Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A break from your regularly scheduled blog . . .

I've been on an odyssey of sorts for the past couple of weeks ever since my friend/babysitter Christin gave me a book that she said I HAD to read. Its called Born To Run and from the moment I started it I could barely put it down. It really challenged a lot of my preconceived ideas about running for exercise and what the human body is capable of and made for. If you like running or want to like running I can't recommend this book enough BUT I will warn you that after reading it you'll want to go run a 50 mile ultramarathon. Don't worry though because the next time you go for a jog you'll be knocked back down to reality (or at least I was).
Long story short was that the main thing I took away from this book was that my running shoes might be part of my problem when my knees started to act up every now and then. After the thorough explanation in the book about the idea of barefoot running I was intrigued to say the least. For a long time I've laughed at the Vibram Fivefingers as the freakiest looking "shoes" that I've ever seen. My fashion sensible side wanted no part of these. But the part of me that loves a good run (one that is pain free) was dying to give them a try. So, after doing some research including a couple of barefoot runs on my treadmill I was ready to give them a try. Lucky me that the maid of honor from our wedding is the manager at River Jack's so she was able to give me a heads up when a pair in my size came in (these things are SUPER popular). So I picked them up on Saturday and took them out for my first spin on Sunday. My plan is to give you all a rundown of my first few times running in them in case any hobby runners like me out there are considering the switch.
After getting use to the feeling of having something in between each of my toes I took off. My first observation is that these shoes are not designed for running on gravel roads. Maybe fine gravel would be ok but my street has larger rocks and they hurt! So I got off my beaten path and ran along the pinestraw which was much better. When I hit the pavement again it was a bit hard on my feet. So when I crossed the street I hopped onto the grass running alongside the curb. My second observation is that I wouldn't be setting any records in these shoes as I had to be a lot more careful where I was stepping and I found myself running with more awareness of each footfall. My about the turn around point my left foot was aching a bit with each step. When I zoned out I found that it didn't bother me at all but as soon as I tried to pay attention to my stride I felt it again. When I was able to get onto a cushy place of sand or straw I felt no discomfort at all. Running the same length of time as usual I probably covered about a half mile less than what I might usually.
I didn't get any blisters from the fivefingers and it didn't mess up my pedicure. What I noticed soon after my run and even more yesterday was a pleasant soreness in my calf muscles. I like this feeling showing that my legs were working differently in these shoes and I hope that will work to improve my fitness.
Stay tuned for my next installment of day two in the fivefingers.

Monday, June 14, 2010


This morning while I was still fumbling around for my coffee Ainsley called to me that there was an ant on the floor next to her. No biggie, I thought as I went to check it out. That ant, however, led me to another ant and another ant and another ant until I found myself by our breakfast nook window where the floorboards were crawling with ants. I freaked out and started calling every pest control company in the book. Only one was actually open at 7 a.m. and none, apparently, view my ant infestation as a major emergency. WRONG ANSWER.
Fortunately I got some good advice on Facebook and after Jane Dare's nap (during which time I kept my vac on high alert and sucked up the little buggers every chance I had) I packed the kids up and we headed for Lowes. I got in, got out with the stuff I needed and the kids were great! As we were heading out the door I was telling them how proud of them I was and what a great job they had done. I said to them, "You know what? You guys were so good that when we get home . . . " but that was as far as I got because a man walking behind me thought it would be a great idea to yell out "GO FOR ICE CREAM". Um, what!?!?! Excuse me but did you really just say that to my three young children who now believe they are going to be rewarded with ice cream? Are you going to chaperone that excursion? Were you planning to buy? Who the heck do you think you are Mister! I wanted to kill him. Instead I laughed and looked at the kids and went back to what I was originally going to suggest to which Jake replied "that sounds like an even better idea Mom". Whew, barely escaped that one alive!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Rest of The Story

When I was in elementary school my family participated in a neighborhood carpool group to get my brother and I back and forth to school. We went to a private Christian school (so no buses) but my parents got lucky in that our small neighborhood had three other families with large vehicles and children at the same school. I still remember sobbing at the front window waiting for Mrs. Sherrill to show up on Monday mornings when I had safety patrol duty. She was ALWAYS late and I was, after all, the Captain of the patrol so I was supposed to be early. I'm surprised I survived those mornings - both that my parents didn't kill me and that my heart managed the stress of it all.
Often when it was Mrs. G's day to pick us up we'd climb into her enormous Chevrolet station wagon and get to hear the "rest of the story". Literally always just in time to hear the culmination to whatever great tale Paul Harvey had been weaving.
Well, if you saw my post a couple of weeks ago on Facebook about Jake heading out one evening to deliver pictures he'd drawn to our neighbors . . . now you can get ready for the rest of the story.
When Jake got home that evening awash in the glow of sharing his art with adoring fans he immediately began planning which pictures he would draw next and deliver to the neighbors he'd missed. We assured him we would take him out again soon and kissed him goodnight and put him to bed. Aaaah, we smiled, what a sweet, wonderful boy we have there.
The next morning my cell phone rang from my bedside table rousing me out of a sound sleep. I grabbed it and noted first the time and then the fact it was a local number that I didn't recognize. I almost didn't answer but curiosity got the better of me. Good thing I did answer because who was calling me at 6:39 a.m. but my neighbor down the street who had been roused from her sleep by Jake and Ainsley knocking at her door in the pajamas to deliver a picture. Even better she was NOT the first stop they had made apparently. Bless Kathy's heart she called me to let me know that she had two of my children in her possession. I gasped, began apologizing profusely and assured her that Ryan would be right down. He was walking out the door before I even hung up the phone.
What I wouldn't give to have been a fly on Jake and Ainsley's bedroom wall to see who woke up whom and what conversation preceded a early morning trek down Midland Trail.
God is watching out for my little chicks in more ways than one but tonight as I write out this story I'm thankful for kind neighbors, good cell phone reception in our house, and a house at the end of quiet, gravel street.