Wednesday, September 30, 2009

in a rush

always in a hurry

Yesterday was just another day at work…I started with four patients with the knowledge that I would be getting a post-op at some point during the night.  As the night went on, I realized that my post-op wouldn’t be coming up until late in the night.  While this bodes well for the rest of the night, it makes for a madhouse when they come up from the PACU at 9:00pm and I have ALLLLL the paperwork to do and four other patients to deal with…all while trying to get out on time.  I wouldn’t have been worried if my manager didn’t yell at me on a daily basis about getting out on time.  We’re just supposed to leave stuff for the next shift to do since nursing is a 24/7 job, but no one likes having stuff left for them.  I did most of the paperwork (OBSCENE AMOUNTS), but I did it in a hurry and I left hoping I didn’t forget to do something.  That’s all I think about all day.

You’re not supposed to dread going into work, right?  Ugh.

the job search

On Sunday night, I applied to a job I (think I) would like…it’s at a large university hospital in the city.  Any tips on getting my foot in the door?  Should I call HR to “make sure” they got my resume?  Maybe it’s too soon to start looking…but maybe not.

biking, day three

I went “the other way” on the local trail today, which was fun to explore.  I don’t usually go that way because it becomes pretty isolated after about 2.5 miles, and I’m wayyyy too much of a worry-wart to be a female runner on an isolated trail.  But, on a bike…I worry less because I can fly away from any scary people.  :)  I biked the furthest that I have yet (okay…not say much) and for the longest time.  Woo!  The only problem with this way on the trail is that it is mainly downhill on the way out and uphill on the way back…yikes!  But I survived…my shin is kind of sore right now…I don’t think that’s from biking?  Biking isn’t supposed to hurt…right?  Gah.  I foam rolled when I got home…fantastic.

Wednesday, September 30
16.31 miles in 1:12:27, avg pace of 4:26 (13.5 mph)

My speed was in between my two previous rides, so I’ll count that as a victory.  I guess.  I just miss my running shoes.

Okay, I don’t really have anything exciting to report today.  Off to work…hoping it’s a good day…

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It’s All About the Bike

If you haven’t tuned in for awhile, you may not know that I am currently taking a break from running.  I haven’t successfully run more than two miles since September 17…yikes!  It started in my shin, and while my shin feels better now, something is weird with my knee.  My form isn’t correct at all, and it would be impossible to get through any sort of mileage without lots of pain and slow, slow, slow running.  Basically, it wouldn’t be constructive at all, and I’d probably ruin my shot at the Philadelphia Marathon.  So, I’m riding a bike for now.

I’ve never really had to deal with any major injuries in my running career.  This is a pretty good feat, as I’ve been running since the seventh grade (circa 1997…check out my running story!).  That’s a long time to go without any major injuries, so I think I’m pretty lucky.  Every now and then my shins would hurt at the end of cross country season (and there was that one time when I ended my season during marching band practice…but I guess I tried to keep that out of my mind!), but overall, no major problems.  I’ve always been a runner and never much of a cross trainer, so I’m a bit at a loss of what to do.  The gym that I signed up for doesn’t open until November, so that doesn’t help me much now!  I would totally jump in the pool and such if I could.  For now, I am stuck riding the bike that I borrowed from the Rocket Scientist’s parents.

I have no clue how to bike.  Sure, I rode my bike all the time when I was younger.  I was known for riding around the neighborhood, asking my friends to join me on a bike ride and we would ride and go play on local playgrounds for hours.  Those were the days.  Anyway.  Not for speed or a workout or anything.  I don’t even know what a “good” bike workout is, what gears to be in, how far to ride to attempt to simulate marathon training (although never a real comparison), etc.

Any insight would be lovely!  I know there are bloggers out there who faced similar situations.  Help this non-biker runner out!

I took the bike out for a spin yesterday and didn’t hate it too much, so I took it out again today.  I was a bit jealous biking by anyone who was running…it made me so sad!  I’ll be back there soon, I hope.  At least I’m getting in some cardio.  Here are my stats from garmin, even though I have no clue what they really mean or if they’re really any good at all!

Monday, September 28
13.51 miles in 1:03:01, avg pace of 4:40 (12.9 mph)

Monday’s ride was on the local trail where I run, which has minimal hills.  Is 12.9 an okay pace?  Beats me.  Although I was thinking about it, and I was riding about as fast as the top male marathoners run.  That kind of made me sad…

Tuesday, September 29
10.02 miles in 43:25, avg pace of 4:20 (13.9 mph)

HILLS ON THIS ROUTE.  I’m not sure which I like less…running up hills or biking up hills.  Neither one is particularly pleasant, although it is definitely more fun to bike down the hills!  I was flying on some parts…woo!

foam roller

Yowza!  Rolling out your IT band is painful!  I was going through the exercises on the DVD that the foam roller came with, and I kept thinking “oh, this isn’t too bad.”  Then we got to the IT band…gahhh what pain!  I guess that means it’s working??

Time for some mental preparation for work…I had a good night last night and actually got out on time, but I’m always scared to go into work to find out that I missed something or that I made a mistake and didn’t realize it or something.  It happens…although I wish it didn’t…

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wedding weekend!

Okay, I lied…here’s the wedding post now! It was so much fun!  While the weather wasn’t 100% perfect, the rain held off until everyone was in the reception hall, so I think it was cooperative enough.  The Rocket Scientist’s two friends from high school made up the lovely wedded couple…they’ve been dating since high school (we graduated in 2003!), so it was about time.  :)  RS has some fun friends from high school who I’ve met and seen throughout the years, and they were fun wedding company.  Since we all know a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s relive Saturday via photography…and you can see which dress I chose.  :)

Driving Dog 2We saw this dog chilling in the driver’s seat at a location prior to the wedding…I thought it was HILARIOUS.

Aj and Ange Wedding (10) The bride and groom exchanging vows!

Aj and Ange Wedding (25) On the way to the car…

Aj and Ange Wedding (11)Check out their ride!  An English taxi!

Aj and Ange Wedding (13) Rocket Scientist and me…in the blue dress!!  (It boogies quite well!)

Aj and Ange Wedding (36)Each table had its own pasta, and the favors were homemade pasta sauce!  The groom is Italian and has traveled Italy extensively.

Aj and Ange Wedding (30)Blurry as can be first dance to Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

Aj and Ange Wedding (6) LOVED the cake!  So pretty.  And tasty too!

Aj and Ange Wedding (31) I got the only vanilla slice at my table.  :)

Aj and Ange Wedding Rocket Scientist and his high school boys…and his dad…haha

Aj and Ange Wedding (9) High school girls/girlfriends of the boys…and RS’s mom.

