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? 

Regaining passion

Ya’ll, I’m an adult now.

I donate to NPR, I work every day, I generally dislike my job.

And passion for day to day life? Yeah, that’s basically gone. I have somehow cultivated an extraordinary dislike for clinic. I feel like patients are whiny, I don’t want to put effort into paperwork, everything about it just makes me feel so underwhelmed. I can’t quite put my finger on *why* I feel this way because I genuinely love what I’m studying and am excited about my future prospects.

I guess the problem is that I feel so stagnant right now? Maybe it’s because I feel like I’ve taken steps backwards rather than steps forward. And it’s quite possible that all of the drama that I created in my mind over the past month or so has just left me somewhat jaded.

So this morning I’m watching Parks and Recreation. Because Leslie Knope unabashedly loves her job. And I’m drinking tea, because tea makes me feel calm and happy. And I’m wearing pajamas and reviewing my patient files for the day, because that’s the most comfortable way to prepare.

I’m going to put on my big girl pants, pretty earrings, and stroll into clinic like I have all the confidence in the world. And then I’m going to ask a million questions, not get discouraged over small things, and tackle all of my tasks as if I had nothing to do lose.

Snubbed {and science + nutrition}

My last few posts have been somewhat dreary, I admit. They’re all about me feeling completely unmotivated, me having wonderful interpersonal issues in the lab, me feeling just generally discontent.

That is, overall, how this week has gone for me.

The only way to describe it would be: Meh.

Trying to find the energy to care is exhausting, caring too much and then crying about caring too much is exhausting. And today was just the cherry on top of an exhausting week.

Without going into too much detail, I got snubbed. Whether this was done by the girl I vented about yesterday purposefully or was just sheer oversight, I cannot say. But it happened, my months of contribution was left out, and I found myself fighting back tears reading the “congratulations to blah blah blah and blah [excluding me]” email in the library.

Yep, that is a spectacular feeling.

I’ve always been quiet, I’ve also been “less noticeable” because I don’t create drama and would rather be noticed through my excellent work and not a loud mouth. So when I don’t get noticed at all, even after I put in just as much work as everyone else, tears and eating giant bags of Doritos happen.

Which brings me to my next subject: Nutrition and Science

{And no, this is not going to be a nutrition lesson…it’s more about the lack thereof}

My lab-mates and I are often study in the lab approximately 10 hours a day. So when it comes time to order food, we are typically tired and stressed and ready to eat our feelings (yes, even the males…and it’s a male dominated lab) it’s like a 13 year old boy is there making the decisions for us.

Tonight, for example, we are having an impromptu evening lab meeting. The dinner choice? Pizza delivery.

Our lab snack of choice is Doritos.

Our lab dessert of choice are cookies.

Needless to say, unless I plan ahead and bring my lunch/dinner, I end up eating quite unhealthily.

But as far as I can tell, this phenomenon is not limited to the lab that I work in…when I occasionally leave the dungeon and converse with other graduate students, they typically have the same story of, “yeah, we subsist on Cheetos and Chinese take-out most days”.

And it seems to me that the cycle of stress + limited time + long hours + the deliciousness of junk perpetuates itself. I find myself unable to chip into the take-out dinner pool…not because my lab mates would think any less of me, but just because I find myself wanting to be part of the group. Sure, we could bond while all eating our own dinners, but bonding is so much stronger when we’re all sitting in a circle on the floor, talking about what we accomplished during the day and munching on the same pizza.

Lame, I know.

Lately I’ve been stirring the idea of weekly potlucks in my brain…but can’t imagine how that would turn out any healthier. So I am humbly bowing down and asking for advice: how do you eat healthier when your whole lifestyle is seemingly built around eating unhealthy? 

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.

Mental strength

I got home today at 1 pm. After stopping by the pharmacy to pick up a prescription and the farmer’s market to get a fresh salad.

Who am I and who high-jacked my Google calendar?

Having spare time to come home and take a long shower (!!!) and watch The Real Housewives while wearing my robe/compression socks and munching on my lunch was purely divine. I rarely have more than a 2 hour block of time open, and I typically use that free time to get going early for a run before I need to hit the books and see patients.

So 4 hours? At home? That’s heaven. Especially today, since I have just conquered the first exam of the semester and the first grand rounds of the semester.

Of course now I’m sitting at work feeling exhausted, naturally.

But my shorts crisis from yesterday has been averted, at least…at around lunch time yesterday, I had just finished an exam and was facing 2 free hours of no patients (I’m sensing a trend…too bad it won’t last). I was feeling antsy, and in denial that I had any other work to do. So what’s a girl to do? Well, go to the school bookstore and buy a new pair of running shorts, of course.

Normally buying anything from the school bookstore makes me shudder. But the lure of the run was just too much for me to handle, so I broke down and bought a pair. And proceeded to have an excelled 4.5 mile run, which eliminated the need to do a twice-a-day today…something that my legs greatly appreciated, since I was about to give up about 20 minutes into today’s 4-miler.

