Friday, July 20, 2012

New PR horizons and how UA compression saved my life.

It was the last week of Organic and I was feeling stressed and depressed from the overload and volume of what needed to be learned so I decided to do what I do, and go for a run. I ran a PR 5k on the treadmill and totally blew my next goal of a sub 22 5k out of the water with a 21:16! Needless to say I felt marginally better, to say the least.

O chem finished up last week and I have been kind of cruising it with my running and workout program because of being bombarded by people who have "the plague". I listened to my body, and my body was fatigued and needed a break, so I did just that. I cut my mileage and intensity of my workout program for a couple of weeks and yesterday I got back to the grind! In an O&B run ~3.75miles I decreased my time on the way back by about 2 minutes!

After my run I jogged back to where I had hidden my keys and gatorade to cool down and then to stretch. I was wearing a lovely pair of under armour compression shorts with an oversized Italia soccer shirt and didn't feel like stretching along the main line of the road due to ignorant and scary 60 year old creeps who throw cat calls after anything with two legs, so I decided to stretch behind the control box that controls the light signals. Little did I know, there was a yellow-jacket hive tucked underneath. I was stretching for a couple of minutes when I bent over to stretch my hamstrings and a searing and shocking pain went through my bum! Out of reaction, I hurled a few explicatives and hopped a few yards and a fellow runner stopped to make sure everything was ok. I explained that it felt like I had just been shocked, but upon further examination it appeared that I had been stung multiple times because I was stretching in front of a beehive!

I was standing there clutching my tush with the feeling one gets after touching a highly charged electric fence, and this bloke wanted to stand there and chat! Of all things! I am very good at reading people, and to be honest I was a bit unnerved by the 40 something chap..he could have been anybody, with any motive! I think I'm going to avoid the trail for a bit on the outside chance that he's a psychopath lol. I finally escaped the conversation by directing his attention to the forbidding storm clouds fast approaching and my probable need for antihistamines in the near future and hobbled away. The last 300 meters of the trail back to my car were some of the longest of my life. I am not allergic to bee stings or yellow jackets, but I have heard that you can become allergic even if you have not shown signs of being allergic in the past. I've also heard that for someone who may not go into cardiac arrest over one sting, several stings may have some effect. I was 150 meters in and paused to check my pulse. It was racing... I estimated it to be around 150-160 bpm. I took a quick swig of my strawberry gatorade to ease my dizziness in case of fainting and then plodded on. I finally made it back to my car, threw open my trunk, clumsily dug through my bag for my allergy pills. Upon finding it i threw it back and took a quick swig of my gatorade. I had made it and I was going to be ok.

It felt like I had received an electric shock to my bum, so upon examination and the large red welt that crossed my cheeks I thought it was just that. Later in the evening once the storm had passed and I could take a shower, I reexamined the area to find several red pea-sized dots...the site of none-other than multiple bee stings.

I credit Under Armour compression with possibly saving my life. If I had been wearing a loose fitting short, the bees could have flown up my shorts stinging me multiple times forcing me to violently tear off my shorts in an attempt to escape them which would have lead to extreme embarrassment for my part (being in the public sphere). As it was, some of the stingers were not able to penetrate fully and left a mild mark from the formic acid and the ones that did penetrate the tough material was not numerous enough to cause me to go into cardiac arrest.

I look back in humour and am privilleged to have a story to share about the dangers of stretching after one's run. :)

for now,


Monday, July 16, 2012

Those Mid-Summer Days..

The first 9 weeks of summer break have come and gone in a flurry. Biochem and O chem II pretty much dominated any free time that I had, but thankfully they have come to their natural conclusion and I am left to begin what is left of my summer break. I cannot convey the relief and utter gratefulness that I have no test to prepare for, no lab report to complete, and no hovering necessity to work out a few hours of chemical mechanisms! A part of me wishes I would have taken summer classes before..maybe I would have graduated early. On the other hand, I feel "burnt out" from pounding my brain since last fall with a constant stream of classes. I think that at times the longer path is the better path. Both lead to the same outcome, but the longer allows its traveller to stay connected; with family, with friends, with life. What is the point of a degree if you have no one to share the achievement with? What worth is an A if you near the breaking point? I worked really hard in my classes, but one thing that I learned this year, was the value of taking a metaphorical deep breath. No matter how crazy life gets, take time to share moments with friends and moments in nature. The beauty of a friendship filled with laughter, and the beauty of a flower filled field uplifts our spirit and sustains us through trials. I would venture to say that God has given both as gifts to us, meant to be graciously accepted.

