Monday, November 19, 2012

Exhausting My Options

For the past three weeks I've been consciously working out and limiting what I'm eating. I've been logging in My Food Diary 9 out of the past 21 days and some of the days I didn't log, I partially logged and knew how much I could eat for dinner.

After two weeks I actually gained weight, which infuriated me. I said that I was going to add double work outs and a resurgence of my mile run, which was this past week. I had lost that odd gained weight and then lost .4 lbs last week. I played tennis six days last week and ran my mile three times. On days that I ran my mile I also did 20-30 minutes on the elliptical.

I didn't see any significant loss with regards to my weight, which pissed me off even more than the weight gain. I worked my butt off this week!

I did finally see and feel a increase in my level of tennis play by Friday night's match, especially at the net (won 6-3, 6-4). And I could see a decrease in my mile time over the past four runs:

Nov 9 - 14:00
Nov 13 - 13:37
Nov 15 - 13:16
Nov 17 - 12:45

My last mile felt really, really good. I finally wasn't struggling against my lungs and my body and nearly felt like I could actually "run" this 5k on Thursday. Or at least the first mile...

I've also been switching up which Lifetime I go to. When I very first joined a gym in Minnesota, I joined the Northwest Athletic Club in Moore Lake. Eventually, Lifetime bought up all of the Northwest clubs, including the Lifetime where I work now, 98th St., or "Bloomington South" in Lifetime Land. The Fridley Lifetime is now the reincarnated Moore Lake Northwest.

What I like about the Fridley club is that they have a large workout room that is encircled by three track lanes. This enables me to run on a track instead of a treadmill (yuck!). I can run on my own without the aid of a machine moving my legs for me. I can speed up or slow down as I like. The track's longest lane takes nine laps to equal a mile; the smallest, 10 laps. I stick to the 9-lap lane for the sake of less laps.

So, what now for this week? Ru and I had talked about reducing carbs. Josh has been doing this and has dropped 13 lbs. I'm not sure where they came from, as he's already a skinny kid. This morning I had two eggs with some cheddar cheese instead of my usual cereal, waffles, or egg sandwich. I'm not sure it's going to keep me full though. I'm already hungry!

This is my last ditch effort. I know Thanksgiving is going to throw a wrench into things this week, but I'm going to try to be good. I'm participating (note: I didn't say running) in a 5k that morning. Tennis is down to 2x this week though, which is my big calorie-burner.

I don't know. I just do not know what else I can do. It's really been a fight to get out of this particular set of 10 and down into the next set of 10. I've never, ever had this much of an issue when I've put forth this much effort. Changing my diet is the last thing I can do. And then...? If this doesn't work? I will keep playing tennis and working out, but I'm not going to kill myself. It's simply not worth if if there is no reward at the end of the week.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Saying Dirty Words

This is going to be a pain to type.

I have only been injured while teaching PE two times in almost 9 years. Once while I was student teaching - I broke my ring finger on my left hand (premonition??) and today. Today I was gently guiding a student with autism away from a padded wall in the gym because he was standing right in front of my makeshift screen for a yoga video. He turned his back toward the matted wall and bent my fingernail in on itself. It just so happened that, at the moment, my nails are pretty long.

I said pretty much every dirty word I knew - they just kept coming out of my mouth. At the same time, tears sprung up in my eyes and started cascading down my cheeks. The para closest to me asked what was wrong and I pretty much gave her the middle nail was still attached, but there was blood, and it was on my middle finger. She told me I looked pale and had me sit down right away.

Once I had pulled myself together, more or less, the three female paras made me go down to the nurse. Now, I've had long nails for years and I've never broken one this far down. My finger was throbbing and when I entered the nurse's office, I started crying again. It is very much unlike me to cry over something like this. Yes, it hurt, but I think there was more to it.

One, I hate getting injured. It's a pain in the butt to shower with an injured hand. It's sensitive because that part of your skin is supposed to be covered by nail. And two, I hate being here. And now I'm injured. Everything compounded on top of each other and I broke down.

