It’s an unfortunate fact, but most students know very little about their teachers’ lives outside of school. As it turns out, many teachers at the school are active athletes who continue to train outside of the classroom throughout the school year. Over the school year, The Talon will take a more in-depth look at a few of the school’s athletic teachers.
Spanish teacher Robyn Hughes “grew up on the track” as she watched her father, who was in the Butler University Hall of Fame and earned two masters titles, compete in the long jump. At age eight, she ran in her first track meet and has been running ever since.
“I run for fun all the time,” Hughes said. “I love to work out. It’s fun. It’s a de-stresser.”
For college, Hughes was recruited to run hurdles at Stanford University. Although hurdles is her “specialty,” Hughes also ran all of the different sprint distances in college. She was also one leg for the four by one relay team. During her freshman year, her relay placed second in the Pac-10.
Last year, Hughes joined the track and field coaching staff at the school. For her, the coaching experience has been “really fun” and “rewarding.”
“I love seeing the kids get better,” Hughes said. “I run alongside the team … to encourage them.”
Hughes exercises every day and runs around the Los Altos campus with fellow world language teacher Lucy Van Horne and English teacher Susana Herrera.
“Track is all about competing against yourself,” Hughes said. “I can place third best but still be really excited because I too three-tenths of a second off my time … It’s all about the personal records.”
Outside of school, English teacher Ryan Ikeda trains for marathons, which he runs “almost once a month.” Although Ikeda did not run competitively until grad school at the University of California at Santa Cruz, running has become his “primary passion” when it comes to outdoor activities.
“I can run anytime [and] … anywhere,” Ikeda said. “It doesn’t matter the conditions. As long as I got a pair of running shoes, I can go.”
Ikeda started running marathons when fellow English teacher Susana Herrera took him on a training run, and she has “mentored [him] a lot in that regard.”
Ikeda’s marathon training normally consists of “the three key workouts”: one weekend long run (12-26 miles), one speed workout (mile repeats or tempo runs) and one secondary long run during the week (8-10). Ikeda usually works out with other teachers such as history teacher Stephanie Downey.
Last July, Ikeda entered the San Francisco Marathon, in which he bonked at mile-22, meaning his ran out of electrolytes and started to crash. Even after fainting, Ikeda finished the race after being attended to for 42 minutes by a doctor and a nurse.
“The part that I feel proud about and stoked about is that I got up and finished,” Ikeda said.
In the future, he hopes to qualify for “the most prestigious marathon,” the Boston Marathon. Ikeda wants to run the marathon in 2009, so he has to qualify at the Napa Marathon on March 2 this coming spring.