Making a successful school / training schedule…

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I’m not sayin’ its an excuse for going AWOL on you guys, but I just wanted some proof to back me up – this chick has been BUSY. My last post was over a week ago, and the days have just been going by so dang fast! In addition to anything on the ToDo list, I’ve had class, training, we had a yard sale this weekend, work, and work #2. Luckily, my trusty iCal has helped keep me on top of the game.

iCal — Week — 9_13_09 to 9_19_09

Like I said.. no excuses though. 😉

So anyways, now that the school year is underway, I wanted to share with you guys my schedule, and how I fit running/training into that. I have talked to some med students here that I know are runners, or people who are in residencies, and asked them the same thing. Not gonna lie – sometimes it scares me to think I could find myself already in scrubs at 5:00am, working all day, studying, and before I know it it’s 11:00pm. I think of that and the image that comes up in my mind is this blood-shot med student (OOOMG. Do not go type that into flickr.) decked in scrubs, falling asleep over a text book. Well, I don’t have to worry about that yet because I’m still working on undergrad, and then oh yeah – I still have to get in to med school! Haha.. I’ll worry about it when the time comes. So without further ado, here is my current class schedule:


class schedule

Every semester up until this point I have alway had a 3 day weekend – either Monday or Friday off. Honestly though, I feel like this is the BEST schedule I have ever had, and especially for training purposes. Because that’s why I’m going to school.. to train.. right? 😉 If you can’t see.. my earliest class starts at 11:15 M/T/W/TH, and I don’t start until 1:25 on F. I’m done with class at 3:25 M/W/TH/F, and done by 12:30 on T!! I also have two nice little breaks on M and TH in between classes. Wednesdays are my packed day,  but honestly, it’s still not that bad. These are the classes I’m taking this semester:
  • KIN 3001 – Lifetime Fitness and Health
  • KIN 3027 – Anatomy for Kinesiology students
  • KIN 3027 – Lab.. we’re working on cadavers!! 
  • WRIT 1301 – College writing. Which I somehow thought I could test out of, so never took it as a freshman. I am definitely the only JUNIOR in that class. 😯 . It’s kinda cute though.. it makes me think back to when I was a freshman. I’m sure I have said some of the dumb shit funny stuff they say. 😉
  • MATH 1151 – Precalc II. Also definitely one of the oldest kids in this class.. mostly freshman, some sophomores. A couple seniors so at least I’m not the oldest! I feel NO shame though. I haven’t taken any math class since my junior year in HIGH SCHOOL.. and that was Pre-calc. So basically I’m retaking the same class I took 4 years ago. While lots of stuff is starting to come back to me, I am definitely appreciative of the review.
So that is my CLASS schedule. Here is what that same week looks like with training built in:
 
class schedule
This is this past week – a 54 mile week in terms of running, got in two 3500 yard days in the pool, some biking, some Arc Trainer’n, some core, and some light lifting. As you can see, I tend to load my workouts in the morning because a) I have time to, and b) I am a morning person. I really try and maximize the time I have available – sometimes I can get in a run during my break on M or TH, and yes, I am definitely a kid who eats in class. Hahha there are rules to in-class-eating that I try to abide by (nothing too crunchy, nothing that despite how good it tastes smells nasty), but that is a post in and of itself! It has been really nice to have other kids from my tri team to train with – especially in the pool. It’s also super nice that on the days I bike to school, I can get half my workout done just commuting! It’s a half hour each way which is perfect! I still do “run club” with my guys group.. haha Team MED – anyone remember? .. every Tuesday night at 6:00. It has been our little tradition for a long time now. I can’t believe I’ve been running with these guys for three years! 
 
