Humor, Running

Dear Nashville Country Music Half Marathon

Dear Nashville Country Music Marathon (CMM),

We need to talk.

First off, Yes, I’m aware that you have pretentiously changed your name this year and you are now preferring to be called the ” St. Jude  Rock ‘n Roll Nashville Marathon and half Marathon.” But Nashville, is the home of country music and you and I, we have a long history together. In my heart you will always be “The Country Music Marathon.” So, CMM, let’s move on.

I’m simply going to come right out and say it: I’m breaking up with you.

I would like to say that it’s not you, it’s me; but we both know that it’s you.

It’s not that we haven’t had some good times together. We have. There was 2013 when, despite the torrential rain and 45 degree temperatures, I set a PR of 1:53. When I crossed the finished line and saw my time, I was so ecstatic I could barely contain my joy. However, the hypothermia I got while waiting for my ride in the rain did put a damper on the overall experience.

This year was our fifth year together and despite my better judgement, I once again decided to race your awful course. As is our tradition, I gathered the night before with my running buddies. We planned our splits and ate Christina’s magic teriyaki noodles that we superstitiously devour before each race. My head hit the pillow meticulously early with last minute prayers for good weather and no injuries.

5 years together...
5 years together…

On race morning, I arrived at your course giddy with anticipation, only to discover there was a weather delay. CMM, I know it technically wasn’t your fault that it was storming, but it did really stink to be all carbed up and carefully hydrated only to have to wait around additional hour in the drizzle. The good news was that I was lucky enough to find a nice restroom to use at the last minute before the race in the Holiday Inn Express (thank you Holiday Inn Express, I’m totally NOT breaking up. You rock!). The bad news was I had to “identify as a man” to use it. (Ain’t nobody got time to wait in line for the ladies room on race day.)

The storm delay was finally lifted
The storm delay was finally lifted

My friend Abby and I were aiming to finish you in under 1:53. We had been training our quads off getting ready for The Ragnar Relay, and we felt great. When our corral took off we went out strong. We were trying to pace 9:00 min/mile to start, while hoping for negative splits near the end. There was just a few problems: your crowds and your hills. The course was so thick that our first split was 10:04. We were constantly weaving back and forth through all the walkers. Yes, there were people walking at 1 mile. I think the rain delay caused the racers to completely abandon the corral system leading to total chaos. While it was exhilarating to not get passed once in the race, it was also exhausting and frustrating to expend so much energy weaving around slower runners.

I know, CMM, that you think you are so awesome for attracting so many first time racers, but it’s a little annoying when they walk in a full width line in the middle of the road going uphill. It was impossible to keep my stride. Twice during the race I accidentally ran into other runners.

Which brings me to the other issue I have with our relationship: Your hills. Every year I think to myself, “I train on hills all the time, I’ll be fine on the country music course” and every year I curse you and your excessive elevation changes. You were especially nasty this year by adding that curved hill at mile 12. Because turns and hills aren’t enough on their own, you thought you would combine them in the last mile to make sure that both my lungs and thighs were searing with equal amounts of pain as I cross the finish line. I think mile 12 was when I decided that we would have this little talk.

While I did finish with a respectable time of 1:54. I could have easily been a minute or two quicker on even a slightly less crowded, hilly or weaving course than yours. My friends Shannon and Christina both finished the full 26.2. They did an awesome job despite your hilly drama, but I think they may be finished with you as well.

My friend Shannon rocked the full 26.2. (although I think she is breaking up with you as well)
My friend Shannon rocked the full 26.2.

I’m not saying that we can’t still be friends. You will always be special to me. You were my first marathon. I do love running the streets of Nashville, I just don’t love running them as fast as I possibly can. We’ll still hang out. If we didn’t, I’d miss the bands at each mile, music row, the Gulch and my favorite: the awesome retired couple that sit in their lawn in all dressed up drinking champagne while cheering on the runners.

