Hi everyone,

I have a lot of updates since the last time I wrote. When I left off, I mentioned that I had some exciting things in progress with my elementary students, but they were just getting underway. I thought it would be fun to get my classes involved in my training by setting up a “training buddies” program. For this I gave a sheet to my 4th and 5th grade students so they could jot down how much they swim, bike, and run for the month. Anytime they do one of those activities they jot it down on the sheet. At the end of the month, all of the students bring their sheets back where some student volunteers add up the collective total of the class. Once they bring me those totals I have a chart for each class along with myself. At this point I’m still waiting to get the class totals, so I’m excited to see how classes responded! 

I have to admit that I already had a humbling experience after the first couple weeks of March when one of my 5th grade students at Country View Elementary asked me how many miles I had swam so far that month. When I told her I was at three miles she responded back with, “I’m already at ten!” I figured there would be classes that would out-train me in one area or another, but I certainly didn’t expect an individual student to do that much more than me, so I thought that was pretty cool. My hope is that by students getting out and swimming, biking, and running this spring, that more of them will have the confidence to sign-up and participate in a Tri 4 Schools triathlon this summer!

I’m also happy to report that my low back pain is continuing to improve. Towards the end of March I started running again and had my first pain-free run in over a year! I still have to keep it short, watch my pace, and not run too often, but it feels great to have the pavement under my feet again. During the course of daily activity the pain is still there, but less noticeable as it was even a month ago so I’m happy with the progress. For the first time I’m starting to feel confident that I can make a full return to all of my activities although my focus is certainly on increasing my running and swimming distances as my body can tolerate.

The other update is track & field season is in full swing. As head boys coach for the Wildcats at Verona Area High School, I’m at a school building teaching or coaching for about 11-12 hours a day. When there is a meet it is closer to 15-16 hour days, so it’s getting a lot harder to sneak in training than it was before season started. In some ways this is good because it is preventing me from progressing faster on my run and swim than my back can handle, but I certainly wish I had time to do more. Perhaps when I see how many of my “buddy classes” are out training me it will motivate me to find a little extra time to get in some more training!

Thanks for checking in! I’ll keep you posted with what happens next!