day in the life: 2nd to last day of school!

(Not that I’m excited or anything…)

Yesterday was definitely not your typical Tuesday in the teaching world.  I mean, not that it’s been typical for the last few weeks, with state testing and new schedules and kids (and teachers) just ready to be DONE.  But, this was definitely NOT your average Tuesday…

Now that track is over, I was able to sleep in an extra hour – oooh, 4:45 – before hopping in the shower and getting ready.  I was thrilled to not only not have to wash my hair, but that I also got to wear a hat to school too since it was our Extravaganza – this field day but more of a carnival with inflatables and carnival games and prizes.  It made getting ready in the morning just that much easier.

Once I was done getting ready, it was time to get the kids up.  Thankfully, Tuesdays are a good morning for MacKenna since I don’t have to fight with her over why she can’t wear a dress to school since she goes to the babysitter on Tuesday.  She quickly got up and dressed and went to lay on the couch, while I got up my happy little boy and got him ready for the day.  The kids watched Minions on Netflix while I got my breakfast and bag ready to go.  Quick kisses for all 3 of my loves and I was out the door by 6:37 – that’s actually been a pretty good time for me lately, although I aim for 6:30 most days.

The drive to school was thankfully uneventful, despite the rain, and I showed up just in time to help start getting the gym ready for the inflatables and 700-ish kids coming through throughout the day.  I thankfully prepared myself with 2 coffees this morning (despite it being a low carb day for me) just to make it through the morning.

By 7:50 AM, we were ready to roll and our first group of kiddos – 6th graders – started trickling in to the gym.  I was amazed at how well the 6th graders were on the inflatables since they are definitely not our best group of kiddos.  But, they seemed to have a great time and I got to race a few kids through the obstacles.  I didn’t fare very well, going 1 for 3 against my 6th grade girls…


We had groups in 2 hour increments, so by 10 AM, 6th grade was out and 7th graders were coming down.  They were a tad more rowdy and I got to give the kids the “go” signal for one of the obstacle courses.  I raced one of my track girls in the other obstacle course and lost… again.  Apparently, inflatable obstacle courses are not my thing.

We had one short break during the day for 12 to 12:30 for lunch.  As a team (our Encore team of electives + P.E.), we decided to order lunch at the local diner.  I got a chef’s salad minus the meat with ranch dressing, which was absolutely perfect for me.  The ranch might not have been the best lowest carb option, but I ran out of my school dressing last week, so it was probably my best option.

Our short lunch flew by and then it was time for 8th grade.  I was surprised again at how well behaved they were and spent a lot of my time chatting with a bunch of my students.  As much as 8th grade is not my favorite grade to teach (far from it actually), I do enjoy being able to teach them for 3 years and really get to know them.  By 8th grade, they really are fun to chat and be sarcastic with.  I will definitely miss some of them when they go to the high school next year.  I even got the sweetest note from one of my 8th grade girls, thanking me for coaching her in track this year.  Love getting sweet things like that.  It’s almost better than getting chocolate or Starbucks gift cards…

By 2:30, everyone was out and we spent the next 20 minutes cleaning popcorn up off the floor before the teachers headed in to take their turn playing games.  I went through the obstacle courses several times before heading out for a quick mile run and a little bit of some body weight exercises.


By 4:15, I was back in the car to go pick up the kiddos at the babysitter.  I’ve been listening to the Undisclosed podcast on my way home and am totally hooked.  Sometimes I think I should’ve been a lawyer, but then I remember how much I hate talking in front of people (hence the writing) and realize that would be a terrible idea.  Ha.  I pick up the kids by 4:45 and we get home around 5 to play and wait for Daddy to get home.  He’s running way behind, thanks to his track BBQ, so I end up bathing and getting the kids fed before he gets home at 6:30.  He quickly makes us some fish tacos for dinner and we sit and eat as a family before more playing and snuggling before bed time.


The kids are in bed just after 8.  Matt begins making lunches for the kids and I start some laundry and head to the couch to fold yesterday’s laundry while watching Fixer Upper on HGTV.  Kenna is out of bed multiple times, but I finally threaten her enough to get her to stay in bed so I can actually relax a little bit and start this blog post.

By 9:30, I’m done writing and cuddle up on the couch for a little bit before calling it a night and getting ready for bed.  I’ve got an early morning tomorrow, thanks to CPR training ALL afternoon.  But, IT’S THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!  Summer break, here I come!

