Friday, December 31, 2010

It's been a while

It’s been a while since I last posted. Almost a year, actually. But here I am again, back with the urge to keep writing. This time for real! Have I said that before? Probably. But this time I really mean it.

A new year calls for a new title, one that better reflects my current state of affairs.

When I started this blog last year, I was pretty miserable. I was struggling to get through grad school, uncertain of the future, and full of anger towards just about everything. Okay, not everything, but a LOT of things. The point is, I was grumpy and spent a lot of time complaining about my situation to whoever would listen, and I hated myself for doing this. I knew that my grumpiness made me unpleasant to be around, and I wanted to change that and get back in touch with the good-natured person I used to be.

I started this blog as an attempt to remind myself of the things that I still enjoyed in life. I wanted it to be a place where I could practice not complaining, because somewhere deep down I knew that things were not really so terrible. And that is why I chose the title “A Little Less Complaining.”

But a lot has changed since last year. I applied for and got accepted to med school, successfully defended my Ph.D., got engaged to the love of my life, ran my first marathon, and moved to a new place to start school (not entirely in that order). I’m no longer the miserable girl I was when I was in grad school. Of course there are new challenges, like going back to school in a class with people several years younger than me (who look confused when I make Saved by the Bell references), and living in a new place away from my friends and family.

So, now that I am no longer complaining all the time, I don’t have as much need for a forum to practice not complaining (although I still think it is a useful exercise). I think that what I do need is a creative outlet. Lately, I’ve been spending most of my time studying and then when I take a break from studying I feel restless. I want to do something relaxing and creative, like knitting, or photography, but I don’t seem to have the energy. So, I’m hoping this blog will help motivate me.

I’ve decided to go with the title “Stepping it Up” at least for now. Mostly because it’s the best thing that I can come up with at the moment. When I used to watch America’s Next Top Model one of my favourite reality show clich├ęs was the phrase “step it up and take it to the next level.” As in “Your photo shoot was okay this week, but you really need to step it up and take it to the next level.” This always made me laugh, because I can’t imagine how infuriating that would be to hear as “constructive criticism”. I mean, how exactly do you go about “stepping it up” and where is the next level and how do you know when you’ve reached it? But the girls would nod diligently in agreement and then confess to the camera “I’m really going to have to take it to the next level now.”

So, for 2011 I am resolving to step it up and take it to the next level. I am going to be fiercer than ever and Make It Work!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Base Training: Weeks 3-5 Recap

Total Distance:
Week 3: 27.3km
Week 4: 22.7 km
Week 5: 28.0 km

Highlights:
This weekend I was reminded of the benefit of having a training plan to follow. The temperatures began to dip into the negative twenties on Sunday, and the streets were slippery with freshly fallen snow. Without a schedule, I would have had the following conversation with myself:
Running Self: Let's go for a run today!
Lazy Self: But it's cold and windy and icy. Can't we just stay home where it's warm and wear pajamas and curl up on the couch for the day?
Running Self: Did you say icy?
Lazy Self: Yes, ICY! You could fall and get injured.
Running Self: We should probably avoid injury.
Lazy Self: So it's decided then, we'll stay in.
Running Self: Fine. But we'll try again tomorrow.

Instead, it was already decided that I would run six miles on Sunday, so the only decision I had to make was whether to run outside or on the treadmill. I really do dread the treadmill, especially for longer runs, but I psyched myself up for it, and it was okay. It helped that I had the "A Very Sedaris Christmas" episode of This American Life to listen to. And I felt great afterward!