Flipping The Switch

I have waited a year for this time. This chance to have some free time to work on the pursuits and interests that swallow me into their depths. In two days, I will be officially done working and have some time off. I will be able to read all the books I don’t have time for over the summer, find all the new pieces of the curriculum I want to investigate and piece together, write, bake and of course run and bike. The closer the time comes, the harder it is to concentrate. I feel like a student who knows summer vacation is on the brink, so being in school seems somehow inauthentic and a charade. I think summer break is the reason most teachers understand the need for students to play, to structure their own time, to imagine and to do nothing. Because it is in this time that we as teachers do all of these things, which makes our curriculum stronger and our teaching better.

Part of my play, my imagination and my doing nothing is running and biking. It is a constant push to keep me interested and motivated. This year, I am signing up to do a half marathon. Back in the early spring, I thought I would also do the Seaside Heights Duathlon and the Covered Bridge Ride. I still want to do the Covered Bridge Ride, but don’t know that I could do the Duathlon. I just don’t know if I can train for both events at the same time. I am not an athlete. But…I am thinking about it. Wish they weren’t so clustered together.

Anyway, I have spent a lot of time recently comparing my workouts from this year to last summer. I would have thought that I would be somewhat improved, and I guess I am. Maybe it isn’t really the workouts, maybe it is how motivated I remember being. I mean, I remember humming in the morning and getting up at four thirty. Now I struggle with five. And on top of that, I am really pushing myself out the door. Once I am out there is no telling how it will go. Some days I start out feeling really slow and then feel as though I can go for miles. And others I think I can run forever and hit a wall before I even make four miles. How can this be?

I know I have been through this before, and I know a huge part of this is mental. But some of it is where I am in life. Getting a full on seven hours of uninterrupted sleep seems to be a thing of the past. Waking up feeling tired, headachy or nauseous seems to be able to occur at any time. And hot flashes are just a regular occurrence. It feels as though I am always pushing through something. It is a continuous Groundhog Day, and that day is the day before my period. Over and over again.  At first I just kept thinking that I would do my best, and go easy until it passed. But, I’ve come to realize that this could go on for years. So, I just have to get use to this as my new normal. Okay, I can do that. There are plenty of people out there probably running or biking through the same thing. And to be honest, it doesn’t really bother me when I’m biking. Thank ye, Jesus for the constant wind that creates.

What I am going to do is try to follow the RunKeeper Plan religiously. If it says run three miles easy, then I try to run three miles easy. I’m not going to try to outdo myself. Although I have already personified the program. I was ridiculously happy when the program texted me to go to bed the night before my first run. Someone cared!!!! Of course the text was timed to go out and it was just some binary code in some random super computer doing its thing. But still…. it made me happy. It motivated me! I had a great workout on Tuesday. This morning I was out by five thirty and doing my three miles, smiling because I wouldn’t get the text at six thirty to go out and run. But I did, even though I had posted my run. I was a little let down. I mean, I tracked my run with the same program so you would think it would know I had finished my run. Geez! Crazy! I thought RunKeeper would be so proud it didn’t have to remind me. (Only sort of kidding here.)

So, I am going to keep doing it. And I do still love it. I love it a whole lot more now that I am sitting here. And I am worried that I won’t be able to do it. But I will. It will come. In the next few weeks I’ll have more time to fit in extra strength workouts, craft a better eating plan and plain just dig in. Besides, I can already tell that I have flipped the switch, so to speak. I knew this Tuesday morning at the gym when I was really enjoying my run and even this morning. The run was harder, but I was motivated to keep going. (When did three miles get to be hard?) And now, I am excited about biking tomorrow. Even though it is not part of the training program. RunKeeper will be so proud!

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