Thursday, March 31, 2011

When time slows down...

I was born in the Hawkeye state - Iowa, and lived there for 18 years.  The movie Field of Dreams was also filmed in Iowa, about 30 minutes from the city where I was raised.  (Fun fact: my great aunt was actually in the movie.)  The picture below hangs in my parent's basement.   

Having lived in various other states throughout the Midwest (Minnesota, Ohio, and now Illinois), I can honestly say that time just slows down when I come back to visit.  The pace of life, or at least the life my parents live, is much calmer than mine.  It is not saying that they don't have things going on...tonight they are at some benefit dinner while I decided to come to Panera to take advantage of free internet and some research for upcoming races. 

One reason why my life always slows down here is because I always go to the spa. 

Aren't feet ugly?  However, my nail polish really seems to pop out against the totally 1990s green carpet.  :)  Actually, a lot of the main living area in their house has hardwoods, but my feet looked better against the carpet. 

I finalized my spring/beginning of summer race schedule tonight!  I'm excited and am doing events that I have never done before.  I need some new challenges/events to get into and to avoid injury.  As much as I love running, I know that I should be doing more biking and cross-training to become a stronger runner.  Starting in April, I am only going to be running 5 days a week instead of 6.  One day I plan on cross-training and then day 7 will be a rest day every week.  I am determined not to get injured this year with major races planned (Chicago Marathon!).  

  Instead of asking a question, I am going to leave you with some comments made by the people sitting around me in.  I know I'm not the only one who enjoys people watching/listening to them, right?  Quality entertainment.

"I am very careful about how many cups of coffee I drink a day.  I am tempted to get a cup right now, but I am not even sure how much caffeine they put in their decaf coffee." 

"I really like the music they play at church.  A lot of times I go home and try to download it, but I try to get it free so I don't have to pay for it."

"She wants to major in what?  A-qua-mar-ine biology?  What is that even? Like, what would you do?"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


My best friend and I have many similarities, including the love of sports and fitness.  I've been trying to convince her to complete a half marathon ever since we've become friends...7 years ago.  Last night she came to a young adult group I go to and we were able to talk before it started and then again after it was over.  Now, you might assume that since we even teach in the same school, we would talk to each other often.  However, that is not the case.  We rarely see each other. 

She is a person who knows me inside and out.  She knows about events that have impacted my life, my interests, my love of running.  And I know everything about her.  Her friendship is something that I feel truely blessed to have. 

After our coversations last night, we both decided we want to complete a duathlon together this year.  I've been wanting to do one for over a year, but just never managed to find one that fit into my training schedule.  I am pretty knowledgeable about upcoming running races and duathlons in Iowa and Illinois so we have it narrowed down to a couple.  When we have it figured out, I'll be sure to post it.  We are seriously considering one based on the awesomeness of the name alone. 

In preparation for an upcoming duathlon, my friend convinced me to get up early on my spring break and go to spinning class with her at the gym we both belong to.  It was okay, but one thing I realized is that the music they play during it and the personality of the instructor make a big impact on the workout for me.  If I would have heard the instructor go "yee haw!" one more time, I was going to punch her.  So, so, so annoying.  But, I am glad I did it. 

I'm off to Iowa for a few days to visit with my family, relax, and be pampered.  There is always something nice about going to the place where you grew up. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Powerful Words...and Marathon Plans

This summer I read a fairly popular book that I truly didn't think I get a whole lot out of: The Five Love Languages. However, this book has taught me more about myself, others, and how I relate to others and they to me. According to the book, there are five "languages": words of affirmation, quality time, gift, touch, and acts of service. I am, by far and away, words of affirmation.

"Actions don't always speak louder than words. If this is your language, than compliments mean the world to you. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten."

I love it when people give me compliments on anything because it makes me feel good. However, just like mentioned above, if you say something negative to me or insult me, I'll most like remember it forever. I've got a decent memory, especially when it comes to remembering comments.

Today I stopped by a local running store to inquire about a Nike training plan for the Chicago Marathon they had posted on their website. I spoke to an incredibly nice woman who was asking me about my recent times (1:40) and other races I plan on doing in the upcoming months (Ragnar, another half, a 4-mile race or two...). She was explaining how the training went...two runs a week - Saturday and Thursday night, with various pacers ranging from a 3:20 finish time to a 5:00 finish time. She said, based on my time, she thought I should go into the 3:30 group or 3:20 group. This is a big compliment!

