How to get up early on a regular basis

I’m usually a pretty early riser; my alarm sounds at 5 am (5:30 on a good day) and I (almost) never hit snooze. Right now, I’m gearing up for a 4 am wake-up call on Friday to travel to a super awesome conference…which of course I’m almost simultaneously dreading and excited about.

alarm clock1

But here are a few tips to make getting up early a little bit less painful:

1. Don’t hit snooze! If I need to get up by a certain time, snoozing does not help. It just makes me feel more tired and grouchy at the fact that I do need to be up and getting ready to be productive. I usually lay in bed for a minute and look at my phone, just to get my brain up and at ’em.

2. Turn on all the lights. Even if it’s not super dark. Daylight Savings has given us the privilege of *needing* a million lights in the morning but even before DS I was still cranking up the electricity.

3. Have a routine. I look at email on my phone while laying in bed, get up and shower/brush my teeth, eat breakfast, and then drink tea/blog. I do the same exact thing every single morning, which is helpful in knowing how long I need to get ready and keeps me from making dumb early morning mistakes.

4. Set out your clothes and make your lunch the night before. Doing this makes me feel like a mom but it’s ever so helpful. Trying to decide what to wear in a dark bedroom or making sure you have enough time to rush to make lunch has never worked for me.

5. Eat breakfast. I’m addicted to caffeine so I drink it all. the. time. but I usually feel leaps and bounds more awake after I fill myself up with delicious goodness.

6. Have a super warm robe and slippers next to your bed. I hate being cold so knowing that, when I throw off the covers, I am only 30 seconds away from being cozy again is helpful.

7. Have a daily to-do list. I make one online and have it emailed to my phone every morning (via Sunrise) so I know what to prep for.

8. Do it every day. Some mornings I have the chance to sleep in until a “normal” hour of 7:30. Unless I’ve been extremely sleep deprived or it’s the weekend, I’ll rarely switch my wake-up time. That way I get sleepy at around the same time every night and get used to the earlier wake-up call.

9. Sometimes it sucks. Some mornings I wake up and all I want to do is skip class or clinicals and sleep for the next month. Sometimes I burn my toast or make my tea to hot. Sometimes I start doing something and end up running late. Knowing that it sucks is half the battle.

10. But know that you have to do it. The boy always asks me how I manage to get up before the sun. Well, it’s easy…I have to. If I didn’t need to be  up at 5, I’d probably sleep until a cozy 8:00 am and start my day from there. But knowing I don’t have a choice in the matter…that’s the other half of the battle.

What early morning tips do you have?

Confessions of a future doctor, part deux

1. I sometimes read funny tumblr sites to make me feel better about my agony in school. Some of my faves:

I prefer you call me doctor

How do I put this gently

2. When patients cancel because of the rainy weather and I look outside and it’s perfectly sunny out, I want to tear my hair out. Is the inability to drive in any sort of precipitation just a southern thing? I feel like it is…

drizzling

3. I had dinner with a friend I haven’t seen since December last night and it was amazing. We drank way too much tea (no wine was involved, hurray good choices!) and ate way to much garlic bread and talked about relationships/weddings/school and had normal adult conversations that I haven’t had since the semester started. I don’t have many out-of-the-department friends…

4. I’ve re-done my running schedule for the week because I fully realize that I am a) not going to exercise on Friday after having gotten up at 4 am to travel to a conference, b) not going to exercise on Sunday because said conference is having a party and I won’t want to mess up my hair that day, and c) I’ll probably only feel like running 2 miles on Saturday because, again, said conference is having a party and I’m getting my hair did…plus it’s in a cold place and southerners don’t like cold places OR precipitation.

{M: I ran 4!, TU: 4.5 miles, W: 4 miles, TH: 4.5 miles, F: Rest y’all, Sa: 2 to 3 miles, Su: More rest}

{Total: 19-20 miles, better than last week and closer to the 21 I want to be running every week} 

5. I’m currently trying to decide on my specialty. Definitely something pediatric. I currently have a pediatric rotation and a baby threw up on me and a parent yelled at me and I still love it. But there are so many choices.

choices

Happy Tuesday, y’all! I’m presenting to a group of undergrads today about whatever topics they want to ask me about…so wish me luck.

