Happiness and Smiley Faces and Sparkles and Glitter

I’m still here. And today, for the first time in what seems like forever, I do not have school and I am not working. I’m spending the day in sweat pants, with messy-bun hair, drinking coffee in excess…oh wait, this sounds like everyday. At least today I’m doing this at home. {Side note: at work I heard one of the doctors tell someone that for every cup of coffee you drink, you should drink two cups of water…if I’ve done my calculations correct, I’m about 1,392,473,945,745,980,287 cups of water in debt for the year.}

Gloriousness.

With my lack of free time, it takes something pretty big to ignite my motivation to actually write something these days…and that happened on Monday. I {filled up my jumbo size to-go coffee cup, put my hair in a messy-bun, and donned sweat pants...} went to class to listen to a lecture on anxiety. Fitting. We spent two and half hours talking about causes of anxiety, levels of anxiety, how to treat patients having anxiety, parasympathetic and sympathetic symptoms of anxiety…all very important things in nursing…blah, blah, blah.

Blah.

But then…we talked about dealing with our own anxiety as nurses…as students…as normal human beings. And our teacher…our highly, highly educated, specialized-in-mental-health-nursing teacher told us the importance of turning our negative thoughts into positive thoughts. She emphasized the “fake it ’til you make it” method of positive reinforcement.

I thought to myself, um, that’s what I’ve been saying all along! {Duh, have you read my blog?!} ūüôā

And then, the next most glorious thing happened. The teacher had us all write an affirmation on a notecard and share them with the entire class.

Affirmation

{Another side note: writing the affirmation was actually homework to be completed before class. In true overwhelmed-and-overworked nursing student fashion, most of us forgot. Sooo, another student had some old, used notecards with nursing notes written on them…in which we all erased to write our affirmation. Again, very fitting.}

If you know me at all, you know that affirmations are pretty much my favorite things ever. As everyone read their card aloud, my heart was bursting with happiness and smiley faces and sparkles and glitter and all things wonderful.

Definitely a lecture well loved.

ang

All I Want To Do

All I want to do is run. After completing a long training plan and running a full fast-for-me marathon I thought I’d be itching for a break from it all. My life has been all live-by-my-planner-and-training-plan for the past four months I thought I’d like the idea of relaxing, letting loose, and going with the flow for awhile. Yeah…that’s not so much the case. Since setting my new PR on April 21st, my mind has been stuck on one thing.

Running.

Running faster.

(Side note: Running a marathon is definitely worth a free beer. But notice that my Garmin says I that ran 26.49 miles. Point. Four. Nine. Not 26.2, but 26.49. Don’t get me wrong, I am ridiculously pleased with my 3 hours 54 minutes and 1 second finish…but when my ticker had me clocking 26.2 miles in 3 hours 51 minutes…that extra .29 seemed excruciating, teasing, and downright mean. But I guess it was worth 2 free beers.)

Unfortunately, this urge to run has been halted by a little thing called finals week. And studying for finals week (which I should actually be doing right now for this phantom final that is in two and a half hours that no one truly knows what it’s about). And work.

(Insert dramatic sigh here)

But only two finals stand between me and summertime. Beautiful summertime…warm weather, bright sunshine, no tests, new training plans, speedwork, pavement to be covered. With this new amount of free time back in my schedule, the wheels in my head have been rolling with possibilities. I still feel like superwoman after my marathon, and reading other pretty bloggers recent marathon recaps, my motivation level is flying freaking high. With Chicago in my sights, I feel like the possibilities are endless if I put the work into it.

And that is definitely what I plan to do…only after I tackle this multiple-choice-but-all-the-answers-seem-right final. Running a sub-3 hour marathon seems more possible than this!

ang

Made It Official

I’ve been running.

I haven’t been writing much about running, but I’ve been running. I’ve listened to my little garmin chirp as it tracked mile after mile. A delightful little sound.

One of my goals this year is to run two marathons. I signed up for the Chicago marathon that is in October, and I’ve been training for a spring marathon. However, I have been afraid to fully commit and actually register for this spring marathon because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get in all my training miles with nursing school.

Until today. I finally made it official!

My mind was pretty made up two Fridays ago, though. I crammed my face with carbs the night before and set my alarm to go off way too early for a Friday morning. I knew I’d need extra motivation for my longest run of the training cycle (so far), so I did the only thing I thought truly appropriate…

…switched the bright pink laces, of course!

The marathon is only twenty-five (what?!) days away, and this weekend I am going to attempt my longest training run ever…22 miles.

