Saturday, January 28, 2006

I love how rats see the world; everthing is there just for them, everything is interesting, and everything is either a snack or a hiding place.

You ever see The Nightmare Before Christmas? And that scene where Jack Skellington discovers Christmas Town and is running around singing, "What's this? What's this?" Well, I think that is the rat theme song. They want to see/smell/taste everything...thrice, especially if it's something you don't want them to have. Nothing is safe, not even your teeth! Beroe is a skilled rodentist. She'll sit on your chest, just under your shoulder, grab your bottom lip with her claws and pry your mouth open. Then, she'll proceed to lick the inside of your lips and your teeth. Sometimes she'll even inspect your molars!

Guess what!? It's Saturday and I actually graded something today! I am very proud of myself. Many's the time I've brought work home for the weekend and, usually, it never comes out of my bag. I plan on grading one more assignment tomorrow. :^) BTW-the forces practical went over quite well yesterday. One of my students, Carlos, exclaimed that it was the most fun he ever had on a test. It was sooooo great listening to the kids use the vocabulary and participate in discussions with each other!

Today was my cross training day, so I went swimming. Actually, Tim and I got to swim at the same time since I bought myself another pair of swim goggles to replace my last pair that Tim claimed for himself! ;^) It was nice. I didn't push myself, but did do about 25 laps over 43 min. My triceps...I can actually feel my triceps. The Strawberry Fields Triathlon, my first tri of the new year, in looming ever larger in the distance!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Today I finally got "it."

It was amazing....It finally hit me,

Let me start over--You know how everyone says exercise gives you more energy and how exercise recharges you and makes you feel great? Well, I finally got that feeling today and it was frikkin' great! Especially since just 30min before I was whining and complaining (good thing Tim wasn't home to hear me!). I had gotten home late and had almost convinced myself that it was too late to go jogging when I looked at the clock, saw that it was 5:25pm and it was still sunny out. So, I heaved a reluctant sigh, suited up, and went jogging. "Just a couple of miles," I said to no one in particular, "I can turn back at any time." Instead, I tried to imagine myself at the starting line of the San Francisco Marathon...and how I wanted to feel at mile 6...mile 10...the finish line.... That kept me motivated to stay out a little longer. By the middle of my run I had found my stride. That had never happened to me before. Hal Higdon says to find a pace you feel you could keep for a long time, and that was it! At the end of mile 3 I still felt fresh and couldn't believe it was me thinking that way! Seems like only yesterday I was so happy if I was able to jog one block/half mile/one mile without stopping. And when I did I was huffin' and puffin'. So, today I really did feel great and ready for anything. Turns out it is a slower pace than what I was doing last week, but I guess that's a good thing.

And tomorrow is Friday! Yes! The kids are doing an assessment on forces and friction. I have 8 stations set up around the room and each group will rotate through. It's been a long time since I've set up stations since I can't be everywhere at once, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Should be "fun" for the kids, at least as fun as an assessment can be. Hey, question #8 has the kids removing a plank from a Jenga-like game.

Monday, January 23, 2006

What I need is a longer weekend!

I shared this with one of my students who agreed with me. Of course, I love my job....I just love the weekends more. :) This weekend I ran 4.5mi hah! Go me! Today is my stretch and strength training day and that is what I'm currently procrastinating on. I don't know why; all I need is about 30 min of abs and arms reps and then some stretching. I might do a FIRM DVD that really kicks my butt (which is starting to look very nice thanks to the year-plus of jogging I've been doing).

On Friday I was the best teacher as I had the kids work on a lab that involved cans of soda. Yes, real cans of soda! (They were what remained from my summer wedding and my husband and I just don't drink that much soda.) My, you could see their little eyes pop! The lab consisted of two short lab activities, one of which is turning the desk upside down and trying to pull it and recording the newtons and observations, yadda-yadda and then you place 4 or 5 cans of soda underneath and give it a pull and compare data. The kids were amazed that the cans made such a big difference. I let a couple of classes split one can between each lab group. However, I allowed each person 6th period (which is very small yet full of personality) to have their own can, provided they were focused and didn't bicker like usual. Gee, it was the most productive I've ever seen them. A little bribery goes a long way for sure! I guess that's the real lesson here. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ahhhhh....there's something about a small class....

Most of the kids were on a fieldtrip today! Can you even begin to understand the ramifications of this event? It meant that I had no more than a dozen kids in class at a time! It's a teacher's fantasy come true! They continued working on their differentiated unit, yet we were relaxed and had fun at the same time! Did you ever have fun when you were in school??? Probably not. OK, maybe they didn't have fun, but I had a great time! I mean, check out this post! I'm feelin' so good there's, like, a billion exclamation points! See, there's another one!!