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#rnrchi training 2016: week 2

*sigh* Another exhausting week.  And another busy week ahead.  But, THE END IT IN SIGHT!  Wednesday is our last day of school, we have a half work day on Thursday, and then Friday, I’m taking the entire day to myself – getting a massage, drinking some Starbucks, and trying to just enjoy a day without kids or having to worry about school!  And I actually feel caught up at work for the first time in weeks!  To say I am ready would be a HUGE understatement…

Thankfully, although the week was busy, I got in some really great workouts.  My “easy” runs are getting faster – 8 minute miles are starting to feel easy and I’m seeing more and more average paces in the 7s.  I’m bound and determined to get that half marathon PR this year!  Sub 1:35 here I come!

Monday: OFF – I took an extra day after Cowbell Uncorked – my feet were killing me!

Tuesday:  40 minute run @ 80% 5K pace (5.19 miles @ 7:42/mile)

3 rounds:
Box Jumps 10x
Push-Ups 10x

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Wednesday:  1/2 mile warmup, 6 x 800 w/ 2:30 rest, 1/2 mile cool down (4.12 miles @ 6:52/mile – not including rest periods)

3 rounds:
Back Squats 10x, 65 lbs
Bench Press 10x, 45 lbs
Inverted Row 10x

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Thursday:  Run 1200m
Squats 50x
Run 800m
Sit-Ups 30x
Run 400m
Push-Ups 10x
(1.55 miles total)

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Friday:  1/2 mile warmup, 6 x 400 w/ 400 recoveries, 1/2 mile cool down (4.05 miles @ 7:33/mile)

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Saturday:  40 minutes @ 80% 5K pace (5.0 miles – my watch died around 3.5 miles)

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Sunday:  OFF

Total:  19.91 miles

Bring on the last week of school!

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race recap: cowbell uncorked relay

I think this was probably one of my favorite races of all time.  It doesn’t get much better than running, hanging out with friends, eating + drinking!  Of course, it was hot and the course was far from easy, but it was a blast all around.

This is only the second year for Cowbell Uncorked, and while we had originally planned to have a team last year, our entire team was dealing with injuries.  So, we ended up deferring our entry to this year’s race, which was probably for the best, even though the make up of our team was a little different than originally planned.  Matt and my brother were both originally going to run the race with us, but Matt hasn’t been able to get back into running consistently enough to actually train for 12+ miles of running, and my brother had his band tour last weekend.  Thankfully, we were able to find some really awesome replacements for them that made the weekend a blast!

Cowbell Uncorked is not your typical relay race.  Instead of running from one point to another, Cowbell Uncorked is a basecamp relay.  Each team is given a place to tailgate (we paid for a premium spot, which ended up being pretty perfect for us since it was shaded the majority of the day) and each 5 person team is then responsible for running 3 different routes each, for a total of 100K of running.  You could run in any order you wanted and could change the order for each loop, but every team member had to run each loop.

I was technically the team captain, but since I had a track meet the day of the captain’s meeting, my friend Michelle ended up heading up our team and picking up all our packets and swag.  We ended up in the last wave of runners, meaning we were in the fastest group.  So, we didn’t start until 7:30, which meant 2 things – we didn’t have to be there as early (wee!) and we would be running a lot more in the heat of the day (boo).

The Concrete Runner - Cowbell Uncorked

We spent Friday night and Saturday morning texting back and forth about everything we needed for the day and getting pumped up to run.  I decided to take the first leg because, well, I really wanted to run at least 1 loop when it wasn’t so hot, and I also felt that I could get us in a good position at the start.

The first loop was a 10K out and back.  The basecamp was at Klondike Park out in Defiance, Missouri, which, for those of you who are not local, is a beautiful park located in the wine country area of St. Louis.  Klondike is known for it’s hills and basecamp is at the very tip top of a very large hill.  At the bottom is the Katy Trail, which is where the majority of running occurred.  The first “loop” too you from Klondike to the Katy Trail, out to Augusta where you ran a very hilly loop and then back to base camp.  I was pumped that 4 of the 6 miles took place on the Katy Trail, but the rest of it freaking SUCKED.  I’m not even kidding.  It. Was. HILLY.  Of course, that meant some downhills, but the last half mile is the very large, long uphill back to basecamp.  Blech.  It sucked.

It was so weird to start in the last wave since there were already people finishing by the time we had even started.  I quickly found a spot in the third place spot of our wave and tried to keep my eyes on the 2 people in front of me the majority of the race.  I was keeping a really good pace at the beginning, but by the time I got to Augusta, I knew I had gone out way to fast and died on the hills.  I am normally a really great hill runner, but not Saturday.  I just kept telling myself not to walk.

I slowly trudged my way back up the hill at Klondike and handed our timing chip to Michelle and told her how much it sucked before she took off running.  Definitely not my fastest 10K (of the like 2 that I’ve ever run), but not too bad of a time.

