Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Survey Says....

My class took their beginning of the program survey. Remember these are third grade students who read the survey themselves and answered the questions. There were 26 students who participated.

1) Rate your fitness level 1-5 with 5 being the highest.
- 1= 0 Students
- 2=3 Students
- 3=6 Students
- 4=7 Students
- 5=10 Students
(Some think highly of themselves! Haha. At this age some are still in the egocentric stages.)

2) Rate your nutrition level 1-5 with 5 being the highest.
- 1= 0 Students
- 2=3 Students
- 3=10 Students
- 4=8 Students
- 5=5 Students
(Appears to be a bit more accurate.)

3) How many times a week do you participate in a physical activity?
a. 0-2 times a week =16 Students
b. 3-5 times a week = 5 Students
c. More than 5 times a week = 5 Students
(16 students participate in a physical activity only 0-2 times a week, yet 10 rate their fitness at a 5. Hmmm...)

4) How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you each day?
a. 0-2 times a day =10 Students
b. 3-5 times a day = 13 Students
c. More than 5 times a day = 3 Students
(Way to go you 3 students that eat 5 a day! It’s a hard task for me to do also.)

5) How many times do you eat fast food each week?
a. 0-2 times a week =16 Students
b. 3-5 times a week = 6 Students
c. More than 5 times a week = 4 Students
(10 students each fast food 3 or more times a week! Goodness.)

I think this survey alone, even though it’s a small percent of students in our school, was eye opening to me. I cannot wait to get the whole schools information tallied up! I think seeing all those answers will allow our committee to see what has really been set before us. Ready for the challenge? I am! Lets help our kiddos discovery their health!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Discover Your Health

We are discovering our health at Discovery School of Tulsa! As many of you know I am a 3rd grade teacher. I have been elected to head up our Healthy School Initiative committee after attending a workshop over the summer with a group of co-teachers. Our committee is very excited about many different things. I personally am excited because not only will I be trying to implement this in my class, but we will be implementing this program through the entire school!
We are starting the program by having students put in their ideas for a name for our program. We want to get the kids involved and give them ownership right away! Other first steps in this program include:

- Raised indoor garden bed in cafeteria so students can see the process of where their food comes from.
- Eliminating junk food as snacks, parties and PTO store within our school.
- Encouraging kids to get active while at recess (believe it or not some kids just stand in one place or will sit).

Although these are small changes for the start we have larger plans ahead also:

- We plan to attach a healthy idea in the weekly PTO letter.
- We hope to get 6 raised outdoor garden beds (and later even expand it to an outdoor classroom) so students can actually start trying new fruits and vegetables.
- We would like to get a bike rack for our school.
- We plan to implement school clubs that promote healthy students.
- We want to have a school team at the Tulsa Run this year.

The planning could go on and on with the things we hope to be able to do at our school. Our mission is to find ways to get our students thinking about where their food comes from so that they may make healthy choices. While they start to think about their food choices we want them to also be thinking about other choices such as their amount of physical activity. As teachers we see a great need for these issues to be taught and practiced at school. We see firsthand how students are affected by the choices they make or sometimes choices that are even made for them. We have set out on a mission to help our student and their families discover their health!
As a part of our program our students will take a survey at the beginning, middle and end of the school year to see how the program is working. There are questions such as rate your fitness and nutrition level, how many fruits and vegetables do you eat, how many time do you participate in physical activity a week and how often do you eat fast food. I have already started to compile the data. Some of it is very shocking! Check back next week to see how my 3rd grade class answered the survey!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Real Bike Ride

Let’s see….I have been so busy with the new workout routine along with school starting. Let’s start with the bike. I ordered the bike on a Saturday because my last ride was just so awful on the recumbent bike. I was hoping to get in before Tuesday that way I could actually ride it for my next bike workout. I did not get the bike on Tuesday, nor did I get the bike on Thursday for my next bike ride. Finally, on Friday I received my bike! I went to get it fit, brought it home, went on a short ride and then went on a 2 hour and 20 minute bike ride first thing Saturday morning.

On the short ride on Friday night it was a bit scary for me. I couldn’t seem to get my shoes in the pedals, the chain was making noises and I was afraid to ride over anything! Luckily Ryan came out and gave me a few pointers. I learned I need to be coasting to get the second foot in and with a bit of practice that seems to work. I also learned that the chain makes that noise when I need to shift gears, which is a whole new experience! And it’s okay to run over some things, just don’t slam on the breaks while I do it. Luckily, my first real bike ride turned out much better than my first stationary bike ride! No blood or missing skin.

Saturday was the time of truth. I was sent out on my own for a two and a half hour bike ride. With the few pointers from the night before I was sure I would be set. I was able to get my feet in the pedals! Score! Off to a good start.

Here are the chain of events that took place:

- A guy passes me. I slow down because I don’t want to go through the water puddle. I was going to let him pass and then miss the water puddle. He says to me, “It’s okay. Keep pedaling.” Ha. Could he tell I was new?

