Thursday, March 30, 2006

Kidz keep gitten dummer :^P

Right now is the weirdest time of the year for this age group because their hormones are either kicking it into high gear or finally tapering off. All the kids that were smart, quiet, and with-it at the beginning of the year are getting dumb. Seriously. They no longer understand what's going on. Everything now has some sort of sexual connotation for them whereas in September they were pretty oblivious. Conversely, the dumb kids are getting smart! Students who couldn't remember that gravity goes down can now state all of Newton's Laws and predict what will sink or float! Amazing!

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Tim and I just got back from the triathlon. I'm a bit tired, no surprise, so this might ramble a bit and have a few typos, but I wanted to share my experience with you.

Some of you know that this is not my first tri. In fact, it's my 4th! You might be impressed by that, but I feel like I just finished my first triathlon. I'm tired and I don't think I did as well as I wanted. But I have to remember that I did push myself a bit harder this time than I normally do (I felt a bit nauseaous at the end of it all) so I guess I did the best I could.

One nice thing about this particular race is the start time, 9am. That's nice and late. The sun was even up when we woke up at 6.30, and we had plenty of time to dress and eat brekkie. We even gave Janola her meds. We arrived at 8, as planned, and good thing, too. I'm not sure about the men's transition area, but the women's was crowded! Someone actually moved somebody else's stuff so I could fit my bike on the rack. I mean, I had to be right there as I'm between 35-39.

Anyway, that was no big whoop. Tim and I gathered around for the pre-race talk and learned that there was a change in the swim route. Yesterday's talk (when we picked up our packets) informed us that the course would be rectangular: go out, turn left, swim straight, turn left again, and head on in. Due to the swell and strong ass current, the course was a triangle: swim out, go round the buoy, swim in. OK-we got it.

Now, picture this- 1000 people in wetsuits (except for the few macho guys in speedos) and colored swimcaps (OT-I used to think swimcaps were yucky; my grandma wore one in the pool! now, I'm proud of my small but growing collection of race caps). We're anxiously awaiting the start of the race. Most of us jump into the ocean for a pre-swim warm-up and not only is it frikken' cold (we knew that), but the current was killer. You were pulled south, even in hip-deep water! And the surf! Even the swim-buoy was rockin' and rollin' in the swell and, eventually, the surf. One of the race directors was giving out last minute instructions, telling us to head north on the beach a bit before getting in the water; they even moved the starting line up the beach for the first wave which was composed of the elite men. These young men all were good, strong swimmers. Countdown, airhorn, and they're off! They enter the water and WHOOSH there they go! South! and reeeaaaallll fast! I mean, these are hot young studs who could swim in their sleep. Only 3 actually made it out to the buoy after what seemed like forever (to us on the beach) of fighting the current and swell. 1 young boy had to be "resuced" by a lifeguard and escorted back. We were very sad for him. All the others looked like they were swimming on a treadmill; you could see them swimming, but they didn't get anywhere!. I don't know what they did or how they did it, but eventually (again, it seemed like a long time) they must've swum out far enough, turned around, and swum back.

While witnessing this display of the ocean's raw power against puny man, the race directors decided to change the course (obviously; I mean, sheesh, tri's are supposed to be challenging, but not impossible). Now, we were going to swim past the first bad surf and lifeguard #1, turn around, and swim in the trough between the shallow surf and the deep surf in about 6ft of water to the next lifeguard, turn toward the shore, and head out. OK-cool. The next wave was the elite women, again composed of hot young studettes who do this for fun. Countdown (again), airhorn (again) and BAM! there they all go running up the beach for a few yards before heading into the water--very smart move, I thought. Sadly, they didn't do much better than the guys, being tossed by the surf and strong current, and having to dodge the lifeguard jetski. One young athelete was also rescued and escorted out.

