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The Lent Project: Day 41?

A big Thank You to all my readers for my 12,000th visitor over the weekend! 

So today is Day 41 of The Lent Project where I give up social media for the season. If you're confused how we can be on Day 41 of a period that is supposed to have 40 days, you're not alone. Christianity is confused, too. So don't worry, you're in good company.

Is it still Lent? Technically, yes. If we want to go by the Catholics, Thursday would be the last day of Lent...but, get this, Lenten observances go on until Saturday...even though the Church technically counts Friday and Saturday as part of the Easter holiday. Oh, and Sundays don't count. Which is why the actual days of Lent are greater than the observed days of Lent.

Thank goodness I'm a Protestant...we write our own rules. Martin Luther for the win! Or rather "Jesus for the win." He didn't observe Lent. Or Easter. He was Jewish--he had Passover.

So now we're in a theologically messy land. But, hey, the whole point of this exercise was to spend more time with my kids. Facebook got knocked from first most-visited webpage in my browser to #8. I'm calling it a success. I've missed a few of my friends' baby photos, new jobs, and memes about cats. But, then again, I've found time to get a good salsa recipe to make it homemade. I've dedicated myself to eating better if I'm really going to take training seriously.

And, mostly, Kelly is just happy I'm not constantly checking my phone when it dings. Maybe that's something that can continue, even if I'm back on the Twitter bandwagon?

* * *

It was a fantastic weekend around here. Ok, maybe not weather-wise. But it was just nice enough to get out of the house...rumor has it that it will be 50 and sunny next weekend!

Lots of errands...including picking my bike up from the shop. (More about that later.) But Saturday on the way home it was high 30's and sunny so we decided to see if Cole wanted to play on the playground for awhile. Leda slept the entire time in the car, poor thing. So Kelly and I took turns sitting with her while the other parent watched Cole. He usually goes for the swings, but today was all about the hill and climbing up to wave to the other parent. Then down the hill. He's not a big fan of the slide though he does like to climb things and climb back down. Or just run around.

Enter, the little Polish boy. With a mother who we're pretty sure kept telling him to "play nice" in Polish. Really, it was a match made in heaven though. The little boy was a little older than Cole and a little better at dribbling and kicking so he was the "prey" while Cole would chase after him. They both spend probably half and hour running around kicking and throwing the ball that the little boy had brought. Sometimes the little boy would kick the ball to Cole then motion for Cole to kick it back...which Cole has the skill but not the power for, yet. So Cole would end up shouting "catch" and throw it to him to start the process over. And Cole learned how much fun it is to kick the ball into a fence. The poor little boy was so sad when we finally made Cole leave. But we'd been there an hour and it was Cole's naptime plus we all needed lunch. Hopefully, we have a whole summer of similar encounters ahead of us.

Oh, and Leda is tall enough to reach the dvd shelf and ask for movies now. Let the fighting begin!

* * *

My bike was at the shop a few extra days because the pedals I'd requested were not in stock and it took time to get them. (For those who know what I'm talking about, they're SPD.) It's got a new Cateye Strada Cadence computer to measure not only my speed and distance, but pedal RPMs. While other cyclists are busy getting caught up in power meter training (that's a device that measures your watt output), I'm just excited to see that I'm riding around town at 35kph. I say kph because the computer was originally set for that for my first ride though I've since learned how to switch it to mph.

I got a tuneup, too, and a second water bottle cage. I'm just happy she caught that the computer sensor wasn't working correctly before I left. So the mechanic did a few minor adjustments. Actually, the whole thing was fairly minor. It needed some gear adjustments to shift smoother (I didn't even notice until it was fixed, now it's beautiful!), but that was about it.

I took it out on a little 6-7 mile ride Saturday afternoon which was my first outdoor ride of the year. It felt good other than the wind. It was gusty and my new longsleeved jersey and bike tights weren't quite up for it. Without the wind chill it was probably about the coldest I'd be ok riding. But with the wind it was a bit uncomfortable. Nice to get used to clipping in--never fell though wobbled a couple times.

Which leaves me with a dilemma of sorts this week. Last week--when I was sick enough to not be training--was supposed to be my peak build week for this workout period. So that this week is a recovery week on the schedule with tiny little workouts. So the question is what to do with this week. Can I go back to my build week from last week and then not have a recovery week before I begin with Week 1 of the new build cycle? Should I go ahead and take the recovery week anyway--even if I don't really need it--just to make sure I am fully healed? Some sort of hybrid where I do the recovery workouts but a little harder/farther?

I'm inclined to take the recovery week, but push myself a bit. Not so much that I'm tired to start the next cycle, but I looked ahead to April and it looks very doable for me until the 3rd week. So that I'd like a combination of making sure I'm feeling fully better but also trying to get back a little of what I lost. Especially since I've been slacking on the running and focused mostly on a swimming and then biking. My 17 min swim tonight doesn't seem like much, but if I follow the schedule to the letter I could make up the extra simply by doing the run work I've been putting off. We'll see.

* * *

Those of you who have been reading awhile know I love to hit gender this intrigued me over the weekend. It's about the "war against boys" and all that. The author takes a very skeptical look at whether or not there is a cultural bias/shift away from men.

I don't necessarily disagree. The larger point for her is that it isn't that the system is stacked against males, but more like the general failures of the system hit men harder because males are least-inclined to be striving within that system. Or, rather, that men tend to be told to pursue (and are rewarded) for other achievements like sports. Pursuits, in short, that don't lead to academic and/or job success.

Eh, I'm a little skeptical of her skepticism. You know from reading elsewhere on the blog that I'm strongly in favor of educational reform. But the big question I'm finding is "what does that reform look like?" I'm not sure we can all agree.

Especially if that system is maybe not discriminating against boys, but certainly not geared towards boys. Or do I mean not catering? Or do I mean ignoring? I think she's on the right track, but there's more to it. And she downplays the "feminization of education" a little too much, in my opinion. But I take her point that it isn't a gender problem but an income, class, and educational level problem.

Still, how do you get/keep boys interested in the things that will give them intellectual and occupational success later in life? For sure, there is something cultural at work. I highly recommend The Decline of Men: How the American Male is Getting Axed, Giving Up, and Flipping Off His Future by Guy Garcia. It discusses in nice detail about pop culture, male role models, and why the stereotype of the modern man is sort of the teen slacker sports nut versus, say, the enlightened and cultured intelligent problem-solver.

All you have to do is watch a few episodes of Preachers Daughters to see how much even the best-intentioned parents are up against forces they may not be able to overcome. (For the record, Kelly and I agree that this show stands more as a "how not to parent" for those of you who haven't seen it yet.)

Is the American "Boy Crisis" fictional?