WARNING... LONG POST!
A week ago, I asked you - my beloved followers and readers (aka stalkers) - to take the chance and ask me anything you would like to know. Thanks to many of you who sent me a question, or questions, I have many answers for you. I hope you all find reading this post as fun as I had writing it!!
A little bit of this... A little bit of that:
Julie from Julie's Running Blog asked the following three questions....
1. If you could run anywhere...any place, any race, where would you choose to run? I have limited myself to most local races here in ND and MN and there are so many that I would love to do. But one that seems to stand out for me and keep calling my name is the Virginia Beach Half Marathon. Someday, right?
2. Who inspired you most growing up? This is a tough one. My parents, especially, inspired me, pushed me, and stood right behind me in everything I did growing up. Another person that inspired me career-wise was my 1st grade teacher. She had both of my younger sisters and I still run into her every once and a while. Her passion for teaching and learning still inspires me!
3. Who's poster did you have on your wall? Who was your celebrity crush? I hate to admit it, but I never had a poster of a celebrity on my wall. When I look back, there weren't so many movie or tv stars that I had crushes on...how about Kirk Cameron and Joey Lawrence!?! If I would have had any posters on my wall it wouldn't have been those two though. It probably would have been Michael Jordan!
Jess over at Run Girl Run asked - If you could live anywhere else in the U.S. but North Dakota where would it be? North Carolina, hands down. I have always been drawn to that area (and traveled there) and really love it!
Big Daddy Diesel from Tri Diesel asked.... If you were unable to do endurance events, what other athletic adventure do you think you would be addicted to? This is a hard question for me. Living in North Dakota and having to resort to running, biking, and swimming indoor atleast 5 months out of the year leaves you with limited options for other athletic adventures. However, I really love softball and sand volleyball. Softball has been pretty hard on my knee so I would opt for sand volleyball in the summer and then indoor volleyball during the winter. I have also thought of participating on an indoor winter soccer league!
onelittletrigirl at Finishing Is Winning asked the following questions:
1. If you could take a free 7 day vacation to anywhere, where would it be and why? I would love to go backpacking through Europe. This is something that I really want to do! I think it would be a great experience and great way to get aquainted with Europe, as well as a great way to meet new people! Anyone wanna go?
2. As a teacher, do you feel your kids teach you how to be a better person? This was a great questions and even though I haven't really thought about this before, I do feel that they inspire me to be a better person. They test my patiences and teach me to not sweat the little things. They inspire me to be an advocate for them and their needs at school and in my every day life. Seeing their difficulties and life struggles reminds me of how I want to raise my children and the things I want to be able to offer to my children. It's an on-going learning experience, that's for sure!
3. Do you take home with you lessons that help you as a triathlete? I would like to think so! When the going get's tough, the tough get's going! My students struggle on a daily basis but they keep going!
MCMama asked... Are you from ND? If not, how did you end up so far north? This made me chuckle! Yes, I am from North Dakota, born and raised and have never moved out of the state! Both parents are from small towns ND and I lived in Bismarck for my first 18 years, Grand Forks for about 8 years, and Fargo since then! I love being able to experience all 4 seasons, even if winter gets to be a bit long. I am not too far north...still at least 3 hours from Canada!
Joel from Tri Madness asked... How would you like a new follower? Bring it on Joel! The more the merrier! :)
Badgergirl from Adventures of Badgergirl asked... What's the best music to workout to? And is there one song that you consider your "kicks me in the butt" song - as in, it comes on and you automaticall start working harder? If you are to learn anything about me and my music preference, I have quite a variety of music on my iPod. It's crazy. But, some of my favorite music to workout to is hip hop, dance remix songs, and some punk.... usually anything with a good beat! Right now, the crazy song that kicks me in the butt is Monsters by Hurricane Bells from the New Moon soundtrack! Check it out HERE.
Triathlon Related Questions:
Amanda from Run To The Finish asked... I feel like I'm wearing a diaper if I try on bike shorts... How do you get over this? Oh I don't know if you ever really get over this. I do know that some padded bike shorts have more padding then others. I really only wear my padded bike shorts on long training rides and NOT during traithlon events. They feel weird when you put them on and walk around in them, but your rear thanks you after an hour plus ride on a road bike!
Marlene over at Mission to a(nother) Marathon asked... What do you love most about triathlons? Least? I have only done a few, but the one thing I love most about triathlons is the combination of doing all three disciplines in one race. It's just a great experience! The thing I like the least would have to be getting used to the open water swim. I had two races in lake (and dam) water and the second one went much better in comparison to the first. It will take some getting used to!
Julie over at Julie's Running Blog also asked.... Who was the person who inspired you to attempt tris? My parents are big Half Marathoners, my sister is a runner, but no one in my family has done triathlons before. So when I think back to who inspired me to start doing tris, the first person that comes to mind is a southern gent who goes by the name of Wes from A Code Geek's Tail! There were a handful of other triathlon blogs that I started reading a couple years ago, but he was the first and probably the most inspiring! Thanks dude!
Melissa over at Melissa's Adventures in Living Life asked....What is your favorite outfit for running and for biking (if it isn't the same)? I have many different favorites, for all seasons of course, but since spring is coming and summer soon to follow (right?) I will share my favorite summer outfits: Running - my Nike shorts and a razorback tanktop. Biking - my padded bike shorts (giggle) and my white and black sleeveless cycling jersey with pockets on the back!