Now that summer has finally arrived for me I have high aspirations for what I want to do in my free time..
1) create a reading list of 10 books  and read them before the end of august
2) stay up to date on global events and document them
3) go through and organize/file my papers over the past year
4) read through the Old Testament
5) start bumping up mileage training for half marathon
6)join running club?

That's all for now..


Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Gardener.

‎"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there. It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime. " -Ray Bradbury

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Some of Summer..

Summer is almost officially here, but the weather has felt more and more like spring! It is simply humidity and 60-70 degrees fahrenheit! Though summer vacation has been here, it really has not felt like it. The past four weeks I have been in my Summer Session I class every single day and studying for tests constantly! I have a fourth exam tomorrow, and a cumulative final on friday. It kind of bundles all of the information that I've acquired (or rather should have acquired) and builds on it. Sometimes it is good to just take a break. Yesterday was just that. I haven't played tennis since a few months ago and before that a couple of years ago. It was great to get back out there and begin the process of regaining my muscle memory (and my awesome fore hand!).
As far as everything else goes..que es lo que es.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Le début de l'été et vingt trois.

The spring semester reached its natural conclusion. I did alright, but again not as well as what I know I am capable of. I just have to translate that dissatisfaction into action. At the moment I have biochemistry which is shaping up rather nicely. I don't believe I started out on the right foot with my prof, but I think we're on cordial terms now. Coolest lady ever...she's like an Italian gramma; great communicator, and caring. The course itself is extremely condensed! The regular semester is 16 weeks and this summer session is a mere 4 weeks :O It seems like it is the culmination from all of my other biology and chemistry courses. It truly is amazing to see how it all fits together in a very intricate puzzle. Test II tomorrow, and then 2 weeks to go!

My grandma had a successful open heart surgery and implantation of a pace maker. Right now she is out of rehab and back home.

Nearly 10 days ago was a very special occasion. May 15 marked the 23rd year of my being. Simply lovely day with my mom shopping and later a beautiful, hand-crafted white cake with vanilla icing. I don't feel like I'm older, though wiser. I don't feel like I'm not 23, but I'm not sure that I feel 23 either. The years they pass all the more rapidly the older you get. I suppose the very essence of the number casts a shadow that makes the acceptance of its entrance, undeniable. I am 23. I am no longer young,  but by no means old. My life is on the brink of beginning, and that is a very exciting prospect.

Here's to May babes, and Here's to accepting one's age with cordiality and joy!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

open heart.

I sit in a reverie. I hear the bass of Massive Attack's "Mezzanine" album resonating through my ears and body. Images flood through like a high speed train flowing through cities and fields; there for a moment and then gone. Memories of laughter and joy, memories of heartache and unsurety. Tears tempt to burst forth.

What is this? Two days ago, I saw storm clouds in the horizon and even felt the drizzle of the impending air, yet I felt nothing. I felt as light as a feather. Now it all weighs down. Now the dam threatens to break.

My grandmother goes in for open heart surgery tomorrow. I may never get to see her alive again....I may never get to say goodbye.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pre Gaming.

So the last week of classes for the semester has arrived with a bang. Yesterday I had three back to back tests in the morning and my NMR spec lab report to do by 5. All in all I hope everything went ok but I am simply relieved the storm has past. There are storm clouds in the future as finals week approaches, but hopefully I won't be working 30 and 40 hours during that time so I can actually catch up on everything that I haven't had time to learn. Today I worked, again but all in all it was the break from studying and thinking that I needed to recoup and regroup. Tomorrow I hit the ground running after work with studying.

I just put in my notice earlier to the volunteer coordinator that I'm pausing volunteering for right now. I feel guilty, and a large part of me wants to continue, but I know the right decision right now is to really focus on school. This semester has really proved that there is only so much time in the day, no more, no less than 24 hours. It is impossible to go sleepless above a week and even doing one all nighter is unproductive and makes one more vulnerable to illness.

As far as the world news and affairs goes, the secret service was busted for shady behavior with some exotic dancers and mitt romney got the republican nomination (which I have vowed to do everything in my power to not allow him to enter the role of president.), Syria is still a bloody civil war with the world favoring the rebels but with hands bound behind the back because of the government's influential allies (Russia, China, Iran). North Korea failed to put a satellite into space (or so they say), and there is concern that they may be testing missiles in the near future. Iran has pretty much reached weapons grade uranium enrichment (the amount of enrichment needed for the use of nuclear power is 5%, whereas weapons grade is between 80-90+%.) Whitney Houston died. And that's a wrap for the global spec of things from my point of view!