January 20, 2013

Running Teacher Confessions

It's been a snarky mood kind of week. One of those weeks where nothing seems to go your way, except when you DO look back on it you see there were a few good things. I really love reading running blogs. I read all the blogs listed on the side of my blog. They are all great, and I learn so much from each of them. I think all of us bloggers guilty of a few types of posts occasionally:

1) The Whiny Wendy Post- those posts where you complain and feel sorry for yourself regarding *everything* in life
2) The Grant Rant- where you unload about that thing that has been bothering you and may or may not use inappropriate (or appropriate profanity)
3) Digit Monster Post- every little detail about your training for the week, including exact mileage, paces, and repetitions
4) Braggy McBraggerson- The "Wow! I am so awesome!" post, where you point out everything you've accomplished recently

No worries if you've posted one of these. Like I said above, I'm guilty, too! I started thinking today how much my attitude changes throughout the week, and I'm reminded of how much I DO have in common with other runners, but at the same time, how little I have in common with them. And this post will be a little bit of ALL the types mixed in one! (Lucky readers.)

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a professional runner, or heck, a runner that DIDN'T work 60+ hours a week. A runner that didn't focus on much besides running. These reflections started last week when I had this little pain between my toes. I had already self-diagnosed myself with some type of incurable fracture, but coach was able to shed some light onto why he thought I had this pain. It came down to shoes. After some trial and error stuff with shoes, I came to the conclusion that it wasn't the actual RUNNING that was hurting my foot, but the shoes I was wearing to teach in. Daggum baby doll flats with the narrow toe box! Stupid cutie boots with the pointy toe! And after a few days of granny shoes, problem solved.

When I think about who I am and what I do, I see myself as teacher first, runner second. In fact, one of my coworkers was working a water stop last weekend at the half, and she told me afterwards how shocked she was to see me leading the women's race. That led to the convo with other coworkers in the room that said, "Wow, you run?" And I had a little chuckle to myself. To them, I was just a teacher and a coach.

And this begins the confessional section of this post. The truth about my teaching life vs. running life. What makes me laugh is I read these blogs about these people that do EVERYTHING right, eating, training, sleeping, and I realize that I... I am a complete and utter SPAZZ.

*I wake up between 3 and 4 every morning. I get dressed while chugging a FULL glass of water. Why, you ask? Well, drinking water rapidly will lead to going #2 in less than 30 minutes. I then do my drills and hit the road. I don't wear reflective gear. Stupid? No, smart. I don't want any creepers seeing my patterns of running routes. With so few cars, I can see then before they see me, and bail to safety. I do carry mace, however.

*Some days I run blissfully through the dark streets watching the stars. And others... oh lawd. I tripped on my own feet out of sheer tiredness. My stomach has been such a wreck that I've had to stop at all THREE bathrooms on my route. I've done routes and gotten home only to forget what route I just did. LOL.

*I only wear Garmin for workouts, but I do know based on my microwave clock that I do some runs too fast and some runs too slow. I also have true talent- I can run with my eyes closed.

*I have a caffeine problem. I can't teach math without it. No joke, this is for real.

*I purposefully don't rehydrate in the morning after the run. Sorry, teachers can't go pee whenever they want. I can go twice a day. That's it. I am a binge hydrator. See what luxury you office workers have????

*Nothing will get you an eye roll faster than complaining about your hips and butt being tight from SITTING at your job all day. Close 2nd to those that complain about getting less than 8 hours sleep or whining about your 30 minute lunch break.

*Sometimes I don't get lunch. Sometimes I eat standing up. I can eat food right after seeing someone vomit. I can even eat after cleaning up vomit. No biggie.

*Sometimes I binge on my coworkers' chocolate bowls after school. Sometimes at night I drink too much wine.

*When I go to the gym, I wear headphones the entire time. If someone tries to talk to me, I act like I can't hear them. I can only afford the meat market gym.

