Feet First Friday

September 30, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Good riddance September. Don’t let a cold front hit you in the ass. Wait, actually DO let a cold front hit you in the ass, please. Preferably before I attempt to “run” nine miles tomorrow morning.

Yesterday while the boys were in karate I squeezed in 3.5 miles. It was a total run/walk. Running at the hottest part of the day is stupid, but it was my only option. Still, my average pace was around 13 minutes/mile even with the walking, so I’m okay with that. The stats will be on my “Still Running” page. Here is the crazy Garmin map:
garmin map run sept 29

I did both of those closed loops twice. You can sort of tell where I ran the same stretch of road twice. I don’t know why I like these nonsensical, no-info maps, but I do. Usually I am surprised at how my run looks graphically.

I was so dead at the end of those 3.5 miles. Can you see the sweat on my upper lip?

I have been enjoying running to music mixes that I downloaded from RockMyRun.com. Have I mentioned them before on the blog? I don’t know, but I know I have mentioned them to my IRunMommies on Facebook. Anyway, the site is in Beta right now so all the downloads are free (and legal). Check it out!

As we were driving to pick up the pizza I asked the boys how far they thought I ran. Mack guessed 8 miles. Since their class is only 45 minutes long I asked him if he thought I was an Olympic runner. He said yes. He said that I swim and bike and run and that sounds like an Olympic athlete to him. Love my little sweet potato.

Chad went straight to his pool league from work last night, the boys had pizza, I had a made-up thrown-together dinner (see my “I Eat” page), and we watched The Biggest Loser on Tivo. I do have a huge crush on Jillian Michaels, but I am enjoying this new season even without her. I’m not super into it like I used to be, but Cal really likes to watch it and Mack likes the challenges. It’s funny how they get to know the contestants names. I think they have good contestants this season.

Speaking of television, I’m excited for the new season of Dexter! Also, I’m very interested to see Claire Danes in Homeland. I can’t see her in anything without imagining what five more seasons of My So Called Life would have been like….that poor, wonderful, short-lived show.

After the boys went to bed last night I participated in a webinar hosted by the amazing Katy Widrick who is the founder of the #fitblog chats on Twitter. The subject of the webinar was “Dealing with Negativity in Blogging”. It was based on a presentation given at the Healthy Living Summit (a healthy living blogger conference). Although I haven’t had to deal with much negativity regarding my blog (never had a negative comment…yet), now I feel better prepared to deal with it when it happens. Also, I enjoyed the discussion about how to deal with real life negativity about blogging, such as people just not understanding why you take pictures of all your food or why you have to share the minutia of your daily life. I have dealt with some of that, but not too much. Anyway, I enjoyed the webinar.

This morning I walked the boys to school and I have to say that it was maybe two degrees less hot (I can’t say “cooler” because it was still hot) and just slightly less humid. Chad remarked when hugging me after I got home that I was less sweaty than usual. Nice.

After my huge breakfast I biked to the gym. This is me passing the huge, empty, fenced field that used to be Riviera Middle School. I think it’s crazy that the school board has let it just sit vacant for several years. It seems like they could either utilize it or sell it to benefit the Pinellas County school system.

Once at the gym I did 15 minutes on the elliptical…

then Bodypump Express and CXWorx (core obliteration).

After the gym I biked a short distance down 4th Street to Feet First. I had a Groupon for $50 (for $25) and I wanted to get some safety lights for running (or biking) in the dark.

Here’s what I bought:

I actually bought two of the light that is above the Body Glide, one for me and one for Chad. We had one similar to that and somehow Tuesday night I managed to lose the plastic cover on it while running downtown. I know that doesn’t look like $50 worth of stuff, but I guess it sort of looks like $25 worth. I know Chad will tell me I could have gotten the lights for cheaper on Amazon, but I wanted them to run tomorrow morning. Plus they were all basically half price since I had the Groupon.

After biking home I showered, ate lunch, watched The Rachel Zoe Project (guilty pleasure? Love her.) then went to pick up the boys from school. This evening is soccer then we are going out for a late dinner with our friends Sewer and Amy who are visiting from Maine. Fill you in on all that, plus whether or not I managed to do 9 miles starting at 5:30 in the morning tomorrow.

