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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Break is Over

I just want to cry. The two weeks leading up to break, I felt so excited and looked so forward to having a week off. Then the week got here. The first day was delicious--I didn't have to do a darn thing except get the kids to school then back home when school ends. The in-between hours belonged to me. Each day that followed that first, though, all I thought about was how another day was going by which meant the week was creeping towards the end, and I would have to return to work. All the excitement, all the anticipation poof, gone.

Sometimes I wonder what I'm doing. While I enjoy my work, I feel like I'm constantly scrambling to keep up with the grading, the other must-do's that go along with the job. I've also felt for awhile now that I'm falling behind my colleagues. Most of them have been working towards a doctorate in one area or another. They're moving up the salary scale because of getting another degree, and they're also moving in a pedagogical direction quite different from mine. I have no desire to return to school. I have no desire to infuse my teaching with an ideology that most of my students wouldn't understand or care about. I teach writing, and while I agree there are a number of factors that can affect a student's writing, including social and cultural factors, trying to engage students in conversations concerning these issues has proven to be disappointing. Most 18 and 19 year olds just want to get through the course and move on. Their opinion is leave the heavy discussions for grad school. I kind of agree with them.

So where does this leave me? There are times I feel the need for creativity so acutely my whole being throbs. These moments I sit down and write, or play with my various creations I have going at any given time. This week I worked on the book and shared it with another writer. Being able to discuss writerly issues with someone who understands is like drinking an apple martini. Delicious. The body warms and tingles. The desire for more becomes urgent.

And so I am writing. Every spare moment I have. Though spring break is over, the writing doesn't have to be. Time might be hard to come by with having to go to classes, reading and responding to student work, attending my own kids' track meets, and making sure Hubby gets some attention. All of these eat up time. But right now, with the progress I made this week, with the feedback I received from a fellow writer, I believe I can conquer time.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another Teenager in the House

My middle child turned 13 yesterday. We kept it simple this year, just a birthday dinner followed by cake. Those in attendance included just us, minus his sister who had a track meet a couple of hours away, and in a quiet way we celebrated the day he was born.

As I baked his cake during the day, a white with chocolate ribbon through the middle and white icing to top it off, I thought about finding out I was pregnant with him. I was elated to be having a boy, and from the moment he entered the world, he has shown me just how much he loves me. Sometimes he becomes a bit too dependent, wanting to be with me all the time, almost sitting on top of me at times as he gets that close. I try never to say anything, for I know one day he'll be more than ready to leave the nest. It will be then that I will be glad for his need for attention, for closeness. It will be then that I wish he was here, sitting as close to me as possible.

Because he is starting track this week, I bought him a set of weights and a bench. He's been talking about lifting to get ready for discus and shot put, so last evening, we worked out together. I ran a mile while he lifted. When I switched to the bike, he continued lifting. After ten minutes on the bike, I went to begin lifting while he got on the treadmill. He walked a mile while I lifted, using his new bench and weights. I then went to get in one more mile on the mill while he rode the bike. When we finished, he was smiling through the sweat. At that point, he looked at me and said, "I had a great birthday."

Doesn't get much better than that.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The New Bike Rocks

The bike flies, and I don't have to put tons of effort into making it fly. For two months I've been riding my hubby's bike we have set up in the garage, and everytime I workout, my thighs burn with the effort it takes to keep the speed up around 14 mph. I figured this was just the way it was. Now, though, after being out twice on the new bike, I have found out otherwise. With much less effort, I'm able to maintain a speed of 15 mph or more. Pure bliss.

Today we went out and finished 7 miles in about a half hour. That's not too bad. Since it was only the second time I've been out of the garage, I'm happy with the distance/time. When the race actually comes around, I know I'll be putting in a lot more effort to go faster, so I'm hoping to finish up the 13.6 miles in less than 40 minutes. Realistic? Right now, I don't know, but I'm feeling stronger and more fit with each day I train.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Frustrations Along With Some Happiness

I finally cracked and stepped onto the scale. I knew better than to do this, but when my brother asked me the other night how much weight I've lost because I'm looking thin, I decided it was time to see exactly what I've lost.

I've gained 5 pounds.

I almost grabbed up the scale to fling it through the bathroom window. It has never been my friend, and now it seems like a straight up enemy. When my hubby learned my weight has increased, he seemed excited. "It's muscle," he said. "You're incresing muscle with all the biking, swimming, and running." Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but the idea of muscle rather than fat is easier to take. Not by a whole lot, but still easier.

So I took my measurements to compare to last month's numbers. All are the same except two: my hips went down .5 inches and my chest increased by 1 inch. Again, not quite like I was hoping to see. My hips are slim anyway, so losing a half inch makes my hip to waist ration just about zero. I have no waistline to speak of. My chest, on the other hand, is broad and the ladies well endowed. I don't need to add an inch in that area. Hubby thinks the additional inch is due to the swimming. I don't know what is going on, but it's like my body is responding to the training in a really strange way.

Despite these frustrations, there have been a couple of changes that make the frustrations easier to deal with. The first is my birthday gift from Hubby. He bought me a beautiful hybrid road bike. I took it for it's first spin today. It flies. For some time now I've been using Hubby's bike that we have set up in the garage, and everytime I ride, my thighs burn and ache with the effort. Today, on the trail, I barely pedaled and the new bike flew. Hubby couldn't keep up with me. I was stunned. After our ride, I ran two less than eleven minute miles. I've had such a difficult time running under twelve minutes each mile, but today and yesterday I was able to do two eleven minute or less miles. Progress is being made.

So, despite the weight being up, the progress I see in other areas brings me happiness. I'm thinking I actually will do okay with the sprint tri come April.