Saturday, December 31, 2011

Non-teachers who do yoga

Oh man, it's been over a month. Not good. This is very reflective of my life the past 30 days. Not much teaching done, and no running. Since my post-PR-half I've run one 4 mile run, and one 2 mile run. Ouch. Huge decrease in miles this month. While I only taught the first sixteen days of the year, I've taken this part-time job on big time! I've loved every minute of it, but it's been a lot of work.

Luckily, we developed 24 days of complimentary classes for our guests, and us too! This led to my abundance of yoga. Since November 28th I've done yoga 21 times at four different studios, one Zumba dance class, one outdoor bootcamp clas, and one Hilliard studio barre/Pilates class. And it's not over yet. Teaching will continue Monday, but I'll probably keep up yoga throughout most of January too. I'm registered for another half in March, so I suppose I'll have to resume running at some point. For now my body is loving the yoga, and I am too!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Making the Goal

The 27th of November I realized how little I have blogged this month. I said I would write 8 more times before December, and this is the 8th! It hasnt been too hard, but like all things it took me setting aside time to do it every day. I've really enjoyed this, so I'm raising the bar of writing 20 times in December, and I can't wait! I'll be doing a decent amount of traveling, of course running, and more yoga than usual. I've practiced 3 times this week, every day, and each day at a different studio. I'm very excited about tonittow's yoga at Noda Yoga! My body feels so great, refreshed, and strengthened. I am looking forward to a good run this weekend though.

Overall I'm thriving off all of this goal setting. So much that I'm going to have my students write some new goals for Spring semester. It's amazing what writing them does! My goals are not only written, but printed and posted in the store. Talk about being for real!

So life, here I come. I can't believe it's December!

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree

Last night was the fashion show, tonight was the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Center. This has been one of my favorite nights on tv for years. To go along with the Christmas tree spirit, my roommate and I bought our tree tonight! It's kind of short and stout but I love it. We had the guys trim the bottom of the tree. He asked what kind of stand we had. My response- a Christmas tree stand. I mean what was I supposed to say?! I then said its green and plastic and we bought it here last year. Well, I guess I should have been more specific, or maybe we should have taken it with us. That was my plan this morning, but I've been in a rush lately, so oops. Anyways, we got home after carrying it off my car, tried to fit it in the stand. We unscrewed the stand as much as possible, but it still would fit. The diameter of the trunk was bigger than that of the stand! We finally took the screws out and as hard as we could shoved the tree in the stand. It went in! But when we stood it up it was pretty dang crooked. We've tried to straighten it. I just hope I'm not woken up in the middle of the night to it crashing.
Good news is Home Alone 2 is on tv for me to fall asleep watching!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jay-Z is in the building...

I have 5% battery left on my computer, so this is going to be a quick one.

It's that time of year again! This week there are two things I'm super excited about watching on TV. One just started! The Victoria's Secret fashion show. Now I know a lot of guys love this, understandably, but so do I. I think it's because I imagine how fun it would be to be in it! Just to get all dolled up in fantastic outfits and winnnngs. There is absolutely no way I could walk the runway in those heels though. I would FACE PLANT. (I'll never really understand why the show happens during the holiday season, I guess to remind people to shop there...)

Second, tomorrow night on NBC at 8PM is the Lighting of the Tree in Rockefeller Center. This is one of my favorite things to watch on TV all year! And to make it even better, my roomie and I are going to buy our tree tomorrow night so we can put it up/decorate it while we watch this. We will probably be drinking hot chocolate too. (Don't worry pictures will come.)

There are great musical guests at both of these shows. Kanye and I think Jay-Z on the fashion show, and Faith Hill and others on the tree lighting. Hopefully one day I will attend the tree lighting in person!!!

The Buddha

No I'm not talking about the person, I'm talking about the restaurant. Fair warning, this has nothing to do with running or teaching, or even yoga. It has to do with the best Chinese restaurant ever. If you have ever met me or anyone in my family, chances are we've recommended it and even forced you to eat there with us. My family has been eating at this restaurant, The Golden Buddha, since 1977 or 1978. So since before we were a family. When it was just mom and dad they would go together. Then they had one brother, and another, and then me. There's no telling how many birthdays we've had there. We use to occupy the table in the back right with the lazy susan on it. We haven't looked at the menu in at least 27 years. (I've don't actually remember looking at it.  I probably just ordered what my brothers told me to.) I always get mongolian beef, soup (sizzling rice or egg drop,) and an egg roll. The egg roll is a MUST. The best egg roll ever, ever. They use to deliver it to our house when my parents probably didn't feel like dragging us out. They know us all by name. Coincidentally, the owners name is the same as my brothers. Maybe my parents named my brother after the owner. Hmm???? So what made me think of this was a voicemail I received today from my brother. He eats lunch there at least once a week, probably more like twice.  He called me today so incredibly giddy to tell me the owner said his lunch would be free. FINALLY! He was so excited it made me laugh out loud.

So I will actually tie this into running, there is one thing I failed to mention in my detailed race recap. When we would go to Golden Buddha for birthdays my grandparents would always go with us. Whenever my grandfather would hug me he would always slap my bottom as I walked away, like hard. When I was an awkward middle-schooler I tried to not let him hug me because it was embarrassing and really did hurt! (But yes it was in a loving way.) So when I was running my heart out on Thanksgiving I looked up in the sky and said, "Come on Cop (that's what we called him, long story) give me a smack on the bottom and make me run harder!" And I'd like to think he did, and he helped me get that PR.

That's Cop in the middle with our family at his 70th birthday party. And yes that's me in the totally sweet short jean overalls with an embroidered flower... ahh awkward middle school.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Full belly, Sleepy eyes...

It's 6:48 PM and I am in bed. No joke. Not sitting on my bed, but in it. I can barely keep my eyes open to type right now. While I enjoyed Thanksgiving break immensely, it may have been one of the best ever, I did not get enough rest.

Tuesday- drove to Atlanta in the scariest weather ever. Thankful for the safe drivers on the road and so happy when I pulled up to my parents. Especially because my oldest brother surprised me by being there AND they had my favorite Chinese food for me. This was probably my best and longest night of sleep. I slept like a rock until just after 8AM, which is very late for me these days.

Wednesday- This was a relaxing day. We wrote out a schedule of what food should be in the oven at what time, and how long this should stay there. This was to help my mom, who insists on writing every little thing down. Since dad and I were running Thursday morning I suppose she needed the help. I find myself doing things like this more and more, little lists everywhere. I am absolutely slowly turning into her :-) I went to bed not until 11. I usually try to get to sleep at least by 10 when I have a race the next morning. Ooops.

Thursday- Dad woke me up at 5:45AM and we were out the door just after 6. After my AMAZING run I was surprisingly full of energy opposed to the sometimes tired I feel. It wasn't until after we ate Thanksgiving lunch that I convinced my 6 year old niece I needed a nap. "Ok, if I win this game I get a nap," I told her. There was no holding back, I had to win, I had to nap, and I did. But not for super long.


It's really hard to say no to her!

We had to get up, head to the mall and see the lighting of the Macy's (previously Rich's) Great Tree! This is a long-standing tradition in my family. As my brother so eloquently stated as we were walking back to the car, "You know, I really didn't want to come. But now I'm glad I did. I'm really in the Christmas spirit now. I think I'm ready for Christmas music!" I probably didn't go to sleep until midnight or so...


We've followed the tree lighting from downtown ATL Rich's to Underground to Lenox Mall.


