Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Lonely Runnin'

Well Mr. FancyPhysicsBoy also known as Jason, the other wriiter on this site and my husband has been so busy these last few weeks with his physics analysis that he has had to sit at work for hours and hours and hence, not be runnin'

This leaves Leah lonely on her runs. :-(

(let's be honest....it's only been 2 runs....but still)

It's so different running alone. I know that lots of you do it all the time it's just something I am totally not used to. I love having my partner by my side when I'm out there. But sigh, not meant to be today.

Today's run was hosted by a beautiful winter afternoon. The temperature was about 36 degrees or so, but sunny and just that awesome crisp winter weather that I actually quite enjoy running in. Totally not too cold and just nice out. I went about 3.7 miles on one of my favorite city loops. I run right by wrigley field then to the lake front and then back home through city streets. It's the best loop because on the way back through the streets I can totally get around all the lights and hence never get stuck waiting for that magic green color to come my way.

There weren't too many other runners on the path, I think I only saw about 4-5, but I went around 3:30 pm when most people are still at work.

Tomorrow I'll try and get a run in before we go to the lab, if that doesn't happen I'll just run AT the lab......around the ring perhaps. Speaking of the Fermi Ring.

I have heard rumers that a couple years ago there used to be a annual "Race around the Ring" at Fermi Lab. I am on this graduate student council thing and I am thinking of trying to bring it back. There are actually quite a bit of runners at the lab and I think people would get a kick out of it. I am going to see if I can get some money to sponser it and then we could have t-shirts and stuff. or even just a $5 dollar entry fee or something cheap. It would be nice it it could be a bigger event and catch on then year to year. We'll have to see if I can get that going.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

My Kind of Town....

Chicago Is.....My Kind of Town.

Jason and I just got back from a 5.3 mile run. Again it was about 48 degress when we left for our run. And again I over dressed.
I had on windpants....which by the way if it's really windy out just turn into like wind balloons :-), then a Nike tank top thing, a dry fit long sleeve t-shirt and then another regular cotten long sleeve shirt over that. It was pretty bad when the wind was with us as I got a little heated, but then of course we have to turn around and the wind goes from helping you to blowing you into the random other runner on the running path.

As I was running today, as frequently happens when I am out running, I was overcome by a feeling of love? desire? I really don't know the right word I am looking for here. But I get nostalgic for this town. Jason and I are nearing the end of our bout with graduate school and will be moving on probably by the end of the year. To where we don't know yet. Who knows maybe Apple Computers will hire me. California then? Maybe a big company in New York City will hire Jason and we can turn into New yorkers? Perfect weather? The biggest city? But what about MY city. I grew up here in Chicago and I LOVE IT. I love the people that live here, I love the lake front, I love the Cubs (if I move to NY and I start rooting for the Mets my father will disown me, but I canNOT be a yankees fan with those stupid rules), I love the Bears......I love all that is Chicago. It doesn't mean that I don't want to see what else this big world has to offer, but I know when the time comes to make a decision it's going to be hard for me to leave my beloved Windy City.

We'll just have to see.

(Ah yes, don't forget to check out the Running Progress link on the upper right as it will be updated today with our progress over the last week. )

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Great Run

Today jason and I went for about 3.75 miles. I was concerned after yesterdays run because my shins hurt so bad. I don't know what the deal is with this problem. It almost feels like those muscles in front of my shins on the outside are getting super tight, almost like they are spasming. I really dont' know how to describe it but yesterday when I missed a traffic light and needed to stop I couldn't barely stand those muscles hurt so bad. I spent probably about a minute trying to stretch out that area of my legs and it did feel a bit better when I started up again, but never perfect.

