Friday, February 29, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane...eventually

I woke again this morning before my alarm. I was just too physically exhausted to get up for my run and contemplated switching my Friday REST day for today. I woke with no surprise a bit of soreness in my upper body, especially arms, mostly likely from the combination of my swim and rock climbing yesterday. I decided to pack my bag with the thought that if I felt that I had the umph in me, I could do my run after school. I thought I did, but the success (or lack there of) with my run said otherwise. I started out quite strong thinking 4 miles was feasable. Not too long there after it felt as if each step was pulling on my arch causing some slight pain. With a lot of walking in the last half mile, it slowed down my run quite a bit. 2 miles was all I had in me.

----

I got online today to look at flights for my trip that I am taking with my sister in April. We were initially looking at a thursday to monday trip, but when I looked at a friday to tuesday trip I was able to find a nonstop flight that was cheaper. That means no 3 hour layovers! I called my Sis, and before I knew it I was paying for our tickets! (She will pay me back.) It's been almost 2 years since I have last traveled via airplane! Where to, you ask??? Warmer temps for sure. This may give you a hint...
ORN: 2 miles
25:12
12:36 min/mile
Avg. HR: 148
Max HR: 177

February is coming to a close. That only means March is just around the corner, as well as warmer temps and longer days.

Check out my Meme below...

I have been Tagged!


I feel so special when I am tagged... thanks Allez!


The rules:

Link to the person who tagged you.

Post the rules on your blog.

Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.

Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged.

Seven severely random facts about muah:
  1. I enjoy getting up at 4/430 in the morning to workout. It's very refreshing and a great way to start the day!
  2. I love collecting data, crunching the numbers and plotting on graphs... thus, I have no problem with progress monitoring my students in the special education setting.
  3. I don't mind running in all the conditions we get here in ND ... all but the wind and down pouring rain.
  4. I have only puked from drinking ONCE. That being my 21st birthday. Don't get me wrong, I have had plenty of times where I thought I was going to puke.
  5. I have never broken a bone or sprained anything.
  6. I have never lived outside of ND... boring I know. But, I try to make up for it in traveling.
  7. If I had to choose one channel on the tv to watch all the time... it would be ESPN. Just imagine all that great info... Mike and Mike in the Morning... P.T.I. ....Sports Center....
I am going to Tag:
Lisa
Jess
Badgergirl
Nancy
Wes
Akshaye
Steve

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Climb, Like a Monkey

After school today the teachers and staff gathered in the gym to check out our new rock climbing wall. This was a gift from the PTA and it isn't your ordinary rock climbing wall. It only goes about 7 feet up the wall, but stretches about 50 feet from one end to the other. It has three different colored markers that you can grab or place your feet on when going from one end to the other; green, yellow, and red. It is magnetic with words and parts of words all over it. It also has random white marker boards placed on it. There are numerous educational activities that can be incorporated into this beast, besides just climbing.

There were a couple activities put together for us to try. First, we were challanged to make it across using any color. Then we we challenged to use just one color; green being the easiest and red being the hardest. I made it across twice, using whatever color. Later on I attempted numerous times to go across on the red, but I only made it half way across. Then, we did a relay activity where we took turns running from a cone to the wall, climbing a few feet and grabbing a word, letter, or sound (ou, ook, ow, etc.) and bringing it back to our team. After a given time, we had to create a sentence with those words and the team with the best sentence won. Guess who won? Yep, my team! What was our sentence? The boy at school likes all the girls. Pretty clever, huh?

It was a lot of fun. Between my swim this morning, and climbing like a monkey this afternoon, my arms have been left feeling a little jiggly. In a good way, that is.

My internal clock woke me up at 4am. I guess I might be getting used to morning workouts. So, I made myself get up and left for the pool at 430. This was the first time I have ever attempted a swim prior to work. I was unsure how much I would be able to get done and how long it would take me to get ready and head all the way back to the other side of town. Thus, I only had 800M on my schedule but I did 1200M. After I was done getting ready for work and realized how early it still was, I knew I could have easily done a mile swim. Next time, maybe.

