thanksgiving at work, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone had a delicious meal with family, friends, or both.  I had a tasty potluck meal with my coworkers…since I spent the day at work!  We basically work every other holiday, and since I’m off for Christmas, that means I’m spending Thanksgiving at work.  It was a fairly uneventful day, which holidays in the hospital tend to be.  (Working with a skeleton staff and basically no unessential employees or procedures makes for a slower day.)  However, I have a trend of having very eventful Thanksgivings (laying on patients as they try to crawl out of bed, chasing a patient down the hallway with AMA papers…), so I’m always glad when the holiday passes quietly.  (And I only use the "q" word when the shift is over…)

Although I would much rather spend holidays with family or friends, being at work isn’t so bad once you get there.  (Although it was a little bit of a pain getting here, since I had to cross the parade route and there were people EVERYWHERE.)  It is made a little worse by the fact that all social media outlets are filled with pictures of turkey trots, trips home, and tables set for families/friends…but at least I’m making time and a half!  ha.  Luckily, the people I work with like to make it fun, so we had a potluck at work.  Everyone brought a dish (including a brave nurse who brought the turkey!) and we had quite the spread.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, mac and cheese, corn pudding, salad, acorn squash, cheesecake, apple pie, and cookies.  The people I work with sure know how to cook!

photo 2 (26) Happy Thanksgiving from 8W!

Of course, we might be one of the only Thanksgiving dinner set ups to have a colostomy bag hanging over it…no idea why it is there as I can’t remember ever having a burn patient with a colostomy.  Maybe from an inservice…?

photo 1 (26) It was delicious.

Anyway, Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, and the unit was quiet enough for basically everyone to sit down and eat together.  (Don’t tell JCAHO…we don’t all fit in the nursing station!)  Eric was hanging out at the apartment after watching some of the parade this morning, so I invited him to come for dinner.  He got to see me in my lovely bouffant, but you can’t beat actually having a turkey dinner.  And in case you were wondering, here are some pictures from Eric’s viewing of the parade…it pays to live a few blocks from the parade route!

I really do miss the tradition of turkey trots – my brother and I ran the one in my hometown for a few years, but my job doesn’t exactly allow me to take part in annual traditions all the time.  I’ve also been thinking about doing a run commute…so since I’m working a bazillion days in a row and can leave some stuff in my locker at work, I figured tonight would be a good time to give it a go.  Gets me home from work quicker, saves me money on the bus, and I get to do my own turkey trot!  Winning all around.

I took my running backpack with me to work, along with some running clothes.  I ended up running about three miles home (not a direct route), and it felt sluggish and kind of long, ha.  Perhaps doing a run commute after Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t my greatest plan, but I got home pretty quick!  It wasn’t quite the same as doing a Turkey Trot (okay, it wasn’t close at all), and I’m not sure how I feel about the run commute after a 12 hour shift, but it’s done!

Now it’s time for a piece of pie and watching Christmas Vacation!  I finally have a kitchen big enough to dig out my Kitchen Aid mixer, so I put it to good use before my stretch of work started and made a French Silk pie…it is delicious!  Eric has a tradition of watching Christmas Vacation, so away we go!

Happy Thanksgiving to all…hope your bellies are filled with pie!


11 2014

never stop learning

I’ve been running since I was 12 years old.  My first race (that I can remember…correct me if I’m wrong, Mom!) was the 6th grade track meet where I ran the 800 meter run.  Since then, I ran all through junior high and high school, then on my own after high school graduation.  This has included fourteen marathons and countless other race of varying distances.  Despite all this experience, I still continued to learn and be humbled by this sport.

After completing the half Ironman in September, I had high hopes that the cardiovascular strength gained from training for the triathlon would translate into running.  I don’t know much about endurance across sports, but hoped to ride the cardio wave into some solid running efforts.  Of course, I got knocked on my butt after the triathlon, both from feeling so sick I couldn’t get out of bed for a few days and from my legs not being used to the pounding of running.

