RunNerdier

musings on running, life, and everything in between


2 Comments

Hilly hump day¬†…

Ok, so after much haranguing, harumphing, and general boohooing, I finally looked at an elevation map of the Boston Marathon. I was totally in that “ignorance is bliss” stage. Not SO ignorant that I didn’t know Boston was hilly nor unfamiliar with the dreaded “Heartbreak Hill.” However, when I finally decided to do some Googling and actually SEE what all the insanity was about, I wasn’t sure I made the right choice. Here’s the comparison between Chicago and Boston by the numbers.

But then, here it is visually (I didn’t even bother attaching an elevation map of Chicago. It’s essentially a flat line…).

Click here for image source

It’s a NET decline…but you can see that there are pretty significant climbs. Now, when you consider climbs, you have to consider not just the amount of climb, but how quickly it happens. I’ve run many a path I thought it was flat on an out-and-back run, and realized that there was a slight decline on the way out, which feels mountainous on the way back. Also, the reason it’s called Heartbreak Hill is that it hits right at the point in the marathon where a lot of people bonk, doubt their sanity, or start crying for their moms. Right around/after mile 20. From the bit I’ve read, people will also trash their legs taking the downhill the first half of the marathon too hard. By the time you get to Heartbreak Hill, you don’t have much left.

That is why I’m glad I’ve gotten TWO, count them TWO, hill workouts in this week. Well, part of last week (Saturday’s long run) and Tuesday’s run. Here’s Kelly’s Gramin elevation breakdown from our Palos adventure.

12789821_10207145792436467_1147553980_o

It was also GLORIOUSLY warm on Tuesday, hot even, so I decided to be in nature and do the hills of Morton Arboretum. I’m not gonna lie, I was tired and took them too fast. I even did some form drills–overachiever, I know.

Here are some very professional-looking shots of my run… I know my hair looks crazy, but I feel silly enough taking selfies running. To spend time fixing myself to take the selfie when I’m a hot sweaty mess? Meh. As I said to someone last week, I like to keep expectations low so people are amazed when I can clean up ūüôā

This picture was to show some of the elevation change at the Arboretum, but the 3-dimensional aspect isn’t quite capture, so it just looks like flat brown grass all the way to the water. I promise it looked hilly.

This “strength” bench is still one of my favorite bits.

You can see from my Garmin data, though…hardly impressive compared to BostonSnip20160309_2

I’m gonna have to get out to Palos more or do interval hill repeats at Big Bertha at Waterfall Glen. Ugh. This whole Boston training thing is draining. Really. Jen and I have been constant Negative Nellie’s about it. It’s not simply good enough to train for a marathon, but you have to do all this extra stuff you’re not used to running as a flatlander. Yes, yes, I know it’s “good for us.”

Boo, I don’t like things that are good for me. And, the insecurity complexes come out when I read about other run bloggers¬†trying to PR at Boston and such. My training mileage is barely breaking 35 miles right now. This coming off of last fall’s training where I was running 55+ miles weekly BEFORE peaking. Patty, Jen, and I are trying to talk ourselves up about the FUN we are going to have at Boston and it probably (at least for me and Jen as of right now) is a “once in a lifetime” experience (although this year’s Boston jacket is so ugly, I feel like I will need to run it again to get a better one. Insanity, right?). Still, I can’t help but wonder if I will feel like a failure if I don’t reach some non-determined goal time. I told Jen last night that we should force ourselves to stop and take photos to “ruin” our end times and not think about the clock. We’ll see.

