Monday, April 27, 2009

How I hate those hills!

Well, I am very sad to say that vacation is over, and I am back to reality with the rest of the working world. One of the best things about vacation is that I am able to walk whenever I want--the benefit of having a husband as a teacher as well. This weekend was absolutely beautiful and I did lots of walking, which makes it even more difficult to go back into a building with little, to no, ventilation. Hopefully this will all change once the new Newton North High School is completed in 2010. Don't get me going about this project--this blog is intended to be about my walk with Trace this weekend, but if you really need to hear about our new school, check out the new NNHS website for progress on the "Taj Mahal," as it has been deemed.

Back to training...
On Saturday morning we were all up for the Amesbury Little League Opening Day parade--AT 6:45AM!!! Who does this, really? Are people going to come out of their warm, comfy slumber to watch a couple hundred 5-12 year olds walk down the street in baseball uniforms, with their parents straggling behind? I don't think so. The good news was that for the first time since my kids have been doing this parade, we were not freezing. It was absolutely gorgeous. After the festivities were over, I decided I would stay uptown and go for a nice long walk. I did about 7 miles and it felt great to be outside and in the warm air. The rest of the day was spent watching baseball games. Maddie and Mia had their first coach pitch game, and they both got hits every at bat. What did I expect? They are Ziomeks, of course. Zach is now in his first year of true Little League. As a parent, these games are much more difficult to watch. I will expand on them more in another blog.

I apologize, but it seems like this blog is all over the place. I feel like one of my students where I am continually going off on tangents and not following my thesis statement. Is it summer yet?

On Sunday Tracy and I met at Bentley College for the 3Day Expo. We met at 8:45AM so that we could do a nice long walk before the event. When I arrived, Tracy was dressed in an adorable pink t-shirt she created. For those of you who don't know Tracy, she is famous for designing t-shirts and burp cloths, among many other things. (When I was having my mastectomies, Tracy made a shirt for me that looked like it was a sign you might see in a building that said, "PLEASE PARDON OUR APPEARANCE WHILE UNDER RECONSTRUCTION.") She is too funny. The shirt she had on yesterday said, "lost 100+ pounds" and "cure cancer" with little boxes next to them with a check mark in the "100+ lbs." box. The "curing cancer" box was yet to be checked off. On the back she included her blog address and her before and after pictures. The transformation is pretty unbelievable. If you haven't read her blog yet, be sure to make the time to do so:

So we started on our 7 mile walk. I was doing great until we reached about 3.5 miles in Belmont. I now understand why they call it Belmont Hill. We started walking up a large hill, and of course I started complaining. I know that hills are good for me, but I hate them. I just had a friend run the Boston Marathon and I am completely amazed that anyone can run up Heartbreak Hill. As I panted my way to the top of the hill, Tracy assured me that going the way we were, was much better than going the other direction. As we turned right and I saw, yet another hill, I was not sure whether I believed her. At this point I imagined she was fed up with my complaining, but I still continued. I REALLY HATE HILLS! Once we were at the top I understood what she was talking about. I felt like I could see all the way to the ocean. We never could have made it the other direction--well at least I couldn't have.

The rest of the walk continued without incident until mile 6.5. At this point we were reaching Bentley and the end of our walk. I had no idea that Bentley was so high up on a hill. Remember, I drove by it every day for 5 years when I taught at Waltham High. I obviously didn't pay much attention to my surroundings. Again we start, and so does the complaining. That hill really kicked my butt, but it was so worth it.

The Expo itself was pretty uneventful. Having done the walk once before I didn't really learn much, other than the fact that we will be camping on Astro Turf this year, which sounds fine except that we cannot leave the tents up during the day. Coming back to camp on Day 2 knowing that your tent was set up, was one of the only things that would keep you going at mile 20! We'll have to see how that works out. We'll keep you posted!

TA-TA for now!

Friday, April 24, 2009


As most of you can assume, some of the best perks of being a teacher are the vacations--Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter, and Spring breaks. Ask my brother-in-law, Dave, he will tell you all about the fact that Andy and I are constantly on vacation; however, I do believe he is at the Cape this week as well. Seriously though, there is no better profession to have when it comes to having kids.

This vacation, like many of the others, has been exciting for us. Some highlights include:

I went to the Sox game with Andy, Maddie and Mia. Every year on Opening Day, my very generous father-in-law gives Zach 4 tickets to the Red Sox. This year was our 4th time going--me, Andy, my dad, and Zach. Well, the girls have finally caught on and have started to ask Grandpa Stan where their tickets are. Since Stan only has 4 tickets, we have to pick and choose who gets to go to the game. This past Sunday, it was the girls' turn. It was a great game with Lester pitching, and the girls seemed to enjoy themselves; they ate s bunch of junk food and got to ride the T as well. The best part was when they announced that all children would be able to run the bases after the game. As excited as I was for the girls, my heart dropped. This would be Zach's dream. At the top of the the 9th, (the Sox were winning) we lined up on the Lower Concourse. After the game ended, they filed us out through center field onto the warning track. We walked along past the Sox dugout, and then they split adults and kids up. Unfortunately, adults didn't get to run the bases. I think Andy was secretly disappointed, as was Zach, but they both handled it well, Zach realizing that Maddie and Mia will probably never get to Opening Day as long as he is around.