 However, I know that I have never run a marathon before and that many times the first one is the hardest just because my body won't be used to the quantity of miles I'll be running. My original goal time was to run 3:59:59....basically, break 4 hours. Running a 3:30 is far different - a breakdown of 8:00 miles, while 3:45 quite possibly is attainable. The running group doesn't start until early June, so I've got some time to think about which group I want to train with beforehand. Any suggestions? I am looking forward to training with a group of runners who are near my pace and fitness level. I want to run with people, but it is really hard to find people who are interested, want to log roughly the same mileage as me, and here is the big key: can keep my pace.

Do you find it hard to find training partners? Or, is running solo your style? I've only recently started to run with others, and realize it is a far different experience than running by myself. I like it...most of the time.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Dilemma: Doing Well vs. Meeting Goal Times

As I posted yesterday, I ran a new PR of 1:40:14 in my half marathon on Saturday. My previous PR, set almost two years ago, was 1:43:07. The last half I did, in September, was completed in 1:46:20. Just by looking at the numbers, you can see I made a lot of progress: a PR by almost 3 minutes, while cutting 6+ minutes off my last half time. I feel like the regular person would be thrilled to achieve a finishing time of this and cut a significant amount of time off their previous PR and race time. However, after I crossed the finish line, I wasn't filled with joy; rather, with disappointment.

As stated numerous times on my blog recently, my goal was to run in the 1:30s. Saying that I'm a 1:30-something half marathoner sounds much better than 1:40-something half marathoner. Throughout the first 10 miles of the race, I ran between a 7:29 and 7:36 mile pace, which would have put me on track to break 1:40. After my friend and I diverged at mile 8 (he went ahead of me), I knew that I had 5 miles by myself. Just me and the streets, and a man wearing a green shirt ahead of me. I didn't have my music, just my thoughts to keep me company. I kept repeating my running mantras and even sang the lyrics to my favorite running songs in my head. I told myself to leave it all out on the course, have no regrets, and keep pushing through.

My last three miles of the race were significantly slower than my first 10, in the high 7:40s for pace. When the results were posted for the half, I went over and looked, knowing I would be close to the 1:39 mark. After texting some of my close friends and family about the race, I started to process what this meant for me. My dad and I had a conversation about the race. I love talking to my dad because he always puts things in perspective. I should be happy about my race: I PR'd and ran a good pace that many people would like to achieve: 7:40/mile. It is the best half I've ever done. I should not hang my head on the fact that I did not run in the 1:30s. After all, just as in diabetes, it is only a number. It does not define me.

I'm a person who constantly thinks about numbers. Math is my favorite class, hands-down, to teach. Diabetes is filled with numbers. However, in the past year, I've become much better about numbers in my "diabetes" life. I don't get as upset at seeing a high blood sugar as I used to, but rather know that it just needs to be corrected, and everything will be alright again. That one high reading does not say that I'm a "bad diabetic," it is information to help me become better. The same is true for my running.

Running this race tells me that I'm a decent runner, who just needs to work on logging more longer runs so I can finish the race strong. It does not define me, rather, it gives me the information I need to break into the 1:30s. Even though I did not meet my goal time, I did well. When I started running, I wasn't sure if I could run under a 2-hour half marathon. However, in my second attempt I did. Then, I wasn't sure if I could run in the 1:40s, but ended up doing that as well. I am always extremely critical when analyzing myself and what I do, in all aspects of my life. Many times I overlook the fact that I did something well.

Here is what I have come to believe about half marathon #7: I ran well. I crushed my old PR and set a new one. I have come so far in my running, farther than I ever thought I would. A goal is just something I hope to achieve. There is always another race.

Do you struggle with what you want to run vs. the time you actually run? Sometimes I think I set myself up for failure by having specific time goals if I don't meet them.

Sam Costa Half Marathon Report

Sometimes we just want the facts. Here they are:

Goal time: Run in the 1:30s

Actual finish time: 1:40:14

Pace: 7:40/mile

Overall: 113/476

Division place (25-29): 3/21 (got a sweet plaque for this!)

