Monday, August 06, 2007

Taper, shmaper

I don't know why but I had this crazy notion about the phenomenon known as "the taper." Everyone kept asking, "so, when do you start your taper?" and somewhere in my little head I had stored the idea that "the taper" meant that I'd get to just sit and chill for the next three weeks.

Evil, slothful Athena was rubbing her hands together with glee. Slothful Athena, who now has the same hair cut as I do, was thinking, Yay! Sloth Time!

Turns out, Not. So. Much. I have clearly misunderstood the whole notion of, "taper." Here's my training plan for the week:
  • Monday: OFF
  • Tuesday: Swim 2000 meters, Bike 20 miles
  • Wednesday: Intervals and brick workouts
  • Thursday: Swim 2500 meters, Run 9 miles
  • Friday: Bike 30 miles
  • Saturday: Socorro Chili Harvest Sprint Triathlon
  • Sunday: Bike 110 miles, then run 3 miles.

I'm tired. Weary. My legs stiffen up when I sit for too long. No injuries, thank goodness: No pulled muscles, or tendons, or fractures, or blisters. Just sunburn and peeling, and tired, tired legs.

and...I'm trying, really trying to be excited about going back to work tomorrow. I picked up my classroom keys today, and the cart that I'll use to transport me and my supplies between the classrooms I'll be using.

Our school opened in '02 with a capacity of 2000, and an enrollment of 2100. This year, expected enrollment is nearly 2300.

I'll leave it to you to imagine what happens when you cram 2300 adolescents into too small of a space.

Classes are capped at 30. I fully expect when I check my rosters on Wednesday to find my class enrollments to be around 34.

It's not that I'm angry. I just can't get excited. I bought some classroom supplies today, but there's no enthusiasm. Maybe tomorrow, at the first day of inservice, I'll start to perk up.

I hope so. I hate to think I'm going to spend the next nine months being completely uninspired. I don't want to do that to the kids I'm supposed to be teaching.

Time for a Reframe...or at least to think positive...

1) I can always swim, bike, and run, and recharge my batteries.

2) In fact, I have first period prep this year. This means, among many things, that I teach my first class at 9 am. I still have to be at work around 7:15 or so, but I can ride my bike or run to work, 4 miles from my house, and arrive all sweaty and gross and still have time to refuel and change and get ready for the day. I'm taking a look at these no-rinse wipes to keep at work.

3) I'm good at what I do. That's just all there is to it. I get great job performance ratings every year, and I stay out of trouble. I keep administrators happy, too. I don't steal or try to romance students. Maybe that makes a difference to somebody, somewhere, even if I don't know it.

4) How many other people have a commute of 4 miles to their full time job?

5) I'm back teaching high school. Yay!

6) Other people have WAY SUCKIER jobs than me, and it's unlikely I'll ever get laid off.

There. I feel a little bit better already.



  1. Hang in there. You are almost there.

  2. I used to teach high school and have my classes stuffed like that as well. I never understood how they got away with it but they always did. I hope your first day back goes well!!

  3. Good luck tomorrow, and keep on remembering why your life *doesn't* suck!

  4. Nice reframe. Thats one of my own reframes too - the 1.6 mile commute.
    Happy teaching!

  5. I fully expect one of your students to do something incredible in his or her lifetime and credit it to you as being their inspiration. Your dedication shows in your blog. Just wait until you can put Ironman finisher on the chalkboard. Hell I'm inspired and I hardly know ya. Your school kids are lucky to have someone like you teaching them and you all don't get enough credit so I'll say thanks right now.
    And holy crap on the training this week. More like the anti taper.

  6. heh. I think doing an IM is worth some classroom cred.

    OK, it's highschoolers - maybe not.

    It's worth a try though. And you are good at what you do. Be excellent!

  7. OMG that is a scary 'taper'.... no wonder you feel a bit flat about things. And going back to something so very familiar must almost seem like a distraction with the big adventure of Ironman looming (?) I bet afterward you will be so fired up they won't believe it

  8. Your new students are going to LOVE you. You know, all of the ones who aren't busy rebelling against the system, guidelines of behaviour and the dress codes!! ;)
    Go get'em and don't take any crap!! They'll respect you in the morning... lol

  9. Hey girl~ Was reading through a bunch of your old posts. Love them!

    Hang in there. I know the feeling. I am a physical therapist for a school system and the kids around here start back on the 13th. Problem is... I had to work all summer. =0) Oh well, I can think of worse things.

  10. That's a big Sunday for 14 days before your IM!

    All the best for the reframing process....

  11. Okay - so you're my hero too. Wish I would have had a teacher like you.

  12. Hmmmm. I've been looking at my HIM taper and, like you, think it doesn't look all that tapery. And it's ONLY ONE WEEK. What's up with that!? I used to taper a week for sprints! Oh well, I gotta figure Mark Allen knows what he's doing more than I do.

    Good luck getting back into the swing at your job. I think if I took off 2 months every year, I'd get so used to being "retired" that someone would have to drag me back kicking and screaming. :P

  13. I find all the running you are doing at this point kind of baffling... I'm jealous actually...but trying to listen to my coach. I guess there are many ways to do this IM training thing.

  14. The taper is the hardest part. It can make you feel really down or crabby. Add in any kind of disappointment or life stress and it is just magnified. Once the race is over and you're in a groove at work you'll likely feel much better!

  15. Not that it is my business but isn't a 110 mile ride 2 weeks before IM too taxing on your legs for the race? I think i did my longest ride about 3 weeks out..
    Just my 2 cents..

  16. Hope your first day back to work got your teaching motivation back up.

    I saw on the news that APS is short something like 50 teachers - made me think of you.

    Also gave me some hope in case *I* get laid off.

  17. I have the August blues too. Yep, we teachers just have to suck it up. Once we start, it's not that bad. Right?


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