Did I Miss Winter?

I am beginning to feel as if I slept through winter.  The past two mornings when I awoke, the sun was shining brightly through our windows and the birds were singing spring tunes.  Don’t get me wrong – I haven’t missed crawling out of my warm bed on bitter cold mornings, or risking my life sliding down ‘the hill’ trying to get to school.  I have enjoyed actually getting our scheduled days off rather than a random snow day here and there.  I am concerned, however, that summer might be unbearably hot, but I am willing to take that chance.

In the running world, the weather has been ideal.  I don’t mind running in the cold; it can actually be rather invigorating.  It always amazes me how quickly we warm up once we hit the pavement.  I have had some of my best runs on the coldest days, and my friends and I have had some of our most enjoyable – and memorable – runs in the most treacherous weather.  Just give us blizzard-like conditions, and we can laugh our way through a seven-miler.  Give us a sudden downpour sprinkled with some booming thunder and lightning, and we can book it, all the way feeling like true athletes (rather than the idiots passersby believe we are).   Just a few short years ago, no one could have paid me to go outside in the rain or the bitter cold.  Now I go willingly, and I like it!

This winter (can we really even call it winter?), we have had some gorgeous days; I have even run in shorts a couple times.  Today was one of those perfect running days.  Because of some stomach issues (no worries – I won’t go into those details) this weekend, I didn’t get a long run in.  My goal was to run eight miles yesterday, but I really didn’t think I should venture quite that far from my car.  I had intended to go to church, and head out for a run as soon as we got home.  It just wasn’t meant to be.  I didn’t even risk going to church.  I plopped my butt on the couch, and stayed there all morning.  After attending a bridal shower in the afternoon (eating a large slab of cake – guess the stomach didn’t feel too bad!), I decided to try a run.  Once I was out, I decided it would be best to run a few miles, and save the long run for another day. 

That day was today.  I knew the weather was going to be gorgeous today, so I really hoped my stomach would cooperate.  I didn’t feel great, but I was heading out.  I met my friend Jen, and we took off.  In February in Southern Indiana, one never knows what to expect, but I don’t usually expect to be able to wear running capris and a long sleeve shirt.  No gloves, no hat, no layers.  It was awesome.  Jen didn’t have time to run eight miles, so once I decided I wanted to keep going, I turned off to add some miles.  It wasn’t fast.  It didn’t feel good.  At all.  But I plugged along determined to get some mileage in. 

Once in awhile when I am out, some unexpected things keep me going and make my effort worth it.   Two such incidents happened today.  I was running south on a street in town, and the junior high track team was coming toward me.  The first runner was a boy whom I had when he was a third grader.  He stuck his hand out for a high five as we passed, which made my day.  I am certain he had no idea how much that meant to his old teacher (old meaning former, or old meaning, well, just old – you decide!).  About a mile later, I was running down another street in my eighth mile, and I was getting tired.  I ran past some children who were playing outside, and a little boy yelled, “Hi, Third Grade Teacher!”.  Again, it melted my heart.  Running in a small town, especially one in which I teach, can be great because the kids I pass many times holler at me, which really gives me little pushes along the way. 

I am determined to stay motivated.  Gary and I are running the Derby Festival Mini Marathon at the end of April, so I have to improve my running.  I also need to lose a couple more pounds and work on core strength.  I am continuing to work Zumba classes into my fitness routine because not only is Zumba a great calorie burner, it is just plain fun.  Morgan’s boyfriend who is in the Army will be here this weekend, and he is going to show me a workout with the kettlebell.  It’s going to hurt.  However, I am getting some serious arm flab, so kettlebell it is.  If I don’t blog for awhile, you will know that my arms no longer work. 

Enough rambling.  I’m tired from running.  It is time to zone-out before heading off to bed.  What did you do for your health today?

A Brand-Spankin’ New Blog

I have decided to make a change to my blogging.  After blogging on blogspot.com for almost three years, I was becoming dissatisfied with their site.  As I would type, my words would show up several seconds after I had typed them, and trying to edit was completely frustrating.  I also wanted a more interesting name than ‘jstath’, perhaps something that went along with my book on women’s running, Grandma Wears a Running Skirt.  Blogspot also required readers to have a google account in order to leave comments, and I want people to give me feedback without being inconvenient.  So, here I am, on wordpress. 

I will continue to blog about our running adventures, but as I begin a new writing project, I also plan to write about that experience.  My goal is to interview several senior citizens about life.  We will have conversations on topics such as love, health, money, and faith.  Then I will begin to put together a book on life lessons.  My reason for making this my next project is that I believe the older generation has a wealth of knowledge and experience, not to mention interesting stories, and they are too often overlooked.  We tend to act like they have always been old, and couldn’t possibly understand the lives that we are living.  How wrong we are. 

My first interview will take place this weekend with a man named Louie.  He is 83 years old, but one would never guess that by looking at him.  He is still active in our community, and though he is facing some health issues now, I suspect he will be back on his feet and making a difference very soon.  Although I have known Louie since I was a teenager – he was a band parent – I still find myself apprehensive about interviewing him.  I keep reminding myself that it is just a conversation.  The interviews will no doubt be enlightening and a bit fun; putting them together in a coherent and entertaining book will be the challenge.  I usually write about my opinion and experiences, and now I will have to present the opinions of others with integrity and accuracy – without interjecting my own opinion.  For most writers that probably isn’t difficult, but those of you who know me know that I always have an opinion.  This project will be a great lesson in restraint and listening for me.  I certainly hope I am a good student!

If you have any suggestions for interview subjects, please let me know.  I would like a variety of people, and plan to spend the next view months in the interview process.

My other book, Grandma Wears a Running Skirt, continues to do well on Amazon.  Considering there has been no marketing, sales have been really good.  I am now in the process (a very long process) of trying to find a publisher to publish it to a hardcopy.  I have no regrets that I started with the Kindle version; I have gotten good feedback, and now know it is worth pursuing.  If you happen to have read it, please review it on Amazon.  I need some more positive vibes!

Thanks for reading…now step away from the computer!

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