Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's tough being the world's oldest college student

Well, it has been an exciting weekend!!  Friday I had to go to school; normally I don't have class on Friday.  Last week was Respiratory Care Week and, as a member of a respiratory therapy program at a community college, I learned that it's a big deal in the world of respiratory therapy!  We had a ventilator race at the college as a fundraiser for a camp for kids with asthma.  I have learned that old, outdated, retired ventilators get used in ventilator races at colleges and hospitals all over.  Our college has 2 old ones, very heavy old ones I might add!!  We decorated them up.  I used the bumble bee wings I wore in a halloween race last year and we used yellow balloons and made the bumble bee ventilator!!  The other ventilator was pink!  We wrapped it in pink paper and pink balloons.  We also had some smaller machines - something along the line of a BiPAP machine on stands and wheels.  We decorated one as big bird and the other as a christmas tree.  We raced as teams of 2.  The race was around a circular drive in front of the building.  It wasn't a very big lap and there were 5 laps.  My team mate and I won!!!!  It was harder than I thought it would be.  The old ventilators are big and heavy and hard to steer!  It was a really nice day just a tiny bit chilly.  It was fun.  
Ventilators ready to be raced by a bunch of crazy RT students!

Running and pushing an old, heavy, cumbersome ventilator
After all that fun, we headed back to the classroom.  We have had so much work to do lately that all of us are behind.  We just worked on stuff that we needed to catch up.  It is a good feeling to finally be caught up on all the little things like quizzes that are done on a computer in the class and our simulations that are also done on computers in the class and finishing up various worksheets,etc.  I was there about 3 hours working. 
After I left school I went for a much needed run!  As usual, I changed in the back seat of my car thanks to the miracle of tinted windows!  I did a loop around a park and a few miles on the paved trail for a total of 5.5 miles.  All of my miles were in the 9s!!  I am getting back to how I used to run!!  It feels so good to push myself again! 
Saturday and Sunday were just full of fun!  Both days I sat on my butt in a chair in the library all afternoon doing homework and studying.  Today after the library closed I went running around the small town where the library is located since I had a very short window of daylight left.  It was a great run.  I combined several routes from a walking tour brocure I saw at the library and also some places I remember from when I ran with a marathon training group in that town several years ago.  I ran 4.5 miles and, again, all miles in the 9s!  I just felt great afterward.  Today was the first time I wore a headband to keep my ears warm this season.  I guess I can't do anything about winter moving in.  I dread it but I know there will also be fun times.  The Lightfest 8K is coming up, is there anything more fun than running at night with christmas lights wrapped around your body!!  I registered for an all womens 5K that I did last year - Jingle Belle womens 5k.  It was a blast last year.  I remember people wearing christmas themed clothing so I'm ready this year!!  I bought a pair of red and white striped knee socks to wear to christmas themed races this year!!  There is also an evening run planned on 11-11-11 that is just for fun; it's on a trail around a lake.  Of course, there is a party afterward!! 
Well, I have a few things to finish up and then have to get to bed so I can be ready to resume my role as the world's oldest college student tomorrow morning! 
Happy running
Runner Nerd
digging out the cold weather gear

Monday, October 24, 2011

and the blogger disappears for 3 months

I just logged in here and saw that I last posted on July 4th after running the July 4th race. 
What has happened since then???????  I'm not sure I even remember!
I finished my semester at the end of July on a Monday.  The end of that week, Friday, Saturday, Sunday I had continuing ed classes for renewing my EMS license.  Sunday after the last class ended at 6pm I took off for the Upper Peninsula to visit my parents.  My sister from California and my sister who lives in Lansing were already there.  They were staying in a cabin at a resort near my parents' house.  I got to the Ferry dock at midnight.  (My parents live on an island serviced by a car ferry) The next ferry wasn't until 1 am so I had an hour to wait.  There was quite a party going on at a bar near the dock and there were people wandering in the streets so I did get to talk to some very drunk people!!  It was quite entertaining. 

My car in the ferry line at midnight. (I was first in line an hour early)

Just about to board the 1am Ferry to the island
I really had a great time with my sisters, my 2 nephews and my parents up on the island.  We were able to float around Lake Huron on a pontoon.  I went for a run, of course!!  We did lots of grilling and eating!  I got to spend time with my nephews who always have me laughing and always amaze me with their knowledge of dinosaurs, outer space, you name it!!  I made a run to a store to get a few things for dinner and as I drove into the place I saw the most amazing sight!  I was nearly 600 miles from Ann Arbor but...there it was....a lighted sign on the side of the building:  "ZINGERMAN'S bread sold here"  HUH????  Zingerman's bread on an island in the UP??  While I was there I continually checked to see if my grades were posted and when they finally were, I was one excited nerd!!!  All 4.0 once again!!  I was very relieved.  I rocked my 2 finals!!  My sisters just rolled their eyes! 

600 miles away from Ann Arbor

All too soon it was time to head back home.

In line to board the Ferry back to the lower peninsula

southbound on the Mackinac Bridge

I still had 5 weeks of freedom! 
I worked several shifts during the next 3 weeks.  I got my training on track for the half marathon I ran last week.  I got my mileage back up in the 30s per week.  I had been doing speedwork with a group from the gym since early spring.  I enjoyed time with my daughter who was home for the summer and enjoyed not having homework to do and just having time for myself. 
Eventually I had to go back to school.  I ran my half marathon, the Grand Rapids Half Marathon.  It wasn't my fastest but it also wasn't my slowest.  I ran a halloween themed 5k Saturday which was a lot of fun.  It was a night race.  I dressed like a jack-o-lantern and had spider knee socks!  It was a beautiful evening and I didn't even have to wear tights!  I wore my running skirt just to make it look even more silly! 

All dressed up for a night Halloween 5K

Well, that's about it.  I'm a tired nerd.  Tomorrow there is homework to do, a test to study for, 2 online quizzes to take and then it's running group night. 
Next up is the Wayne County Lightfest 8K, a fun night run through a lighted drive through light display.

Runner Nerd
back from non-blogging
still the world's oldest college student nerd and still a runner