Friday, August 31, 2007


I went to bed super early last night, hoping to rest up and sleep off this miserable side effect from allergies. But, I woke up at 3am and found my nose plugged and throat swollen. Yep. I think I have the onset of a sinus infection. Wahoo. But, it is friday and I couldn't be more happier. I could dance! Like my good friend Napoleon!

Have a super Labor Day weekend, y'all!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thoughts & Prayers

I opted for a rest day today. Again. I am just too tired. I wanted to come home, rest, eat a good meal and go to bed early. I will be heading for the cities this weekend to help my sister and her husband move into their new house! So, probably no kind of workout will happen in the next four days, except for lifting and moving some heavy stuff. Unless I get up for a run tomorrow morning.

I wanted to send out my thoughts a prayers to those in Northwood, ND. On Sunday, one nasty tornado struck this small town about 40 miles north of where I live, killing one man and injuring many. The damage is awful. Most small towns in ND started school this week, and as of yesterday, they still didn't know what they were going to do for school. I was sent the following pictures from a teacher I used to work with a couple years ago. She lives in Northwood. (the dates on the pictures are wrong....)
This last photo is of the school...right in the middle of the pic.....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rambling Wednesday

I have been so tired in the past week or so. Especially the past 4 our 5 days. I haven't slept very well this week, mostly due to anticipation and a bit of stress, as well as setting my alarm for a time earlier than actually getting up (and then falling back to sleep for 45 minutes), with the hopes of getting in some pilates, yoga, or strength training before starting the work day. It just hasn't happened the way I would like.

I knew that once the school year started that I wouldn't be able to carry out the same weekly schedules as I have had in the past few weeks. At least I won't be able to until I get things settled and into a routine with school. This probably won't happen for a couple weeks.

Tonight, I was "planning" on going for a nice run. Didn't happen. I opted for running a couple necessary errands, making a decent dinner, and heading to bed early. Tomorrow I hope to hit the gym for some much desired spin... and if I have enough energy in me I plan to run a couple miles afterwards.

The only part of my workout schedule that I would like to keep set in stone is my spin class. The instructor is teaching Tuesday and Thursday shortly after I would leave for work. This is perfect. In a perfect world, I would like to do a few runs in the AM during the week, allowing me to stay at work as long as necessary (on my non-spinning days), without feeling guilty for not doing any sort of physical activity. Plus, that way, I won't have to do much paperwork at home in the evening. As far as swimming goes, I would like to get a swim one day during the week, and one during the weekend. We'll see how it all pans out.

Not much but a few rambles from the voice of a very tired teacher.... but this is definitely something I have been thinking about. I like to have a schedule, mostly for that routine.

Last, but not least, I have inserted a link to a cool slide show I found. I guess I found it to be cool, since it is a wonderful slide show of my Alma Mata.... And, it shows the beautiful colors of ND. Something us North Dakotan's can take for granted!

And actually, if you look at the first picture on the far right, the building on the right in that picture is a building I spent most of my college career at!

Happy Hump Day, y'all!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Spinning .... with control

Today was a much better day than yesterday. It helped to have read some of your wonderful messages before heading out at 7am this morning. The teachers were very accomodating and were okay with my scheduling for today. I was able to see most of my students, and that really made the day go by so fast! I have a few students that are quite the spitfires. I also have a few that I will need to light a fire under. For sure.

On a non-school/teaching/students related note, I was able to make it to the gym tonight. All I can say is "Ahhh...". I felt like I went to hell and back during our spin session, but it felt so good. I am going to try and get to spin on thursday again, but it is at 4:25 and that might not happen. We'll see.

OCN: 16.78 miles
Duration 43:12
Avg Pace: 2:34/mi

I thought I would share another great piece of music for cycling.....


get it, crank it up, and spin out!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Star Polisher

As most of you may already know, today was my first day of school. In a new school, with new people, and new students. Deep down inside, I was really excited, and my anxiousness kept me from getting a good night's sleep.

The school district I am teaching in is growing. And fast. They have just finished building two new schools, an elementary school, and a ninth grade academy which is big enough to be used as a second high school if deemed necessary. The school I am working in is one of many elementary schools, grades 1-5 (as they have one school designated for Kindergarteners) and has a student population of about 500. For North Dakota, this is the most diverse school I have worked in. We will lose and gain about 100-150 students through the duration of the school year.

Along with the growing size of our district, there have been many major changes. Not only has the high school switched to block scheduling (consisting of 90 minute blocks), but so has all the elementary schools, with eight 45 minute blocks. There are multiple reasons for the change to block scheduling.
  1. One, it is "supposed" to help make scheduling easier. For example, if we have a group of fourth graders who need supplemental help in the area of reading, we "should" be taking them out of their reading time in the classroom. Makes complete sense. But, where it gets tricky is when we have 6 groups of kids that need supplemental reading help, with only 4 special education teachers, and most of their "scheduled" reading time in the classroom takes place at the same time.
  2. Our week is no longer Monday through Friday. It is day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5. That way, we can pick up where we left off when it comes to shorter weeks. And it works with the rotation. Rotation works in such a way that for example, grade 5, will rotate their first two blocks for specials, and this allows the classroom teachers to sit and collaborate with special ed and ELL teachers. That is if the special ed teachers are not already busy with other groups of students.
  3. Third, we have incorporated into the schedule what we call "I/E" time. It is a 45 minute block that each grade has that allows the teachers to break their students into groups based on similar levels of learning to "enrich" their learning. This gets tricky because special education teachers are "supposed" to be present for this time. Hmm.
This has put a lot of stress on not only the classroom teachers but the music, pe/health, art, ELL, SLP's, Title, and special education teachers. It is a huge change for a school to take on. As great as it sounds, we are struggling immensely with scheduling our students for special services. It has been so stressful that a couple classroom teachers are having a hard time understanding why we are struggling with scheduling, and have been quite negative towards us. As a result, come Friday, our Director of Knowledge and Superintendent will be coming to our school to look over our schedules to see if they can figure out how to best use our time. It is so crazy.