It IS hard, though, isn’t it? To not compare yourself to other people? Whether it is in regards to running, parenting, or general appearances. It’s a struggle to accept what is right FOR YOU and not for someone else. Long ago, I became a distance runner because I accepted that I wasn’t fast. Then I got a bit faster and started fixating on time and wanting to be “above average” (I’m pretty happy with race times if I’m above the midpoint time, ha). Then, when everyone started running marathons, I felt the need to be “above average” by qualifying for Boston (let’s ignore the fact that the average person does not run marathons, so that fact alone makes one above average…or at least NOT average). And now that I’m training for Boston, I feel a bit unsure I guess. I am NOT going to be above average there. And the more stable-minded, balanced folk reading this might ask, “What’s wrong with average?” Or maybe “average” is relative. I’m not even sure if this makes sense. The mind hamsters on their wheels are spinning and going nowhere, right?

It’s just that lately, even that pressure of getting out and doing the tempo runs or intervals is feeling burdensome, because there’s no clear goal. I am not going to be “above average” at Boston, so then I just want to go out and run now for fun. But I also have a hard time completely accepting that.

So I guess I’m at a crossroads of sorts in trying to figure out my feelings about running and racing (which are NOT synonymous, by the way). I still love running, but I’m trying to figure out what kind of training makes sense for me after Boston. Stay tuned! And feel free to pipe up with your thoughts on mixing things up and trying to figure out your own truth.


Leave a comment

Happy National Paczki Day!

I had trouble sleeping last night, so I got up at 5:20 am and headed to the local bakery because today is NATIONAL PACZKI DAY! If you don’t know what a paczki is or don’t live near a bakery that makes them, I am sorry for you. It’s essentially a lighty, airy donut with a filling. For your viewing pleasure, here’s the breakdown of the dozen I got: fresh strawberry, custard, chocolate, and cheese.

If you live in the Chicago area, with its huge Polish population, you ¬†know it’s a big deal. Even knowing that, and knowing the bakery opens at 5 am, I was still taken aback by how busy it was. Line to the door. One woman had even pre-ordered 12 dozen. That’s right, 12×12=144 paczki.

I’ve decided to indulge today and seriously shift my diet starting tomorrow (I know, I know). I don’t own a scale, but I think I’ve gained a little bit of weight. Hardly “racing weight.” So I’m cutting sugar (sigh) and wheat (not grains, but I eat too much wheat and it’s pretty processed–plus I get more creative and veggie-heavy when I cut it. I need to start taking my training a little more seriously. Keep me accountable, folks, and chime in!

Which brings me to training. We did our long run out at Morton Arboretum this weekend. Some serious hills. Well, as serious as you can get around here anyway…

I was annoyed, though, I forgot my Garmin and had to use my Strava. My pace looks like it’s all over the place because a) it was, haha, and b) I didn’t pause it for potty breaks, general confusion, etc.

This lovely crew!

We did a couple loops, and the second time we passed this bench, I made us take a picture. How could I not force a bunch of awesome, strong women NOT pose on it? You can see that some felt “stronger” than others. Ha.

And just to give you a window into how crazy distance runners are, someone in this picture had fallen earlier in the run (don’t text and run over a pothole) and broken two fingers and finished the run without much complaint. She didn’t know it was broken, and none of us took it that seriously. There may have been a doctor in the group as well…although to be fair, she’s an infectious disease specialist. Runners really are insane.

The rest of the weekend was pretty fun. I finished up a multi-week project, reusing all of our old broken restaurant crayons to make Lego crayons for Valentine’s giveaways. Ok, so actually making them was NOT fun (i.e., oven burns are the gift that keeps on giving. The initial burn hurts, but then every time anything other than cold water hits it, it hurts again.), but seeing the end results was pretty rockin’. And usually, I’m the mom that barely remembers to even get cards, but I’d seen something similar (except in heart shapes) and I’ve been itching to find a way to use all the free crayons we get from restaurants, random holidays, etc. I find purging things so satisfying.