Friday- Up and at 'em at 7:30AM to hit the malls by 8AM. I guess I got a decent nights sleep, but my body couldn't move. It felt this way all day, and by 3 or so I was exhausted from shopping and limping around. We went to dinner at Murphy's that night and I had dessert there followed by gelato. Talk about two days of eating a LOT. On the way home we checked out the Griswold's of my parent's neighborhood. This year you tune your radio to a certain channel and can even hear choreographed music. "Look at the trees dancing!!!" my dad said as we drove past. He lives for this kind of stuff, but let's be honest, so do I.



Saturday- I was up again early to head home to Charlotte. I missed the UGA/GaTech game for the first time in years, but I was ok with that. We still won :-) I worked afternoon/night at lululemon and was exhausted when I got home. However, I managed to stay up until almost 2AM blogging, tweeting, etc.

Sunday- Up early again. Advent started Sunday and this is my favorite time of year to go to church. I know I should go every week but it's just hard sometimes. This is the time of year I really try to make it ever Sunday.  I even attended the early service because I had to be back at the store at 10:30. I was there again all day on my feet until 5 or so. As tired as I was, I was talked into yoga this morning at Y2 yoga.

Yoga class was at 6:30 this morning after not going to bed until midnight or so last night. I had never been to the studio but I really liked it! It was a hot vinyasa fast class. It was just that. I had to plop down to child's which I haven't had to do in a while, and even take a fill up my water AKA cool air break. It was a fantastic way to start my week though. I think I'm going to stick to lots of yoga this week (and early bedtimes!) and get back into running this weekend. I'm working on getting a better pair of shoes that don't make my heels bleed everywhere.

Goodnight! (Yes it is now 7:05PM :-) )

"I'm Possible" ABDC- help my kiddos!

This school year we have thirty minutes a day for what we call "Healthy Choices" time. The times rotate per day from outside time, to silent reading, to character education. In my opinion, all three of these are much needed by any middle school student. Today we had character ed, and we were focusing on this month's trait of Honesty. As a class, we chose one student who best represented this trait. After the class nominated seven students (out of the eighteen total) I had them put their heads down and vote. Each student was allowed to vote twice so more votes would be in the mix, and I hoped this would prevent a tie. It was a pretty unanimous decision for the class on who best showed Honesty. I was really excited this student won, because I would have picked him too. He's a wonderful child.

After that I was at a loss of what to do next. We had already written poems about honesty, and discussed and even acted out situations where honesty is most important. One of my students loves to act and sing and dance. He approached the class today with getting a crew together for American's Best Dance Crew. I've heard of the show but never really watched it. While 6th graders dreaming of being on this show sounds a little crazy, I ended up letting them put a group together and even practice some dance moves. I was very impressed with how much they REALLY want to do this. They came up with a pretty awesome group name (I'm keeping it a secret) and I was shocked and excited when we realized they were old enough to audition. I even got online for them to see when/where/how to signup and I couldn't find it anywhere. I told them I'd work on it tonight but I've had no luck. Does anyone have any idea how I could find this?? It would be fun to do something as easy as send in an audition tape. The kids are very passionate about this, so I'd love to help them live out their dreams :-)

Leaving with this quote that was on one of my teacher friend's board today. I really love it and can't believe I've never realized this before...

Nothing is impossible. The word itself says "I'm possible." 
- Audrey Hepburn

Saturday, November 26, 2011

2:00:35

I DID IT I DID IT!!!
Eight months after my first marathon I took on my 8th half marathon. It was my fourth consecutive Atlanta Thanksgiving Half Marathon. Three years ago this race was my first ever half, and I ran it in something like 2 hours and 17 minutes. Last year, well I don't even know if that counts... I was recovering from being hurt (IT band) and trying to continue marathon training at the same time. I registered for the 5K but when the 5K/half split came, I chose the half. I then proceeded to make it a 10 mile run, not 13.1, but with my horrible sense of direction in Atlanta, yes I grew up there, I managed to get lost and run about 12 miles. Anyways... Since my marathon I have continued running and racing, but have not been able to get a PR. The Peachtree Road Race was just way too hot, and I was not prepared for the hills. I was very frustrated with my finish there, and since then I've been pushing myself harder.

I started running with one of my friends in a local running group. Talk about accountability?! Up at 6AM every Saturday morning. The truth is though, I love that. Then, I met and made another friend in the running group. And she pushes me, hard. She made me realize that I was capable of running better, faster, longer. So when I signed myself up for the 2 hour pace group at the expo this past Wednesday, I wasn't really sure if I could do it. But then I heard her telling me to. My previous PR is 2:03:26. So my goal for this race was to beat that, and my ambitious goal was to get under two hours. This has been a goal for a while but I really wasn't sure if it would be possible in the near future. After running with my new partners I knew I was capable. I was really more confident Mentally than Physically.

Clothes laid out the night before. 2 hour pace sign is pinned on back of my shirt.

So here's my recap...

Dad and I headed towards Turner Field around 6:15AM Thanksgiving morning, leaving Mom at home to prepare the feast!  It was a bit chilly, but we knew as soon as the sun came up it wouldn't be very cold. We were right. While I found warmth in the port-o-potty pre-race, I shed my throw away before I began and was extremely comfortable in my long sleeved shirt and compression tights. The sun was pelting down the whole time, but I think it gave me energy more than a heat stroke.

I crossed the starting line with the two hour pace group just in front of me. The group was going to run roughly 9:10 miles. I knew my best bet would be simply- run as fast as you can. I know negative splits are the way to go, but I knew to get my goal I just needed to RUN. So I pressed start on the Garmin and my iPod and set off. But my iPod didn't work. Total failure after making a MAGNIFICENT playlist. That which was "Thanksgiving 2011" became "Ride back to Charlotte 2011." It was dead! This has never happened to me before and I thought surely my race was done, but it was NOT! I again thank my running partners as running with them had made me used to running without music. I had all intentions of talking to (woo-ing) others during the race, but I think I was running too fast to do that.   I will admit I sang in my head a good bit, not sure what but "Get Low" was definitely one. (Still stuck in my head from Bday Party Bus 2011.)

I complete Mile 1 in 8:59. Pretty solid! Fast, but not too fast.
Mile 2- 8:47 Past Olympic Park. It was all decorated for Christmas and I really wanted to go through it, but unfortunately that's not part of the course. 

Mile 3- 8:46 I think this is where I actually went ahead of the 2 hour pace group. PEACE OUT! Maybe not a good idea, but we'd see! This was also  hands down my fastest 5k ever- somewhere around 27 minutes

Mile 4- 8:24 I don't think I've ever run a mile this fast in a race. I was just excited!!!  My thought process was really, "Hey the faster I run now, the slower my miles can be at the end." Again I don't think that's how races are "supposed" to be run, but whatever. We were running over the interstate and I thought that meant we are at/past Atlantic station. Definitely not. Again, I never have any idea where I am when I'm in the ATL.

Mile 5- 8:44 Five miles in and still all under nine minutes. This was amazing... I guess I'll just keep running as fast as possible! And now I really am by Atlantic Station. I kept thinking, "Now I just have to go through a bit of Midtown, the Park, Auburn Ave and I'll be done!" That was making the race quite a bit shorter than it really was. I think my lack of never really knowing where I am keeps me moving and on my toes!

Mile 6- 9:05 My fastest 10k at 55:06 (fastest before was Peachtree two years ago at 55:26) I even heard someone say, "Hey you've finished the Peachtree!

