Saturday, February 27, 2010

where did the day go?

Ok so I know this happens to everyone, but today was one of those days when it's now almost over and I'm just wondering where did today go? I was up this morning early enough (7:45 isn't bad for a weekend). I had breakfast and read the paper to wake myself up before going off to class. We had a make up class today for the one we missed due to snow this week. I think this is why I feel like my day went through a time warp or something... it took a good chunk of the day and I don't feel like I have much to show for it, although I did give my final presentation, so that's another thing off the checklist!
After class I headed home to change up, then went to the gym to run inside since it was snowing all morning, although that didn't really add up too much. Going to the gym my heart really wasn't in it, I think I was tired from sitting in a desk all morning, so I was determined to turn that around and get something done. Since my week was messed up due to after school stuff and late nights, I never did my progression run this week, so I modified that to today's workout, here's how it went...
Mile 1: 7:30
Mile 2: 7:30
Mile 3: 7:19
Mile 4: 7:08
Mile 5: 6:58
Mile 6: 6:49
Mile 7: 6:40
Mile 8: 6:31
Mile 9: 6:22

Then I ran another mile to cool down. This wasn't anything too crazy, but it did feel good to be going pretty quick at the end and feel strong. It definitely got my head in a better place and at least gave me some sense of accomplishment for the day. By the time I got home from running it was already 3:00... had to shower and eat, then got random things done around the house and went out grocery shopping. Came home, had dinner, and here I am... still not feeling like I did a ton today, but maybe I'll be productive with the 2 more hours or so I have before thinking about bed? I don't really feel like doing school work, so perhaps some other random chores like laundry. While reading this I am thinking that this doesn't sound like the life of a 20 something year old, but I guess this is the life of a full time teacher and student, already in my pajamas at 8:00 on a Saturday night, oh well, I guess a girl's gotta rest some time!

Friday, February 26, 2010


So last Saturday evening I went to church with my dad and grandmother. Now I can't say that I always pay attention to everything that is said, in fact I tend to let my mind wander and just think about things in my life, kind of like a reflection time, which probably isn't exactly what I should be doing, but anyways, I was really paying attention to the priest's homily. Basically the point of it was that in life there may seem to be many shortcuts; however, sometimes taking the longer road, or the road less traveled is more rewarding the end. Although his message is that you will be rewarded in heaven. I've been thinking about this message all week, because I don't think that making the right choice and doing the right thing just has to be all about waiting to get rewarded in heaven, while the rewards may take some time, not choosing the short cut pays off while still here on earth.
I was thinking about this with different aspects of my life... take school for example. I was, and still am, the dorky one... the one who does everything and goes about and beyond the assignment. Why? Not so I can kiss up and be a "teacher's pet", I really think that, especially now with grad work, everything that I am doing is making myself become a better person and a better teacher. By really getting into all of the work I am assigned right now with my Reading degree, I feel like I am making myself more educated so I can better educate my students. Now some may take "shortcuts"... not do all the reading, research, etc. but who are they hurting? Rhetorical question... only themselves!
I also was thinking about this and running. Ok so some people think I am crazy... in fact many do. As I leave school at the end of the day I have told colleagues that I am off to the gym or off to run. "Why do you do this?" they ask, which usually leads into a long conversation of me explaining why I want to be a better runner, but really how it also makes me a better person in all aspects of my life... it keeps me healthy and mentally sane too. Taking a short cut for me would be to go home and loaf on the couch, correct some papers, then wake up and do it again... I don't think so. (Nor do I get how this is actually what some of my colleagues do?!!?)
Another short cut I choose not to partake in is fast food! While this may seem like a "short cut" in making a dinner, the only thing I see this as shortening is your life span! Seeing documentaries and reading articles about what goes into some of that processed food really makes me cringe... While in college (undergrad) I was able to really make my own food choices for the first time in my life. While I wasn't going to organic farmstands or whole foods, just being able to choose fresh fruits and vegetables from the cafeteria opened my eyes to healthier eating. I then started to shop at my favorite store- Trader Joe's, which I now go to weekly to stock up on whole grained foods, fresh fruits and veggies, veggie burgers, soy nuggets, etc. Yes this may be a little out of the way and yes it takes longer for me to cook a veggie burger and make a side dish than my family who will opt to go to Wendy's... but I am willing to spend the extra time for the pay off in the end. I feel healthier and AM healthier!
There are many other shortcuts that I could take, but I chose not to... of course every now and then I'm sure I do take an easy way out of something, I mean we are only human; however, I do try to consciously make good decisions. One thing I really try not to take a shortcut on are my workouts... here's the update since the last post:

Thursday... jam packed day... I got home at 7 pm so I did an hour on my bike (which is on a trainer) in the cellar... basically this was my easy day for the week.

Friday... cross training day: Elliptical 1 hr. 22 minutes (basically did 80 minutes, then the last 2 were a "cool down") after that I hit up the mats to do some ab work on the ball, then lots of stretching.

Even though it's now the weekend and teachers love the weekend... unfortunately this weekend I have to be a student to make up for a cancelled class on Wednesday evening. So tomorrow I'll be in class from 9:30- 2ish and giving my final presentation... "Literacy Learners with Autism"! Hope it goes well! :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

snow day x2

Kind of a double meaning to the title there... not only is this my second entry on the snow day, but I also have a snow day times two today. I had my school cancelled for the day and my evening class is officially cancelled as well. What usually is like a work day from 8 am til 9 pm has been completely washed out! Now the only bad thing is I have to make them both up later, oh well, I took advantage of the extra time for a good workout at the gym! Here's what I did:
1 hour on the elliptical (7.7 miles)
5 mile run on the treadmill- 36:48
ab workout and stretching on the mats
While at the gym I was watching the news and learned that one of the towns in my district got almost 15 inches of snow today!! Like I said before, I teach at a higher elevation!!

snow day

There's something about a snow day that seems inherently good... yet in reality I don't really think it's always so great, like today for example, a two hour delay would have been plenty (although I do understand about safety, and yes, I teach in a higher elevation where there is a lot of snow coming down!). Not only did my district cancel school, but the district where I go to grad school is cancelled... so no class this evening either. My booked day has turned into nothing, so I have decided to try to make the most of it and get some things done. Here's the plan:
Go to the gym when it's safe to do so, I'm hoping soon, for a workout. I already did some online baby shower shopping and some tidying up. Also on the agenda will be to research more about my Costa Rica trip! (I may even go to the bookstore later to buy a travel guide). Unfortunately I was supposed to give my final presentation tonight for my class and I have no work to catch up on... which is a good thing! But, I still can try to get ahead on my teaching work and get some things planned for next week to make the end of my work week a little easier. I also woke up with a little sore throat, so the plan is get lots of vitamin c today and even maybe rest! (I think that sometimes I am so focused on squeezing in everything I can in a day that I forget that sometimes my body just needs to stop and rest.)
Yesterday's run went well... Tuesday is a running day and I got 10 miles in. I included 1 minute accelerations on the treadmill, starting around mile 8. These ranged from 6:15 pace to 5:52 pace. For more info on that you can check out my running log, which I am going to try to put on my page later.
As for now, I am going to go check out the weather and see if the roads are looking any better so I can get to the gym!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

