Tuesday, April 29, 2008

half marathon training

Probably hard to see, but 11,2 miles yesterday at a sub 9 minute pace. that's the longest i've ever run-the-whole-time. my legs are sore today, but after another visit to the hot tub tonight i should be ok. tomorrow or thursday i'll do a 3 mile sprint session to be ready for saturday's half marathon!

Standardized tests

Lately most of my posts have been coaching related, so here's the teaching part.

We're taking standardized tests this week. Not fun for me or for the kids. The good thing is I feel comfortable with what and how deeply we've covered the things in geometry they need to know. But testing all day zaps energy, motivation, and morale!

The only good thing about it is there's no homework for them to do or me to grade, and I can try to get caught up on stuff like BTSA paperwork and kinda relax too. All of my lesson plans and observation are done for BTSA, now it's just a matter of doing the paperwork and compiling the student work, which is cool.

Last night i ran 11.2 miles! My last big run before the half marathon this Sat. about a 9 minute mile pace but that was with a mountain dew and just a granola bar for a snack and stuff. it felt good though! I'll do some speed work(3, 1 mile sprints) on Wednesday or Thursday (probably thurs. morning, as i have morning swim practice on wed. and night tri-club swim practice on wed.)

I'm also dreaming up lesson plans for the next month and and doing research for water polo starting in a couple weeks in my spare time.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

4th Annual Kids Triathlon a smashing success!

The stats:

Medals: 3rd place in boys 15-17 division (Aaron). 3rd place in girls (technically she skipped the last lap, so we're kinda guessing here...) Edna Martinez


Albert (hurt knee but still did fine) - 5th triathlon

Eric: 3rd triathlon

Edna: 4th triathlon

Angel: 3rd triathlon

Daniel: 2nd triathlon (first one by himself)

(14 - goes to Sequoia middle school): Ebony Esparza: first triathlon

11 yrs old: Eliset - first triathlon

8 years old: Gerardo - first triathlon!

Josh couldn't run due to a hurt toe but came to support us anyway!

It was an amazing morning! Partly due to this being the third triathlon in a row (and the fourth triathlon in the past 5 weekends starting with the Half Ironman March 29th) I wasn't as organized as I usually am in terms of registration (thank you thank you Alma!), but we got there early enough to get all set up in transition and doing so many recently really helped the kids know what to do and help each other.

I was most excited though that the PARENTS of Angel, Daniel, Albert, Eric, and Aaron were there! Edna's parents helped transport bikes too. Thank you!

The Fresno Bee was there for us and will publish a follow-up story sometime in the coming months. Marek was there on his own time; he'll come out later as part of his job to interview etc. Pretty amazing!

Pictures with some comments are here:

Kids Triathlon Pictures

Next weekend I will be running in the Visalia "End of the trail" half marathon with friends David Castro and Joey Hull. Then Meagan and I and others will head up to Wildflower to cheer on our friends doing an Olympic Distance Triathlon.

Next stop: June 7th Lemoore Mud Run! Today marks the one year anniversary of having the Suburban available for transportation to and from events! Forever grateful!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

bike repair day

Well, there were four of us out there today cleaning and fixing up the bikes! Good times and a great exercise for the kids. Amazing what a little wd-40 and chain cleaner will do to things!

Afterwards we registered for the kids triathlon and that was good times. i'm afraid from an ititial sign up of 17 i'm down to about 11 depending on who wakes up tomorrow :-( A lot of it they can't help though...

Most of them are super excited for tomorrow's super-sprint kids race and so am I! They're gonna do awesome. Pictures from the day are at http://picasaweb.google.com/paltriathlon

Meagan (girlfriend) and I ran 6 miles in the afternoon then i rested, ate, and did some weights and light swimming at the gym. then came home and cleaned up a bit, did laundry, and played old-school starcraft! am reading a great book right now too about love languages (Dr. Gary Chapman) to try and communicate better in a relationship...

Monday, April 21, 2008

new article goodness


updated with the USA Triathlon Life Article :-)

i'll take it down if i hear otherwise from USA Triathlon. Thanks guys!

- Bike Repair day this Saturday at McLane (Cedar and Clinton in Fresno), 9am-1pm. Bring your own tubes, tools etc. and we'll provide the people with the know-how and some supplies too. Also some technique drills, probably some running biking and swimming too... all getting ready for the Kids Triathlon on Sunday!

new article goodness


updated with the USA Triathlon Life Article :-)

i'll take it down if i hear otherwise from USA Triathlon. Thanks guys!

- Bike Repair day this Saturday at McLane (Cedar and Clinton in Fresno), 9am-1pm. Bring your own tubes, tools etc. and we'll provide the people with the know-how and some supplies too. Also some technique drills, probably some running biking and swimming too... all getting ready for the Kids Triathlon on Sunday!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

USA Triathlon Life article

If you get the USAT members magazine Triathlon Life, check out page 44.

