And… We’re Back

Back in school, that is.  With a full time job, a house full of active hockey players and running/fitness aspirations, I’ve been taking my Ph.D. studies at a relatively leisurely pace.  One class at a time. Usually with 2 or 3 week breaks in between.  I’ve taken two 3 month breaks for the past two summers to focus on the kids’ sports, the race season, and mental sanity.  That’s unfortunately not an option this Spring/Summer and the way things shake down I’m on just 1 week breaks between classes until sometime early November.

Last week was that one, short week off.  Last month I took a brief glance at the required textbooks for this class that has started this week.  One was the beloved APA manual. Got it, no worries.  Two other books were used in another course – done, no big deal.  The third was new to me so I ordered it.  Done and done.  Logged into my course yesterday to glance at the syllabus, read the instructor welcome, yada yada – essentially giving myself “class 1”.

Today I decided to gather all the books together and start going through the week’s material.  I busted open the box from Chegg (should have done that a couple weeks ago).  The used book is falling apart but at least I have it.  APA manual, have it but probably don’t need it.  (Most of that stuff is available on the internet and I’ve been writing with APA for so long I could do it in my sleep.)  Where are my Tochim and Creswell texts?  Searched all over and wouldn’t you know it?  These two happen to be the only two books I’ve ever borrowed and returned from Chegg.com prior to this course.  A quick check on my Chegg order history confirms what I was dreading.  I have never, ever, ever returned or sold a book before these two.  Not for my undergrad.  Not for my masters.  $200.00 and 15 minutes later, one text is on it’s way rush shipped to me and the other is loaded on my kindle.  Thank you technology.

The lesson here kids? DO. NOT. GET. RID. OF. YOUR. TEXTBOOKS!!!  Like, ever.

Lol Amazon.com - No.  I will not be buying this book for a third time.  Nice try though.

Lol Amazon.com – No. I will not be buying this book for a third time. Nice try though.

While it is tempting to sit here and continue to blog and research the latest and greatest running tips I will get started on my homework and do what I can.  Working in the education industry as instructor and administrator, one of the most frustrating excuses a student can give is “I don’t have my textbooks for X reason, so I didn’t do the work”.  I’m not that student.  That’s not how I roll.  My rushed book (which is the majority of this week’s reading) will be here Thursday.  In the meantime there is plenty else I can do to get started and enlighten myself on the intensely interesting and gripping subject that is quantitative research design.

ABD in One Year

September 2012 I started my Ph.D., this was my Facebook status update “AH! Writing my first paper in 8 years. What did I get myself into??”.  It’s been a long three years and there’s still a long road ahead but one year from now, if all goes as planned, I will be starting my dissertation research.  February 1st, 2016.

So what exactly needs to happen between now and February 1st 2016?  A lot.  The most daunting of which is this: Comprehensive exams (comps) during marathon training.  If I keep all my ducks in a row though, I should be starting to taper my training for the marathon when I start my comps.  I had a momentary panic attack today when I realized how close I am to the end of this whole big Ph.D. thing.  Yes, I still have 4 classes left…and then some big tests…and then the really big paper but other than that I’m almost done!  Seriously though, I’m now legitimately more than half way there and that feels good.  One year from now, I’ll be All But Dissertation (ABD) and done with college coursework.  That’s a darn fine feeling if you ask me.

Racing: How much is too much?

Only a month into winter and registrations for the spring race season are opening left and right.  I ran over 20 races in 2014 and it was one of the best years of my life.  I love racing!  The past two years I’ve taken the summers off of my grad studies to train, race and recover to my heart’s content. The thing is I’m also trying to finish a doctoral degree and the way the stars align, I can’t take this summer off of school.  Bummer right?  I told myself I was going to seriously cut back on racing this year and only do 2 half marathons in preparation for the full marathon in October.  That’s it.  And then the crazy sets in…Okay, maybe one 5k with my son because he’s really interested in it.  And this 17 mile trail race looks really cool.  And It might be fun to travel for a race or two and see another city.  I haven’t done any races at all since October.  I’m really itching to get out there.  Maybe next month, is there a race next month?  Just one?

So far here is what I’m registered for.