The nurse had me run my finger under cold water and then she bandaged me up and gave me some illegal Advil (but you didn't hear that from me). I then went to the office to fill out my injury report. Thanks, OSHA, for that cute little folder with "so you've been injured on the job" information. The secretary had me go to the library to fill it out and I'm glad I did. By the time I was done, I felt sick to my stomach and sweaty. I only had two more kids to see so I told their paras (because, honestly, elementary teachers haven't a clue as to my schedule) that I was going home and showed them my bandaged finger and told them my tale of woe.

What are the odds that I would hurt myself in the same district, nine years apart? On the same hand, nearly the same finger? I think this is another sign that I should heed. Just this morning I started bookmarking district websites on my computer at work (before I was injured). I typically don't start job searching until March, but this year it feels as if I've never stopped job searching... Let's just hope this year goes by quickly and with no other injuries.

And I will leave you with a picture of how I'm feeling right about now:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Well, it's that time of year again - Minnesota State Fair time! The Fair officially starts tomorrow, and while I'm usually a first day Fair-goer, this year's forecast is calling for rain. So Josh and I have pushed back our first day outing to Friday. This is actually kind of nice because neither one of us has to work on Saturday. We can enjoy the Fair on Friday and sleep in on Saturday. I'm looking forward to seeing Dawes at the Leinie Lodge (8:30 pm). A Little Bit of Everything is one of my favorite songs. I'll try to get there in time to see The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra at the Bazaar (5:45 pm). I saw them on Kare11 the other day and they had a fun sound.

The next time we'll be heading off to the Fair is on Sunday for the 2012 Milk Run 5k. The race winds through part of the fair and part of the neighborhood just to the west of the Fair in Falcon Heights, MN. Betcha didn't know the fairgrounds are actually in Falcon Heights and NOT St. Paul or Roseville! The Cactus Blossoms play at 10:30 in Heritage Square and I'd like to catch that too.

Monday's trip takes us to see a new favorite artist - JD McPherson - at the Heritage Stage. A great performer and it's FREE! Josh's mom Jeanne will be joining us. Josh gave her a CD about a month ago so she could get acquainted with his music. His sound is super fun - the whole CD sounds like it was produced in the 1950s. You can check out his song North Side Girl here. He starts at 6:30 and then again at 7:45 so we may have time to check out Hairball at 8:30 at the Leinie Lodge.

The second three days of the Fair will be spent with family. Mom, Dad, and Rudi fly in next week and we'll be headed to the Fair on the second Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of the Fair. We haven't decided if we're doing half days or full days, but it will be fun. Dad has already started a list of new Fair foods, which I'm excited to try (or at least catch a glimpse of - eggplant fries? PASS!).

Also new this year - a Minnesota Craft Beer booth (the old Minnesota winery booth). Not only will there be some of the area's best craft brews on tap, but there will also be free educational talks about the history of craft brewing in the state (check out the schedule at the link above).

The weather has been cooler than normal the past few weeks, which has been really nice. But don't get used to it! Hazy, hot, and humid are the buzzwords for the first few days of the Fair. Bring your t-shirts and your stretchy shorts! But not matter what, it's gonna be a good time...

"Um, ma'am, I don't think you're allowed to get in the Galactic pizzamobile..."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

First Nail in the Wall!

I've been busy with track practice and being a social butterfly. This morning I had some time to sit down and put my very first nail in the wall and lay my very first entry rug.

I hung my new clock in the bathroom. For the last four years or so I've had one of those loud, white plastic clocks from Target. When I moved in, I inherited yet another loud, white plastic clock. I took the battery out of mine and will take it to Goodwill. The one that came with the house was newer so I hung that in the basement. Yes, I need to know what time it is, even in the basement.