We bought a new car--a 2009 Ford Focus. Our commuter car was definitely on its way out and we needed something with good gas mileage, that wasn't too expensive. After researching several cars, we ended up with the Focus; it was the best value for our money. The kids are very excited that we no longer have the "old-fashioned car." We really don't know how it got that name because it was a 2003. It really wasn't old. Anyway, we love our new car.

My daughters are not allowed to have a sleepover EVER AGAIN! I'm sure many of you parents have said this before. I don't know why I do it to myself. Those of you who know my girls, know that they are good kids. I am not bragging, but they really are. They are kind, friendly, and never get into trouble. However, they turn into to very different little people the day after a sleep over. During the sleepover, they are well behaved, good listeners who have a ton of fun. This time it wasn't like they went to bed exceptionally late or got up way too early. I think it is just the excitement of it all. Yesterday I think Maddie cried 16 times between 1-5:30PM and Mia cried about 10. It was a lovely day in the Ziomek household.

One of my favorite things about Spring vacation is the weather. This week hasn't been too bad weather wise, except for the freezing cold, whipping wind at Zach's baseball game last night. The good thing is that I have been able to do a lot of walking. I have walked about 16 miles this week and plan to do 6-8 miles on Saturday and Sunday. Trace and I are getting together on Sunday for the 3Day Expo and are excited to walk again.

On Monday I was able to walk with my friend Melissa. Melissa and I have never walked together before, so I didn't know what to expect. Melissa is in phenomenal shape and works out all the time. (Are you starting to see a pattern with my friends? Why didn't I get the fitness gene?) We decided we would go about 5 miles. As soon as we started off, I knew I was in for it. I generally walk at a pretty good pace, about 4 miles/hour. In the beginning, I could barely keep up with her. I had know idea how I would make it 5 miles. Fortunately I got my groove on and we went almost 7! It was great. Thanks Andy for watching all the girls!

This morning we are off to the park to enjoy the good weather, and tomorrow we will be up early for Little League Opening Day. (Who has a parade at 7AM other than Amesbury?) Other than that, we plan to bask in the sunshine as much as we can before it's back to work on Monday.

TA-TA for now!

Monday, April 6, 2009


So Sunday was the 16-Week 3Day Kick-off event. Can you believe it is only 4 months away? I can't. Last year I didn't do this event, but this year Trace and I decided it would be a good way to walk together. Sometimes Framingham and Amesbury seem on opposite ends of the universe.

We met at New Balance in Burlington at 7:45AM for a 3 mile training walk. There were probably about 25-30 other people there. It was the first time Tracy and I were able to walk together. When you do something like this you get kind of nervous--what if she is a really fast walker? what if she is really slow? what if she babbles on about nothing? Knowing Tracy I figured we would have good conversation. Although we are best friends, we really don't get to talk too much. When we do talk, it is on the phone, and we are usually talking about something school related. It was the speed I was unsure of. Well, we started out and we both felt great. I got to hear about the kids, and we didn't huff and puff too much on the hills. I almost think this training walk had more hills than the entire 3Day last year. I feel that we made a great pair. Our speed was very comparable, and we got to catch up about our families.

After the first walk there was a shoe fitting clinic and New Balance was open just for us. We both bought the cutest t-shirt. We'll be sure to post a photo when we wear them. The initial plan was to look for sneakers. One of Tracy's feet has been bothering her a bit, but of course we saw an adorable pair of sandals. Who knew that New Balance made something other than sneakers? Of course they were $140, so they were out for us. We didn't end up finding sneakers, so we just went to get ready for the next walk.

At around 10AM we did a second 3 mile walk. There were only a few of us who did both. We were pretty proud of ourselves. As we started out, Tracy decided she would start blogging. I warned her that she would get scolded. I knew from last year that these training walk leaders were hard-core. She's walking along thinking she's all that. Then the leader turns around. Sure enough--busted! The leader stops everyone and gives the big "safety" lecture--thanks Trace! I always knew that she was a trouble-maker.

The rest of the walk was uneventful, but we did decide that we would be getting together to walk again after the 3Day Expo, Sunday April26th. I am looking forward to it. If Tracy acts up again, I may just have to demote her as co-captain. LOL

Ta-ta for now!