Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Recovery Techniques

Four days out.... I can't believe I am just 4 days away from my half!  To be totally honest I never thought I would be able to stick with the training, or enjoy it as much as I have.  I'm pretty excited to see how things go this weekend.  I'd be lying if I said I'm not nervous.  But after last night's run in crazy windy 52 degree temps, confidence is starting to tell fear to take a hike. 

It didn't suck

My knee did bother me slightly this morning again.  If I could have squeezed in a trip to the chiropractor I would have done it today.  Needless to say, my day didn't go as planned, like at all, so my needs were put on the back burner.  Tomorrow and Thursday aren't looking good either unless I take part of a day off.  We are giving state standardized tests this week, however, so I will probably have to wait until Monday to get adjusted.  I think I will just run 3-4 miles tomorrow or Thursday night and no some Yoga on Friday.  

Tonight I managed to get in a great circuit training workout with resistance bands and my legs feel trashed.  I love a tough workout after a rough day.  It's like physical therapy.  Wall squats, plyo squats and lunges, chest flies & presses, single leg lunges, bi's & tri's,  all packed into a compact, kick ass 35 minutes.  Yes, yes and yes!  Follow that up with a protein shake and a lavender epson salt soak.  Pure heaven!  

Drugstore.com $5.99

I super puffy heart love the lavender epson salt.  I used to actually add lavender essential oil to the bath but it leaves a not so lovely ring around the tub.  This remedies that problem completely.  I just sit back and breathe in the relaxing scent of lavender and soak away the pain.  Pure happiness.   

How do you recover from tough workouts?  Any suggestions for my 2 hour drive home post race Saturday?  

**This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by any products shown.  All opinions are my own.**

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Hello everyone!  It's been a whirlwind these last 2 weeks.  Those posts will follow soon.  I am just less than one week away from my half marathon.  OMG I'm so nervous!  My setbacks have been uber frustrating for me.  I don't feel like I've ever gained back the momentum I had after the shin splints a month ago.  Then last Saturday I ended up in the chiropractor's office with a pinched nerve from my Friday run.  That sat me on Saturday, I walked 4 miles on Sunday, attempted a run on Tuesday but only made it 3 miles due to wind and pain.  Nerves have me in a jumbled knot of a mess. No long run this weekend, though I spent most of it running around a gym facility while working a basketball tournament, and a week full of rain forecasted.  I'm a week away and I already feel like I'm going to puke.  What's up with that?!

My goal has been to finish under 2.5 hours this time.  My runs always start out slow in the 11-12 minute range for the first 2-3 miles, with later miles picking up the pace.  I usually finish my daily milage running 5-6 miles in 55-63 minutes, so not terrible.  The problem is I've not run over 8 miles yet and this weekend is my 10 miler.  I wanted to get it done today before leaving.  We shall see if I have time to do that before leaving.  Something would be better than nothing.  

My weekday workouts have been good otherwise.  I've been doing a lot of circuit training focusing on core and hamstring strength, tons of squats, lunges, and I've added in more flexibility.  I think a large part of my issues have been related to flexibility and not stretching as thoroughly as I believed I was.  Maybe my kid does get it from me... ha!  Some new terrain has also been added to my route.  I found that the loop from my house to the other farm and around the ponds is a wonderful, non-asphalt surface to run on.  A little bit of sand, some blacktop, pasture, the ponds, and 3 gates to climb over.  It's a nice change of pace from the boring old non-dog route I normally take.  The the heifers just look at me.  Occasionally they will join me and run up and down the pasture with me, which is always funny.  They're like dogs they're so tame.  :)

I know I need to take it semi-easy next week, but I really don't want to take the week off from my daily runs.  My long run may happen on Monday and I'd like to do at least 2 other 5-6 milers.  Then the 13.1 on Saturday.  I wish I had enough days to take the week off!!  EEK!

I haven't trained in the rain and the forecast looks rather gloomy for the next week.  I hate rain, especially cold rain.  I'm praying for sunny skies!  

What do you do when it rains?  How do you mentally prepare yourself for that?  What protective gear do you use for your tech devices and fuel? 