On top of scheduling difficulties with the block scheduling, we as special education teachers have had new requirements rested upon our shoulders. Now, for me being fresh out of graduate school, this comes as no surprise to me and in fact I am happy, for the most part. Most IEP's consist of goals and then objectives to coincide with each goal. Well, the state will be changing this soon (and our district is piloting it during this school year), requiring just "measurable" goals and NO objectives, unless the student is receiving alternate assessment. I know that this may not mean much to y'all, but it is a big change to special ed. But, I was told of this in my graduate classes, and have learned how to appropriate write objectives to meet the states standards, so this is not too much of a big deal to me. With that, they want us to chart each goal and objective for each and every student. Now that is going to be a lot of paperwork, but if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing with your students, it doesn't take that much work. I know this change to make more special education teachers accountable for their work, and to have visuals for parents. I don't mind it. I kind of like that kind of stuff. But, when we have a few special education teachers and speech/language pathologists that have been teaching for 20+ years, this is hard for them. Very hard. And a huge adjustment.

Today, on the first day of school, I did not see any of my students. It just wasn't possible. We were still working on our scheduling, and mounds of paperwork. I was attempting to put together materials to use with my "groups" and then some placement tests for reading and math. I want to make sure my groups of students are grouped according to their ability, otherwise we are just wasting our time. So, come tomorrow, I will be introducing myself to my students and hopefully completing these placement assessments. I hope the students are grouped accordingly. I would hate to have to change our schedule further more.

I may sound as if I am complaining, but I am really not. Okay, I am. But I know it is part of the "new year stress". It's just that it is a little bit more difficult than it really should be! This is something we all have to deal with and all of us educators need to be understanding of what the others are going through. I really look forward to working with my students. I know the day will just begin to fly by once that starts....

I will leave you with one of my favorite poems.....

The Star Polisher
Leah Becks

"My job is to take the stars in, and shine them and buff them
and then send them out into the sky"

I have a great job in the universe of occupations. What do I do? I'm a "star polisher."

It's a very important job. If you want to know how important, just go out at night and look at the stars twinkling and sparkling.

You see, I'm a teacher. The stars are the children in my class. My job is to take them in - in whatever shape they come - and shine and buff them and then send them out to take their places as bright little twinkling beacons in the sky.

They come into my room in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they're bent, tarnished, dirty, crinkly and broken. Some stars are cuddly, soft and sweet. Some stars are prickly and thorny.

As I buff, polish, train and teach my little stars, I tell them that the world cannot do without them. I tell them they can do anything they set their minds to do. I tell them they can be the brightest, shiniest stars in the sky and the world will be a better place because of them.

Each night as I look at the sky, I'm reminded of my very important job and awesome responsibility. I go and get my soft buffing cloth and my bottle of polish in preparation for tomorrow and for my class of little stars.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Freakin' Fantabulous Time

Last night a few girlfriends and I had planned on going out and catching a local band. It was a freakin' fantabulous time! But, I am getting too old for this crap, and don't expect it to happen again... any....time....soon. Let me give you the short version of the night:
The bar we were at served 2-for-1 drinks. Every-day, all-day. And their mixed drinks were strong. The best part.... I had my whiskey drinking partner with me!Me ...... and my bestest friend!

We danced the night away and eventually closed the bar down. From there we were at an "after party" and then somehow got to meet up with my friend (who lives in IA now) who was in town for the day. Bless the random taxi that picked us up...otherwise we could have been walking for hours... Somehow time flew by last night; drinks were drunk, stories were told, memories were dug up, and before we knew it we were walking home to my apartment after sunrise.I slept for a few hours and then was up for the day. The red bull in some of my drinks kept me from sleeping. It was a fantastic fun night. But it killed my planned productive sunday. Nothing but watching tv, drinking H2O and looking over some paperwork for the first day of school...which is tomorrow. Scratched the workout for today. Hopefully I will have enough energy to go for a nice run tomorrow after work.
Have a great week, y'all!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Back To School

Yesterday was long, with two sessions of very boring in-service, a break between the two, and then a break afterwards before we had to be back for Back-to-School night. That was fun. Most of the teachers were dressed in their teacher outfits (not me....I am too young for teacher clothes), and the kids were so excited. School is going to start next week, whether we are ready for it or not. I personally, am really looking forward to it. This will be my fourth year in the school setting, 3rd year teaching ... with each year being at a different school. Hopefully, if all goes well and I enjoy it at this school, I won't have to change schools or look for another job. This school district is growing so fast, I am sure I will have great job security.

This morning, we (elementary special education teachers) had a meeting to go over paperwork and changes in the "system". I am beginning to learn that in special education, changes happen. Often. You just got to roll with the punches. And our district is one of the districts in ND piloting a new software for writing IEP's. I think I am one of the few sped teachers that really doesn't mind the paperwork. It must be my "anal-organization" personality trait. If it wasn't a personality trait, it is now.

This afternoon was a different vibe. We worked on our schedules and divided up the kids between the four of us, and lucky me... being a strategist and all, I was give a handful of first graders, as they are new to us all, and a few emotional/behavior kids! Yes! Then we met with each grade level teachers in 15 minute increments, discussing the children in their classes who receive our services, and that was a nightmare. There were a couple teachers that were completely irritable and not wanting to hear anything from us, upset with our schedule, and just down right rude. When I left shortly before 5, I was feeling overwhelmed, unprepared, and a little irritated by a few teachers' comments. But, what happens at work, must stay at work... and this is really hard to do, especially when you become attached to your student, work your ass off to help them academically (both in the classroom and resource room), help them socially, and for some.... emotionally.

