Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Croc, as in what a _____

I'm so glad The Manolo posted this. I'd like to think this would quiet my daughter's pleas for the pink crocs, but it would really just make her want to get a second pair for our cat.

Not only are the crocs dopey, they are just not good shoes. I know the kids love them, and that's fine. In most situations, they're okay. But I see kids running and biking in these things (not mine), with their feet flopping about in the crocs. That's if they can even keep them on their feet.

Two weeks ago, when my little ones were climbing Stone Mountain in appropriate sneakers and trail shoes, I saw a rotund couple chewing their child out for her repeated sliding on the descending side of the path. The girl was wearing a bright red pair of crocs, just like the ones sported by the cat above. Crocs! On a hike up a mountain. What a crock! She had no traction on the smooth rock surface, and could not stop her feet sliding out of the roomy chunks of plastic. (I won't even get into my surprise with the parents for fussing at her when there was little she could do about it. They didn't even take her hand to help steady her. Ack!)

You don't have to have a specific shoe for each and every sport, but for goodness' sake, don't wear crocs for anything where balance and tread is needed.

Two Rides

It's been a busy, busy week. The little bits are in sports camps (baseball/gymnastics) this week, so I'm hanging out with the big kid (B1). He sleeps until 10:30 or so, giving me plenty of time to work each morning. Tuesday, he went with me out the Silver Comet Trail for a 15 mile ride. That was the plan. At 7.5 miles, he asked if we could go just another mile or so. We ended up with a total of 17.5 before heading off to get him the massive amounts of food he needed to refuel.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have B1 as a riding buddy. It was so cute when he looked down at the computer & saw he'd been going 18.5 mph for a few minutes. (Wait. Not cute. I'm going to need to retool my language to talk about him, now that he's a teenager.) In a couple of weeks, we'll have another week where it's just the two of us. I think I'll take the opportunity to introduce him to riding in traffic. He doesn't grasp the difference between a ride in our neighborhood and a ride over to Roswell Road yet. Lunch at Steak & Shake one day, and maybe a ride to see a matinee of Indiana Jones ought to do the trick.

While we were riding Tuesday, I stopped by the Silver Comet Depot to check on the Wednesday group ride. It's a ride for women that heads out around 6:30 each week. They want people there at 6:00, just in case you need to inflate tires, buy drinks, etc. before the shop closes. They also keep the shop open a bit late to let ladies rent a bike for the ride. It's a great time to try out something different, if you're used to riding just cruisers or mountain bikes.

I made it out there last night for the ride. There were just three of us, all on road bikes. We kept about a 14-15mph pace, and went 30 miles. Since all my riding is either solo or with my family, this was a great new experience. Riding with the group made me more aware of my form. Since I was just tagging along, I kept a much steadier pace than I do on my own. I pushed myself in spots along the trail where I'm usually lazy, and took it a bit easier in areas where I normally push. At the end, I was beginning to tire, but in the good workout sort of way.

I can't quite take the time every week, but I am going to get out there for at least one of the group rides each month. Holly may be adding an extra ride day, which will probably mean I can make a couple of rides. I'm really looking forward to the next time I go.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


That's my official time in the Save Our Skin 5k on Saturday morning. It's the first 5k I've run on my own, and I'm feeling pretty good about it. Don't get me wrong, I love running with my kidlets; but it felt great to be able to keep running past the 2 minute interval which works with them.

I didn't do the normal solo run thing where I start pretty strong, but am at 4:1 breaks after the first 10 minutes. I managed a 15+ minute run to the half-way point. Walked through the water station, taking a minute to sip my water all the way to last trash can, then ran the rest of the way to the finish. Running with the Women on the Move group from the Atlanta Track Club has really helped. As a newbie, pacing has been my biggest problem. They keep a very steady pace from the beginning of each run. I think it's finally starting to sink in.

I was hot & tired at the end, but a bottle of water and small latte later, was ready to change and head out to the Silver Comet with the kids for a 12-mile ride. A slowish ride, since I was pulling the little miss on the trail bike. She's not at all hesitant to ride on her own; I'm just not sure she's ready for anything over 10 miles by herself yet.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You Will Be Catalogued

I was listening to The Tin Dog Podcast episode on The Sontaran Stratagem & The Poison Sky this morning, when the host took a break from his discussion to play this song. I love it! The episode with the Judoon on the moon is one of my favorites. The little old lady with her blood sipping straw wasn't the best of the villians I've seen in my growing fascination with all things Doctor, but the rest of the story was pretty darn good.

This past Christmas, my younger son (B2) received a sonic screwdriver & psychic paper set from his grandfather, and old-school Doctor fan. The screwdriver has the blue light and makes the sound, and has an invisible ink pen nib which can be swapped out for the ball point end. B2 has, on more than one occasion, gone around the house, giving hugs or handshakes as part of a not-so-subtle plan to mark our hands or arms. This is followed by a later "sorting" of the family. The pets are marked by a post it note to the collar, which usually ends up stuck to the couch or nearest doorframe. I usually end up catalogued as "non-human". I think it's so I can be hit up for a snack, to bribe my captor into letting me sneak away.

