Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Making a Comeback

Whoops!  I suppose I didn't meant to ignore you for so long, but it happened.  I hope you can all forgive me.  It's a new year, so we can all start fresh, right?  In a nutshell, here are all the things I failed to tell you about:

1.  After finding out about my giant cyst, I ended up having it out via emergency surgery about a month before it was scheduled to come out.  Luckily, having it out made me feel a lot better than I did with it in and with it out, I turned out to be 11 pounds lighter (talk about the best week at Weight Watchers ever!).  I was back to work within 5 days.  Isn't modern medicine amazing?

2.  In mid-November the high school swim season began with me as the assistant coach!  This is totally an exciting new experience for me.  I mostly work with swimmers who have never swum before (that's right - high school swimming is one of the few sports you can walk on to without any experience!).  It's very rewarding to see the progress that they are making every day.

3.  I joined a new gym in the town I'm teaching in.  That way I can stop and get my workout in before heading home for the night.  I'm really enjoying all the new things that I'm getting to try.  I've been doing a spinning class regularly, and I've also been trying and intervals class and Bodypump.  And just tonight I tried a kickboxing class.  I really think this variety will help keep me going through the winter.

4.  I completed another all homemade Christmas.  That included making 6 blankets, 2 pairs of mittens, a pair of handwarmers, 2 sets of dishclothes, 3 pieces of painted pottery, a pair of earrings, 2 necklace and earring sets, and countless peanut butter cups and chocolate covered pretzels.  Can you see why I haven't had any time for blogging???  Hop over to my other blog to see some of my homemade goods!

Anyway, I'm going to try and make my comeback in 2012.  I'm getting back to blogging and back to triathlon-ing (I didn't get to race at all in 2011). :-(

So, dill me in on what's going on in your world.  I've been trying to keep an eye on all your blogs even though I haven't been commenting, but fill me in anyway!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I happen to have a 'bucket list' of sorts when it comes to different kind of exercises or exercise class.  For example, I had to try Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred when it came out and was all the rage.  My current list includes the following:
  • Jillian Michaels
  • Zumba
  • Boot Camp
  • Spinning
  • Body Pump
  • Bikram (Hot) Yoga
Of course the list is always evolving and changing.  But I finally had the chance to try Zumba!  Turns out there is a woman in my building who leads a Zumba class on Tuesday and Thursdays FOR FREE!  I finally made it last week after our staff meeting.

If you're not sure what Zumba is, it's essentially a dance class that uses music primarily with a Latin vibe and incorporates all types of dance moves (some of them reminded me of my days when I was taking jazz classes).  Anyway, I was a little nervous that I wouldn't find it challenging enough or I wouldn't find it to be enough of a workout.  I'm happy to report that I had nothing to be nervous about.

It was so fun.  And I found that a lot of the jumping moves or squatting moves could be taken further and it's really all about what you make of the workout.  I was sweating up a storm and loving every second of it.  If you haven't already, I highly recommend checking it out.  Have you tried it?  Unfortunately I haven't been able to make it back due to all my doctors appointments this week, but I'm looking forward to Tuesday!

Happy Saturday everyone!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A 'Routine' Check Up

Hi there!  So fair warning, this post is probably going to be a bit lengthy.  I've contemplated wether or not I should share this at all this point, but I'm one of those people who sort through things by talking about them and I always appreciate support systems.

For my new job, I had to have a physical.  I went in on Monday and my doctor was concerned about my abdominal area.  I had some issues back in March when I pulled some muscles.  I thought it was related to the fact that my abdominal area was sort of firm to the touch.  The docotor thought I was knocked up (and I so was not!) and the ultrasound came back clear, but he only did the upper abdomen.  My regular doctor, however, was rather concerned.  I wasn't because it's been that way for so long that I'm just used to that.  That and I thought it was related to being a bit overweight.

She sent me for another ultrasound and felt that it had nothing to do with me being a bit overweight.  Again, she was practically convinced that I was pregnant because of the shape of my stomach.  Well, yet again, no baby (thank goodness - we want kids eventually, but not right now).  Unfortunatly, I have a sizable cyst in my abdomen that needs to be drained and removed via surgery.

This is the bummer part of the post.  At first, they thought that could do it with a few small incisions and I would only miss about a week of teaching.  However, it's so large that it's going to be a bit more invasive and I'm most likely going to be out for two weeks.  After a minor panic attack due to the thought of leaving my kids with someone else for two weeks, I'm just glad to know what the issue is and that it's going to be taken care of.

