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 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.