Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Just Another Marathon Monday

Mondays this semester are no joke.  I spend a good portion of every Sunday planning, prepping and resting up for my worst day of the week.  The schedule looks something like this:

5:30-7 - Masters swim.  Coach has been giving me masters on Monday because that's really all I have time for.  And this is the only time slot I can attend.  Sometimes I manage to get up early and make it there, sometimes I…don't.  There have been days where the extra sleep has felt more necessary, especially with the schedule for the rest of the day.
Anytime between 7 and 12 - Seeing patients for our clinical trial visits.  It all depends on what I am assigned when the schedule goes out on Friday afternoon.  This week I was assigned to run two hour-long patient visits at 8:30 am and 10am, but I had to be at work by 8 to get their files from the lab and go to clinic from there.
12-1 - First class of the day: department colloquium.  Weekly presentations, either a professor in the department or an outside speaker.
1-2 - Race home and walk the dogs, then race back to campus
2-3 - Genetics/genomics class
3-4 - Grad student recitation for the colloquium.  A chance to ask questions of the week's speaker.  Graded on participation and a paper written about one of the talks.
4-5 - Grad student recitation for the genetics/genomics class.  Each grad student presents a paper and leads a discussion about it.
5-9 - I teach physiology lab during this time slot.  I'm lucky I got a great group of students who make it fun. And also that they are understanding about how insanely caffeinated I am at that point being at the end of my long days.
9-?? - When I am done teaching, I come home, give the dogs their evening walk and dinner, sit on the couch, force food into my mouth, and try to decompress enough to fall asleep.

Clearly Tuesday-Friday have a lot of making-up to do for Mondays.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Getting It Done

(2 blog posts in a row? It's a February miracle!)

Remarkably, I haven't had to add an awful lot to my winter running wardrobe to survive outdoors in a Colorado winter.  I had tights, long sleeved tops, gloves, I just learned how to layer them. But thanks to Tea, I did pick up one huge winter running tip: Ice Spikes.  What a great, effective and inexpensive way to turn a pair of running shoes into shoes that will keep me upright on ice and snow (and snow on top of ice) without a lot of advanced gadgetry.

My Sunday long run in the ice and snow was at a far faster pace than I could have done without added support - it was slippery out there with a layer of fresh snow on top of the old frozen-melted-refrozen stuff.  I'm getting better and better at identifying non-human footprints in the snow too :)  Tromping around our future property last week, Jeff and I saw lots of deer and rabbit tracks, as well as some coyote poop.  On my long run on the trail, I saw more deer, bunny, lots of dogs (of course), and some very clear raccoon prints (shown below).
Jeff has gone back to Arizona until our closing date on the house. In the meantime I get to ride out the last 6 weeks of winter here and coordinate the small stuff, like movers, renting a PO box for our future house (no mail delivery out there), etc.  Boulder winters are mostly quite enjoyable, with lots of sunshine and reasonably warm days even after a dump of snow (a FAR cry from my days in Chicago). We've only experienced 2 weeks of stupid-cold temps (one in December and one this last week) - my threshold being that when it's so cold the dogs can barely walk much less do their business (the day of -10 degrees, everyone went on poop strike) and I get close to frostbite no matter how many layers I wear, this is no longer fun.  Thankfully we don't get a lot of that here and I'm hiring a voodoo priestess optimistic that we'll get through the next month and a half with pretty snow and more moderate (i.e. highs above 15 degrees) temperatures.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

That Run Isn't Going To Do Itself

I figured I'd write a blog post/update on life while I delay the start of my Sunday morning bike-run juuuuuust a little bit longer.  I fell off the wagon hard this week.  Jeff came to visit to handle some house-related tasks (more on that in a moment) and I had a very stressful workweek including a genomics/genetics midterm and I started feeling lousy and overtired and on the verge of sick so yadda yadda my workouts fell off the map for a few days as I just tried to stay afloat. And I'm ok with it…as I mentioned about balance in my previous post, I'm doing my best to find the sweet spot where I can stay healthy while managing a lot; occasionally it's bound to happen.  I've put together a string of pretty good weeks though so that's the best I can ask for at this point.  Today, I get back on track, even if it means pulling out the shoes with the Ice Spikes and running in the snow and ice.

Side note: Today was the first time I slipped and fell in snow/ice.  But I managed to keep ahold of my coffee and bag of dog poop and just land on my butt in a pile of old snow.  #winning

In case it hasn't become apparent, we are under contract on a house!  We close and move in in less than 6 weeks.  We had the inspection this week and it went well…mostly minor things that need fixing and likely nearly all of it we will wait to do on our own after moving in.  There are a few things we plan to change after living in the house a while (master bathroom layout) but otherwise it's so very much our dream home - finally! - and we can enjoy it right away.

So we will have a very cool mountain home on some land near Lyons, Colorado by spring!  I've got a pedigree on our land starting with the US Land Grant Office in 1891 and we learned this week that our end of the valley is the site of an old west ghost town, a former quarry boomtown of reasonable size.  The dogs are going to LOVE it.  My commute will certainly be longer than the 2 miles I have now but the driving will be much more reasonable than the mountain driving I was expecting to have with us looking up near Nederland, Ward, etc - there will be very little descending and mostly just flat highway driving.  If I want to run from my house, I'll have miles of super-low-traffic dirt road to run on!  And once you get to the paved road, there is fabulous cycling right away.  Mostly we are just so excited for the quiet…the amazing quiet and the dark - the stars should be amazing at night!!

In the meantime, I need to get through the rest of winter. I don't think I'll have any problem staying busy.  Between work and school and training, my weekdays are filled to the brim.  Stan and I have a dog show coming up, I've got my first race of the year in 2 weeks, and I'll have my first tri of the year under my belt before the move!  Oh and I think there's a beer festival in there somewhere too…it is Boulder after all!

Have a nice Sunday!