Sunday, April 30, 2006

We Are Tough

And Tired! So apologies in advance for a sleepy post.

Today we had to get a 12 mile run in. I am still on shifts at good ole' Fermi Lab from 4-midnight so we HAD to go after we woke up in the late morning. There wasn't an option of putting it off until later in the day and I didn't want to run it tomorrow because the race is on Saturday and in my opinion that was too close in time to be running a long run.

Why am I telling you all this?

I noticed that it was raining BUT the temperature was at about 57 degrees, so how bad can it be, right? We first went down in shorts and just thin under armor type shirts. We immediatly went back inside. It was pouring and cold. We switched to two layers with a heavier outer's almost like a rubber material, I can't describe it. Anyways, we went back outside and started running. I was soaked by the time I got to the end of the block.

Ok, Ok I kept telling myself it's not that bad. Just a little wind and rain. We got to the lake front path and I noticed that the wind was pretty strong and in my face. Well that's not fun considering we have another 5.5 miles to go in this direction. Ok Ok, it's not that bad it's not that bad. At about mile 4 I realize that I am delusional and it IS that bad. Especially at this point in the run because we lost any kind of protection we had from the wind and at points for the next three miles it was like running on a treadmill. The wind was so hard that I thought the rain had turned to ice as it felt like it was stinging my face. We decided to turn around a half mile early because the wind just became too much and then finish at the house instead of on the lake front. This benefitted us getting to turn around sooner and then not have to walk back ~1 mile in the shitty weather.

I have to say I am impressed with us today. There were times today that I wanted to lay down on the ground and beat my fists upon it and yell, "What the fuck is wrong with me? Why am I out here freezing my ass off, getting no where on the run because the wind is pushing me the other way?" Then I would put my left foot in front of my right foot and my right in front of my left and keep repeating. We made it the whole 12.4 miles without walking and with just two quick water stops. I am proud of us.

The splits (I know these aren't THAT interesting, but you can really see where the wind got to us, but we were always able to stay within our desired pace...wind and all! The numbers in () is the pace for that mile)

Mile 1.2 : 12:13 (10:10)
Mile 2.2 : 21:09 (8:56)
Mile 3.2 : 30:06 (8:56) Nice consitancy in these two miles.
Mile 4.2 : 39:33 (9:27) There's the wind
Mile 5.2 : 49:01 (9:28) More wind
Mile 6.2 : 58:38 (9:36) Last mile before turning around
Mile 7.2 : 1:07:28 (8:49) There's the wind at our backs
Mile 8.2 : 1:16:14 (8:46)
Mile 9.2 : 1:25:18 (9:03) Water stop
Mile 10.2 :1:33:53 (8:35) My legs are on fire! in a good way!
Mile 11.2 : 1:42:22 (8:28)
Mile 12.4 :1 :53:58 (9:40) Held up by some Cub traffic

So over all : 12.4 Miles in a brutally heavy wind/rain storm with a average pace of 9:11 min/miles. Not too shabby.

Now we are back at work for my shift.....exciting times. exiting times. I am exhausted.

This week we have planned 4 miles on Tueday, 30 minute tempo on Wedesday and then 2 on Thursday and then it's off to Indy.

Leaving Work at Midnight

Leaves you with a very empty parking lot. I know you all want to be at a physics lab between 4 and midnight on a Saturday night. Let me tell you it's VERY exciting.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

1 Week to Indy

Well the race is almost upon us. We have one week to go, with only one long run left and then a pretty easy running schedule next week. I have many reasons to look forward to this race, but I am way excited because my dad and stepmom are coming in to watch. They live on thier 40' sailboat which is currently in Key West and I don't get to see them as much as I used to. When I called to tell my dad I was running the Chicago Marathon and so if he wanted to spectate again he should put October 22nd on his calender. He laughed and said, "You know Leah, you don't have to run marathons for me to come visit!" But I think it's a good reason, so I'll keep running these races :-)

We ran the Indy Mini 2 years ago and had no idea what the hell we were doing, but loved it so much we decided to stick with this running thing and as you know if you read this blog it has become a huge huge part of our in there is work, there is sleep and there is running. That's about all we do. I know I know we are totally cool. Anyways, I am looking forward to running this race after getting some other races under my belt and feeling more comfortable with that kind of distance.

We had another good run today! I think I like to have 2 or 3 good runs to offset a bad run. I don't know why it's not a 1-1 ratio, but I think it's easy for my confidence to be shot down and only after I prove to myself a couple times that everything is going to be ok can I stop worrying! Anyways we were supposed to do 3 miles at our 1/2 marathon pace but went a bit fast.....but it felt good to go fast. I kept track of mile splits this time (note that it's 1.2 miles to where thee mile markers start, so I take this as the first "mile" then real mile splits after that.

1.2 Miles - 10:30 (8:45 pace)
2.2 Miles - 18:25.52 (7:55.08 pace)
3.2 Miles - 26:04.54 (7:39.02 pace)

Not too bad. Jason and I are starting to think about a stategy for this race. This is the first time we have done this as usually it's "Look at all the people & run forward till the end". More on that as we get closer to the race. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Well That Was Better

First off I want to thank everyone that commented on my post yesterday. I think a regroup day is almost in order. With the race just a week away I want to try and stay in the game. We are planning for some days off (which in my opinion should involve lots of beers!) after the race. Woot on onto today's run.

After yesterday's debacle of a run, I was a little worried my legs would still be heavy for today's 3 mile run. We started off slow on the most beautiful day I am thinking ever. There were no clouds in the sky and the temperature was in the high 50's. Honestly, it can't get any better than that. We went out on the usual lakefront path out and back deal stopping at the lake front so we can enjoy as much time outside and walked the mile home.

It was a great run. I know it's only 3 miles, and it's an "easy" run, so still no excuses for yesterday's run...but still nice to get out there and cruise fastish (yes that IS a my dictionary anyways) through a 3 mile run.

On the walk back home, we were walking down Waveland Ave by the ball park during batting practice and all of a sudden all the eyes turn towards the bleachers as someone had hit a ball out of the park! This was it, this is what we have been waiting for for the past three years. It will bounce and we will catch it and glory will be had by the JasonLeah Clan. That was until the kid with the glove ran in front of us and made a nice catch. Dammit.

Tomorrow is 3 miles at pace and Sunday is 12 miles. I will be at the lab from 4-midnight through the weekend too but hopefully the runs will still go alright now that I am on this schedule and a bit more used to it.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Not So Much Tempo Run as....

I don't know....walking home :-( :-( :-(

The run did not go well this morning. Jason and I went to bed around 3am after the nice long drive home yesterday and got up at 9am. I honestly have not slept that hard in a long time. I don't think I moved at all during the night because when I woke up my neck hurt from I think sleeping in the same position.

