And So To The Next Year

Here’s my son’s ideas about this year’s Christmas:

I’m currently sat here drinking a warm cup of tea, and listening to the muffled sounds coming from the TV downstairs. Christmas is almost over for this year, and I couldn’t have asked for a better day. I should have been studying as I’m working towards my GED exam, I’m taking a totally free internet prep class provided by GED Easy, and hopefully early next year I will pass all four tests!  My dad woke up at 6 a.m. because he was far too excited to sleep anymore, and sat downstairs for an hour by himself eager to open the huge mound of presents under the tree. An hour later my mum walked into my room and asked me to wake up – I turned over, looked at my alarm clock, and promptly told her to “Get stuffed!”, which is why I was downstairs five minutes later handing out gifts.

I won’t go into what everyone got because it doesn’t interest most people, but I can say that I was more than happy with my presents. I never asked for anything in particular this year, so my mum went off my Amazon Wishlist. She’s convinced she didn’t get me enough but at 21 years old I’ve come to accept that I don’t get a sleigh load of toys anymore and that’s fine by me. Although I’ve repeated this countless times to her both yesterday and today, she still wants to take me out shopping in the sales and get me some more things.

I honestly don’t want anything else – seriously. My dad, as always, was ecstatic with his gifts – you could get him a bar of chocolate and he’d be thrilled. My mum rarely shows excitement so you never know if she’s pleased or not, but ask her and she’ll say she’s happy. That’s all you’re ever going to get out of her, so after she said the above about her gifts I was pleased.

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Inspiration from Innovative Educators

I had an amazing trip to Manchester earlier this week.  It’s always great to revisit my youth (having spent my Uni years there) even though the place has changed almost beyond recognition from the place we knew then. It’s people that make an event like this successful because of the sharing of ideas, experiences, enthusiasm.  I always enjoy meeting up with other people from my Twitter pln  (personal learning network) – too many  at this event to mention without forgetting someone – as this is the virtual staffroom that supports, encourages, inspires, revives my thinking, teaches me and makes me giggle) on a regular basis.

But the projects that were presented by the 10 new UK Innovative Educators filled me with inspiration – my only regret was that due the inclement weather, some of the breaks were shortened so I missed out on hearing a couple of them telling me about their projects in person. Their really creative uses of tech to enhance learning and implement it in our GED studies and practice tests… so many ideas, so few children in one class! The four teachers who will be taking their projects to the European IEF in Moscow are deserving winners and will be fantastic representatives of UK innovative practice.Continue Reading

Vengeance Is Mine Saith The Fox

Almost two weeks of sheer bliss have gone by without hearing from my ex-boyfriend, but then I get a phone call from him today. He called about some winter clothes that he says he has in my storage room, but I am pretty certain that he got all of his clothes when we broke up. It was just another excuse for him to try to cling on to a relationship that was over long before we broke up.

I asked him why he felt it necessary to call my father at work to “tell on me”. His only defense was that he was mad. Well, no shit. I was mad too. Maybe I should have called up some of his family to tell them about his personal shit. Believe me, he has more to hide than I do.

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A Deep Dark Secret

One afternoon I was driving around in the car that my husband and I shared, when I decided to stop at the car wash and clean it out. He had a bad habit of throwing trash around the car and being the anal retentive person that I am, it drove me crazy. I was pulling out old coke bottles and fast food sacks, my disgust growing with each second, when I reached under the passenger seat and pulled out a skirt. That’s right, I pulled out a woman’s skirt and it sure as hell wasn’t mine.

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I hate Christmas and the whole damn holiday season. Here’s why:

  • They start stocking the store shelves with all the Christmas froufrou at the beginning of September. By the end of November I am so tired of looking at all the shit that I want to stick toothpicks in my eyeballs and serve them as cocktail onions just to keep from having to look at the crap a minute longer. I used to wonder how people justify spending so much money to decorate their homes for one stinking holiday, but now I know. They start putting the shit up after Halloween and don’t take it down till the end of January. They spend a quarter of the damn year celebrating a holiday that is only one day long. Then of course there are the real lazy asses who never take their damn lights down. Someone needs to yank those lights down and choke the shit out of them.

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I am absolutely ecstatic to announce that my hiatus from running has finally ended, and although I’ve only got about 3.5 miles under my feet so far this week, the ankle feels good as new, and I’m ready to take on my own personal trail turkey trot tomorrow.

I know I have been pussy footing around getting back into running. Erring on the side of caution in order to push back my return to doing something I love so much, going mildly psychotic in the meanwhile,and growing more and more irritable as the days went by. I have to be honest though… I probably could’ve started back a week earlier, but I was scared.