Mile 7- 8:59 Ok good another one under nine minutes! But man I was getting tired. I could feel it in my hips. Of course the majority of the hills were yet to come...

Mile 8- 9:32 Oh My Hills... Pump the arms, Use those abs, Just DON'T walk. And I didn't!

Mile 9- 9:29 A negative split, wow! But oh man that pain in my right heel! I had a bandaid on one place where my shoes had been rubbing, but this was a different spot. I had a bandaid in my back pocket too. But to stop and put it on and waste valuable, crucial seconds?! Absolutely not. I pictured blood rushing from my food. Oh well... keep on running!

Mile 10- 9:31 Ok so still around 9:30. Using my math skills this evens me out somewhere near 9:10, so still on pace for 2 hours! We ran up and around Oakland Cemetery as a guy running near me kept yelling, "I see dead people!" This gave quite a few of us a laugh. I pumped the heck out of my arms to get me up a few more hills.

Mile 11- 9:37 I was getting warm. I had one glove on that hand was holding my other glove. My bare hand was munching on Honey Stingers, fruit punch flavored. I also owe this to my running partner who introduced me to them. Maybe they helped, I'd like to think they did. They also just taste delicious and DON'T get stuck in your teeth.  I really was hoping to see my brother and hand him my gloved and head band. We were right by his house. But no brother...

Mile 12- 9:32 Another negative split after my slowest mile of the race. I was still on good pace overall and told myself to hustle! Less than one mile! I pictured myself at home being one mile from my apartment and just kept on running.

Mile 13- 9:16 No way! Another negative split! How do I have all this energy? All this power?! Maybe the honey stingers, or maybe I just never really knew my limit and how hard I could push myself until now...

Last 0.1- 8:08 Down right sprinting... Apparently I was running so fast I was too fast for the cameramen at the finish line. I was running with peace sign fingers and everything, but there's not picture :-(

So when it was all said and done I crossed the finish line nearly in tears. I couldn't believe I had done it. According to my garmin I ran 13.24 miles (stop weaving!) in 2 hours and 36 seconds, with an average pace of 9 min 7 sec miles. According to the race and the Atlanta Track Club, I ran 13.1 miles in 2 hours, 0 minutes,  and 35 seconds. I didn't break 2 hours, but I have never been more confident than now that I can, and I can't wait to not try but to DO IT! I PR-ed for the first time since January of 2010 (2:03:26 in Phoenix, a super flat course.) I certainly "earned my turkey" and am still on quite a race high. 

I woke up Friday all ready to shop til I dropped, but I almost dropped to the floor out of bed. My legs were wildly sore, but so were my abs, back, and upper arms. Talk about a full body work out. It hurt to laugh! Such a fantabulous feeling. I can't wait to feel it again...

Dad and I post-race. He did super well in the 5K!

I WOO

About three weeks ago I made a list of things I wanted to write about. That didn't work so well. Here I am three weeks later and it's, as of one minute, November 27th and I've only blogged once in November. I'm going to try and write 8 more times before December, nearly twice a day, so wish me luck.

I am VERY lucky to have recently become a seasonal part-time educator at lululemon athletica. If you have never been to this store, or purchased our product. DO IT NOW. :-) running, yoga, ballet, just hang out in the clothes! Once you put them on you will never want to take them off.

Along with my very favorite saying DO IT NOW, here are some other things I love that are found written and often said in the store...


Do one thing a day that scares you. 


Dance, sing, floss and travel. 


Breathe Deeply, and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life. 


Sweat once a day to regenerate your skin.

I am also very fortunate to work with such a wonderful group of people at the store. Everyone shares a love of fitness and healthiness, and it's nice hanging out with people who share those feelings with me. I have also been encouraged to sit down and take time to think out my goals for the future.


Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 2, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.

This has always been an idea of mine, but I've never actually written them out in an organized fashion. Now, I am! And I am putting the finishing touches on them. It's crazy how real things are when they are written.

Along with goals, I am also focusing on my strengths. I just completed, literally five minutes ago, a strength finder assessment. It pulled my top five strengths, not saying they are WHAT I should be doing, but saying they are WHERE I am the strongest. They we Right. On. Target. My #1 was a Woo- winning over others. I'd say this is pretty spot on. I love being around other people, and could talk to any stranger put in front of me. This helps in situations where others may feel uneasy. I have always been told I'm easy to talk to, and this supports that as well. My other top 4 strengths (positivity, communication, futurist, and developer) ALL point me in the direction of teaching or sales/marketing. Ironic? I think not. What I do and what I used to do, what I can go back and forth with forever I suppose. They are almost one in the same.  I make people feel comfortable (students in the classroom), look towards the future, talk a lot but in a way that others understand, and encourage others to find their strengths, putting a positive spin on almost everything. I am REALLY excited about reading more into my strengths and what I can do with them to excel the most in life.

Oh, and the Woo and Positivity also VERY often mentioned sports. Is this accurate? 110%. Go DAWGS :-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

I want I want I want

I want to blog. I have SO much to write about, but I have so much to do. Grad school, I'm so over you.
I want you to be over.
So I want to and I WILL blog about the following in the next three days:

Running partners Rock
lululemon athletica
Praxis
Goals

On to finish my work and then catch some Zzzzs

Monday, October 31, 2011

Superhero

This is one of my favorite weekends of the year. While Halloween is not my favorite holiday, I enjoy it a lot. I LOVE dressing up for any occasion. Not like formal dress, but costume dress. My Halloween costume last year was phenomenal if I may say so myself.
I was really concerned about what to be this year as I knew I could not live up to last year. I decided on what I call my "German Beer Girl" costume I wore my first Halloween here in Charlotte. Unfortunately, I can not find the tool to hook up my camera to my computer so there will be no photo of that (didn't get one on my phone.) But, the other reason I love this weekend, the REAL reason I love this weekend: UGA/Florida game AKA the "World's Largest Cocktail Party." This was my second year not making it to SSI/JAX for the game, but I was still super pumped for it. On Sunday I saw a few UGA fans out and about, and I rolled down my window, and hollered a "Go Dawgs!" They appreciated this :-) I even smiled at one of my students today who was wearing a Gators sweatshirt. We won, so no need to scowl. We won!!!

I decided to also take part in a social media scavenger hunt Saturday before the game (ok ok so I missed the whole first half, but we were awful that part of the game so it was probably better for me to not see.) The scavenger hunt was sponsored by the Panthers and Allen Tate. My partner in the Scavenger Hunt, Kevin, decided we would be the "Honey Badgers," and I promised costumes. We definitely ended up looking more like skunks, but oh well.

Ok so here we actually had taken off the white boas that were running down our backs. They got way too in the way as we were running around the city. Keep in mind we had also run 8 miles at 6:30 Saturday morning. Here we're at Bojangles, or rather in a box of Bojangles.
We had to learn and perform a dance taught by the Panthers dancers.
We ended up getting 4th place out of nearly 30 teams! I was really excited and very surprised. We were at the after party and I was enthralled in the UGA game so almost didn't even hear them announce us as fourth place winners! We got a Panthers bookbag, hat, umbrella, and I got a football signed by Deangelo Williams!

One of my BFFs from life (he used to save me a seat on the bus every morning in elementary school)  and his girlfriend and sister were in town, so I celebrated Halloween and the UGA win with them that night! It was fun watching the game with them and screaming at the TV in the bar when most of the crowd wasn't paying attention to it. Unless you went to an SEC school or have attended this game you will never fully get it. It is huge and the W made our season, at least for me, that's all I know to say...oh and I woke up with this on my face Sunday morning:
GO DAWGS!