OSN: 1200M

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I HEART early morning workouts

I did my workout yesterday afternoon rather in the morning, only because I wanted that extra hour of sleep in the morning...to start my week off on the right foot.

Once on the bike, it only took me 2 minutes to remember why I liked going to spin rather than just getting on a bike and going. 1) I don't like those upright bikes as I feel like they are not as adjustable as the spin cycle bikes, 2) The bikes were lined up in front of huge windows facing out onto one of the busiest roads with nothing but traffic to watch and they were too close to the wall to actually watch any one of the tv'. I contemplated doing some sort of data collection using tally marks, determining what types of cars drive by, or how many of a certain color/model drive by, how many men vs. woman were driving, or even more interesting, how many people are on their cell phone.

Ok. So I said I was bored.

This morning I set out to run 3 miles. I took Wes' advice and kept my run/walk method to 3 to 1. I felt that if I was going to be doing that much walking, I wanted to make up for lost time in increasing my speed while running. I don't think that it really kept my heart rate down but it did feel good to keep the pattern consistent.

The week's been successful thus far. However I am quite tired tonight and wondering what the chances are that I will pull myself out of bed in the morning for my swim. I haven't attempted to swim prior to heading to work, so a part of me feels a little anxious; mostly due to the unkown of how long it will take me to get in and out of the pool and then ready for work. We'll see how it pans out.

A student called me "Mom" today. That was a first. He was trying to get my attention (it wasn't a complaining or whining tone). He laughed with an embarassed smile on his face and said he was sorry. I just had to chuckle.

YESTERDAY
OCN: 7.87 miles

30 minutes

TODAY
ORN: 3 miles

34:13 minutes
11:24 min/miles

Sunday, February 24, 2008

10 minutes - Second Time

For some reason, I had a 1600M swim on my schedule for today. After my long run yesterday, I knew it would be good to get into the pool today, but until today, I have not gone that far in the pool. I think it completely wiped me out.

The first thing on my plan for today was to do a 10 minute time trial. I wanted to see if any progress has been made since last time. But, when I got started it seemed as if it took forever for me to get a good rhythm down. The results?

OSN: 1600M
42:00
10 minute time trial = 400M (350M on January 28)

Some progress. I will take that.

A few minutes after my 10 minute test, I began to get into my grove, both in technique and breathing. It felt good. But, I was exhausted after my swim. There was no time to relax. I headed north to GF with a good friend. We met up with a few others for lunch and went to the Sioux hockey game. The game was slow, but they one and that is all that matters!

Have a great week, y'all!

Peace

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Longest distance since July 2007

My Training Plan called for 6.5 miles today. I would consider this my longest run since last July when I was out for a 7 mile run and "injured" my right knee, mostly likely from increasing the miles too fast and too soon. I was a little leary and nervous/anxious for this run.

Overall, I tried to keep it at a Run 5-7 minutes/Walk 1 minute. That became more difficult as the distance added up, especially within the last couple of miles. I really had a hard time keeping my heart rate down. If I would have ran any slower, some may have thought I was trying to walk it all. Rediculous! I don't know if this struggle had anything to do with consuming a couple (okay a few) good beverages last night. Hmm.

Oh my god... can I say boring? I have never been that bored before on the treadmill. Blech. I was sick of seeing the same stories over and over on CNN and Fox News. I would have pulled a muscle in my neck or fallen off the treadmill if I would have continued to "try" to watch the basetball game on a tv to the right of my machine. Geez. If I would have waited until this afternoon, I probably could have done it outside, but I like to get it done right away in the morning. So that just wasn't an option today.

ORN: 6.55 miles
1:22:00
12:31 min/miles
Avg HR: 150
Max HR: 180

Friday, February 22, 2008

3 Tall Beers and Yoga

Nothing like a random post on a Friday night.

