Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy Friday

Friday, you are so good to me.

With Einstein Bagels at the meeting this morning...

And with the meeting being super short...

And a last-minute lesson plan change that went over SUPER WELL in all three classes...

And with funny, willing students who did more than I asked them to because they thought it was fun! (Ask me about the sloth poem)

And with my cyst pain alleviated by early afternoon (thanks, naproxen)...

And with a smooth and easy professional development meeting that I had to lead...

And with yummy Polynesian food after work with Mahi Mahi, chicken, shrimp, brown rice, macaroni salad, spinach salad, and chocolate cake with ice cream...

And with amazing sunny 70 degree weather...

And with no workout today...

How could today be anything besides amazing?

Monday, April 15, 2013

The News

I've been criticized many times for my unwillingness to watch the news.

I think people automatically want to assume that it's because I am ignorant or something.

Well here's a news flash for you (see what I did there?): I am much too sensitive to deal with the news in a healthy, appropriate manner.

You can't deny that the news is depressing.

The Boston Marathon bomb explosion today would have hit me so hard, but I didn't read any stories about it or seek out any details because I had to function. I had to numb myself to the news.

I think being in the middle of my training for a half marathon just makes it all the more real to me. It hits close to home. When I imagine the horror of it, I start to have a meltdown.

That's why I don't watch the news.

I had to go to a suicide prevention training today, which is required for all teachers who are moving up in their licensure. It brought back a flood of memories from when a boy named Josh committed suicide when we were in 9th grade. I remember how it affected all the people around me, and what a horrible tragedy it was. I remember kids getting called out of class in tears for counseling.

Imagining dealing with this is like a teacher's nightmare. I had a student who tried to do the same thing last year. I would have been so distraught if he had been successful. I can't even imagine. It breaks my heart just thinking about it.

Then I open my Instagram and see that a girl from a middle school in Provo, where I used to live, went missing on her way there.

Add to all this the major guilt I've felt all day from being really inconsiderate to my roommate last night.

And to the PMS that has struck hard today (obviously).

Today has been a little too much for me. My evening run was beautiful and magical and cold and amazing and fun. But my heart is heavy.

So tomorrow I will wear the only race shirt I have at the moment, which doesn't fit very well...

...because all those people who are healthy and amazing and who demonstrate the endurance and strength of the human spirit and body by running a marathon,
... and the people who were amazing enough to support them at the end of the race like I have imagined my family doing,
...and the people who have lost their lives and their mobility--all these people are worth the discomfort of an ill-fitting shirt.

For you, my runner friends, and my fellow human beings, I will.

It's the least I can do.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Disaster Praxis and Spilled Milk

I never wake up with the expectation that it will be a bad day. I tend to wake up with very few expectations, in fact. I just intend to let things play out however they may and roll with the punches. I'm sure more conscious positive thinking would do me some good, but I am by no means thinking negatively.

I got up this morning before my alarm intending to get dressed, eat, and head over to the University of Utah for my reading Praxis. This is a 2-hour long test consisting of 90 multiple choice questions and 3 written responses. Not the way anyone likes to spend her Saturday morning, but it has to be done, ya know? 

I've been studying for the past week. I took the practice test last night and didn't do so well on it, but I tried to be confident and hope for the best. 

So I ate my granola, yogurt, and mango for breakfast and drove over to the U, prepared with my ticket and #2 pencils. Since I just took another Praxis not too long ago at the same place, I felt OK with where to park and where to go. The tests were downstairs on the end of the building last time. So that's where I headed this time.

I went downstairs, and it was totally dark. I went back upstairs and followed some other people. A lady pointed a test-taker downstairs again. "Ugh, for reals? I was right the first time." Back downstairs I went. Heaven forbid we be organized and post any signs for Praxis test-takers, directing people where to go, right?  

Last time there were papers on the wall with a printed list the tests and room numbers so I could check where to go. This time, I could find no such papers. 

Apparently, there was a woman who was supposed to direct you to the right room. But she was hiding in one of the classrooms herself. You'd only have seen her if you came in at one particular entrance. 

I wandered back and forth looking at the lists outside the classroom doors. The lists were scribbled and thrown together, like this whole thing hadn't been coordinated very well. I walked into the room that showed my test on the list to check that I was in the right place, and the woman at the table had no idea what to do or how to help me. She sent me to find the lady hiding in the classroom to check. I finally found her and confirmed that I was supposed to be in the room I had just gone to. A glorious waste of my time. Thanks for the help, ladies. (Extra steps for my BodyBugg though, right?)

I sat down in a desk. There seemed to be quite a bit of shuffling around and confusion on the part of the director lady. When we were supposed to begin everything, they sent us all out of the room telling us that they had to do assigned seats. So we waited around while they got their stuff somewhat figured out. We were finally allowed back into the room, where the lady at the table still seemed confused about how it should work. She was taking IDs and then forgetting to write down last names when she assigned seats. Overall, terribly inefficient. 