I didn’t bring my camera on the dance floor, although lots of fun dancing was performed!  I may not have many moves (the only dance class I took was for a girl scout badge…), but I know how to have a good time!  We tried requesting Miley Cyrus’s Party in the USA, but it hasn’t reach the Billboard Top 100, so the DJ didn’t have it.  :(  That’s okay, we still got to boogie down to other classics.  The open bar is always quite nice, but I don’t remember the last time I had three glasses of wine and two beers…that may not be much to some of you, but I was quite sleepy when we got home!  I thought that the wedding ended a bit early, as we were cleared out around 10pm.  There was much talk about who was going to be fighting for the bouquet, but the bouquet toss never ended up happening!  I know I saw a bouquet labeled “tossing bouquet” on the head table, but they must have decided to skip that tradition.  It’s probably overrated, but it’s fun to watch girls fight for the bouquet!  I guess you can have a wedding without a bouquet toss…

Overall, the wedding was quite fantastic (what wedding isn’t??), and I have to gear up for the Rocket Scientist’s sister wedding in two weeks.  Wedding season is upon as…as is marathon season!  Or both, in some cases

I’m totally putting off going to bed…the later I stay up, the less quickly Monday comes…right?  Please say yes…

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Foam Roller Fun

I just wanted to do a quick post to demonstrate the glory of my recent purchases.  Since I’m still experiencing shin and knee pain while running, the Rocket Scientist and I headed over to his parents’ house to borrow a bike for my cross training purposes.  Since it’s been awhile since I rode a bike, we stopped at Dicks Sporting Goods to pick up a bike helmet (safety first!)…and we checked out their foam roller stock.  Score!  See below for fun.

DSC09712Foam rolling is dangerous business…helmet needed!

DSC09713 Happy foam rolling!

DSC09714 Foam rolling is exhausting…

Wedding recap coming tomorrow!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Target: FAIL. Run: FAIL.

nursing personality

Last night at work wasn’t too bad…until my post-op came back at 10pm!  I waited for her all shift, and then they sent her up a little after 10.  This does not bode well for getting out on time!  We’re supposed to leave stuff for the next shift (since nursing is a twenty-four hour job), but I hate leaving all that for the next shift since I hate being dumped on.  I got her fluids up, her pain under control, and called the doctor about her blood pressure.  That’s all I could do…and I still got out late since three of the nurses I was giving report to were coming from other floors.  They had to give report on the floor they were pulled to and then come up and get report.  I have a feeling I’m going to go into work today and be told that I just should have left without giving report because my manager is telling people to do that now.  That’s safe, right?  I have a license that I would like to keep.

Anyway, one of patients (easy as pie patient to take care of!) told me last night that I went into the right profession for my personality.  It’s nice to hear that every once in awhile because we never really get positive feedback from our manager…just criticism.  For example, yesterday we were reviewing mistakes that I made a couple weeks ago.  You know, the second to worst night of my life at work?  (With the worst night being Wednesday of this I-hate-my-life week.)  I hate to say it…but mistakes will be made when I only have three months of experience and you give me six patients and zero time to think on a floor I work on.  Just saying.

target:  FAIL

So I went to Target today to get a foam roller, as I’m willing to try anything to help my shin (and now knee…more on that later) feel better.  First of all, there were mad amounts of traffic on the way to Target.  I live in a town of 4,000 people (okay, 5,600 now that the local college is back in session), but urban planning is nonexistent and I don’t think people work…at all.  Or maybe tons of old retired people live around here.  Either way, traffic was backed up for two miles.  I don’t understand this place.

Anyway, I find the “exercise” section of Target, and the ONLY THING that they’re completely out of is the foam roller.  I had no clue they were so popular!  Time to hit up Amazon, I suppose…

run: FAIL

My legs felt a little better today, so I figured I would try to go out for an easy, easy (emphasis on EASY) four mile run.  With the option to do three.  Or five.  Well, I made it to the end of my street (read:  about a tenth of a mile) and my knee felt all funny and my form was wayyyyy off.  This run clearly wasn’t going to go well.  I decided to detour and run around the block (about half a mile) to get a better gauge of how I was feeling.  With my limpy form, I decided to call it a day when I returned home.  I looked up Caitlin’s (from Healthy Tipping Point) knee exercises and did them…I’m open to anything, I just want to run again…

brrrr, it’s cold in here

Icing as we speak.  That was the only non-fail part of Target.

the dress dilemma

Looks like the blog world is split on my dress dilemma!  I’m going to consult my mother by phone tomorrow (pre-wedding…cutting the decision time so close!), but I do think that I need to consider the boogie factor.  Yasi reminded me of this important consideration…you have to be able to do the electric slide in the dress!  This makes me lean more towards the blue dress.  I know you’ll be on the edge of your seat all night waiting for my decision!

Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.  Happy Friday to everyone!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dress Dilemma

After work yesterday, I headed to the local (huge, massive) mall to get my mom’s birthday present (it’s in October…I can’t believe it’s almost October already!), and I walked around a little bit because I had some time to kill before heading to Princeton for the night.  I wandered into Macy’s and just happen to look at their dresses.  I have multiple weddings coming up, so for the past few months I’ve had my eye out for a new dress to wear to at least one or two of them.  However, I’m a bit picky and hate spending money, so I better really like what I buy!  It is also a little known fact that my mom is my favorite (and only!) person to shop with, which makes shopping a bit difficult when we are 650-some miles apart.  I narrowed down my choices to two and decided to buy both and then ask for opinions.  So, here we are!  My two options are:

DSC09666 Black with red flair.  I loooove the color red, and I think adding anything red to a dress gives it a boost!

DSC09669 Black top with a blue patterned bottom.  I love the shape of this dress, especially the neckline…which is surprising to me because I’m usually a strapless dress kind of girl!

So, which one do you like better?  I really like the black/red dress, but I think that the black/blue one is more versatile.  It can be dressed up with heels or dressed down a little with some flats (or flip flops, as the case would be in my line of fashion).  Also, it seems a little more wedding-appropriate, if there is such a thing.  The black/red one seems much more formal to me, but I like the bottom on it a little better.  Thoughts?  Opinions?  Hate them both??  One wedding that I would be wearing this dress to is on Saturday (yay!), so I need to make a quick decision…totally not my style!  I look forward to hearing your picks!

on the sidelines

Taking another day off of running…I don’t remember the last time I went five days without running!  I don’t understand how people can sit around all the time since I feel like such a slug!  (It probably doesn’t help that I’m still eating like I’m running fifty miles this week…oops?)  I iced last night (with a bag of green beans, if that counts), and I’ll ice today before work and then when I get home.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll try heading out for a short run…we shall see.  I’d rather play it safe for the time being.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

IV Master

if you need an IV, i’m your girl

Instead of working a normal shift tonight, I went to the hospital’s pre-op area to practice starting IVs all day.  People who are having outpatient surgery show up about an hour and a half before they’re scheduled for surgery, and a nurse starts an IV, draws any necessary labs, goes over the pre-op checklists, etc.  Basically, I got to start IVs on a bunch of people.  Let’s just say I was at 100% for the day!  I got each one on the first stick…woo!  However, I must say that these people have much better veins than some of the people we see up on the floor.  Since they’re coming and going from surgery in the same day, they’re generally a little bit healthier.  My confidence is still up, however!  This area of the hospital is MUCH less stressful than the floors, and it’s easy to see why older nurses work there after working at the bedside for so long.  I could see it getting old day after day, but it was definitely a nice change of pace.


As I blog, I’m watching the new nursing/medical show Mercy.  While I was slightly annoyed that the first five minutes of the show included a patient yelling about “stupid nurses,” I haven’t really seen enough to form a real opinion.  I identify slightly with the new grad nurse, who one review says she looks like she’s never been in a hospital.  For the record, I looked like a deer in the headlights for at least the first two weeks of orientation!  It doesn’t help that I look twelve.  I may not watch the show on a regular basis (since, you know, I’m usually working now!), I may tune in now and again.  I think that the media plays a huge role on how the public views nurses and the medical profession in general, so I think it’s important to tune into shows that have a nursing emphasis.  One of my patients today asked if the three little bubbles in her IV tubing would kill her like she saw on TV last week.  (The answer is no.)

i love me some leftovers

Over the weekend, I made some a Black Bean Tortilla Casserole, compliments of  (Love that site!)  Anyway, this is a quick and easy recipe and makes for awesome leftovers…especially when you’re cooking for one.  :)  I probably should have halved the recipe, but I’ll be happily eating it all week!