I bought two IKEA rugs for the front and back entries. They are durable and already have a plastic backing so I don't need to get a rug pad. This week I also purchased a multi-colored 7x9 braided rug for the dining room. Since it was from Craig's List, I opted to have it deep-cleaned at a local place called American Rug Laundry. I try to support local businesses instead of the big box kind of places. The rug cost $140 and the deep clean cost $123 (after tax), but it's still cheaper than buying a new rug of that size.

And lastly, I've been meaning to post this picture for quite some time. My dishwasher is approaching "vintage" status, but I don't think I could ever get a new one.

How many dishwashers have a "water miser" setting?! I think of my mother every time I start the dishwasher. And I never use any other setting.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

So I've been a little quiet on here recently. This is what I've been doing.

I moved into my new house on April 7, 2012. 
This is my cute little living room.

I walked the Goldy's 5k on April 14, 2012.
I finished in 46 minutes on the 50 yard line of TCF Bank Stadium. This is my picture on the jumbotron screen.

I ran the Fitger's 5k on April 21, 2012.
I PR'd at 43:46 on a 3.19 mile course. In the snow and rain. It helped that the first mile was downhill.

Friday, April 6, 2012

March Recap

Here were my goals for March: (And yes, I'm posting this at 4 am bc I cannot sleep, which has been a problem this month...)

Limit drinking to 3-4 events: Lucke's birthday (Mar 3), St. Pat's (Mar 17), Firkin Fest (Mar 24), and possibly a Lagunitas beer dinner at Barrio (Mar 26). Did very well! I think I only added 1-2 days.
Drink more water! Check! Had at least 2 Nalgenes nearly every day.
Do not die at my first 7k, the Get Lucky, on March 17th. Still alive. Don't think I'll ever do a 7k without a tad more training.
Finish Devil/White City. Not finished yet, but at least the World's Fair is now open and under way!
Weight loss: - 5 lbs. I think I ended at -4...but then April arrived.
Get the short sale paperwork from the stupid bank! DONE and CLOSED! 

The stress of closing and moving has me losing sight of weight loss goals, cutting back on beer, and eating well. Le sigh. I move tomorrow and will be out of the horrible pot house completely. I cannot wait! Today's agenda includes packing up the rest of my apartment, changing the address on my license at the DMV, and dropping off my homesteading paperwork. Thinking about packing and moving and the painters and buying furniture on Craig's List has been keeping me up most nights. Sometimes I'll take a muscle relaxer just so I know I'll get a full night's rest. I don't want to do that too much though. I don't want to mess up my sleeping patterns or become addicted.

I'm so relieved that I finally closed on my "dream house". The painters have been at the house since Wednesday, sprucing it up and making it my own. I took a peek the other day and I think the brown I picked for my bedroom is the absolute best! All of the trim has been painted white and they are going to put a fresh coat everywhere. The cost of all of this? Absolutely way too much. But they are able to get it done in three days and I can pay what I can along the way. In the end, I believe it will be worth it.

Let's take a look at some April goals:
Get back on track with the exercising.
Move into my new house and unpack.
Wash a bazillion loads of laundry to get the pot funk out of my clothes.
Play tennis at least once.
Do not get sunburned at track practice/meets.

I can't believe that we are already one week deep into April. I hope it goes by quickly because April and May are two notoriously long months in the school year.

And one last thought - this Sunday is Easter. Nowadays this doesn't mean too much to me. I don't have a church that I like to attend bc my church growing up was so awesome. I mean, how can I ever duplicate that? I will most likely break out into some rendition of "He is Alive!" this weekend, to the amusement of my friends who will think I've lost my mind. Easter Sunday was always a special day - we'd get Easter baskets with one special gift (and hopefully a lot of chocolate peanut butter eggs!) and a new Easter dress and we'd pose for pictures out among the daffodils. Then we'd head off to church where, as a young child, I looked forward to seeing the older kids march down the aisles singing "He is Alive!" When I got to be older, I was the one singing and marching down the aisles. If it was a mild day (or sometimes not so mild...) we'd get the opportunity to do all of this outside on the steps of Central for the sunrise service. I feel so fortunate to have grown up in the church. I met so many good friends there and we really had a good time. I would never go to a high school reunion, but a Central reunion? I think that would be fun. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Trimester 3

This week begins the final trimester of the 2011-2012 school year. It also brings two big changes for me: teaching high school health and coaching track and field. Day 1 was overwhelming and day 2 is getting better. At least it's getting better on the track after school.