More discussion by the racing folks. In the mean time, I'm freezing 'cuz I was playing in the water earlier, remember? and the wind was picking up. Also, I had to pee. That was my plan for staying warm in the ocean, but my original wave start (and everyone else's, for that matter) had come and gone. Get this, our back-up back-up plan-- we're to run out to the lifeguard, turn left, run 400yds south in knee-deep water, then turn left again at the last lifeguard, and head in. I mean, I didn't train to run 400yds in the water in my wetsuit, but there you have it and yes, that is what we all ended up doing, wave group after wave group. It was funny to watch. We'd all run into the water, high-step run for a bit, then the "screw this, this sucks" hit everyone at about 200yds and we all walked the next 100yds, picking up the pace for the last 50-100yds 'cuz, after all, it was still a race.

bleh. Then the running through dry sand. Not my favorite part. I really need to train for that more. Also, the bike. I mean, I did it and pushed myself and all that, but I wasn't in bike shape. The run was much better, but from using so much energy during the bike I opted to walk through the water stations.... and after the final turn around. But I ran my heart out (or ass off, as the case may be) the last bit to finish strong. Jessica finished just ahead of me and Tim had been done for a while.

Now that it's all over, I'm glad I did it. I'm always glad I did it and look forward to my next one!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

8 Mile

Well, today I jogged 8 miles. While I'm proud of myself for accomplishing this feat, it was kind of a let down compared to last week's triumph. The route I chose really sucked. There was nothing to look at except the 101N. And, it was noisy.

At least the weather was good. Next week's triathlon should be a lot easier and way more fun. :) hooray for fun!

Scary Night

Tim and I didn't get to bed until after 11pm and that is real late for me. We had a medical emergency with Janola. She and her sister are my little old rats. They are 2 1/2 years old this month, so we're very lucky to have had her this long. They both don't get around as well as they used to. Janola used to climb and jump almost as much as Beroe (codename: Monkey Rat)! Now, if she wants up onto the computer table she will sit on top of either my or Tim's foot. Then, we'd lift her carefully up so that she can walk on our relatively straight leg to our lap and get a lift to the table (yes, I realize that we've become a handy rat elevator). Sometimes I just pick her up off the floor, but I think she and Barbara like walking as much as they can.

OK-back to the stress. Just as I was about to put our dinner on the grill, I noticed that Janola was having a hard time breathing. She's been sneezing a bit this last week, but I've been too afraid to take her to the vet due to her age, and none of the other rats seemed affected by it. Also, she was still "active" and eating. Well, this about broke my heart, seeing her choking and making strange sounds. Actually, rats are so quiet to us that any sound coming from her would be strange. Tim gave her a look as well and asked if I wanted to do something. This had gone on for about 1 or 2 minutes by then, so I decided that we needed to take her to the emergency vet. I was all teary-eyed and scared, she was sitting in her basket on my lap, still struggling to breathe while Tim drove. The vet was crowded! Everyone in SB must've had a pet emergency last night. She was taken in right away (thank goodness). But we did end up spending what must have been 2 hours in the waiting room. They came and told us that they had her on oxygen and when she was stable and the other emergencies had been dealt with, the dr. spoke with us. I was relieved to find that she was not getting ready to "cross over" but does have a respiratory infection. We got a prescription and headed on home.

Now it is morning and she's looking at me as if to say, "See, I told you I'm alright. Can I have a snack?"

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Crazy like a Polar Bear

In preparation for our triathlon next week, Tim and I decided it would be best to take advantage of the better weather and conditions this weekend and head to the ocean for our Saturday swim. Obviously, this will give us a bit of practice getting in and out of the surf as well as a chance to get used to swimming in our wetsuits.

All that is well and good but swimming in 50 degree water is not! Man, it was helluv cold out there! Tim was surprised at the choice words that came from my mouth as we waded through water that felt like ice. Breathing was a chore, and actual swimming?? Forget about it! It was too cold to keep your head underwater. According to our surfing neighbor, the water is the coldest it's been in 3 years.

