Saturday, November 19, 2011

I am thankful...It's DONE!!!

 *Note: I wrote this post after completing my second half-marathon last Saturday...

There are no words to express how relieved I am to have finished my half-marathon today. For the last month, there have been highs and lows in my training and my health. I considered not running the race at all. I am proud to say that I did not give in to my desire to roll over and pull the covers up over my head this morning.

It was cold at the start, but that made for perfect running weather. My choice of long sleeves and running tights was a good one. Even after it warmed up into the 50's, the wind was blowing at around 20 mph, and it was still chilly.

Really hard to see...but that's the starting line just before the race. Yes, we were under an overpass!

Hills were my downfall. The part of the route (miles 4-7) that went through Cherokee Park was the biggest challenge. The hills were huge. I did not train running outside or on big hills. Double whammy for me.

Halfway there...

The asphalt/concrete surface really killed me on the first few miles. Shin splints during miles 1-3 made me think that I wasn't going to make it. At mile 3, I got my stride and slowed down to conserve some energy.  Miles 4-7 were the dreaded hills through the park. Miles 7-10 were much better, and I had a good run/walk method in place.

Around mile 8, I took a PowerBar Vanilla gel and I took ibuprofen at mile 9. I think these two things are what got me to the finish line. I took water at every water station and Powerade when it was offered. At one point, I reached up to wipe my forehead and it was completely dry and covered with salt. I knew I needed to take in more water at that point. In between miles I at a few PowerBar Energy Chews. I crossed the finish line just under 3 hours at 2:59:48. Seems slow for most, but it's my new PR for a half!

So relieved it's over...I know you love my zebra print robe.
 Overall, I am glad I did it. My training only involved running 3 days a week. And some weeks less than that because of being sick or so busy I barely had time to eat, much less run. Cross training was what saved me. I have realized in this process that I will never be a long distance runner, nor a fast runner. Maybe if I lost 20 pounds, but realistically, I don't see my body handling longer distances in the near future.

I plan to stick to 5K's and running when I want to, a few days a week. I love the way I feel after a run, but I don't enjoy it while I'm doing it, if that makes sense.

Who knows, though, I've said all this before, and here I was, doing another half. I do know that I am going to take time away from blogging (as if I haven't already...) to focus on teaching 5th grade, my newest challenge. I'm just thankful I can say I finished this half-marathon and I can say...IT'S DONE!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011 there anybody out there?

Seems like I fell off the face of the Earth. Here I am, alive and (somewhat) well.

I didn't, but some days it feels like it. With less than a month until my half and 2 weeks until I begin teaching 5th grade, I have been a busy bee. And for the last (almost) 2 weeks I have been sick with a sinus/upper respiratory/throat infection and have not been running. At all. Breathing even while sitting still was my top priority, so running was not on my to-do list. I am feeling better now, thanks to amoxicillin and my neti pot. 

I am going to attempt to run tomorrow. It just wasn't in the cards today. I think I will shoot for 2 or 3 miles, you know, since I've had such a long hiatus. If that goes well I will hit up my long run one night this week. There's 7 miles on the schedule. I still have not made it past 6. With 27 days until the half, I think at this point I'm going in with Plan B: do whatever I have to do to finish and not die. Oh, wait, that was Plan A, too...

As long as neither of these things happens, I will be okay.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm No Quitter!

I have SOOOOO neglected this blog since school started. What can I say, I can only focus on one thing at a time and family, teaching and running are two things too many teaching has won out over almost everything but family over the past month.

Running has been blah lately. I noticed on my yearly mileage, I am only 25 miles away from hitting 200 miles in 2011. I think I've got that covered in the next month or so. I've scrapped the training schedule that was created for this event and made my own, "no injuries" plan. I am taking a low mileage approach in my half marathon training. My longest run this far has been 6 miles. I am shooting for 7 this weekend, but we will see...

My body keeps telling me to quit. My mind is also headed in that direction. But I'm no quitter. I finished college, grad school and my Rank 1 (a fancy teacher degree above your Masters) in 7 years, have taught kids with severe behavior, academic, emotional and physical problems, given birth, raised a child for 4 years and completed one half marathon already. So surely I can complete 13.1 measly miles of running (or some form of walking/jogging), right?!?

I'm working on staying focused, running a little longer each week and not worrying about speed.

Any advice for this?? Should I increase my long runs by a mile each week?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Long Time No Blog!

Hello, again. Yes, I am alive and well.

It's been a while. Where to begin...

Since school started it has been one long day after another. Feels like I've ran a marathon at the end of every day. And it's only September! I'm in for it this year!

Running is...going. 3 days a week. 2 shortish runs working on pace and speed. 1 longer run working on just not dying. My longest run has been six miles. Last week I wanted to sell my bib for this half-marathon I am attempting to train for. Running felt like torture of the worst kind. Heck, any physical activity felt like torture.

This past weekend called for nine, but it did not happen because I was out of town for Labor Day and ate my weight in greasy, salty, high calorie food. So I just didn't run. This week was about detoxing my body and getting my legs moving again. After 2 really good 3 mile runs, I feel better about running this week. Last week was just a fluke, I hope.

I just wanted to update anyone who may be wondering where I have disappeared to. Life has gotten busy and stressful and I am learning to deal with it again, as I do every school year when I go back to work. It just feels like I am not dealing very well right now. So when I figure out how to do that, I will be blogging on a regular basis again. For now, I will teach, I will run and I will do it with a smile on my face. Or at least I will try...

