August 26, 2012

Narcolepsy, A Beast, and a Hurricane

Sometimes you just have to laugh at your situation; especially when it's either laugh or cry. First off, I LOVE my students. They are so much sweeter than last year. It's definitely a different situation, though. My special needs students add very broad spectrum of dynamics to the classroom. For example, during math, my student with Tourette's sat in desk and muttered this under his breath for nearly 20 minutes, "Shitshitshitshitshitshitshitshit..." One of my students can't write or tie his shoes. One can't read or button her pants. She is also clung to my hip for 4 hours of the day. (She leaves during reading and math.)

I've also learned a lot about myself this week. I need to learn more about their disabilities. If I truly want them to have the best education experience possible, I need more knowledge than my measly college class and their IEPs. I plan on spending a couple of hours in Barnes and Noble tomorrow doing some reading. My student with Asperger's repeats many things I say. This week I learned that I have a few "teacher sayings" that I probably overuse. For example, he echos me by saying, "Okay, boys and girls. Okay, boys and girls..." I also frequently say, "Good job; let's move on. Good job; let's move on."

I do have a full-time aide in the classroom with me, and a few of the students leave for reading and math. The aide is new to the school this year. Before school started, she was helping me put some things in the kids' desks when she said she needed to rest for a second. She sat down in my rocking chair and fell asleep. Honestly, I was kind of annoyed. I had probably slept like 4 hours and run like 12 miles that morning; so who was she to sit down and take a nap? Well, come for find out, she has narcolepsy. No really, she actually has it. A couple of times a day, no matter what is going on in the classroom, she lets her head fall back and goes to sleep. Yep. I started feeling kind of jealous of it on Friday. I wanted lay my head back and go to sleep. Why just her? Couldn't we all benefit from a little daily power nap? I know I could!

Needless to say, this week was exhausting! Mentally, I was very unfocused about running. I felt physically and mentally drained. I did not feel prepared to Saturday's workout, one Coach calls "The Brit." It's one of those workouts that you look at on paper and wonder if you can even do it, and you know that if you CAN do it, it's going to hurt. I'm not going to give away her secrets, but I received a little counseling from Adrienne this week about my workouts for the week, this workout, and my upcoming race. What I love about Adrienne is that she knows exactly what you are dealing with and exactly what you NEED to do, but she discusses it with you in a way that makes you realize it on your own. One of the things that Adrienne talked to me about what breaking a tough workout into parts mentally. I even had greater doubts on Friday when the guys who were supposed to pace me on the workout backed out. I would be going at it alone.

And here's the beast:
2 mile warm-up, followed by the workout split up into 3 main parts.
1)10K at 6:47 pace. This felt good. It didn't feel "easy", but I felt strong and it felt more than manageable. I finished at the track where I had stashed my water, gel, and stopwatch.
2)5 x 1000 planned at 4:00 pace. My paces were all over the place- 3:54, 3:56, 3:59, 4:04, 3:57. This was considerably that what I typically run 1000s in, but it still felt hard from the previous 10K.
After that, I downed a gel, put the Garmin back on and hit the road.
3)10K at 6:45 pace. About 2 miles in, I started to struggle. It felt really hard, and I could've SWORN my Garmin said 6:58. I had some big mental battles, and I actually stopped for about a minute on the side of the road. I regrouped, talked myself out of negative feelings, and went back at it. What's weird is later when I looked at the data from that mile, it was 6:43, the fastest of that 10K. I don't know WHAT happened out there. The sun was in full force, and I was completely drenched, sloshing shoes and all. The last 4 miles were misery. I looked at my Garmin no less than a million times. Some how, some way, I just kept hitting the pace. But honestly, it really sucked. When my watch finally clicked to 6.2, I was so spent, I had to Galloway my cooldown mile home. And it's done. I think I'm on my way...

In other news, we're about to have a hurricane. I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared. I've never lived so close to the beach during a hurricane before. And seriously, every time I look at the stinkin' weather, the forecast is worse. I did stock up on the usual bottled water, batters, and a new battery-powered lamp. TP is bringing his generator over today, and he thinks it is strong enough to run the fridge. We'll see. Most of the gas stations are already out of regular, and prices on the higher grades are rising rapidly. And of course, this storm comes when I FINALLY move into a house and have been working tirelessly on the yard. Oh well, things are just things. I hope and pray we will all come out safely. That's the main priority.

Run Happy, friends!


  1. Thoughts and prayers for a safe week! I'm always happy to help a talented, insightful friend out any way I can.

    And about that workout-I've just picked my jaw up from the desk!

  2. WOW, awesome workout! It's so hard not to be negative sometimes when you're pushing so hard, but you stuck it out and had a great workout.

    Thoughts for a safe week!

  3. That sounds like a challenging situation to try and meet the needs of those different students. Wow. In awe. I am not sure how I would react to an aise that had narcolepsy!

  4. I laughed right out loud at finding your new aide has narcolepsy. Special Needs are everywhere for you, poor thing! But too funny. What challenges you have with those kids, too. Has to take a lot out of you.

    Still, there you go with your crazy great workout, hard as hell, you continue to amaze me.

    Be safe, hope you get very little from this storm, just enough to be sort of excited by Mother Nature but not enough to actually make a difference.

  5. Really hoping this thing passes by you and that you and your house are unharmed! We are so blessed to be out of that zone of hurricanes here.

    What a classroom you have. SO many challenges. I can tell you really care though. It must be hard at times. I could use a good nap too!!

    Fantastic workouts. Sometimes the GPS plays tricks on us!

  6. Thanks girl. That 10k/5X1k, 10K workout is amazing!! Nice job. Good luck with the school year and stay out of the hurricane.

  7. I meet my students tomorrow. Should be interesting!

  8. Holy cow, that is a killer workout! Way to go! Kara Goucher recently shared a similar workout (in RunnersWorld?), so it must be a good one!

    Good luck with your kiddos this year. It sounds very challenging, but I'm sure you will do well with them. I had a high school teacher with narcolepsy. It was so crazy...she'd just drop off to sleep while we were working!

    Hope all is well in the hurricane today! Thinking of you!