Sunday, July 29, 2012

Why I've been a little MIA in blogging...

Sunday: 3hour bike workout
Monday: 8miles, swim and weights
Tuesday: hard bike workout, easy 3 miles
Wednesday: 8miles at 5am with the fiance -- loved every second of it
Thursday: 20mile bike (worst bike EVER), 7mile run
Friday: 6mile run, strides
Saturday: BTN Big10 10k
Sunday: planned 2 hour ride, 4 mile run

Saying this week was crazy would probably be an understatement.  Working out was really hard to squeeze in and I was just very tired, I'm thinking because of the "go-go-go" lifestyle I adopted.  Sorry in advance for this super long post, but I know I've been slacking on my blogging, so thought I'd give the best update I could! (each day is bolded and underlined in case you just want to skip around...for solely running recaps, Saturday is your best bet with a race:))

Sunday (the 22nd) was the day Ryan FINALLY came home from Minnesota after being gone for 10 freaking days.  I know, I know...that's not a long time to a lot of people, but for us it was the longest 10 days ever.  Luckily, we were both busy and I had the craziness of getting a job thrown in to make the 10 days just fly by.  Sunday I woke up to make cookies for our family reunion ("Hill Holiday") as I had volunteered to do so last weekend at my cousin's wedding.  After a long day on Saturday (6:15am long run with Joe, followed by a 9:30am wedding and reception for my lifelong friend Jenna, concluded with a 40th anniversary celebration for my Aunt and Uncle in central Illinois, arriving home just past midnight), the last thing I wanted to do was wake up early to make cookies.  Yes, that is strange considering baking is something I love almost as much as running, but Saturday was a long day!  Anyway, I must have gotten enough sleep because my bike workout ROCKED.  I really do think I'm getting stronger on the bike and hope to show that in September when I race Hy-Vee in Iowa.

Monday was a fairly low-key day consisting of hanging out with the kids I nanny in between working out.  After I left their house, I quickly bought some clothes for Ryan and my engagement pictures on Wednesday and then went home to cook dinner.  After Monday, things got a bit chaotic.

Tuesday, I took the kids to morning practice.  We had to rush a bit as the kids' dad (works at Sears in Hoffman Estates) invited us all to come see ADAM LEVINE from Maroon 5 perform a few songs.  Did I mention it was free?  It was awesome--Adam Levine is just as good in person as he is on the radio, if not better.  We quickly devoured lunch and then headed out to Buffalo Grove for me to sign my contract (yay!!!) and meet with the Athletic Director to discuss me coaching soccer.  Yes, you read that right.  Coaching soccer.  I actually played soccer for almost 12 years of my life and was decent (I am a runner after all), so I do know a thing or two about it.  Anyway, it's a COED soccer team--how fun is that?! I'm pretty pumped and am ready to start!

We got back to the kids' house in time to change and pack drinks before heading off to practice.  I took the younger (Justin) to practice and did my workout while he worked out with his team.  My workout was 4x10min with 3min seated hard, 2min standing climb, 5min seated hard with last :15 of each minute a standing climb.  WOW was this tougher than I thought.  When I do my workouts at Justin's practice, I just bring my trainer...and get crazy looks from the parents.  Tuesday was only 80-85 degrees, but I was sweating just as much as I did the week before when it was 100+ degrees.  This workout was INTENSE.  I love those kind though, so I was pretty happy when it was over, and even happier to come home to an incredible meal (thanks, Pinterest) that Ryan made for us:)

Wednesday, Ryan and I had to wake up early to run as I was in charge of administering the swim workout (yeah, it was a learning experience!) for the triathlon kids before we had our 11am engagement pictures before leaving for the Wisconsin Dells for our family reunion.  Thank God for coffee.  It was great once we got to the Dells, though.  I love catching up with my family and love watching them talk with Ryan as they are just so loving and welcoming....Ryan is truly one of the family:)

