Sunday, April 22, 2012

Still here...still buried

Hi to the one person left who may still be clicking this pitiful excuse for a blogReader(s).I know I've been a terrible (turrible, if your Charles Barkley) host lately and for that I apologize. Here's the latest:

  1. Still student teaching. Which means I have like 5 jobs (dad, husband, student teacher, research troll, hoop jumper) and still only so many hours in the week. So, the blog loses out most weeks.
  2. Still running. My foot has gone back to almost normal, as long as I don't wear tight shoes, which means I have two pairs of shoes I can wear (student teaching doesn't pay...) without being hobbled. I'm trending back toward a more minimal running shoe approach lately and it seems to be working a treat. I've also been sneaking in some very short barefoot runs. Those have not gone as well; my metatarsals still get a little angry if I go too far (more than about 1/4 mile). I'm pretty content to be a minimalist runner, though. My pace has stayed on par with my "real shoes" runs and I feel better, with no knee/hip aches and pangs. Average pace these days is about 9 minutes/mile. I've got my eye on the 8's, but i need to get more mileage in before that'll happen.
  3. Still a nerd. Research troll mode is tedious, but it suits me. I've restarted my thesis research 2 or 3 times now because I wasn't satisfied with what I've been finding. The challenge of finding just the right search terms is so fun for me (Yes. I realize how nerdy that sounds. bite me). I finally got a good stack of articles, read them and organized my thoughts. Now i just have to write the darn thing...tomorrow...because tonight I have to write up my Assessment lesson sequence and associated drivelanalysis so I can check that off this week (hoop jumped!).

About mid June you can expect to see more long, boring explanations about why I suck as a runner, with jokes aplenty at my own expense. Just stick with me a bit longer....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday picture tale

I'm long past definitive proclamations (as I've said before), but this run felt GOOD. It was short (1.6 miles), but I did it in huaraches, with the last .3 miles barefoot...

I do have to say, that I think the last month or so of shod running has actually improved my barefoot/minimal form. For reals, y'all. I've been so worried about form whilst running in big shoes that I've been hypervigilant about it. I think I've thought more about form in the last 5 weeks than I have in the last 5 months.

More as this story develops.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Odds n Ends

Yes, I do have too much school work to do to be blogging, but I've got too much swimming around in my head to let me concentrate. I figure if I clear things out I can re-focus and knuckle down for the next few weeks' trials.
With that said, this post will be a bit of this, a helping of that, and whatever else leaps from my brain through my fingers to the keyboard:

First, the thought that has been steeping in my brain all evening: It's when we most want to quit that it is most important to keep pushing. This thought came to my mind during what was my toughest run of the year so far (more on that down the page screen), but I quickly realized it wasn't about running at all. It was purely about my student teaching experience. I am between an internship and student teaching right now; both are I in the same classroom. I ended the internship feeling like I had made very little ground and would be entering the next phase well behind where I need to be in terms of what my program expects. I'll admit that more than once in the last three weeks I felt like throwing in the towel. It was always apparent to me WHY I am pursuing a life of teaching and this last three weeks is truly the first bit of adversity I have faced in two years of preparation. Yes; I've been extremely fortunate over that time (and worked damn hard to stay ahead of the curve). This mentor teacher, though, is tough. He's a phenomenal teacher and a great guy, but I know he is holding me to a very high standard; possibly the first to match the standard I set for myself.  It's been emotionally draining and I didn't have a grip on it 'til today. That thought above will be my mantra from here on out.

Running related stuff: I've been making great progress in running lately. My pace is improving daily (except today!) and I am recovering more quickly between runs. This means I can run more. Yeah! AND shin splints are a thing of the past (if I could find a way to make that line of text flash on and off like a neon sign I totally would)!  I think the continued ritual abuse Crossfit has helped too. It has boosted my leg and core strength for sure. I'm getting strong (again)! Which leads to the burning question...
Run Forrest! source
What about your shoe situation, barefoot boy?

There is no situation. I haven't run a step barefoot since early February, and have abandoned minimal shoes since early March. I've been running in the  Elixir 7 by Mizuno for all my miles until this weekend where I added a trail shoe in the form of the Brooks Cascadia 7. Both are the best shoe of their kind I have ever worn. The Elixir is light and quick feeling- the one thing I was looking to keep from my barefoot/minimal experience. Heavy shoes are not doable for me. The Cascadia feels like a sock when I'm wearing it and disappears on my foot during a run. I ran the toughest run of the year today in them, my first true trail run this year. My cardio couldn't keep up with my feet and legs on the hills (up/down/up/down, rinse, repeat for 3 miles). The Cascadias get a fair bit of credit for that. No foot pain at all! WOOT!!!
I know, right? they just look fast!
Apparently I have a thing for orange...

Today's run. Holy crapsticks. It was merciless. I haven't run this loop since nearly this time last year and forgot how tough it is. It's essentially a basin, so I run down (with intermittent REALLY STEEP ups) into the basin before being worn out and forced to slog my way back up and out of the basin (all up with a few short steep downs). It hurt, it was the slowest 5k time I've put up in a while (set a 5k personal best a week or so ago on the road), it was AWESOME! It tested me and I stood the test. This is really what helped me see I needed to push on with student teaching and not wimp out. I'm down in the basin now and have to run up that hill to reach my finish line.
does not do it justice..

Totally doable. Knuckle down, kids. It's game on.