Saturday, February 27, 2010

My First 10K

Ding ding ding! It was 5:30 on Saturday morning, and my cell phone's alarm clock was ringing.
I was reluctant (to put it mildly) to leave my warm bed. But, wanting to avoid potential traffic, and being someone who is perpetually early to things, I got up. I arrived at the shuttle parking at LaGrave Field ahead of schedule. The buses were filling with excited runners of all ages, shapes, sizes, and colors. I sat next to a lady, probably in her late 60's, who was going to do her 10th half marathon!

We were dropped off downtown, where a huge crowd was already gathered. There was plenty to do and see before the 7:30 start. I checked my purse, sipped some complimentary coffee, and meandered around Sundance Square. People-watching was awesome. There were quite a few runners wearing plastic trash bags to keep warm!

During the run, I was surprised by how quickly the time passed. I also found it odd how my hands would get hot, and then cold, and then hot again. I took my gloves off and put them back on a couple times during the run! I was also surprised to see some people walking before we'd even reached the one-mile marker.

The course was great. There were uphill and downhill slopes, curves and straights. I was glad that only one uphill, the second to last, made me think that I just might barf. Luckily that was only a fleeting thought. I ran the whole way, save the 3 seconds when I had to stop and tie my shoe. There is something very motivating about running with thousands of other people, all of us like little trains, puffing our breath into the cold morning air.

Finishing the race was the best part. Not only did I get a medal, and snacks, but I got to see my sweetheart waiting for me at the finish! (I surprised him, because I finished more quickly than I planned.) It took me 1:11:06. Hooray! I am excited to do another one in the near future!

...And here is a pic of me (tired, sweaty, but happy) with my finisher's medal! :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wish Me Luck!!!

Holy crap, I am running my first 10K in the morning! I'll let y'all know how I fare.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Sometimes, as it says in an Old 97's lyric, "the day just wins."
You feel discouraged by the attitudes of those around you, both students and teachers.
You are tasked with cleaning out a storage closet belonging to the hoarding-happy department chair. (She has apparently come to the conclusion that things like the tops to Snack Packs are essential to instruction.)
The next class period, you have to corral antsy kids in the auditorium, and all your yelling and frustration smush your soul a little bit.
Your next class, you do some one-on-one instruction with a kid who has the attention span, charm, and physique of a mosquito.
Lunch. You have half an hour to savor your PB & J. (You gave up bringing microwavable lunch weeks ago, when the teachers' lounge was reduced to one working 'wave.)
You make it through your next three classes daydreaming.
You hurry home to change, so you can run some errands before your exercise class. The gym is brutal, but in a therapeutic way.
You have a hot shower, and a good dinner, but the things you heard and felt and saw just hang on you.
You talk to loved ones, who brighten your spirits.
You make an earnest effort to have a good cry/pray, thinking that would renew you. All you can squeeze out are a few anxious tears.
You stay up 'til midnight eating.

But then sometimes, things are different... even the very next day.
The teachers have activities that they are excited to share with the students, who are eager and receptive.
The expired Nescafe crystals and empty baby food jars in the storage closet strike you as weirdly funny.
The students in the auditorium are calmer.
Your one-on-one student from yesterday chooses to be with you again, rather than stay in class. You accomplish a lot together.
The teachers you eat lunch with are cheerier (partially because of the cheesecake someone brought, which you are strong enough to resist, BTW).
You do pull-out instruction with 3 "troublemakers." They work well, and are enchanted by your illustrations of the concepts you teach them. One even murmurs, "Thank you, Miss...for teaching us."
You hurry home, and go for an amazing run. The 10K you have coming up doesn't seem so menacing.
You write a blog, work on an art project, and talk to those you love.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A song for today

I honestly didn't like this song the first time I heard it. I think I have to be in the right mood/frame of mind to be receptive to new jams. This is certainly a good one: danceable, encouraging, etc. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Utmosts of the Day

Funniest thing I saw all day: I saw this photo this morning, when checking one of my regular webcomic sites. It cracked me up! (Click on it for a larger view.)

