Balancing Act

A quick freak-out post

As we are approaching the end of August, many fall marathoners (I use that term loosely for myself) are freaking out because our marathons are just around the corner. Since the TCS NYC Marathon is a little over 2 months away, my weekly distance is significantly increasing.

So why the freak-out for me?

The start of the new semester

In addition to being an awesome senior scientist, I also am an adjunct professor of biology at a CUNY school. This semester, I am teaching classes on Saturdays and Sundays, 12-3:00. In previous semesters, I only taught Sunday classes, so I had Saturdays free for long-distance runs. I am not complaining about the extra class, because an extra class means an extra check. For me, it will be tough waking up super early to get these runs out of the way.

Since I am a procrastinator, I have kind of waited until the last moment to start completing my 9+1 races for guaranteed entry into next year’s TCS NYC Marathon. As of now, I have logged in only three out of nine races. Going forward, I will have to balance early morning long runs, races, and teaching on certain weekends. ACK. For example, this weekend, I have the Percy Sutton race in Harlem at 8:30 am. That means:

  • A 5:45-6:00AM wake up call to be on the Subway by 6:45-7:00, at the latest (and hope for no major train delays).
  • Make it to Harlem around 8AM and run the race.
  • Find a Crunch gym to shower and change.
  • Drag my butt to downtown Brooklyn to teach.

I guess it will not be too bad, since I will be out of Harlem by 9 (9:30 tops), because the race is only three miles. However, I am more corned with managing this schedule when I have to run 18+ miles. I guess that I will have do my long runs in Prospect Park and clean up at Crunch gym in Park Slope, since it’s somewhat close to Downtown Brooklyn. One option would be to do my long runs after class, but I highly doubt that I will have the mental fortitude to do a long run in the late afternoon and evening.

One saving grace

I have taught these courses for a few semesters, so I can recycle pretty much all of the previous semesters’ lectures, sample exams, and homework questions. I think that I would have to do some slight updates with the lecture slides. I like to incorporate how certain topics in biology can be applied in everyday life with recent examples, since many of my students are not biology majors (and do not really care about science). Actually, I think that I will make infograph/piktocharts for the lectures. A great example of a biology one, courtesy of the New York Academy of Sciences.


Also, I am teaching laboratory courses this semester, so I will not have to be “ON” for a three-hour lecture. I just have to explain the lab setup for 30-40 minutes and make sure that the students will not burn down the building or eat any of the M&M’s for the Chromatography exercise. Before you ask. Yes, I teach grown ups, but some of them act like 6 year-olds.

Here’s to the fall training season and semester. Just, gotta make it to November 5th.

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