Please send your positive running vibes to my pretty pink laces!

ang

Woah January

Don’t worry people, somehow I’m still alive. Barely.

Even though somehow my stack of textbooks managed to double in size.

To be completely honest, school is ridiculously overwhelming. I thought the first week was crazy and hard…and since then, each week as gotten even more difficult. And I love it. Even though I’m lacking on sleep, quadrupled my coffee intake, and already studied more than I did in my first time through college combined, I love it.

And somehow January is ending and it’s time to start a new month. That means only three and a half more months until my first semester of nursing school is over.

With the month coming to an end, I wanted to quickly (very quickly since I have a test in fifteen minutes!) go over how great January actually was, even though I’ve been running around like a crazy lady for the past couple weeks.

Yes, I’ve actually made a better eating goal each week. I shared my first, second, and third weekly goals on here (eat breakfast everyday, eat at least three servings of fruit a day, and eat at least three servings of vegetables a day), but I didn’t share my last two. Last week my goal was to incorporate protein in breakfast. Thank you greek yogurt…goal achieved. This week’s goal is to drink the recommended eight cups of water a day. This goal, oddly enough, is a little harder to obtain…especially since my recent want and need for coffee. I’m trying here though.

Another New Year’s goal of mine was to cook a new dinner once a month. Once a month may not seem like anything to most everyone else in the world, but for a non-cooker like me with hardly any time, once a month is lofty. I did cook enchiladas a couple weeks ago, and while they weren’t as tasty as when my madre makes them, they were still delicious. And I was pretty darn proud of myself.

Lastly, I want to touch on this little subject of marathon training.

I knew it’d be hard to find the time to run, but aside from studying and spending time with my family, running has been number three on my priority list (sorry blog…right now you’re near the bottom of this list!) So far I’ve been keeping up with the majority of my runs, and I’ve gotten in each and every long run.

In my pile of assignments and to-do lists sits my training plan, all written in pencil since I still change it daily. The month of January I was able to run 114 miles…total success.

Woah January.

ang

School Week Two, Marathon Training and Eating Healthy Week Three

One week of nursing school down, only fifteen more weeks this semester to go. It sure feels good to be starting week two!

Not only have I completed one week of school, I’m also on my third week of marathon training!

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I still haven’t nailed down my training plan, but I’m loosely following one of the good ol’ Hal Higdon’s plans. When I say loosely I mean loosely. It hasn’t been the easiest thing trying to figure out when to fit in a good run in my newly acquired crazy schedule.

But again, I’m definitely up for the challenge. I’m going to have to get used to some pretty early morning wake up calls and long run dates with that wonderful treadmill…like the beautiful seven miles we spent together this morning.

I’m also into the third week of my making over my eating habits, and I think it’s definitely helping my overall stamina. I just feel healthier. This week my goal is to eat at least three servings of vegetables each day.

Vegetables are a little bit more difficult for me than fruit. I adore fruit, so three servings a day is simple. Vegetables, on the other hand, are something else completely. I’m going to have to branch out further than three servings of baby carrots or V8 Fusion a day.

Happy four day week everyone!

ang

Life As I Know It

…is never going to be quite the same.

Goodbye sleeping in, running whenever my heart desired, four hour-long afternoon naps, reading a book for fun, reading anything for fun, and blogging semi-regularly.

Hello studying, alarm clocks, dark circles, multiple cups of coffee, highlighters, reading only textbooks, scheduling runs, living by my planner (which is now covered in exam and due dates), medical terminology, and only blogging sporadically from my cell phone during my lunch break.

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This week has been overwhelming and hectic…and I kind of love it.

While my husband is probably going to think I’m a raging lunatic/nerd for the next two years (and he’s probably right on), I’m right where I want to be. I thrive off challenge…and this truly is going to be just that.

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Please bare with me for the next few weeks as I try to find my footing. And please know that when you talk to me and I look far away, I’m probably just trying to figure out how I’d assess and diagnose you. In the meantime, if you need your blood pressure or other vital signs checked, I’m your girl…and I only charge a minimal copay.

ang, nursing student

Scary Days

Saturday I did something really scary, but I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

Today was also a particularly scary day for me. It was my first day of nursing school!

It felt kind of strange. It’s something that I’ve hoped to do for so long and work so hard for. But for some reason it just felt like one of those days that I’d only dream about and never actually get to experience.

And today I experienced it. And it was scary.

