Half-Marathon Training: Wk 7

Seventh week of training is complete!

So without a doubt this week was definitely tough for me. Not only did the weather not cooperate with my plans but I had so many events going on this week that it was practically impossible for me to get much exercise into my schedule. I would say that it was a disappointing week but I did have my longest run. Honestly it was a fantastic week because that long run felt so good that I cannot be disappointed.

Anyway here is how my very short training week looked like:

Monday– Run 3.15 miles

After lab I went for a three mile run around the neighborhood. It was such a good run. I started out a bit fast but I quickly made the adjustment so that I would not burn out too early. My average pace for the run was 8’42” which is my fastest 5K thus far. It is a sign that my training is going well and that I am working hard.

Tuesday- Thursday– Rest Day

As mentioned earlier I had many social events/school events that it made it very tough to schedule my runs. Additionally, the northeast was hit with a huge wave of rain that made it difficult to run outside.

Friday– Run 8.09 miles

After having a pretty uneventful workweek I decided to go on a long run. I decided that I would not check my Garmin until after my first mile. I wanted to find a pace that I was comfortable with that I felt that I could sustain for a while. My first mile ended up being 9’00”, which is pretty fast for me. I was a bit surprised because I was not huffing and puffing so I decided to keep the pace the same for the rest of the run. My average pace for the entire run ended up being 9’08”, which I am very proud of because I feel that I have come so far. It is runs like these that motivate me during my speed runs.

A side note about this run is that I decided to tryout a new running route about two miles into my run. I thought I would follow this road to the end and then just head back around to my usual route in order to add about a mile to my long run (so 7 miles instead of 6 miles like last week). Anyway, about 3 miles into my run I was pretty sure I was lost. I had no idea where I was but I guess I have a good internal compass because miraculously I found my way back without simply turning around. I guess I was a bit stubborn because it would have been simpler to just turn around. Anyway, next time I am going to be more careful and perhaps look up a route before heading out when I go for another long run.

Saturday- Sunday– Rest Day

Overall I wish I could have had more running days, at least two more, but it was not possible this week. I am definitely going to run more next week and I really need to consider running on the treadmill on weeks where there is so much rain. I don’t like it very much but if I really want to push myself further in my training I might have to hit the gym a couple of times.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope to have better news next week!

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Half-Marathon Training: Wk 6

Sixth week of training is complete! I can’t believe that I am saying that! 

Months ago I was busy studying for one of the most important exams of my life (USMLE Step 1), hardly taking care of myself physically. Now months later I feel absolutely incredible. I am very happy with my decision to come up with a challenging goal to get myself back into running, exercising and just better overall health. At first I was a bit nervous about how attainable it would be to run my very first half-marathon. I had never ran one before and my longest distance had been a little over 8 miles. This time around I was practically starting from scratch, without building up my milage. I have been taking my training one step at a time. Now six weeks later I can say that I am very proud of how far I have come in my training. I am working hard and I so happy at just the thought of running. At the end of my work day in lab I look forward to lacing up my sneakers and heading out for a run.

If you have been keeping up with my training you may know that last week I found out that my half-marathon race had been canceled. It was such a bummer that I thought it might affect my training. Despite the upsetting news I perservered and kept pushing myself further this week. Also, I signed up for a new half-marathon. It turns out that there are far less half-marathons in the fall, especially around October and November (at least in my area in New York). At last I found one that seemed to fit all my needs as a newbie. It is six weeks earlier than my original race but because I have been doing really well with my training, I am confident that I will be prepared by race day! I have 20 weeks of training to go!

Here is how my training looked like this week. I did one cross training workout but I am hoping to do more next week.

Monday– Run 5.25 miles

After lab I went for a five mile run around the neighborhood. Since I went on a longer run than usual, I decided to try out a new running path around my neighborhood. I am the kind of person who really dislikes looking at the same place too many times. My average pace for this run was 9’32”.

Tuesday– Run 3.2 miles

I was really busy at work and got out later than I had planned so I went on a quick three mile run around my usual route. It was a little faster than usual since my pace was 8’48”. Not bad, right?

Wednesday– Rest Day

Planned rest day!

Thursday– Run 1.17 miles

Today was definitely the low point of the week. I went out for a late lunch with a friend and I guess I did not wait enough time between my meal and my run because I started to feel stomach cramps literally a couple of meters into my run. I tried to fight it off but it was a no no. Lesson learned! Once I got home I did a quick 15 minute NTC workout that was recommended by my NRC app.