I was a bit reluctant all week about today's swim, since we had a great white shark attack a seal right off our beach last week. Bearing that in mind, we drove to the another beach about 10 miles away. (I know that in the eyes of a great white that's nothing, but we felt better). But, we perservered and swam out to the swim buoy (a distance we're guessing was 100yds) against a current. Oh, did I mention the current and bit of chop? In reality, that wasn't as bad as the temperature.

Upon exiting we decided to get warmed up before going at it again (this blog does have crazy in the title). I felt a lot more secure the second time, still cold but I knew I could do it. The chop picked up while we were out, but still managed to finish the swim.

I just feel sorry for my friend for three reasons: 1) she has yet to try out her rented suit, 2)the water is cold enough to take your breath and confidence away 3)she already doesn't like swimming in the ocean, and this isn't going to make it any easier.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I feel fat
bleh bleh bleh
overslept today by 45min
worked from 7am-4.15pm
bleh bleh bleh
going jogging when i don't want to
just want to stay home and snack
which will only make me feel even fatter
know will feel better after the run

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Run, Danielle, Run

Well folks, today is a banner day, for I have gone where I've never gone before.... Or at least, ran a distance I've never run before. I did 7miles today, and here is the link:

Yup, I'm feeling mighty fine about this accomplishment, and would like to thank everyone who helped make this possible: my mother and father who always believed in me, Hal Higdon for without his website I wouldn't have thought such a thing possible, WeightWatchers for instilling within me the belief that exercise is important and can be fun not to mention assisting me in losing 55 pounds (bleh-can you imagine running around carrying all that extra weight??), God above for watching over me, my dear, dear husband who keeps my natural inertia in check by reminding me how good I feel after a run and who is enjoying my new muscles right along with me :), and all the little people who's names I can't remember at this time....

OK-I know that I don't receive any kind of reward. Tim does applaud me when I achieve my fitness goals, and I do allow myself an extra snack, but that's it. And, of course, I'm just that much healthier and happier, which is the best reward.

So, during miles 5 and 6 I was thinking (which is my wont while jogging since I opt to run without headsets, kind of like a zen-meditation-thingy) about Tri-Geek Kahuna's question about "Why Tri?" and Fe Lady's reply which was a list of reasons. This got me to composing my own list of why I jog specifically and workout in general. Here it is:

Danielle's 15 Reasons for Exercising-

1)Weight management-Hey, I lost over 50lbs and I'm not going back there.
2)Fitness-I really like the fact that I can now walk up a flight of stairs and not be breathless or have achy knees.
3)Food-Hey, I used to weigh over 50lbs more because I like to eat, and I'm not ashamed to admit that exercise lets me eat a little bit more without gaining it all back.
4)Stress Reduction-It's true; running really lets me relax. Maybe it's all the hormones, maybe pounding the asphalt is reminscent of pounding in some heads, who knows.
5)Muscles-I've always wanted to be toned, and I'm on my way! My arms are nice-escpecially my biceps. Too bad you can't check out my legs, 'cuz they're pretty sweet. Which brings me to #6
6)MY BUTT-Oh, yeah, baby. When I was in my 20s, I had a nice stickin' out butt. I lost it when I was fat, and now that I'm running it's back and better than ever.
7)Push the Envelope-I remember when I started exercising, I was happy walking, which led to powerwalking. Eventually I thought that I was ready for jogging, so I would jog a block/walk a block, etc. for about 30 min. I was so excited the first time I ran 1/2 mi nonstop. Now I'm training for my first half marathon. :)Which leads me to...
8)Race Day!-With races coming up, I can't afford to slack. I'm so looking forward to jogging across the Golden Gate Bridge in July!
9)Bragging Rights-Natch. "So, what did you do this weekend?" "Me? I did a triathlon. What did you do?" ha!
10)Gotta Represent-Fellow joggers, during the week and on race day, are almost all white or black. Very few Latinos show up. Where are they? I see a lot of the men playing soccer or basketball and the women are usually walking the streets, pushing a stroller full of children and groceries. I'm sure in places where we make more money there are a bunch of brown people running, but not so much here in SB.
11)Stay in shape-because someday Tim and I are going backpacking and I don't want to embarass myself.
12)Cute clothes-Clothes are much cuter when they are smaller than a size 20, believe me.
13)Me time-exercising lets me get to know me better. While running, it's just me and me. It also allows me to give Tim some Tim-time.
14)Fun-Believe it or not, exercise is fun. Well, actually, the fun begins after the workout.
15)D'oh! I can't think of another reason to exercise! Wait, wait... Seeing myself as an athlete instead of a couch potato? Can that count? Sure, what the heck, it's my blog.

