First, a little background about me. I’m a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering (ME), focusing on bioengineering. I finished my Master’s Degree in the summer of 2014, so I am officially a PhD student (yay….kinda!). It’s a lot of work, but my focus is really interesting–it’s an interdisciplinary project between ME and Health and Kinesiology. It’s fun to be merging two departments because I learn so much, and I get to interact with lots of unique students and faculty.
In addition to the academic part of my life, I also enjoy athletics. In high school I was a three season athlete: soccer, swimming/diving, and track. When I got into college, I still swam every once in awhile, but for the most part I wasn’t working out very much. This left me mentally and physically unhappy! After graduating in May 2011, I moved to Chicago and started biking everywhere. This jump-started my exercise routine, and the following spring, I began running. I had always sworn that I was not cut out for distance running–I have a long torso but short legs (a swimmer’s build! Watch this interesting TED Talk about ideal body types for various sports), but I kept at it. For the first year I ran sporadically, until I decided to sign up for a 10k in the summer of 2013. I followed a training plan for this, and finally started to enjoy running. After completing the 10k, I immediately signed up for a half marathon, scheduled for November. Here I am before the half, feeling cold and nervous.
|Me before my first half marathon in November 2013|
The half went really well (as in, I enjoyed it, not that my time was super awesome, ha) and I decided that maybe I actually liked this whole running thing. In 2014, in addition to some 5k and 10k races, I participated in a Ragnar Race. This was a relay race from Madison, Wisconsin to Chicago, Illinois, with 12 people per team. Each person runs three separate legs. The running never stops, so there is a good chance at least one of your legs will be in the dark! My legs totaled just over 16 miles. It was hard (recovery doesn’t happen well when you stop running and immediately go sit in a van for the next 5 hours), but it was a ton of fun. My team was awesome, and I enjoyed participating in a unique running experience.
|Our Ragnar Crew in front of our sweet van|
In 2014, I ran another half, the same one from 2013, the Monumental Half. I went slightly slower than 2013, but it was fun because my husband ran with me. Which reminds me of something I forget to mention–I’m married! 🙂 My husband is also a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering; this is great because we both have someone who understands the struggles of grad school. He’s the smartest, most capable person I know, and I feel lucky to have him by my side; I’ll mostly refer to him as D in my posts. We got married in November of 2012.
|Immediately after we had walked out of the church|
Since then I’ve done two other half marathons (another Monumental and the Indy-Mini), several triathlons (all sprint distance), and in general have just continued running. This fall, I’m tackling a new challenge by participating in the Chicago Marathon. I’m simultaneously excited and terrified!
That covers the basics about me! I hope for this blog to be a space to talk about trudging through grad school, running, cycling, and other components in the life of a twenty-something girl! I hope you’ll stick around. 🙂