The weather today was 17 degrees when I left the school at 3:45. Felt like Spring. I swear, if it would have been 10 degrees warmer, people would have lost their jackets! Not kiddin.

My sister and I are planning a long weekend away the second weekend of April.... does anyone have an ideas as to a good place to head? Possibly away from the cold weather?

Last night I did some yoga after my post... hoping to help with the right leg issue and stretch out those muscles. I think it really helped. Although, I am pretty much sure the issue is stemming from my hip flexors or something. Any suggested stretches are welcome.

Wes, the heartburn was still present today after eating lunch mostly. But not as painful as yesterday. Could it be from eating grapes?

Stephen... I knew you would find CPR hot. No comment.

Today I was up before 5am, without the alarm clock, but even though it was 50 degrees warmer than a couple days ago, I slept in rather than heading to the gym. I then proceeded to pack my bag and hope to get there for some cycling after work... all the intentions were there... it just wasn't in the cards today.

Then...

I met up with a few good friends at our local spot here in good old F. ND. We even had our regular bartender who calls us by our names :) With that note... I only made it ONE, count them, ONE Friday night without alcohol. After my first post about giving it all up, I thought maybe I would change it to just the night before a long run.

Well, now I gave that up too.

Akshaye, I have a 6.5 mile run tomorrow morning and successfully drank 3 tall beers, with clamato juice, all prior to 7pm.

Happy hour only went until 6pm people.

CPR/AED training has changed within the past couple of years, so if you are not certified any longer or never have been, now is the time to get it... supposedly it is easier than ever before. I agree.

Taryn, I am completely jealous of you... and others who were 100 degrees warmer than me. I will settle for 30 degree temps. That I can run in. I hope for that in 2 weeks when I have an 8 mile run. That, my friends, will feel like spring.

4:30 in the morning doesn't really seem that early any more. Either does heading to be before 9pm.

And yes, Nancy, you do sound like a Mom. But, it's still greatly appreciated.

Until tomorrow, signing off as...

One Chilly Polar Bear

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Exhausted

A few quick notes...

---I am now certified in CPR/AED and First Aid. Like I tell my students, I am certified... I just don't like to practice.

---The 2nd 5AM workout of the week was successful and I was able to get in 2.5 miles, a bit of lifting with the legs and a good ab work.

---My day was long and boring, which isn't always bad, but I had the worse case of heart burn this afternoon. I wanted to cry.

---I am a bit sore in my right leg and I hope it subsides before my long run Saturday. Otherwise I will have to set it back to Sunday and switch things around a bit. I think my IT band might be a little tight causing some discomfort through my lower leg. Currently my ankle area has a real achy feeling. Maybe its just the cold weather. Grr.

---Two 15 hour days in a row doesn't do a body good. Especially when I was up at 430 am. I am completely wiped and heading to bed here soon. At least if I continue to do my early morning workouts next week, I will have empy evenings which will be super duper nice.

Peace out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Polar Bear Weather

Current Temp: -19, feels like -35 .... or in layman's terms for most of you who don't get to experience this kind of weather on a regular basis (or 2-3 months out of the year) and most of you are probably currently 100 degrees warmer ---
  • so cold the moisture in the corner of your eyes begin to freeze your eyes shut,
  • you breathe in through your nose as you step outside and instantly you can feel the snot freeze within your nose hairs,
  • your teeth hurt, thus causing you to breathe through your nose which is already a problem (see note above)
  • Gloves don't cut it, and some mittens aren't going to help your finger tips from beginning to sting or become numb within a matter of 30 seconds,
  • you face and ears become so numb that after a half hour of being indoors, you finally start to get feeling in your skin ... and possibly some stinging sensation.
So cold... that it made gasing up my vehicle tens times more miserable ... especially when it seemed as if the gas cap was frozen on, the buttons on the pump were broken, and then I proceeded to get gas all over my North Face Gloves. Yes, I was wearing wearing gloves rather than my heavy duty mittens... but I don't think that would have made a difference.

