Thursday, July 31, 2014

How many wagons can you be on? Falling off and down, and getting back on and up

It's been almost two months since my last blog, and since I started blogging back in 2008, I have never missed a month of blogging. So, with July almost gone, the quick and dirty of the last seven or so weeks:

  • I spent the first 5 weeks of married life teaching my "Middle Ages at the Movies" history class, which was a good first experience teaching a new course. I got to develop some new lectures and come up with some new writing assignments. We also enjoyed catching up with some friends a bit, once we were done with all of the wedding stuff. 
  • On June 22, I packed up and headed off to Easton, PA to return to my summer job in a program for gifted children at Lafayette College. While it was my ninth summer with the program, I was headed to a new site as the director of the program. In layman's terms, I am the equivalent of a principal or headmaster of a program for almost 300 students, working with 80 staff members. Needless to say, there were many butterflies about such an undertaking. Yes, I had lots of experience with the program, but the promotion brought on new levels of responsibility. 
  • Because of this, I've had to be honest with myself and put running on the back burner. I did manage to get in two weeks of 40 miles per week, but really, I've been floating around the 30 mpw mark. It's the least amount of training I've put in since I got into this whole running thing nearly six years ago. I'm trying to remind myself that something has to give in order for me to find some sort of balance. And it's not that the running has fallen completely by the wayside, but there has been no speedwork or true consistency since early May. I wouldn't say I'm out of shape, but I'm not at the level I have grown accustomed to. I also am trying to reassure myself that I haven't completely blown off 2014 as a running year. I do hope to do some races in the fall, but it is very possible that this is the first year that I don't set any PRs - I just need to get back in the groove and then things will eventually fall back into place.  I may just need to wait until 2015 to really hammer out some races.
  • With all of this, I arrived in Easton, PA in June and set up shop. We have already completed one session so far, with nearly 300 children completing the program, and are halfway through our second session, with another group of 280 students. It's been a lot of work, but very rewarding too. I definitely am behind on sleep and schoolwork, but just throwing myself entirely into work here. I've never had a job I've loved as much as this one, and I hope that after I complete my Ph.D. I can find a job like this that I can do year round.
  • So with this job, I haven't had as much time to get in regular running, which has been fine. I set out Tuesday morning for an easy 6 mile run, and 5 miles in, SPLAT. Totally wiped out: banged my both my knees, my hand, my head and nose - lots of blood. Boo to the car that drove by around me and didn't stop to check to see if I was okay. I had a mile walk back to campus, which was just very uncomfortable, and the blood was going down my legs. Shuffling back like a zombie at 7AM, head hung in embarrassment. I have no idea what happened - I was fine one second, then on the ground the next. Thankfully, we have a nurse on site 24 hours a day, so she got me all cleaned up. I was really sore for the rest of the day, shuffling around campus like I ran a marathon, but with a lot more wincing. I'm feeling a lot better, and hope to do a small run tomorrow.
  • All of this is to say, sometimes you fall off the (running/writing) wagon, and sometimes you just fall down. But, regardless of the scars, blood, bruises, and bumps, you just get back up and on the wagon again. Looking forward to riding the wagon to the end of a successful summer!