It’s amazing what a good night of sleep, a weekend of sunshine and a few pain-free runs can do for morale. Nailing my physiology quiz on Thursday didn’t hurt either! I finally feel like all of my hard work – both in training and in my studies – is starting to pay off.

Running-wise, I got my mileage back up to where I want it to be at this stage of NYC Half training – just over 37 miles, including yesterday’s awesome 14 miler in Central Park and today’s short recovery run on the East River. More importantly, I’m feeling good. I introduced speed work back into my training schedule on Tuesday and Thursday, which went relatively well. I have lost fitness in this area after taking two weeks off due to my hamstring injury, but it was still nice to pick up the pace and mix things up a bit. I won’t have time to build up my speed before the NYC Half as I had planned, particularly since I am still trying to be cautious as my hamstring continues to heal, but hopefully I can at least regain some of the speed that I lost.

I also had a really great, and long, PT session on Wednesday afternoon. She gave me so many exercises that I don’t know how it’s actually possibly to do them each day, but I’m doing my best to work in what I can. My right hamstring/inner thigh is still a tiny bit tender, particularly when I sit for long periods of time (which unfortunately is a large part of my days as I approach midterms), but I have no pain when I run, so I have definitely improved since my problem first flared up a few weeks ago. Mostly, I’m just happy that I can run normally and without discomfort. It’s such a relief. I hope this continues to be the case – it’s always a bit tricky trying to get out of that gray area of injury!

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that my return to a more normal running schedule has led to a decrease in my stress levels. I’m still a bit nervous, given that midterms start this week, but I finally feel like things are (somewhat) under control. The material I’ve been studying for my first exam, physiology, is starting to gel at last. My performance on Thursday’s quiz gave me the confidence boost I needed going into this last stretch of studying. I still have a lot of work to do, though…the material isn’t difficult, but the INSANE quantity of information that we have to memorize is challenging. Thankfully, I’m discovering that my brain DOES work after all these years out of school, and I think I can actually be as good of a student as I was in college. It may just take a few extra hours for my older brain to absorb things, that’s all!

So if I’ve been a bit silent, that is why. My weeks consist of running, eating, studying, going to class, more studying and sleeping (if I’m lucky), repeated over and over again. My first exam in eight years is on Tuesday morning – wish me luck!