This TikTok pretty well summed up my experience with running. I am not going to lie it was a great experience but required a lot of self-talk to keep going and not give up when I was tired and/or sore.
My running experience started from scratch; as a beginner. I really did not know where to start or what my running journey would look like, so I turned to my handy sources - YouTube and TikTok. TikTok and YouTube gave me the power to learn different techniques, strategies, and routines for running.
Over the course of the next 6 weeks, I looked at many accounts and people to learn from them. From how to slowly get started, to music, to stretching, avoid injury, and understanding that we are all at different places and you cannot compare yourself to another runner. I felt my learnings were exemplified because I had access to these available technologies.
Accounts that were useful to me in my journey:
How to Start Running featuring Braden and Yitka where I was able to utilize different tips and tricks to get me started. The main takeaway was starting slow even if that means starting with 30-minute walks and then easing into running, which is a key way to prepare your body for running. So of course, that is what I did.
@kirstybannatyne built off of Braden and Yitka as she had a five-minute strategy that encouraged you to walk for 30 minutes and throughout the week, work up to 5 minutes of running. I felt accomplished when I ran my first 5 minutes straight.
@nicofelich, @therunningtom, @dom_fusco, and @alexjophiel were very inspirational and encouraged me to work toward what I want and not stop to compare myself to anyone. No one else is on the same journey as me and I have to find what works for myself. Whether that was running at night or morning, running for 5 minutes straight or 20, running every day or every other day, I was able to find what works for me!
@mattchoi6 helped me with breathing techniques along the way and how not to sound like a dying horse, that I was sounding like. There were a variety of different methods but two quick breaths in and then out, was the technique that seemed to work well for me.
@envisioncoachiingg and @r4ucoaching highlighted how to run properly to avoid injury. The main takeaway was running on your toes as opposed to your heels, which was hard for me because I am known for being loud and walking on my heels, so it was a bit of an adjustment, to begin with.
Undoubtedly, @fasterthany0u brought the best playlists to life and kept my runs energized and hyped, as he provided me with the best of the best music!
Finally, @hollyb_fitness and @kaitlynwitha_k_ kept me motivated along the way and allowed me to understand that running is a roller coaster and is not a linear process; one week you may be flying high and the next not feel as successful. This undoubtedly is how I felt, as I felt defeated along the way with my progress. Listening to motivational speakers is what brought me back and pushed me to self-talk, to work through the process.
It is clear that throughout the last few weeks, I turned to many different people to learn from. Learning from the internet is a challenge on its own but these people opened my eyes to new possibilities that I couldn’t have imagined.
I ended my running journey by running 20 minutes straight, 4-5 times a week, which is something I am EXTREMELY proud of. I did not end up using my Apple Watch throughout the process as I was finding I was becoming too reliant on “closing rings” and trying too hard to get a faster pace and ended up tiring myself out. Instead, I used Snapchat videos/photos and even made a few TikToks along the way! I really had fun throughout the process documenting what I was doing and trying new platforms.
My running mainly took place outdoors with the exceptional few times I did have to go to the gym because of rain or smoke, from the forest fires. But I think it was only 3 or 4 times I was not able to run outside, which is amazing because let me tell you, running in one spot (on a treadmill) is not where it is at. I found myself getting tired quicker and it required a lot of self-talk to keep going.
Finally, providing myself with themes before I even began kept me accountable and provided me with a guideline of where to go next with my running. My themes included:
Week 1: Discovering running – developing a plan
Week 2: Music while running
Week 3: Breathing exercises
Week 4: Stretching to reduce soreness
Week 5: Morning vs night running
Week 6: Running with a partner (I was not able to run with a partner in the end, so I went back and brought my learnings back together, focusing more on stretches, breathing exercises, and self-talk).
Week 7: Bringing it all together - utilizing strategies and techniques that worked over the weeks
I really did have fun in the process and I hope you all enjoyed following along. This is just the beginning of my running journey and I plan to keep it up. Did you enjoy following along? Should I keep documenting along the way?
When Alan Levine posed one simple question at the beginning of class, my mind went blank. “What is open education?” and I was wondering, “Yeah, what is it?” The class as a whole seemed to be in silence, which made it apparent how little this term is used, and therefore, it appeared more as a philosophy than a practice.
