Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I do not whine – kids whine

As the days get longer, my inner engine is ramping up its horsepower. Over the weekend, I had a short run on Saturday – 5.5 miles. I remembered something a gym teacher taught us about running when I was in first grade: that you get a lot of power from pumping your arms. So I gave it a try, and the next thing I knew, my pace picked up by 15 seconds per mile…and another 30 seconds per mile…and another 15 seconds per mile. Holy crap. I ended my run about there, afraid I would accidentally hit warp speed and either land on Jupiter, or develop instantaneous plantar fasciitis all over again.

On Sunday, I went to my third Tough Mudder class. Three rounds of 16 exercises, a minute apiece, thirty seconds rest between each one. On the bright side, I didn’t almost puke this time. On the other hand, how to choose my favorite moment from the morning? Would it be when I didn’t quite catch the 12-pound medicine ball I was attempting to throw fifteen feet in the air (hah! as if!) and nearly knocked my glasses off? Or was it when I let the 20 pound maul swing around and knock me in the shin? And who wears glasses to the gym? I.Am.A.Dork.

But I’m a dork who has officially registered for the Tough Mudder.


On Monday (yesterday), I scored a Little Black Dress to wear to our next chorus concert. (I am experiencing Wardrobe Issues.) That was the highlight of the day. It’s the ideal dress: you could squash it into a tiny ball in the bottom of your bag, take it out, give it a shake, put it on, and look great. Machine washable, indestructible, and shows off My Shoulders, which ought to be looking fairly decent any day now, given the aforementioned gym-based bludgeoning. The lowlight of Monday, on the other hand, was an overwhelming case of the blahs, which I am coming to associate with recovery from intense workouts.

On the Nature Report, today’s species of note is sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis). Last year I couldn’t identify this correctly – I thought it was mutant wild ginseng. It’s in the same family, actually. This is the stuff you make root beer out of. “Just another weed, growing along the driveway…” would be an easy way to not even see this little bugger.


But look how sweet the leaves are, on their second day up from the ground! This is a few days ago.


They’ll go green soon enough.


Last year this all happened a good three or four weeks later on in the spring.


Here’s a Solomon’s Seal. Probably. Stay tuned.

On the turtle front, I’m a little confused. I found a dead baby turtle in the neighbor’s driveway the other day – just over an inch across. Not a snapper (no teeth on the edge of the shell), perhaps a wood turtle (as I’ve seen them in the area, though not so far this year.) Where’d he come from? How fast do turtles grow? Last year, a nest hatched out around the middle of June. Surely a turtle grows a bit in its first year – this one must have just hatched. Just a wee thing.

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