And yes, Mr. at the pump next to me with a smirk on your face, I was jammin' out to Unskinny Bop (by Poison) ... and loud... in my car.

I will admit. I am still on my 80's kick.

Give me a couple more weeks. By then I am sure I will be back to my rap phase...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Freezin' my Tail off

First of all ... I officially signed up for the Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon in Maple Grove, MN! I can't wait. I spent some time looking over the results from the Chanhassen race last year, looking at the high and low numbers for the women in each discipline and trying to think about possible goals for myself. I will be attempting a "mock trial" on my own the first weekend in March to get an idea of what it will be like and what my goals should truly consist of. I feel as if I am more than ready for this Tri, but I am going to continue doing what I am doing with maybe a little more cycling as this seems to be the first thing neglected when I have been too busy.

Now, I just need to register for my Half Marathon in May ...

Just throwing this out there.... I will be thinking about doing either the 6.7 mile run or Half Marathon at Crater Lake August 9th. My parents are planning on doing the Half Marathon and my sister was thinking of joining, thus we are contemplating making this a family trip. Like I said... I am just throwing this out there. Isn't the picture worth doing the run? Makes me kind of feel warm and fuzzy inside!

My morning workout #1 this week was successful. I was able to get in a 3 mile run this morning. I didn't go for 40 minutes, but I had a little soreness from my "faster" 2 miles last night. Instead of lifting, I took the time to stretch real well and do a bit of an ab workout. Somewhere down the road I am going to have to incorporate lifting into my schedule on a regular basis. Right now it is just shoved here and there, whenever I know I have enough time before or after a given workout.

It's freekin' freezin' here. Point blank. I was hoping it was going to be warm enough come this weekend to do my 6.5 miles outdoors... probably won't happen.

Question of the day: What is everyone's favorite Half Marathon Training Plan/Method?
I am currently using the Jeff Galloway Plan and all is dandy, but I was comparing it to Hal Higdon's and they are very different.

ORN: 3 miles
34:00
11:20 min/mile

Monday, February 18, 2008

Skinny Dipping?!

My weekend with the family in the Twin Cities was nice. Playing some Guitar Hero, watching Sioux Hockey at Joe Sensors, a little relaxing, a lot of shopping, a lot of laughs, and some great food. I can't complain. I think I am still full from dinner at Buca's last night. I was even able to sneak in a run yesterday at my sis' gym with her and my mom. I had already done my long run of 2.5 miles on Thursday (according to the Jeff Galloway Plan Week 4), so my goal was to just do a couple miles and some lifting. My knees were a bit sore from wearing heels the previous two days, one of them spent walking through a mall for a few hours.

As for the week to come, I am thankful that it is only a 4 day week, with a jean's day to come on Friday. Wednesday and Thursday consist of the CPR/First Aid Training I mentioned in previous posts. That will make for long days, but if everything goes the way I want, I will be completing the majority, if not all, workouts in the AM. Well see how this weeks goes. If I am lucky, I will start a new "thing" and continue to do most of my workouts in the AM. Why not?

Okay. I postponed my workout today until this evening because I wanted to run 2 miles and then get into the pool when it opened for laps at 7:45. I ran, did a bit of lifting and then headed to the locker room to get ready for the pool. I noticed when I reached into my bag that not only did I not have my flip-flops, there was no suit to be seen.... and no skinny dipping is allowed.

I had no desire to go back to the treadmill as it was hard enough to find one available prior to my run. So I just left. It was okay though because I had to pick up some necessities at the grocery store for the week; you know, milk, yogurt, apples, bananas, oatmeal, grapes, etc. Did I mention I have moved over to the dark side? I am now eating oatmeal in the morning for breakfast... I used to gag at the thought of it, but have forced myself to get used to the consistency/texture. It's not too bad!

