TGIW

Thank goodness it’s Wednesday, ya’ll. Today will easily be my most “strenuous” day of the week and once it is over, I will officially be over the hump of this week…and only 1.5 days away from a nice weekend trip to the mountains AND the end of the semester.

Grad school kicked my butt this semester. And it wasn’t even a busy semester. In fact, it’s one of the least busy semesters I’ve ever survived…which is part of the problem  because I’ve actually had time to sit on the couch and think about the sheer misery of 2 more years of school. I’ve never used a hashtag before but I’m pretty sure #FirstWorldProblems applies.

So I’ve basically been running/biking my butt off. 1) to get rid of stress and 2) I’ve gained a lot of weight and I want my clothes to fit again because girl doesn’t have the cash for new clothes and 3) my first wedding dress fitting is in T-minus 9 days and 4 hours.

I’m not under any illusions that I will lose any great amount of weight between now and then but I at least want to make an attempt to be closer to my 2nd fitting size. I never thought I would be so vapid about my dress fittings and always said I wouldn’t be one of those brides…but dang it was hard to resist the siren call of “bride body workouts”.

My willpower clearly isn’t strong enough.

But on the plus side I have been doing a lot more (body)strength work (plank is my homeboy) and plyometrics (burpees, I love to hate you and hate to love you)…which has left me consistently sore and happy. I’m one of those weird people who loves being sore because I literally worked my butt off.

My main problem has been water retention. Whenever I run long or ride long…or do any sort of exercise, really, I notice an overall “swollen” feeling in my muscles…which somewhat disappears once I get properly hydrated. Does anyone else experience that?

Anywho…the main purpose of this ridiculous rambling post was to try and create some goals so that I don’t have a mental breakdown between now and the end of the semester.

I like to make goal lists: 

1) Have at least 4 research subjects completed by next Wednesday

2) Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day 

3) Do at least 2 min of plank per day

4) Run, Forrest, Run…to keep my sanity

5) RELAX. Whatever happens is fine. Life will go on. I will survive. Blah, blah, blah. 

 

 

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Love for Boston

Lately, I’ve been struggling with blog topics. So I haven’t been posting. And of course, I’ve been fretting over wedding dress fittings and RSVP cards and my upcoming internship.

But as of yesterday, all of that just seemed so…pointless.

It’s hard to believe that the day of so many runner’s dreams was destroyed with the most senseless act of violence. It’s hard to even find the words to describe exactly how I’m feeling. Mostly bewildered and angry. And attacked because, as a runner, that hit a little too close to home.

But then I got to thinking…if this had to happen to a community (which of course it didn’t and I hope whoever is responsible for this madness is held accountable for his actions), the running community is a “good one”. We are strong, we will pull together, and yesterday will not be the last Boston marathon. We are a resilient bunch. We will help each other through the hard times and celebrate the good times.

I saw this article and it summed things up pretty well…go read it and then go for a run for Boston.

Goals, re-evaluated

I’ve had an insanely difficult time deciding what to write about. Mostly because, when I’m home, literally all I want to do is a) run, b) lay on the couch, or c) go run then lay on the couch.

Y’all, the end of the semester is coming and it’s never been more evident.

Motivation? What motivation?

So, since all I seem to want to do is run (especially with our newly found spring! 80 degress! Sunny! Beautiful!), I decided I’d talk about running.

Earlier this year, I committed myself to do a half marathon in June. I was excited, I made a training plan, I started being a more consistent runner again. And then I got accepted to do a 2.5 month clinical rotation at a super awesome hospital…that happens to be out-of-town. Like, in another state out-of-town.

So I had to change my goals.

And, as luck would have it, the same half marathon I was planning to do also has a 10-miler.

So I downgraded, in hopes that 3.1 less miles would seem less daunting and that training would be less of a weird looking cloud hanging over my head while I am trying to impress some pretty impressive people with my clinical skills.

I have mixed feelings about this in general. My gut is kind of like, “eh, whatevs” but my mind is like “what? really? you’re quitting?”

No mind, I’m not quitting. I’m just trying to ensure my sanity in what I know will end up being 2.5 months of 50+ hour weeks.

And then I think of all my doctor friends, who trained for Ironmans and marathons and ultras during their residency. And feel bad about myself.

But goals are supposed to be personal, are they not? And truth be told, I’m totally pumped about this 10-miler. There is a *candy buffet* at the end y’all. And it’s hilly, so I know it will challenge my mind and body. And let’s face it, life changes…sometimes you just need to roll with the punches…I may *finally* be learning how to do that.

{Week 1 plan}

M: 3 miles

T: 4 miles

W: 4×800 with 1 mile warm-up

Th: 2 miles

F: Rest

S: 6 miles

Su: Cross-train

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? 

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!) 

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? 

Marvelous Monday: Monday morning plan

Today is day 1 of week 1 of attempting to lead a much more balanced life. {And yes, this will probably be the week with posts entitled with terribly cheesy alliteration}

*deep breath in*

Mondays are typically pretty jam packed for me. As in, breakfast + lunch + dinner are packed and brought to school. Today is no different, aside from the fact that I got a chance to sit down and eat a bowl of cereal while reading the news before getting myself geared up for the day.

In an attempt to be more balanced, I am dedicating today to school. I know I’ll be trapped at work for 9+ hours, so the plan is to buckle down and get as much done as possible so I can dedicate Tuesday evening to Pinterest, cleaning, and general housekeeping.

As lame as that may sound, at this very moment it sounds amazeballs.

So, the plan: No running today, unfortunately. I will be spending my day catching up on clinical paperwork, attending class, and spending 9+ hours at work. But this plan also includes immense amounts of tea drinking {and one medium sized coffee if my mood turns that way}, immense amounts of catching up on work, and immense amounts of deep breathing.

I think I can manage that.

{What are your plans for Monday? I am itching to run for the first time in weeks, so tell me what run you have planned and let me live vicariously through you!}

OMG, it is so totally Friday.

Thank goodness.

This calls for some cute animal snuggling.

And waking up 15 minutes before my alarm went off means: blogging, coffee, and a delicious pumpkin muffin to make my morning slightly less painful.

On more motivated Fridays, I’d have dragged my body out of bed at 5:30 am and attended a 1 hour hot yoga sesh. On this Friday, it was all I could do to convince myself that getting up 15 minutes early for the above reasons was a *good* idea.

I guess it’s just that time in the semester.

I’m simultaneously energized and drained by everything I am doing at school and it’s a weird feeling. Last night at work, I went on and on about my research proposal…yet, I spent hours reading random website and looking up *other* research projects that are currently going on at the university.

Talk about productivity.

Thankfully, after 3 patients this morning, my Friday will officially commence. And even though my Friday will commence with a solid 6 hours at work, it’s better than paperwork and playing, “who’s the better clinician” mind-games with older students whom cannot stand to be “one-upped”.

Yep. That really does happen.

I also got my spring semester schedule. {cue groans}.

In an attempt to keep my running life somewhat intact, I attempted to schedule all of my work onto Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday…leaving Wednesday and Friday free for research, and more importantly, running.

Running has been an avoided topic of mind this week but mark my words, I will run a PR half marathon come spring. It is going to happen. Somehow.

But first, I need to survive this semester.