I’ve been writing my thesis full time for the past six weeks or so. With the exception of traveling for job interviews, I’ve spent every day, including weekends, in an almost identical way. I wake up, read blogs and news and social media for an hour until my coffee kicks in. Then I write until I can’t anymore, with a few breaks for food, phone calls and the occasional online TV show. I was beginning to get a bit worried that I usually had no intuition for what day of the week it is.
That’s why today was special. I knew exactly what day it was, it was the day I get to spend at least eight waking hours away from the computer. I was going to go to Chicago to join tens of thousands of people for my Saturday morning run. I woke up to my alarm at 4am. I drove myself to the train station for the hour ride to Chicago from the suburbs where I live. A whole hour of reading before the sun even came up, bliss! I killed time at a Starbucks which was filled almost entirely with other runners. By the time I was at the start line I was fully awake and giddy with anticipation. After spending six weeks mostly sitting in a chair, I was going to be moving, surrounded by people, with adrenalin-filled music and not a care in the world.
This race has one of the best courses of all Chicago races. If you’re a runner and happen to be in the area one November, check it out. Over the river and under the El and past iconic highrises. It was extra special considering it will be my last Chicago race in a while; I’m moving to take a postdoc soon. It was a lovely way to say goodbye.
This race also has the best perks, which may have more to do with my desire to get out of bed before sunrise than I’m willing to admit. Unlike the usual light lager and pizza I find hard to stomach after running at most races, this one serves thousands of pounds of chocolate fondue!
Now it’s time to go back to writing after a longer break than initially planned. My next (second, ever) post will have more on thesis-writing and the broader experience of the graduation process, which is proving to be a tad more challenging than racking up miles but at least as satisfying.