So then what about school? Because that IS what I am here to do. As much as I joke around about it, school is my number one priority. Scary as it may be to think about not getting to do what I want to do when I hit med school.. or even now.. I just gotta suck it up! There are days when I have had to just say forget it – you’re not getting a run in today. As much as my running (and now, slowly but surely, my biking and swimming) is my one grounding element in my life, there are times when you have to sacrifice and make adjustments. This has been a good challenge for me and my type A++ self – learning to accommodate! Maybe I don’t have time for the 8 miles that I wanted, but I can still fit in 5 – then I can still do the 5! I come from a very black and white/all or none mind set.. and this is good practice for getting ready for real life, when you don’t always get to be the one in charge. 😉
 
In addition to my class/training schedule, I am also still working two jobs. Only weekends at the restaurant now though, and definitely manageable hours. I still need that cash flowin’ in! 
 
What is your schedule like? Are you a student, or have you hit that real-life working world. How do you fit in your training? Do you have any tips to share? Bonus points if you’re a med student and you put in your answer – I’d love to hear it!
 
I’m off for a ride with two of the guys from the team.. and then working dinner! Like I said – super manageable hours. Now that it’s after Labor Day, we close at 7:30, so I’m almost always home by 9:00. As you can see below.. today I’m still reppin’ for the Huskies Tri Team! 
 
Photo 18
Have a good one!
-E

Victory Memorial 10K & 5K Race Report

Well… I said I was racing a lot this year, and I wasn’t lyin’! On Labor day I did not one, but two races – the Victory Memorial 10K and 5K – ohhh yes – enter the double headers. This was not your run of the mill lil race – there was some SERIOUS runnin’ going on. Lots of very. competitive. runners. Luckily though, not so many in my age group.

But looking at the results only proves my birthday fear – I will not be so highly ranked once I move up into the next age group! Check out the RESULTS and you’ll see what I mean! For the 10K WOMEN, the top time in the age group ahead of me (20-24) was a freaking amazing finish by Amy Lyons with a time of 36:31. That’s a 5:53 average pace!! Annnd.. look just down a little and there is a new Minnesota record – a 41:12 (6:38 avg) for a 55 year old!! She finished 3 places ahead of me, and MAN was she looking strong! 

So my race: I ran the 10K in 41:33 (6:41 avg pace), which was good enough to get me 20th overall, and 1st in my age group! I won’t even tell you about the 5K, because race it – I did not. I was under the impression that the 10K awards were after the 5K, so I thought WTH, I’ll do the 5K as a cool down. It was only 5 extra bucks for the double header, so I paid, got a 2nd number, and hopped to it! I was running with two other ladies from  one of my training groups who had also run the 10K, and were were running pretty easy. Then at mile  2.5, Jackie reminded me that there was a prize for best overall combined time for anyone doubling that day, and she suggested I go for it. So with only half a mile left, I kicked it up a bit and ran in with an average of 7:20. Unfortunately, I wasn’t elligible for the double-header category since I wasn’t preregistered for both. But apparently there were no 19 and under females running the 5K faster than I did, because I took that age group too!

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getting my gift certificates!

OK.. enough about races – I’m going to give you the whole shebang in photos, and get to homework! I have two posts that I really want to get out, but I thought I better post this before it’s like a month later!

 

The rest of team MED (which is now MED-B) also ran the 10K!

The rest of team MED (which is now MED-B) also ran the 10K!

 

Gettin' pumped

Gettin' pumped pre-10K

Stretchin out the muscles pre-5K

Stretchin out the muscles pre-5K

 

Two of the ladies and I.. oh J, sorry ;)

Two of the ladies and I.. oh J, sorry 😉

Bringin in the 5K

Bringin in the 5K

And that is that my friends! I honestly had no expectations going into this race.. I legit went to bed at 1:15 because I was hanging out with the guys downstairs, and I woke up at 6:00. But hey – adversity training, right? 

No more races (that I know of!) until TWIN CITIES MARATHON which is only 24 days away! I have my last 20 miler this Saturday which I’m super pumped for, and then I belllieve I’m headed up to watch/cheer/volunteer at the Square Lake Triathlon. Several of my TEAMMATES are competing in the half course! More on that to come…

And one quick word – SCHOOOOL. ?!?! Ahhh! Back at it. I am having some class scheduling/changing/dropping/switching difficulties ATM, but other than that, good stuff. Feels great to be back!

Love you all, and see you soon.