So, what did I decide to do once I got home? RUN. Yep. I didn't have a route in mind. I just went out. me and my ipod. I walked the first 7 minutes to loosen up a bit, and then I was off. The weather couldn't have been more perfect, 70 degrees and overcasting with a slight cool breeze. Most of my route was on busy 5pm, so it was motivating to keep going, as I have this thing with stopping in front of heavy traffic. I can't. It's one of my "things". I don't like it. Call me weird, but we ALL have "things"... right?

Two days until it all starts. For real. I think I need to go out before the school year starts...

ORN: 3.4 mile
Duration: 44:12
Avg Pace: 13:00


P.S. I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE A SHOUT OUT TO WES!!! He's got his West Point Olympic Triathlon Sunday!! GO WISH HIM LUCK!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Turn Around

Today was quite the day. We spent a couple hours in the morning at a "staff meeting" on some new procedures and such, then us special ed teachers put our heads together, hoping to make some sort of schedule for the four of us. Let's just say we left the building at 4pm with our heads spinning. My head was literally hurting. I was mentally drained. What a mess.

I left school with a bad attitude. And I didn't like it. I really don't let much bother me at school, but some of the negativity and frustration of others got to me today, and I just needed to change my attitude. I don't like complainers. I can't start the school year like this, and being a new teacher, I do not want to get sucked into co-workers "views and opinions" of other teachers/administrators... .... ...I needed to get out of my heels, put on my running clothes, lace up my shoes, and just run. I needed to turn my attitude around.... I needed to use the time to myself. Just me. I had a 40 minute run on the schedule, but the knee was a little sore, so I cut it to a brief loop around the neighborhood. The temp was 89 at 5pm, which I wasn't expecting because the highs in the past five days didn't reached 70. I wasn't used to the heat/humidity. In the end, I accomplished a little over 2 miles.... 2.14 to be exact. Not the best, but enough to blow off some negative energy.

Afterwards, I did my 40 minute turbo sculpt video....working with weights and lunges. Tomorrow is a scheduled rest day. We have inservice all day and then Back-to-School night until 7. I hope to get up early and get in pilates before the day tighten up that core a bit more! ha!

With a better attitude, I will enjoy my evening looking over some paperwork and watching a little of the boob tube. But before I go, I will leave you with this. A taste of the blues, straight out of ND. This kid(guy now) has been performing since he was like 15. My parents saw him perform at that young age in a bar in Bismarck... they bought his first cd and I fell in love with his music. In college I shared it with some friends, and a couple of my best friends and I saw him at a casino near our college town atleast 5 years ago. He's got talent. I would love to see him in concert again. Enjoy!!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Frustrated... but determined

I am not going to beat around the bush ... I am just gonna tell you how it is.

Today's plan? A scheduled 30 minutes in the pool, hoping for about 750M.

And today, I had my goggles. And, I wore them.

But, it didn't go as I would have like it to.

I was really bothered by the fact that I do not use proper form when doing the front crawl. I am almost embarassed to share this, but it seems as if I struggle with keeping my face in the water. For some reason I tend to keep everything from my nose and up, above water. And in doing so, I think my upper body becomes more tired from trying to keep my head above water. (NOT me in the picture)

I don't know why I do this. I used to swim all the time when I was younger, and my mom tells me that I used to swim laps with my eyes open... So what is the deal? I feel as if I have to reteach myself how to properly do the front crawl. Seriously?!?! WTF?

I think the worst of it was having a life guard watching the entire time. I will not be in the pool again for a couple weeks... it is closed now ... for cleaning. I guess it takes to stinkin' weeks to clean a 4 lane pool. Whatever.

OSN: 500M
Duration: No flippin' clue...

I am very frustrated....but I am NOT going to give up.

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"Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe dedicated."
~ Unknown Author

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Workin' my ars off...

Last night I sat down to work on this coming weeks workout schedule. I spent some time looking over the lap swim and spin schedules. I compared it to my schedule of new teacher inservices (2 days) and workshops (3 days) this week, which is mostly 8-4, except for thursday we have open house for students and parents from 5:30-7pm. Damn! A lot going on this week. Do I get up at the butt crack of dawn? Or do I attempt to get what I want done after a long days work? I ain't gonna lie... I hate putting off workouts until the evening, unless it's absolutely necessary.

This is going to be the true test of what I will be able to accomplish in a weeks' span. When I look at my schedule, it appears to be crazy busy. Almost as if it is too much. Maybe that is just me. I am used to taking 2-3 days of rest, but that was when I was just running. Now that I am swimming, cycling, and running, it is easier for me to do something almost everyday. I am working different muscles with each discipline, (ie, when I am running I am giving my arms a rest from the pool), so I feel that it is easier to do more.

...However .... starting this thursday, the pool will be closed for 2 weeks! 2 weeks, people! I guess this will allow me to do some more cycling, strength training, and more importantly....more running. Which works out perfectly. Because in 40 days, I have my first 5K (or 10K Bella! & Jahowie) of 2007. I haven't decided which one I am going to attempt. Only time (and my runs) will tell. (Plus, I just found out there is a Bridge to Bridge race the weekend before here where I live... if I am interested, I have the choice of doing a 10mi run or a 5mi run...hmm..)

