Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hotter 'N Hell

Before we headed out
We did it! Today we rode 25 miles in the Hotter 'N Hell. Last year we did the 10K race, which is on a different course, so this was the first time for me to ride in the "real" race.

Chad works for the TV station that provides the live coverage for the beginning of the race, so we had to be out there around 5:30 (which beats him setting up at 2 like he's done in years past). We couldn't begin until they had gone off the air at 7:30, but we still weren't last. In fact, it was nice not to have all that chaos to battle at the beginning of the race.

It wasn't too hot to begin this morning, but it was definitely heating up quickly. There were some hills, and that was something we hadn't really practiced. Luckily, I have learned to shift gears now.

We stopped a couple of times to fill up on water. The most amazing part of the race is this...

The course takes you right through Shepard Air Force Base, and the airmen come out to cheer you on. It is absolutely amazing! My husband said it best when he said, "It's hard not to be motivated when these guys are cheering you on."

All in all, it was really a good ride!

After we'd caught up with Mom at the finish
My parents rode today as well. Unfortunately, Mom had a blowout, which she changed on her own. However, just a few yards down the rode, it blew again and she didn't have any way to fix it this time. She had to take a sag wagon back to the finish. I hate that this happened to her...especially when we didn't even have tools, tubes or air with us!

Dad rode the 100K! I know it was seriously hot by the time he finished, but I am so proud of him!

I'm liking this bike riding thing. It's very different from running, but it's a good change up. And I get to ride with my amazing hubby...can't get any better than that!

Mileage Report
Weekly: 9 miles running + 25 miles biking/2 = 21.5 miles for my count
YTD: 503.85 miles

I feel guilty counting my biking miles, even half the way I do, in my running total challenge. Eh,'s still miles I'm putting in. And I'm now over 500 miles for the year!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011


Become: verb. 1. Begin to be:
2. Grow to be; turn into

The word become holds so much potential. It's the path in front of you. The journey. It's all those hopes and dreams just out of reach that keep you moving forward. It's growth. It's change.

What do I want to become?

I want to become strong.
I want to become a better mother.
I want to become a better wife.
I want to become a better friend.
I want to become a better runner.
I want to become a better teacher.
I want to become a role model.

And I want to encourage those around me, my family, my friends, my children, my students, my coworkers, to become the best they can be.

Gatorade and the Women's Sports Foundation have created a pledge to support young athletes in their quest to become the best athlete they can be.

Won't you join me in making this pledge?

Just click here: Gatorade and the Women's Sports Foundation Pledge and you can do just that. For every pledge made, Gatorade will donate $1 to the Women's Sports Foundation, a non-profit that advances the lives of women and girls through sports and physical activity.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three Thing Thursday

1. We are completely wiped out. It's amazing how tiring sitting in the waiting room can be. I know a lot of the exhaustion is from the mental aspect of waiting and not knowing and that sort of thing. And adding it to the first week back to school compounds the fatigue. So, yes, we're tired.

2. Sarah Beth has had a good first week back, even though she barely tells us anything about her days. It's like pulling teeth to find out anything at all.

3. Ryan got to meet his teacher tonight at his new preschool. He is really excited to begin going to school. I can't believe he's old enough to start school of any kind! My babies are growing up.

And yes, that is all I can even muster right now. I'm trying to be positive, but this week has worn me down and made my nerves a little no complaining here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rough start

I'll backtrack a little bit. With the start of school and a family emergency all in one week, I've been a little delayed in getting this post out.

This past Sunday (yes, the day after our 21-mile bike ride), my mom, sister and I met up to run our Moms Run This Town Road ID: It's All About Me Virtual 5K. We've never all run together, so this was exciting for us.

My sister is just 7 weeks post-partum...amazing, isn't she?!

It was really fun to have running partners for once. We got to catch up and just visit for a while, something that rarely happens with the just the three of us. We followed Carrie's lead in a run/walk pattern so she didn't push it too hard. The funny thing is we finished in the same time it took me to run the last virtual 5K (yes, running the whole thing).

We started at 6:15 and tried to take some pictures. It's still dark at 6:15, by the way. We moved to the patch of light near the school across the street so we could take some pictures.

