Other Challenge Wrap-Up…Or, A Story of How I Beat Arithmetic Only to Be PWND by Geometry

Hi! So, I managed to do the “talk about yourself” challenge. Really, is that a challenge? Most people love talking about themselves, and I’m going to assume that bloggers have an even greater likelihood of falling into that category than the average person. I would think that someone who can devote an entire website to talking about themselves will have little to no trouble talking about themselves. Just a thought.

The “other challenge” last week was ACTUALLY a challenge. I’ve decided that I want to run a half marathon in bitterly, stupidly cold January. Because I like the cold. Because I need something to train for and a 5k just doesn’t cut it. Because THAT is the perfect way to get back at those stupid, too warm, March and April marathons. YES!

One problem — my husband doubts my seriousness. He says that I can run the half marathon if I run 13 miles in the rest of the week. (I came up with this brilliant plan on a Tuesday night, so I had 5 days to make it happen.)

I’d run 4 miles by Thursday afternoon, when LilRunr was sent home from daycare with a fever. I went into Mama Bear mode and was prepared to NEVER RUN AGAIN if necessary, because obviously his well-being is much more important than my health and fitness. After caring for and playing with him all day on Friday, Scott came home and reminded me that he was perfectly capable of caring for the child for 30 minutes, an hour, or even all day. Oh, yeah. It’s funny how “Mama Bear” always forgets she has back-up.

Leaving the man child happily talking to his daddy, I ran 3 miles for a total of 7 for the week. Two days! Six miles to go! I’m more than halfway there! I’m totally owning the numbers!

There was just one thing I forgot…the WEEKEND PROJECT. Last weekend, Scott had pressure washed the deck to prepare it for staining. The original plan was that he would wash it Friday, Kansas’ ridiculous winds would dry it out overnight and we would stain it TOGETHER the next day while my mom took charge of LilRunr, but that was not meant to be. I won’t share that story, but let’s just say it was aggravating and involved two different pressure washers, a replacement spray arm, and more trips to Home Depot than I care to recall.

Nevertheless, by the end of the weekend we had a sparkling clean deck and two gallons of stain. All we needed was an opportunity. After much discussion (and also because our babysitter was going to be busy over the weekend), we decided that I could stain the deck while Scott took care of the little guy. I’m a little more efficient when it comes to painting, and I thought I could get the deck done in no time because it was “so much smaller than the one in South Carolina.”

Oh, Megan.

This was a geometry lesson I got to learn the hard way. You see, my quick, optimistic mental calculation was only taking into consideration the square footage — the space on the deck that we can actually stand on. It is, in fact, much smaller than the deck in South Carolina. I completely forgot to consider the 3D factor. The deck in South Carolina had one step leading to the yard. Our house in Kansas is a ranch with a daylight basement, which means that the lower level walks out to a concrete patio and the upper level walks out to the deck rising THIRTEEN steps above the ground. This deck is also surrounded by landscaping that makes it all but impossible to set up a ladder and paint the outside.

When two hours of effort had seen me finish one section of railing, I knew I was in trouble. When an entire day was spent and I hadn’t done the stairs, the columns, or the outside edges, I just wanted to cry. You win, geometry! You win.

Ugh. Sunday passed in a similar fashion, although at least when I called it quits at 5:00pm the project was complete. It looks pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, I had skipped running on Saturday to get an early start, when I had assumed the staining project was a one-day task and I would have all of Sunday to get a 6-mile run in and reach my goal.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. I did manage to run two miles on Sunday, which put me to 9 for the week. Sadly, 9 < 13. See, I’m good at math…sometimes. And 9 was the original Week 1 total in the training plan I made last week, so it’s not completely a bad thing.

And you know the good thing about spending the entire weekend staining the deck? Your husband feels so bad for you that he’s willing to overlook the fact that 9 < 13 and consider the challenge defeated.

I win!


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