What does your Tuesday look like? 

Today I learned…

That I love productive mornings. I woke up at 6:30 knowing that I didn’t have to be at school until noon. Which was rough when my alarm went off. But after doing the dishes, baking a cake, running, showering, and eating breakfast…I feel pretty darn accomplished. And I’m questioning my decision for further education…who needs to be a doctor when there are nice mornings to be had?

That “pyramid runs” are the key to beating boredom on the treadmill. I started at 6.0 and sped up 0.1 mph every 0.1 mile. Then once I reached my max comfort (which today was 6.5 mph until the last mile, when my legs decided they wanted to go to 7.0) I would start on back down.

That walk-running is a legit thing. I ran 4 miles today. But 0.3 of those miles were walked at 3.8 mph and a 3% incline. I used to not count my walking warm up as part of my run…but why not? Especially since I’m trying to slowly up my mileage without injury. I still went 4 miles…what are your thoughts on walk-running?

That I love routine. Okay, I’ve known that for my entire life basically. But I texted no less than 5 classmates to make sure that we didn’t have to be at school this morning because even though I was *loving* being at home, it still freaked me out to not be doing my usual Monday morning activities.

Balance is key. I’m training to make people healthy again so many of my professors and clinical supervisors do not agree with the “balance is key” idea. They think that I need to eat, sleep, and breathe school. And true, some days I do. And on those days I make flash cards on my phone so I can study at all times. But some days I don’t. And I need those days for my sanity.

{Today’s workout}

4 miles!

What is your workout for today? 

Doctor’s orders

I can’t believe it is Sunday already. But it is an unbelievably beautiful day and for the first time in months I didn’t have to wear stockings with my dress to church.

Hallelujah.

I also ate Goldfish crackers as part of my lunch. In my pajamas. On the couch. While watching HGTV. Life pretty much doesn’t get better than that.

Today also marks week 2 of the boy and I *finally* moving in together. Considering that we basically lived together for 2 years prior to getting our own apartment, it hasn’t been that much of an adjustment. Especially since we got a 2 bedroom, despite everyone’s questions of “why do y’all need that much space?”.

Uh, because we both need our own space to feel sane.

space

 

It was a solid decision.

I didn’t run as many miles as I had planned this past week due to just feeling really tired and unmotivated. Tuesdays are usually my rest days but I used my spare time to squeeze in an extra run instead of lounging on the couch and that definitely took a told. Even with the extra run, my total mileage still only added up to a measly 14.5 miles.

So the doctor’s orders for this week is: run longer, run slower.

Monday: 3.5 miles

Tuesday: 4 miles

Wednesday: 3.5 miles

Thursday: 4 miles

Friday: ? I’m traveling, so maybe a quick 2 miles. But this will be counted as zero until a run actually happens

Saturday: 3 miles

Sunday: Rest

Planned total: 18 miles!

My goal is to get to the point where I am consistently running 20 miles before I start embarking on longer runs. I think my body could handle the higher mileage but I *do not* want to invite any change for injury or burn-out.

How quickly do you add mileage? 

Confessions of a future doctor

1. The first thing I do every morning is drink at least two gigantic mugs of tea. On a good day, I’ll follow that up with only a green tea in to bust the 3 pm blues. On a tired day, I’ll follow that up with espresso + green tea…at the very least

caffeine

 

2. When I wear my glasses, my patients are more receptive to my recommendations. Because apparently glasses do make you look smarter sometimes.

glasses

 

3. Part of the reason that I picked the wedding dress that I did is so that I wouldn’t have to worry about wearing spanx. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

spanx

 

4. I love watching the Kardashians. Like an unhealthy amount of love. But when Kim K said that she wasn’t going to get allergy shots because she was “detoxing her system” of “bad thing” I almost exploded. Allergy shots are just solutions of what you are allergic that, when injected, help your body build immunity.