Most days, running is more a battle of “can my legs and lungs keep up”. Today was a battle with my brain. My legs were tired, I was tired, I was ready to give my presentation and commence my afternoon of nothingness. I contemplated only running 3 miles, I contemplating stopping at 2 miles and spending 20 minutes on the elliptical. But for the sake of mental toughness, I kept going. Strengthening my resolve can only help, right?

Fast forward to now: my legs are still tired, I am still tired, but at least I know I pushed through a run when all my brain could say is “please stop, we want to go eat a bagel”. And I definitely just got hit on by a cute law student, which does not hurt…

Scary and exciting

Ya’ll, I don’t even know.

I am currently being considered for a baller clinical rotation.

What’s the catch, you ask? Well, let me be the first to tell you: it’s 4 hours away. In a city I’ve never been in. Away from the fiance and familiarity and my daily routine.

Scary. Very scary. But also ridiculously excited. As you can probably tell by this post, I’m not even sure how to put *what* I am feeling into *words*. All I can think of is “so scary” and “so darn excited”.

Granted, I have not even been given the offer yet, but the fact that it’s more than a 90% possibility is making my poor little heart race a little. So many exciting possibilities, so many scary unknowns.

And there it is again. Scary and exciting.

What would you do? Would you leave home for 2 months for a super exciting opportunity? 

*cue heart palpitations*

 

Saaaattuuuurrrdaaaay

Today is shaping up to be a pretty decent Saturday. A bit more decent than I expected at bedtime last night. I have a bona fide smile on my face.

Why, you ask?

Well…let me tell you the ways in which my life is happy today.

1. I finally found a temporary 1 bedroom apartment. This means no more crazy roommates, no more fighting over parking spaces, no more paying for cable but not getting to use the TV, no more thermostat wars, no more having to worry about anything but me, myself, and I. And it comes with a talkative kitty that I can babysit for the summer. Tell me how it can get better than that. That’s right…it can’t…

2. I ran a little under 4 miles in sticky pre-summer weather and didn’t have to stop and walk a million times. And I only felt like my lungs would jump out of my chest once. Much, much different from my last pre-summer run, where I was lucky to run for ten minutes straight before having to stop and walk and gasp for breathe. Take that humidity. You may make my hair look like a ‘fro but you shall not defeat me.

3. Two words: asiago bagel. Oh, and new acai berry iced tea. Panera, how I love thee.

4. I’m road-trippin’ it tomorrow. Granted, it’s just so I can talk to some old professors at school #2, but it means eating at all of my favorite restaurants, running in a much more running friendly city, and being in a place where I feel completely at home…if only for a day and a half.

5. I’m caught up-ish on my school work. That needs to explanation of awesomeness in my book.

6. (a bonus!) After two straight days of yoga, my arms are ridiculously sore. But, dare I say it, I’m starting to build some upper arm strength. Gasp.

Under construction

Life has been scary lately.

Not scary as in, “lock the doors and hide the children.” Just, “OMG, I’m on a never-ending roller-coaster ride with an infinite amount of those upside down turn-y thingies.”

Yeah.

I feel like I am constantly bracing myself for what is coming next. Which, is definitely a plus because it means I am truly living. But also slightly anxiety provoking at times. Times are ‘a changin’ because a) I just got a temporary research job (yay! money!), b) I’m moving out of my  current apartment in May because the roommate and landlord drama is more than I can handle, c) I’m looking for a temporary lease for the summer (which is stressful because I am *not* a spur of the moment, short-term kind of gal), and d) I’m thismuch closer to officially going back to school #2 (again, stressful because this is a large decision with potentially large implications).

Some stress that I am feeling derives from me getting this temporary research job. School #1 is renowned for its research, and research is something that I see myself delving into seriously at some point. Getting the job has made me start to worry that school #2 might not be the best for me. But at the same time, all I can envision is myself being back at school #2. So, um…I’m not sure if I am re-thinking my decision because I *know* I have options, if I am re-thinking my decision because I’m scared to change the status quo, or if I am re-thinking my decision because school #1 is where I am meant to be.

I definitely do not love where I am living right now, nor do I love this city, nor have I been pleased with how my program has been going. I definitely do not love how small living here has made me felt, nor do I love how living here has made me slowly regress to old ways. I don’t love the idea of being trapped in a city I hate and being 3 hours away from the boy. But I don’t want to be one of those girls who gave up everything for a relationship. At the same time, I logically know that going back to school #2 does not equal giving up on everything because I will still have a Dr. in front of my name. When I was taking classes at school #2, that was the first time I felt like I did not want to live somewhere else; I knew that exploration and new experiences would always have to be part of my life but I could see myself building a life there. So my choice should be simple, on paper at least, but making decisions like this has never been my forte. /ramble

This is why I spy another tiny grey hair on my head.

