Little Kiddie Music Time

Happy Wednesday!

On Wednesdays, I open the clinic at 8am, work in the office until class at 10:30am (pediatric aural rehab), and then I see patients in the audiology clinic from 1-4pm.There are four of us in my aural rehab class, and today we each gave a presentation on a different intervention program we were assigned to.  Mine was called TuneUps: a program created by SLP Amy McConkey Robbins and music therapist Chris Barton that helps children develop language through music.  It comes with a CD of super cute songs with kid-friendly themes (e.g. pizza, dinosaurs) that encourages interaction and communication.  Some tracks introduce different instruments, and other tracks are fun songs that can easily be adapted to fit the learning and communication needs of a wide variety of kids. I had a blast presenting it to my classmates!

Before I decided to go into audiology, I was a music major and my dream job was to teach kindergarten music.  I love little kiddie silly songs, and there is a surpringly large amount of learning material from a simple song: teaching turn-taking, facial and bodily expression, listening and auditory skills, literacy, etc.  My mom is a kindergarten teacher who incorporates a lot of music into the classroom, and I think it’s awesome.

What wasn’t awesome was that all of my patients cancelled this afternoon in clinic!  On the bright side, my supervisor and I made great use of that gift of time: she made up pretend patients, and we role-played through different scenarios.  It was a very beneficial way to spend my afternoon.

Then I spent a few quality hours with my AEP (auditory evoked potentials) notes and THIS:
My New Year’s Resolution of LessPop2013 fell into a ditch last week.  Sometimes I just need a little study present.  We have a quiz in AEP tomorrow and an exam in AEP on Friday.  Coke Zero and I were busy gearing up for it.

I was able to spend some time with Ryan today too, which is always a good thing!  He made us a rice, TVP, & mixed veggie combination for dinner and had the genius idea to add in peanut butter.  It. was. so. good.


Monday: Run/Strength Circuit

Tuesday: 7 miles (2, 5 @ tempo pace).  The weather was pretty miserable when I woke up–sleety, slippery rain–so it took a little extra “oomph” to go to the gym instead of cozying up with some coffee and my aural rehab presentation for Wednesday (that I hadn’t started  yet).
When I got to the rec center, I ran a slow two miles on the indoor track and planned to kick mile 3 into gear to do mile repeats.  Mile 3 came and went at a less-than-ideal speedwork pace, so I turned today into tempo run day.

Wednesday: Rest!

The running plan for this weekend is…22 miles.  Gulp.  Depending on my stress level and the weather, I may push this off until spring break.  We’ll see.


Week Seven

Holy cow!  Busy busy.

My week in fitness:

Last Sunday was a well-deserved rest day after Saturday’s 20-miler.  I was a little sore but not in pain.  I updated my marathon training plan with new long run goals because I hadn’t been following my old schedule at all.  I would like to build up to 24 or 25 miles before the marathon, so my new plan alternates between two long run weeks and one medium run at a faster/tempo pace.  Here it is!

Monday: Run/Strength Circuit (similar to what I’ve been doing the past few weeks).  This was pretty tough after Saturday’s big run, so I took the leg work (lunges & squats) gently.

Tuesday: 65 minute AMT.  Tuesday is loosely reserved for speedwork (or Speed Lite, as my dad termed speedwork that is relatively easy), but I wasn’t in the mood.  Instead, I rocked out to music (my ipod playlist that hasn’t been updated in two years) and had a sweaty AMT workout.

Wednesday: Rest.  The return of Restday Wednesday!  I thought about getting up at 5am to run before school, but then I laughed and set my alarm for 6am.  Right now, sleep wins.

Thursday: Run/Strength Circuit (the same as Monday).

Friday: 20 minute AMT.  I usually go to the rec center at 6:30am before classes, but today I had to be at school extra early for clinic, so I wasn’t able to work out before school.  I went to school early to observe OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health) hearing assessments because I will be part of the testing next year, and it was a neat experience.   A full diagnostic hearing assessment is typically allotted two hours, but the OSHA test battery is condensed, and six patients are scheduled per half hour!  Talk about being on the go!
Anyway, Ryan and I had plans for a “workout and smoothie date” after classes.  I headed to the AMT and he went to play basketball, but soon I saw him across the gym…hobbling.  Unfortunately, there was a person-to-knee collision that left Ryan’s left knee in rough shape.  (We got it checked out, and it is an MCL sprain.  Ryan’s sporting a giant knee brace and a pair of crutches–size extra extra tall–and he is handling this injury like a champion!  I would have been a big baby, but he hasn’t complained once.)  We spent the rest of Friday evening with an ice pack (frozen spinach), an entire frozen pizza, s’more ingredients, and our friends from The Big Bang Theory.

