Catching Up: April Wrap Up

Whew, time keeps flying by! I have been staying busy, like everyone else, and mostly happy about it.

Running: I had been sticking to my training plan to a T until the last week and a half or so. I don’t know what happened, I just kind of lost my motivation and discipline. I had finals last week, so that was part of it as those puppies totally take precedence. I had time to get some runs in, but I just didn’t. I had been spot on with my training so I’m not too upset over it. I was a week ahead of my plan for my long runs since I didn’t run a 10K race, so fortunately I didn’t fall behind. If I didn’t have the cushion room I hope I wouldn’t have been so laxed and would have just sucked it up and kicked it into gear. I did reach my goal though, 75 miles for April!

May 1: The ducklings and goslings were out – I’ve seen so many of them and it’s beautiful. Refreshing. Joyous. I’ve really enjoyed running more regularly and seeing everything change from February to now, nature and the animals. Even since May 1 I’ve seen the goslings grow, on Friday (the 6th) they look significantly bigger!

Goslings

On Friday I ran 10 miles midday. Most of my long runs have been midday, between 11 and 1pm. I know this isn’t ideal but given it hasn’t been overly warm I think it’s actually been really good for me and trying to acclimate my body to working in warmer temps. I stopped a few times for water and to talk with a stranger and my pace ended up being 12:04. I think that’s about what my slowest half pace was, and since I’ve actually trained for this one (okay, I didn’t have a base like my previous halves, so it probably balances out) I don’t think I’ll PR but I certainly don’t want a personal slowest time either. 11:30 is probably a realistic pace.

Next weekend: Cleveland half marathon with my kid sis 🙂 I am looking forward to this, it’s been great to have a goal to work for during nursing school to get my butt back in gear and to be able to share the experience with my sista.

Nursing: I passed my last term with an A and a B and did fine in psych clinical. I am now in my last term of classes! I am pretty relieved about this. I was thrilled to be halfway through, now as the end is in sight I have a greater feeling of a relief than of excitement. I am relieved to be almost done with classes, but apprehensive about my skills and the opportunities I’ll have to practice before I actually graduate. I only have 3 more weeks of med surg left, plus my community and OB rotations which are less hands on. I will be precepting in July and August and I am really looking forward to that, nervous too, of course. I won’t find out until late June on what my assignment is, but regardless of what unit I may be on I am hopeful to work with an excellent teacher.

In the next few weeks I have the HESI exit exam and ACLS certification – I definitely want to be confident with ACLS (advanced cardiovascular life support) so I don’t blow the opportunity to get that certification. We have to pass the HESI exam to graduate, so I’d like to do well on the first one but I know that odds are not good. The second exam is offered the Friday before our pinning ceremony. I just got a review book that I’ll start working on and plan to go through all of it before taking the NCLEX. Also have some paper/poster/presentations but those will hopefully go smoothly. I can’t believe I’m thinking about HESI and NCLEX already – okay, yes, I am getting excited 🙂

Wishing a happy mother’s day to all the women who have had a child, lost a child, or are expecting. To my own mother, grandmothers, mother-in-law, and all my wonderful mommy friends. ❤ Wish I could be spending today with family.

Peace & kindness ❤

Week of Workous: 4/3/2016

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4.51 towpath miles 46:01 (10:13)
Wednesday: 3 miles moved to Friday
Thursday: 4.50 towpath miles 45:05 (10:01)
Friday: 3.0 indoor track miles 30:17 (10:05)
Saturday: Black Squirrel 5k 30:47 (9:56)
Sunday: 3.25 towpath miles 34:16 (10:32)

Can you say a steady!? Everything hung right around 10 minutes miles, aside from my post 5k ‘easier’ run – consistency makes for a happy girl right here! These aren’t easy, conversational miles, but I’m a little stubborn and impatient. They are easier than they used to be, just not easy enough to be legit easy. Also, I bet this is pretty common, but I can’t help but push myself a bit at the end. I always want to finish a little bit faster!

Wednesday’s run didn’t happen because I was just drained. I had a term paper due so I was up all night on Tuesday. Literally, all night. Old school all nighter, yep, I pulled it. Yep, a little ashamed to say at 28 I still do that. Oh well, I’m pleased with how my paper turned out so I came home after lecture and crashed… felt. so. good!

