Friday, June 22, 2012 was hot enough today!

I used to actually welcome running in hotter temperatures.........ok, so maybe not "hot" temps, but definitely warmer temps.  But this week in the Northeast has been ridiculous......we've been setting records nearly every day, with temps in the upper 90's......normally, we don't see those until August, so for mid/late June, it's been a bit hot.  When I went out for my run this morning, the thermometer read 87 when I got home at 9:00.......face was HOT!

So I used to look forward to going out in those conditions......pre-hydrating......going slow......and making sure to take in LOTS of fluids to rehydrate afterwards.  But apparently, something has changed, because I don't find it quite so much fun anymore.....

Could it be my experience back in April......with the Boston "Massacre", as I've seen it described online?  This year's Boston Marathon was beyond difficult, primarily due to the unseasonably high temperatures that day.  In fact, the temps reached that day were only eclipsed THIS was ridiculously hot for April, but also WAY HOT for June.  I'm not complaining.....just not quite acclimated to August heat in June!

So as I sat there recovering from my morning run today.......enjoying a protein shake and pancakes (talk about the perfect blend of protein and carbs!)......the breakfast of champions!  As it's the first week of my summer vacation (and Week 2 of marathon training!), I'm still adjusting to NOT HAVING TO WAKE UP AT 5:30!!!!!   So instead, I'm waking up at 6:00.....hey, it's a start!  LOL

Next week, Barb and I are heading to NYC for a few's her gift to me to celebrate my 50th birthday.  I'm really looking forward to it, as I'm going to be going to my very first Broadway show!  She managed to score tickets to "Nice Work If You Can Get It" (starring Matthew Broderick!!!!!!) and considering how much I love Gershwin music, I'm going to be in heaven!!!  Then there's the fact that our hotel is right near Columbus Circle, so I'm also going to be able to do some running in Central Park!!!!   It's going to be a great couple of days......we're going to drop our son off with his grandparents, so it's just going to be the two of us in the city.......can't remember the last time we got to spend time as a couple.  We both love our son more than life itself, but we're both a bit giddy about being able to spend time together.....ALONE!!!!   :>)

The weather is changing as I write.......rain starting to fall......temps due to drop down into the 70's tomorrow, so I can stop my whining!!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Getting there faster than ever.....505.43

So I crossed the 500-mile threshold on doing so on June 16th, I made it through one month earlier than ever.  Not that simply piling up mileage is a goal, but it's only natural that as you go through marathon training, you're going to (as they say on a certain reality-based weight-loss show on NBC) "put up some big numbers".  As I'm now training for another marathon, my mileage numbers are going to go up and up (providing I don't get injured or sick along the way!), but I can't help but look at this latest achievement with a little bit of pride.  While it may not seem like much to some, to me, it represents the result of hard work and care.....a certain amount of attention and dedication.......and a fair share of sweat and tears.  Ok, there haven't been any tears, but PLENTY of sweat!  :>)

It's mostly about the progress, though.......being able to run longer and more often means that I'm progressing in my abilities as a runner.  As I continue to define and redefine my goals, the ability to progress is giving me the confidence I need to move my goals forward.  So by hitting a mileage milestone quicker than ever make me feel great.....makes me believe that I can do almost anything I set my mind to doing......well, maybe I won't be able to run quite as fast as I'd like, but I know that I can run longer than I ever thought possible, so I guess that's ok!

I've had a wonderful Father's Day, and I hope all of you did as well.  Tomorrow will be an interesting day, as it's both the final day for my school year, as well as a true milestone birthday.  I'm turning 50 sounds so OLD to me, yet I've never felt better.  Maybe it's working with kids every day....maybe it's the running......maybe it's a combination of the two, but I think it's keeping me young.  Having a young son helps IMMENSELY.....although I have a feeling that when he gets a bit older, he's going to start AGING me, but at least I've got a few years to get ready for that.  Still, when my AARP card came in the mail a few weeks ago, it served as a reminder that the clock is running!!!

So here's to all the fathers out there......and here's to saying a big healthy SCREW YOU to getting older!  Not that it matters, but I now get an extra 5 minutes added on to my Boston qualifying time!!!!  YES!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hartford training.......has begun!

Short and sweet post tonight............dealing with a nasty little head cold and about to head off to bed, but just wanted to let you all know that I'm back on a training schedule in advance of my next marathon (ING Hartford - 10/13/12), which means I'm going to be blogging regularly as I get ready for a corrective experience.  Not truly being a believer in luck or superstition, I am going to sign off on the idea of the "third time being the charm".  Hartford will be my 3rd marathon and thus far, I've dealt with awful weather (cold, wet storm at the 2009 Baystate, and the crazy, April microwave that was the 2012 Boston Marathon) twice, I'm so very hopeful for "normal" fall weather this coming October......fingers crossed!

Had a nice, short, slow run after school today.......and I'm really excited about gettin' after it again!!!

See you all out there on the road.....

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm in.......whole "Higdon" (so punny!)

