I've started this blog to document my journey running while balancing motherhood, and eventually if I'm lucky enough, my next pregnancy.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back from the dead...

I took a really long break from the old blog for a lot of reasons. The first of which was I just didn't have time. Between teaching, grading papers, running, and being a mom and wife, I just couldn't balance it all; something had to give. So I dropped the blog.

And I've been missing writing about running. A lot. Often on my long runs, something funny will happen or I'll think of something blog worthy and want to post. But life gets in the way, I guess.

Today I ran an 8K race. It was blazing hot and humid and by the end of the run, I was dripping with sweat. It looked like someone dumped a bucket of water on me. During the run, I struck up a conversation with two lovely women. And we talked and ran the whole way in together. It reminded me how open and embracing the running community is. And it reminded me of the great friends I've made blogging about running, namely Katye and Erin. I met the two of them at a race, too.

So I knew I had to come back. Besides, my husband can only take so much talk about running.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Something to Think About...

So I'm still working on my race recap. Actually it's pretty much finished, but it turns out I'm extremely long winded. I need to go back and edit down. No one needs to know exactly what I ate, how long I took to eat, when I had to pee, etc. :)

Instead of finishing tonight (I am exhausted!), I came across this TED Talk (I love TEDTalks and use them all the time with my lessons) by Christopher McDougall (you know, the guy who wrote the hugely popular Born to Run). Give it a look see. It's long, but it's really interesting. Not only is it interesting, it also reminds me why:
1. Women are AWESOME at long distance running, particularly mothers.
2. Humans are meant to be compassionate and collaborative.
3. Running is FUN!
4. The running community is so supportive and nurturing of one another (while being competitive at the same time)


Saturday, March 26, 2011

National Half Results

So I made it; the National Half Marathon is over (thank God!)

I finished 13.1 miles in 2:29:58, a PR by 13 minutes, shaving over 30 minutes off my time since my first half last May. My official race time was 2:34:54, but the race was actually 13.5 miles. (I wasn't just my GPS, either. Everyone's Garmin said the same. And I wasn't weaving at all. I kept a pretty straight path down the middle of the road the entire race. We got there so late that we were in the back of the back from the beginning and it had thinned out.)

I'll give a full recap in the next few days... this was a drama filled race because it wasn't the best organized race (again).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Random Race Related Rant

(I'm in an alliterative mood I guess because this really isn't a rant. I'm in a pretty good mood.)

1. I have the National Half in 3 more days. In 3 days, I will run my 3rd half marathon on my 33rd birthday, and I have raised $333 for Back on My Feet. I'm thinking three's a charm and I'm looking to KILL my previous half time. My (realistic) goal is finish in 2:30 (if it's a really good day, I'm hoping 2:25) which will mean that since my first half marathon last May, I will have shaved off at least 37 minutes. I'll be pretty excited if that happens. Right now I'm visualizing and reviewing my game plan-- run 2 miles at an 11:00 min. pace and walk through the water stops. I just think it looks silly when people try to run while drinking water (and I could use the breather).

2. It's going to be cold race day morning. The high is going to be 44, so at race time, it's going to be about 38-40 degrees. Last year it was beautiful... this time, not so much (but I hear the cherry blossoms are blooming! That will be pretty!).

3. Because of the weather, I have NO idea what I'm going to wear. I was going to wear a cheetah running skirt, a pink top, and pink compression socks. I wanted to look adorably cute... it will be my birthday after all. I have a sub zero running skirt with tights, but I think that will be too warm. Maybe capris with my running skirt on top?? I just don't know. Ideas?

4. This will be my first real race with CC (or Cupcake, my beloved Garmin). I can't wait to show her our nations capital.

5. I'm surprised I'm relatively relaxed today. Usually I'm falling apart before a race. But I feel more confident. I've been through this before. I'm resting my legs (with the exception of a really slow little run tomorrow) and trying to get in (and stay in) a good place mentally.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Runner Kara Goucher balances motherhood, training for Olympics - Brian Cazeneuve - SI.com

Seriously, this woman is amazing. She just had a baby in September and now finished the NYC Half Marathon in 1:09:03 (age graded time: 1:08:53). This shows the power of having a baby... if you can make it through 9 months of pregnancy and then labor, you can do anything!

