Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Workout Wednesday: A Running Survey



So I wrote this last week and ended up forgetting to post it. It's a questionnaire I decided to create, using a couple of other ones for ideas. I'll put a blank copy at the end in case you want to fill in your own.

1. How long have you been running? I probably started running consistently at the beginning of 2012, maybe earlier.
2. What’s your favorite distance to run at a time? For some reason, I like 2 miles at a time. But when I get in better shape, I think 4 miles is a great distance.
3. How many times per week do you run? It hasn’t been very consistent lately. I try to include running in every workout, so 3-5 days per week. I did 4 days last week.
4. How far do you run in one week? That also depends. I ran 8 miles last week. I’d say 4-8 miles on average, when not training for a race.
5. What is the longest distance you’ve ever run? 13.1 baby!
6. What’s your average pace per mile? About 10:40. Sometimes slower, depending on hills, wind, energy, etc. But 10:40 on average.
7. Where do you prefer to run? (grass, road, pavement, sand, hills, flat, etc.) I prefer to run on the sidewalk or the road. I like flat surfaces best, and would probably prefer uphill over downhill.
8. What time of day do you have the most energy for running? Mid-day, for sure. Morning runs are always slow for me. Evening runs are fine, but not preferable. Mid-day is best for my energy and pace.
9. What type of runner do you consider yourself to be? (Beginner, intermediate, advanced, competitive) I’d say intermediate. I run regularly but try to have a beginner’s mentality. I still have a lot to learn.
10. What running goals do you currently have? Honestly, I’m just trying to run more regularly and to build my endurance. I’ve been able to go a mile or more at a time without stopping, so that’s nice. I also am doing a 5K on May 10.
11. What’s your favorite pair of running shoes, and why? I’ve only run in Avia or Nike shoes. I want to try Altras, though, to force me to have good form.
12. What’s your favorite pre-run warm-up move? I usually do high knees and butt kicks, dynamic movement in general. I also love hip circles a lot. I do knee circles and high kicks as well.
13. What’s your favorite post-run stretch? The one where you sit down and put your ankle over your knee to stretch your glutes. Holy moly that one is painful.
14. What do you have to take with you on your runs? I have to have my headphones and iPhone for music, plus my arm-band to carry the phone.
15. What did you think of running when you were in grade school? I hated it. Hate, hate, hated it. I couldn’t run even a quarter mile without stopping. My fastest mile in junior high was 9:39. Most of them were 10-11 minute paces.
16. What’s your power song? Titanium.
17. When do you get a burst of energy during a run? (at a certain distance, time, etc.) After mile 2, for sure. I just feel way better than I did the first two miles.
18. Have you ever had any injuries related to running? After running my half in Provo last year, my knees were killing for a couple of weeks. I had a close call and almost rolled my ankle last week, but all is well! No serious injuries for me, yet.
19. What’s your opinion on treadmills? I actually love using the treadmill. It helps me challenge myself in terms of distances and pace. Running outside is harder and more fun though.
20. Why do you run? I love it. I really do. It clears my mind better than anything else. I feel accomplished. It’s one of the most effective calorie burners. I just like to see what my body can do.


1. How long have you been running? 
2. What’s your favorite distance to run at a time?
3. How many times per week do you run?
4. How far do you run in one week?
5. What is the longest distance you’ve ever run?
6. What’s your average pace per mile?
7. Where do you prefer to run? (grass, road, pavement, sand, hills, flat, etc.)
8. What time of day do you have the most energy for running?
9. What type of runner do you consider yourself to be? (Beginner, intermediate, advanced, competitive)
10. What running goals do you currently have?
11. What’s your favorite pair of running shoes, and why?
12. What’s your favorite pre-run warm-up move?
13. What’s your favorite post-run stretch?
14. What do you have to take with you on your runs?
15. What did you think of running when you were in grade school? 
16. What’s your power song? 
17. When do you get a burst of energy during a run? (at a certain distance, time, etc.)
18. Have you ever had any injuries related to running?
19. What’s your opinion on treadmills? 
20. Why do you run? 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Break 2014

We left on Friday just after noon, Utah time.

Our ride was pretty uneventful. We didn't stop at all until Mesquite, where we got gas. We stopped in Baker to get In-N-Out and stretch a little.

We got home at about 8:30, California time.

Our first day in town, Saturday, we went to Wal-Mart because I wanted to run, and Patrick forgot his arm band for his iPhone.

So we hung out outside for a little while after running. Then dad asked if we wanted to do a late breakfast. Well it was already lunch time. We went to Peppertree Cafe--Jason, Kellie, Jake, Therese, Jared, Dad, Patrick, and I. I got lunch: a club sandwich and some onion rings. Patrick got a breakfast burrito. It was really fun just chatting with everyone. The weather was great.

I don't know what else we did that day, but I don't think it was much. Just hung out and talked, probably.

On Sunday, we got some donuts and Starbucks. We went to the singles ward with Ashleigh. It was SO good to see some people, especially sister Spencer. My parents made some yummy barbecue, and we just hung out that evening.

On Monday, I went for a run and did a short workout after that. We went to The Getty Center, which I was excited for. But when we arrived, we learned that they are closed on Mondays. But the guy was really helpful and said the Getty Villa is opened, we would just have to call before arriving. So we went. Oh man. I was so glad that the Getty Center was closed. I probably never would've gone to the Villa. It was beautiful. Its theme is ancient Greece. It's modeled after a famous villa that was destroyed in a volcano eruption.




