Sunday, July 30, 2006
I prolly could have done it all this morning, body-wise, but by the time I got to 8 miles, DinoBoy was up and about and Hub was getting ready for church. I just didn't have the heart to climb back on for another 45 minutes (yes, on long runs, I slow down even more than usual, to an 11:40/even 12:00/mile pace!). As I've said earlier, this is time to get serious about the training and not missing the runs and not cutting back on the mileage, or I'll be in big-time trouble come my October marathon. So I will get on and finish the 4 miles today. Have to. Before the day is over. I will. I may bribe myself with cheesecake, and that may be what it takes, but I will get it done.
UPDATE: Did it. 4 miles. 44 minutes. wasn't fun, but it was made somewhat more tolerable by watching "Hannah Montana" and "That's So Raven" with Elder Child. Not nearly as much fun as DinoBoy and I had last night watching Titanic. Dang, those boys of mine are cultured! Like an old cottage cheese, those kids are! Now bring on my cheesecake, dammit!
Saturday, July 29, 2006
First, we decided yesterday afternoon that we needed to do something on my day off to get out of the oppressive heat. And I couldn't handle another minute of bad day-time TV/Cartoon Network/Nickelodeon. So after we picked up Elder Child from Sylvan (at 3:00 pm, not at 2:00 pm, when we first went by to get him, and then had to go back home and find something to do for an hour... goober), we headed to the ice rink at the Parks mall. I knew Elder Child had to shake some rust off his hockey skates, but that DinoBoy would never want to go to the hockey rink because, according to his dog senses, "it smells in there." But the Parks, that's a different story. Never mind that I have flashbacks there because DinoBoy puked on me there once during Elder Child's speed practice. I knew I could probably get him on the ice, if I promised to get on with him. So that how I ended up doing four laboriously slow laps around the rink in about an hour. Yeah. I'm slow. Shocked? Me either. But, I can report that I only fell once, although I did catch myself a second time. And it wasn't dreadful. Those boots, however, dang those are uncomfortable. I give those twirly girl figure skaters big props (more than before) for being able to do all that in those boots.
Then today, at the roller rink, DinoBoy convinced me to get on the floor again. The last time I tried to skate there, DinoBoy was less than a month old and I'd promised Elder Child some Mommy & Me time. Then I promptly fell on my ass and bruised my tailbone not twenty feet from the counter, a good twenty feet from the actual floor. I hung up the skates then, since I really couldn't afford to have another broken arm or tailbone with a newborn. But the last six years of listening to the mechanics of skating must have paid off, since I was able to navigate around fairly successfully (i.e., I DIDN"T FALL!) today. And I have to give the little boys credit here for getting out there and skating so easily. Because, yeah, it's hard to do that.
And yeah, Elder Child? The following is for you:
All those times I yelled at you during practice to just get up, just move your feet, just SKATE! for goodness sakes? Sorry. That's a helluva lot harder than it looks. And you were booking it, too. Granted, you're closer to the ground than I am, but you did fall repeatedly in the beginning, and you never gave up and never stopped. Not only did you never quit, but you made it to freakin' Nationals and I barely made it around the rink once in a half-hour. Dude. You are my rock star. I really hope you know that.
Peace out. Hub is home from NY, so I'd like to get to spend some time with him today. Especially since he brought me Johnny Damon! OK, not really, just a Johnny Damon lineup bracelet. He rocks. More later when I post his photos of Yankee Stadium.
Friday, July 28, 2006
So, it's now 6:46 AM and I've put in my treadmill time. I did a nice and easy 5 miles, total time was about 57 minutes, give or take. I was more worried about just getting the miles in rather than setting some speed record. I did 5 miles yesterday, but because I had to get ready for work, I was a little quicker about it. I skipped Tuesday's workout because I was just fried, but I made it up Wednesday, so I've gotten in my 3 weekday runs anyway. I'm scheduled for 3 or 4 tomorrow, and then a nice 12 miler on Sunday. From then on out, the long run mileage escalates until October, so there really is no taking a break any more. So I guess my body knows what's best for me.