Of course, that totally deflated when I was cleaning out my mail stack and discovered an independent study request for a student who leaves tomorrow for 15 school days. It was almost like kismet (but not) that I had just sketched out the next 3 weeks of instruction (during my enrichment class with 3 students. tee-hee) so was able to throw something together for him. Then I got home a bit late and had about decided to take a rest day when Tim came home and announced that he was going jogging. That inspired me to get off my lazy butt and do my 3mi jog. It was great! So, now I'm back in my good mood and am going to get ready to go to bead. Hurray!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Why tri? Hmmm....that's a good question.

Well, I've been reading Tri-Geek Kahuna's blog for a couple weeks now and he posed this question to his "fans" and I've been trying to answer it, just for myself. Let's start at the beginning....

...I don't know what caused her to suggest it, but a friend of ours said, hey, there's this triathlon right in your own backyard. It's nice and short. You should go for it.

Not sure why she said it. I guess I've been trying to get in shape for the first time in my life and maybe we were sharing exercise schedules or something like that. Anyway, I gave it a whirl. My "training" consisted of several swims in the ocean, a couple of bike rides, and a few jogs. Race day arrived and lo and behold I finished....and didn't collapse at the end! I think I was hooked since then. That was over a year and a half ago and I consider that as the beginning of my life as an athelete. I will admit that I haven't really lost any weight since then, but then again I really don't have much to lose since joining WW and losing 50+lbs. And keeping it off, thank you very much. The difficult part is convincing myself that I am no longer a heavy person trying to lose weight. I'm a fit person with a healthy lifestyle. (yeah, boy, you better believe it)

OK-back to the question. Since then I've done 2 more triathlons, some 5Ks, and one 10K. I'm planning on doing a 5miler race in Feb. The first tri of the year will be in Mar. I plan on participating in a half marathon later on this year. So why tri? It gives me something to shoot for, ya know. Last year I just wanted to finish. Racing in general keeps me training and exercising 'cuz I know I would just slowly sink back into my couch potato ways. This year I have some times to beat and it aint gonna happen if I slack off. Hey, I now have racing goals. Next up is a full marathon. Not this year, maybe next year?? One day I would love to finish in the top 10% of my age group. Who knows? Maybe I'll be ready for an Ironman before I'm 50. But for that to happen I have to keep on keepin' on.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

So glad it's the weekend! One week diet soda free!

Well, I survived the first week of school after the winter break. Gosh, all the teachers were tired! The kids eventually woke up and seemed to jump right back into the routine.

I didn't go to the kung fu class last night. After an hour long commute home on Thurs, I decided to take a rest day then and run my 3mi on Fri, plus some strength training focusing on my abs, arms, and chest. So, decided that kung fu wasn't in the cards for that Fri. That said, I might go in on Wed.

Hey, cool news! I had "inspired" (or nagged, whichever) my friend, Jess, to join the Strawberry Fields Triathlon in March. :) That really made my day. Not that I'd see her or anything as she's in a younger age category than me. But after more taunting another teacher, Tina, will be signing up! She and Jess will be able to encourage each other at the gym. And, Tina would be in the next up category from me. At least I can cheer them on once I cross the finish. Of course, that is assuming I cross before them.

So, Jess was asking about my training schedule. She was very sporty in high school and college. I told her that I was following Hal Higdon's half marathon training schedule and would bike or swim on my cross-training days. Intrigued, she asked about the runs. "Well," I answered, " I just did the first run on Tues for 3 miles." "Three miles!" she exclaimed, "That's my goal!" Wow! Has my running fitness really gotten that much better? Seems like not too long ago I was glad to be able to jog the length of the street (~1/4mi) and totally stoked to jog a whole mile without stopping. Now a three mile jog is nothing. OK, it's still a lot of huffing and puffing and snot and sweat, but I can do it without stopping and not be dead at the end. Man, I'm good!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Even an old dog and learn a new trick or two.

Yup, I was referring to myself. I checked out that martial arts class this evening. The good thing is that it was very small; only 5 students. The bad thing is that I was old enough to be the mother of 3 of the students! After I got over it, I had some fun and even got to punch and kick a bag! At the end of the lesson the master had us all on our backs and walked across the floor stepping on our stomachs! Not just on the old lady's stomach (moi) but also on the tummy of the 8 year old!

