January 8, 2010

Euphoric, Overwhelmed, and Exhausted

Euphoric: Coaching track is beyond awesome. I'll tell a few short (more like long) things about my first week. I arrived at the high school (half a mile from my school) before school dismissed Tuesday. I went inside to find Coach D. It was a madhouse in there. Teens EVERYWHERE running into me, shouting, laughing. It was crazy. For a brief moment I thought, these teens are going to eat me for lunch. I was scared. When you work with 8/9 year olds, 16 year olds seem massive! Man, when did high schoolers get so big? So, I found Coach D at the track and we gathered the athletes. Not to stereotype, but from K's experiences, most of these teens have a lot of difficulty trusting/respecting adults. I hold them responsible, but in their defense, many of them have much less than stellar home circumstances. After talking with K about a way to earn their respect, he thought it would be wise to do a "brisk warm up" with them at the start of practice. So, after introducing myself, that's what we did- 2 laps, very slow. The sad thing is that most of them couldn't even run the whole way. It's going to be a looooonnnnng road. This week we timed kids, did stretching, conditioning things, etc. More importantly, I feel like after only 4 days they respect me. After that first day, the coaching part actually feels very natural. We have all the usual characters, too, the teen gal that has trouble finding a real niche of friends, the arrogant boys that I could blow out in the 800, the huge thrower that are really teddy bears, and modest/humble distance runner, willing to anything you ask and then some. The most important thing is that I feel like I'm making a difference in someone's life, maybe even more than one. As of now, we are horrible, but it's all about baby steps, right? 30 years from now, those kids aren't going to remember their high school times, but they will remember life lessons and friends they made from their high school track team. Base building is character building, too. Physical strength goes hand-in-hand with mental strength.

Overwhelmed: I've got a lot, lot, lot of things on my plate right now. It seems never ending. Of course, the school responsibilities don't quit, so I'm having to bring lots of work home, work that I would usually do after school. I've got the National Board thing hanging over me and feeling sort of lost with that. I've been put in charge of our Relay for Life team and, bless her heart, the woman in charge of it needs another hobby. Her emails are now my nightly reading. I'm also a bit disappointed in myself this week. My runs have been slow, but my legs don't feel fresh. I am also not going to hit my mileage goal for the week. It will be in the mid 70s instead of mid 80s, like I wanted.

Exhausted: I'll use yesterday as a sample of my usual schedule.
3:00 Wake up and get TO my running starting point by 3:45 (I have to drive there.)
6:25 Leave for school
7:25 Kids come
8:00-8:30 my only break for the day
Work all day with the kids until 2:45
2:45-3:00 change and try not to run over any children as I'm zooming out of the parking lot
3:15-5:00 track practice
The rest of the night is grading, cooking, maybe running again, laundry, etc.

Then add into the mix- Bunco one night a month, bridge two nights a month, Habitat Meetings, Relay for Life meetings, ADK meetings, and aaaaaahhhhhhh!!! See what I mean?

I feel tired, and put my own running on the back burner this week. I'm glad, though, it's for a good cause. Sunday is going to be the Popsicle Contest, I mean First Light Half Marathon. I'm not looking to PR, maybe 1:28-1:30? I have no idea what my fitness level is right now. It's a slow road back, I know that much. A little frustrating actually. Baby steps, though, baby steps.

Run strong, friends!


  1. Anonymous1/08/2010

    wow you are so busy! even though you're not going to be mid-80s this week i think it's sooo impressive that you can still run 70 miles on top of everything else youre going. you are superwoman girl!! :)

    i absolutely love that youre coaching. i guess it's all perspective because when i see 16 year olds my first thought is "was i ever that small?!" haha. but i think it's great that youre making a positive difference in these kids lives. this is doubly huge as i don't think many kids these days have great role models.

    and re: my shoe situation i'm in "newer" shoes. i'm not in the reeeeeeeeeally old ones but i'm not ready to break out the brand spankin' new ones that i just picked up in the mail yesterday. baby steps :)

  2. You are super busy! And you still get in so much mileage with all that you have going on. I'm so happy that the coaching is going well. Those kids are so lucky to have a coach like you!


  3. Wow, I got all goosebumpy hearing about your cast of characters on the track. They're lucky to have you and I imagine we'll be hearing some great stories as it progresses. You are one busy woman, Getting up at 3am? That seems so wrong. Don't know how you do it.

  4. Anonymous1/09/2010

    oh my gosh, you're so busy! you're superwoman! I am so glad that coaching is going well. I loved my time in high school track. I'm sure you're an inspiration. Also, I think it would be good to smoke those arrogant kids. I used to swim with the high schoolers I coached and they really liked it. They were fun to race too...16 year old boys are fast!

  5. You are doing some awesome things there! Most of the kids who are too cool for school NOW will realize later that you know a thing or two, and taught them something. The ones that are already letting you get through to them are going to really benefit. It'll be sweet to see where they are at the end of the year-and a few years from now.

    If you wind up feeling spread to thin and like the running's not getting enough time on a regular basis, I know there will be friends and colleagues who would pinch hit for you here and there! You give everyone else 110% so hopefully you won't feel guilty delegating a teeny bit so you're not spread too thin. That said-I understand giving it your all when it's making a difference! Hats off to everything you're doing.

  6. 3:45 a.m.? WOW!!!

    I'm 42 and I still remember (and thank) my high school cross-country coach. I was never any good, but I am so glad that experience gave me the foundation for a lifelong way to stay active! You're doing a great thing!

  7. If you don't already, please have a back-off plan in place. I think you will know when you it's too much. I just hope you don't feel so obligated to everything, that you can't pull the plug on some things if you need to.

    I've personally seen the fallout of two All- SEC swimmers. It wasn't good. Their recovery was measured in years, not months.

    Good Luck LAR!

  8. Well now I have to stop complaining about getting up every morning at 5 am. I can't believe your schedule....I really can't believe it.

    Oh and do share more track stories, you are sharing a wealth of information these kids may never have gotten. Awesome job!

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  10. OOOPS! I was congratulating you for last year's half marathon. I thought this was the inaugural race for some reason and thought you had just set a new PR. I hope you are happy with your 1:30. Based on how last week went, it sounds like you had a good race.

  11. Anonymous1/12/2010

    Okay, I feel like the biggest slacka$# in the world right now. 3 a.m - to run?!
    Do you find a difference in how your body feels then ? Is it really efficient at that time of day?!
    You are amazing. I seriously don't know how you do it. You prefer to run in the morning versus evening - or do you always do doubles?! Sorry for all the questions...it's just ...WOW.
    But, most importantly - are you happy in your life?!
    I just wrote a post actually on "Change" and how things always change ...curious as to if this was your life 5 years ago or if it may be what it will be in the future?
    Namaste my Dear :) (and please get some rest and good food )...