My goal for the 5k was to be under 30 minutes…fail. Although I didn’t reach that goal, I did run sub 10 minute pace so I am pleased with that. Given the race conditions, I’m not beating myself up at all! It was 28F, felt like 20, with gusts, snow, sleet, and lots of slush. I was a bit concerned about staying upright and about running with sopping wet feet. Since I started running this year I haven’t faced such nasty weather! There was a 3/4 mile stretch that had sustained gusts, plenty precipitate hitting us in our face, and my eyes were running so bad that I was concerned my eye lashes were going to freeze together. I was also a little worried on what to wear, but I wore the same exact getup that I wore last weekend on my 30F 7 mile run and was pleased with that – phew! Only thing I changed were my shoes, kinda. Usually I run in Asics GT 2000 … for the snow and slush I donned my Asics GT 2000 Trail shoes. I seldom wear them so I took ’em out for Thursday’s trot to make sure I wouldn’t regret it come Saturday and everything went just fine.

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This week’s runs give me a little more confidence that I really am getting stronger, I can run steady for 3-4 miles (and 2-3 minutes faster than 2 months ago!)… will see how the 8 miles go next weekend, but I look forward to getting better on the longer jaunts too! So far, I’m enjoying my quasi-training and happy to be running consistently 🙂 Next up, a little more strength work!

Week of Workouts: 3/28/16

Yikes, this is a bit late!

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4.01 miles 39:36 (9:52)
Wednesday: 2.01 miles 18:53 (9:25)
Thursday: 4.5 miles 51:30 (11:26)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Chill
Sunday: 7.95 miles 1:42:35 (12:54)

On Tuesday I really did not want to run.I puttsed around for over an hour before I got in the car and headed to my running spot. Then I sat there for another ten minutes. One I finally got out and got going I was definitely a little negative. I admitted to myself I was only doing this because I was stubborn, and I wanted to be prepared for the next race I run. I was mentally grumbling about all the pretty and speedy folks on social media who talk about how they didn’t want to go for that run, but it turned out awesome. It was 48F out and felt pretty darn cold. I knew I was going too fast for the 4 miles I aspired to, but I was cold man!

Now this is the part where I have to admit my perspective has changed, and sadly be a little cliche. The run turned out awesome! I managed 4 miles at 9:53, with negative splits: 10:11, 10:07, 9:36, 9:16 🙂 Yes, I was quite surprised and pleased with myself. First time clocking in under 10 minutes and my previous 4 miler was at 11:00 pace (and downhill!). Woo hoo for progress!

I set out for 7 miles on Sunday. I tried to use the Garmin workout feature to plan out my runs for the next two months. I didn’t realize it calculated the warm up as part of the final total mileage, that was a surprise on Sunday, so I’ll have to go back through and edit all my workouts! My warm up and warm down right now consists of walking, so I don’t really want those miles and times factored in. The run itself was cold and challenging. 30F out with some flurries and wind/gusts. I felt good about my layers, and actually, I think I enjoy cold weather running – I don’t overheat and can stay pretty comfortable! The downside is I always start too fast trying to get warm early. I ran a beautiful loop that will be a pleasure to run on a summer day and kept a 12:14 pace. I felt steady through most of the run until mile 5 when I had some of a gel that did not work well – cramping in my stomach and I had a to walk a little and let it calm down. 😦 Otherwise my pace was closer to 11:30-11:45.

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It’s good to see my pace coming down, I feel some accomplishment with that. It’s also good to be adding miles to my long run, but I don’t feel so good about them yet. They aren’t strong runs and I have the fear of not being able to finish them in the back of my mind.

No long run next week – running a 5k instead!

Week of Workouts: 3/21/16

On Saturday and Sunday preceding this week of running I played in a hockey tourney! So much fun – so much soreness!

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4.05 trail miles 46:47 (11:33)
Wednesday: 2 miles or cross
Thursday: 4.0 trail miles 44:02 (11:00)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: cross Rest
Sunday: 6.01 road miles 1:10:18 (11:42)

If Monday wasn’t already a scheduled rest day it was going to become one! Holy soreness! For the first mile of my run on Tuesday I felt as if half my legs and my entire booty were disconnected from my body. It’s a weird sensation to explain, but if you’ve ever experienced it you totally know what I mean. By the second mile I was feeling more pulled together, and felt alright through the finish.

Wednesday was supposed to be a workout, but after being on campus from 7am to almost 5:30pm it just wasn’t happening. I had the hour drive and the task of sorting out dinner, so killing an hour at the gym wasn’t happening.

