Yee haw! This has been one of the best summers I've had in a long, long time.
To go hand in hand with that, my thesis work ambles along at a respectable rate. My data have been collected and the interviews have been transcribed. I've conferred with those I've interviewed to ensure they're OK with what was said. I've begun to categorize and analyze the data and I'm enjoying this more than I anticipated, which is a blessing.
I've been reading and actually understanding much of what I read, at least to some extent. That is major progress, let me tell you.
I've been organizing my work and writing like a madwoman. And I love it! Every second of it.
This is the fun part of grad school. Someone said to me (or I read it somewhere, I can't remember) that a thesis is the largest piece of self-indulgent work a person will likely ever do. I confess that I enjoy this aspect of the work.
Every one has different points of challenge on the grad school journey. For some, it is the writing. It can be an agonizing process that never seems to come together. But I kind of feel like I'm finally in my element. The courses, for me, were tough - especially the stats course. The exams were do-able and I felt OK about them. Now I'm into the fun stuff! I feel like I'm gaining momentum, clarity and purpose.
As for running, I had an easy week last week. I finally got back to the gym and started lifting again, so I'm alternating running with cardio work in the gym and weights. It feels like going home.
I helped Karen out at last weekend by volunteering at the Robert Hamilton Memorial Race last weekend. It was a blast! It's a small race and it has a friendly feel about it. I worked the finish line with "old school" timing - no chips! Another volunteer and I worked a computer (looked much like a calculator) to time people as they crossed the finish line.
I've registered for another half marathon, too. I know, I know... I said I was going to take a break from racing. But I've just been having so much fun I thought, "Why not?!" I've scoped out the course... flat for the first 10 K and then continuously rolling bike paths and well-groomed trails for the second half. Because of the hills in the second half, I won't kill myself trying to get a PR on this one. I just want to go run in the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains and have some fun.
Besides, on Labour Day Monday I'll take my last dose of Accutane. That is worth celebrating, for sure. It has worked to some extent. I would say that the side effects have been worth it, but I will be happy to be done with it.
Not that I'll need them for the race, as most of it is paved, but guess what I indulged in? My first pair of trail runners! I tested them out last weekend on a hike with my friend, A. God, they're beautiful! They felt like slippers. I tried on a few pairs and these were not as stiff as some of the other models. I liked that my foot still felt connected to the ground and I could feel a lot in them. The other ones I tried on felt a bit heavy and clunky, but these? These are divine.
We plan on doing another hike this weekend. Then I think I'll find a good trail somewhere and go test them on a run.
The days are getting shorter and there's a certain chill in the air that tells us that autumn is edging its way to our doorstep. The freshness is invigorating. I look forward with joy.