Tag: 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 ┬ádate, 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.

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  • 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).

studying

  • 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.

foods

  • 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….

holidays

  • 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.

running

  • 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?




Catch Up

Every so often, I get caught up in other life things and the blog gets neglected. It’s sad but just how things go. It’s been a while since I’ve written a non-training post so let’s play a little catch up.

Two weekends ago, Ian and I met two of his friends for pho at a tiny Vietnamese restaurant on Argyle St. I ordered Pho Ga and it was outstanding. Ian and I also split an order of spring rolls that were pretty tasty too.

springrolls

The next day it rained all day long so Ian and I decided to run errands and then hibernate in our apartment. Around 2 pm we started to hear music and decided to venture outside to find its source. Turns out there was a little festival a block over from us during the rainstorm. I give them a lot of credit for playing in that mess.

fest

Work last week was horrendous, we had a big deadline and despite finishing our pieces early, we still were almost unable to submit due to a technical glitch. Talk about stressful. After I found out that our submission was successful and I wouldn’t need to work all Thursday evening, Ian took me out for dinner and a huge, much-needed beer.

beer

Has anyone heard of having homework before classes start? I hadn’t either but apparently its a thing? My classes start this week but I spent a lot of time last week and this weekend with my new favorite book…

chem

Woohoo!

Last Friday I had a sports massage to work out whatever is going on in my calf. This was my first sports massage and I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really enjoyed it… after it was over. The entire massage wasn’t painful but oh man, I was seeing red when she was working on my calves. The massage therapist believes that my calf issue is nerve-related so she made sure to work along the nerves to help loosen any that may be pinched due to tight muscles. Whatever she did, it helped a lot and by Sunday, I was completely weird sensation-free!

On Saturday, I had to go back up to Evanston again to pick up something from the bookstore. You better bet, I wore my Michigan gear all over the Northwestern campus too. NU seems so different from UofM or maybe I have a different perspective on everything now. Thoughts for another day.

michigan

Yesterday, I met Katie and Miss Molly to go for a walk around the park. Katie and I caught up while Molly chewed on sticks and stalked squirrels and then Katie and I went to get froyo. It was so much fun!

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Molly couldn’t wait to see me :).

What have you been up to lately? Fill me in!




Five Things Friday {08-30-2013}

1. I’m a big fan of coffee mugs so whenever I’m in a new place I like to pick one up. I already own a Mackinac Island mug so I didn’t look at too many on the island but I was happy to find an awesome and completely irrelevant mug at Indian Village in St. Ignace.

Well, the first time I hand-washed the mug, I noticed this note and sticker on the bottom.

mug

Hmmm….

2. I was out shopping over the weekend and I found this pair of tights.

kittytights

I didn’t buy them because they were a whopping $20 and I can’t wear them to work which is one of my defining factors for whether or not I buy an item of clothing. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized the tights could be used in other applications… like running! I should go back and buy them but I probably won’t.

3. There was so much fog in Chicago yesterday. There’s a bunch of science-y articles you can read about why/how it happened but all that’s really important is that it looked so cool outside.

fog

I headed out early to run and it was fairly creepy – I felt like I was running through a horror movie. Some random lady near my office (which I happen to run past) actually turned to me and commented about how scary out it was which is weird because people in Chicago are not that friendly at 5:15 AM.

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It ended up being more difficult to run than usual but it wasn’t impossible plus it was really interesting to run along the lake but not really see the lake (above).

4. So this sign appeared near the elevator in my apartment building:

sign

Catastrophic?? What could have happened that is catastrophic??? To be honest, it’s not a big deal at all – I only use the elevator if I have a lot of bags or my bike but I’m a little unnerved by the word choice. I may never use the elevator again for fear that I am stuck (or plummet!) during a power outage.

5. I got some good news last Friday that I was accepted into a certificate program to start taking classes this fall. I’m taking these classes so that I can eventually apply to take other classes (classes on classes on classes) and I’m really excited to take this step forward even though it means I’ll be working and school-ing again. I’m purposefully being vague here but I’m not trying to be secretive, I just don’t know that I’m ready to put it all out on the blog yet (Kim wrote an awesome post about how you never know who is reading your blog). If you’re interested in hearing more about it or just plain curious, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll open up my heart and soul to you :P.

What are your plans for the long weekend? I’m going to do some running, watch some football, and then I am attending a few fun events!




Live to Work or Work to Live?

Recently, I’ve had quite a few conversations and even read a few articles about the disconnect between people’s dream jobs and what’s available in the job market. It seems to be a hot topic right now and something I think that resonates with a lot of people, especially 20-somethings who are relatively new to the workforce, so I thought I’d share my rambles with you guys and get your thoughts.

I remember thinking when I was in undergrad that I would go to grad school, get my master’s degree, and then it would be easy to find a job that I was passionate about and in my field. Well, that’s not exactly what happened. Don’t get me wrong, I really like my job (I’m working in public health research (my field), I have responsibilities, I’m a valued employee, I like my coworkers and my boss etc..), but if you had asked me two years ago if I thought I’d be doing what I do now, I wouldn’t have believed you.

graduation

You see, to do what I really want to do, I need to go back to school and get a degree that is going to take upwards of 5 years to complete. While it seems like going back to school is no-brainer, I’m not sure I’m ready to go back yet. For the first time in my life, I’m working to live, not living to work. I have so few responsibilities outside of the office (just Sonic, really) that it’s easy for me to prioritize having fun, vacations, and running right now.

On occasion however, I start to feel guilty about not being ready to go back to school. I wonder if there’s something wrong with me that’s making me less determined than other people. In reality though, thinking this way is crazy. Even if I decide never to go back to school, I’ll be just fine. I have two degrees and work experience and while the job market is tough (I’m not trying to discredit that), I’d be able to find something to do, even if I wouldn’t be passionate about the work or even really like the job.

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And you know what? Many, many, many people have jobs that they’re not passionate about. It may be because their passions just don’t fall into typical job categories or because there are no opportunities available in that field (or better ones in a different field). Further, some people may not want to mix their passions with work so they choose to do something else and pursue their interests in their free time. All of these scenarios are totally acceptable and my insecurities (and those I see in my peers) make me wonder when the idea of working to live started to be considered inferior to living to work.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to only work between the hours of 9-5. There’s also nothing wrong with wanting to work long hours or weekends because you absolutely love your job. Everyone is different and interests and needs change over time so why do we put so much pressure on young adults to get as much schooling as possible, find the perfect job, and become immediately successful?

segway

Thinking about these issues has reminded me that life is about the journey and experiences not the destination. I’m almost positive that I will end up back in school at some point but in the meantime I’ve promised myself that I will not feel guilty for enjoying the live to work balance I’m currently experiencing. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime period for me and I plan on enjoying it to the fullest (or at least working on convincing myself not to feel guilty…).

Thoughts on this topic?
Do you live to work or work to live?