peasant

 

5. At the gym, I obsessively wipe down the treadmill (or whatever machine I’ve been on) with their disinfectant wipes when I’m done working out. And sometimes before…

clorox

 

 

 

 

Nooner

Every Wednesday I seem to either wake up with a head splitting headache or either acquire one later in the day. I know it’s likely not caffeine related because I’ve had no big changes in my consumption. It may be hydration related because despite that I’ve even been making an effort to drink more water, I just suck at drinking water. But I’m also ridiculously tired of constantly popping ibuprofen on what seems like only Wednesdays.

Maybe I’m just allergic to Wednesdays.

Any thoughts? 

I was really impressed with myself yesterday, though. I got done with my morning patients about a half hour early, which gave me about 2 hours instead of only 1 hour free before I needed to head back to school.

Which means I was able to go grocery shopping AND run. At noon. When I could’ve easily just *napped*.

Granted, it was only a quick 2.2 mile run at my apartment complex, but that’s greater than the 0 I’ve been averaging every Tuesday. Tuesday is usually my longest day so the only spare time I have involves me shoving food in my gullet and trying to not fall asleep once my belly is full.

Tonight I have an easy 4 mile treadmill run planned. Along with dinner with the girls from my cohort. It was supposed to be a Pinterest party but I believe it has turned into a “I’m just going to buy a veggie tray and some cupcakes from the store and then we are going to spend an hour complaining over how frustrating this semester is” party. Which is of course fine by me since the only time we really get to see each other is during class since we’ve all gotten so scattered about for clinical rotations.

What are your workout plans for today?

Plunged into darkness

This morning was the very first time that I walked through our new apartment and it was pitch black. I couldn’t see a thing! Which was disconcerting. Thank goodness for iPhones and their flashlight apps. Otherwise it’s possible I’d still trying to be walk down the hallway in the dark, fumbling for a light switch!

Daylight Savings Time (the bad, lose an hour of sleep one) always throws me for a little loop but I feel like I’m adjusting a tiny bit better this year compared to past years. Or maybe I’m just used to waking up and getting ready and going to school in the dark.

light bulb

 

That light bulb is a lot happier than I look most mornings.

Anywho, I *finally* created a training plan for my half marathon. I’m currently trying to tweak it and perfect it because yesterday was supposed to be my first run but it turned into a cross-training day when I couldn’t get to the gym until the busiest evening time and there were no treadmills available.

So I hopped on the stationary bike for 30 minutes and cranked up the resistance. By the end, I was literally sweating through my t-shirt. Y’all, that is the definition of a good workout. The stationary bike that my gym has (yes, only one…it’s sad) has *the* most uncomfortable seat ever and I spend more time focusing on my poor backside than the pain I’m feeling in my legs, so that’s a plus…

cat on bike

I’ve been trying to find some good non-school-rec-center spinning classes in my city but that’s been a bit more difficult than I anticipated. I just miss it so much! There are other gyms in town that offer spinning but since my gym is about half the cost of the others, I have a hard time justifying the switch…especially since my gym is a perfect 5 to 7 minute drive from the apartment, which is about all I’m willing to do after a long, long day.

Would you switch gyms for classes?

What’s your favorite class at your gym (or workout, if you’re not a member of one!) 

11 things

Last night, I discovered a super awesome new blog, a.k.a Olive to Run (http://olivetorun.com/)…I’m failing at technology this morning so don’t judge my lack of an awesome link. She posed some interesting questions and I got in the whole “get to know me” mode. So here are my answers to her questions:

1. What does your ideal cup of FROYO look like?

Cheesecake, cake batter, and peanut butter fro yo + lots of graham crackers, granola, fruit, and whipped cream. So much yum.