Saturday: 7 miles (2, 3 x 1, 2).  Speed Lite!  I did this on the indoor track at 5:30pm, and my speed miles were about 7:20-:30.

Before the workout and after the trip to the ER for Ryan’s knee casualty, Andrea and I spent a large chunk of Saturday working on our AEP lab and our hearing aids lab.  I’m glad our schedules coordinated so nicely to get two big assignments off the ground!

Ryan and I had a dinner picnic of spaghetti squash and cheese tortillini on my floor on Saturday night.  His ice pack was promoted from a bag of frozen spinach to a legitimate hospital ice pack:

Sunday: 11 miles (1:38; averaged 8:40-8:50 pace).  It was sunny and mild outside, but I wasn’t feeling this run.  I guess they can’t all be winners.

Up next: Week 8.  My last week of pediatric aural rehab class (sad because I like the material; happy because I want the time).  Here we go!

20 Miles and More Brain Waves

Happy Sunday to all!  I’m enjoying this morning with coffee, power oats (peanut butter, banana, & pumpkin today), and an interesting article on intervention for children with bilateral cochlear implants for my pediatric aural rehabilitation class.

I’ll start with a little fitness fun.

Thursday: Run/Strength Circuit.  I warmed up with half a mile on the indoor track before completing:
5 x (30 lunges/leg, 25 push ups, 30 bicycle crunches, 20 leg lifts, 25 tri dips, 50 squats, 1 min plank).
I ran 2-3 minutes between each circuit to give my body a rest.  It was a great workout!  The lunges always seem like the hardest part, but my arms were especially feeling the push ups this time.

Friday: 65 minute elliptical, 8 min abs.  I opted for the elliptical instead of doing a tempo run because I didn’t really feel like doing a tempo run.  Lame excuse, but I am saving up my limited ambition for school assignments at this point.  Plus, Saturday is long run day and I wanted to have somewhat fresh legs for it (this is a reminder to myself that I need to revamp my running schedule to not have a tempo and a long run on successive days.  Terrible idea!)

Saturday: 20 mile run!  Let’s start by saying that I was 90% sure I wouldn’t make it this far.  My goal was double digits.  Lately, my mind has been racing with to do lists, and the thought of devoting 3 hours to something unrelated to school made me feel guilty.
Why I ran 20 miles, in a nutshell:
I ventured outside after a productive morning full of aural rehabilitation and planned to run 12 miles (12 miles= enought to consider it a long run, but too short to drain my day).  However, in the back of my head, I thought 20 miles would be a logical mileage step after last week’s 17…plus, I secretely liked the thrill of the mental and physical exhaustion of running 20 miles.

Anyway, 8 miles into my run, an older-male runner passed me from behind.
This runner was legit: Quick pace, flourescent jacket, and a head buff (you know, the combination hat + neckwarmer.  In my mind, if you own a head buff, you are a runner runner.  My dad owns a head buff.  I do not.)
Our conversation:

Runner with buff: How’s your run?
Me: Pretty good.  How’s yours? Training for something?
Him: Good.  I’m training for a 100-miler in June.  Today is a 30 miles.  How far are you going?
Me: 20.

Then I had to.

Overall, the run went well.  I didn’t bring any water or fuel with me, but I ran a series of small loops that brought me back to my car several times for water and snacks.  Nothing hurt, and I felt pretty good throughout the entire run.  I averaged an 8:40-8:50 pace.

In other news, school is crazy!  We have a lab for AEP (Auditory Evoked Potentials) where we have to collect data from 4 ears (two people), and each ear takes about 2 hours.  Eight.  EIGHT hours of trying to coordinate schedules with the rest of the class to use the ABR room, and only after clinic hours.  Lauren and I tested eachother on Friday afternoon, and we were there until midnight.  Here’s a visual:

The tester measures brain waves on the computer screen, and the subject sits on a reclining chair in the test booth, attached to electrodes and insert earphones.  The subject needs to be as still as possible, with her eyes closed.  Let me tell you, that is painful to do for four straight hours.

We took a break at 8pm to inhale the largest, greasiest slices of pizza that have ever met my face.  Neither of had been back to our apartment since that morning (I walked to school and she took the bus), so we didn’t have a car.  Ryan’s kind soul came to pick us up.  Lauren and I may have gone crazy.
Ryan got to sit in the booth and play statue on Saturday night…for four hours.  That lucky guy.

Spring break WILL COME.

