Sunday, February 28, 2010

Getting Old and Learning to Run Again

You know how, as a kid, you run to and fro, over hill and dale, up and down the stairs, etc. and don't have to consider your breathing technique, possible joint pain, or try to transport your mind elsewhere to keep on running? Yeah, running for me isn't like that anymore.

I'm training for running Bloomsday in Spokane on May 2nd (it's a 10K run) and I haven't been running this week because of knee pain. It's been hurting to walk down stairs and it twinges when running, so I've been trying to be pre-emptive by taking this week easy. Sure I've enjoyed the break, but I've also been cringing because of the progress/time I'm losing to prepare for Bloomsday. I'm pretty sure that, at this point, it will be more of a walk than a run, but I want to do the best I can (and any time I log will be a personal best since I've never run in a 10K before, or a 5K for that matter, but that's neither here nor there).

So I told my older sister, Susan, who is training for Triathalon Sprints (hoping to move up into regular Triathalons next year) and is running Bloomsday with me, and she suggested I try Glucosomine/Chondritin (G/C) pills. One of the effects of G/C is to "lubricate" joints so that pain is minimized and you can increase your range of motion (it's a main component of joint supplements). She swears by them, as do the older guys at my brother-in-law's job who work out constantly. So I went to Costco and bought a bottle. You know what, that stuff really works! I started yesterday, but this morning I felt a definite difference in that I didn't have pain when I walked down my stairs this morning. I'm so impressed, and because the internet mentioned how the same stuff has been used for dogs, cats, horses, etc, that I got some tablets for my 7 year old Chocolate Lab, Sage, since she seems to be moving slower and will sometimes limp after getting up from laying down until she's been moving for a bit. We'll soon see if it works for her as well.

So that's my latest  update. I'm getting older (bring on the electric shopping carts at the grocery store!) and I'm learning how to run again. Now if I can just get my breathing under control (less gasping and more "even") and get some really good music with a good beat to run to...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Freshmen are KILLING Me!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know the overabundance of exclamation points in this header is overkill, but that's how I feel right now. Honestly, I want to throttle a couple of college freshmen right now...good thing it's Sunday and I'm secluded in my office grading papers with no juvenile students within arms length.

That's the crux of my frustration: I'm grading papers. -sigh- I honestly don't understand why students are sooo lazy. I have them turn in rough drafts for each of their papers (they have to write five papers this semester) so that I can give them feedback and let them know where they need to make corrections, clarify, etc. before I give them a final grade. I cannot count the number of papers I have graded so far that I've stopped and thought, "Hmmm...I thought I mentioned to the student that this was a weakness." So I go to my computer and see the electronic copy of the feedback I've given the student and WHAMMO! Yep, I told the student and, doesn't look like the student MADE ANY CHANGES!!!

Why do I try? Why do they even turn in a rough draft if they're not going to take my advice? I know that ultimately any changes are up to them, because it's their writing. But seriously? Your punctuation still isn't correct, you still have incomplete sentences, and I'm still confused as to what you're saying. I assume any reasonable and sane person would try to correct those areas before their teacher (who was the first person to suggest the changes initially) grades you on the paper. You'd think.

(Big Sigh). I just had to vent before I exploded. This wasn't the post I planned on writing today. Maybe I'll write the more upbeat and optimistic post tomorrow.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Let me first start off this post by saying if you called me yesterday, February 5th, to wish me Happy Birthday (and I know Mom and Dad did), I'm sorry I haven't returned your call because I left my phone at work...I hope. Argh! Who knew I'd feel so disconnected without that persistant little phone attached to me?

Okay, onto the festivities!

I had a really good birthday yesterday. I had to teach and take classes, so it wasn't ALL fun and games, but I tried. Do you remember in elementary school when you would bring cupcakes for your class on your birthday? Yep, I did that this year. My students in my English 101 class (the one I teach) got reallly excited when they saw the cupcakes. I got a whole lot of "Happy Birthdays" and one student asked me how old I was--and then he remembered his mom told him to never ask a girl her age. : )  I honestly don't mind saying my age (33 years old, by the way), because I know I don't look that old. Everyone says I look like I'm in my mid-20's (thank's for your genes Mom!). So the freshman munched, I lectured, answered questions, we watched some videos and got out of class early. Then I went to my graduate level Chaucer class (which I LOOOOOVE--but I think it's the teacher and his ability to make Chaucer accessible and interesting more) and had cupcakes for them too! - Good times -

I have a bunch of papers to read and give feedback on, homework of my own to do, a house to clean, dog to play with...and I didn't do any of that last night. My roommate (Christiana - who is awesome) and I decided to go out and celebrate my birthday instead. So we started our "wild and crazy night" by painting pottery. I honestly wasn't sure how much fun it would be, but it was a blast! We spent about two hours just chatting, painting, and having a good time (I'm happy to say the place has a throwing wheel so I can go anytime and create something from start to finish. Bliss!) Then we went out to dinner at Gambino's and found out they have the best and biggest salads--for a reasonable price! We were home by 7pm (did I mention I'm getting older?), watched "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" (fun flick) and I was in bed by 10:30pm. Don't judge. It was my birthday and I wanted to get into bed before midnight sometime this week. And then -- here's the best part -- I didn't get up until 8:30 this morning! Yeah! I finally slept past 5:30am.

Yep, it was a good birthday.