562 Miles to go (VCM week 4)

What a week.  I honestly don’t know how the children know when we are approaching a vacation, but they do. Or it could just be my overall attitude. But either way, it was a long week.

Monday: dirty dozen+stretching

Monday was my rest day and I was happy to be surprisingly motivated to do the dirty dozen workout and 20 minutes of stretching. I increased the reps for seveal of the exercises with DD and could tell that I am slowly getting stronger.

Marcy dog and I cross training together.

Tuesday: am: 3 mile run. pm: 75 minute warm yoga.
Lindsey and I met up Tuesday morning to do our run. I had no conflicts in the afternoon, but I do like having my afternoons free. I felt good as we made our way around SUNY.  Because I had run, I was able to make it to my favorite yoga class.  It had been 2 months since I’d gone to a public class and it seemed to be exactly what I needed. It didn’t hurt that it gave me something to do on Valentines night as my boyfriend and I don’t live in the same state.


Each year we make hot chocolate in my class for Valentines Day

Wednesday: 5 miles ish (55 minutes)

During the past few weeks, Wednesday has been my rest day. With travel plans for Friday, Marcy dog and I headed over to SUNY for a run. There was an athletic game of sorts, so the community lot was closed. Instead I parked about .5 miles down the road and then ran to the campus.  I felt great. I still have no idea about pace, but my fitness is definitely improving.

Marcy dog enjoying a clear sidewalk. Cheers Albany!

Thursday: AM: 3 miles

Just minutes after finishing my run Wednesday night, I sent a text to Lindsey to see if she wanted to run in the morning. I had a lot of errands and packing to do in the evening, so I suspected that I’d find a way to skip it. Luckily she agreed. I am getting better & used to the AM running, but haven’t quite hit the running solo in the  AM yet. I was extra glad we ran in the morning, because it ended up being a very windy afternoon

Friday: rest/travel

I had fully intended on completing the dirty dozen and stretching route, but my day ended up quite full. I had a training at work until noon and them had some loose ends to take care of in my classroom. After I decided to quickly stop at LLBean in hopes of finding a new coat. Their prices were insane, so I stopped at Sears to look at the Lands End line. I picked a great day because there were incredible sales! After a lot of indecision, I made my way to the airport. I had thought I would stretch & workout in Chicago – only to realize I was flying into O Hare and not Midway (midway has a yoga room) and my flight landed the same time my connection was boarding. Strength & stretching were abandoned.

Chicago Airport

Saturday: 50 minute run

Joe and I had plans over the weekend to head up to Steamboat Springs to meet up with some of his friends. We weren’t getting a particularly early start, but I couldn’t decide if I wanted to run in Denver or Steamboat. Ultimately I knew Denver was the better choice rather than postponing the run. I ran a loop similar to one Joe and I had done in October. I felt surprisingly good, despite the altitude change. (Albany: 312 vs Denver 5,130ish)

Sunday: 55 minute run (half up hill!)

On sunday most everyone at the condo headed off to do winter related activities. (snowshoeing / skiing)  was invited to join all, but decided instead to head out for my run.  Since Monday would be a rest day, I opted to keep running up hill also in hopes of catching some of the view that was mentioned from the top of the mountains.  The hill plus still adapting to the altitude, forced me to stop a few times to catch my breath, but once my heart would retreat from my ears, I continued on.  Overall, I felt pretty good – most of my discomfort came from my heart & lungs, not my legs.

I am quite pleased with how the week turned out.  With winter weather & travel on tap, it would have been easy to come up wtih excuses to skip workouts.  I am still aiming for two strength and stretching routines a week, but even committing to once a week is more than I did for the Philly Marathon.
This upcoming week is my last week without my watch. Also my last week of base building.  I am curious to see how I’ve progressed and how it compares to Philly training (although the weather/temperature does offer a lot of variables.)

Miles this week: 21

Total Miles: 62

Cities run in: Albany, NY; Denver, CO; Steamboat Springs, CO

Starting Small

In the face of widespread inequity and intolerance, the early childhood classroom can be a place of quiet revolution. (pg 196)

I am a big fan of instant gratification, teaching at the Primary level (3-6 year-olds) has always been a bit of a struggle for me in that regard.  A lot of my time is planting seeds. ( in my own real garden I plant those already grown suckers. instant gratification is my friend.)