Happy birthday to the bro

Happy birthday to the adorable little boy below:
My little brother is nineteen today. Wow!
My older sister is on the left with the stick-on earrings, and I’m on the right with the clip-on earrings.

Tuesday: 7 miles total (3 slow, 3 @ 7:25 pace)
.  I did this run on the indoor track at the rec center at 6:30am.  I meant to warm up with 2 miles, but I had a really rough time getting started.  I was really hot, and my stomach was kind of upset from the bagel with peanut butter I ate beforehand.  After a slow 3 miles, I was able to get into a groove, and the faster miles were very manageable.

Wednesday: Confession: Today was not Restday Wednesday.  I got up at 5am and went for a run.  I’ve been feeling really stressed from school lately, and for some reason I’ve been constantly anxious…like I’m forgetting something important or I’m not studying hard enough.  There’s is a lot of information to know, and I’m worried that I won’t know it all or won’t remember it when I need to.  Anyway, this stress is creating a pressure buildup inside of me, and running helps to forget about it.  I ran a slow 6.5 this morning.

Closing thoughts: I heard the phrase “Beat me with a wet noodle” today for the first time.  Um, what?

Feb 11

After Saturday’s stress free day with a great long run, Sunday was a stress-ful day with no run or workout.  One of those days sounds a whole heck of a lot more appealing than the other.  I’ll let you be the judge.

After my parents left on Saturday, Ryan and I thought about going grocery shopping, but I was literally so tired that all I wanted to do was lay on the floor and watch tv forever.  We turned on The Big Bang Theory, cooked a box of pasta with a bunch of frozen vegetables and two sweet potatoes added in, and zoned out in front of the tv.  We never really watch tv, so this was a rare occasion.

I slept like a baby on Saturday night and woke up at 4:45am on Sunday starving, so I got up and ate a bowl of leftover pasta and a PB&J sandwich.  I tried to go back to sleep, but five minutes later I was back in the kitchen for a bowl of power cereal (cereal with walnuts and milk).  By that time, I was wide awake and feeling a little overwhelmed with school work–I’m not sure if this happens to anyone else, but I feel guilty when I’m laying in bed and have a lot of work to do–so I brought my books to the kitchen table and got to work.  I had a crazy productive 3 hours of work from 5am-8am before church and read five articles/chapters for Pediatric Aural Rehab!

After church & grocery shopping, I sat on my bed for the rest of the day and did more work.  I also got up every probably 30 minutes for a snack…I blame Saturday’s run for eating like a garbage disposal.

My body wasn’t sore (well it was after so much sitting), but my left achilles didn’t feel quite recovered, so a rest day was probably for the best.

Monday Fitness
Strength circuit!  A ran a few laps around the indoor track and completed 5 circuits (lunges, pushups, ab moves, tri dips, planks, squats).  I try to do a similar workout twice a week, and I’m really coming to enjoy it.  I used to be “all run, no strength” because I didn’t like strength training, but I know that bodyweight moves like these will help keep me healthy as a runner.

Our first exam in Hearing Aids is tomorrow.  Here we go!

Seventeen Miles

I ran 17 miles today, and it felt awesome.

Today was a stress-free, no school day.  My parents drove up for a belated birthday visit, so I got my run in before their arrival at noon.  I wasn’t quite sure how far I was going to run (I was hoping for at least 15), but once I got into a groove, 17 miles went by pretty quickly.  The temperature was in the mid-30s with the sun shining.  I didn’t bring any water with me, but I stuck a water bottle on the back of my car and stopped for a drink at mile 11–for the sake of laziness, I don’t think I fuel properly for long runs.  I find hydration belts to be annoying, so I only carry mine when I really have to.  I enjoyed the run at a relaxed pace, and my body felt strong–my left achilles was a tad bit sore toward the end, and it continued to be sore throughout the rest of the day (I definitely won’t run tomorrow).

When my mom and dad arrived, they took Ryan and I out to lunch, and then Ryan and I gave my parents a tour of the rec center (I’ve been raving about it to my dad all semester.  He was impressed).  The four of us spent the rest of the afternoon playing cards and snacking on the peanut butter brownies Ryan and I made last  night (brownie mix with appropriate ingredients + peanut butter + peanut butter chocolate protein powder + Reece pieces = SO good).

Aside from using this awesome new ear model from my mom to explain how sound works, I took a much-needed mental break from audiology today.

It’s [already] to the point in the semester where I need a break.  Friday was a rough day, and I’m very overwhelmed by everything that I need to know.  I think it’s normal to feel stressed, discouraged, and demoralized in graduate school, but it’s still an uncomfortable feeling.  The bright side: I will graduate eventually!