Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Blah. I've hit the dreaded "Wall of Boredom" at last. I guess I've finally settled into the school year enough to remember how mundane it becomes. Sadly, we're not even through September yet. Usually it takes me until at least the third week of October to start feeling this way.

It may also have to do with the fact that it's been dreary and rainy the past two days. Our cross country meet was cancelled yesterday, and today's practice doesn't look too promising. It was actually kind of nice having the afternoon free yesterday. I went over to the Y and did some cross-training.

I eked out 30 minutes on the elliptical while watching Oprah, and then spent half an hour swimming laps in the pool. It had been nearly two months since I'd done any kind of swimming, and I was amazed at how much fitness I'd already lost! That half hour kicked my ass, but I slept incredibly well last night.

I used my tofu press for the first time. I'd left the block of tofu in overnight and marinated & baked it in the toaster oven. Not bad, but I would definitely slice it thinner next time before baking it. Served it up with some quinoa and stir-fried veggies. Due to a power outage, The Huz had an unexpected evening off work, so we had some couch+TV time. *sigh* I wish I was on the couch right now instead of chained to my desk here at school.

I haven't seen my Mom in over a week, so I made plans to head over there for dinner tonight. Maybe I'll try and bang out a few miles after school in the rain.

Is it Friday yet?

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Here it is, Sunday again. A whole week has gone by already? I find myself savoring Sundays like never before. Here's a little recap of the week:

School: I've started up the period 0 band rehearsals on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This means that I'm out of the house and over at school before 7:00 AM. You'd think that after 12 years this would get easier. It never does. Fortunately, I have great kids this year and they really bring me to life. I guess if I have to be up that early, it's a great way to start the day.

Cross country: We had a good week. Our first meet was Monday and we ended up running against two other schools. Both of the other teams were small, so we annihilated them. I think it was a nice way to start the season!

The rest of the week consisted of practices. I had them do a long run day on Tuesday; speed workout on Wednesday; hill repeats on Thursday; and since they worked hard all week, we played Yahooty! for "Fun Friday." The temperatures were wicked for most of the week - 90's in September? But the kids didn't complain. Much.

My own running: I managed to log 20.5 miles this week, despite the hectic schedule and lousy weather. I bumped up yesterday's long run to 8 miles. I'd planned to hit the water fountain around the halfway point, but decided to change up my route. I ended up running the entire distance without a water break, which really suuucked.

At one point, I got a little desperate and stuck my face into someone's lawn sprinkler. Wow, those high pressure jets hurt! But I managed to wet my throat a little, and I think it gave me the jolt I needed.

Other stuff: Yesterday afternoon I went to my nephew's first karate tournament. He's a 7 year-old yellow belt, so the competition wasn't too fierce. It was fun to hang out with my brother & his wife, and to see Bean do his thing. Again though, 90˚ weather in September + hundreds of stinky karate feet = .... gross.

Next weekend is the Rotary 5K, for which I am a co-director. Hoping we get a decent showing, although the morons at the Daily Rag got the date wrong in today's paper. Big surprise there.

And finally, my tofu press came in the mail this week! I can't wait to try it out. Huz & I went for Thai food at a new place Friday night and their tofu was terrible! Mushy and gross. Blah. I know I can do better. Will let you know how that turns out.

In case I don't make it back 'til next Sunday - which is all too likely - have a great week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Today I am granting myself permission to be lazy. That is, until the guilt and boredom set in.

It's been a whirlwind week. After the two-week stuttered start, the school year was in full swing. I got all my kids signed up for Band (101 this year - woo hoo!) got their folders made, schedules done, meetings, etc. We also had cross country practice every day after school (which is an absolute blast) and I seemed to have some sort of evening obligation every night except for Friday.

Yesterday I ran my first "real-feeling" long run since... well, I don't even remember. But it's been a while. I set out to do 7 miles and ended up doing exactly 7.75 in 1:14. I was pretty okay with that. It felt awesome, and I think my body is finally remembering how to run again.

Naturally, I was full of energy after the run so I tackled housecleaning like it was my job. I despise cleaning the bathroom, but it had to be done. I know it's time when being in the shower skeeves me out. While I was at it, I vacuumed the rest of the house - including the stairs - so my lower back had quite the workout.

I didn't stop there. I did about 7 loads of laundry, designed the t-shirt for the upcoming 5K, and visited my Mom. By the time I got back home around 5:00, I was done. The Huz and I went out for Thai food (and WINE) and then came back, couched-out and watched some Dexter.

As is typical when I run long, I didn't sleep very well. It's maddening because my body is so tired - maybe too tired - and I toss and turn. Although I stayed up 'til almost midnight, I was up by 6:30 this morning, ravenously hungry from yesterday's activity.