Thursday, Ryan, my dad and my cousin went out to ride our bikes.  For some reason, I didn't think the Dells would be as hilly as it was.  In addition to all of the hills, my legs finally started to feel the fatigue (most likely caused by the rushed Tues/Weds combo and Tuesdays' workout).  It was a struggle at times for me to keep up with my dad going up hills....and that's never been a problem.  I felt like my average would be a pathetic 15mph, so I didn't even bother looking.  We planned on riding for 2 hours, but once we hit Baraboo (10-11miles away), I told Ryan and my dad that I needed to turn around.  I have NEVER felt so awful on a bike in my life.  I told Ryan when we got back that I needed to go for a run to loosen up my legs.  7miles later, I felt a LOT better.  We then enjoyed the day with many of my aunts and cousins at the Wollersheim Winery. It was wonderful!

Friday, I woke up to run 6miles and do some strides...and felt incredible.  I felt like I could have run a full marathon no problem, which gave me confidence to race on Saturday.  A long time ago, Ryan and I had signed up for the Big10 10k on Saturday, July 28.  I knew our family reunion was July 22-28, but assumed that the 28 is just when everyone was leaving so it'd be okay if we left late Friday night.  Turns out, I was wrong on the dates.  The reunion went through the 29th (I always remembered them being Sunday-Saturday, so this one was new this year!).  SO, Ryan and I just figured our $60 registration fee would benefit the BTN and that would be that.  Until we started trying to plan his mom's birthday celebration.  Her birthday is July 20, but Ryan was working in MN through the 22nd.  So, we planned on going on the 22nd if he got home in time, which did not happen.  Our backup date was the 28th, so Ryan and I planned that we'd leave the Dells in time to be back for dinner....until we thought about changing it to a brunch as his dad had a golf outing.  To make a long story short, we left the Dells late Friday night, which gave us enough motivation to want to race in the morning...more on that soon.

Anyway, Friday was also the day of my first bridal shower.  Woooooohooooo!!! My Hill aunts plan amazing showers, full of fun games...and games that involve testing my knowledge of my future husband.  Ryan teased me all week that he knew all of the questions, and that he knew I'd get 3 wrong (at best).  See, when we first started dating, his older brother Jerry planned a ski trip in Galena.  Ryan and I were still at U of I, so had a LONG drive to get from Champaign to Galena.  During this time, we asked each other questions to get to know each other better.
awwwwww moment right here:
We had been hanging out and working out together for 3-4 months at this point, but just as friends and no real "deep" conversation.  Well, this all changed when I asked the question "how many times have you been in love?"....I knew Ryan had dated a girl (who was on the U of I team as well, so I knew her) for awhile in high school, so I knew he'd at least say once.  He also dated a girl for 8 months, so I wasn't sure if he'd say her.  When he replied, "2," I of course asked if he included the girl that he dated for 8 months.  When he said, "no," I about died.  It was pretty much the highlight of the trip for me.  In case you didn't get it, the second girl he loved was me:)

Anyway, this drive was 4.5 years ago, so I was hoping I'd remember most of the stuff we talked about so that I didn't fail this game of 20 questions.  Luckily, I did remember almost everything...the three questions I got wrong were (1) how many kids he wants (he said 3, I thought 4); (2) our favorite date (I knew it was in Europe but chose Italy instead of my other top choice Belgium that Ryan said); (3) his favorite song (if you know Ryan, you know he doesn't have many "favorites" so I honestly couldn't think of one...turns out his favorite song is "our" it).