As a former high school teacher, I had the result of sending children out into the world ( yay instant gratification) however, I was working with a population that was severely undeserved and many of those children were not performing at grade level ( or anywhere close)  It made me question our current school system, how we assess students, how they show mastery, why certain areas are required, and honestly, how did the students get to be 18 and not know how to do long division? Obviously my academic life was very different from theirs, but it sent me back to basics.

While I struggle with the my own desire for reward, I know that I am an important stop for children as they begin their academic life. Not only am I (and the countless other Primary teachers) the first stop for academics, I am often the first community outside of the family for these children. I’ll admit this is not something I took all that seriously when I first accepted the job as a primary teacher.  I don’t have children and my friends are just starting to produce their own.  But as the internet culture becomes more and more brutal and we’ve begun to backslide towards intolerance, I’ve recognized my role in a new way and am working towards building a stronger more accepting future. The process is slow and often unrecognizable.

“Legacy. What is a legacy?
It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see” – From the Musical Hamilton

Just before the inauguration of the 45th President, I stumbled across a book in the kitchen at my school titled: Starting Small Teaching Tolerance in Preschool and Early Grades.  It is written by the Teaching Tolerance Project and is fairly old (1997- crazy that 97 was 20 years ago.) but most is still relevant.  As the US enters a very divided time, it becomes even more important to be a strong leader and positive force in the lives of the children I teach.

I believe that while not all of us are teachers or parents, we are all still apart of the greater community.  If we’d like to set up the future to be a better place than it is now, we must do better now. As I read through the book, I earmarked and highlighted passages that spoke to me maybe they’ll speak to you too.


“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved through understanding.” (p13)

“Take people seriously. ‘Whatever comment or criticism or suggestion a person comes up with, I must assume that it carries that person’s individual and cultural perspective and deserves my respect’.” (p34)

Anthropology for three-year-olds: “When we don’t give them language to talk about differences because we’re so scared of it, it becomes something that children feel as forbidden and dangerous.” (p35)

‘Oh you want to share. Let’s talk more about that. What does that mean for you?’ Because there are so many different ways to do it. For some children it might mean ‘I use it first and then you get to use it’ or ‘I get to decide what happens, and you can be the little baby’

“My focus is never on the toys, It’s can I help these children form a relationship?” (p 38)

“I won’t let you solve this by threatening him” (in reference to “you can’t come to my birthday if you don’t give me the marker” etc) (p39)

“I want them to know that injustice is not overcome by magic or wishes. People make it happen. You make it happen.” (p41)

” Fairness in the early childhood classroom has many dimensions.  On the teacher’s part, one goal of fairness is to give all the children an equal sense of security and well-being. A set of consistent rules and specified consequences for their violation provide both a model for each child’s own behavior and an assurance of protection from the misbehavior of others. Rules that promote sharing and turn taking ensure that ll children have access to resources, spaces and equipment.” (p46)

“Kids can’t practice what they haven’t been taught.” (p56)

“Diversity comes in myriad forms – beliefs, learning styles, personalities, family incomes, family structures, intellectual creative-social-physical abilities, and on and on.”(p79)

“Accordingly, the task for teachers in homogeneous minority schools is not to ‘introduce’diversity but to promote equity and positive identity development.” (p80)

“The task for teachers is not simply to present alternatives to media heroes. Rather, it is to help children develop the capacity to admire true heroism in others and to recognize this potential within themselves.” (pg 107)

“If I could wish something for every child in the world,” Mary says, “it would be to feel good enough about themselves and their environment to have the confidence just to talk to the person in front of them.” (p112)

“All of a sudden, their similarities and their differences become interesting.  The single most important thing in teaching tolerance,  I feel, is getting them to speak to each other and listen to each other – to really want to know what someone else is saying.” (p122)

“The practice of mainstreaming children with diverse abilities is founded on the belief that children of all ages have the capacity to work and play cooperatively with others of varying abilities. Ideally, mainstreaming does not attempt to minimize or ‘erase’ differences. Rather it provides the opportunity to teach children who to respond positively to the full range of differences, including those of ability.” (p131)

“…strategies can be helpful in fostering empathy across ability differences. First, Children should be given concrete information about the specific disability of their classmate This will reduce fear as well as the perception of ability differences as “strange” Second, the skills, strengths and talents of children with special needs should be pointed out so that other children will see them as peers, not objects of pity.” (p131)

“The more people in a child’s life who are practicing peace, the quicker a child learns to make and keep friends.” (pg 152)


The Teaching Tolerance website is an amazing resource.  I strongly urge anyone to use some of their free wanderings of the internet to explore the website.




