Learning on the Run

from Masters to Marathons

Week 1: Identifying My Learning Goal

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In our weekly readings, so many connections are made between deep learning  that is meaningful and doing what you love to do. Will Richardson in his TEDx talk describes letting kids “bring their kale to school”and High Tech High’s Larry Rosenstock mentions the importance of taking what you love to do outside of school and bringing it in. All forces point to the very notion that what moves us, what fills our thoughts, what we Google to find out more about, what we YouTube to grow better at- therein lies our passion.

For me, that passion is running. I started back in 2013, not really considering myself a “runner” but knowing that was the direction I was headed for. At the time, I just did a lot of walking and “ran” as many 5ks as I could, ending the 3.1 miles winded and wondering how I’d eventually make the leap to higher mileage. 

In 2014, I made a promise to myself that I would train and run my first half marathon, and in March of 2015, I did just that. At this point, I have run 8 half marathons, and yet, I consider myself a newbie to the sport of running. I still do a lot of walking. And my consistency, well, it leaves a lot to be desired. I have this sneaking suspicion that the two go hand in hand. If I were more consistent, then I’d have the stamina to walk less and well, run more –and eventually get faster.

With work and school and family and life, a lot of reasons why I can’t run come into play. I’ve found that I’ve gotten quite creative. Some are legitimate excuses and some are born of sheer laziness. I’m tired and didn’t sit all day at work. I didn’t get enough sleep. It’s getting dark. The weather is bad. This one is my favorite:Screen Shot 2016-09-18 at 6.16.08 PM.png

You get the point.

I do want to get faster. Right now, my fastest half marathon is a 2:47: 58 and my slowest is 3:05:54. There is room for improvement for sure. But in my crazy desire to analyze the data that my Garmin spits out, I don’t want to lose the joy. Sometimes by overanalyzing something and making it complicated, the simple joy that sparked your love for it in the first place is extinguished. By bossily telling myself You need to go faster, I find myself avoiding that which I love because much like my students, without a plan in place to  make progress and a chance to practice and  positively “fail forward” all I’m doing is setting myself up to avoid it.

So, for my 25 Hour Learning Challenge, I have decided to make my goal twofold. One, I am going to be consistent in my running. I will post my weekly/monthly plan and if something comes up –something real- I will reschedule. Right now I’m planning for 3 runs a week and managing only one on Sundays. The other two are just not happening.  The goal for this challenge will be 3 days a week. The second part of that goal is to progressively walk less. I’d like to start out with a walk/ run interval using the Galloway Method as a resource and steadily increase the run segments while decreasing the walking. I will keep track of my data using my Garmin 220- which records not only pace and time, but also provides data with regard to when I walk and when I run, as shown here: 

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The red dots indicate where I walked and the green/blue, where I ran. This is data from today, and as you can see, my legs were lead and not having it. Hence another reason why this challenge is so important to me for not only accountability reasons, but to be able to reach out to the worldwide community of runners and seek new mentorship through: those on Twitter like @Runnersworld, those giving instructions on YouTube like that in Chi Running, a book  about Marathon training by Hal Higdon that I bought but never finished reading, various other websites and blogs and even personal colleagues who can also serve as my guides. I will use my Garmin to program progressively increasing run intervals (using this video tutorial since otherwise I will just feverishly click buttons on the watch), track my progress over the span of the 5 weeks and through the data I gather, see how I progress. I will know I’ve achieved success when I’ve gotten out there consistently and when I see less red dots over time.

I’m excited to see where this challenge will take me. Time to make a plan and lace up! 

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Full Training Plan Here
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