-E

p.s. I feel like cookies would be a very very good pre/post run fuel! And perfect for being on the go at school!

Better days.. and a Macaroooo!

I wish EVERY day could start like this:

morning coffee + "Sneaky Pete's"

morning coffee + "Sneaky Pete's"

I promise I'm actually not that pale..

Shoes on and GO!

Unfortunately, today in Minneapolis is one of “those” days.. gray skies, drizzling rain, no sun in sight. Doubly unfortunate – this is my day off from work. My day’s off are usually filled with outdoor adventures, as I’ve posted about in the past, but today feels like one of those days when you just want to stay warm and dry. In memory of sunny days past, I will share with you a few photos of my adventure day off of work from last week 😀 Maybe it will be good karma and the sun will peak through..

goodies from aforementioned excursion

goodies from aforementioned excursion

I’m LOVING the new green backpack by the way.. definitely a good buy! I haven’t gone back to Opitz at all this week because I feel pretty set for clothes. Today though my mom and I have to make a run to SpendAllYourMoney and gather up quite a few things. Supposedly though, they’ll ship it all straight to my dorm, so that’s good. It’s terrible how pessimistic I am about this, but I can just foresee something going wrong. I’m moving ALONE.. so that has already put me in the mindset of “this isn’t gonna work”.. “I’m going to be the only one doing this alone” (which is partially true – my 5 other suitemates all have family members helping out. BUT they’re all from the east coast, so it’s not an extra flight for them).. “things are going to get lost”.. “FIVE flights of stairs – are you freaking kidding!?!”.. you get the picture. What I need to be thinking is:

  • This is going to work just FINE!
  • My mom’s coming in October!
  • Obviously you’ll forget something or something will get lost – it happens to everyone!

Hah – and if I can’t really get myself to think that, I can at least fake it! (I used to always do this for track workouts.. I’d tell myself all day “Yesss! I LOVE repeat 400s!”.. and by the time practice rolled around it really wasn’t that bad!) 😀

OH! So you’ve all seen photos of my laptop. I got it at the beginning of the last school year, and I pretty much love it. It’s an HP Pavillion dv2000.. “special edition” (read: it has a super pretty design on the cover and insides.. I don’t know if there’s anything else that sets it apart..). When I got it I sprung (sprang? wtf..) for all the bells and whistles, and the 3 year protection plan, and the (.. you get the point) .. because I thought this was going to last me for a long time! But being the brilliant student that I am, I didn’t think ahead to the fact that DUH most design students are on MACs.

Of course a school can’t say you’re REQUIRED to use a Mac.. but they “strongly recommend” it. Basically, what I read from the message was,

Please save yourself some face and save us the hassle of dealing with you trying to use a different system than everyone else. You will be the only one not using a Mac. So buy the Mac Macbook PRO. Now.

was white my only option? I wanted black..

was white my only option? I wanted black..

Yesssir. So within the next day or so, this lil guy, + iWorks (already installed thank god) + Windows for Macs + a free touch iPod + a macbook sleeve should be arriving in the mail. So my question for all of YOU is this: who is on a Mac? Do you like it? Is it really different than an HP? Is it better/worse? Any design students out there using it? What do you think?

I’ve basically been against iPods since the day they were created, so I’ll most likely be selling this one as well. I sold the other Shuffle I won at that race a while back too. Anyone in need of an iPod? 😉

Wellll I think it’s time for me to move onto other things on my ToDo list (and yes – blog update was actually on there). I have RunClub with Team MED tonight at 6, and that BB&B excursion hopefully by 3! Not to mention all the other million and one things I need to do to get ready to move! Hope the weather is better for all of you out there! Enjoy the day.

Grandma’s non-race race report!

Honestly, I don’t feel like I need to say anything more than

Grandma’s Marathon was a BLAST!

But of course I will. 😉 Not a race report.. but I will take you through the my Grandma’s experience from start to finish!

My mom has run Grandma’s Marathon 7 or 8 times. It always used to be over Father’s Day weekend, so we would pack up practically the day after school was out, and head up to Breezy Point Resort in Two Harbors for the whole week. The entire trip was full of flashbacks from past year’s Grandma’s adventures.