Tonight though, after a long day of filling out paperwork for benefits, payroll, and learning the ropes of all the wonderful computer programs, I hit the gym for a scheduled, long workout. Let me just say... the spin instructor tonight, sucked. All she did was yell out rpm's, add tension, take off tension, up, down...their was no excitement. So after a long hour, I hit the treadmill for my scheduled run. I wanted to see how my legs were going to treat me in this transition. It was a tough start, but I persevered... and I was quite pleased with my entire workout all together!

OCN: 18.63 miles!!!
Duration: 46:34
Avg Pace: 2.29/mi
ORN: 2.43 mile
Duration: 30:00
Avg Pace: 12:20/mi

Oh... and, on the way home from the gym I took a different route. Trying to familiarize myself to the area... And guess what was a few blocks from the gym? A cycle shop! HA! I might be checking that place out this weekend!! Living in the midwest, I wouldn't be surprised if they have some sort of "sales" going on this time of year.....

Tonight, this Sporty Spice (ehem...Jess) is going to curl up with the September issue of Runner's World and watch the Twins...

Happy Monday, y'all!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Blues in the Cold

It rained all morning and most of the afternoon yesterday, putting a damper on our all day blues festival at the baseball field. But, once we decided to veture into the rain with our umbrella's, it wasn't so easy to get in. The three tickets I had bought ahead of time at a local liquor store, were for friday's shows, not saturdays. And the two old people working the gate entrance were not willing to be nice in a way shape or form. Let's just say I was ready to pull the oxygen tank on the old man. I am sure they have heard every story in the book, but it's not like we used our tickets friday and were trying to get in saturday as well, the botton half was still on the ticket. After a while, an innocent bystander (who probably was a sponser of some sort) pulled out a handful of tickets and handed 3 to us... saying "happy birthday". Thank you stranger! I threw friday's tickets at the old couple, we went and grabbed the rest of our stuff from the car, and went back to listen to some great music. It was misting for the next hour or so, and then finally we set up our chairs and enjoyed the music, in the cold, until about 10pm. We were freezing, dressed in jeans and sweatshirts... it wasn't enough.But, the music was great and it was quite an adventure.

Yesterday I felt the signs of a sinus cold/infection coming on, and I am sure sitting in the misty cold rain/wind wasn't helping matters much. This morning I woke up with mild head congestion and a burning pain in my sinus'.. ... ..swearing under my breath. I don't get sick that often, but the one time I do during the year, it's a nasty sinus infection... painful. So, I am planning on enjoying the couch, cheering on my Twinkies for the next few hours. Santana is pitching. Maybe I will head out for a nice, slow run this evening to "clear my head".

On to bigger and better things!! I am planning on doing the UND Homecoming Race again this year! September 29th!!! I am hoping to do a helluva lot better than last year! I am so pumped. I haven't decided if I will do the 5K or the 10K yet. All I know is I haven't done a 5K or any race since the Zoo Year's Eve Race.. ... ..December 31st! I am looking forward to this race in the morning, the big football game in the afternoon, and some great music by a local cover band in the evening. This band has been around forever. It's not the original band, but the lead singer, Johnny Holm, been performing since the '70s! My Mom saw him perform when she was in college! Haha!

Here's a little video clip I found to pump me up for my next race! GO SIOUX!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday Sculpting

I was looking forward to this morning's spin class, but on my drive to the gym my friend called and said there wasn't going to be spin. The instructor was sick. Grrr... So, I was trying to think of what I could do instead. I could have gone to the gym and did some weights, which I really need to start incorporating into my schedule, I didn't want to run outside as it was beginning to rain, and I didn't want to sit on a bike in the gym staring at the tv..... I get to bored with that.

So, I turned around and headed home. I was either going to do my 45 minute pilates workout, some yoga, or.... one of my turbo jam videos. I opted for the turbo sculpt 40 minute video. Which worked out perfectly. I worked on sculpting my arms with free weights and my legs with a multitude of lunges. Now, if all went well, my legs will really be feeling it tomorrow.

The gym really lacks classes on sundays, so I am gonna attempt a 40 minute run outdoors, given the weather cooperates.

I hope it just clears up for the outdoor blues festival this afternoon, that would be a bummer if it rained the whole day....

Happy Saturday, y'all!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Thrill Of It

First of all... HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!

Okay Lisa (Java), I did hit the pool today. Like I said I would. But, I was struggling. I don't know what the deal is. I know I need to work on my form. I know I need to get my goggles adjusted so I wear them when IN the pool, which will help me keep my head in the water. I tried to focus on my stroke, I tried to remember to keep my fingers together... ahh it was a mess. I did my 10x50M repeats with 45-60 second RI's. All in all I completed my 500M in about 23 minutes. Grr. I am SO slow. Oh well.


After that, I had an itch to get on the bike and see what it was like after being in the water. Ha! Too much fun. I accomplished 6 miles in 16:43.(Although that doesn't seem right... I am never that fast)

And... I was DONE. By the time I got home, I was completely famished! But, it was a good feeling. Tonight, I was hoping to hit up some aps and taps with one of the girls in town, but she had to cancel, as her grandpa is in town. So, I guess I will have a date with my couch and watch High School Musical 2. Sad to say, but I am actually quite pumped.

Tomorrow I plan to hit up the spin class @ 9:15 before my 'rents get into town. We'll be attending the Blues Festival here in town. I can't wait.

OSN: 10x50M, with 45-60sec. RI, total: 500M
Duration: aprox. 23 minutes

OCN: 6 miles
Duration: 16:43

And for the highlight of my post.... a meme I found from Jess! ENJOY!

How many teeth do you have?
28. Yep. 28.

Have you ever had braces?
I had braces from 6th grade through 8th grade, I believe. And boy did I need them. But, I hated them.

