The apartment got some "redecorating", the most important being house plants. Here is my favorite one- please, please don't die on me.
As expected the 1st week as a SLC resident included all things new.
The apartment got some "redecorating", the most important being house plants. Here is my favorite one- please, please don't die on me.
Started Master's swim. I feel so slow- hopefully the acclimation to the altitude kicks in soon.
I did a solo cross-country ski day in Park City. The town has a vast trail system that is free to use. Clearly, I need to improve my map-reading skills because a planned 2 hour ski turned into a 3.5 hour one!
We had a visitor- my sister Jessica from NC. We hiked up City Creek Canyon, took her on her 1st cross-country ski outing (and my 1st skate skiing attempt!), and had some good eats. What a treat.
On the more professional front, my 1st job interview is tomorrow. I'm getting a bit antsy having gone from having 3 jobs in grad school to 0- so here's to hoping it goes well!
Thanksgiving is less than 3 weeks away! Because my family is Swedish, it was never a huge holiday in our house. I think I was in high school when we finally learned how to carve a turkey, and we generally have non-traditional sides. So, usually I don't count down or look forward to the holiday too much. But this year...I'm cooking dinner all by myself (insert scary face here)! I will be in Utah visiting Dr. Hottie- he OF COURSE doesn't have any days off Wed- Sun. Holidays do not exist in residency. Because he doesn't get home until 7 or 8pm at night, that means I'm all alone in the feast preparations. An additional challenge is he could be home as early as 7pm or as late as 11pm- so dinner has to be something that can be 1/2 prepped in the afternoon and then throw things in the oven and on the stove after Dr. Hottie confirms he has officially escaped the walls of the hospital with no chance of it swallowing him back up for the night. The menu includes:
1) Bacon-wrapped porkloin (recipe on food network from Giada)
2) Wild rice (recipe from my mother-in-law)
3) Butternut squash-and-ricotta-toasts (recipe courtesy or Real Simple magazine)
I'm always up for a challenge- wish me luck!
In other news, I have 5 weeks left in Madison- woohoo! While it's very exciting, I always dread the month before a big transition. It's this weird sort of limbo, where I'm physically still in Wisconsin- taking class- and working in the lab- but most of my mental energy is in planning the move and starting to think about my work and life goals in Utah. I despise passing on my research work onto others- partly because I feel bad about giving others hours of extra work and partly because I'm a control freak. I'm an all in or nothing kind of girl, so it's particularly challenging to be slowly cutting the cord from the lab and life in Wisco. In my other past jobs, I would show up on the last day- say a few quick goodbyes- and never look back. I wonder if that makes me some sort of cold heartless person- never longing for the past- always marching on? Don't answer that.
Finally, I'll leave you all with some tips on getting out of a workout slump:
1) Something is always better than nothing! Consecutive days of sedentary behavior quickly adds up. It doesn't take much to maintain a consistent level of fitness. If you're feeling lackluster plan for a 20 minute workout-chances are you'll probably start feeling good towards the end and make it longer. If you don't , you still got in some movement which is essential to maintaining health, a good mood, and fitness.
2) Try something new. If you tend to be a road runner, try trail running or hiking. If you strictly road bike, rent a mountain bike for a weekend. Sign up for a new group exercise class at the gym you wouldn't normally go for. It will work muscle groups that are usually neglected, give you a new perspective, and present you with a new challenge!
3) Workout in a group. Swimming with a group in the mornings this semester has been so nice. I would never get up at 5:30am to jump in a cold pool alone. It also brings out my competitive side, and I work much harder than I would by myself. Group training provides a social network, accountability, and an overall fun time!
4) Don't beat yourself up. It's normal to go through ups and downs in motivation to work out. Just like anything else in life. It's a good thing that you are listening to your body and recognize when you need to back off. Giving yourself a buffer each year where you take time off and exercise with less intensity will make you better in the long run. The important thing is to be consistent in moving your body every day- fitness and health should be a life-long priority.
Yesterday I passed my defense! What a relief. At Wisconsin, Masters' students are required to prepare a thesis & defend the document in front of a committee of 3 professors. My 1.5 year project (and 100+ page thesis) was summarized in a 30 minute talk (kind of sad really), and then my committee asked me questions for about 1.5 hours. It actually sounds scarier than it really is- my committee is very supportive, and the questions they ask are mostly geared at getting you to think critically about your data & help prepare you for what journal reviewers might bring up when I submit my project as a manuscript. After the defense we celebrated as a lab with beers at the union. It was a great time, & among some very thoughtful gifts they gave me a funny card- I guess they figured I'll be looking for friends after moving to Salt Lake City.
Later that afternoon, I failed an OChem quiz---what a great way to get snapped back into reality! Must pass last 2 classes to graduate. The endless, pointless studying continues- for 2 months.
Dr. Hottie wasn't able to be there (that's medical marriage for you!), but he sent beautiful flowers and a card. This Sunday is our 11 year "1st date" anniversary. He showed up 15 min early to pick me up- I hadn't changed yet so went in jeans and a hoodie- he ordered pad thai and slurped his noodles- now that's romance! Have a great weekend!
Today Madison ordered up wind, clouds, & mid-40 degree weather. It's usually my least favorite weather, but today I enjoyed wearing my down coat for the 1st time & getting a bit cold on my bike ride to school and back. Anytime its mid-40s to 50s and cloudy, it reminds me of Sweden. My parents immigrated from Sweden, and it's my absolute favorite place to visit. The weather in Sweden is pretty fickle & goes something like this- early summer- 50 degrees and rainy, fall- 40 degrees, windy, rainy- spring-40-50 degrees & yep- you got it- probably rainy. Swedish people love to complain about the weather, but since I don't live there I can take some comfort in the "dreariness" & the wonderful memories it conjures up.
My sister has traveled all around Europe, & prefers to see new places on her vacations, but all I ever want to do is go back to "the homeland". There is so much I haven't seen! Growing up, I used to visit 1x/year- but ever since high school I've only made it there 1x every three years. Dr. Hottie has been with me to Sweden three times (2007, 2010, & 2013). Our most memorable trip was getting married there in 2010.
We got married in the same town my dad grew up in. The church dates back to the 14th century but burned down several times & the one in the picture was built in the late 1700s. One set of my grandparents are buried there, and my dad, aunt, & uncle were all confirmed there. One of my favorite parts of the church is the land around it- rolling hills, fresh air, and of course- trees! The wedding was truly a special & unforgettable day.
One of the perks of marrying abroad is the inability to stress about the details. I had never been to the place where we had the reception, so I didn't have any expectations. We didn't know what the food would taste like, what the cake would look like, or what type of music was going to be played- and that was absolutely perfect for me. The reception was at a farm that is now owned by my 2nd cousin who has turned it into a wonderful site for special events.
Our honeymoon was spent biking and camping along the Gota Canal.
This past summer, we had a quick 10 days in Sweden but had plenty of adventures. We visited family, toured Stockholm, and hiked/camped along Sormlandsleden near Nykoping.
The next Swedish adventure is going to have to be short & sweet due to Dr. Hottie's vacation schedule. He is assigned 3 one week chunks of vacation time, but I've already come up with a way for him to squeeze in our next Swedish bucket list item. 4 days of hiking on Kungsleden, a trail in the WAY north of Sweden-close to the arctic circle. The only months the trail is free of snow is June and July- the exact same time of year that part of Sweden sees 24 hours of light. We can hike all day and night without headlights- woot! What I desperately want to see is Kebnekaise- the highest peak in Sweden at ~ 6000ft. That's nothing to a Coloradan or Utahn, but the mountain is beautiful and incredibly unique. So, 2 days of travel and 4 straight days of hiking = Dr. Hottie exhausted come the 1st work day back, but I refuse to let residency life rob us of 6 years sans "homeland".
Well a dreary 45 degrees led to a whole lot of daydreaming!
There's something about the middle of the semester- I shift from "I've got this, I'm all caught up", to "holy s*** that's due this week!" I blame it on Wisconsin not having a fall break-just kidding- but not really.
My thesis is due to my committee on Thursday & my defense presentation is next week. I met with my advisor today, & he assured me the document read as "95% done," but the number of edits he wanted to see translated in my head as "75% done." When the document is 100+ pages, that adds up to...panic! So enter my survival mode which includes:
One day I'll look back at these days fondly...but probably not.
This weekend was a special treat with my sister coming to visit. She lives in Charlotte, so I don't get to see her very often. The plus side is the company she works for has a client in La Crosse, WI- she travels there regularly & will occasionally make weekend trips to Madison. Some of the highlights included Ale Asylum for local brews, Graze for a birthday dinner, hiking, and UW volleyball game.
In other news I collected the last bit of data for my thesis project- woohoo! It included a long day at a lab bench doing a 9 hour assay, but it's done & now it's full steam ahead in finishing the written document and presentation. Grad school- especially the final push- generally leads to a life with not much balance. When my life lacks balance I start daydreaming about "to-do lists" I want to tackle when I finish the challenge at hand. The top 3 so far:
1. start painting again & even take a class
2. take a self defense class
3. hike King's Peak- the highest peak in Utah @ 13,500 ft.
New life adventures- that's my carrot!
Have a great start to the week :-)
One of my favorite bloggers, Peanut Butter Runner http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com, recently did a sample day in the life. My type A personality loves lists, planners, and all things organized so with some inspiration from PBR here goes:
5:30am- wake up- inhale breakfast so fast I feel nauseous
6:15am- bike to the natatorium for swim practice. Running late per usual.
