Sunday, June 30, 2013

Another Year Bites the Dust

What is the importance of today - June 30th, 2013?  It marks my last day as a PGY-2 ortho resident.  Tomorrow marks day one as a PGY-3.  Two years down, 3 years to go.  Enough about work, let's looks at some recent eats.
Spinach salad with avocado and fresh-from-the-garden strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber.

Tempeh tacos with cucumber salsa and coconut roasted squash

A reward for finishing a post-call interval run
Luna's Gateway to Green
Pesticide-Free and NC locally Grown Kale, Granny Smith Apple, Orange, Lemon, and Ginger
Friday night I celebrated the end of two months of trauma with Yelp's Charlotte Rock City Party at The Fillmore.  The spread of food from local restaurants (505e, Libretto's, Cast Iron Waffles, Crunch, Local Loaf, Mama Fu's, Orman's Cheese Shop, The Pizza Peel, The Flying Biscuit, and Three Amigos) was delicious.

In addition, drinks were flowing and music kept the party lively.  The Fillmore was packed for the Friday evening "Rock City" party.  This was my first Yelp event, and I look forward to many more in the future.

Both Saturday and Sunday I enjoyed a wonderful night's rest and casual wake-ups sans alarm clock.  Nothing beats a lazy morning in bed without any rush to get up and go.  Saturday, however, I was motivated to squeeze in a run before the sun came out in full force.  I took my favorite 8 mile loop through South Park and Myers Park before heading back to the house.

Post-run nourishment included a green smoothie while glancing through the Peachtree Road Race magazine.  T-minus 4 days until I'll be running down Peachtree with 55,000 of my best friends.  It's by far my favorite race quite simply due to the size, street-fair like atmosphere, and the fact it's an annual family tradition.

Our residency is in the process of growing by leaps and bounds, though not in the number of residents, but rather in BABIES!  This weekend we had a shower for a group of the soon-to-be moms.

The hosts threw a "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" themed shower, complete with a formal afternoon tea.  They did a fantastic job decorating and building a menu of little bites.

After being on the go for most of Saturday, I knew laziness would be the theme for Sunday.  I started the day by making a fresh cup of Kona Coffee.  Dad and Mom brought the macadamia flavored grounds straight from the islands.  There is no better bean that authentic Kona coffee - smooth and absolutely  no bitterness at all.

And, of course, I enjoyed a pancake breakfast while catching up on the news with the Today Show.

Eventually I dragged myself out of the cozy chair and knocked out a 90 minute threshold bike workout.  Tomorrow I start two months of hand surgery, so the remainder of the day was spent reading and reviewing hand anatomy.  I have lots to learn!  Last, but not least, dinner.  Tonight's plating was roasted sweet and purple potatoes, "cheesy" collard greens, and avocado.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tri Latta 2013

June 15, 2013
Charlotte, NC

750m swim, 17 mile bike, 5k run

Swim: 14:29  (1:55/100m)
T1: 2:10
Bike: 48:59 (20.8mph)
T2: 1:51
Run: 21:49 (7:02/mi)

Finish: 1:29:17
6th OA Female (194) and 1st AG 25-29 (20)

PRE-RACE: Training has not exactly gone according to plan over the last week due to work and inclement weather.  Prior to race day, I had only managed 3 hours of workouts during the previous five days.  Usually my race week is swim heavy, but severe afternoon thunderstorms two different nights forced the closure of the pool - and thus not a single swim for more than a week.  Friday night I picked up a salad from Earth Fare on the way home and enjoyed it on the deck watching the sunset.

Saturday came far too early with a rather harsh alarm clock.  A 6:30am race start and 30 minute drive translated to a 4:15am rise and shine.  I have always enjoyed Set Up Events' races due to their extreme organization and detailed race day logistics.  However, they really missed the boat on one particular detail this year.  How many port-a-johns are necessary for 533 racers?  Does five sound about right?  I think not!  So, after spending far too long in the bathroom line, I made a very quick dash to get body marked and set up transition before making my way to the water.

SWIM: I fully intended to race the open category this year, yet somehow during the registration process I missed that option and found myself registered age-group.  I started in wave five, sixteen minutes after the first group.  Evidently the swim buoys weren't anchored, because they were rapidly drifting and what was supposed to be a rectangle turned into a random zig-zag of floats when my wave started.  There's no telling how far we swam (I'm guessing a a tad long given my slow time).  I'm consistently getting better about sprinting at the start and succeeded in finding clear water within the first 100m.  On the turn back towards shore I spent time trying to swim over and around the men from the earlier wave, so that slowed me down.  Otherwise, it was a decent swim.
12th / 194 Overall
2nd / 20 Age-Group

BIKE:  As I mentioned last year, the tough part of this course is the two miles on poorly paved and speed-bump ridden roads exiting and returning to the Latta Plantation.  Aside from that it's gently rolling hills without any major climbs.  Nothing too remarkable to mention about this leg aside from how smoothly my bike raced thanks to a little love from Curtis at Cannon Cyclery last week.
11th / 194 Overall
1st / 20 Age-Group

