Teaching the Next Generation of Gardeners

Don’t ask me why, but I was looking forward to my Monday afternoon gardening project so much so that I woke up several times Sunday night thinking about it. I had promised to help my neighbors with the project – removing the extremely well attached fence from around their empty garden plot – and their young sons excitedly agreed to help. I even got up a little earlier than usual to get my tools together so I’d be ready to start at 2 PM after wrapping up my last client. 

Promptly at 2 PM, my doorbell rang. Sujaan and Sahej were eager to get started, and apparently, they were as excited about helping me as I was about helping them. I thought they’d stay interested for about ten minutes, but they hung with me for the entire 3.5 hours until the job was complete. They even commented about how quickly the time was passing because they were having so much fun. 

It was a joy teaching them to use wire cutters, pliers, a ratchet, and a variety of garden tools. They learned the difference between Phillips head and flat head screwdrivers, that applying WD40 several minutes before trying to remove rusty bolts and screws is helpful, and to always put tools back in the bucket after using them rather than leaving them laying around in the grass risking getting lost and then hit by the lawn mower.

The plan for the garden plot is to let it grass over since it’s not being used for growing vegetables – I gave up on our garden years ago after watching squirrels and deer eat everything just as it ripened. The boys and I may eventually remove the railroad ties, but first, we need to rest!







Overview of the Week

Before discussing each day’s workouts, here’s an overview of my workouts from this past week. Scroll beyond the infographic for daily details…



Cycling: 24 miles
• Average speed: 12.5 MPH
• Bike: Cannondale Topstone
• Surface: gravel
• Elevation gain: 1,857 feet
• Start time: 9:59 AM
• Location: Middleburg, Virginia
• Weather: 73° and sunny, climbing to 80°
• What I wore: bike bibs, s/s jersey

Gardening: 1.5 hours weed-eating



Strength training: 1 hour of full body

Gardening: 3.5 hours removing the fence and weed-eating



Cycling: 42 miles
• Average speed: 14.3 MPH
• Bike: Specialized Roubaix Comp
• Surface: paved
• Elevation gain: 1,545 feet
• Start time: 7:32 AM
• Location: W&OD Trail Sterling to Hamilton loop
• Weather: 69° and sunny, climbing to 85°
• What I wore: bike bibs, s/s jersey

I met my friend Chuck halfway between our houses for a ride. We’ve been trying to do this at least once a week this summer, but our work schedules and the weather don’t always make it possible. We ride the W&OD Trail and I’ve introduced him to the wonderful country segment near our turnaround point. I even got to teach him a little bit about farming as we rode along.



Strength training: 1 hour of full body

Walking/Running: 5K
• Average pace: 13:11
• Start time: 7:16 AM
• Location: neighborhood circle
• Weather: 69°, sunny, and humid
• What I wore: shorts and s/s shirt

Because I’d spent so much time bent over gardening, I didn’t want to push myself so I opted to walk with running segments. I stayed on our neighborhood circle walking the straightaways and running the curves. It worked out well and I had a great workout without making my back sore.



Cycling: 46 miles
• Average speed: 13.8 MPH
• Bike: Specialized Roubaix Comp
• Surface: paved
• Elevation gain: 2,343 feet
• Start time: 9:36 AM
• Location: W&OD Trail Hamilton loop with Thomas Mill and Woodburn climbs
• Weather: 78° and sunny, climbing to 86°
• What I wore: bike shorts, s/s jersey

This was a ride for the books! I rode solo and just made the ride up as I went along. The only thing I had to do was stop by the bike shop to have sealant added to my front tire that had been going flat since they’d attempted to put on new tires only to realize that the tires they’d sold me weren’t tubeless ready. When they put my old tires back on, the front tire didn’t catch a proper seal. Ends up I could have skipped the stop because I found the right tires at another shop and they replaced them while I waited the following day. Apparently, 700 x 28 tubeless ready are the purple unicorns of the year.

Anyway, back to my ride… I decided I wanted to do hill work so I rode up both Thomas Mill and Woodburn, giving me two great hills for climbing.



Strength training: 1 hour of full body

Balance and stretching: 45 minutes

After work, Bill and I drove to a bike shop a couple of towns over for my new tires. Next we dropped my road bike off back home before heading to a different bike shop to pick up our new beach cruisers we’d ordered a couple of weeks earlier. We celebrated with margaritas and dinner on the patio of our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant.



Cycling: 45 miles
• Average speed: 12.8 MPH
• Bike: Cannondale Topstone
• Surface: gravel
• Elevation gain: 2,582 feet
• Start time: 7:52 AM
• Location: Leesburg to Philomont lollypop
• Weather: 70° and sunny, climbing to 83° and rainy
• What I wore: bike shorts, s/s jersey

It had been a few weeks since we’d ridden with the VeloPigs so we decided to join them for some gravel grinding. The weather was delightfully comfortable, especially for July, and it even rained on us the last six miles, cooling us off as the temperature climbed.


Last Week’s Blog Posts

In case you skipped checking in on my blog this past week, here’s what you missed…


  • • Do you enjoy gardening? ~ I find it extremely therapeutic, especially when problem solving as I had to do in determining how best to remove the wire and the fence posts. Teaching the boys and having them so interesting in learning was just icing on the cake!
  • • What was your favorite workout of the week?
  • • Did you run in a race this weekend?


And that’s my rundown… Have a great week!




I’m linking up with Deborah at Confessions of a Mother Runner and Kim from Running on the Fly for their Weekly Run Down. Be sure to check out not only the hosts’ posts, but those of the other great bloggers joining in on the fun!