I sat down in the seat I had originally picked out. Finally, a lady walks in who has supposedly been trained and has some inkling of what should be going on. She said something like, "They told all of us the wrong time to come." Wow. Seriously? The test always has two times. The early morning one and the 10:45 one. So some semblance of order seemed to appear at this point. 

Unfortunately for all of us, there were about 14 different tests being taken in that room which had to be passed out and collected separately. 

So we didn't start the test until around 11:35 or so, making it so that we didn't finish until around 1:35. I was really frustrated by this slow, chaotic, late start. It took up a huge chunk of my Saturday, which I had pretty roughly planned out. And it made it so that I got starving in the middle of the test, when really, it should've been done by 1 PM. Mind you, we can't have anything to drink during the test. And if you know me and my water, you know what a problem this is. No water from 11 to 2? 

Then the collecting process was extremely long because of all the different tests and the slow lady collecting everything. 

We didn't get out of there till 1:50. 

I was pretty annoyed, as you may have guessed. 

I drove home intending to make myself a shake before going on a run. (It has banana and chia seeds, so it's good before a run. Plus it's delicious.)

I began to make said shake.  I had poured 1 cup of almond coconut milk (so yummy, and not cheap) into my Magic Bullet and opened the cupboard to take out my chia seeds. "No use crying over spilled milk," right? WRONG.

Just then, a huge stack of plastic tupperware and lids came cascading down out of the cupboard onto my head, knocking over my almond coconut milk and spilling it all over the counter. 

I know, I know. It could have been worse, ending up on the floor or elsewhere. Still, it was annoying. And of course it resulted in some unanticipated profanity. 

I finally got the mess cleaned up and was lamenting my lost, yummy, expensive milk. I'll cry over spilled milk if I want to. 

I put my shake onto the blender, and in an effort to make sure it was mixing sufficiently, I took it off to shake it. My Magic Bullet has kind of a leak at the bottom, and I used spinach ice cubes. 

So as I shook, green liquid in small amounts was exiting the bottom of my Bullet and onto my floor and counter. I went to wipe it off with a dish towel, but it just smeared and left my counter green. UGH. Spinach would make a great dyeing agent, by the way. 

I got the sponge and got the mess cleaned up. But do you see all these extra annoying little things that had to be done?! All of these things piled on top of each other today has just made me extremely irritable. I just wanted to take my test, come home, make food, run, eat, and go to the movies--in a timely, easy fashion. That's it. Is that so much to ask? 

I don't want to wonder what else will go wrong today. Instead, I'm going to fight my urge to take a nap on this cloudy day and go on a really long run. 

Because that will solve everything!

By the way, I am glad to report that I think I will pass that Reading Praxis. I feel pretty good about it. 

Also, I want one of these

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

You Know You're Training If...

You know you're training for a half-marathon if...

your toes and toenails hurt.

you now follow several running folks on Instragram.

you Googled "running apps" to see which ones were the best for the iPhone.

you can watch a whole movie in the time you were on the treadmill.

you are sad that it is too cold or windy to run outside.

you stopped going to the gym.

you get pee-your-pants excited for cross-training days. ("YES! I get to Crossfit today!!!! :-D")

you have searched for the best warm-up and cool down routines for running.

you have searched for the best things to eat after a run.

you time your banana consumption according to when you will run.

you subtract your warm-up time and mileage from your total so your pace/average won't look so bad.

you have been told by 3-4 different people that they saw you running, all on different days.

you're excited to run 5 miles because "that's a short run!"

you get super stoked for running shoe sales online.

you hide water for yourself in advance along the route of a long run.

you have purchased several types of protein powder for quick post-workout consumption.

you have actually enjoyed said protein shakes.

you are seriously distracted at work by wanting to plan your route.

your Pandora station asks, "Are you still listening?"

you are reading a book about running so you can improve your form and avoid injuries.

your job(s) come(s) second to your runs (I requested time off my second job so I could still train but also study for a Praxis I have to do. Thus running > working.)

you check off your runs and log your miles "just because."

you daydream about being able to afford cool running gear (new shoes, wicking socks and shirts, etc.).

you got really stressed about your wireless headphones not working.

you get into your car right after your run because you have to pick someone up from the airport.

you've had to run off the sidewalk to avoid cars, slow walkers, or otherwise mentally compromised individuals.

you plan how much sleep you need by the length of your run the next day.

you hate interval and fartlek training because it slows your time.

you wonder what kind of food they'll have at the finish line.

you know which mile is your "miracle mile" where it stops hurting and starts feeling amazing.

you want people there at the end to greet you and congratulate you.

you wonder where the nearest running store is.

you wonder how long it would take you to run to certain destinations instead of drive.

you have stopped your running app at a really long stoplight.

you have been ogled by dudes while waiting at stoplights.

you've heard from countless people, "Ugh, I'm not a runner," or "I could never run that far."

you always want to tell them that you weren't a runner either, and you couldn't before either. But now you are. And now you can.