The kids have been on spring break all week, so I took off a few days to hang around with them.
On Thursday, after deciding that sleep would be more enjoyable than getting my morning run it, I got the privilege of taking the boys to the dentist. For some reason, Deb was most excited about my opportunity to handle this activity solo. It was pretty uneventful, other than my little one fearing the application of fluoride. Kept trying to get out of the chair. Otherwise, they did great. The hygienist even said my older one's teeth looked better than they had. Of course, more flossing and brushing for both would be good.
From there, we began one of several "yes" activities. What's a "yes" activity? Well, it's one of those things that the kids ask if we can do that Deb and I are constantly say "no" to, or maybe lying with a "maybe" when we know in our mind that maybe=no. (I think that's a parental prerogative, isn't it? I figured out when I was like 12 that maybe never meant maybe yes, it always turned out to be maybe no.)
Anyway, our "yes" activity for Thursday was a trip to Dave and Busters. If you've never been to a D&B's, it's a bar, restaurant and huge arcade, designed to separate parents from their wallets. On this particular day, the NCAA Basketball Tourney was set to start and one of the local sports talk shows was broadcasting live from the restaurant/bar in front of their giant tv's. I listen to The Mark Viviano Show pretty regularly when I'm at lunch, but my kid's had no clue who they were. Mark's sidekick is nicknamed "The Bulldog" and my eldest happened to be wearing a Georgia Bulldog ball cap. I was amazed that he went up and talked to Bulldog during a commercial break. After he came back to our table, Bulldog called him back up and handed him a tourney bracket to fill out. If Stanford makes it to the championship game, my kid's a sure winner!
After a healthy lunch of chicken fingers and cheese burgers, it was off to the arcade. The hardest part for dear old dad was to keep track of both kids heading off in separate directions. I think I logged 2 miles of walking just looking for one, then the other. Finally, after an hour or so, their "Power Cards" were used and it was shopping time. I was able to convince the kids to save their points for the next visit. This, however, is good news/bad news. Good news is there is no added plastic crap for them to leave around the house, today. Bad news is I'm committed to taking them back. I'm sure something will come up when bribery is in order to take them back. (Or, wait a minute, maybe I can con my folks to taking them there. Hmm, great idea! Better keep that one to myself.)
Next was an unscheduled loop around the mall. I saw a deal in the Bass outlet and the kids were amazingly behaved as I tried on shoes and walked out with a couple of pretty nice pair for a great deal. From there we came upon their new favorite store, Five Below. Now, I hate Five Below. Personally, I think it's a scam. The have all the stuff that a dollar store has and sells for a buck and they can charge two or three. Yes, I suppose that there are some deals, but just start adding up all the $5's. So dad "yessed" to Five Below. I gave them each five bucks and told them to enjoy. And they did.
Finally done with Arundel Mills mall, we were off to the next "yes" location: Rita's Italian Ice. Rita's was running a first day of spring free ice promotion, so not too much convincing was needed. Just a "no" to the upgrade that the kids requested, but hey, they still got their treat.
Off to home, at last, where Deb's peaceful day was about to come to an end. She suggested that I go get in my 5 miles. Temps were in the low 50's, perfect for a rare neighborhood run.
After getting geared up, I headed out the door and into the wind. Yeah, didn't realize what a stiff wind was blowing until I headed right up the street directly into it. Made for a very slow uphill start. I was surprised to see my first mile at 11:14, a pretty good pace for me considering the uphill and the winds. As I continued around the 'hood, my times looked very strong. I knew when I hit the driveway with 5.01 miles in under 55 minutes, I'd finally broken through the 11 minute/mile barrier. In addition, this is the farthest I'd ever run non-stop. Not a single walk break. I walked into the house and announced to Deb that "I rocked!"
It was a great run with splits of 11:14, 10:43, 10:38, 10:55 and 10:41. I was totally jazzed. Finnaly broke through that wall on the street runs with negative splits and all.
I finished the day with a bit of a "yes" for me. I joined my brother and some of his friends to celebrate his 41st birthday at Ruth's Chris for much wine and red meat. Not a bad topper to a most busy day.
Well, that was enough for one day, I think. More from Spring Break to come.