Monday, 29 November 2010

My First Race and the Winter

I am contemplating entering the The Hague City Pier City Run in 2011. No actually, I am going to enter it. It will be my first race. The thing is, I want to enter for the 10K race...
BUT the race is early in spring and depending on what the winter is like I might not manage to train properly for it. Last year we froze out. We still had sub-zero temperatures in March. 

See, the thing is, I don't do well with European winters. I grew up in a warmer climate, and when these European people complain of the heat I'm probably not even properly sweating yet. Living in Europe I think I got the shortest straw in this deal. Heat doesn't hurt. Cold does, ask anyone with Raynaud's*. Anyway. Last year I more or less completely quit running during the coldest three months of winter. One of the main reasons also was the fact that it had snowed properly and I really didn't feel safe running on lumpy ice. My previous temperature record for running is 3 degrees Celsius, and I plan to break that and beat the temperature demon this year. Provided I can run on road/grass/other normal undergrounds. Gloves work well for running with Raynaud's, the running itself provides increased body temperature and circulation. 

That... and I absolutely, with whole my body, heart and soul, HATE treadmills. 

Anyway. Back to the race. Maybe if I wait till January to enter. If it's a bad winter I can always 'just' enter the 5k, because that First Race is well overdue. Just to run a race, to experience it. 10K is a goal though. It would also allow me to fit in that special dress I want to wear to my graduation ceremony, a few days after the CPC run. The dress is a size 8(34), I've had it for ages... and sadly I've experienced some horizontal growth in the past 6 months, leading to a size 10(36).

Interesting fact: the first time I EVER ran a full 5k in training, I finished in 28:30. My goal at that time was to run 30mins, I estimated that I'd need something short of 5k and when I finished the 5k run I was quite pleased, but also a bit disappointed because up to that point I STILL hadn't run 30mins without stopping!

This summer I was going to run a 5k in Maastricht, the city where I studied. They have an annual event (Maastrichts Mooiste, the site isn't working though), sporting a 5K and a 15K race. My plan was to finish the 5K ahead of the masses of women who finish somewhere between 28 and 33mins. Extremely do-able, given above fact. 

But not so much if you bust your LCL three weeks before the race. It took me three months or more to recover from that injury. Yes, I now know that the most important rule of street dance is to Stay Low, it was a painful lesson. I actually considered running despite the injury, changed my 'expected finishing time' from 26:00 to 29:00 and cycled the route to see what it was like. Contrary to popular belief, not the entire Holland is flat, and the region around Maastricht is decidedly un-flat. The route goes up and down, and to add to the fun it's mostly in the city centre where those old-fashioned stone streets make a very hard, very irregular surface to run on. I didn't run in the end. I think I actually cried. 
I want to run the 15K race in 2011. 
The main challenge will be to find hills in the western part of Holland to train on. This is what West-Holland landscape looks like:

Hmm. I've made a deal with myself. If I start doing leg-strengthening exercises today or tomorrow, I can go for a short run the day after. Ligament is less damaged than the last time. 


*Raynaud's phenomenon: insufficient circulation in mainly the acra (hands and feet), causing a typical red-blue-white colouring of the fingers and toes when exposed to cold. White means there's literally no blood in the fingers, when this continues, it starts hurting. Don't think it's all fine once you're inside... the warming up process hurts even more and it feels like the very bones of your hands and feet are on fire. This phenomenon is often seen in smokers or people with scleroderma, but can also be idiopathic. 
Treatment consists of quitting smoking (unless, like me, you never started smoking) or surgery. 

Sunday, 28 November 2010

That Age Old Student Ailment

Best get started right away.

Ironically, I am only doing this because I am suffering from that Age Old Ailment suffered by many students. Procrastination. Not Hangover.

Symptoms include: an increase of all feelings of discomfort, feelings of boredom and sudden interest in activities of lesser importance. Side effects generally include: loss of sleep and mediocre jobs handed in, or missing deadlines.

Somehow I doubt actual graduation is a cure for this.

I have a long history with this ailment. I went through six years of secondary school and now six and a half years of medical school. (All right. Medical school only lasts six years, but I'm half a year behind because of Third Year. Let's just leave it at that.). I have actually worked myself halfway through a book called 'The Procrastination Workbook', only to leave it somewhere under my bed in order to continue on with more pressing matters. Procrastination has significantly decreased after I realised that the main culprit is my own perfectionism.

But here I am, NOT writing an essay on how to save Africa. Instead I am blogging, checking out those amazing LOLcats, trying to figure out how to tell my bank my address has changed, contemplating my future, and wondering when my throat will stop hurting and how to fix the Knee.

What does the salvation of Africa have to do with graduating medical school, you may wonder. See, I am not just an ordinary doc. I am international in my own right (proud owner of nationalities of two different continents!) and I have been doing an extra course in International Medicine. Since my broke ass can't afford to do half of my final year abroad, the compromise is an essay. The essay is due at the end of this month.

Might as well get cracking. Less than a month left in which I can call myself Medical Student. rumtumtum. I'm in England now, and flying back to go get my degree. This will be the last time I don't HAVE to get up when they ask if there's a doctor on board. But actually I probably would get up: I might be the best they have. It's only a one-hour flight... in the worst case I could provide basic life support for an hour.

I've already passed my finals.

I just don't know how.

Well Hello There

I am the currently graduating fresh new Doctor Avalanche. And I run. I always run. I use physical runs to outrun mental runs. Medical school, you know?

So they say before you start writing you should consider your target group. I've thought about that. Probably it will be something in the line of
-people who like running
-people who like medicine
-people who like Scrubs
-people who actually know me (hopefully not too many, I might feel embarrassed)
-old pervy freaks, to be blocked immediately.

I want to use this blog to amuse, bemuse and to track my running.

I won't be posting pictures of me, and I will not be informing you where I am precisely and where I am from exactly. Confidentiality.

I will, however, have many crazy stories to share. My life is the real life Scrubs. Not so much Grey's Anatomy, Grey's is too fake. I'm probably a bit of your real life  Dr Elliot Reid if I have to be a TV doc. But now I hate Wikipedia, because I actually have not seen season 8 Scrubs and now I know that she's going to marry J.D.

But yes, I am a tall, slim, blonde, blue-eyed newbie doc. Oh, and I'm a girl. FYI.

And I am currently at the very last end of my 6-year course to become an MD. And like Elliot in season 1, I feel stupid and I will probably end up studying lots... because I'm scared.

And as far as running goes....*insert expectation awakening music*...

I'm nursing an old lateral collateral ligament injury. Often found in runners and dancers but not so common in normal people. I happen to be both, or at least, was both. Let's just leave it at the following: street dance class intermediate level is not a good idea if you've never done street dance before. And after months of pain and very little running I was finally back to my old not-so-advanced form.
And now the knee is hurting again. I must have twisted it somewhere along the road, but I haven't the faintest idea when.

It's safe to say I've been a beginner runner for 1,5 years now. And I want to go to the more advanced level.