Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

Back in Chicago! Actually, I got back last night, but I didn't feel like updating then. So much to talk about!

My flight was on Wednesday night, and unlike all my other flights to Philly, we landed EARLY. Fantastic! I was planning to do some interview prep on the plane, going over my answers, reminding myself of what I actually did in nursing school, etc, but the guy next to me was super chatty. He started talking the moment I sat down, and then we talked for half the flight until we watched 30 Rock together. He was probably around 35-40 and told me about his wife and kids. It's so funny how some people can be super rude on airplanes and others will talk to you like you've been friends forever. Certainly made my flight go much faster! My boyfriend met me at the airport with some red tulips and two bags of M&M's (milk chocolate and peanut)...he definitely knows the way to my heart!

My interview was on Thursday, and I got to that without a hitch. The hospital is about an hour and twenty minutes from Princeton, and it's a pretty easy drive. It started to drizzle when I was walking in, which I hoped wasn't some form of sympathetic nature (woo eighth grade literary terms!). I had a peer interview with two nurses, then met with the unit manager, and then finally went back to HR to talk to the nurse recruiter. This hospital is TOTALLY different than anything I've been in before. It's a community hospital with no university affiliations (hence no teaching...hence no residents to bug with all my questions), still uses only paper charting, and is about 20% the size of Rush. Yikes! Definitely not where I pictured myself. On the plus side, it does seem like a good place to learn to be a nurse. Since there aren't docs around 24/7 (you can call them, but they're not physically sitting around the corner), the nurses do everything and are really accountable for monitoring the patients. This is both exciting and frightening because I'd be the one responsible (frightening), but I didn't become a nurse simply to follow doctors' orders, so that would be exciting.

Anyway, I'll discuss that more if a job offer comes around. I called back later in the afternoon after my interview, and the nurse recruiter said that the unit manager told her to check my references, meaning that she is interested in pursuing me further. Yay, they didn't hate me. :)

The rest of the weekend was fairly uneventful, but filled with running and BASKETBALL. March Madness GALORE. I don't know how many of you are into college basketball, but I still have 13/16 of my Sweet 16 teams, so I'm in pretty good shape. Illinois, Florida State, and Utah were my downfalls, although I'm not sure why I picked Utah...oops! My TERPS fell to Memphis as I predicted, so that was good while it lasted. We should have made a blog pool! I'll have to remember for next year.

Lots of running this weekend, including a nine mile run and a big nineteen mile run! Here's how I fared:

Friday, March 20
9.08 miles in 1:10:28:, avg pace of 7:46

Saturday, March 21
19.01 miles in 2:32:59, avg pace of 8:03

Friday was a pretty good run, except for lots of stopping and starting. First we hit every single red light, and then later in the run my boyfriend-the-running-buddy had some GI issues so we stopped quite often until we found a bathroom. I, however, felt awesome. Friday night is designated as Happy Hour night in Princeton (as well as in other places of the world), so we had half price chicken quesadillas and a Miller Lite. That's long run fuel, right? I sure think so. Also, one of my friends from Maryland is from Jersey and was home on break, so he met us for dinner and subsequent basketball watching. I hadn't seen him since the summer, so that was exciting!

Saturday morning was the day of the long run! Four of us are planning on doing the same marathon, and this was my first time running with the entire crew. As noted in previous posts, I was nervous about this because I never do runs with others, and I'm the "slow poke" of the group (it's a relative term!). My boyfriend assured me that we would start slow and I would be fine...Not that he would ever tell me otherwise!

All my worry ended up being for nothing because the run went just fine, with a few minor blips. There were some hills later in the run that were tough, but I made it up and over them! No small feat for the girl from the Prairie State. The saddest part about the run was that my garmin ran out of battery after 11.71 miles! I've been quite dependent on the little guy ever since I got him for Christmas in 2006, so I panicked slightly when I realized I wouldn't know my pace or how far we had gone or how much we had left or the time or ANYTHING. My garmin is definitely like a security blanket and I really like having it with me at all times while running! The time and distance reported above are from my boyfriend's watch and his mapping of our route on, so it's probably fairly close to what the garmin would tell me. I like to think I did quite well without my garmin, but I did ask multiple times how long we'd been running and about how much we had left. I like to think that stemmed more from the fact that I had no clue where we were and less from my neurotic tendencies to know everything about my run.

Here are the splits that garmin did save: 8:31, 8:22, 8:29, 8:22, 8:08, 8:21, 8:08, 7:51, 7:38, 7:59, 8:23, 6:04 (8:35)

We started off slow, and then we picked it up a bit...I was playing "follow the leader" so I just went with the pace of the people in front of me. The 7:38 was definitely on a downhill, and I think our last 6-7 miles were around 8:00/mile if not a smidge under. I believe the one guy we were running with is shooting for 3:10 (BQ), so he would pick it up sometimes, but overall I felt good during the run. I tried Luna Moons and Honey Stinger Energy Chews, and I might be sold on the Honey Stingers. They weren't terribly sticky (Shot Bloks make me feel like my fillings are going to come out!), and they actually tasted good! Further experimentation will be required, but definitely the best so far. I think the nutrition during the run helped, as I never felt exhausted during the run. I was getting tired near the end, which is when I realized that it's good to have other people to run with because I might have slowed down if I wasn't with other people. However, I didn't feel awful at the end or afterwards, so I think that's a good sign for the future!

I will stop this novel for now...hopefully some of you got through it! I hope everyone had awesome weekends and long runs! I've been trying to catch up on blogs, but I keep finding new ones and the list just gets longer and longer!


  1. Great runs, Susan! I'd be totally freaking out if my Garmin died on a long run too!

    Also, I'm glad that your interview went well!

  2. Not having residents around at night sucks. But otherwise, not a bad thing to have them harrassing you at every turn. Hope you get it!

    NICE paces on your runs, girl!

  3. Sounds like an all around nice weekend. You are super fast! Great job on both runs. Glad to hear the interview went well. Oh, and way to be holding strong with your bracket.

  4. Sorry about your Terps. We'll see if we can't beat Memphis this Thursday! Go Tigers!
    Fantastic 19 miler! Sounds like the interview went well, esp. since they're checking refs. Good luck!

  5. sounds like a great weekend!!! hope you hear back from the interview soon :)

    awesome job on your long run too!

  6. YAY! That's so exciting that they want to keep looking into you as a potential hire! Crossing my fingers for you!

    I was sad that the Terps got so killed by Memphis, but at least they made the tournament this year! I've got about 13 of my Sweet 16 teams left too!

  7. Great runs! You are fast. :)

    Thanks for the comment on my blog about the unemployment situation. I hope you get an offer soon, stay positive! :)