We're questioning our sanity in this picture
We’re questioning our sanity in this picture

So sorry sweetie, we’ve had a good run, but it’s over. And, yes if you must know, there is someone new in my life. His name is Chicago and I am running him in October. Don’t worry, you will always be my first, and we have had a lot of great memories together–but it’s time to move on to a course that is doesn’t have such hilly drama. It is a long distance relationship, so that could cause some issues. I promise to keep you updated.

We are never, ever, ever getting back together. (but I am keeping your t-shirt because its super cute this year)
We are never, ever, ever getting back together (but I am keeping your t-shirt because it’s super cute this year)







Humor, Running

The Day I was Nearly Arrested on Assault Charges

Earlier this week I found myself stuck at a “doctor-y” event. As I made small talk with a colleague, I mentioned that I was training for a marathon. Despite that fact that I am currently blogging about running and training consumes most of my thoughts, I promise I don’t talk about it incessantly to random people, but in this instance it did come up in conversation.

After I mentioned my training, her face contorted into what can only be described as a scoff. She then replied, quite condescendingly, “Must be nice to have THAT kind of time.”

My face turned beet red and my blood began to boil. Then without thinking I pulled my hand back and smacked her right across the face, leaving a bright red hand print on her left cheek. She was was stunned at first, but then her instincts took over and she kneed me in the gut. Before I knew it, we were in an all out fist fight in the middle of a cocktail party. My husband broke up the fight, but not before someone called the cops. I am currently writing this from jail. 

Ok. So, nothing in italics ACTUALLY happened (except in mind. repeatedly. for about a week). In reality I smiled and walk away, like a good girl, who didn’t want to have to explain a criminal record.

Obviously in a state of pure boredom, I decided since there was nothing else going on in my life, I would run a marathon. I’m busy and so are my running mates. The expenditure of our time is not something  we take lightly. We all have a lot on our plates, but like all things that are important to us, we are finding the time for this marathon.

How do I find the time for this?

5. Follow a Plan

We are following Hal Hidgon’s Novice 2 training program. The best way to avoid injury and reach my goal is to stick to the plan as close as possible. Each week I check off my boxes as I pound out each mile.

4. Run When I Can

The only time that works for me is mornings. Some mornings have been painfully early and cold, but nevertheless I’m out there.

3. Accountability

When my alarm goes off at 5:30 and I check the temperature and it’s 13 degrees, knowing that my friends are out in the Arctic air waiting for me is what gets me out of my cozy bed. There are 6 of us training in the neighborhood. Though we can’t do every run together, we are each other’s cheerleaders.

2. Giving Myself some Grace

I have missed a few workouts. If I’ve been at the hospital all night delivering babies and I have to choose between running and sleep, then I choose sleep. I don’t make up my runs in the evening, because that’s my family time. Yes, my Type A personality would like to follow the plan to perfectly, but life happens and that’s OK.

1. Have an Awesome Husband

Obviously, somebody has to get the kiddos ready in the morning while I’m out torturing myself, and that somebody is my super husband. You need your spouse to be supportive (or a least tolerant) of your crazy hobby when you start logging this many hours.

Long Run: 15 Miles in the Snow

Our "snowy" run
Our “snowy” run

Despite all the crazy cold weather we have had, there has been no snow in Middle Tennessee. This week on our long run we got a light dusting of snow through our entire 15 miles. It was a gorgeous treat. It melted off within a few hours, so most people who slept in that day missed the “snow” completely. The temperature was 30 degrees (warmer than what it has been), so it didn’t feel that frozen.

Shannon running with me in the country
Shannon running with me in the country

Sickness hit our little running group hard this week, so only Shannon and I made it out for the long run on Saturday. Andrea and Christina had to bust out their 15 miles on a treadmill, which I think is insane and should earn them extra awesome points for the week.

At least I managed not to slip and fall
At least I managed not to slip and fall

We felt strong through most of the run, except miles 12-14 were tough. I got a boost of energy for the final mile back into downtown and finished strong.

Next week we are doing the Hot Chocolate 15k in Nashville for our long run. Looking forward to the race (and chocolate). What better way to spend Valentines weekend?