First of all, I only started running in April, so I know how bad it sucks when you first start running. At least for me it did. It’s uncomfortable, your lungs hurt, your legs hurt, your pride takes a beat down, it’s time consuming… Starting running and sticking to it takes balls. Since I have been injured, I have been counting the days I’ve gone since running, knowing each one that passed would make my “comeback” that much more like starting all over again. Yet when I started feeling better, I just tried to push back that first run even longer, because I knew how horrible it was going to be.Continue Reading

Hate Run

Once a week I subject myself to the ugliest run possible. I hit the gnarliest trail I know in all its mountainous, muddy, rutty, rocky, ankle breaking glory. And it is awful.

I call this my hate run, because quite frankly it is fucking terrible. It doesn’t leave me joyful and optimistic. It doesn’t get easier, even after 6 months of practice, and I haven’t even shaved time off my miles on it. It’s not even fun. While I’m running it I hate every minute. When I’m finished I feel broken, angry, and frustrated. It makes me want to quit running forever.

People always say you should do what you love, I am even guilty of saying that at times, but that’s kind of a misleading concept. If everyone only did what they loved, we would all find something else to bitch about. Born out of these bouts of running with hatred though are the really really good times. And I think if I ditched my hate run in favor of continual happy sunshine I would definitely take those good times for granted. I don’t know if this weekly ritual has had any play in making me better at running. I don’t even know if it’s just a masochistic endeavor that will end in injury someday. But for now hate running remains on my to do list.

I guess what it all boils down to is that I don’t think there is such a thing as being over-prepared. Brace yourself for the worst, expect the worst, and maybe you will come out pleasantly surprised, in running and in lifeContinue Reading

On Being Honest with Yourself… Plus Fall Virtual 10 Mile Recap

I know, I know, 2 race recaps in one week? But stick with me here, folks… I promise this will be worth it.

I announced on Sunday my commitment to showing a little more love to myself this month, and being mindful of that topic, I wanted to address the issue of being honest, especially to oneself. Quite frankly, sometimes it hurts to admit that maybe things aren’t going your way, or maybe you have to switch paths, but taking those issues head on can really do wonders for your mental health.

Example 1: As Much as I love Powerlifting – it wasn’t in my cards.

I dedicated the past few years of my life to powerlifting. I was very anti-cardio, always followed a strict plan, and I really wasn’t terrible at it. Unfortunately, within my resources, I would never be able to thrive. My career doesn’t afford for me to travel for days at a time to go to meets, because my location is not necessarily a hotspot for power lifting in general. There are no decent coaches near me. There are no training facilities for me to work in. Basically it was just me, my barbell, and a dream.Continue Reading

Reason #7 Why I Love to Run

Who are we really trying to kid here?

Reason number 7 that I love to run was something I discovered this weekend at the Lee Foster Memorial 5 Mile Run in Saint Marys (being the 7th race of my life – and my quest to 30, I thought it was fitting).

Let me start this recap by saying in the days leading up to this race, my motivation to go run it tanked dramatically. I don’t know why, but I was extremely nervous for this one. I knew it was just a flat out and back, I knew I could run 5 miles (seriously, I just ran 10 the Monday before, and it wasn’t a flat out and back!), but for some reason, I thought I was going to choke. Like straight up get to mile 2, fall on my face, and die alone on the street everyone would make fun of me. I even enlisted my mother in law to ride along so that I couldn’t back out last minute. I don’t know how I could come off of just completing a Tough Mudder and get intimidated by a little local race, but it happened.

I’m so glad I got over it, because this race was really a blast. I ran without my GPS and put on one of my favorite Clutch albums for tunes, and just dropped the hammer. I soon found my pace with a girl close to my age and a man who was in his 70s, but they both were keeping about 10 seconds faster per mile than I could.

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Just Shy of Crazy

Yesterday started off like any other. I woke up, wrangled the dogs for a little while, then laced up my Salamon’s for some backyard hill sprints. My current training program calls for track speed work today, but in the wonderful world of trail running, that’s about irrelevant right now, and the more proficient I get on these hills (both up and down) the better off I’m going to be.

After about a million four of those, I did a quick Tough Mudder inspired strength finisher ala carrying logs. There’s a quarter mile trail loop behind my house and I alternated 30 seconds overhead, 30 seconds out in front of me for a solid two loops with a chunk of log that probably weighs about 20 pounds.

My abs and quads were both pretty trashed, but I definitely felt like a bad ass afterwards, so I did what any sane human being would in said circumstance… I busted out the old credit card, and actually signed up for the Green Monster trail 25k I have been halfway training for since the beginning of the month.

At the very kindest, this race has been deemed a “suffer fest.” Decent finishing times are in the 3+ hour range. I obviously have my concerns, my friends and family do too, which is why I put off registering as long as I did.Continue Reading