092009 Black Bean Taco Casserole Mmmm fresh out of the oven!

092009 Black Bean Taco Casserole (3) My slice with some tomatoes and green onions on top!

injured reserve

Took another day off from running.  It hurt while walking around at work and going up and down stairs, so i figured another day would be a good idea.  Maybe tomorrow…

I’ve thought about getting a foam roller…maybe that would help loosen me up a bit?  No clue.


Sorry about the randomness of my posts lately…I kind of like the variety, and I hope you do too!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rest + shoe advice + dress! + pasta

As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t posted about running for the past few days.  My last post about a “run” was on Saturday, and we all know what a disaster that was.  My shin still hurts, which is terrible.  I decided to take some time off because it was very painful to run and I don’t want to risk injury at this point in the game.  Training has been going well and I don’t want to risk losing the marathon that’s two months away still.  I have plenty of time to recover (hopefully…) and still be in great shape for the marathon.  I kind of wish I had a bike or something so I could be doing some sort of cardio…sadly the gym I signed up for doesn’t open until November otherwise it would be PERFECT right now.  I’ll see how I feel tomorrow…maybe I’ll just try going out for a few miles.

it’s all in the shoes

I switched my shoes at work to a less old pair of old running shoes…I definitely need to buy better shoes.  Do any nurses/doctors/other people who spend wayyy too much time on their feet have any recommendations for good shoes?  I’ve heard about Dansko shoes, but they’re a bit expensive…although worth it if they’re really as great as people say they are.  Especially because I bet they last longer than three months, which is about how much I’m getting out of my running shoes!  (and that’s with rotation…yikes!)

here comes the bridesmaid

My friend who is getting married actually picked our bridesmaid dresses, as well as the color!  This is none other than a major victory, so I’m pumped.  This is the winner, color and all (no, that’s not me!):

I headed over to the not-so-local David’s Bridal to try on sizes and placed my order, so it will be all mine in about six weeks!  We’re going to wear silver shawls during the ceremony because we have to have our shoulders covered.  My friend (another bridesmaid) is making them with her mom, so at least that will cut down on costs a bit.

cooking light presents

My mom sent me a subscription to Cooking Light (yay!) since I always read hers when at home, and they have some tasty recipes.  When I got my first issue, I immediately bookmarked some recipes!  I started with this Fresh Tomato, Sausage, and Pecorino Pasta recipe.

091709 Sausage Pasta 2 Not the best picture, but it was tasty!

I haven’t had sausage in awhile since it’s not really all that healthy, but it added a great taste to the pasta.  I would definitely make this again!  I also had some lemon-y asparagus on the side, which was fantastic.  This recipe seemed to make many more the the four servings that the recipe says it makes, which just means I get to enjoy it that much longer!

Back to the Biggest Loser!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Yumminess: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough CUPCAKES

So I love to bake…no hiding that.  However, when I bake, I’m going to eat ALL of whatever I make, so I haven’t been doing that lately because I don’t have anyone to pawn my goodies off on on a regular basis.  I don’t feel comfortable taking them to work for whatever reason.  Anyway, I overcame my fears this weekend with a fantastic result.

I love chocolate chip cookies…and cookie dough!  My favorite ice cream is chocolate chip cookie dough (especially of the Turkey Hill variety), so what could be better than chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes?  If your answer is “nothing,” then you would be correct.  Read on for the deliciousness.

I’m not that creative, so I scoured the internet for some recipes…yum!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Filling and Icing

For the cookie dough filling, I headed over to the Cupcake Project to steal the eggless recipe, which allows you to have a chewy center and cookie dough frosting without any raw egg.  Sounds good to me!  For the frosting, all you do is take a cup of the filling and mix it with a half cup of heaving whipping cream.  Spreadable yum!

  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 C unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 C packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 4 T milk
  • Mini-chocolate chips to taste
  • Throw everything into a bowl and mix!  As as pie cupcake!

    I recommend freezing the dough before baking it to help it maintain its “chewiness” instead of baking.  A nice surprise in the middle.

    Vanilla Cupcakes

    Now, you could safely use a vanilla (or chocolate, whatever) cupcake mix from a box, but where’s the fun in that?  I went searching for a super yummy vanilla cupcake recipe.  Success was found over at BURP!  Where Food Happens.

    • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 1/4 cups milk

    Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

    Put butter in mixer and beat at medium speed until somewhat smooth. Pour in sugar and beat well. Add 2 eggs.  Mix well. Add: vanilla, baking powder, salt, flour, and milk. Beat it!

    Cupcake Assembly

    This is where I had to experiment.  Do I just fill the cupcake liners like normal and then drop the cookie dough in the center?  Fill halfway, drop the cookie dough in the center, and then top with some more batter?  Well, after my experiment, I would recommend the first method.  The cookie dough ball drops to the bottom anyway, and the batter bakes around it.  It may poke out the top a little, but it looks cute too.

    Photo Evidence

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough CupcakesFrozen cookie dough balls!

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes (5) Trial #1:  Covered cookie dough balls

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes (6)Trial #2:  Uncovered cookie dough balls…success!
     Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes (8) Post-baking…cookie dough peeking out!

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes (9)Frosted and decorated with some more mini-chocolate chips!

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes (12) So pretty!

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes (13)Cookie dough surprise!!

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes (2) From the top!

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes (4) Taste test by the Rocket Scientist!

    The result?  Yum!!  HIGHLY recommend this recipe.  So tasty and a definite crowd pleaser.

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    Saturday, September 19, 2009

    Sometimes all you need is some good old fashioned comfort food

    Thanks for all the support on my last post.  It’s been a really bad week, and I was super excited to be called off of work today.  I’m not sure I would have survived working today.  I was very angry this morning and called my parents crying and cried for awhile this afternoon…hopefully that got out a bunch of emotions.  Maybe.

    I know once I have a year of experience, I will be much more marketable and be able to move to a job/location that I like more.  But to think that I have to do this for eight more months is very difficult to think about.  I’m going to start looking and maybe applying when I get closer to the six month mark.  Unless I get fired before then?  …I’m only kidding.  I think.

    Running this morning was terrible.  The Rocket Scientist showed up and we headed out for six miles, and my right leg hurt immediately.  I’m a mess from all this work junk, and I was really upset that running hurts!  I made it for 2.5 miles (not fast, let me tell you), then we walked home.  A loooong 2.5 miles.  And I was not a happy and/or pleasant person, let me tell you.  Maybe I should take a few days off?  I don’t know…I’ve never really been injured before.  My runs this week have been fine…starting off a little stiff, but I usually loosen up.  Maybe I’ll start out slow tomorrow and see how it goes.  I reallllly hope it’s nothing.

