Monday, June 01, 2009

Time to catch up!

Oh, boy, it's been a long time!

Here's the quick update. I started a new full-time job in March, while finishing up my thesis. I successfully defended said thesis on April 6 and spent the rest of the month making revisions. It was handed in and I got the last rubber stamp (literally, a rubber stamp) of approval on April 23. I will graduate next week!

I have family coming from Ontario for the big event. I'm the first person in the family to ever go beyond the bachelor's level of education, so they're pretty happy. It's been a few years of lots-n-lots-n-lots of what feels like non-stop work.

School work wasn't even done when I started the new full-time job, so I've been on a bit of a learning curve. It's only a temporary contract (until the end of June), but given the job market, I'm pretty happy that I have it. I'm at a local college doing all kinds of applied research and professional development type stuff for instructors. Right up my alley!

Running took a big hit during these past few months of whirlwind life and transition. Miles decreased. Waistline increased. Love of running remained the same, but unsatisfied. Until recently.

I've done two 10K races this year. My plan of doing a marathon got demoted to a half marathon upon the advice of the volunteer coach of the running group I train with. He and a couple of others from our club were also training for their first marathon and putting in way more miles than I was. I realized that while I *may* be able to do it that it certainly wouldn't be pretty. And the risk of injury was high. I set my ego aside and downgraded to the half marathon.

Race day approached. I was feeling unsure. But it wasn't the usual type of uncertainty. I knew I wasn't ready. I hadn't done much running, my knee was grumpy and my general fitness level had declined some in the final stages of the thesis.

On the day we went to pick up our race packages, I went to the registration desk and asked to be transferred to the 10K. The volunteer working graciously obliged and I was set to go. Todd was also running in the race, but kept his original plan of doing the half marathon.

On the eve of the race, once again the blogging world brought like minded-friends together, we gathered with some friends from the blogging world to break bread. Dinner with Karen and her family and John and his wife, whom we were meeting for the first time. Karen put on a traditional pre-race meal of pasta and lots of carbs. The meal was lovely and the company was even better.

We finished up the evening early, with well wishes for runners and Karen, as a volunteer, knowing it would be an early start for everyone.

The race itself went well. It was my second 10K of the season and my time was only seconds faster than what it was in April. I am OK with that, given the lack of training I've had! The weather was fantastic and I saw and caught up with a number of friends, which is always one of my favorite parts of racing. It has inspired me to get back to what I love - and to blog about it.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Whoooeeee! Time flies!

My, oh my, how time flies!!

These past couple of months have been a complete and utter blur. Let's see if I can do a quick recap for you:

As of last Tuesday, I handed my thesis in to my supervisor. We are hoping it is a final version. I will send it around to the other committee members next week. My 2-hour oral exam is scheduled for April 6. If I pass, I'll graduate in June.

I accepted a 4-month contract as a Research Project Officer at a local college. It is much like work I did at the University, so I am coming into it with a fair amount of related experience. It will be busy until my oral exam, for sure, but the full-time income will be nice!

My running has suffered a bit, due to very cold weather and (mostly) my thesis. The stress of that brought some terrible insomnia that left me exhausted. That took its toll on my immune system and I got a couple of minor infections that I just couldn't seem to shake. They're better now, which helps immensely. And since handing in my thesis I have enjoyed several nights of good, deep sleep, which has helped immensely. My first race of the season is in 2 weeks. It's a St. Paddy's Day 10 K.

Yes, folks, you read that right. Love. We're into month 3 now. His name is Todd. He's amazing. And he runs. :-)

So there have been lots of changes in the past few months... most of them positive and wonderful. Now I just have to settle into my new job and get my mileage back up!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Weak knees... and a couple of dates

Howdy y'all!

Thing have been super busy here lately. I am finally back in the gym now, after a rather long hiatus. My right knee has been giving me grief, so I figured it was time to get back to squats and the like.

I'm heading out for my first run in days... hoping the knee will behave.

Naturally, the temperatures have dipped and it's friggin' cold out there again. Argh!

In other news, this week I got the date date for my final Ph.D. oral exam (a.k.a. thesis defense). For now that date is top secret, so that in case I don't pass I have a couple of days to process it before I tell anyone. I will say that it isn't for a couple of months yet... late spring.

But being the eternal optimist that I am... I applied to graduate yesterday. February 1 is the deadline to apply, so at the urging of another grad student, I gulped and took the plunge. What's the worst that can happen? I flunk my exam and graduate later. But if I don't apply to graduate now and I do pass, I have to wait to graduate later anyway. So... what the heck!

If it all works out, I should graduate in mid-June - Friday, June 12 to be exact.

Now I just have to get my knees in shape for the marathon on May 31 and my butt in gear to walk across a stage a couple of weeks after that.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

20 seconds

Twenty seconds. That's all it took for me to realize, during my run the other day, that my water bottle belt was uncomfortably snug. I had to let ot out some.


Too much holiday cheer I'm afraid. Well, that coupled with the stupidly freezing temperatures we had through the latter part of December, dipping down as low as -42 C (around -46 F) with wind chill on at least one occasion.

It's been better this week, though the above-freezing temperatures they promised for today seem to have been revised. It will be a little below zero today and then get colder again.

Oh joy.

As I sit inside working on my thesis draft corrections, I mentally scheme of ways to get my water bottle belt back to where it was... and wear it comfortably.