After our Getty Villa adventure, we drove in lots of traffic and went to Casa del Rey for dinner. It was delicious, as always.

On Tuesday, we left around 7:30 for Disneyland and California Adventure. We got an unhealthy breakfast of McD's. We got fast pass for the Radiator Springs Racers in Cars world, and also the World of Color water show. Our first ride was Toy Story Mania. Then we went on the California Screamin' roller coaster. None of these waits was too long. We headed to Disneyland and did lots of rides, including Star Tours, the Matterhorn, the Tea Cups, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Haunted Mansion, Pirates, the ferris wheel, carousel, and more. We watched Captain Eo. We had lunch at Blue Bayou. I had the Monte Cristo sandwich. Patrick had some steak and potatoes thing that was really yummy. I was ready to sleep before the World of Color show. But when it was finally time, it was really fun to watch. The colors and water and everything was really cool. The longest line we waited in was probably a half hour.




He was very excited to show me how fast he could spin the teacups.












On Wednesday, we got breakfast at Coco's. Patrick worked on my parents' entertainment system that's been botched for a long time. Mom made chicken and dumplings. It was delicious. We got soft serve at Costco. We watched The Hobbit because my dad hadn't seen it yet.


On Thursday, we used our second two-day park hopper pass. We went straight to the Radiator Springs Racers again to get a fast pass. We got some Starbucks and split a cinnamon roll. It was pretty yummy. That day, we went on the Tower of Terror, the Storybook Ride, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Jungle Cruise, and Peter Pan. We also went on Haunted Mansion and Pirates again. I explored the Tarzan Treehouse. We spent a little time in Toon Town and went on the Roger Rabbit ride. And we went on the train. I love the train; it's always a nice break. We ate at the Big Thunder Barbecue, which was delicious. We got a Dole Whip and went to the Tiki Room. I bought a really cool hoodie that unfortunately has spread glitter everywhere. We watched the fireworks, we got some treats, and headed home.






I hate the picture from Splash Mountain. I hate it. But I have to put it in. Because reasons.




This is where Jake created memories and changed many lives with his turd.




On Friday, Patrick hadn't yet tried Donut Man, so we went there. We went to AMC 30 and saw Captain America 2. It was so good. I was set on having BJ's for dinner, but we drove all the way to Eastland to find that BJ's had closed. So I called my family and invited them to dinner at Lotus Garden. Later on, I had to have Pinkberry. But this all got interrupted by my brother having to feed a mouse to his snake. Gross. I waited for that all to be over, and sat in the backyard with mom and Kellie just chatting instead. After it was done, Patrick and I headed to Pinkberry because it was my last night in town and my last chance to have it (unless I plan on flying anywhere out of SLC soon). I think this was the night mom set up her little TV/VHS thing so we could watch family videos.

On Saturday, we packed up and headed out around 8 AM. We stopped in Baker to go potty. We also stopped in Mesquite and got lunch in a drive-thru. And we stopped in Fillmore to go potty. Then we got home at about 6:15. Patrick took off immediately with his friends to go to Wendover. I grocery shopped. I put everything away, unpacked, and went to sleep.

On Sunday, I made breakfast, and we watched General Conference. That was the end of spring break. It was a really great week with a good mix of staying busy and relaxing. We ate lots of good food.

A Teaching Milestone

Sometime last school year, I had a teacher at my school cover the last half of my 4th period class. She commented on how well my students knew what to do. She was very impressed.

Earlier this week, I received an email from that same teacher. She informed me that some first year teachers would be coming to our school to visit. They asked her to make some recommendations of teachers who had great procedures. She told me that she immediately thought of me because my class "could run itself," and asked if they could come observe me.

I was flattered that she thought of me. I regretted to informed her that I had no students during the period that they'd be at our school. I told her the periods that I do teach in case they could observe one of those.

On Thursday, during my 3B, in walked four teachers. Two of them were first-year teachers, one was their adviser, and I'm not sure who the fourth was. They sat in the seats that are against the wall as that is my smallest class, and that row is entirely empty.

I ran through my regular procedure with my kids. They journal in the first five minutes of the period while I take attendance and make sure they have their planners. After that, they know to record their homework. After that, they typically put their journals in their folders, and pass their folders back. The kids at the back of each row puts all the folders away for their row. They all know the process for turning work in as well, if that is ever necessary. I typically have transitions pretty well planned out so they don't have too much time to converse and get off task.

When they left, they dropped something on my desk. I walked over to find a little baggy of Easter goodies and this card.




The reason I'm writing a blog about this is that it is strange to be on this end of things. I don't consider myself to be an expert or to be the most experienced teacher at all. I do think I improve every year. I hope, anyway.

I taught my first year as an intern in Provo from 2009-10. That was 8th grade English.
I taught my next year at Jefferson from 2010-11 doing 9th grade English and developmental reading.
I taught the next year at Jefferson from 2011-12 doing 7th and 8th grade English.
I taught the next year at Jefferson from 2012-13 doing 7th and 7th honors English.
This year I am at Jefferson doing 8th grade English and am a part-time technology specialist.

So being that this is my fifth year teaching, it's just really cool having teachers observe me. I'm sure I could learn a thing or two from how they run their classrooms as well. But knowing they were watching me, what I do, how I organize, and how I keep order in my class, knowing that they were learning from me and getting ideas, was just a really gratifying experience. I felt pressure to do things well but realized that the reason they were there to begin with was because I was already doing things right.

It's validating to know that my efforts in training my students has been recognized by others. I may not do everything right, but I do a good job at a few things. It felt good.