    I was trying to figure out what to eat for dinner…the Rocket Scientist had plans to go to his parents while I was at work, so he still had to go.  The last thing I wanted to do with my day off was to spend time with his mother, so I stayed behind.  I sat around, watched tv, and called my mom.  I also got a recipe for some cupcakes that I will share when they’re actually made.  :)  They’re going to be tasty, I just know it.  Anyway, I have all the ingredients to make a really healthy dinner, but all I really wanted was some grease and such.  Nothing makes you feel better like French fries.  :)  I researched local places and found a restaurant that does sandwich/fries take-out, so I ordered up a buffalo chicken cheesesteak and French fries.  I like to think that I eat healthy most of the time, so meals like this are totally deserved.  In all its glory:

    091709 (3)I’m pumped.

    I just rented 17 Again from the local Redbox, so it’s going to be a fantastic evening.  Especially once I get my cupcakes in the oven.  I fully appreciate Zac Efron.  And French fries.  Yummmm.

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    A marathon of a nursing post

    I haven’t posted all week!  Yikes!  That’s probably because I’ve had a miserable, miserable week.  Work has been an absolute nightmare all week, and today I sat staring at my phone, hoping to be cancelled for the night.  I know my turn is coming up again soon.  Let’s backtrack and see why this week was so…not fun.  I hope you have something to drink because this is going to be LONG.


    Seven nurses, no nursing assistants.  I had an admission (a young person admitted with diarrhea, otherwise healthy), and I didn’t get her vital signs by the time the doctor came around.  I should have gotten them, but with only four blood pressure/temperature things floating around and seven nurses trying to do vital signs at the same time, I didn’t get to her.  While an admission is a priority, so is my 80-something year old woman who I found with an oxygen saturation of 75% on room air (apparently the last shift forgot her oxygen??).  Of course, the doctor decided he needed to speak with me NOW, while I’m trying to get my other patient’s oxygen saturation back up to an acceptable level.  Basically, he told me that I needed to get the vital signs (to which I said, “okay”…it wasn’t anything I didn’t know), then told me “No, you can’t just say okay, you need to get them.”  (I’ve been standing here for five seconds…)  Then told me that I need to get my nursing assistant to do them. 

    I had to bite my tongue to prevent myself from saying, “We don’t have any nursing assistants.”  Anyway, she asked that the patient have a new nurse.  Nothing says “welcome back” like “you suck as a nurse.”  Whatever, no one likes this doctor anyway.  The patient was upset about having to be stuck multiple times for IVs and labs and what not and almost signed out AMA.  I often wonder why some people even come to the hospital at all.


    Since we are having so few patients, management is really trying to crack down on any overtime.  Which is fine, I don’t really want to be there past 11:30 anyway, but many times it’s not in my control.  My manager told us that we should be efficient by three-six months, so she doesn’t understand why we late.  We told her that we often don’t even get a dinner break, or at least that the “full half hour” that we’re “entitled to”  (aka:  not getting paid for).  I actually had a good night until I got a post-op at 9:30 and an admission at 10:00.  I clocked out around midnight.  No worries, I got yelled at on Wednesday for not leaving all the admission paperwork for night shift…which is obviously what the next shift wants.  The oncoming nurse already gave me a hard time because I didn’t give the post-op one of her medications.  But everything else was done!


    I don’t even want to talk about this day.  I swear this hospital is setting me up to fail.  I’ve been a nurse for four months (as of today…Friday, that is), and many people say that it takes one-two years before you actually feel comfortable.  I spend a lot of time asking questions and looking things up because I don’t want to make a mistake, and it’s even more difficult when you’re feeling the pressure to not get out late.  I’m doing the best I can!  I started with five patients, one of who I was waiting to come back from surgery.  All of my remaining patients had some sort of electrolyte replacement running, two had blood products infusing, and one was getting a bowel prep (don’t ask if you don’t already know!), but she was too nauseated to drink it.  One of the families interrupted our report in the hallway to ask for mashed potatoes for dinner (obviously an emergency).  Then, I got an admission from a doctor’s office, so she needed an IV started and labs drawn and all that stuff because she didn’t come through the ER.  Then she needed to go for a test, but was complaining because she didn’t get to eat yet and her med schedule was all messed up.  She actually yelled at me later in the night.  About twenty minutes after that admission came, my other patient came back from surgery.  This family was absolutely ridiculous…they stood in the hallway and stared at me as a ran around like a chicken with my head cut off.  I don’t want to go into too much detail (for HIPPA reasons), but if you are a doctor, and your family member is the patient, please know when it is appropriate to hunt me down in the hallway to point out when you think something is wrong.  If the machine says your family member doesn’t have a pulse, but she is happily chatting away, you, as a physician, should know that she indeed does have a pulse.  Or should at least know how to check for it.  Please don’t attack me the hallway (when I have a handful of stuff) and ask me what’s wrong.  Because nothing is wrong, your family member just moved her finger the wrong way.

    Okay, this is really long.  Long story short, I ended up sobbing (literally) at least three times and tearing up multiple more times.  I could not get caught up at all…I passed my 5pm medications at 6:30, etc etc.  I was terrified to go into work today because I knew my manager would be yelling at me about not being efficient and getting out on time.  The night nurse was talking to the nursing administrator and said something like, “They really need to stop short-staffing second shift.  Over 75% of those nurses have less than one year of experience, and they expect them to take patient assignments that even seasoned nurses would have trouble managing.  We’re either going to push them out of nursing or out of this hospital.”  THANK YOU.  I almost quit yesterday.  No joke.


    Praise be to God, I had the day off.  I went for a dentist appointment to have cavities filled, but the dentist said he didn’t need to fill them…back to bed!  I slept until one in the afternoon.  Glorious.

    That is, until my neighbor came and yelled at me.  When I first moved here, I had my credit card statements sent to the wrong address (I can be a bit dyslexic with numbers), and I didn’t realize it because I actually pay my credit cards online.  She came and talked to my roommate about it, and I switched my address.  My mom ordered me a magazine and apparently switched the numbers as well, so the magazine went back to the same lady.  She must have brought it over when my roommate was home, but I’m sure the magazine sold my address to some ad companies, so she got junk mail for me.  She brought it over and told me that it was “really bothering her” that she was getting my mail and that I needed to change my address immediately.  I told her I can no clue what the mail even was.  Honestly…if it bothers you that much, just throw it out!  Nothing important is coming to your house.

    People here are so unfriendly.


    Not too bad of a day, outside of a family yelling at me within ten minutes of being there.  They wanted to go home and the patient needed an IV taken out.  I need to get report so the day nurse can go home (and therefore not get yelled at…), so you can hold on for twenty minutes.  I actually caught the patient as he was walking out into the hallway to go home with his IV in.  People in this world are so impatient.  Overall, I had a pretty good night (once I talked myself out of crying in the parking lot before going in).  I got out on time, so hopefully no one yells at me on Monday.  I really hate this place.


    Doesn’t this sound like fun?  I’m going to do a “life post” on where I might want to head in the future…I can’t keep going on like this.  Last time my parents were here, my mom actually suggested I go talk to someone…like a counselor/psychiatrist or something.  Everyone says that this is normal for a new nurse, but this is miserable.  I often dread going to work.  I like nursing…I think.  I just hate not knowing what I’m doing (or at least not being confident in it…) and getting yelled at for not being perfect…it’s only been four months!  Gah.