This time though started a whole new chapter in my book of Grandma’s memories. This time, the trip was for ME. 😀 No Breezy Point resort (although I do hope to continue that tradition in the future..), and no week long vacation (that one would be nice too), and this time, I wasn’t a super fan – I was a runner!

And I say runner – not racer. If you don’t remember me talking about it back at Med City time.. my plan was that if I BQed at Med City, then I would just take Grandma’s easy and have fun. If I didn’t, well I didn’t really want to consider that, but there was always as a backup! Luckily, I took care of qualifying early on, and so for Grandma’s I decided to pace two of my favorite buddies from my Running Club! These two lucky guys would be D and M, together forming team MED. 🙂 D’s previous PR was a 4:30something at Twin Cities last year, but that was his first marathon, and for those who don’t know, Twin Cities (the same day as last year’s Chicago) was KILLER HOT. D has improved so much since then! M on the other hand had run Fargo back in mid May, and Med City at the end of May.. so this was marathon #3 within about six weeks! M’s previous PR was like a 3:45 I believe (over in Fargo).

pre-race

D and I drove up on Friday afternoon. After getting through some annoying traffic on 280 (can’t wait till the 35W bridge is open again!) the ride was pretty smooth the whole way up. We had fun looking over at other cars and guessing which contained runners on their way up too. The 26.2 bumper stickers were a dead give away, but so were the vans that had grocery bags in back with bananas peaking over the top! We went to the expo right away to get our packets, and we were in and out in no time!

Dinner was FABULOUS and at Pizza Luce in downtown Duluth. During race weekend, most restaurants wont take reservations, so we weren’t sure if we’d get in. We planned that we’d all meet at 6:00 at the restaurant, and we were probably seated by 7:00! That’s really not that bad considering the amount of people that were there.. and especially not bad because we had a table of about 20! That included about 13 runners and some family members who tagged along. I think the majority of us runners got spaghetti, myself included! It was delicious as always. I ❤ Pizza Luce. We also got ice cream on the way back to the hotel, because that’s just what you do and it’s my standard night-before-a-race (actually night before.. every day) deal. It was also delicious. As always. I ❤ ice cream. 😀

We stayed at a hotel about 10 minutes outside of downtown Duluth. Almost every hotel has a 2-day-minimum kinda deal.. which is sort of ridiculous. Along with ridiculous are the RATES! $216 a night.. for a hotel that any other time would typically be like under $100. I don’t really care though.. the room was comfortable, there was good water pressure in the shower, we were across the street from a shuttle to the race start, and they had coffee. We clearly know what matters.. 😉 Along with D and I were four other people in our room – N (another girl from our running club), Big Bryce (the BF of a girl from our RC), and two guys who were the acquaintances of a friend of an ex girl friend (‘s dog sitter’s neighbor from Tennessee. Or something along those lines.) There were only two queen beds.. so the acquaintances got sleeping bags on the floor. Plus, they were only running the half.. sleep doesn’t really matter if you’re only doing 13. 😉 (Haha kidding. Sorta.)

Saturday morning started at 5:00 am. There were shuttles from the mall across the street at 5:30 and 6:00.. and we opted for the 6:00 because unless you’re really concerned for some reason that you wouldn’t get there in time.. why go stand around outside for an extra half hour when you could have that extra time to sleep? The hotel had continental breakfast open at like 4 already.. so I headed down there after I got dressed. Of course, most the runners down there brought their own trusty breakfast along.. we just all wanted the coffee.. to “clear things out”. It was hilarious.. everyone has their own little tricks for getting things goin in the morning. There were people standing there doing toe raises as they watched the morning weather, and one chick was running up and down the hall.

We walked across the street to the mall at 5:45. It was weird to have it be so sunny already! I’d say it was about 60 degrees already? Not bad. While we were waiting, I had my trusty breakfast of soy nuggets and coffee. I also grabbed an english muffin from the breakfast room.. and decided to eat that on the bus. The ride was quick, and before we knew it, we were in Two Harbors at the start!