It sounds like the surgery will be in October sometime.  In the meantime, I've been cleared to continue to exercise.  It's making me nervous though.  One of my collegues told me she had a small cyst once that burst that was very painful.  Now I'm scared of it bursting.  At the same time, I've been living with it and exercising with it without a problem for awhile now.  Currently it doesn't cause me any pain or any real discomfort.

The upside to this is that I should drop a fair number pounds that week.  And to think I was struggling to take weight off!  I guess it's sort of hard to lose weight when you're competing with a growing cyst.  So, I suppose I should say thanks for reading, if you made it to this point.  I'll be sure to keep you posted.  :-)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Scenes from the Trail

I had taken some pictures on a bike ride I went on over the summer that I wanted to share.  These are from a paved rail trail that's near our house, which I've talked about a little bit before.  I love a the scenery and I love seeing different animals.  Plus, the trail is flat which makes it a nice, speedy ride.  Here are some of my favorite scenes from the trail:

 This last one is a riot.  The trail mainly runs behind people's home and such, so these folks decided to get clever.  Take a close look at their setup (sorry I couldn't get it to rotate!):

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Trail Running

One of the things I did this summer to mix things up was hit the trails for running.  Let's just establish the fact that by trails I mean unpaved, mostly flat trails.  Not hilly, challenging trails.  Anyway, we have a great little trail system not too far from where we live and it really is something we don't use enough.  Because I was working second shift, I switched by weigh-in time to Thursdays at mid-day and decided to hit the trails before going to weigh-in.

This particular trail system is nice because there are several little loops ranging from about .75 miles to 1.25 miles that you can link together to hit the mileage you want to hit.  I found the setting extra relaxing (no music necessary - just enjoying nature!) and I found it easy to hit a happy pace.  It was a great way to break away from the normal neighborhood loop.

Since going back to first shift, I've been scheming how to fit the trails into my routine regularly.  On Friday I brought my running clothes to school, changed there and drove right to the trails from there.  I was tired, but I had an awesome run.  I broke 36 minutes for 3 miles (I did 4:1 run/walk intervals), which is a time I haven't seen in awhile.  As a side note, I did the same intervals today on my neighborhood run and I hit 34:08.  Wahoo!

I highly suggest seeing if there are any running or biking trails in your area (and if you're in New England, comment and let me know where they are so I can check them out!).  It's a great way to break up the monotony and it just might be the boost you need to have an awesome run!

Monday, August 29, 2011

First Days of School

When I was growing up, going back to school always signalled the end of summer.  And here I find myself, yet again, going back to school.  Although this time from a slightly different perspective.  Today the teachers reported for duty (although this was not the first time I've been in - one of the reasons I haven't been blogging!).  It was a whirlwind and I know it's only going to get worse.  Maybe if I stop neglecting my blog, I'll stay sane.

Tomorrow is freshman orientation and I am so excited to meet all my students.  I'm also secretly excited to wear my new school outfit and use copious amounts of school supplies.  Maybe I'll even have my mom take one of those first day of school pictures.  :-)

So, happy end to the summer everyone!  And welcome to the fall.  One of the best running seasons of the year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Good News and Bad News

This summer has really been full of changes.  Changes that keep happening quickly.  And now, finally, I feel like I've gotten things figured out.  And I can tell you what the heck has been going on.

Good News:  I took a lab job at the beginning of the summer.  Yay for full-time employment.
Bad News:  I commute 45 minutes, I work second-shift and I often have to put in extra hours.  I was also supposed to be working Sundays.  I put off registering for races because I didn't know when I'd switch to Sundays.  I'm bummed because I really wanted to do the Danskin Tri this year, but it's on a Sunday and I didn't think I'd be able to do it.  I probably could have.  Oh well.

Good News:  I can sign up for races now because I landed a teaching job (in NH, closer to home, making more money)!  Hooray!!!!!  This is truly what I wanted to do and I am so excited.  I get to see my classroom on Thursday and pick up curriculum materials.  I simply cannot wait.
Bad News:  How could there really be bad news to this one?  Except maybe the fact that I really wanted to teach chemistry and I'm teaching 9th grade physical science instead.  I was offered a chemistry position too, but it was a lot less money and more of a commute so it wasn't worth.  In the end, I'm really happy with my decision.

Good News:  I get to go back to school so to speak.  I get to shop at Staples, one of my favorite places (send gift cards now!) and I get to have school vacations again.
Bad News:  I'm staying at my current job later into August than I wanted to because I'm a sucker and a nice person.  But the trade-off is that we could use the money.

So now that I know what the heck is going on in my life, I feel like I can finally plan out some races for the fall.  I'll update you when I make some decisions.  Thank you for those of you that have stuck around and continue to read this blog.  I know my posting has been rather sporadic.  How are you all doing?