Sex place: 20/194

Other stuff: got a stocking cap for driving 60+ miles to race

There were some great things about this race, and some equality crappy things. Here is part 1 of my race report (part 2 tomorrow).
    The Good:

  • My friend and I decided to run together for the first part of the race, which ended up being 8 miles. It was awesome to have someone to talk to while running, which helped keep me relaxed.

  • My post-race blood sugar was 148. This is the best it has ever been.

  • We ran through a lot of neighborhoods with huge houses. It is always nice to look at mansion-like homes while running.

  • I PR'd.
The bad:

  • I overslept on Saturday morning. I set my alarm for 5:53 a.m. so I could eat 3 hours before the race. However, I somehow turned it off in my sleep. Therefore, I woke up at 7, quickly through on my race clothes, scarfed down breakfast and kept telling myself it was not the end of the world. It also didn't help that I woke up to a blood sugar of 53.

  • The race was small, and after my friend and I diverged at mile 8 (he went ahead of me), I felt like I was running alone. Sure, I saw a guy wearing a green shirt for the next 5 miles, but other than that, not a single soul.

  • I didn't run with my music and there was no on-course entertainment or even music playing. I was attempting to sing songs in my head to keep the beat to run worked for a little bit, but it is fairly hard to do this for roughly 39 minutes.

  • I didn't meet my goal.

Tomorrow I'm writing about a dilemma I'm having with my actual time vs. goal time.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Three Things Thursday: To Do List

I can't believe it is already Thursday. Is this week flying by for anyone else? There are so many things I need to get done before heading to Indianapolis tomorrow for the half marathon.

1. Make a play list. I have not completely decided if I am running with my ipod this race or not. I think there are pros and cons to it. When I run with my ipod I am isolating myself, focusing on my music, thoughts, and not the other runners. However, part of running is connect with others - encouraging them by saying good job, or just taking in the sounds of nature and the beating of my feet. I used to never run with music, and now I never run without it. Bottom line: I'll make the decision race day morning when I am waiting around after I eat breakfast. I need to talk with my friend who is running it to see if we are going to run together or not. If we run together, I won't run with my music. If we don't run together, then who knows?

2. Memorize course map. This race is both a half marathon and a quarter marathon (weird, right?!?). The half starts at 9:00, while the quarter starts at 9:05. I looked at the course map briefly and realized that the majority of the first three miles are together. I feel like this might be awkward due to the fact that the quarter runners will be running faster and passing the half marathoners. I need to realize where the paths are different in the first three miles. I don't want to make a wrong turn!

3. Mentally prepare myself. My mind is playing tricks on me, or so I feel. Running is 95% mental. My body is ready, I've tapered this week, and I know I can PR. When I think about the race, one sentence is "yes, I will PR and cross the finish line in the 1:30s" followed by "well, you might have your first DNF since your leg has been funny this week." I need to focus tonight, all day tomorrow, and especially during the race of keep the negative thoughts out of mind. I've never really had these creep into my head before and I do not know why they are doing so. However, I know I can, am able, and ready to PR.

I'm off to Indy tomorrow night. What a great way to start my spring break!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Unexpected Gifts

Today I got a present from one of my students, shown below. Could it come at a better time? Although I am more tired today than I feel like I should be, this was such a thoughtful idea.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Time to Taper

Today's 10 mile run was my last long one before my half marathon on Saturday. I did not get very much sleep last night so today's run was not the best, unfortunately. However, I know that sleep greatly influences how I run and plan on going to bed early all week, no matter what it takes. I need my rest!

I'm ready to run on Saturday....ready to PR. Like I've said before, I am a visual person. If I can visualize myself crossing the finish line in the 1:30s it will happen. The rest of my workout days will be light, if anything at all this week. Tomorrow I am not sure what I'm going to do, if anything at all. I might just bike for a few miles or get on the elliptical to keep my legs moving, but nothing strenuous. I do plan on running short runs of 5 miles on Wednesday and 3 miles on Thursday, then taking Friday completely off. Saturday at 9 a.m. I'll be racing half marathon #7.

I'm ready to taper, PR, and have fun running on Saturday. Bring it on!

Friday, March 18, 2011

How Many Miles?

