Saturday, October 31, 2009

Race Fever

Today I signed up for another race. I will be doing the local Thanksgiving day race. It has the bonus of not starting until 9 am. Very important in my book. And since I won't be the one cooking the bird that day, I am free to spend my morning running around town.

Then I agreed to join a walking relay next summer. Two days of walking with a bunch of other people what also may be a little nuts. What the heck, it sounds like fun. And I will be able to brag when I start back to work the following Monday.

And now I have to stay up until midnight to sign up for an especially popular all women's run in May. I am also bumping up the ante and doing a quarter marathon (aka 10K+).

What in the world has come over me?

Monday, October 26, 2009

From Caught Up to Overwhelmed

Just over a week ago I was caught up on grading, planning and all things work. I was coming home every night with no bag of stuff that I should work on. Although, to be honest, the bag rarely gets touched once I get home.

And then two weeks with added responsibilities and I am suddenly, and completely, overwhelmed. My pile of work that needs attention is growing by the day. The bag I shlep home every night is growing heavier and becoming a work out by itself. I am flying by the seat of my pants. And the end of the quarter is a mere three weeks away.

And to add to the problem, my motivation right now is non-existent. I don't want to do much of anything. So getting caught up again any time soon, probably not going to happen.

But hey, my students still like me. And I survived conferences. It'll all be okay again sometime fairly soon.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


My entire life I have had a fear of change and the unknown. I would hang back and watch and wait until I felt that I knew what was going to happen, that it would be okay. I have let opportunities pass me by. I have let go of dreams. I have always taken the safe route. Any risk-taker gene that may have been in me was never developed.

Couple that with an inherent need to please. I would choose what to do based on if it would make certain people in my life happy. If it would grant me some level of approval. I would avoid challenges because the risks of failure and rejection were too great. Even if those challenges were what I wanted most. My choices were never made based on what I really wanted.

Long ago I dreamed of going east for college. I seemed to be on a wide variety of college mailing lists. They fed my dream. But the naysayers in my life made sure that I knew that I couldn't afford to go. The risks seemed too great and the money made an easy out. But I have always regretted not giving it a try. I never applied to a single school. I did eventually go to a state school, but I'll never know if I would have made it in or if they would have made it possible for me to go.

Over the years, I have let go of little pieces of me. Stuck to the safe and easy route. Too afraid to try the new things because I might fail. I teach my students that failure is okay, it is how we learn. It is an opportunity to try again. But I am just as afraid to fail as they are.

And now I am at the crux again. And I have a multitude of people who have an opinion about what I should do. People that I feel an obligation to please. And I have to decide, do I please them or me. Do I risk their disapproval? Do I listen to myself for a change? Do I take the risk and choose the unknown?

I know that it is time to rebuild me. And I have started. But the decisions are hard and the consequences are real. But, the only thing I know for sure is that how things are now is not good for me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I Rocked My Race

I ran my 5k race today. The weather report called for 80-90% chance of rain today. But the weather gods chose to smile on me with 60 degrees and sun. Perfect.

My goal was to run half and walk half. Goals are good, it is even better when you blast past them. I settled into a nice steady pace and decided to see how long I could last. And I kept going, and going. And I felt great. Could I maybe run the whole thing??? This is before I even hit the one mile mark. But I kept going and still felt great.

I passed the one mile mark and then the two mile mark and I was still running. I passed a few people, I checked my watch. I was poised to make a new personal best. I walked twice for about 30 seconds each time, but otherwise I ran the whole thing. The whole thing!!!

I ended up finishing in 32 minutes and 36 seconds, or a 10.5 minute mile. When I started out walking I was at 15.5 minute miles. What a difference two months makes. I was smack in the middle of the finishers, 41st out of 82. I was in the top half! Not bad for my first time. I better watch it, I might get hooked.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Just to that Tree

I am not a runner. At least not since I was sweetP's age. My favorite line was that "I only run when chased." But every night I tie on my shoes and head out the door. Sometimes I just walk, sometimes I do running and walking intervals. I have watched my time per mile decrease. I have watched as guys in trucks do a double take as they drive by. Or adjust their rearview mirror as they go by. And I am enjoying the new loose quality that my clothes have taken on.

And I must admit that I like it.

Every morning I weigh myself. And the numbers are creeping up again. But I don't care. Because it is not the numbers on the scale that make me decide how I feel. I might stop getting on the scale. Because my clothes are a better gauge of how I am doing. And once upon a time it was drilled into me that muscle weighs more than fat. And I am getting more muscle. And it looks like less fat.

Now if only you could point out to your body where exactly you would like the fat burned from first. Because the place that it bugs me the most, is the place that holds onto it best. But I am persevering. And those stubborn spots will not win. I am more stubborn than they are.

So maybe that nine year old runner is still in me. At least some of the time. At least until I get to that tree, then I'll walk again.

Monday, October 5, 2009

More Walls

You know those times in your life where it seems like everything is overwhelming and you feel like you are drowning? Where it is an effort to put one foot in front of the other. Where the mundane is too much.

This is one of those times. It has been a craptacular summer and it has carried over into fall and there is no end in sight. The mask I perfected in childhood is coming in handy again. Back when anything less than a happy face was unacceptable. I put it on when headed to work and make it last while I do my daily performance. Then I hide in my classroom and grade papers and plan while it slowly crumbles. Meanwhile life continues on autopilot.

I am completely incapable of dragging myself out of the quagmire that I am in. So not only have I hit the physical wall, but an emotional one as well. It might as well be the Great Wall of China for how I can't see around it or over it. And it seems to surround me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


So today I hit the wall. The walks/runs stopped being fun. Normally this would be the time where I quit. But, this time I am going to keep going and see how long it takes to get past it. It doesn't hurt that the skinny jeans fit yesterday. And I have plans on getting a new pair of skinnier jeans.

I don't think that it is helping that it got cold. I hate to be cold. I don't think that it helps that I am exhausted. However, I did manage to score eight hours of sleep last night for the first time in about six weeks. But I think the Ambien was still running through my system this morning. I know I have not been eating well or drinking enough. And I think all of it caught up with me this morning.

And I have a race in two weeks, dang it. I told you I didn't know what I was thinking. But I kept going this morning long after I wanted to turn around. Around mile four I was feeling better, not great, but better. But I was headed home with fun plans for the afternoon, so I didn't add to the route.

As for the original reason for the exercise, reduced migraines. I am still waiting. And hoping.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Things Change

No matter what happens in life, one thing is constant. Change. Some changes you plan and some you don't. Even when you are perfectly content with things, they change. Other times, change can't happen soon enough. Some changes you embrace, others you accept and some you fight.

Right now I know that change is happening. I don't know how it will work itself out, but it is here. I have been on a bit of a voyage of self discovery lately. Where I will end up is still a mystery, but I know that it won't be where I am at the moment. And that is a good thing. At the same time, that unknown can be scary. In the meantime, I'll let you know when I get there.