So what is open education anyways? Open education is the belief that everyone should have access to a good education which is done through sharing materials and resources free of cost. It gives us access to a variety of sources, all over the world.
... unlike that Math Makes Sense textbook. Open education allows us educators to have access to resources that are adaptable, at the tip of our fingertips and gives access to all despite where they are and the money they have to spend. Sounds easy right? So why aren’t we doing this then?
In my own experiences, I have been given access to resources like Pearson and Treaty Resource Kits. Sure, these are essentially free and accessible to me but the school had to initially purchase them with their limited money. Since then, these textbooks are old, outdated, and not looking as fresh as they once were. When will we get to the point that we no longer need these resources and instead, turn to open education? Is this feasible? Will Pearson make the switch to make their resources accessible to all, at no cost?
The idea of open education is amazing and as it was stated, “is changing lives” but the question remains in the HOW. How do we make this switch when so many resources currently involve funding, donations, and your own personal money.
One online resource I use frequently is Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT). I wonder, what does this mean for TPT then? Countless hours and time are put into creating resources and then putting them on the web for money. How do we shift this notion to create more open educational resources? Who is going to do it? I know I would have a hard time putting in many hours and time, to share a resource free of charge, especially if this is your side income, that you need.
On the flip side, I have seen the magic in sharing and collaborating amongst colleagues to give our students the best education we possibly can. While I do believe in the belief of open education and the concept of “No sharing = No learning,” I fear it's a hard shift.
Open education can open the doors and allow students to have an educational experience that we have not quite seen before. But the question remains, can we do it? How do we shift our notion of thinking to make it happen?
Well, this was a week of success! I feel so proud of myself for all I have accomplished and my willpower to get out and run! This week, my runs were in parks, down street roads, back roads, and even some different paths.
This week's stretching facilitator was @ryleejade.fit, as she led me through many different dynamic stretches before each run. I have realized from injuries, illness, and soreness, how important it is to warm up for a run. Beforehand, you would see me out the door and immediately running. I could never imagine doing this now! Further, @runwithestelle & @rhiannoncbailey, accounts that have facilitated my stretches in the past, were revisited throughout this week. Together, I have created very in-depth dynamic and static stretches for myself.
My goal this week was to record using video format as opposed to always pictures and to revisit accounts that I have been using, as I was noticing each week was a different account and it was becoming overwhelming. Although @ryleejade.fit was a new account, she was very similar to the others but broke down some stretches into step-by-step pieces which were very useful for me to see and use, to avoid injury and ensure I am targeting the correct muscle.
So without further due… My very first running TikTok. Cmon’ I know I still have work to do but the music, the voice, the different clips, ✨STUNNING.✨
Finally, @hollyb_fitness and @kaitlynwitha_k_ brought me back to reality, realizing we all start somewhere and it is not a linear process, it involves many bumps in the road and rather a rollercoaster. I learned the power of self-talk and just getting yourself out there, even when it is hard. I feel this is so valuable while running, as I often try to talk myself out of a run and/or wish my body looked different. But it's all about the process and I need to embrace where I am now and the progress that has been made since the beginning of the semester.
As I have got more into the running progress, I have realized that I have been going away from using Youtube and instead, using TikTok more frequently. I think due to the shorter clips, an app on my main screen of my phone and when I am scrolling, I am on running TikTok. I think this has created a different dynamic for me as I am always saving and liking videos and then incorporating them into my running journey.
My learning journey has been beyond enjoyable! I am excited to keep going with my new running lifestyle and see what the future holds for me.
If I am being honest, it was not as successful as I had hoped, with only completing two runs in the morning and the rest in the afternoons/evenings. Of course, I could lie and say “It was amazing, it was life-changing” but that was just not the reality (although I hate to admit it). This was a week of learning from TikTok. Understanding myself more as a runner and what times of the day work best for me. It became very apparent through @nicofelich, @therunningtom, @dom_fusco, and @alexjophiel where they laid out the pros and cons of running in both the morning and the night. Essentially, as a runner, you have to do what works for you. As @alexjophiel said,
“Focus on your goals and you will get there.”
All these TikTokers opened my eyes and allowed me to understand that I have to solely focus on myself and do what I have to do for myself.