RUN: The 5k run is on a gravel packed trail that is littered with tree roots and lots of quick ascents and descents.  To add a little extra fun, there are three switch backs that are awkwardly placed in downhill sections.  The benefit to that design, however, is that you can monitor the proximity of your competition.  That drive allowed me to pass two women over the first two miles and run as hard as possible to prevent being passed from a surging woman from behind.  I had no idea where I was with respect to the open women since they had a sixteen minute earlier start, so I tried to lay it all on the line during the last mile in hopes of working my way up overall results.  My mile splits were consistent in the 7:0x range and heart rate steady in the upper 170s and maxing out at 182.
6th / 194 Overall
1st / 20 Age Group

POST-RACE:  After walking around for a bit to cool-down and stretch, I wandered through the food and drink.  While many people went straight for the beer tent, I opted for some orange slices from Earth Fare and bread from Great Harvest.

Results were scrolling on a computer screen and I was pleased with my overall finish.  Had I raced open, I would have been 3rd.  I can't help but wonder how much faster I may have been by starting with the fastest women and racing to stay in their sights the whole race.

Post-race I recovered with a masala chai latte from Not Just Coffee's newest location in Atherton Mill.  SO GOOD!

The remainder of the weekend featured cleaning house, our program's chief roast party, working, studying, a recovery swim, soaking up some sun, and then making a nice Sunday dinner (finally a meal that took some effort and more than five minutes!).  

Oh, and because it's now Sunday - HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DAD!!  I can't imagine my life without your loving support and enthusiasm for your "favorite daughter."

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Short, Yet Sweet

Leaving work on Friday morning I was smiling ear to ear - GOOD-BYE NIGHT FLOAT!  I'll be back for an entire month of nights in November, but until then, I'm back to living in the daylight.

Rather than spend a weekend here in Charlotte being lazy and probably sleeping more than necessary, I opted to make a short trip down the road to the ATL.  Since Father's Day is next weekend and I'll be here doing some racing and working, this weekend was the perfect time to make a little surprise trip home.  Bailey's crazy barking prevented my stealth approach, but Dad was still sufficiently surprised.

I've been anxiously awaiting the opening of the Cherokee Aquatic Center since it was first discussed a few years ago.  Finally, it has recently opened, and so I made the quick drive just down the road to check it out. Not only is the facility incredible and far superior to the dungeon-like Woodstock Aquatic Center, but it's currently long-course meters.  I had nearly the entire pool to myself and the 3000 meters flew by.

There's nothing better than home-cooked meals!  Mom prepared a great vegetarian stir fry with brown rice.  After three weeks of toast, peanut butter, sweet potatoes, and an occasional salad, my stomach was very happy to have a real meal.

Saturday morning the smell of fresh-from-Hawaii coffee woke me from my slumber.  I'm no coffee connoisseur, but Kona Joe coffee is definitely the best I've ever tasted.

Sufficiently caffeinated, it was time to get down to business and knock out a bike + run.  Bailey decided she needed some exercise as well and hit the treadmill for a short run.  Tri Latta is just a week away, and I can only hope that race goes better than my Saturday workout.  I'm blaming on the sleep deprivation and miserable humidity.

Saturday  night we joined nearly the entire city of Woodstock for a 70s concert by Yacht Rock Revue.  Although it's not quite the music of my generation, the band was good and had the crowd energized.  I, however, seemed to miss the infusion of energy, and instead accomplished the feat of sleeping through a rock concert.  What can I say . . . that takes talent!

Sunday morning Royce and I arranged to take Dad out for a Father's Day brunch (one week early).  I had heard several great reviews of Local Three, so we opted to check out their brunch.  If you live in the Atlanta area, you MUST go check out Local Three.  Their Sunday brunch is served straight from a buffet line in the kitchen, giving you a unique behind the scenes glimpse at the chefs preparing the dishes as you fill your plate.  I'm not a frequent bruncher, but this was a stellar meal, with a great ambiance, and very reasonably priced.

Plate #1
Corn bread with apricot jam, mixed greens, fig and ricotta crostini,
mac and cheese, shrimp and grits, black eyed pea  + greens soup
Happy Father's Day Dad!

Plate #2
French toast with strawberries, scrambled eggs, bacon, Elvis pancake (banana chocolate chip with
peanut butter sauce and caramelized bacon), spinach and cheese panini, cauliflower quiche,
seasoned potatoes, and roasted ham with sweet potatoes, carrots, and green beans.
Now that I was stuffed to the gills, it came time to say good-bye to the whole family and hit the road back to Charlotte.

The drive home was a weather nightmare.  Just north of Greenville there was a torrential downpour, and as if that weren't enough of a challenge, as I made my way through Spartanburg, I was greeted with a hail storm.  Despite dodging cars and trucks stopped in the  middle of the highway, I escaped the madness and was happily greeted by sunshine as I crossed into North Carolina.