I wasn't going to post their pictures...that might get me in trouble :).
One neat thing about the virtual 5K is that, instead of bib numbers, we were asked to write a goal for ourselves. Mine was pretty generic...Be a good example. I had in mind my daughter, my family and my students when I wrote that. It wasn't very specific, but I think I'm afraid of specific goals...something like "run a sub-60 10k" means I might fail to reach that goal. It's so very black-and-white, and I don't like that.

The run itself was good. It was already hot outside, but it was nice to have running partners...and especially these ladies! We got to reflect a little on our running. Carrie has been running the longest, at almost 5 years. I started about 2 1/2 years ago, and Mom is starting year 3 about now. Pretty cool!

We stopped when we reached our 5k and walked back to Mom's car and took a few pictures, which would have been entertaining to watch if you'd been walking by. We wanted a picture of all three of us, so we had to experiment with propping the camera up in the back of Mom's car and using the timer. It was worth a laugh of two to see me scramble in and out of the back...and I consider myself lucky that it didn't catch a picture of my butt.

Because Mom is training for her first half marathon, she needed 6 miles. I had 5 on the schedule, so I took off with her. I thought I might make the next three with her, but I peeled off after two and let her finish on her own. Frankly, after the bike ride, I'm just glad I could run at all. I know she wanted to run around a 10:00 mile pace (which is her slow, easy pace), but that wasn't so slow for me. We ended up running a little slower than that, but it was neat to run with my mom.

She just amazes me! She and my dad recently completed their first tri, where she won first in her age division! They'll be riding in the HHH this weekend as well. Very cool.

This week has made me appreciate both my parents and my in-laws even more (and let's face it, just about anyone I care about more). My father-in-law ended up with a blood clot on his brain and had emergency surgery to repair it last night. It has been a scary couple of days, but God is good. When we got to the hospital this morning, Big Daddy was sitting up eating his breakfast and having some coffee, making wisecracks to the speech therapist who was there. That made my heart smile.

While I would never wish this kind of situation on anyone else, it has been amazing the outpouring of love and support we have received this week. Our phones haven't stopped ringing and beeping, buzzing or blinking. We've had so many offers for meals and help. It definitely makes you hold your loved ones closer. I am so thankful for all of our blessings and couldn't ask for better friends, a better community or a better family. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Journey

This week was the first week back for teachers here. I spent the first part of the week in meetings and the last part in my room, if you want to call it that. It seemed I was doing so many things that I actually had very little time to work in my room. I did get it looking pretty good by adding a couple of cute plaques with sayings I like..."Happiness is a choice that happens ahead of time" and a vinyl wall quote that says "The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step."

That last phrase is one that has multiple layers and meanings in my room. First, of course, it reminds me of my running and training and how, even when I don't think I'm getting very far or at least not very far very fast, I'm on the journey. Second, I'm going to be working with my students on mapping out their own life journey. The idea is that if you don't know where you want to end up, you won't get there. I'm looking forward to passing this lesson on to my kids.

However, with being back to work, trying to coordinate running and biking has been a challenge. We're doing fine in sharing the week, but I'm having a hard time getting a ride in on my own or getting a long ride in together. My mom was up for keeping the kids this morning, so we headed out with a goal of 15-20 miles with no set time frame in mind.

The ride itself was really pretty good. Our race is just a week away and up to this point, I hadn't gone farther than 12 miles. Today was our dress rehearsal of sorts. We both were trying new Camelbaks (which we both liked a lot). The weather was warm, but we had a nice breeze (or wind, depending on which way we were going). We stopped at about 8 miles for a quick drink and a few chews. Then we really didn't stop again until we had to dump the rest of Chad's water into his Camelbak so he could have something to drink the last couple of miles. I did learn that I need to put Gatorade or Nuun in my water bottle and leave my Camelbak for water. I've just got to have some electrolytes, I guess, if I want to avoid a headache afterwards.

We were definitely pleased with our ride. We're not breaking any speed records, but we're ok with that. Bike riding is a little different than running. It's hard to explain though. We were definitely out longer, so there's a mental toughness you have to have just to keep riding. Nothing really hurts, which is good. But it's not all easy-breezy either. I think I have to come back to that idea I put on my wall this's about the journey. I'm so glad that my husband and I can ride together on this journey.

