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Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend +

One of the great things about being a teacher (besides the joy of molding young minds, being adored by a roomful of first graders, and having such an impact on the future, of course) is being off for holidays.  Our holiday schedule has been pretty thin this year, though...no Veteran's Day? No Pulaski Day? I know most everyone without a teaching job is rolling their eyes and muttering about 6 hour workdays and such (don't get me started), but teaching can be a high-stress job (certainly is this semester) and some of those "extra" days off are all that stand between me an a nervous breakdown (or at least a bottle of wine).  Because of this, even though we were just off last Monday for President's Day, the two snow days we had Thursday and Friday were kind of a godsend.

I can't blame my stress level on lack of exercise.  I've been staying pretty consistent with getting in workouts.  Right now I've got two goal races I'm training for.  There's the 5K I'm hoping to PR (aiming for sub-25 min) in April.  I know I've mentioned before that usually once I've run a distance I lose almost all motivation to actually train for it. This is the first time I've ever had a pace goal, though, other than my secret, pie-in-the-sky goal for my first half marathon, and the only time the pace has been my primary goal.  It's kind of exciting.  Last Saturday I ran 7.5 hilly miles, and I hit the gym Wednesday night for my scheduled speedwork run. Which, weird as it is to say, I nailed.

Goal: W/u, 3 x1600 @ 8:36 with 800 jogs, c/d.  Those 1600s were 8:07 (and I finished smiling), 8:05, and 8:02 (no longer smiling, this one was tough).  Still not at the point where I feel confident about stringing three 8ish minute miles together, but there's time til April.

I also have that little 200 mile bike race looming in June.  The sting of last year's DNF hasn't worn off one bit, and it's definitely prodded me to get on the bike.  Last February I rode 62 miles total; this February I'm currently at 231.  If I can stay consistent over the next few months and get in a few century rides, I'll feel pretty good about my body's chances of finishing this year.  Of course, the weather is always a major factor, but as long as I've taken care of the things I can control, I'm content with whatever happens.  I was out of town for a wedding this weekend, but the extra snow days gave me a chance to get in a few extra miles on the trainer.  While I'd far prefer to ride outside, it's a lot easier to stagger downstairs in the morning to put in 30-60 min on the trainer before work or to ride while watching a movie with my son.

Of course no snow day would be complete without some snow play. We built a fort, threw snowballs, and (my favorite) went for a snow hike.

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Only the animals beat us out to this section of trail.
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Very happy pair
We hiked about two miles, with J and the dog running all the downhills.  I may run regularly, but that kid can easily outsprint me (in boots, even!), plus he's braver running down snow-covered hills.  We had a blast, including a dog-assisted slide down suicide hill.  The only disappointment was when we realized he forgot to try peeing his name in the snow.  Next time, for sure.

The highlight of the weekend, though, had to be my Team Virtus teammate Bob's wedding.  Since we usually all spend time together in races or long rides (or occasional bachelor parties), it was funny to all be in the same place all dressed up.

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We didn't get around to taking a picture til we were all sweaty from dancing and well hydrated, but I promise we looked pretty spectacular.
Even though I wasn't in a sweaty jersey and argyle knee socks, I was still rocking my characteristic braids, with a twist.

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I can't even tell you what a wonderful night it was.  My teammates and their families have definitely become like family to me, plus there were so many other good friends there too.  And a great time was had by all, even my husband and 9-year old son.

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Incidentally, that's my Dirty Kanza training plan behind the pictures.

19 comments:

  1. What?!? No Pulaski Day? Why??? That was my favorite holiday in school!

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  2. I know, right?? I love it bc it's a great day to go to St. Louis and visit the zoo or City Museum bc MO kids are in school. :)

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  3. You are so primed for that 5K! I can't wait to hear about it. It will make you happy to train in the future when you see the results.

    Teachers deserve snow days (says the daughter-in-law of one and the daughter of another)--no one works harder.

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  4. What happened to lack of preparation and seat of the pants showmanship? These extra days off are giving you too much rest.

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  5. Ha! :) I'm tired of every blog post being some version of "oops I didn't train, and wow was it hard, and so I came in last but yea me I gutted it out".

    I'd be a liar, though, if I didn't admit that the idea of trying and training hard and STILL coming in near last scares me a little. It's not so bad to suck when you haven't worked to succeed.

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  6. The first sentence of this post is awesome! And oh so true.
    Teaching a high stress job. Surely you kid? 6 hour days? We have 7 hours so no problem imagining how hard our lives are. No weekend hours or time spent before and after the kiddos of course. And time spent taking courses?
    That wedding looked like so much fun. And how awesome that your real family got to spend time with your racing family.
    A 200 mile bike race is seriously SUper Kate stuff.

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  7. No Pulaski Day? That's just wrong. Although, for us that's the 4th Monday IN A ROW my kids are home, so I'm ready for this crap to be done. (to be fair, that's 2 different school's schedules, but still...)

    The wedding looks so fun, and you looked gorgeous!

    Your training has been A-FREAKING-MAZING! Can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for you!

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  8. Nice braids! I love braided buns.

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  9. How do you know when the minds are too moldy?

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  10. Aces on that speed work! You indeed nailed it! Glad you enjoyed your unexpected days off...looked like you had a fabulous time with your son :).

    ....there are days I wish they'd hang a 'closed' sign on the hospital...;)

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  11. you'll see big improvements in your performance with the training you are doing. Consistency - is the key to many things and you are being super consistent!! You are going to kill the DK200 - new bike, less weight, more trained, no longer a rookie. I'm really excited! :)

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  12. Look at you, you are ADORABLE!! Loving the pics at the bottom, smiles galore always makes me smile too! And you are super skinny Minnie, you have got to be so proud of all the gains you have made this year. Once the mind accepts the challenge, the body can take you far!! I am super excited for you and your upcoming goals - you are going to NAIL them!! (do some short speed workouts, too for your 5k - quicker leg turnover will help with those mile repeats!).
    Love ya!

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  13. I admire teachers. I always wonder if teaching here in SA is much different to teaching there by you. Here the schools are strict with uniforms and the kids must do at least a summer and a winter sport for the school. Must be quite different I imagine. We also have 4 quarters with more or less equal time holidays in between. No long summer holiday here.

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  14. Awesome! Speedwork is huge. Especially hitting the times consistently. And, doing the rest in between as jogs ("active recovery") is huge. You'll nail it. Just keep adhering strictly to your plan.

    JB

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  15. I know how beautiful and hard is the "mission" of the teachers. My wife is a colleague of yours.
    You will break the 25'00" barrier, I am sure.
    The last picture is wonderful!

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  16. Oooh! Did you say 5k training?? And you are doing speedwork? This looks good!! I am betting my money on the sub 25. In fact I am going with sub 24 if you don't ditch your plan :)
    Loved seeing the dress up pics with the team! Everyone looks fantastic. It's nice to dress up every now and then.

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  18. Gotta love snow days - until you have to make them up in June:)
    Great job with your training!

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