Today's workout:
ORN: 2 miles
22:25
11:12 min./mile
Lift: Legs

Have a great week, y'all!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fartleking Around

"Ms. S, is your husband taking you out for dinner tonight... for Valentine's?" - sweet 4th grade student.

"No, I am not married." - me.

"Well, is your boyfriend then?" - student.

"No. No boyfriend either." - me.

"You CAN'T be alone on Valentines!" - student.


Oh, yes I can. And I will. The only date I had tonight was a date with the gym. And, believe it or not, the gym was pretty quiet. The only people that were probably there were those who are married or single. Not exactly the way I would have liked to spend v-day, but that's how it goes!

I am kicking myself a bit for not heading to the gym last night. This snow storm that we were supposed to get? Well, we probably only got about 2-3 inches of snow, and the wind was minimal. It was done snowing before I even went to bed.

The 'rents and baby sis and I are heading to the cities tomorrow to visit my sis and bro-in-law. All this traveling is kind of hard on the training. That will be two days off for sure, unless I get to the gym with sis or run outside if the weather is nice. What are my chances I will get in a good workout? geez...

Back to my run though. My goal was to just run. I was kind of thinking of doing some sort of fartlek, and that is basically what I did. Nothing too exciting, but it is nice to change it up a bit!

ORN: 2.71 miles
30:00
11:04 min/mile

I really have to get into a habit of working out in the morning. My days are so long these days, that the last thing I want to do, or have time to do in the evening is run, swim or bike... Next week I have three afternoons/evenings full of work stuff and I am going to have to attempt early morning workouts.. ... yeah.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Night at Home

I was supposed to be participating in a 3 hour CPR training today from 430-730, and then I was hoping that I would get to the pool afterwards. At about 10am this morning, they had canceled the CPR training due to the weather forcasts for this afternoon.

I new it was going to snow today, but didn't realize that it was going to be that bad. Well, it has been snowing steady since noon. I new that if the forecast was true and it was going to snow this steady until 7pm it was going to pile up and I didn't want to be driving home from the gym (across town) at 9pm.

A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM CST THURSDAY.

SNOW HAS SPREAD INTO THE SOUTHERN RED RIVER VALLEY AND IS MOVING INTO WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND WILL BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES THIS EVENING. THE SNOW WILL END LATE TONIGHT WITH TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 8 INCHES LIKELY. THE HEAVIEST ACCUMULATIONS APPEAR LIKELY NEAR A FARGO TO FERGUS FALLS LINE.

NORTH WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 15 TO 25 MPH TONIGHT CAUSING AREAS OF REDUCED VISIBILITIES IN BLOWING SNOW AND DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS OF 25 BELOW TO 35 BELOW ZERO.

A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW...BLOWING SNOW...AND DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS ARE OCCURRING OR WILL OCCUR WITHIN THE NEXT 12 HOURS. THESE ELEMENTS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.


As much as I am disappointed about not getting to the gym today, I am kind of excited. This will be my first evening without something to do with work or the gym since last Wednesday. What ever will I do with my evening? Possibly catch up on some Runners World Magazine, watch some basketball, catch up on some blog reading, and .... chill!

Rock out, people!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bloody mess

First and foremost, I want to thank Nancy for including me in the 9 on the 9th race results, even though I didn't get the full 9 in! Much appreciated. I can only hope we have something similar in March!?!? Possibly an 8 on the 8th??
__________________________________________________________________________

Prior to running my long run Saturday, I had noticed as I was getting ready that I was wearing socks that I usually don't wear. They are too low on the ankle. Now, this is one thing I have become quite anal with when it comes to running, especially during my longer runs. But, I was too lazy to change them and headed for the gym. I noticed some sort of discomfort on my right heel about 3 miles into my run, but just forced my way through it the last 2.

After 5 miles, there was broken skin and a blister around it.

