Thursday, October 24, 2013

5 Ways Being a Runner Will Help You in the Zombie Apocalypse

All of you runners out there, I think you're going to have a pretty good chance when the zombie crisis arrives. Here are my top 5 reasons why:

1. Injuries

Anyone who has run for a length of time can attest to the fact that runners often continue running on minor troubles, twitches, aches, pains, ailments, and injuries. This will help them carry on when their zombie-bitten ankle has to be amputated.

2. Grossness Tolerance

Maybe the less said about this the better, but any experienced competitive runner knows that, when you're pushing your body to the limits, gross bodily things can happen. In the middle of races. And you don't stop.

You don't stare, either, when it happens to someone else. It's part of running life, in the long distances. Time is not wasted on shock or horror.

This will obviously come in handy amidst the gore and grime of a postapocalyptic society. You will remain alert while other poor sods are shell-shocked.

3. Endurance

This one falls in the "duh" category. But when the zombies show up, it will definitely come in handy to feel no fatigue after a mile or two of steady running (away). The highway traffic pile-ups and lack of gasoline won't really bother you. 40 miles to Atlanta? That's only slightly more than two days' worth of long runs.

4. The Smell

Mayhem is going to smell bad. Rotting is going to smell bad.

No big deal. Have you smelled your favorite running shoes lately? Yeah, that's a good approximation. You can even practice for the apocalypse. Put your face near your shoes (best if it's after a particularly rainy run) and breathe deeply, once a week or so.

5. Food Storage

In your pantry, you may have stocked an assortment of energy foods and drinks. Chances are, you have at least one once-upon-a-trend substance that now sits on a shelf, unused. Protein powder? Gu? Gatorade in a powder or liquid form? Whey? Chia seeds? Hey, super good news! You can use all of those up when the food runs out! They're pretty much nonperishable and they will give you zombie-outlasting energy.

If you have not taken up running yet, you might want to consider...

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Doctor's Running Advice

Here I am doing something which is most definitely NOT one of my hobbies. I decorate cakes out of necessity only; if a doctor ever told me to give up cake decorating, I would not miss a thing.

Three years ago, my son and I were in a car accident. It was raining, and a car to our left inexplicably skidded across in front of us. I couldn't think quickly enough to avoid it; in fact, in my shock, I went the absolute wrong way and we collided at about 60 mph.

The nightmare came about 10 to 20 seconds after impact. It took that long to figure out what had happened. Then I called my son's name. Those seconds between deciding to call his name and hearing his answer were the nightmare.

Luckily, he was fine. We got checked out at the hospital and he was fine other than a couple scratches. I had something along the lines of bleeding rug burn across my chest and a swelling knee, but was otherwise okay.

That was all great, except for the minor driving phobia I acquired. I almost couldn't stand it when I had to drive my children to school in the rain. Gradually, I got over the phobia part, but I still slow way down in the rain and try not to drive in bad weather unless it's absolutely necessary. Actually, I also try to avoid heavy hours of traffic. I have the luxury of being able to do so, for the most part, because we homeschool.

As kind of a sidenote, I went to a doctor to get my knee checked out. It hurt sometimes, and had a small swollen place underneath. She advised me to stop running until I didn't feel pain at all.

For various reasons, I stopped running for about a year. Whenever I tried slowly starting back up again, I would feel my knee, and I would stop. After a while, I gave up her advice as useless and ran when I could. Other family obligations came first, though, so I didn't get into really good shape.

Now I am ramping up my mileage, slowly. I'm definitely challenging myself more than I have in many, many years. Guess what feels stronger? My knee.

By the way, in the heavily researched Lore of Running, Dr. Tim Noakes says runners should always go to a doctor who runs himself or herself.

Each injury is or can be different from each other injury, and many factors play into its healing and the advice a doctor would give. If something different had happened to my knee, I might have had a different outcome. The jury is still not out. Maybe, in future, I will regret running on it again.

But I doubt it.

(Do I have to do the disclaimer? I'm not a doctor. Don't take my advice. :) )

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How Much?

back when I wasn't running again, yet, because there really is only so much you can do well

Is it possible for one person to run, I mean as in training hard, and keep house and make meals, and homeschool, and be a good parent, and delve into scholarly study herself, and be a good spouse, and get enough rest? This is the question I'm thinking about these days.

