Sunday, December 12, 2010

Finished and Started

Finished: first quarter of doctorate program, fall quarter of teaching, Ghost of Seattle Marathon and Birch Bay Ghost Marathon. Started: Christmas break, the first of several novels, Christmas shopping and best of all, relaxing!

I ran the Ghost of Seattle over Thanksgiving weekend with Rob, Jenny, Margaret and Steve. Rob and Jenny were on day three of four marathons in four days! They both rocked it at the Seattle Marathon the next day, capping their "Quadzilla" with excellent times, faster than any of the previous three days. We took our time at Ghost, running easy and taking lots of walk breaks. I felt pretty good considering my training was minimal this fall. I've been able to maintain about 20-35 miles a week, with my longest runs around 10 miles.

Yesterday, I ran the Birch Bay Ghost with Margaret and Steve - wow, did we have fun! Again, we took it easy, just enjoying the day. We saw three bald eagles, one of them perched on a piling in the bay eating a duck! We also saw a couple of great blue heron, hawks, scores of geese, seagulls and ducks, plus another unidentified fishing bird. It was a gray day, but the cloud cover was high and we could see the mountains across the border in BC, plus Mt. Baker and the Sisters on our side. We laughed a lot, had some great in-depth discussions, did some Irish dancing (after watching a performance in a pub the night before), and of course, ran. Eric crewed for us - this small race offers one staffed aid station, and two self-supporting, so having Eric out there with our own stock of goodies was great. The three of us were his crew and pacer at WS100, so it was fun to turn it around and have him helping us. He even supplied mochas and tea at mile 18, which we poured into our water bottles to sip as we ran!

These two marathons brought me up to a count of 49 marathons, 64 combined ultras and marathons. I have one planned on the 31st that will round out my numbers for the year. I'm still trying to fit in one a month, working around assignments in school. We'll see how it goes...

Speaking of school, I'm done with my first quarter and I LOVED IT! Okay, maybe not so much when I was writing papers and trying to hit the deadline, but I loved the learning, the research, the's great. School is so much different as an adult. Selecting a program that follows my own interests, feeling confident in my experiences and knowledge, and most of all, having a desire to pursue it - it all comes together into a powerful package. It's not easy balancing all the pieces, but it is worth it. Don't be afraid to go back to school!

I have a substantial break - three weeks from work, four weeks from school, and I intend to enjoy it. I won't have another break like this till late August. Next quarter will offer a new challenge as I add five more credits to my teaching load - meaning probably about 10 hours less study time per week. We'll see how that goes - I think I'll be figuring out a new balancing act.

I hope the holidays are wonderful for each of you, and I wish you a peaceful, joyful new year!


Anne said...

One marathon a month, grad school and's official, you're my hero :)

Joe said...

Think of this, Michelle.

You are doing a degree in early childhood education.

And on a marathon your saw both a duck and a goose.

Does that not make a new angle on the famous kiddie game of "Duck, Duck, Goose"????

Probably a research topic....

Enjoy this time off!! You rock!!

Darrell said...

You are one busy woman. Enjoy the little break.


LesleyG said...

Even if it's been a while, it's good to hear you're still the same go-getter I once saw more of here in blogland. :) Glad to hear you're doing well and enjoying it!
Hope you have a great holiday and relaxation time!

Thomas said...

You said something about a novel? Go on, give us some details!

Wes said...

I defnitely would not want to be the duck in this case :-) Glad to hear you are keeping busy, and staying quite good at it too!!