Intern Year: Cliff Notes and Survival Guide

I’m not sure I’m entirely qualified to write this post, seeing as I just graduated from intern to PGY-2 at that magical hour of 12:00 am on July 1st last week. However, I like to think I somewhat maintained my sanity and a slightly sunny disposition, albeit probably more jaded, and made it from July 1, 2013 to June 30th, 2014  sane, happy, and healthy, for the most part.

The short of it is this: intern year is hard work. This is what you signed up for. Get used to it. All you have  in your back pocket is a positive attitude and enthusiasm. Hold on to that as best you can.

Here are some truths about intern year:

1. IT IS NORMAL TO FEEL OVERWHELMED. I think I have PTSD from last July. Not that anyone was mean or awful to me or anything particularly bad happened. The transition to intern year was just a really hard adjustment for me and I learned that I don’t deal with change very well (I mean, I would get really sentimental when my parents would get rid of cars for a new one…I’m not sure why I didn’t know this about myself). I think the hardest part for me was feeling inept and helpless. Even with 8 years of higher education, I still couldn’t tell you on July 1 of last year how much motrin to give someone. You aren’t supposed to know what you are doing, but you are supposed to be trying your hardest to learn. That’s what counts. I  went home every day last July thinking I was going to be fired for incompetence. The learning curve is steep. Hold on!

2. IT IS NORMAL FOR THIS FEELING TO LAST THROUGH A LOT OF THE YEAR. Just when you think you have something down, the labor floor or something will rip you a new one.

3. IT IS NORMAL TO FEEL LIKE YOU’RE GETTING MIXED MESSAGES: One attending will tell you to do this and the other will ask you why on earth you’re doing it like that. Some days, you’ll feel as if no matter what you do, you aren’t doing anything right, even if you delivered a baby upside down and blindfolded. “But, why did you put the blindfold on that way? Who taught you that? I mean, I guess you can do it that way, but don’t.”

Its normal to feel like you're owned by this little box.

Its normal to feel like you’re owned by this little box.

4. YOU MIGHT HAVE MOMENTS WHERE YOU FEEL LIKE “YOU’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO DO IT.” I think there was a moment last August when I thought I was never going to be able to do a C-section well.  And then you realize you’re being dramatic and its a four year residency for a reason. [Side note: this still sometimes happens, I'm fairly impatient with myself, at best.] And then you do approximately 150 C-sections by the end of your intern year.

5. YOU MIGHT HAVE DAYS WHERE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU DID NOTHING RIGHT: There are days where you’ll be pretty sure you’ve done everything wrong down to the placement of your pinkie finger when grasping an instrument. And see #3 and #4.

6. YOU MIGHT FEEL LIKE YOU’RE A BURDEN OR DEAD WEIGHT: Maybe this was just me, but I often felt like I was dragging everyone down because they had to teach me and guide me so much. I realized (and was reassured) that this was sort of the norm for the beginning of intern year but its still hard to feel like you’re slowing down efficiency.

Here are some tips for intern year:

1. IT IS IMPORTANT TO EAT AND DRINK WATER. You cannot subsist on air alone. You need food to think. Bring snacks. Take advantage of saltines in the hospital in emergencies. And diet the water machines on all the floors.

Resident hydration at its finest.

Resident hydration at its finest.

2. BE NICE TO EVERYONE. It will only help you. And, I feel like people should do this anyways. You know, that golden rule thing…

3. IN YOUR TIME OFF, DO WHATEVER MAKES YOU HAPPY. For me, this was exercise. I’ve spent more money on exercise this year than food (well, maybe) but it was worth every penny spent. It was something I looked forward to and my reward at the end of the day (or night). [Disregard this is if I'm evicted soon. Thanks to deep sea predator spin instructor and power tool pilates instructor.]

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GROUP exercise - kill two birds with one stone.

GROUP exercise – kill two birds with one stone.

4. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE SLEEP BUT ALSO DON’T MISS OUT ON YOUR LIFE. This one surprised me. I am big on my 7-8 hours of sleep. But, sometimes you’ll get six (or less). Sometimes you’ll forgo a little sleep to do something with your friends that you’ve been looking forward to. Always do what is going to keep you happy – sleep, exercise, friends, eating, trashy TV. Do whatever that thing is.

 

Here are some things that might help you:

1. LIKING THE PEOPLE YOUR WORK WITH. To me, this is the most important thing. If you like the people you’re working with and can laugh about the shit hitting the fan at 3 am the next morning, you’ll be ok.

