Archive | January, 2012

Why Complicate Life?

31 Jan

I’m going to keep this in mind…

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Today

29 Jan

in numbers…

  • Miles run: 17
  • Meals eaten: 8
  • Flashcards made: 178
  • Skeleton Quiz High Score: 378/420
  •  Moments I laughed: Too many too count

10 More to go…

22 Jan

Miles, that is. Today was my first 16-miler since the knee injury…I can’t believe we’re already into high-mileage and coming up on our longest training run in a few weeks. This season is going by insanely fast! I ran the San Luis Ray River trail in Oceanside this morning, and it was an incredible run. The weather was perfect, and even though the way out was tough, my energy kicked in at the 9 mile mark. I ended up running a 7:51 pace, which is a PR for that distance, and I’ve been surprisingly energized all day. I definitely got into a different zone on this run…I stopped thinking about anything but the path ahead of me and the mountains in the distance, and the miles seemed to float by.

I love reading the Runner’s World Daily Quotes on long run days, so I though I would share a few of my favorites…

  • “In the midst of regular life, running is the touchstone that breathes adventure into my soul. I can feel the trail under my feet, the press of the hill, the gallop of the track, the burn of my lungs, the stir of wonder and possibility. Running reminds me that there is more to me than what is readily apparent much of the time. I don’t always need to see it, but oh how I need to know it’s there ” – Kristin Armstrong
  • “I love to go running. It’s a way for me to stay centered, to lose the stress of the world around me, and to just be present.” – Leo Babauta, The Zen of Running
  • “To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.” – Anita Roddick

Other news… I downloaded an amazing 3-D skeleton app, so I’m considerably more excited about my Biological and Behavioral Basis of Disease Midterm. So much better than reading the book!

Have a great week 🙂

The Science of Happiness

20 Jan

You may be wondering what science and happiness are doing in the same sentence, but according to the emerging field of positive psychology, there is actually a science behind this sought-after emotion. I’m currently taking a course on this subject, as one of my Health Promotion electives, and after three classes, I’m already looking at life in a different way. I went for a beautiful 8 mile run along the coast this morning, and instead of focusing on my stopwatch, I focused on the ocean, the sound of my footsteps, the beat of the music, the sun. I was truly present in my surroundings, and my new-found awareness left no room for negativity.

In an article from the American Journal of Public Health entitled, “Mental Health Promotion in Public Health: Perspectives and Strategies from Positive Psychology, the author writes, “Learned optimism is not about looking at the world through rose-colored glasses or having unrealistic of self-deceptive expectations. Instead, it is about teaching skills needed to promote mental health and to avoid mental worry, rumination, or spirals of negative thinking” (Kobau et al., 2011). It hit me hard that life is short, and I want to experience every moment without thinking about the next one. I know I’ll always be a planner, but being more present in life’s small experiences is something I feel I can work on….

Which leads me to my new goal. Gratitude. According to Kobau, “Gratitude helps people to savor their life experiences and situations, maximize satisfaction and enjoyment from these experiences, and minimize adaptation.” In a recently-conducted study, participants were asked to write down 5 things for which they were grateful, and there were noticeable physical and mental health benefits seen in the experimental group in comparison to the control group.

I know that I try to be aware of the small things, but they tend to slip by quickly or some days go unnoticed. I want to change that…so project gratitude begins tonight. Here are my five things:

  • The perfect running weather this morning
  • My delicious banana smoothie
  • The fact that my new physical therapist was finally able to tell me what’s wrong with my hip (and she can fix it!)
  • The words, “I choose you.”
  • The soundtrack of Winged Migration

What are you grateful for?

The Last 45 Hours

15 Jan

Well I’ve officially failed at blog-writing for the last few weeks…but sometimes it feels like life has a way of running away from you. I could probably fill pages with everything that happened since my last post, but here are a few highlights…

  • Spencer and I spent an amazing New Year’s at Together as One music festival for the 2nd time. It was held at Oak Canyon Park in LA, and in addition to the multiple stages and visual effects, the venue was complete with a beautiful lake in the middle.
  • I ran my favorite coast route a few times, from Swami’s beach to Del Mar, and it never fails to clear my head.
  • I spent a few days in Detroit, visiting Aunt Tobe, and she continues to stay strong, despite all she’s been through. As my dad always says, “it’s great to go and great to come home.”
  • I started physical therapy for my hip, and I discovered that the problems starts in my foot. Apparently my left foot over-pronates just slightly…but slightly enough to make my piriformis muscle angry. Time for more exercises to add to my nightly routine…I could make a full-time job out of this.
  • I looked up vet school GPAs and was reminded, yet again, that my competition is fierce…which brings to my most important point…

The last 45 hours. There are several different criterion and categories that are assessed during the application process, and in addition to the typical “overall GPA” and “science GPA” categories, there was one that stood out even more– the “last 45 hours.” This category refers to the last 45 units of coursework taken as an undergrad, and as I stared at the list, it suddenly hit me…the last 45 hours starts now. It stared back at me, as if to say, “pick me – you get a fresh start”…and I could feel my determination skyrocket.

With the first week of classes and a research fellowship application under my belt, I’m ready to kick it into gear and dominate those last 45 hours.

On the marathon front, today was our first day of practice after the break, notoriously the day of the big “drop-off.” After realizing what it takes to train for a marathon, many of our initial team members fall by the wayside, and we are left with a core group of runners who are ready to tackle the high mileage. Today’s run was supposed to start from Dockweiler beach, however the LA Half Marathon was conveniently starting from the same location…which meant massive street closures everywhere. So we regrouped and altered our route a bit, but it was still a beautiful run. Anytime you can see the ocean for 14 miles, I can’t complain 🙂

Off to study pathogens…Hope everyone has a great week 🙂