Thursday, January 30, 2014

I'm not a miler

Last night was the annual Run Club mile! One mile is much shorter, and therefore much faster, than, say, anything I ever run. I do not like this. I will run this fast if being chased by angry/hungry things.

Despite eating a very late lunch (and so I felt like my lungs were on the verge of being punctured by partially digested CheezIts), I matched my mile PR (from two years ago) with a 5:49.

Go team!

Speaking of teams....I submitted my 2014 Saucony Hurricane application! Fingers crossed that they think this poor grad student in Indiana would be a great brand ambassador for Saucony (and that my passion for running came though in a text box worth of words). (PS - If you're a Saucony person reading this, PLEASE PICK ME. It would be better than Christmas and almost as good as graduation. Maybe on the same level as passing my prelim - but not as exciting as passing area exams because those really sucked and very few things are as pleasant as being done with those.)

Goooooo Run Club!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Don't call it a comeback...

Yesterday, I ran in my first indoor track meet in about a year. The University of Indianapolis has a really cool indoor track - it's inside a giant pressurized balloon thing!

So I was signed up to run the 3K which isn't really my thing because it's less than a 5K, so that means FAST. Not mile fast (so no pukey feeling, and only a mild burning sensation in my arms by the end), but faster than, oh, a marathon or something.

Nichole had me enter at 11:40, almost 8 seconds faster than my (senior year of) college (and lifetime) PR. So a really old (5 years!) PR. And I'm training for a marathon! To say I was a little nervous would be an understatement.

I was so totally wrong! Luckily they split the 3K into two heats and I was in the slower heat. This was great because I had a pack of 9 other ladies to run with (and we were packed up through the first 2 or 3 laps). I had people to pass and girls to work off of and a fantastic friend (thanks D!) who sat through too many hours of track meet just to yell splits at me and give me a big (sweaty) hug at the end when I finished.

Running 44/45/46 second laps felt...comfortable? Not like, oh, this is a picnic, but more like, DAMN STRAIGHT I'm going to run these splits for 2 miles and not want to die. The last couple of laps, I started getting a little lightheaded and wasn't feeling so in-control and cruise-control-y anymore, but I didn't fall off pace and had such a strong finish. D said I looked really good the entire time, which I will interpret as 'you didn't make an ugly face' and/or 'your form didn't look like a dying beached fish'. Win!

Overall, a fantastic race capped with a really good 18 mile (SLOOOOOW) (ok, not really, like 8:20-8:40 pace) run today in warm(ish) weather. 

I am ready to go kick some booootay in two weeks at my 5K. I am ready to tackle hills and RUN BOSTON.
I. Love. Running.

My cheering/celebration crew up north! These guys are the BEST!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ever grateful, ever true, we are one Purdue

When you hear about things like shootings on a college or school campus, you never think that it will happen to your university.

"Shooting reported on campus."

Today, I was on lockdown in the second floor of the Mechanical Engineering building for over an hour because someone shot and killed a TA in the Electrical Engineering building next door.

My combustion professor had one of my classmates stand at the door to keep a watch out in the hallway. He kept teaching the class, but no one was really paying attention. I have never blatently texted in class before, but today was an exception.

My hands didn't stop shaking as I tried to take notes. It didn't help that I could hear a helicopter outside almost the entire time. (I'm pretty sure it was just the news chopper I saw when we finally left the building, but still...)

Two of my class (and lab) mates hunkered down in the OMEGA office with me to work on homework after our class was over. They were also nice enough to walk me to their car and give me a ride back to mine.

It's scary to see your campus covered in crime scene tape, to see police officers everywhere, to see police cars and mobile emergency command units covering an area that you previously knew best as your shortest-walk-to-class bus stop.

I didn't know the TA that was killed, and I don't know the shooter that killed him. Purdue has been one of the best experiences of my life and I have always felt so safe and welcome on campus. I love walking through the Engineering Mall when it's warm to watch the fountain. I love the hot chocolate from the cafe in MSEE. I feel such a sense of pride and accomplishment when I walk under the giant Purdue University arch on the north end of campus next to Armstrong. It makes me so sad to know that neither the TA nor the shooter will experience the thrill of commencement in Elliott, that the EE building will be known for much more than a Purdue education, and that my beautiful campus had something so ugly take place today.

Ever grateful, ever true, we are one Purdue.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Early morning workouts

“There's always a story. It's all stories, really. The sun coming up every day is a story. Everything's got a story in it. Change the story, change the world.” 
― Terry PratchettA Hat Full of Sky


I think Lambert looks the prettiest at 6am.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Lemonade or yellow snow?

So after dealing with on and off hip pain (for, what, 18 months now?) that was getting progressively worse (but just over the last 6...or 8...I swear!), I finally scheduled a doctor's appointment. After chastising me for waiting so long, he told me to go down to the PT office and schedule an appointment there. My first PT session was today!