The game was a lot of fun (even if I was super nervous!), the food was great, and the company (aka my aunts and female cousins) was incredible.

me and my sister (moh) before the shower

my Hill aunts and cousins at the Bridal Shower

To end the fun-filled day on Friday, my grandma took all of us out to eat at an Italian restaurant.  It was a great time with my family.  Ryan and I left shortly after so that we'd be home for birthday dinner and even the race....although timing wise, we did a horrible job.  We didn't get to his house in Schaumburg until 12:30am, and headed down to the city at 5:45am.  Oh well, sleep is overrated;)

Saturday was a great day.  Despite the lack of sleep, I still managed to race well.  Let me just say how COOL it was to see thousands of runners in their school shirts (props to the BTN coordinators for the sweet shirts).  I felt great from the start.  My first mile was 6:00 and it felt easy, which is always a good sign! My second mile was a 6:01 and didn't feel any harder than the first.  The third mile was a 6:02.  At the turnaround, I could see the next females were about a minute back.  I knew as soon as we turned around that I'd be running into the wind.  The fact that I was running solo (unless you count the lead biker) meant a harder effort, which was okay except that it wasn't necessarily needed.  So, I told myself that I'd rather not be sore on Sunday so that my workouts could go well for the week and if that meant slowing to tempo pace, then that was okay.  I was able to use a few guys as windblockers, but the wind slowed them down as well, so I eventually just slowed to almost tempo pace.  The fourth mile was a 6:04, fifth a 6;08 and 6th a 6:11.  Because it was an out and back course, I was able to see everyone coming my way and it was pretty cool to hear "go girl," "woo first place lady," and (my favorite) "I-L-L", to which I had to reply I-N-I.  I didn't hit a PR, but since I'm no longer racing Duathlon Worlds, that wasn't the goal.  I ran a 38:05 and was happy that the effort left me good.  The best part was that I got to break the tape!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully I can post a picture of that soon, but WOW was it a cool feeling!  The second best part is that the third place female is also an Illinois grad AND the winners of the 5k and male 10k were all Illini fans/alums as well.  

biiiiiiiiig smile. Jill's shirt (far left) is the race tshirt--pretty freaking cool!

Well....hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures of the BTN Big10 10k soon (not on website at this time), but for now, it's time to bike for 2 hours.  After an awesome family reunion, incredible bridal shower and breaking the finishing tape, I'd say this was a pretty great week:)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dreams DO come true

I still feel like I'm dreaming.

Tuesday was pretty much the best day of 2012 so far...obviously October 13th is going to be THE best day, but Tuesday, July 17th is going to be pretty close.

This is the day that I got my teaching job.  Not just any teaching job.  I'll be teaching 7th grade Math at Aptakisic Junior High in Buffalo Grove.  The students at this school go to Stevenson High School.  Yeah, that big awesome high school...that's where my students will go.

To say that I'm excited would be an extreme understatement.  I literally woke up Wednesday morning thinking I had the best dream ever.

The day after Ryan proposed, the first thing I did when I woke up was touched my left ring finger.  His proposal felt too incredible to be true.  But it was.  And so was the phone call on Tuesday letting me know I got the job.  Let me recap it a bit...

Tuesday at about 4:45pm, I received a phone call.  Since I'm a numbers person, I remembered the phone number as the principal and about had a heart attack right then and there.  However, I controlled my emotions and the conversation went something like this...

Principal: Hi Jacqui, how are you?  How has your day been?
Me: Hi! It's been pretty good thanks, how about you?
Principal:  Good, good.  Well, I'm calling about your interviews last week.  The team and I had a tough decision. <It was a very close call between you and another candidate; however, the team ((again, that word)) felt that ((freaking out at this point, holding my breath)) you are the best candidate for the 7th grade Math position.  **jaw hits the floor**
Me: Oh my gosh!
Principal:  So, I can tell you are very excited.  If you need to talk it over, talk to your fiance, that's okay, I just wanted to let you know.
Me: Oh, I definitely accept!
Principal:  Wonderful. We have a new teacher orientation on Thursday if you are able to make it; if not, that's okay too since we are giving you very short notice.
Me:  I'll be there Thursday!

I probably had a few more "oh my gosh's" in there as well, but you get the jist.  I was pretty darn excited.  I still am.  I woke up Wednesday morning and touched my ring finger (I think my brain just remembered doing that last time I thought something wasn't real).

