Monday, August 8, 2016

July Wrap-Up

July was quite possibly the most boring and yet fastest month so far this year. After the Fourth of July weekend, it was time to really focus on preparing for the bar exam, which took more time and focus than I've ever put into anything before. On top of that, I was trying to maintain fitness and even build a little bit of skill on an abbreviated version of my training plan for Superfrog 70.3. Now that it's all over, all I can say is, I'm glad it's over!

The Highlights: Studying for the Bar Exam

Until the two day bar exam on July 26-27, I spent about ten hours a day studying for the bar exam. Every morning I would do practice questions and essays, then review my answers against sample answers, and create note cards for any rules I didn't know very well, and made notes of techniques that would make me better. Around lunchtime I would go to the gym and eat lunch. In the afternoon, I'd spend a few hours studying substantive law - sometimes it was something I learned in school, like contracts, and sometimes it was something totally new, like business associations. I made notecards as I went along, and lots of highlighting. Then after eating a little bit, I had class every single night Monday through Friday. Saturdays were six hour practice tests, and Sundays were time off from everything.

The actual two days of the exam were a little overwhelming, and I think I let myself huddle up into a ball emotionally. I was excited that it was finally here and I would be getting my life back, incredibly nervous that I would screw it up, anxious because I had no idea what the questions would be, and just worried that I hadn't done enough to prepare. During the exam itself, I just tried to focus as well as I could, consider every possible option, remember all of my test taking techniques, and somehow made it through. There was a brief moment going into the last session where I realized I really didn't want to do this, but it was way too late to quit the law now!

Now, it's over, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what laws are, and all I can do is hope that I passed! Results don't come out until November 4, which sucks, but hopefully it will then be all over. Until I have to take it again in another state.

The Downsides: Knee Injury

One of the ways I was able to stay focused during bar prep was because I had a knee injury. As I mentioned before, my knee was pretty niggly after the marathon, and swollen after the BWC 5K. I finally went to the doctor who said it was most likely a pretty bad MCL sprain, and referred me to physical therapy. My PT at Fort Meade said to just focus on studying and NO RUNNING for at least three weeks.....while that would normally be painful, it definitely took a little bit of guilt off for all the workouts I missed!
As a result, I took out all of the run workouts on my training plan, and added just one or two eliptical trainer sessions a week. I was still swimming and biking about three days a week each, but not doing any of the long workouts, so my work is cut out for me now to get up to speed. At least I feel like my swimming is getting stronger, and I've already surpassed the mileage I rode during training for my first half distance (which was 30 miles). Now that I'm slowly running about a half mile at a time, and carefully building up distance, I'm taking advantage of the time to build upper body strength, work on some core, and make sure that as I add mileage, I'm not slacking on speed.

Moving On:
Time to pack up, leave Baltimore, take a little bit of vacation, and get ready for Superfrog 70.3 and my next assignment! We will be moving to Fort Drum in upstate New York, trying to settle there, while I spend October through February in Georgia and Virginia for even more training. It's going to be an interesting winter.

But for now, it's time to take advantage of these few weeks of "vacation" to massively build up mileage, and enjoy the Olympics!!