Monday, September 28, 2015

Recent Happenings In Amy-Land



My youngest, getting a pirate makeover.
So this is just going to be a mish-mash of stuff that I’ve done lately.  Prepare for the excitement that only a suburban mom can experience.  Yep, I guess that's me.

Friday night was Family Fun Festival at my kids’ school.  I thought it was a bit tame this year, but the kids still had a good time for a couple of hours. Typical stuff – bounce houses, face painting, games that allowed them to win crappy prizes like pencils and erasers (I'm totally serious), and a Cake Walk, which was the crowd favorite, because at least a win there meant sugar!

Saturday morning, my oldest and I went for a run/walk that ended up being close to 5 miles. We didn’t run the whole thing, but it was still good. We decided to get adventurous and when we reached the 2-mile point, instead of turning around to make it an out-and-back, we foraged onward, cutting through the outside of our neighborhood and going along the state highway. This was perhaps a mistake. I knew there wasn’t a sidewalk for a short distance, but I figured it was probably only 0.25 mile or so, and wouldn’t be a big deal.  I didn’t account for the fact that the speed limit on this 2-lane highway is 55 mph and the roadside area was an overgrown swale with water in it – not exactly a trail. It didn’t feel safe to walk on the shoulder (cars were flying by), so we just waded through the driest parts of the “grassed” roadside area.  By the time we hit the sidewalk, we had stickers all OVER our shoes and socks. And we were still picking them off this morning, two days later. Below are some photos from our little adventure.

Me and my running partner!

Our shoes at the end of it all.
Butterfly!  I clearly need to get a bug identification book because we have major bugs here in Florida, and I never know what they are.  Pretty, though!

Florida Live Oaks - also pretty!
Live Oaks often have ferns growing right on the tree.  Way cool.

And then, in my first step toward completing an Ironman, I actually did 2 laps at the pool on Saturday.  That’s right kids, 100-whole yards.  Of course, I had to rest after each length, but that’s OK.  Baby steps, folks, baby steps :-).  

Our neighborhood pool.  Nice and empty so there was no performance anxiety.  I was able to flounder along with only the lifeguard to see me and laugh.  And if she laughed, I didn't see it, so it was all good.
Connor, recovering from his laps.  Or drowning.  Either way, he's a better swimmer than me.  It's nice to have a kid who's old enough to motivate me :-).

Oh, and in case you didn’t pick up on the sarcasm, the Ironman thing was a joke.  I mean, I’d love to do a triathlon some day (“tri” for us athlete types), but realistically I’ve got a LOOOONNNNNG way to go before I could even do a Sprint Tri.  Maybe next summer?  Oh, and for those of you not in the know, triathlons come in three main varieties:  Ironman, Half-Irons (HIM), and Sprints.

Ironman:  Swim 2.4 miles - Bike 112-miles - Run 26.2 miles (yes, that's a full marathon, after doing the other stuff - those folks are cray-cray)

Half Ironman (also known as an Ironman 70.3): Swim 1.2 miles - Bike 56 miles - Run 13.1 miles (these folks are only half cray-cray)

Sprint Tri: Usually swim 750-meter - Bike 20k (about 12.4 miles) - Run 5K (3.1 miles)

So as you can see, a Sprint seems like it might be doable for a newbie like myself. Once I can swim more than 100-yards :-). Plus, most triathlons have the swim in open water - lakes, rivers or the ocean, though you'll sometime see them in pools. Obviously, living by the ocean I could train in open water, but I have to be honest and admit that in all the times I've gone to the beach (which is regularly in the summer), I've never once tried to "swim". Boogie board? Yes. Body surf? Yes. But actually swim any kind of distance? Nope. Need to pencil that in on my to-do list, also!

Saturday night was our first firepit of the fall season. If you really want to call it fall. I mean, I know that technically it’s fall, but Jeez Louise, it’s still wicked hot here in northeast Florida. At any rate, in order to avoid the back-yard camping that my youngest wanted, I offered a compromise of some firepit fun. Only problem was it took us FOREVER to get the bloody thing going. I don’t know if it was the humidity, or what, but it was ridiculous how long it took.  Of course, I was just supervising (i.e. sipping my wine while watching). We were getting pretty tired of trying to get the thing going, so it’s quite possible that small quantities of gasoline were applied. Several times. You know the fire doesn’t want to be lit when even gasoline doesn’t work on the first try :-). Anyway, after several tries, the wood was finally convinced to burn and after we made enough smoke to stink up our clothes, hair and the house (apparently the back door was left cracked at one point), we called it a night.  All’s well that ends well.

Firepit!