Archive | February, 2013

live and learn

23 Feb

Today I was supposed to run 16 miles.  I debated when to run/where to run.  Eric had a 5k this morning in Spencerport and I decided to just run home from there, tacking on some extra miles by running up to the lake first.
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I focused for the better part of the run on the negatives (probably not a good plan).  So let’s get those out of the way first.

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1.  I got up at 7:30 and ate a bowl of cereal.  Then I went to Eric’s race, walked around there some, and didn’t start running until after 11.  Last night, I had a leftover pork chop and a little mashed potatoes for dinner.  That adds up to me leaving for my run hungry.  I waited to take my first shot block until mile 4.  That was a bad decision–I should’ve taken a couple before I even started.  By mile 5, I was having dizzy spells and my legs felt like lead.

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2.  I went out way too fast.  I knew it.  I kept telling myself to slow down, but I still ran just over 9 minute miles for the first 5 miles.  I would’ve been ok doing that for a bit longer had I properly fueled my body, but I hadn’t.  And I paid for it over the last 3-4 miles of my run today.

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3.  I had a cell phone with me, which made me consider calling Eric for a ride home.

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4.  I did not dress appropriately.  I don’t know what would’ve been appropriate.  I stopped to ditch my jacket around mile 5 because I was sweating so much.  But then I made a turn and around mile 7, I started to get really cold again and had to put the jacket back on.  On these in-between days, clothing choices are really tough for me.  I think because I was so uncomfortable in other ways, the discomfort of my clothing choices irritated me more than it normally would’ve.

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5.  I am a baby.  I get frustrated with myself and then I shut it down.  Today, I’m glad I indulged my baby side–I’m feeling nauseous and exhausted, so running farther would’ve probably made me sicker, and that’s no good for anyone.  But as I was struggling through the last miles today, I allowed myself plenty of negative self talk.  I thought about how much farther I’d run before, why I couldn’t do that today, how I had made poor decisions in my pre and early run stages and how I needed to suck it up and sleep in the bed I’d made for myself.  I need to stop doing this.  I just read a quote that you should say one nice thing about your body every day.  And I love the one about not saying to yourself anything you wouldn’t want to say to a friend.  I have a negative self talk problem and I need to quit it.

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So now let’s look at the positives.

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1.  I finished my run.  I did not get in the miles I was supposed to.  In fact, I should’ve run for another hour at least.  However, I did not cave.  I texted Eric at mile 6 to tell him I was on my way home, calling it quits early.  He offered to come pick me up–at that point I was still 3-4 miles from home.  I told him that I was going to try to go home on my own, walking if needed.  I thought about texting him back several times–in fact, I ran with my phone in my hand the rest of the way home.  But I never did.  I never gave myself that satisfaction (which would’ve later turned to disappointment had I done it) of calling him up for a ride.  I have never been so happy to see my street.  I was only going to get in 9 miles.  I didn’t even care.  I finished and sat on the front step for a long time before I went in.

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2.  I learned some good lessons about pacing (don’t go out too fast–slow the ef down, shme!) and nutrition (you have to fuel properly if you’re going to run well and feel good).  These are lessons I know, but I guess this is a good reminder and/or I saw in action what happens if you don’t follow the “rules.”

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3.  I hit the wall for the first time ever (I think).  I just couldn’t do it.  I had stopped for a quick walk break, started again with the intention of going a half mile.  I started and didn’t think I could go a half mile.  So I told myself to go a quarter mile.  And I couldn’t.  I couldn’t make it.  My legs were dead, my arms were dead (sometimes when my legs get tired, I just swing my arms really hard to give myself the necessary propulsion)…I felt awful.  So I stopped, walked when I needed to.  My pace dropped by almost 2 minutes per mile.  But I kept going.

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4.  I kept going.  I came home, sat on the step, wallowed in it for a bit, came in and said “I don’t know how the hell I’m going to run this marathon in a couple of months.”  “You’re going to put one foot in front of the other,” Eric said, dismissively.  I’ve got this in control.  I’ve still got lots of time left.  I have a new plan, I’m going to give my all.  When Buffalo is over, I don’t know that I’ll ever train for another marathon.  It’s so much work and it’s exhausting and I don’t really enjoy it.  So finish this up and then focus on getting faster in shorter races!