- The running trail and biking trail meet up together in some spots and then splits again. Well…I accidently went towards the running trail…twice. People looked at me like I was crazy. If they only knew how many times I had RAN that trail they would understand it is almost innate now.

- I kicked it up to the big gear half way through the ride, which I think might suppose to be pretty exciting.

- This women totally sized me up as I passed her. Granted I am sure people can tell I am new at this. As I passed her she watched me move through her zone. She looks at my pedals all the way to my helmet. No I don’t have clip in shoes, No I don’t have a bike jersey, No my helmet is not crazy expensive and Yes I just passed you.

- I fell in with a cycling group and rode with them for a few miles. I had no idea what any of the hand motions meant.

So all in all it was a great bike ride! I am ready for the next one.

Now onto school and the next project. School will be starting tomorrow! 28 little ones will be walking through my door at 8 a.m. As a part of some training that I went to this summer we have started a committee at our school called the Healthy School Initiative Committee. In our training it was about bringing agriculture into the school so that students can learn where their food comes from so that they may make healthy choices. Along with this whole campaign comes healthy lifestyles in general which includes getting active. Our two main goals for our school are to get students moving and eating healthy to put it into a broad spectrum. We have set particular goals, activities and ways to monitor the success of the program. I was very excited about this all as it is right up my alley of what I had tried to do last school year just on a larger scale. With that being said I was elected by the group to be the head of the committee. Right now I am trying to figure out how this whole Healthy School Initiative program could be my focus for this school year for the Endurance for Education program. Currently, I am brainstorming but will be making a decision very soon as we need to kick off the project!

Check back next Wednesday to see an update on how things are going!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A New Training Routine

Last week I started a new training routine. Previously, I had been running 5 days a week. My legs were often exhausted and I would resort to rolling them sometimes several times a day to try to make them feel better. After talking to Ryan for some time about the benefit of working different systems and cross training I decided that I would start biking some to help in my training. I was quite skeptical about it because I did not want to lose my fitness in the running department, not to mention I haven’t biked since I was maybe 13 years old! So like I said on Monday of last week I started a new workout schedule that has me running 3 days a week and biking 3 days a week.

With me not owning a bike and me not knowing if I was going to like biking I decided to just bike on a recumbent bike that is at my gym for a few weeks. Day one of biking: I have no idea how to adjust the seat for appropriate distance between the pedal and seat. My leg starts to go numb so I shift in my seat which then causes me to hit my knee on the machine. I look down and my knee is bleeding and my skin is hanging off the bike! I think to myself, “Oh great, if I manage to do this on a stationary bike what is going to happen if I get a real moving one?” Day two of the bike: I bring a book and magazine. Quite boring. I watch some tv and I have to get up several times to massage my own butt. Day three of biking: Two and a half hour bike ride. Wow. I read, text, watch tv, anything to keep my mind off the numbing of my right leg. I feel something between my toes like the fabric of my sock. I stop to fix it, but then realize it’s just a tingling sensation of my toes falling asleep. Again, I am up multiple times to massage my rear end. At the end of the ride I decide I must purchase a bike if I am going to continue this workout routine! Saturday night I purchase a bike!

It has been so crazy to me how much of a difference my running workouts have been this week due to the riding. My legs actually felt fresh every run without even rolling! I managed to run faster than previously. I am starting out slow on the bike, but my muscles feel good after biking as well. Last week I learned a lot about staying active daily, yet letting muscles recover rather than wearing the same ones down constantly. I think this will help me when talking to my kiddos this school year about being active! Check back next Wednesday to see an update on how bike riding is going along with what is going on with the next project!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Another New Project On Its Way!

The summer is now over. I am spending time back in my classroom getting it ready for a new round of students. I am getting excited about the things to come with this project! Over the summer it was a bit different for me in the sense that I did not get to work with the kids daily on the project. Therefore, I am looking forward to the next step in this process where I am back with the kiddos everyday trying to make a difference.
Along with setting up the classroom I am working on getting the next project settled! When final accomidiation have been made I will let you know the details! Until next time- keep active :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Active Children, Books and Smiles

The summer is coming to an end and so is Project Transformation. Today was the last day of this amazing literacy camp. With this last day came many children, lots of books and countless smiles. We had sacks of books for those children that participated in the program. They earned a new book for every 5 hours of physical activity they did at home. The great part about it was that I worked with our reading coordinator to make sure the kids were receiving books on their reading level!
When it was time for the child to be picked up the child would go through a small assembly line to pick up their reading folder, craft project, a certificate and then their books. Everyone in the camp got to then choose another book, no matter if they did or did not participate in the Endurance for Education program.