Today though we started off super slow and ran at this pace for maybe 5 blocks and then continued at our normal pace.

no pain.

not even a little twinge of annoyance. So maybe starting off a bit slower is more key than I had thought before. I am really looking forward to our run tomorrow. We are planning on 5 miles so we'll see how that goes
(i am also really excited because we finally did laundry and my smart wool socks are clean...I know I am just the coolest person ever....but they are really comfy socks)

Jason also found out that his friend Jon Phillips will be running the Indianapolis mini marathon in May so that should be super fun. Apparently Jon has run two marathons, his first was done at about 4:20 and his second at 3:40 !!! way to go Jon taking off 40 minutes between the two races....that's incredible.

Quick word on two novels. I just finished The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova which is a really awesome page turner concerning Dracula and I highly recommend it. I am also just starting a book called Saturday by Ian McEwan which so far is well done. The book follows around the main character as he goes about his business on one Saturday in February. So far I really like it......(just a little book info for you librarian/runners out there :-) )

Preferred Start I

So I was just at the Shamrock Shuffle website and not only do Jason and I get a Preferred start but we get a Preferred I start. So I guess there are 3 qualifying bins, Competative, Preferred I and Preferred II

Competitive Start:
004-05 LaSalle Bank Shamrock Shuffle 8K: < 0:35:59
2004-05 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Half split: < 1:35:59
2004-05 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon time: < 3:15:59

Preferred Start (I):
2004-05 LaSalle Bank Shamrock Shuffle 8K: < 0:42:30
2004-05 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Half split: < 1:45:59
2004-05 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon time: < 3:45:59

Preferred Start (II):
004-05 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Half split: < 2:00:59
2004-05 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon time: < 4:30:59

I think last year we ran it in 38:30 or something like this so we are in the Preferred (I) bin. Now I'm a little more nervous. It's so funny because by 1/2 and full marathon times relate to the Preferred (II) bin.

I hope that Jason and I can do at least as well as we did last year and hopefully a little better. I wonder if we could ever get down to the competative start bin for this race....35:59.....7:14 pace......hmmm....maybe not so much.

Today I'll run and hit the gym hopefully. Jason still has loads of work to do so I don't know if he'll be able to join me. I hope so, I don't want to run alone again. I suppose he could join me for the run since that won't take too much time away from the physics.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Cocktails and Brownies

Well Jason had to go into work today because he has to be done with this analysis by next week. eeek. So I had the day to myself as Friday's are the days we deem, "Work at Home days". I did do some work, but I found this cool program called Comic Life on the computer and played with that for what some people might call, awhile. Anyways, it's totally awesome because you can make comic strips using your photos, and then you can give the photos comic book effects. Very cool. Or you could make cool posters of yourself running....

I went for a run by myself today. how odd was that! I can't remember the last time I went for a run alone. It was good and bad. Bad because it got a little boring like instantly, but good because I had to force myself to keep going even though my shins were screaming for me to stop. Gotta find that inner power somewhere. The weather was AWESOME. It was 50 degrees out when I left the house for my run. I wish it wasn't January and this could be real weather. sigh.

So where does that leave me.....that's right I'm baking some brownies and drinking some cocktails. If you mix the juice of a lime wedge, Captain Morgans Tattoo Rum, and Diet Coke you have a mighty tasty little drinky drink. I swear to god it tastes like a green sour patch kid! Jason disagrees with me, but I'm totally serious. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 26, 2006


AUGH I hate meetings! Thursdays tend to be a pretty busy day for us here at the lab. We have either an 8:30am or 9:00am meeting depending on which week it is, which is fine, but today we are meeting with our advisor at around 5pm and then I have a Graduate Student Association officer meeting after that.

We decided to push the run to tomorrow because we wouldn't be able to run until pretty late, and we work at home tomorrow so that should work out fine. We will go maybe the same loop we went on Wednesday and then also hit the gym tomorrow.

Of other interest, I am trying to work out new ways to plot my running data, so using iWeb I created another blog that will live at my .mac address. This will just be updated every Sunday with plots of the week, summed distance and so on. You can check it out now (albeit not very interesting yet) by clicking on the "Running Progress" link on the upper right.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Drivers : Always ALWAYS look for pedestrians!