Hub comes home tonight, but I have the day free with the boys. Elder Child has Sylvan from noon to 2 PM, but the rest of the day is an open book. I'm sure I'll let you know what we come up with!
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Hub is in New Yawk, where he was lucky enough to catch a Mets game last night. at Shea Stadium. Home of the Mets. The '86 Mets. Mookie. Keith. Gary Carter. Waah, he went without me!! Lucky for him, the Yankees are out of town (um, yeah, they're playing HERE, against the Rangers), so he doesn't have a chance to get disowned by going to Yankee Stadium without me. I believe if you review our marriage contract it would definitely be in there that one of us would not be allowed to go to Yankee Freakin' Stadium (or Fenway, BTW) without the other.
Elder Child is enjoying his first week at Sylvan. He's doing the group sessions, for about 1/3 the cost of the private sessions, but there is only one other kid there, so it's still very personalized. It seems to have made an impact so far, but the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, so I'll withhold judgment until the school year starts and the report cards roll in.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
The competition was fierce -- almost every other kid in his age group was slim and sleek, wearing tri shorts and wheeling in these great 26-inch bikes. He's wearing baggy swim trunks and pushing a heavy-ass Wal-Mart special 20" bicycle. But I tell you, everyone around that pool was cheering him on in the pool, and on the bike, and folks gathered around the finish line to cheer him in at the end. He had people coming to him afterward, congratulating him on a job well done and for persevering. It was so amazing to me, both the heart demonstrated by that boy and the crowd willing him on with their chants and their cheers and their applause. It was so inspiring.
Right after we took this photo, Jack, the race director, who will be getting a great big thank-you letter from me, asked him if he had fun. Without missing a beat, my son, the TriAthlete, replied, "Yeah, it was great!"
Dead freakin' Last beats Did Not Start any day. My hero, my son. The Triathlete.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
This is what comes of spending 3 days where the time is an hour behind me. I get used to waking up at 6:00 instead of 5:00. So today I didn't wake up until well past 6:40, which by the time I got my arse out the door it was past 7:00. Ghastly.
This is what comes of spending three days running on what locals call "flat" paths, but what I know damn well were freakin' hills. I ran three and half miles, at not anything close to my all-out effort, and clocked about 10:15/mile. Rock on.
So, negative X negative = positive. Hey, Edward James Olmos was right.
Plus, I lost two pounds while I was gone. Which puts me right at exactly 15 pounds away from where I need to be. Which is still 15 pounds higher than my "ideal" weight, but which I was quite happy at for two years before the Winter-of-Job-Stress-from- Beyond-the-Depths-of-Hell-in-Which-my-Body-Stopped- Cooperating-with-the-Program that stretched into the Spring-of-Why-Bother-Trying- Just-Pass-me-the-Cheesecake-Because-my-Jeans- Don't-Fit-Right-Anyway-so-I-May-as-Well-Not-Deny-Myself. Which is still better than last week. You do the math, I'm too dehydrated.
Now to wring out the clothes and find something to eat. I think I hear my smoothie calling me. Gotta do something with the six overripe bananas on the counter. Dear sweet Hub apparently didn't offer the children any fruit while I was gone. I'm afraid they sustained themselves on waffles and sausage products. And Grandma's cooking, of course. But they did survive and live to tell about it.
Friday, July 21, 2006
But for now, gotta run. Literally. Prolly won't check in again until tomorrow sometime. Have fun on this Friday.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
This morning's weather is currently 71 and partly cloudy, with humidity somewhere around 50%. As I said -- PERFECT. My run was less painful today, and I managed 4 miles total, at a blazing 2 second faster than yesterday. But that was really because of the hill; my breathing was much more regulated today, and I never felt extremely winded like I did yesterday, despite some pretty severe inclines and rolling paths. Can I just say the parks here are amazing? The parks here are amazing. There, I said it. There are three within three miles of my hotel, with rolling green space and trees and paths. No water fountains to speak of (grrr) but otherwise pretty awesome.
