Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Funny Stuff

Accidental bits of wit and wisdom, from roommate Matt, and my mom

I was talking with Matt the other day and we were joking about the kind of man that I seem to continually get hit on by. Then he got totally serious and said:

You know, to a screwed up guy like that, you are actually a pretty good catch!

Thanks Matt... thanks a lot....

On to my mom-

Ever since I was young I have occasionally been asked by strangers, usually people of Asian decent, if I am part asian. I have never understood why, and I always say no. It has continued to intrigue me and as I entered the medical field it has been happening more and more frequently. Finally someone I worked with said- "hey, you have epicanthal folds!". I look at myself in the mirror every single day and have NEVER noticed this about myself. So I did some digging and called mom to see where I get this distinctly asian characteristic. Later on in the day I get a text message from good old mom:

Dad said great grandma was a mix of some sort

What- are we Labradoodles now? What kind of mix was great grandma?

And she replied:

Your Dad's family wasn't really good at keeping records. I guess when you're not Irish nothing else really matters

Oh, one other bit of wisdom I learned today (for the women only):

No matter how much you think today might be the day you get your period in the middle of a long surgery, resist the urge to use a maxi pad you found on the labor and delivery ward of the hospital. I'm pretty sure I could have made it through a monsoon completely dry today...

Monday, February 18, 2008


I just got through with the single worst week of my life as a student. Brutal doesn't begin to describe it. It wasn't the 86 hours of work, but the fact that I felt like an idiot every second of my Sunday- Thurs 14 hour night shifts and got hardly any sleep on top of it. But I made it and then had a very pleasant 24-hour call on Saturday to finish out the week. I started the call by catching a baby for the very first time. Slippery little buggers! Then the wonderful residents let us get 5 hours of sleep. It was glorious!

Despite the hideous hours and the fact that I was near tears for most of the week I managed to get in 5 workouts- my 2 hours of death trainer ride (4 x 20 min big gear), my 7 miles of death treadmill run (20 min @ 8mph), 1 swim, 1 very awesome 10-mile run, and 1 45 min tempo ride on the trainer. All things considered I am happy with that. This week should be much better because I'm on the ambulatory (outpatient) service. If it wasn't for my 25 hour Fri-Sat call and 10 hours of work on Sunday it would be a wonderful training week!


This just in- I added 3 races to the schedule for next year:

April 19, 2008: Kinetic Half Ironman Lake Anna, Virginia. Confirmed entry. I can't say I wasn't a little bit disgusted seeing my age as 30. Damn USAT!!!! But it should be a ton of fun. De Soto TTT partner Tony and probably one other looney triathlete are going out to do the sprint, so I'll have a cheering section on Sat for the half, and they'll have a cheering section on Sunday for the sprint. The water temp will likely be <60F BRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

July 13, 2008
Musselman Half Ironman. I'm not registered yet, but it's in the plan

December 7, 2008
Las Vegas Marathon
Stepping it up this year and trying to qualify for Boston. I need something fun to do in early 2009 before I start residency!

In 3 weeks and 12 hours I will be on a plane approaching my destination: Las Cruces, NM. 2 weeks of intense training camp there, then off to Ft. Myers to play in the sun with my roadie friends. To say I am looking forward to it is the understatement of the year. Don't be scared- there will be tons of pictures, videos and blogging happening. I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends, including Jonathan who I've been counseling through a depression lately:

We're all hoping that Coach Paulo will make it back in time from Portugal to coach the camp. Some slight visa problems are happening right now, but he is sending Sergio over ahead of him to keep things in place. God knows what happens when Jonny gets to run the show. And things would really get caffeinated if Khai got ahold of the reins:

Ok, it's WAY past my bedtime... Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Stereotype Game

Another med school rotation has come and gone and I still am not decided on what I want to do when I grow up. One thing that is interesting is to watch the congregations of personality types in each of the specialties and try to figure out where you fit. Here is what I have come up with so far...

The Surgery Residents- The cowboys of the hospital. They swoosh in with their teams, backs straight, (over) filled with a confidence. They realize that the rest of the hospital is at their mercy since they are among a very small group of specialties that can actually cure patients. They are sure the rest of the hospital is full of idiots. They live for the OR.

Surgery Residents Biggest Fear: Having to talk to patients

Extra-curricular activities enjoyed by the surgeons: Extra-marital affairs with nurses and medical students. Learning new ways to function without sleep.

Internal Medicine Residents- A vast majority of the internal medicine residents are on their way to medicine sub-specialties, so hard to generalize. They are an academic bunch, but slowly getting beat down by the hours and paperwork

Internal medicine resident's biggest fear: Their pagers

Extra-curricular activities: fantasizing about the surgeons enduring public humiliation, like tripping and falling in the hallway.