sunday long-run day

So today is the "long run day" as part of my marathon training for VCM. I am not up to super long runs yet, but just trying to get in a little extra. Today's mileage was 13 miles, I didn't push it too hard and ended up averaging a 7:27 pace. I was able to get this done by 12:30, which was nice, then I had the rest of the day to enjoy my last bit of February vacation, well I didn't enjoy it a ton, since I still had work to do!
Tracking back to yesterday... did a tempo run, but doing it outside on a hilly route proved to not be the best idea... either way the daily total was 9.25 miles. Almost hit 50 miles this week... tomorrow will be an elliptical day.
I wound up spending a lot of time yesterday and today on the computer, but not doing work, it was research of another kind, travel research! My dad, sister, and I have talked about going to Costa Rica for a couple years now, and I suggested that we go this April vacation. I am itching to travel somewhere, and all three of us have that week off, it's the dry season there, so it seemed to make sense. (That and I am not running Boston, otherwise that could be a problem!... although I am planning on keeping up my training, running in Central America sounds pretty cool!) Anyways, yesterday we figured out the flight info and today was the hotel stuff. I am pumped to have everything booked and look forward to taking off in April! We're flying into San Jose...then going north to Monteverde(more foresty- also a volcano!)...then going south to Jaco (on the beach!) and back to San Jose. Seriously can't wait to see tropical vegetation and wildlife... hopefully see the volcano spewing... go ziplining!... enjoy the beach...speak spanish...swim in the Pacific...and spend some father-daughter-sister time! I am putting in some pics from the website, these are some of the places we're staying... 55 days and counting!! :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

workout and work update

So I never mentioned my workout earlier, probably because it wasn't anything too fantastic, just 75 minutes on the elliptical, followed by some abs. I had a weird wake up this morning, randomly getting a massive bloody nose at 7 am. I never get these, yet I'm attributing it to the dry air.
And for the work update... I have just successfully edited my paper and made a powerpoint presentation! Now all I have left to do is my works cited and work and writing some notes to go along with the power point, it's amazing what I can do when I am focused and set my mind to getting things done! Hoping to work on it a bit more, then calling it quits for the night.

friday pizza

So usually Thursday is dinner and Survivor night with Steve... but due to a change in our schedules for this week it didn't work out, so today was Pizza Friday! (I just named it that...) Anyways, I love making things from fresh food, this is one of favorites to make! It's super easy too... I buy a ball of whole wheat dough at Trader Joe's, then top it with sauce, a few seasonings, and toppings... today's consisted of red and yellow peppers, onions, artichokes, broccoli, and mushrooms(on the piece I ate only). (Also, no cheese-I'm lactose intolerant and have grown to like it cheese-less anyways!)The picture is before baking... we were too hungry and I forgot to take an after shot til it was all gone! So good... but now the fun is over and I have to work on editing my paper and making a power point.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

making progress and a progression run

Today is all about progress. Ok so I had class yesterday and left being super-stressed out. I got more assignments added onto my work load in addition to the final paper and project that is due next week. (Half of us are presenting next week... I am one of them, since I like to get it over with asap.) However, by presenting next week, it means my work this week is doubly compounded. Feeling overwhelmed, I worked like a dog yesterday to get a ton done... read 3 chapters of the text book, did another research article assignment and viewed videos online all about phonemic awareness and phonics, fun fun. I also got some more work done on my paper which is all about literacy learners with autism. After a full day's work, which starting off early with a 6 mile run at 7 am, by the time 9 o'clock came around last night, I was beat. While my family is all about the Olympics (the bro and sis drew and colored Olympic rings which are hanging on our wall downstairs) and were still watching them around 10, I needed to hit the hay.
That was yesterday though, and this is today, which is all about progress. I feel like I made fair progress last night, but wanted to get more done, so this morning after breakfast I hit the books again...well not really, but hitting the computer isn't really a saying and that's more of what I did. I started to type more of my paper and added a little bit to my powerpoint. However, then I realized I should focus on finishing the paper, then go and use the info from my paper to create my powerpoint. After working until about 10:30 this morning I was on page 9 and decided that I need a mental and physical break. Gym time. I went to the gym and did a progression run on the treadmill. Here's the time break down:
Mile 1: 7:41
Mile 2: 7:30
Mile 3: 7:19
Mile 4: 7:08
Mile 5: 6:58
Mile 6: 6:49
Mile 7: 6:40
Mile 8: 6:31
Mile 9: 6:22

Then I ran another 1.2 miles as a cool down for a daily total of 10.2 miles. While I had worked up a good sweat, I wasn't too overtired and even felt more energized for the day. My body was definitely hungry though, so after some abs I came home and had some tuna, I was craving this last night and again today...even though the smell sometimes bothers me I was so happy to make it, it was exactly what my body wanted! yum :)