The support I've received from family and friends after finding out about this job (be it via facebook, texting, calling, whatever) has just been incredible.  To know that I have had SO many people believing in me and in my dream to be a teacher just makes me so happy.  Obviously my immediate family and Ryan agree with my belief that I was put on this Earth to teach and help students grow to their potential, but I now see that so many other people believe in that and in me, too.  I am so grateful.

When I posted "(Jacqui Aubert" IS THE NEW 7TH GRADE MATH TEACHER AT APTAKISIC JUNIOR HIGH" on facebook, I knew some of my friends and family and fellow teachers would "like" my status, but never in a million years did I imagine so many people liking it and commenting on it.  That was one of the first things Ryan said to me--"I think more people like your teaching status than when you announced our engagement!" I haven't actually gone back to check that (nor do I plan on doing so), but I truly mean it when I say how blessed I am.

A few posts ago, I wrote about my dad telling my sister that you should be happy if 2 of the 3 things in your life (family/friends, athletics and academics/profession) are going well.  Earlier in May when I banged my knee on the metal door frame (result was 20 days no running), the only thing I thought that was going right for me was having good friends/family in my life.  Now, I'm 3 for 3.  Unreal.

I think the biggest thing I learned from this experience is that there really is a plan for everyone.  While I was crushed when I didn't get the teaching job at my mom's school, in St. Charles, in Barrington, in Cary... look at what I did get.  I am in a school where they are SO technologically advanced it's insane.  Students have iPads, all classrooms have Promethean Boards (smart boards), teachers use blogs and wikis... this district is just incredible.  Yes, I would have been happy in any other district, but getting a job in this district truly makes me have that much more faith in myself.  There are a lot of new things that I'll have to learn; however, I this just further illustrates to me that God has faith in me....He never gives you more than you can handle.

I learned so much at our new teacher orientation.  The district has incredible incentives and ideas for their staff to help them develop into even better teachers.  I might even start a countdown to August 21st, that's how excited I am.

In RUNNING NEWS, this is how my week went...
Monday: easy 7miles
Tuesday: swim workout (hard!), lift (lower body), brick call ever!!!!!!
Wednesday: 6 miles, lift (upper body), LITH open water swim...4 seconds off of my time last week!
Thursday: 10x600 @3-5k teacher orientation!
Friday: 6miles, 4x200 barefoot strides, lift (upper/lower), swim (easy)
Saturday: planned 15miles with Joe!

Tuesday, not only did I rock a swim workout (3700m total!), but I had a great brick too.  The hard sets were 2x20min at race pace.  I was able to use a computrainer, which was a nice added bonus.  Then I had a 2mile tempo run followed by 2miles easy.  The tempo pace felt so slow, which is awesome!

Thursday's workout was pretty good, too.  Since I didn't have my Garmin, I had to approximate a 600m area.  Luckily for me, I do my 800s and mile repeats on the same course and would check my watch frequently.  I knew exactly where the 0.35 was, so I just added on a bit to make it a full 0.39.  All of my 600s were between 2:00-2:03, which was perfect based on my 5k time (a little too fast for the 2:00s but oh well).  This workout, I just couldn't wait to finish because I knew that new teacher orientation was next!

Overall, this week has been incredible.  Thank you so much, friends/family/even strangers who read my blog....your belief and faith in me has truly helped me get to this point in my life.  Thank you.  I only hope that I am doing the same for you:)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back at it!

Ever have that day that you just don't believe happened??

That was Saturday for me.  Saturday was the Grayslake 5k.  I missed it last year due to a family member's wedding, so told myself I would make it happen this year.  Well, again there was a family member's wedding...but, this one was in Milwaukee. So, I convinced my mom and brother that if we go to the race, we can get our run out of the way for the day and enjoy the wedding.  It worked.  It might have helped that I told them about the "Fastest Family" award.