Ok, so it's a bit lame, but I spent the better part of last week shepherding 250+ 8th graders around Washington, DC, so you'll have to forgive the atrophied state of my brain......

So instead of "whole hog", it's "whole Higdon"...... as in Hal Higdon.  As I'm beginning my training schedule for the ING Hartford Marathon, I'm going to utilize the Intermediate 1 Marathon Training Schedule from the Hal Higdon website.  After having major weather-related issues with my 2 previous marathons, I'm looking for what I'll call a "corrective marathon experience" this coming October in Hartford.   As I feel I've got a decent base to start with, I'm going to ramp up my training a bit, running more/longer, as well as paying better attention to pace.  In the past, I feel that I ran my training runs a bit too fast, which left myself either injured or prone to injury.  This time, I'm going to strictly follow the advice of the aforementioned Mr. Higdon, and run the long runs SLOWLY.......45 to 90 seconds slower than marathon pace.  As I'm hoping to run 10's, that puts my long runs at somewhere between a 10:45 and 11:30 pace.  That's going to be REALLY challenging for me, but I'm interested to see how that works out compared to my previous training experiences.  In the past, it was merely focused on getting the miles I'm going to be focused more on getting them in SLOWLY.  I'm not doing any speedwork, but the schedule does call for intermediate distances (4-8 miles) at marathon pace, so there will be opportunities to work on my race day pacing.

Now that I'm back from D.C., and with the school year ending soon (next Monday is my last day....THANK GOD!!!!), my summer is wide open........a quick trip to New York with Barb to celebrate my (impending!) 50th birthday........then off to Portland, OR to compete with my chorus at our annual Convention........a week down on Cape Cod........and undoubtably several day trips as well, but that's about it.  Mostly, I'll be training for my marathon, and planning for my next school year (I'll be switching from 8th grade to a "split" team teaching both 7th and 8th grade, so I've got A LOT to do to get ready for that!). I've got 2 half-marathons planned for the summer....the United Healthcare Jamestown (RI) Half Marathon on July 14th, and the Cape Ann Half Marathon (Rockport, MA) on August 5th, as well as a final tune-up half marathon (The Surftown (Westerly, RI) Half Marathon) scheduled for September 16th, so I'll get some good indicators of my training along the way.  All in all, I can't wait for summer to begin!

The nice thing is that I'm going to be back to blogging regularly again, as I'll be back on a schedule and should have LOTS to write stay tuned, loyal readers and hopefully, you'll be rewarded....maybe even entertained?  Well, I certainly hope so!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Turning the page.....again.

So my previous post was over a week ago, bemoaning my seeming inability to sit and write a blog post.  9 days later, I sit here again at the keyboard, contemplating just what seems to be getting in my way.....and here's what I think it is:


Life keeps getting in my way.

I started this blog as a way to document my experience of training for the Boston Marathon, while raising money for the Melanoma Foundation of New England.  Along the way, I discovered the joy of reading the blogs of others, and surprisingly enough to me, some people decided to come along for the ride and started reading MY blog!  The focus on that effort (and knowing that people were actually reading what I was writing!) gave me all the motivation I needed to post regularly.

And then I ran the damn thing.......well, maybe "survived" it would be a more apt description, but either way, that period of my life ended.

The following week, I went back to my classroom and in spite of the enormity of the event, Boston started to fade from prominence.  Soon, it was back to the daily grind of lesson planning, meetings, behavioral issues, tests, and everything else that comes along with being a middle-school Social Studies teacher trying to make the events of the 19th century relevant to 8th graders.

And while I got back to running, the training plan was done, the focus was gone, and the running stories became much less compelling.  I found it increasingly difficult to make the little time it takes to sit here and do exactly what I'm doing now.

I've got another marathon coming up in October....if you're reading this, then you've seen the countdown clock in the upper right-hand corner of the page.  My new training plan for Hartford starts in 9 days, and I know that will provide me with the focus I need to get writing again.  In between now and then, I'm chaperoning our 8th grade trip to Washington, DC next week......24 faculty and about 240 8th graders.  It's my 7th year going on our annual trip, but this will be our first time going to DC.  As a history teacher, I cannot be more excited to experience this with my students, seeing them make the connections to the events they've been learning about all year.  When they see the founding documents at the National Archives, I'm hoping they'll grasp the significance of what the words "We, the People..." and "we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal" actually mean.  I strive so hard every year to try to make those meanings accessible and relevant to these teenagers, but next week, I might actually get to see it in their faces........should be fun!

I'll be doing A LOT of walking next week, as we're hitting the Mall, all the monuments, Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, the National Zoo, and the Smithsonians (Air & Space, Natural History, American History), but I'm also going to try to hit the 'mill in the hotel every morning......well, I'll try!

Soon, the school year will end, and I'll start the preparations for the coming school year, while simultaneously ramping up my marathon training.  Either way, I know I'm going to have plenty to blog stay tuned, my loyal readers, and you'll be rewarded!