Runner Kara Goucher balances motherhood, training for Olympics - Brian Cazeneuve - SI.com

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Paper Joy

Sorry I've been an absent blogger. I should start this post by saying I love my job. Being an English teacher, I get to watch kids fall in love with books and ideas. And there is nothing better than that.

But this joy comes with a price: grading essays. The stack of papers to grade is never ending (until June, that is), and with almost every paper, I wonder if kids wear earplugs while I teach. It seems they never hear what I say, which is why I also put everything I say in a handout. And then I am forced to wonder if my students are unable to read handouts. I know they can read text messages and Facebook messages, but there must be something about the ink on a photocopy that prevents them from seeing the words on the page. Bless their little hearts (although I usually curse them while I'm grading their papers...)

So I've been buried under stacks of essays for about the past month, and sometimes the papers are so bad, I want to cry while I grade. But other times, the essays are so bad, all I can do is laugh. Laugh so hard I almost pee my pants. (Okay, there are a few good essays in the stack, but not nearly enough, EVER!) In fact, my colleagues and I have started a running list, a Wall of Fame/Shame, really, of all the things that make us laugh while we grade. I thought I'd share some of my favorite comments from student essays (I pulled some of these from the internet because I couldn't remember as many as I'd hoped).

1. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper.

2. Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen." As a queen she was a success. When Elizabeth exposed herself before her troops, they all shouted, "hurrah." Then her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.

3. My neighbor is death and dumb. (instead of deaf and dumb, or preferably, mute)

4. I said, "Whatever, my butt, start fighting again, and you see, it's going to be on like popcorn." (What does this even mean?)

5. Islamic people speak aerobic. (That's an example of spell check ruining a common sense point.)

6. And my all time favorite from one of our Honors students: I hate testes. I choke on testes. (I imagine this kid meant tests. I hope...)

Ahh... happy grading. Back to Hell I go.

Tomorrow I am guest blogging over at RunCourtneyRun. Come check it out!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tempo Issues and A Personal Fix

Yesterday, I went to the gym to do my tempo run. It would have been impossible to do this outdoors given we had a surprise snow storm of 5 inches this week (which really isn't that much, but it is a good amount when you aren't expecting it after several 70 degree days) so the sidewalks are, again, covered.

My plan was to run 3 miles at tempo, but 5 miles total. However, after just 1.5 miles, my legs felt like they weren't going to carry me. In fact, my form felt way off. It felt like I was tripping all over myself. I stopped running at 1.5 miles and began to walk, feeling completely disappointed in myself. And then I remembered something I read about visualization on MomOf3's blog. She said you have to practice visualizing yourself being successful in achieving your goals in order to cross the marathon finish line. I'm not running a marathon, just a half, but I figured I'd put her advice to good use.

So I imagined myself cranking up the speed on the treadmill and running without feeling any lead legs, without any aching body parts, without any doubt. While I was visualizing this, I imagined a determined look on my face. And I promised myself that as soon as I hit 2.0 miles, it was time to stop visualizing, start running, and finish the tempo run strong.

And so at 2.o miles, I did exactly what I pictured. I cranked up the speed, picked up my pace, and breathed my way through the last three miles of my tempo run. And wonder of wonders, I felt great! The lead legs were gone, and so was all the doubt. In fact, I probably could have kept going (I kind of wish I would have, but my husband was finished with his workout and I didn't want him to have to wait around for me. In hindsight, he would have been fine; he likes to stretch for a while).

So while my tempo run may not have been 100% successful, I feel a lot of happiness in the fact that I pulled myself out of my rut, got my mind right, and finished as strong as I visualized. I'm going to make visualization a part of my regular training schedule because it's important, as Momof3 said, for me to be as mentally strong as I am physically strong.

Tonight I'm off to TRX Suspension training. I'm a tad nervous... I'll report back how it goes.

And on another note, I got to meet Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward Jones this week. He came to my classroom (so it was just us and him) and answered my students questions about literature and writing. I hope to write more about this later this week because it was a very cool experience to share with my students.