583 Miles To Go (vmc training week 3)

I am really starting to feel the cobwebs shake free and get back into the running groove that I was in during the fall.  While looking back at my log from the fall, I find it a bit hard to believe I was running SO MUCH. I am eager to get back to that level again, but I don’t feel like my fitness is there just yet. The weather this week made getting in all the runs a bit more of a challenge:

Monday: 4 miles

Monday was suppose to be a rest day, but after skipping Sunday, I headed out for 4 miles on my way home from work. Normally I prefer to go home first, but the dark & cold drain my motivation, so I’ve been making a point to go running before I am reunited with my couch.

Tuesday: Unplanned Rest

We had some gnarly weather on Tuesday.  So much rain, but since it was hovering on freezing, it was closer to slush. I left school dressed ready to run, but as I got closer to SUNY I just couldn’t make it happen. I don’t own a rain shell & I only had earmuffs. Running in slush was just asking to be a mess.

Wednesday: 4 miles

4 very lovely miles. Definitely worth swapping rest days to avoid the slushfest yesterday. Vermont City Marathon W3D3

A photo posted by Christine (@christinefromalbany) on Feb 8, 2017 at 6:46pm PST

Initially Wednesday was my rest day, so I planned to go to dinner with my college roommate.  Not wanting to miss my run or my dinner plans, I hauled out of school on time and ran before meeting up for dinner.  It was a bit of a hustle, but I’m glad I was able to make it work.

Thursday: unplanned rest

Being an adult means I had 90% of the ingredients for a bloody mary on this beautiful snowy thursday. #adulting #snowday

A photo posted by Christine (@christinefromalbany) on Feb 9, 2017 at 6:29am PST

The forecast for Thursday was initially 4-7 inches of snow.  Being born and raised from Upstate NY that equals at best a 2 hour delay for school & cleared roads within an hour of the snow stopping.  I had thought I’d get the chance to get my run in, but the snow didn’t stop until 4pm.  By then there was over foot in most areas. I opted to stay off the roads.

Friday: AM 3 miles

Feeling badass.3 miles the morning after a blizzard in single digit temps. Vermont City Marathon W3D5.

A photo posted by Christine (@christinefromalbany) on Feb 10, 2017 at 6:04am PST


Lindsey and I have been consistent with meeting up on Thursday Mornings. The snow kept us from following through, but we decided to reschedule for Friday morning.  I was slow moving (after an entire day of doing nothing)  but I knew I had to run in the AM since my foster dog would be adopted later that evening. It was cold. About 8 degrees and I wore a lot of clothing ( Graced by Grit BICO tights, sweatpants, thermal top, fleece, ski mittens…) but once we got moving it genuinely felt fine. As I’ve been saying each week, I was glad I got the run done in the AM and I hope that as the temperatures rise & mornings get brighter that I can add another morning run each week.

Saturday: 4 miles

While I enjoy fostering dogs,  I am not a particularly great dog trainer, so Herman presented some challenges for me. Mostly in the form of him shredding every piece of paper he could find and plastic cups that I didn’t even know I had. He had also started off forgetting house training (that we figured out together after a few days, but still)  my house was in need of a deep deep clean. I spent most of the morning mopping the floors, and just putting life back in order. Lindsey had asked if I was interested in running at SUNY in the afternoon and I jumped on the chance for accountability and company.  I brought Marcy dog along for the run, since now without the foster – she needs an outlet for her energy.  I felt really really great. I had mistakenly thought the path might be a bit snowy (as it had snowed again over night) so I was wearing my trail shoes  – which have caused some temporary calf tightness but otherwise my legs and lungs were working together!  After I headed up to my HS friends home to hang out and play a new to us card game called “the voting game”  it was pretty funny and definitely enjoyed many good laughs. I got home really late (for me 12:15ish)  and promptly crawled into bed.