The other new thing is school-related. The kids are finally at the point where I can do a differentiated lesson; they've done all the basics. Not only did I make a "game board" for them, but I also created a list of homework assignments for them to choose from. Cool, huh?! Don't you wish you got to pick your homework out? They even have a chance to earn a free homework pass. Gosh, I'm good.

I may be busily improving myself on the outside, but i'm feeling sad on the inside. my grandmother is not doing so well. she has had alzheimer's for the last 6 years and has greatly deteriorated in the last couple of days. the family isn't sure what's coming next. she is talking about men coming for her, a big light, and that she's afraid to cross the water. she's also not recognizing her children and talking to people who aren't there, like her grandmother and my grandfather (who passed away 4 years ago).

Monday, January 09, 2006

I love my husband. :)))

**WARNING** the following post may be mushy. Not recommended for the weak of stomach.

So, I'm sitting here procrastinating before I go to bed (I really should've been in bed an hour ago) and I read my husband's blog. He usually writes about his workouts and the status of his back but the other day he wrote a short blurb about his wife (me, in case you're confused). It's titled "Good Food" and says how I had spent my time making "amazing food." Can you dig it? He said my cooking was amazing! :) Normally I make my calorie conscious meals for us and he'll eat it because he'll eat almost anything if he doesn't have to make it. For a change I decided to make full fat dishes while I was on vacation. When I read his blog, I got all choked up and teary-eyed. I guess I'm a bit old fashioned in a way-to-a-man's-heart-is-through-his-stomach kinda way and eventhough we've been together 3 1/2yrs now and are married and he tells me he loves me everyday, I was touched to discover he likes my cooking as well. :)

OT-Well, I didn't do the martial arts thing. I got lazy and did 30 min of strength training and cardio and 80 ab reps. booh-yeah!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Paging Dr. Starfish Boy

I mentioned some time off in Feb. My husband and I have been invited to the wedding of his high school friend. Looks like a real fancy shmancy wedding, not like ours at all! Anyway, we have plans to stay with my friend Starfish Boy (or should I say Dr. Starfish Boy :)). But that means he has to call us back! *hint hint* Or at least email me at my new gmail address.
I can and I will....

Tomorrow is back to business. No more loafing! School's back in session. But I did have a good vacation. I guess I could use a couple more days off, but I am taking another week off in Feb. :)

Tomorrow I start getting serious about my running again. I'm starting the half-marathon training. Stretching and strength training are on the block for Monday, but I might (again, might) check out a Hapkido class. I love the idea of focusing inward and kicking ass at the same time.

Tomorrow I must remember that I am the best "me" there is. I am perfect for this point in my life. How do you like it? It's my new mantra. My old ones are, I am the best teacher in America, and I teach in a positive and loving way. Not bad. They do kinda help.

Speaking of rats, yesterday we finally got everyone to live in one cage. :) We just cleaned out the big cage rrreeeaaaallly good and threw them all in. They didn't seem to mind too much. There was/is a little bit of wrestling. Barbara likes to think of herself as the queen of the cage and Fiona wants to be queen at times, but overall it's nice and peaceful. The cage seems to be so full with four girls in it and it's definitely got more action happening with baby rats in it.

Well, gotta go to bed early tonight. Gotta get up before the crack of dawn tomorrow. :( I might bribe myself with a tea latte.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Frankie say, "Relax." And that's just what I've been doing....aaaahhhh

I 've been on winter break since the 23rd of December, and it feels rrreeeaaallll good. My husband (yes, I've got a husband now. He's a keeper!) and I spent Christmas week with his family in New Jersey. This week has been spent by me at home and it's been good. I did get up extra early this morning to get back into my old routine.

*sigh* The girls are going to miss me when I go back to school on Monday. They've come to look forward to their morning romp together and I'm going to miss all their antics. At least we'll have the evenings.

This vacation has been great! I actually finished 2 knitting projects :) I also bought a book on crocheting. I know, I know. The first thing that came to mind when I heard "crochet" was this funky green poncho someone made for me when I was 7. I think we all had an afghan or something made from those funky crocheted granny squares. But this book had a bunch of cool patterns that actually looked nice. So, we'll see how this new hobby turns out.

Speaking of hobbies, I'm trying to get back in shape. I was sick for the month of October/November and have resumed jogging. My first race of the year is on Feb 11th! A five miler! I did a bit over 2 miles today and on Sunday I'll start my Hal Higdon Half-Marathon Training. Oh, I so want to do a half marathon this year!