And why the title TEACHER is better than the title RUNNER...

*Every day at least one student tells me they love me. My running friends don't do that. (I don't know why????)

*I've taught more than one person to read. I've taught more than one person to multiply. I've had kids tell me that they want to be me when they grow up. I've helped a teenager sign a college scholarship.

*Students hug me. Students need me. The motherly gene inside me needs to be needed. Running doesn't give me that.

*I come with marker stains on my shirt. I have an obsession with Clorox wipes and Expo spray. I love the smell and warmth of the copy machine and laser printer. I love a good cup of coffee and silence before the students come in . I'm obsessed with Classroom Dojo.

And what is the motivation behind this?????

Our superintendent just got a $25,000 raise. This month, my net pay will be anywhere from $50 to $200 LESS. Yes mam, we are getting a pay cut. Last month, this country sang teachers' praises in regard to the Sandy Hook tragedy. Today, they cut our pay. Is it about money? No. Will I continue to teach? Yes. I was born to do this. I laugh more times a day than people in any other career. I have more love in my life than most. Is it hard? Yes. Do my feet hurt? Yes. Am I freaking tired? YES!

I've been doing reflecting lately about this career. Some scary things are coming down the pipes in the education world. I already don't make much, but now I have to figure out where else to pinch pennies. Something will have to go- the gym? The coach? I already don't have cable or a car payment, or really any other "extras." It's stressful. It's stressful to love a job, but wonder if you can "make it." What will happen to me if they start paying by test scores? I teach special needs! What if they do away with special needs programs? What if? What if?

And for some reason, those quarters I ran this week aren't so important, or the 5K race I won, or the long run. Sometimes you just run for sanity.


  1. This made me smile and laugh!!!!

    I can relate to so many of these things. My favorite? The water and bathroom. I can also go during certain times.

    The paycut? That sucks! That makes me angry considering the superintendent got a raise.

    Keep on smiling and don't stop running.

  2. I plan to share your post with my fellow teachers! This is great!!!! Thank you!

  3. I wish I was a teacher for the long holidays...

  4. "I was born to do this". I love that quote and it did make my hair stand up a bit!

    This post was just awesome and very you: open, honest, and from the heart. I always heard that it takes a special person to be a teacher. It takes someone totally badass to be a running teacher. Wear the badge proud, sister!!

  5. I love you!! :)

    This post totally cracked me up. If you're a spazz, then so am I. I get up and chug a cup of coffee b/c that makes the pipes go so I can get out of the house ASAP. And perhaps running with your eyes closed is why you trip? ;)

    I love that you love your job. Seriously, that is amazing - to wake up and be excited to go to work. Despite all the financial challenges, you are very lucky to love what you do!

  6. Great post, and good insight into your daily life. I've always known you juggle a lot, but WOW. It's so wonderful that you have BOTH running and teaching to be passionate about. Even though your life sounds like it can get very stressful, it also sounds extremely rewarding.

  7. This is so funny to read!!! I have been a teacher, but was never serious about running when I was teaching. I figured I was too busy back then. lol...but you are managing to find a way!
    The smell of the copier I remember fondly. And bad coffee.

    So, have you ever considered going into administration???

    I have thought about going back. A lot recently. I don't know if I could do it...maybe for the right job and a CC coaching position :)

    Enjoy your double life. It might not be that way much longer :)

  8. Honestly I don't think I every fully appreciated teachers (yeah I knew their job was hard) until I had children. I've told you before but I am blown away by teachers. The patience, the time constraints, the frustrations with parents, etc. It would make me crazy. I am so grateful for teachers like you!! And to balance running on top of that...you are one of my heroes! :)

    Oh and about the posts, I try SO hard not to come off as braggy....if I ever do just call me out on it. I swear I will understand.

  9. Wonderful post, sweetie. Love the variety pack of it. Can't believe you had a pay cut, that's just unbelievable. More wine to dull the injustice and here, let it be said: I love you. :)