Anyways, after we crawled out of bed, Jason ran to the store to get some bagels and we snarffed one down and headed out. I don't know if we went to fast at the beginning or I was just not fully awake, or I didn't have enough food in me (I honestly ate and ran out the door, maybe it was just sitting in my stomach and not getting to my muscles or wherever the place is that the food goes to help me run) but whatever it was it wasn't good. I got to the turn around point and I was just feeling so bad and out of breathe and oh so frustrated. My legs were just tired, they didn't hurt so much as they didn't want to go forward anymore.

Of course now I am totally worried about the race next weekend because I hate having bad runs so close to the race and I really want to do well at the Indianapolis Half. I mean we still have several runs to get some motion back into our legs, but sigh......I'm just worried about it.

Tomorrow we'll do three, then 3 mile pace on Saturday and then 12 miles on Sunday. I hope these go better than today's run otherwise I'm going to get very cranky and more worked up about the race.

Stupid Stupid CARS!!! I Hate Them.

What don't you want to see after you have been at work for over 12 hours and it's after midnight? As you are wearily making your way to your vehicle, what don't you want to see happening to your rear tire? That's right, a flat.

Jason and I got to Fermi Lab around 12 pm and after an 8 hour shift from 4-midnight we make our way to our car to make our way home to Chicago. Here is the conversation that ensued (I'm not kidding!):

Leah : That's a flat tire.
Jason : No it's just the shadows.
Leah : No, I really think it's just a flat.
Jason : Maybe it's just kinda flat.
Leah : If by kinda flat you mean all the way flat.
Jason : I think we can make it to the gas station and we can just put some air into it and drive home.
Leah : Maybe. Ok, you drive the car and I'll watch the tire and see how it does.
Jason : Alright.
At this point Jason gets into the car and creeps along while Leah stands in an empty parking lot trying to figure out what to look for.
Jason : What's happening?
Leah : I don't think anything good. Ok, I'll drive now and you watch the tire.
Jason : Fine.
More driving and more looking at a flat tire going around. We decide that its fine, and could make it to the gas station. Ok, but we'll just listen to the tire as we drive slowly in the parking lot.
Jason : What does it sounds like?
Leah : A flat tire.
Alright, so we decide to change the completely fucking flat tire. Get out all the tools and start jacking up the car. Ok, now we have to get the flat off. We spent like 10 minutes trying to pry the hubcap off because it was covering the lugnuts and so the tool thing (yes it's late i don't know the name of it) wouldn't fit onto the nuts. Fine, get it all taken care the way Jason, RIGHTY TIGHTY LEFTY LOOSY......GET IT STRAIGHT ALREADY! (I heard a lot of, "Am I turning this the right way?")

editor's note (the editor, in this case, being Jason): I actually know the saying about righty and tighty and what not, I just can't tell my right from left when a circle is involved. I'm mentally defective but my memory is just fine

Alright, so now we don't leave the lab until about 12:45 am and because we have the crappy donut tire on the car we have to drive a bit slower and so it takes FOREVER to get home.

Wait and what is this about 10 miles from the city? Construction? The 2 right (out of 3) lanes closed? Everyone coming to a complete stop? Perfect!

We get through that and now we are almost home and I kid you not, we make the turn onto Addison (which is just a couple blocks from our apartment) and the entire street is blocked off with fire trucks and police cars. Seriously.

When I grow up I want any job where I can walk or bike or public transit my way to work. I would scoop fucking dog shit at this point.

Grumble Grumble Grumble.

Alright, it's off to bed and then up for a 45 minute tempo run and then back out to the lab around noon because my advisor is going to be there tomorrow and wants to have a "longer talk" about my analysis. Should be fun!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tempo Run called on account of teeth

Today we were slated for a 45 minute tempo run, which actually probably would have gone really well since both Leah and I felt really good during yesterday's run. However, the teeth must come first so there was the first Tooth Delay of our marathon training.

As Leah's mentioned before, she has a few issues with her bite that are causing her teeth to fracture. While this sounds fun, it turns out that it really is kind of bad. The solution to this problem is oral surgery and braces and so today Leah took a trip to the orthodontist to get an estimate on her repairs.

(Long story short, we discovered today that student insurance sucks)

Well, the appointment was in the morning and Leah has shifts from 4pm to midnight this week, so is was sort of hard to find time to run and get work done and have Leah's teeth criticized and so we've bumped the tempo run to tomorrow.

So, you know, stay turned for an exciting tempo run report tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Dallas, A Crabby Cat & 5 Miles

Jason and I just got back from a trip to Dallas, TX. The annual American Physical Society (APS...we all love anagrams) meeting was held there this year. We got there on Friday and were able to get runs in on Saturday and Sunday which is always a nice thing to able to do when you are away from home as sometimes when the schedule is screwed up it's difficult to get motivated to lace up those shoes!

We spent a couple nights at a bar called Gator's -Croc & Roc which was pretty fun. They had a nice long list of frozen drinks which is always nothing but a good time for everyone. We hung out there on Friday night with a fellow Fermi Lab guy named Jorge and then on Saturday night we met up with him and some of his friends all of who were from South America. Two of the guys, one from Colombia and the other from Argentina, work for Haliburton and were in Fort Worth for a 3 month session learning stuff about oil engineering. Then there were two guys who work at Fermi Lab, one from Argentina and the other from Brazil (Rio De Janero at that! Can you imagine being from Rio and moving out to the western Chicago suburbs?). We had a lot of fun with this group and had wacky waiter who kept us smiling all night.

On Sunday, after meeting up with Runner Susan, we went back to Gators and very easily convinced Brendan, who is the head of our physics group at Fermi Lab, to join us for a cocktail. Brendan, being a big fan of any type of frozen thing with liquor added, had a good time as did we. Although we never got dinner and after running 9 miles, drinking 4 or so frozen tasties and eating a couple fries....let's just say Jason and Leah weren't doing so well on Monday morning.

Monday night we went out with Brendan, Ralf and Gernot. We had cocktails at the Big Ball restaurant at our hotel which is one of those dealys which spins a full 360 degrees and you get a nice view of all of Dallas. Then Ralf wanted to take some really old trolly car to another part of town to get dinner. The trolley ended up being really cool and apparently hasn't changed much over the years. However, after we got to the other part of town we couldn't quite find a place to eat and after walking for many blocks we FINALLY got to a great Mexican place which had really amazing food. In the end the long walk was worth it because the food was o-so-tasty.

On Tuesday morning (that was this morning!) we went to check out the Grassy Knoll because how do you not when you are in Dallas. It was a sad thing and we though it was weird that they have an 'X' in the road where it happened. I guess all the stuff around the location is exactly the same as it was back then.