We also went to a local establishment for our annual lobster eating. Every year, a bar near us has a lobster special, one whole lobster for $12.99, around Valentine’s. I don’t love lobster, but it’s fun to do now and then, especially for so cheap. My husband, who grew up spending some time in the summer at his grandparents’ place in Maine, LOVES lobster and always goes on about the lobstermen fishing them straight out of the ocean and bringing it to their table. THIS is definitely not that, but it’s an affordable way to eat some lobster and relive some of those memories. We also discovered that the youngest one also likes lobster. And yes, I know that’s not how you really eat lobster.

Anyhow, it snowed an inch or two last night¬†which will probably kick today’s intervals/tempo (2×2 marathon pace miles) indoors. Chatted with Bill today, and he was talking about how important speedwork was in helping you work on form and activate your glutes and such. I’ve been ignoring the speed workouts as I’ve been trying to deal with my various tightnesses and wonkiness, but it’s time to put it back in. I re-shifted the training plan a bit, but more on that next blog. In the meanwhile, happy running!


Leave a comment

Pool running and proof that Jen still runs with me

I’ve had ALOT of friends deal with injuries the last year or so. I honestly think that my semi-regular massage¬†work and my fixation with foam rolling can take¬†a good deal of credit for me being relatively injury-free. That is not to say, though, that I’m not constantly aware of every extra bit of tightness or creakiness. I really like all the “prehab vs. rehab” stuff I’ve been seeing lately. That’s why I found this post about pool running so fascinating. It actually starts with a story about two ultra runners that do a fair bit of pool running as part of their cross-training. Pool running is usually relegated to the domain of those who CAN’T run and are already injured. These folks use it regularly as part of their running/training regimen. I was fascinated. I like the article alot because it provides a variety of ways you can tackle pool running from my version–running back and forth in chest-high water while pushing/pulling my kids (i.e., sneaking in a workout without them knowing) to the more familiar weighted vest/best deeper water to ankle-deep water running. Either way, if you’re in the pool a good amount this summer, there’s some things to try out!

This morning was a 10 mile run with 5×1000’s at 5k pace with recovery in between. Yup, Fun times. In 80-degree weather with alot of humidity. Thankfully Jen had 5×1200’s on her plan with a 2 mile warm up and 1 mile cooldown, so we did most of my 10 miles together. For those uninitiated into the joys of track workouts, most standard tracks are 400 meters and 4 laps are a mile. Usually with intervals, a good recovery is half the distance or half the time of the interval (depending on your goals, etc.). Today’s recovery time for me was supposed to be 50-90% of my interval time. Here’s the splits. My goal 5k time (according to this convertor for my marathon goal time) is 22:22, which translates into a 7:12 time. Based on my over-involved calculations, I think that means I needed to hit a 4:30 for 1000m.

Lap 1   4:29

Lap 2   4:37

Lap 3   4:41

Lap 4   4:41

Lap 5   4:41

Sadly, you can see that I only hit it for the first lap. To my credit, I had a different time in mind based on a different calculator I was looking at before I left the house (ahem, at 5:45 this morning, sigh). But I realized prepping for this post, that I was looking at the wrong thing. I think I could have pushed it a little harder for at least a few more laps if not all of them. I really dislike intervals, but nothing works up a sweat like some nasty fast runs on the track. I’m not a naturally fast (nor inclined towards fast) runner, and I often find them somewhat demoralizing. In some ways, that’s why I like speed/interval workouts based on feel rather than specific times. On Bill’s marathon plan two years ago, his speed workouts were based on just going as hard as you (un)comfortably can. I might go with a combination of time and feel this time around.

Anyhow, here’s a lovely shot of the sun rising behind Jen on the track.

On a side note, we talked about how her form is pretty good. She has a good natural lean forward (something she didn’t know was actually good) and good stride. One thing I’ve noticed is that she tends to shrug her shoulders up a bit, which gives her a cute “little engine that could” look, haha. It doesn’t seem to impact her too much, though. You lose a little bit of energy, but there are worse things (like my swinging arms across my body, ha).¬†

Anyhow, I forced her to take a selfie with me, so we took turns looking goofy.

