Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Experiences on the Track

Isn't it funny how if you have been doing something for awhile, you assume everyone knows how to do it? Like, after you have been driving for awhile, it is hard to imagine that you once never knew how not to drive. I guess I have spent enough time on a track to feel like everyone should know the proper track etiquette. But, boy was I wrong this week.

First, a quick track lesson for those of you not as accustomed to the track. Some of these rules are indisputable, others are unofficial but you lack credibility if you break them.

1. Wear proper attire. This includes a decent pair of athletic shoes, shorts, and an athletic type t-shirt/sports bra/tank top. This does NOT include unsupportive shoes, flip flops, polo type shirts, jean shorts or jeans.

2. Use lanes 1 & 2 (those lanes closest to the center of the track) only if you are running. If others are on the track when you get the are, compare your speed to theirs and adjust your lane usage accordingly. If someone faster arrives, give up lanes 1 & 2 to them. If you are walking, go to lanes 7 & 8 (the outer most lanes).

3. Run or walk in the direction that the people who are on the track are running/walking. Some tracks have assigned days for certain directions (for example MWFSa go clockwise, TTHSu go counter clockwise)

That being said, I had the most interesting experience with a lady on the track yesterday. She arrived shortly after I started speedwork session. She was wearing shorts, keds and a polo. She began jogging right away, in the right direction, in lane 4. I had no problems with that. After about 1/4 of a lap, she stopped, got off the track and stretched. Still doing fine. Then, just as I round the corner, she entered lane one and stopped. She just stood there. And, I was getting closer. And closer. And closer.

Now, it isn't a tragedy that I had to move from lane one to two while trying to hit timed splits on a track workout but what she was doing was hilarious. She was, I kid you not, manually stretching her FACE. She pushed her cheeks together like she was trying to intimidate a fish. Then she pushed her hands back like she was trying to intimidate a dog with its head out the window. Really, lady? In lane one, when it is evident that I had to MOVE to get out of your way?

I must have been doing an 800 (2 laps) or a 1200 (3 laps) as she was doing this as I had to run around her for two laps. Arrugh!

Then, after the face stretching routine, she turned around and jogged the WRONG way on the track. Of course, I did get caught in a game of chicken with her and guess who had to move. Yep, me! After running back to her starting point (meaning by this point she had been at the track 15-20 minutes and only really run 1/2 of a lap), she again STOPPED in lane one and just stood there. It sort of appeared that she was waiting for a friend who was a no-show but the track is a big place, with tons of places to wait, most of which are NOT in lane 1!

So, there was my first adventure back on the track in several months. I have been doing speed sessions but on the treadmill. It is such an adventure that I love to hate and hate to love.

On a totally different note, school started back this week for the kids. Britt seems bored, Trey seems uninterested and Mallory has noted no changes. It has been an exhausting week and I just remembered that I forgot to bake cookies tonight. Yikes. So much for an early night for me! Have a great rest of the week!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Teenaged Years? Oh my!

I do not know how I am going to survive the teenaged years. Last night, Trey went miniature golfing with a friend. He was picked up at 6:30. I was a nervous wreck. Every time the phone rang, my heart skipped a beat. He finally got home at 10:00. I couldn’t believe how relieved I was. He was out with another family for only 3 hours. He didn’t drive himself. He didn’t have a girl with him. I knew where he was and I had the cell phone number of the family he was with and they had mine. Oh…how will I survive?

Speaking of teenaged years, today was move in day at Coastal. I ran through the school this morning and watched as parents entrusted their children with CCU and hoped they taught them the right morals, values, and ethics. I was surprised by the lack of stuff in the students’ cars. I remember barely having room for my hiney in the car when I went to school. Most of the cars appeared very empty. I guess Coastal has grown so much, maybe they are charging extra for extra bags. Hey, it is making the airlines profitable.

