Saturday, February 24, 2018

Week 7: 2/24/18

Well, my triathlon training did not exactly go as planned. I did get my weekly two workouts in though so I will still need to make up a swim next week. It has been raining this whole week with two of the days being icy rain days resulting in the pool being closed early. I finally got to swim yesterday when it 'only' thunderstormed. Overall, I am doing the yardage (2400 at the moment) although my stamina leaves a lot to be desired. I did several 50s and 100s interval training and my speed dramatically drops after about 200 yards each set. For running, I will be doing a five miler next week. It feels good to almost be at the 10k mark.

Every time a new block starts (this time it is our repro block), work always piles up regardless of my good intentions of staying ahead. I think this is due to a combination of having too many resources, lack of urgency with the exam being a couple weeks away, and trying to take care of errands that were not completed during the few days before the previous exam.

I am playing a table tennis tournament tomorrow. I invited a friend from school whose skill was surprisingly good. It will be interesting to see how he does in gameplay situations, especially playing people with strange styles and unconventional spin. I hope this will be a good experience to motivate him to improve. I am aiming to play doubles with him for the city tournament in April.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Week 6: 2/14/2018

Happy Valentine's Day! Unfortunately, its been a busy week so I am behind on my New Year's Resolution cardio goals. I did a 2.5mile run on 1.5 incline on the treadmill at 7.0 speed. I both did not find time to swim and still have not gotten a gym membership with a pool. The current plan is to do my Week 6 swim on Friday, do the Week 7- 5mile run on Sunday, do my Week 7 swim on Tuesday.

There's not much to report on with table tennis. I am doing some multi-ball and attempting to improve how I play against long pip players and service return. We had a visitor from Springfield this past Monday who I went 0-3 against (10-12, 8-11, 14-16). To sum it up, I had trouble with his backhand serve. I plan to try being more aggressive instead of pushing when I can't read the spin. I will also try to give more spinny pushes instead of dead pushes and see if it is effective.

Back to studying for my endocrinology exam! Godspeed

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Week 5: 2/7/2018

Late post this week. I have been feeling a bit under the weather since Sunday. I took a nap that day and ended up not waking up until halftime! Anyways, I had a decent first swim and four-mile run this past week. I forget if I mentioned it in a previous post but about two weeks ago I began to run a post-workout mile after my strength workouts. So, roughly 4 miles/wk. This week, I will do some sort of inclined-run on the treadmill. I feel that this idea of alternating between distance weeks and incline(strength?) weeks is helpful, at least where I am in the infancy of my running training.

Swimming-wise, I did a 1000 test swim with my 100-splits being 1:15, 1:22, with the last 8 100s being between 1:28-1:33. I am happy with the results. The immediate goal is to being able to hold a pace faster than 1:30 and the long-term goal is to be able to hold 1:20 pace for a whole mile. My workout consisted of a 300 warmup, test swim, 400 pull, 400 kick, 200 front crawl drills. I will be repeating the workout with a goal of holding 1:30 pace for the test swim. Unfortunately, my free trial pass to the ymca has run out. I will have to try to see if I can negotiate some sort of low-cost student membership at the YMCA or get a membership to a neighboring university's pool.

For table tennis, I am preparing to get myself into tournament shape again. After spending the past month playing matches with clubmates, I am doing this mainly through multiball to really try to make my common shots be reliable in matches. The secondary aim is to get my legs/body into being able to hold a lower position to increase stability in my movement and shots.

Well, now that this blog post is done it's time to get back to the medical school grind. A tough week seems to be ahead with a quiz coming up tomorrow and a practical exam on Friday and two exams next week. Looking forward (something I try really hard not to stresses me out :x), theres a lull week followed by a mid-semester hell week - 2 exams, 1 quiz, and 1 practical all within a week. Some combination of hard work and luck will probably be necessary here!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Week 4: 1/29/17

I survived the GI mid-term with some trusty help from the curve. The class average was a not-so-surprisingly low 73%. I made a pact with a friend to aim for an 80% on this next exam, so I have been going full-steam ahead with studying. I feel like I am starting to lose motivation but hopefully I can make it past the bump. The main difference I am doing for this next exam is to start doing practice questions tomorrow (exam on Friday). Hopefully, this change will be effective.

One more week of playing table tennis matches before I go back to doing multiball. I am getting used to the new rubber and am able to hit my shots more confidently with each game. I had a disappointing 4-3 win against a pips player that I feel that I am better than and hope to redeem myself this week.

Workout-wise, I am spending more time at the gym due to finding a workout crew that, at least for now, is pretty motivated. This week, I did a 3-mile run, 2-mile run, and three 1-mile runs along with a 45 minute bike with varying resistance from 6 to 8. Biking on the stationary bike is pretty tough since, in contrast to a treadmill, my RPM will decrease when my mind wanders. I would rate the difficulty of the bike about 3/5 and running 4/5 (with 5/5 for anything over 3.5 miles currently). I would consider myself a lot more 'in-shape' than when the month started. Making progress feels good.

