Saturday, October 11, 2014

Happy Moments

Happy Moments from the week.

As with all weeks, there were happy moments and not-so-happy moments.

The not-so-happy:
1. Our HOA are being, well, "HOA-y". I think your imagination can fill in the blank. Just remember when you own a home in a strict HOA, that is apparently a crime to try to increase the value of your home. Such as hiring professional painters to paint the exterior (with colors approved by the HOA book). They apparently would like your home to rot, and have paint peeling off like some of the other homes in the neighborhood. Okay. I'm ranting.
2. The tone at work was stressed. We had the big triennial inspection/audit. And no matter how much preparation you do for these things, it always just puts everyone on edge. So I greeting Friday evening with a big smile (and a cold beer).

But despite some shortcomings this week. There were some really fantastic moments that I prefer to focus on:

  1. This week we finally are experiencing our 1st mornings where it's not 80 degrees. It's been in the 60's every morning. And it has felt glorious. Especially at swim practice. 5 am, pool 78 degrees, and every time you take a breath that fresh air is glorious! (it will be interesting how I feel about this come December when it 20-30 degrees outside!)
  2. We got the most rain I've ever seen in the 6 years we have lived in the "Old Pueblo". It started raining Wednesday morning and didn't stop Thursday afternoon. It was steady, wet, drizzling rain. (In opposed to the harsh downpours we typically get.) Many Tucsonans complained. But they are clearly not educated about the drought. Ignorance is bliss.
  3. Ryan and I have been on opposite schedules for the past week, but starting Wednesday he is back on "day hours". So after work we walked up to Noble Hops for a drink. (I thought the rain had stopped). It ended up DOWNPOURING when we were trying to walk home. So we scurry over to the sporting-goods store and purchased our 1st umbrella! (ha!). We laughed the whole way home because the only umbrella they sold was a miniature umbrella and we barely could fit our heads under it.
  4. Thursday evening, when the rain cleared up, and the sun peaked out through the clouds we headed to Sabino Canyon for a sunset run. Sabino Canyon is part of a National Park with a variety of amazing hiking trails, but it also has 2 paved roads that cut through the canyons. Very popular running/biking path! And insanely challenging (you pretty much run up a mountain, and back down). There were parts of the road we couldn't even cross because the water was gushing so hard over the bridge! It was the 1st time I've ever seen Tucson with rapids! So glad we took advantage of this! (pictures below)
  5. Friday evening was the kind of "Friday Night" I yearned for. After a busy week, and Ryan has to work this weekend - it was very low key. We enjoyed a taste of Ryan's 1st "home brew". I made chicken fajitas. And we curled up on our couch with our kindles and read. We are wild 20-somethings, I tell you! ;)
Our 1st home brew actually had kind of a crisp, cider flavor to it! Which was surprising! We used the packet that came with the beer-making kit for his 1st brew!

Seeing this made me want to get in a kayak....

There is a road/bridge under that water. But the "wash" was so full of water it was gushing over. I was okay with turning back at this point ;)

This was the water flowing off the road! Look how powerful that is! And there was a guy up there that was going to try to cross it. I told him, "I wouldn't advise it."
At the end of our run, we were rewarded with a colorful sunset over the Santa Catalina mountains. The pictures doesn't do justice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Career ADD

It's been awhile since this blog has seen any "shop talk". In fact, if you are involved in my day to day life, you would find I don't like to talk about work very much. Is it because I don't like my job? Not at all. I am currently in a state where I'm not excited about it.

I know. "Abby, it's called work for a reason. You're not going to be springing out of bed every single morning singing and dancing in a fit of joy over your job." (I repeat this mantra to myself at least weekly)

Since I've graduated from college, I've tried quite a lot in my career for a nurse my age. I did a short stint in rehabilitation nursing (just to tide me over until the contract with my hospital was official), telemetry nursing, charge nurse, administrative house supervisor, emergency room nurse, travel nurse, and finally case manager. I'm coming up on my "4 year anniversary" as a RN. That's a lot.

Don't worry, my resume isn't that scary. The charge nurse & house sup were done while I was working for telemetry.....I don't jump around that much. I just hop on every single opportunity that presents itself!

When I took this job in case management, my husband made me promise I'd give this position 2 years before I move on. And I'm staying true to that. But over the past month, I've felt myself getting super antsy.