This morning Jason and I got up at our usual 7:15 and were out the door by 7:40. We decided to shake things up a bit, yes we here at the Welty-Rieger household can get pretty crazy, and go for a looping run instead of just an out and back which we tend to do because we can stay away from traffic lights along the lake front path. Everything was going great and then we get to the corner of Aldine and Halstead and we are waiting for a bus to go through the intersection and then we are going to cross. I notice that there is a car behind the bus and also a blue car on the street that we are on, but on the other side so as the bus went by we were hidden from him (although I did see him so he should have noticed us as well). So the bus goes by, Jason and Leah proceed to cross the street and the blue car proceeds to make a right turn RIGHT INTO ME! The driver totally didn't even think about pedestrians. Not only do I almost get hit by a car, but the guy doesn't even give the apologetic wave/shoulder shrug. Very scary actually as that was the closest I have come so far in my running to getting touched by a vehicle. Always Always remember the pedestrians...and know that if you ever hit one it's on you no matter if it was your fault or not.

But we did have a great run, total distance of 3.7 miles. Yes that's right, we are building up that milage again. I will have the cool plots again in the coming days.

In other fantastic news the physics program now works on the new computer! So a shout out to Fons Radermakers who is The Man who got this running on this intel architechture. (he's actually really awesome as he is one of the original creators of the program!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

No Gym but Great Run

Last night we didn't leave Fermi Lab until about 8:15pm (after losing 3 games in volleyball :-( !! ) So by the time we got near the gym it was 9:15 and Jason and i were exhausted and so decided to skip on the gym so that we won't totally wear ourselves down.

Our run this morning was nice. It was 35 degrees out which I over dressed for a bit. We just went 3 miles, but it just feels so good to be out there again!

Nothing else is new here...including my comptuer woes. I cannot freakin' get anyone to write me back. don't really know what to do now. I am trying to remotely log into my machine at work and that is painfully painfully slow because of the computers talking back and forth.

alright, frustration is turning into utter annoyance.


**but i would like to note that the computer in general is AWESOME. It's super fast and there is almost no waiting for things to load up or quit out of. As soon as this one little stupid program works I will love it 100%**

Monday, January 23, 2006

New Technology

I am starting to freak out about our new computer. As it is a new technology I am starting to worry that nothing I need will work. And by nothing, i mean one program that I need for my physics analysis. I have posted a question on a discussion forum with no response, sent an e-mail to a mailing list with questions with a promise to "look at it tomorrow". I love my new computer and I know that it will work *eventually*. But what if eventually is in a couple months? I need the machinary now! well at least by Friday since this is the next day I will work at home.


So frustrating. I know that a lot of other physics nerds are going to be very interested in the new macpro book and hence the creators of the package will have to have the program ready for more people soon.

Maybe all will be fine and I'll get word back that everything will be fine sooner rather than later, but I tend to freak out about things like this. It could not even be their problem and I am doing something stupid.....I just don't know.

Tonight we play volleyball against my least favorite team. It is very *VERY* important for this team to bitch about every call the ref makes.

The Call : Out of Bounds
Mean Team : Um, actually that wasn't out of bounds.

The Call : Lifting the ball instead of setting properly
Mean Team : What is wrong with you, that clearly wasn't a lift.

Many calls later : Serve into the net
Mean Team : IT DIDN'T HIT THE NET & Remember that Out of bounds call 10 mintues ago? yeah? Well it still wasn't out of bounds!

It's so frustrating. This doesn't help my already crappy volleyball game because I just want to beat them so bad and my play goes down the toilet. But perhaps this will be the night that we conquer the team.....we'll see.

After the game we'll head back home and stop at the YMCA to get big and strong, then home to try and get my program to work again :-( Maybe a miracle will occur

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Remembering LOoOoOng Sunday runs

Today Jason and I went out for what ended up being ~4.5 miles. It was really a wonderful as the weather was pretty nice (at a balmy 32 degrees) and our underpass has finally been reopended so we were able to jump onto the lake front path immediatly.