  1. Hot Dash – 10 mile
  2. Get in Gear – 10K
  3. Zumbro – 17 mile trail
  4. Rock & Roll – Half marathon

I feel like a little kid who was told “just 2 cookies” only to be found 15 minutes later in the cookie jar up to my elbows, face covered in chocolate.  And no, you’ll notice the actual marathon isn’t on that list.  The registration doesn’t open for that until next week.  And it’s a lottery (don’t worry I have a backup 26.2 if I don’t get in).  The 2nd half marathon for training isn’t on that list either.  Oops.  Or the 5k I want to race with my 6 year old. Oops again.  So, it looks like… I’m an addict.  Not sure what to do about it.  I see a race online and immediately start checking the calendar (can’t overlap with hockey!) and digging in my purse for my credit card.  I don’t care about the stuff, the swag, the medal.  I don’t care about the entertainment or the beer.  It all honestly doesn’t even matter.  If it’s a race within a 2 hour drive of my house, I want in.  I don’t know if there’s a cure for this but I am going to have to figure something out.  Or learn how to write a dissertation while jogging and chugging power aid.

Back in Business

Got my groove back this week!  I’ll admit, last week was rough.  Not every week will be spot on or perfect.  What’s important is recovering and jumping back in to keep the momentum going.  That grad paper I put a million hours into last week?  Got it back today – 100%!  Making progress on the new projects at the office.  Husband was out of town the past few days so it was just the kids and I.  No hockey practice the past couple nights (weird) but we’ve been spending time on their homework and piano practicing.  My grad work for this week is about halfway done which is a comfortable place for me on a Thursday.  I was able to get an earlier start to it this week which has made all the difference.

Capture2This week I powered through 3 out of my 4 lifting sessions, 1 HIIT session with my trainer and then 5 miles on the treadmill yesterday.  Another lifting session with HIIT to follow tomorrow and will round out the week with another 5 mile run on Saturday.  Weather is forecasted to be a balmy 32 degrees on Saturday so I may be able to run outside comfortably.  Comfortable running weather in Minnesota in January is such a treat so I plan to make the most of it. 🙂

Measly Mileage

Type the word measly into google and here’s what you get: paltry, meager, scanty, miserable, inadequate, insufficient.  This perfectly describes my running mileage this past week.  Reviewing my mapmyrun app I put in about 5 miles.  That’s generous, let me rephrase: barely 5 miles.  5 miles on a goal of 15-20 is not so hot.  Rest assured though, I was not napping all week!

Here’s what did happen while I wasn’t running those additional 10+ miles:

  1. Started my finance class.  Put in at least 15 hours on this class this
    IMG_0682

    Hubs watching our 8 year old’s game with our 6 year old.

    week just reading and putting together my outline.  I still have a little less than half the paper left to write later tonight/tomorrow.

  2. Started my new weight lifting routine.  Managed to get every work out in.  Had to cut the last workout of the week short because my 8 year old had a stomach flu so I couldn’t go to the gym as planned and I don’t have all of the equipment at home.  So I got in what I could and called it good.
  3. It was our first week on a new initiative at work.  Crazy busy with lots of new meetings and activity.  Definitely well over the 40 this week but am very excited about this project.
  4. I did get my 2 HIIT sessions in without issue – yay!  Felt good to meet with my trainer again.
  5. Went to 5 hockey games for my kiddos.
  6. Went to my monthly book club meeting with my girlfriends, went to my husband’s company party and we also had date night tonight at the Minnesota Wild Game.  (Yes, the fun stuff counts too!)
Date night!

Date night!

Here’s the good news.  I still have 8 months or so before the actual marathon.  5 miles is better than none and next week will be better. 🙂

First blog post ever!

This is all very confusing.  There’s a lot going on here on wordpress.com.  I told my husband I was considering writing a book to help me organize my thoughts and rambling musings to which he suggested a blog.  So here I am!  Woo! 🙂 I loved journaling as a kid so it sounded like a good idea an hour ago.  Now it seems like a jungle and not sure where to start.  Okay, will not panic.  Let’s proceed to the comfort zone – When in doubt… make a list.

Stuff I want to share:

  1. Introduce myself (who doesn’t like to talk about themselves?)
  2. Day in the life of a busy hockey mom
  3. Updates along the marathon training road
  4. Frustrations on progress with Ph.D. studies
  5. Attempting to accomplish the above while looking fabulous! (Gotta have goals right?)

So, let’s start with number 1.  I work full time doing a job I love as a university administrator.  My husband and I have two boys, ages 8 and 6.  They all play hockey.  A lot.  All three of them.  All the time.  Like, it’s a lot of hockey.  What about Summer you say?  Nope, in Minnesota it’s hockey all year long.  While I’m at the rink (which is often) I’m on the laptop working on my Ph.D. in Education and in my free time I’m working on training for my first Marathon coming up in October.

Well, there we go.  Post number one!  And I can cross that first one off the list.  Feels good.  Let’s see if I can keep this thing going now.  🙂