Hello, Spring! The weather in the upper Midwest has been gorgeous the past week. Today I ran outside in running tight capris for the first time in months. It felt wonderful.

I wore a North Face jacket, too, but ended up getting really warm. I'd rather be warm than cold any day, though!
How many miles do you put on your running shoes before you buy new ones? I've heard and read anything from 300 to 600, depending on where you miles are logged. I have a little over 400 miles on my current shoes so last week I went to my favorite running store and bought the following.

I got the exact same pair of Saucony shoes because I love them. I am a huge supporter of Saucony shoes. I will not wear anything else. Stubborn, right?
I broke in my new pair with a nice 3-mile run this morning. But, here is the problem: I know I need to wear my new shoes, but I do not want blisters. In 8 days (!), I will be running my first half marathon of the year. I don't want any feet issues this week, before the race, or during the race.
So the question is...what would you do? Wear the old running shoes, or the new ones this week? Do you have a set mileage that you replace your running shoes at?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. March Madness! Did you fill out brackets? My dad runs a pretty big pool every year, which I always enter, and typically end up near the bottom for the final results. I like to pick teams based on mascots: TCU Horned Frogs are always winners of at least one game for me, as well as Gonzaga, just because I like the name. I used to follow basketball much more than I do now. As you (most likely) know, running is my sport of choice. However, I played AAU basketball for four years when I was younger and then three years of varsity basketball. My, how things have changed. But I will always love March Madness.

2. Thursday is my Friday. Tomorrow I am taking my first day off of school all year, and I am greatly looking forward to it. I need a day off to just "be." I plan on sleeping in, going shopping for a few things, and going to a doctor's appointment with my sports medicine doctor for a follow-up appointment in regard to my Achilles tendinitis.

3. Ms. Thinner = Queenie? My students are doing a persuasive essay on why someone should read their favorite book. I read them one of my favorite books, Mr. Skinner's Skinny House. In the story, Mr. Skinner is lonely and tries to find people to live with, including a sign maker, his aunt, an actor who plays Pinocchio, and a band called the Asparagus Stalks. His skinny house does not work for these people for various reasons and ends up wanting to up it up for sale, until he runs into Ms. Thinner. As my students were discussing ways to persuade others to read this story, they said text-to-self connections. My inner reading teacher was rejoicing as the kids said this. Then they proceeded to tell me that skinny boys could relate to Mr. Skinner and I could be Ms. Thinner, which made me laugh.

Happy Thursday! Happy St. Patrick's Day! I bet you didn't know I'm 25% Irish!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Turning Heads

I'm a teacher, a field dominated by females. According to recent data, 74% of teachers in private schools, like me, are female. However, this data included high schools, which typically have many more male teachers. As a matter of fact, at my school (preK-8th grade), there is only 1 male teacher. Also, all but 4 of the teachers are roughly 40 years old or older. I'm the youngest. :)

Teachers get to know kids really well. I spend more time with some kids than their parents do during the day. I take the time to get to know them, and they, in turn, know me. My class knows that I run a lot, am a vegetarian, love the color purple, drink coffee every morning, and am from Iowa. They have also picked up on the fact that during the winter, I wear some variation of the same outfit. Typically, I wear black pants and a sweater with layers underneath. I'm always cold, so layering is the way to go.

However, today was atypical. Spring weather has finally hit (yes!!!) and I was getting tired of wearing the same things over and over again. So, I decided to wear something different, and what a difference it made. I dressed simply: tall black boots, khaki skirt, and a purple shirt with a necklace that had purple in it. The kids kept commenting on my outfit. One girl told me she liked it 5 times, along with telling me, "Miss ---, you are rocking that outfit!" at 7:30 in the morning. It is amazing what a little change can do.

Have you noticed that in your running? I've noticed that since I have incorporated more cross-training into my training this year I have been able to run much better. Changing things up is good every now and again. And, it always helps to get a compliment or two because of it.

Do you work in a field dominated by one gender or the other? What are your feelings on it?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Double Digit Success!