I don’t do so hot with the cross training thing, especially on the weekends since I don’t have a gym to visit. I think I’m going to morph my Saturday cross training days into little run, similar to those scheduled on Wednesdays. Hopefully with the new game plan I’ll at least get something in.

6.01 miles, my longest run in over a year and a half. Happy Easter. It felt hot. Of course I headed out at 11:20ish and it ended up being in the low 70’s before I finished, with little wind. It wasn’t a pretty run. I didn’t stop my watch at intersections and I walked a little hill near my house during the last mile, but in general it was a slow run with lots of embarrassing heavy breathing. The loop I ran is just over 4.5 miles so it was mentally challenging the last 1.5 miles to just keep going to get ’em in. Not pretty, but it’s done, and I’m happy with that. Next week: 7!!

Need to find a good route before Sunday 🙂

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Clopi-dopi-dopi-dogrel

I enjoy writing about my running and giving myself the opportunity to see my progress and reflect on it down the road… but really, I eat, sleep, and breathe nursing. Considering I spend most of my time at the hospital, in our one little nursing classroom, or studying, it’s not all that surprising. It even infiltrates my running thoughts – yeah, the one time most people are able to clear their mind seems to be a good time for mind to go into hyperdrive.

The other day I had a patient who was on Plavix, a medication that helps “thin the blood,” similar to aspirin, and inhibit platelet aggregation (clotting). The generic name is clopidogrel. During my run after clinical that night I just kept thinking to myself “clopi-dopi-dopi-dogrel” to the pitter patter of my feet. It was a little annoying, but it did help me keep my cadence up a bit better. My mind would wander off to review nursing considerations for the medication, lab values, the common bolus and maintenance doses, etc. but I couldn’t get away from the simple jingle I created.

I will not forget Plavix now, it’s pretty well ingrained in my head! I have another 4 miles on the agenda for today, which will take me around 45-48 minutes so hopefully I’ll move on from my clopidogrel fascination. I do have midterms coming up next week – so there’s plenty to think about!

Peace ❤

Week of Workouts: 3/14/16

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 3.5 trail miles 36:09 (10:19)
Wednesday: 2.0 trail miles (10:31)
Thursday: 3.69 trail miles 40:00 (10:49)
Friday: rest
Saturday: 40:00 cross train Cleveland indoor hockey tourney
Sunday: 5.0 miles hockey day 2!

I felt good about my runs this week, and not that anxious about missing Sunday’s long run. My weekend of hockey was a thorough full body workout. I was very sore Sunday night and Monday was well beyond that ‘pleasant sore’ feeling. It was close to being legitimately miserable. I was so grateful for the little things on Monday – like the fact I didn’t have a patient with a foley to squat down and empty for I/O every 2 hours.. I used my foam roller and little orb to get as many knots and aches out as I could, it helped a ton, but my muscles were shredded.

I wish I knew the joy of foam rolling when I was in college…it really is amazing.

I’ve been following Hal Higdon’s novice 1 half marathon training plan and sticking to it pretty well. I’m not going to worry about getting an extra five miles in somewhere, I have two 4 mile runs and a 6 miler on the schedule and just hope my muscles recover well enough to get back on track!

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Peace and kindness ❤

Week of Workouts: 3/7/16

Monday: 4.0 treadmill miles 48:02 (12:05)
Tuesday: 3.0 treadmill miles 34:33 (11:21)
Wednesday: 2.0 road miles 21:04 (10:31)
Thursday: 4.0 treadmill miles 48:51 (12:13)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 5.34 trail miles 60:00 (11:14)
Sunday: Rest

Monday’s run was gold – it was easy, I finished and I felt great. It’s the run I’ve been begging the universe for – for an easy run to actually feel easy. So happy to have reached this point!

On Wednesday it was 63F out when I went running, and it felt hot. I was in a tee and shorts and I felt like my shirt was too much.

Thursday felt moderately easy.

I switched my Sunday long run to Saturday due to the weather forecast. I had 5 miles scheduled and was going to run a double out and back, 1.25 miles in each direction. As I was trucking along I decided to make it 15 minute segments. I felt good the entire 60 minutes – something about crossing that threshold and running for an hour just helps my confidence!