Mileage Report:
Weekly: 7.5 miles running + 21 miles biking. For my yearly miles, I'll call that 18 miles this week.
Yearly: 482.35 miles

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Three Thing Thursday

1. We went to Sarah Beth's Meet the Teacher tonight. I'm glad they had it this year. Last year, as she was going into kindergarten, the school switched to a parent day for the first day of school, and of course, I couldn't stay for that. I'm excited as she goes into first grade!

2. As for my year, it's getting off to a slow start. I'm still getting my room in order after they took out my carpet and replaced it with tiles. I am hoping to get it all done tomorrow...well, I guess I have to since school starts Monday. I am excited about a few new things for the year...a new goal-setting project and trying to start a healthy choices group.

3. I'm going to try and repeat Monday's strength training circuit tonight. It really was a good workout (read: I was sore for a couple of days) so I would really like to stick with it. I have got to add something or switch something up in order to lose these stubborn pounds and increase my speed.

Monday, August 15, 2011


The first thing my sweet son said when he woke up this morning (in my bed, no less) was, "Mommy, why do we have things to get over like obstacle courses?" He's four. I have no idea where he comes up with this stuff. But I do know it was perfectly fitting given the morning I was already having. So, with my best mommy-isms, I told him that when things get in our way we have to move around them, jump over them or crawl under I did this morning.

Too dark outside? Jump! Head to the garage...

Treadmill still on loan? Dodge to the right! Try the Gazelle...

Can't unearth the thing from the piles? Duck! Give a new circuit workout a try...

And that is what I did...I made lemon juice from the lemons life handed me. I can't quite say I made lemonade, but I did at least make this morning work. I really wanted to pound the pavement this morning...a weekend out of town with the kids will do that to you. And I know I really needed to ride a few miles. I'm a chicken though and just can't get comfortable running or riding outside (maybe if I get lights on my bike?) alone that early in the morning.

The treadmill is back in its happy home now, so the rest of the week, I'll at least have that option.

However, the upside here is I tried out a new strength training circuit I saw in a magazine (Women's Health, I think). I probably never would have gotten around to trying it if this morning hadn't happened the way it did. And it was a decent workout...20 minutes or so, hitting arms, legs, abs and back in 5 moves. I'm liking that idea. I noticed my new Fitness magazine has a similar type of workout where each move does double duty. For a time-crunched, multi-sport, back-to-work momma, that's a plus.

This evening we saw this...

It rained this past weekend, but we were out of town (driving in it actually). We didn't get to really enjoy the rain like we did tonight. The kids loved watching it rain out the big window. When it first started, I couldn't resist going out and standing in it for a few minutes. If it hadn't been lightning, we may have all gone out and played in it. The rain was good for my soul...a quick respite from this heat.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekly Miles

We took a mini vacation this weekend before I go back to work tomorrow. We were never able to get away any other time this summer. I had high expectations for the trip...I should know better. We did have fun, but the kids tried my patience more than I would prefer (which is never, really).

We did get to eat out at some of our favorite places, and we tried a few new things. We stayed in a hotel with an indoor pool so we could enjoy it. The weather was actually pleasant yesterday so that made getting out and about easier. The kids wanted to spend some birthday money at Build-a-Bear, so we did that. I wanted to see if IKEA was all it's cracked up to's not. Well, I guess it would be if you were a college kid or were trying to set up your first place or remodel. Since none of those apply to us, it was just a lot of chaos
. The best part was definitely being able to check the kids into the play area so we could look around. They loved it and thought it was more fun than shopping could ever be.

This morning, we took the DART downtown, but the kids were having no part of walking around there. They did, however, like the rail ride, especially Ryan...he kept saying this was the best part of the trip and his first train ride.

With day camp last week and the trip this weekend, I did not get in near enough miles for my tastes.

Mileage Report
Weekly: 9.7 miles
Yearly: 464.35 miles

My treadmill is on loan to my church as a visual aid for a sermon this morning. I don't know if I'll have it back in time to run tomorrow very early. I may try to ride tomorrow. I am just not sure about riding alone at dark thirty. I know I don't run outside that early in the dark. Is riding any different?