I honestly think laying out this theme for me this week was what I needed to understand myself more and realize that it's okay to fail because the best learning comes from failing. Learning From Failure, highlighted how important admitting to failure to and that is the first step to begin learning. So that is where I have begun! I am giving myself credit that I still ran this week, just at different times of the day. I learned that everyone is at a different place in their running journey. You do not have to be the earliest one at it. You do not have to be the fastest. You do not have to run the longest. Do what you can for yourself and the rest will fall into place together.
From failing this week, I felt I did get down on myself as I felt I failed myself. I knew I had to change this mindset around. So to social media, I went scrolling. I knew I had to find motivating quotes and videos to get me out of my slump and get me energized for the rest of the week. Here is the following video that did just that for me. It was a long one but WOW, I have the power and I am focused and I will not lose sight of that.
But enough of the failing, let's focus on the good! I ran each day this week and I am feeling good! I am able to keep a good pace and run for 30 minutes straight. I am feeling so empowered and capable. Although I talk about hitting a slump, continuing to run and watching motivational videos was what the doctor called for! But in all seriousness, it helped me to stay focused and not give up altogether.
Peep the bottom left, as a take mid run without realizing
Finally, I have realized how this has been documented through photos mostly. I have made myself a goal for the upcoming week to document my runs in a video or two, to spice things up! My theme for this upcoming week that I made for myself was to run with a partner, but this is not feasible for me at this time. Instead, I would like to focus on all my learnings over the last few weeks and continue to incorporate them into my daily running routines. I have come across many accounts on TikTok and Youtube and I want to make sure I am utilizing these accounts to their full capacities. Now let's add the spice and get running (on camera!)
What are you hoping to see more of? How can I maximize my learnings?
Learning from each of you, is just as powerful as Youtube and Tiktok.
What is an activist? As Google suggests, it is “a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.” In my personal opinion, a lot of change happening in today's world is stemming from online platforms, as networks are developed and through threads and forums, people are able to communicate their viewpoints and perspectives.
Social media activism can be meaningful and worthwhile as most of us have access to technology at the tip of our fingers and with a hashtag or engaging platform, people are engaged, sharing, and clicking the like/comment button. Further, social media allows us to share information quickly to gather to coordinate protests, boycotts and raise voices and concerns.
“While concerns about the potential pitfalls of social media platforms are valid and should be taken seriously, they can also overshadow some of the more positive ways that young people in general – and young people of color in particular – are using social media. As I found in my dissertation – “#OnlineLiteraciesMatter” – some young people are using social media to develop their identities as activists and to push for a more just society. In short, they are using social media platforms to engage in what I refer to as “digitized activism,” taking on issues such as systemic racism and seeking racial justice.” - The Conversation
Where I struggle is with the idea of being silent online means no change is occurring and you are not supposedly doing enough in the classroom. Silence online does not mean there is no change, opinion, or voice!! In my opinion, I do not like to engage in conversation online as I feel people hide behind screens and to be blunt, are quite rude to one another with differing perspectives. However, this notion of being silent online means being silent in the classroom or day-to-day life is far from being accurate.
On the flip side, I do think there is space for productive conversations about social justice online, but it involves education and picking your battles. There is never a time to be judgmental of people’s viewpoints and to be rude because of it. I believe with online activism; we can encourage one another and raise up voices that are often neglected or marginalized. Like I said before, since it is so easy to click the share, like, or comment button, we then must turn these discussions and shares into concrete efforts, where we are working towards the change. For example, I often see people resharing stories on Instagram but not putting in the work to create change. Although sharing is a way to share knowledge, we need to put more voices into action to see the change.
Our responsibility as educators to model active citizenship online means bringing social media efforts into the classroom and teaching digital citizenship. This is through various examples, lessons, and activities within the classroom. For myself, this involves daily conversations and hands-on activities where they have opportunities to understand how to be safe on the internet and share their ideas. This is still a learning curve for me, as I struggle to bring in social media, but I am slowly beginning to integrate it.
"Activism is not only taking place in the streets but also on social media. Hashtags like Black Lives Matter and not in my name have been used to highlight violence around the world. But, does social media activism work?"
,,What are the ideas you have to model active citizenship online? What does this mean to you? How do we teach young students who have no profiles on any internet platform?
