Monday, October 26, 2009

old memories + a new month

a running story, part 3
in case you missed the previous installments of this multi-part series, here are parts one and two. essentially, we left off around the year 2000, a time when my concept of "running" consisted of a maximum of 36 minutes spent on the treadmill, while watching men play squash, during which i would complete exactly 3.6 miles. and that was that.

at that point, i never ventured outside, because that was for real runners: people who were on sports teams, or at least people who ran on the track or cross-country teams in high school. i still remember the mixed feelings of jealousy and awe that i had towards one housemate (laurel!) who would casually stroll in all sweaty in her patagonia gear, having completed a 5 mile jaunt.

at that time, i couldn't imagine myself ever doing that! it wasn't exactly that i thought i would be too slow; it was that i didn't know WHAT would happen. i might die mid-run, or have to walk (while the cross-country athletes went whizzing by!), or get lost. all very distasteful outcomes.

so i stayed inside with the squash players. but then summer hit! that year, i decided to stay on campus. my brilliant plan was to work in a lab (med-school resume builder!), take a kaplan MCAT course (med-school test score builder!), and enjoy williamstown when it wasn't frigid cold (ie, the other 9 months).

i had mixed success: i ended up hating my stint in a chemistry lab, but did fine on the MCAT, and finally got my butt outside to run in the beautiful purple valley. i think that it really helped to have most of the 'real' athletes off campus -- i felt safe to plod along on the uncrowded route.

and here it is! the only route i've ever run on in williamstown. there were (and still are!) SO many other options (although this helpful website didn't exist back then!), but i really only felt comfortable on the 3 mile gale loop, because i knew that running it wouldn't cause me to die, have to walk, or get lost (my top 3 fears, remember?).

i certainly wasn't training for anything, and i had no intention of ever running more mileage or (horrors!) a race. but i enjoyed getting outside and feeling my stamina improve as the loop seemed to get easier and go by faster. i even bought my first mp3 player: the then-cutting-edge Rio PMP300. it fit about 10 songs, conveniently just long enough for my ~30 minute run! awesome.

oh yeah! wish i still had this baby . . .

so there i was, outside, running. once i got to this point, things stayed pretty consistent on the running realm for a while. until medical school. and (more importantly) josh! another to be continued! i know, readers. try not to fall off of the edges of your seats . . .

new month: ER
and so it begins: month 5 of my last year of residency. this year is going by so quickly! for the next 4 weeks, i'll be working in the peds emergency department, which means

a) decent hours, but an erratic schedule
b) interesting stories, most likely
c) i'm totally going to get sick again*

my first shift is today, but it doesn't start until 6 pm. i actually kind of like the 6 pm - 2 am shift -- you get the whole day free, but still get to go home to your bed while it's still nighttime. plus, you're never working alone. i completely failed at my attempts to stay up later and get on a more night-friendly schedule, but i'm sure staying up until the end of my shift tonight will set me straight fast.

i had a mega-relaxing weekend, which means i still have some catch-up to do. but it was worth it!


not too terrible, right? i'm really into writing out daily goals lately! kind of helps me to stay present and not get overwhelmed by things up ahead.

* i am kind of annoyed that i am being sent to the peds ED (ie, H1N1 GROUND ZERO) without an H1N1 vaccine. apparently, since i fit into the 'healthcare worker' category, i COULD have gotten one at the health department, but it was not widely publicized, and currently there are no doses left at either the duham or orange county locations. then again, i may have already had the virus, anyway. i'll just hope that is the case!



workout: 16 miles that i already gushed about! JennyN: you are right that this run was definitely run faster than traditional 'long run' pace. but i just went by feel, and did not feel like i was pushing myself at all. i think so much about pace is dependent on conditions (ie, this run was flat, the weather was cool, and i was well-rested)! while i am absolutely NOT going to run a marathon at 8:00/mi pace, i don't think that running long runs on the faster side will lead to injury -- as long as i'm not going all-out in order to run that pace. i am only very mildly sore today, so i think yesterday was probably okay. thoughts?

doin' time: leftovers

reading: none, other than about 100 pages of murakami (finally getting to read this book! thank you azusa!)


  1. 6pm-2am does sound like a pretty good shift! At least on the floor patients would be asleep for a little bit...hopefully.

    I think your pace for your long run was fine...for my last one, many of my runs were only 10-15 seconds slower than my goal pace...and ended up being right around overall marathon pace. I wasn't pushing hard, and it felt natural. As long as you're not in pain or absolutely exhausted today, I think you're fine.

  2. I think going by feel for your marathon pace is fine. You don't want to go so fast you die on the last few miles, but you don't want to run so slow that you feel like you're just plodding along either.

    I think working an alternative schedule can have some good points because you are free to run errands/make appointments during "normal work hours" that are hard to make because most people have to work then.

  3. Anonymous1:15 PM

    you are such a tease with the story ;)

    such nice handwriting! i'm jealous, i can only get mine to look like that when i really try haha.

    i like your thinking re: the marathon pace is great. going by feel is a really smart option

  4. i like the idea of running by feel; heck, the east africans do it that way.

  5. We're having our H1N1 vaccine "blitz" on Thursday. I guess I should go ahead and get it, since I'll be in the ER during January. I caught some cold (my theory is RSV since ALL of our patients have either that or asthma at this point!) and, of course, the worst of if was on our call day. Kept telling the nurses (who wanted to swab me for swine) that I really felt okay except my nose...if I could cut it off, I'd be perfect! :-) Hope you can ward off the bugs!

    My "thing" the fell off when med school came was weight work. I used to do free weights in a class twice a week and my arms were toned. Med school came and...that went! I'm trying to get back into it but so far it's been tough. We'll see!

  6. Oh...and BTW, your shifts sound so much better than ours...they are ALL 12 hour shifts - 7a-7p, 11a-11p, 2p-2a, and 7p-7a. Ugh!

  7. atilla9:49 PM

    if I never saw another ER it would be okay

  8. Anonymous10:37 PM

    I was definitely still carrying a tape player while I ran in college. Probably part of the reason I didn't run that far.