December 16, 2012

I didn't give this post a title because I couldn't think of one. I want to blog about my training, but honestly, I just went to enter in my end-of-week workouts on Training Peaks and drew a blank on a few days. I know I had mid 80s mileage with two speed workouts and sorta-long run.

Honestly, I'm struggling. Of course, the recent CT tragedy is on every one's mind. Everyone is hurting, but how much is normal? Is there a normal? It is weighing on my mind and heart so heavily that I can't think of anything else.

In college, they teach you how to teach, how to deal with children that function below grade level, and how to deal with parents. They teach you about underprivileged children, and political challenges that our education system faces. In schools, we practice drills for tornadoes and fires, and we practice lock down drills. But there's always that sinking feeling of, "What would we *really* do?" And why do we have to worry about that?

Oddly enough, teachers were probably the last people in the country to find out. I didn't emerge from my classroom until 12:30 (1:30 CT time). I went to the restroom before taking my class to lunch and another teacher was in the lounge huddled over her phone with tears in her eyes. And there's that feeling when you begin to read about such terrible things- knot in the stomach, nausea, lump in throat. And for all involved in education, "That could have been us."

Then you enter fake it until you make it zone, muddling your way through the rest of the day. In the lunchroom, I heard too many details, details about how the children were killed. I wanted to be sick. I didn't eat lunch, just sat with the children watching them numbly, allowing them to talk way too loudly and use not-so-great table manners. That afternoon, my room mom came to help me with a craft project. She didn't say a word to me about the tragedy, but hugged me when she came in and brought me a small gift from her workplace. We worked on crafts with the children for the rest of the afternoon until library time. Children know a lot more than we give them credit for. They asked me a minimum of 10 times, "What's wrong? Is everything okay?" To which I always answered yes, and directed their attention back to the tissue holiday tree and painted ornaments.

After school, the teacher naturally migrated to one teacher's room where we all sat in silence. Usually we chatter about our day or upcoming weekend, possibly the next day's lessons. Friday- nothing. There was really nothing to say. We were all crushed, broken, selfishly AFRAID. Fear is a paralyzing thing. It takes hold and sometimes seems impossible to shake it. I'm sure we were all thinking about how we each walk our classes outside a minimum of 3 times a day. See, our school is actually 3 different buildings...

An elementary school. Babies. So young. WHY?????

I went into my own classroom and compulsively cleaned for an hour. It was ridiculous. I scrubbed and scrubbed with Clorox wipes while tears streamed down my face, until my throat was raw and my eyes burned. I bailed on my workout and went home. Then I watched the stupid news and went to sleep. At some point, Keith brought me a piece of pizza. He asked me if I was sick, implying that I looked like total crap. I told him my throat was hurting, but my heart was breaking. I ate a few bites, and went back to sleep. I awoke to a text from Adrienne, telling me she got into Brooks ID again.

My Brooks sponsorship (and running) is so important to me. I had been anticipating the news for months, and compulsively checking my email prior to Friday. And yes, I had made it, too! I tried so hard to be excited. I texted Coach and we chitchatted about that for a bit. Why don't I feel overjoyed about this???? My teacher friend, Lisa texted me, "Are you okay?" To which I replied, "Define okay." She then said, "I'm not okay. I can't function right now." In an odd way, that comforted me.

Sam wanted to do her long run Saturday, and being that we are training partner, meant I was doing my LR Saturday. We ran most of it with the speedy guys, putting me into a far harder zone than I was wanting. Being that I had cried half the day Friday and barely eaten or had any liquids, I hoped I could even finish this thing. Thank goodness Coach only had me down for 14, and I NEVER appreciate lower mileage...

I didn't have my Garmin on, but when we stopped for water, I could've SWORN we were going low 7s. Nope, 7:30s. We pressed on, them chatting about elite running, football, and Sam and I right behind, struggling to keep up. All I could think about was going to sleep. We finally finished, and this lady approached us, asking if we would do this obstacle course thing. Usually, I would be fired UP about something like that. Sam immediately signed us up, and then we did this weird cross-fit, obstacle challenge thingie that we WON. Sam and I worked as partners to go through these different stations- wheelbarrow, pushup, monkey bars, run to the pier and back, weird stuff. I tried to act excited for Sam's sake. Like I said, I'm usually all into stuff like that. Then I went home and went back to bed until after lunchtime.

I'm feeling more normal now, went Christmas shopping yesterday and ate dinner out with the boyfriend. I'm about to go attempt a tempo workout, even though I've now developed my wonderful winter cough. Bleh. I guess that sore throat was for real.

I know this blog post was a fast train to nowhere, and I apologize for that. It kind of helped to put my feelings on paper, even if they were haphazard.

I'm so proud to say Run Happy, friends again for another year. Thank you, Brooks Sports, for all that provide me!


  1. I understand Rebecca. I found out about the tragedy around noon but more details till 2pm. I am still in shock!! I thought about my own students and made me appreciate them more and realize how important they are and how much they mean to me.

    Congrats on the Brooks sponsorship! Looking forward to June!

  2. Sorry Friday was so tough on you. Blogging is great for getting your feelings out there, I am glad you posted.

  3. Its so hard to continue on when we know others are suffering. But we do press on and THAT'S normal. Being a teacher, you would obviously feel a direct kinship to the heroic teachers who lived and died that day. I'm not a teacher and don't have children, but my heart breaks.

    My long runs have always been a source of therapy and calmness. This morning was no different. I let my mind "go there" and found myself concentrating on hope. As long as there are more of us who know how wrong this was and who want to protect the innocent, then there is hope.

    I hope you find peace and that the next days/weeks aren't too difficult as you try to be "normal" with your kids/classroom.

  4. We don't have television at home and haven't had it for 14 years. We only watch movies and a few select shows over the internet- so the only news we get is the headlines on the internet news services. I realize this might be the ostrich approach, and my husband keeps a more informed than I do. I also completely missed the impact from 911 because of no TV. We have been protected.
    Sorry to go on about "me"...

    I truly feel sorry for the victims here, and for you for having to witness this sadness in the news. Hope your heart feels better soon, so you can really "run happy".

  5. I read this and have a little lump in my throat. I'm so sorry this hit you so hard, my friend. I don't understand why things happen like this in the world. Just don't.

    May this week bring back both your strength and health so you're running happy again. I'm so glad we're teammates again in this program that brought us together in the first place.

    Big hug!

  6. Anonymous12/17/2012

    It is unbelievably tragic. It's good you posted and also are getting back to things you love. Hugs to you.

  7. Now that I have three children in school I have SO much respect for teachers. It breaks my heart that instead of just teaching, they have to worry about protecting too. I 've hidden the whole incident from my children (they are too young) but have been sneaking away every time I read an article because the tears just keep flowing for those amazing teachers and innocent children :(