If you haven't listened to the Tin Dog Podcast, it's pretty good. He reviews all the new shows, but also goes into the history of the Doctor, the various baddies and does a great job summarizing the adventures of the previous incarnations. Thanks to him, we've been enjoying the very first Doctor... which reminds me... it's about time to order the next set. We'll have these finished soon, now that summer's here. The later bedtime will mean we'll be watching two or three of the episodes at a time, instead of just one. Ack! I'll be ordering a set every 2-3 weeks. Maybe it's time to join Netflix?

Monday, May 19, 2008

iCing Transformation Challenge, Day 27

Gala Darling's iCing Transformation challenge is up. For the past 27 days, I've worked toward the goal of two days per week of raw food goodness, and exercising 20 minutes (or more) each day.

Of the 27 days, I've exercised 24. Took one day off after a twisted ankle, one day with a sick child, and one day where I was totally swamped with a project. It was a bit tough at times to break away, but the 20 minute bar I'd set made it easy to reach. Even on the busiest (or rainiest) days, I found myself cheerfully spinning or running past the 20 minute mark. I now look forward to exercising every day, which is nice. Granted, the beautiful May weather is helping.

The goal of eating fully raw two days each week wasn't quite met. I am managing one day completely, with the two days following being 2/3 raw. Lots of salads, fresh and dried fruit, nuts, and juices. I'll need to read up before I try to do more than I am. I learned the hard way I need a more substantial breakfast before heading out on a three hour ride. Berries and banana on a bowl of steel cut oats and soy milk gets me a lot further than berries and banana alone. So, not as raw as I'd hoped, but a darn sight healthier than I'd been before.

I may not have met my goals exactly as I set out, but this 27-day challenge has helped me form a couple of very healthy new patterns in my life. I'm taking the next four weeks to get them firmly established. I'm keeping the exercise mark exactly as it is, and will reward myself at the end of the 28 days with a lovely new running dress from SkirtSports. That's right, a running dress. If I'm going to run like a girl, I might as well flaunt it!

Thanks for the extra motivation and support, Gala. You were a big help on this.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Catching Up

Meant to post this a week ago, but lost track of the days. This was my view on the Silver Comet Trail last week, for approximately 8.5 miles. Streamers and pony tail fluttering in the breeze. No Trail-a-Bikes for DD any longer. She is officially on her own. She's been able to ride on her own for a year now; her bike was just too small to go much faster than, well... anything. This is an official big kid bike. Never had training wheels, never will.

One wipeout. She was distracted by a bicycle riding turtle pinwheel in a yard which borders the trail, and lost balance at the pavement's edge. A few minutes of recovery, a splash of water to brush dirt of scraped hands, and we pedaling off for the last couple of miles.

I'm so proud of her. We turned back after four miles. Didn't want her to burn out on the first big ride. She wants to do it again, and to go to our normal turn around spot next time around. That would be a 12 miler, and I'm thinking we might to add just one or two miles each of the next few trips. I foresee a summer of late morning picnics on the trail... assuming we can get her slightly bigger brother on his own bike.

Summer Activewear

I picked up this skort from REI last week. $29. Have worn it twice already, once with sleeveless polo, and once with a tee. It's very comfortable, lightweight, and absolutely perfect for kid friendly activities where a skirt just won't cut it. The wrap skirt allows for more freedom of movement than did the Columbia skort I tried. The length is just right, and the skirt portion doesn't fly away while I'm on my bike. The zipper back pocket is just the right size for phone or iPod and a couple of small essentials. I can attest to the stain-resistance; dumped a cup of cold coffee on myself in the kitchen Sunday afternoon, and it rolled right off.

In case you can't tell, I'm a fan. Might go get the darker version I saw at the store. Didn't see it available online. Just have to figure out what I'm replacing, since I'm going on a one item in, at least one item out policy.

Running Bunnies...

...I mean Buddies. 51:55 was our time at the Atlanta Susan G Koman Race for the Cure on Saturday. Not great, but also not bad, considering the 5k course was packed to the point where staying together while walking was a challenge, let alone finding enough space to run together for more than a minute at a time. We walked most of the course.

My oldest (B1) was away for the weekend, so he missed the thrill of traveling through Midtown with mom & siblings in bunny ears. B2 had a great time, but was happy to give the shirt to his sister, who is more than happy to have two oversized shirts with pink ribbons.

All in all, a great start to Mother's Day weekend.

Friday, May 09, 2008

It's the little things

This week has been tough. Crazy work schedule. Crazy kid schedule for the crazy kids who are almost finished with the school year. I've been giving up an hour or two of sleep most nights to work, just so I can get outside for a bit during the day. I'm not quite to the point of pulling out my hair and screaming, thanks in part to the brief moments of pure bliss which pop up when you least expect it.

First, a confession. I'm a peanut butter fiend. Not just your run of the mill fan, I'm partial to a particular moment in the life of a jar of peanut butter. I live for being the first person to scoop from the just-opened jar. I have been known to open a brand new jar when I need a fix, knowing there's a perfectly good open jar sitting right next to it in the pantry. I think, that's fine for the kids, but mine must be perfect. With apples, on toast, or just straight from the spoon... yum!

This morning, in the middle of fixing breakfast and packing apples, yogurt and pretzels into three lunch bags, I realized I was about to hit the jackpot. When it came time to make the sandwiches, I would be opening brand new jars of both crunchy and creamy peanut butter. Woo hoo! My whole day has brightened. I still have two site plans, a stack of change requests, errands to run, and two classes to read to later today. Right now though, I have two spoons of extra fresh peanut butter and a sliced granny smith.

Life is great!