I took my first day off from working out in about two weeks. It felt weird, but it was necessary for my sore muscles. I’ve been on a complete fitness kick, which is a habit I’ve been cultivating all year and am just kicking into high gear. My first half marathon is over and I won’t start extra training for the next one until December, so I’ve had to find other ways to fill that void in my schedule. School? What school? Hahaha.
What I did instead on Saturday was make stuffed peppers, work on homework, and then go to an amusement park with Janet. It was all decked out for Halloween and as crowded as I’ve ever seen it due to the perfect weather. We rode some of our favorite rides, got scared by the designated scary creatures, and even went through one haunted house (her first ever). It was a lot of fun!
Sunday I woke up for a lovely 5-mile run, notably my personal best time for that distance (under 58 min). I also used a heart rate monitor for the first time (borrowed from Stacy) and I was really intrigued by the results. My average HR was around 172 bpm, but I did some sprints to get it up to 180 just for a moment, then watched as I returned to my normal effort and my HR dropped back down to the low 170s. It was only after I returned home and googled that I determined just how high that HR is. Most websites say my absolute peak should be 165-170 bpm, and while 172 isn’t grossly outside that limit, remember that 165-170 should be the upper extreme. What I found most interesting is that even though I was pushing myself, it did not feel like as much of an effort as the numbers suggest. I was running alone, but I imagine I could have held a conversation if given the opportunity. This tells me that either the HR monitor is off, or something else is amiss. I’m going to schedule my 2013 annual physical before too long, and I’ll try to ask my doc what he thinks.
Anyway, the day continued with a neighborhood Skype with my friend Will who is currently living and teaching in the Middle East. I actually hadn’t SEEN him since he left, so that was a real treat. We had lots of laughs, mostly over the dumb things I was saying. My morning continued at a relaxed pace as I gathered my stuff together for the great forrest migration. Let me explain.
James and I are both busy individuals (he works and I have school plus part-time hours) and we generally don’t have time to see each other during the week. So he suggested we try something new and extend our time together during the week. Yes, we’ll still have our work and school, but we’ll be together in our free time. So I’m here at his place now. He gets up wicked early for work, and I got up with him. I’m going to spend the rest of my morning studying with a break for a run (when the sun comes up, that is). So far, I like this development. And if all goes according to plan, he’ll be doing the same thing at my place next weekend.
I’m in one of those stages again where I’m blogging all the time. I must be either really busy, really happy, or really not wanting to delve into homework.
Friday was productive, but slightly off schedule. I made my delicious banana bread in the morning then started some homework before yoga. I’ve reached another turning point in my yoga practice, because I can finally achieve a plow pose and a shoulder stand. Both poses still need improvement, but the fact that I can do them at all exceeds my former expectations.
After lunch, I managed to finish the primary homework (a quiz for my online class) before heading to a doc appointment. It was fine, but took too long. Then I met up with Lyds for a spontaneous shopping trip to buy running pants. She also gave me some of her old yoga pants 🙂
That made me late for my phone date with Lydia, but only slightly. We got all caught up while I drove home, took the dog for a walk, and I immediately turned around and drove to Stacy’s for dinner. Stacy is using eMeals, and she made us the most delicious salmon patties. I brought twice baked potatoes, which she enjoyed. Then we hung out for the rest of the evening with her boys.
That brings me to today. Plan A was to get up to go out with a new running group at 0555, but two things stand in the way of that 1) My lack of desire to run that early this time of year (cold!) and 2) The realization that I need a rest day. And I’m not just saying that. I’ve run 65 miles this month and have not taken an off-day (including cross training) since the 16th. My body is sore and needs time to recover. I am going to try the Sunday 8am running group instead, even if it is less well-attended. Or just run on my own tomorrow. Either way.
So the plan for the day is to study (duh), to make stuffed peppers and have my neighbor over for dinner, and to go with her to some Halloween festivities in the evening. Should be fun!
I was gonna get so much homework done tonight! It really almost happened. So close I could taste it. But here’s what happened instead, and why I am about ready to go to bed any second…
My nursing school cohort had our orientation to Mental Health Clinical at the facility where we will be working. It was a full day of powerpoints, safety briefs, and sharing our feelings. We got a brief respite for lunch, but then it was right back in the closed quarters with our peers and instructors. I was joking all day that there’s a reason they hadn’t given us keys yet…it felt like they were going to keep us there permanently! The most interesting part of the day came when we simulated the condition of having auditory hallucinations (aka hearing voices). We listened to audio of some pretty creepy voices while attempting to read an article and answer questions about it. I had one of the strongest reactions out of everyone who shared their feelings, because I felt really hopeless and oppressed with all of those voices in my ears. I felt like I wanted to crawl into a corner and hide. I managed to ‘function’ in that I read and comprehended the article, but I felt horrible while doing it.
So I left that experience feeling really drained. I took a quick trip to the grocery store, but forgot (once again!) to go by the hardware store to get the right parts to affix my TP hanger to the wall. And by that time I was STARVING so I ate some delicious Chicken Tikka Masala for dinner. Then I headed to the dog park because it was a beautiful day, but no one else was there (womp womp). I had just enough time to fit in a run before an 8pm virtual meeting. Did I mention that in addition to my regular RN coursework, I am also working on my BSN through an online program? I may or may not be sane by the end of this.
I got in a 4-mile run in the twilight (jamming to my favorite Disney tunes and sliding in at just under 11:30/mi) and made it to the meeting just in time. Luckily it didn’t last the full hour like I was expecting…more like 10 minutes. So I had all this time on my hands… And what did I end up doing? A few odds and ends, getting quite distracted, but unable to focus on anything. Can you blame me? It’s been a long-ass day and I don’t technically have anything due until tomorrow evening.
