Happy Saturday! After a long, long week, I drove home yesterday evening. One doughnut stop, gas stop, and two hours of awful traffic between Fredericksburg and Alexandria later, I reunited with my dog and then promptly stress-ate everything in sight 😉 I’m planning on being home for most of break, with a week-long trip to California for Christmas!
This post is not going to be super running-related, just because I have other things to recount…
Unlike past years, I was lucky enough to finish final exams really early this semester. My school allocates two weeks for finals (M-F this week and M-W next week), so some people won’t be done until December 20th! My poor roommate is one of them. My last final was finance on Wednesday night, but that meant I had three exams within the first three days. I studied proactively and was prepared for them, which meant when a catastrophe happened on Sunday night (soon after completing last week’s blog post), it wasn’t the end of the world…
SO. Sunday night. I was (not really) studying in my kitchen and decided to move to the desk in my bedroom. Candles were lit, Jim Croce was playing on Spotify, and I was about to shut it down for the night in order to gear up for a solid week of training and final exams. This was around 9 pm.
Moved my computer to my desk, paused for a moment, and then saw an orange glow reflecting in the hall closet door and my heart absolutely dropped out of my chest. I raced back into the kitchen to see my backpack completely engulfed in flames. It had fallen into one of the lit candles on the table and went up like a firebomb. I screamed “Fire”, threw the burning backpack into the kitchen sink, and for some reason thought I could put it out with the 1 cup of water in my water bottle. Didn’t work. It just caused a lot of smoke. Nice!
My roommate raced down the hallway and returned with the fire extinguisher while I dialed 911. Watching her unclip the extinguisher and fumble with the sprayer was the longest 5 seconds of my life. She finally got it to work and attacked the place while I repeated my address to the emergency dispatcher. We left the apartment with smoke alarms blaring, the fire department showed up and did what they had to do, and we spent about 30 minutes outside while I shivered and cried a bit because I had forgotten to put on shoes or a jacket and it was 30 degrees outside. And I was hella freaked out.
We reentered the building and talked with the firefighters before going back into the apartment. They were so, so nice. They reassured me that it wasn’t a big deal, things like this happen all the time, and that our apartment was impressively neat for college students…or at least, it had been…Unfortunately, the type of fire extinguisher we’d used causes the biggest mess of all. They suggested we hire a professional cleaning company. When we entered the apartment, we saw why.
In addition to the fire damage (which was actually minimal, but all my study materials were destroyed haha), there was a thick layer of dust covering every single blessed surface and thing in the room.
It looked like it had snowed. Highly ironically, the pine-scented candle by our fake Christmas tree was still burning. And my freakin’ computer was still merrily playing Jim Croce in my bedroom (thank goodness nothing happened to it!! I am so thankful for that).
The contents of the burned backpack
At this point, it was 10 pm on Sunday night, and I had two final exams in addition to our two training sessions the next day. My roommate, bless her heart, went out and got some cleaning supplies while I tried to decide where to begin. We were two determined college girls and we were going to do this ourselves.
We cleaned for about 3 hours and eventually decided it was habitable and we could deal with the rest later. We fell into bed and I may or may not have cried myself to sleep out of sheer exhaustion, regret, sorriness, and leftover panic.
The next day (Monday 12/11), we decided to just stay out of the apartment for the time being and focus on our other priorities. I left around 8 am, did our morning training session, studied for awhile, took a nap on the couch in the locker room, took my first exam (Mujeres detrás de la cámara), did the second training session in the afternoon, and completed the Business Analytics pressure cooker and exam before heading home at 9:45 pm. When I got home, I discovered that my roommate’s incredible mother had come down (they only live an hour away) and made a huge dent in the remaining cleaning process. It looked so good. ❤
Tuesday brought a track workout, more studying, and then I spent about two hours cleaning in the afternoon. Wednesday was the same, and I finished my finance final at 9 pm and had a late, fun night to celebrate the end of the semester. Finally, after running in the morning on Thursday, I cleaned all day and fell asleep twice out of exhaustion. But look how much progress was made! I’m really proud.
There’s still a lot to do, but we’ve made excellent progress. I scrubbed every dang thing inside the cabinets and the refrigerator, washed every single shelf, cleaned the floor and every surface multiple times with baking soda and Swiffer wet wipes, etc. etc. etc.
Pro tip: never set your apartment on fire!!
Anyway, it was quite the eventful end to the semester. After a workout yesterday morning, we went out for lunch at my favorite restaurant and then I packed up and hit the road.
I’m exhausted from finals, increasingly hard training, not sleeping, a few too many cookies and alcoholic indulgences, and cleaning. I’m grateful to all the amazing people and resources in my life. And so far I’ve received A’s in half my classes from fall semester!! The other grades haven’t come out yet, but I’m extremely proud.
Will update on training, goals, life, plans, winter break, etc. in the next post!