Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Ten Commandments

I've seen this list a few times and I always enjoy reading it again, so I thought I'd share it on the blog.

Ten Commandments for Swimming Parents
I.     Thou shalt not impose thy ambitions on thy child.
II.    Thou shalt be supportive no matter what.
III.   Thou shalt not coach thy child.
IV.    Thou shalt only have positive things to say at a swimming meet.
V.     Thou shalt acknowledge thy child's fears.
VI.    Thou shalt not criticize the officials.
VII.   Honor thy child's coach.
VIII.  Thou shalt be supportive of thy team.
IX.    Thy child shalt have goals besides winning.
X.      Thou shalt not expect thy child to become an Olympian.

Now I didn't see anything on there about spending $150 on a technical swimming suit but I guess I could probably rationalize it with commandment #2.  That counts as being supportive, right?  Gina got her first Speedo Fastskin swimsuit a couple of years ago and she really loved the way it felt and she did get some really nice times while wearing it.  But it has gotten stretched and now that particular suit is not officially allowed in USA-sanctioned swim meets.  In order to wear it at high school champs she had to pick all the little dots off the front.  It broke my heart to see her picking all those dots off the suit I used hard earned money to purchase! 

After witnessing her renewed enthusiasm upon returning to USC after a not so great high school season, I decided to surprise her with the new Speedo Fastskin II suit.  I think she was actually shocked that we got her a new one.   Here's a photo of the tiny little suit.  She won't even try it on because she wants it as tight as possible for champs!  It may take two of us to get it on her but here's hoping for some great swims over the next few weeks!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week in Review 2/14/10 - 2/20/10

Sunday:  6 miles on treadmill
Monday:  1 hour yoga
Tuesday:  6 miles on treadmill
Wednesday:  30 minutes yoga
Thursday:  5 miles outside (WooHoo!)
Friday:  4 miles outside
Saturday:  4 miles outside

Total Running Miles:  25

After blogging about my toe on Thursday I looked out the window and realized it was too nice of a day to run on the treadmill.  I did my old standby winter trick of driving the 0.3 miles to the bike path parking lot to avoid the piled up snow and ice on the sidewalk.  This sort of thing makes Jerry cringe but I just had to do it.  It felt so good to be outside!  The sky was blue, the birds were chirping, but the best part was seeing lots of my old bike path buddies.  There are a hardy few that walk the path year-round and I have grown so accustomed to seeing them.  I've missed the feeling this year of being out there in the worst of the weather and then looking ahead to see another crazy person coming at me.  It was nice to make eye contact, smile, wave and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature this time of year.  I am hoping that from now on there will be more outdoor runs than treadmill runs.  The treadmill served its purpose though - I feel pretty strong and the toe only bothered me a bit.

I practically got on my knees and begged Abby to join me outdoors but she did not agree.  I'm pretty sure she does not want to be seen in public running with me anymore.  That sort of bums me out but I understand.  Instead Jerry and I ran together for 8 miles and then we all took a great walk at South Chagrin with Mia.  That was wonderful and we even saw a Berner pup about 5 months old.  There has been much discussion lately about when we will get another Berner.  It's such a huge commitment.  I think it will be between 2 to 5 years, but you just never know.

We are still enjoying the Olympics alot.  I swear the best part is that I get to hear the words "Lake Placid" several times every night!  This afternoon we all sat and watched a great show covering the 1980 USA vs Russia hockey game.  I can't believe it has been 30 years since that all played out.  I remember sitting in our living room and watching that game!  On all of our 9 trips to Lake Placid we enter the skating arena and sit in the stands where that game was played.  I swear there is something magical in that place that makes the hair on your neck stand up straight. 

