Saturday, October 19, 2013

Finding a ryhthm

I never feel "settled" into an academic year until about 6 weeks into the first semester.  Now that I've crossed that mark and have survived all of the required evening events, I can finally say that I've found my sea legs for the year - at this point, at least.  Some of the adjusting has to do with the summer-to-work transition - not that I'm complaining about my summers, but it is a major shift!  Even though I'm usually ready to return to the classroom, the change of pace can be rough for the first week or two.  This year, heading to Catalina Island for a week made the official opening week feel like a false start.  So it's mid-October, and I am finally connecting with students and have wrapped my head around my daily schedule, which I like in some ways and not in others (one major plus is that I have a long lunch every single day which has never happened before - not that I'm actually eating for an hour, but it's nice to not feel rushed).  I'm also behind in terms of grading, but that's a small detail and is typical.  As one of the English teachers said, "I'm not assigning anything for the rest of the semester!"  That won't happen, but sometimes I wish that I could just ban homework!

In addition to work, the 'training'/extracurricular piece was also a bit afloat for September and the beginning of October.  I had hoped to have one more final triathlon for the season, but since that did not happen, I signed up for a 10K race for the end of October, now promising myself that this will be my last race.  And that it will be damn good, dammnit!  Also, I'm looking to January, when I will try my hand (or feet?) at the half-marathon distance for the first time in two years -at least as a stand-alone half.  So, while I'm still following a pretty free-flowing plan, I am trying to throw in a longer run here or there (nice plan, I know) and get in some speed work.  I would really like to return to running trails on a regular basis - while I usually hit them at some point and am running along the Arroyo once a week or so, it doesn't feel like "true" trail running.

The swim/bike parts are still very unstructured, but compared to previous years, when I stopped swimming altogether and very rarely got on my bike between October - January, I am trying to stay acquainted with the pool and the saddle.  I've actually been pretty dedicated to the swim part and have even contemplated joining up with the masters group at the Rose Bowl.  In fact, I went to a masters workout on Tuesday night to just try it out.  That was an interesting experience!  First of all, I can't remember the last time that I felt so nervous and awkward - being the new kid and all that.  The swimming part was a mixed bag - I was in the slow lane, which I was fine with, but while I wasn't the slowest person in the lane, this one guy would NOT LET ME PASS.  I was so pissed - I mean, we're doing a 500 yd set and I'm swimming up on your ass, can't you let me get by?  As for the workout - it kicked my ass.  I don't think I ever swam that much even when I was training for Vineman in the spring and summer.  Obviously masters would have huge pay-offs for me and I need to get over the fact that I don't feel comfortable.  Just get over it and act like an adult.

Finally, the bike part - well, after years of getting by on spinning classes and biking outside, I got a bike trainer, which I'm managing to ride about once a week.  Not ideal but not I'll take it.  I definitely prefer spinning classes over the trainer in terms of overall experience, mainly because someone else is motivating me and telling me what to do.  And there are always surprises - this morning, for instance, the instructor actually had the coffee shop next door come give everyone a shot of coffee before we started our final big push for the class.  It was a very nice touch!  But, back to the trainer,  I think that I'll appreciate it a lot in January and February, and while I'm not spending hours and hours on it at the moment, at least I'm getting in some time!  

So, that's the status of the fall season or off-season, both for school and otherwise.  I like the "otherwise" part best, but I guess that's why it's called "work"!

Now, if only I could tame my crazy afternoon sugarfest during the weekdays, I think that I'd really feel quite accomplished!


Abby @ Change of Pace said...

Glad you're feeling settled at school. I can't imagine how hard it is to be a teacher, at home for summer, and then have to get right back in the swing of things!
Yay for the bike trainer! Although riding indoors can just suck sometimes, it's nice because it's safe, you can ride whenever you want, and you can watch anything!

Kristina said...

I think there are so many pluses and minuses to being a teacher - but for me, obviously the former outweigh the latter. But it can be jarring to have to return to a bit of a fast pace.
And I'm excited about the trainer, although I have yet to learn to love it. Probably that will happen in January!