The students were excited when they realized they were getting books. One student asked, “How many can I have?” Another said, “OH, so many books for me to read!”We even let other siblings from the family who did not attend our program to choose a book. One parent was interested in a book as well so I told her she could have it. It was amazing to see all of the interest for books!Thirty three children accumulated 401 hours and 23 minutes of physical activity over six weeks! I hope that getting these kids active for these 6 weeks allowed them to start creating healthy habits not only for themselves but for their whole family! Today we gave out over 200 brand new books to children that are eager to read! My wish for all these children are that stay active, read their new books and smile while they do it! That would mean my goal was accomplished for this project!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What a great name of a race! I always feel like I am running for some children (be my students at school or Project Transformation campers), but this just made it more concrete. On Saturday I ran the 2011 5K Run for the Children hosted by Dillon International which is an adoption agency here in Tulsa. I felt the need to do a little race. Sometimes long periods of training without racing gets a little boring, so I feel the need to spice it up a bit. I had been debating on racing or not the past few weeks. Like I said I felt the need, but I also had been feeling the Oklahoma heat which tells me I have no need to race! I typically go out running at about 5:30 a.m. and the race would take place at 7:30. With that time difference it may already be 95 degrees by then! After some thinking I decided to do it!

At about 6 a.m. when I woke up I step outside and think, Oh, this isn’t too bad. However, I didn’t consider, or maybe I should say imagine, how hot it could get within one hour. An hour later I arrive at my destination to get ready and do a little warm up. The race coordinators arranged for water to be available before the race started for the runners. When I heard the announcer say water was available prerace I kind of laughed to myself and asked myself why I had decided to race in mid July. Before long I had a prerace water bottle in my hand. I drank some, but tried hard not to drink too much where I would have a full belly. At the two minute warning I drenched myself with the rest of the water.

The gun went off. The crowd moved forward in a wave of movement. I start off way fast: 6:40 pace. I’m trying to find where I fit in the crowd. I fall between the first way fast group and the second pretty fast group. There are two small boys in front of me running their hearts out. Maybe 8 or 10 years old. At first I feel ashamed that they are running faster than me, and then quickly feel hopeful for them. Hoping that they endure through the race. Hoping that they endure through many more physical activities through their lifetime. A few strides later the boys start to slow down and I pass them.

1K comes and goes. 2K comes. I already start to play games. Telling myself that I’m half way done when in reality I’m not quite there yet. A water stop is ahead. I had decided before the race I would not stop for water like I did at the last 5K which cost me 3rd place overall women by 2 seconds. Instead I grab the cup while maintaining speed and just pour it on myself. My legs are getting fatigued as I don’t typically run this fast for this long and especially not in this heat. My breathing is getting heavy. It’s just so much harder to breathe when it is so hot and humid! At this point I am pretty much alone. The people in front of me are too far ahead to use as targets and I have no idea if anyone is behind me, but it is pretty silent so I assume there is not. The thought of walking enters my mind. I tell myself no way its only 3 miles! But before I can get that thought through my head my legs are walking. I walk it out for about 30 seconds which helps me regain my composure and begin to run again. It’s getting quite warm! Why did I decide to race in mid July again?

A bit later I am by myself again and end up walking for about 15 seconds. I did not have enough time to catch my breath, but one girl passed me and three more people run up beside me. I decide at that moment I will not let them all pass me without a fight. I start to run again staying with them. Now I have someone to stay with, someone to hold on to. I stay with one guy as we drop the other two. We come out of the wooded area. I know the finish is coming up, but not close enough to make a kick yet. I focus on the girl that had passed me earlier. I am trying to catch up with her. My legs are hurting. I really don’t want to go any faster. I know there were some fast girls up front so I didn’t have an overall placement and I sure didn’t want to lose my age group placement without a fight. I didn’t know if that lady was in my age group or not, but just in case she was I needed to attach. She started looking at her watch as we approached. I just knew at any minute she would start to sprint. A wave of nausea hit me. I really didn’t want to run faster! I manage to work my way beside her. I tell myself remember to pass with a vengeance. I pass her with just enough room at the end to think, I sure hope I can keep this pace all the way to the finish. I might have started this just a bit too early. As I am getting fairly close to the finish I hear footsteps coming up behind me. I start to see a shadow of someone’s head come up under my feet. Then, my legs start to move even faster! I think, I passed her. I am not letting her pass me back this close to the finish! I cross the mat at 24:13 before the other person. Come to find out it was not even that women, it was someone else that was coming up on me. It felt good to know even after walking twice with hurting legs and a wave of nausea I was still able to kick out a 6 minute pace finish! I finished 6th overall women and 1st in my age group!

Back in February I did the same course in 23:21 and it was about 40-50 degrees cooler. I knew the heat would slow me down, but I figured my speed training would help me as well. Seeing how I added less than a minute to my time with walking twice I suppose it ended up okay. If only I wouldn’t have walked I would have beat my previous time. Although I have mixed emotions about walking and what I could have done if I hadn’t. I know that at that moment I needed to walk. And even though I chose to walk I managed to pump out a decent time, have a sprint finish and capture first place in my age group! Saturday was another run that I got to learn from, another experience I got to enjoy, and another run for the children!