On Sunday, Valentine's Day, we did a total splurge and went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner!  I suppose it doesn't matter that we had salad too.  The rest of the week was pretty healthy:  Jerry grilled a turkey tenderloin that we served with potato wedges; then it was lentil casserole and grilled veggie sandwiches; baked potato soup with rolls; tuna on english muffins and pasta salad; and my favorite barley veggie chili with cornbread.   I also went wild at Heinens one afternoon that just felt too dark and gray - I came home with bags and bags of fruit and challenged the girls to start eating fruit every single day after school.  So far they have done really well and something about the extra fruit sitting around makes it seem more summer-ish around here!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ouch! My Toe!

I have a finicky toe that occasionally gives me a bit of trouble.  I'm guessing it's some type of neuroma.  It's kinda sorta always there but yesterday was the most it has ever bothered me.  I ran on the treadmill Monday and Tuesday while watching The Bucket List.  Maybe I was not paying attention to my form (ha ha I know - do I actually have a running form?!)  but by Tuesday night it was tingling and by Wednesday morning it really hurt to walk.  I gimped around during work and then eventually took an aleve.  I soaked it in a big bucket of epsom salts and warm water and stayed off it as much as possible.  I am a BIG believer in nipping injuries in the bud.  The minute I feel something going haywire, I try to fix it ASAP.  So today I am happy to report that Mr 4th toe on the right foot is feeling much better.  In a little bit I will treadmill in a pair of New Balance shoes that have a super wide toe box.  So wide that it bothers me and I don't like the way it feels, but today they will be the ticket.  I hope!

I have to give a big shout out to my sister-in-law, Linda, who ran ten miles on the treadmill yesterday!  Her longest run ever.  I swear that girl is going to be chasing me down at Columbus this year!  She plans on doing the half marathon.  She has made the trip from Dayton to Columbus for a couple of my marathons there and two years ago she jokingly said that maybe she'd do the half someday.  She has really stuck to her goal and is well on her way to achieving it.  I say - you go girl!  I won't forget last summer when she ran her first 5K with us in Hudson.  I felt like such a proud momma with Gina, Abby, Aunt Linda and Uncle Frank all out there on the course.  Jerry ran too but he was way ahead of us!  That particular race benefits research for Pancreatic Cancer and it is my favorite local 5K.  Last year Gina and Abby's first grade teacher passed away from PC and Frank and Linda had lost a really great friend to it as well.  It was a great day for all of us.  It's funny how a 3-mile race can be so packed with emotions.

I've spent the morning trying to clean out my email inbox which had passed 2000 some time ago.  I am also trying to organize the kitchen items that are now misplaced due to our new refrigerator being taller than we thought hence necessitating the removal of the two cabinets above it!  I've also tried to eliminate counter clutter and have removed a dozen or so coffee cups from our inventory.  I don't know how we end up with soooooo muuuucccchhhhh stttuuuuuffffffff!

How about the Olympics?  I've really enjoyed the nightly coverage - the blood, the vomit, the spectacular crashes.  Every event leaves me speechless - how do they do that?!   Half the time I have to close my eyes because I can hardly stand how incredibly intense it is!  I will definitely be sticking to marathon running.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Week in Review 2/7/10 - 2/13/10

Sunday:  4.8 miles on treadmill (intervals)
Tuesday:  6.5 miles treadmill and 30 minutes yoga
Wednesday:  30 minutes yoga
Thursday:  2.2 miles treadmill
Friday:  4.8 miles on treadmill
Saturday:  4.0 miles outside

Total Running Miles:  22.3

It was a really hectic and chaotic week and I am glad that it is over!  Abby was sick again with some type of stomach issue on Monday and into Tuesday. Gina was beside herself with energy and the stress of swimming sectionals.  Her day on Saturday did not go as she had hoped but she had a great time on Friday cheering for the boys on our team.  She really wanted to break the 1 minute mark for her 100 Free but came up short at 1:01.33.  Her 200 IM time was a 2:37:something which was one second faster than the time she swam for the duration of the season.  She will head back to USC this week and is looking forward to seeing her former coach.  The photo is of how she looked coming home from the boys meet on Friday.  She did not look so happy on Saturday!