I woke up today thinking about the 10 miles I would conquer in the afternoon. I prepared myself mentally throughout the day, listened to my favorite "get ready to run" songs, and then got on the treadmill about pounded out 10 miles. I realize that these are not ideal miles since they were done on a treadmill, but I got them done. And, I was pretty happy with how they went. The first 5 were done at an easy 7:53/mile pace. The second 5 were done at a progressively faster pace each mile, finishing at 37:59, a 7:35 pace. It felt great to run that far. I also did other cardio (biking, walking, and stair climber) to round out my workout. Tomorrow will be my rest day for the week.

I was thinking about my upcoming half today while running. I realized that I put so much pressure on myself for running, among other things, in life. I used to be much more of a perfectionist than I am now, but I still have those tendencies. During my 5k on Saturday, I was so full of adrenaline and energy that my blood sugar skyrocketed. About 30 minutes before the race my blood sugar was 219, with active insulin on board. I didn't eat anything or take any bolus, as I wanted to be in the 100s for the race. After the race I tested at was a disgusting 418. I'm not sure about you, but when my blood sugar is that high, I feel like absolute crap. I came down eventually, but I think a lot of it all the pressure I put myself under for a race. When I ran the ORRRC half in Ohio 2 years ago, I went into it with no expectations. My blood sugars were better than I could have ever dreamed. Since then, it has all gone downhill.

Maybe I should just run the half on March 26th and not worry about time? Go out and have fun, enjoy the scenery, and the other people on the course. Life is about the journey, not the time it takes you to complete the journey, right?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just Like a Baby

When I stop to analyze my life, I am like a baby in more ways than I wish to admit. Given that this weekend was daylight savings time (spring forward), meaning that I lost an hour of sleep, my routine was thrown off. I, like a baby, need 8+ hours of sleep a night to function well. This is especially true for me when I am in the midst of training, which is true for me right now. One would not think that an hour difference would be a huge deal, but my body clock has been out of sorts all day. Not only did I not get my 8 hours last night, my eating times were different than what I accustomed to. The good thing, though, is that in a week or so I'll be back to normal, just in time for my half. Speaking of the half, I need to get back into training for it.

I told myself that I must run 9 or 10 miles tomorrow or time will suffer. I did a lot of speed and tempo work leading up to my 5k, which is great, but my distance has not been where I want it. Tomorrow I will do a long run. I'm feeling like it is "now or never" time. Ah!

Today I just ran 5 miles at a 7:30 pace, but felt sluggish. Tomorrow I'll be doing my long run at 7:53/mile pace, which is much slower than usual, but I just want to get the miles in.

Do you need 8 or more hours of sleep to function well? There is a joke in my family that if the females are tired and hungry then we are not pleasant to be around. It is true!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Race Report and Pictures

The best part of the 5k I ran on Saturday was the fact that I did it with my friends. Yes, it is wonderful to PR, but seeing 9 of my friends cross the finish line was even better. I tried hard to document some of my pre-race routines in pictures.

I did not run on Friday after much contemplation. I decided that I wanted super fresh legs and would forego the small run I had originally planned. Instead, I made medals for all of my friends running the race. I got the idea from Adam.

Once the medal-making was complete, I went through the bag that I recieved for packet-pickup.

Then, I went to bed. I need a lot of sleep and was tired from the week. Plus, I was setting my alarm for 5 a.m. Sleep is critical to running well!

I woke up the next morning feeling ready to run, although my blood sugar was 219. I dispise high blood sugars, but even more so on race days. They throw everything off. I took a correct bolus, had breakfast at 6 a.m., got dressed and got everything ready to go. I wore green shorts to celebrate the holiday.

Everything that went into the bag that I checked pre-race. So much stuff!

A little visual reminder of what I want to accomplish. This was taken shortly before I left to go to the race.

The great thing about this race was that they made pace signs so people would know where to line up before the race. I was near the front, as I lined up with at the 7:00/mile sign. It was wonderful not having to pass slowers runners. This allowed me to run faster.

The course was pretty flat with a few inclines, but it was windy. Wind can be brutal while running. However, I had a positive mindset and knew what I wanted to accomplish. My mile splits, according to my Garmin, were:

Mile 1: 6:44
Mile 2: 7:01
Mile 3: 6:55
0.1: 7:00 <--into the wind!