Sunday was relaxing. I had coffee, read some, carved a pumpkin, cooked pumpkin seeds mmm, and watched a movie with my friends. Today at school the students and teachers dressed up as their favorite storybook characters. I was really drawing a blank and ended up as Mary Ann from The Babysitter's Club. Think pigtails, jeans, tennis shoes, and a name tag that said, "Mary Ann, Secretary" to help everyone identify me. 

I got some absolutely fabulous news after work today which I will share in a week or so.  (Don't let the anticipation get to you too much.) Let's just say I'm inching closer to my dream. Then I was excited to go for my Halloween run! It was my last of the month, totaling my miles for the month to 80! I was out for about 45 minutes running in the midst of the trick or treaters. The costumes were all very cute, lots of superheroes. These are my favorite:
Batman and Batgirl! I love my sweet family I babysit for and fortunately I caught them as they were heading out the door to get candy! I had a great run. I was full of energy and in a super super happy mood. I even snapped a shot of myself still rocking the pigtails:
Again, still very excited about the Georgia win!!!




Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Yoga-thon

No, I don't mean doing yoga for 24 hours straight or something crazy like that. Im sure that already exists. What I want is an event where I can do yoga for 1 1/2-2 hours and then run! I had one of the best practices I've had in a while tonight, and left so full of energy. Unfortunately for me, that was at 8:30PM. I really needed to be calming down, but as I was driving home, all I wanted to do was run. I can only hope this carries over to tomorrow morning. Imagine though, doing yoga, getting energized with inversions, and then totally relaxing in shavasana. To get up, strap on your running shoes, and head out for a run! What could be better? Maybe not a half or full marathon afterwards, but just a 3 or 10K. Perhaps I will do that one day on my own. Maybe it can be created as an event. "Crow to Cheetah" (yes I know they're both poses but I mean run like a cheetah) or " Om and Run," maybe.  I don't think I'd like "Run and Om." That would just be too hard.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Inspire.

My goal has always been to introduce other people to running. They might accomplish something they never thought they could. 
Grete Waitz, Norwegian marathon runner and former world record holder

This quote really caught my eye. I receive the weekly Runners's World quotes on my email. They used to be daily, which was wonderful. I would read them every morning when I woke up before my run. Now they are weekly and I save them for the mornings before my long runs. However, I usually end up forgetting so just read last week's yesterday.

This quote rings very true for me. I ran cross country in 8th grade. I really have no idea why. Maybe because my friends were doing it, or because my brother ran. As I get older I tend to find I do/did a lot of things because my brothers did. Most of them have been good decisions :-) But I hated cross country. I did it in 9th grade too, and I think my coach could tell how much I didn't like it. He certainly wasn't upset when I didn't join the team the next year. It wasn't until my sophomore year of college that I began to run again. I have no idea what inspired me (besides the annual family running of the Peachtree Road Race of course) but this time I enjoyed it. In 2008 I completed my first half marathon, and last spring I completed my first full. It still amazes me sometimes.

Anyways, I am willing to bet there is no one out there who wasn't introduced to running by someone else. Maybe it wasn't a family member or a friend, maybe it was a stranger whose blog you read, or whose constant tweets about ice baths and foam rollers pop up, or roll across your news feed. Maybe  one day you were driving or walking and someone ran by you with all the ease in the world and inspired you to give it a try too.

Days like today I drive home from work with a billion things on my mind. I knew I needed to run but had to write lesson plans, create assessments, make power points. Then I saw a man running down the road, so peaceful yet so focused and determined. It made me want to get that run in! So I sat down and focused on getting my work done so I could run. The sun was setting outside the window, but I didn't let that stop me. I set out for a short run, ending as the sun disappeared from the sky. 

So thank you to the man running down the street today who convinced me that even with everything going on in my day I could still enjoy a run. Thanks to all who have inspired me, and all who inspired them. The next time you go running, who knows who you will inspire.

Here are my inspirations below after the Peachtree Road Race: Uncle, mom, grandfather, grandmother, aunt and dad...(sometime in the 80s. Dad still has all his shirts so I'm sure he can give an exact date.) 



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Running Addict

I spent two hours Sunday morning watching the Chicago Marathon on nbclive.com. It was very exciting watching the leaders run in packs, and eventually pull away and earn a course record. The broadcast constantly checked in with the weather, which was said to be warm but, "Not too humid." After reading many recaps I realize that it was indeed extremely warm. Maybe not during the roughly two hours it took the professionals to run the course, but during the 4-6 hours it took normal folks. All of this made me want to run another marathon, BADLY. I'm scheduled to run the Thanksgiving Half in Atlanta, and the Publix half in Atlanta in March. I was at a Girls on the Run meeting two weeks ago and they announced some free entries into the Inaugural Ramblin Rose half marathon in Durham.  I was lucky enough to be chosen and really excited about the opportunity. It's the the first women's only half marathon in the state of North Carolina! It was quite a stretch though, as I have to be in Spartanburg Saturday night. My plan was to catch a ride super early, think 430AM, Sunday morning with some people to Durham. However, they decided to spend Saturday evening there, and after much consideration, I've decided to not do the half. I'm bummed, but it's probably the best idea. I DID meet a great running partner last week and am looking forward to doing a fast 12-miler Saturday morning with her.

This still doesn't solve my predicament of wanting to run another FULL marathon. It's been seven months since my first one. I am ready to go again! Though I'm physically not in the shape I would want to be in for the race. My goal has been and still is to run another full Fall 2012. But that's YEAR away. I plan on either Chicago or NYC. I also received some interesting information regarding the NYC Marathon. If you're a marathon runner then you know how the lottery system works for the race. If you get denied three years in a row, you are guaranteed entry the fourth year. Well, apparently the field is getting too big to manage so they had to make some changes. If you were denied for a third time this year, you still have your guaranteed entry November of 2012. If you are denied for a third time next fall, you are guaranteed entry for 2013. After that, no more guaranteed entry. I owe a HUGE thanks to my great friend and running partner Lauren, who encouraged me to sign up for my first NYC Marathon in 2010. This means I AM IN! I will be the last group to have guaranteed entry, and run the NYC Marathon in 2013. This is a huge relief. I would be extremely upset if it cut me out, especially because the new time requirements are insane. 1 hour and 27 minutes for a half time. That is CRAZY.

So, I guess I will have to settle with Chicago (or maybe maybe if I'm lucky and get picked) NYC in 2012. I'm trying to convince myself to start training now. I have met some fellow tweeters and we are all committing to training for Chicago Marathon 2012, or #cm12 as we like to call it. I'm also focusing on strength training, tempo runs, sprints, and healthy eating. (See colorful, veggie-ful dinner from a few nights ago below.) I suppose if I train this well for a whole year I will have a spectacular race. For now I will settle with that.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today's run = Math sucks

My run today- tired, downhill, running, walking, running on sidewalk, "Math Sucks," lots of Halloween decorations, more running, greeting fellow runners/walkers with a hello, more Halloween decorations, sprinters passing me, uphill, Cardinals flag, walking, man with child on bike in the new front-of-the-bike child seats, running past house hosting Young Life, woman yelling "Bambi!" calling her dog to dinner, running past delicious smelling Mellow Mushroom, home, stretch, tight muscles, planks, I need yoga!!!