Abby recovered from her stomach ailment and hit the treadmill again.  She hasn't really run at all since November but today she got on and cruised through 3 miles with ease.  She definitely has some natural talent.  I am considering doing the Cleveland Spring Classic half marathon on April 10th.  There is a 5K as well and Abby wants to do that.  We were talking about it and Gina piped in that she might like to do it too.  How fun!

This evening both girls joined me for a nice one hour yoga session from  Yoga Today.  This week's free class is titled "Unwind the Mind."  There was a LOT of twisting - accompanied by much laughter.  It reminded me of when I was a teenager and my mom used to take my sister and I along to her "Foxy Lady" aerobics classes.  We used to laugh and giggle through the entire class but no one ever said a word.  I love the company and the laughter just makes it pass by quickly.  I was really surprised when Gina looked over and commented on how flexible I was.  I guess the consistent yoga really has helped.

Mia, our golden retriever, gave me quite a scare on Wednesday morning when she ran side-by-side with a coyote through our backyard.  It all happened so quickly.  I was praying she would stop at the fence and she did, but then she refused to come in.  In the process she bent one of her toe nails up and was bleeding.  She has been tending to it and it seems to be healing.  Of course, Gilbert thinks he knows just what to do and is still in the habit of hanging off her back legs and pouncing on her head whenever she decides to relax.  Here is a photo of them hanging out together which is something we really like to see.

Last Sunday was the Super Bowl and since we are not big football fans it was all about the food.  Jerry made his flank steak tacos (Abby and I left out the steak and used extra veggies).  Monday I made some stoup with ground chicken for the meatballs, Tuesday we did a tofu stir-fry with green beans, peppers and carrots and threw in some whole wheat noodles and then tossed it all in garlic black bean sauce from Heinens.   Turkey wraps with avocado on Wednesday.  Thursday we had traditional tacos with soy crumble instead of ground beef.  Friday it was eggplant parmigiana and salad.  On Saturday we ordered cheese pizza from Marcos!

The new snow is actually pretty and I always like how it cleans everything up.  There is nothing worse than old brown yucky snow in my opinion!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You know it's yucky out when......

Your golden retriever barks to come back inside the house!  Normally, Mia would enjoy just laying or sitting in the backyard while it snows, but this afternoon she did her business and then before I knew it she was actually looking in the patio door and barking for me to open it!  She has never done that before.  Ever. 

To go along with the bad weather, Abby had another round of stomach "flu."  We are thinking that this batch may have come from a burger she ate at school.  It was nasty for her.  I didn't laugh or anything.  She and I are quickly on our way to becoming vegetarians in full force.  Right now I would label us as "pseudo-vegetarian."  For the most part we can easily live without meat but there are certain things (ham and havarti sandwiches or turkey wraps with avocado and russian dressing) that we would have a hard time saying good-bye to forever.  We are not going to do the vegetarian thing for Lent like we did last year.  We are trying to come up with something else though!  Meanwhile, the girl has a very tiny appetite and is not interested in food again.  I really hope she is back to normal soon.

Gina is tapering for sectionals for Saturday. She has ALOT of energy and Jerry keeps saying, "Oh now you know how I feel before a race."  It's kind of scary actually how alike the two of them are at times.  All the girls from swim team dyed a section of their hair purple.  It looks really nice on Gina!

Looking forward to the Olympics!  There should be some good motivating commercials!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Week in Review 1/31/10 - 2/6/10

Sunday: 6.0 miles outside
Monday:  45 minute intervals on treadmill
Tuesday:  45 minute intervals on treadmill
Wednesday:  1 hour yoga
Thursday:  60 minutes treadmill
Saturday:  80 minutes treadmilll

Total Running Miles:  27.8

Well that's the most miles I've had in a week since Columbus Marathon in October!  I am really still enjoying the treadmill interval workouts.  Call me crazy but I just feel like I am getting a better workout than if I were to go run super cautiously over the ice and snow.  On Saturday I wanted to go at least 7 miles but I was having a hard time getting motivated by myself in the basement.  The classic rock station was helping a bit but I really wanted another person in the room with me so I texted Abby, "I'm lonely."  She replied with an "ok" and soon came down to keep me company.  She fired up Wii Fit Plus and went to town.  Gina soon came down to add to the fun and then towards the end of the workout Jerry returned from his outdoor slog through the fresh snow.  The time passes pretty quickly that way and I have now officially had my fill of classic rock.  I was singing (well shouting is more like it because I can't carry a tune in a bucket according to my family) to Free Ride when Gina came down.  She gave me the "wtf" look and then said in her teenagery way, "What is this?"