When we got to the lakefront path which was about at the Totem Pole for those of you that know Chicago I was smacked with an image of Jason and I going out for one of our long marathon training runs last summer. I remember we would get the Totem pole for say a 16 mile run, and i would go, "Ok, Leah get settled in, only 15 miles to go". Wow. And it wasn't ever a big deal, just alright, keep putting one foot in front of another and kick this run's ass. Today we only went 4.5 miles, but we felt great. I am really looking forward getting into our mini marathon training and bumping up that long run again.

tomorrow we have volleyball and a workout at the YMCA and then the plan is TWR run, F gym, SS run. So we'll see.

oh yeah and going to bed at 3am and 4:30 AM the last two evenings has me pretty screwed up at the moment. I'm just got up from a nap (this should make falling asleep tonight NO PROBLEM) and jason and i ate lunch around 5 or so. what! What time will dinner be then?

Google Earth

So they recently (finally!) released Google Earth for the Mac. And now that I am running Tiger I can use said program. Holy Cow is that program amazing! Below is the little easy 3.something mile run that Jason and I have been doing lately, click on it to make it larger. When you draw the line on the map it will tell you the distance as well. It's just like we live in the 21st century! Very Cool! (by the way, did anyone notice the time of this post. We just got back from video gaming and movie watching at Bryn and Tina's place....it's just like I'm a grownup and up late on a Saturday night! Good thing I can run tomorrow afternoon)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

New Shoes and Apples

That's right Jason and I purchased the new 20" iMac with the Dual Core Intel Chips in it. It's super cool and with the built in camera we can take funny pictures like this:

So, although the pictures are fun (and I could take them for hours) I really needed this computer so that I could work from home more efficiently....unfortunatly I am having quite a time getting the main analysis tool to compile on this computer. I know it will work eventually just a tad frustrating because I want it to work now. sigh. and because I have some work to do sooner rather than later. I know that it will work eventually and be blaziing fast when it does, so hopefully it will happen soon.

We also went for a run this morning which I am proud of as we were up till 3am working with the computer. Just went three miles again, but will go 4 tomorrow. I noticed that my favorite entrance to the lakefront path that has been closed for the last several months was back open so that is good news. The weather today was AMAZING. The temperature was somewhere in the mid 20's, but there was NO wind and NO clouds. It snowed last night so there was the familar crunching of snow beneath of feet. Very nice.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Oh Macintosh, how I love Thee

So Apple just release some fancy new fast computers.

Who loves fast computers? Leah and Jason!

So my dear dad would say, "Calm down there gadget girl," in which I would reply, "But I feel the need......the NEED FOR SPEED". As I have mentioned Jason and I are working towards a graduation date of the end of the year and for this to happen I think that we will need to work some on the weekends. When we first made the decision to hurry up and graduate I thought we would need to move to the Lab because we would have to work many hours and many days. All I'm saying is that with a new fast machine we can work A LOT from home....including weekends.

Have I convinced you yet? Not yet?

I e-mailed the creator of a graphical program we use to graph our data (name of this program is ROOT) to ask if their program would have any problems running on the new intel chip, his reply was:

ROOT has been running since last June on the Intel Macs (we have two dev platforms here). So just get one and enjoy the speed. I did :-)


Well something we are definitly thinking about. We are going to go downtown for a movie tonight...and if we so happen to stop at the mac store....so be it:-)

Right, working out then. We went to the YMCA today and did our usual loop of machines. Next time I go, I will bring some paper so I can write down exactly what we did. I did lots of ab work, but I don't think I am doing some of those runner's world ones correctly....or maybe I am just really strong! Tomorrow we will go for a 3 mile run, and then 4 (that's right we are building on up!) on Sunday.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Workin' workin'

No running today :-( But actually that's ok as we are trying to get back into the game without blowing out our legs this time.

