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Monday, August 15, 2011

E.T. Full Moon Marathon

I wanted to get this down before I forget since a lot of it is already a blur. So, all day of the race I was feeling pretty confident. I wasn't sure what to eat because I've never raced at night so I was freaking about that. I slept in that morning and took a decent nap so I wasn't too worried about sleep. We loaded up the car and left at 8:15. The drive out there was pretty boring. We stopped in Alamo for gas and I grabbed some bagels and cream cheese. While I was in the bathroom there were two runners talking to each other and they were both freaking out about running the 10k. They made me feel good. When we got there I was so excited. There were runners all over the place with glow necklaces on. It felt like a rave in the middle of the desert. We parked the car. It was cold. I put on my long sleeve race t. I had Michael take a few pictures of me. We walked over to the start line. The music and the neon made the whole thing surreal. I was feeling good. They told us there would be a delayed start because some of the buses from Vegas got lost. Finally, they announced it was time to start. I gave my husband my shirt and extra water. I told him to try and find me at the finish. I lined up, put on my i-pod, turned on my Garmin and we were off. The first 8 miles were glorious. I kept saying to myself, "This is it. This is what you have been working for." I was running my goal pace with ease. I passed many. Running in the dark with all of the other neon decorated runners was just plain fun. There was this woman. She was so pretty. She kept running and then walking. Running and then walking. It was interesting at first and then after the 6th time she stopped and then caught up to me and then fell behind and then caught up to me again it got annoying. I wanted to get away from her. Do I run faster or run slower? It was so distracting. Then, I saw it. I could see little lights way up high in the distance and I knew there was a big huge hill coming. So many people were walking. The pretty run/walker was still with me. I walked some of the hill. I stopped at each station and filled up my water bottle and grabbed a gel if they had them. I decided right then and there that I didn't care about my time I just wanted to finish. Then, I got really slow. At least runner/walker lady was gone. Most of the middle of the race is a blur. I remember at the top of one hill I wanted to stop and walk back and find Michael and have him take me home. I remember saying a few times that I would NEVER run another marathon. I was so mad at myself for not running the half especially after I passed the 13 mile mark. I wanted someone to come and get me. Somewhere I decided I had to go to the bathroom. There was a porta potty with two women outside it. I stopped and I waited and I waited. I think I waited at least 5 minutes. Finally this man emerged and the woman in front of me went and then I went, and then I went on my way. I decided some where A little while later I looked down at my Garmin and I realized I was at 17. My whole attitude and pace changed. Only 3 more and I would hit 20. Only 6 more and I would reach the turn around. Only 9 more and I would be done and have my medal. I went faster, and faster, and faster. I started passing so many people, so many of them were so much younger and fitter than my self and it made me go even faster. I was running well beyond my goal pace and I kept it up until mile 20 and then I saw another climb and I freaked and I walked. I didn't walk much and I walked fast but I walked. I got to the turn around which was the top of the hill and mile 23. Only three more. I started to cry. I was overwhelmed. I was going to finish. "Suck it up," I told myself you can cry when you are done. Those last three actually flew by. A mile until the finish I could feel a huge blister on the bottom of my foot pop. Oh god, I thought. That's it. I'm going to fall down a mile from the finish. No, I was o.k. I went as fast as could. I man sitting in a chair near the sideline said, "Congratulations, you just did an amazing thing," and my eyes welled up with tears. I saw the finish line and that beautiful finish line clock. I saw my husband's smiling face. I crossed the line. Where's my medal? I want my medal! They gave me medal. It was over. I wished I hadn't of walked but I was so glad I finished. On the way home I thought about the Las Vegas Marathon and how much I wanted to finish in under 4:00 and how hard I was going to train. That is why I love marathons. They are hard. They are mentally and physically hard but once they're over there is something so awesome about knowing you just did something so difficult. The best part is wanting to do it again after suffering so much. And for the record my official time was 4:44. My first marathon was 4:29.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Marathon Jitters

A few weeks ago I received a letter from the organizers of the E.T. marathon that gave all of the details of the impending marathon: how to get there, what you needed to have, expected temperatures, etc. Then, I read a line that said that you could switch to the half marathon now with out charge and for a few moments I thought about it.

I ran my last and first marathon last December. It was surprisingly easy. I did so well until mile 20 and I began to question what I was doing but that was only brief and I finished strong with a 4:29 time. I knew later I could have pushed harder so almost immediately I signed up for the E.T. marathon. I was busy with a new school and my sons and I wanted to have some time to relax and train before.

Over the last 8 months I have been training with great success always thinking about this marathon. I've been getting up before work or running at night after my boys go to bed. Getting up at 4 on Saturdays and Sundays for my long runs. I am so much faster (and lighter) now. In the last three months I have run two 20 milers with ease. Then, something happened. I don't know if it was the humidity, the heat, over training, shoe problems, poor hydration and food choices, or a little bit of everything but, to me, I failed my last 20 miler. I had to walk on and off at mile 17. I got 19.5 in that day but I felt like a failure. Ever since then, my shorter runs have been wonderful but my longs runs have been a bit of a struggle. I ran the Red Rock loop for the first time. I started off like a demon and then had to walk several hills. So, not like me. I NEVER had to walk EVER during ANY run before. Last weekend I ran the 6 Tunnels. Again, on the way out I was amazing and then I had to walk a few hills. Clearly I need hill work but something else is going on. I have never doubted myself this much. I am so afraid I am going to just give up during this marathon. I know I won't but I am afraid. I am afraid I haven't eaten enough carbs. I am afraid I will get dehydrated . I am afraid I will trip. I am so sick with worry about this marathon. I didn't feel this way the first time. I was worried a little, I'll be honest, but I knew I could do it. I also know this is normal. I know that it's all in my mind. I know that I have worked so hard for so long for this medal that it will be mine. I just need to chill. The fact that I was even considering wussing out and running the half it just horrifying to me. I got this. I will do this. Conquering self doubt is why I run and it's why I'll finish this marathon too and then go and sign up for another one.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Teaching What Really Happened