Twitter is a vehicle to share information and allows us to further our learnings. I have always been a fan of Twitter as I interact with people and share my students learning journey. I believe it is a platform to stay connected and learn about current events that are happening world wide. From educator to educator, it informs my practices and allows me to connect, share and create!
My interactions with Twitter has always been professional, as I do not have a personal Twitter. Rather, I have enjoyed sharing students inquiry projects along the way and learning from other educators. I even used to take part in #saskedchat where I connected with many educators all over the province and shared my understandings. I even was a moderator for #saskedchat a few times, which was an amazing experience to create questions and see all the interactions! I strongly believe that Twitter informs our learnings and gives us access to continue to expand upon it and connect. I look forward to being involved in more chats.
As I said, I have had various interactions and connections through Twitter and I am continuing to learn each day. I wanted to share some of my favourite educational Twitter accounts to hopefully inform your learnings!
I am looking forward to continue to find accounts to build upon my PLN and discovering resources!
Teaching and Learning with Twitter supports my learnings as I continue to embark on a journey to create more of a digital classroom. I thought this was necessary as I still struggle to bring Twitter into the classroom with my students, as I am always hesitant about using social media within the four walls. So I ask you -
What are some ways you use social media in the classroom? What does this look like? How do you set boundaries and expectations?
Running on a hot day? I literally ran to Dairy Queen.. Was the only motivation I had to get in my run for the day and luckily it was 3km away, so I felt the ice cream was justified. But sometimes ice cream is just what we all need! Sure my goal was stretching this week, but I did a pre-run stretch and then stretched my belly too! At least I am still stretching ;)
But in all seriousness this week was a little different than most due to a hiccup in my health, resulting in 5 sets of stitches. The theme for this week was stretching, so I ensured to continue to stretch and I was able to get in a few runs before my stitches. Luckily, it will be a speedy recovery and with this upcoming week, I will be able to go back into running each day.
The theme of stretching, wow did I ever need it! Many accounts helped make this happen, especially Youtube, guiding my post workouts!
Tom Merrick, thebodyweightwarrior, helped guide my first stretching session with a 15-minute follow-along. He walked me through the stretches step by step and allowed me to get comfortable with my own body, not pushing me past my limits. I continued to use his follow-along stretches over the course of the next week.
Physio Fitness, lead a stretch on Youtube, which are considered to be the best leg stretches for runners. He states, “These are my must-haves for any runner or someone starting out running to maintain their mobility and prevent the niggles and any major injuries down the track.” I completed these stretches after my runs and throughout my recovery, to keep me moving and feeling good.
Halfway through the week, I realized I was only doing static stretches and although they are good, I felt the need to incorporate dynamic stretches, especially since I was unable to run for a few days. Yoga With Tim, lead me through a 5-minute warm-up, with dynamic stretches, that he considers to be imperative before any run. I was feeling loose and ready to run! However, since I could not run, I still went out on a walk, to keep me moving.
Next up stretch facilitators, were on TikTok with Jill Justine, Erin Bailey, and Rhiannon Bailey, where they guided pre and post-runs, with dynamic and static stretches. They helped me with modified stretches (as my flexibility was limited, due to not bursting stitches). They helped aid recovery and I know this will improve my performance with running over the next few weeks. I am thrilled to come across these accounts, to further my learnings.
My theme for this upcoming week is running in the mornings vs night. I will continue to use the Youtube and TikTok accounts that I have previously used to continue stretching and guiding my running. Especially with this heat wave approaching, I think morning runs might be my best bet. I cannot wait to share what I prefer and my progress.
What do you think is better - morning or night runs? Do you think I have it in me to wake up earlier to complete these runs? Only time will tell….
The social media tool that I chose this week was Edpuzzle, as it is linked through Youtube, which we use consistently in my classroom. Each day, my students complete rotations, where tech is always one of them. Edpuzzle allows students to interact with each other and answer questions from Youtube videos to check their learning. Youtube has always been a vehicle for learning and Edpuzzle, has allowed students to expand upon their own learning, collaborate with one another, and be independent; taking control of their own learning.
Through professional development with Regina Public Schools, was when Edpuzzle became a conversation and sparked many discussions. I knew immediately I had to go back to my classroom and give it a try. Wow, I fell in love! It is super accessible for students and staff and can be utilized in any subject area. It allows students to have checkpoints in their learning and boosts engagement. I am already seeing great progress.