This plaque was on the outside of the building which was known as the Texas book depository in 1963. We though it was funny that even the sign talking about the building talks about Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly killing President Kennedy. They have a museum on the 6th floor of this building now but we didn't want to pay $10 to see it. We did however get a taste for the museum because they had some posters on the main floor and it was really sad, so it was good that the museum was out of our price range. We also went to check out the Conspiracy Theory Museum but it was just as expensive so we didn't go all the way in. I don't know, after reading some literature at the Consipracy Theory Museum and hearing a guy talking at the site.....maybe there was a second shooter..... (sorry in advance for the graphic description in the next sentance) didn't his head go "back and to the left" (according to the dude at the site)? how could that have happened if he was shot from behind? I love conspiracy theories :-)

After the museums we decided just to head to the airport super early, but this time with a purpose to try and get on an earlier flight, which we were able to do since the flight before us wasn't full. We got home a couple hours earlier than we hoped which is always nice after a longish time we were ansy to see our cat Dagny. Jason and I live on the third floor of our building and when I was on the 1st floor landing I could hear our kitty screaming like she was being tortured. Poor baby! She hates being alone and so when we are on vacations or business trips she tends to get a little cranky.

We had to leave her again as we went out for our 5 mile run which went a lot better than I thought it would. We just ran a nice easy pace and chugged on through the run. It's always nice to get out there for a run after a day of being stuck in a tube (which by the way circled around O'Hare for an extra 20 minutes) and getting baggage and getting home, finding parking etc. It's just such a nice way to end the day.....

Sunday, April 23, 2006

White Rock with Runner Susan!!!

What a fun run we had today! We had plans to meet up with Runner Susan for our weekly long run while we are in Dallas for a conference. We had plans to run at a local park called White Rock which she said was near our hotel. It took us a couple of u-turns to get there which was really funny as the directions kept saying, turn left then right then make a u-turn here.....well after us making several wrong uturns we figured out how to get to the parking at the lake. By the way, there was no need for the directions to say anything about turning anywhere, everything was on the same street!!!

Anyways, we ran around White Lake which was a perfect run ending up around 9.1 miles. It was so fun to run with someone from the Running Blog Family and we talked about other RBFers as if we mutually knew them, when we "know" them because we read their sites everyday.

By the way Susan is amazing. She ran a cool 4 miles in the morning and then met us for 9 miles later on ALL ON ONLY 4 HOURS OF SLEEP!!! That's tough. I have never done the two-a-days and am always impressed with folks that can get that in.

After the run we went back to the car and Susan had planned ahead and brought cold water for us! Jason and I never think ahead and then are really thirsty/hungry after our runs with nothing to snack on. Thanks again for that, Susan.

Thus ended our first RBF meet up...and here's looking forward to meeting up with more of you folks!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Well That's One Way to Get the Miles in.

Ok, I have to start this post by mentiong that in most cases I have an absurdly good sense of direction. I always know which direction I came from and how to get home if we just went for a meandering run. Apparently that is not true in Texas.

Jason and I had a 5 mile at pace run planned for today but the only time we could find in our schedule to get out and run was at noon. Yes, I know it's hot in Dallas at noon. Yes, I also know that there would be no water along the way. I also know that I ran in the Florida noon heat at this conference last year when it was in Tampa. So I am smart and decide to just go for a 45-50 minute run at whatever pace we fall into and that should be fine. Won't get hurt, won't get overheated etc. etc.

So we get out there and it's not too bad, but my shins start screaming...

***side question for those of you that know things about shins/shoes : I just got a new pair of shoes and before I got them I was having no pain at all (the pain is always on the outer part of my shin), then with the new pair (same exact model) the pain comes roaring back. Is it because the new shoes are not broken in that this could happen? Maybe they are too stiff? Thanks***

and we stop and stretch and go a little farther, and stop and stretch and get to a bus turn around point and I just figure that at this point we'll just run around it and head back the same way that we came. Well, apparently we were completely turned around and we ran for about 20-25 minutes in completely the wrong direction.

We are staying at hotel that has this huge tower with a ball on top; I think there is a restaurant in the ball part. The Ball Tower is freakin' huge and we figured that we would be able to see said tower from whatever part of town we were in. Hence, just run in that direction. Because of this I was probably paying less attention than I should have as to where we were going. I kept figuring that once we got to the next block we would be able to see it.

Oh no. There was no fucking tower. So finally finally we realize that we aren't in any kind of vicinity to downtown and so we stop for directions at a Wells Fargo bank. When we told them where we needed to go, they all looked at each other like, "oh shit they really are lost....hope they don't die getting back" They tell us to head back the way we came and we would eventually see it. We run for about 15 mintues and WOOT there's the tower. Then we realize what is usually a big huge tower looks like a baseball in the sky. We are still really far away.

Sigh. oh well.

So, if Jason gave us a nice driving tour of Dallas yesterday then I guess I gave us a nice running tour today. (Jason says: small victory for Jason!) We ended up being out there for about 1:05 which with all the stopping and stretching and walking and asking dirctions was I am guessing somewhere between 5-6 miles.

More meetings today and tomorrow morning/afternoon then it's 11 miles in the eveningish. I am REALLY excited to meet Runner Susan as she is one of the first running blogs I started following. Stay tuned for stories and pictures.

Friday, April 21, 2006

They Have Jack FM in Texas Too!!!

Woot! I freakin' love Jack FM....wait time to back track.

Because I am insane. Let's say it together, "Leah is insane." I have some sickness when it comes to flying. I HAVE to be at the airport insanely early before our flight leaves. Now, if there is some kind of new thing happening, some new way of getting to the airport all bets are off the table and what used to be 2.5 hours early turns to 3.5 hours early. I told you, I am insane.

Because we didn't want to leave our car out at O'Hare for 5 days and because it would be a little pricey, we decided to leave our car in Chicago near the Addison Blue line el stop and then take the el. This would only be $2 each way each so a total of only $8, which is nice. But wait, what if there is all no parking over in that neighborhood? Ok, well, now that I am worrying about it we have to leave even earlier. I am not kidding, we left at 6:55 for an 11:55 flight at an airport which is roughly 15 miles away. We got to O'Hare at 8:15. Jason asked if when we are 50 if we will have to arrive the day before our flight.

So what does one do when one has over 3 hours until their flight? You find a bar. You order a bloody mary, that's what. So that's what we did. The bartender asked if we wanted a double because it was the same price, so of course the lushes here at JasonLeahRun said,"Of course, who doesn't want basically a pint of vodka at 8:30 in the morning?"

This at least allowed us some sleep on the flight to Dallas which was nice. Then all hell broke loose.

