Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ruby Slippers

Gina tore through the door on Friday after swim team practice and ripped open her backpack.  She then presented us with - and I quote - "her greatest academic achievement so far!"   She had the Ruby Slippers sticker from her 10th grade Honors Language Arts teacher.  Apparently, very few students hold this distinction.   It was awarded to her for her final research essay on Huckleberry Finn.  I did not read the essay before she turned it in.  I have now, and I have to say that it was really, really good.  She is super proud, and so am I.  That was a lot of hard work.

Abby has been going nuts with her knitting!  I have been doing a lot of reading on gifted kids, and I now understand the importance of her down time.  Academically school is easy for her, but socially it is draining.  This photo is how she has been chilling lately, and I just love it!  We have plans to visit a fancy schmancy knitting shop in Cleveland this week for yarn and cool project ideas.  I'm starting to think this could be an expensive habit, but lately we are getting blessed up one side and down the other so yarn shop here we come!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Book Quote

Sunday:  2.2 miles treadmill intervals, 30 minutes strength stuff
Monday:  45 minutes yoga, 4.6 miles treadmill intervals
Tuesday:  2.2 miles treadmill intervals
Wednesday:  2.2 miles treadmill intervals
Friday:  6.5 miles treadmill
Saturday:  4 miles outside

....And the snow just keeps piling up!  I am so thankful for my treadmill and my nice finished basement (thank you, Jerry!)  I know it will get old fast, but it sure beats slipping and sliding on the icy paths and climbing through snow drifts.

A couple of months ago I left a comment on the MamaSweat blog.  If you have never visited this blog you should check it out.  The particular blog post was regarding pelvic floor issues.  I know that might sound like a yucky topic for a blog post, but it seemed to light a fire in many a reader, including myself.  I like to think of myself as an incredibly healthy 44-year-old woman, but there are some things that all the healthy living in the world just can't seem to undo:  like what happened to my bladder after two pregnancies.  As each pregnancy drew to an end, my bladder felt like it had the capacity of a raisin.  We have been brainwashed as women to believe that kegel excercises would help.  That was what the blog post was about that I commented on - an anti-kegel sort of thing.

Then I received an email asking if my rather embarrassing comment could be used as a quote in an upcoming book called "Hot (Sweaty) Mamas:  Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom."  I think I laughed until I cried - that would be my luck to finally get something in print, and it is about something so embarrassing I never even told my husband about it.  The book will be out in the spring.  You will have to buy it if you want to know the details, but I am not sure I want you to unless you are a marathon running mommy who might understand what it's like to run for a couple of hours with a somewhat compromised system. 

 Men just have it so easy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

White as Snow

Sunday:  6 mile run with Jerry
Tuesday:  4.4 mile treadmill intervals
Wednesday:  5 mile run
Friday:  4.4 mile treadmill intervals

Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow....

During a snowy week like we have been having, I have a hard time not thinking of a song we sing a lot at our awesome church.  A snippet of the lyrics are above.  The snow has really been piling up and making the world look fresh and clean.  Not good for outdoor running, but a beautiful reminder that with God's help we can wipe the slate clean and get a fresh start on life.

So it was time to turn to the treadmill.  I actually really like the interval training I can now focus on.  I have iFit workouts from Jillian Michaels that seriously make me huff and puff.  The mileage doesn't look so great on paper but walking along at 5 miles an hour on an 8% incline really gets things going.  I will get outside when I can, but until then I will make the most of the treadmill in the basement.

That's thinking positive, right?  And if you like that sort of thing, check out this list of 75 Ways to Stay Unhappy Forever.  I think I'm going to print it out and hang it in the kitchen.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Still Learning

Monday:  45 minutes yoga, 15 minutes stability ball
Tuesday:  5 mile run
Wednesday:  4 mile run
Friday:  5 mile with Jerry
Saturday:  30 minutes treadmill intervals

Thanksgiving weekend was awesome.  Our menu proved to be fantastic despite noticing at the last minute that it lacked something green.  All the vegetarian dishes were truly yummy and no one complained about not having turkey.  The statistic I heard was that 92% of the population would eat turkey on Thanksgiving. I'm fine being in the 8% that did not.  I'm sure I could find some horrific PETA video to post that would make my point but I will pass.

Gilbert says I want a hat too!

My first scarf - halfway done?
     I am very happy to report that my middle-aged brain can still learn new things!  For the past few weeks Abby has slowly and patiently taught me how to knit!  She took three lessons this summer and then bought a book and watched YouTube videos to perfect her skills.  I am convinced that she is very much an autodidact like her father.  I, on the other hand, often need much instruction to learn something new. My practice piece was a disaster!  Now I am working on a scarf.  She has recently finished her first hat and is now working on fingerless gloves for Gina.  Here are some photos!     Now we have something to do together when she is not in the mood to run with me.  It's not easy for me to sit still, but I'm learning that too.

Tonight is the first swim meet for Gina and her high school team.  The 4:45 am alarm is killing us.  You know its bad when a 5:30 alarm means you get to sleep in.  She is working hard and has adopted a healthy "I don't care" attitude this year.  That might sound bad, but actually it's a good thing.  As I have stated before, these kids put SO much pressure on themselves to perform to other people's expectations.  As a sophomore, she is putting 110% or more into her academics.  Swimming can be for fitness, social fun, and something to write in one of those 12 lines on the college application.  We are not going to the meet tonight.  I am learning to let go.

On Sunday we had a good old-fashioned walk-n-talk.  Just me, the girls and the dog.  We went to Liberty Park and did the loop.  Somehow we got talking about what we think about when we run or swim.  It was a great conversation.  I loved hearing them both describe the mental side of their sport.  I wanted to add my two cents but I wanted more to hear what they had to say.  I'm learning to listen.

I've been reading Traveling Mercies (Some Thoughts on Faith) by Anne Lamott.  She has been on my list of authors to check out for a very long time.  I am so glad I have finally read one of her books.  Here is a quote from the section I read last night before bed:   Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  I really liked that.  I guess I'm still learning a lot about faith, too.