Friday, February 27, 2009

Exercising with Grown-ups

It's school vacation week and I've had the luxury of running and skiing with friends while someone else has watched my kids. The sitters have included my sister, my dad, and my husband, who doesn't have to teach this week.

The bonus of having an exercise companion means that we get to talk about, well, all the good and bad things about our kids is a given, but we also talk about work, about the economy, about issues in the community, and whether or not the new hairdresser in town is worth going to. When you try to have these discussions with kids around, they get started but come to a quick halt when a child falls on the pavement and needs a Band Aid or when your child says "Excuse me" so many times that you've forgotten what you were talking about anyways.

It's true that exercising with a friend or two requires more planning to match schedules and to arrange for child care, but I'm up for that challenge.



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Stud

My husband is in demand by a small group of ladies in town for his "stud service" or that is what he likes to call it. The ladies are my running friends and my husband is winterizing their sneakers. 

Somehow, there has been a buzz this winter about screw shoes, which use small sheet rock screws inserted into sneaker soles to provide traction on hard packed snow and ice. All you need is a screw driver and some screws and a pair of sneakers that you will dedicate to winter running.

I usually take the winter off from running and instead cross country ski, but this season I have been running once or twice a week as I am able to sneak in a quick run while a friend watches my kiddo. My new stud shoes have a subtle grab on the roads. My running buddy says that she prefers these homemade jobs to YakTrax for running in town on a little hard pack snow. 

Here is a photo of my converted sneakers as well as instructions by runner Matt Carpenter, which were featured recently on the Runner's World web site.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Scavenger-Hunt Ski

Julia had the best ski of her almost-three-year-old life today. She had some incentive to ski thanks to a clever little scavenger-hunt course. Each fun find was spaced far enough to get your curiousity going and just out of sight, too, to keep the momentum going.  

I started by holding onto Julia's hand, but she quickly told me that she could ski on her own. She was smiling and chatty and moved along steadily in the tracks until she saw a prize bucket and crossed over to collect her ware. Among the things that she tucked in her pockets: a wooden bunny to decorate; a rubber ducky; a clementine; sheep's skin (for cleaning skis); and a Kit Kat bar, purposely saved for last. The grand prize, which was passed out to the little participants, was a coupon for a free maple creemie (Vermont's version of soft serve ice cream). We're used to eating them in the summer so it was a treat today to almost eliminate the roll of drips down the kids' chins.

Ava got an ice cream on-the-house, too, after completing her lollipop race, which was about .8K. She fell down at a bottleneck on the first turn but recovered and had a strong finish. Most importantly, she enjoyed skiing with a bunch of other kids her age.

Now Tom wasn't happy with his race performance and I never got in the ski that I anticipated, but this was the kids day to shine and they sure did.