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So next weekend, we are running a race Saturday morning.  So 5 miles fast Saturday, then Sunday I will be up to do a 16 (I hope) miler.  Game on.

revision

23 Feb

I guess my life is a series of plans and revisions.  I am a planner for sure.  I like to know what I’m doing, when, how, etc.  Not having plans makes me nervous.

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One of the things I love most about long distance races is the plan.  For a 5k, you don’t need much of a plan.  Some sprint/farlek workouts and some long-ish runs of 5-8 miles and you’re good to go.  For halves and fulls, the plan becomes really important.  I suppose this is all relative.  For people who have run multiple marathons, maybe a plan is unnecessary–some faster runs in the week and working your way up to some 20 milers before your race.  But for a newbie like me, I need a plan.

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The problem can be that when I fall off the plan, I freak out.  I wonder if I should just throw in the towel.  That’s kind of how I’ve been feeling recently.  I’ve been getting in long runs, but the week-day stuff has been spotty at best.  The speedwork that I should be doing is just not getting done.  Which is no big deal if all I want is to finish the race (which really is ultimately what I want).  But if I want to set a PR and/or run a fast race, then I need to put in the speedwork.  I can make excuses for what it’s not getting done–the weather is the big one that comes to mind as running fast on snow/ice is tough.  But at the end of the day, 26.2 miles doesn’t care WHY you didn’t do the work, it just cares that you didn’t.

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So tonight I revised my original plan.  This is seriously like the 5th plan I’ve been using.  I would normally be nervous about this, but I was just looking at my training log leading up to the Corning Marathon.  I ran 6 really long runs leading up to it–3 16-milers, 1 18-miler and 2 20-milers (but one of those was mostly walking bc we ran out of water and had to stop).  I did a couple of moderately long runs (10-14 miles) but really hardly any.  Looking back at my log, I’m not sure how I didn’t get hurt ramping from 12 to 16 miles with little in between.  If I follow this plan, I will run at least 9 really long runs–3 16-milers, 3 18-milers and 3 20-milers.  So if I do those AND the speedwork (which should get easier as the weather gets better), then there should be no problem doing what I want in Buffalo in May.

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I’m so sick of training already.  But I think of how great it will feel to finish another marathon, to put a 26.2 sticker on my bumper, to know that I have followed through on something, that I have forced my mind to stop telling me I can’t do something.  And then I am excited for this.  If training and running a marathon were easy, everyone would do it.  Nothing worth having comes easily.  So I’m going to work hard for the next 3 months.  Then take the summer to just relax, run for fun, and enjoy knowing how far I’ve come.

great news!

21 Feb

Growing up, I wanted to do a lot of things.  There were many years of dreaming of being a marine biologist, followed by wanting to be an author, then an oncologist (my bio teacher was very disappointed when I decided not to go the med-school route), and a brief stint of wanting to be a lawyer.  There was not really any time where I thought about being a teacher, right up til my senior year of high school.  All of my career dreams from childhood and young adulthood went out the window when I decided that I wanted to be a teacher.

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I’m not sure why I never considered teaching prior to that.  Growing up in a big family, I guess I’ve been teaching my whole life.  I was one of the ring-leaders.  All eyes were on me (and the other older kids) and I took that very seriously.  I’ve always been a teacher, I guess.  And I’ve always loved it.

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The past three and a half years of teaching have been hell.  It’s not really been bad because of the kids so much as the adults.  That’s not to say that the kids are not always fabulous.  But I think the kids would’ve been “just kids” in my head if I’d had administrative support and/or had the time to decompress/relax once in a while (there’s a reason that I’ve been falling asleep before 9 many times this year).  I’ve seriously considered what it is that I want to do.  Eric has asked me numerous times the past few years what I would do, what I want to do. I have spent countless nights thinking about it, reflecting, crying…

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And I’ve always realized that there is really nothing I want to do that doesn’t involve working with kids.  Teaching is what I’ve always done.  And maybe it’s tooting my own horn, but I think I’m pretty good at it.  I know I got much better and I know I will continue getting better as I continue teaching.  Teaching is my gig (until we become independently wealthy ha).  I just needed to find my niche.

