May 21, 2012

Break to Breakers

Spring semester classes ended a week and a half ago, and I finished all my grading fairly quickly. I spent most of last week relaxing as best as I could, though looming in the back of my mind was a concern about my summer course and whether or not it would be canceled due to low enrollment. The maximum number of students I could have is 30, and at one point it was as high as 27. Then, within the last few weeks, they plummeted down to 13 - not good, because my coordinator had told me that the course would be canceled if it went under 15. Then she said it was 10, and I contacted her again when my numbers dropped to 8. Then she said it was 5, and since then it's held strong at 8.

It was a stressful situation, first because a canceled class would mean no paycheck, but also because if I didn't need to be here to teach, I'd be moving sooner. Luckily, though, it all resolved itself, and today was the first day of classes.

A class of 8 presents unique challenges: class time tends to go by faster with fewer kids to discuss and share, so I have to be mindful of that in my lesson planning. On the positive side, though, grading will be quicker!

Besides worrying about work stuff, I spent last week applying for jobs in Chicago and working out. I found my absolute dream job and have my fingers crossed for that. I also joined a gym that's a few miles from my apartment, just a 30 day pass but good to stay active this last month or so. I've missed the elliptical so much! The tough part is that I can't wear myself out as much as I would like in a workout because I know there's either a 2 mile walk or bike ride home after (plus the 2 miles of getting there to begin with!). It isn't too bad though, I'm just glad to be back in a workout routine. Just running/biking had me in a rut lately. I won't be taking my bike to Chicago, I know I'll miss having it as an option. But I've put in thousands of miles on the same 20 mile loop, and I was feeling bored, dreading working out.

To close out my week of summer break, I headed up to San Francisco with Angela, one of the filmmakers working on the Ragnar documentary project. I was planning on participating in Bay to Breakers with Marisol, and she wanted to film some of the experience. We got to the city on Saturday afternoon and I hit the expo to grab my bib, then we grabbed dinner at a great little place and called it an early night since we had to be out the door at 4:50 the next morning to catch our shuttle to the start line.

There were several shuttles, and in an amazing twist of fate, Marisol and I ended up on the same one, so we got to meet right away. It was so wonderful to finally hang out with her - she is incredibly inspiring, not to mention totally sweet, and has been an amazing source of support since I moved to California, since she used to live near where I am now and understands some of my frustration with the place. It was a brilliant day - it felt incredibly comfortable, too, which was great. When you read someone's blog, especially with health and fitness blogs where we're so open about struggles, you get this feeling like these people are your good friends. And that was what this felt like - it didn't feel like meeting for the first time but rather, reuniting with someone you've known for ages. I couldn't have been happier.

The race was huge - over 40,000 people - and is really more of an event than a race. There are tons of people in all sorts of crazy costumes, and we did our part by wearing tutus.

My favorite costumes, though, were the salmon who "swim upstream" - they run from the Breakers to the Bay. Brilliant!

We kept a good pace for the whole route, about 7 miles or so (12K), including a long hill with a very steep incline. We survived it! And at the end, we got awesome medals for our hard work. Score!

And it was totally hard work - between the race and then another 3 miles to catch my bus to the train home, my legs were absolutely exhausted. I rode my bike a little today to stay active because I knew running or the elliptical would knock me out - I attempted a long run a few days after walking 10+ miles per day in San Francisco with Matt in January and had to stop mid-run because my legs were killing me. The tough part of San Francisco walking isn't just the distance but the hills, and I have much respect for anyone who runs/races there regularly!

Walking around the city, even just for a day, made me incredibly homesick. Between being in a city and missing the atmosphere, and seeing places I visited with Matt and missing him, it made me ache for my beloved Chicago. The countdown calendar is shrinking, so that's a good thing!


Tim said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic day. It's so cool that you both met each other and considering how many people were there, how weird that you met on the shuttle!

I also love the idea of the salmon swimming from Breakers to the Bay. Whoever thought of that is a genius!

Mimi in Vienna said...

Congratulations on your run! You look supercute in your outfit, I like it so much!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

What, no nakey pictures? LOVE the medal. How many does that make? I only have one. :(

Kelliann said...

I LOVE ME SOME TUTUS!!! I want to find a great race I can wear one in! :-)

Sarah said...

Fabulous costumes!

San Francisco is beautiful. We have friends out there, and I'm dying to visit them so I can check it out.

timothy said...

that sounds like an amzing day, and i'm glad you're focusing on weight loss even though you're moving. mayhaps this break from chicago was what you needed to show you how lucky you were to begin with. fingers crossed and sending positive vibes for the job! xoxoxoxoxo oh and the tutus were adorable!

marisol said...

It's funny you mention how comfortable it was meeting up because that is truly how I felt. I usually have a nervous feeling when meeting someone that I know only in real life but I truly felt like I was just meeting up with a friend. None of those nervous feelings appeared.

And for those who don't know her IRL, Mary is awesome. I felt honored to have met someone who inspires me to keep going & not giving up.

I still can't believe we saw a naked man with the word SLUT tatttoed on his bum. You can't make this up!

Anonymous said...

Ouch, my shins hurt just thinking of the San Francisco hills. Love your race gear which you look fantastic in. Congratulations on another great run. I admire the fact that with such a short time left in California you still joined a gym. You're all kinds of determination!

CarolineCalcote said...

Love the tutus! I can't believe you aren't taking your bike to Chicago. Is it just logistically too hard? I'm glad things worked out with your summer class. The post-it notes are shrinking!

CarolineCalcote said...

Oh, and I also wanted to say that when we meet IRL at Ragnar, it will be totally comfortable and awesome also. I can't wait! I'm worried about my hip, but I'm hopeful and I want to do it more than anything! I'm planning to take June completely off of running, then start training again in July. Hopefully that will give me time to fully recover.

Shannie (akaSolidice242) said...

I once took a course where there were only three students including myself in the class then one student dropped so there we only two of us. I had a love hate relationship with the class because it was way too small. The other student and I made a pack that if one of us with be absent we would inform the other so that neither of us would go.

I like the picture with the tutus you both looked marvelous

Anonymous said...

You are looking so good - healthy. Maybe it is the weight being lifted, decisions being made, moving on and knowing what is coming down the road.

Enjoy CA the remaining days there. If you have the time get someone to drive you to Yosemite. Great biking up there BTW. And it is cooler - a LOT cooler than the valley.

Congrats on the race - and that is a honker of a medal. Good idea UPSing your goodies.

Book Dragon said...

Your blog will stay the same, right? I don't come everyday but don't want to loss you!