Now I am back to school work...I should be able to finish my paper, hopefully by dinner time, then after dinner the plan is to catch up on the pile of correcting I have to do for school.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


It's amazing the things I get done because I am procrastinating from doing something else (a less favored chore or activity)! I am blogging... case and point. I should be doing work for grad school. I am currently in the middle, well not really the middle, I have only written up one page so far, just barely through the intro and I have 14 slides for a power point with a pretty background and titles, yet no content on work has only begun, but yet I have proceeded to procrastinate throughout the afternoon. Despite the avoidance of grad school work, I have been productive in other aspects of the day.... let's recap.
I haven't blogged in a couple of days, although nothing too exciting for this teacher on vacation. Yesterday began with a good 90 minutes of cross training followed by lunch with some friends. I then got an oil changed and was super-efficient because I brought research articles to honda, so I got work done while I waited. Last night wasn't as productive, even though I had intentions of it being so. My sister came home for a few days since she's also on February vacation; however, my family is very loud when they are all present. My parents, bro, and sis were downstairs watching the Olympics, while I was upstairs trying to do work and it was impossible. It made me remember why I moved out last year and enjoyed a year of peace and quiet... I look forward to moving again...
Onto began with waking up around 7, not exactly by choice, but once again due to loudness of the family. Either way, I was up so I had breakfast and went to the gym at 9 to get a workout in. It was snowing, so I was worried that it'd be too bad out to drive, but it was fine. Here's the workout round up:
On the treadmill: ran 8 miles in about 57:20... then was supposed to do 6 accelerations. I ran each for 1 minute, with 30 seconds in between. The first three I did at 9.6 on the treadmill(6:15 pace), with 8.6 level for my recovery (6:58) pace.The second three I did at the speed of 10 which is a 6 minute mile pace. This brought the mileage up to 9.4 miles, so I ran .6 mi for a cooldown to round out the day at a nice even 10 miles. I also had a really good stretch afterwards, sometimes I rush through this part, but today I took the time to really enjoy having the time to do it.
After coming home and showering and eating I told myself to do some work... then proceeded to find ways around doing it. I read the newspaper, searched for races, talked on the phone, watched tv, talked to mom and sis, did dishes, made tea, checked email, went on facebook, and probably other things I don't even remember. One of the benefits of my neglecting to type up a paper was registering for the Vermont marathon... May 30th... the countdown is now officially on!
Finally, I decided to start working about an hour ago and have managed to do some of it, yet felt the need to add blogging to my list of procrastination before continuing to do more work.
I have class tomorrow, so I'd really like to get at least the first draft of my paper done to maybe bring with more and see if what I'm doing looks good... so I guess I have to face the music and get back to work. I have about an hour before I'll make some dinner, so I like to try to make a game of it and see how many pages I can bang out in that hour... I'll set my goal for three more pages by dinner, we'll see what happens, but generally if I can make it like a game or competition I will be more focused and motivated to get it done... 3 pages here I come.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

1, 2, 3.

Today's numbers were 1, 2, and 3. Let me explain... it was the Bradford Valentine Race... I placed 1st female in the 5 miler, Steve placed 2nd in the 6K, and altogether we placed 3rd for the open male/female division. It was a great day!
I really don't like racing in the winter... or running in the cold for that matter, but running outside today was beautiful! While it was cold temps... probably never higher than 30, it was nice and sunny which made it feel warmer. Thank heavens for under armor too, without that running gear I definitely could not make it out the door for runs in winter weather.
Not only was the day nice, but also I feel like I ran a good race. It felt good to win, but it also felt good to have ran a smart race... a BAA runner was over my shoulder for the majority of the race, but I really think that starting to pick it up around 4.25 helped to mentally beat her.
I must admit I am tired now, from getting up early, running 11.5 miles, and driving a couple hours, but it all was worth it... except I just went to church with my dad and grandmother and confess that I had my eyes closed at parts during it, I couldn't help it!
It's an early pjs night since I am planning on getting up around 6 tomorrow... easy run at the gym around 7 am... then back to the north shore to meet up with Steve for Valentine's Day :) Time to get things packed up/ in order for tomorrow!... a great day one of February vacation!