I'm not as broken as I feared, I suppose. I have a very tight IT band and piriformis muscle, but just on my right side. My right side is only at about 50% strength (compared to 80% on the left side). The PT isn't totally sure what's up with my gimpy hip (see: JUST THE RIGHT SIDE HURTS?!??!), but I have some fun stretches and exercises to do, and another appointment in 4 weeks to see how I'm doing. (And I get to see Mr. Dr. again in 6 more weeks to make sure I'm not broken according to him, either. Whee.)

So after all that fun and excitement this morning, Hippy was a little sore when I started my run. Before I had even made it to a mile, I had already been yelled at twice by Stupid Bros in Cars. Add to this the fact that the bike trails/sidewalks/roads weren't very clear (hence terrible footing), and I wasn't exactly Suzy Sunshine.

Since I took a nap this afternoon, I got out on this run later than I wanted, so I knew I probably wasn't going to be too terribly motivated to either bundle up and head out again in the crap later or (sigh) log another 4 miles on the treadmill. I decided I'd try and do 12 to make up for the lack of a second run, but (sigh again) that didn't happen.

I've never been so slackery about secondary runs/hitting mileage before. I think part of it is just this terrible weather. It's not like it's fun or pretty to run in - it sucks and it was SO COLD earlier this week. Just...ugh. Add to that the fact that I know this semester is going to be a whirlwind and I just feel like I have very little motivation. Running with people really really helps, but I don't have the luxury of dragging Mannie out the door or calling up Erin or Matt or Dan (or Jenn or Cory) every time I want to go for a run.

I'm supposed to do a 17 mile progression run on Saturday. I am in such a bad/negative mood about it already - the roads are going to suck, it's going to be 35 and possibly rainy, no one else is running 17 this weekend, no one else is doing a workout this weekend, I feel fat and lazy, etc., etc., etc...

At least now all this negative energy isn't pent up inside of me! I'm going to take a nice, hot shower, set my alarm for a responsible adult type of hour tomorrow, watch some tv, read one of my new books, and maybe have a yummy mug of hot chocolate (or possibly make a smoothie?). My legs are feeling fine, it's just my head that's in a funk. Here's to hoping that it all turns around soon!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Dread is the Great Motivator

"Are you anxious? Do you feel naked fear? Use your fear as an inspiration. When you open your mail and see exorbitant bills you can't pay, get inspired. Don't panic. Fight. Are you sweating buckets? How auspicious. How inspiring. You need a little desperation to put color in your cheeks." - Daily Scoldings, for January 5

I feel like this is at least a slightly appropriate quote for a (quite late) New Year's post. As is my custom, let's see how I did in 2013:

My 2013 New Year's Resolutions/Goals:
Pass area exams and become a bona fide PhD student! Sha BAM! Done :)
Have my prelim defense DONE by the end of summer semester Sha (bigger) BAM! Done-zo :)
Run another marathon in less than 3 hours and 20 minutes Well, you can't win them all. I did run two more marathons in 2013 though.
Learn how to play the clarinet I can play Hot Cross Buns, does that count? HCB counts - win!
Run at least 3 miles every single day of 2013 Nope, but that's cool because I found a sweet new running coach (hi Nichole!)
Since I am single (according to the IRS and wedding reception DJs), I'm going to catch at least one bouquet at a wedding Oh sigh. Silly me...
Take another road trip! Possibly the East Coast this time? We'll see :) I went to Minnesota instead of the east coast, and while it may not have been a planned Grand Adventure, I'm gonna count it.

So, ya know, in terms of goals/resolutions, 2013 wasn't a bad year.

In terms of real life? Well...
I passed my final area exam on a third shot/special permission.
I had a bad race at the Carmel Marathon.
I got engaged in June.
I squeezed my prelim in in August, right before the summer semester cutoff.
I had a really bad race at the Chicago Marathon.
I broke off said engagement.

I would love to say that 2014 will be nothing but sunshine and unicorn farts, but we all know that's not how life works. That being said, what am I looking forward to/planning on doing in 2014?
  • I'm going to run the Boston Marathon.
  • I'm going to graduate from Purdue University with a PhD.
  • I'm going to get a job. It will be an awesome job. I will love it.
  • I'm going to enjoy running and throw myself into this with gusto.
  • I'm going to update this blog at least twice a month so y'all can follow the adventures of me and my fuzzy cat :)
  • I'm going to use my fear of the unknown to my advantage - pink cheeks, new life experiences, letting go of total control over all the things...I will be a stronger person for all the emotional adversity I experienced and I will know what I want and who I am and how to use my strengths and weaknesses to my advantage.

2014 will be my year. Mannie and I are starting it off with some hibernation (hi winter storm Ion!).

Life is not a dress rehearsal. "If you want to change everything, change this story. Get rid of the fairy princesses and dragons, and look at the cast of characters around you. You mean something to them, and they to you. Show up. Figure it out. Stop running away."