Other highlights of the week were my massage on Thursday.  I haven't had one in almost five years.  It was heavenly just like I was hoping.  I think alot of pent up toxins were released because I actually felt foggy for the rest of the day.  Strange.  Gina was able to participate in two scuba diving classes through her high school gym class.  She is super comfortable in the water (unlike her mother) so I only worried about her a little.  I would have enjoyed watching her but had to suffice to listen to the description at dinner.

Abby had some nice treadmill time this week.  I think she and I are both waiting anxiously for that first spring-like day when we can head to the path together and soak up some sunshine.

We hopefully have secured a pacer for Jerry for Burning River.  A super nice friend of ours from church is interested and would be a great addition to our "team"!  I would kind of like to pace him for a short section.  We'll see.  I certainly wouldn't want to hold him back.  I don't like things that go bump in the night so I'd probably be a bit of a liability in the woods at night!

Yummy meals this week!  Vegetable soup, Fish and couscous, mac-n-cheese and bean salad, eggplant pizza, penne pasta with veggies, chicken salad on foccacia rolls, and on saturday after church we grabbed wonton soup, hot sour soup and lots of california rolls on the way home.  Deeeelish!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

In Sickness and in Health

I remember saying those words as part of our wedding vows in August of 1991!  I am pretty sure that I was probably more concerned with one of us getting sick and pictured hospital beds and wheelchairs in my head.  Jerry and I have so far been really blessed with good health.  We never take that for granted though and we have always done whatever we can to support each other in a healthy lifestyle.  We actually met in an exercise class so it was sort of destined to be this way!  Early on we enjoyed lots of biking and hiking together.  Then came endurance sports which really took that "in health" vow to new levels.

Jerry is all signed up to do the Burning River 100 endurance run again this summer.  A lot of conversation goes into these decisions and I really appreciate that he takes the entire family into consideration before signing up for anything.  Is this a good year?  What else is going on?  Can we handle it?  Can we afford it?  It's a pretty long list of issues when you think of the commitment and what it takes to train for something like that.  I swear we had decided against it and then a few days later we swung 180 degrees and the check was in the mail.  That's usually how we do things.  Over over over analyze..............We are the opposite of spontaneous; an engineer and a woman with a science degree.  We consider every last variable to the nnnnnnnth degree.  It's kind of embarrassing.

On Tuesday I passed by Station Road which is a major aid station stop for Burning River.  I started thinking of all the ways the girls and I will need to support Jerry during this race.  We need to be there with lots of food options, drinks, first aid, extra clothes, socks, shoes, cameras, chairs, etc.  The back of our car turns into a big ugly mess.  The night time is when it really gets fun though!  The girls are already looking forward to being out all night and watching the sunrise.  We are trying to figure out if any or all of us girls will pace him at any point.  I'm not so good in the woods, especially at night!

In general we delight in the fact that Jerry has so much energy.  I noticed last night as we all sat down for some TV time that we utilize his energy in strange ways.  Within 60 seconds of sitting down, the requests started.  "Dad can you get me some water?"  "Dad can you get me some pretzels?"  "Can somebody give me a blanket?"  I started to feel bad but after 22 years of knowing him I realize that he just cannot sit still.  Movement is his nature.  He truly does not mind all the requests and I sincerely think he enjoys doting over us three ladies.  It's sort of like payback - we support him during the training for Burning River and on race day; and in return he supports us whenever he's not out running!