It’s going to be a hot one today, so stay cool!

What kind of speed training do you do? How do you mentally work through hitting splits (or not)?

P.S. My husband has been mentioning that he sees a fair amount of “grammer” (sic) mistakes in my writing in these posts. I will need to proof them better! I follow some blogs of former teachers-turned bloggers and when I see typos/grammar stuff/etc it drives me nuts. Feel free to point them out!


Leave a comment

We’re off to the start of another training cycle & Happy Nat’l Running Day!

I have spent way more time agonizing and obsessing the last week or so over the next training plan–and whether I really want to try and qualify for Boston 2016. I am tired and not feeling fresh for a new cycle. But I’m also feeling wonky about not having a plan. I decided I am going to run the Last Chance BQ.2¬†in Fox Valley after all (although I still need to register. It’s $140!! To run 6 loops of a crazy short route. You can see why I was hesitating!). That means, it was time to figure out my plan.

Because I’m obsessed with spreadsheets, I spent way too much creating one comparing the multiple plans at my disposal. I had Bill’s plan from last fall, which helped me get 15 minutes off my marathon, Liz’s plan from this spring which definitely made me faster, and the various high mileage plans from¬†Advanced Marathoning. In case you thought I wasn’t serious about my obsessiveness (or my researcher background, ha), here’s a snapshot of the spreadsheet.

IMG_0859

I went back and forth for awhile. Reflecting on my last couple of marathons, though, one thing I realized that I really struggle with is running strong through the finish (or last 1/3) of the marathon. One of the things that¬†AM promises with its higher mileage is your ability to run strongly through the whole thing. Just to clarify, this is not “bonking” or hitting the wall–as I’ve read that can happen more often with nutritional issues–but just plain being tired and being able to push through. In the case of my last marathon of the season last fall though (my 4th), I think it was more of a matter of mental burnout than physical.

Admittedly¬†AM‘s¬†plans are a bit crazy in mileage, i.e., their “lowest” mileage plan is still 50+. That makes most people balk I think. However, the last couple of years, I’ve been doing okay with some higher mileage, and I have the time this summer as I’m only teaching one class in the month of July, so…I’m going to try it out. I don’t necessarily love their speedwork, though, so I think I’m still going to keep some of Liz’s workouts.

There were still two plans for the 50+ mileage program, though, an 18 week plan and a 12 week plan. Sadly, I was in the middle–14 weeks out from Fox Valley–so I cobbled together a little bit of this and a little bit of that. What that meant, though, was all of a sudden I’m facing a 9 mile run AND an 8 mile run mid-week before Saturday’s “long” run of 12 miles. Ugh. I decided to take it out to the Salt Creek Trail in Brookfield as a break from the streets, and it got done! Woohoo.

And I even threw in a little speedwork, although I stopped a bit and drank all of my water (which I almost never do). I’m usually pretty good about dressing appropriately, but it got blazing hot. I actually debated taking off my shirt and just running in my sports bra (I did see¬†someone who ran in just a bra and hot pants–and she was rockin’ it I have to admit), but there was enough traffic on the path that I wasn’t totally loving that idea.

IMG_0857I also ended up doing some semi-interval work during some of the run trying to get a picture of this deer. You can see I still failed pretty miserably. It’s the brownish blob in the center of the picture. Ha. I see deer somewhat regularly on the path and even in the neighborhood sometimes when I run along the edge of the woods. It’s still fun to see such large wild creatures. And they’re so quiet and fast!

I’m making my way through that¬†Racing Weight¬†book at a tortoise pace. I was inspired enough, though, to make what I’m going to call a garbage salad. We had spinach leaves, avocados on the verge of going bad, sweet potatoes (also on the verge of going bad), some pre-cooked chicken patties, and pico de gallo left over from the other night, so I threw it all together with a little bit of Trader Joe’s raspberry vinaigrette dressing. It was delicious. I need to do that more. I think there’s some kale in the fridge calling my name.

