Friday, October 31, 2014


I already told you about one of my students who's a star on the THS soccer team. Well, now I'd like to tell you about Reza, a star in the IT world.

Reza was highlighted in Thursday's Tigard Times. Despite being just 17 years old, Reza, a senior in the THS CE2 program, is the chief technology officer of an international Internet start-up company.
Reza is especially gifted when it comes to computers. 

“We haven’t found anything that he can’t do,” Vontarga Techonolgy’s CEO Reid Iford told the Tigard Times.

I'm so proud of Reza! :)

Click HERE to read the whole article.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spooky treats

One of my very favorite parts of my job used to be cooking with my CE2 students. Working together in the kitchen allows me to really connect with my students and create awesome bonds. The experience also teaches them important kitchen skills (and MATH skills) -- and provides yummy treats to share with the class.

Unfortunately, all my added duties have my schedule packed, and I no longer have time to spend in the kitchen.

But yesterday I squeezed in a little kitchen time for some super-quick rice crispy treats - with Monique and Jazmin!
Neither girl had made the sugary treats before, and they were impressed by how quick and easy they came together. We added food coloring and sprinkles to make them festive. I let the girls do their own decorating, and Jazmin chose yellow coloring and rainbow sprinkles. Monique picked orange color with Halloween sprinkles.

I also let my helpers lick the spoons while I do the dishes.

It was great to be in the kitchen again with my students! And everyone enjoyed the afternoon treats :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pile on the Miles in November

You know I love a challenge!

RunEatRepeat, this fun runner-blog I read, is hosting a challenge to help folks get moving and pile on more miles than pounds during November. She'll be giving away prizes all month for people who set goals and stick with them - and check in regularly for accountability. 

It doesn't have to be running - whatever it is that you do to get out and move.

I signed up because I can always use some encouragement... and some free stuff would be nice, too!!

Join me?? :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

4 winners

October was an especially good month for us at the Road Runner Sports Discovery Run.

It was a zombie theme, and I asked for a little face paint (since I'm a big sweaty pig and didn't want my whole face to melt away)
The "survivors" got a 5-minute head start, then they released the zombies to chase after them. We were supposed to rip pieces of tape off their backs, but I only caught up to a couple young kids. It was way too awkward to grab the kids, so I didn't collect any extra points.

Tim and Sean joined us for the scavenger hunt and ran all over town with us, collecting raffle tickets as we went. Brad and I also spent $200 on two pair of shoes and a bra, netting us a whole bunch of blue tickets for the super-special in-store raffle.
Sean's number was called, then Tim's, then mine... and then Brad won the in-store raffle - worth $450!!!!!! He got free Mizuno shoes, a free race entry, free clothes from Road Runner and a subscription to a running music service!
What a fun night! And then we went to grab dinner at a taqueria - YUM!

I loved hanging out with these fellas - and us ALL winning was an awesome bonus :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Run Like Hell 10K (10/26/14)

I raced this weekend!!!!

I've been taking it easy with my Achilles injury, but with my recent diagnosis, PT work and clearance from two doctors, I decided to go for it at Sunday's Run Like Hell. I've run a couple races in the past few months, but the last time I really went for it was March's Shamrock Run

No costume but sporting my Halloween colors:
I didn't plan to race the 10K. My primary goal was to finish the race, probably doing 10-minute run intervals. My second goal was to run the entire thing, but I figured my endurance wasn't up for it since I haven't run that far in months. My stretch goal was a PR, which I've set the past two years at the Run Like Hell. But that was just silly talk.

I started off feeling good, enjoying perfect temps and lots of crowd energy. I kept the first mile comfortable and then sped up a bit to see how it felt. I was able to push just a bit but still feel good, so I kept it up.

Soon, I saw that I was inching closer to my 10K PR pace, so I thought I'd keep up the pressure and see what happened. There was a pretty stiff headwind in some of the sections, even causing me to grab for my hat a few times. But I kept stomping through the puddles and dropping my pace, astonished that a PR was possible.