Anyway, Saturday morning comes around. The drive to Grayslake is about 45minutes. All I kept thinking was how badly I wanted to be back in bed.  This week has been the highest volume of training I've had in awhile with the random injuries and sickness I've had so far this year.  While I only ran 50 miles this week, I also swam 3 hours, lifted 2 hours and biked 6 11 hours plus 6.5 from running is a lot for me (17.5 total).

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, I washed away the negativity and went for a 2mile warmup run with Nic.  I had met with Earl Gunther (PT) last week and revamped my strength program and revisited the drills to do before workouts.  Earl had suggested doing 2 sets of 30-40m drills, so I made sure to do that before the race as I had before my Thursday workout (see below).  They must have warmed me up well...

Since my Garmin died on Thursday (thankfully after my workout), I just had my normal wristwatch.  I decided to go on feel.  My running buddy Joe would be racing as well, and we were both planning to PR or at least try to go sub-18.  We were together for the first mile, so I knew that was a good sign.  We went through the "mile" at much as I wish that was true, I know I can't run that for 1 of my 3.1 miles in a race right now.  Joe's Garmin split and I glanced at my watch to see 5:4x..a little slower than I had wanted, but I had no idea what I could do for a 5k.

Mile 2 was marked, and I went through that with my teammate Jessica right on my heels.  11:25...alright, 5:42ish average so I was happy.  There were quite a few turns in the last mile, which was great as I truly had no idea where I was so had to push myself hard the whole time.  On the third to last turn, I glanced at my watch and saw 15:53 and told myself "2 more minutes"....the next turn, spectators yelled "one more turn then you're done" and I picked it up a bit.  As I rounded the final turn, I could see the clock.  17:33...what?? Definitely thought I was going to be over 18.

I sprinted it in and finished in 17:45.  HOLY COW.  13 second PR!!!! While talking with my Dick Pond/Fast Track teammates after, Dave Schaefers really hit it on the head when he said we sometimes just need to go on feel and just be happy doing the best we can.  I think sometimes we become too worried about pace and hitting certain numbers in our workouts.  Dave helped me realize that it's not about that.  Sometimes, you just have to ENJOY yourself and be happy with doing the best that you can.  Thank you, Dave.

The main reason Nic and my mom decided to sign up for Grayslake was for the family competition.  Well, apparently my mom and Nic were the only "Auberts" that counted...for some reason I didn't count.  I finished 2nd overall female, so maybe that's why, but Nic and mom were pretty upset:(  We would have won Fastest Family by over a minute (the family that "won" was a 20:29 average, we were a 19xx average), but I think the AWESOME awards quickly made Nic forget that...

Yep, these mugs were our age group awards (Nic won his, mom was 2nd to Grace in hers).  Pretty appropriate considering we were off to a brewery for my cousin's wedding.

Monday: lift, swim, 7mile run
Tuesday: bike workout, lifting routine, 2mile run off bike
Wednesday: 4mile run, lift, open water swim at LITH
Thursday: AM-3x10min@6:10pace workout; PM-20mile bike ride
Friday: 6miles easy
Saturday: Grayslake 5k
Sunday: 73mile bike ride home from Brookfield, WI.

Overall, a great week and I am THRILLED to be back at it....thanks, Coach Cari!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Racing recap: successful first tri back (in two years) comments regarding training in the heat

This past weekend, I competed in my first triathlon in over two years.  My last triathlon was the Lake in the Hills triathlon, a sprint distance (about) literally ending in my backyard.  Jess came like the good friend she is and we've been inseparable since :)

So, I was a little nervous going into this one.  I have been swimming and biking a lot more, but I also knew that there would be THREE professional women racing with me.  Top 5 finishers in both male and female divisions would receive prize money, so I told Ryan my goal was to finish 4th or 5th.  Based on times in years past, totally achievable.  We added up what we'd predict for my times to see how I'd do...

400 swim: 10minutes (yes, slow I know, but I'm working on it:))
16mile bike: 45 minute (almost 21mph average)
3.1mile run: 19 minutes (hard course Ryan warned me; very hilly)

If I could accomplish those three and keep my transitions under 1minute each, I'd be in the money based on the past three years' times.  Sweet:)

Well. Almost everything went as planned, but a fourth fast female also showed up.  

