Category: School

Life Updates

I haven’t meant to completely abandon my blog during the week but lately, life has been busy and has left me completely drained and unmotivated to sit by my computer in my free time. Sonic woke up me up early today, on my rest day from running of course, so I have a little time to write before I head off to work. Here’s what I’ve been up to when I haven’t been blogging…

The big thing I’ve been doing is balancing work and school. Boring, I know. Working in academia, I’ve always experienced slow times (summer, the holidays, etc) and busy times (fall and spring) but this year has been incredibly hectic. We’ve put in a few grant proposals and submitted multiple papers and abstracts on top of our normal workload. It’s always good to be busy at work but lately, it’s been wearing on me a lot. Plus, school-demands have picked up quite a bit as well. I’m actually only taking one class right now but it has a lab component on Saturday’s that pretty much kills my day. Fortunately, I’m almost done with this quarter (and chemistry forever!) and I’ll have my Saturday’s back in just a few weeks. My schedule will also become a lot more applicable this Spring-Fall with taking all of the psychology, anatomy, and physiology classes that are pre-reqs for PT schools. I can’t believe I’ll be applying to PT schools next fall.

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I’ve also been spending more time than usual working out. Between running 60+ miles/week and doing the 30 Day Shred 5-6 times/week, I’m spending a lot more time in workout clothes sweating than I ever have before. It’s been good for me though as working out tends to help me focus and vent off any frustrations. I like to start my day with a run (my form of yoga…) and then do the shred when I get home from work (so long as I don’t have a ton of homework/work to do in the evening). It’s nice to do something for me in the evening before making dinner and sitting back down at my laptop. Plus, I’ve seen a ton of fitness gains both physically and mentally. I plan to finish the shred next week so perhaps I’ll write a post recapping my experiences but needless to say, I’m finally realizing cross training is worth it. My running has improved and I feel more athletic than I have in a long time. It’s a shame that I just realized this now, at one of the busiest times of my life.

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In addition to school, work, and fitness, I’ve been trying to fit in some wedding planning which has been a huge source of anxiety for me. I’m not an event planner and I don’t really enjoy planning these types of things. I would LOVE to hire someone to read my mind and plan my wedding so that I can just show up the day of and enjoy myself. I’m slowly ticking things off my to-do list in my spare time over the weekend (ha, Sundays) but there are so many things to think of and details to consider. At least we have the biggies picked out – the  date, the space, my dress, my bridesmaids dresses, etc. but we really need to get going on some other things. Any advice on how to manage it all?

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Between being all sorts of busy, I’ve been pretty good at staying connected with family and friends and finding time to do other things that I love, like read. At this point of my life, I know that when things get out of balance for me, I become unhappy pretty quickly. I know that I need a little downtime every day and that I need to spend time with the people I love in order to feel like myself so I’ve been trying my best to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

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Lately for me, this has involved watching Dexter with Ian, reading lots of Irving (I’m definitely going through an Irving phase), checking out new restaurants, and celebrating birthdays, new jobs, and other things with friends. In addition, Ian’s brother had a baby over a month ago, so we soaked up some time with the little one before they left town for the winter. #minijetsetter.

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So all in all, life is pretty good right now. More hectic than usual but also so full of new opportunities and love.

Do you function better when you’re busy?
How do you maintain work-life balance?

Catch Up

I’m working on a post detailing my thoughts about Hansons Marathon Method but I’m waiting to see how post-marathon recovery goes before I publish it. In the meantime, let’s catch up!

  • I took almost an entire week off from all physical activity after the marathon and channeled my running efforts into sleeping- seriously. The only morning that I actually woke up to my alarm (and not Ian’s) was Saturday and that’s because I have to be at lab on time or I fail the class (womp womp). I’m always nervous that I’ll go stir crazy not running but I really needed the week off. My hamstring was acting up and I just crashed after the marathon. I’m not sure if the crash was due to running a strong race or running & training for 3 marathons in the last year (I actually ran 3 in 9 months) but either way, I needed a short break.


  • The past week was also the perfect time to get caught up on school work. This fall has been busy for me and I haven’t been able to devote the attention I need to studying, but without the added stress of running a race, I’ve been able to dive into homework/studying with full force (and with my study buddy, obviously).


  • One of my goals for training over the summer was to streamline my life so I could sleep for the maximum amount of time. As a result, I barely cooked, baked, or did any food prep (besides packing breakfast and lunch). With not working out much, my study breaks have consisted of lots of baking and cooking, I’ve even made breakfast at my apartment a few times (as opposed to oatmeal packets, granola bars, overnight oats, etc.). I’m also out of the apartment from 7:45 AM – 10/11 PM two nights during the week so I’ve come to appreciate eating home cooked meals when I can.


  • Over the weekend, Ian and I finally took care of a few things we’ve been putting off for the last month. This included unloading all of the holiday decorations from his car from when we went home in early October. Nothing like a little holiday confusion. The question is, now that the decorations are in the apartment, will we actually hang them up? My bets are on no….