There you have it. Any other reasons??

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Guess there is such a thing as a snowball's chance in ....

The darndest thing happened today. I gave a student detention earlier this week, to be served today. It has been my experience that when "commanded" to appear for afterschool detention, this student is nowhere to be found. I reminded him yesterday and he said he remembered, but the moment of truth was to occur at 2:13pm today. I called him over to my class at 1 min before the bell and said, OK, Moses, have a seat. "I have to tell my brother I have detention!" was his reply.

"Alright then; go to the office and call him."

"But he picks me up."

I sigh and say (thinking, it can't be this hard, can it??)"OK, go to the front of the school and let him know. Be back in...say...5 minutes."

"5 minutes!" Moses gasped, "He doesn't get here until 3!" This is said with a bit of negativity towards me and my lack of understanding of his life.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "Moses," I say, forcing myself to remain calm (I teach in a loving way...I teach in a loving way), "your detention will be over by 3."

He blinked, said, "Oh," and that was that. He was great, did everything I asked (my detentions include cleaning the counters/desks/whiteboard). And we even got him caught up on some classwork. I asked if his brother always picked him up ("yeah") and he asked if he could, sometimes, maybe, stay afterschool to make up work ("Why, sure."). Sheesh! I can't believe it took me 6 months to discover that he had no clue. And that I had no clue either, it seems! Obviously, I had to share this with his tech teacher who's jaw dropped as far as mine did when I realized what this meant. Oh, well. Now we've got him for this last trimester right where we want him!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

As I lay sleeping...

Oh, my God. I can't believe I slept that long! I just had a 3 hour nap, and I had to make myself get up so that I will sleep through the night! I didn't think I was that tired since I went to be just before 9pm last night and dozed until 9am this morning.

Well, I have been complaining to Tim all week long that I was tired. I even used it as an excuse not to go running on Thurs (but, don't fret-jogged 4 mi last night). So after my sleep-in this morning, I thought I was good to go. Tim and I went swimming about noon (walking to the pool and back; aren't we healthy and active?), then came home and had lunch. At about 3pm he went out to wash his bike and I settled in to read a NEW book on Ben Franklin and found myself dozing. I couldn't fight it, so put myself to bed. At about 4, Tim walked in and must've called for me because I woke up. He didn't expect to find me in bed, but he was happy that I was napping. I went right back to sleep and woke up again after 6. Wow! I will definitely sleep well tonight.

Why so tired? Partly due to last week's trip to the East Coast. We had a nice visit with his sister and our new nephew and a good time in DC seeing an old friend of mine, Chris. He's one of my oldest friends. I'm not very good at keeping in touch so I must admit that the longevity of the friendship is due to his efforts, but I'm glad he did. I like talking with him and getting a totally different perspective on life in the sciences. Oh, and DC was neat, too. Too much interesting stuff and not enough time. Why didn't I go to the Air and Space Museum sooner?? Must return and see more cool stuff!

The trip culminated in a wedding on Sat night, with us flying back home on Sun and me going back to school on Mon. So you see, just didn't get enough recovery time.

Tim would point out that I don't sleep enough during the week any way. And this week I had the kids making and launching Alka-Rockets which is a lot of fun but a lot of energy to keep it manageable!