One step forward

take-first-step

I finally have a day off and my foot felt slightly better so I thought I’d give running a try with a couple loops around my apartment complex this afternoon. After one loop–roughly a half mile, the pain started again so I thought I’d drop into my apartment’s gym to finish off the workout. I did that and got on the elliptical thinking that this would be a better option since it’s lower impact, and finished 30 min on the elliptical no problem — I know I could have put the intensity up a bit because I left a little still in the tank. I guess I have to start back slow — I finished 2.5 miles and did some upper body (chest, lat pull down, biceps and triceps weights) and my foot hurts worse now, so racing on Thursday is probably out of the question. I really do want to have a good 2017 running season now that this MA stuff is almost behind me.

I do realize how much better I feel — physically, emotionally, mentally, and just generally more me-ish when I’m active, even if only for 30 minutes a day. I also have to cut myself some slack — my life is different now, and I’m not always going to be able to run 8 miles a day. No, I haven’t been distance training, but it’s OK because I can do SOMETHING. I have such an all or nothing mentality sometimes. Just do some pushups or situps at home if I don’t have time. It’s about accountability — but I find myself doing these mind games with myself and psyching myself out. I’m back though — and that’s what the blog is about.

Exercise, water, good food, sleep, repeat. Let’s see how long this lasts.

A little late to the party, but here’s my latest race

you-got-this

Metaphor for running and for life.

October 23, I did run the Atlanta 10 Miler — and I didn’t worry about time. Time in running tends to make me anxious, and since I run to alleviate anxiety it seems counter intuitive. So if you really want to see my time, I trust that you will look it up on the ATC website, but spoiler alert, it wasn’t as fast as last year and you will just have to deal with that.

bling

I haven’t been distance training, so much of this race was taken with the approach of I’m going take it easy and enjoy the scenery and get some fit bit steps in. I did intervals but I can’t tell you how I did them. Mostly walked up steep hills and ran down them.

you-got-this

I do this entirely for the bling. Right? What else is there?

I took lots of pictures, and you can see them here:

https://goo.gl/photos/tToQTU81rUk9UsaXA

I’m upset now because I did something to my foot not running, and now I can’t run for a few weeks. Which means I’ll miss my favorite Thanksgiving Day race, but I wasn’t planning on doing the half anyway. I had downgraded to the 5K because I haven’t been distance training and something is better than nothing. Now I can’t even run the 5K if I want my foot to be OK for a good 2017 running season. So like the country, I’m going to write off this 2016 as a sort of crappy running year and hope for good things in 2017.

But I love when I see things like this at the end of the day.

fit-bit

In other non running news, my MA paper was accepted by my first reader this week and I have a presentation date of December 2 at 1pm. Shit is gettin’ real — which is probably why I haven’t been running as much. You have to make sacrifices, right?

I’ll come back with a goal post for the start of 2017 when I have them. Aside from the MA and my amazing IEP students, I’m ready to write of 2016 as a shit year and start fresh.

3 more miles for August and a 5K race report

It’s amazing what you can do when you have a 5K pushing your ass. It’s also amazing that in 34+ years of walking and running I still haven’t learned to use my feet without the occasional mishap. I mean for crying out loud — this shit happens way too much — about 0.3 miles in my foot found a reflector thingy on the road and I went down. And by went down, I mean knee first, then stomach — I’m surprised I still have all my teeth. More ego bruised than anything, I brushed myself off — pushing away the nice stranger folks that stopped help (never doubt humanity on a race course) and kept pushing on. Challenging course — found myself walking up most of the mile 2 hill but still averaged a 12:18 per mile pace which is to be expected for this time of year and the amount of training I’ve put in.

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Battle wound! (Looks way better clean than before clean!)

 

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The route:

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Total mileage for August: 8 miles as of 8/6.

Day 4 — Mile 4

I decided to take mile 4 and day 4 over to my local YMCA (my family has been members for years) because I really wanted to test out the pool and my swimming ability (and the hot tub and steam room) so I thought I’d get my mile in around the track. It’s hard to calibrate a GPS tracker around a small track when 19 laps is equivalent to a mile, but I counted 19 laps and the time looks about right for my pace and how my body felt afterward. I don’t particularly like this — but I’m getting tired of humidity and didn’t want to do the treadmill today. Bonus of getting six laps done in the pool and 15 min on the elliptical as a cool down. Plus a soak in the hot tub which felt oh so good . It’s all about wellness and balance, and I’m enjoying not being on campus this week. 🙂 image1 (2) image2 (1)

Day 3/Mile 3

image1 (1)This time a quick run around my apartment complex — up hills and around turnarounds when I didn’t really feel like running. My pants were falling down and I wasn’t wearing the correct bra or underwear. Running is messy. I don’t have any way to sugar coat it — this wasn’t fun but it’s done. Ugh.