It was a pretty rockin’ week I’d say – I continue to feel stronger, some runs feel easier, and although my times aren’t changing radically the runs feel so much better. Hallelujah!! Will be having good weather this week, so I am looking forward to getting outside a bit more 🙂

Wannabe Runner

Since college, and possibly even my high school days, I’ve been a wannabe runner. I ran, I played varsity athletics in college – so I ran a lot, and at times it was brutal, but I wasn’t a runner. I remember one hot August practice on the turf noticing a cross country runner just glide across the path outside the stadium. It was almost 12 years ago, the start of my sophomore year, but this runner left a lasting impression. After that day I would see her running everywhere, she was usually in shorts and a sports bra but always looked at ease as she cruised around campus. I wasn’t jealous, I simply admired her and wanted to be able to run like that (and look like that!).

I really, really wanted to enjoy running. It certainly would have made training for team sports easier. I have ran 4 half marathons and aside from the race itself, I can’t say I’ve enjoyed running. I tried to like it, but it was forced. I didn’t prepare well for any of my halves – due to an assortment of reasons and excuses, one of which surely would be I didn’t enjoy running, and so of course I didn’t want to go for that run in the dreaded heat, or cold, or rain, or pretty much whenever there was something else I could have done (and unfortunately, Netflix and naps/extra sleep are always an option).

Today, I am happy to admit to myself that I have recently really enjoyed running. Today was a rest day for me and I wanted to run! I have spent the previous four days waking up without an alarm, having my morning lemon water and tea, running, journaling, meditating, and stretching (in some inconsistent order). It has been fantastic – I have felt more contentment than I have in, I don’t know how long. I suppose I could chalk this up to spring break (yahoo!), but I think the running has been truly enjoyable as of late. After 4 weeks I finally had a run that was genuinely easy, albeit slow, but it was easy, man!

After my third or fourth half I put a 13.1 magnet on my car. I wanted to have a couple under my belt first, I guess to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. It’s been a couple years since my last race so I’m a little pumped to be getting back into running again so I don’t feel like such a phony driving around. When I put that magnet on my car I felt like I was crossing a threshold and began to accept myself a runner. Now, reaching a point when my training calls for “4 easy miles” and I can run it at a legitimately easy pace, I feel like a wannabe true blue runner. I have so many dreams and goals ahead of me, but for right now, this feels like a pretty big mental accomplishment.

Week of Workouts, 2/29/16

Monday: strength & stretch (light and restful day)
Tuesday: 3.0 miles 38:04 (12:40 avg) track
Wednesday: 2.0 miles 23:12 (11:36 avg) treadmill 1%
Thursday: 3.0 miles 34:03 (11:20) indoor track
Friday: rest
Saturday: cross rest
Sunday: 4 miles rest

I think I am going to enjoy having Mondays as an easy and light strength/stretch day and Fridays off. Mondays can be long at the hospital and by Friday I’m looking forward to just coming home and passing out after lecture ends. It makes for a busy week in the middle there, but I like the restful bookends.

It looks like a lazy weekend but I traveled on Friday after lecture (6 hours after classes 7-3? Thankful we got out early!) and spent Saturday and Sunday with my family, a friend’s baby shower, and another girlfriend’s gender reveal party. So the short-long run gets pushed to Monday. It looks like some pleasant weather is coming up so I hope to get outside more!

These runs are still more challenging than I’d like – so in addition to warmer weather I’m also looking forward to when easy runs really are easy, or at least easier, please! I feel embarrassed that my  pace for a 3 mile run is 12:xx … but it’s my starting point, and we all start somewhere. It’s easy to get down about pace and distance, but I remind myself it’s about progress and running in the moment.

Peace ❤

 

 

Nursing School: Midway Point!

I am a little more that halfway done with nursing school! 6 months down, 6 to go! I expected it to be a relief to reach the midway point, but it’s so much more than that. I am really proud of how far I’ve come and excited about the final months ahead. There are days when I doubt myself and don’t think I have what it takes (usually when my patient is in pain and I have to do something that exacerbates it – this is a real challenge for me). I am so thankful for the good days and when my patients express their gratitude and tell me I am going to be an amazing nurse. I am also grateful for the wonderful nurses I work with at clinical, my clinical instructors, my theory professors, and some really awesome classmates. I am learning so much every stinkin’ day – it’s like my head is going to burst. So many puzzle pieces that I am slowly putting together.. It is intense, but up to this point I haven’t felt overwhelmed. *knock on wood* Nursing is incredibly challenging and rewarding, I absolutely love it.

175 days to graduation! 🙂 ❤