October 5, 2012

Tapering Blunders Followed by Sweet Surprises

There are a few of you that have followed this blogs since I started it 5 years ago. These readers will appreciate this post the most likely. See, I have this thing. Every time I taper for a big race, crazy weirdo stuff happens to me. It's never a running injury, but other equally threatening things. Last year, I fell not once, but THREE times in the few weeks before a marathon. One year, I jarred my back while playing on the monkey bars. (That was one stupid move on my part; so don't even ask...) One year I came down with some terrible sickness and took Cipro, causing very much drama with the warnings and all. Oh, and the year I ran Boston? Well, my doctor FORBID me to run, terrible bronchitis. I ran while on antibiotics, inhaler, steroids, the works! 2nd slowest marathon ever, but hey, I did Boston. The list of taper weirdness goes on and on. It continued this week, too.

I just typed an entire 3 paragraphs about what happened to me Tuesday, but decided to delete it. It's really not that important. To sum it up, I backed into a lady while leaving XC practice. She did not handle it well, cursed me out, and wanted to fight me. The police were called and long story short, she was taken care of. However, this left me very upset and kind of "rocked my world" for the rest of the evening.

I also had  pretty rocky start to my week at school. We are having some frustrating situations that I won't discuss being that I am non-tenured.

However, the past two days have been brighter. I finally broke down and ordered an iPhone. I have had a go-phone since my divorce 3 years ago, haha. (Don't judge, it was all I could afford, and being that I had been married forever, I had very little credit and wanted to keep it that way.) The school system finally paid me for my coaching gig. That's another long story that I won't discuss, but I haven't been paid for coaching since I started here. And I finally got it, hints the iPhone.

One of my sweet, sweet students has been bringing me veggies from her family's garden. So far I've gotten eggplant, green beans, and okra- YUMMO!

Someone mailed me a winter headband for running, and I have no idea who this person is! A package appeared on my door with this little gift inside. WOW, I have a fan! LOVE IT!!!!!

My principal who does.not.ever compliment people paid me TWO public compliments this week. Sometimes teachers need a little pat on the back. It was in regard to our new math curriculum. Alabama finally adopted the National Common Core Math Standards. It's been a big adjustment for teachers and students. I'm one of four teachers on our school's math team to help muddle the way through the waters for the others. Haha. It's been challenging, but I actually like it. The new curriculum is neat, and while it's tough getting used to, I believe it will help even the playing field for us and other states in regard to mathematics.

My students are exhausting me, and they are hilarious. Last week, one of my MR boys lifted up my skirt. Then when I instinctively swatted his hand away said, "Hahah, I was seeing if you had on shorts." ???????? One girl told me that I should go to Piggly Wiggly to find myself a husband. LOL. And when the lady from the mental health department came to observe two of my students, another one said, "That lady wants to be just like you. That's why she's writing down everything you say and what you are wearing." Hahahaahahah! They totally keep me on my toes; they also keep me young. If you've never worked with special needs children, they are a gift. The thing I like best is that their emotions are so wide open. What they feel and what they think is out there. In a world full of deceivers, this is welcomed.

In the area of running, things are smooth. I had a short 400 workout Tuesday that I absolutely killed. Yesterday, I did my final 3 miles at MP. Unfortunately, my Garmin AND ipod went dead during the 2nd mile. So, i didn't get final data on that, but it felt fine. I do have a few little worries, of course. I'm still concerned about my less-than-usual mileage. My last 20 miler was before the relay. I've had this nagging cold/cough for weeks. I have an allergy to most antibiotics, resulting in doctors always wanting to give me Cipro or something from that family. (Apparently, there's nothing else to give that I can take.) Therefore, I avoid the doctor. I am feeling much, much better, but it's still there a little bit. Not major, but enough to make me worry that my body isn't 100%. Then there's the usual marathon jitters, knowing that not matter how hard you train sometimes it just isn't your day.

Of course, sometimes it IS your day, too...