I am just not having any luck with this dual sport thing. If it wasn't so hot in the evenings and afternoons, it would probably be a lot easier to do. Plus, I fell off the crunch and pushup wagon, so I really need to work on getting some sort of core or strength training in. I found a workout in a magazine that I really like, mainly because it is actually geared to dropping a few pounds (while still working the major muscle groups). Now, just to fit it in to my already-packed week. I'm thinking I might be able to do it while Chad rides on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I need to invest in a huge family calendar or some miracle-working planner to keep this all straight.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Three Thing Thursday

1. I had a great time with my kids at a local spray park. We've only been there one other time. Today, I was actually helping out with the kids' day camp my church hosted and my daughter attended. The weather took an unexpected turn today and wasn't nearly as hot it's been here lately. It was a great way to finish up my summer break (although a nap would have been nice!).

2. Mission: Declutter is coming along nicely. Granted, most of what's going on is in places most people don't see. And all of the stuff we've decluttered is, well, gone, so there's no evidence left. However, I love walking into my closet and seeing the neat shelves and my jewelry hung up so I can find it. I love being able to put up dishes and not have the plastic containers fall out of the cabinet on me. I love the clear countertops, dresser and nightstand...a much calmer feeling all around.

3. We have a weekend family getaway planned. We're not hitting any tourist spots, amusement parks or big events. What we're looking forward to most is chilling out in the hotel, swimming in the pool, eating out, going to Build a Bear and maybe catching a movie. I start back to work tomorrow (and haven't packed stress there) and go back Monday for the first full week back, so this is our last chance at a mini vacation. I'm looking forward to it, with no expectations.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Not Over the Hill Virtual 5K

Trying to fit in biking and running is turning out to be a challenge. Because I biked on Monday, today was my first run of the week. I think my body audibly sighed as it hit the pavement. It felt so good! Of course, that didn't last long as the first quarter mile creaks and groans of my body kicked in.

I ran this morning's run as my Not Over the Hill Virtual 5K put on by Carrie at Family Fitness Food as a celebration of her 40th birthday. My "hill" was the only thing close to a hill near my I did a figure 8 to run up it twice.

The run felt really good. I ran it in 33:19, and while that's no where close to what I was doing, it is faster than I've been in a while. And the last half mile or so, I was really able to pick up the pace.

You like my Day Glo running tank? I got it for $2.48 at Target...score!

I tried to take a picture on the porch before I started, but all I got was a black of the downfalls to summer ending is the sun coming up later. Today was probably my last weekday run outdoors because we starting back-to-school stuff on Friday. It's sad really. I love my outdoor runs, but I'm definitely an early morning runner. But because I don't run in the dark alone, I'll be stuck on the treadmill in the hot garage. I think that's the worst part.

In an effort to make that part better, I've been downloading some songs on iTunes. And I'm looking forward to listening to the Run Like a Mother podcasts. I'm saving them for the treadmill!

I have no idea how to mesh the running and biking in. I enjoy both, although running is definitely my top choice. I have the HHH at the end of August and a 10K Sept. 17...biking comes first for now. I'm just not sure if I'll be comfortable biking on my own at 5 in the morning next week. It's either that or when it is 110 outside. Yikes. Neither of those choices sound like a winner.

Monday, August 8, 2011


This summer I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. That book inspired me to make some changes in my own, not life-altering, earth-shaking changes. These are small things I can focus on to help me find joy in the everyday.

In the book, instead of making a huge resolution list, destined to fail, in January, Rubin broke her resolutions down into categories and tackles a category a month with a couple of main points for focus. She has a list of commandments that help her keep her priorities in line throughout the year. 

In a former life, I was a very type-A, compulsive perfectionist. Ok, so I might not be that different now. But I do let a lot of things slide these days...a far cry from the stressed out second grader I was. Yes, really. Second grade. I was afraid that if I started a project like this, I would get overwhelmed by it, letting it take over. There's even a website, complete with lists, forums, and ideas. I think letting a project like this take over would kind of defeat the purpose.

So, I've decided to do a Happiness Project of my own without getting obsessive about it. I finished reading the book right around my birthday, so my months will begin/end on the 18th.

This past month's focus for me has been Home, specifically order in the home. My mottos this month have been "Everything in its place" and "Do it now." I have been on a serious decluttering mission and have a list of the areas that still need to be tackled. I started off with one area a day, and that worked well to keep me from burning out on the idea. I haven't done an area a day, but it's been close.