I want to focus on the "Math Sucks" written on sidewalk in chalk. It's as if they knew I was coming. Unfortunately I didn't have my phone with me so I could not take a picture of this. After that it said, "Math is ic..." I guess their vocabulary is rather small and they could think of no more words to describe the wonder that is mathematics. I got to thinking about math and running and other forms of exercise. Some may say that of the four core subjects science relates most to the human body and it staying physically fit. I would like to argue this and say that math relates most to our health and fitness. In order to stay fit we must move. It may be swimming, biking, running, walking, karate, dancing, but it is all movement. This involves our heart rate going up. To figure out how fit we are we must calculate our heart rate, calories burned, speed, pace, distance, body weight, etc. That ALL involves math! We must also remember eating and what it does for our health. How many calories? How many fat grams per calories? Carbs, sugars, protein and more. So for everyone who "hates math," this is yet another example of how much it is used daily in the real world.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wassuuuuuuup

**Warning- I got up before 5AM today and ran a hard 9 miles, so if parts of this don't make sense, it's because I'm very tired**

I've been meaning to write about this for a while. I love running by fellow runners. First, when I see one coming it always motivates me to keep running, not walk, or start running if I am walking. Second, I love watching others' strides, comparing it to my own. (Usually my stride is much shorter and slower.) But, my favorite thing about passing others on the street is seeing if they will say hello. I ALWAYS try to smile and say hi. The past couple months I have been making a lot of mental notes as I run past others. 

People walking slowly, or walking dogs, often keep their heads down and will not even make eye contact. I haven't really figured out why. Are they ashamed they're not running? They shouldn't be! They are still out getting exercise. I do have to say that older people seem more likely to say hello and even ask, "How are you doing?" I usually respond with the, "Great! How are you?" though I continue running before I get a response.

People sprinting by me may make eye contact, but certainly don't speak. They are running too hard to speak. Maybe I should try and be more like these people.

Those running or jogging usually make eye contact and some sort of "hello" gesture. Maybe it's a "Hey," in the midst of panting, a small wave, or my favorite, the head nod. When running hard I usually give the very small hand wave, fingers only, or I love to do the head nod. It implies somewhat of a, "Sup? Yes, we are awesome for running this early on a Saturday morning." :-)

This was recently a topic on the #runchat I participate in on Twitter. A lot of runners expressed frustration with those who do not say hello, though some thought it was just plain crazy to say hi. I think it's a bit of a southern thing.

The picture below is my brother and his fiance (YAY!) waving hello to my other brother before passing off the baton to me at the Big Sur Marathon last spring. My eldest brother, I would bet, would be one to not say hello. He doesn't always stop during the Peachtree Road Race to be photographed with his daughter. But hey, he's trying to get a PR so understandable right? To runners, yes that totally makes sense. To others, maybe not.


Do you say hi to fellow runners/walkers? If so, how? I challenge you to say hi or at least give a friendly nod the next time you pass a fellow walker or runner, or even a biker. Maybe say hi to those who keep their heads down. We're all out to enjoy the day and get exercise right? So we have that in common, why not be friendly with one another and brighten each other's day!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A day short of a month

It's been almost a month to the day that I've written! This is not acceptable. Life just seems to get in the way sometimes. So this will be short and sweet. I have set a goal if at least three posts a week, starting now. Tonight I need sleep so I can get up and run. At Girls on the Run this morning I talked about letting go of things as you run, thinking, but clearing those thoughts. Here are many thought often on my mind as I run:
Am I working hard enough? At work, grad school, running, building friendships, etc.
Am I a good friend to all my friends?
Where do I go next?
What will I do tomorrow, this weekend, next month?
When will I blog again, and about what?
Do I know what I'm teaching today, tomorrow, next week?
Are all of my papers graded?
Do I need to go grocery shopping? What will I buy?
Am I a positive influence on those around me? Adults and children.
Where should I run my next race?
Why didn't I get up a little earlier to get an extra mile done?

What do you ponder, think of, let go of when you run?

Monday, September 5, 2011

It Takes Fans to Win a Game

I've noticed that maybe my blog should be called, "Teachers who Run and are Football Fanatics," because that is me. Yesterday my mom pointed out that I need to be passionate, not angry. I tried to argue that no anger was involved, but maybe it was, a little. My problem Saturday night wasn't with my team's performance necessarily, but with the lack of fan enthusiasm during the game. As I was cheering for the Bulldawgs and encouraging fans to cheer with me, it occurred to me that this is what we must do for our students too. You can give a child all of the tools he needs to succeed in school, but if there is no support from parents or teachers or someone, I think he would find it very difficult to succeed. I've been learning in my experience as a teacher and in my graduate school courses that it is important to make mistakes, even good to make mistakes. It is very cliche but just as true that you do learn from your mistakes. When a mistake is made we must not give up on ourselves or others, but fix the problem and push on.

At the Georgia Dome Saturday there were nearly 71,000 fans. Apparently Boise State was alloted 7,500 so this leaves UGA with almost 64,000 seats (minus the one guy there in a Gator t-shirt. I did not like that very much.) I could not imagine having that many people cheering for me. Sadly, I do not feel Georgia had that many people cheering for them. Our fans just were not behind the players 100%. We were so excited at the beginning of the game! We all knew we were playing the pre-season ranked #5 team in the country. Is this an ideal season opener? Some may say no because it is good to win your first game and build confidence. But some may say yes, because winning would be a huge boost. As a fan did I expect Georgia to win? YES! You must believe in who you support or it is much less likely for them to succeed. However, when so many of our fans started leaving at half-time it had to hurt the spirit of the team. Obviously, I have never been a player on a football field, but it is something I have dreamed of and can only imagine the rush one must feel as the fans cheer for the team. How awful for the fans to leave when the team is down. You can't leave your child or student when they disappoint you. You must keep loving them and supporting them. I certainly could not imagine running a marathon or a half marathon with no fans on the sidelines. I believe that's the reason I run 10K races faster than I run a 6.2 miles during training.  I'm not saying that if all the fans had stayed we would have won because there are a lot of other factors involved. But with no fans there is no chance of winning.  I truly do not think there is much that can be accomplished in life without support from others.

I am going to remember this as I teach this year. As a teacher it can be disheartening when students do not perform as well as you would like them too. I imagine this is the same feeling coaches get after a loss. While it's easy to blame the students for not studying or preparing as they should have, it's important to reflect and realize that maybe as a teacher (or coach) you didn't do all you could have done. While sometimes I wish Coach Richt would be more stern and aggressive with the players, I realize as I'm typing that is not the solution. That certainly is not the solution in the classroom. The solution is to remain positive and encouraging. Maybe then the solution is more rigorous practices, watching more game tapes, or more rigorous classwork and tutoring after school. The one thing I know is that continuos encouragement is key. I know the fans aren't the coaches, and parents aren't teachers, but I think it's just as important for students to have the cheering and praising too. So I challenge myself and you to be the positive, passionate encourager, not the fan who walks out at half-time.


photo from bleacherreport.com

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I have a logo!

My awesome best friend and her boyfriend created a logo for Teachers Who Run! What do you think?

I think it's pretty fabulous.

Ran a 10K this morning and was pretty bummed with my time. This has been a hot summer, and I have been focusing on yoga a lot, but still. In fact, I have a 3 hour yoga workshop at 2PM today. All inversions! (Headstand, handstand, wheel...) I struggle with them so I am looking forward to it and hoping my shoulder doesn't pop out of place.