I remember my freshmen college move-in day like it was yesterday (though I cannot remember moving in sophomore or junior year?). We were allowed to move in from 9:00am-1:00pm. I was there at 8:45. I was so excited. After I unloaded my things into the room, I did not start unpacking because I wanted my roommate and me to discuss which bed and side of the room we would take. I didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot. Guess what time she got there? 12:45! Guess what? She didn’t care which bed she had! Everyone else was ready to explore and move on with being a college student and I was unpacking. Oh, memories.

Speaking of moving (like these cool transitions?), Britt and I were driving around yesterday and we saw a how many frogs that would be?” And, he just blurted out, “Stampede!” Where do they learn these things?

Britt was also helping me clean yesterday. Anyone with a pre-schooler knows how much help they are when they “help.” I swear I have purchased more windex in the past 3 years than I have in my whole life combined. Anyway.

Britt and I were talking about getting rid of germs. He asked where they went. I told him the cleaner he was using killed the germs and then when we rinsed the sponge or threw away the paper towel, the germs were just gone. He then asked, “But, don’t they go to heaven?” Despite the fact that I was hoping to live in eternity without germs, I guess he might be right. Can’t decide how I feel about that one.

The best part of that story is that Britt might actually be learning something at Sunday school. And, Trey might, too. When the family he went golfing with called from the driveway to make sure he made it in okay, I asked if he thanked them. Not only had he thanked them, he waited his turn, didn’t cheat and wasn’t a sore loser. She actually called him a “perfect young gentleman!” What??? I think a UFO possessed my child for a few hours and then brought back the one only a mother could love!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This might be it. This might be my first blog about running. Just be warned...

At the end of last school year, I got a new job, set to start this school year. Well, not really a new job, just the same job I have had for 7 years but I get benefits this year. And a few more responsibilities. During the summer, the job changed some but mostly to my benefit. I was going to have fewer classes but more advisees. I was really looking forward to that. As the summer progressed, the course load increased back to the original number. Okay, I am a team player, no big deal. And today, the number increased again by one more class. And so far, 50 advisees (rumor has it that number could go down). Wow. That is crazy. So here is where the challenge is. The class that I got today is at 3:00. Trey gets out of school at 2:30. Hmmm...

Now, for the past month, I have been thinking of alternatives for Trey after school for the dates and times I might have to work late. I was thinking it might be 1- 2 times per week and probably not every week. I had a few ideas in my head. Now, I have to find something for him to do every TTH from after school until 4:30, without a doubt.

No big deal. I will be able to solve this. The big deal is that I have so much more to do now. And, about 45 minutes after I got this news, what did I decide to do? I decided to run. Run hard. Run hard and think or run hard and forget. I didn't care, but I wanted to run. Scheduled in my mind today was an easy cross training activity with some strength training and tomorrow, I would do speed work. Nope, not today. Today was speedwork. And, compared to what I have been doing lately, lots of it. I ran until I could almost not run anymore. I knew if I ran, I wasn't going to get my things done, but I knew I needed to run.

Did running help? Maybe. Did I feel better? Definitely. Running is a drug for me. I'm addicted and I am glad that I might not need treatment for this one.

The kids started back at daycare this week and are doing well. I am looking forward to all of them eating disgusting school lunches just so I do not have to make them any longer. Maybe by the time Mallory is in school, chicken nuggets won't be a weekly meal choice.

Finally, a HUGE shout out to my mom. Everyday when she got home, I would ask her some random questions as she crossed the threshold. "What is for dinner?" "What are we doing tonight?" "Where are my tap shoes?" And, she would say, "Please do not attack me right when I walk in the door." Mom, you are a saint for putting up with this day in and day out. What comes around, goes around!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Kid Stories That Crack Me Up

When I first started thinking about this blog, I really thought I would focus more on my running and training. But, my training is boring. I do it most of the time (strength training this summer has slacked quite a bit and flexibility training is my nemesis, but the running training is consistent) and it isn't interesting.

Obviously, we all think our kids are cute, funny, irresistible and everyone will think the same. When blogging, I am trying to edit the stories so I think most will at least see some humor in them. Today, I have a story about each kid.

First Mallory. For those of you new to the blog or who might not know, Mallory is my baby. She is just over 2 and 1/2 and she is going on 22, I think. She has already denounced all of my clothing choices for her and on occasion, has declared herself a boy. She loves her purple baby and spiderman.