One of the first areas I decluttered was my closet. I was ruthless. Things I've been hanging on just in case I am every skinny again...things I kept for sentimental reasons ("because I wore it on my honeymoon" is not a valid reason to keep a dress)...things people had given me...things that fit but weren't flattering...I finally got rid of them. Look at this huge pile of stuff!

Today I finally tackled the shelves in my closet. I ended up with a large black trashbag of stuff to of many that I've dropped off at the Salvation Army's little shed. I've already taken two stuffed-to-the-gills loads of stuff! I had been procrastinating on this particular area for no particular reason. I am so glad I finally did just makes me go "Ahhhhh."

For a while now the garage has been a huge obstacle course, mainly because of all the stuff that landed out there as I decluttered. No more! I got out there last Friday and cleaned it up. Actually, I think my main intention was to load up the stuff to be donated, and one thing led to another. It's not perfect, but it is so much better!

That leads me to the most important part...I'm learning that "good enough" really is good enough! Letting go of some of my perfectionism and still maintaining control is the best thing ever. And the feeling when I see how orderly our house is becoming, slowly but surely, is the most peaceful feeling ever.

It's important, I think, to realize that this idea of "good enough" being good enough can apply to anything. I chose to go for a bike ride with my husband this morning since we were unexpectedly kid-free. That means I didn't run, but that's ok...the bike ride was good enough. I blew my "diet" with dinner tonight, but the rest of the day wasn't bad...good enough. I chose to sit on my bed and watch TV with the kids instead of dragging out some project or craft...good enough. And the thing really is good enough.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weekly Mileage Report

The run that almost wasn't...that was today. I knew today's run was in trouble after one kid had already come into our room and crashed on the couch in there by 1:30 and another joined us at 2:30. The biggest problem, however, was yet to come. When Ryan came into our room and crawled into bed on my side, he asked for some water and I went to get him some. He'd taken over my side by the time I came back, so I crashed in his room. It just wasn't worth the fight. Plus, my feet are having some sort of weird hot flash issues, so I was sitting there with an ice pack on them. I heard my husband up and around and got up to see what was going on, just in time to almost crash into him on his way to grab some towels...yep, Ryan threw up all over our bed. Guess a snack of chocolate Easter bunny, very little dinner and a cookie before bed weren't the best ideas after all.

So, after cleaning him up and getting things settled back down, Chad and I were awake. We watched TV for a while, sharing some much needed, we-know-we're-going-to-be-exhausted laughs, before I felt sleepy enough to crash on our unmade bed. When the alarm went off at 6, I turned it off, thinking to myself that I'd give myself a few minutes since the sun wasn't even up yet anyway. At 6:47, I woke back up and decided I should probably attempt a few miles. Chad and I never quite coordinated a sitter for this morning so we could get a long ride in anyway.

The good thing about my delayed start time was when I went out on the porch to put on my shoes, my sister was running by. We got to walk/run the first couple miles together...well, my first couple...she'd already put in a couple herself. It was so nice to have a running buddy for once! We talked and the miles went by quickly. I am so proud of her! She just had her baby a little over a month ago and is doing great...she's listening to her body and walking/running at her own pace. Way to go, sis!

Because I'm adding cycling into the mix, I'll be using half of the bike riding miles in my tally. I wanted to keep my challenge miles just running, but since the cycling takes up a running day, I'll keep it this way for now.

Mileage Report:
Weekly: 13.85 miles (8.5 from running)
YTD: 454.65 miles

Coming up this month:
Moms Run This Town Virtual 5K--I'm hoping to do this one with my mom and sister, although finding a time is going to be hard once we go back to school.

Not Over the Hill Virtual 5K--I need to get this one done before August 13.

Hotter N Hell--August 27...I'm really looking forward to riding 25 miles with my hubby, even if I'm not quite sure how to increase my mileage and fit the training in right now.

I did sit down and create my training plan for the rest of the year (well, until December 4). I used SmartCoach on Runners World again. I still have to do some tweaking, but it looks pretty workable. It worked out perfectly that by creating it this week, I ended up with a 6 mile long run on the date of the Archer City Shortgrass Scamper 10K.

