Thursday, December 20, 2012

Playing catch-up: Dec. 10-16th

As Christmas approaches, school gets busier and busier.  After my conference in St. Pete, the grading and school work piled up.  I also committed to lots of after-school things last week, which pushed blogging to the end of the to-do list.

Here's a quick recap of last week (Dec. 10-16)

Monday 12/10
Got caught up at school, then went to Bodypump afterward.  I usually run to the gym for Bodypump, but the weather was a bit threatening, so I drove!  I come home to some delicious chili that Joe made, and he used ground turkey to do so.  Ground turkey is so much more lean, and the chili was quite tasty, too!

Tuesday 12/11
I agreed to lead a workshop after school about encouraging students to complete their homework.  I was incredibly nervous for this, but luckily it went very well!  I had some chicken cooking in the crock pot, so Joe and I were eatin' good when I got home once again.

Wednesday 12/12
I went straight to the gym after school, and I ran 2 miles and did a strength training workout (these moves for the HBBC workout of the week, plus some bicep and hammer curls and another core exercise).  My weights even matched my outfit:
Blurry cell phone pic
Afterward, Joe and I tried a new restaurant called The Garlic in New Smyrna Beach, which was DELICIOUS.  As the name suggests, the smell of garlic hits you right when you walk in the door. They bring a roasted garlic with the bread and pour oil and balsamic vinegar on it.  We were stuffed when we got home, and we had a great time socializing with some of Joe's classmates.

Thursday 12/13
To be quite honest, I can't even remember what I did on Thursday.  I think it was an evening spent on the couch, since I do recall watching some Grey's Anatomy.

Friday 12/14
After school on Friday, I took about 10 students to the Embry-Riddle basketball game as a part of the club I sponsor for under-privileged kids.  Before the game, Steve Lochte, swimmer Ryan Lochte's dad, spoke to the group about achieving your dreams and hard work.  Good message, and the kids really enjoyed asking him questions about Ryan, since he graduated from the high school they go to!  We had a great time at the basketball game, and although it made for a really long day, I'm glad we went.  I came home and Joe and I watched a movie and just relaxed.  Great Friday!

Saturday 12/15
I attempted to run a great trail nearby, but the sand didn't make for an easy go.  After I got back, Joe and I got ready and went over to another couple's house to make pizza!  We made barbeque chicken pizzas and had some delicious appetizers of salad and apples with marshmallow fluff.  It was a great time with good friend and great food.

Sunday 12/16
Church in the morning was just what I needed to get in the Christmas spirit!  This being my first Christmas in Florida, I haven't been able to get in the mood for the holiday because it still feels like summer.   But, after the service, I was reminded what this season is all about, and I didn't need it to be cold outside to feel the love!  After getting ready for the school week, I attempted my 8-mile run.  I made a route plan and told Joe to come find me if I wasn't back in an hour and 45 minutes.
8.01 miles in 1:24:42!  Average pace: 10:35
Well, I did it, and had 20 minutes to spare!! I almost gave up around miles 4.5, but I kept on going, and I'm really glad I did.  I felt so accomplished afterward!  I definitely need to get some gels or something during my long runs, because I was running out of energy around mile 6.5.  Getting on that this weekend.

Overall, a pretty good week!  I need to make exercise more of a priority, but hopefully after the holiday busy-ness and traveling I can get more in to a schedule.  I'm working on it.

I owe y'all a recap of THIS week, which I will take care of tomorrow or Saturday :)  I'm traveling tomorrow, so it just might happen on Saturday.  Have a great end of the week, and I'll see you in a little bit!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Unhappy Trails

I learned something about myself today.

I do NOT like trail runs!

More specifically, I do NOT like trail runs in Florida!

To catch up on my half marathon training plan, I was attempting a 7-8 mile run today.  I decided to try out the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve near my house, which has a 7-mile trail, as well as many other loops.  It was the perfect place for me to run 7-8 miles in a new setting.
Pretty scenery
The trail was beautiful and very well marked.  There were many different loops to choose from, and I went with the 7-mile loop, which was one-way and hit all the view points.  It also had "Bail out" trails along the way that met up with other trails in the park.

I was rockin' and rollin' for the first mile, as the trail was very solid.  There were twists, turns, and roots, but I was not bored.

I began struggling around mile 1.4 where the trail turned in to the usual dirt in Florida: sand.  As I mentioned last week, I find sand very challenging to run on.  I like my feet to hit a solid surface, but I feel like I'm sinking when I'm running on sand.  I tried and tried to push myself, but it just wasn't happening.

I took bail-out trial C, completed the Inner Loop trail, then headed to the parking lot.  I ran when the ground was solid and walked briskly on the sand.

Overall, I completed 3 miles.  I was walking for most of the time, hence the slow time.  I was a little disappointed to not get in my long run for the week, but at least I got outside and enjoyed the nice weather.