We are staying at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Dallas so we have directions to get there from the airport. We get our rental car and we head that way. We find Jack FM ( hence the title of this entry) on the radio and are cruisin' on downtown. We see the hotel, we go there, and then we decide to try and find the self park lot because valet can get a little pricey. So someone (and by someone I mean Jason) can't follow directions and so we end up completely turned around and can't get back to our hotel. We end up back on the highway that took us to the hotel in the first place and I think, "ok, well this should be fine because we can just re-exit at the hotel exit and try again". Oh no. You can't exit. We were in some kind of HOV lane, I guess, like express lanes but there was no way to get to the normal highway....FOR LIKE 15 MILES. I felt like a slot car as I am in a lane just wide enough for my car with big cement barriers on each side of the car, and I'm watching the hotel receeding in my rearview mirror. Finally the HOV lane merges with the normal traffic and we can get ourselves turned around and head back to the hotel.

We checked in and ran into a fellow graduate student and found a great bar called The Crocodile or something like this which had a great upstairs patio. The waiter told us that tomorrow night there will be live music, so I am hoping that we can check that out. Now it time to relax and get ready for a day of meetings tomorrow along with a 5 mile pace run. Sunday evening we are meeting Runner Susan for an 11 mile run at White Rock Park....which of course is very exciting!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

My Apartment Exploded

I don't know what the hell is wrong with me (us). I don't think that being a graduate student should allow me to live in my 1 bedroom apartment like it's my undergrad college dorm. Seriously. I had to work two weekends ago and Jason did a great job picking up the apartment....and a week later it looks like a bomb went off in my dining room...and living room....and bedroom.....

Note to self : put things back. not that difficult.......really it's not.

Today we had an early day at the lab and just got back from a spectacular 3 mile run. It's like 73 degrees out, the sun is shining, so to prolong the time outside and lessen the time inside the apartment of mess we did the run to the lakefront path (1 mile away) then another mile along the path and then back a mile then a mile walk home. There are so sO So SO many people out on the path. It's almost time for the bike riders to start yelling at the runners, "What the hell is wrong with you people, why don't you get your ass on the gravel part that is for the RUNNERS and off the bike path!" Oh it's lovely.

Tomorrow morning we leave for Dallas. Since all my family moved away I don't have any way to get to the airport which is a little strange! So we are going to take the Addison Bus to the Blue Line and then that out to the airport.....but we have to find a place to hide our car because we live in Wrigleyville and switched cars sometime between when we got the neighborhood permits and there is a night game next's real complicated and stupid because we just should have gotten a new permit 6 months ago! Oh well, nothing to be done about it now.

Alright....don't have a clever way to end this I'll just end it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Longer Tempo

Jason and I have been working the early schedule at Fermi Lab which is annoying in the morning when the alarm is buzzing at 4:30, but totally awesome when we are out running by 4:30 in the afternoon. I love the summers because it stays light so late that it never really feels late.

Anyways, today we had a 45 minute tempo run which is slightly longer than the 4o minute tempos that we have done for the past couple of weeks. We warmed up for the usual 15 wait for it, it gets really interesting now. Instead of running 5-4 minute speed up segments as we did here, we did 5-5 minute segments then a 5 minute cool down. See I told you it was going to be really exciting.

Actually I was really worried about the run because a minute longer even though only a minute is well longer. But the run went really well. Unlike last week, I was able to keep the pace up on the last segment and the cool down was a nice cool down and not a shuffling walk.

Tomorrow is the usual easy three miles and then Friday morning we are off to Dallas, TX for a conference. The word on the street is that Jason and Leah are going to hook up with Runner Susan for a long run early Sunday morning. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easy 5

Today we were in line for an easy, breezy 5 miles. And you know what? It did go pretty easy. And, actually, a little breezy.

It's kind of nice that 5 miles is getting easy. I had been feeling each and every one of those five miles in the Tuesday runs, which never seemed quite right (because, in theory, this is supposed to be an "easy run"). I'm not sure if it was due to not recovering properly from the long run, or if it was because of Monday's volleyball, or if I just sucked, but the Tuesday easy 5 usually felt like I was running on little peg legs (and not the bouncy kind).

But now we've had 5 miles at pace go really well (on Sunday) and today's run went really well and that makes two runs of this distance in a row that were a success. It's kind of exciting. It feels like an accomplishment.

Our goal for the marathon training is for our ten mile runs to be both easy and breezy as well because, with the silly summer schedule we are facing, we are going to not want to be tired after our mid-week runs. An easy 5 makes it seem like we are almost halfway to an easy 10 which would be a little bit of alright.


Well, this was a really exciting entry. I just talked about the numbers 5 and 10 for half a page.

For those of you who were wise enough to just skip to the bottom of the post when I mentioned the words "5 miles" for the third time, here is the summary: Run went well, looking forward to lots of great runs in the future.

Go Cubs.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

I recently bought two books : Atonement by Ian McEwan and The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald. I read The Way the Crow Flies awhile back and at the end of it, there was a "if you liked this, you'd love..." I loved The Way the Crow Flies (although really sad) but Atonement was the first book on the list of other books I'd love. Did I love it? Yes (of course), it was a wonderful book.

The book starts off in 1935 where we first come in contact with 13 year old Briony Tallis. The first half of the book is structured with chapters jumping point of views. So we first will read a situation told through the eyes of Briony, then the same scene told through her sister's eyes and so on. Which makes for quick page turning because we realize that Briony is, well 13 so maybe not so in tune with adults' actions, so you are anxious to find out what happened through the adults' eyes. This certainty goes both ways, because it's also interesting to see how a 13 year old would interpret an adult's actions.

Briony witnesses what she thinks is a servant's son harassing her older sister Cecilia. This leads to a series of events that will forever change the lives of the players in the book. The middle part of the book follows one of the characters through some experiences in World War II and the last part follows Briony's life 5 years later when she is 18 and realizes just how bad what she did in 1935 was. (suspenseful no?)

The Book Whore (ala me) highly recommends this book. Enjoy!

***Editors Note***
I forgot to mention that I also read Saturday by Ian McEwan and was entralled with that one as well. I also have noticed that McEwan has written tons of other books. I mention this because I love finding an author that I like and then finding out that they have also written many other books.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Fort Wayne Round Up

How can I leave you people without pictures & stories from the weekend!

Lots happened between being mistaken for an 18 year old (by the way if I have to get braces to fix this bite of mine, I'm thinking that's just going to push my "looks like" age down a couple more years! which is awesome!) on Friday night and our drive home Sunday afternoon...aside from our 10 mile run of course.

Both of Jason's brothers, Andy and Jamie were in town for the weekend which was fun because it is rare to see the three of them together. Jason is 10 years younger than Andy and 8 years younger than Jamie and even though they are now 26, 34 and 36 you can still see the little one being teased. Jamie's daughter, Sam, was also in town and really child it's time to stop growing otherwise you are going to take everyone over.

