Monday, February 5, 2018

The Easy Week

It's been so busy the last two weeks that I haven't had time to write about our MS 150 training! Never fear, though, we are still going strong! We just finished our "easy week" and it consisted of two thirty minute trainer rides and a weekend hour long ride in the fog on Sunday morning.

The first important thing that happened this week was that Adam and I got walkie talkies so that we can communicate with each other when we ride. It has been very apparent since the beginning of our riding that (at least outside) Adam is faster than me on the bike. He goes down hills faster and up hills faster. This makes it where he is usually around half-mile a head of me most of the time. He kept having to stop and wait for me to catch up because he was worried about where I was and if I was okay. We did some research as found that walkie talkies and headsets would make it easier for us to be aware of where the other was and if we need anything. Cell phones are always reliable due to signal in certain areas.

On Saturday we tried out our walkie talkies for the first time and they would've worked extremely well except for one issue. The route that we took for our ride had a couple of twists and turns and at one point Adam went one way and I went another - this caused some minor chaos until we were able to meet back up in Tom Bean. Thankfully, we were both aware enough to keep going and meet up later.

I will tell you that biking in the fog is not that fun. It was hard to see and pretty cold so it wasn't my favorite ride. The actual route wasn't super difficult but I would've enjoyed it much more if the weather had been nicer.

This week we have a really tough road ahead of us. We have two hour long bike rides during the week as well as a 2.5 hour ride this weekend. Our plans are to ride from Adam's house all the way to his parent's house in Bells! So if you see us on the road, say a little cheer! We will also be continuing our cross training with some ab work as well as some stair climbers for me!

Thank you again to all those who have donated to our fundraisers and we look forward to sharing our experience with you each week!

Until next time!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Indoor Trainer

During the week, I have been training indoors. This is mostly because it gets dark so early and with work it is not feasible to ride outside. This means that I had to purchase what cyclists call the Indoor Trainer - a machine that you attach your bike to that allows you to train indoors. Simple, right?

Umm...the indoor trainer is a beast and it really works your legs. There is no “coasting” on the indoor trainer so it’s pure work the entire hour we are riding. Today, there was lots of moaning from both Adam and me... I’m not going to lie, it was pretty funny. Two grown people moaning and groaning while Netflix played in the background. On a side note, we tried to watch This Is Us on Hulu but Adam’s Internet doesn’t tolerate Hulu very well so we were relegated to watching season 1 in Taken on Netflix. To be honest, I’m not really sure what happened in the episode and half we watched so I’m sure I will have to go back and rewatch.

We did finish our hour today! I’m very proud of our progress so far on the bike - we are both dedicated to working hard and doing our best!

To those of you who have donated to our campaigns, we appreciate you so much! Keep us in your prayers as we go into our weekend ride!

Until next time!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sickness...and cross training

Already had my first interruption in training this week. Saturday night I began experiencing a massive headache that ended up becoming so debilitating that I left work early on Monday and missed Tuesday entirely. This also meant no working out those days. Heck, I could barely get out of bed much less cycle or run. 

Luckily, I don't think I had full bird flu because I felt much better this morning and headed to work and did a little cross training tonight at the gym. 
Why is cross training important? I truly believe it helps build core muscles that will help me power through on this race. Working on quad, butt, arms, and an muscles should help my strength and endurance for a race like the MS 150. 

Tonight, I did the elliptical which really helps strengthen butt and quad muscles. I also felt like it was a it was a good machine to be on after being sick for two days. 

Low impact was key. 

As always, I'm working hard to be successful in this race. I've already reached the $400 minimum goal to ride in the race with my fundraising but have set a personal goal of $1000. Please consider donating to a great cause and stay tuned for more cycling adventures! 

Until next time!

First Time Clipping In...Just What Does That Mean?

I've decided to try and keep a personal blog of my experiences while training for the MS 150 and my blog starts with my first long ride and "clipping in." Just what does that mean, you say? Well, clipping in requires special pedals on your bike as well as special shoes. These special shoes literally clip into your bike pedals and take you into a whole new world of cycling. 

Just so you know, when your shoes are stuck to your bike it can make some things a lot easier and some things a lot harder. One of the things that make cycling easier with clips is the amount of force you get of peddling. The whole pedal turn is propelling you forward and I found that it was easier to go up hills with the clips. One of the hard things about clips - stopping at stop lights. I literally fell right over twice yesterday because of stopping at stop lights. You see, you have to unclip one food, stop, and then when you are ready to propel yourself forward, try to clip back in quickly while crossing a busy intersection. My result the first time equaled lovely elbow road rash. I feel like it was only fitting that I scored a lovely bloody elbow on my first outside ride clipped into my bike. 

Despite all of this, I MADE IT!! 24.5 miles on my first long ride outside. I'm so proud of myself and am excited to be training for this race and fundraising for a great cause! 