    It’s safe to say that I’ve also had a pretty blah week when it comes to running.  Something in my right leg doesn’t feel right…I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think I need better shoes for work.  I just wear an old pair of running shoes that probably don’t have any support anymore.  I need to look into that…

    Short and sweet because I really don’t have much to report…

    Tuesday, September 15
    6.01 miles in 52:41, avg pace of 8:46

    Painful run, I couldn’t wait for it to be over.  I actually had a 9:03 mile in there.  It was uphill, at least.

    Wednesday, September 16
    6.03 miles in 49:23, avg pace of 8:11

    I ran behind two bikers for about two miles…so annoying!  I didn’t want to speed up because I wanted to take it easier, but it was so annoying to be fifteen yards behind them for so long.  They clearly weren’t cruising at all since I wasn’t even going that fast…

    Thursday, September 17
    14.16 miles in 1:54:01, avg pace of 8:03

    An awesome run with negative splits.  I ran in the afternoon since I slept the day away, but it was still cool out so that was nice.  People were actually running on the trail since it was later in the day, and I think I passed the entire local high school cross country team.  Woo!  This was a good length for a run…I needed a longer-ish run to clear my head a little, so this felt great.  I like medium-long runs because you can feel accomplished running for so long, but you don’t feel like you’re dying at the end.  Works for me.


    Working the weekend this weekend…I hope it’s not terrible.  Thanks to anyone for reading all my complaints…I need to vent somewhere and I think my real life people are growing tired of my misery…

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    Sunday, September 13, 2009

    Sweet Home Chicago – 20 Miler!

    After the fiasco that was flying to Chicago, I’ve actually had a good time so far! I’m a bit sad that I’m sitting here posting on Saturday night, as that means I’m all by myself (cue: tears), but my friends are tired and my parents aren’t back yet from the University of Illinois football game. How sad. Anyway.

    Last night I headed out with my friends to try on bridesmaid dresses, as my friend from high school is getting married in January and two of us are bridesmaids. Awesome. My friend (the other bridesmaid) and I are generally the life of the party when it comes to David’s Bridal, and this time was no different. We like to dance around (you have to dance-test-drive the dresses!), and we’re pretty fun so people in the store enjoy our silliness. Basically, we’re fantastic. On two separate occasions, people at David’s Bridal have told us we’d be fun to party with. THAT’S RIGHT. Haha. Anyway, here are some snapshots to describe the event:


    Bride to be, trying on veils. I thought it was particularly cute with her “Muck Fichigan” shirt. (She went to Notre Dame.)


    My friend Katie (another bridesmaid), playing with the shawl that we need to wear to cover our shoulders in the conservative Catholic church where the wedding will be. She is actually wearing the dress that the bridesmaids will be wearing, although color(s) are yet to be determined.

    FYI, wedding planning seems insane. I go back and forth between “All that for one day?!?!” and “But that’s MY day! I want it all!” Note: I’m not even engaged. (Wink wink, nudge nudge, Rocket Scientist…haha!)

    Just kidding. Moving on.

    My parents have season tickets to the University of Illinois football games (my dad is a proud alum…He attended back when tuition was like $78/semester…no joke!), so they headed down for the day. Tonight was the only night I could see one of my friends, so I stayed back in the lovely northwest suburbs of Chicago. Since my planned twenty miler would take a long time, I decided to wait until they left (around 2-2:20pm) to head out on my run to maximize family time. Luckily, the weather is pretty nice so it wasn’t a disaster to wait later in the day.

    Let me tell you, I had an AWESOME run! I planned out my run to incorporate three shorter runs that I used to do all the time when I lived here. I had a four miler, a six miler, and a ten miler all strung together, so I ran back my house for water twice…and I was able to hit up water fountains along the way…love that! I miss my running routes from home…I could probably run them blindfolded, and I’m speedy on them! Here are the glorious stats:

    Saturday, September 12
    20.05 miles in 2:35:52, avg pace of 7:46

    Splits: 8:09, 7:55, 7:55, 7:53, 7:56, 7:57, 8:02, 7:56, 7:54, 7:53, 7:58, 7:59, 7:49, 7:35, 7:40, 7:31, 7:28, 7:30, 7:22, 7:00, 0:18 (6:15)

    Ahhh look at those splits!! And it felt so easy! I guess it’s better to have a day off and not run 18-20 miles eight hours after a terrible shift at work. (Not like I’ve done that…) I ate my Honey Stinger Energy Chews (love!) at miles 4, 8.5, 10, 13.5, and 16.5. I didn’t even notice I was speeding up until I looked at my garmin and it said 7:35 pace! What? It didn’t feel like that at all! I wasn’t dragging at all like I was last week, and it definitely felt amazing. I’m trying to decide between going for 3:20 or being a bit more realistic and trying for 3:25, and this gives me a little more hope that 3:20 is in reach, especially with a taper.

    Definitely check out that last mile party! My watch actually showed 6:58 during my run, so I’m sad that it comes up as 7:00 flat on Sport Tracks! Boo. Oh well, I think I’ll make it.

    I just realized that I need to register for the BOSTON MARATHON. Who’s in for 2010?? Lurkers, come out and comment…I want a HUGE meet up in Boston!

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    Saturday, September 12, 2009

    How I almost missed my flight…or, Why I Dislike Philly: Reason #684

    I’m HOOOOOOOOME.  I can’t possibly express how awesome it is to be here.  But let’s recap how I got here because quite the story it is.  Last time we met, I explained that I would be leaving at no later than 3:45am to catch my 6am flight out of Philly.  It’s about a 45 minute drive to the airport, so this would put me at the airport at 4:30, giving me plenty of time to park, catch a shuttle, get through security (it was 9/11, after all), and head to my gate with time to spare.

    Let it be known that nothing ever goes as planned.  Read on to find out why.

    I actually left early since I was ready, so I packed my car and headed out in the pouring rain to drive to the airport.  I don’t believe the state of Pennsylvania believes in street lights, so it was a dark, rainy drive.  Luckily I had to concentrate super hard on driving (especially through the mist of the semi-trucks…does anyone else hate that??), otherwise I might have fallen asleep.  However, there is little-to-no traffic at four in the morning, so I get to the airport at 4:20, ahead of schedule.  Good to go, you think?  Ohhh how wrong you are.

    I pulled up the economy parking lot, where there is a line of cars waiting to get tickets to get in.  I would assume that all these people had 6am flights like me because, honestly, who else is at the airport at 4:30 in the morning?  I notice that no cars are pulling into the economy lot, and we’re just waiting in a line to get in.  Two maintenance trucks show up.  Ten minutes go by, and we haven’t moved at all.  This looks suspicious…and then another truck shows up!  I realize that I should probably go look for other parking, but it’s 4:45, I have no clue where other parking is, it’s pouring rain, and I don’t want to spend $30/day to park in the parking garage.  Finally 4:55 rolls around and I realize I should find a Plan B.  But I have no clue what that is.

    Since the Rocket Scientist is a very forgiving boyfriend, I call him and ask what to do.  He says there’s another entrance to economy parking, but he doesn’t know where it is.  I ask him to give me the number for the parking authority (I don’t think I was being very nice…remember, I hadn’t slept yet!), so I called them.  A lady answered the phone and provided directions to the other entrance…but I had no clue where I was and I definitely had no idea where she was trying to send me!  I drive around and end up back at the entrance where I was first, so I pulled in and asked the maintenance guy how to get there.  He points me in the right direction and off I go.  All is good until I come to an unmarked-Y in the road, and I don’t know where to go.  As luck would have it, I picked the wrong one and end up heading towards the employee parking lot.  I turned around and drove in the other direction until I finally found the other entrance to economy parking.  I pull into the first spot I see and join about ten other people huddled under an awning waiting for the shuttle bus.