My NYU family, who I see more than my real family.

My NYU family, who I see more than my real family.

2. THE FOUR COLOR PEN AND CHECKBOXES. Ok, actually these two are the most important things.

3. REMEMBERING THAT UNLESS YOU ARE NEGLIGENT OR DISHONEST, IT IS NEVER THE INTERN’S FAULT.  This is the secret of intern year you won’t realize until about half way through the year. Unless you don’t report information or are dishonest, nothing will ever be your fault.

Here are some things that might happen to you:

1. INTERN CHIC APPEARANCE:I No make up? Hair a little squirrel dog? Breakouts from stress? Wearing scrubs with winter boots and a sweatshirt? Intern chic. Make it your thing. And you can always blame you appearance on “the 80 hour work week.”

2. A “WHATEVER” ATTITUDE OUTSIDE THE HOSPITAL: You will suddenly care far less about things you used to care about. How many weeks is it until that marathon? Maybe 10. What do you want to drink? I don’t know, surprise me.

In the end, this is what I hung on to (one of my favorite quotes of all time) and still do:

Ability is what you are capable of doing.

Motivation determines what you do.

Attitude determines how well you do it.

- Lou Holtz

I sure hope that’s true.

TELL ME: SURVIVAL TIPS FOR STARTING A NEW JOB/ROLE? 

Until next time…

On Why We Exercise

When you’re an intern, you table your feelings, so to speak. By 9 am July 1, you become so laser focused on becoming a master of efficiency, on checking off check box after check box that you’ll look up and realize its April and start to feel just a tiny bit of emotion, which then starts to get overwhelming, and you quickly return to your checkboxes.

Answer the page, check the box.

Answer the page, check the box.

I feel similarly about exercise these days. Its become a checkbox in a sense. I can still wax philosophic on why I run (or go to spin or pilates) and I genuinely think I do things for the right reason. However, as an intern, exercise has become a bit of a compulsion for me, an emotional crutch that I lean on heavily to provide a sense of normalcy in a fairly hectic life. Its something I’ve always done (dance, gymnastics, tennis, swimming, softball, soccer, so on and so forth) and I genuinely like it.

#tbt 1996

#tbt 1996

However, since I’ve started intern year, I’ve been a goal-less exerciser, for the first time in my entire life. I’m  not trying to become a stronger gymnast, a better tennis player, or a faster runner. I’m….doing something I love to do.

And, this got me thinking…because the prerogative of millennials is to overanalyze our happiness instead of just being happy. Right?

Fundamentally, I think I like to work out a lot because its fun, it makes me feel better, and, most importantly, I am deathly afraid of the following: hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, coronary artery disease, strokes, heart failure, not feeling my feet from diabetes, kidney failure from high blood pressure, and so on an so forth.

And, because I've met my best friends through sports...

And, because I’ve met my best friends through sports…

And, to be honest, “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands” – truer words have never been spoken. I’m pretty sure Malcolm Gladwell could find an association between exercise and crime rates.

At the end of my analysis, I determined that if we get to the root of the issue – besides the “I like it” part and the “I’m terrified of coronary artery disease” part – there are really two reasons I exercise: body function and body image.

Which one is more important to me? I can’t figure that one out.

Let’s back up a little bit.

First, meet Chainsaw and Jaws (yes, those are their names – sort of):

 

Aka "Chainsaw" Photo Credit: Flex Studios

Aka “Chainsaw” Photo Credit: Flex Studios

 

[Sorry you guys, I took these pics off the internet. Don't hate me.]

I think I’ve spent what equates to a small wedding fund going to both of their classes this year (pilates for Liz, spin for Jaws) mostly because I like their classes and partly in an attempt to look like them. [And partly because this winter was terrible and I was not into running in the polar vortex with ice on the ground if I could help it.]

This weather is more up my running alley.

This weather is more up my running alley.

Unfortunately, thus far, osmosis hasn’t worked. Science is really letting me down.

By the principle of osmosis, shouldn't the higher concentration of abs spontaneously migrate to the lower concentration of abs? Yes?

By the principle of osmosis, shouldn’t the higher concentration of abs spontaneously migrate to the lower concentration of abs to create an equilibrium? Yes?

I also take their classes (and others…and run) because I want my body to be able to do the things I want it to do. I want to be able to run marathons if I want to…or to work 80 hours a week on a labor floor without collapsing.

As I said in my last post, I’ve done some  double/triple spins and run/pilates or run/spin or pilates/spin combos. So, if my body can conceivably do what I want it to do, why do I care exactly what it looks like? If can run a marathon, why am I mad at science for 6-pack osmosis not being a “thing?” If I can work 80 hours a week, run, still fit into my clothes, and not collapse, why do I keep interrogating Lauren on “how she does it.”

Seriously, Lauren. What do I have to do? Birth a child 10 months ago?

Seriously, Lauren. What do I have to do? Birth a child 10 months ago?

I don’t know either. The answer escapes me, like the concept of the iCloud.

[Seriously, you all, what is and where is the iCloud.]

Just some food for thought.

I probably won’t figure out the answer (like I’ll never understand the concept of the iCloud), but I’ll keep working out because I like it and the way it makes me feel. Do my part in decreasing the crime rate. Because, in the end, we really do this because endorphins make us happy, right?

TELL ME: BODY IMAGE VS BODY FUNCTION – YOUR THOUGHTS – GO!

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

Observations on Unconventional Half Marathon Training

Hi there! I’m still here! And, by here, I mean the hospital, my apartment, SoulCycle or Flex Studios.

Way back when (alright January), I wrote about not training for a half marathon coming up. Then, I didn’t run that half because I wanted to sleep (#internproblems).

In the depths of the polar vortex, I had imagined the Miami Half would provide the kick in the butt to start training for May’s Brooklyn Half. And then after I didn’t run the Miami Half, I figured that the winter would turn around and I’d be doing long runs again in no time. Half marathon in May? No problem.

The weather sort of turned around, but my “training” didn’t. Of course, I will still exercising a fairly good bit, but long runs, tempos, even running in general? Well, it just didn’t quite pick up as the months went by.

Since November’s NYC Marathon, I’ve been on a huge spin kick. I love running and still do, but I just usually wasn’t feeling it. And spin? I was feeling it.

The last time I ran over 8 miles prior to Saturday….

The last time I ran over 8 miles prior to Saturday….

No good blog post would come without some analysis of largely unimportant details of a 20-something’s first world problems. Thus, I thought about why I was so spin crazy all winter/spring and not run drunk as usual. I think I spent what equates to a small wedding fund at SoulCycle this winter for three reasons: 1) indoor heating; 2) music; 3) community/people. In the throes of intern year, when you all you really want to do is drink some water and sleep, the thought of running in the cold alone is fairly bleak. Inside exercise? Check. Getting lost in music and forgetting about the labor floor? Check. Having some sort of unspoken peer pressure by those around to work hard? Check. Add more classes to that cart.

As May drew closer and closer, I did start to get slightly concerned that I might crash and burn in this half marathon, especially since I had told my co-resident, Meagan, that I would “pace” her through her first half, which would require me to be in some kind of shape.

Sure, I was exercising a lot. But, would it be enough? Since analysis is my middle name, I thought this through a little bit.

I estimated that my exercise/workouts were broken up as follows:

- 10% pilates (new obsession thanks to this power tool)

- 50% spin (including a lot of “doubles” and a few “triples”)

- 40% running (including a lot of run/spin or run/pilates combos)

I equate a 45 min spin class to be the cardiovascular equivalent of a 5 mile run. I also consider it like a “mini” track workout or tempo since its often high cadence against moderate resistance and potentially this evokes some sort of fast twitch neuromuscular stimulus or another equally fancy term.

If the above was true, then doing a double or triple spin was like a long run (double spins feel like a 12 miler to me and triples feel like a 16 miler in terms of my cardiovascular stimulus). Or doing a spin + 4-5 mile run was like getting in a 9 or 10 miler. Or so I hoped.

Pilates was a plus in the strength corner.

This left only one real variable, which was the one I was most worried about — time on your feet.

I learned from Steph that I lot of your long runs were just getting used to being on your feet and running for that long. It helps your muscles, tendons, and ligaments adapt to that stress and get stronger. And, that was the one very crucial thing that I was missing.

Slight oversight.

A little more of this may have been useful...

A little more of this may have been useful…

To sum up the analysis: 

General cardiovascular endurance + moderate strength from pilates – time on feet aspect + the square root of 20 =  Half Marathon?

Turns out, everything went well, as it usually does in these complicated first world problems for 20-somethings.

In fact, I had a lot of fun. Pacing someone in their first half was even better than running your own PR in a way.

To be fair, my legs did NOT feel used to running 13.1 miles and I started to feel a bit heavy legged by about 10 miles (pilates the night before also may have had something to do with this). But, I didn’t feel terrible either. Meagan and I finished in 1:53:43 (amazing first half marathon, right?!) which I thought was really great. Judging on how my legs felt at the end, I think that 1:53 was about the limit of my leg strength/power. They just weren’t quite used the pounding of 13 miles and the leg power needed for that, which I’m glad I now realize when I approach future races (NYC Marathon 2014!) with likely unconventional training plans.

Unconventional includes 18 x1 jumping selfie attempts. #nailedit

Unconventional includes 18 x1 jumping selfie attempts. #nailedit

After I wasted all that brain space analyzing whether I could physically run 13.1 miles (when my longest run since November’s NYC Marathon was 8 miles), I realize that what was really missing from the above equation and, perhaps, is the most important variable is this: your mind and attitude.

Over the 5 years I’ve been running and racing, I’ve gone from seeing running as a thing I “needed to do” or “have to do” to now something that I get to do. Running, going to spin, taking pilates – it really is a privilege. Not everyone gets to do it. And I do. And, I’m really thankful that my body is able to do it and that I have the time and resources to do so.

Can't talk about my running roots without mentioning my running buddy OG, Erika. Thanks for inviting me to run that time. It worked out ok.

Can’t talk about my running roots without mentioning my running buddy OG, Erika. Thanks for inviting me to run that time. It worked out ok.

What I learned from the Brooklyn Half was this: When you run from a place of joy and appreciation,the result is so much sweeter, no matter the time on the clock. 

This only took me about 5 years and half a billion races to learn.

On a final note, don’t underestimate your power. Even a lowly intern can convince her senior residents to run a half marathon.

NYU OB/GYN - excellent surgeons in excellent shape

NYU OB/GYN – excellent surgeons in excellent shape

TELL ME: WHAT YOUR SPORT HAS TAUGHT YOUR ABOUT ATTITUDE, MENTAL TOUGHNESS, OR SOMETHING RELATED TO THE BIG ORGAN BETWEEN YOUR EARS. 

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Friday Finds and Reads

I’m contemplating writing a “What to Expect: Labor and Delivery #keepingitreal” post, but, in the mean time, here are some good reads related to OB/GYN, a little something I spend some time doing. 80 hours a week that is. 

“When a Placenta Tries To Kill A Mother.” - A piece from The Atlantic highlighting C-sections and the risk of placenta accreta (i.e. when the placenta attaches into parts of the uterus that it shouldn’t). Why our national C-section rate of approximately 30% shouldn’t be ignored…

A string of beautiful, brave posts from my friend, Gia, on her fertility story, in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle leading to beautiful now 3 year old twins, and her recent frozen embryo transfer leading to a heartbreaking “biochemical” pregnancy (i.e. positive pregnancy test but never a pregnancy in the uterus): 

     Infertility and the Choice for IVF

     The IVF Cycles: A Fail and a Success

     The Choice for Twins, Frozen Embryos, and OHSS

    My Journey 3 Years Later: Let’s Thaw Some Embryos

    And then there wasn’t…

The Obesity and Pregnancy Dilemma - highlighting our fast food nation is affecting everything from fertility to C-section rates (and see sequelae from that above!)

Posts from an ER chief resident who, at 24 weeks pregnant, finds out she has a shortened cervix  (i.e. the cervix is what must shorten and dilate in labor to have a baby, not something you want to have at 24 weeks) and is put on bed rest. 

Finally, if you want to really know what it’s like to be an OB/GYN resident… look no further than this :) –> http://whatshouldwecallobgynresidency.tumblr.com/page/2

To balance out the obstetrics, lady-parts heavy talk above, here are a few of my favorite things lately that have nothing to do with a uterus or cervix. 

The Lux Side Zip Top from Oiselle : The fabric is like butter and I like the cut. 

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Maria Castelli Handbags  : A company founded by one of my friends (since 4th grade) and her mom! Made from Argentinian leather (they’re from Argentina) and made by hand in Brooklyn. 

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Heidi Klum for New Balance 420s: They look good to walk around in this summer, if summer ever arrives. 

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TELL ME: FAVE ARTICLES YOU’VE FOUND RECENTLY? FAVE FINDS?

And, now, it is bedtime…

Until next time…

Humbled: Pilates

I like to think that I’m in good shape.

I’ve run some marathons. Qualified for Boston. I can do 3 spin classes in a day (although not a regular thing). Maybe throw in a barre class here and there.

Yeah! Running! I can do that!

Yeah! Running! I can do that!

And, then I took pilates with Elizabeth (aka Chainsaw? Just go with it) at Flex today.