And my customer service award of the month has to go to the doorman and the concierge at the hotel. As I pulled up, sweaty and spent, to the doorway, the doorman saw me and held the door open. Before I got there, he had signaled to the concierge and by the time I walked the ten feet to the concierge, he had a bottle of water and a towel ready for me. I didn't have to say a word, and I honestly would never have thought to ask them. Yesterday, I came in a side door and headed to the gym area, where I knew I'd find a water cooler, so I really didn't expect it. But isn't that what sets apart good customer service from great customer service? The unexpected extra touch that goes above and beyond? Yeah.
All in all, except for the fact that I'm missing my boys something serious, it's been a good morning. If we have nearly the mindstorms today that we did yesterday, we will have accomplished a lot. Gotta run and grab something for breakfast better than my banana. Later.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
apparently, there was sadness last night, and the Elder Child had to sleep in DinoBoy's room to calm him down. I'm not sure what the deal is -- Hub travels all the time for business and they barely bat an eye. Just making me feel guilty, I'm sure.
Gotsa run to grab some breakfast before the early start, but I had to share what the wonderful Frontier Airlines flight attendant told a passenger last night before take-off. Apparently, her bag was not pushed all the way under the seat, so the flight attendant asked her to move it. I didn't hear the woman's response, but the attendant had apparently had enough with her day (it was an 8 PM flight) and said, "Well, we ask you to do that so if something happens, you don't trip trying to get out. But if you don't care about you and your kids here being able to escape quickly, then I guess you can leave it like it is." I wasn't sure I'd heard it right -- I couldn't believe she'd actually said it out loud -- I'm sure she THINKS it all the time, but dang. Let's just say I made sure my carry-on item was securely stowed under the seat in front of me after that. Rawr.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
When the water coming from an outside fountain scalds you at 5:45 in the morning, you know it's hot.
When 3 miles at 5:30 makes you sweaty enough to lose a pound, you know it's hot.
When Denver, CO is forecast to have a high of 98, you know it's hot.
Second thing: I LURVE www.lush.com. We stopped in Saturday afternoon for a bit while we were wandering around Northpark Center in North Dallas, a mall which we never frequent, because I really am more of a Kohl's girl than a Needless Markup or Nordstrom girl. In fact, I believe I'm actually more of a Target girl at heart. Take the girl out of the Valley but not the Valley out of the girl and all that. Anyhoo, I went in looking for something to solve my eternally erupting chin. Because of a combination of my workouts, sleeping on my face, and generally being clueless about my skincare, I have been fighting chin breakouts for roughly fifteen years, and they've recently gotten much worse. Combined with scarring b/c of my pigmentation, it's gotten pretty bad -- so bad that I've resorted to wearing makeup sometimes. Now for those of you who know me in real life, you know that's pretty severe. In any case, the girl there who helped us -- who BTW had the most FLAWLESS skin I've ever seen; if that isn't an endorsement of the place, I don't know what is -- recommended their Fresh Farmacy soap and a fresh mask that has revolutionized my skin. It's amazing. In just three days I can tell a difference. I no longer feel a need to scrub -- my face is just fresh and so much clearer. I can't wait to see what happens after a week or more of continuous use. And their catalog is so fun to read. I am most definitely going back for more fun stuff, like their shower creams and shampoo and schtuff.
So there, two tidbits from me. Aren't you glad you checked in?
I'm off to Denver tonight, so I'm not sure how often I'll be posting. Later!
Sunday, July 16, 2006
So after we get him settled we head out from the in-laws and point the bicycles toward the park where I run, which is about a mile from their house. I figured we'd get out there, do three laps, then head back and dump the bikes on the front porch while we do the run. And all went pretty well according to plan. Except for that big-ass hill that I usually run up, so I never noticed exactly how steep it is. Until we were trying to power up it and praying to all the dieties in the world to not let us roll back down it... and that nobody in a big-ass truck would get impatient with us and run us over.
Sidebar: We did get honked at a few times, to which I have to say, "F@#@ off, you and your big-ass truck -- we take up less room than you and we have every right to be on this road as you do." The more I've been out and about on the bike, the more I notice that Texas drivers are just RUDE to cyclists, and it seems to be in direct proportion to the size of their vehicles. Would it really kill you to wait a few seconds and go around us??