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Because I went first, I ended up having 3 hours until my second leg.  And despite what my hubby thinks, I felt like I did very little sitting.  Sure, we sat and chatted for a little while, but we were up every 30-40 minutes in order to cheer our runner in.  The in between was just a chance to drink some Gatorade and refuel a little.  Eating was definitely tricky for me.  I knew that if I ate too much, I would feel horrible, but if I ate too little, I would get terrible side stitches.  I tried to do the best I could, but I think it would’ve taken a lot more practice during training in order to figure out what was going to work best.

Our order ended up being (1) me, (2) Michelle, (3) Cary – our fastest runner, (4) Anni – who came in from KC to join us, and (5) Bob.  The order was pretty good, but I think in hindsight we would’ve put Cary last since he freaking kicked butt on his legs and would’ve been a great anchor for us.  But, otherwise, it worked out really well.  It kind of sucked for Bob since the last 2 legs were both 5Ks, which meant less rest and more running in the heat.  I think I chose well…

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Bob came in around 11:30 to finish our first loop, which meant about 4 hours total for our first loop.  The second loop was more of an off-road loop.  We did a paved loop around the lake in the park and ran on some of the roads, but by the end of the first mile, you were weaving throughout the woods and on the trails.  There were good things and bad things about running on the trails:  First, I am a terrible trail runner.  Because I have so little experience running on trails, I was so worried about falling or twisting my ankle that I ran a LOT slower.

Second, the trail kept my mind seriously occupied.  I had to think about every step I was taking.  I had to slow down at certain points to make a sharp turn or to avoid a rock in the trail.  It made the run much more interesting and didn’t feel nearly as difficult as the first loop, surprisingly.

Of course, being the first leg also meant fewer people on the trail.  I was pretty much all by myself the majority of the run and I was constantly worrying that I was going the wrong way.  It was pretty well marked and luckily there was a photographer about halfway through who help validate I was going the right way.  By far, my slowest 5K in a looooong time, but I ended up feeling pretty good, despite a side stitch throughout the entire run.

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The time between seemed to fly by since we were constantly waiting for our teammates to come back.  We were all running between 20 and 25 minutes for the 5K, so we didn’t want to miss our teammate coming back (you did NOT want to get called out by the race announcer that you had a teammate waiting).  It gave me just enough time to change clothes, eat and drink something, and then go wait for my teammates to come back.  It was fun to discuss each course with everyone and get to know some of the other runners in the basecamps around your tailgate.

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And in the blink of an eye, it was my turn to run again.  Loop 3 was definitely the easiest “loop” as it was an out and back on the Katy Trail.  The only thing you had to worry about was the Hugh Jass hill back into Klondike.  And you had to think about it the entire time you ran.

Again, being the first in my group to run, I began counting the number of people in front of me.  Since it was an out and back, it made it super easy to see how many teams were in front of us.  As I made my way out on the Katy Trail, I counted 2 guys on the way back, and one was definitely within reach of me passing.  I hit the turn around point and tried to keep my pace as best as I could.  I knew it wasn’t going to be a really fast 5K, especially with 9 miles under my belt already, but I did my best to run as fast as I could and chase down the guy in front of me.

He made it easy for me, though, because as soon as we hit the hill back into the park, he started walking.  I was determined NOT to walk a step in this race (OK, except for maybe one or two on the trail), so I was able to easily pass him.  Apparently, he wasn’t thinking about who was in front of him like I was.

Once I got back to the exchange point, I told my teammates that I thought there was only one team in front of us (and of course, their second runner was already running the loop when I was still finishing).  The guys who were timing agreed with me, so we tried to make sure we were only passing people and not getting passed on each of our legs.

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Of course, when I finished, it also meant that it was time for BEER!  I think waiting for my teammates to finish the third loop was my favorite part of the race, just because I was done and could enjoy just being outside watching and talking about running.  The only thing missing were my kids and hubby!

We all waited on the last straightaway for Bob to finish the last leg of the race.  We made sure we each had a beer, and one for Bob, to run into the finish line together.  The first place group had already finished (like, before our 4th runner had even started her loop), so we were just hoping to hold on to second.  Once we saw Bob coming, we all ran into the finish line together, as one big team.

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I’d say a SECOND PLACE OVERALL (!!!!!) finish isn’t too dang bad, huh?!  And our prize was even better – 4 bottles of wine for us to split!  I mean, I would’ve much rather had the case of wine they got for 1st place, but I enjoyed drinking some delicious Sugar Creek wine on Mother’s Day!

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Seriously, this race was a BLAST!  I had so much fun and am looking forward not only to next year, but doing some other relays as well!  Who wants to hook me up with a Ragnar team?!


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