400swim: 11:01...and then I struggled to get my skinsuit off because I was so aggravated by my time
16mile bike: 46minutes... couldn't get my left shoe on because I was so flustered with my slow transition
3.1mile run: 19:18...fastest female (including the pros!!) so I'll take it:)

I literally missed the $$ by 23 seconds. I didn't see the girl until 1/2 mile to go, so I never caught her.  I was easily going sub-6minute pace for that last 1/2 mile, but I just didn't have enough time to reel her in.  

All in all, it was my slower bike that hurt me.  My swim and run cancel each other out 90% of the time, but I was still 1 minute off of the slowest biker in the top 5 overall females.  I need to focus more on the bike from here on out, while continuing my swimming and running training.  

Yesterday (Monday) I did a hard swim workout that I picked Triathlete and Coach Jen Harrison's brain for. I told her about my being in the pool more but just not getting much faster (or so I feel) so she told me a few "staple" type swims... I hope to talk with her in more detail after Du Worlds if I continue to want to take this triathlon thing seriously.

RYAN completely rocked this tri.  He was the SECOND OVERALL MALE!! The person who beat him is a professional triathlete currently training to win Ironman Wisconsin, so coming in second to him is pretty freaking awesome.  So proud of my stud fiance:)

First tri back only became better when we saw Ryan's Aunt Lainey, cousin Alyssa and friend Oscar cross the finish line as well.  Racing with friends and family is the best <3

And finally, my last comment.... I've received a few questions/comments regarding my (and the elite kids triathlon team) training in the heat.  As long as you are HYDRATING properly and are okay with a lesser performance, training in the heat is fine.  We bring not only water bottles, but bottles filled with electrolyte drinks as well.  Elite athletes are constantly learning better ways to train, so the "heat" is nothing new.  As long as you focus on the quality, you'll perform well.  For example, if you run your "easy runs" at 7:30 pace, lowering that pace to 8:00 pace in this 100+ degree heat is okay (and expected I'd think).  I'm not (and neither are the elite kids) going out there trying to crush my workouts; I'm simply going out to get my training in and then come back in and rehydrate/refuel properly.  The heat is not something to mess with if you are not educated, but we have been doing this long enough (and have a large enough knowledge base) that we can train safely in the heat while still maximizing our performance.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Things I can control

Running update (since I have been talking more about the job hunt):

Achilles is healed.  Hips have been readjusted (thanks Earl!).  Only left with a blister from the heat.

I'll get to the job hunt and such after the running/biking/swimming update, since I seem to be slacking a bit in that department.  I was very caught up in trying to get my dream job that I kind of let working out slack a bit.  Now that it's July, the job search is heading back.  More on that in a bit...

Sunday: 12.5miles in Barrington with Joe (my running buddy, so nice to be back:))
Monday: lift, swim, easy run
Tuesday: morning run and leg strength, afternoon bike workout (4x2min pickups, 2x20min race pace)
Wednesday: 4th of July race, an 8k, finished only 12 seconds off of my PR. in the 95degree heat + humidity...I'll totally take that.
Thursday: easy brick of 4min run/10min bike x4.  reminded me of my love for duathlons
Friday: easy 5miles, meeting with Earl (see below) and wedding planning

This was a pretty successful week in terms of training.  Coach Cari and I talked about my big goals (DUATHLON WORLDS!) and the races that I would be doing to lead up to Du Worlds.  One of these races is the HyVee Triathlon in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday, September 2nd.

Ryan and I did this race probably 3 years ago and I did enjoy it... even if I was blowing black stuff out of my nose for a week.  Yeah...I can't remember what exactly happened, but the lake that we swam in (which was actually a different one from the normal lake HyVee is set in) had a bunch of black crap in it.  We stayed the night with one of Ryan's U of I Tri Teammates and he got pretty sick from it.  BUT, besides the water, we really loved this race.  I think for me, I liked it so much because I dominated on the run.  I did SO awful on the swim (and even really on the bike... when I look back and see my average was 18.5mph, I have to laugh at myself).