I'm not thinking about in an emergency way or a beating-myself-up way. Just thinking. And trying.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


I'm changing up the look of the blog again. What can I say, I get bored.

I noticed that I have on the sidebar lists of things the boys love "at this moment in time." "This moment in time" was about two years ago. Before I erase things like that, I preserve them. I want to remember "this moment in time!"

These lists need to be updated, but a remarkable chunk of both is still relevant.

So here's Xander's old one and then Nick's below:

For a moment in time, Xander loves:

  • his cousin Bailey
  • talking, especially describing Legos
  • inviting classmates over for playdates
  • Mrs. Griffin
  • Lego sets and more Lego sets
  • poring over Lego brochures
  • Lego videos and computer games
  • reading by himself
  • imagining and playing adventures
  • his Mythology book
  • saying he is starving TO DEATH, Mom!
  • play-fighting with Nick
  • pets and stuffed animals
  • learning, baking, doing activities
  • Nature specials, esp. dinosaur ones
  • singing, especially with Nick at the dinner table
  • reciting what he's learned at school
  • Cedarmont Kids' songs
  • doing "what he's supposed to" at school
  • holding and petting Sandy
  • school

Nick loves:

  • riding the tricycle
  • his new wagon
  • Teddy Bear and Pooh
  • touching my hair when it's down
  • being tickled or touching foreheads
  • talking on the phone
  • running "super fast"
  • reading ocean-related books to himself for hours a day
  • puppets - he's not scared anymore
  • balloons!
  • Xander
  • Daddy
  • Cheetos and Jello, unfortunately
  • singing or humming on any occasion
  • children's songs
  • animals in the ark
  • drawing
  • throwing balls
  • playing figures during playtime
  • loudly singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"
  • putting on a show whenever he can see himself (mirror, computer)

Monday, October 7, 2013

School Today...

School today:

Up, read magazines together on the couch. (The kids wake up too early, probably because I am up to go running.)

Breakfast. I help make some of it, the kids make some of their own food.

They watch an Adventures in Virtue video about honesty.

Morning tasks with Children's Miracle Music.

I recite the Pledge of Allegiance and the Texas state pledge. At least Nick was listening.

I play songs from our special Quiet Time playlist. It includes some of the kids' favorites, some of my favorite soothing songs, a few math songs, and some folk songs we like.

Kids do some chores.

I have leftover lasagna and salad for lunch. The kids have homemade gingerbread and milk and homemade crusty bread. Salad for snack, I promise.

Kids play Legos and Duplos together...for hours. We put on the Surprises According to Humphrey audiobook. The series of books about Humphrey, the classroom hamster, is fluff to me, but the kids adore every bit of it. I let them listen to audiobooks during lunchtime.

Meanwhile, I further my own education by participating in a couple of Facebook book/course discussions.

I also put together more formalized collections of our homeschool curricula and plans.

Nick has a snack of homemade yogurt (I've finally figured out a homemade yogurt recipe that even the kids like!), homemade refried beans, and, yes, salad.

Later, we will go grocery shopping and read aloud the pile of books I had planned to read to them today.

Yesterday included family time, bike riding time, and grammar/spelling/writing time in a couple of activity books the boys were excited about.

Off topic: Nick looks so much older to me as of yesterday!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

An I-Did List

One of the women on the Thomas Jefferson Education Facebook group recently shared her idea of a Victory List. Instead of a To-Do list, she focuses on writing down at the end of a day what she has accomplished. She said she likes to emphasize the people she wants to focus on rather the tasks she wants to accomplish.

My aunt also recommends this tactic of an I-Did list as healthier for our mindsets.

I love this idea because it is easy to look around us, whether on Facebook or Pinterest or blog posts or Instagram or real life, and choose to see what others excel at while discounting what we excel at. Then we heap recriminations on ourselves for not being fantastic at every single thing we see others doing fantastically well.

We may even become apologetic about our skills or self-doubting about the roles we fulfill. I see parents and homeschoolers in particular as two groups that constantly worry about whether they are doing the right things.

It is in this sense of a Victory List that I like to mention what we have done for homeschool on thus-and-such-a-day. The post is something to look back on, when necessary, to remind myself that we have done plenty of wonderful things. If it is a day to doubt what we have covered in math, I can look back at mathematical things we have done. If I start to wonder whether we do any art at all, I can remind myself of our art field trips, projects, or books.

Do you do a Victory List or an I-Did List? A daily To-Do list? Both? Neither?