I have no reason to complain. I have an amazing job. Here's why:
  • My hours are pretty dang awesome. Four 10 hours? Piece of cake!
  • One weekend/month?
  • I have flexibility in what time I come in (just have to be there between 8:30-4:30, or I'd have some angry nurses & Dr's)
  • I work for an amazing boss, and the greatest group of nurses and doctors/PA's,/NP's ever!
  • My interaction with the patient is perfect for me. I have met some inspiring, amazing patients who have so much wisdom and life experience to offer. I'm constantly asking my patient's "so what's your secret?" (especially my 100 year olds who are still swimming and living on their own!!!)
  • Case management is one of the few careers in nursing where you truly get "control" in your day.
  • Case management is one of the few careers in nursing where you don't have to wipe butt. (blunt, but true).
So in my attempts to feed my "Career ADD", I have decided to dust off my old scrubs and get back into the ER. Just 1 shift/month for starters. It will be good to keep my skills current, and the extra cash-flow will not hurt, either. More hours worked = more hours PTO accumulated. It's the little things. ;) I miss my "ER Family".

Have you ever had to add something new to your career to keep your excited? Do you have "career ADD"? Or do you like to stay comfortable. I wish I was easier satiated....but it's not who I am.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Half Ironman Training: Final Push

All these vacation posts may have one thinking, "She must have falling off the wagon on that half ironman training!" Not entirely true. However, I will say that week-long trip away did give me a little break from the constant circus of running from the pool, to the pedals, to the road! It was heavenly.

It has also been extremely difficult for me to get back on my bike since we've returned. Those 3-4 hour rides are so mentally difficult for me. Dealing with traffic, stop lights, sharp turns, worry of having to change a all gets me quite worked up. Plus, 4 hours on that tiny, torturous seat becomes barbaric.

I am currently in my final push before the taper. Race day is October 19. I can almost say "I made it!" Which is a pretty cool feeling.

Because I'm working this weekend, my training is a little screwy. I had Wed and Thurs off this week, so should have gotten a 50 mile ride in. But I just didn't have it in me. So here is a sample of my workouts for this final push.

Monday: Masters Swim (sprints) + 30 minute weight training session
Tuesday: Didn't have it in me to get up at 4:30, so had to do my brick workout at 7pm after work. Which was challenging. 1 hour spin class, 4 mile run (in the dark)
Wednesday: Masters swim. 1.7 miles - and our coach had us do the timed mile. Which I finished 1 mile in 30:30 (PR!)! (and that's after going 0.7 miles of warm ups and drills). Followed by a 6 mile run.
Thursday: Supposed to be my 50 mile bike ride. But instead I took advantage of the weather and did a 10 mile hike at a brisk pace. I'm sure it helped in my training?!
Friday: Masters swim - sprint day. (Another PR! My fasted 100m yet - 1:34. Some swimmers probably giggle at time, but I was happy.)
Saturday: 7 mile run (was supposed to do 12...but just didn't have it in me to wake at 4:15 and do it before work).
Sunday: Rest Day.
Monday: Brick day. Masters Swim. 50 mile bike ride. Alone. Gulp. (This is my day off. There's no way I'm doing this before work. That would be insane.)
Tuesday: 12 mile run.

And then the gradual taper begins!

I have found in this training that I really love swimming. Swimming is a sport where the more you do it, the better you get. Fact. There is so much technique and growth one can find in the swim. I originally joined the Masters Swim team with intent to quit after the tri. But I have decided that I'm in it for good (and I got authorization from my CFO. AKA Husband. Yippee!).

Biking is my least favorite sport of the 3. But it's still fun. The wind in your hair, the speed you can get going downhill, the triumph reaching the peak of a hill. But I also feel a great deal of fear and discomfort on the bike. My butt hurts, my thighs chafe, and sometimes I fall over.

And I always feel "home" when my feet hit the ground on the run.

What do I fear most about this race? The heat. That 13.1 mile run will be in Phoenix, AZ around 11am in the morning. It's going to be hot (like 90 degrees F). But with water stations and salt tablets, I will get through it. #littleenginethatcould

When I finish the race - I look forward to lifting weights, hiking, trail running, and just doing what I want to do. It will be a transition. Right now my sense of "Normalcy" is squeezing in 2 hours of exercise/day. So I will need to train my brain to remember, "Hey, Abby, you don't have to do cardio for 3 hours/day anymore! You're not going to turn into a toad."

Next time I talk about this training on my blog, I will most likely be doing a race-recap! Which is a scary and exciting feeling.....