However, the race had chip timing (awesome!) and these were my official results:

Time: 21:13
Overall Place: 51/1,784
Gender Place: 5/1,106
Age Group Place: 1/170

Plus, I got some additional hardware to add to my running board:

It was a pretty good day, to say the least.
Have you ever run in a 5k where there was chip timing? This was my first and I think it was great. I ran 7 seconds faster than I thought because of it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Proud Member of the 21 Club

I accomplished my goal and ran a 21:13 for my 5k today. I'm pleased! I took some pictures before the race to post on the blog because that is something my posts typically lack. I hope to write a more detailed post later this weekend or Monday. Hope your weekend is going well so far!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Two Days and Counting...

Even though I have a cold and am sick, I will PR on Saturday. However, training while sick is not fun, no matter how much I love to run. My body is tired from fighting the cold and cannot run as fast or for as long. I'm hoping that to be better soon, though. The 5k is two days away and my first half is only a few weeks.

Are you able to get in quality runs while sick? What is your cure?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Preparing to PR

I'm a big believer in visualization. If I can imagine it, see it, think about it, put myself in that place and time, it can and will happen. I've run enough races to say that this method works for me.

A few years ago (two to be exact), I wanted to break into the 1:40s for a half marathon. I signed up for one and then visualized myself crossing the finish line with a 1:4-something on the clock. Sure enough, it happened. This fall, I wanted to break into the 22-minute mark for a 5k. I did the same, and sure enough, it became a reality. Therefore, I've been constantly thinking about 21 for the past week. I have created a mental image in my head of crossing that St. Paddy's Day finish line and PRing.

Although much of PRing is confidence and visualization for me, it also involves being a smart runner. Training for two races at the same time that are vastly different in distance (3.1 miles vs. 13.1 miles) is challenging for me. I ran a long-ish run yesterday - 9.5 miles at a slower pace than normal. I ran today, and will run Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but won't log many miles. Friday I am taking completely off because I want my legs to be full of energy on Saturday morning for the race. I'm going to run my first 2 miles in the 6's and I need fresh legs to do so.

I made my play list to listen to for the race as well. I always make them for much longer than the duration of my run for some reason. It is like even though I am much faster now than when I started, I have this 10-minute/mile notion in my head for play lists. But I would much rather have too much music than not enough.

This is the first race that I plan on actually warming up for beforehand. Usually I do some random stretches and then just run with the start of the gun. However, I have noticed that if I run for 0.5 mile or a mile beforehand I can run faster in the miles following. Therefore, I will be jogging to the start of the race, which is something totally new for me. It is about a mile from where I live, which is the perfect distance. I'll be wearing my Garmin so if it is farther I can always walk. But, I know I'll be nervous and excited and just ready for the race to begin in the morning. Even as I am listening to my play list now I am getting excited.

Because you're curious....below is my St. Paddy's Day 5k Play List.

1. Take Me As I Am <-- always my first song to listen to!
2. Light Up the Sky
3. Live Like We're Dying
4. Stuck Like Glue
5. Ridin' Solo
6. DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love
7. In My Head
8. Club Can't Handle Me
9. Break Your Heart
10. Dynamite
11. Just a Dream
12. Party All Night (Sleep all day)
13. Fire Burning
14. Yeah 3x
15. Ray Ban Vision
16. Replay
17. Only Girl (in the world)
18. Firework

I only plan on listening to songs 6-11 during my run. So Party All Night will be the song I am rejoicing to when I realized that my visualization techniques have paid off once again and I am now a 21-minute 5ker.

Do you believe in the power of visualization?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

ABC's of Queenie

I was going to do a different post tonight, but I'm too tired to put my thoughts down in a coherent fashion. Therefore, it can go up a different day. In the meantime, here are my ABC's.

Age: 26.

Bed size: Queen..nothing else would suffice.

Chore you hate: Making my bed and cleaning the bathroom. The only chore I like is unloading the dishwasher, which is a chore most people hate.

Dogs: I hate all animals, especially dogs. People have to put them in a different room when I am over because I'm so terrified of them.

Essential start your day item: Flavored coffee and breakfast. I eat the same breakfast every day - yogurt, fruit, and cream of wheat.

Favorite color: I love anything purple.

Gold or silver: Silver all the way. I only own 2 pieces of gold jewelry and rarely wear them.