On Saturday afternoon Jason's parents had a barbeque in the backyard and we all played catch which was tons of fun until Jason had to go and ruin the fun by whipping the ball right at Sam's face! Ah, it'll just toughen her right up. Being the great kid that she is, she was back out on the field in no time. Burgers and hotdogs rounded out the barbeque and then with everyone's bellies full the nappage came on.

Early in the evening on Saturday we went to a nearby park and after Sam was done playing catch her and I went to the park and played lots of swings and tire swings and racing up rock walls, and down rock was tons of fun! I honestly have not been on a swings for I don't know how long and you know what? The swings are super fun. I remember being a kid and being convinced that if I went high enough I would flip the swing clear over the top of the swing set.

Saturday night we went to the nearby outdoor mall and all got really tasty ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery...seriously a small was huge! I got the Banana Split Decision which was de-lici-ous. After dinner, Jason, Andy and me went to a Buffalo Wild Wings and had some dinner (yes we had ice cream before what!). After that it was off to the hotel we were staying at for some games of Eucher....Jason and I took the brothers 2 games to 1. One day Jason is going to leap right over the table and slap me when I trump his Ace, but that is neither here nor there. I also had 5 trump and didn't go I don't know why and Dad, be quiet! :-)

Easter Sunday we hung out a bit at Jason's parents house and had an easter egg hunt for Sam which was loads of fun. She found them all, even if Jamie (Dad of Sam) did put one of the eggs on top of a swing which was taller than the child.....good thing it fell down due to a gust of wind and she was able to find it. After that we headed to Jason's grandparents house to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. All of the family was there and it was good to see everyone.

Thus wrapping up our Fort Wayne weekend. It was great to see everyone and we'll be looking forward to seeing everyone soon.

Book Review: The Historian

The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova, ripped through Leah's family like wildfire (except with fewer burn marks), so I really had no choice but to read it as soon as Leah finished. I'm glad I did.

The Historian revolves around the story of the real Dracula, Vlad Drakula of Wallachia (aka Vlad the Impaler). Vlad the Impaler, a real historical figure, was one of the most bloodthirsty men in the history of, um...history and was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. During his wars with the Ottoman Empire, Vlad the Impaler would impale is enemies on stakes, sometimes through parts of the body that we won't mention here on this site. Men, women, didn't matter. He is truly one of the most awful figures in history. And a great premise for a book.

The Historian mainly takes place in two times. There is the time during the narrator's adolescence when the narrator is discovering letters from her father, detailing her father's past. The story then shifts to the past, and spends the majority of the book there, and is a recounting of her father's story. It is, as the title suggests, a young historian unwrapping the past and letting it unfold before the reader. The transition between the past and the "present" is extremely well done and keeps the reader thoroughly engrossed.

It's a long book, but a hard one to put down. The story is so intriguing that one has to know what happens next and the characters are very engaging, putting the reader firmly on their side. I can't really recommend this book highly enough and I can't wait to see what the her next book will be (this one took eight years to write, so I may be waiting awhile).

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I'm Running In The Rain

Just running in the rain
What a glorious feeling
And I'm happy again!!!!

Today Jason and I went out for a 5 mile pace run when we got back from driving home from Fort Wayne. I hate being in the car unless it's some wacky road trip....but along the Indiana Toll Road for 3 hours does not equal fun. I immediatly bail on Jason and fall asleep, but he's happy because the Cubs game is on (they won. again. woot.)

We get home at about 5:45pm and it's raining and kinda coolish out but we lace up the ole' Brooks and head out the door. Now I LOVE running in the rain. It's one of my favorite times to run because the rain can be refreshing and if it's not too cold out it can be a pleasant experience. I am also stoked because last year I don't think this area got much rain at all. I don't remember running through the rain one time last year, so it's nice to see the grass and trees and flowers all getting that water that they need.

The run went really well with a little extra treat at the end. We are about a mile from being done and we are soaked to the bone and I kinda do this sprint up this "hill" (really just a ramp to get up from under an underpass) and then I hear it. You know the big "WHOOOSH" of a car hitting a puddle on the side of the street. I am too late and immediatly drenched with a huge wave of water. The driver didn't miss me at all! Oh well, what can you do and I was already soaking so not a huge deal. Jason was behind me because he opted to not sprint up the hill and so he just got to watch me get splashed on.

As usual I don't know what pace we ran, but it felt like a pretty good clip so that works for us. Here are the plots from the week and this upcoming week brings us 4 hard days at work and then we are off to Dallas from Friday-Tuesday for a Physics conference.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Fort Wayne 10 Miles

This morning Jason and I joined the PR Training group at Sweeny Park to get our weekly long run in....but let me back track a bit.

We got to Fort Wayne last night and went out to dinner with Jason's parents and his oldest brother Andy. We sit down and the waitress is taking our drink orders and Jason's mom orders a glass of wine and then Andy orders a glass of wine. While this is happening I am looking at the menu for a beer know beer = carbs. The waitress looks at me as says, "We have a wide array of Pepsi products". I say, "Um, well I'd like an Amstel Light". She says, "I'm going to need your ID". So I give it to her and she laughs and says, "Geez, I thought you were like 18......" So I mean it's good I guess to look younger than you are, but 18? Really? Yeah that's off by 8 years!

Anyways, we went to bed around 11pm and set Jason's cell phone alarm to go off at 6am. The group doesn't meet until 8, but that would give us time to get up and have a cup of coffee and a relaxed breakfast. So the phone starts going off and I look at the clock on the bedside table and I go...."JASON!!! It's 7am, the phone didn't switch time zones!" So we threw our running clothes on and inhaled a piece of toast some OJ and a sip or two of coffee and headed out the door.

We met the group at Sweeny park and as usual with us (ok ok with me!) we were the first ones there. Soon enough other runners showed up however and everyone went around and said how far they were going to run and there were plenty of people running 10 miles. So we started out and hooked up with two guys, Greg and Ken and ran with them the whole way. It was really run to run with people that we didn't know because there was lots to talk about and the miles just flew off. I guess Greg was saying that he usually runs about 9.5 minute miles and that felt about right, we might have been a little faster but not too much. Ken was great because he was a bit older than us and just kept saying, "I'm not really a runner" and then he would tell us a race story and say, "Well I got to the first mile at about 7 minutes." He was such a nice guy and I guess he said his first race was a 5K on his 60th birthday. His daughter asked him to run it with her and so he did and it looked to me like he's got the running bug....and a fast bug at that!

So Jason and I would like to thank the PR group for letting us join them on their run today and hopefully we'll see some of them at the Indy Mini and it sounded like lots of them are also thinking or already signed up for the Chicago Marathon.

Tomorrow we'll go out for aout 5 or 6 miles and I think we'll go back to that park because it was really nice to run at and because if we run around Jason's folk's house there aren't many sidewalks and lots of hills...both things I don't like.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Here's to a Great Summer

Yesterday was a bad day at work.

I am trying to get a hold of a title for my car because apperently I lose everything. It's a $400 dollar car and I have to jump through many many freakin' loops just to get it out of my hands. If I could just find that damn manilla folder that says 'Nissan' on it I wouldn't have to do this. Anyways, I then completly forgot about a meeting so had to drive like a maniac to get there. It ended up being a good meeting, but during the meeting one of the grad students made some snide comments my way, and I didn't really understand the need for that. Maybe he's right though, maybe I do need a "pep rally" instead of a career night, not kidding as those were the words that were used. Oh well, maybe I just took it the wrong way.

I had also e-mailed my advisor to tell him I didn't think my analysis was going to be ready for a conference next week, and when I got back from the meeting he had written back saying because I was going out town this weekened I was probably right the analysis wouldn't be done. So I finally took the plunge and sent him back e-mail telling him I needed more support to get through this analysis and I also mentioned that I told him back in March when I could have pulled myself from the conference without it being an issue that due to all this other stuff happening I didn't think it would get done. I didn't want to send the e-mail because I really like my advisor and I thought I was sounding really whiny and I don't like to cause waves. But I sent it on anyways.

Then the day totally flipped around. I got home and he had written back and said that I was right about the conference and he should have listened to me and we are going to start to have daily meetings to make sure we both stay on track and know what is going on with the analysis. I am excited to work more closely with him on this physics analysis and get a result out in the next couple of months. Needless to say, Jason and I are going to have a really busy summer with me working to get this analysis done for summer conferences and shifting at the lab AND training for the marathon. But I think it's going to be good. I do like being busy and I think if we are super organized with our time we can get it all done and fit everything in. After the analysis is done then it's on to writing my thesis and then hopefully graduating by December. (December is not that far away!)

Yesterday we also went for a nice 3.2 mile run. Afterwards we headed over to Toons on the corner of Byron and Southport for some cheese burgers and beers. I have also...wait for it, this is really exciting....decided that I like my new bangs. I know I told you it would be very exciting!

This afternoon we leave for Fort Wayne for a weekend with Jason's family. Jason contacted this running group over there and we'll be joining them for our 10 mile run tomorrow morning. We are flipping the days around so we can run with people who know where to run in that city, since we just end up running on the side of big roads which are too hilly and too dangerous for my preferance. We have never run in a group so it will be a new experience, but should be pretty fun. Then we'll just run 5 miles on Sunday at some point.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Cubbies!!!! The Belated Game Report

Yesterday Jason and I went to Wrigley Field to see our beloved Cubbies take on the Reds. We were very concerned in the morning because they kept saying that it was going to rain all morning and into the early afternoon and we all know how much fun it is to sit in a cold ballpark getting rained on, waiting for the game to start only to see another downpour heading our way. But lucky us the sun came out and we didn't see one cloud the entire game.

We started with a beer at Bernies and visited with my Dad's friend Will who was bartending as usual. We thought about having another but were itching to get into the park as I always love getting there early to see batting practice and find our seats and soak in the ball park. We got to our seats in Section 424 which is just to the right of home plate in the upper deck. This is about my favorite place to sit at Wrigley because you get a great view of the game AND (most importantly) you are close to the Italian sausage and Italian beef sandwiches that are behind home plate. Very tasty! Very Messy!

Soon enough the Old Style Lady came by and gave us two big glasses of cold beer and the game was off. Maddux was pitching for the cubs and did a great job on the mound. The Cubs also had some very exciting plays...twice (that's right twice) Pierre and Lee had double steals which is always fun to watch....especially because last year the Cubs NEVER did anything exciting. This is a new team my friends. Watch out...this could be our year (we say that every year).

The game ended slightly exciting as Dempster gave up a long long long out which I was sure was a home run, but our right fielder nabbed it and the game was over.

After the game Jason and I went to get our hair cut. I don't know, I have some kind of bangs now....don't know how I am feeling about them. They kinda just look like I had had bangs and they are growing out.....but oh well it's something a bit different I guess and maybe it's a bit cuter than my usual "all one length please".

Tonight we have a 3 mile recovery run which should be fine. This weekend we are going to Fort Wayne for a family thing and so will have to get a 5 mile pace done on Saturday and a 10 miler done on Sunday. It's hilly in Fort Wayne. Needless to say these won't be as easy as last week...but maybe we can find some kind of path out there that is flatter than the country roads.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Windy Tempo

Who's tired of hearing Jason and Leah bitch about the wind? No one? That's what I thought.

This morning we went for a 40 minute tempo run following the same style that we have the last couple of times with 15 minute warmup, then speeding up every 4 minutes for 3 times, speeding up to be the fastest we will be for 2 minutes, then 2 minutes a bit slower, 4 more minutes a bit slower (so that's 4x5 = 20 mintues of tempo running) and then a 5 minute cool down. Get all that? Anyways, there is a screaming wind out of the west and so it was a little difficult at times. But as usual we got through it!

We are getting ready to head out to watch the Cubbies take on the Reds. Go Cubs!!!! (Did you see me mention the wind is screaming out of the west? I wonder how many balls will touch Sheffield?!?!)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Okay, so that's too much

In figuring out the whole commute/run thing, part of the process is figuring out when we are doing too much. Leah and I like to fool ourselves and say that we are never doing too much, but sometimes something has to give.

In this case, we are going to have to go easy on the biking. On Monday, we biked downtown in the morning and back home from downtown at night, bookending our night of volleyball. This all felt pretty good and we were riding pretty high so we decided to ride our bikes again today. The problem with today was that we also had a 5 miles run. It seems that 5 miles of running and 12 miles of biking is more than we can easily handle.

I'm very tired.

So, in the interest of saving our energy and our legs for running, we are going to temper our bike riding. But, it's going to be okay (in case some of you were worried). You see, the Pfitz plan calls for cross training/rest days, so we can ride our bikes to commute on those days. Then, on the regular running days, we can drive to work or commute with trains on both ends. It's a potpourri of commuting options, if you will.

The really annoying thing today was that we were already tired and then there was this nasty wind blowing in our face for half the run. I hate when that happens. You know what the problem is with wind? When you are running into the wind (say, for example, a 20 mph wind) you are also running at a certain speed (6-7 mph, usually). So the relative wind velocity is 26 mph. The unfair part is, when you turn around, you are taking away some of the wind's push due to your running velocity (the relative wind is only around 14 mph). Nature is clearly unfair.