Name and tell us a bit about a pet you had as a child.
The only pet I had when I was younger was our Shi-Tzu named Desi. We got her when I was an 8th grader ... and she passed away a couple years ago. *sniff, sniff*

Where were you born?
Bismarck, ND.... born and raised.

How many siblings do you have?
2 younger sisters.... love 'em to death!

What was your high school's mascot?
Demons! Yep, I was a demon!

What was your favorite Halloween costume (either childhood or adulthood)?
I think my favorite childhood costume (that I remember) was when I went as a punk rocker (like in 1991) and put pink paint in my hair and wore my hair in a high pony tail on the side! Crazy, I know!

What's your favorite smell?

I don't have just one... just baked cookies, rain, men's cologne, musky candles, etc.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
As of right now, I would have to stay my greatest accomplishment is completing my masters in one year, while teaching.

Do you put the TP on the roll so that it feeds from the bottom or the top?
From the bottom. This might be ONE of my FEW obsessions.

Have you ever broken anything?
Dishes. lots of them. And probably a few men's hearts...but never on purpose!

If you could travel anywhere, and the budget was not a factor, where would you go?
If money wasn't a factor, I would take a month to travel the UK/Europe.

What is your dream job?
Besides persuing my passion of working with children, I still think a dream job of mine is to be a free-lance graphic designer.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
Hmm. I am sure I have many, as it isn't hard to do. But, the one that I can remember right off the bat is when I was in elementary school. It must have been 5th or 6th grade. I always got really nasty colds and was always "stuffed up" (as I had my adnoids removed in 6th grade). Anyway, I had a bad cold, and sitting on the gym floor before school started, my allergies got the best of me (with the carpeted floor), and I sneezed a big one. It was a mess. I was so embarassed. Yuck.

What is your worst fear?
I have nightmares and visions of knocking out my front teeth. For example, when walking down a flight of stairs, I slip and my face goes into the balcony, knocking out my front teeth. I think this fear started when I first got my braces.

What year did you graduate high school?

1999. ... ... 99!

What was one of your new year's resolutions for 2007?
Get fit and finish my masters! (well, I have accomplished the masters...still working on the fit part)

I won't tag anyone as Jess has tagged y'all! Feel free to join in the super fun!

Enjoy the music on your way out! Another great song to run/cycle to! I saw these guys in Chicago!

Robert Randolph & The Family Band - Thrill Of It

Bored crazy

Well, Thirsty Thursday didn't happen. In fact, I was bored out of my mind last night and couldn't find anything to keep my attention. I tried reading, I watched The Breakup, I watched High School Musical while surfing the internet, I talked to a couple friends, but still... I was bored out of my mind. There were things I could have been doing, like organizing all my photos, working on my sisters scrap book, cleaning my apartment, etc. but I just wasn't feelin' it.

This morning I was hoping to get up and do the swim thing during the early session (between 5:30 & 8:30). I need to get used to getting up at a decent time as work begins with inservice next week and the days I hope to swim will be before the school day starts. Well, I guess I will just have to do it over the noon hour... hopefully it won't be too busy. There are only 4 lanes.

Hopefully I can find something to do for the rest of the day. I just can't be couped up in my apartment all day. I need to SOCIALIZE people!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thirsty Thursday

I went out for a nice run this morning, followed by 20 minutes of pilates. The run went really well and I only had to take a couple walk breaks. The distance was a little bit further than my last run... ... . baby steps.

Yesterday I took a well needed rest day. It was decided before the day had even begun, and I was thankful for that. I don't think any run, swim, or cycling would have been very successful if I would have attempted. My body was drained. I am still trying to get back into fueling my body appropriately, including drinking an adequate amount of water. I am better about getting enough water during the school year, as I always carry my water bottle with me.

So how did I spend my rest day, one might ask? I did spend the morning at the school trying to work with some of the other special ed teachers and ELL teachers on scheduling. My LEAST favorite part of special ed and the new school year. There is nothing easy about trying to schedule. You have to schedule when your going to be in the classroom with students, when you are going to pull them out, trying to avoid their music/p.e. time, speech time, ELL time, OT/PT, etc... But, my favorite part is setting up my room and doing some back-to-school shopping! I did a little yesterday and found a couple pairs of paints and a few tops. I am leaving here shortly to do a little more shopping again!! From there I spent the rest of the day watching the Twins, and catching up on the new season of The Hills and The Real World... a couple of my guilty pleasures...

ORN: 2.72 miles
Duration: 33:30
Avg Pace: 12:18
Avg HR: 168
Max HR: 189 (eeks!)

On a side note... it is Thirsty Thursday. Boy do I miss those days in college. I might have to go out for a couple tonight... any takers??!?!

Tomorrow? Back in the pool!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The learning never ends...

My intentions, as stated yesterday, were to get up at the butt-crack of dawn and hit the gym for the 6am spin class. Intentions. That is what they were. But, when I hit the pillow at 10:30 and couldn't fall asleep, I knew it probably wasn't gonna happen. Before going to bed, I noticed a headache coming on, but was too lazy to take anything. Well, that came back to haunt me and I woke up at 4am with a worse headache, took something, and then tossed back and forth in bed for the next couple hours. No morning spin for this girl.

So after spending most of the day at the school, meeting a lot of the teachers/staff, looking at my classroom (ah, it's so perrrty).... I came home and crammed in my 45 min pilates video before spin. Yes, before spin. And... off to spin I was.

It went really well. Really well. I learned a few things, and felt that I worked my ars off on that bike. Literally. Well, hopefully. The instructor was awesome and really knew what she was doing. I learned about proper form in the aggressive position, making sure all the weight is on your lower extremities and not your hands or shoulders. I learned how to do proper "push-ups" on the bike, while cycling, ... which have left my arms feeling like jello. And, I have learned how important and helpful it is to keep your shoulders back and use your core appropriately!