    Three shuttle buses pass us, and I begin to wonder if we’re even going to get picked up.  Luckily the next one stops and we all get on, but then the bus proceeds to stop at every.  single.  bus stop.  All which have NO ONE under them.  Gahh.  Finally we get to the departures section of the airport and I get dropped off at my spot.  I RUN (with two bags and flip flops…so not so much of a “run”) to security.  The guy in front of me has no idea how to get through security…they have him go back through about three times.  Finally it’s my turn, and I get through quite easily, but my bag does not.  The security guy looks at me and says, “Is this your black bag?”  “Why yes, it is.”  “Mind if we look through it?”  “No, not at all.”  Dirty look ensued.

    Let’s note that I am a 115 pound white female.  My bag is a black duffel bag that says, “United States Army” on it, compliments of my brother from when he was at West Point.  I understand that it’s 9/11, but I am the least threatening person alive.  Let it be known that my bag did not contain explosive material, as noted by the little swippy test that they do at the airport.

    I finally get through security at 5:35, and as I’m walking to the gate, I hear, “Final boarding call for United Flight 337 to Chicago.  All ticketed passengers should be on board.”  Um, THAT’S MY FLIGHT.  I start to run, again.  I must have been quite a sight to see.  Luckily I made it with time to spare…water was leaking through the window in cockpit, so we were delayed while maintenance fixed it.

    Let me tell you, I would have absolutely lost it if I missed my flight because I couldn’t get into the parking lot.  Add that to the list of reasons as to why I don’t like Philly.

    Off for a hot date with my friends…stay tuned for my best 20 miler yet!!

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    Friday, September 11, 2009

    I’m going HOME!!

    Let’s start off with the most amazing news ever…I’m going HOME so sooooon.  I have a 6am flight on Friday morning to head home.  It’s currently 2:30 am, and since I got off of work at 1:00 am, I’m just going to stay up because otherwise I’m not sure I’ll get my butt back up to head to the airport at 3:45…and we can’t have that!  I have not been home since I moved here wayyyy back in May.  I love love love Chicago, my friends, and my parents, so I am ridiculously excited to head home.  I have big plans to eat at all my favorite places, hang out with my parents/friends, and run twenty miles.  (Okay, less pumped about that last one…but I guess I’ll squeeze it in.) 

    You cannot possibly fathom how excited I am.  I will be exhausted when I get there, but ridiculously happy.

    Let’s rewind to Wednesday, aka the WORST DAY OF MY LIFE.  Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but work was an absolute nightmare.  I was pulled to another floor…again.  I was tearing up while getting a patient into bed, and since I kind of knocked her nasogastric tube, she got mad, looked right at me, and exclaimed, “You don’t know what you’re doing, do you??”  Well, actually, I don’t really, but you’re not supposed to know that.  Miserable, miserable day.  I had six patients, an aide who somehow didn’t even manage to get vital signs on my patients, and everything was non-stop.  Half of my patients were very dependent, needing to be changed, a couple needed to be fed, and one complained the entire night that he was nauseated no matter how much anti-nausea medication I gave him.  My shift is technically 3-11:30pm, but I clocked out at 2:30 in the morning.  I had all my paperwork to do, and the nurse before me didn’t sign of any orders, so I had to go through all the charts and check them.  The night nurse asked me eight million questions and looked at me like I’m the dumbest person alive (which I really must have  been…what a mess). 

    Since last night was so miserable, I was PRAYING to be called off today.  I couldn’t go back.  Not yet.  I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m a terrible nurse.  But alas, my floor actually has patients on it (like 20-24…don’t ask me where they came from!, so off to work it was.  And I got to work on my floor…thank goodness!!  I had five patients, one of which was suffering from severe dementia (it was bad…really bad), and two family who called me non-stop.  I think I talked to people on the phone at least ten different times.  I’m busy, remember??  Anyway.  The highlight of my night was when a doctor called (randomly…I didn’t page him), and I kept apologizing because I didn’t have the chart or any of my information in front of me.

    He stopped me and questioned, “Are you new here?”

    ”…Kind of”  (Me thinking…”Okay, that’s obvious, but please don’t yell at me!”

    ”Okay, now stop saying, ‘I’m sorry.’  You have nothing to apologize for, and I’m the director of surgery, so if any doctor yells at you, you tell me and I will let them have it.  And if any of them tell me that you say ‘I’m sorry’ one more time, I’m going to let you have it.”

    He was very nice and I appreciated him telling me to calm down about not having everything right in front of me.  I often freak out because so many people get worked up about “calling the doctor,” and I really think it’s made up to be a bigger deal than it needs to be.  I apologize way too much in general, but I think I lay it on stronger when I think I’m obviously being an idiot…which is quite often these days.

    Running these days hasn’t been much better than work has been…and if you read this blog just for the running, the nursing has taken over this post!  Short recovery run on Wednesday:

    Wednesday, September 9
    5.21 miles in 43:33, avg pace of 8:22

    Nothing to write home about…just got in the miles!  I just my brand spanking new pair of Brooks Adrenalines…my old pairs have lots of miles on them, so I figured it was time to bring in a new pair.  I’ve got another pair with about sixty miles on them, so I’ll probably need another pair before marathon day.

    Today was supposed to be a tempo run…11 miles with 6 at lactate threshold pace.  I wasn’t feeling like running at all after my disaster of a night last night, but I dragged my butt out, telling myself that it would get better if I just got out there.  My warm-up felt okay, but I was tired.  Mentally exhausted, physically tired too.  I gave my LT miles a go and ended up quitting after a mile.  My pace was around 7:20, which is fine, but I knew there was no way I was going to get through this workout.  I decided to stop, more for my mental health than anything, and headed home.  Ended up with a seven mile easier run…whatever, I’ll take it.

    Thursday, September 10
    7.01 miles in 57:23, avg pace of 8:11

    Twenty miles up for this week…we’ll see how they go!  Time to shower and finish packing…then off to CHICAGO for the weekend.  People at work got really confused when I told them I’m going “home” this weekend…Pennsylvania is not home for me after living in Chicago for seventeen years.  I can’t wait!

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    Tuesday, September 8, 2009

    Work Mumbo Jumbo…and Cashew Chicken!

    Here I am, blogging to you from the couch while watching PS I Love You with my roommate.  Glorious!  Except that I got cancelled again.  Work last night was TERRIBLE.  Who admits a patient with back and abdominal pain and then only prescribes Tylenol for them?  That doesn’t even make sense.  Then, the doctor on call is a bit tight with his pain meds (which is fine…until a patient is in pain and wants something NOW).  I called twice before another doctor came and ordered her what she had in the ER.  Luckily she was nice about it, unlike my patient on Friday who was ridiculous and the family was crazy.  Anyway.

