Sunday, May 30, 2010


Wow have I been busy lately...

I recently took a trip to Edinburgh Scotland. I have been in a really good running place lately and was really hoping to break my PR in a half marathon, which was 2:51 and change. I was successful. I ran the Scotland Half Marathon in 2:45:30. That is an average of 12:30 min/mil. I utilized the 1/1 run/walk interval method that I have been using for quite a while. I thought I would post my mile splits, just to show that it works. You don't have to run the whole thing to have a good finish.

Mile 1: 12:10
Mile 2: 12:16
Mile 3: 11:55 (yes you read that right)
Mile 4: 11:54 (how about that for consistency)
Mile 5: 12:18
Mile 6: 12:32
Mile 7: 12:23
Mile 8: 12:18
Mile 9: 12:27
Mile 10: 13:04 (yup the slow steady incline)
Mile 11: 12:48
Mile 12: 13:28 (yeah i was getting tired, no excuse, but..)
Mile 13: 13:02
the .1: 2: 50 (My garmin actually registered it as .23)

I guess you could say that Scotland agreed with me:

It was an absolutely fantastic trip. I had a great time. I got to hang out with great friends. I got to see amazing things and was incredible.

Now what? I know you are dying to know what's next for Dr. Sandra Wright...

I am 2 weeks out from participating in the Oklahoma Free Wheel. I completed my longest bike ride to date: 70 miles. I am very happy to report that I am still able to stand and tail bone is a little tender but not excruciatingly sore as I anticipated. I averaged about 11.6 mph pace on the bike over the distance, which I was okay with. I am excited to participate in Tulsa Tough next weekend and then it's off to Hugo Oklahoma for the border (TX) to border (MO) ride.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A New Chapter Begins

Well I am now officially an alumnus of the University of Kansas. I think graduating with my Doctorate of Philosophy in Speech-Language Pathology from the 5th ranked program in the U.S. will always be a point of pride for me. It is honestly the hardest thing I have ever ever done. I owe a lot to my mentor Jane Wegner, who although she is the one who pushed me, she is also the one who helped me develop a vision of what type of speech pathologist and teacher I want to be.

So, now what? Well that's a good question. I will stay in my job at the University of Tulsa. My title has changed from "Instructor" to "Assistant Professor". I get to begin the climb to tenure, which means that I have to publish articles and present at conferences. So although the stress load goes away, I still have quite a bit of responsibility. I also really hope to revamp my teaching style. I know that it is impossible to please all students, but I really hate getting back negative comments from them. I know that during this past year I know that it has been rough to be one of my students. This summer's plan is to overhaul the 4 classes I teach during the Fall semester. I just want to make sure that teaching is fun for me and my students stay engaged. I just have to embrace what Tulsa has to offer and quit comparing the program to KU. I need to advocate for change in areas that will truly impact the students education, and let everything else go.

Running: Well, I am off to Scotland later this week, as a graduation present to myself to complete the half marathon. I have stuck by my "no more fulls for 2010" motto and have been in a great running place. It is so different to run for fun, and not as a stress relief. Don't get me wrong it still really helps even with the little stressors of life, but I am so much lighter without the pressure of finishing my dissertation on my shoulders. I am excited to possibly be a run leader for a half marathon group training for the Route 66 half marathon in Tulsa in November. It is so nice to be in a happy running place, and really enjoying getting out there. I am still using the Galloway method of run a minute followed by walk a minute. Although in Scotland I do believe I am going to run 2 minutes and walk a minute. It works well for me. My average pace using this method has been right around 12:00 min/mile, which is great for me. I am so proud of my running accomplishments, I actually used my running shoes as a template to decorate my graduation cap. My hat got a lot of points, gestures, and comments throughout graduation weekend.

Personal: Well I feel like myself again. I am still working on trying to find better ways to deal with all of my different emotions. However, I feel like i am enjoying life, and living positively. I am trying to mend relationships that I really messed up during the past 6 years. One thing that is absolutely impossible to describe or explain is the emotional strain of the Ph.D. process. I am sure that is how I wound up divorced, but I am trying to live with no regrets. It is a very difficult thing to do. I thank all of my dear dear friends that have stuck by me, listened to me, let me yell at them, ran with me, traveled with me, talked to me, were honest with me, encouraged me, and just helped me out. I do need to thank my parents as well. I believe they were quite proud of me during graduation weekend. I was able to grab a stranger and get a family picture during graduation weekend.

I am constantly thinking of 2 families that are dealing with so much on their plates, and handling everything with such strength I am in admiration. The first family is the Russell's, where Nate a 6 1/2 year old boy with Spinal Muscular Atrophy passed away in late April. Nate taught me so much about how to be a good speech pathologist and listening to the needs of even a child who could communicate through vocalizations and his eyes with an eyegaze communication system in such amazing ways. His parents and younger brother are some absolutely amazing people who I just look at with awe. The second family is that of the Whitten's, who have a beautiful daughter Lillian Grace who is battling for each and every day of life. Chrissy and Michael have demonstrated such strength and trust in God, that they are cherishing each and every day that their "Warrior Princess" is here on earth with them. My thoughts and prayers to both of these families, whom I admire.

Now, I thought I would also post some of my other pictures from graduation weekend at KU.

Dr. Debby Daniels

He is telling you, yup I am Dr. Boca now....

We just happened to have run into Baby Jay as I was taking Boca for a walk around campus before he had to hang out in the car during the graduation ceremony.

Even Baby Jay was swooning over Boca..