Friday– Run 6.62 miles

After having a horrible running day on Thursday I was motivated to push myself further today. My realistic goal was to run 5 miles but my actual goal was to run 6.2 miles. So again I put on my running shoes and hit the pavement. It was a beautiful day outside, which made it easy to enjoy my run. I started along my usual route and then headed towards a new route that I had never gone through before. About three miles into my run I ran into dog. Many neighbors don’t push leashes on their dogs, which I guess is fine if they are well trained, but this dog came charging at me. I got a little nervous and just stopped running. It was a pretty large dog and I got a little startled until I realized that it just wanted to play. I started to pet the dog for a bit until its owner appeared. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful. Overall it was a great run and I actually kept a very steady pace, my average pace was 9’33”. This run has definitely given me confidence in myself.

Saturday– Rest Day

Planned rest day!

Sunday– 2 miles

It was a bit cloudy/rainy today but I went out with a friend to do a two mile run. It actually felt pretty nice because it was misting at that time. Our average pace was 9’12”.

 

Overall I could not be happier with my training this week. I went for my longest run yet and I finally found a new half-marathon race! Everything is going well!

Half-Marathon Training: Wk 5

Fifth week of training is complete. Again, I am posting this a bit late or maybe my new normal. I just get so busy on the weekend that I have a hard time finding free time to write. Anyway here it is!

MAJOR UPDATE:

So if you have been reading these posts for the past few weeks you know that I have registered for a race in November. I registered for the Queens half-marathon. Anyway, I have been very strategic about my training because prior to registering for the race I was pretty much a couch potato due to being in medical school. So more like a library potato. Anyway, after studying pretty intensely for the past almost two years of medical school, I decided to really dedicate more time to the things that bring me joy outside of school. Running is one of them and I had always wanted to run a half-marathon, and came close to it, but I let school get in the way. Anyway, I was so excited when I registered for this race because it became real. My goal felt more real and I felt like it was attainable since I gave myself plenty of time (over six months). Anyway, I received an email at the end of last week that my race had been canceled. I was completely devastated. I thought I was doing everything possible to keep up with my training, despite my busy schedule, and I never thought that my event would be canceled. It is what it is I guess. Now I am searching for another half-marathon. I know that the Brooklyn Half is around the same time, but I am the kind of person who doesn’t really enjoy doing laps of the same area and the Brooklyn Half is in prospect park where you have four loops. Ugh. I am not sure what to do. I need to find a race soon before prices go up. If you have any suggestions of half-marathons in the NYC area, please let me know!!!

Here is how my training schedule looked like for this week. It was a bit lighter because of school work and fun events in my personal life. No cross training this week, which I hope to change next week!

Monday– 2 Mile Run

I decided to start the week with an easy pace two mile run with my friend. It was a good run although we did go slower than my usual easy pace, which I tried not to let it bother me too much.

Tuesday– Run 5 miles

The day prior I felt that I did not push myself enough and therefore I decided to do my long run on Tuesday. Last week my longest run was four miles and I felt that I was ready to push myself a bit further. I gradually increased the pace every mile, which is something I am working on so that I don’t burn out too quickly into a long run. After the run I felt really good. Honestly I felt like I could have done another mile but I knew that I shouldn’t push my body too much.

Wednesday– Rest

Wednesday are usually my busy days in lab and therefore I decided to take a rest day.

Thursday– Run 3 Miles (Benchmark)

I decided to follow the benchmark format on the nike run club app which consists of seven minute warm up, three minute all out sprint and five minute cool down, although the cool down I stretch out. After doing the 15 minute workout I like running further until I hit three miles.

Friday– Rest Day

Again, I was too busy to squeeze in a run.

Saturday– Run 2 miles (Speed)

I decided to do a speed workout as suggested by the NRC app. I did 7 x 200m, with a quick cool down which ended up being two miles. Originally I had planned to do a one mile cool down but I was very tired from the sprints. Wow these speed workouts really take a lot of energy out of me. However, they are very helpful. My pace has been getting faster already and therefore I am trying to incorporate them more consistently because they are very useful.

Sunday– Rest

Similar to last Sunday, I had plans with friends and then again it poured in the evening. There is something about Sundays that makes it rain.

 

 

Overall I am doing okay. My training is going very well but I am still bummed about my race. I really want to find another event soon. Thanks for reading!

Half-Marathon Training: Wk 4

Fourth week of training is complete. I ended up posting this a little later than I had planned because I got very busy but here it is!