This coming week is officially my last week of summer. It's a busy one too, but I'm going to enjoy my last few runs outside before school starts.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Heaving myself back on the wagon

Yep, the diet wagon. Diet is one of those four-letter words that no one likes. When you really look at it though, at least according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "diet" just means "food or drink regularly provided or consumed." That's not so bad is it?

I think the biggest challenge for me is to view food as fuel and nutrition rather than enjoyment. That's not to say I can't enjoy my food. In fact, I think enjoying my healthier food is key to me sticking with it. I just think it's important to realize, at least for me, that what I put into this body of mine directly affects what my body can do and how I feel.

In the past, summers were when I actually ate less and healthier. That was before kids. And before this heat. When we spend our time outdoors and are active, I make better choices. When we're stuck indoors, I tend to snack. A lot. And not healthy stuff.

So, my diet has to change. Again.

I prepped tons of veggies to snack on...carrots, jicama, red bell pepper, etc. And the good thing is I'm actually eating them. I'm going to boil and salt some edamame tomorrow for a snack. I picked up some trail mix (not the healthiest, but I'll pre-portion them for snacks) and some fruit leathers.

Through my school insurance, I have access to an online "Personal Health Manager" that allows me to log and track my fitness activities and my food intake to earn points. When I first started my journey to lose weight, I earned enough points to get a $75 gift card to JCPenney's, which I spent buying new, smaller clothes. They don't have the gift cards anymore, so I'm not sure what I'm going to use my points on. It's been a while since I've entered my info, but I am trying to now. It really keeps me accountable when I know I'm going to enter my every bite. When I enter my food online, I can decide how much of certain treats to have and what swaps I need to make to keep withint my range of calories and food categories.

For example, one night this week, Chad was a sweetie and stopped to get stuff for dinner on his way home from work. Along with the planned hot dogs (yes, I know they aren't healthy), he brought home Cheetos, cookies and a Coke...the Coke was a treat for me because it had been a rough couple of days with the kids. It was a sweet gesture, and I appreciate it...bit to compensate for the treats, I had to make some wise choices so I could enter my food into my log without feeling guilty.

I've found a few meals and snacks that are really yummy and good for me.

For breakfast:
Breakfast Scramble Salad
An egg, crumbled turkey sausage (precooked), Laughing Cow Light wedge, red bell pepper, tomatoes and any other veggies that sound good, served over romaine lettuce or spinach...yes, greens in the morning!

Banana Toasty
A toasted whole grain bagel thin, spread with a tablespoon of peanut butter so it melts, topped with thin banana slices. This turns out so creamy and yummy!

Ignore the sad state of my bananas...I keep them in the fridge and they turn brown fast.
Turkey and Red Bell Pepper Sandwich
Ok, this one is just like it sounds, but I do substitute a Laughing Cow Light wedge for mayo and cheese

I tend to cook normal dinners for our family and just watch what and how much I eat. I try to have healthy vegetables, like zucchini and squash, and fruits with dinner. I've managed to move us away from a lot of processed foods. I can substitute for myself pretty easily. For example, the night Chad brought home the cookies, Cheetos and Coke, I chose to skip the Cheetos and substitute with jicama sticks. I drank just part of the Coke. And I did indulge in a cookie with a half glass of milk. While these things might not have been good choices, the alternative (you know, the way it would have been just last week) would have been the Cheetos, all the Coke, and at least 2 cookies. So, see? Progress...all about progress.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Join the fun!

It's just over a month away! The Archer City Shortgrass Scamper will be September 17 this year. That's a week later than last year, but they're hoping to avoid a couple of other events in the area.

There will be 3 events this year: the 10K will start at 8, the 5K will start at 8:15, and the 1 mile fun run/walk will start at 8:30.

This race benefits the Archer City Salvation Army. By running and having a little fun yourself, you are helping them take care of others. The Salvation Army helps residents when they need it. A worthy cause!

You can register on Just click my link :)

Last year, it was quite warm, and with this summer heat, I'm sure it will be again this year. It was a fun race though! We'd love to see you there!

Getting signed in and our chips


My age division

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


This is getting ridiculous!