We had a long day at the lab today. We have early meetings on Thursday so we got here around 8:30 and will leave probably around 7 or 7:30. The meeting this morning is usually 1.5 hours long but today it was something like 2.25 hours. There are tons of physics conferences coming up (that's right, we're big nerds!) and so lots of people are presenting analyses that hope to be shown at these conferences. Jason is working on one that will hopefully go through for the Moriod QCD (Quantum ChromoDynamics) conference, who's deadline for presenting is creeping up on him. As I won't be ready for these winter conferences I have a bit more time but I am working on an analysis for the APS (American Physical Society) conference that will be in Dallas, TX the 3rd week of April.

Tomorrow we head to the gym for more good ab work, we'll see if Leah can keep her feet off the ground this time. Then running on Saturday and Sunday. Next week we'll go for T, W, R, S &S (running) and M,F (YMCA) which will be our schedule while training for the Indianapolis half marathon.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New Shoes!

Oh man, do I love shoes! When I was in high school I worked at our local sportmart and oh man, you get like 10% (that's right!) off on anything in the store. Let me tell you where my paychecks went :-) Kidding really.

But I recently went to Momentum Running on Clybourn Ave to peruse their inventory, mainly shoes as my current trainers are nearing their end (this is really because I don't like them that much not becuase I have actually put too many miles on them, they aren't even at the 200 mark yet :-) ). I have really been wanting to try the Brooks Adrenaline 6's on, but they didn't have them in my size and said that they would call when they came in.

Well ladies and gents. That day was today.

I have heard that they are a bit more narrow than the 5's but when I tried them on I knew that my feet had found their home. I have been running in the Asics 2100 and although they have carried me far, I just knew that they weren't the ones for me.

Yes I realize that I haven't run in my new shoesies yet, but I did test them out on the sidewalk and they really did feel wonderful. I'm looking forward to getting them out on the road and putting some miles on them. And I know you all want a picture....

I'm Running Too!

Leah has been doing such a tremendous job of getting this site up and running ("running", get it?) again that I have been pretty happy to just read her stuff and nod along. Well, my names on this site too, so what do I have to say?

Well, um, first off I have to agree with everything Leah has written below (I mean, I don't literally "have to", I just choose to). It is great to be back into running and I'm feeling better already. I had taken a break from writing on either this site or my other site because I was feeling very uninspired. I was a little concerned that I was losing my sense of humor (correction: my razor sharp sense of humor). However, with a couple weeks of running/working out under my belt, I'm starting to feel like my old self again. The lethargy has lifted and so has my spirit.

It's amazing what a little exercise can do.

The Weather is Here...wish Running is Beautiful

(get the Jimmy Buffett reference? Anyone? Anyone?)

Jason and I got another 3 mile run in this morning.

I know I know!!! That's 2 days IN A ROW

Yesterday I started updating the graphs I like to make and wow we were so awesome back in November running something like 30 miles/week. It's hard to look at the weeks and month after that where we were lucky to get in a couple miles a week. The holidays overtook us, and I do think that we were overdoing it with those highish milage weeks because at least my shins were absolutly killing me.

Getting back into the groove though is really spectacular. Something about the first of the year coming and detoxing after the holidays maybe. Today's run was nice. Nothing fancy, just runnin' :-) (and no shin pain!)

So the weather here in Chicago for January is not so bad. I checked the 10 day weather forcast yesterday and it looks like it will be in the upper 30's lower 40's. Wow! This is Chicago people, I was expecting 10's and maybe 20's with some snow. But it looks good for now. Still have to get through February though....

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Well as we won't be doing the Superbowl Shuffle.....by the way the Bears allowed Steve Smith a GAME HIGH of 218 yards. That's what I would call the "best" defense in the league.