OB/GYN residents: They are the hardest working women in the hospital. And they never show signs of fatigue. At any moment in their 100 hour weeks they could be pulled away for a photo shoot. Advice for med students: Don't F*&% with an OB/GYN resident.

Biggest Fear: None

Extracurricular Activities: Eating their young

Male OB/GYN residents: Sado-masochists

Emergency Medicine Residents: The cool kids. They're on defined shifts, work their butts off, and then go out for beers. Live for trauma

Biggest Fears: psych patients, pushy trauma surgeons

Extracurricular Activities: Whatever they want. They are among the few in medicine that can actually schedule a life

Neurologists: Very smart. Love to figure out why people with brain injuries are totally screwed. Can offer limited therapies. Overheard by me during my rotations: "Cool, I love coma patients"

Biggest Fears: Consults from the psych ward

Extracurricular activities: Looking at MRI scans, writing manuscripts

Psychiatrists: The most patient people born on this planet. Dry sense of humor. Spend most of their life teetering on the edge of sanity themselves

Biggest Fears: Patients with medical problems. Sharp flying objects

Extracurricular activities: Watching and analyzing movies

Pediatricians: The nicest people in the hospital. Love to teach. Can be found on the floors at 3am giving med-students lectures on asthma and congenital neuromuscular disorders. People feel dirty using 4 letter words in front of them.

Biggest fears: Parents

Extracurricular activities: making their own babies

Orthopedic surgery residents:

I'll let The Todd take this one:

I need to figure out where I will fit...

Monday, February 04, 2008

The 8 minute mile

As athletes, and as people, we tend to build walls around ourselves. In one hand, the walls offer a sense of security. On the other hand they put up finite barriers for ourselves that require immense emotional strength to topple down. One of my walls was the 8 minute mile.

Growing up I was never a runner. In fact, I hated running. I had terrible eczema as a kid and most of the time my feet were covered in open sores. Needless to say, swimming was much more my thing. As I grew out of the eczema I slowly started jogging. I was never speedy, but I would occasionally test myself to see how fast I could run a mile. Up until I was 27 the fastest I ever ran a single mile was 8:00... and I just about threw up afterwards. The 8 minute mile became my fortress. A very wide and torturous moat separated me from miles that began with 7.

When I started triathlon training a few years ago I ran more. And occasionally in a race I would run a sub-8 mile. The first time was in a 5-miler in 2006. Then the next time wasn't until my 5k in December. And don't think I ever ran faster than that in training. No way.

Coming off my knee injury this year I ran with unwavering consistency. Almost every single day for 2 months. But every run was short, and every run was slow. I knew I needed to build up a really good base before I tested things out with speedwork.

2 weeks ago today I did my first Paulo run. In it was 20 minutes at 7:30 pace. 20 minutes! It was the most mentally draining workout I have ever done. Including 8-9 hour Ironman bricks. It took every ounce of strength I had not to decrease the speed on the treadmill. Afterwards I was completely spent.

Today was my third attempt at the dreaded zone 4 workout. And you know what? It was easy. I finished the interval and wanted to keep going. Have I gotten that much faster in 2 weeks? I highly doubt it. I think the whole trick was breaking down the mental barrier that I had around that elusive pace. What it boils down to is this: If you think you can't do it- you're right. If you think you can do it- you're right. It's all about controlling your attitude and breaking down the walls that you build around yourself. Sure, they're safe and comfortable. But don't you want to see what's on the other side?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Lots of exciting news!

It's been a pretty good week here. Here are the updates:

1. The Ohio Sports and Fitness Keeper Edition just hit the shelves! It has all the triathlon, running, and road races (as well as other sports) for the summer listed. It's a great resource. And I'm on the cover! Here are some of the pics that were taken, including the cover pic:

2. In other news, I set my schedule through the end of June for school. That is a huge relief. I'm being a huge lazy butt and taking the whole month of March off. So I get to spend 2 full weeks in Las Cruces with the Smartass Crew (Paulo, Jonny, Will, Judy, and some new faces). Then I'm probably going to head over to Florida to do some riding with my Cleveland buddies, 4 of which own houses outside of Naples. Then if the stars align and I somehow manage to become the luckiest girl in the world, I'll spend a weekend at Timex camp. Yeah, I applied to the team this past fall. What the hell, right? Nothing to lose. They probably already picked the team, but a girl can dream!

3. School is going pretty well. We finally got our grades for the clinical block from July-November and I did well. Just 5 more weeks until the main clinical rotations are over. It went so fast! I can't even comprehend the fact that I will have to start applying for residency in 8 months. I need to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life! High on the list of things I still need to try are radiology (doing that in April) and Emergency Medicine (hoping to get into a rotation at our level 1 trauma center this summer).

Hope training is going well for everyone! I'm off to hit the treadmill again this afternoon. Damn Cleveland winters!