We've had 69 days of 100+ temps, with a new record breaking 43 days of 100+ in a row. Most of July was 105 and up, and now the forecast looks like this:

Lessons learned

This morning was full of lessons. Since my husband and I are signed up for a 25-mile bike ride at the end of the month, I am substituting my Wednesday run for a bike ride and working in a long bike ride on the weekends (hopefully). He rides on Tuesdays/Thursdays, and I run or ride on Mondays/Wednesdays. We'll have to figure out the weekends soon, but we are hoping to ride a longer ride together by getting a sitter for the kids. I'd still like to fit in a long run, but I haven't quite figured that out.

I learned several lessons on this morning's ride. It's interesting because a lot of these lessons are things I'm going to incorporate into my classroom this year.

Lesson #1: Know where you are going. So, this morning was my first time to head out on my own. I wanted to get to the trail out by the lake to avoid traffic, but first, I had to get to it. Easier said than done. Chad had told me where to find the entrance to the trail, and I listened...I promise, I did. It just didn't translate well once I was on the bike. So there's lesson #1. If you don't know how to get to where you're going, it just might take longer to get there.

Lesson #2: It might seem all uphill. I swear the whole ride was uphill. I don't remember the downhills. I kept wondering how in the world I'd picked a route that was all upward inclines. But that's kind of like life...we remember the struggles, but we don't notice when we're coasting.

Lesson #3: Keep track of how far you've gone. I forgot to start my Garmin. More than once. I didn't start it when I left my driveway and only noticed when I hit the trail after a few detours, which was disappointing considering I had no idea how much I'd added to my distance just finding the entrance to the trail. Then I went to the end of the spillway and stopped to turn around a grab a drink, stopping my Garmin (why, I have no idea). Yep. Forgot to start it after that too. It's amazing how if you don't know how far you've gone, it can be really frustrating. You have no idea if you're doing well or not. Once again, another life lesson. I think it's important that in any endeavor you pay attention to where you've been and the progress you've made. Otherwise, it's really easy to lose yourself in frustration.

This year, at the beginning of the school year, I'll be guiding my students to make some plans for their lives, roadmaps for where they want to go and how they are going to get there. So, this morning's ride was a test in that. I knew where I wanted to go (sort of) but didn't have all the steps to get there as easily as I could have. And because I wasn't paying attention, I wasn't sure how far I'd gone, which added to my frustrations this morning. Once I mapped the ride and knew how far I'd really been, I was much happier :)

I still have another 15 miles to find somehow in the next month. I really thought my running would make the biking easy, but I really struggled. There were times I thought, "Hmmm...if I stash my bike here, I could run home and come get it later" and "I wonder if Chad would mind loading up the kids to come get me." But in the end, I enjoyed the ride and am really looking forward to completing the HHH with my husband.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Funk Monster

Seems like this little guy has been in my rearview mirror too long.
Today's run wasn't so much about health or fitness or was all about escaping this hairy, nasty little "funk monster" that's been too close for comfort for a while now.

I started off thinking maybe I was depressed, but I don't want to make light of a serious condition. It's just a funk I'm in. Summer does that to me. It's sad, really, that I spend all summer trying to find a routine or at least peace in not having one, and just in time for school to start back up again, I finally relax enough to enjoy it.

I was feeling frustrated with all we haven't done this summer...the plans I made to read with the kids more, teach Ryan his alphabet, teach Sarah Beth to tie her shoes, to cook together, to go to the spray park or Jump for Joy or a jillion other places...all things that I'm sure the kids would love. The truth is, though, that the kids are happy with what we have been doing, simple things like playing video games or snuggling to watch a show, and it just takes me so darn long to realize that.

So, today's run was about getting away from the funk I've been in here lately and just being present in the here and now. I've got two weeks until school starts for me, and I plan to make the most of it. But not in the cram-it-in, go-and-blow from sunup to sundown kind of way. I'm going to let the kids and my own desires lead the way. Today, they wanted to play computer and video games and go to McDonald's...check. And I want to make a tomato pie, so I'll do that. It's all in the little things, I know.

Really though, I did spend the run leaving these feelings and nagging thoughts behind me on the road. That's probably my favorite visualization when I run...these burdens and frustrations just falling off of me as I run. It's a weight being left behind, and I come home lighter and somehow happier...not in a silly, laughing mood, but with a content and blessed attidue instead.

Some of my favorite shirts on Cafe Press remind me of that feeling: