Back to School, Time for the Barre

You have probably noticed that the blog has been a little quiet lately. Well, summer for me is over and it’s back to the grind. I am back teaching Monday through Thursdays and also trying to make a real dent in my dissertation progress… Important tip: never ask a grad student when s/he will be finished or how his/her research is going. We don’t know and not as well as we hoped… that’s the answer ;)

Anyway, usually the first week back at work means I have a lot of busy work. I try to have my lectures pretty much outlined and ready to go for the semester, so then week by week I’m making edits and tweaks to them as necessary. But the first week is filled with lots emails and giving out add codes for students as well as following up with students who missed first class meetings. It usually also means fixing what isn’t working on Blackboard (our education website). So blogging doesn’t always happen.

But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been busy with other life stuff! Running of course continues (look forward to recaps later this week on the 3rd SCE Whale to Whale and the Dip and Dash). The hubs and I also got some fun new furniture (that the pups have approved!).

Sami prefers to share the hubs's new chari

Sami prefers to share the hubs’s new chair

Gus can't decide which book to use in the new reading chair

Gus can’t decide which book to use in the new reading chair

 

And also, I’ve been training and practicing for the soon-to-be-open Barre Studio in Capitola! My friend is opening it and I am learning to be an instructor for it. Before I ran, I danced. I took classes for about 17 years in tap, jazz, and ballet. So the barre was a second home to me. But after injuries and college, I stopped taking classes regularly and a few years later fell in love with running. But I never forgot how tough all the barre workouts were or how fit I felt during those years. So the barre fitness classes are great for me and I’m really excited for the philosophy that The Barre Studio will be implementing. They have that fitness element, with small, isolated movements to strengthen muscles but do not require the technique (or talent and grace) of dance. Anyone can come in and find the workout to be doable but also challenging. I can’t wait until the Studio opens! But in the meantime, you can check out its brand new website (you might recognize Leslie or me there too!)

Getting my plank on for the Barre Studio website

Getting my plank on for the Barre Studio website

Why I am Exhausted

Ok, I’m not really exhausted but my current Monday/Wednesday schedule sure does make me tired. I’m usually ready for bed at about 8pm. So I thought I’d share my insanity with you all :) (I know you really care about my daily schedule and all). So here is a step-by-step set of instructions to feel completely exhausted at the end of the day (for the moms out there – you are amazing! I’m pretty sure adding kids to this schedule would result in permanent zombie status):

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 8.12.38 AM

  • Step 1a: Wake up (but really, really want to go back to sleep)
  • Step 1b: Really wake up (yep, that early morning run so did not happen)
  • Step 2: Teach not-awake students about the Gilded Age
  • Step 3: Grade/prep (devour Picky Bar, #teamgreen, here)
  • Step 4: Teach slightly more awake but hungry students about the colonial period in America
  • Step 5: Race home to eat lunch/walk the pups
  • Step 5a: Convince self to take the pups on the walk after making the grave mistake of sitting on the sofa
  • Step 6: Lecture at UCSC
  • Step 7: Run (because oh yeah, that early morning run did not happen)
  • Step 8: Starving (late day runs make me so hungry) – eat whatever I find as I make dinner, eat with hubs.
  • Step 9: Finish grading whatever didn’t get finished in step 3.
  • Step 10: Watch Olympics with hubs. Oh hello crazy ice skating costumes
  • Step 11: Drag self up to bed to avoid falling asleep on the sofa (or wake up from falling asleep on sofa)
Tried out my new Skechers Go Rides on Monday's run - LOVE them! Can't wait to run in them at Ragnar :)

Tried out my new Skechers Go Rides on Monday’s run – LOVE them! Can’t wait to run in them at Ragnar :)

 

I like to think that surviving Mondays and Wednesdays mean I’m pretty hardcore. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I saw this BuzzFeed link on FB this morning and it was definitely inspiring/reassuring.

Thankfully this will only last until mid-March, when the UCSC quarter comes to an end. But still.

More Traveling, More Training

This past week, less than a week after returning from Hawaii, I left home again.

Traveling with Runner's World

Traveling with Runner’s World

This time I took off to Kentucky to get some research done for my dissertation. I flew into Nashville and then drove into Kentucky. I spent most of my days in archives reading documents over a hundred years old (super cool!). On Thursday, I headed to the Pleasant Hill Shaker Village to complete some more research. I was lucky enough during this time to get help from some great archivists and historians who helped me find the information I needed. After hanging out at the village, I took the river boat down the Kentucky River, which made a nice way to finish up the day.