Once we finished on the bike, we stretched and then did a few yoga poses to stretch some more. I am considering taking a yoga class sometime. Sometime.

OCN: 14.78 miles
Duration: 47:12

All and all... it was definitely an adrenaline rush. This instructor is switching to a different schedule... so I will have to follow! I have posted below a clip of a very similar song that we spun to last... nothing but the speed! If you ever need a good song to cycle to.... go with DJ MYSTIC! Techno baby!

P.S. That is not me in the pic... it was found on Google Images...

Time to Say Goodbye by DJ Mystic

Cycle to this baby

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fit Beginner?

In the book I am reading about triathlon training basics, there are some examples of training schedules to follow. This morning I was looking at the "Fit Beginner Plan for a Sprint Distance Triathlon". The first swim of the first week calls for a 10x50 meter swim with 0:45 Rest Intervals (RI). Okay. So, with the plan of hitting up the pool today anyway, I thought I would give it a whirl (especially since this was the same as the first swim on the "Unfit Beginner Plan").

Well, let's just say I am probably not as fit as I would like to be. In the pool for sure. This will definitely take some getting used to, but I love it. Some of my rest intervals were more like 1 minute long, rather than 45 seconds.

Today I alternated between strokes... american crawl, breast stroke, and back stroke. I was doing the american crawl every other time, alternating the other two inbetween. I noticed that I really need to work on my breathing and technique for the american crawl. It is horrible. I am sure I kept the lifeguard on her toes...

OSN: 10x50m (1min RI)
Duration: approx. 22 minutes
Total Distance: 500m

Tomorrow I am planning on hitting the gym for spin at 6am. Only because I will be spending a few hours at the school getting my room set up and I would rather do it in the am. But, it is nice to know that the class is at 5:30 as well... but, I hope I will be able to crawl out of bed that early. It will be a great start to getting back into a routine for school! Teacher inservices start next week and go ALL week... and then school starts in 2 weeks! Ahh!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


It's a start...

...and I am okay with that.

I went out this morning for a short run. My goal was to go 30 minutes, whether I could run most of it or not, taking walk breaks when necessary. I am still quite unfamiliar with the area, and am trying to stay away from the really busy roads, which can be difficult from where I live. I pretty much made a large circle around the neighborhood. My knee was a little achy towards the end, but I think it will be okay. The weather couldn't have been more perfect.... overcasting, 55 degrees, a cool breeze, but a lot of humidity.

ORN: 2.45 miles
Duration: 30:45
Avg Pace: 12:33
Avg HR: 167
Max HR: 183

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I'm swimming....

Friday was a rest day. More of a slacker day. I didn't feel like getting up to do anything too early and I had to to meet some of my future co-workers for coffee pretty darn early. Excuses, excuses... I know.

This morning I was up and hit the pool. Well folks, it has been almost a year since the last time I was in the pool, and it definitely showed today. But, it was good, and I was exhausted afterwards. That good exhausted where I could have eaten and drank anything in sight! I forget how much I love being in the water! So nice.

OSN: 550m


My homie, Marcy, tagged me so here we go:

Jobs I've Held:
Asst. in the Marketing Dept. of a local music store
Administrative Assistant in the parking enforcement office on campus
Server at a bar
Bath & Body Works, sales associate & sales lead
long term LD substitute
special education teacher

Places I've Lived
Bismarck, ND
Grand Forks, ND
Fargo, ND
(exciting, huh?)

Movies I Can Watch Over & Over:
Christmas Vacation
Legends of the Fall
Moulin Rouge

My Guilty Pleasures:
Dark chocolate
Ice cream

Shows I Enjoy:
Any Law & Order Show
American Idol (probably a guilty pleasure)
Anything (almost) sports related

Places I've Been On Vacation:
In the past 6-7 years....
*Twin Cities
*Atlantic City
*North Carolina
*Fort Lauderdale
*Beaufort, SC

Favorite Foods
Homemade mashed potatoes
Thanksgiving rice
Peanut M&M's

Websites I Visit Daily:

Body Parts I Have Injured:
Never broke a bone or had stitches...

Awards I've Won
piano recitals
academic achievement awards

Nicknames I've Been Called:
(nothing too exciting... would like something new)

Tag Others:
Jess, Kelsalynn, CollegeGirl, Brooke, and anyone else who wants to join in!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Just Paradise

Had 20 minutes of Pilates for breakfast, training during the day, and topped it off with one fine spin session. Just paradise! It's been 3 months since my last spin session and it was noticeable. I loved it, and look forward to incorporating it into my regular routine again.... possibly 2x a week! We did our spin session for about 45 minutes with a 5 minute cool down, and then went to the floor for some ab work, pushups, and stretching with yoga "poses".

Let me say... if you have never tried spin... it is definitely worth it. It does so much for my legs, arms, and core. It's amazing. It works muscles (hard), that you usually don't work on a regular 3-4 mile run. Awesome, awesome ... did I mention, awesome??

OCN: 14.5 miles
Type: Spin
Duration: 1:00:00

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Thanks, y'all

First of all, I am super tired today and it's not because I have worked my ars off at the gym. I wish. Today was the first of two training days for work, training dealing with behaviors. I didn't fall asleep last night until close to midnight, mostly due to being anxious. I am like a little school girl at the beginning of the year, or atleast have been for the past 4 years. I am starting yet, another year, at a different school with knowing no-one. But all was good and my brain grew as well. Sounds like I am going to have a lot more behavior kids this year than I have ever... fun fun. Now, I need to work on getting back to a normal sleep, work, and workout schedule....