Kelly from She Wears a Red Sox Cap asked .... What do you eat before your triathlons for breakfast? What do you eat during? Great questions Kelly! Before my traithlons (about 2 hours before) I will eat a piece of toast with peanut butter and a banana. Then, a half hour before I start I will down a Gu (Tri Berry preferably). Since I have only done sprint triathlons and the distance is short, the only time I consume calories is on the bike. With about 10 minutes left in the ride I will take another Gu with water and then some Powerade. This really helps me get through the run!
Mom on the Run asked... How do you find time to train when you are a full time teacher? Girl, I ask the same question of those that work full time, or even part time, and are full time parents! I am single and don't have any kids, so my schedule can be pretty flexible. I try to do most of my runs/bikes/swims in the morning, with a two-fer once a week, at least one rest day, and then have more time in the evenings for stretching and strengthening and some yoga or pilates. It's hard to juggle with my teaching schedule, late meetings, and my weekly grad class, but if I prepare a lot on Sunday for the week (nutrition and workouts) I can get most of my workouts in with little to no trouble! Plus, my workouts are great stress relievers which I am sure my co-workers and students are thankful for!
Annette from Running Again asked... Indoor triathlon??? How do you bike indoors? Well, first off, indoor triathlons are not similar to outdoor triathlons except for the fact that you swim, bike, and then run with short transitions between. However, indoor triathlons are done at a gym and based on how far you go in a certain amount of time: 10 minutes in the pool, 10 minute transition, 30 minutes on a spin bike, 5 minute transition, and then 20 minutes on a treadmill. I highly recommend something like this for those who are thinking of getting into triathlons! This was what I did for my first traithlon last year, and plan to do another one in May to jump start my triathlon season!
Career/Work Related Questions:
Anne Marie over at Goals for the Week asked... If you weren't in Special Education, what career would you pursue? Oh I have so many ideas for this, how does one choose one? I still would like to do some creative work of some sort, like wedding announcements, programs, and such. I have also thought about working towards a degree in personal training. How about a professional mother? Someday, maybe!? So many ideas....so many ideas..
Lisa over at Chasin' Bunnies asked... I want to know if you always knew that you wanted to be a special education teacher or how you decided that... I didn't always know I wanted to be a special education teacher specifically, I just sort of fell into that position and LOVED it. A part of me always wanted to be a teacher, ask any one and they will tell you that they are not surprised that I choose the education career path. My middle sister claims that my bosiness and controlling personality growing up was a dead giveaway for her. When I graduated with my teaching degree I didn't land a job right away. My first year out of college I worked as a paraprofessional in a special education resource room and loved the kids (not the job). Then, the next school year I took a long-term job in a Learning Disabilities position (K-5) for the school year as a teacher quit 2 weeks before school started. I loved everything about that job; the kids, working in small groups, the teachers, and even the paperwork. Then, that position was filled for the next school year by someone highly qualified (as I didn't have my SPED degree), but my director helped me weasel my way through the application process/interview for the resident teaching program and I earned my masters in special education, while teaching, in one year. Boom, here I am, almost 3 years into my position. This is where I am meant to be! My youngest sister has struggle with special needs growing up and I would have to say that she is part of my inspiration as well!
Caroline at Boston Runner asked the following questions...
1. What kind of special education teacher are you? I am a special education strategist, a title I acquired due to having creditials in the following areas: Learning Disabilities, Mental Retardation, and Emotional Disturbances. I am working on obtaining my teaching credential (12 credits) in Autistic Spectrum Disorders. I work in an elementary setting, primarily with 5th graders this year.
2. How did you know you wanted to be a teacher? Specifically a special education teacher? I think I answered this one pretty good above! :)
3. Do you think you'll want to do anything else later in life? Yes, most definitely. I am afraid if I stay with special education for the next 30 years, I may get burnt about before too long and there is no benifit in that for me or for the students!
Eileen from The Running Knitter asked a couple questions...
What tips do you have for someone who is just getting into the teaching field - specifically the special education field? A tip I can give one going into the education field is to take a wide variety of classes, not just the required classes... and more field work if at all possible. When I was getting my bachelor's degree in elementary education, there was only 1 class requried that talked about students with disabilities and I think that regular education teachers need to have more experience with this, especially since more kids are being mainstreamed back into the classroom. Tips for those going into the special education field? Get your masters in as many areas as possible - if your university offers a program to work towards multiple credentials at one time, do it! You will be more marketable. I know that our director will hire anyone with their strategist over a person who just worked to get their degree in Learning Disabilities!
Also, what population do you work with, and do you ever thing about transitioning out of special education? Most of the students I work with are fifth graders. Most of my students struggle with learning disabilities. I have one student that has Aspergers. I have a few students that struggle with depression and anxiety (anxiety is really increasing). A few of my students struggle with attention difficulties. And one of my students and extremely low cognitively and struggles with partial complex seizure disorder - a week doesn't go by without having to work through a grand mal seizure.
Thank you to all those who participated in this fun Q&A! It was super fun!
Have a great weekend, y'all!