If only this were an option!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Retro Love

Did you watch the season premier of Mad Men last night?  There are so many other things I should have been doing but I can't lie, I've been waiting for this all TV season!  I love everything about Mad Men; the decor in the homes and offices, the clothing and accessories, the social agendas, women's roles, men's behavior, cocktail hour, all of it.  Just all of the things.  I really love retro styling but haven't found a great way to incorporate much into my home.  The only things I really have are vintage grocery tins, jars, and a desk.  Many of the items I like to put my own spin on.  A new coat of paint, some cleaning up, a new coat of polish, a different hemline.  New out of the old.  If only I could pull off something like this little number.  Don't you just love dots and a trim waistline on an A-Line skirt?  So feminine and elegant.  Casual yet sophisticated.  Be still my heart. <3


Joan is my favorite character by far.  I admire her sassy yet professional attitude.  Her style, or her stylist's idea of her style, pure classic.  She's curvy and real; a real woman.  Like any working mother, she does what she needs to do to take care of her family the best she can, all while running an office.  Don't kid yourself, the true brains behind any operation are the people working out front.  Joan keeps that place together and running like clockwork.  Plus it doesn't hurt that she's gorgeous!  

Pic Source

Joan's feminine style is so glamorous, yet not over the top.  Her posture oozes confidence and class.  She works hard to get everything done to ensure her boss, her company, and she look good.  She counsels everyone through difficult situations.  Sometimes it's just telling them to act like grown ups and suck it up.  I love her.  She's amazing and, in my opinion, is the character who makes the show.  

Who is your favorite character?  Do you share my affinity toward all things vintage and retro?  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fabulous Friday

Wow what a fabulous weather day today! Sunny and 70. Absolute perfection.  The birds are singing, the frogs are chirping, the trees and grasses are greening up. Absolute heaven. Throw in good music and a pair of good shoes and bam! Day made. Tomorrow is to be more of the same. I can't help but feel blessed. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thrifty Thursday

March was a craft fail.  I can't believe I made it through the entire month, including a week off for spring break, with nothing crafty to feature.  Looks like I have some catching up to do!  It's not that I didn't try.  I did get to my favorite little antique place and look around, I just didn't see anything I had to have.  You know that feeling; when you see that piece and you just know it needs to be yours.  I'm hitting up the thrift stores after school Friday to have a look see.  American Pickers always energizes me to seek for new treasures and the boys so generously indulged my junk lust last night.  Nicole Curtis is amazing too and brings out the desire to restore old homes.  I've always wanted to do that.  Too bad power tools larger than a drill scare me. And electricity.  I don't mess with the juice other than to shut it off and maybe hook up a new light switch on occasion.  Modern electricity is a beautiful thing.

I'm in search of a stand for my front porch.  I have some very nice aqua paint I'd like to use.  I'd like to find a wooden stand as opposed to a metal one.  I'm not opposed to building my own.  Building is not familiar to me.  I'd rather repurpose.  This is one of those things I need to break outside of my box and just do.  We have piles and piles of scraps around here that could use a good home.  It's time to face my fears, get out the power tools and get to building new things. Of course then I'll have to find a shade-loving plant to place on said stand, but I've got time for that.  The frost date is a little ways out yet.  All the good ones come out for Mother's Day so I've got a month.  Plus I'm good at the plant thing. More of a lucky green thumb than a talented one.  A little water, some fertilizer, some sun and you have a beautiful plant.

Here's to finding my next project!  Do you DIY? What kinds of power tools are you comfortable with? 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday Ramblings

Hey all, happy Wednesday! This week has been brutal, sitting in conferences and meetings all week.  Today was an all day behavior conference.  I don't know if you know this, but putting 100 Special Education teachers and school counselors in a room is the definition of behavior disorder.  We all have ADD &/or OCD and when the conference center doesn't have adequate wifi you're looking at one big hot mess of crazy.  Like scratching heads, legs twitching, and rocking in the corner crazy.  Let's be real; you have to be a little loco to be a teacher these days.  If you aren't when you start, you most certainly end up crazy after a few years, if you make it that long.  Back to the conference, most of us already employ these strategies daily. Plus we all have IEP's to update or data to input into a spreadsheet, or a shit ton of artifacts to upload into our evaluation before Tuesday. We need to be able to multitask.  Where's the darn wifi signal? And yes, shit ton is a unit of measurement.  Let's not forget I live on a farm.  There is literally tons of shit. I digress...... see what I mean about the ADD?