Today after my long day of training, I decided to get my gym membership. It's time. I went to the downtown location, because that is the one with the pool, and so-called spin classes. They don't call it spin... so I hope it isn't a joke. Tomorrow, if all works out, I am going to attempt getting back into "spin".... we'll see how that goes!

Thanks to all of those who have left comments on my previous post. I truely appreciate it, even if you didn't have any advice as far as training schedules! Thanks to Lisa for the website, and I have looked that one over previously... Thanks to Lisa for the reference to her training schedule, which I have peeked at numerous times, thanks to Lance for his wonderful advice, thanks to Danielle and Mendy for potiential race options, and thanks to Phoenix for reminding me that my first tri should probably consist of a pool, rather than open swim... thanks, thanks, and thanks! And... thanks to my cheer team! I can see Randy with Pom Poms now!!

With all of the resources I have been looking at, as well as the information gathered from you - fellow bloggers, I have chosen to work on building base. I want to become a better swimmer and work on my technique, along with becoming a better runner/cyclist.

In the process of building base, my training will consist of: run 2-3x, bike 2-3x, and swim 2x. I really look forward to incorporating brick workouts into my training as well. This will all depend on the gym schedule (ie. lap swim & spin, which will be changing the end of August), whether I want to do it in the AM/PM, and anything else that is going on in my life.. Along with those three things, I would also like to get back into pilates and attempting some yoga. Each sunday night, I hope to gather my info (events happening that week, and gym schedules), determine my schedule for that week, and post it for blogland to see.... and me to stick to. Ha! I am superly excited to get back into a workout routine!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Calling all Triathletes....

... or triathletes-to-be!

Here's the deal. We all know I have been struggling with running. But, not to the point that I can't run. I just have to take it easy, with more off days and more cross training.

But... I need all the help I can get. I am attempting to switch gears.


Folks, I am thinking Triathlon.


I know I will not be participating in any until 2008.... as I will not be ready for anything in the next 5 months.... there really isn't anything 'round here in the winter time ..... and the spring/summer is much more promising for necessary traveling.

(If you know of any good beginner-sprint-triathlons, now would be the time to share! please!)

... But, that is not why I have asked for you presence.

I have done some researching online and reading my Triathlon Training Basics by Gale Bernhardt, trying to figure out a great training schedule. ... .. Somewhere to start.. ... .. Anything. .... .. I don't necessarily need to "really" train just yet, I just want to be able to follow some sort of schedule... something to build a good base.

I need a schedule people. I am a schedule person!!

Anyone got any good ideas? Suggestions?? Thoughts??? ANYONE?

plans, plans, plans....

My plan was to wake up early this morning, attempt a couple miles, head to the school (location of my new job) to introduce myself to the secretary and take a walk around, fill my kitchen with groceries, return the lounging chair I bought from Target (because it was broke), buy new lounging chair for patio, and finish Harry Potter.

With the idea of getting up at a decent hour to squeeze that run in before it was too hot, it didn't happen. For three reasons. (A) I was up super late, on the phone with a good friend for 1.5 hours, (B) I was reading potter after getting off the phone at 12am, and (3) I was awoken at the butt-crack of dawn by construction workers. You see, I went to bed with the door in my bedroom (that opens to the patio) open, hoping to get fresh/cool air flowin' through the room. So, needless to say, between cuss words and moans of crabby tiredness, I attempted to sleep a little longer... calling off the run. hmmm.

So, I accomplished everything else except for finishing Potter. I have about 100 pages left and I am going to finish that today. Talking to my friend last night, we were discussing the idea of finding a weekend to meet up at his parents lake cabin with some other friends. I hope all works out, but my August is already consumed for the most part. And, he is trying to get me to come down and visit him in IA. When he had gotten this job, I said I would visit him... and gosh darnit, I meant it! But, being a teacher and all (enter sighs and pretend to feel sorry for me) I really don't have any long weekends available until Veteran's Day. Sigh. We'll see. I would really like to get down there, it would be a load of fun.

Tonight, I might find a nerve in me to get out and go for a short run. But, I will make sure I am back for some baseball. Bonds is playing tonight, and I wouldn't mind "possibly" wittnessing him breaking Hank Aaron's record! So with that, if you were there, and caught the ball, would you keep it, sell it, or give it to Bonds?? I ain't gonna lie, I am not the biggest fan of Bonds, but this is a big record to be broken!

Monday, August 6, 2007

A little bit of this, a little bit of that...

Saturday we had our anual family golf tournament. The weather last year was a near 100 degrees and humid, this year it was only about 80 degrees, but sunny. It was only nine holes, but the walking seemed like quite the workout, especially on some of the minor hills! We play "best ball" so it was not so tense and quite fun. The county fair was going on at the same time, so the tractor pull event was quite distracting on holes 1-4. All and all, our team came out with -2, as did many other teams. It just wasn't enough for us to get the big "W". But, it was fun! I am contemplating buying myself a set of clubs this fall (when they are on sale), and doing a little more practicing before next August. I only golfed once before this tournament.

Yesterday, I chose not to do any running or biking, but to relax with Mom and my sister before I left home. We hit up the movie "Hairspray" which was wonderful! And then, I spent the rest of the evening working on the binding of my quilt. Yes, people, that is correct. I have almost finished my first quilt. (That's what happens when I am home, with no summer job, and have that creative bug in me.)