I made it through the first two teacher workdays this week. A lack of sleep made it difficult. I must make myself get more sleep this week. I'm looking forward to track workout again Tuesday morning, as well as meeting my new students Thursday! My school has a lot of "new" going on this year. My favorite part is that each class will have 30 minutes of healthy activity time every three days. This might not seem like much but they have gym every other day too. I figure it's a start to getting middle school students active! Also, a big thanks to Rick Hendrick for keeping ALL sports in CMS middle schools. I fear what would happen to the students if these were lost. Lastly, Girls on Track starts in a couple weeks. I can't wait to meet the new group of girls and get started! If you're interested check out http://www.girlsontherun.org/. It is truly an incredible, life changing organization.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"God Made Sand"

I've been meaning to write about this for a few weeks now. It's something that I'm aware is controversial, so take it as you'd like...

I was babysitting my favorite little buddy last week.  We went to the local pool to get in one last swim before I had to go back to work.  The time we spend in the car together is always some of my favorite. He randomly tells me stories or asks me questions. Today we were talking about our early summer beach trip and his trip to see his grandparents. He told me about swimming at the pool in his grandparent's neighborhood in Atlanta. Then he began to tell me about the sand at their pool in Atlanta. I decided maybe there was a volleyball court or sandbox around. One would think he was confused with the pool at the beach, but this kid is brilliant and always knows what he's talking about, so I have no choice but to believe him.  So I asked, "Where was the sand? Where did it come from?" I love asking him questions as he always gives fabulous answers. His answer to this, though, was truly great. "Well, God makes everything so, God made the sand." It was the sweetest thing I had ever heard. The conversation continued with me asking more questions. "Well OK, but where is God?" His response, "He lives way up in the sky. You can't go there til you die." He struggled trying to remember the name of where God lives. I gave him the clue that it started with an "H" and he got it, "Heaven! That's where you go to be with God when you die." This was just so sweet. So simply put from an "almost four year old." It's as simple as that. God made everything and you get to meet him one day in heaven. Children seem to understand this so well and completely accept it. They do not question it, they have no reason to, that's just it. The conversation went on as he described more things that God made and I asked him what he thought heaven would be like. He said he didn't know (again so honest) and I just told him that I don't know either but I heard it's a really cool place.

This conversation between my best three, almost four, year old friend and I was also relevant because of something I've recently viewed on TV. I really don't want this post to be seen as less passionate because I mention TV by the way. It was on the Discovery Channel and their new series Curiosity. It is a cool show much like everything else on that channel. But a few days prior to my conversation above, the episode was on the Big Bang Theory. Now, I'm all for science and some explanation that can make sense. I know people will never agree on what happened. I believe God did create everything, and who knows maybe he made the "Big Bang" happen. This show very scientifically explained how it all took place, down to each individual atom. It was very complicated, yet made a lot of sense. Even more fascinating to watch, the narrator of the show was a man, paralyzed in a wheelchair, talking through a robotic voice box. The most interesting part was the last three sentences of the show. After a very confusing, way too complex conversation about what time really is: "So time did not exist before the world existed. Therefore, there was no time for God to create the world. Therefore, there is no God."  Really?! That's it! Just like that you can write off the idea? It was rather outrageous to make such a bold statement and just end the show. But again, it's TV, people think what they want to think and have varying opinions of this. I am NOT trying to change anyone's opinion, or tell anyone they are wrong. We each believe what we believe. But, it's pretty phenomenal to have a simple conversation on such a controversial topic with someone who hasn't been alive for four years. And to have that four year old explain it so simply, no questions asked.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" Genesis 1:1

Lastly, God loves us runners :-) ...They will soar like wings on Eagles, they will RUN and not grow weary, then will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm ready to run, and teach

Here I am sitting at Starbucks at 11:30 on a Monday morning. I'm enjoying it as much as possible because it's the last time for a while I'll be able to do this. Teacher workdays dont start until Thursday, but between grad school and babysitting today is my last free morning. I allowed myself to stay in bed for a while today watching the horrible but entertaining Karhy lee and Hoda. Pauli D was the guest on the show. Oh morning television trash, how I will miss you. Not really. So as I ran to the grocery this morning the inevitable finally happened. I text my best friend, "I think I'm finally ready for the school year to begin." There it is, I said it. I actually mean it too. So much that I bought myself some new pens and a composition book that I will use as a journal. Reflecting on my teaching is suggested by the teacher evaluation process, but more, it's something that I really want to do for myself.

The other thing that made me finally ready was the chill in the air this morning. It felt phenomenal. Since I slept late I didn't make a morning run (yoga this afternoon) but I am pumped for my morning run tomorrow. Thanks to my friend Kevin, I finally ran with a group Saturday morning. It was so much fun!! Great 7 mile run and I never even used my headphones. Kevin and I talked the whole time. Or maybe it was me talking his ears off the whole time. I'm pretty good at that! Either way it was a blast. The chocolate milk at the end was so satisfying! The group aspect also made me sure to stretch well at the end, which I sometimes rush through when by myself. The group does weekday morning runs too. 6 am at the track right by my house. This means I'll get home just after 7 and, more importantly, I'll actually get in track workouts and maybe, finally start improving my times. I'm hoping speed workouts will be a bit easier with people there to keep me company. There's nothing better than a morning run before school. It gets me energized and ready for a full day with 6th graders!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Don't worry, the kids are heading back to school

This summer has been interesting with running. As I call myself "teachers who run" I haven't really been running much and I definitely haven't been teaching. I seem to have found more comfort in yoga, which I hadn't done for nearly two years. As I've said over and over I think it's the heat that's keeping me off the street. (Swear unintentional rhyme.) It's supposed to be in the low 70s tomorrow and I am really excited about getting a good run in and then some time at the pool (where I will read through our new text books.) I'm down to my final ten days of summer vacation and trying to not freak out. When people ask if I'm ready to go back I just refuse to say yes. Sure, I suppose I am, but I know I will miss all the free time. I spent the majority of my time yesterday sleeping. I've become an expert napper for the first time in my life. I even went to bed early and slept fairly late this morning. I'm really going to have to adjust this schedule next week in preparation for the school year- back to seriously running and teaching.

I've had an amazing day today. Began with my second trip to the farmer's market. I loaded up on veggies! I dropped the groceries at home and headed to yoga. Jonathon, my favorite yoga teacher, has been in India for the past week so I was excited to see him today. He shared with us his knowledge and love of Ashtanga yoga and told us stories of what he experienced in India. Ashtanga is a bit different from Bikram (what I used to practice) and still extremely challenging. It was an invigorating class today. I headed home and made some guacamole with my goodies from the farmer's market.  Then I walked down the street to get a massage! I hadn't had one since April after the Marathon, and this one felt great.  It's a small studio down the street- The Art of Massage. Check it out if you are interested and in the area! After the massage I cooked more fresh vegetables (see picture below) and cleaned for a couple hours. I wish I had spent every day of my summer being this productive!