Best phrase I heard all day: "Fascinating cardigan." Yeah. What does that bring to mind for ya?

Sweetest compliment I received today: That the smell of baking cookies "has nothing on [me]" when it comes to "brightening up the whole place." (!)

What were some of your utmosts of the day?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Assorted Thoughts, Vol. 2

This edition of Assorted Thoughts includes photo illustrations, pulled from my friend Google Image!

Not even seeing an obese lady on a scooter (as I did on my drive home) could make me rethink skipping the gym today. My shoulders are sore, my legs are tired, and my feet hurt. So there.

I thought that Crocs were the most hideous shoes ever created. However, that was before I saw a lady in my gym wearing these fugly things. Apparently they are related to the "barefoot running" fad.

Have you ever sent an email agreeing to do something, and then immediately thought, "Oh, crap! Why did I do that?" That was my reaction to volunteering to host Bible study group at my house this week. Now I feel the need to clean. And bake.

The following are things that make me feel special and happy: receiving a letter from someone while they are out of the country, fresh flowers, yummy homemade breakfast.

Middle schoolers are kooky. I should know this firsthand, having been a very awkward one myself. I had a huuuge, slow (mentally), very moody African-American male student try to pick a fight with a small, equally slow Hispanic girl today. Did I ever think that was an okay way to go about life? I've never even been in a fight. The class period before, I had a painfully shy/quiet girl come in sporting hospital bracelets. I asked her teacher about it, but she didn't know anything. I guess she didn't want to ask, afraid of the explanation??

However, I had a handful of students ask me randomly throughout the day, "Miss, how's your day going?" I couldn't honestly answer anything but, "awesome." I am alive, healthy, loved, and employed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Day? Hooray!

(a view from my treehouse)

As I write this, I am sipping some hot chocolate, topped with a cobblestone-esque layer of marshmallows. It is still snowing here in FW, as it has been all day.

My day began with me skidding my way to school, cursing my district for being open. I made it in safely, and on time. My students (the ones who showed up, anyway!) were all so excited. Any kids who had classes in the portable buildings, or in rooms even near a door, snatched up the opportunity to scurry outside and pelt their classmates with snowballs. Anyone walking outside would have seen every window filled with eager faces.

I logged onto the district's website around 3 this afternoon. Tomorrow, there would be no school! Hoo-frickin'-ray! This let me hatch a nice little plot: If the roads are okay by tomorrow afternoon, I could surprise my sweetness at the airport when he arrives home from Paris!

I hope I'm able to do this. And, I hope you all have a fun, safe, and toasty-warm snow day!

ADDENDUM: The weatherman tells me that this was the snowiest day on record in Dallas/Fort Worth history: 7.9" of lovely snow!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tu me manques

As I type this, my sweetness is en route to Paris... sans moi. I miss him already. This song comes to mind as one to suit my current mood. Friday afternoon can't get here fast enough. To you, lil' bear:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Chatted Up

This week was a good one at school. However, the kids in my classes are getting more comfortable with my being there. In fact, they all want to know about me. They ask questions, compliment my wardrobe choices, make attempts to flirt. It is a frustrating problem, because my gut reactions are to blush, answer their questions, thank them, etc. But I'm not there for that. I'm there to help them learn.

However, I know that the brain is more receptive to learning when it feels it's in a physically and emotionally safe environment. I want the kids to feel that. Where, and how, do I draw the line between, "Miss, I like your shoes!" and, "Miss, do you ever go to the club?"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Whaddaya think?

So I redid my blog template. It is definitely different, but I like it. Thoughts?
PS: the only thing I don't like is that "read more..." at the bottom of each post. I can't find a way to get rid of it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The cutest thing I've seen all day!

I just saw this on one of the blogs I follow. I decided to post it here in homage to Sam and Ronald. Sam and Ronald were a German Shepherd and a duck from Jesse's childhood, who were friends! He even has a cute photo of them, just hangin' out in the back yard.