Anyhoo, we did the laps around the park, then headed back. With about a mile to go, Elder Child starts to complain that his stomach hurts. Uh-oh.
Me: What do you mean it hurts?
EC: It hurts, like a sharp pain.
Me: Well, yeah, pain is pretty much a definition of it hurts. But hurt like I need to slow down, or hurt like I'm about to show you my toast again?
EC: Hmm. I think it's all better now.
Me: Grrr. Don't mess with me boy! Don't tell me it hurts unless it does.
EC: But it did! and now it doesn't.
Me: So you're OK?
EC: Yeah. I guess it wasn't really my stomach. It's more of my bottom, where the bike seat is.
Me: So what should we do?
EC: I'm good.
??? goober. By that time, we hit the last downhill before the in-laws' and then dumped the bikes. But it became apparent by about four houses down that the run was not to be. It was way too hot, and his breathing was off again. But since he'd done a great job on the run and we'd laid out a plan for our next workouts, I cut him some slack and we finished after a short trip around the block.
So today, I decided to sleep in because I was all kinds of tired last night. And even though the schedule called for 12 miles today, I decided to screw the schedule and sleep in. Hub popped out of bed a bit before 7 to hit the treadmill and watch the Formula 1 race, but I slept in until nearly 8. At which time I figured that it was going to be too hot to run outside, but that it might be OK to go on a bike ride. So I headed out and ended up doing 12 miles on the bike. I averaged about 5-minute miles, which I'm sure is dreadfully slow to some folks, but I'm just pleased that I didn't die out there and that I finished fairly strong.
And then when I came in, Hub was done with the TM, so I hopped on for 3 miles. I ended up walking the first one, then cranking up the speed until I ended up running at the end. Still slow overall, but at least I didn't quit after 5 minutes like I really wanted to. So I call that a success, and I also call it 1:40 minutes of constant movement. But now, after church, a nice healthy lunch (except for that honey-butter-slathered blueberry bread) at Souper Salad and a trip to Costs-Too-Much, I am all kinds of sore. Just wiped out tired. Even another nap didn't help much. Eh. No worries. I have about two loads of laundry to finish and then I'm done for the day. Except for fetching those kids of mine. But they'll be fed and happy after spending the weekend away, so we'll have time to just hang until bed time.
So even if I am still all kinds of wiped out, I still had all kinds of fun.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Thursday, July 13, 2006
One particular story has stuck with me in the past few weeks:
The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.
Not that I'm frustrated much or anything lately....
It is the BEST update on an American classic. Even if Chevrolets aren't built in the USA. Hell, most of the best players are Dominican!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
OK, so he's not a Brick House in the traditional manner of the song. However, my Elder Child has now accomplished his second "brick" workout, in preparation for his first triathlon next weekend. He can do the swim no problem (200 meters in a pool), and the bike he enjoys tremendously (6 miles) even though he'd never been on a bicycle before the second week of May, and he can do a 5K no problem with about a 35 minute PR (he only has to do 2 miles for the race). I know he can do the individual parts of it, but as we all know, the trick to the tri is the combination and the transition, so I knew we had to put this together for him to be ready. This second bike/run combo went significantly better than his first, but then again, it would be tough for this one to be any worse than the first.
Backtrack to Saturday morning. Having not spent any of the previous two weeks anywhere near the bicycles or on runs together, we determined that with race day a mere three weeks away, we should probably attempt to train the Elder Child. So I roused him and his hair -- the child has a head of the thickest hair imaginable and it is seriously affected by bedhead now that it's longer than a buzz -- at 6:15, force-fed him some toast and jam, and we hopped on the bikes. We left DinoBoy and Hub snug in their beds, and attempted to get some good riding in before the sun came up full force and the heat became too unbearable.
Now, keep in mind that we'd not been out riding in a long while, and his legs were a bit unused. I'd planned a 4 mile ride and a mile run afterward, just to shake off the rust and get him accustomed to the dead-leg sensation of the run immediately after the bike. I didn't want his first attempt at the tri to see him crumpling under his own body weight in T2. What I didn't count on was the extreme humidity of that morning, despite the sun still being low in the sky and behind cloud cover. His breathing was out of control really early on because of it, and by the time we hit a slight incline past mile 1, he was panting like a dog.