For the last week, we used Edpuzzle at least once a day, so I was able to observe my students. The positives outweighed the negatives, as the negatives were very limited. The positives include that it is very accessible, easy to use/navigate, links to Google Classroom (where all the student learning takes place in my space), has real-time responses, engaging, and prompts independence and student lead learning. The negatives I saw was it was more time-consuming for some students than others due to their reading abilities and their focus. It requires students to put their full focus on the video, so they are able to answer the questions. Another negative is if you get the question wrong, it does not prompt you to reanswer, it simply just skips to the next part of the video. I think this can cause problems, as students may begin guessing, knowing they can continue on in the video, even if it is wrong.
Examples of using Edpuzzle in different subjects.
Since Edpuzzle is educational, it had a great impact on the students! One day, I decided to just post a Youtube video and many students were unhappy with that, as there was not that engagement piece of Edpuzzle. I think Edpuzzle is here to stay. The best part is they can access this at home or school, the beauty of online learning!
The engagement on Edpuzzle!
I think when using Edpuzzle as an educational tool, it is important to be aware of the conversations being had on the tool and/or with classmates around and that students understand internet safety. If students are given the opportunities to create their own videos, ensuring it is school appropriate and being aware of the videos that students may be able to find on Youtube. Therefore, an adult must be around in the creation and ensure it is monitored. Further, ensuring parents are linked to the Google Classroom, to stay up to date with the newest Edpuzzles posted, is a top priority so they can be involved in the students learning.
Have you used Edpuzzle before? If not, did I sell you on it? Let’s continue learning online!!
Throughout these past weeks, I focused on three main aspects: developing a plan, listening to music while running and breathing exercises. The following accounts on Tiktok allowed me to develop necessary techniques and utilize strategies:
@envisioncoachiingg and @r4ucoaching - highlighted how to properly run to avoid injury such as on your toes as oppose to your heels. This made a world of difference, as I have always been a “stomping Tom” as people refer to me because I am a heel walker/runner. So this took a bit of adjusting but have already been noticing some changes. This has allowed me to take things slow as I ease into running.
@hollyb_fitness was one of the first people I came across and made me realize how running can transform your life! A quote that stuck out to me from her “its you vs you. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s.” This was extremely powerful to me and allowed me to develop a plan to get started on this running journey. It does not matter if I am only running 1-2km, it is a start and that is all that matters.
@kirstybannatyne opened my eyes through her motivational videos to simply just get you running. She is an advocate for starting slow and building your way up. Simply start with a 5 minute run and build it over the course of weeks. So, that is simply where I started. To be honest, I was embarrassed at how little I was running within 5 minutes but I have worked my way to 7 minutes over the course of the last 2 weeks and finally took a picture. I completed 1.29km within 7 minutes and 37 seconds and this was a HUGE accomplishment for me! Thanks to Running with Kirsty.
@fasterthany0u gave me the playlists to make running more manageable. Listening to my own breathing was not the play. Once moving from walking to running, I knew I needed music to continue to motivate me and clear my headspace. So that is just what I did. I highly recommend Levels (Avicii) and Can’t Hold Us (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis).
Finally, @mattchoi6 stopped my “horse breathing” with simple breathing exercises to do while running. It put me in check with realizing I was trying to run too fast at beginning, which meant I was not getting enough oxygen back into my system. I tried both of the breathing strategies he suggested to realize the 2 inhales through the nose and 1 exhale through the mouth is what has worked best for me.
However, before I was able to actually utilize this advice from these TikTok’s account, my journey all began on Youtube when I came across an article called How to Start Running featuring Braden and Yitka, as they lay out 5 tips for beginners. They said to simply start slow and when they say slow, they mean it. For the few times, just simply get out working for at least 30 minutes. From there, after walking 3-4, slowly begin incorporating running. This is where @kirstybannatyne came into play, as I used the 5 minute technique immediately.
Here is are photos of the paths I took and two beautiful photos of the after math of running!
Next weeks plan is to STRETCH. Why I haven’t yet is questionable because I am getting SORE. I will be using more of Youtube and Tiktok to help guide me towards proper stretches before and after runs. My plan throughout this week is to record clips of my stretches to share with you all. Hopefully the rain stays away, so I can continue to enjoy my running journey outside!!