    In other news, I was told last night at work that my floor would be “closing indefinitely.”  We were told we would floated to other floors until our floor opens up again, but today I was told that my floor opened again and just had low census.  I’ve been getting cancelled once every week, which is a bit much.  I don’t know whether to start looking for a new job or just wait it out.  I only have about 3.5 months of experience, which isn’t much at all!  I would like to think I’d be better off this time around (versus having zero experience), but you never know.  By the time I get my resume out/apply for jobs, I’ll have around four months experience…so maybe six by the time I would start a new job (if I get one?)…ahh!  I don’t know what to do.  Find my dream job?  Get whatever is close to the Rocket Scientist?  Hold on for dear life at my current job until I figure out a life plan? 

    I don’t know.  Any ideas?  I need a life coach.

    I got off work at 1:30 last night, so I ended up sleeping until 10:30…oops!  I was still planning on going to work, and I had to squeeze in my twelve mile run.  Luckily it was pretty cool today so waiting until 11:30 to run wasn’t a big deal.  My back wasn’t too tight, but my legs felt a bit tired.  My pace was fine, but my legs weren’t happy with me at all.  It was just kind of a “getting in the miles” type of run, and I was just happy to have it be finished.

    Tuesday, September 8
    12.01 miles in 1:36:51, avg pace of 8:04

    Before this post seems like a bit of mumbo jumbo, I’ll share with you one of my favorite dishes…Cashew Chicken Stir Fry!  My mom found it on the internet, and it’s one of the best stir frys I’ve had…and it’s easy to make!

    Cashew Chicken Stir Fry

    1 1/2 lb. boneless chicken breasts
    3 tbsp. soy sauce
    2 tsp. cornstarch
    3 tbsp. water
    1 tsp. sugar
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 c. both walnuts & cashews
    1/8-1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
    2 tbsp. cooking oil
    1 med. green pepper, cut into 3/4" pieces
    3 green onions, bias sliced into 1" lengths
    1 pkg. frozen pea pods

    Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces and set aside. Combine in saucepan: soy sauce, cornstarch, water, sugar, salt and red pepper. Cook until it begins to thicken. Set aside.

    Stir fry green peppers, green onions, pea pods. Remove them from wok. Stir fry walnuts. Remove walnuts. Stir fry 1/2 of the chicken; remove from wok. Do the rest of the chicken. Place all of the chicken in the wok. Add soy sauce mixture, cook until thick and bubbly. Add vegetables and cashews. Cook. Serve over rice.

    I took a little liberties with the recipe (although you definitely don’t need to!), and I switched the green pepper for a red pepper and added mushrooms that I forgot to put in my baked ziti last week.  For the record, I never use walnuts and only use cashews.  Highly recommended!

    090709 Cashew Chicken Yum yum!  Make enough to share!

    Back to the movie!  Have a great night everyone!

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    Monday, September 7, 2009

    Non-Labor-Free Labor Day

    Happy Labor Day everyone!  Labor Day is one of my holidays to work, so I’ll be headed to the hospital later today.  I think this means that I won’t be working Thanksgiving, which will be nice.  We had a get together/dinner type thing at the Rocket Scientist’s parents’ house on Saturday, so I got in my holiday festivities.  Woo!

    As my first Labor Day where I actually have a job in the “real world,” I thought I would share some of what I’ve learned thus far.

    1. Working is for the birds.  School was so much better!  You determined when to study, how much/how little effort you would put in, and if you wanted a day off, you didn’t necessarily have to show up for class.  That being said, I only knowingly missed a few classes in college, and I studied alllll the time.  But I liked it!  Learning is fun.  If only I could get paid to learn…grad school, anyone?  Maybe I should be a teacher.
    2. Being paid hourly has pluses and minuses.  Being paid hourly means that I get overtime the second I work more than I’m schedule for, even if I only work 72 hours!  Time and a half adds up VERY nicely.  (I’ll get time and a half today…and another day off to use some other time…woo!)  That being said, if I get called off work, I don’t get paid.  I can use vacation time, but I currently only have ten hours of vacation time, so I would have ran out if I used it for all the times I’ve been called off.
    3. My job is really hard.  Yes yes, I know everyone thinks that they have the hardest job…but really, nursing is really hard!  The idea behind it isn’t terribly complex, but being on the front lines means I get the grunt of anything that goes wrong.  Where I work, everything falls under my job description (we even empty trash cans…), so many things don’t go as planned and it’s up to me to fix it.  With a smile, of course!
    4. Being paid is AWESOME.  Getting my first paycheck, I was astonished at how much money I was getting…and that I get it every two weeks!  What a deal.
    5. The world is geared toward the 9-5 lifestyle.  As someone who doesn’t work 9-5 (go evening shift!), I’ve found it very difficult to meet people.  While it is convenient to make a dental appointment and be able to say, “Anytime in the morning works for me,” meeting people is so hard.  Any recreational leagues, pottery classes, or church groups meet in the evening.  Running groups meet at 6am or in the evening.  I could join a book club with stay at home moms…but we probably have different interests/priorities in life.
    6. I totally understand “working for the weekend” now.  Many days, I don’t like my job.  My roommate doesn’t like her job either.  I appreciate my days off so much more now than I did before.  I’ve realized how important it is to find something that you love to do because you’ll be doing it the rest of your life!  I’m still on the hunt for the organization/job that is best for me.  I just hope I find it soon…

    I’m sure I’ve learned more along the way, but I think that’s a good start.  Today is a rest day from running…my legs are tired!  I definitely needed it after a long week of running last week, and my legs will appreciate it before all the miles planned for this week.  My back also is still sore, so it’s not a rest day from stretching.  I received a comment on my last post saying that I should dance around to loosen up my lower back…I’ll try anything once, as long as no one is around to witness it!  :)

    Yesterday was an attempt at walking around the town where I work, as cute shops and restaurants line the main street.  However, they were all closed!  I guess they closed for the “holiday,” even though it was today!  I was kind of sad and we only got to go into two stores.  The highlight of the adventure was spotting a Hawaii license plate in the parking lot…don’t ask me what it was doing in Pennsylvania, but I’ve never seen one before so it was very exciting!  I had to snap a picture, Frayed Laces style:

    DSC09633 Hang Loose!  (I think…)

    The Rocket Scientist said I was embarrassing him…oops!  I thought it was funny.  :)  I hope everyone has a great Labor Day, filled with BBQ’s and sunny weather!

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    Sunday, September 6, 2009

    All I do is run…

    It’s been a busy week since I got my laptop on Tuesday, and I’m happy to report that I am putting it to good use by sitting on the couch, blogging, and watching Mean Girls.  Life doesn’t get much better than this!  Okay, that’s not actually true, but it’s the small things in life that are important.  Let’s get onto the running for this week!  Lots to report:

    Wednesday, September 2
    11.02 miles in 1:23:04, avg pace of 7:32

    First of all, can we mention how fun it is to have the time of my run be 1:23:04?  1-2-3-4!  I personally think it’s awesome that my 3200 PR in high school was 12:34…while I would have liked to run faster, it’s a cool time.  :)  Nerd alert!  Anyway.  This run was…awesome!  The few days before, I was telling the Rocket Scientist how I would like to run 3:20 for Philly, but running 7:38 miles sounds intimidating!  I know I’ve been running slower because of the heat and adjusting to life/work, and at one point I even thought I could go 3:20 for the Wisconsin Marathon.  When I saw that my splits were around 7:25-7:40-ish, I felt a little more confident about possibly running 3:20.  My actual goal is up in the air, but having a great fun that didn’t feel crazy fast (the day after a tempo run!) was fantastic.