I’m trying to rebuild my running endurance, which of course requires doing long run distances that I haven’t visited in almost a year.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve done two 14 milers and a 15 mile.  The 14 mile runs were a little messy with a bit of a strugglefest, but I mostly attribute that to not being used the pounding.  The 15 miles went much smoother, and I felt strong the entire time…even had a fast finish.

As a little bit of a backstory, I don’t love eating energy chews or carrying things while I run…which means I don’t really carry water.  For most of the year, this isn’t a problem because NYC has plenty of water fountains I can stop at.

This is, until they turn them off.

And especially when you get a humid, 65 degree day in November.

This is where the lesson comes in.

Monday morning, I was debating between pushing my long run distance up to 16 miles or holding steady at 12-14.  I’m debating running the marathon distance in January, so I figured I better try my hand at 16.  So I drank some coffee, a glass of water, and ate a banana with peanut butter.  Headed out in a tshirt and shorts, thought about carrying water with me, but decided against it.

Fail to plan, plan to fail?  Or however that saying goes, it happened.  I was sweating pretty early on and wondering if it is appropriate to run without a shift in mid-November.  I wished I’d grabbed a visor since the sun was in my eyes.  I stopped at multiple water fountains, hoping one of them would be on.  Surprise:  None were.

I was running north and south along the Hudson, for those who are familiar.  I stopped at the bathrooms at 72nd St and was so thirsty that I just drank from the sink.  (Some people might think this is gross, but NYC has some good water.)  The water was so delicious, and splashing some on my face made me feel a lot better.  I pondered heading home, but I was set on finishing the distance, telling myself to stop making such a big deal out of this.  So I continued running, knowing that the ferry building a couple miles away would have real working water fountains.

I made it to the water fountains and really wasn’t feeling that great.  I took a couple minutes to drink some water and stay out of the sun.  My turnaround point was only about half a mile further, so I convinced myself it would be silly to stop now.  It was rough finishing the way out, and tough on the way back.  I made myself slow down 15-20 seconds per mile, and that felt much better…plus the sun was no longer in my eyes.  I finished the 16 miles, but I’ll admit it wasn’t pretty.

I suppose the numbers aren’t too convincing, but I promise I felt a little better at the end.  I got home, ate some lunch, showered, and had plans to run some errands.  Instead, felt like I was going to vomit and had a terrible headache…99% sure I was dehydrated.  I laid down and asked Eric to get me some Gatorade and pretzels, then snacked on those…worked like a charm and I felt better after about an hour.

I definitely knew better than to run for over two hours without any water or energy chews, but in my head, I kept thinking, “I’ve done this a million times before, I’ll be just fine.”  And I have – in the winter, I’ll do 20 milers without any water or fuel and feel just fine.  But I’ve also been in the heart of training in cold weather, not building up mileage after a year of less running on an unexpectedly warm, humid day.  Totally my own fault…and certainly one I won’t repeat in the near future.

I wanted to take my legs out for a little spin this morning to work out the kinks from yesterday and perhaps see just how destructive yesterday may have been.  The plan was to keep it easy and go about four miles…the route I chose ended up being 4.5, and I felt good at the end, so I made it a round 5 miles.  My legs were a little achy at the start, but keeping it slow warmed up my muscles and made the effort seem much easier as the miles clicked off.

image Slower running….ish.

I know my years of training have given me a lot of knowledge and guidance when it comes to training, but I have to remember the train smart.  My body is not above dehydration on a humid day, nor am I always in shape for longer long runs.  I’m working on getting back to where 16 milers are more common than not, but it’s humbling to remember how the body changes over time.  Also, I took a break from distance running to make sure my back didn’t have any more issues, so I have to keep that in mind when building distance as well.

This sport keeps me on my toes (well…maybe my mid-foot, since I’m a mid-foot striker, hhahahha), and I hope to always keep learning.

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11 2014