Monday, May 31, 2010

The beginning of the end

Despite my near constant training this winter and spring (T minus 5 days until Half-Ironman!) pushing the double jogging stroller started feeling harder than it should be. For the first time, I was faced with the possibility that the kids might be outgrowing the jogging stroller! Oh no! Like letting my younger walk down the stairs by herself: I'm just not ready for that!

First, I couldn't make it up the hill at the bottom of my street anymore without unloading one or more kids. Then my son reached 45 pounds (the manufacturer's maximum recommended weight is 50 lbs). The fabric on his side of the stroller is starting to tear. I tried to switch him to the other side of the stroller, but I guess I wasn't accustomed to that since that whole side of my body seized up by the end of that run.

I had been forming grand plans to run my son to school next year, but I may need to revisit those plans. Luckily he will be in school five mornings a week so it is not a desperate situation. None of the kids are proficient bike riders and none are even close to being old enough to be left behind at home. We are, perhaps, entering a sort of limbo. I will still be able to run with my daughter in the single stroller while he is at school, but that puts us back in the car a lot more than I would like.

In the meantime, I replaced the bald tires (that set only lasted one year) and made sure they were fully inflated. I lubricated the moving parts. Perhaps most importantly, I am constantly reminding the kids to sit BACK. I've written before about how much it affects the steering when the kids lean forward.

And it's making me stronger...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Odds & Evens

There are some things I can do, there are some things I can't do. Running odds is one of them.

Ask me to go for a 10 mile run - I'll say yes - ask me to run 15 - I might say no. I like to run 10's, 12's, 14's, 16's, 18's and 20's but I really don't enjoy the odds. I'm not sure why it seems better to me to run 6 miles than 7 or 14 rather than 15, but it does.

My only exception to this rule is 11. It's my favorite number, the day I was born. I recently had a laugh when thinking about the phrase *here's the 411*[and yes at age 28 this is the first time I've had this thought] Its fitting to me that I was born 4/11. I am a walking google search engine and know a little bit about the most random things. I'm getting better at keeping my random wealth of knowledge to myself, but don't be surprised if you ask me a question and I happen to not only know the answer but give you way more information than you wanted to know.

This morning I ran 11 G-R-E-A-T miles with 4 wonderful friends. One met me at 6:30, she drove all the way to me even though that meant she was up at 5:30(she has two kids), the other two met us at 7(both have kids and are preggers). It doesn't always work out that we end up being the same pace - today it did. I loved our little running pack, sharing the trials and the miles of life together.

Can you run odds? Have any weird running hang ups?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Free Museum Passes, Zoo Visits, and More for Bank of America Customers

If you're looking for some fun, yet frugal activities this summer, Bank of America has a program called Museums on Us for their customers.

The first weekend of every month, just show your Bank of America credit, debit, or ATM card at over 100 different museums, botanical gardens, zoos, and science centers, and you'll receive free admission.

New locations have been added, and popular locations include the the Met and the Bronx Zoo in New York, the Art Institute and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, children's museums, science centers, and more. Click here to find participating locations near you.

If you'll be traveling, you might want to check this list before you leave to see if there are any museums on the list at your destination city. Remember though, that the free admission offer is only good during the first weekend of the month.

And, in case you missed it, be sure to check out my previous post on free (and almost free) movies for kids for more inexpensive summer entertainment.

Looking for more deals and freebies? Join the email list, follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook, and visit the main deals page here!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Howdy Running Moms everywhere. I wish you a happy day of running in pure bliss.....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

first place

The Cicada Crunch 5K is on Saturday. I don’t expect you’ve heard of this race. It is a small, local race in the town of Cheverly, MD. In 2008, the last time it was held, maybe 70 people ran. The race starts and finishes less than a quarter mile from my front door. I have to run it (yes, “have to”), though I’ve not run a 5K since the last Cicada Crunch. I’m a distance woman; I like my 10-milers and half-marathons.

But I can’t avoid this race, though I hold little affection for 5Ks. I used to run them all the time. My first race, the Run for the Rainforest in Central Park in 1998, was a 5K. You see, I can’t get comfortable and settle into a pace. I feel a self-imposed pressure to be as fast as I can be. The pressure is more significant this time because I won the Cicada Crunch in 2008. Know that I feel strange admitting this. I am not boasting. I am no elite runner. I am not even local-level fast. I ran it in 23 minutes and some change. While that is not slow, it is not a winning 5K time.  (I will, however, take a moment to boast that I made that time even though at least a mile of the 5K course is uphill – really, it might be more – with at least 4 of the 8 uphill segments long and steep.)

Yet I want to hold on to my first place, even though that race is long over. Even though I feel as if I didn’t quite deserve it. This reminds me of listening to Julie Moss on RadioLab’s show on limits. When she unexpectedly took first place in the 1982 Ironman Triathlon, she felt compelled to hold on to it. (If you haven’t seen the video of her taking first-place and then collapsing before the finish, check it out here.)

She explains, “There I am in the lead, and all of a sudden things started to shift. I’m good at something, and somebody is trying to take it away from me…It felt like she was breathing down my neck and trying to take something that I was becoming very attached to.”

I feel like that. I know I am in little danger of collapsing in a short event like this. But someone else could win. Easily. And, I admit, I really want to win again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gardening This Summer? Check Out -- A New Fruit & Veggie Exchange

Depending on where you live, you may be getting ready to plant a vegetable garden. More and more people are growing their own food--either to save money, to avoid pesticides and enjoy fresher produce, or both.

You may also have fruit trees where you live. We were happily surprised to find a pear tree in the backyard of the house we moved into a few years ago. Well, I should say I was. No one else ate pears in our house, and we had a TON of them at the end of the summer!

You might have the same situation with your garden--lots of extra food that you can't eat fast enough. You can freeze or can it, and you can also check out this new website, It's a free site where people with extra produce can sign up to exchange their fruits and veggies with another gardener who has something they'd like to trade.

This is a new site as I mentioned, so the more people who register, the more successful it will be. The site has lots of information about how it works, how to "make a trade," and a link to help you find out where to donate extra food if you'd rather do that than swap it. You can even find out how to buy and sell your fresh produce.

All of you gardeners may want to bookmark for the end of summer when that big bumper crop comes in!

Free --and Almost Free-- Summer Movies for Kids

Soon the kids will be out of school, and it might not take long until you start hearing "I'm bored!" When that happens, or for a rainy summer day, here's a list of theaters offering free (and almost free) kids' movies this summer.

Keep in mind, most, if not all, of these movies have already come out on DVD. Of course, it's much more fun to go to the theater, eat movie popcorn, and sit in the dark to watch a movie, so go enjoy yourself with the kids and cool off on a hot day for not too much money!

By the way, be sure to check locations, since not all theaters serve all areas.

free movies offered at:

Regal Theaters

Cobb Theaters - first find your local theater, then see the free movie details on your local theater's page along the left sidebar

$1 movies offered at:

AMC Theaters information hasn't been released yet for their summer movie program, but keep checking this link.

Classic Cinemas
Join their email list to get a free popcorn!

 $2.75 includes movie, popcorn, and soda
Marcus Theaters  

$3.00 includes movie, popcorn, and soda
Grand Theaters

Looking for more deals? You can visit's main deals site for coupon codes and great offers every day!