One part of this day really stuck out. The yoga class I went to is in the morning and mostly comprised of young mothers.  Jonathon kept mentioning how each pose releases stress and saying, "Don't worry those kids will be out of the house and back at school soon!" While this surely relaxed those moms it did the opposite for me. I reminded myself that I needed yoga and running to get me through the school year. It also made me realize how tough summer must be on some parents. I was fortunate enough to have my mom, and sometimes dad, at home all summer long.  I loved this and never thought twice about the fact that they may not have. I know they enjoyed my brothers and me, but as an adult now I can totally understand how they may have been ready for that first day of school.  I am ready for the school year and excited to meet my students, but I can not imagine being a mother who teaches too. When would you ever get a break?! Your kids are different then your students, but still... Looking back on how I've spent my summer I obviously love being around children- babysitting, swimming lessons, etc. I guess when the time comes for me to teach and have kids I will enjoy it as much as I THINK my mom did :-)


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thank You Yoga

As I said in my last post I had an amazing run yesterday. Dominated hills and felt strong the whole time. I feel like I owe a lot of this to yoga and getting back into it the past two months. I really believe it makes my legs SO much stronger, as well as my upper body and core.  And if it's not yoga, well I least I'm convincing myself that's the case. It is super late again and for once the TV is off so it really is bedtime. But I had to write quickly because I have something I really want to share. I went to yoga tonight. Same studio but different instructor and different class. It was called "Kick Your Asana." It certainly did that. It was constant flow and had the heart rate through the roof. I really enjoyed that part of the class, but also enjoyed the first five or so minutes. The instructor talked to us about how the month of August we're going to focus on Satya, Sankskrit for Truthfulness. Then he read to us the "Seven Basic Truths." This really set the tone for practice and made it one of the best ones I've had lately.


Here they are:



1.  Imagination creates your reality.
2.  Thoughts are things.
3.  What you think about grows.
4.  You become what you think about.
5.  Your assumptions form your world; so keep your mind on what you want, and off of what you don't want.
6.  You can change your world by reforming your assumptions.
7.  If you cannot change the situation, you can change its effect on you by changing your assumption or your attitude about it; and eventually, you may even be able to change the situation.

I could relate these to life in so many ways, and some other day and time soon I will reflect on them. For now, Thanks Charlotte Yoga for letting me share!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sharks, San Fran, Goodfellas, and Chicago

Fall, work, teaching, is slowly approaching me. I even had to get up this morning (it was very difficult) and learn about the new Math books (CMP) we are getting. I actually really like them and again this almost, almost made me excited for the school year to begin, but I'm continuing to remind myself that it is still summer! I made myself go out tonight around 7 for a run. The first two miles were fantastic and fast and then I literally thought I was going to throw up. I walked for about five minutes and the rest of my run was even better than the beginning! I was enjoying it so much that I came home, grabbed water, pre-heated the oven for my salmon, and went back out for one last mile. I stayed close to home so if the oven caught the place on fire hopefully I'd smell it before it got too out of control. Probably not a great idea, but oh well. I logged 5 great miles. I am currently craving a runner's high. I am craving training. I am craving the excitement of a race. This brings me to my first of two dilemmas this week.

The extreme want of raceday excitement I think was caused by the fact that I spent my first few waking hours Sunday following my Twitter "friends" who ran the San Francisco Marathon. I was impressed that some people even took their phones and tweeted throughout the race. I do not think I am coordinated enough to multitask like that. Most ran the half but a few ran the full. San Francisco is a really cool half marathon. Unlike most, you can choose to do the first or second half. According to everyone who ran or has run the race, the first half is harder and hillier, but it allows you to run over the Golden Gate Bridge. (I once biked across it, but that's a whole other story of me being a bratty high schooler and falling off my bike.) When we visited San Francisco the day after the Big Sur Marathon it made me really, really want to run in San Francisco.  I've always thought I would only be up for the half because of the intense hills, but now I wonder, could I do the full? The shirts this year had the marathon's slogan, "Worth the Hurt." Something like that just makes me want to run the race even more! So, here's the dilemma... With the lottery process of the New York Marathon, I am guaranteed in the race Fall of 2013. I guess there's a chance I could get in for 2012 but I'm assuming that chance is slim to none. I really want to do another full before, preferably Fall of 2012.  I am already registered for the half marathon on Thanksgiving in Atlanta as well as another half in Atlanta in March of 2012. I have been thinking and pretty much decided to do the Chicago Marathon. Chicago is such an amazing town and an extra plus is that my mom and dad said they would even consider doing the half there! (They've each done one half and I think it was just mom who said she'd do Chicago but I'm pretty sure I could convince both of them :-)  I would love a flat, fast course after the hills I constantly experience in Atlanta and Charlotte. I know it would improve my time by a significant amount. But then there's San Francisco! Would it be good, safe, healthy for me to run the half in San Francisco next July before Chicago? Should I suck it up and go for the full? If I did the full would I be recovered enough to do Chicago? Probably most importantly can I afford all this? I've accepted the fact that it would be smart and of course fun for all of the trips I take in the future to be planned around a race. Should I hold off San Fran for the summer before New York? But then I want to do the full in Big Sur for sure, so I've got to get that in too. Is it outrageous for me to have races planned out for the next three or four years of my life? I guess the wonderful thing about running is that you never get too old for it. Yes, I know I'm not old, but I suspect for the rest of my life I will be planning races like this in advance. So any suggestions or recommendations are more than helpful here.

There's no good way to connect the first dilemma to the second so here it goes: Shark Week or Mob Week?? Discovery or AMC? Last night I chose Shark Week and learned that coastal GA is actually home to Great Whites. The good news is that it's during the winter months, and though I visit St. Simons Island (GA coast)  then, I do not get in the water. I was surprised when I woke up this morning that I didn't have dreams/nightmares about sharks. So my other choice is the less popular Mob Week. One of my favorite movies of all time is Goodfellas. Some may find this shocking but I absolutely love it. I enjoy the Godfather movies, Casino, and others too. So which do I choose?
They both involve blood, making them equally as creepy before bed. They both get my adrenaline going thus probably do not help me fall asleep. Currently the fellows on Shark Week have Australian accents while those in Godfather are strongly Italian... As screams echo through the Godfather's mansion I am reminded that it's after midnight now and I need to go to bed. I guess this dilemma can be faced again tomorrow evening.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Yoga and Garden food- plus feta

I have something very embarrassing to confess. I've lived in Charlotte for four years with at least 6 great Farmer's Markets nearby and have never been to one. Never. So I was driving into uptown this morning and noticed the crazy backup on Kings Rd. It was the Farmer's Market! I ran my errands and then fought four other drivers for a parking spot. I was so overwhelmed- flowers, plants, vegetables, fruits, shrimp, and more. I gathered tons of food into my bag, grabbed some bananas then headed to pay. Then I thought I noticed something so I asked, "Is this cash only?" The response was cash or check. Well I don't even know where my checkbook is so that was out of the question. The lady was nice enough to hold my food for me while I ran to the ATM next door. I had no idea how much it would cost and I took out more than enough- it was only 14 dollars! I was so shocked and part of me wanted to go to Harris Teeter, put the exact same items in my card, and check how much more it would cost there. My guess would be about twice as much. I dropped off the groceries at home and then went to yoga. I've been at the beach since Sunday and though I ran there a few times my body was really missing yoga. I even tried to do it in the sand. This did not work as I was in the wet sand so my hands and feet sunk into the water. Not a good idea. Anyways, after yoga I came home, chopped up everything I bought, threw it into a bowl with a squirt of lemon juice, and went at it with a fork.  It was so delicious and fresh and refreshing! Check out the picture below- sweet potato (cooked in microwave and then cubed), cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, red onion, apples, and a bit of feta. Some people think it's weird to combine random ingredients but I think it is delicious. Fresh, raw food always makes me feel so healthy too!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Ready for Fall

I have really enjoyed my summer. It's the first time in three years I haven't spent the summer looking for a job. But, after my trip to the beach Sunday, I may just be ready for fall. Three reasons- a routine, cooler weather, and football.