Those of you who live in the MB area know that we have been getting rain lately. When it rains in the south, it is a wet rain. Whenever I say that, people think I am so stupid--rain is wet, duh! In Oregon, when it rains, you can get from place to place without getting drenched. In the south, you can't walk 5 feet from house to your car without needing a ShamWow! to dry off once you get into the car. The drops are denser and it POURS. So, last week, the kids were swimming when it started to rain. The older ones like to swim in the rain (which is only allowed if there is no thunder or lightning) but Mallory doesn't. She asked me for her umbrella. I went to the car and got an umbrella. "No, mommy, the blue one." Anyone who has been around Mallory some might know she is not great with colors--or blue and red anyway. They are usually the same. So, I went back to the car and got a blue and white striped umbrella we have. This ended in a perfect 2-year-old tantrum--complete with fists pounding and legs kicking. Luckily, the boys got out of the pool and distracted her from the thought.

A few days later, as we were getting into the car, she got a huge smile on her face and announced, "Here is my umbrella!" I have attached a photo so you can see why I might not have ever thought this was a viable option for in a typical southern rain (Missy, you might recognize it).

Now for Britt. Britt proudly announces he is 4 and a 1/2. We are really struggling with him now to get him potty trained at night. It wasn't an issue with Trey and is already not an issue with Mallory so we are frustrated with his night time wet pull-ups. Naturally, we are resorting to the tried and true parenting technique to cure him of this issue: bribery! We aren't asking for much--5 nights in a row of dry pull-ups. He asked for his reward, "A magic wand." Since he and Don and Trey have been to Magiquest several times, I quickly agreed that would be a great reward (and relatively cheap, too). As several days have passed and he has not gotten his reward, he has slightly revised his request. He wants a REAL magic wand. His first spell: Turn himself into his friend, JP. His second spell: A flying spell. He keeps asking me when he is going to get a real, working magic wand. So much for bribery.

This picture is of his contraption to get one of those sticky bugs off the ceiling. Thank goodness I caught him before he attempted to climb up to get the bug.

Finally, and I hope I can add this link, Trey. Trey is my oldest, age 7. We have been watching Shark Week on Discovery Channel all week. He can watch people getting bitten, sharks attacking seals, mating habits, the whole nine yards. But, when this commercial comes on, he runs into the other room because it scares him. So funny!

Last story about the three of them. I took them bowling this week ( and they all beat my latest bowling score (I chose not to bowl, thinking I would have to help). Granted, this was with bumpers but Britt bowled a 90, Trey an 80 and Mallory (with average speed of her ball about 1.47 mph--it said so on the screen) a 75.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rockey Roads...very appropriate today

When I first named this blog, I thought it sounded kind of like a Negative Nilly. Then, a great friend reminded me that rocky road is an ice cream, too. And, those two descriptions kind of sum up my day today.

I had planned to tell you a cute little story about each of my kids but I will save that for another blog. Today, I will just tell you about my day.

Let's start with the ice cream. Don't you just love the internet? As silly as this sounds, I have been using the same deodorant for 15 years (or more...I am getting old)and, out of the blue, it just stopped being sold at every store around. After about 6 months of suffering through a mediocre substitute, I finally looked it up in the internet and found a store less than 5 miles from home where it was still sold. So today, thanks to my terrific husband who gave me two kid-free hours this afternoon, I bought out Rite Aid of all their Soft-n-Dri Glide. Ice cream? Anything that makes me that happy is ice cream to me! And the two kid-free hours were great, too!

This morning was a true Rockey and rocky road. The kids were on their typical "What are we doing today?" rampage and I am suffering through a horrible case of DMS. Does anyone else get DMS, you know "during MS?" I snap at everything, yell way more than normal and it is probably better if you are not around me. Unfortunately for me kids (and dh), they have no choice. I have said more than once, I want to be pregnant for all the wrong reasons. DMS is one of them!