Although I am still over 26 weeks away from my half-marathon I decided to start using the nike running club app to help guide my training. I started it this week and plan on adjusting it once I am 26 weeks away, because apparently that’s as far out that you can use it to plan your training. Anyway, I did end up modifying my schedule a little bit but I tried sticking to it as much as possible.

Monday– 3 Mile Speed Run/Cross Training

For my speed run I did 8 x 200m (it was supposed to be 7x 200 but I did not keep track very well, oops). In total I ran over three miles with my warm up and cool down.

In the evening I did a lower body strength training workout.

Tuesday– Run 3 miles (Benchmark)/ Cross training

I felt good and decided to run what the NRC app calls a benchmark where you warm up for a couple minutes, sprint for a little bit and then cool down. It was definitely a tough workout, especially considering that I ran a speed run the day prior.

In the evening I ended up doing an upper body workout.

Wednesday– Rest

I had a lot going on at lab and decided to have a rest day to recover a little bit from the last two days of my training.

Thursday– Run 4 miles/ Cross training

I have no idea why this always happens but I ended up going on my long run today instead of over the weekend. The weather was perfect for it and my legs had rested the day prior. I felt really good both during and after my run.

For cross training I did a core workout and took it easy on my legs during the cardio section.

Friday– Run 2 miles

I did an easy two miles because I wanted to get another run in before the weekend in case I got busy.

Saturday– Run 3 miles

Today was a beautiful day outside. I ended up going for a three mile trail run with a friend. I really enjoy running trails but unfortunately that means planning ahead of time and driving pretty far. With my busy schedule it is difficult but I definitely want to do it at least once a month.

Sunday– Rest

I had plans with friends and by the time I got home it was pouring outside. I decided to stay inside and give myself a well deserved rest day.

 

Overall I am happy with how my training is going. I increased my total weekly milage by a little over a mile. My goal for next week is to increase my long run and hopefully be able to do a 10K soon. I tried looking for races online that fit in with my schedule but I haven’t found anything just yet. I’ll keep looking!

Half-Marathon Training: Wk 3

Third week of training is complete.

Monday– 2 Mile Run/Cross Training

After watching the Boston marathon I was inspired and decided to head out for a quick run before my workout session with my friend. I ran a little over 2 miles and I felt so good being out there. For the first time in my training I kept a very steady pace! Usually I am not great at managing my pace because of the hills and cars that force me to either speed up or slow down.

For my cross training session we did about 45 minutes of HIIT cardio and lower body strength. I wasn’t feeling too tired before we started but I did take it easy whenever we did squats because I wanted to save my quads from any soreness that could interfere with my running. Overall it was a fantastic workout. I was sweating from start to finish and I felt proud that I made it through the session strong.

Tuesday– Run 2 miles/ Cross training

I woke up without any soreness, yay! After lab I ended up going for a two mile run before my evening workout with my friend. For my cross training session I did 45 minutes of cardio and upper body strength training. Not too bad on my legs!

Wednesday– Cross training

I gave myself a rest day for running because I did not want to push myself too hard. I have been reading a lot about injuries due to over training so I want to be cautious with my training. For my cross training session I did 45 minutes of yoga.

Thursday– Run 4 miles/ Cross training

I had plans for Friday so I knew that I needed to squeeze in a running session today despite the rain. I found an hour window in the forecast to schedule my run. My goal was to go for a three mile run but about two miles in I felt SO GOOD. I kept an easy pace and was able to run four miles. My longest thus far in my training! For my cross training session we did a 45 minute workout that included 20 minutes of cardio with upper body strength training and then a yoga cool down.

Friday– Cross training

Today was a rest day for running because I had too much going on. For my cross training we ended up doing a 20 lower body HIIT and then another 20 minutes of lower body strength training. I was not feeling very motivated because the workout was late in the evening but afterwards I felt a great sense of accomplishment. I am glad that I was able to fit in the workout.

Saturday– Run 3 miles

Today was a beautiful day outside. I ended up going for a three mile run. I tried to go very easy for the first two miles and then I pushed myself for the last mile.

Sunday– Run 2 miles

Today was another perfect day for running. I went for an easy 2 mile run outside.

 

Overall I am happy with how my training is going. I am slowly adding more miles to my runs and I am also adding more days of running.

 

 

Half-Marathon Training: Wk 2

Second week of training… complete! Overall I am happy with my workouts this week. I had three running days and four cross training days. I am hoping to squeeze in more running days next week. I also got new sneakers because I realized that I needed a new pair now that I was going to be adding several miles per week.

