This is the Start of Something New!

Hi, my name Katie, and this is my first blog post on my brand new blog!

My intention is to use this blog to talk about my experiences as a high school English teacher while concurrently documenting my progress to become a long-distance runner. This is not my first experience with blogging, but, truthfully, my first go around was less than stellar.  As part of an assignment in grad school (back in 2008), we were required to create a blog and post to it twice weekly about our experiences in education. I have never been the type of person who is a great “journaler”. I have attempted many futile efforts in the past. However, I love to read blogs; I have a whole line up of daily reads. Recently, I’ve been addicted to reading running blogs. In fact, it is these blogs that have, in part, inspired my desire to tackle long-distance running.

Running is not new for me, but it’s only recently that I have attempted longer distances. In high school, I played softball and was a sprinter. Longer distances were only ever attempted in gym class when I was forced to do so, and, even then, the longest I probably ever ran was a mile. However, in undergrad at the University of Michigan, my friend asked me if I wanted to join a running group with her that would train once a week and would culminate in running a 5k. This was my first race ever. After that, I started running more as a way to combat stress during graduate school – but still never tackled a distance longer than a 5k. My friend of mine (who was student teaching at the same school as me) and I would run several times a week after school let out and before we had to attend our evening grad school classes. To top it off, I was going through a traumatic break up with a boyfriend and running allowed me to blow off steam. When grad school ended, I was fortunate enough to get a job teaching high school English in the north suburbs of Illinois. However, when I first moved here, I didn’t know very many people. To top that off, I was advising yearbook while also trying to survive my first year of teaching – and I didn’t do a good job of balancing my professional life with my personal life. My professional life took full precedence, and as a result of working late hours and not eating well, I gained 15 pounds. Fast forward a few years. I am now doing a much better job of making sure that teaching isn’t taking over my life. I now work for a different school located in the western suburbs, a job that does a much better job of encouraging its employees to find balance between professional and personal life. I realized how much I missed having an active lifestyle and, in particular, how much I missed running. I was craving that feeling of what running brought me back in grad school and how it helped me to decompress. On top of that, I had just gotten engaged and was looking for a way to get back in shape for the wedding. So I started running again and ultimately trained for a 10k. And, since then, I haven’t stopped. I ran my first half marathon last month.

I am hoping this blog will help in several ways. It will allow me a venue to write down my feelings about teaching and my wonderful, crazy, chaotic, but utterly rewarding job as a high school teacher. I am also hoping this will help me document my progress as a runner and ultimately hold myself accountable. Finally, I am hoping that in writing this blog, I will meet a community of teachers, runners, and bloggers and tap into their expertise and knowledge. Thank you for stopping by my blog! I look forward to seeing where this journey takes us!

Katie

P.S. Did you recognize the movie/musical reference in the title?  I’m a big fan of musicals (even super corny ones like High School Musical)!

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