Endings: Today was my last day of school. Standing by the door at 11:15. Room cleaned and packed…chairs stacked, and boards wiped. Everything delivered back to the students. Reading letters they wrote to me. One girl wrote I wish you hadn’t accepted that other job. I will miss you. A few weeks ago, a student asked why I wasn’t coming back, and I said I had a job…(yes, I know. A job as a stay at home unemployed mom…BUT I wasn’t willing to tell them I had been non-reelected…there is some shame I’m dealing with still)…and I dismiss the class and walk out. And, the security guard, the one who covers my back when I’m late and helps me with rowdy kids that I know will not get attention in the office…he comes to me and tells me the Principal has ordered a check of my room to see if I took anything. He said that I might want to stay just so I don’t get tagged for something. I was insulted, furious…as if I would take the LCD projector or the ELMO, or any one of the myriad of items in my room. There was a level of passive-aggressiveness behind that request, but I chose not to address that. I just said…text me if there’s a problem. I am leaving.
One of the teachers had been collecting canned goods at Christmas for the poor. No one knew what to do with them, so they sat in our teachers’ lounge all spring. I asked her if I could have them, because after all…now I am the poor. And, I have no shame in having to ask. At least, I’ve learned that.
Thus ends one of my saddest assignments in my career. Ends with a whiff of stealing…of dishonesty…that my integrity was questioned had me baffled, but I choose get in my car, turn on the ignition, and try to have some dignity and grace. I drove away with no music on. Nothing, except the sound of my wheels. And I did not look in my rear view mirror. Couldn’t deal with my lack of emotion. I was feeling nothing.
This morning’s run: Today’s schedule called for 6 miles at MP. I finally have admitted that I have a problem training at the level to which I can run. I like to pick my marathon time, then try to run to those paces all training season long. Since I’m a 6 hour marathoner, that’s something like 13:45. Which is a pace that I do.not.want.
So today I shot for a pace somewhere between 11:30 (4:30 marathon), and 12:00 (5:15 marathon). Again, not accepting where I am or what I can do, I predictably suffered in the first mile. I settled in, and ended up with a 12:00 even pace (1:12:00). I came home, and consulted the McMillan calculator, and again kicked myself for not just targeting 12:30 or something.
This is what I do. This stab my finger in the air and land on a spot thing. I picked 11:30 because slower sounds, well…slower. I don’t recognize my limitations or my realities. Running heavier does not make for fleet feet, and until this weight comes off, I will be slower. Period. (On a side note, I joined Weight Watchers AGAIN …I’m a LifeTime member from 1990. I went into Baskin Robbins that night with my nametag on. Not so cool.)
My thoughts were as we started were like, how in the hell could I have run 8 miles 3x a week right before the LA Marathon? It seems like a long time ago that I was able to do that. I stopped at the gym, ran over the overpass, and started to accept that I would be on Spring Creek for that long stretch. As I was rounding Mile 3, my drinking fountain came into view. It seems like I got some wind after the water break.
It was treacherous and painful. But I finished this little training run. My marathon pace is much slower, so next week I attempt somewhere between 12 & 12:30 for that run. I’m slow. I’m okay with it.
Beginnings: Tomorrow I head to Merced to be with Harley Guy. We have been together 6 months…..me, the girl who was never going to fall in love again, who had shut the door on the possibility of real love, has found a peace inside of a relationship where he loses everytime he says he will never cheat on me, because I’m hard wired to disbelieve him…because I was told that regularly, and long time readers know…that people are dark, man. But, he tells me anyway, and we have our alert system, and watch for hits and keep our relationship a priority. That because I was willing to learn to have integrity within a relationship, I get to have this thing. We head to Merced, to celebrate 6 months, then to the Bass Lake Triathlon where we sleep in Sam’s cabin in Wishon Cove, and I run a 5k and we drink coffee and hang out and enjoy summer.
And as I end this post…my son unloads my car with all the last remnants of a teaching career…and he pulls out a full ream of white copy paper that my students accidentally took to my car. The ultimate joke. Copy paper, which is like gold to most teachers…and I have a full box in my garage…I’ll be heading back down that way for the Udder Run…and this box will be left my old classroom, because God knows…I don’t steal…and even if I wanted that paper (i don’t), I would not take it. Especially not now.