Sunday: 5.5ish miles


With yet another storm coming through I knew that I had to get out early. After a late night, I was struggling but I laced up ( totally in the exact clothes I ran in the evening before – seriously motivation was real low, the faster I was dressed and out the door the better my chances)  Marcy dog and I headed over to run SUNY + State Employee Campus for somewhere in the ballpark of 5.5ish miles. There were a handful of other people out looking to beat the storm when I first started & even ran into Lindsey & her friend.  ( nothing makes me happier than seeing people I know while out running)  State Campus was lonely, but I did see a few more groups on the outer loop.  As I was headed back to SUNY & the car, is when I saw runners everywhere.  The winter series race had been canceled, but clearly people still wanted their run.  It was inspiring to see so many people just getting it done, with no excuses. Being among them truly inspired me and I finished my run strong.

Overall a solid week.  I did miss one 4 mile run that I am hoping to squeeze in to tomorrows rest day.  But I feel like I did my best considering all the weather this week.

Miles this week: 21

Total Miles: 41

604 Miles to Go

I’m still adjusting to running watch-less.  I enjoy how quick it is to get running, no more waiting around for a signal. I also enjoy the pressure-free pace. I am running by feel & have generally no idea what pace I am doing. I have wished for validation after some runs, but overall am still mostly enjoying just getting the miles in as I build back my fitness after my 2 month hiatus.

Monday: Yoga Revolution.Dirty Dozen Strength

wp-image-975202298jpg.jpg20170130_065959.jpgI completed the quick dirty dozen again this week. Then hunkered down with the Bachelor.  The show is SUCH trash, but I use the time to cut laminated stuff from work and a true zone out from everything else.

Tuesday: Yoga Revolution. 2 miles

20170131_220930.jpgwp-image-658274586jpg.jpgThere was a bit of a dusting of snow so I laced up in my trail shoes and headed out for 2 miles. I left Foster Herman at home, but brought Marcy dog with me.  She was very excited to get some miles in – as I’ve been leaving her home with Herman most days.

Wednesday: Rest

I was exhausted.  I had a beer and banana chips and promptly went to bed.  I had wanted to do dirty dozen again, but it just didn’t happen.

Thursday: AM: 3 miles

20170202_075437.jpgAfter a few delays in the morning, I was able to meet Lindsey for a suny loop. It took me a bit to warm up (both from the cold temperature & from just overall stiffness. But the miles go by a lot quicker when you chat about anything and everything. I love the morning running, but am still not there to make it an every day affair.

Friday: 3 miles

20170203_170246.jpgI had accidentally left my running clothes in my car on Thursday, which ended up being my saving grace.  It had been a long week and I knew that if I made it to my house, I’d end up coming up with an excuse to skip my run.  So I put on my pre-worn gear and drove directly to SUNY Albany on my way home from work.

Saturday: 3 miles

I decided to head up to Lions Park for a few miles, I needed a bit of a scenery change from SUNY. I don’t know that park quite as well , so I decided to run out for about 17 minutes before turning around.  I assume I am running at least 11 minute miles and covered 3 miles.

Sunday: rest

I had meant to meet Fleet Feet in Malta for a group run, but after meeting a friend out for a drink at the speakeasy, I didn’t set an alarm and slept in late for me (7:30!)  I had reached out to some friends in the Saratoga area about coming over for a visit, so I still got dressed and drove up to spend the morning with friends and their children.  As I was heading home I realized it was my boyfriend’s mom’s birthday, so I stopped by for a visit.  After a nice visit, I headed home with the intention of letting the dogs out & then heading for a run.  Once I got home I had a big drink of water and realized it was the first glass I had had all day. Knowing that I had Monday as a planned rest I decided to stay home and hydrate to knock out the miles the next day.

Overall, I am sticking with the workouts and am eager for lighter evenings and a bit warmer temperatures. (40s-50s would be perfect!)

Miles this week: 11

Total Miles: 20