Making it all worth it? We get home and, what do you know, there is a package wait for Leah. Her Dad and Stepmom at currently moored in Key West and sent Key (West) Lime candy to us! There is key lime chocolate, jelly beans, taffy, balls, and...other stuff. Good stuff.

All in all, a good (but tiring) day. Actually, as far as I'm concerned, every day that ends in a candy delivery is a good day.

Bike Traffic

I LOVE when the weather takes a turn for the better. It's like the city explodes with people. Although probably true everywhere, I feel that this is especially true in Chicago because we go through such a horrible winter. We go through March looking at and sighing to ourselves, "Nope, still in the 30's for the next 10 days." Then it happens, the magical day that it hits 60, maybe 70 and whoop whoop, SUMMER is here!

Jason and I have been riding our bikes to the train downtown the last few days and it amazing how many other people are on their bikes. I laughed because it's not as if we are missing out on traffic because now we have to make our way through bike traffic. The bike lane is filled with other rides, which is awesome. I would love to have some street in Chicago that was Bikes Only. Now there's a concept.

Tonight we will run 5 miles easy and then tomorrow it's another Tempo Run.....right a word about this.

I don't like the 400 speed workouts. In the city I am no where near a track and have to try and run these on the sidewalks (2 blocks to a 1/4 miles) and worry about traffic when crossing the street and I just don't know how much help they are giving me. I think that the tempo runs give a better return because my legs feel really strong afterwards (albeit tired!). So we will be doing the tempo runs each week instead of every other. I am guessing that this will not ruin all my training thus far.

Tomorrow afternoon we'll be at the Cubs Game, so we'll do the tempo run in the morning as I don't think Old Style is considered "good carbs".

Monday, April 10, 2006

Chicago Marathon The Sequel

Well folks, we did it.

We signed up for the 2006 Chicago Marathon.

Well that's a terrifying sentance.

In all honestly I am really excited and so happy that we signed up for the race. I knew that if we didn't sign up and then it sold out we would have been very upset. I thought that training for the marathon last summer was a great way to spend my summer. You are outdoors a lot of the time, you get a GREAT tan and are although you have to miss out on "getting wasted" with your friends on a Saturday night there is no better feeling than finishing a 20 mile run on Sunday morning.

The training is hard though and your life tends to wrap itself around your runs. When you go on vacation your running shoes are in the trunk and you have routes planned around Niagara Falls or NYC or wherever your are visiting. Your brother-in-law comes to town and you have to say, "Hey Jamie, it was great seeing you for 5 minutes but we have to go run 6 miles we'll be back in an hour". When all your friends are going out after a Cubs game you have to regrettfully say, "Thanks but no thanks". But the prize you get at the end. Running that last mile make it all worth it.

This summer will be even tougher than it was last year with these shifts we have at the lab. We are leaning to always having the schedule where we run after work. So if work ends at midnight we run at 1am when we get home. If work ends at 8am we run at 9am when we get home, if work en...well you get the idea. I am of the opinion that when training for the marathon you must be consistant with the rest of your life. I think that the only way for us to do this, this year is to keep the same work schedule/running schedule even if we will be running at odd times during the day. The good news is that the shifts will be ending 8 weeks before the race so we can get back on a normal schedule before the race.

Well here's to a great summer of running! Go Go 26.2.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Crossing LSD

There was a big question heading into Sunday (a.k.a. Long Run Day). What do you do for your long run when you have to work from 8-4, plus and hour commute on both ends. You could wake up at 4 am and run it in the morn-

Sorry, I can't even say that with a straight face.

(As I type this, Michael Barrett launches a Grand Slam! Go Cubs!)

No, there would be no 4 am runs for us. Instead, we came up with the brilliant idea of running home from the train station. We turned one end of our commute into our long run. A stroke of genius, I think.

So, around 6pm, we left the train station for our 10 miler. We meandered through downtown for awhile until we got to the lakefront. It is really a different sensation, running amongst the towering buildings. It makes each step feel very insignificant. This was one of the most interesting things about starting out the Chicago Marathon last year, feeling that insignificance. And terror, of course, but that's a different post.

We crossed Lakeshore Drive (get it? Crossing LSD? It's also the title of the post) and made it to the lakefront path, turning heading south for about a mile. On our way out toward Soldier Field, we passed a running coming towards us. He looked a bit I know him from somewhere? Maybe he's a lakefront regular? At that point, Leah turned to me with wide eyes,

"Jason, that's Rob Gardner!"

Nah, I said, really? Holy shit, it is him. He had already passed him so we shouted his name until he stopped and turned around, at which point we ran over to him.

Now, at this point, you are all wondering who Rob Gardner is (well, 95% of you are). Is he a famous runner? Maybe an obscure Cub bench player? Concert pianist? Nope, he's the guy that brought Leah and me together...indirectly.

You see, he was Leah's and my lab instructor in our first undergrad lab together our sophomore year of college. It was completely random, but Leah and I were placed together as lab partners. It was here that she realized what a wonderful guy I was and, a mere year and a half later, I asked her out. And a mere 5 years after that, we were married (I'm sort of a fast mover). Rob Gardner, of course, was at our wedding. After all, if not for him, maybe we would never have gotten married (nah, it was meant to be). So this was terrifically cool and got our run off to a great start. 8 miles later we were home.

The run went really, really well. We both fell into a rhythm and the miles just melted away. Neither one of us had any pain and we ran at a very reasonable pace. I'll tell you one thing, we are gonna kick that 1/2 marathon's ass. Yeah.

So now I'm very, very ready for bed. Nothing says sleep like snapping off a quick 10 miles.

Leah has updated her little nerd plots. Below are the plots for this week. The lines keep going up, just like I like. The link to the right has been updated too. A milestone: we passed 25 miles on the week. Yay for us!


D-Zero Tour

***Click on Pictures to Enlarge***

Yesterday while I was on shift, Tom Diehl came down to do some work on the detector and asked if I wanted to see the machine. So the detector is like 3 stories tall and behind all kinds of walls and locked doors so I have actually never seen the machine that all my data is coming out of. Holy Crap was it an interesting tour!

Tom started working on D-Zero in 1990 as a postdoc. I asked him what was here when he got here and he said not too much. I think he was saying that all the support structure was in, but not much else. How much fun would have been to work on that, and as he said it was his playground. I was immediatly lost as we went up and down all these ladders and walkways and crawled through holes, but Tom always knew exactly where we were.

When I was an undergraduate, I spent a summer working on the upgrades to the D-Zero detector. As we were walking/crawling around we came across those detectors! All that work I did and there it was, all plugged in. How cool is that.

We also came across a room that Tom said was dubbed, "The Cable Dump". Literally, all the cables which have data coming out of them come into this area. At first glance it looks like a complete mess, but when you look closer you realize that each wire has a label on it and is bundled with other similar wires.