I walked through the first two aid stations, just enough to grabbed a little sip. (The second one was NOT water, despite the volunteer telling me it was water! Quite a yucky surprise) Then I skipped the last one, knowing the end was near and it was time to push hard. 

I was prepared for the uphill finish, and I kicked as hard as I could to the end.

Brad finished about 10 minutes ahead of me and was there with the camera:
Go, go, go!
Sucking wind and trying to smile for the picture:
Man, that felt amazing! AMAZING!

In my head, I thought last year's PR was an 8:52 average. So when I finished at an 8:49, I was absolutely elated. PR!!!!!!!!!!!
Then I got home and looked up last year's race and saw that my PR is actually 8:47. CRAP. SO FRIGGIN' CLOSE! So sad. 

Then I came to my senses and remembered that I just ALMOST, ALMOST PR'd after not training and barely running for months. WOOHOO!!!! Yeah, I'm really excited about that.

Check out my splits... not perfectly negative like last year, but pretty darn good:

1 - 9:13

2 - 8:54
3 - 9:02
4 - 9:02
5 - 8:39
6 - 8:27
.28 - 7:43

I really credit my cross training. Most of my non-running exercise in the past several months has been kickboxing and spin class - really intense stuff that pushes my anaerobic threshold. I could really tell that my lungs and heart rate were under control until the end of the race.

Oh - so how'd my heel do??

I felt a little pain at the very beginning, then it seemed to warm up and settle in. Throughout the race, I felt no more stabs of pain, though I could "feel" my heel - kind of a tightness. It was sore immediately after but feels fine today.

Eryn also did the 10K and set a big PR for herself!!!
Racing sisters in matching warmups:
Mike joined us and ran the 5K, his first in a really long time. He did awesome, too!

And Brad did the same thing I did - thought he PR'd and then ended up missing by just a few seconds. OOPS! Perhaps we should look at our previous records before we head out instead of relying on faulty memories :)
Mom and Dad ran/walked the 5K:
The whole gang of happy racers:
This is a really great race! We've enjoyed running it for several years and will keep coming back. Next year, with the correct number in my head, I WILL set a PR :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Trapped... at 3 a.m.

What were you doing at 3 a.m.? We were doing this:
A crash woke us from a dead sleep, and I told Brad to go make sure everything was OK with the 6-month-old kitten we've had about three weeks. 

Poor Brad was in a stupor and not making much sense, especially to my 3 a.m. mind. He couldn't find the cat, and he kept saying he couldn't open his office door. "What do you mean, you can't open the door??" "I can't open the door." I thought he'd gone 'round the bend!

Well, we keep a folding chair behind the door in the office. The cat knocked it over and wedged it between the wall and the door. She was stuck inside, and we absolutely couldn't open the door.
Brad went outside to see if he could peek in the window and see what was going on. But... the blinds were closed.

So we got out the yard sticks and felt around, deciding the chair must be in this position:
We didn't have a lot of options: bust out the window or bust down the door. Brad turned on his engineer mind and brainstormed mechanical solutions. Here's what he came up with:  
He stuck our Big Agnes sleeping pad under the door and started to inflate it. A couple minutes later, it shoved up the chair just enough:
I figured the cat would come streaking out, but she just stood there ready to play!
The problem (yes, Brad painted his office walls neon green!):
Brad wanted you all to see how it worked:
That, right there, is genius! It's so nice to have an engineer in the family :)

The cat was so excited to see us up and at 'em at 3 a.m. Play time!
 Good times :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dark, damp run

Tuesday was run day, and despite the damp, pitch-black morning, I hit the road at 6 a.m. for my intervals.

Brad joined me for the warmup but then headed back to the 'ole Wood Gym for a tempo run on the treadmill. He muttered something about not being able to read his Garmin in the dark.

Fortunately, the rain let up just about the time I left the house, but it was sure warm, windy and humid out there!

Lights, reflectors and a high-vis shirt - safety first!
I managed about 3.5 miles during my run/walk. Then I did my PT on the front porch while cooling down.

When it was time to hit the showers, a tiny bit of sun was showing:
A beautiful way to start the day :)