Monday– Cross Training

Today I did a 45 minute workout that included a combination of HIIT cardio and workout targeting my abs. I have to admit that I am not a fan of doing an abs workout but I felt pretty good afterwards.

Tuesday– Cross Training

Today I did a 40 min lower body strength training workout. So many squats. It was a great workout though. I tried to push myself a bit more this time around.

Wednesday– Run 3 Miles

After two days of cross training in a row I decided to squeeze in a run after my busy day in lab. My thighs were feeling slightly sore from the cross training on Tuesday but the weather was absolutely perfect on Wednesday. So I decided to do a quick warm up at home before heading outside. I was aiming for a 2 mile tempo run but I was feeling SO GOOD, no soreness or anything, so I ended up running a little over 3 miles.

Thursday– Cross training

Today I decided to try of couple of workouts on the nike training app. It is a little awkward following a workout on my phone but it turned out better than I had expected. I did a lower body HIIT and a few short flexibility workouts for runners.

Friday– Speed Run 1.5 Miles

The weather was absolutely perfect on Friday. I decided to put the work in and do some sprints. I was definitely very exhausted after the run but I also ended up doing a post run flexibility workout from the nike training app.

Saturday– Run 2 Miles

Another gorgeous day outside. I slept in a little bit and ended up going for a run around noon but it wasn’t too hot. I only ran two miles because it was my first run with my new running sneakers. They felt pretty good so I am happy with my choice! Can’t wait to get more miles out of them!

Sunday– Cross training

Today I did a 45 min cardio workout in the morning and then a low intensity yoga workout in the afternoon. I incorporated the yoga because I have been meaning to add it to my routine and this workout that I found seemed pretty simple to follow. I really enjoyed it and hope to keep incorporating it throughout my training.

 

Overall I think my training is going well. I am working on slowly adding the miles to avoid any injuries. Also, I always make sure to include both a warm up and a cool down before any workout. So far I feel pretty good and on pace with my goals. Can’t wait to report on more of my runs!

Half-Marathon Training: Wk 1

I have completed the first week of my half-marathon training! Yay! I am starting slow and steady in order to avoid injury since it has been a while since I was consistently active with my long distance running. Therefore, this first week has a lot of cross training.

Monday– Cross Training

Today I did a 45 minute workout that included a 20 min HIIT cardio/ lower body and then lower body strength training. My body felt pretty good afterwards and not too tired considering that I had gone for a long run on Sunday.

Tuesday– Cross Training

The weather was very crummy today and therefore I decided to stay indoors and do some strength training. I did a 45 minute workout that included upper body strength and cardio.

Wednesday– Rest Day

My body felt a little sore from the workout on Tuesday and I decided to take a rest day. However, during lunch I went for a brisk 30 minute walk, so I guess it wasn’t completely a rest day.

Thursday– Intervals

After working in the lab all day I decided to go for an evening run around my neighborhood. I did a quick half mile warm up and then about 20 minutes of interval training. I used the nike run app to help me keep track of each interval. It was definitely a tough workout because my neighborhood is pretty much all hills. However, I felt pretty good afterwards.

Friday– Cross Training

I woke up feeling a little bit lazy but decided to workout in my apartment anyway. I did a cardio workout and upper body strength training to give my legs a little bit of a break. After the workout I felt so good. I think that sometimes one of the hardest things for me is to get myself to start a workout but once I am doing it I feel great. I also LOVE how I feel afterwards.

Saturday– Long Run

It was a bit cold outside but I figured it would be good practice because my race is going to be in November. Anyway, I got bundled up and ran 5 km around my neighborhood. It was such a good run. I was able to keep a good tempo and by the end of the first mile I was in my happy place.

Saturday– Recovery Run

Again, another slightly cold day but I was able to get a two mile run in. It felt pretty good the first mile but I guess I pushed myself too hard because by the middle of the second mile I was breathing heavily. I definitely need to try to keep myself on pace so that I don’t get too exhausted in the middle of a run. It is something that I will be working on in the upcoming weeks.

 

Overall, it was a great first week of training. I have been mixing up my routines with running and cross training. I have been eating very healthy. I hope to keep up the momentum in week 2. Thanks for reading!