I was pretty pumped to finally get the magazine after responding to a bunch of emails, phone calls and such back in October. Unfortunately it mostly focuses on me, but also talks about the fantastic kids and their improvement. I'm hoping for more interest and visits to the website at http://paltriathlon.googlepages.com if people search for Fresno PAL Triathlon Team or Brandon Dorman Triathlon in google. (right now it points them to the right sites...).

Reading the article, it was cool to sit back and just kinda enjoy a job well done in the midst of aiming for higher and higher aspirations for my students (and myself!).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

a more somber post

Officer kills young attacker at Roosevelt High

- not my high school, but 2 of my triathlete students go to that school and it's less than two miles away from where I teach at. In other words, just down the street.

Scary as hell in some respects. A student (sure, not the brightest idea to go after a cop with a baseball bat...) is dead tonight. I can't even imagine. And to think just tonight I took 4 kids to swim practice for triathlons and tomorrow will take even more running... which is GREAT. And certainly probably the main reason I take them on everything is to keep them away from that stuff.

So I guess that's good motivation but not the kind I want to see every day...
Yesterday: easy 2 miles, then some sprints, pushups, squats, and the PLANK for 1:30.
Today: about 2,000 yards but mostly focused on technique (like breathing) with the noobs Josh and Daniel. Angel and Edna came along too.

Tomorrow we'll try for 2-3 miles at a bit of a faster pace. More kids from my classes should be coming too! Millerton triathlon this weekend!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Professional Development

So this past Saturday (exactly one week after Ironman California) I attended a conference for "Computer Using Educators" here in Fresno. Good stuff - http://cvcue-conference.pbwiki.com/ is the conference website. I attended three sessions and all but one were fantastic and inspiring.

Tonight I also went to a mini-conference on teacher team collaboration sponsored by a local school that has been doing it for years. http://www.cart.org/ They did a great job and I was again encouraged to see all the great things that local teachers are doing to make learning come alive in the classroom.

One thing I am doing is the use of webpages for my students. They are all engaged in creating a "space project" based on specific job descriptions and a common theme across the five subject areas out in Turning Points Academy, my small learning community. http://dormanmath.googlepages.com/spacepage has more information.

So the good news is, I'm already doing a lot of the things they recommend! (such as making the students accountable to their peers on a weekly basis, and only using me as the "hammer" in the final grade decision - but if certain students pick up where others are supposed to, that will be reflected in each weekly grade/status report.)

Also good is that I'm caught up for the moment with BTSA (beginning teacher stuff) paperwork after staying up til 2am last night (and waking up at 5am! I had basically two 24 oz energy drinks today plus a 20 oz mountain dew! I will be going to bed before 9 tonight...)

Back to P.D. My main questions for the teacher-readers out there - so far I've often felt the biggest thing missing from professional development is teachers from other schools just... talking and thinking together. I appreciated at tonight's forum we did have a chance to do that and it's great - no egos, no agendas to get past, etc. Just strangers that love math talking about how to teach it best! Good stuff...

- Small Triathlon this Sunday!

Monday, April 7, 2008


workouts this week:

Tuesday 6:30am meet @ McLane; 2 mile run.
wednesday, 7-8 swimming @ State (practice a 400)
Thursday: 3-4 miles same time/place

Saturday ride in the later afternoon (after the swim meet)
sunday: Visalia Sprint Triathlon! (going: Ramiro/Josh as a team, Rico(??), Josh Wise maybe, Albert now maybe too?

Friday, April 4, 2008

amazing kids

I just love and am always amazed at how a little bit of attention to a kid can go a long way. Just tonight I received a phone call from a kid I was a camp counselor to in - get this - 2002. He is the age now that I was when I was his counselor. He talked about a time back in '02 when he was getting picked on, and walked into the cabin and apparently I'd told the guys to say something nice to him. He was really surprised and it stuck out in his mind.

In fact it seems to have made a big impact in his life. I mean, it's 6 years later and he still remembered it enough to call me about it. He's never called me before - got my phone number from the "signature" line of my emails which we've corresponded maybe every six months to a year over the past 5 or so. He is one of those kids that initiated/kept in contact with me well after camp, and i even went and visited him and some other people a few times as he lived nearby my hometown. I'm realizing more and more the importance of my role as "that teacher who didn't give up on me" in these kids lives. Even if I feel too persistent or annoying or like they're taking advantage of my kindness. I'd rather feel those feelings than give up and not find out it put their life on the right track.

Here's to the small moments that make lifelong impacts. (share a story of yours?)