Swimming starts this week. I am aiming to do about 3000 in yardage with a 1000 being timed. Ideally, I would like to hold 1:30 per 100 yards but I have no idea how out of shape I am. I have managed to dig my swimming gear out of the box it was packed in when I moved so at least I am somewhat prepared.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Week 3: 1/22/17

Today, we finished up the midterm of our GI block. Rumors are going around that it will be the lowest class average of all the exams we have this year. I have a bet with my roommate for one fried rice from China Wok whether the average will be a passing grade or not. Living-wise, we had a pretty pricy $270 electric bill last month, probably due to the multiple snow days. Asking around, it seems this big jump in electric bill is pretty common in the area - especially with only one electric company having a monopoly in the city. On a brighter note, I am excited to learn how to suture this upcoming week.

Entering the final week of the first month, I am beginning to inquire around for bikes as well as trails. Ideally, I would like to start biking outdoors around March or April at the latest. Next month will be a swimming/biking month. I will probably just pay each time and swim at the YMCA. I heard the local university pool is also available so I will have to compare how much it would cost each day to swim. For this week's workouts, I did a 35minute stationary bike at 7-resistance/90rpm. I was able to complete it without breaks so 7-resistance seems to be my current upper limit. I'll try to do a 45 minute bike next week and see if I can still hold 7-resistance and 90rpm.  Yesterday, we had some nice 60degree weather so I did a 4-mile run (outdoors!). The city is much more hilly than I am used to and ended up taking three breaks. I ran with some friends so we ended doing some sprints at the end as well as getting some critique for my running technique.

Unfortunately, no mahjong practice again this week.

I am liking my new Mantra rubbers on the Nexy Rubicon blade. It plays very reliably. I'm overshooting a few balls but I can fix that with some dedicated practice. I hope to get back into it seriously next week and look for some tournaments to enter.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Week 2: 1/16/2018

Due to the snow that came through, I was unable to complete my second week workouts until today. The place I live in has a driveway that slopes somewhat like a 'V' between the garage and the road. Yesterday, I was unable to get into my garage nor leave my driveway since the compact snow made the road too slippery for my car. A kind neighbor shoveled my driveway while I was out getting lunch so I'll be sure to thank them this weekend.

The GI block has been pretty tough. I am not too confident that I will do well on the exam this upcoming Friday but can't let that get me down! Need to keep grinding. On a different note, we learned the procedure for a well-patient visit, which mainly involved memorizing immunizations and screenings for different demographics on my end. Unfortunately, no progress in mahjong was made this past week.

Table tennis-wise, my experiment with using the Yinhe Pro Feeling has now ended. Before winter break, it was suggested that I try out using an ALC blade. Years ago, I tried out the Timo Boll ALC blade but was unaccustomed to the speed and disliked the feel. In addition to my blade, I tried some other ALC blades from people in my local club including TB-Spirit, Viscaria, and TB-ALC (again lol!). My conclusion was that the gears in speed for the blade was something that would take way too much adjustment and I still disliked the feeling/feedback from hitting the ball. The former criticism might be something I could work through if not for the latter reason that removes any motivation I would have. If I ever do switch to a ALC or other carbon blade in the future, I would prefer something about 90g (the TB-ALC and Viscaria was too light) and a handle height of 23mm (the Pro Feeling handle was too thick and caused some pain in my index finger PIP).

Cardio-wise, I did a 25min bike at 8 resistance. I ended up taking a break around the 15 min mark. I did a 2mile run on the treadmill at 1.5 incline. Overall, I feel slightly out-of-shape, having to push myself mentally alot more than I am used to. I felt that way as well during my weights workout, where a combination of gaining weight (177lb now) and having a sedentary lifestyle for the last 3 weeks is requiring extra effort to push through mentally.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Week 1: 01/08/2017

I was almost too lazy to make my very first post. Typical New Year Reso problems.

Schools starting today with our GI block. They were not joking when they said we will be sprinting out of the gate with anatomy lab the first day back and a patient encounter a couple days later. Anatomy lab isn't my forte so I'll have to double down this semester on that.

For my triathlon goal, I decided to add two triathlon-focused workout days to my typical exercise week. This month will be spent focusing on running and biking. I am hoping the weather warms up by March so I can begin gaining experience biking outdoors. I did a 15-minute stationary bike on 12 resistance on Friday. Yesterday, I did a ~3.25 mile run but I was not feeling too well so ended up walking around the 1.5mile mark and 2.5 mile mark for about 0.7 miles total. So roughly a 2.5mile run. Not bad taking into consideration the sedentary winter break and being sick last week. I am hoping for a better run this week.

I only had one opportunity to play table tennis over the christmas holidays so I am looking forward to seeing everybody at the Joplin club. I want to play some matches to get back in the groove of things. I am hoping to maintain my skill level and improve my serving this semester. Overall, TT will be taking a backseat to my triathlon goals until summer.

Learning mahjong isn't easy! I feel like I have a basic grasp of the rules. One blog really helped me especially through focusing on the most commonly made hands. I'll list it below. The toughest part is learning the terminology. I am googling and referring to terminology databases every other sentence sometimes. Fortunately, I am starting to 'see' and name the hands but it is very slow. I am also getting better at tile efficiency, if barely. If there was a website that asked you to choose the most 'efficient' discard for each hand by scenarios, it would be great practice. Some questions that I hope to answer, especially after reading the full rules (and not just a summary): How to score? How to count yaku/fu? When should you declare Riichi?

Helpful mj things:

Thanks for reading! I plan to format my thoughts similarly in future posts.