  • On Sunday, I decided to give running a try… and it went okay. I headed out for 30 minutes without my Garmin and just ran slowly by feel. My hamstring felt tweaked but the rest of my body felt recovered. My goal for this week is just to get back into a workout routine so gentle cardio is my BFF. I don’t have any races on my calendar right now so there’s no reason to rush back and risk injury. Running makes me happy, even if I can only run a few miles, and injuries make me sad. It’s basic science.


  • I got into the pool on Monday for the first time since May and it was very apparent that I am out of swimming shape. I felt sooo slow but I enjoyed the variety so I’m hoping to keep it up for at least the next month (until my pass expires). I’d like to focus more on strength training this winter (don’t I always say this? at least I’m not promising yoga…) so I doubt I’ll be swimming much then but who knows.

How do you recover after a big race/event? What’s your favorite way to strength train?

Five Things Friday {10-04-2013}

1. One thing that I didn’t mention in the engagement post is that shortly after Ian proposed, while we were waiting for our drinks at Violet Hour, Ian noticed that there was something weird in his pocket….


Yep. Nic Cage was officially at the proposal. We laughed about it and then decided to pass Nic along to our server and left him with the check :).

2. I haven’t gotten enough sleep this week and I’m starting to lose my mind. It’s not pretty. I’m actually debating skipping my run tomorrow so that I can “sleep in” before Saturday morning lab. Ha. I laugh because I need to be in Evanston by 8:30 which means I need to leave my apartment before 7 AM still not sleeping in but waking up at 6 on a Saturday is much nicer than 4. I also can’t run after lab because…

3. Ian and I are headed to Michigan on Saturday afternoon to celebrate our engagement with our families and look at a few venues. I’m trying not to freak out too much and go into super type-A planning mode but I’ll feel so much better once we pick a venue and set a date. It’s starting to feel very real!

4. Last night I went to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams with Katie, Bethany, and Erin.  The storefront was really cute and fun and they had a million amazing sounding flavors.


I was really glad that they only had two sorbets so I didn’t have to choose!


I had the cherry lambic sorbet and the riesling poached pear sorbet. Both were fabulous but I think I liked the pear a little bit more.

5. Katie sent me this Despicable Me picture and I loved it so much I had to share:


Happy Weekend!

What are you up to this weekend?

Three Things Thursday {03-14-2013}

1. I finished reading Unbroken on Sunday and not wanting to start another book right away, I resorted to watching tv on Monday night. This turned into a major fail. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some good tv like LOST, Fringe, House, etc. but I wouldn’t be totally honest if I didn’t admit that I have a propensity of getting sucked into totally awful, reality television shows. I can’t help it, I have always been so anti-drama with stuff in my life that I’m drawn to watching other peoples issues.

(you may think that I’m innocently loving my eReader but it’s also quick access to trash tv via Netflix)

Anyway, I ended up watching The Biggest Loser (which I don’t think is totally awful) and enjoying it enough to add it to the DVR (even with only one more ep to go.. I know)… although the last thing I need is another show added to the DVR. This is the point of the night where it all went downhill: after, The Biggest Loser, I decided to flip over to The Bachelor which I haven’t watched in years let alone at all this season. My initial thought was to watch the proposal so I’d know what people’s facebook statuses and tweets were referring to on Tuesday morning but after the proposal I decided that I should watch the hour long After the Rose Ceremony show thingy. Haha, what’s my problem? I’m seriously THE biggest sucker for crap tv! (note: no offense to anyone who watches The Bachelor but I do consider it kinda awful.. it’s just not for me).

2. Last year at this time, I was working like crazy on probably the hardest epidemiology assignment I’ve ever been assigned, it was the week before my last “spring break”, I wasn’t running because I had a stress fracture in my heel, and it was 80 degrees in Chicago. This year, I’m still working like crazy but without homework (woohoo!), I don’t have a spring break (:(), I’m moving in a few weeks, I’m running higher mileage than ever before, and it was 26 degrees when I went out for my run this morning. Quite the contrast right? It’s funny how much things can change in one year. I wouldn’t mind a change in temperature though…

3.  One of my favorite St Patrick’s Day things is Irish soda bread. When I was at Trader Joe’s last Saturday with Ian and saw they were selling loaves of it, I was so tempted to buy one, eat it, and feel like crap just so I could have my favorite Irish bread. Then I realized how stupid that would be, why get sick off of store bought bread when I can make my own? I headed to the Internet and googled every variation of “vegan gluten free irish soda bread” and bookmarked about five different recipes. I ended up choosing this one because I already had most of the ingredients and it seemed easy enough to make. On Sunday I got to baking and tasting (because nothing is more dangerous than baking a loaf of delicious bread after a 20 mile run) and was soo impressed with the recipe!


I believe I had two slices with Earth Balance right out of the oven and have had one for breakfast and dessert on a few occasions this week. I’ve also been sending it to work with Ian and even he enjoys it! I’m debating baking another loaf this weekend but I can’t decide if it’s a good idea or not. It seems to be going a little too quickly.

What types of tv shows do you watch? What were you doing a year ago?


High school


And now MPH

I’m off to soak up the last few hours with family but I’ll leave you with this.

The more education you get the funnier looking the robes. Doesn’t it look like I have a dinosaur tail?

Enjoy your Saturday :)