Friday, February 12, 2010

a good surprise day

First things first... last night was the survivor premiere. It's the start to season 20... 10 years of survivor and I have seen almost every season (when I was studying abroad in Spain I really didn't have the chance to see it!) There's something about this show that I just love... although I really wouldn't want to be a contestant since I think it would take so much time for your body to recover from doing a show like this. You really push your body to its limits, yet I like to watch people's competive sides and see how they outwit, outplay, and outlast each other.
This season's twist is heroes vs. villians... basically 20 former contestants are back and on a side based on their play in their former seasons. Personally, I am thrilled Cirie is back... she is totally not a great competitor but the things that come out of her mouth are hilarious. I still remember her premiere episode going to camp when she said, "Leaves, I hate leaves." Many "villians" are sure to stir things up... from Boston Rob, to Coach, to Russell. Should be a good season! Steve and I watched the premiere last night and I think we were both content when Sugar got voted off at tribal council. After three days she was already crying and way too dramatic. Not sure why she was chosen back as a hero, but I'm fine with her leaving already!
Today was another crazy day at school... my one oppositional child is really giving me a run for my money. She refused to do reading work today, then refused to go to lunch and basically flat out defied myself and the assistant principal. If only her parents didn't let her run the house at home maybe she would realize that she can't run the classroom... but enough on that.
I got a great surprise at school today... flowers! :) I totally wasn't expecting it, but during the math lesson the secretary came to my door with a delivery. Pretty red roses along with a variety of other purple flowers(my favorite color) and a teddy bear... just the thing I needed to cheer up my day and a wonderful early valentine's day surprise :)
As if that surprise didn't put me in a good enough mood despite my recent difficulties at school, I am now on February vacation and even though I am not travelling anywhere I am looking forward to a great week off and I'm starting off right this weekend along with a little Dunder Mifflin and The Hobbit with my valentine. :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Outwit, outplay, outlast

Survivor premiere, heroes vs. Villians- will update tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

bonus day

Today seems like a bonus day. As of late my Wednesdays have been super busy, consisting of biking on my trainer from 5:30-6:30 am, teaching til 3, coming home to grab my school stuff, then heading off to class until 9:00 pm. Basically Wednesdays are jam-packed, although I don't mind it since I feel like I am being productive on those days. Today was a change though. Last night I learned that due to snow class was cancelled. So in my mind I thought, ok now the day is over after school. Then around 10 last night I got my connectED phone call from the superintendent announcing that we were to have an early release day today. Then I thought, wow, my day is even shorter... now the kids were leaving at 11:30!! It's kind of like daylight savings, when you turn the clocks back and gain time, I feel like I gained 8.5 hours back today! And to top it all off around 12 when I was leaving school there was literally no snow on the ground, so I thought "Hey let's take advantage of this, let's go run at the gym!" Since Wednesdays are my easiest days I told myself just to do a five miler easy, but once I started I couldn't just cut it at five, so I made it 7 for the day. It was nice to just log my run and have a "green Wednesday"... those running2win members know what I am talking about!
After running I felt like I was back in my old pattern, where I come home shower and eat, only this time it was still daylight!! And I was coming home for lunch! And now I just did some work for school tomorrow and it's still daylight and I still have like 5 more hours before I have to think about bed! I guess only working half a day has it's perks!!!
Since I have the rest of the evening though I am going to try to make good use of it. I have a final project/ presentation due in 2 weeks for my class so I am going to try to read through the research that I have done for it. The class is called "Advanced Developmental Reading" so my project obviously has to be centered around something with reading and this class we really focused on the first two of the five components- phonemic awareness and phonics, so I am planning on doing a presentation on early literacy learning and autism. I have an autistic student again this year and have found it difficult to really effectively teach him necessary reading strategies... I'm hoping this research will help me with him and future students too! We need to focus on a program that could be used to aid the student, so I am going to try to incorporate the Fundations program that I teach with daily... it's made by Wilson and is multi-sensory which I know is an effective way to teach students with autism (and any student in my opinion!... it's way more fun to be actively engaged in a lesson rather than just reading and writing from a book!)
I am loving this first class that I am taking and hope the next 9 courses are equally as great. While I love my job as a third grade teacher, I know that after 6 years of teaching, I am not going to be in this same classroom for another 20 years. I already have my masters, and with a CAGS I will be more qualified to be a reading specialist/ literacy coach, or work in a school as a curriculum coordinator or something like that. While I love working with the kids, I'd also like the chance to be able to teach the teachers too and provide interventions and ideas. I have students from nearby colleges in my classroom to observe and student teach and I really like supporting them and giving them ideas or showing them techniques. I am hopeful that within the next 2 years I can make a job change where I am still in the education field and in a school system, but am challenging myself in new ways!
Now it's time to continue to take advantage of this bonus day!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