Happy Weekend!

Artistic Thursday

September 29, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I had so much fun last night!

I met up with my friend Laurel for an evening of painting with Monet & Merlot. We had a Groupon. Out of my 250 Facebook friends, Laurel is the only one who agreed to do this with me, and I’m so glad she did!

I had to brave rush hour traffic from St. Pete to Lutz (basically north Tampa). It took me about an hour and a half to get there, which is crazy because it only took me forty minutes to get home. But it was worth it.
painting progress collage-2

Basically an instructor walks you through the entire painting and they give you several complete samples to go by. Here were the examples of our painting, “Downtown”:
sample painting collage-2

In progress…



You could do whatever you wanted with your painting and it was really neat to see how different everyone’s was.

They should call it “Monet and BYO Merlot”, because there was no wine included (which disappointed me, but I guess I should have read the fine print), but they had several $5/glass specials. I only had one glass of a Malbec which was very good. I’m not a wine drinker at all (liquor’s quicker), but when at “Monet & Merlot”…

They provided all the supplies, however. I am very proud of my final painting!

This was Laurel’s, just before adding the final details:

Thanks for doing this with me Laurel. It was great to get to hang out with you!


I would really like to do another one. I love painting, but have no clue how to get started. I should take a class or something in my spare time…maybe when my kids go off to college. If another Groupon comes up for this, I’m going to force someone to do it with me.

When I got home Chad was hanging out on the back porch with our friend Sewer who is visiting from Maine with his wife Amy. She wasn’t feeling well so she was resting back at the hotel and Sewer just came over to hang out with Chad. I chatted with him for a few minutes but had to get to bed because of my usual 5:30 wake-up call. We’re going to hang out with them tomorrow night after soccer, so more about them later.

This morning was another sweltering, humid walk to school. The weather charlatans say that possibly a “cold” front is coming this weekend, bringing highs in the mid 80’s, which will feel awesome compared to the daily 90+ temps we are still having.

In case you were thinking that I live in some swanky water-front neighborhood, check out one of our neighboring house’s front yards from this morning:

I’m thinking there is probably some really sad story to go along with this, but it still wasn’t very pleasant to walk by.

After I got home from walking the boys to school I quickly showered, ate breakfast and headed back to school for my volunteer day. Cal’s class had a fieldtrip to The Science Center today where they actually got to put on rubber gloves and handle cow and sheep organs, like a heart, tongue and intestines. Cal thought it was awesome. I thought it was awesome too, because the permission slip actually said, “No chaperones needed.” That’s my favorite kind of fieldtrip.

Before they left, however, I got to squeeze in some math instruction with one student.

This is my scratch paper, showing how I tried to explain the division problems to the kid:

It’s hard to explain how to use compatible estimates when a kid can’t read the words “compatible” and “estimate”, much less have any idea what either word means. But this kid was really great and attentive for an hour and I am actually enjoying working with him.

I got so engrossed in doing math with the 5th grader that I was late arriving at Mack’s class. Here was my “to do” list for 2nd grade today:


Mack  presented one of his writing samples on the overhead projector for “compliments and criticisms” while I was there.

I love how he spelled “MacKennah”.

While I was in Mack’s class I was presented with a whole folder of letters from the kids thanking me for making a small donation to their class’ adopt-a-class fund. The letters are so sweet!

After volunteering I hung out with Mack in the courtyard while he ate lunch.

Then we went into Mrs. P’s classroom for a few minutes so he could give Joey the Hamster a piece of celery.

Then I came home for lunch, went back to school to help another 5th grader with math for a half-hour, then we all came home together. Now it’s homework, snacks and a few minutes of television before we leave for karate. On Tuesdays and Thursdays they do their half-hour of reading in the car on the way to and from karate. I’m going to try to squeeze in a run while they are in karate like I did last week. Tonight is also pizza night (but just for the boys…I’m going to skip it for something healthier).

Cya L8r.