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Pete’s Year 2015 in Review: Teaching, Blogging, and Running

Pete Family2015 was a year of change for me on both the running and personal fronts. I decided in late 2014 that the full-time blogging thing was not for me. Though the freedom of being my own boss was great, and financially I was doing well, I realized that as a career it was just not the right fit. Working from home was challenging (kudos to anyone who can do it, especially with kids), writing because I had to sucked the fun out of it, and I missed the sense of reward that I got from teaching. As a result of all of this, I decided to follow a new (yet familiar) path.

Teaching

In August 2015 I returned to the classroom, this time as an intern at Bedford High School in New Hampshire. I had enrolled in the teacher certification program at the Upper Valley Educators Institute, and for the past 4+ months I have essentially been living the life of a high school biology teacher (and chauffeur to my children after school…).

After some initial apprehension about making this career change, I have come to love what I am doing. Being a teacher is my true calling – it’s what I loved about my old job as a college professor, and it’s what I want to do for the remainder of my career. Teaching fulfills me in a way that being a full time blogger did not, and it has been a very positive change.

I’ve also gained a great deal of respect for those who choose to pursue service in elementary/secondary education. Teaching is hard work, and I’ve come to realize that teaching high school is very different than teaching at the college level. My days are busy from beginning to end with planning and classroom instruction (vs. one or two lectures/labs per day as a college prof), classroom management has been a learning experience and is something that I am just starting to get the hang of, and approaches to instruction at the secondary level are very different (no 75 minute lectures to an audience of 100+ students). I’m glad I decided on the intern path rather than pursuing alternative certification as I don’t think teaching college kids is adequate preparation for all of the things you encounter in a high school (something I should write about at some point).

Next week I switch schools to gain experience in a different environment, and in a few months I’ll start applying for teaching jobs with a goal of being employed by a school in the Fall. It’s been a wild ride, but I’ve grown a lot in the process, and I’m really excited about the future.

Blogging

One of the positive aspects of my career change is that I’ve come to enjoy writing/blogging again. I no longer feel compelled to write simply to put stuff out there, and I no longer feel like a slave to my stats, clicks, earnings, etc. I write what I want, when I want, and if a week or two goes by without writing a post that’s fine (time is limited these days!). It feels great to be freed from the bondage of my analytics and my inbox (I’ve gotten really bad at responding to email, something I need to work on…).

I’m fortunate to have a great contributor in David Henry, and he’s been fantastic at filling in on the trail side of things. I credit him with helping me keep this site alive while I’m back in school (never thought I’d be a student again!). (On a side note, I’m always open to guest reviews/posts if you like to write, though I’ll admit to being a slow editor these days).

Heading into 2016, I have every intention of keeping this site going strong. I’ve received a bunch of shoes to review in the past few weeks (too many…), and as long as I have the time I’ll continue to write about running. I just need to avoid nasty dogs on the trail…

Running

I’ll use the mention of nasty dogs as a way to segue into my running.

In 2015 I re-developed a healthy relationship with my running. I stopped obsessing about mileage, pace, etc. (notice a theme here?), and just went out and ran however much I felt like running on a given day. I’ve gotten comfortable with ditching the GPS on occasion. I didn’t race much in 2015, but did a few 10-milers and had fun. My fitness wasn’t where it has been in previous years, but I’ve run enough to maintain a baseline that I should be able to ramp back up without too much trouble, and was in the process of doing just that when I was bitten by a German Shepard while on a run on Christmas day. Being sidelined for almost 2 weeks (had stitches in my leg) just as I was ramping my mileage back up was hard.

I’m now fully recovered from the dog bite – stitches are out, and I’m on track to log about 20 miles this week. I haven’t scheduled any solo races for 2016 yet, but I’m running Ragnar Cape Cod in May with a team from my kids’ school – volunteered to be the top mileage runner on the team with about 21 miles spread over the course of the relay. I’ve thought a bit about a return to the marathon, but I’ll need to see how much time I have to devote to training over the coming months as I finish up my certification and start applying for teaching jobs.

For now I just plan to slowly build up my running mileage, and work on shedding a few pounds that have accumulated over the past year. I’m excited about the challenge of building my fitness back up in 2016!

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. David Henry says:

    Great post Pete and lots of respect for putting things aside to seek out teaching again. Happy to have been a part of the blog last couple years and looking forward to continuing in 2016!

  2. Congrats Pete,

    You are going in the direction that sounds like is your passion and being a high school teacher is the toughest job you will ever love. I am glad you are keeping the blog and look forward to your future posts, keep including both the running side and how the transition back to teaching goes. I wish you well and who knows we might see one another in a race someday or at least a cup of coffee at some point. :-)

    Harold

  3. Pete –

    I’m glad that 2015 was a year of good changes for you as both a professional, writer, and runner. My wife is a public school teacher, and she knows the nuances you reference – but she loves the classroom and the kids. I’m glad that you have found your home back in the classroom too as a teacher.

    That story regarding the dog was hard to hear. I tend to be more fearful of dogs than cars when I’m out for a run as they seem to appear out of nowhere sometimes, even in residential areas. I had one run at me near a busy road last week until the owner called him back at the last moment. I’m glad you are fully healed and back to running.

    Best wishes as 2016 ramps back up for you in terms of mileage and any corresponding races. And if you would like any additional guest posts wish shoe reviews, I’ll be happy to help anyway I can.

    • Thanks Austin! I know you emailed me recently, but as I wrote I’ve been neglectful of my inbox. Too many accounts running right now with school stuff, clinic, blog, etc. I’ll check it out.

  4. Henry Hart says:

    Hi Pete,

    You might remember about a year ago I asked for a takumi sen boost review? I got the shoes anyway and am convinced they are the fastest footwear on sale. I’d love to do a guest review of them. Given your overflowing inbox, how should I send it you?

    Thanks,
    Henry

  5. Thanks for this post, Pete. You willingness to try new activities with good intentions and enthusiasm motivates me to try similar paths. Life is an adventure! And your willingness to continue to adapt in light of what actually works for you, your family and your community is inspirational. Good luck!!

  6. I lost my passion for running, also, but once I re-found it then it was better than ever! Now I really use running to escape from my stress and it is working out wonderfully. I run for fun haha. Check out a blog I wrote about my running world. link to antgiove.weebly.com

  7. Hi Peter,

    Just found your blog and I’m loving it!

    I’m also a blogger & runner. Although our blog focus more on travels. Totally understand your feeling towards the passion of blogging.

    Hope you are 100% recovered from the dog’s bite!

    Cheers,

    Rob Cadore

  8. What made you lose your passion? I lost my passion for running, also, but once I re-found it then it was better than ever! Now I really use running to escape from my stress and it is working out wonderfully. I run for fun haha. Check out a blog I wrote about my running world. link to antgiove.weebly.com let me know what you think!

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