unofficial day 1 of training

Ok, so today isn't really my first day of marathon training. When it comes to training, I feel like I have been training all along building up a base. Now it's just really more about changing the focus... and focusing, which is why I have decided to enter this blogland again. As you can see from past posts, I tried starting this before, yet have sort of failed... I tell myself to do it, then I don't. Lately though I've realized that I reflect a lot at the end of the day, so I really should write it down, it's helpful to read later. Even just reading back to the posts I read last year it brings me back to specific moments and I can remember how I was feeling at those times.
As you can see, I definitely go off on tangents, but I am kind of using this more as a way to get my thoughts down, it doesn't need structure like my grad school papers... but now back to my initial focus: MARATHON TRAINING.
Recently Stevin was talking to me and what he said has really just been resonating in my head... "I don't think you realize how good you could be... you just need more confidence when you step out there." (ok so not an exact quote, but more or less, that's what he said) Either way, I really have been thinking about it and think he's right, I put a lot of time into my training, yet if I just tweak some things and push the bar up a bit with the goals I have, I think I can do better than I currently am. Running my first marathon in Hartford last fall was great, but I didn't really follow a "training program," I more or less just tried to run and cross train and really only focused on Sundays long runs... making sure I was comfortable at getting in some extra miles and eventually worked my way up, but actually never trained with anything longer than a 19 miler. (My knee started bothering me, so I figured I would take it down a bit so I could actually get to the starting line.) That being said, my first goal was just to finish the marathon... goal two was to qualify for Boston... goal three was to have fun. Needlesstosay I did all three. I finished in 3:21 and actually stopped to go to the bathroom too! I had too much left at the end, which leads me to believe that I know I can do better.
Sometimes I feel like it's hard to keep everything in balance and get everything into my busy schedule... teaching third grade full time and now being a grad student too (getting my CAGS in Reading to become a literacy specialist). Although I have carved out time after school to workout, so my goal is just to make these more quality workouts... starting today. Here's how it went: the goal was to do 6 accelerations, so I incorporated that into my run. I wanted to keep a fairly steady pace to start: Miles 1 and 2 were at 7:30 pace, Miles 3 and 4 at 7:19 pace, and then Miles 5-8 were at 7:08 pace. Then I went right into the acclerations of 1:00... the first four were at 6:22 pace, then 6:15, and finally 6:07. I ran each acceleration for a minute, with a 30 second break in between during which I ran 7:30 pace. (I think I made that sound more confusing than it was!) Either way, it was a good workout!
Now I don't want this to turn into my running log, seeing how I have a separate one of those, but I do feel the need to get my running thoughts out there. Another thought on my mind now is the weather... we're getting snow tomorrow afternoon for sure, so I'm thinking my 4:30-9 class is off (meaning I'll have to make it up, booo) but I'm wondering what will happen for the school day. I am guessing/ hoping for an early release, that way it's not a full day, but we get in and won't have to make this day up in the summer! I don't really want the day off from school seeing how next week is February vacation, I'd rather just get this week in and done!