Sunday, March 27, 2011

Race Day Effort

Growing up, I never participated in organized sports. Many of my friends were busy in club sports; playing soccer, basketball, or tennis. I just couldn't work up any enthusiasm over chasing a ball. It wasn't until my mid-20's that I got a gym membership and started exercising regularly. It quickly became a passion.

After I had our second child, the gym was a total bust. Boy had no interest in being in childcare with all those strangers and I finally had to surrender our membership. And it's not like I didn't try, either: we would go to the gym to 'play' in the childcare together, stay for 15 minutes and go home. I would leave him for 10 minutes and come back, thinking I could eventually work up to a regular, more appropriate length of time - but Boy wasn't having it. After being paged with Boy's screams in the background over the PA for all the gym to hear over a dozen visits - it just sort of killed it for me.

We received a baby jogger as a gift when Girl was an infant, and I'd never used it much. One of my neighbors also had a baby, and she encouraged me to go for a run with her. I had never been into running; I couldn't seem to get a rhythm with my breath. It was always miserable.

But necessity is the mother of invention and I was desperate, so I kept with it. I ran for a full year before it felt good and was something that I looked forward to. I have heard you could get 'high' from running, and I'd long since given up getting high in the usual ways - so I thought it would be worth a try. I progressed to running 5k's and then eventually ran my first marathon 5 years ago. If one mile is good - then 26.2 is better, right?

So, this Thursday I leave for New York to run a half marathon with my SIL. Flying 2,400 miles to run 13 miles seems crazy, but somehow the math works. Wish me luck, Internet!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tastes Like Chicken

There was a thread recently in one of the blogs that I follow, where readers discussed the virtues of keeping a backyard chicken coop.

Three families that we know have them. They all boast the benefits of keeping chickens. The most obvious is fresh eggs, of course, but other benefits include pest management (think insects and lizards), good fertilizer from their droppings, plus the novelty of having a chicken as a pet.

The downside is that they destroy your yard; plants picked down to nubs, all the grass scratched away to bare dirt, and they will eat anything. This was confirmed by our friend who was barbecuing recently. After repeatedly shooing them away, he eventually had to herd their three chickens back into the coop for their own safety because the chickens kept trying to hop on the grill to steal food.

I asked him what he was cooking and he replied, "Chicken. And not even one of ours! Although with the way they were trying to get at the grill, it very well could have been..."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Go For It

A few weekends ago, I ran a 5k race locally. It began with a hill up the walkway along the beach, and then remained a steady incline until the turnaround.

This race in particular was popular with kids. Good for them, right? But I can tell you that there is nothing more humbling than being passed by an 8-year old.

I struggled a little the first mile and had to fight an impulse to walk. By the turnaround, I had worked it out and ran comfortably hard. For the final stretch of the race, I made my move and ran all out. This was also the time that my iPod slipped from my waistband and fell down inside my running capris. I had no choice but to let it go. So, yes - that was me: the girl crossing the finish line with her hand digging around the crotch of her pants.

I ran an 8.30 minute mile and got to third base with myself.