I finished reading Teaching What Really Happened by James Loewen a few weeks ago. I wanted to write about the book but I like I things when you have twins and a marathon on the calendar it can wait.
Much like Lies My Teacher told me he shows how most textbooks are too afraid of teaching what really happened because they are controversial and if they are controversial no one will adopt them and isn't that just the entire point of a text book.
Going in to this I was already a fan. Most of the book I had already been doing on my own or had wanted to do. As a high school U.S. history teacher who hated history class in high school but loves history I don't like to bore my students. That is the main point of this book.
There were a few good suggestions I am going to try out.
I really think teaching about racism in America is so important and as Mr. Loewen points out that a lot us teachers don't teach it. I am guilty of that. I know I cover it much more than most but I don't do it justice. Racism is still a huge problem in this country and I need to address the causes and consequences with my students.
He suggested purchasing old textbooks and have the students compare them to their own. I bought two on Amazon for less than $5 each. They are from the late 70s which is the oldest I could find but just skimming through them made me laugh. One thing my husband pointed out about them is that they both, at the end, list all of the current problems of the U.S. This is 1970s we are talking about and the problems are almost exactly the same. They both mention the environment, energy, and the national debt.
He suggests limiting your self to 30-50 critical topics that are RELEVANT TO TODAY. I could not agree more.
I could go on forever about what I took from the book. I just want to say that this is another reminder that teachers, especially U.S. history teachers need to stop boring their students. We are only making them hate history. We need to have them DO HISTORY as Mr. Loewen suggests.
I shall end with one of my favorite lines in the book, "when we find a topic that our textbooks hide or distort, probably that signifies a continuing injustice in the present." Showing students these distortions, having them research them, and then think about the cause and consequences of them is the way to get students loving and learning history.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Sons at the Leid Museum

It's Been A While

So it's been some time since my last post to say the least. I kept looking at this blog and telling my self that I should post something. I am little sad I wasn't posting because so much has happened so quickly. So, just to get you up to speed since my last post my sons were born healthy on October 1, 2010. William came out via c-section at 8:19 p.m. 6.10 pounds and Colin came out two minutes later at 6.11 pounds. The first few months after their birth was filled with so much joy, terror, sleeplessness, stress, love, and everything else that is really is all a big blur. I went back to teaching a few months after they were born. My mother gave up her life to take care of them while Michael and I were at work. I took a new position teaching high school. Their first birthday came and went. We went through all of the stages crawling, learning to walk, eating solids, no more bottles. I can't believe they will be two in a few months. I ran the Las Vegas Marathon, my first marathon, amid all of this in December of 2010 and finished with a 4:29 time. Michael and I have celebrated two wedding anniversaries. We decided to short sell our tiny no backyard having house. We have moved in with my parents while we are waiting wait seems like an eternity to save money and give the boys a better life. So that's the basics. I plan to post much more often now.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Our little monkeys!

I turned 30 on May 1st. Before I found out I was pregnant I was really dreading it. Now, I think it was the best birthday ever. Eventhough I fell a sleep on the couch at about 7:30 after teaching all day it was the best feeling knowing that I was just a little bit closer to seeing my little boys. On Saturday, May 2nd we went to dinner with my parents and grandpa at Claim Jumpper. I am still amazed at how hungry I am ALL of the time. I weighed in at 154 last time. So I've gained about 26 pounds so far. Which is on the low end for twins. We took a picture after dinner and I can't believe how fast my face got chubby. As I said before I'm not worried about it anymore. I love to work out and I miss it very much. So once these babies come out I will be running my booty off (literally).

I had a doctor's appointment on May 6th which I already discussed.

May 8th - 16 weeks - Michael and I went to the specialists office for another appointment. I love going there because we get an ultrasound every time. I so look forward to see them swimming around in there. It's also comforting to see them and know they are okay. The babies looked great. This ultrasound wasn't as detailed as the last so we were a little disappointed. The GREAT thing is that they measured by cervix and it was on the extremly high end of 5 which means I have an extremely small chance of preterm labor. The doctor said that there is almost no record of women with that measurement dilevering early! Again, Baby B was going nuts. He moves around so much and it looked like he was punching and kicking at Baby A. Baby A was very chill again. Michael thinks Baby B takes after me and Baby A takes after him. It was a great visit. We were so afraid we were going to get some kind of bad news again but we did not.

The next day I went to Barnes and Noble because I have nothing to read. I found a great book called Twins!. I've been reading What to Expect and really it was helpful but didn't explain the problems/differences if you are expecting more than one. The new book made me feel so much better. Example: It said to lie to people you don't know who ask how far along you are! I am so tired of people saying, "How far along are you," and then I tell them and I get a response like, "Oh my god, I was that big when I was 7 months!" The book says you are double what a singleton mom would be and you are only going to get bigger. I don't know why people are surprised. I also bought 5 new novels to read....which I will have plenty of time to do right now since I'm so exhausted I can barely walk around the house.

Same day Michael was busy finishing the babies bathroom. He has been working so hard on getting the guest room and guest bath done before his mom (and then the babies) comes. So yesterday he finally finished. We went to Target and got the cutest bath set. We both agree these are going to be the most spoiled babies in the world. We didn't have a coordinated bath set. We are both so excited I don't know how we stand it.

Just about every night lately I have a dream about the babies which I read is also very normal.