This is when you know.. you’re in for a good time. 😀 There’s music playing, people laughing, the whole atmosphere is just FUN! We jumped in line for the porta-potties right away, made it through the line, went to go find M, and drop off our sweat bags. M was getting nervous because he came on the 5:30 bus.. and he was probably thinking “WHERE ARE THEY!?” I’d be thinking the same thing if I was waiting around and my team wasn’t there yet!

(Left to Right: N, ME, M, D)

We jumped over the fence for the chute so we could make it up to the 3:30 group. That’s what both M and D had in mind for a goal time.. although I say “had in mind” very loosely. Both of them just really wanted to run and do their best, and if that meant taking it back, then that meant taking it back! I know D is capable of running a 3:30 marathon, but he just doesn’t race enough to know how much he has improved. M was shooting for a 3:30 because that’s his qualifying time for Boston!

do work!

The race started right on time at 7:30, and off we went! We stayed on pace (actually ahead of pace.. because M and D both walked through the water stops) up until mile 16. At that point, I could feel that both of them had been fading – I was in that always-one-step-ahead-of-ya position.. but I didn’t want to ask them if they wanted to tone it down because this was their race.. and I wanted them calling the shots. Both of them decided to take it back a notch at that point, and shortly after, M told D and I to go head. We continued on.. but still slowing down.

I was having so much fun.. the crowds at Grandma’s are AMAZING! Such a different experience than Med City. For the first ~18 of the course, they are spread out along the county road, mostly at or around the aid stations. Once you get into Duluth though, they’re pretty much constant! Oh – my dad!! I forgot to say that my dad drove up, at 3:00 in the morning! Trooper. I wasn’t sure where he would pop out, and I only saw him twice on the course, it it was great to hear his voice! Around mile 22 I saw him the 2nd time, and ran up and jumped in his arms and gave him a big hug, and then took off again. I thought I had a right to be tired.. but man-o-man, this guy deserved a nap! (Which luckily he got..!)

The last 10K was definitely the hardest for D. He didn’t hit “the wall”.. but maybe more like a fence. He was just sorta losing steam. It didn’t help that there were now water stops at every mile between 19 and 26, because that meant more walk breaks, which meant more times where it’s harder to get going. I kept tellin him, “The faster you run, the faster you’ll be finished!” Lemon Drop “Hill” was at like 22.. and I could tell D wasn’t thrilled about that one. He did a really good job though on the way down – dropping his arms and opening up his stride. OH MAN I said some ridiculous things along those last six miles trying to encourage him on! Something along the lines of..

“Dominate that hill D! It’s yours!”

“This is the strongest mile of your life! Make it yours!”

“Find your Kenyan! Dig deep.. it’s in there!”

At which point he probably just wanted to say “Shut up Erika! I’m trying!” but he didn’t and he just took it all.. haha now we get to look back on it and laugh. Afterwards, he said it was helpful, even though he couldn’t talk and say anything back, so YAY for good effort and not stopping even though I sounded like an idiot. 😀

In between 25 and 26, I was turned back yelling something [good and encouraging] at D, when all of the sudden, M came outta nowhere! I was like “Mighty M! Where’d you come from!” (We all have nicknames by the way.. Mighty M, Dashing D, Extreme Erika, Namaste N.. etc. I don’t know if they want their names online, so I’m sticking with letters here.) I wanted to all finish as Team MED!! But D told us to go ahead.. he was still truckin though! M and I pulled up a little, and crossed the line together. He was hilarious, and amazing! He kept saying “Stop speeding up! My legs can’t go any faster!” and I was like “I’m not going faster! You’re going faster! C’mon – you can do this!!”

