Bad Week for Wildlife

A few weeks ago I scared a skunk out of the drainpipe that runs under the end of our driveway while mowing the lawn. A day or two later I came across the same skunk (allegedly) flattened on the road outside our subdivision. That seems to have been a precursor the events this week; I’ve come across myriad roadkill during my bike rides: 4 squirrels, 2 deer (!), 1 cat and 1 mouse (different locations).If ever I were to have the desire to have a pet, this probably would not be the best time to act on it.

Lawnmower Man

I recently received a Garmin Forerunner 305 for my birthday (thanks, Mom & Dad!) and decided to see what it would record while mowing the lawn.Well, the above image is what it recorded. Due to the low-res map data that is bundled with the Training Center software, “Detroit” is prominently displayed in this decidedly non-Detroit suburb in which we reside.The yellow area on top (to the North) is our front yard. The white gap between it and the backyard below is the large driveway pad, the house, and some of the flower beds surrounding the house.I’ve also included the stats and pace vs. heart rate graph. It’s interesting to see that my heart rate was higher initially, probably because I was going in and out of the ditch along the road during that time. Also, apparently I walked just shy than 2 miles as I traversed back and forth across approximately 1/4 of an acre (about half of our 1/2 acre lot).

M1C

As part of my current running training schedule, I was slated to run 10 miles on Saturday. Well… due to the cold weather, strong winds and icy roads up north this weekend, I chose to postpone the run until tonight when I could do it after the girls went to sleep from the comfort of my own home on the treadmill. I run on the treadmill fairly frequently, but never for such a long distance (or time) due to the mind-numbing boredom that insues. But for lack of a better opportunity and a dedication to the schedule, I put the headphones on, queued up a number of podcasts that I’ve been meaning to catch up on, and ran. I was nearing the end of my 10 miles with approximately 0.34 miles to go when I watched the elapsed time counter hit 99 minutes. Now, since there are only two digits for minutes and two for seconds on the display, I assumed it would just rollover to 00:00 at the end of that 99th minute and continue. Boy, was I wrong. Oh, I was right about going to 00:00. But the treadmill’s tread also stopped rotating and I nearly impaled myself on the console. I realize that most people don’t spend that much time on the treadmill, but they could have at least put some kind of warning label on the machine indicating what would happen at minute 100! The last thing I need right now is a running injury. I restarted the treadmill and finished up my workout without further incident. Maybe I’ll apply my own warning sticker to the console as a reminder, though I doubt I’ll forget about it after tonight’s excitement.

On the Road Again

After 3-4 months off from running due to some knee issues, in January I started ramping up my miles on the treadmill. I still experience a creaky knee when climbing stairs, but at least there is no pain. And during my runs I need to warm up gradually… starting with a quick walk for a few minutes, then a slow jog, and then eventually I can push myself fairly hard. If I start running hard too quickly, my knees definitely let me know.The majority of my runs so far have been on the treadmill but I plan to hit the streets again as the weather warms up and daylight starts sooner. I had a nice 8 mile run on Saturday, my longest run in quite some time, though my knees were a little more sore after it, likely due to the difference of running on pavement versus a treadmill.I received a Nike+iPod pedometer from my brother in December and have been using it to collect data for my runs. It’s proven to be fairly inaccurate depending on how I’ve calibrated it… if calibrated for the treadmill, it tracks about 10% low for subsequent runs and closer to 15-20% on pavement. If calibrated on pavement, the treadmill runs track about 15% too high. Regardless, it has given me a fun way to motivate me to get back into running. The graph above shows my progress for the past 3 months. I’m looking forward to watching the bars rise in the coming months.

Bright Eyes

Media_httpstaticflick_dgdqf

Amelia’s first two teeth broke through on her 5 month birthday. It’s funny to see her adjust to the new set of choppers. Occassionally she’ll move her jaw up and down to feel the teeth press her gums. It’s funny to watch. She’s a bit congested, too, though we’re not sure if it’s from the teething or whether she has a cold.

She’s also learning to roll over. First it was back to front. Then front to back. Now it’s both. This evening she rolled back-to-front-to-back-to-front in about a minute. Exciting times at Casa Windeler.

Pink Peepers

I was planning on taking Kaija swimming during my lunch break today at the nearby fitness center we recently joined. Plans have changed, however. She woke up this morning with puffy, slightly blood-shot eyes. “Mommy, I had a bunch of gunk in my eyes this morning, but I wiped it out. It’s all gone now.” Uh, oh. Jennifer’s mother, whom we had seen on Friday, called us on Saturday saying she had come down with Pinkeye, most likely contracted from our niece a few days prior. Sure enough, 3-4 days later we’ve got a case of it in our house. Amelia was rubbing one of her eyes a little more than usual last night, too, but so far does not show any of the symptoms… yet. I just hope Jennifer and I can avoid it. Jennifer’s taking the girls to the doctor to get some medicine. We’ll do our best to avoid sharing it with the rest of you!