The first few weeks of summer I found myself still waking up around 7AM. Just after the 4th of July I became an expert sleeper. I even found myself lying in bed at noon! So lazy I know, but I think I needed it. It's unfortunate too because the last couple weeks of the school year I was doing really well getting up and running before work. As I've been saying, there's really no use in getting up early because it's the same temperature at 5AM as it is at 8AM, and even with the darkness there is no relief in humidity. I have been taking a class for grad school this summer and really enjoying it, and babysitting every now and then, and I'm not saying I'm bored, but I'm ready for a bit more of a routine. I don't know if I'm ready for a new school year, or new set of kids yet, but I think in a month I will definitely be excited. It's going to be my second year of teaching and I feel so much more confident with a year of experience. I almost, ALMOST, get excited talking about it now. But I will also very gladly enjoy the rest of my summer.

I can't stress this enough- I need cooler weather. The only place that feels good is my apartment and, believe it or not, the yoga studio. I went to Starbucks two days ago and the ice in my iced coffee melted before I could enjoy it. And, I was inside! Unfortunately for the baristas the A/C was not working well. I had run 7 and a half miles that morning and was still trying to cool off. The lack of A/C in Starbucks did not help. Yoga yesterday was magnificent. 85 degrees inside felt SO much better than being outside. I sweat like crazy and am super sore, but it's the best. I tried to workout on the elliptical at the gym today. The problem is there are huge windows behind the row of ellipticals. I was sweating profusely 8 minutes into it, I guess from the sun and heat coming into the building.  Needless to say I only lasted about 15 minutes which is pathetic. I moved to the bike and then did weights along with my planks. If you are on Twitter you need to join #PlankADay. It's a really fun challenge and you post when you do planks and for how long. The group has grown to over 100 people and the "plank police" as they like to call themselves will call you out if you miss a day.  Anyways, I really cannot wait for fall weather. It is truly the runner's season. I am running the half in Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day. I decided to really dedicate myself to training and I'm excited about how soon it starts. 12 weeks out means training starts September 5th. I'm using one of Bart Yasso's training plans I read in his book My Life on the Run. I haven't trained for a run since my marathon in March and I can tell. Running is becoming more difficult but I know it will get better the more I make myself do it. I cannot make myself do it in 100 degree weather...

Lastly, I cannot wait for football. College football. I know my blog is supposed to be about teaching and running, but if you know me at all, you know I can't leave out my favorite sport. I'll wait to express my favorite team, my alma mater, until closer to the season opener. I just found out I have a ticket to the game and I can't wait to see my team play! I just really, really hope we're good this year. My mood is severely affected August-December by the performance of my team. Since fall is such a significant training time I also have to plan my runs around the schedule. The past couple of years I have really enjoyed what I call my Gameday Runs. I get up Saturday morning, text my best friends "It's GAMEDAY!!!," and get some miles in while listening to my school's fight song on my iPod. I get VERY pumped up!

27 days until I'm back at work, 43 days until kickoff, hopefully not eternity until cool weather...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back to School already?!

I have to admit I've spent much of my summer catching up on TV. While I have enjoyed the Bachelorette, Pretty Little Liars, and other new shows, nothing beats Soapnet. There's nothing better than watching old episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 and the OC. Especially the first season of 90210 as it is so cheesy and dramatic. It's funny to think I was six years old when it first aired. I usually DVR these shows so I don't have to watch commercials, but not always. I've noticed lately the abundance of Back to School commercials for everything from Target to Frosted Mini Wheats.  I hope one of my students has a little mini wheat on his shoulder :-) I think I'm ready for a new year and new group of kids, but not quite yet! It's only the middle of July so I've got a few more relaxing weeks ahead of me.

When I came in after my run today I was ready to relax and cash up with my friends Brandon, Steve, and Dylan. However, I was starving! So I want to share my new summer treat/breakfast I have created. I use about three or four tablespoons of non-fat plain Greek yogurt (gotta love the protein!) and mix in one tablespoon of peanut butter. It is a delicious and healthy treat loaded with protein and who doesn't love peanut butter?! I highly recommend it.

One other recipe I wanted to share I stumbled upon about a year ago. This is the best and healthiest banana bread ever. I currently have two very brown bananas and plan to make it this afternoon.

Check out the other recipes too on this website.

http://www.activelifecooking.com/2009/03/berry-banana-bread/#more-95

What I love about this banana bread is that you can make it with anything you have in the kitchen. You any substitute and nut and fruit. It is a great breakfast bread or afternoon/evening snack. Check out the picture below!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Humid Peachtree to Hot Yoga

It's been quite a summer. Once wedding season ended I finally made it to the beach for the first time in over a year. I am fortunate enough to babysit for the best family! There's nothing like being with a child at the beach. There is never a dull moment, only jumping and crashing in the waves, building sandcastles, and poking dead jellyfish with sticks. It was an amazing week. That was followed by the 4th of July. To most people, the 4th is a time to celebrate on a lake or at the beach, but I always find myself heading back to Atlanta. People think it's crazy to go to a hot and humid big city for the holiday but behind Christmas and Thanksgiving it's our next biggest family tradition. We wake up at 6 AM and venture into the humid streets of Buckhead and Downtown Atlanta to run the World's Largest 10K- The Peachtree Road Race. This year was one of my hottest by far and my time showed it. I knew as soon as I began that it was not a morning to PR. The sun beamed on my face as I struggled up and down the hills of Peachtree Street. It was still a great run and remains, in my opinion, the best race ever organized. First, there are thousands of people lining the street, screaming words of encouragement, handing out everything from ice to beer to donuts, dressed from head to toe in red, white, and blue. Second, how many races can you run with 59,999 other people? (Only about 55,000 "crossed the finish line" perhaps because so many people struggle with putting the time chip on their shoes, which I will never understand.) Lastly, how many race organizers deal with organizing such a big race?! It is a miracle to me and now with the wave start, which began last year, the race goes on like a breeze. (Thank you Atlanta Track club!) I really find it fascinating and can only thank the 3,000 volunteers, many of whom arrived on Peachtree Street at 4AM that wonderful Monday. If you have never participated in this race before- it is a MUST. My family began running it in 1978 (my grandmother) and my father started a year later. This was his 32nd CONSECUTIVE race. It was mom's 31st as she had to miss one when she was pregnant with me :-) While my dad has every race number and corresponding t-shirt (see photo above of this year's) I am not as organized. I figure this was the 9th or 10th PRR for me.

Our 4th of July continued as usual. Bike parade and pool games at our neighborhood pool, though this year they were shortened by thunderstorms. We braved the green and red on the radar and went back to Lenox Mall (where the race starts) to see the fireworks. We ended up huddled in a parking garage amidst  rain, thunder, and lightning anticipating the fireworks show. As we gave up and started our walk in the pouring rain to the car (8 people with only two ponchos and one umbrella) out of nowhere the fireworks began! They were magnificent as ever and it was a year we will not forget.

Since the Peachtree I have been struggling with my run. My body has adjusted to not really having to get out of bed in the morning and any other time of day the temperature is brutal. A friend of mine at work encouraged me to visit her yoga studio with her and I have fallen in love with it. I used to be a religious yogi a couple years ago, and though my first few practices have been tough I can already feel my body getting back into the flow. Don't get me wrong, it's between 85 and 95 degrees in the yoga studio, but it is currently making my body more satisfied than running. I am already looking forward to the fall, yes of course for football, but also because fall is a runner's favorite season. The temperature is perfect and the sound of crunching leaves beneath my feet makes me beam. I am glad I have yoga for now to get me through the next couple of months in this heat.