M and I both finished in 3:42:xx, and D came in at 3:43:xx. D PRed by over 45 minutes! And while M didn’t qualify for Boston this time, he’s just that much closer! They’re both running TC (yes – I’m jealous!) in October, and I know they’ll both do stellar!

post-race

Post race was fabulous (as it always is at Grandma’s!) We got our medals, shirts, drink tickets, (and I got a carnation! I guess this was only for the ladies.. a nice gesture but I ended up thrown it away.. :/ I’m not gonna carry around a flower for the entire time afterwards.) We took a Team MED picture (see above!) in front of the Grandma’s backdrop.. knowing that none of us would get it since they’re like $$$! Then we went to grab our sweat bags, get water, stretch, (lie down in D’s case), find family, and relax!! For the runners, there was ice cream, yogurt, fruit, bagels, sandwiches, water, bottled dirty bath water Ultima, and MASSAGES (with a killer long line). We didn’t end up getting a massage.. but I really wanted one!!

We also met up with N, who finished around 3:48:xx!! My dad found me, and after many hugs and laughter, he went off to sit, enjoy a beer, and actually go back to the car and nap. He had only gotten like 3 hours of sleep!! I also ran into Mary – the woman I ran the majority of Med City with! She finished in 3:05, and did AMAZING! It’s funny how when you’re trying to find someone, you can’t for the life of you, but when you’re not looking you seem to run into everyone you know!

After we all rested up a bit and got rehydrated/refueled, we went down to the water front with M’s son (who also happens to be named M in this case) to wade into the chilly waters of Lake Superior. Chilly is an understatement – it’s freaking FREEZING. But it felt sooooo good. I wish I had been smart like N and brought along my SOCKS (I gave them to my dad in a second bag once I switched into my flip flops), because then I could have stayed in much longer! The water felt AMAZING on my legs, but it HURT your feet. Like, BAD.

D, N, and I wandered around/through all the post-race festivities, used up are drink tickets, and then decided it was time to head back to the hotel. I had gotten 2nd in my age group, and was told I was going to be getting an award. Sooo I wanted to rush back to the hotel, take a speed shower, pack up my stuff, and make it back in time for the awards ceremony at 3:15. We did just that, but it turned out then that the HALF awards started at 3:30, the MARATHON awards weren’t until 4:15. And then, after sitting through all of that, I realized that they were only giving out an award to the first place winner in the 19 and under age group, though they were giving an award to the top three in every other category. Lame. I felt like an idiot sitting through that whole thing.. and then not getting an award. I don’t get the reason behind that.. but whatever though – good to support all the other runners. Plus I saw so many familiar people/heard so many familiar names of people my mom used to run with! It turns out, the girl who took 1st in my age group was less than 30 seconds ahead of me. Not like I would have left Team MED to get her had I known.. but c’mon. Oh well, I can be happy to know that my Med City time smoked her! To give you an idea what the field is like.. Lamech Mokono, the top male finisher came in at 2:13:39, and the top female finisher, Mary Akor, ran a 2:38:50. 10 of the 12 top males were from Kenya 😀

( Mathew Chesang, winner of the half, came in at 1:04:48!!)

My dad and I headed home after the awards. We didn’t even get on the road till like 5:00, and with a stop for dinner along the way we didn’t get home till after 8:00. I drove half way home because my dad was still sleepy, but it was actually really nice to be behind the wheel – kind of relaxing. If I could have gotten into the Big Tent, I for sure would have stayed on Saturday night. I think it’s dumb that they can’t just X people who are under age. I’m clearly not the only one under 21 who ran! I can go to clubs and bars here in the cities, I just can’t drink! It seams pretty common sense to me.. I think that’s something Grandma’s should reconsider for next year.

Somethings they don’t need to reconsider are the cups of ICE, and the COLD WET SPONGES. Those were amazing. Someone needs to tell Twin Cities to get their rear in gear and do that too! Overall, the whole experience was a blast! It was worth every single thing, and certain people reading can go ahead and take the hint. I can’t wait to race Grandma’s in 2009! I’ll be countin down the days!

The next day (Sunday) was a big open house at my home.. something we’ve been preparing for for WEEKS! It definitely added to the stress that I wasn’t around on Friday night/Saturday day to help out. I was fabulous though – everything went smoothly and tons of people came! My mom worked her but off and I appreciate everything she did so much! The food was great, and the weather held out. Both D and M came too! We went for a short run once everything died down, and there were only a few people left. Team Med, reunited 😀