Preparing for my first half-marathon

For the past two years my life has revolved around medical school and the dreaded Step 1. Well, now that Step 1 is behind me I have decided to take some time for myself. I have been reflecting on my habits these past years (my really unhealthy habits) and I have decided to make a change. I always had the excuse that I was studying and did not have time but now I have more time and I am out of excuses. I really want to make a change. Anyway, I was thinking back to my goals prior to starting medical school and one that I put off was training for a half marathon.

Prior to my hectic life I was running a couple of times a week, averaging 6-8 miles per run and now I barely make the time for a single run. For the past couple of weeks I have been doing various workouts to get my strength again before embarking on this journey. I have been doing a variety of strength training, yoga and pilates. I have gone on a few runs already and will be starting my full half-marathon training this week. I am super excited because for the first time in a while I feel in control of my own schedule. I feel very motivated at the moment, which is important because having a positive mind-set is going to help me get through to the finish line.

In preparation for my training I have looked up various training plans. It turns out that many people recommend that you first sign up for a race and then set a training schedule accordingly. It makes sense. I now have a stronger sense of commitment because I put down about $100 for a race in November. The date is set and it can’t be moved.

So I have signed up for a race in November and I have devised a training schedule based on my current conditioning. I have a little over 30 weeks until my race, which means I have plenty of time to start building up those miles. I have run 10Ks in the past so I am confident I will meet my goal if I stick to my training plan.

I started running yesterday because I wanted to start on the first of the month. I was out there for about 30 minutes. My legs feel good this morning, which means that I did not overexert myself. I am happy with how my run felt yesterday and I hope to keep the momentum going. I will be writing posts on a weekly basis about how my training is going. I hope that through writing and self-reflecting it will help keep me motivated these next few months.

 

If you have any advice or blogs related to running please share below. I would love to read up about your experiences.

 

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”

― Arthur Ashe

Step 1 and Done

After months of worrying about this one exam it is finally over. I’m done. I am done?

It’s challenging to put into words how I felt after completing my last block of the USMLE Step 1 exam. With a blank stare I sat there still for a minute. It felt longer though. Seconds felt like minutes and the minute felt like an hour. The headphones of another student startled me back to reality. I slowly started to clean up and take out my ear plugs. I hear a soft buzzing sound and the sound of a chair being pushed into its proper space. I pushed my own chair into its spot and slowly exited the exam room. I want to emphasize that I moved slowly because for the first time in a while I did not know what was next. After every exam up until that point there was always something else. Another exam, another deadline and at the very least, there was always Step 1. But now Step 1 was behind me (hopefully) so there wasn’t anything next.

As I left the checkout area to gather my belongings from my locker room I couldn’t help but smile. I was smiling. It felt odd to be smiling after the most stressful event of my life. I smiled because I was proud, happy, relieved, and because it was over. It was over.

Even before you set foot into medical school you hear about Step 1. Comparisons are made between the importance of Step 1 vs the MCAT. An unfair comparison since the MCAT is (almost) absolutely necessary to gain acceptance into medical school while Step 1 is used to determine your ability to learn as a medical student but also your residency competitiveness. Anyway, since starting medical school I felt like there was this small dark cloud hovering over me, my Step 1 cloud. As I progressed through my courses this cloud grew larger, heavier, and ready to pour down on me. It poured a couple of times during MS2 but most definitely during my dedicated study period. There were times when I felt lost. I had great days where I was getting the majority of the questions correct and then slumps where I would go from 90-100% on UWorld to 60-70%. It was challenging but it also motivated me. But regardless of my UWorld journey, I had made it through Step 1. Step 1 and done!

As I left the Prometric site I took out my phone to text “Done” which had much more meaning that the four letters imply.

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Would I do it all over again?

Maybe? It’s hard to say. I don’t think that I would want to go through the grueling pre-med process, interview season and what I have gone through now in medical school, but…I absolutely LOVE where I am now.

I am very proud of how hard I have worked these past few months to succeed in medical school. I love what I am learning both in the classroom and in the clinic. I love that there is a special nook for me and my love for science. I love that every morning I wake up eager to learn. I am also proud that aside from learning, I am heavily involved in my community. I am the leader of an organization that mentors students, I volunteer every other weekend at our free clinic, I play intramural sports, and I am also volunteering outside of school. Just because I am in medical school doesn’t mean that I have stopped doing other things that make me happy. I often make, probably too much, time for Netflix and watching sports but it is definitely worth it.