However, I received the most awesome e-mail last night that made it not as scary. In my panic to prepare for the first day I was scouring the internet trying to figure out how to play a video on taking blood pressure. I took a breath for one second and decided to check my mail, only to be surprised with some words of encouragement from a reader and former nursing student all the way from Florida!

Heaven-sent.

At least through all the panicking, printing of syllabi, e-mail reading, and overall going nuts-ness, my eating habits have been yet again improved in accordance with my New Year’s resolution. Not only am I eating breakfast (even if this makes me have to wake up even earlier than I normally would before going to class), but I’m also eating at least three serving of fruit a day!¬†Deliciousness.

A beautiful green apple makes the day a little less scary.

ang

A Bit of an Understatement

Remember yesterday how I said I was getting nervous to start nursing school?

Well…

…I went and bought my textbooks for the semester today…

…and this stack of books is not including the two other¬†textbooks that I need, the books that I had last semester that I can’t seem to find now.

Nervous seems a bit of an understatement now.

I should also preface this story with my plan for the afternoon. I wanted to purchase my parking pass for the semester, buy my books, get in-get out, and hit up the recreation center for a quick speed workout and possibly some strength training. If I want to do a pull-up this year, I better start building up these little muscles!

I went to purchase my parking pass first, but once I was about to buy my pass I decided against it. Campus is not that big, and I’ve found several places near campus where I can park on the side of the road for free. I decided I’d give walking a whirl before giving up fifty precious dollars to park in the campus lots that aren’t all that close to my classes anyhow.

Next I went to the bookstore…which was approximately half a mile from where I decided to park alongside the road.

About half an hour later I walked out with all of these…

…and had to walk the half mile back to my car to drop them off.

Needless to say, I crossed strength training off my afternoon agenda.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been talking about getting into nursing school for long enough (um, the entire life of this blog), and I’m beyond stoked that I actually get to start on Monday! It’s just scary. Life as I know it is going to change a little bit. I’m not going to have the time to sit and talk to Tia all day long, or hang out on my computer, or watch marathons of addicting television shows (hello Friday Night Lights). My textbooks might be accompanying me to my next several dinner club get-togethers. My new favorite cell phone apps just might be regarding medical terminology. And pretty soon I might be bugging all my family and friends to practice taking their blood pressures.

I guess it’s beneficial to me that I love a good challenge.

ang

Running is Hard, but Breakfast is Good

I only have a few days left to sleep in because nursing school starts on Monday. Of course I am beyond thrilled about this, however, a sense of fear and nervousness has started to creep in. What if it’s too hard? What if I won’t be able to work and keep up with school? What if I’m not a morning person anymore? How will I find time to study and to run? What if patients hate me? What if the other students don’t like me? And worst of all…

…what if I’m not good at it?!

So, instead of letting all those crazy feelings consume my every thought, I decided to live it up one more day and sleep in. Is it sad that sleeping in is “living it up” to me? Or acceptable? I’m not sure. After I had enough coziness it was time to start my day…which in accordance with my week one New Year’s goal meant eating breakfast.

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I’ve now started my day with breakfast three days in a row, and it has been magnificent! Before I wasn’t anti-breakfast. In fact, most days in 2011 I did eat breakfast…that is until December hit. Sleeping in and having no particular running goals left me with no motivation to go toast a bagel…or pour a bowl of cereal…or blend up a smoothie. Cookie parties also had a hand in eliminating my desire to eat breakfast. Wake up at eleven, eat a chocolate covered cherry cookie (hey, it has fruit in it), and call it a day…until noon, that is, when it was time for lunch.

But three days in a row with a healthy, well-rounded breakfast has got me feeling energized! Throw in some vitamins and a cup of coffee, and there’s no telling how much I can accomplish!

Yes, breakfast is good.

Next on my agenda of “living it up” until nursing school hits…go for a run. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can say for a fact that when I sleep in I have a much,¬†much harder time convincing myself to lace up my shoes and get out the door.

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But after some moseying around, I finally threw my hair up into a ponytail and set out for a sunny eight mile run…my longest run in quite awhile. And it was hard. The hills. The blisters on my heel from my new shoes. The distance. The hills.

Running is hard.

Once my watch clicked to eight miles I walked back inside and realized that yes, running is hard, but it is so rewarding. I just ran eight miles. Eight. That’s really quite a lot. And actually, I felt even more energized than before I left!

I find it so true that taking the first step is really the hardest…but with a good breakfast, I guess anything is possible.

ang