It was humbling, slightly embarrassing, and I’d probably now just consider myself in “good cardiovascular shape.”

I pride myself on being really tough and able to handle really hard classes because, you know, I’ve run marathons! I’m a resident! What’s harder than a marathon?! Or harder than a day on the labor floor?! Nothing! I should be able to handle anything, right?

Pilates. Pilates can be harder than a marathon.

You know a class is hard when you’re going to the 5K pain place, sweating to death, and actively thinking of ways to possibly cheat (yep, I went there). In fact, at one point I tried to some something on my knees rather than in plank position and Elizabeth every so sweetly came over and said, “honey that’s not going to do anything for you.” No slacking allowed. I was getting my money’s worth. [PS: Thanks, Elizabeth!]

As a bonus, the whole reformer thing makes it not so easy to take breaks. One wrong move and I was afraid I might plummet 3 feet straight down into the well of the reformer into Pilates hades.

I was shaking. I was sweating. Like all those laboring patients I see, except I wasn’t birthing a child.

And, for some reason, I loved it.

It was extremely humbling. I knew I lacked core strength but this class really drove the point home.

I only wish I had known about this class when I was training for marathons and trying to do anything (acupuncture!) and everything (chiropractor!) not to get injured.

Elizabeth was super sweet, gave great technical corrections (the former gymnast in me always loves this), and doesn’t allow you to give up (even if you try, like me).

So, moral of the story — Go! Take her class! Bring your A game! Moreover, bring your abs.

TELL ME: YOUR FAVE NYC FITNESS CLASSES AND/OR INSTRUCTORS.

Currently, I’m loving Jaws and Akin at SoulCycle and just took a class at Chaise 23 with Rachel and loved her, too.

Until next time….

A “Typical” Day In the Life

While there is no one “typical” day for me, here’s a little glimpse into life as the intern on labor and delivery.

*day to day routine varies based on what rotation/service you are on…variety is the spice of life, right?*

Here goes:

4:45-5 am: ALARM!

[Thankfully, "getting" ready takes all of 10-15 min given I wear scrubs every day. I eat breakfast on the way - a Picky Bar and a green juice, usually. And coffee #1 of day.]

5:15-6 am: Get to the hospital somewhere in this time frame depending upon the number of postpartum patients to round on that morning. Get sign out on post partums from night resident.

[Sign Out = Running through the list of patients and active issues with them. Ie Ms X had a fever last night and x,y,z was done. Or Ms A has severe pre-eclampsia, is on magnesium until 5 pm today, tox labs q 6 hours, blood pressures have ranged X to X…or something like that]

Until 7 am: Round on the post partum patients. Write notes.  Usually ranges between 10-20 patients.

How best to describe post partum rounds?

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 8.45.57 PM

7 am: Get sign out on the “board” (triage and laboring patients) and antepartum patients from the night resident. Give sign out on post partums to nurse practitioner (aka the intern’s God send).

7:30 am: Didactics (educational activity)

8 am: Sign out “the board” to all of the staff on labor and delivery

8:45 am to 5:59 pm: “Run the floor”

There are four basic things you do as an intern in a day on labor and delivery.

***Intern = first year resident***

1. C-SECTIONS: There are always scheduled C-sections each morning, usually at least two and sometimes three. Interns do all primary C-sections, meaning the first C-section anyone has ever had. Repeat C-sections or those on people with prior abdominal surgery usually get bumped up to the second year resident, unless they are in clinic. Really complicated patients may get bumped up to a chief. In general, the labor and delivery intern ends up with at least a few sections every day.

All residents bow down to the holy check box so I’ll include that in this post as to neglect the check box in a post about “the day in the life” would basically be leaving out the meat of my day.

In “check box” terms, C-sections get five check boxes: history/physical exam, consent form, pre op orders, cross for blood products, post op orders, baby orders.

2. TRIAGE: Triage is like our OB emergency room. Anyone over a certain number of weeks pregnancy gets sent to our triage. Usually, it is people who are coming in to determine if they are in labor, if they broke their water, etc etc.

Triage patients get four check boxes: history/physical exam, consent form, triage orders, call attending to discuss plan for patient.

3. LABORING PATIENTS: This entails watching the “tracings”, checking in on them, monitoring or managing their labor course/starting an induction, and, hopefully, delivering them!

*Tracings = external fetal heart rate monitor and contraction monitor*

Laboring patients get the following check boxes: history/physical, consent form, admission orders, cross for blood, baby orders, post partum orders.