At one point I was sitting between the muon detectors (there are three layers and we were between layers 2 and 3). I was right in the middle/top of the detector. I kinda felt like a super hero! Well not really, but I did feel pretty cool..or maybe like a monkey after crawling all over the place to get there! In the picture on the left hand side you are seeing the top two layers of the muon detector. I am sitting on the other side in a mirror image of what is in the photograph.

What a great tour! So I want to send my thanks out to Tom for showing me around and pointing out all the stuff that he has worked on during his many years here at D-Zero. Really incredible.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

5 Miles "Pace"

So Jason and I never know exactly how far we go but we roughly know so we always know that we are at about 5 miles even if we are really at say 5.3 or 5.4 or whatever. So we can't exactly keep our pace per miles so these pace runs have turned into "run them faster than normal". Which I am actually assuming is about right.

So 5 miles at pace was schedueled for today which we did after I got back from my shift around 5:30pm. I couldn't believe how cold it was outside. I checked and it 38 degrees with a feels like 30!!!!! So we dug out our running pants from under all the shorts we HAD been wearing and re-bundled up. The run went well. I think I did the middle mile too fast because as the last two miles approached my legs were very tired. However, even with the tiredness I think we were able to keep up the pace, even with the wind in our faces. With a mile to go what song came onto my iPod?


By far the best song to run to ever. (Jason and I watched Rocky last night, which is actually a great movie. I haven't seen all the sequels but the original is quite good. My love for sports movies might be biasing my opinion though. YO Adrian).

We finished the run keeping the same pace and then walked home (we like to finish on the lake front path so we don't have to worry about traffic) to make sure our legs were cooled down. While we were icing down our legs, we had some gatorade and Jason bought the new Rain flavor or whatever (you know where the athletes hatch out of basketballs or vollyeballs in the rain) and let me tell is mighty yummy. I highly recommend the lime flavor.

So after reading Bob's post today in which he talked about which training program he will use for the Chicago Marathon, I started to get marathoning fever. I wasn't sure if I wanted to attempt to train again this summer because we have these ridiculous shifts and I think our advisor wants this thesis stuff "wrapped up" by the end of the year so we'll be really busy. However, I just love it so much and given the title of this blog how can I not.....

By the way, I was thinking I might like to run for a charity this time and I went to the list of charities that you could run for and I was surprised that the ALS Association was not on there. So I was thinking of e-mailing them and seeing if they were interested in sponsering runners or something. Does anyone know how that might work? I am interested in ALS (Lou Gerhig's Disease) because my grandmother died of this disease when I was only an year old and so it's something that has affected my life and my family . So I will be doing some research into this and seeing what if anything can be done.

Tomorrow is 10 miles....(that's double digits!)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Rest Day Cubs Day

Well today is Friday. A rest day for Jason and Leah. This is quite good news since we were up late last night after the dentist appointment from hell.

Today is also opening day for the Cubbies who are back home at good old Wrigley Field. I'm excited to have the Cubs back in town because the neighborhood just gets busy and lively and I love it. It's especially fun to run by the ball park while a game is going on. We used to hope that we would be running by right as a home run was hit out to the street and it would just fall right in front of us. Then Jason or Leah would complete a spectacular catch and continue with the run. Now with the new bleacher expansion I guess it will be pretty hard to hit them out of the park anymore....but I was once at a game when Glen Allen Hill not only hit the ball out of the park, but hit it onto a roof across the street from the park! Now that is a hard hit ball.

Tomorrow is 5 miles at pace and then Sunday is 10 miles. These should go fine with just a small variation from the norm in that we will be running these in the evening due to me having shifts from 8am-4pm at the lab both days.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Gotta Come Back to Center

Well a disappointing dental appointment to say the least. Because my bite is a bit screwed up (only my back 2 teeth hit) & it looks like I am grinding my teeth at night (apparently the dentist can tell because these little circles show up on the top of the teeth and the back teeth are all flat!), I am starting to fracture my teeth. That's right people, my teeth are fracturing. So the tooth that I was having some pain in had a crack right down the middle of it. "Luckily" the crack didn't go all the way down to the nerve and so he was able to fix it by putting a cap on the tooth which he said will act like a belt and squeeze the tooth together. He was talking to me and was telling me that it would probably be a good idea to get this surgery to fix my bite; oh and as a side note I would need to have braces again. I AM 26 YEARS OLD. Can you imagine braces as an adult (how many people thought of Miranda in Sex and The City?)? That was tramatic enough as a kid.....let's not even go into the cost of all this stuff. He didn't say that I would need it tomorrow, but just as a thought to try and prevent more problems in the future.

So hysterical as I was, I came home and told Jason to get his *&%$^ running clothes on. We changed and went out for a run. It always helps just getting out there and calming down a little bit. "Returning to Center," so to speak. It puts somewhat of a perspective on the whole situation. So, I'll get these teeth fixed, and maybe Jason hurry ups and graduates so he can make some real money and we can afford this dental malarky.

So our 3.3 mile run went really well. It's a nice coolish evening which is perfect for a run (even if I am exhausted!)

Oh The Pain

Well I have been having some "discomfort" in one of my teeth. Tonight will see me at Wrigleyville Dental to have them checked out. I am NOT looking forward to this appointment (although I suppose that no one likes going to the dentist). But I am REALLY not looking forward to this one. See, let's just say, I don't have the best teeth in the world. Due to some genetics and my insane love for candy I think they are rebelling against me. I have a cap on one of my teeth and although it looks better than the silver fillings and no one can tell it's fake it still bugs me that I have a fake tooth at such a young age. sigh. The real problem is that being grad students we don't have dental insurance and so the price tends to move up quickly and so the problems get worse because I can't get in to see a dentist on a regular basis. It's just embarrising for me because I have to go into the dentist's and say, "Yes I think they are all falling out. Can you just yank them?" and then Mr. NiceDentist (and the dentist at Wriglyville dental is really nice I'm not just sayng that!) says, "Oh no they aren't, you'll be fine." while secretly under his breath he's saying, "This girl's mouth is a travesty, so sad for such a young girl." (I might might be being a little dramatic)

Today I am on shift again. Actually I am on shift all week from 8am-4pm. Nothing too exciting happening here at the lab because the beam is not turned on. So I just basically babysit computers and fix things if they go wrong. It would be so much more exciting with data because you would know that your actions are affecting the experiment's ability to produce results (ok maybe not THAT dramatic but still...). This is the picture of the control room here at the D-Zero experiment at Fermi Lab. I am sitting (if I wasn't taking the picture) on the left hand side of the picture in front of the laptop.

This morning as we were driving int the lab the sky was oh so beautiful, so I took these two pictures trying to capture the essense of the morning. (what the hell is this girl talking about?)