My final weekend activity was a trip to Taste of Charlotte.  Along with Taste of the Nation, I try to make these two local foodie festivals an annual event.  The street fair features samples from more than thirty local casual restaurants.  Last year I enjoyed a casual afternoon wandering through all of the booths.  This year, however, I arrived to threatening skies and escalating winds.  Having scoped out the restaurants online, I made quick work of gathering the plates that I was most excited to try.  The rain quickly changed from sprinkle to heavy raindrops and so I opted to grab things to-go.

Zizi's Vegan: Organic Quino Salad
Polka Dot Bake Shop: Strawberry cupcake with lemon icing

Mellow Mushroom: Kosmic Karma Pizza
Red sauce base with feta and mozzarella cheeses, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes,
 and Roma tomatoes with a pesto swirl.
Newk's Favorite Salad: mixed greens, grilled chicken breast, gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries, grapes, artichoke hearts, pecans and croutons tossed with Newk’s sherry vinaigrette

Caffe Siena: Sea Bass Cake with Chipotle Slaw

Woodland's Indian Cuisine:  Vegetable Biryani with Chana Masala 
Don't those dishes look delicious?!  I was impressed that there seemed to be more vegetarian options this year and hope that is a trend which continues.  Although the rain put a damper on the festival, it certainly won't keep me away year after year.  If you live in Charlotte and haven't ventured in to Uptown to explore the Taste of Charlotte, be sure to add it to your calendar for June 2014!

And that sums up my weekend . . . far too short, yet packed with fun, family, and food!  Here's to hoping this week is a great one!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Floating Thru Nights

Have you noticed the blog silence recently?  Two weeks have passed without a peep.  In typical fashion, my absence directly correlates with longer hours at the hospital.  For the past two weeks I'm been in vampire land - aka night float.  I've written about night float in the past, but essentially one junior resident is responsible for all of the inpatient ortho patients as well as seeing consults.  The last time I was that lucky person was in November, and overall it was a fairly quiet two weeks.  I spent the majority of the nights curled up in the fetal position feeling as though I was dying from the flu.  This time around summer weather has arrived, which translates to very busy nights.

I am  by far a day-time person.  Anyone who knows me well understands that I'm an early rising, 5am workout loving, seize the day, morning latte sipping, generally cheerful girl who isn't ashamed of her 9pm week night bedtimes.  It's pretty much a guarantee that I'm asleep within just a few minutes of my head hitting the pillow.  Night float, however, pretty much turns my world upside down.  Suddenly I'm working 15 hour stretches overnight and then trying to cram sleep and workouts into the remaining 9 hours of the day.

I've tried to remain committed to my workouts despite the flipped schedule and so far that's worked out pretty well - fitting in the swim/bike/run either immediately when I get off in the morning or mid-afternoon before I head to work.  Sleep on the other hand has been a struggle.  I have no trouble falling asleep, but staying asleep in the brightness of day is a challenge.  Despite "black out curtains" (a complete scam!), ear plugs, and an eye cover, there's no fooling this girl.  As week two of nights came to a close, I'm finally making progress - now sleeping until about 2:30ish rather than noon.  Maybe I'm capable of being a night owl after all . . . NO THANK YOU!

Enough rambling - my brain is too fuzzy for that.  Here are just a few thoughts I'll share from the past two weeks:

Owning a motorcycle is the equivalent of making a death wish.  I've seen farm too many life-altering traumas this week resulting from the two-wheeled machine.  Of course it doesn't help that people try to operate them either drunk or stoned out of their mind.

"Cool beans" is probably not the appropriate response when you page me at 3am to ask me if a patient can take their home multi-vitamin and I give you a frustrated response.  I'm pretty sure the patient is probably sound asleep and not too concerned about their recommended daily allowances of B12 and calcium right at that particular moment.

My normally ravenous hunger completely disappears when working nights.  I eat because I know I need to, but the stomach growling and love for my next meal just simply isn't there.  "Breakfast" when I wake up in the afternoons is usually a piece of peanut butter toast or smoothie which I force down.  "Lunch" is whatever the hospital specialty is at 1am (i.e. nothing good or worthy of consumption).  My second "breakfast" before heading home in the mornings is some cereal or yogurt and fruit.  Exciting, right?  My refrigerator is almost bare with the exception of some eggs, a couple apples, a bag of carrots, and some almond milk.

Boy am I glad the weekend has arrived!  Last Friday night I passed out at 10:30pm and didn't wake up until 11am Saturday.  This is coming from a girl who has probably never slept in later than 9:30am in my entire life!  Hopefully this weekend I can catch up on sleep, yet avoid sleeping the whole weekend away.  I've been planning some fun into the weekends, including a co-resident's wedding, a work party at Cantina 1511, and a baby shower.

Today and tomorrow I plan to soak up the early summer sunshine and find the motivation to power through some workouts.  My next race is just two weeks away - Tri Latta.  And then of course there is an essay I have to write about my individual ability to impact the financial conundrums facing the healthcare industry - a response to "The Bitter Pill" that Times Magazine published several months ago.  Sounds riveting, right?  Pretty sure that is a hopeless cause . . . both the paper and the healthcare crisis, that is.