NYC Marathon “Prep”

Seeing as the NYC Marathon is this weekend, it would be a logical time to really start thinking about “prepping” and “race day.” (It starts at 9:40 am, right?)

One wonderful thing about residency is that it puts the rest of your life into perspective. My residency “world” continues at a blazing pace irrespective of any impending marathon. And, truly, in my “new world,” the marathon is just my weekend activity- some of my co-residents are on call, others are getting married, others have kids and Halloween candy to eat. For me, the marathon is just a really cool, hopefully fun 4 hour-ish blip on the radar in a very packed week (as most weeks are).

Anyways, if I had to think about my prep in any way, shape, or form for Sunday, here it is in list form, naturally. (Interns bow down to the holy list and holy check box.)

Here are ways in which I will NOT be preparing for the NYC Marathon:

- STAYING OFF MY FEET: If I did so, I would not be able to do my job. I really need to get that fit bit to see how much I walk at work.

- BEING WELL RESTED: This statement is not compatible with being an intern.

- DRINKING MORE WATER: I’m going to try, but drinking more also means you need to pee more which is 2 minutes more out of your day. Sometimes, 2 minutes is hard to come by. Seriously.

- DRINKING LESS CAFFEINE: Caffeine is non-negotiable in my life.

Here are ways in which I will be preparing:

- EATING AT MORE FREQUENT INTERVALS LATER IN THE WEEK: Eating what remains the question as I’m usually touching a key board or the inside of a vagina (GLOVED HAND, that is) and therefore don’t like to touch anything with my hands.

- TRYING TO DRINK MORE WATER: I’ll give it the ol’ college try…

- CHOOSING SLEEP OVER A RUN: Like tonight, where I am exhausted from the whirlwhind of many deliveries yesterday and generally just having a fairly physically demanding job. I left at 6:30, will be back in likely at 4:30 so sleep > short run…

I won’t be gunning for a PR or BQ Sunday because that’s not the point of this marathon to me.

I wanted to do this to raise awareness for Every Mother Counts. Plain and simple.

There is no race plan, no goal time (other than finishing), no strategy.

Generally, the only stress I feel is:

1) Am I trained enough to even do this with my “moderate, play it by ear” training? Will I need to drop out?

2) Will I be able to walk Monday?

3) Have a truly lost my mind?

I’m banking on the fact that I ran 2 marathons in the past year (making this the 3rd in 18 months). Hopefully, that whole consistency or “mileage” base concept will come into play Sunday.

And, I’m also banking on the fact that I will do almost anything for a milkshake or cupcake (or, let’s get real, entire cake) which I have promised myself afterwards.

So, here goes nothing!

To learn more about Every Mother Counts –> http://www.everymothercounts.org

My fundraiser –> http://www.crowdrise.com/everymothercountsnyc2013/fundraiser/meggiesmith

Until next time…

(Special thanks to Gia for encouraging me throughout this whole “training cycle” and believing in me – can’t wait to run with you on Sunday!)

“Training”

Tackling a marathon and being an OB/GYN intern might not have been one of my smartest ideas, but the marathon is now 2 weeks away and I’m still trucking along with my “training.”

I certainly don’t run as much as I used to and actual “training” like I did for Eugene or Richmond or any other marathon I’ve run is a distant memory. In fact, anything that resembles a watch is also a distant memory so all of my training thus far has been “approximate.” And, I don’t particularly miss either of those things (workouts, watches) as just running at all these days is tiring enough on top of my work schedule!

So, in summary, I’m not injured and I’m excited to get this show on the road. And, my “training?” It is what it is…and hopefully enough!

In a fantastic little type A exercise, I have  made an Excel spreadsheet with my mileage and hours worked (I have to log hours for residency anyways so I have those handy).

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Might need to get out your glasses to read that one…

[And, no wonder I got sick running 41 miles during a apprx 70 hour work week and including a night shift!]

I forgot to log pints of ice cream, number of Picky Bars, and bottles of green juice during the past few weeks, but suffice it to say those combined are probably higher than both my mileage and hours worked.

A sincere thank you to everyone who has donated to my campaign for Every Mother Counts thus far. I am beyond appreciative and touched. A thank you note will be coming your way at some point!

Finally, what’s more exciting than spreadsheets and thank yous? New Every Mother Counts gear from Oiselle!

Here are some of my favorites:

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So, happy shopping!

Until next time…

Bird Understander

Below is a poem I heard today….