I was at Michael’s the other day getting some craft supplies for a last-minute attempt at end-of-year teacher’s presents when I saw these.

Woohooo, Ragnar! It’s barely two weeks away. Who doesn’t love a glow-in-the dark trident, axe, gun, or saber? I figure I can use them to threaten the slower runners on my team. Haha, shhhh.

And my final pic of how I’m getting ready for training:

I know, sexy, right? I saw my main man, Craig yesterday. Seriously, we are a sick people to pay someone to inflict bruising like that, right? I’d be curious about the correlation between distance runners and BDSM, haha. My ankle/Achilles has been tweaking since the Illinois Marathon, though, and I wanted to get things right before we got any further into training. I swear that man is magic. He just started his own business, so keep watch for news on that!

Happy National Running Day! It’s, ironically, a cross-training day for me, but I might still squeeze in a tiny one just to celebrate ūüôā


Leave a comment

Some weeks you wish would hurry up and end…

This week is one of them, except it brings me that much closer to some major deadlines next week. Wah wah wah.

It’s the first week of the taper, yet it still feels really brutal for my runs. I tried to do the interval workout on Tuesday, but it ended up being fartleks (i.e., random attempts at hitting the intervals and then giving up/walking/gasping and then trying again). I just could not put the energy into it. It was also on the treadmill as the streets/tracks were wet and not conducive to doing intervals (or so Jen and I convinced ourselves)friend? As long as someone backs you up, your self-lies are¬†totally true.

I rewarded myself with a slow, very easy run Wednesday. It was crazy foggy when I was running by the school track! We’ve had alot of wacky¬†spring weather this week.I also consoled myself with a giant chocolate Easter bunny later that day (post-Easter sale, baby!). I’ve decided that milk chocolate is weird and leaves a gross after-taste. It did not stop me from eating the whole bunny. Sigh. Next time, I will go for the solid dark chocolate bunny instead of the hollow milk chocolate one. Live and learn, kids.

I like to call this “Evolution of Addiction.” Or “What happened to my

One thing that did weird me out a bit browsing the post-Easter clearance awesomeness at Target was a coffee clatch of soccer moms camped out in the middle of the aisle talking about the mean-ness of “the third grade girls.” There were also alot of other women in the aisle grabbing Easter baskets and stuffed rabbits like it was the opening day of a major designer at Target. I wanted to get more stuff (funny how I’m doing the same thing…), but the group’s¬†loud and impassioned discussion about third grade girls and the way they took over the aisle creeped me out so I ran away with just my chocolate bunnies. Sad face.

Today’s tempo run also went badly. I wanted to curl up on the treadmill and cry myself to sleep after doing the first tempo mile. It was blazing hot in there, which did not help at all. I usually don’t sweat that much, but my shirt was drenched. I took an obligatory selfie of my nastiness cuz I think that’s what bloggers do. I was discrete. Ha.Furthermore, my treadmill was trapped on the channel with “Kelly and Michael” (formerly of Regis and Kelly). I have to say that Kelly Ripa frightens me (what’s with this post and being scared?!). She is so rigid/tight in her posture and appearance, that she looks like she might crack. And maybe it’s just jealousy, but I felt like she was purposely trying to flex every opportunity she had. I supposed I should laud her for her dedication and to working on being strong. Blah blah blah. She scares me.

The reason I ran inside this time was because it was raining cats and dogs. Seriously, at a couple points, driving in the rain was almost like white out conditions. Is there a word for that? A grey/rain out?

And because we live in an old house, I was going downstairs periodically to make sure our basement wasn’t flooding.