The two big takeaways from today were the biggest issues I have with teaching the "exceptional" populations.  Mind you 50% (or more) of kids in school have some kind of label that affects their education and daily life.  Many more don't have any kind of label but have circumstances in their lives that impede their learning in some way.  Some kids learn how to cope with life successfully, others not so much.  A resounding theme today was "Common Sense".  It seems like we miss that so often, myself included.  I've always prided myself on getting along with and building successful relationships with students to help them succeed.  I have found myself falling into the "but this is what I want you to do" pattern, rather than actively planning strategies for success.  Sometimes that 2 years I spent out of education seems like 20 years.  It's so easy to fall out of habit of best practice procedures for the sake of getting through a chapter, skill, or book. 

Takeaway #2 was that evaluating student behavior and creating a successful behavior plan is a TEAM process involving all teachers.  The planning process is not just paying lip service to desired behaviors and agreeing with the Special Education teachers or behavior consultants; we all know those teachers, or have been one ourselves.  Our job is to discuss what is feasible, what we will work with for the best situation for the student, NOT for the teacher.  Isn't the ultimate goal to change the child's behavior or coping mechanism.  Why does it seem like administrators loose this skill of considering common sense the longer they are administrators?  Is it something injected into their arm during grad school that sucks it out of them a little bit each year? It's why I can never, ever, ever get my admin license.  Ever.

These seem logical, right?  Doesn't seem like it should be a big deal.  Do what's best for the student.  In the business world we don't hand someone a task and tell them they have to do it one specific way or it's wrong and they'll be fired.  We give them guidelines, the tools they need to complete the task, and set a deadline.  The end.  It's up to that person to complete the task.  At least that's how it was for my little sector of the business world.  Each of us in the office did quotes differently, priced differently, thought through the process differently.  We all were successful.  We talked through things with each other.  None of us was wrong.  All of us were right in the end product.  It's aggravating to me how we ask for kids to fit into neat little boxes void of character flaws and personality quirks.  Why is it odd to sit as a TEAM and help a kid learn coping skills for life?  

I am so guilty of making life easier for me.  I haven't done a good job of building a team atmosphere in my classroom or with my colleagues this year.  I've been guarded and played it safe in many circumstances.  That's definitely a quirk of my character; play it safe until I know it's going to be ok and I'm not going to get thrown under the bus.  It's happened too many times when I've poured my all into my passion and my work only to get hurt very badly.  It's not something I'm proud of, but it's who I am.  But I also know I'm better as part of a team.  No one is an island.  It takes a village to raise a child and I'm part of the village.  I need to be a part of the village or swim away.  That's a serious decision I need to make.  

I know there are struggles in every job and career.  Am I off base on my interpretations from today?  Does it seem unreasonable to have common sense and work as a team to help kids? What are your struggles in your job?  Do we have too many coddled and catered kids entering the workforce with unrealistic values and expectations? 

I'll take a deep breath and go lift some heavy shit now.  I have to work out this frustration with some kickboxing.  Carry on.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Recap & Phone Dump

We had such a beautiful weekend, I'm sorry to see it gone. I'm always sorry to see a weekend gone, who am I kidding?! I spent a good deal of my weekend inside working on work things. Womp-womp. I did, however, manage to get a nice 7.5 mile run in on Saturday.  It was supposed to be 8 miles and I probably should have knocked off at 6 but I wanted at least 7.  Plus sunshine on my skin makes me so happy! 

Saturday was the first long run I've done in 2 weeks and I ran maybe 6 miles total before Saturday. I've been icing, massaging, biofreezing, doing HIIT workouts and eating clean in the meantime. My time took a bit of a hit, but overall I'm pleased with how it went and that I didn't really feel any pain in my shin until around mile 5.  I won't lie and say I'm not apprehensive about running 13.1 just over 3 weeks. I'm terrified I haven't healed enough and will have to walk or will have to dnf. I'll be devastated if that happens. So I'm going to keep my weekday milage at 7-8 miles for the week and my long run on Saturdays. This week is 9 miles and I'm going to have to find a new route. Quite honestly I'm kinda tired of my roads. I may hit the lake this weekend and try different terrain. 