New Month, New Goals, New Me

It’s been a while, I know — I haven’t written, I haven’t talked about writing, I haven’t trained, I haven’t talked about training blah blah blah. But it’s a new month, and with all the other standard crap that goes with new beginnings — I thought I’d try one of my own to see if it works. How many days does it take to build a habit? Different sources will tell you different things — but since I’ve been having trouble finding joy in running and thus motivation has been an issue –I’m going back to where I started. ONE MILE per DAY. Just one. If I feel like doing more after that one I certainly can, but I’m telling myself I need to do ONE MILE each day for EVERY day during the month of August. And this is accountability here — I have to upload a picture of my garmin, running app, fitbit, what have you to prove that I’ve done it. Ultimately I would like to record mood and how I’ve felt and all that jazz, but me being me I know that won’t happen. So here’s today’s run.

image2 image1So no, not my fastest, or most fun — but I got it done. It seems like I’m backsliding — I keep telling myself that a year ago I ran a half marathon, but that was a year ago I wasn’t focused intently on moving up in my career or finishing my Master’s degree.  Hopefully, these will get easier — but I have to remember to remove the judgement in running too. I think that may be part of what is making it not fun so much anymore. I definitely feel better than if I had done nothing at all. But I hadn’t hydrated as much as I needed to today and I did have a ton of other crap going on — so I’ll chalk it up to “some days are better than others” and leave it at that and see what tomorrow brings.

Happy Running,

 

Jenn

 

P.S. I did track this on my Garmin too — but because my Garmin is a Forerunner 10 and not a fancy new one — my app refuses to acknowledge its existence anymore. One more reason I call running a first world sport and refuse to buy into the mindset of always needing the next best thing. One of the reasons I started running was because it was cheap — I can technically go out with my clothes and my shoes and get a workout. I’m not going to spend $$$ when I don’t need to spend $$$. Rant over

And a running (or lack there of) update…the one where I talk about that big 60K person race in Atlanta

I know it’s time for an update, both on here and the blog, and there will be one soon — promise.

I’ve been trying to pump myself back up onto the running bandwagon as of late, and maybe I need encouragement or maybe I just need to kick myself in the ass and stop making excuses.

In the process of trying to do so, I always find it helpful to look at past performances and find reasonable goals to achieve. In the past, this has worked. I’m finding this harder and harder to do as I continue down the path to my MA. Everything is telling me to sit my ass in the chair and WRITE MY MA PAPER but after a day of teaching all I want to do is SLEEP. I used to see running as something to do in my spare time, but I realized that lately, I haven’t had spare time to deal with.

Such is life.peachtree-logo

 

Image credit: http://www.ajc.com/s/peachtree/#running-news

I’ve been finding myself going back to old races, looking at old times lately — trying to see if I can be anywhere near that for this year’s PTRR, and I don’t think it’s doable. I just really haven’t been training hard enough.

But I do think data is good – and record keeping is something I just don’t do enough of for one reason or another. AND I FIND IT SO FUN WHEN I GET INTO IT.

So here goes: Jenn by the Numbers.
I finished Last year’s PTRR (2015) in 1:15:17 and the year before that (2014) in 1:18: 54. This year’s Singleton 10K in April of 2016 I did in 1:13: 19 (11:48 min/mile). This was done with minimal training. (Running three days a week, no strength, some light stretching on rest days and yoga once a week.) These numbers tell me that although slow, I am making progress. I do have to remind myself that progress is slow, but I just started running seriously again in 2013 and three years is not a lot of time. I don’t have crazy amounts of time to put into this hobby/sport, but the little time I do is worth it. Baby steps.

Goal for Peachtree 2016: Beat last year’s time or come close to it. And don’t beat myself up if I don’t do it. HAVE FUN and BE ACTIVE.

I may have to walk some of it — and that’s OK.