Like any other person in medical school, I have made sacrifices. At first you notice because it requires conscious awareness like saying no to someone’s birthday party. You feel bad but you decide that you need to prioritize your academics over practically anything else. You say to yourself, “my friend and family will understand.” And then they do. They no longer “bother” you anymore. You no longer receive “inconvenient” texts while you are studying for an important exam. Eventually you realize that a friend’s birthday has past and you didn’t receive an invite because they did not want to bother you. You knew you would say no. They knew it too. At first it hurts but then you move on from it because you are prioritizing school. As you keep turning down invites you learn to cope with the icky feeling that you are not being a good friend or daughter. Eventually you stop feeling guilty, which is pretty awful, but it happens (maybe not to everyone?).

Then there are sacrifices that you make to your relationships. While, yes some of my classmates are perfect children and they call their parents every day and see them every other weekend, that is not me. I try to see them often but sometimes I can tell that it is not enough. Of course they say that they understand, but I know that deep down they really do not. They don’t understand why I forget someone’s birthday or why I am reading flashcards in the passenger seat of their car. They tell me not to worry so much that I smart and I will do well. They tell me that they just want to see me happy and I love them for it but I just wish they could understand a bit more of what my classmates and I are going through.

I haven’t necessarily lost any friendships because of medical school but it has been a bit tougher to keep in touch. I mostly keep in touch by updating my snapchat and messaging friends through that app instead of skyping or even texting. Most of my friends are busy as well, teaching or also trying to get through some sort of graduate school. I have used breaks and long weekends to visit friends so these relationships seem okay still. Although sometimes when I get a life update from them it takes me a while to congratulate them or just even check in.

The relationship that I have sacrificed the most has been the one with my significant other. Although we live under the same roof, it is challenging (for me) to find time for just us. I unconsciously prioritize literally everything above my relationship because I know that he will understand, but that is greatly unfair. For example, during the weekend I generally have more “free time” and when I do not have an upcoming exam I use one of those days to volunteer and the other day I use to be lazy, or maybe study. Whenever I catch myself not prioritizing our relationship I apologize and my boyfriend reassures me that “It’s okay. You are in medical school, school comes first.” Which is true but makes me feel very crappy. I need to do better.

So my relationships take a burden but also my mental health. I am sleeping adequately averaging about 7-8 hours a night, even the night before an exam, so that is okay. The difficult part is the lack of time to learn everything. In undergrad you (usually) always had ample time to study and do well on an exam. In medical school, especially with an accelerated preclinical (1.5 years instead of 2), you have less time. Unfortunately, my school does not have protected study days, which means I could be learning material for my next exam, weeks from now, the day before my current exam. It is mentally exhausting knowing that you are preparing for exam, while also maybe a week or so behind on your next exam. I will sit in class for seven hours of lecture, get home review, and run out of time to preview the next day’s material. Then I go to class the next day and cannot focus because I have no idea what is going on because I did not pre-read. So I am behind. So I’ve had to learn to adapt and instead of going to non-mandatory classes I sit at the library and carefully go through the material and use outside resources, such as Pathoma and SketchyMedical, to learn the material on time and at my own pace. It gives me more flexibility because the way the curriculum is structured makes it extremely difficult to attend every lecture and perform well on exams, unless you just are this amazing standardized test taker (which I guess all of us should be since we did well on the MCAT, but still it doesn’t feel that way after you finish taking an NBME).

So what have I done for my mental health? Well I give myself flexibility with my schedule. I also make sure that I am always doing something, because I am the kind of person who needs to be doing a lot, but obviously not too much. I also give myself more room for error. So if it’s the night before an exam and I still don’t feel like I know everything, I give myself a deadline, usually 11pm, and I have to stop studying then. No matter what. If I don’t know it then I tell myself that it is okay because it is not worth sacrificing sleep over some extra information that I will probably forget tomorrow anyway.

One last thing that I have done is that every time that  I say “no” to something or someone, I tell myself that it is me saying “you are not my priority” and that has made a huge impact in my life. For example, when my parent’s ask me to come over for dinner and I want to say no, I hear “my family is not my priority”. That makes me realize that I can’t say no, they are my family. So inadvertently I am learning to say “yes” to the important things in my life, my constants, the people around me that make me happy and are helping me achieve my goals.

So back to the beginning of this post. Would I do it all over again? I want to say no but ultimately it would be a yes? Am I happy? Absolutely. I am so happy. I am going to be a physician-scientist and that is very exciting. I cannot imagine doing anything else. So I guess, despite the sacrifices and how annoyed I might be at times, I love it. Deep down I love this path, despite how insane it can be at times. Hopefully for anyone in medicine, or considering medicine, this can give you some insight.