I swear things are starting to green up. You can't beat a blue sky spring day!

Saturday night we went out with friends to celebrate birthdays of two of our friends. We had a great time laughing and carrying on as if we were closer to 25 instead of 40. That's the best feeling ever- laughing to tears, carrying on to the point that the people staring at you start crashing your party so they can have as much fun.  They ended up having fun too and we made some new friends. 

Rex missed the memo about orange. He went with red. Oh well. He sat in the other room at the 'boys table' and left us girls to laugh and have fun. The boys table is kind if a thing with this group of friends. We all taught together for several years and that was protocol in the teacher's lounge at lunch and it stuck in outside of school gatherings too, including the conversation. That's all that needs to be said about that. The girls had nothing to do with any of it.  It was all the boys' idea. Always the boys. 

Selfie Saturday? I dont't care, even if I'm too damn old for selfies. 

At least the white jacket keeps it in check. Kind of.

I got to break out a pair of my favorite shoes and show off my pale legs and awedome pedi my BFF Elaine & I indulged in over break. 

Sunday concluded with more work, a manicure, and a frosty beverage with some pizza. The regret and nausea was totally worth it. It's the first crappy crap crap meal I've had in several weeks. I didn't overdo it, just had enough. Everything in moderation.  I'm really starting to have success and I'm not about to sabatoge things now. I wish I didn't love beer so much. Sigh. 

On to sad news, tomorrow will be the saddest day of the year in my house. Why you ask? Because college basketball will be officially over until next fall. NBA isn't really like even watching basketball so we don't count that as real basketball. Honestly after UCLA and Dayton got beat I stopped caring so much. I definitely stopped caring once Wisconsin got beat Saturday night.  My aversion to all things University of Kentucky (one CAN NOT be an IU and UK fan simultaneously) and absolute Disdain for - like hate more than Duke hate-UConn have led me into a state of apathy toward the NCAA tournament finsls. No BIG 10 = no likey the tournament. I want UConn to get stomped. I just can't bring myself to cheer for UK. I think I'll read a book. #notreally #canthelpit

What did you do to enjoy the beautiful weekend? Do you follow college basketball?  What have you thought of this year's tumultuous tournament? 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Motivational Monday... On Wednesday

Some days I feel like I am more motivated by my own children than by anything or anyone else.  My boys were 10 and 7 when our high school basketball team went to state finals.  We finished runner's up in the 3A championship game after a double overtime game vs Princeton.  Our point guard, Bruce Grimm Jr, still holds the individual scoring record for the 3A tournament with 40 points.  It was an absolutely amazing game.  We were all completely exhausted following the game.  Jordan Hulls, who was Mr. Basketball that year, and Bloomington South played the game after ours, and despite sitting through almost the whole game, I remember absolutely none of it.  Sorry, Jordan.  It was such an amazing journey through the tournament; one filled with special, treasured memories for all of us.  From Trenton throwing up on the bus ride home from practice in Indy, to speeding home from Lafayette after semi-state, and watching my boys shoot around on the Pacer's court.  Amazing.

This past weekend the Indiana High School Basketball State Championship games were held in Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  My oldest son attended with a friend and his uncle.  As the games were about to start I received the following series of text messages: 

Our conversation made me think about all of the times I feel discouraged by something.  My kids have an uncanny way of making me eat my words.  I looked at my advice to him and applied it to me.  How can I do things better, achieve the goals I set for myself, and have a positive attitude while getting there?  I don't know the answer yet other than to take on the fake it til you make it attitude.  This winter has been terrible but I've done my best to show up to each task with a smile on my face.  

And then there's the old saying that doing something over and over expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.  Do you feel like you're just spinning your wheels and not making progress?  The ole attitude takes a big hit when progress does not appear immediately, and the bottle of wine didn't help with any of it. 

Why is it as parents we become the biggest hypocrites? Maybe it's just me.  My kids see me working hard, whether it be job, fitness, or family related. Damn if the mountain doesn't look insurmountable from where I've stumbled, but I'll keep climbing. Eventually I will get where I'm going and I know he will too. 

What have you accomplished that seemed crazy and maybe unattainable? How did you overcome your struggles?