But let me just jump back to yesterday (Wednesday) before I crash. Got an early start to finish up my reading for class before going to yoga at Lara’s. It was a really great practice, and I came closer to achieving plow pose than I ever have before, which is exciting to me because there was definitely a time when I thought I’d never be able to do it. However, the downside of this practice was that I had to rush back home afterwards, and I barely had time to grab a shower and lunch before class started. I thought I had plenty of time, and I was almost late to class.
Our first Mental Health Nursing class was pretty great! Our instructor is full of wisdom, and seems to convey information in a way that is easy to understand and also interesting. It was really nice to change courses mid-semester. And after the Thursday orientation, I am feeling even better about it. This course is going to be a lot of hard work, but I feel like I am really going to learn a lot in the process.
Tomorrow I’ve got yoga, a doctor’s appointment, and dinner with my friend Stacy. I also need to make banana bread, do lots of homework, and get organized for the next 5 weeks.
So this weekend was pretty great! Got up early on Saturday for a run, got in some studying, and then James came over. We went to the dog park to see our friends and then made salmon for dinner.
Sunday we had a relaxing morning and then went out for an adventure. Over the summer I won a 2-person 2-hour kayaking trip from my gym, and we went to redeem it. We each got our own sit-on-top kayaks and started out from a nifty dock launch. I’ve never seen one like it before and it made for easy self-launching. We had a nice, smooth trip down the creek. The weather was just ridiculously beautiful and pretty breezy for the most part. We made it down 3 miles to the next dock before turning around, and made it back just outside the 2 hours. But we still made time to pull our boats together for kayak kisses. Priorities 😉 It was quite a lovely way to spend the afternoon.
He headed back early in the evening, and I went to the dog park to procrastinate studying just a bit longer. Monday was a blur of testing, clinical prep, and heading to bed early. I did not go to the dog park, but took Bonnie on a 4-mile run with me instead.
Today (Tuesday) I finished my last clinical of Med/Surg. I came home, took a 5-mile solo run, then went to the dog park (good turnout tonight). After making dinner, I made some phone calls, watched some TV, and am calling it an early night.
Tomorrow I begin my next class, Mental Health Nursing and Thursday I have clinical orientation. But before that, I have a yoga practice and lots of reading to do.
(This was supposed to be posted Friday 9/20.) I hope I haven’t hit my stride this week exclusively because the weather has been so ridiculously fantastic. I hope it truly is because I am getting better at running and I’m driven to persevere. Because I’m really going to need that drive when the weather dives down below 40 in the coming months. I chickened out of running last winter, but this time I’ve got to push myself if I’m going to get through the Half-Marathon I have in March. But let me jump back to the present.
The weather has been, as I mentioned, phenomenal. I ran Monday and Tuesday on my new shoes. I wasn’t even planning to run Wednesday because I had yoga scheduled for the afternoon, but it was too pretty not to run! And then I ran 7 miles Thursday, just because I had the time and I felt like it. That’s an unusual amount of running for me, but all the runs have felt good and I haven’t been doing unreasonable distances.
I’ve also been on a 5-day dog park streak, which some would note is ambitious. But how can I justify not going when conditions are ideal? I go a lot when the weather stinks, so weeks like this are sort of my reward.
School is still frustrating, but I’m about to start my next 5-week class, so change is welcome.
So many of my habits seem to be ephemeral… here today, gone tomorrow. This blog sometimes seems like one of them, but I like that I have it despite its irregularity.
Can’t possibly fill in everything from the past two weeks, so I’ll summarize. School is mostly frustrating and stressful, but I really like the hand-on experiences I’m getting to do in my Med/Surg clinicals. My social life is erratic, but more alive than you’d expect considering that I’m so busy with school. Last weekend, I had scheduled work but they cancelled me, so I got to go to a Phi Mu social event that I had not expected to attend, which was really fun!
I’m feeling really great right now! Got an early start, but after my clinical day, I took advantage of the great weather. Not only did I run 5 miles (in my new Saucony shoes) but I took a dip in the pool afterwards. One of those rare days that I could do both in the afternoon. Then after a quick clean-up and dinner, I took Bonnie to the park. It was so beautiful today!
This weekend I finally made it out to spend time with James at his new place. The drive is unfortunate in length but pretty nonetheless. We had an awesome time…took the dogs for a walk on the beach Saturday and then on a nature trail Sunday. He’s still exploring the area, so we did a lot of scenic driving.
Also, Friday was exciting because I got to see Steve! Met up with him and a couple others at Plaza for lots of delicious food, and he and I ended up having a great talk afterwards. Then I got up early Saturday for The Color Run! Carrie and I finished together, and I was so proud of her. She’s a future runner – I just know it 🙂
That’s as far back as I can go without getting muddled. All I know for sure is that this month (so far) has been a roller coaster of feelings and experiences.
This weekend was wonderful, and was rounded out by a fun labor day BBQ with my dog park family (plus James and Jenn). But now the real stress of school has returned, and is exacerbated by the fact that our clinical instructor got pulled to cover another class starting next week. She was the highlight of my semester so far, and now she’s gone. I am not getting as much out of the lecture portion of the class as I expected, and now my clinical is all the more uncertain.
To top if off, I am tired from the early clinical hours, sore from the run, and generally overwhelmed by all that I have to do. This semester is nonstop, and I already feel so behind.
Just getting a little bit of venting out there, because if this blog is about my real life, it can’t always be sunshine and roses.