I am a person that can get really bogged down with my own negative thoughts, mostly worries, more than negativity. The what-ifs in my brain are loud. This is one way that TP and I really compliment each other. He is great at dissolving those thoughts for me. I will literally say stupid stuff like, "What if I bomb." To which he says, "What if you don't?" Then I say, "But what if I do?" To which he says, "Then there's next time or the time after that. Crap, you've done like 30 marathons and you act like this is your last." So true.

I usually try to keep my own running private from my XC runners. I just feel that I want to be there for THEM and never ever make it about me. Occasionally, it does come up in conversation and it always leaves me feeling good. I told them yesterday that I would be missing two practices, but left specific instructions for the captains to lead practice out on the trail. I told them about the marathon and as we were leaving, I heard one kid say to another, "26 miles, wow. Our coach is a major bad ass." Hahahaha! It feels great to have reached a point that I've really bonded with these teens. I was looking at some of the times and accomplishments from the season last night. My top guy and girl have both dropped THREE MINUTES off their 5K times since the first meet.  Wish I could PR like that...

Regardless of what happens this race, I try to remember some small things I'm grateful for:
A) I am injury-free and had a very great training cycle. It could really, really pay off for me this race. If I don't cash in this race, the money is still in the bank for later. :)
B) While there are things about my life I would change, I have so much to be thankful for- great team, supportive parents, wonderful friends, a job that, while exhausting, I love.
C) This race is not the end-all-be-all. Success or no success, more great running is in the future.


  1. I love the final three things you are grateful for. I have been repeating a similiar set of three when I feel my nervous energy rise.

  2. I worked in a special needs 'unit' at a primary school in Scotland for a couple of years. I remember being so nervous about it before I started and then within 15 minutes of being with these kids, I relaxed and realized they're 'just' kids. One of the most wonderful experiences I've ever had, lot's of funny stories too (no skirt lifting but had my boobs groped once, in the days when I had boobs ;)).
    30 marathons - wow, is that an accurate guesstimate?! I think you're always going to be someone who gets wound up/nervous about each and every one of them because you are someone who sets high, very high standards for yourself, it's who you are. You could always go through life and be happy with mediocre.......didn't think so ;D Good luck on the day and I hope that's an end to all the crazy stuff that's been happening to you. Oh and as for those annoying doubts re less mileage, the milage you have been doing has contained some INCREDIBLE quality work right? I'm thinking the BEAST et al, so take those doubts and throw the beast at them, you've got this!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Tell TP 'thank you!' I've been feeling the same way about my upcoming races because I KNOW my training cycle has not been strong. But what he says really resonated. So what if the race sucks? It's not my last marathon. There will be lots more.

    Wow, for some reason, I found that statement so calming.

    And you totally are a badass runner and coach! I'm thinking good thoughts for you...I really really hope it all comes together. You've put in the training. You can do it!!

  4. Such crazy stuff in your life (just read the last post, too, with the teenage girl/prom thing...so cute). Despite the horrible meany with the truck, all I see there is goodness and fun and you being ready to kick some major ass this weekend. Man, I'm going to be thinking about you hard and sending out numbers in my head that will coincide with the numbers you will be accumulating, mile by mile by mile. You rock, girl and this weekend will be your shining moment. (though TPs right because you have many shining moments still to come) Kisses!

  5. Their coach IS a major badass! As the city of Miluakee is about to find out! Regardless of what the clock says, you're #1 in my book-and a few others' as well:)

    Love your closing list and TP may be a better sports psychologist than yours truly. LOL Brilliant advice and timing! (((Big hug)))-I wish I was there to see you cross the finish line, but soon enough!!

  6. I LOVE the thought that whether the race goes as you want or not, the training and hard work is still "in the bank" for later. You never know what will happen on race day, but you have more than put in the work and are very ready for a PR. I will be cheering you on. Good luck with the rest of the taper. NO MONKEY BARS. :)