Monday, June 6, 2011

I Belong Here

I work during the summer for a program for gifted children. I've done it for the past 5 years on the East Coast at one site, but I applied for a promotion this year. Which will be bring me to...
California! I am going to be the Academic Dean of our site. I am so excited about this. While I am nervous about the responsibility (overseeing an academic program of 240 students and 34 faculty), it is going to be a great opportunity. This past weekend, I was at our headquarters for a conference/meeting in preparation for the 7 week summer program. It was exciting to meet my staff, and see some colleagues of my past too.
The students who we work with are exceptional - they are in the highest percentage of their peers academically. But our program not only strives to stimulate intellectual growth (they take an intensive course), but social development as well. They live in a dorm, and there is a social component to the program too. For many, it is the one time a year where they get to be with others who are like them. It is a fun place, it is a smart place, it is a safe place. And so one of the phrases/slogans they say with our program is
I belong here.
That is what the kids say about our program, and to be honest, I think that is how a lot of faculty, myself included feel about it too. It is a good place, a fun place, a safe place, a place to get away for the summer. It is a unique place, and even though there are many sites all over the country, all share that same sentiment. And that is why I am looking forward to a new summer, my 6th summer, with this program.
I belong here.
That's how I feel with running too. It is that shared community, the sense of knowing and trust, and a promise of continual belonging that makes me want to keep doing it.
I had a good training week last week. I was a bit nervous about getting in some good workouts in, especially since I was traveling for the weekend, but I pushed my long run to Thursday, and made it work:
Monday: 2000 yard swim, 15.5 mile bike ride
Tuesday: 5.6 mile AM run, 4.4 mile PM run
Wednesday: 3.4 mile AM run, 2000 yard PM swim
Thursday: 11.1 mile AM run, 3 mile PM run, some weights
Friday: 15 minutes rowing (3000 meters), some weights
Saturday: 52 minute run (approx 6 miles)
Sunday: 46 minute run (approx 5.5 miles)
Total running mileage: 39 miles
It can be done - even when traveling! My mom and I are running the NY Mini 10k in Central Park this weekend - very excited! It is her first 10k, and her preparation has been great. Was so excited to read about all of the elite runners participating, including Magdalena Lewy Boulet and Deena Kastor - my big running hero! It is going to be a great weekend. In the meantime, there are a few more books to read, some runs to be done, and preparation for the summer!

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