Until next time!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The 5:40 Crew

On January 5, 2015 - my friends Jessica, Kristin, and I became the 5:40 Crew. What is the 5:40 Crew, you ask? We made the courageous decision to begin working out every morning at 5:40 AM - yes, that's the morning! We chose this number because of me -- I have a hard time getting up in the morning, everyone who knows me can attest to this fact. I decided that I could set my alarm for 5:30 and make it to the gym by 5:40 (the gym is literally 3 minutes from my house).Thus our adventure into early morning workouts began

Fast forward 9 weeks - it's now March 4, 2015 and I've almost completed two months of morning workouts (5 days a week). Although, I haven't lost a lot of weight, I've found that physically, I'm stronger, can run 30 minutes without stopping, and my jeans fit a little looser. Even more importantly, I have an energy that I didn't have before these workouts started. It's much easier to wake up in the morning and get going and I feel amazing throughout the day. It's also really nice to be able to drive by the gym after work and say "I've already done my workout and I don't have to fight the after work crowd! Yay!" It's nice to come home and relax after work rather than hurriedly putting on workout clothes and head to the gym.

About four weeks into our "lifestyle" change - the girls and I decided we needed some sort of goal to keep us motivated - we did our research and found the Color Up 5k in April. It's a fun 5K run filled with color bombs and lots of excitement. We decided this would be our goal - a 5k to show how far we'd come from January.

Now, what came next should come as no surprise to most of you - research. My friends and I began to research running events and got out our bucket lists. It was not surprising to see that all of us had (at one time or another) wanted to run a half-marathon or marathon. Why not, we thought? We are doing so well in our workouts - let's go ahead and set another goal - a little further down the road. So we decided that our next event after the 5k would be a half-marathon.

It didn't take me very long to decide what half-marathon I wanted to participate in - being kind of a Disney fanatic, I immediately began looking at the runDisney website. I mentioned to my friend Jessica (also a Disney fanatic) that I wanted to do a disney half-marathon and we agreed that the Disney Wine and Dine Half-Marathon sounded great for our time line and the fact that you get to EAT and DRINK afterwards :)

We haven't actually signed up for the half-marathon yet - open registration isn't until March 17th but we are really excited about our commitment to running and the fabulous vacation that is going to happen afterwards!

I've decided to blog my experiences training for these events and trying to become a healthier me!

Stay tuned for more!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Arkansas...or Iraq??

Arkansas or Iraq...these two places have very little in common except in the eyes of one of my eighth grade students.

In class today, we were discussing current events (I teach English...but we went for it anyway) and the events that have been unfolding regarding the U.S. embassies in middle-eastern countries. One of my students said, "Isn't that happening in Arkansas?" Too say I was shocked is an understatement. I know that many of my students are very unaware of the global world, but I never thought that they were so unknowledgable about our own country. After explaining to the student that Arkansas was actually a state in the United States, the response was, "Oh, I always get Arkansas and Iraq confused!"

This situation has me firmly believing that we need a drastic overhall of the education of students within this country. Our English word of the day today was "Cosmopolitan," and although it is a very popular alchololic drink, it also means "belonging to all the world." With all the social media outlets such as facebook, twitter, and even blogs...our students should have a more cosmopolitan outlook and awareness. We, as teachers, parents, friends, family...need to be working on raising the global awareness of our students.

Do you know the difference between Arkansas and Iraq? Do you know someone who doesn't know the difference? As a teacher, my request to all of you will influence over students, is to make sure you are teaching them about the global world.

That is all.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Yo trippin'

As my yearly update on my job status rolls around, I thought I would introduce you to my current class by using thirteen to sixteen year old dialogue.

Student: "Yo miss, I don't understand this stuff."
Me: "Have you read the directions?"
Student: "Nah, I ain't gonna do nun of dat"
Me: "Well, I can't help you until you read the directions."
Student" "Miss, you trippin'"
Me: "I haven't fallen once today, I've been pretty steady"
Student: "You willll(d)"

This is typically dialogue between myself and my students that occurs on a daily basis. I now understand and can interpret conversations I never thought I could. A conversation with another teacher yesterday made me realize that I'm becoming more and more knowledgable about current teenage slang each day. For example, I now refer to jail as a person being "locked up" because so many of my students refer to their time in juvie by that term. I've found myself in conversations with people who don't know where I work and only until their confused looks surface do I realized I've used terms like "locked up" and "you for real."

For those unfortunate people who have attempted to interpret my new "hip" language, I apologize and give only one explanation. I began working in a disciplinary alternative education program in January as a middle school English teacher. I quickly found out that in addition to my teaching duties, I was assigned the task of teaching "willll(d)" teenagers how to behave in the classroom. It has been an interesting and sometimes tiring task but it is worth it because I have a great principal and vice principal who are very supportive in addition to fellow teachers who are willing and ready to assist in whatever needs to be done. Overall all it has been a most illuminating semester! I will be interested to see what happens next fall (note: after a especially relaxing summer!!)

I have now experienced my first classroom fight, being cussed out and a student "bowing" up to me (did I mention he looked like a lizard getting ready to fight?) and I have SURVIVED!

Only 22 more days of school! Yay!