Sweet ride for the week

Sweet ride for the week

Berea College

Berea College

My coffee break stop

My coffee break stop (photo compliments of Google)

Research!

Research!

Shake Town

Shaker Town

Shaker House (East Family)

Shaker House (East Family)

 

Big Furry Friend

Big Furry Friend

Shaker Path

Shaker Path

 

River Boat!

River Boat!

 

Kentucky River

Kentucky River

This trip wasn’t all work. I also got in a lot of running. While my first run in town was hard and slow, the rest of my runs went well, despite crazy humidity! And I even logged my longest treadmill run (a whopping 6 miles! ha!). I got in some solid mile repeats and a sweaty track workout. This was hard and really tested my ability to run in heat & humidity, but it ended up helping me score a new PR this weekend (see upcoming post).

Intense running conditions!

Intense running conditions!

Mile repeats powered by Graced by Grit

Mile repeats powered by Graced by Grit

Before flying home, I stopped back in Nashville to see the Grand Ole Opry and get some new cowboy boots!

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 4.38.24 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 4.38.40 PM

 

Look forward to an upcoming post recapping my Wharf to Wharf race.

Fit Friday: Keeping Fit with a Busy Schedule

Hey hey, it’s Fit Friday again! And I know I haven’t posted anything since the last Fit Friday. It has been a crazy busy week: recovering from a cold, grading papers, teaching, preparing for my trip to So Cal for the Asics LA Marathon this weekend, and traveling yesterday. So no time for blogging… but I still made time for fitness.

We all have busy lifestyles and it can easy to let fitness be the thing that falls off when it just gets to be too chaotic. It has definitely happened for me… in fact when I ran my first marathon (the Big Sur Marathon, apparently it’s go big or go home) I was severely undertrained. Recently fellow SFM Ambassador Heather also blogged about keeping up with your running and I suggest heading over and check it out.

Don’t let all those blank spaces fool you, it’s essay grading time.

For me, the best way to keep up with my fitness goals and ensure I get in my exercise daily is to put it on the calendar. I live by my calendar. And I have to, I am a PhD candidate who is a teaching assistant, I teach two of my own community college classes, and I am the co-president for our graduate student government. I have some crazy busy days. But every day I have my run and sometimes other workout scheduled in on my calendar. This week it meant a few 5am runs (always with friends, thank goodness!) and it also meant taking advantage of the one free hour I had on Wednesday and running the track between a meeting with a professor and class. Sometimes this is not fun! Carrying a workout bag with wipies so I can clean up quickly and head on to the next thing isn’t ideal. But it works! Just like any meeting or agenda item I put on my calendar and have to attend, I also get to my run. Sure, there are days when my run that I originally planned to get done at 7am gets moved to 4pm because something happened, but the key is to never cancel but reschedule!

Photo compliments of the SFM FB page

So how do you manage your busy lifestyle and keep fit? What might work for you if you struggle with this?

And for all of you running LA on Sunday, I’ll see you there!

 

Qualified!

Last week, I became a PhD candidate.

{please applaud now}

For those of you wise, wise souls who avoided grad school and don’t know that this means: I have finished my course work and can now focus on my research and eventual writing of my dissertation.

This was a long time coming: 3 years of coursework, 1 Master’s thesis (well if you count my work at UCI, make that 4 years of coursework and 2 MA theses), a language exam, a field statement, 2 syllabi, an explanation of one of those syllabi, 1 dissertation prospectus, and a 3 hour oral exam.

{exhale}

Most of this work felt like it happened in the last 6 months. While I wrote a draft of my dissertation prospectus last year, the rest of the Qualifying Exam dossier (field statement, syllabi and attachment, and prospectus) I wrote largely in the last two quarters.

studying for exam.

After I got the OK on my written work, I submitted the dossier to my four committee members and took a mini break (mostly to catch up on my other work for seminar and my TA responsibilities). Then back to focusing on the oral exam. I felt pretty good about it until the weekend before when I started imagining all the worst possible scenarios. I crammed for about 3 days straight. But the exam wasn’t so bad after all. After I settled in, it went by surprisingly fast and felt more like a conversation than scary test.

After passing, I went out with some friends who helped me celebrate. And then two days later, I picked up a stack of final exams to grade. (I took a break to help a good friend celebrate her receiving of a doctorate in Ecology and to run a race, more about that on a future post). Today I submitted the grades, enjoyed brunch with my professor, and can now officially enjoy summer!