We have been spoiled this summer--traveling a lot and spending tons of time with other people. So, the past week and 4 days, it has really just been me and the kids or Don and me and the kids. It has gotten the best of all of us and the kids "play" becomes more like WW III. I feel more like a referee than a mother.

We finally all agreed to go mini-golfing if they would also go to Sam's with me. I like taking them to Sam's because I can usually bribe them to be good with some cheap pizza or hot dogs. Mini-golf was fine, though hot and we dealt with a not-to-pleasant cashier at the golf place. We lost 3 balls in the water and that did not make her happy.

Those of you who know me, know my incredible experiences at Sam's. With all the money I give to that place, I should be revered when I walk in the door. Instead, I am given parenting lessons every time I shop there by everyone in the place. This includes the greeters, the cashiers, the food sample people and just regular customers. And, those of you who follow facebook also know that my drawer-dropping young son had that experience at Sam's, too. It is always a good story when we go there--and for some reason, I haven't switched my membership to Costco!

Today, instead of bribing with Sam's food, they requested Sonic, which in the same parking lot and almost as cheap, so I agreed. Since we rarely go to Sonic, I am not used to ordering there and was totally out of sync.

When we got to Sam's, I passed out the food, got all three kids in the cart, got my daily workout in dodging cars and pushing the 110 lb cart through the parking lot when I saw Britt's face. Oh no...I messed up. And there is came. The gagging, the coughing and the deliberate pseudo barfing. Yes, silly me. I forgot to say, "without pickles, please" when I ordered. Whenever Britt eats something he doesn't like, he forces himself to throw up (instead of just spitting it out like a normal kid). So now, I am holding a handful of spit up and the rest of the pickles in my hand, pushing a 110 pound buggy and stripping him of his shirt and he's back eating his cheeseburger. Trey freaks out over the sight of these episodes because he is certain that he too will get sick, no matter how much explaining I do. But, I know Britt is not sick (as demonstrated by him eating the cheeseburger completely once the pickles are removed), I decide to finish my shopping.

I didn't get scolded though today should have been the day I did. My kids were CRAZY in the store (or the DMS was in full swing). I got through shppong and called Don once I got into the van. That is when he offered to come home from work early and give me some time to either go to work or to do other things I needed to do. Ahhhh! Relief! Rocky road ice cream time!

Now, maybe it wasn't DMS. Maybe it was kid overload!

Monday, August 2, 2010

My First Blog

I have been contemplating blogging for such a long time, I waited until the week before I have to go back to work to start. Better late than never, right?

The main reason I decided to blog was from an idea I got from Family Fun magazine. This is one of my favorite magazines--pretty close in the running are Runner's World and anything by Taste of Home --so when I read the idea, I jumped on it. Unfortunately, that was last April...

The idea suggested that I buy three color-coded notebooks, one for each child. Then, at the end of the day, week or month, fill each one with individual stories of each child. The theory is that these would be sacred memoirs for the kids as they grew up and it would commemorate everyday memories that photo albums (or the awesome scrapbooks that my mom does for each of my kids) might not indicate. So, I bought these and placed them in the night stand next to my bed, along with a writing utensil and I began on this mission.

Well, that was 15 months ago and there are two entries in each of the kids' books. The problem is, about 99 nights out of 100, I fall asleep while putting the children to sleep. I am way too tired to do anything but sleep once 10:00 rolls around. When Top Chef is on, I have to give it my 50% attention (the other 50% is getting drinks, snacks, toothbrushes, blankets, pillows and "purple babies") so I can't do it then. And, during the academic year, I am grading papers, prepping lectures and posting grades. Why am I so tired, you might ask? Aside from God, my kids, my husband, and my family, #5 priority is running. I wake up most mornings well before the crack of dawn. I sleep so I can run at that crazy time and that seems to take priority over the journals.

My blog will be about my family, my job, and my running. I am training for a 40 mile run to celebrate my 40 years so I have to juggle that with my work, family, kids, and now, my blog.

So, why do I think I will blog instead of writing it down...I am not sure. But, since I have rambled on this long, I don't think it will be a problem!