon which lasts only for 24 hours and has no significant meaning. It usually resolves spontaneously although rest, ice, Tylenol or aspirin will help you to "grin and bear it". It is my subjective opinion that people who have this pain flare-up almost always will get an excellent long term result.

I'm going to try and look at the bright side and stick with the hope that I will have "an excellent long term result".

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Little Town Blues

Today I SHOULD be down in New York running what would have been my 6th New York City Marathon. But unfortunately this plan came to a halt when I came down with a mysterious heel injury a few weeks ago. The injury didn't come as a huge surprise as I really didn't do any long runs over the summer, and then beginning in September started to add in long and hard runs. Too much, too soon...and now I'm paying for it.

I've been to the sports orthopedic doctor who ruled out a stress fracture, and I'm not experiencing the classic signs of plantar fasciitis. It just HURTS when I run/walk more than 3 miles. So I"m off to the podiatrist this week...what a pain! And this is my absolute favorite time of year to run! The gym is a horrible place to be on a beautiful fall day.

I've been trying to track fellow DFMC runner and Austen reader, Young Jeff, as he is running his second marathon down in the Big Apple today. He had a pretty amazing debut marathon in Boston last April finishing in 2:52. Race conditions looked perfect and I have no doubt that this will be a PR day for YJ.

Despite not being able to run in NYC, I did have the pleasure of "wogging" the Watertown Boys and Girls Club 5k race with a Fit Girls team from S. Boston. These gals did an AWESOME job at today's race ,and I just loved to see them cheering for one another on the course chanting "Let's go, Fit Girls, let's go!" My teenage daughter and cross-country runner, Kallie, was also out there as a "race buddy" supporting and encouraging girls as she ran/walked the course with the girls. I am really excited to develop and grow the "race buddy" aspect of the Fit Girl program that pairs up young girls with local runners and high school athletes. The little girls just LOVE the company and support of the older gals. DFMC team ates Brenda and Abby were also TERRIFIC as they volunteered at the Chelsea Boys and Girls 5k last week.

Anyone interested in volunteering as a "race buddy" at the Milton Best Buddy 5k on Saturday, Nov. 22?