Yesterday, I squeezed in a mile with Mr. B before heading out of town to stay the night with my older boys. The one that has been struggling had a really rough day and I needed to be there for him. Today, Mr. B and I took a long, leisurely jog through the cemetery after school. It was a great opportunity to reminisce about the last year of running and working together. I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed my job nearly as much without his friendship. I look forward to continuing our friendship even though it will look different without seeing each other at work every day. Unfortunately, work was tough today. I have missed quite a few days as one of my older boys has struggled with some health issues. Since he had such a rough day yesterday, I set up a doctor’s appointment for him this morning. I knew I had finals for the afternoon so I scheduled the appointment early so I could make it back to facilitate my finals. Dispite my forethought and planning, my principal was not supportive today. I have kept him in the loop as I’ve needed to take time off for my son and he has generally been understanding but today was different for whatever reason. It was really upsetting for me. It’s been a rough term living 1.5 hours away from my boys and having one of them struggling so much. I’ve felt constantly torn between my work obligations and my son’s medical needs. I’ve tried very hard to make sure my absences haven’t impacted my students. I’ve left very detailed sub plans every time and tried to stay sensitive to my students’ needs. It’s hard to not feel like those efforts are appreciated. If it wasn’t for Mr. B and the cross country season, I would feel like my efforts to fulfill my work obligations this term were for nothing. I’m glad I have those positive experiences to shine light onto what has become a dark ending to this job. I’m sad that it’s ending this way but really, really glad that it’s almost over. Tomorrow is my last day. I will walk away with my head held high knowing that I did my best in a very difficult situation. I’ll miss my runs with Mr. B and I’ll miss many of my students. However, I won’t miss the planning, the grading, the extra duties, and the stress of managing 20 students for roughly 6 hours a day. My new job will likely feel boring by comparison and less meaningful but this introvert is ready to step out of the classroom. The run with Mr. B was cathartic. He patiently listened to me whine about my hurt feelings and his presence reminded me of what has been good about my time at this school. It was a comforting end to an emotionally draining day.
Our cross country team is down to 2 members now that we are into the week of sectionals. I got to spend more of the practice with Mr. B since we didn’t have so many students demanding our time. It was a nice change of pace. He has been such a great friend for me over the past year. I am going to try to enjoy our last few weeks working together as much as possible. We ran about 2.5 miles at a fairly quick pace for me on a recovery day but the air temperature was cool enough that my heart rate didn’t get above 145. The leaves were beautiful and the air was crisp. It was lovely. Tomorrow should be downright cold. I’m not quite ready for that yet but I don’t think Mother Nature is asking for my input. I do find that the more time I spend running in the elements as the seasons change, the more adapted I am when the extreme weather hits. I’ll consider tomorrow preparation for winter running.
Today was our regional cross country meet. The route was 1.75 laps around a golf course. The 1 mile marker was about a half mile on a direct line from the 2 mile marker. I offered to run to the 2 mile mark to get splits for the boys’ race so Mr. B could be at the finish. I logged my mile by running to give spits and then running back to the finish. We had one boy and one girl qualify for sectionals, which is great for our small team. My run was more challenging than a typical 1 mile run on a rest day. I’ll want to stretch in the morning for sure. I am hoping the rain holds off in the morning so I can get a longer run done outside.
The last 2 days were exhausting. I think I’m in a physical and emotional deficit that spans 16 years. I love my children more than anything but they really do take a lot of my physical and emotional energy. That being said, I’m just not in a place where a 12 hour work day feels realistic. I am appreciative of the compensatory day off today but I spent it running from appointment to appointment for one of my kiddos. I’m tired. I’m contemplating a digital detox camping trip with my older boys between Christmas and New Years to take some time to recharge. I will keep you all posted. Between work and parent teacher conferences yesterday, I ran 2 slow miles with our newer crew. Halfway through the run, one of my girls pointed out that it was our last practice. Tomorrow is regionals and we have 2 team members that have a chance of making it to sectionals but our newbies know it is their last race of the season. I have loved the season and the opportunity to coach these kids but I’m also ready to be done. I move in 3 weeks. I have much to do. It’s time to shift my focus. I will look back on this time fondly but I will not spend much time mourning the end. Today was a beautiful day weather-wise but I had my 2nd grader with me so I ran at the gym to take advantage of their child care room. I ran 3 slow miles but really enjoyed the quiet and time for contemplation even though I was trapped indoors on the hamster wheel. We walked to a park afterward so he could have some time to play so I did get to enjoy the weather. I’m feeling really worn down tonight. I will likely head to bed soon with a meditation. Deep breaths.
My resting heart rate was about 13 bpm lower yesterday morning so I saw that as permission to push my run. We have 3 faster, more experienced cross country runners and 3 newer, less experienced runners. It gives the team a good balance. Generally, Mr. B takes the faster crew for practice and I take the slower crew. Yesterday, our newer runners had some outside commitments so they were on their own for their workouts. One of our experienced crew always does his workouts on his own and another one of that crew was gone for a choir field trip to Chicago. Mr. B was busy wrapping up some teaching obligations and the squirrel, as I affectionately call him, wanted to run off campus. I volunteered to follow him because I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him. I was able to stay with him the first mile, which has the most precarious stretch of road. Once we got to the cemetery, I let him take his own pace while I recovered from that first mile. I thought I would take a shorter loop and join up with him on his way out. I miscalculated his route and ended up chasing him the rest of the way back to the school. I was able to keep him in sight up until the last 2 blocks but, whew, that was quite a workout! I spent a couple of laps on the track recovering slowly with one of the newer girls that was wrapping up her workout. She really picked up the pace on the last lap. The kids gave me quite a workout! I made it 3.3 miles with only about a half mile of that below tempo run pace for me. I had parent teacher conferences after practice. Hind sight being 20/20, I probably should have packed a change of undergarments and my shower wipes. However, no one complained about the smell in my room and I almost made it through the evening without getting hypothermia as my inner layers cooled. I’ll make tonight a recovery run and do a better job packing for the last night of conferences.
Our meet today was in the afternoon, which allowed me the time to run this morning. I had a great 3 mile run before wet weather moved into the area. we had just gotten to the start line for the girls’ race when it started lightning. We were sent to our busses for a 30 minute delay just as the sky started to let loose. We had a half mile hike to get to our van so we were all soaked by the time we got there. Then, we were back at the start line in time for another downpour. There was no thunder the second time around so the race was able to begin just as the rain let up. The course was a sloppy mess but our crew ran pretty well overall. I’m happy to be home and dry now.
I have felt very busy and overwhelmed by life lately. However, I have managed to keep the streak alive with a mile run between school and a doctor’s appointment for my son yesterday and a mile run between school and driving to spend time with my older boys and husband today. I did take some time for a leisurely walk tonight. The temperature was absolutely perfect. It was dark so I took my headlamp. I stopped by the park behind the neighborhood elementary school to do a few pull-ups and dips. I also did a flip over one of the bars. I like to keep my vestibular system on it’s toes. It felt goofy and freeing. I think I’ll be doing that more often! I’m looking forward to having time for a couple of longer runs this weekend.