Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quick Trip

I was asked to attend a meeting in DC yesterday. I was flown from LA to DC on Friday night, then back to LA Saturday night. I was in DC for 18 hours. DC, other than Chicago, is the one place that when I get there, I truly feel like I'm home.

This meeting was put together by a pharmaceutical company. They brought in 12-14 hospitals - mostly academic medical centers. Each center was represented by a senior faculty person and a junior faculty or fellow. The focus was HIV. The goal was to anticipate what the future of HIV is going to be - who are the patients, what are their problems, what will doctors need to best treat them. We discussed what resources we, as physicians, are missing in dealing with HIV patients. We discussed our "wish list" of what we want. We discussed patient programs we'd like to see, social workers we'd like to have, and electronic medical records we'd like implemented. I met a lot of great people who are also passionate about fighting this disease.

I don't know that I am much of an expert, although I have a lot of opinions for sure. :) I was flattered to be asked to join this group. I hope my input, and the meeting in general, will help this company come up with ways to help physicians treat people with HIV. I came across a quotation by Seneca (a Roman philosopher in 1st century AD) in a magazine on the plane ride home: "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." I think this quotation is great because it reminds me that people who take advantage of situations and are able to turn them into success stories are people who worked and prepared so that when that one opportunity comes, they can make it a "lucky" one.

So, don't feel guilty that you got the promotion and someone else didn't. Alternatively, don't make yourself the victim in a situation that doesn't go your way. We all have to be working hard and preparing ourselves daily for that chance that happens to come - you never know when your "luck" will change.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Back at It...Soon

My vacation ends in a few days. This last week has been nice - a few errands to run each day, a little bit of work to catch up on, but all in all not much to do.

It's nice to wake up without the alarm going off. It's nice to go for a run and not rush through my post-run stretch. It's nice to make lunch at home and sit in my kitchen and eat it.

I thought I would get bored. Maybe there were a few stretches were I got restless. But, there are so many books to read, so many trails to run. I would always want to work in some capacity. But, it would be nice to take a week off every now and then. It would be nice to have my evenings not full of articles to prepare. I know that day is going to come was nice to get a glimpse of it now.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Still Cold

The race is over. It's been over for 8 hours. I'm still cold.

We got up at 3a to catch the shuttle to the race at 3:30a. I layered on running tights, dry-fit long sleeve shirt, dry-fit short sleeve shirt, cotton long sleeve and a hooded sweatshirt. Not to mention gloves and ear warmers. The sweatshirt was my Brother's - thank goodness I wore it. It was 34 degrees. I saw a few snow flurries.

We stood out in the windy cold for two hours. Wow, I was chilled to the bone.

Then we got to our corral and waited some more. Soon the freezing rain started. Eventually the fireworks went off to let us know we could start! We ran 4 miles into the sleet. My plan was to shed the sweatshirt after a mile or so, but I kept it for the first 5 miles. I saw my Sister-in-Law's parents who were there to cheer us on. I gave them the cotton long sleeve and the hooded sweatshirt. The next mile or 2 was awesome. Through Main Street, into the Magic Kingdom Castle. We saw Cinderella and Prince Charming and the whole Royal Family outside the castle! It was still dark out, so the lights were all on. We also saw a lot of the Disney characters around the park. Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook and Smee. The Bears. Captain Jack and the pirates. So many more. It was awesome! Those 2 miles were the best by far.

Then I immediately wished I had my sweatshirt back. The last 6 miles had the wind at our backs, which was better. My hip started to hurt with about 3 miles left. The rest of the run was fine - rain began so we got wet. At the end, we got Mylar wraps which usually toast you like a baked potatoe - unfortunately, you need the sun in order to really make them effective. In the end, they just worked to keep the rain off.

We got on the shuttle bus to go back to the hotel. For some reason, the bus was frigid. I don't know why the bus driver didn't have the heat on. We got back to the hotel and ran (literally) back to our room. I didn't think I had another 10 feet in me, let alone a few blocks. I couldn't get the water in that shower hot enough. My toes are still cold.

We got cool Donald Duck metals, and we finished the race in just over 2 hours. Not bad for below-freezing temperatures. If I do this again next year, I hope it's a tad bit warmer.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I thought Florida was the Sunshine State

So, it's race time. Tomorrow is the Disney Half-Marathon that my Brother and Sister-in-law and I are running. When my Brother asked me about doing it, I thought, "How fun! Running around Disney World in the Florida sunshine with my family...what could be better?" I've never been to Disney World, but it seems to be like Disney Land - warm, Mickey Mouse, sunny, happiness on a stick.

Not today. Not tomorrow. tells me the high tomorrow is 38 degrees ("feels like 29") with rain likely the whole morning. Not exactly what I signed up for. Good thing I packed running tights and long-sleeve shirts. I have no rain slicker, so we'll just see how it goes. It has the potential to be the most miserable 13.1 miles I've ever experienced. At least my Brother and SIL will be there to whine with.

Stay tuned for the post-race recap!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Family Time in The Region

I got to spend a few days with all my siblings. This is not an easy thing to do, because we're spread all over the place. While I live in LA, my brothers live in Orlando and my sister is Northwest Indiana - affectionately known as The Region. People from The Region are (affectionately?) known as Region Rats. Do with that piece of information what you will.

It was great to see them all. I won't pretend that we grew up sing Kumbaya together every night, but for the most part we got along. We've grown closer as we've gotten older, and I think we appreciate each other more now. We definitely cherish our time together. And we love spending time with the kiddies - my sister has a little girl and boy. As you can see in the picture, some one made sure Uncle Dude was cozy with more than enough stuffed animals during his nap.

This time off has reminded me to stop and smell the roses - metaphorically, of course, since it's 3 degrees here right now. I hope to remember this lesson when I get back to the bustle of LA. In the mean time, though, the Disney Half-Marathon is in a few days...there I'm just hoping to make it across the finish line.