Anyway, as I said earlier in the post, I'm giving myself permission to be lazy today. Case in point, I am back in bed after having a leisurely breakfast. I'm pretty sure that I'll get bored soon enough and be out and about - it's who I am. But for now, I'll pretend I can relax.

Friday, September 03, 2010


I think the coolest part of my job is seeing the growth of each kid over the 3-year middle school span. Unlike most classroom teachers, I get to keep kids for all three years unless they:
1. Move away
2. Decide they're too cool and quit Band or
3. Hate me (and quit Band)

It's amazing how they change over time. September is always fun because a lot of them have growth spurts over the summer. They leave me in June looking like little boys and girls, and then they come back looking like... teenagers.

I think teaching middle school keeps me young - mentally and physically. There's definitely something to surrounding yourself with positive energy, and there is so much vitality in a horde of 'tweens! I bet it would be an excellent source of green energy. Maybe someday they'll figure out how to harness 'tween spirit and use it instead of coal, oil and gasoline.

These are just some of the thoughts I had today, while on 8th grade lunch duty.

In other news, my ass is sore as hell. I did manage to sneak into the gym yesterday, and did quite a bit of weight training. Including three sets of squats, the reason for my aforementioned ass pain. I really should do those more often. Judging by the pain, I'd say they work pretty well. No pain, no gain -- right?

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Zzzzzzz.... *yawn*
"Huh? Oh yeah... Hi."

First day is dreadfully slow and boring for me. I can't believe this is the same day. It feels like I have been here for a week and it's still not even 2:36.

With the schedule the way it is, kids don't get the chance to sign up for electives (ie: Band) until Monday the 13th, and therefore, I don't technically get to see my kids until the 15th. So really, I am still on summer vacation. Sort of. Except that I have to be here in the school building and do awful things like lunch duty.

But at least I am getting organized. This morning I cleaned out my desk drawers for the first time in many years. I found lots of old photos and letters from kids who are probably in college now (or out of college -- gah!) I also found loads of dust, dirt and grime. Thank God for Lysol disinfecting wipes. What the hell did we do before their invention?

So anyway, I'm bored. I have to hang out for another half hour or so because I'm meeting with the former cross country coach and he's gonna edumacate me on all I need to know to start off the season. He's finally retired after over 40 years of teaching. The same class. In the SAME SCHOOL. Crazy, huh? I wonder if I'll make it that long without going insane.

No big plans for the evening. Hus is working late so I am on my own. I should probably get over to the gym to do a light recovery run and some weights.

I have been pulling the wool over the eyes of my former gym (do gyms have eyes?) I cancelled my membership over the summer so I could return to the YMCA (and the pool). Unfortunately, the Y goes through a 2-week annual shutdown every summer, so I am currently without a place to work out.

Luckily, the Huz still has a membership with my former gym - and a keytag! They are the kind of gym where you swipe yourself in. So despicable me has been using the Huz's keytag - and getting away with it! I just hope none of the little desk girls looks up at the screen. They're not the brightest crew, but I have a feeling they'd notice I'm not a bald man with a goatee.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Year #12 of teaching started off with... well, not really a bang - more of a whimper. A running-induced whimper, that is.

I rolled out of bed at 6:00 am and I wasn't feeling top-notch. I had that low grade fever vibe all day yesterday and it continued throughout the night with wacky dreams and night sweats. But I got up and headed down to the local high school track for some speedwork, hoping I could knock whatever it was out of my system.

My training plan called for 2x400s; 1x800 & 2x400s. The first two 400s went well, but after the 800, I felt like quitting. Then I reminded myself that it's okay to push yourself out of the comfort zone - especially during speedwork. If you don't make yourself go faster, you'll never become a faster runner. So I pushed.

And I finished! And I felt incredible for the rest of the day. Lesson learned.

Since it was a teachers-only day, I basically sat in orientation meetings from 9:00-1:00. It was nice seeing everyone again. I think it's the first year that I have 0% anxiety about starting off. I have to say, mid-30's really rock! I am the most comfortable I have ever been in my skin and it's just a really great, balanced feeling.

Did some errands with the Huz after school (he was off from work for a doctor's appointment) and then made a kickass dinner involving these amazing creations. Oh Morningstar Farms, I don't wanna know what's in them, just promise you'll keep coming up with new and delicious products for me.

Afterwards, I cut up a canary melon that I'd bought at a roadside farm stand this weekend. The dude at the stand described it as a cross between honeydew and cantaloupe.

Oh. My. God. Absolutely the sweetest and most amazing melon I have ever tasted. If you happen to see one of these, BUY IT! Wait until it turns an almost golden brown on the outside and then it's ready.

Alright, that's all I got. Kids tomorrow. Bring 'em on!