Monday, August 27, 2012

On the Home Stretch

Today was the first day of my last semester!!  It's going to be a busy semester; so much to do.
Much of the class is geared toward board exam prep and the particulars of board exams, licensing, job hunting, etc.  The clinical portion is 5 weeks of neo-natal and pediatric ICU, then several shifts each of specialty areas such as home care, pulmonary function, pulmonary rehab, sleep lab, and long term care. As soon as we finish with our class, we will be having a Kettering exam review the next week, just before we graduate. 
I graduate December, 15th!!  I can't wait.

I'm taking another week off running.  My heel is doing well but still has it's moments.  I wear my night splint every night.  I have a feeling that I am going to have to have orthotics made. 
I learned, after my day on Mackinac Island, that biking does not hurt my heel.  Since then I've been on a couple of bike rides.  Saturday I took the bike to Chelsea and rode around all the dirt roads in the Waterloo State recreation area.  I rode just shy of 18 miles.  I rode on a lot of the roads I used to run on with a marathon training group back in 2007 and 2008.  All of this riding has been on my old mountain bike.  My triathlon bike is still in the house and hasn't been out of the house in 2 years.  Hopefully, next summer my life will be more normal and I will be able to get it out again and maybe, just maybe, do another triathlon!!

98 days till classes are done, 115 days till graduation!!!!!!!!!!!!

Runner Nerd
in her last semester!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


My boating adventures were soooo much fun!!  I met up with my classmate/friend in St. Ignace, Michigan which is just across the Mackinac Bridge.  He already had his boat in the water.  I wheeled my bike over to the dock, he put it in and away we went!  The first thing we did was what I wanted to do more than anything:
Approaching the Mackinac Bridge

Sailing under!!
Under the bridge looking up
Looking between the bases of the tower.  Looking at the bottom of the Mackinac Bridge!!
We then kept on heading West a few miles from the bridge in Lake Michigan to a small island, St. Helena Island.  This island has a lighthouse!  The island is a land conservancy and is open to the public but the only way to get on the island is to anchor the boat and then paddle up in a small raft.  My friend does not have one...yet, so we just circled the island.
St. Helena Light on St. Helena Island
We then headed back and under the bridge again and on to Mackinac Island!
The Grand Hotel as seen from the boat.
Approaching Mackinac Island public marina
My friend docked the boat, we unloaded the bikes.  We rode into town and had lunch then we took off on the road that runs around the perimeter of the island.  After we circled the island, we rode to some places inland on the island.  In all, we rode 20 miles!
A little cave

Arch Rock
View from Lookout point
All too soon the sun began to set and it was time to head back to the mainland. 
Sunset over Lake Huron
We got back to the marina in St. Ignace and it was dark when we got back.  We (as well as all boats coming in) were greeted by a Fish and Wildlife officer to see if we had any fish, which we did not.  My friend unloaded my bike and backed his trailer in the water and loaded the boat.  He pulled it out of the water.  We were talking for a few minutes and the fish officer came over and asked us where we were from and we told him that he (my friend) lives nearby and I am from here and that we are classmates, etc etc etc.  He showed us 2 minks who have taken up residence in the marina and sometimes even in their patrol boat!!  They were so cute!  I had already put all my stuff in my car so I wasn't able to take any pictures of them.  My friend's 6 yr old son was completely exhausted!! At 10:30 my friend said, "well, I have a 20 minute drive home so I better get going!"  HA HA HA!  I had a 4.5 hour drive home!  After he got home, got his son in the house and put his boat away, he called and we talked for a little bit which helped me pass a little time and be more awake for the drive.  I think I thanked him 400 times!!!  It really was fun. 

This turned out to be a really great day!!  It was sunny, the water was calm, it was almost warm enough (it doesn't get as warm in the Upper Peninsula as it does here and even less so out on the lake).  My friend said that the only other day that he thinks was better as far as calm water was the 4th of July.  Wind is what could have cancelled this trip.  Because the water was so calm, he was able to go fast!!  He could ride into the waves made from the ferries, his son loved that!!  If the water had been rough, we would have just passed under the bridge and then straight to the island but we were able to go all over.

We now only have a few days left of being bums and then we will be meeting up again in the classroom for our LAST semester!!!!!!

Another thing I got from yesterday - BIKING  DOESN'T HURT!!!!!!   I biked 20 miles and it doesn't make my heel hurt!!  Even when I got home after my 4.5 hour drive, my heel did not hurt.  I actually rode the bike again today - 8.5 miles. 

Runner Nerd
sailed under the Mighty Mac!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The closest I will come to a vacation this summer

Tomorrow one of my class mates, who is also my friend, is going to take me for a ride in his boat UNDER the Mackinac Bridge!!!!  I am so excited and I can't wait!!  I know it's not much but I love the Mackinac Bridge; it's about the coolest thing we have in Michigan.  We will also sail over to Mackinac Island and ride bikes around the island!  I'm really excited about that; when I was a kid growing up, my family went up there several times each summer and we rode our bikes all over the island. 
My classmate lives in the Upper Peninsula and stays at his Mother's house when we have school.  There aren't very many Respiratory Therapy programs; it's not one that is offered at every community college like Nursing, Radiography, Sonagraphy, etc.
Planning this has been quite an ordeal.  As we were nearing the end of the semester in July, I told him that I wanted to get up there and sail under the bridge.  (He invited me up during our break last summer but I didn't make it up there.)  Not only do we have to work around our schedules but, also, the weather forecast.  He likes the wind to be less than 5mph so it's not too rough out there in the middle of Lake Michigan/Lake Huron. 
Tomorrow is the day!!  The forecast looks good!  I have my bike loaded and the Jeep filled with fuel; I can't wait!!

Runner Nerd
like a kid on Christmas!! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

4 months

I will be the world's oldest college student for only 4 more months!!  I graduate 4 months from today - Dec. 15th!!!!!!!!!!  It won't come soon enough!! 
That's all! 
Runner Nerd
returning to life of being a bum for 2 more weeks

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Running in a dress!!

What???  Doesn't everyone run 5Ks dressed like this???  
In the photo above:  my friend, Erika and me getting ready for the Red Carpet Run!!  We've got our thrift store fancy dresses, plastic kids play jewelry, tiarras, sports bras and running shoes!!!  We even had a "limo" ride to the race!!  We rode with another running group member and we sat in the back seat and we made him open the doors for us!!! 
The Red carpet Run is a Wednesday evening fun 5K race.  It's theme is celebrities and the red carpet.  The start finish line is a red carpet.  Upon finishing runners receive, not a medal, but a champagne glass!!  You will see everything in this race:  evening gowns, wedding dresses, men in tux shirts with shorts, men in suits or dress shirt, jacket and tie but with shorts, even dudes wearing dresses!!!  It's so much fun.  Erika and I already have ideas for next year! 

finisher champagne glasses!!
I'm totally enjoying being a bum!!  I only have a few more weeks before school starts again.  I just keep reminding myself that it's just one more semester.
My heel continues to get better although not all healed up.  I'm just running easy in hopes of being back to normal for Key West in January.

Runner Nerd
runs in a dress