Since the trail run didn't work out, I'm planning on doing my long run tomorrow by running on the sidewalks around where I live.  Considering the fact that my half marathon will be on roads, I think that's the best way for me to train.

Back tomorrow with the week's recap, an update on my long run tomorrow, and a recap of the last two sermons in the Climate Change series!  Happy Saturday!

Prayers in Connecticut

Hey everyone!  It's been quite a while since I've been on here, and I'll do a week recap later this weekend.

But today, I have a heavy heart over yesterday's events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.  Since hearing about it after school from one of the janitors, I haven't been able to get it off my mind.  How someone could kill their mother, then 6 other adults and 20 children at an elementary school is just unfathomable.  I have been praying incessantly for that area and all those affected since then.

As a teacher, this hits so close to home as I think about what I would do in those situations.  It also hits close to home as I was at Virginia Tech in April 2007 when another unimaginable tragedy like this occurred.  Having class in the next building over, I witnessed many of the survivors escaping the building, and many of the injured and dead being taken away by ambulance.

Whenever I hear about things like this (which is unfortunately often now, it seems), I flash back to that day and how my university was affected by the death of 32.  A friend of mind on Facebook posted this, and it really made me think:
"As tough as it was to be 19 and try to fathom what had happened to my friends and school I can't imagine what it is like for a 5 year old... Praying for all those babies and their parents .."
Re-reading this just brings me to tears.  At 25, I still can't understand what happened that day in April, and I still deal with the horrible memories of what I saw.  I cannot imagine being an elementary school aged child and being this scared and devastated.  I cannot imagine having to witness something like this at the age of 5 or 6.  I could not imagine being a parent of one of these children and having to explain to their son or daughter that their best friend won't be able to come over anymore.  

I saw this image on the Washington Post article, and it just really broke my heart:
After the VT shooting, I had to run from the building I was in to another since they thought another shooter was on the loose.  This picture reminded me of that and how scared and confused and upset I was at that time.  These children don't deserve that, and knowing that they have to deal with this just brings me to tears.

I would never, ever wish the pain my university had to deal with upon anyone in this world, much less these innocent children who haven't done anything to hurt another soul so deeply.  These people in that community need our prayers more than I can even understand.  We need to pray for the families of these children, that they would be able to find the words to say to comfort their child and make them feel safe.  We need to pray for the families who didn't know that last Christmas was the last they'd spend with their precious son or daughter.  We need to pray for the teachers, administrators, and other adults in the lives of this school that will be dealing with their pain while helping their children cope, as well.

As weird as this sounds, we need to pray for the family of the shooter.  They will going through unimaginable emotions after losing a wife/mother/daughter/sister, but also dealing with the fact that their brother/son/nephew/grandson brought this tragedy upon their community.  We also need to pray for others out there who contemplate committing tragedies like this, that they would think of how their last act on earth may effect hundreds to thousands of people forever.

My thoughts and prayers will be in Connecticut today and beyond.  I hope you will join me in lifting them up so that we can try to help them through this horrible event.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Productive Conference

Hello from St. Pete Beach!

On Wednesday, I left straight from school to head to St. Pete Beach for an IB training conference.  It's quite hectic to pack, plan for a sub for two days, and head out of town, but I am quite relaxed and really learning a lot.

I was not expecting this when I walked in to my room on Wednesday
The school hooked me up!

I've really learned a lot about IB math, and I have so much great material to take back to my students.  I'd say it's been one of the most beneficial conferences I've been to.

Not only has it been productive as far as school goes, but I've made it a priority to be healthy while on my trip.

After our sessions ended on Thursday, I decided to go for a run on the beach.  What a relaxing setting to go for a run!  While I was running without music and the terrain was a bit rocky, this was just what I needed to clear my head and let go of my stress from the week.
I'm pretty happy that I got out there and ran instead of vegging out in front of the TV.

Speaking of vegging, I've also been making it a goal to eat lots of fruits and vegetables while I'm here.  Let me tell you, the food here is GREAT!  I got lots of fresh fruit at breakfast, a delicious Mexican-themed salad with guacamole, and opted for the veggie tray at the evening reception.  Definitely got in my fruits and vegetables for the day.

I continued to complete a workout during my free time.  I went for a half mile walk on the beach after reading in one of the little huts the resort provides for the guests.  Then, after dinner, I completed this tabata round for the Workout of the Week for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge:
What a great workout!  I did 5 rounds of :30 on, :10 off for each exercise.  I was SWEATING, and it didn't even last that long.

I also got to watch the gorgeous sunset from my room.
I'm telling you, I really lucked out with this set-up.  What a great location for a very helpful conference.