I taught 9th grade health for two years on the block schedule. The block schedule stunk at the time - two periods smooshed together. Now, I would kill to have a block schedule. Or perhaps a period and a half. The kids seem to be pretty low in reading, which makes it hard to move through everything I need to get through in one class period.

I thought that teaching health would be a piece of cake - the regular health teacher has every day planned out throughout each unit during the trimester. Sweet! All I have to do is follow what she's doing every day. Um, no. She has so much jam-packed into each day that it is impossible for the kids to get everything done. I have at least four needy special ed students and no paras. Just to help the lower level kids would take me the whole hour.

I feel like I'm thrown into this classroom for a whirlwind 50 minutes and never get a chance to catch my breath. At the end of the hour I feel as if I've accomplished absolutely nothing. I never felt this way when I taught 9th grade health. I never even felt this way when I taught 6th and 7th grade health. I always had organization rule my classroom. I think to feel that organization again I need to put the kids in rows alphabetical order. There are chatty, low functioning kids in the back and that is not conducive to anyone's learning.

The other health teacher lets the kids pick where they want to sit. Then, depending on where they sit, they are put into groups of four for group work. I am not liking this group work schtick. The kids sit and talk and the ones that want to work and get things done do it and ignore the kids who aren't doing anything. The higher functioning kids shouldn't have to deal with the kids who are goofing around. Do your own work, get things done, be quiet. If a kid can't concentrate with his peers around him, remove him so he can get work done on his own. I've done this before and I'll do it again. If you can't handle group work, you go somewhere to work on it alone.

I need to feel comfortable in the classroom in order to even recognize which kids need to be separated. Right now I'm so frustrated and overwhelmed that I can't even conduct decent classroom management. I hate it! I'm debating eating lunch in the health room just so I can process what I need to go over that day in peace.

But then at the end of the day, things are not as bad as I thought they would be. Today was the second day of the track and field season and we were OUTSIDE! It was in the 60s and beautiful. Towards the end of practice it clouded over a little and became a little more windy. Today was a "hard and short" practice, which means tomorrow will be a "long and easy" day. The kids are going to be hella sore tomorrow. And yes, I just said "hella". We did a warm up, 30-yard acceleration/30-yard sprint/30-yard deceleration (about 10x), and then abs. The kids ran two laps around the track to warm up and then two laps of the track at the end of practice. For just the second day of practice, I feel sorry for the poor little 7th and 8th graders from the junior high!

There are a lot of coaches and while talking with one of the head coaches today, I was made to feel more at ease about my role as an assistant coach. Help out - do what they tell me to do - work with the junior high kids - keep it fun for them. I can do that. I can really do that for the amount of the stipend they are paying me. It's more than I received for tennis!

I was going to run my mile around the track after practice, but my capris were down in my office. So I decided to go back to Josh's and run my mile down Victory. I walked six minutes to my starting point and huffed and puffed to a 13:33 mile. It was about a minute faster than the first time I ran that mile so I'll take it. Tomorrow I'm planning to run my mile and then interval run 1 min run to 2 min walk on the way back. I'll work my way up to the 7k that I have to suffer through on Saturday. Hopefully I will be a little bit more ready for that feat after pushing myself this week.

I think it's going to be a much better week than I had originally thought - highs in the 70s, building up my running (huffing and puffing, aka the Byron Shuffle) tolerance, and hanging out on the track. Bring it on!