Jenny finally got her verdict about Boston. She’s not running. She has messed up ligaments and a potential fracture, so her doctor put her in a plaster cast to immobilize it completely and speed up the healing process. We’re still hoping she’ll be good to go to run Ragnar in June.¬†I feel like I would have to run with a cardboard cutout of her if she can’t do it. But let’s not even go there! She’ll be better by then… Anyhow, she’s super-bummed and rightly so, but I told her that now she can just work on healing up and re-qualifying so we (“fingers crossed”) can just run it together in 2016! Obviously, that’s assuming this training plan doesn’t kill me and that my sheer force of will in finishing training will get me to BQ at Champaign. If it doesn’t, I guess I’ll just have to run whatever marathon Jenny does and make her drag me along–literally.

Jen (I know, there are way too many people with that name in my life) have made a blood oath to cross the finish line at Champaign together, holding hands, crying, and possibly peeing ourselves. Ok, she might not have said that last part…and it might not have been a blood oath. It may have been conveyed through emojis, but you know, same thing.

I feel like my brain’s not working and I’m rambling, so I’ll leave you with all that.

Do you buy candy post-clearance at Target?

Milk chocolate versus dark? Hollow vs solid? 


Leave a comment

3 bouts of coffee, some speed, and and an unexpected surprise

Hm, the title of this post sounds amazing already, doesn’t it? Like it’s going to be about some amazing, crazy night out on the town? Alas, t’is just a regular day in the maddening crowd.

I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning. Before the alarm. An hour¬†before the alarm, and I couldn’t go back to sleep. The best sleep is sleep you think you’ve stolen by waking up and realizing you have another sweet hour before you actually have to wake up. Following that logic, the WORST¬†is when you wake up long before your alarm and can’t go back to sleep. That was me. Writhing in denial for almost an hour before reconciling with the fact that sleep was for other people. Better people. Not me.

First bout of coffee. I always drink coffee before runs. Really, it’s the first thing I do, period. Before speaking to me, before eating, before looking at kids. Coffee. I swear if I could get coffee in an IV drip, I would. I get the feeling that might be a different kind of–illegal–drug. Anyhow, I drink the coffee, do the business, eat a little smackerel of something, and head out the door. Today I was in such a stupor, I missed the memo that I was supposed to be meeting my friends part of the way into the run, and they landed outside my front door texting me. Oops.

On the docket, 9 miles, which included 5x1000s at a blistering (for me) pace at the local high school, which is the wonkiest thing ever. I mean, who builds a track with turns¬†that are more akin to right angles than any sort of curve?! Obviously, someone did. It was really dark, and I’m not just talking about my soul. And¬†I may have dropped my giant GPS watch flailing around my first interval. And I may have had to run around the track one more time before I could find it.

2015-03-18 06.24.13

It was dark but pretty!

It’s no secret. I hate speed workouts. I suck at them. I started running distances because I reconciled I couldn’t run fast. But then I started thinking I should have time goals for running and that running marathons wasn’t punishment enough, but that I should start running them FASTER. So here I am. And I thought about my previous post as I ran. And I drew on my own communal knowledge of getting through the mile/lap that I was in and not over-anticipating what was to come. And I’ll be honest, there was alot of, “Just finish this straightaway…Now do the curve/angle…Ok, another straightaway.” I couldn’t go¬†to the place of, “You have miles of this. MILES!”¬†That would crush me. I got through one piece at a time. I didn’t make all my time goals, buuuuut I’m not even sure cuz–like I said–I might have dropped my laptop-on-a-wristband-that-poses-as-my-running-watch…and I might have not have enough oxygen for my brain to remember to hit my lap button after each interval. It is what it is. But I ran and pushed through each interval, so I definitely gave myself a little mental high-five. One of the reasons I love the track over the treadmill for speedwork is that you can see how much you have left. You can coax yourself to do the last lap or half lap. The treadmill is an endless quest of waiting for numbers to change as you go nowhere, waiting for an external force to tell you you’re done. *Shudder* Reminds me of the dissertation process.

images

Anyhow, the rest of the day was the usual carnival of craziness. One sick-faking kid who stayed home from school¬†(which required a second early bout of coffee), then in-laws that came through town on their way home from a road trip, meetings and planning, and another night class (third bout of caffeinated sugar). I actually shared my blog with my students (the class is about teaching writing). Yikes, it’s always weird when you share parts of yourself that are not your “professional” parts (hm, that last bit sounds quite indiscrete) in those spaces. But this past year, I’ve been making more efforts to break down some of those barriers. So often we are categorized into certain boxes and allowed to be only fractions of ourselves.¬†It’s stifling.