Awkward Moments in Gynecology: The Vagina Awareness Bracelet

With October being breast cancer awareness month, pink has taken over our office. We have our Race for the Cure team compiled and our pink ribbons pinned to our coats. We’re prepared to kick breast cancer’s proverbial booty.


One of our drug reps brought us a box of pink plastic awareness bracelets this week. I’m not a fan of the awareness bracelets in general. However, I must be in the minority because they seem to be everywhere. Nearly every cause and color of the rainbow can be found dangling around the wrists at the mall. My brother has one that is red and white marbled that reads ‘bacon.’

Several of our staff and patients were wearing these new pink bracelets. I noticed the inscription on the bracelets read “Break the Silence.” I thought that seemed an odd breast cancer slogan, since most people are hyer-aware of breast cancer and it seems to have lost its stigma long ago. On closer inspection, I realized that these were not breast cancer bracelets.

They were vaginal dryness awareness bracelets.

I kid you not.

Let me clarify that I am all for healthy, appropriately moisturized vaginas. But do we really need an awareness bracelet for this?

Are menopausal women actually going to wear these? The point of ‘awareness bracelets’ is to talk about the issues to anyone who asks you about your bracelet. Are grandmas really going to talk about their struggles with adequate vaginal moisture to the checker at Target that asks them about their bracelet? If so, we need to warn the public.


Postmenopausal vaginal atrophy is an important issue. I address it daily with my patients. I am thrilled that there is a new medication (Osphena) to help women stay sexually active in their golden years. However, there has to be a better marketing gimmick. And riding on breast cancer’s shirt tails by using pink in October is just plain rude.

How about a charm bracelet for Valentines day, only instead of charms, it contains tiny packets of KY jelly?

We did not realize what the bracelets actually were for until we had distributed them and our staff had worn them for several days. Did I also mention that our kids might have worn them to school?


Parent teacher conferences are going to be interesting this year for the staff at our office.


Awkward Moments in Gynecology: The Elevator Pap Smear Incident

I love my job 99% of the time, however one thing that can throw a hiccup in even the most pleasant day is a hospital GYN consult. When a sweet old lady from the nursing home gets admitted to the hospital for pneumonia or some other ailment, oftentimes a very thorough internist will discover that she has not had a pap smear in some years, and suddenly this becomes an emergent issue. I then get called upon to see these women in the hospital. Often these ladies are quite demented, so examining them is challenging in any situation, but attempting a pap smear in a hospital bed requires cirque du soleil-esque skills. It is pleasant for neither me nor the patient.

There are no gyn exam tables with stirrups on the wards, so to do a proper pelvic, I need 3 nurses to help hold the legs, a pile of blankets for the women to lay on, and another nurse to hold a flashlight so I can see up into Miss Daisy’s nether regions. They also do not keep speculums in the hospital, so I usually bring my own.

One particularly long day I received the message that I had a consult to see on the fourth floor: an emergent yeast infection. Awesome. After finishing office, I loaded up my flashlight, speculum, KY, and pap smear brushes, then schlepped them down the hall to the hospital. I got in the elevator with a well dressed, slightly stuff appearing woman. As I pushed the number for the fourth floor, I had what I thought was a quite humorous idea.

Holding up the speculum and flash light with a smile, I joking said to my stately elevator-mate, “Want a Pap Smear?”

She made no verbal response, but her eyes got as big as saucers and she looked at me like I’d killed her cat.

I continued with my goofy awkward grin, unsure how to respond, realizing my humor was lost on this woman.

At this moment the elevator opened and she bolted before I could say, “Obviously I was joking.”

I could see the headlines: “Gynecologist Accused of Accosting Woman in Elevator.” My mother would be mortified. I kept my eyes pealed for security the remainder of the evening, but luckily, it was only a temporary embarrassment and no arrests were made.

My humor will always get me in trouble from time to time, but I’ve learned my lesson, next time I’ve got a consult, I’m keeping my speculum to myself.