Today has been another uneventful day. It has pretty much down poured all day (which is needed)... so there was no running or cycling... but tomorrow I am going to work on getting my gym membership, hoping to find a spin class to get into.... and eventually get back into the pool! It's been almost a year!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Baby Steps, baby steps

When reflecting on my running, I oftentimes take for granted how far I have come. When things start to become easier, it is only natural to want to push yourself harder, and further. When my running starts to flow, my mind starts to wonder with all sorts of things I want to accomplish... 10k's, half marathons, possibly a marathon (atleast one), a sprint triathlon, or even more. And then boom, something happens and puts me back. Two steps forward, one step back. This is the time in which I wish, and hope, that soon, I will be back on the road, feelin' good and doing a few miles every other day. As of right now, that is all I hope for.
OCN: 8.62 miles
Yesterday, in attempt to see how my knee would suit me on the bike, I went out with a bit of nervousness. Whenever I have been sore or down on running before, I have been able to get on the bike with minimal uncomfortness. When I did get on that bike, I will admit, the knee was a little sensitive at first, but after a couple miles, it warmed up. To be honest, after my ride, my knees felt a whole lot stronger.
ORN: 2.25 miles
Today, after spending most of the day doing other little things around the house, my laziness got the best of me, and I was just itching to get outside and do something. I just had to. For my sanity. So, at about 4pm, during the hottest part of the day, I put on my shorts and tank, tied up my shoes, grabbed my heart rate monitor and nano, and headed out. My goal? 20 minutes. 20 minutes of walking and jogging. In the end? 27 minutes, a little walking and more jogging. Overall, it went better than I thought and I was somewhat pleased. I came home, popped in some ibuprofen and iced my knee.
Baby steps, baby steps. That is all I can say.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

"Sweet Home, Chicago"

I don't know about you, but when I think of Chicago, I think of great music, great food, and great shopping! We, that being the 'rents, my baby sister and I drove all the way to Chicago... for...Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival. (in aid of THE CROSSROADS CENTRE ANTIGUA)And wonderful it was! We were there bright and early saturday morning to plant our rears on our blankets on the ground of the Toyota Park (location of Chicago's soccer team), and waited until noon for the day-long show to start. It was humid and warm in the morning with clouds, hot and very sunny in the afternoon, and cool and calm in the evening..Bill Murray was the host, and he was hillarious. I will not post pics of all the artists that performed, but I will list them: Allison Krauss & Union Station, Jeff Beck, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, John Mayer, Doyle Bramhall II, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Albert Lee, Los Lobos, John McLaughlin, Hubert Sumlin, The Derek Trucks Band, Jimmie Vaughan, Johnny Winter, Steve Winwood, and B.B. King.

Each person performed about 3-5 songs. I can't really complain about any of the artists, they were all wonderful. Jeff Beck did have a heavier type of music... a lot of guitar and not much else. Plus, his songs were really long and it seemed as if he was up there too long. But, I must admit, he is quite the artist. He is one mean, playin' machine... hands-down.

I was so excited to see Eric Clapton,

B.B. King, Allison Krauss & Union Station, John Mayer, and Sheryl Crow.

And.. I was excited to hear of more awesome artists and have fallen in love with the music of The Derek Trucks Band (featuring Susan Tandeschi).....
Derek Trucks has his own band AND performs with Eric Clapton as well... (see video of both performing at the concert in post below)

.... and Robert Randolph & the Family Band.... This was one of the greatest concerts I have ever been to. Mostly because of all the wonderful artists... TRUE MUSICIANS... I have always liked a lot of these artists, but to actually see them perform and there musical (guitar) abilities... it just blows my mind away... especially John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, B.B. King, and Robert Randolph.
(I have alos posted another video of John Mayer and Eric Clapton from a while ago.... you can see their awesome talent!)
There had to be over 20,000 people at this concert. The seats were full and the actual soccer field was ful of atleast 5,000 people! After a near 12 hour concert, whether on our feet dancin' to the music or sitting between sets, we got home late that night, but slept in Sunday morning. From there we spent a good portion of our daying consuming wonderful shopping, and great food! The Kerryman... a wonderful Irish Pub!

And .... Dinner.... Mmmm. What a perfect way to spend the last night in Chicago!

John Mayer and Eric Clapton - Crossroads (ABC News)

Awesome... awesome... AWESOME!

Crossroads II Guitar Festival - Eric Clapton/Derek Trucks

Just a little snippit of how awesome this concert was! Anyone that truly enjoys all kinds of music would like this concert!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

It was less than two weeks ago...

..... I went out for my 7-miler run. Less than 2 weeks ago my running was actually getting somewhere. Less than 2 weeks ago, I was able to run. In the past two weeks, I have moved into my new place, unpacked, unpacked, organized my things, traveled to Chicago for a long weekend, and I am back in ND. I have attempted to run twice in the past two weeks. I went out a week ago for a short jog, but the heat and my knee got the most of me.... barely logged 1.5 miles. Today, I was bound and determined to get out there and atleast try a couple miles. Well, the 2 miles came and went, and I am still struggling with my knee. How can I have an almost perfect 7 mile run, and then not be able to do more than a mile or two, 2 weeks later?

I can count (on one hand) how many times I have struggled with my running in the past year. Just as soon as I have gotten on a role, something has happened, whether it was as minimal as shin splints, sore ankles, or sore knees... this time it is something different. It feels really weird when I run. And when I walk up and down the stairs, it cracks. It doesn't really bother me when I walk. I can't even explain the feeling I have in my knee when I do attempt to run. Maybe something is pinching, maybe something has shifted, maybe it's just because I have bad knees from the start.

I am at my wits end.

I just don't know what to do anymore.

I can't handle the idea of not being able to run. I don't have to run a half marathon or marthon to be happy (as much as I would like to accomplish both), I just want to be able to go out and do a few miles 3-4 times a week. With that in mind, I have put off all training, including the Dick Beardsley and Nike Women's Half Marathons.

*sniff, sniff*

I am completely and utterly frustrated right now.