Tuesday, March 23, 2010

For some reason this past week seemed very busy, like one of those weeks when you always feel like you're one step behind. Thing is, I really didn't do anything this week. Go figure.

High of the week: My 1st and 2nd grade classes are currently working on a theatrical production of the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar (it's a very short play). On Wednesday, we spent a good portion our school day making props and designing our "costumes" for the play. I thought managing 30 boys working on different little projects simultaneously going to be kind of chaotic and stressful, but it was actually a lot of fun getting down on the floor with them and getting our hands dirty with markers and paint and glue.

Runner up: The beer garden we went to on Thursday night had a mechanical bull, and since I am from the midwest and apparently all people from the midwest should be awesome at riding mechanical bulls, everybody expected me to put on a big show. In actuality, I've only been on one once before so I was actually kinda nervous that I was going to be really bad. Turns out I was actually better than anybody else there (I got plenty of challenges), so maybe there is some truth to the midwest--mechanical bull connection.

Low of the week: I honestly can't think of a low for this past week at the moment. Maybe only getting 6.5 hours of sleep on Wednesday night and feeling a bit groggy on Thursday morning? Guess this week was alright.

School update: In addition to working on our play, I feel like my kids have made a lot of strides academically this week, especially in math. My 2nd graders are multiplying numbers left and right, and my 1st graders are really starting to get a good grasp on addition and subtraction. Hopefully the trend continues through the rest of the year!

Running update: Had a pretty good week this week, despite the rising temperatures (temps in the high 80s or even 90s just about every time I ran). I ended up totaling 65 miles, capping off the week with a tough 23 miler on a hot, 93-degree day (heat index was close to 100). With my big spring race approaching, I figure I'll start tapering my training this week.

Until next week,


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rejuvenation Week

Though I began the week feeling quite sick, I felt like this week was a bit rejuvenating in a way. I felt a little extra motivated to work on school stuff each afternoon, I made some progress towards my summer plans, the weather was nice every day, and life in general seemed to be just a little bit better than my previous few weeks.

Speaking of progress towards summer plans, I was able to set some specific dates and make some definite travel arrangements for my travels to Ethiopia this summer! I will be there from August 9-28, and most of my time there will be spent at a running camp, training with one of the national distance running coaches while living and interacting with some of the country's top up-and-coming distance runners. Hopefully, I'll manage to pull myself away from there for a few days to do a bit of sight-seeing and exploring as well.

High point of the week: Going out and cutting loose with friends on Thursday night. I get out and about on most weekends in Abu Dhabi, but usually I keep my evening pretty tame. So we decided to make this a change-of-pace weekend and get a little crazy. It was fun.

Low point of the week: Being miserably sick last Sunday and Monday. I had a sinus infection, so I was constantly blowing my nose and I had a really bad headache. Since I hate missing school and I knew we were probably going to be observed by somebody on one of those 2 days, I went to school anyway. But it was definitely not fun.

School update: Speaking of which, we were observed on Monday by our cluster manager (guy who serves as a liaison between the schools in our area and the Education Council). Even though I was in the midst of one of the worst lessons I've given in a while (recall my massive headache), he told me he thought everything looked like it was going very well in there. Guess I'm doin all right then . . .

Running update: Skipped out on running on Sunday and Monday due to health reasons, but was still able to get in 54 miles in 4 runs during the remainder of the week. Got a little dehydrated on my Saturday long run (probably from the night before), so I decided I would go to the store and get a hydration backpack to wear on these particular occasions (especially since the temperatures are probably going to be above 90 degrees for many of my remaining Saturdays this spring). The pack holds 3 liters of water, plus there's room in the compartment for some Gatorade or juice, food, and anything else I might need for my longer runs. Now I can run even farther!

Until next week . . .

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Long Week

This week seemed like a really long week for some reason. That doesn't mean it was a bad week though.

Something of note is that I tried a new sport called dragon boating this week. My friend Andrew had joined a week prior and thought I might enjoy it. I didn't really know what to expect for my first time, but thought it would be more like rowing. A more accurate description would be group canoeing due to the way you paddle the boat (1 oar, to the side of the boat in a canoe-like stroke). I enjoyed the new activity as well as the people who were on the boat with me, so I think I may try becoming a full member of the team (called Abu Dhabi Mar) and take part in some races in the next few months.

High point of the week: Dinner party/game night on Friday afternoon. Jeff, Danielle, Andrew, and I went over to a friend's place, ate lots of really good food and cake, and played some fun games (including a 4 hour game of Monopoly).

Low point of the week: Having to show some tough love with my 2nd graders on Thursday afternoon. I think we were all a bit tired by the end of the week, but some of them were trying my patience a bit too much and I had to put my foot down pretty hard with a few students.

School update: As mentioned, long week. But it was a fairly productive week. We are doing a unit on plants in 2nd grade so we planted some flower seeds in cups (classic activity, always fun). The students are really excited to see the plants grow, so hopefully they won't disappoint.

Running update: Had a pretty good week of running, as knee pain wasn't as noticeable throughout the week. I got in just short of 70 miles in 5 runs, capping off my week with a 30-miler on Saturday morning. Probably the toughest run I've ever been on mentally, but it felt really good to complete it. Best of all, I wasn't limping around for the rest of the day like I usually have to after a longer run.

Until next week,