Well, I'm going to go get some work done (yes, on a Friday night...I'm so cool!).  I'm heading home tomorrow, and I'm planning on doing a 7/7.5 mile run when I get home then spending some time with Joe.  I've missed him these past few days!  Have a wonderful weekend :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Treadmill Tuesday + Indulging + Stormy Climate

Well, the opposite has happened this week.  I've seriously lacked motivation at the beginning of the week to do the things that I need to do!

I had muchas margartias during while Joe and I hosted an SEC Championship watching party, so Sunday was quite rough.  A really bad day at work led to a severe lack of motivation yesterday afternoon, so I just sat on the couch and wallowed in my sorrows.  Today, I have so much to get done before I head to St. Petersburg for an IB training for the rest of the week.  That didn't stop me from getting a workout in tonight!

Today's Training
After accomplishing my goals and before the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (the annual girls-, I decided to continue my Treadmill Tuesday tradition!
I warmed up on level 4 for 2.5 minutes, ran for 20 minutes, walked at 3.5 for 2 minutes, ran for 10 minutes, then walked at 3.5 for 2.5 minutes.  As stressful as this week has been so far (and it's only Monday!), this run really helped me clear my head and motivate myself to get things done the rest of the evening.  Yay exercise!
These are my first workout points for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge for the week.  I did get in my 7+ freggies (fruits + veggies) today and yesterday, so add 2 more points for that!

Diet Tip of the Day
This weekend was a big weekend for sweets, as I baked some of my favorite cookies (red velvet chocolate die for!!) and bought the Mint Truffle Hershey's Kisses that are only around at Christmas time.  I found that I splurged for two reasons: the sweets were easily accessible and I hadn't eaten sweets in a while.
Seriously, if you haven't tried these things, you NEED to!

While it's great to not keep sweets in the house so I don't eat them all the time, I find that I gorge myself.  That's why it's so important just to moderate rather than eliminate.

I plan on allowing myself 2-3 sweet items per week now, so that when I have access to them, I don't eat 20 Hershey's Kisses in one sitting (no lie, this happened.  And probably more than that).

Faith Find
It's interesting that I'm listening to a sermon series on Climate Change and dealing with our relationships with others as I am dealing with a tough situation at work.

I have a co-worker that is really difficult to work with, and I can't figure out why.  To me, she always seems to carry around a "stormy" climate with her, and honestly, that affects our interactions.  I always feel as thought she's being hostile toward me, even when she may not be.
Screen shot from the video introduction to the sermon series
I've started to realize that maybe I give off a certain climate that I don't intend to give off.  These climates to impact the forecast of my interactions with this person, so I need to consider how I may come off to her.

There is a lot of miscommunication and assumption going on between the two of us, and I am praying for a solution to our issues so that the second half of the year is not as tumultuous (i.e. me coming home crying all night after our attempt at collaborating).  Your prayers for me in this situation are much appreciated!

Question of the Day: What do you do to collaborate with someone isn't so receptive of you?  How do you work with someone in a team that isn't being a team player?
I can use all the help I can get!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My first 10K

What a way to start a Saturday!  I woke up at 6:45, ate some Cherrios (breakfast of champions!), then headed to New Smyrna Beach for the Ed Root Memorial 10K.  This was my first 10K, and my goal was to run a mile, walk .1 in order to finish with under a 11:00 minute/mile pace.

When I arrived, I started getting in to the competitive atmosphere.  I'm not usually really competitive, but it was a small crowd so I got in the mood to run my best.

The course was absolutely gorgeous!  We started on Flagler Ave, one of the main roads in NSB, ran through a nice neighborhood right next to the beach, then on to the boardwalk in Smyrna Dunes Park.
This was my favorite 1.5 miles of the run.  We ran over the boardwalk through the dunes, got a great view of the ocean, and even got to see the beautiful Ponce Inlet Lighthouse.
I really hate that I don't have a smart phone/mp3 player with a camera on it so that I could actually use my own pictures to show y'all the gorgeousness!

My official time was 1:04:30, which was a 10:30 pace.  I was really pleased with this, as it met all of my goals for the race.  My Garmin told me something a little bit different, which is probably due to the fact that it also told me I ran 6.35 miles:

I went there by myself (I let Joe sleep in and get started with our party preparations), so here's a selfie of me after finishing.

Not a large post-race selection, but I grabbed a cinnamon raisin bagel, which was quite tasty

This makes me really excited for the half marathon in February.  Plus, it earns me 6.2 points in the HBB Challenge!  I should get all my 7+ freggies today as well :)

I also got this adorable package in the mail when I got home!
I LOVE the idea of sending a gift to ask someone to be a bridesmaid.  This is from my friend Valerie, and I am so honored to be up there with her in August!  Congrats to Valerie and Nick!!

Joe and I are hosting an SEC Championship watching party, so it's time to get cooking/baking.  I guess for the day, I will be a full-fledged Georgia fan since my Hokies aren't playing today.  Hope everyone has a great Saturday, and Go Dawgs!!  Sic' Em!