But we will be doing the Shamrock Shuffle 8K that will be on April 2nd in Chicago. This was a fun race last year and we are looking forward to running it again. Last year we somehow had some speed finishing with a pace of 7:40 or so, we are going to try and beat that by a little and finish in around 36:30 which would roughly be 7:20 pace or so...we'll see if that can happen. Who knows what the Welty-Rieger clan can do with speedwork added into our repertoire

Up and On it

This week starts the second week of....let's get on that running train. Last week I thought it would be no problem to get all the runs/workouts in without being too tired. I was totally wrong about that. However I am feeling much better so far this week. Yesterday we got to work around 10am and went to a Volleyball clinic from 5:30-7:15. After that we drove back to the city and stopped by the local YMCA to get our muscles big and strong :-)

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to try and do these ab exercises that were in Runner's World magazine. Yeah. I apparently have a few weak stomach, which I never would have thought as I am in pretty good shape. One of the exercises was to lay on your back with your legs straight up in the air and then twist your trunk so that your legs were about 12 inches off the ground and then pull them back up to vertical. hahaha, once my feet were 12 inches off the floor they kept right on going to the ground. I do think that these are good exercises because the article mentioned that they were good workouts for running, so hopefully they will help the ole's abs and also benefit my running a bit.

Today we got up at 7 and went for an easy 3 mile run, and felt pretty good. Tomorrow we'll try that again and see how much our bodies like getting up earlish to run.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Bears Lose!

What the......

The Chicago Bears were labeled as having the BEST defense by far in the NFL. Before yesterday that was true. They allowed 29 points yesterday at Soldiers Field. During the regular season they only allowed 61 TOTAL points at home. Man.

I do have to give kudos to little Rex Grossman who was able to guide the offense to 21 points...which is A LOT more than we have been seeing from the Bears this season.

But alas football season is over for me and dear Jason who is a huge Colts fan.....can't even talk about what happened there. So for us it's GO DENVER and GO SEATTLE!

How about running? We ran 3 times last week. That's right we are total badasses.

We ran 3 miles on Tuesday morning, ~3.75 on Thursday afternoon at Fermi Lab and then 3 again on Friday. The weather on Thursday afternoon was unbelievable for Chicago in January. I think it was 50-something degrees. Hence quite the shock for our Friday run when it was "snowing" I put snowing in quotes because it was some weird combination of snow, rain with a hammering wind accompanying it. We were going to run on Sunday but as we strapped in at our local pub for what would have been the greatest day in sports ever we didn't quite make it.

This week's plan will be to add a 4th day of running, and then next week a 5th day. This gets us into gear for the half marathon training and hopefully our shins will not be crying as much as they were back in November.

We are also trying to frequent the gym more than we did last year. We will hopefully go Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays/Saturdays. In this month's Runner's World magazine there was an article about some ab exercises that should help benefit the running, so I am going to try this routine tonight and see how it goes.

A question for you readers:

Have any of you tried the new Brooks Adrenalines? I loved the 5's but have heard not such good things about the Brooks Adrenaline 6's. Thanks!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Are we back?

I hope so!

After a crazy end to 2005 Jason and I have laced up our running shoes and are back on the running trails again. We are running the Indianapolis Mini Marathon along with a few Teyemas and need to get into shape for that. After looking through several different running programs it looks like we will be trying to stick to Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half Marathon program. This program is 5 days a week and includes speed work which should work well with our busy schedule. Other races that we are looking into are the Shamrock Shuffle right here in Chicago and then there is a 12K in Fort Wayne, IN where Jason is from that we thought might be fun as it would be quite a bit smaller than all the races that we have run in the past. What about a marathon? That question is still up in the air as our busy schedule is almost over taking us.

Why so busy all of a sudden? We are still graduate students and were able to get in a marathon last year, so what happened in the last few months? Well we went to visit NYC and got an itch :-) We are both hoping to find jobs there and move by the end of the year. Alright not the end of the year, actually by the beginning of October as that is when our lease here in Chicago is up. So in the next 8 months Jason and I have to finish up a full analysis and write up our thesis and get this party called life started.

Do we know what we want to be when we grow up. Well no.....but we do know that we are ready to move along and see what else this great big world holds.

So stay tuned, and let's see if Crazy Leah can design a work/workout/running matrix that allows for all the stuff to get done!