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Challenges

I did survive my 5 mile run this past week with NO PAIN!

I also survived my first 5 day week back to work (somewhat painful...)

And I have found out that I will be teaching 5th grade, starting on HALLOWEEN!!!

If you haven't read my last post, I was waiting on my principal's decision to move me to the 5th grade teacher position that will be open at my school at the end of October. I have many reasons for wanting to make the move from special education to a regular ed classroom. Job security, working with people I love, and getting to teach kids I already know and love are just a few of the reasons. I am very excited, but a nervous wreck. The next 2 months will be a process of saying good-bye to my old job and preparing for my new one. A challenge I am looking forward to!

As for running, I have been so exhuasted this week, getting into a new routine has presented it's challenges for my training schedule. I managed a 2 mile run and a 1 mile hill walk/run. Cross training consisted of Yoga Meltdown (with Jillian Micheals-I have become a fan of her workout videos).  A 6 mile run will happen sometime this weekend. Another challenge I am looking forward to. Wish me luck!

As for eating, back to school means back to junk food, unfortunately. My well-meaning co-workers often bring donuts, muffins and other sugar and carb filled goodies.

I have no self-control, especially when peer pressure is involved! Thankfully, I lost around 6 lbs this summer and I am starting to get into the longer running distances in my training, so I have less guilt than I should. And I definitely do not eat as much of these things as I used to. But I can tell a difference in the way I feel when I eat that stuff.  I do eat salads, fruits and veggies for lunch everyday, and typically eat a light dinner. When it comes to friends providing me with sugar, I just can't say no. My new mantra: MUST HAVE SELF-CONTROL!!!

How do you control your sweet-tooth and food related peer pressure?

Any advice from fellow teachers to help me prepare for my debut as a classroom teacher??

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I survived the first week of school. Can I survive 5 miles?

Last week we were supposed to begin school on Monday. But on Saturday, we had a nice little storm that knocked out electricity to 150,000 people in our city and a lot of the schools in my district. So fast forward to Wednesday, and we actually got to have the first day of school.

I have never felt exhaustion like I did this year. Even being in labor for almost 20 hours with the little one four plus years ago seemed easy-peasy compared to this week. This coming week will be an actual 5 day week, and I am wondering if I should take a sick day already! Seriously, though, I am going to be depending on caffeine and getting to bed early to get me through.

Because of this exhuastion, I have taken 2 rest days (Friday and Saturday). So that means today has to be the dreaded long run day. 5 miles. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

I'm thinking that I will do as much as possible on the treadmill (maybe 4?) and then head outside for about a mile. My last outside run resulted in muscles so sore I felt like limping all day. That's what I get for thinking I could run outside on concrete at 6 a.m. without warming up first. It was only a mile! I've ran much longer than that before in the afternoon or evening and not had any soreness. I'm almost positive that was my body's way of saying, "You don't need to run in the morning!" My thoughts all along. 

In other news, there is a small possibility that I may be teaching 5th grade this year. Yes, school has already started, I know. I am a special education teacher. I work with 4th and 5th grade. There is a 5th grade teacher that is going to retire in November. I would like to take her place when she leaves. The team of teachers I work with would like for that to happen too.

I am certified to teach both special ed and regular ed. I was always waiting for the perfect opportunity to move into regular education, and I think this may be it. Don't get me wrong, I love special ed. But in my school district, if you are a special ed teacher, you are expendable. Year to year it depends on our numbers of students with special needs as to whether I stay or go. And the numbers have been dwendling every year. Next year most likely I will lose my position at my school. So that makes this decsion easier. That and the fact that I will still get to work with the same kids and teachers I am currently working with.

So I may be updating soon about my principal's decision to either keep me where I am or move me to 5th grade. *Fingers crossed!*

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Three Thing Thursday

1.      4 miles done, and I didn't die...

Or at least I haven't yet. My shins and calf held up pretty well for this run on Tuesday. I have found that a water bottle with frozen water in it is the best massager/icer for my shins and calves. This Propel Fitness water bottle was the perfect shape.

Me icing my giant calves

2.    Yesterday was our first day of school.  

It's like having a newborn all over again. You feel like you haven't had any sleep (even though I have) and your body does weird things...I've had some crazy stomach issues, I guess getting used to eating early in the morning again, instead of after 9 am when I rolled out of bed this summer. I am SO sleepy between 2pm and 8pm, then I get this weird second wind around 8 and can't sleep when it's actually bedtime. I hope by September, all this has ironed itself out...

3.   I Got Up Early This Morning to Run!!!   

Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a morning person. This was the first time EVER that I have gotten up before work to run. My legs hurt ALL DAY. It became worse as the day went on. I only ran a freaking mile!!! What's up with that???

I have been so used to running at night or late afternoon when I can lounge around afterwards or sleep while my legs recover. This was a shock to my system. The run felt great, it was cool with a good breeze. Problem was, when I got back I went straight to the shower instead of icing or taking a lot of time to stretch. Since I only did a mile, I thought I'd be fine. WRONG!

I didn't allow enough time to run and do all the necessary after-care. For me, I have realized, icing and stretching are necessary for every run because of my shin splints and calf strain.  And warming up before I run outside on the harder surface is SO important. That's another reason I'm in pain. I rushed out thinking it would be quick and easy. For me, no run is quick and easy. At least not yet! I hope to get there one day.