    Friday, September 4
    7.10 miles in 56:55, avg pace of 8:01

    This run may have looked good in the numbers, but my back as been hurting me all week.  At first I thought that I might have hurt it at work (you know, lifting 250+ pound people all the time), but it doesn’t hurt when lifting people and it hurts a lot when I’m running/moving.  Luckily it loosened up after I stretched for a little while, but any sudden movements while running (such as avoiding snakes on the trail…yikes!) really hurt.  It still hurts, and I even had the Rocket Scientist’s brother stretch me out since he’s an athletic trainer in training.  Definitely need to stretch more..

    Saturday, September 5
    18.32 miles in 2:27:43
    Splits:  8:11, 8:06, 8:11, 8:10, 8:01, 8:11, 8:14, 8:31, 7:33, 7:50, 8:09, 7:54, 7:54, 7:54, 8:07, 7:59, 8:04, 8:02, 2:34 (8:02)

    Long run!  And what a long run it was…gah!  Most of my long runs have felt good, but this run went on foreverrrr.  I was dragging like crazy for the last four-five miles, and the Rocket Scientist was my personal cheerleader.  I got off work at 1 am on Friday night (I had a terrible night), so we didn’t get started until about 9:30.  Luckily it wasn’t too hot, but I was still tired.  We headed out on the trail near my house (where I do 75% of my runs…), and tons of people were out!  I don’t usually see many people since I run at an odd time, so it was fun to see other people running.  Mostly bikers were out, but plenty of runners.  Lots of them had fuel belts on, so I’m assuming that they were doing their long runs for marathon training!  I guess the Rocket Scientist and I need to get in with the cool kids and wear fuel belts.  We were old school and just carried plastic water bottles…haha.

    I also think I need to carry running business cards to make running friends around here…has anyone else done this??

    Anyway, the run was going great until we had about four-five miles to go.  At around mile eight, there was a huuuuge hill!  A warning sign on the trail said 12% grade, which for those of us from the Prairie State, that’s HUGE!  I made it up about 75% of the way before I had to walk, which I considered to be a victory.  Running up hill hurt my back, so that didn’t help at all.  Breaking into song helped me get through this run.  While running uphill, I sang to the tune of “We’re not going to take it.”  by singing:

    I’m going to make it…Yes, I’m going to make it!  I’m going to make it…up this hill!

    Then the Rocket Scientist told me random cheers that he created, “S-U-S-A-N!  Goooooo Susan!”

    He’s an engineer…forgive his creativity skills.  :)  I recommend songs to get you through long runs…making them up is much more fun than any ipod would be!

    Sunday, September 6
    6.12 miles in 51:37, avg pace of 8:26

    I’m still trying to get ahead in my runs since I’m going HOME on Friday, so we skipped the rest day and went right into running for this coming week.  My legs were tired, and we ran up some hills to mix our routes up a bit.  I’m not sure our pace would have been much faster if I had tried.  But that’s what recovery runs are for, right?  I just closed out a 50 mile week (my mileage PR!), so I feel pretty good about how I’ve done so far.  55 miles are on the list for this week, so I’m hoping my legs (and back!) will hold up.

    My week has mostly been running…and working!  It’s funny when people ask me what I do for fun, and I tell them that I run.  Then they ask if I do anything else, and I’m like…I run…A LOT.  (And bake.  Details.)

    Off to dinner with some of the Rocket Scientist’s friends!  Yum.  :)  I hope everyone is having an a labor-free labor day weekend!

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    Tuesday, September 1, 2009

    Shiny, pretty, and RED!

    playing nurse (because i still don’t feel comfortable calling myself a nurse!)

    Last night was an okay day at work…I got pulled (again!) to another floor, which was nearly as traumatic as last time.  I went to the same floor as before, as I was at least a little familiar with the territory, and I recognized some of the nurses.  I actually had a positive experience last time and everyone was super helpful, so I didn’t cry or anything this time around.  One of my patients was apparently the former chief of surgery (yikes?), which I learned upon discharge when his doctor informed me of that.  (By the way, his doctor was super nice…he introduced himself to me using his first name and actually made small talk…crazy!)  But anyway, I had a successful blood draw and successfully started an IV all on my own, without anyone even leaning over my shoulder.  Yay!  Confidence is half the battle.

    (Annnnnd I just got a call saying that I’m cancelled tonight.  I think I need to start watching my spending if I’m going to be cancelled once a week!  This is getting a little out of control.)

    delicious eats

    I’m really trying to do better with cooking since I do enjoy it!  I just lose motivation when I’m cooking for myself.  Yesterday I tried to make baked ziti, already it really wasn’t baked ziti at all since I used penne pasta…but it was baked!  I basically sauteed a bunch of veggies (red pepper, green pepper, onion, zucchini…I forgot I had a mushrooms!!), added some spices (pepper, garlic, “Italian medley”), and then threw it in the oven mixed with tomato sauce, cheese, and pasta.  Thirty minutes later, voila!

    083109 Baked Ziti 003 I may have already eaten some before I took the picture…

    083109 Baked Ziti 004Do try this one at home!

    It was easy and I will have this ALLLLLL week.  Works for me.

    running machine

    Okay, I may have been a teensy bit nervous for my run today.  On the schedule was ten miles with five at LT pace, which went well the first time, but not so well the second time.  The difference with today was that it was a cool SIXTY degrees when I headed out!  AWESOME.  I actually got my butt out of bed before nine (a major feat for me, I promise) and was running by 9:15.  Here’s out it panned out:

    Tuesday, September 1 (Really?  That’s not okay.)
    10.04 miles in 1:17:11, avg pace of 7:41

    Warm-up:  2.52 miles in 21:12, avg pace of 8:26
    LT miles:  5.01 miles in 35:39, avg pace of 7:07
    Splits:  7:17, 7:13, 7:02, 7:02, 6:51
    Cooldown:  2.52 miles in 20:21, avg pace of 8:06

    Check out those negative splits!!  I felt soooo much better on this run than I did my last one.  One of the main reasons was probably the weather…60 degrees versus 80-something?  Obviously I’ll run better when it is cooler!  Also, my mindset was totally different for this one.  I didn’t put pressure on myself to hit 7:00 right away, especially since I don’t really need to be running 7:00 miles!  By telling myself that running 7:20 would be better than fine, and reminding myself that I don’t need to be sprinting from the get-go, I felt much more relaxed and less worried about being a speed demon.  These runs are easier when I don’t go into them thinking about how hard they’re going to be and how much they’ll hurt.  Woo!

    i love the fedex man

    From my bedroom window, I can see the delivery trucks drive by, and I always hope that they’re going to bring a surprise for me.  I loooove getting mail, especially when I’m not expecting it, but today I received something in the mail that I’ve been waiting a couple weeks for.  Here it is, all shiny, new, and RED!!

    090109 Laptop
    Please pardon the terrible picture, although I think it is kind of artsy with the reflection of the picture of the Rocket Scientist and me.  Anyway…my new laptop!!!  The computer that I currently have is the one I got right before I went to college (in 2003…), so it’s about six years old and is having some troubles.  I finally bit the bullet and bought a new computer, which is my first laptop!  I’m excited to lay on my bed and blog.  :)

    And yes, although I’m the most frugal person EVER, I did pay an extra $40 for the red top.  That’s my Terrapin pride, thank you very much.

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