4. PAGES: It beeps (a lot). You answer it. Pages can be for anything – from a colace order to someone with severe range blood pressures who needs to be evaluated for pre-eclampsia to a post partum hemorrhage.

I wear my pager on my ID necklace/lanyard along with looping my four color pen. Suffice it to say I look super cool when I’m at work.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 9.05.23 PM

During the day, our nurse practitioner covers the post partum pager and patients. This probably saves the intern at least a billion pages per day.

The antepartum service (i.e. those admitted prior to labor)  is covered by the second year resident. However, they are sometimes in clinic and you hold the pager at all times and, therefore, are also responsible for the antepartums in some capacity each day.

6 pm: Sing out the entire service to the night resident. Hand off the pager to said resident.

6:30-7 pm: Leave hospital!

***There is, of course, always the possibility of the 5-5:30 pm high acuity situation in which you get a bit delayed on the 6 pm sign out or you may need to catch up on note writing or some aspect of patient care from the day and stay a bit later than what is listed above.***

At some point, you eat lunch and, hopefully, drink water. I drink at least two coffees a day, minimum and sometimes shove down a Picky Bar in the afternoon, especially if I’m going to run or spin that evening.

I was on a huge diet ginger ale kick during my last month on labor and delivery. There’s something so satisfying about the little mini cans of diet Shasta (ginger ale) apparently only available at hospitals. Combined with hospital ice (the soft ice like they have at football games), its heaven in a small styrofoam cup.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 9.10.44 PM

I usually crash by 10 pm. Sometimes earlier. And hopefully not any later than that.

And then you get up again and do it the next day!

So, that’s it.

Until next time…

[And if you have any questions, ask! Not sure if what I wrote is common knowledge or jargon…]

Race Rebellion

You know what’s awesome?

Doing what you want to do.

Most of my time is spent doing what I’m supposed to be doing when I am supposed to be doing it – you know, discipline. Getting to work at 5:30 am to round on post partum patients is my job. Like many of you, I spend most of my time crossing my t’s and dotting my i’s, on a relentless little journey to figure out how to be good, better, and, ultimately, best at what I do. I’d say for most of us, they aren’t many occasions where you get to say “You know what? I don’t want to to this today so I’m not going to.”

So, it’s pretty liberating when you can do that – decide exactly what you want to do that will make you happy and do just that.

I went to Miami this weekend with Gia, KScott, and Theodora for a girl’s trip, including a half marathon. At 6 am. In 70+/humid weather (not that I’m complaining). Undertrained. Sleep deprived (as usual). And not really all that amped up to run 13 miles.

What did I really want to do? Sleep in til a luxurious 7 o’clock (my how times have changed from med school!), run when I want to and how far I felt like, do a few Canyon Ranch classes (yoga! zumba! ballet!), get more steps on my fitbit, drink a green juice, soak up some vitamin D….

So, that’s what I did. And, it was fantastic!

My approach to exercise has drastically changed since starting residency and very much mirrors this weekend.

Last year, I used this race as a training run for Eugene [marathon]. I wanted to get up at 3 am for a 6 am race. I wanted to run 13.1 miles. It was all a part of “the training plan.”

Now, there is no plan. And, its perfect for this part of my life. I only get a few precious hours a day that are totally and completely mine so I typically pick whatever exercise (or non-exercise) will make me happiest. Sometimes its SoulCycle. Sometimes its running. Sometimes its catching up on my DVR.

This time last year I was logging all of these miles, splits for crazy workouts, honing my marathon mental game. Now, I’m logging work hours, cases, and figuring out how best to stay sane and how to afford my SoulCycle classes, new Oiselle gear, and green juices.

Before residency, I was really scared I was going to miss training and racing like I did in med school. I had fear of fear of missing out big time. I’m happy to stay I don’t at all. I push myself hard enough at work that I don’t really miss track workouts and race day early mornings. My biggest goal is to figure out how to relax my shoulders in SoulCycle (I tend to carry my shoulders up near my ears — comes with the uptight, stressed out territory) and that’s just fine by me.

I don’t really know what the point of this post is. Do blogs have to have points or lessons like Full House episodes do? I guess its be open to change, do what makes you happy if you have the opportunity to, and skipping a race can be very liberating (even if you’re out the race fee which is the equivalent of a few SoulCycle classes). And that sleep is very important.

Lose a race entry fee. Gain some freedom.

Tomorrow…its back to the early wake ups and the post partum rounds (and, the best part, delivering babies!)

Bring it on!