SO, my current focus is Duathlon Worlds, but right before that (3 weeks out) is HyVee.  Lucky for me, I pretty much have the ideal situation going on in terms of work for this summer.  I basically nanny/chauffeur two triathlon kids.  I take two kids to tri practice most mornings.  During this time, they swim.  I tried just running and lifting and doing core, but the practice time still gives me about another hour and, let's be serious here, I don't just sit around.  I wish I could, but I think I just don't have it in me to lounge around and do nothing.

In my last post, I mentioned how the kids' triathlon coach was involved in a serious car accident... well, her dad has been helping out with the team for this week, but I am supposed to "step it up" a bit next week.  He even said I could benefit the kids (and myself, of course) by swimming with them.  Now, these kids would just DEMOLISH me in the water, but I think it would be motivation for us all.  It's like doing laps on a track and you can run a 6:00 mile and there's someone you know that runs an 8:00 mile.... most competitive people are going to try to lap that 8:00 miler as many times as they can.  And, the 8:00 miler is going to push themselves to go harder in hopes that this won't happen.  That's what I kind of think will happen when I start swimming with the kids team.

I just went and saw Earl Gunther (RMS Physical Therapy in Schaumburg) and we set up a flexiblity, strength (lower body), plyos and core program.  I worked with Earl last October when my hamstring tore and he got me back pretty quickly.  I've told SO many friends/random people to see him...he's honestly the best Physical Therapist there is.  Most PTs will advise you not to run, but Earl KNOWS how stubborn we runners/triathletes/athletes are and gets you back FASTER.  I'll make sure to post more once I start incorporating his program.

Finally, I'm pretty pumped to say that Ryan and I are the new owners of a NordicFlex home gym system!  Most of my strength stuff with Earl is body weight, but in terms of upper body, it'll be nice to have something to rely on at our house (in our workout room:)).


In my recent blogs, I've been talking a lot about teaching and how badly I want to be back in the classroom. Don't get me wrong; I still want to teach and 100% believe that is my calling in life (professionally anyway).  However, there's a lot of other important things going on in my life right now.  Wedding planning and home owning (as in we gutted our house basically and are now putting things back together) are the two big ones.  If I continue focusing on teaching and getting that dream job (or even just a job for that matter), I'm neglecting other things.

On the 4th of July, Ryan and I both had the day off (this is rare for us).  I told him we needed to do wedding/house stuff.  My first bridal shower is August 4th and we only had probably 1/2 of our stuff on our registry.  So, after our race, we came back to my house and worked on wedding stuff.  We truly got a lot accomplished, but I just couldn't help thinking how much I could always be getting accomplished if I was focused on wedding stuff instead of teaching stuff.

I'm not giving up.  I know of a LOT of openings for the 2013-2014 school year (retirements!!!), so I'm going to have a full-time teaching job then.  But this year, maybe I am meant to focus on all of the big firsts for me and Ryan.

If I don't get a full-time teaching job for the 2012-2013 year, Ryan and I can go on a honeymoon right away.  We can go to Duathlon Worlds together.  We can be on the same schedule (or at least see each other more than we do now).  I can choose to take a day off and not worry (as in the day before our wedding).  We can do far away races and be able to leave earlier than 3pm on a Friday.  Selfishly for our relationship, me not having a teaching job might be the best thing to happen for us.

I am a firm believe that everything happens for a reason.  I don't know if I'll have a full-time job come August/September.  Truth be told, I'm at peace with either outcome.  It's time to focus on the FUN stuff.  I'm focusing on our wedding, our house, and my training (things I can control) and not letting the things in life that I can't control (job situation) bring me down.

Time to add some things to our wedding registry :)