Did I remember this when I got on the treadmill tonight? Yes. I even had a band-aid on it. 3 miles later, I was hurting, big time. I went to the mat and pulled off my shoe, and to no surprise there was definitely blood. Ouch. Blood on my sock, blood on my shoe! This post goes out to Vanilla... who just posted about his wife's bloody mess!









After my run, I hit the pool. For the first time since I started swimming again in August, I had a workout set in mind. I accomplished and succeed. It was a great feeling. For the first time, I was able to swim 450M straight without breaks!

Now it's time to sleep. We have parent teacher conferences tomorrow that go until 8pm. Yuck.

ORN: 3.32 miles
38:00
11:26 min./mile

OSN: 1450M
42:00
2x50M warm-up (WU)
8x75M free
2x100M free
2x50M free sprints
450M cool-down (CD)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Transitioning into Week 4

I wasn't to thrilled with my training this past week, but I was pleased to get in my 5 miles yesterday with no pain and minimal soreness in the thighs. Only two runs, 1 spin session, and 1 swim. That left me with 4 days of rest. Not necessary. But, life sometimes gets in the way and conferences on Thursday did a doozy on me.

This coming week is going to be another challenge. But who isn't up for a challenge? I was trying to figure out what my week was going to look like and I believe my long run drops and consists of a whopping 2.5 miles. I can handle that. No biggie. But, we have conferences again Tuesday that goes until 8pm (which means no spin class), Wednesday I have CPR training until 7:30 (which means I won't swim), and then I head to the cities on Friday. I am hoping that I will either be able to go to the gym with my sis, or it will be nice enough to do a short jaunt through her neighborhood Saturday or Sunday. I guess I will just play it day by day and do the best I can!

I did swim this morning. The "schedule" called for 1600M, I did half. I really focused on my endurance and using my arms with better form. I refrained from using my legs as much as I could. I ended my swim with a couple good sprints. All in all, my arms were very tired when I was done.

OSN: 800M
approx. 25 minutes
Quote for the Week: "Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." -- Aristotle
I will leave you with this pic. My friend took it Friday night at the concert. Some guy thought that he need to point out is KISS knowledge with my shirt! It was amazing how many compliments I got on that shirt! hehehe.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Workin' For the Weekend!

We had a blast last night! We did dinner at a nice downtown restaurant, headed to the HoDo for their superb martinis, and then to the Venue to wait anxiously for "Hairball" to perform! And to top it off, I was completely sober! No drinks for this chica! I did end up grabbing a sprite with grenadine at the bar because I was so thirsty from singing and screaming ... Here some pics from the night.
A painting at the HoDo.... It was how I felt....waiting for the band to start.

They dressed the part ... for every song.
"KISS"
One of the lead singers... who is newer... as ... "Loverboy"."Queen""Twisted Sister""Guns N Roses"

Here are a couple short video clips from the band... the sound isn't too great.. but you can use your imagination.
video


video



I was completely exhausted when I got home after 2am. I think I am getting too old for this stuff. I slept until I could no longer sleep this morning and eventually got myself to the gym around 1pm. My lungs felt as if I had smoked a pack of cigs ... I hope ND goes with a No Smoking ban in the bars..... and soon.

My run was very successful today. I had set my mind to run at a pace of 12 minutes/mile with a one minute walk break every 6 minutes. The first three miles I had done so, coming in at about 37 minutes. Since, I was feeling pretty good I started to pick up the pace for the next couple of miles and finishing off with a full out sprint (8 min./mile). I don't know how some of you run consistently at that pace! I finished my 5 miles and hit the mat for some ab work. I wasn't completely exhausted after my run, but my face was so red and I was sweatin' bullets. I am sure the guy next to me thought I was going to pass out.

ORN: 5 miles
58:25
11:41 min/mile

Friday, February 8, 2008

Rock Out!