Bird Understander

By : Craig Arnold

Of many reasons I love you here is one
the way you write me from the gate at the airport
so I can tell you everything will be alright
so you can tell me there is a bird
trapped in the terminal      all the people
ignoring it       because they do not know
what do with it       except to leave it alone
until it scares itself to death
it makes you terribly terribly sad
You wish you could take the bird outside
and set it free or       (failing that)
call a bird-understander
to come help the bird
All you can do is notice the bird
and feel for the bird       and write
to tell me how language feels
impossibly useless
but you are wrong
You are a bird-understander
better than I could ever be
who make so many noises
and call them song
These are your own words
your way of noticing
and saying plainly
of not turning away
from hurt
you have offered them
to me       I am only
giving them back
if only I could show you
how very useless
they are not

A nice reminder that others see pretty great qualities of ourselves that we often miss.

Be kind to yourself. 

asdfad

Recent Faves and Finds

A few recent finds…

Here goes:

1. Oofos Flip Flops

Plain and simple: extremely comfortable.

2. NYC Skyline Return Address Labels on Etsy (specific shop: Moxy Paperie)

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These give me a great reason to send some snail mail. I changed mine to a blue background and all white writing.

3. Monogrammed Phone Case (also on Etsy) (specific shop: To the Gild Lily)

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I ascribe to the deeply held southern belief that if it’s [object] not moving, you should monogram it.

4. Jenni Bick Bookbinding Personalized Moleskine Notebooks

You can emboss your initials, your company logo (a bit more expensive), a saying/quote, your full name on pretty much any Moleskine notebook or cahier you can dream of.

It’s probably a good thing I did not know about these in college. Otherwise, I would’ve had piles of notebooks embossed with my monogram.

5. Oiselle Flyte Shorts and Charcoal Strappy Sports Bra

I typically shy away from spandex shorts as I don’t think they are ever particularly flattering on me. However, the Oiselle flyte shorts pass the “I would be in seen in public in these” test. Super comfortable and seamless to boot.

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The charcoal strappy is a huge improvement on the original strappy. It is much more compressive and with a lot more coverage. I can only hope they are going to make this is more colors.

Six pack not included...

Six pack not included…

Suffice it to say that both items are so comfortable and flattering that if I had the bravery (or body) to do it, I’d run in both these items sans shirt like the pros do.

Finally, shameless plug – remember that whole “I’m starting a 5K revolution” I wrote about a year ago?

LOOK!

A few weeks old but still...cool!

A few weeks old but still…cool!

6. Nuttzo

Like the Rolls Royce of nut butters…

Love the consistency. Love the flavor all 7 nuts and seeds give it. Love the dark chocolate variety. Its too good to be true.

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I’m a huge fan of the momtrepreneur behind Nuttzo, too. Win-win!

7. Skinny Pop

Its the perfect popcorn.

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I am eating what surely is a pathologic amount these days.

TELL ME: COOL FINDS I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT…

Until next time…

Every Mother Counts

Remember how I said I “wasn’t going to do a marathon for a while” after Eugene?

I think I’ve said this after most marathons and, each time, I’ve made myself a big, fat liar.

Why? Because I’m going to run the 2013 NYC Marathon with Every Mother Counts!

WHY AM I DOING THIS?

My reason for joining the EMC team was simple. As an OB/GYN resident, maternal health is a cause close to my heart. On the labor floor, I often find myself thinking “what would have happened to this woman if she didn’t have access to care?” This short video juxtaposes the journey of two mothers reaching obstetrical care.

I have the privilege of working with mothers and babies every day and, in some small way, helping them have a happy, healthy pregnancy and delivery. But, how could I help make sure every mom has this experience, make sure that every mother counts?

Joining the EMC team was a no-brainer. I want to help make sure every mother counts.

WHAT IS EVERY MOTHER COUNTS?

In brief, Every Mother Counts is a campaign to end preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth around the world. The goal is to inform, engage, and mobilize new audiences to take action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women worldwide.

Did you know…

- 15% of all pregnancies result in a potentially fatal complication in labor and delivery.

-  There are approximately 800 deaths per day from a complication of pregnancy and childbirth, making reproductive health the leading cause of death worldwide for women 15-44 years old.

- For every death, there are 20 life changing injuries. This means that approximately 7 million women each year suffer from post-delivery infections, disabilities, and other severe complications, like fistulas.

Think this is just a problem in developing countries? WRONG!

- The US ranks 50th in maternal health, even though we spend more per capita on health care than any other country in the world. [And see how Every Mother Counts has helped with its' Commonsense Childbirth grant.]

We have the tools and the know-how to save these mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, teachers, doctors, caregivers and community leaders—if we make it a priority.

I’m hoping you can help EMC in any way, big or small! Here are some ways you can get involved.

1.    You can donate here by clicking on the DONATE button on the right of my fundraising page to contribute what you can directly to Every Mother Counts Runners.

2.  You can JOIN THE TEAM (run with me!) to become a fundraiser yourself and help us raise the much-needed funds and spread the word about this cause.

3.     You can purchase an EMC t-shirt & gear from Oiselle.com and come out and cheer us on.

The French Fleece material of this hoodie is so soft. I wore so much last winter!

The French Fleece material of this hoodie is so soft. I wore so much last winter!

4.     You can run in solidarity on November 3rd. Remember that any distance from 1 mile to 26.2 miles would be an amazing act of support of our mission. Every Mile Counts because Every Mother Counts.

Together we can make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all moms.

Why I [Continue to] Run

I know I’ve written a bit on this blog about residency, and have probably told most of you who read this far more in person.

There are a multitude of things I could write about residency thus far. My thoughts are a bit too overwhelming to even know where to begin and what is appropriate to share (does the word vagina make any of you uncomfortable?). So, I’ll start with what this blog is mostly about – running.

No matter how you slice it, residency is tough. Even with work hour restrictions (80 hours per week), the physical, mental, and emotional demands drain your energy pool fairly quickly.

I had fairly low expectations for running in residency, but an ambitious outlook. Like any self-respecting type A, I made a goal of exercise 4 times per week. And, in good intern fashion, I put four check boxes in my planner for the week to be checked off accordingly. (Interns bow down to the holy to-do list check box).

Now, before I get a bit negative, let me preface with the fact that I love what I do most of the time (I’m fairly certain no one can love their job 100% of the time). Best of all, I love the people I work with and all that I am learning from them.

Yet, for better or worse, being an intern reminds me daily of what I am not. Despite 8 years of higher education, I’m not even good at doing practical tasks, like putting the leg drape on in the OR elegantly,  (seriously, I’ve had nightmares over that leg drape). Compared to people around me, I’m not that knowledgeable, skilled, published, or any other adjective you want to throw in there…yet, that is. Its a four year residency for a reason and a life-long career, but the intern growing pains are real for me, nonetheless.

Despite the long hours, I haven’t found much difficulty in getting out the door to run. Being able to run is a treat and a time each day I cherish. Running feels like breathing to me – natural and necessary for life (or at least mine). More than ever before, running feels like a part of me, rather than something I do or a goal I chase.

I don’t run far or fast – usually between 4-6 miles. I never wear a watch or Garmin. I’ve had the motivation to do workouts, but never the energy or time to put forth into making it a quality effort during the work week (plus, I’m not “training” for any specific and would rather talk with a friend on a run rather than suffer through a workout). On my days off, I get to go on a long run and catch up with friends. My longest run since residency has started is 18 miles and I’m really proud of that.

Mostly, I keep running not for any time goal or new distance to be conquered, but because running reminds me of what I can become rather than what I am not.

Many have said athletics mirror life: you get out of it what you put into it. With consistent training and hard work (and a little help), I went from a 4:09:59 marathoner to 3:34:07 during a 3 year period.

Remembering what went into my marathon improvement helps me approach each day as an intern with a little more gumption, fortitude, and fervor. Even on days when I feel completely incapable and inept, I know that with consistent hard work I can go from “what I am not” to whatever it is I’m meant to be in four years.

I don’t know when my next race will be. I don’t know when I’ll really “train” again. I don’t know if any of “that” will matter to me again.

All I know is that I’ll keep putting one foot in front of another, both in running and in residency.

And, I have to believe it will pay off.

TELL ME: WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO RUN? (OR WHATEVER YOU DO AS A HOBBY)

Until next time…

Swelting Summer Finds

Apparently, Manhattan had a heat wave a week or so ago. I was inside for it, but I’ll trust weather.com’s word. Regardless, here are three things I like to help cool off in the sweltering summer heat.

1. David’s Tea Pop:

Crave a diet coke after a long run but hate pumping your body full of chemicals? Yeah, me, too. David’s Tea Pop, which mixes tea with seltzer, is a perfect replacement. Antioxidants are bit better for you than sorbitol.

You can fairly easily DIY this, too, although I have yet to try.

2. One Lucky Duck:

I’m not vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free, or with any food restriction, but this raw food outpost has won me over.

Their pina colada (fresh coconut, coconut water, pineapple) is out of this world. I’m going to try to make it a point to end my next long run there.

3. Imperial Woodpecker Sno Balls:

Shaved ice. Incredible syrups. Add ice cream and you’ll be blown away.

I renege my last statement – I’m going to make it a point to end my next long run here.

TELL ME: FAVORITE SUMMER DESSERT

Until next time…