I also didn't count on us passing the stinkiest mound of roadkill garbage on the side of the road about two miles in. He was trying to regain a semblance of deep breathing and inhaled the nasty stench of something dead right when we passed it, setting off his gag reflex. I looked over and saw him pretty much retching on the bike and had to talk him down off the cliff to keep his toast down. Had the implications not been so gruesome it would have been pretty funny. OK, even if he had puked, it was still pretty funny. So I'm a bad mom, whatever, the kid is way too sensitive to smells. I'd run past that same spot the morning before and while it baffled me and disturbed me, it certainly didn't make me want to upchuck. That slight interruption really did affect the rest of his ride, though, as he had that I-almost-puked-tremble to him for the next mile. We averaged about a 8:00/mile for the last three, but the first mile was painfully slow at about 10:00.
Then, when we finished up and left the bikes in the garage for the run, his feet were hurting him. He's just gotten a new set of orthotics and had barely broken them in, so after about a quarter of a mile, the feet were killing him. Combine the limping with being out of breath from the humidity and my poor baby was just a mess. Then add in his tendency to get "heavy head" when he's tired --his head droops to the right both on runs and on the ice after a long shift in hockey -- and it looked like I was running with Quasimodo. At one point, I caught a glimpse of our shadows from the early sun, and I was literally barely jogging next to a little misshapen lump. He couldn't even manage our usual 4/1 splits -- by .6 of a mile in, we were running by 4 houses, then walking past 2, then running by the next 4. And he was grimacing and grunting and whining the entire time. It was all he could do to make it home. We clocked a smoking 16:00/mile. Wahoo.
The one thing that seemed to make an impression on him during the run part of this was my insistence on his regaining his breathing and trying to have some semblance of decent form. I kept at him to do those two things, and I'm sure some of the neighbors out doing early yard work thought I was abusing him by berating him. But I needed him to understand while we were out there, when he felt like quitting, that I can't be on the course with him this time. I usually am with him when he gets winded, or when the arches start to burn, or if he gets a side stitch and wants to come to a dead stop during his walk breaks. And I can get him going again, and pep talk him to just go a little further until he catches sight of the finish and regains his momentum and breaks away from me and sprints into the chutes. But this time, I can't and won't be with him when he's racing. And I need for him to be able to motivate himself and push himself when he thinks he can't go any longer. Because he can go a little longer, and he can keep those little legs moving, and he can make it to the finish on his own. He's done it every single time he's pinned a bib on his shirt, and sometimes it's easy and fun and sometimes it's hard and painful, but oh, so, rewarding. But sometimes he thinks he can't, especially when it's hard and painful, and I so need him to believe in himself like I believe in him.
So that's why tonight's brick was so much better. He did 5 miles on the bike, averaging about a 7:50/mile for the whole thing, and then we ran about .6 of a mile in a 13:20/mile pace. And he finished with a smile and a look of accomplishment so different from Saturday morning's utter defeat. It helped that we had a few sprinklers to run through tonight! But his confidence was built up because despite the limp and the pain and the Quasimodo head, he's done a brick and he came out on the other side of it. Hell, how many 11-year-olds do you know that even know what a brick is? Like I told him, he may come in dead freakin' last, but the medal is the same, and the sense of pride is something nobody can ever take away.
UPDATE: I just signed him up officially. And we'd both been operating on the assumption that the bike was 6 miles, but it's actually only 5, and we thought the run was 2 miles, but it's actually only 1.5. So, SCORE! He will be so ready by the time next week rolls around.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Sidebar: When we were in college, a driver on the bus shuttle route we used to take had a terrible unibrow. Very nice guy -- we talked with him quite a bit, as we were the last ones to get off usually. But the unibrow was there nonetheless. Despite the fact that was more than 15 years ago, we still remember the unibrow guy. As a result, I now am pretty much required to groom Hub's eyebrows occasionally to keep him from imitating said bus driver. This is important. You'll see why momentarily.