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Which is why I’m so excited about this new teaching job.  I’ve been communicating with the city schools for a LOOOOONG time now.   And finally I’m back in!  Teaching ESOL, which is what I REALLY want to do most!  I am so excited.  I’m also nervous (teaching Spanish 1 is EASY after six and a half years of it).  I’m nervous to start over.  I’m nervous to be splitting time between schools.  I’m nervous about working with so many new people.  I’m nervous about next year.  But mostly I’m excited.

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I’m excited to be a real teacher again.  I’m excited to hopefully work somewhere where I am allowed to do my job.  I’m excited to be able to have time to do fun extras for students who are deserving.  I’m excited to (hopefully) work with kids who are appreciative of the extras (where I am now, it’s expected and the kids are entitled because of it).  I’m excited to work “normal” school hours and be able to go to even CALL the doctor during the day without having to get someone to cover a class for me.  I’m excited to work with kindergarteners!  I’m excited to see what this teaching-in-jail program is all about.  I’m excited to (hopefully) feel like I am in a good place to have a baby.  Or two or three.

Maybe I’m putting too many unrealistic expectations on this.  But I really think this is going to be an enormously positive change for me.  Friday, when they called to offer me the job, I felt so light.  By Tuesday, when I officially accepted the offer, my shoulders felt so good.  I’d been dreaming, horrible, weird dreams, for 2 weeks.  I haven’t had a dream since Friday.  Just blissful, calm sleep.  I am so ready to be happy again, and I hope this is the start of it…good things ahead!

adventure

1 Feb

A week ago, I talked to one of my aunts.  She is one of my favorite aunts–just an all around cool, loving person.  She is one of the crunchiest people I know.  I say that with utmost respect–she’s a massage therapist, believes in alternative medicine, does some healing stuff, believes in the universe teaching us things, etc.  I love her to death.  Sometimes her viewpoints seem a little weird, but mostly I just love the alternative way of looking at things.  I love her advice.  And I love her outlook on life.  It is so positive and uplifting.  She has a real “devil-may-care” attitude–she does what she wants and lives how she wants, and she never seems to care what others think or what she “should” be doing.

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So I talked to her last week about this trip she’s planning.  She saw a movie about “el camino”–the walk.  It’s a story about a guy who was planning to walk from one place to another in Spain, but he died, so his dad took the walk instead.  It’s like a 500 mile walk or something.  So basically, my aunt wants to do this walk as a spiritual journey.  She’s unhappy with her job, feels like she needs to go somewhere else.  She’s packing her stuff, putting it into storage, booked plane tickets and is going to Spain.  She’ll be there for 2 months.  She’s been learning Spanish and trying to figure out where to go/stay/etc.  When she’s done, she doesn’t know what she’ll do.  Move somewhere else.  Start over.

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I would be terrified.   When she tells me about these plans, I feel my anxiety rising with all of the unknowns.  But this is a totally Aunt Anita thing to do.

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And I am so jealous.

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So I’ve made a decision.  I need to start living with a little bit more abandon.  I’m not saying I need to be reckless.  Part of my charm is my type-A, always-planned-out, always-thought-out, head-over-heart nature.  At least I like to think so.  My neurosis are a joke to people who know me well.  But I’m saying that maybe things don’t always need to have a well-thought-out plan.  Maybe sometimes I should be ok with some deviation to the way I picture things in my head.

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“Don’t plan it all out.  Let life surprise you once in a while.”  I saved that quote a long time ago.  I don’t know why–it goes against every instinct I have to play what if, exhaust all the possibilities and make a plan for each one.  Maybe I saved it because my soul knew that my heart and head were going to need to hear it, need to respect it.  (that’s a crunchy thing to say, huh?)

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Eric recently wrote a post about adventures.  We do a lot of “adventurous” type things.  But they are always planned out.  If I’m a planner, Eric is even more so.  But I’m sick of always planning.  I’m sick of worrying about things before they even happen.  I want to start living in the present–and worrying about the future when it comes.  Don’t worry–I’m not going to abandon all control freak tendencies.  I’m just going to start being a little more liberal with what I do and how I live.  Plans are nice, but sometimes not planning can be even more fun.  Or so I’m told.  I’ll let you know if I believe that later.