Who wants to bet whether or not I will be able to stick with NO ALCOHOL tonight ... as I celebrate a friends birthday and hear one of the best 70's/80's coverbands alive?!?!Guns N' Roses ... KISS ... Queen ... Def Leppard .... Aerosmith ... ZZTop ... Cinderella ... Poison ... Cinderella ... Motley Crue ... Foreigner ... Scorpions ... Ozzy Osbourne ... Twisted Sister ... Van Halen ... etc.


Bring on the ROCK!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Absolutely Insane



I don't know what had come over me yesterday, but I think the guilt of not attending church services for Ash Wednesday had caused me to think irrationally. I mean, really. No alcohol? For 6 weeks?

When did I realize this was probably an irrational decision? A part of me realized this right after clicking "publish post". The rest of me realized it this evening after a 13 hour day at school with an evening of conferences. All I want right now is a cold beverage.

Dumb.

I might have to just work on being a better person, because there is no way I am going to be able to go 6 weeks without a single sip of beer. Let's just be realistic here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

40 Days and 40 Nights

What better way is there to start off the 1st of 40 days of Lent than to attend Ash Wednesday service? There is none, right? Right. But I am extremely disappointed in myself for not going to church today. I thought I would list my reasonings, but please don't judge me :).
  1. I wasn't able to attend the morning service due to an early morning meeting at work.
  2. I had all intentions of going at 5:30pm, but was starving.
  3. The 7:30pm mass is still an option, but (a) I don't want to go by myself, (b) I am very tired and comfy on my couch, and (c) My Tarheels play Duke at 8pm.
Pathetic excuses, I know.

Growing up, I was always under the impression that we always had to "give something up" during Lent. When I got older and teased my Mom about not giving something up, she would reply with "it's not always about giving something up ... it's about being a better person." She always says she is "trying to be more patient"... which is funny because I view her as the most patient person in my family. I can almost bet my Dad is giving up chocolate, but somehow there are always "buts" and "ifs" in there..... "if it is candy coated, it is okay".

In the past I have usually given up chocolate or soda. But since I really don't drink soda anymore and I find that chocolate is a necessity in keeping my sanity with my work conditions, I feel like that is just not an option. It's just safer, not only for me, but my co-workers and students if I don't give it up. The same goes for coffee. Not happening.

I then began to think about what my Mom always says and was brainstorming ideas of how I could be a better person ... greet everyone (not just the ones I really like and not for the only purpose of driving crabby people bonkers) with a warm smile and a postive attitude, possibly throwing in there a "good morning, afternoon and if I don't see you again, good evening" type of comment; have more patience with my co-workers and students (which I am usually quite a patient person at work); etc. I really couldn't think of anything that would be justifiable for Lent.

So I was back to thinking about what I could give up. What is it that I really could and should do away with for 40 days and 40 nights? Then, boom! Like a bolt of lightning, it just hit me square in the face. Alcohol. Yep, folks, you read it correctly! ALC-O-HOL! None. Nada. Nilch. For 40 days and 40 nights. I had been telling my friends that I am going to cut it out soon, to aid in my half marathon training and they just laughed. But, Lent couldn't have come at a better time, or I couldn't have chosen a better time to train for a half marry. It's going to be hard, but I am okay with that. If I survive, maybe I will wear a shirt that looks something like this ....

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tired Teacher

Remember how I chose to take a "personal snow day" yesterday?

Well, I made up for it today.

(1) Fartlek this morning on the thrillmill at approximately 5am... followed by a heavy duty lift session on the legs as well as a bit of work on the good 'ol abs.

(2) 45 minutes of pure spinning bliss .... accompanied by 80's rock music. Did I tell you it is 80's week here... in my world?

I met up with friends for dinner afterwards... ate a big burger and now I am ready for bed. This Teach is pretty tired.

Peace.