I just don’t. know. This week is projected to be the most laid-back week of the semester so hopefully I can use some of my free time to go spinning, yoga-ing, and maybe iron out all of this craziness. I am currently spandex-ed up for a hardcore sweat sesh at my favorite spinning studio and I’m ready to sprint and faux-climb my way out of at least a little anxiety. Thankfully, sweating profusely tends to give me clarity.

The Waiting Game and indoor cycling FTW

I am still waiting to hear back from school #2. After a number of events that have occurred over the past week, I am starting to feel much more confident in my decision and I am ready to get the ball rolling. Right now.

In other news, I went to my first real spinning class over the weekend. As I mentioned before, I’ve been to my share of spinning classes. For some tri practices, we would schedule to control the school’s spinning room…but usually that meant we’d get on the bikes and do whatever we wanted for an hour while listening to gansta rap and talking about what we wanted for dinner and what kind of beer was our favorite. You know, the top priorities…

However, I am proud to say that Saturday’s class kicked. my. butt. It was ahhh-mahzing. By the end of the hour I was pouring sweat, my muscles were fatigued, and I was exhausted. The music was pretty pumpin’ as well. Normally I don’t like dance mixes of popular songs, but our instructor made it work. I found myself singing along to Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas (sssh, do not tell my friends…). Our cool-down was my new favorite song: We are young. Again, not my typical type of favorite song but I just cannot stop myself from being in love with it.

Call me crazy, but that’s the sign of a good workout to me…when I’ve just about spent every last ounce of energy but still want to come back for me.

For Saturday’s class, I bought a 1-class pass but, now that I’m addicted, I’ve gotten a 5-class pass and I’m already going bananas over scheduling more. Next up: Wednesday!

After all of the serious biking I did in my junior and senior years of undergrad, I lost my passion for cycling. But yeah, it’s back now.

And one last random tidbit. If you’re in the southeast US, try Yazoo Hefeweizen. It tastes just like banana bread.

Some quick thoughts.

Spring Break only just ended but drama and stress continues. It’s official…1 week off is just not enough. But it’s 80 degrees, beautiful, and I’ve made a decision regarding school, so life is improving. As far as I’m concerned, the second you start finding a way to improve your life is the second you start becoming a better person.

I’ve got a long road ahead of me, but I’m looking forward to it.

I’m taking my first “real” spinning class Saturday morning. As a former (and hopefully future) triathlete, I’ve taken many spin classes in my life. But I registered online and paid $18 for a spinning class at a studio dedicated to cycling. It’s an hour of spinning followed by abs and arms. Needless to say, my body is terrified for what it is about to go through.

My running has been slacking. Before break, I was consistently upping my mileage and now I’ve hit a tiny setback. Part of that I’m sure is due to dehydration, part is due to the fact that the temperature sky-rocketed, and part is due to the fact that I’ve been cutting majorly back on caffeine. That’s a shock to the system if there is any.

However, I’m in the market for some new running shoes. I’ve been running in the Saucony Progrid Triumph  for years now and just ordered that exact pair (yay for pink running shoes!). However, it appears that after the 8 model (the model that I am currently running in and the model that I just ordered), there was some sort of redesign so I am slightly skeptical. Thankfully I don’t go through running shoes super quickly, but I’m terrified of the day where I need to *gasp* branch out and try a different model. Saucony love is for life, though.

Breakfast in bed is always better when you have nowhere to be. Somehow I ended up with today off, so I slept in until 9 am and then moseyed on down to the kitchen, where I mixed up a homemade latte (stove-top espresso FTW) and some Greek yogurt with granola. Then I retreated back to my bed to stare out the window, catch up on some TV and Internet reading, and vegetate until it’s time to run/figure out how to make myself a semi-productive adult.

I want to run an ultra. Okay, I’ve never even done a full marathon yet so that’s obviously the next step. But I’m so drawn to the ultra-running lifestyle. Despite the fact that I ran cross-country from the 6th grade through undergrad, I’ve never been a competitive runner. I’m more interested in making friends, having a good time, and enjoying the scenery. Yeah, I’m not sure how I ever succeeded in a competitive environment (this is probably why, before my last collegiate race, I basically threw up from the anxiety…as Bill Engvall would say, “Here’s your sign”). It seems like ultra runners (at least the ones I’ve met) are more interested in the experience than a PR and I love that.

I’ve decided to go back to school #2. I announced this in my last post, and it’s *still* not official, but it feels good to keep saying it. I feel like I’m making a positive change in my life even though it was a long and laborious decision process. Now getting through all of the red tape to go *back* there is likely to be a nightmare but I’m at peace with my decision. I’m ready to be back in a lovely city full of things that I know and love. In the end, I will still have Dr. in front of my name, so I might as well make the process a little more bearable.