Which brings me to the unexpected surprise. When I wrote that previous post, I didn’t expect it to be picked up beyond my immediate circle, but it did. And even cross international time zones! Hooray for the interwebs! I need someone in Korea to read it, though, cuz, you know, I’m Korean¬†and¬†I need validation. But Koreans don’t run. Cuz it makes our legs big…well, that’s another post for another day.

Anyhow, friends, keep movin’ and groovin.

Do you tend to compartmentalize yourself?

Would you buy a coffee IV kit?


6 Comments

Where the tooth fairy (and my training schedule) is a thing of nightmares

The last two days have been rest or easy days. I desperately wanted to get to a yoga class yesterday, but my schedule was a tough one. Too many moving parts that never quite synced up. Mondays are generally hard for everyone, but this week was going to be particularly rough. I have a new class kicking off tonight and meetings almost every day that require me to be on campus. I know, boohoo, you have to actually show up at your job to work? But seriously, I chose to be a professor precisely so I didn’t have to go to the same place everyday at the same time. True story. About 14 years ago, I had this conversation with my husband/then-boyfriend:

Me: I cannot handle this going to work everyday to the same place. At the same time. It’s brutal.

E: You realize that you just described working in general right? Like that is what a JOB is.

Me: No, there is a job out there that I won’t have to do that. I will find it!

I know, reach for those starry-eyed dreams, folks. You too can fulfill them. Ha. Anyhow, this week’s training schedule is brutal too. It makes me tired looking at it–like tired in a “I’m going to softly cry to myself and crawl back in bed. Wake me when it’s over” kind of way. Up for bat today, a 9+ mile run that involves 5x1000s, Thursday’s speed is a 10 mile tempo, and the two “easy” runs this week are 7 and 8 miles. Oh, and then this weekend is the first 20 miler. Wanna cry yet? I do.

Finally, our house has been one discussing teeth alot. My son has lost two teeth already (within a short timeframe) and insists another is loose. All of his teeth came in quickly as a baby, so I guess they’re falling out in succession (I still remember his wails of terror when I told him that all his teeth would fall out as he got older. It IS a bizarre thing). Anyhow, we have not done the tooth fairy in my house. Mostly through laziness than any specific principle. I started wondering what the tooth fairy was even about. It seems one of those bizarre old rituals stemming from way back when. It’s not. It’s only been around in its more familiar incarnation the last 30-40 years and really maybe since the 1920’s in a similar fashion. Before that, there’s discrepancies. Ultimately, the realized that losing teeth is traumatic and sad for child and parent. So people would burn teeth (something about the afterlife), leave teeth for rats or mice (so their children’s teeth would grow in as strong as a rodents), bury them (or dispose of them in some other fashion) to prevent witches from gaining access to them to use in magic against you, or even feed them to animals like dogs or hogs (again so your children’s teeth would grown in strong like theirs). All in all, none of the stories made me particularly interested in pursuing the tooth fairy in our house. More defense for lazy parenting, I know. My son DID swallow his first tooth and then promptly lost his second one somewhere in his room so it’s been easy to ignore.

I didn’t have any great pictures for this post. I thought about putting up some of the “evil tooth fairy” pictures I googled, but I’ll save you those nightmares.

Do you participate in the tooth fairy ritual in your house? Why or why not? And how much do you give?

Any tricks to getting through hard weeks (training or otherwise)?