6:30-8:00am- swim practice
8:30-9:00am- check e-mails in the lab
9:00-10:00am- bike to the hospital to set up for an assay I'm running next week
10:45am- bike to class
11:00-1:30pm- class. My second class is a kinesiology seminar, and yesterday we had a "field trip". A campus employee gave us a tour of the native american effigy mounds around campus. I got to see the oldest tree on campus- a 300 year old Burr Oak!! Picture to come- you all know how much I love trees ;-)
2:00pm- Meet with a friend of a friend for coffee. She owns her own fitness business, and she gave me her very valuable 2 cents. In essence- dream big, shoot high, don't sell yourself short! Good thing my sisters are accountants and parents are former business owners...who knows maybe someday soon I'll be able to join in on the dinner conversation when business/finance comes up--usually that's my cue to go to la-la land.
3:00pm- Meet "the lab" at the memorial union terrace for beer. This place is special & deserves its own post. Basically, our union has a huge outdoor seating area right by the lake, and the union serves great beer! My PI (boss of the lab) makes us work hard- but after a hard work week he's the 1st one to buy beers for us. I will def miss that.
5:00-7:00pm- Organic Chemistry exam review. Kind of lame, but the dedication most of the teachers at UW have for their students is amazing. Badger for life!
7:30-8:30pm- emails & dinner
8:30-9:00pm- watch Weeds on netflix
9:00-10:00pm- facetime with Dr. Hottie (the highlight of a Friday night!! haha)
11:00pm- pass out!
Ok- next post I promise a new workout!
With a lot on my plate this last semester of grad school, I tend to let stress & anxiety build up. Usually, Dr. Hottie is my rock & helps keep things in perspective- but with him nearly 1000 miles away, it's been really important for me to find ways to hit the "re-set button". It may come as no surprise that exercise is my ultimate stress relief. It clears my head, feels good, & reminds me health is more important than any career endeavor (to me anyway). One silly re-set tactic I have is to lay under a tree and look up through the branches up at the sky. First, I absolutely love trees- they are rooted in the ground but reaching towards the sky. They represent balance. Looking at the sky gives me a completely different perspective- usually we are always looking forward and focused on things at eye level. Looking at the tree and sky reminds me that there is something MUCH bigger than myself out there. All I can do in life is try my best, and have faith that my best will lead me in the right direction.
I also have to share another picture of campus I took today. I bike around campus and tend to avoid biking up Observatory drive- it's a series of steep hills. Lately though, I've been biking the hills knowing Salt Lake City will be greeting me with many more hills that are WAY steeper. Anyhow, when you make it to the top of Observatory there is a beautiful view of campus and Lake Mendota. It gave me a much needed burst of sunshine before my Physics tutoring session.
The weekend was busy. It definitely feels like summer is over as my morning wake up call has been ~5:30am all week. Saturday morning I drove ~50min NW of Madison to Devil's Lake State Park to do an annual open water swim. It's only annual in my book- the park is beautiful and is the only nearby lake that is clean all summer. I make it a point to go at least once a summer to swim there. If you swim all the way across and back it's ~2.6 miles. I went with two other girls on the Master's swim club @ UW. One girl had never done an open water swim before and she made it the whole way! I was way more excited for her than I was for myself- so fun to see people accomplish goals for the 1st time.
Saturday night I met my bro-in-law and his wife-to-be @ a new brewery on the near east side of Madison (the same neighborhood the Willy St. Co-op is in). The brewery is called Next Door Brewing Company- it was ~2/3 restaurant and 1/3 bar. We just had drinks- I had the Wilbur which is a Cream Ale- it was delicious!
Today was the Ironman in Madison, so I got up early to watch the swim start. There seem to be more spectators every year- a very fun event, but given the amount of $$ required to participate in triathlons I always wonder if there are some mega athletes out there that just can't/won't shell up the $ to race. A great day for Madison nonetheless and I always have a number of friends competing- kudos! The remainder of the weekend involved a disturbing amount of studying & who really wants to hear about that- LAME!
Finally, I will bore you with the fact that I switched my closet from summer to fall/winter clothes. There has been a bite to the morning air the last week in Madison & I know fall is on its way- I'm eagerly awaiting its arrival this year.
This morning was an early wake up call to swim with a Master's swim group on campus. We meet M-W-F @ 6:30am for a good 75min workout. It's so nice to get the workout done in the morning so the afternoon is free for chores, homework, and thesis time. I could never do it on my own so it's nice to know other people are relying on you to be there. We did a mid-distance freestyle set today- a great workout BUT I wanted to share a really fun swim workout I did a couple weeks ago. Post ~1000 meters of warm up:
5x200's pull with build in swim
- 1st 200 all pull
-2nd 200 (150 pull-50 swim with over kick)
-3rd 200 (100 pull- 100 swim with over kick)
odds- reverse IM
evens- normal order IM
done as 12.5m kick on stomach in a streamline- breathe straightforward- 12.5m swim strong, repeat
each time you're in the deep end do 20sec of vertical kick (flutter or fly kick) in a streamline
In other news I survived the 1st day of school. The start of a new routine is always exhausting- especially for type A personalities like myself :-) Tomorrow evening I plan to go to yoga- it will be nice to spend 90min in a familiar physical and spiritual state- and most importantly- in the NOW.