This heat is killing me. I’ve lived in NYC before – I know the drill – but I wasn’t running regularly outside back then nor was I sitting in an un-airconditioned classroom for nearly six hours a day (not sure if that is better or worse than being blasted with too much AC in an office). It’s cooled off this weekend, but I know that probably won’t last for long…

I got back to NYC last Sunday, after a short but wonderful trip to California. It was a painful return, stepping out of JFK into this crazy urban sauna with a month of organic chemistry awaiting me, but I’m slowly settling into my new routine. I just hope my body can adapt to this weather! I attempted to run the day after my arrival – granted, I didn’t start until 10am, but it was brutal. I only ran 6.5M and I was a mess – at least I looked cute in my new Lululemon running skirt! I am so glad I made that purchase – it is very comfortable and lightweight, although I do look like I’m about to go play tennis…

I definitely need to get on an earlier running schedule for Chicago training, which officially begins in a couple of weeks. Fitness-wise, I am not where I had hoped I would be at this stage, having only run three days a week without any speed work at all since March, in addition to some extra pounds from recent weeks. I also don’t have the base mileage I should have going into a somewhat ambitious marathon training cycle – I am at 20-25M rather than 30-35M per week – but that’s okay. My main goal has been to run pain free and as of now my hamstring is doing well. It hurt slightly after my first attempt at speed work on Wednesday (8x1min repeats) despite my taking the pace down a few notches, but I managed to knock out a pretty solid 10.5M run at 8:37 average pace a couple days later in Central Park without any pain.

It will be pretty interesting to see how Saturday’s NYRR women’s mini-10k race goes! I haven’t raced a 10k in a very long time. It will be a great diagnostic tool, and will help me build my training program (currently I only have a skeleton of long runs plus a few races). I’m not expecting an amazing time, given how little I’ve prepared, but hopefully I won’t embarrass myself!

In terms of early morning running, I actually don’t have much choice this month, since my organic chemistry course starts at 9am up in the Bronx! That means 6am start times – yuck. This course is very intense – an entire semester’s worth of material crammed into the month of June. I suppose that’s the definition of all summer classes (this is also my first summer class). I’ve never been a chemistry fan, and the last time I actually took chemistry was in 1999, so to say that I was nervous going into it this whole thing is an understatement. So far I’m managing to hang in there (kind of) and my confidence has increased (slightly). In some ways, it’s refreshing to be problem solving rather than simply memorizing! I almost found myself enjoying it the other day, that is until I got to the much harder material and wanted to throw the book out the window.

We’ve only had two days of class so far and already we have our first of two midterms this week. I definitely haven’t been studying as much as I should be, but hopefully I’ll have a firm grasp of the material by Thursday. I made the executive decision that I need to at least have a partial social life this summer and of course still prioritize my training. Plus, the material is so dense, I feel like there’s only so much time you can actually stare at it before your brain explodes. I think I’ve done a fairly good job of maintaining balance between school, training and fun so far, and I even found some nice places to study in the sunshine that aren’t too distracting. Sleep has been suffering though…I need to work on that.

In other news, I FINALLY got a hospital volunteer position! I have been persistently calling various NYC hospitals since early April, and it was becoming a discouraging process (programs already full, no one returning calls/emails etc). I realize now that it’s just how it goes with hospitals – everyone is so busy and there are so many forms and rules to follow, and things take awhile to process as a result. I was relieved when the manager of Clinical Nutrition and Patient Services at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center called me in to interview last week. It went very well and I was offered the position on the spot – I start on July 2nd (four hours every Monday), or as soon as I am medically cleared. Very excited!

And last but not least, a quick announcement: my coaching gig with Gilda’s Club NYC will be starting soon (our first meeting is in June, first run in early July) and the team still has about ten spots open. If you or anyone you know would like to run the NYC Marathon and raise $3,000 for a great charity, please let me know and I will give you all the details!

Have a great Sunday! As for me, time to hit the books…my head hurts just thinking about it!!