Height: 6'0. I know I'm an out layer according to the data as a friend of mine recently referred to my height. But, I'm the shortest child in my family.

Instruments you play: None. I have no musical ability, but wish I could play the guitar.

Job title: 5th grade teacher. I teach math, science, English, spelling, and a literature class.

Kids: 32 in my homeroom that I see everyday at 7:30 a.m.

Live: Right now in the Chicago suburbs, but I have lived in Iowa, Minnesota, and Ohio.

Mom's name: Paula.

Nicknames: Queenie, which was given to me by my parents, as well as some variation of my first name, and C, which is what my dad calls me.

Overnight hospital stays: Yes, when I got diagnosed with diabetes I was in the hospital for 1 week at UIHC.

Pet Peeve(s): When people assume that tall people can run faster than short people because they don't take as many steps, knuckle-crackers, drivers who don't stop for runners.

Quote from a movie: I don't watch movies. As a matter of fact, if you were to ask me if I have seen a certain movie, there is a 99.9% chance that my answer will be no. But my favorite quote is from Finding Forrester: "Not exactly a soup question, is it?"

Right or Left-handed: Right, although I write pretty well with my left.

Siblings: My sister is 3 years older than me and my brother is 1.5 years older than me. We are all incredibly different.

Time you wake up: On school days, my alarm goes off at 5:00, but I don't get out of bed until 5:40 or so. On weekends, I don't set alarms. I need to get my beauty rest.

Underwear: Yes, I wear it.

Vegetable you dislike: Cooked squash. My mom makes it every Thanksgiving and I'm not a huge fan of it. I like most veggies.

What makes you late: Anything. The only thing I'm on time for is my job. I'm always late due to getting ready slowly, not managing my time correctly, and other stuff.

X-Rays you've had done: Teeth, left foot (I have a tarsal coalition), and right leg (stress fractures).

Yummy food you make: I don't cook, unless you count using the microwave cooking. I eat the same thing everyday, unless I go out to eat or I'm at my parents house. I like consistency in my life.

Zoo animal favorite: None, I hate all animals. Although when I was younger I liked flamingos and monkeys.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Three Things Thursday, Handwriting Edition

Welcome to the Three Things Thursday: Handwriting Edition. I recently saw on some blogs a handwriting meme going around and thought it would be interesting to share.

1. Everyone thinks teachers should have really good handwriting. Now I feel that is not so much the case because this wonderful invention called a computer or better yet - Smartboard! - has been implemented in schools. Now all of the notes my students take in class are typed because I can do that much faster than write.

2. I like to print much more than I like cursive. I think my printing is neat. I've been told it looks like "teacher handwriting." Do you agree?

3. Is there a point to cursive anymore? I suppose for a signature, but then all that really has to be in scribbles. I do not make my students write in cursive, as I don't enjoy it. Below is my cursive for you to see.

In case you are wondering, these are the 7 things on the meme:

1. What's your name/blogger name?
2. What's your blog URL?
3. Write "The quick fox jumps over the lazy dog."
4. Favorite quote?
5. Your favorite song?
6. Your favorite band/singers?
7. Anything else you want to say?
8. Tag 3-5 other people.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Today was a rest day for me. I've been working hard to take 1 day off per week and not do any form of exercise that day to give my legs a complete rest. I want to stay healthy, and this will help me achieve that goal. Instead of going running this afternoon, I got to visit my eye doctor for my yearly...or 18-monthly...eye exam. Isn't it nice seeing the world through dilated pupils?

Is anyone else really stressed lately? My stress level at the school I teach at has been an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. I'm going to bitch for a moment and say that it stinks working with weak teachers. It is hard to carry the weight of the grade while teaching the more challenging subjects, while my partner teacher does not give homework, tests, and lacks classroom management. At least I feel a little better now that I have vented for a minute. To sum up my crappy, complaining post, I will leave you with a nice poem about stress.

I hate stress
undesirable and tense
causes high blood sugars and weigh gain
Nothing is more unwanted than stress!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February Stats

I had a decent training month in February. However, I am hoping to have a much better March.

February 2011 Miles:

Running: 133
Biking: 122.1
Walking: 13
Ellipticle: 8
Stair Stepper: 18.8
Days I lifted weights: 8

How was your February? I'm glad it is March!