So, I'm busy sending emails and otherwise searching the web, and the other two are outside. DinoBoy is pouting silently near the couch and finds the tweezers. He plays with them for a while, then decides it's a good idea to insert them into the power strip near him. Bzzzzzz! Lights flash, and thankfully the surge protector triggers, so there's nothing more to it than a spark (pretty impressive one -- it got my attention) and a bit of heat. That and a very startled little boy. I had to calm him down after verifying that he was OK. But I'm pretty sure he's done sticking things in outlets. The amazing thing about this whole thing is that it took him 5.5 years to do it. I was figuring we'd hit that stage with him when he was 2.
ORN -- yes, even in the new spot, we still get wildly irregular workout posts. 3 miles outside in stifling nasty heat. A bit of a headwind today, which was refreshing, even if it did cut time off my pace. Tonight, another brick for the Elder Child. I have a post about his first attempt later. When I can type without laughing. More to come!
Sunday, July 09, 2006
I'll be here for the foreseeable future, seeing as hooha.org is still combating spambots and the Bat is moving all the hooha sites to another server. But, in yet another indicator that I have internet dependencies, I've not been able to go without blogging. So, you have this site to hold me over. and bonus: photos! heh, heh!
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Welcome to Suburbia South
Let me clear out the toys so you can sit down.
|Who: Skatemom -- 37, married 14 years as of August 2007, two kids, full-time job|
|What: Trying to keep it all together, and sometimes document my little life on this and related pages|
|Where: Suburbia South, AKA Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas|
|When: Whenever I find a convergence of time and energy to update|
|Why: Because Batgrl made me|
|How: I don't ask questions like that. It's all the Bat's fault.|
Things that keep me busy these days:
My older son "The Elder Child" used to be a competitive inline speed skater, skating between 3-5 times a week. We live around the corner from the rink. After a particularly bad show at regionals in his third year of competition, he transitioned to ice speed skating, then to hockey. He now is a full-time hockey player. But he also runs with me, and in July 2006 completed a triathlon, finishing DFL, but finishing nonetheless. He's my rock star.
The "baby" of the family is DinoBoy. He is 6 years old and keeps us all busy and highly entertained. He can properly identify about 47 kinds of dinosaurs, as well as re-enact pretty much any Disney, Pixar or Dreamworks movie released in his lifetime. He also is a burgeoning film buff and enjoys the original versions of King Kong and War of the Worlds, in black and white, to the remakes. He took beginner lessons at the rink nearby, but as he doesn't have a competitive bone in his body, he's not into speed or racing. This spring, he'll start T-Ball. Wahoo!
WorkI just took a job traveling 4 days a week, doing higher education computer system consulting. This should be interesting.
We moved into our house long enough ago that it's time to start re-doing things. The inside's mostly done, but now the exterior still needs some personalization. However, my rose garden now has four wonderfully gorgeous bushes. I got the first one for Mother's Day the 2nd year we lived in the house, and the garden will be quite lovely when I'm done with it in about three years. Mostly, I'm content with keeping the floors from getting too sticky, the counters wiped off and the laundry mostly done. Life to too short for housework.Running
I learned to run while i was in college (thank you, Joe Acebo, wherever you are!). I ran in grad school, mostly to avoid writing my thesis. Kept it up sporadically after/between having kids. I've completed five marathons now -- White Rock in 2004, 2005 and 2006, the 30th Annual Marine Corps Marathon in October 2005, and the Miracle Match Marathon in Waco in October 2006. I am currently training for a fall race -- I've put in for New York, but if my number doesn't come up I'll have to find a backup. I run about a 10:00 mile if I'm doing a 5K or less, but slow down to about an 11:15 mile or more if I'm going long. I am a runner. I never have purported to be a FAST runner -- my marathon PR is 5:13, and I think I'd be hard pressed to beat that, although I know one day I'll break 5:00. I'm just not sure when, and I'm content to keep at it until it happens.
I use my blog to keep track of my running, my weight battles and general family life. Join me.