More to come later. Off to tutor linguistic stuffs. 🙂

The one where I talk about something else besides running…


power of teaching

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/311944711664285198/

 

Leaving Classroom South this morning after teaching my Extensive Reading IEP course at GSU,  I went out the side door and stumbled across some young folks experimenting with soda bottles. Being the sucker for experiential learning and kids that I am, I stopped to ask the one adult I saw present what was up. We don’t usually have kids this young on GSU’s campus. I caught a glimpse of her name tag. Her name looked familiar; her face looked more familiar. Couldn’t place where I knew her from, but I kept talking. I was probably nervous rambling, but it energized me to see high school youth teaching elementary youth about carbonation and such — while watching bottles explode, so I kept talking. I figured out that she was a former teacher from Fernbank Science Center, the STT program in ninth grade. I mentally told myself that she isn’t going to remember me from that, then I remembered the independent study neuroscience class I took with her my senior year. She wasn’t going to remember me from that either. I told her I was an alum of STT and her face lit up. I didn’t tell her about the other class — she asked what I was doing now. I sheepishly told her I am an English teacher and Applied Linguistics MA student at GSU. She smiled and tried to make me feel more comfortable. I think she said “I consider linguistics a science” and mentioned that her neighbor worked in my department. I left the conversation awkwardly at this point, but I had so much more I wanted to say.

I wanted to tell her, “thank you” first of all. I’m bad at things like this. I wanted to tell her I still have my electron microscopy pics of the pig’s heart cells I took in her class at Fernbank Science Center. I wanted to tell her also that I gained an appreciation for attention to detail by doing assignments such as these and having these experiences. I wanted to tellher how much about the brain I learned in her class in 12th grade, and how much about headaches I learned during her research project and how much self-confidence I gained during the presentation I did in her class even though I hated presentations. Then the memories started flooding back. She told me that I was too quiet once (those that don’t know me from HS don’t know that I was painfully anxious). She told me senior year that she didn’t think I had much to say until started interacting on the message board — I’ve always felt more comfortable expressing myself in writing. She told me that “I finally came alive” I think were her words. I wanted to tell her that I’m not actually as dumb as she thought I might have been back then, and how much more reflective I have become. Hers was the first class with an online component I took, ever, in my life. Back in the days of WEBCT. I’m dating myself now. But that medium made me realize that I could contribute — even if I didn’t want to talk in class. Hers was also the first elective class I took in the sciences — after my failed AP Biology fiasco that same year. She gave me faith in myself again — in learning at my own pace. I saw a human brain for the first time!

When I think about it now, so much of that year shaped who I am today, as corny as that sounds. Even though I rejected a career in the sciences, I didn’t reject a career in education — even after many trials and tribulations. Many of my beliefs about education and exploration (of language or other subjects) came from that year — and her brief class in neurobiology. When I think about it, I became an elementary teacher because I wanted to instill the love of discovery in young children. I wanted to share my delight in learning new things by experience with them. I do it at my pace, and I wanted to make sure that they understand that learning at one’s own pace is the right thing to do, despite what society tells them.

I guess I’m writing about this experience today because it solidified for me, why I’m doing what I’m doing.

 

To the future teachers of world: your voice makes a difference. Your actions make a difference. If I can remember something small from 20 years ago from a teacher I saw maybe twice in a month, that’s the power of a teacher. You have such incredible power — use it for good. Your students may hate your subject, show that they hate you because of it, be quiet because of crippling insecurity, but regardless, they are taking it all in. You just never know what it is they are taking in, and you may never know. Dr. Fiore will never know (unless she reads this blog post) what went on in my head after my interaction with her this morning, but and I will just have to live with that. She was simply doing what she loved, back then, and now.

 

As I move through this journey we call life, I realize my world gets smaller and smaller. Even more so with the internet. I have the power to google her name. I have the power to learn that she has since moved on from Fernbank, to become a science methods instructor for early childhood in the College of Ed at GSU. But what does that tell me really? That we have more in common with each other than I previously thought? Why does that help? 

 

These are just some thoughts of mine…

 

This experience got me thinking, too, about my Science Methods course during undergrad. It wasn’t great, but it was good enough. It’s so hard to find teachers to teach these courses, and Jamie (can’t remember his last name) got us thinking about ways to engage young learners with experiences, not textbooks. It got me thinking about how he was really an artist at heart — and how I ran into him years later at the art festival in Piedmont Park, doing what he loved.

 

Have you ever had such an interaction? Have you ever had a teacher shape your thoughts and experiences in ways you didn’t know until years later?

 

Tell me about it! Comment below!