Tuesday, October 28, 2014

sol14: Running Unplugged.

WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE a link to your post in the comments section. GIVE comments to at least three other SOLSC bloggers.

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I'm 37 years old, and a married, working mom of two boys.  I'm finally working on my Master's degree in Teacher Leadership.  (Another story for another day--why did it take me so long?!?!)  I tell you that, so you understand, I'm not aiming to run with the elites.  Just a mama who runs and the journey she went on this summer.  

I love running.  The ideas and thoughts I have when I run are unlike anything I have during the day.  

The early morning run is like stealing time from the day.  It's my favorite.   Here, when you get up, the dark envelopes you as soon as you get outside.  Even with BRFs  (Best Running Friends), it can feel spooky and lonely at best.  The worst is when you encounter nocturnal animals.  (Think raccoons and opossums scurrying about.)  Insert a giant shiver here.  (Did you know a raccoon can run 15 miles an hour?!?!?!  I can't.)

I run enough miles that I have all "the gear."  A pack, two water bottles, snacks, the shoes, apps that can locate you, time you, and play music for you all at once.  

I used to define my runs as good or bad by my splits from the app.  Anything under 9:00? Good.  Anything over 9:30?  Bad.  That was it.  It was either good or bad.  And I pushed to stay under that 9:00 all the time.  You might and probably are way faster than me, but these were the numbers that defined my running.  

Now, I do believe that in the beginning, having that information pushed me to a higher level of fitness quicker.  There were definite benefits.  (Read, if you love apps in running, I don't think that's bad...my journey went in a different way.)

Fast forward through about 6 years, and 9+ races with my gear.  Some races were good.  Some were not.  And it all came back to the splits.  

This summer, a few things popped up as I ramped up my miles.  (Nothing huge, think 37 years old.)  As I fiddled with my iron count, my diet, etc. the running apps informed me my running wasn't good.  What was I supposed to do?  Stop running?  

Absolutely not.  

As I healed and reset myself this summer, I learned to run unplugged.  First, I just ran with a simple stopwatch. So I could sneak in a mile split if I needed to.  (Naturally).  And one day, I was able to text a picture to my husband of that watch with a split that made me feel like I could win the upcoming NYC Marathon.  

Then, I left the watch at home, and just ran with the music.  Something awesome happened.  I forgot about those apps, and I started noticing my community.  The people, sites, animals, cars I encountered on my runs began to define my running.  Think of it like this:  "You guys!  My run was awesome today!  A bat swooped at my head!"  Or "I just saw a raccoon on the trail, and I had to shout at it to get out of the way!  It was awesome!"  

Then, this fall, it got better.  Even the music stayed quiet, and my thoughts and ideas grew louder.  Running unplugged can do that.  

Running unplugged also led to a girl who didn't race a half marathon this fall.  It was relaxing, it was a little sad, it was empowering.  Oh, the LHF XC race?  It's on.  I'm in it to win the turkey.  ;)  

Running unplugged also led to a girl who is firm in her running.  Running is a part of who I am.  Like breathing or eating.  There's something empowering about getting up just for the run.  

I'm learning to live by this quote from Jen Rhines, a distance runner, "Life (and running) is not all about time, but our experiences along the way."  


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Celebrate! A top 10.

Discover. Play. Build.

I'm linking with Ruth Ayres, and her weekly link up.  Read More about that here.  And then join in!

Top 10 things I'm celebrating today.   (In no order...)  :)

  • A beautiful fall run this morning. 
  • The opportunity to help a friend at the last minute. 
  • Not being ready to leave my house until 11 AM. 
  • Lingering in the "piano room" with my husband.  (Think coffee, blogs, discussion)
  • I can see a flickering of light at the end of the tunnel in regards to some graduate work I'm doing.  (Just a flickering...but it's there!)
  • Time to write today.  I haven't written a Celebrate! post for over a month I think... (Note to self-write more...)
  • Hospitality
  • Panera on Sundays 
  • Royals baseball (#takethecrown!  #notjinxingthembycelebratingthisseason)
  • Grocery stores where food is readily available for us.  

What are you celebrating today?  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

#sol14 My Mission: That part in the middle...and staying true to the Mission

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In August, I wrote this mission after some 7 Habits training:

Lean in.  Reach out.  Help.  Thrive.  Be Strong.  Love all.  Commit.  Spread Joy.  Stay Rooted and Growing in Faith.  I'm Enough.  Pet Dogs.  Take care of Family.  Create.  Innovate.  When it's time, say no.  Have a soundtrack.  Dance in the kitchen.  Cook good food, then share it.  It's okay to take care of yourself.  Run far, even when it's slow.  Write. Share.  

Then Fall Started.  (Notice...not School...Fall.)

And I think I'm losing sight of somethings.  As I reread, it's important stuff.  Everything in there is me.  

What do you do to take care of yourself?  How do you stay true to what you really want to accomplish?  

Do you offend if it's necessary?  (I don't like the sound of that--what is it I'm really asking?)  

Do you have a mission?  Want to share it?  

And as I type, is this a better mission?  I'm Enough.  You Are Too.  Let's Dance.  (That just came out...tell me what you think!) 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

#sol14 I Love Firsties. For Real.

WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE a link to your post in the comments section. GIVE comments to at least three other SOLSC bloggers.

Two Writing Teachers host Slice of Life on their blog.  Join us and link up too!

Oh My Slicing Friends, I love the quote on the Two Writing Teachers post today.  I am missing writing as a writer as I pursue some graduate school goals.  So I fought back today, and I Am Writing; because while I try not to give away my entire classroom story, these are good ones that need to be shared.

2 Reasons Why I Love My Firsties More Than Ever:

1.  Today, as we are greeting each other in the Morning Meeting, the following exchange takes place before I could prompt or intervene:
Student B:  "Buenos Dias Student A.  Happy Tuesday"  (Extends hand for a hand shake.)
Student A:  (Silent for a minute.  Student A is looking for the words to produce, because that is a goal; producing language.  You could see the panic in the face.)
Student B:  (Leans in close to Student A and smiles).  "It's okay, just say 'Good morning' to me."
Student A:  "Good Morning Student B.  I like you."  

And Friends, not a giggle or a whisper took place as we waited for the language.  Just a matter of fact-we are here to help-vibe and off we went to start our day.  These Firsties take care of each other.   That makes my heart sing!   

2.  See picture below:

While it looks like a clump of Firsties; what you can't see is the one in the middle reading to everyone while we finish cleaning up the classroom.  

Of course, we have goals and things to get done.  But I Love These Firsties.  For Real.