ORN: 3 miles
35:30 minutes
11:50 min/mile

OCN: 16.62 miles

Monday, February 4, 2008

Old Fashioned Way of Communicating

I usually don't like to write about work for multiple reasons. (1) My job consists of way too much confidentiality, and (2) You never know who's going to run into my blog. This IS a small world after all. But, today was a day, a crazy day alright. To make a long story short, we have been deeling with some major schedule changes in our special education department. I have been on board since day one, keeping my negative thoughts to a minimal and constantly reminding others of the positives. The main focus of the schedule change was so that each special education teacher is placed with a specific grade, thus being able to collaborate once every 5 days with that grade level, work only with students in that grade level, and be available to work with a group of students during enrichment time. Sounds great. I am super pumped!

Well, today the new schedule was put in place, and I am afraid of how it is ever going to last. It started as a one-month trial period, to prepare for next year, but we can't imagine having to make another schedule change a month from now. Not for us, and not for the students. It's just too much. Despite the premature negativity from many, including myself on a rare occasion, I came to school today ready to face my new challenges with a positive attiude; coffee in hand and smile on my face.

The new schedule change wasn't my biggest challenge of the day. It is unbelieveable how time consuming it is to schedule meetings, converse with other teachers, contact parents, etc. Last week I played cat and mouse via telephone and email with about 3 different people last week trying to line up ONE, count them, ONE, meeting in the near future. Dates were picked, and one person was unavailable, another date was picked and then the time of day wasn't going to work, etc. It was rediculous. I get tired of trying to set things up via email, and have resorted back to the old fashioned way of communicating ... face to face. I spent and hour and a half today with a handful of different people on about 5 different topics and was finally able to cross a few things off my list of things to do. Plus, this gives me a sense of connection with the teachers and I get a chance to discuss how things are really going for some of my students in the classroom and during their specials.

Overall, the kids were good today. They were okay with the schedule changes for the most part. I could tell that things weren't going as smoothly, but that happens. And I think I am going to blame it on the weather. Remember all that cold weather we got in the past couple of weeks? Well, it has finally begun to warm up a bit (above 0), but now with the warmer temps it has pretty much snowed on and off all day here. It is very pretty, covering the dirty snow that had been sitting there for weeks. But, with the warmer temps, the snow was melting earlier today and has begun to freeze. With that in mind, I am taking a "Personal Snow Day" and staying home from the gym. No swim tonight. And I am not even going to feel guilty. I worked my ars of last week and deserve a monday night off.

I am going to leave you with a funny clip from one of my favorite sitcoms. It made me laugh.



Live life ... and laugh a little!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Lesson, Still Not Learned

Yesterday morning consisted of a nice swim, working mostly on endurance, and then a good spin session to follow. It felt good to do both, but I was wiped afterwards. I went to see the movie "The Kite Runner" in the afternoon and thought it was very good. I read the book a couple years ago and was excited to see the movie. I highly recommend it.

I woke up this morning with some serious stomach issues. It hurt so bad, it felt as if my intestines were being twisted like a wet towel. All I could think about was my 4 miler scheduled for today. Do you think I will ever learn my lesson? I know that I can't have a heavy workout like I did yesterday, eat crap all day, consume a handful of alcoholic beverages, sit in a smoky bar, and feel great in the morning. It just doesn't work that way.

Instead of getting up and heading to church, I drank some water, slept in, and then headed to the gym. Oddly enough, my 4-miler didn't go too bad. Actually, I thought it was quite successful. My knees didn't bother me a bit. Afterwards I spent a good amount of time on the weight machines, working on arms, legs, and my core. To finish up, I grabbed my 8 pound medicine ball and worked on my abs.

I don't know what everyone else is doing for the Superbowl, but I think I may be just laying low tonight. My couch is sounding mighty good. Plus, I have plans to finish Water for Elephants today as well.

I can successfully say that the first two weeks of my half marathon training have gone quite smooth. And I expect the same for the weeks to come!

Yesterday's Workout:
OSN: 1250M
OCN: 17.51 miles

Today's Workout:
ORN: 4.2 miles
47:30 = 4 miles at 11:52 min/mile