2. What do you miss the most about the time period you grew up in?
Definitely getting to wear leggings and oversize sweatshirts everywhere. Those were the days.
3. What is your most embarrassing habit?
Hmm…that’s a hard one. Probably that I play with my hair when I get nervous. Not professional when talking with a patient! 
4. What is the worst food you have ever tried?
Some people LOVE them, but I just cannot do Odwalla Super Food smoothies. Blech. 
5. If you could be a super hero (that YOU make up) what would your name be and what would your super power be?
My super power would definitely be never getting tired. I’d hope to be called The Energizer 
6. What meal could you eat every day?
Anything breakfast. But I could probably eat pizza every single night and be satisfied
7. Who was your favorite teacher? What grade was it and why do they stand out to you?
10th grade. My history teacher was so unbelievably smart and independent and always had the best assortment of tea.
8. If you were able to do anything (fitness related) what would it be?
Run a marathon. Excuses, excuses but I just do not have energy for 18 mile runs. School has been taking it out of me lately.
9. If you could write a letter to your daughter what three things would you want her to know?
Be confident, love yourself no matter what anyone says, and find one girl-friend who will be your confidant forever
10. Who is your favorite blogger and why?
Hungry Runner Girl because she has the most adorable baby and a wonderful husband and totes awesome running skills! 
11. What is your favorite app?
I downloaded Fitocracy and it’s kind of like a video game for workouts. Every time you log a workout you get points and eventually you level up. Addicting. 
What would your answers be?! 

Perfect Saturday

This morning I woke up feeling extremely frustrated about how stagnant I’ve been feeling this semester. I felt the same way at about this same point in the semester during the fall and eventually worked myself up into such a tizzy I couldn’t concentrate on anything.

So I’m being proactive this time.

By making a promise to be nerdy and listen to online lectures while I’m running at the gym to expand my brain cells a little more

By enjoying a sunny outdoors run even though I feel obligated to the gym that I pay for monthly

By saying “no” to a social obligation because I really just want to get cozy on the couch and watch Sex and the City

By eating trail mix because I am legit hungry and not obsessing over calories

By staring at pictures of myself in my wedding dress and getting mega excited. Only 5 more months, y’all!

By eating breakfast and lunch at the kitchen table instead of hunched over on the couch with study guides

By hanging up pictures in our (holy cow, that still feels weird) apartment and making it feel all cozy and wonderful

By planning a super, awesome-sauce “just for me” day for this coming Friday

How do you get yourself out of a funk? 

Friday love list: Staying awake edition

IT’S FINALLY FRIDAY!!!!!!!! (in case you can’t tell, I am ridiculously excited about this fact). *And* I even feel semi-awake (compared to during my post-run shower last night during which I washed my hair with body wash…)

I know today is going to be amazing because:

1. I woke up 15 minutes before my alarm. Feeling refreshed. What is this sorcery?

2. Neutrogena Visibly Bright face wash has made my crack of dawn skin look glowing and, well, awake instead of like a puffy eyed zombie.

Neutrogena-Visibly-Bright-Daily-Facial-Cleanser-1

3. I have copious amounts of my morning go-to drink: black tea with milk. Lately my caffeine of choice has been tea…and I’m finally starting to like green tea. I used to think it tasted like grass but now, with a little stevia, I’m starting to realize it’s delicious.

4. The sun started peaking out at 6:30 am. Seriously, that is amazing. Instead of heading to school in the pitch black, it’s finally sunny enough that my brain realizes it’s actually day time and it’s actually time to be functioning.

5. I *may* have lost 2 pounds! Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things but at least a little of my effort is showing. I’ve gained about 10 pounds in the past year which has *not* made me overweight…but I can’t fit into a lot of my clothes which is disconcerting mainly because I’m poor and can’t afford to buy new ones…

6. I can wear normal people clothes to school today because I have no patients! I love scrubs as much as the next person and business casual makes me feel like I know what’s up. But there’s nothing better than a sweatshirt you’ve had for years.

{Oh, and yesterday I ran 4.3 very, very slow and plodding miles on the treadmill. But yay for a longer run!}

So, without much ado….

good morning

!!!!

What are your Friday plans? 

The boy and I are going to lame it up with a home-cooked dinner, mall-walking, and grocery shopping. We are literally the life of the party.