Matt and I have decided to run 12 in 12: 12 5ks in 12 months. We started today with the 100% Irish for a day 5k around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. It was a slightly drizzly day but much better than I expected.
Due to melting snow, there were a few bottlenecks that kept me from my goal of a sub-40 minute. As you can see below, it was also quite crowded (can you find Matt in the first picture?). But I still had fun, and I clocked in at 40:50, which is good enough for me as we kick off this year's 5ks. Matt rocked at 23ish (the race wasn't chip timed) and then patiently waited for me.
And as befitting an Irish 5k, there was beer at the end. I gave mine to Matt (not a fan of the bittering hops), and I enjoyed his shamrock cookie.
All in all, a good day and a great start to our 12 in 12.
Recently, I've struggled with my job teaching. It seems like every day is a treadmill: plan, grade, plan, grade. I get a few days ahead in planning, and then I fall behind if I don't keep running. As the Red Queen says, you have to keep running just to stay in one place.
And, yet, there is always a bright side to this. The pain and struggle reminds me that I am delightfully alive. Time continues, and I am not a static being. I am always learning, growing, and changing from my work. And this reminds me of a quote we included in our wedding bulletin:
"Love does not just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new." ~ Ursula K. LeGuin
And we, fallible humans that we are . . . we are the same. I like to think of us like bread rather than like laundry, but either metaphor stands. We must continue to be worked on, continually. And so must our endeavors. I imagine many other jobs are like this too, but I only know the teaching side. It's tempting to say that I will sit down, plan, and be all ready and prepared for what lays before me in the year. But that is not realistic nor possible. This reminder came up for me a few days ago in reading a friend's blog post on not quite meeting her personal challenges.
I actually like to see posts when people admit to being not-quite-perfect. So often, we only see the outer side of the people with whom we interact. It is so simple to imagine that we are the only ones with challenge; I must be the only person who didn't receive a manual. But there is no great, orchestrated conspiracy to keep me in the dark. Just like every other human around me, I'm trying to pick my way through the path ahead of me without stumbling too often on the rocks I couldn't see.
Matt and I have been running recently. It is easy to get discouraged, because I am not a good runner. I can sprint at Matt's normal running pace, but my mile time still lags far behind where I'd like it. I'm almost too embarrassed to share here, but I'll post in the spirit of sharing our failings along with celebrating achievement. I currently run at a pace of 13 minutes per mile. But it is something, and I run faster in small bursts. Better still, I feel stronger and happier because I run.
This pursuit has been good for me, and so has teaching. Both remind me that I am making progress, even if that progress is not as fast as I'd like. For me, both running and teaching are pursuits I enjoy but cannot master immediately. And that is okay. Again, I am alive and ever changing.
And, of course, this brings up the lovely line by Tennyson: "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." Here's to fighting the entropy!
Thanks to an Alberta Clipper, we got 9 inches of snow and a free day from school. I took the day as a welcome chance to relax and get a little extra work done. Matt is on spring break, so we were able to enjoy together.
The highlight of the day was popping Lucy in the snow. She's never seen so much, and she was quite perplexed. I dumped her in a deep area, and she couldn't figure out how to escape. Once I scooped her up, she ran back inside and has been content to just look out the window.
We have two pets around these days: our cat Lucy and our crayfish Blue. The other night, I noticed a similarity between the two. In case you can't quite tell from the difficult-to-take aquarium pics, yes, both our pets love to snuggle heaters no matter how warm it is in our house.