Friday, September 29, 2006

It's windy and I'm weary

I'm starting to get pretty tired so I think it's time to taper.

Some rather fantastic lyrics to a Barry Manilow-esque song about running? No, just the way I feel today.

Leah and I had ten miles to get in today and, since we also had to take in the rent to the one rental agency towards which we harbor no ill will, we decided to run straight down Damen to Lincoln and Montross and then back. Heading out there got out to a slow start as Leah's ankle was acting up (there's going to be much icing during the next three weeks) but we eventually made it to the rental agency. We dropped off the rent and the management lady (Carolyn or Caroline or University of North Carolina or...something) was so awesome. She was so excited that we ran all the way from our neighborhood and thought it was so cool that we were running the marathon. I'm so glad we moved. I like nice people.

Then we turned to head 5 miles back.

Straight into the wind.

Lots of wind.


But we made it back. Basically, my legs were just tired. They didn't hurt super bad or anything, they just really, really wanted to stop moving and assume a horizontal position. Despite that, we still pushed on to finish a very hard 10 miles. Grueling, you might say. It's sometimes nice to have those sort of runs so that you know you can run when tired. Or, at least, that's the positive spin I'm putting on it.

Oh, and when we arrived back at our apartment, the Garmin read 10.00. How amazing is Leah at making routes?

Forgot to Mention Speed

With the bitches over ot Hayes Properties consuming my mind I totally spaced on talking about our workout on Wednesday, so here we go.

The plan was 10 miles with 4x1200 @ 5K pace. We ran the 4 miles down to the track, stretched and started running. I don't know if was because we left late (yelling at rental agency for an hour before we left) or we suck, but the repeats were slow. We thought we would like to get them done in about 5:30 or so and they ended up being
  1. 5:43 (4:46/km)
  2. 5:57 (4:58/km)
  3. 6:04 (5:04/km)
  4. 5:46 (4:49/km)
Which is really dissapointing. When we ran an 8K back in March we paced 7:34 miles. Those 8K times are roughing coming out to be 5minx5K = 25 minutes/3.1 = 8:06 min/miles......which obviously is about 30 seconds slower than our 8K pace......humpf.

Perhaps next time I'll stay away from the track and just head to the lakefront path and use legs are getting a bit sore from the turning. I don't know. We ended up running all the way home, so we were probably at about 10.5 miles or so which is nice.

No running yesterday but today it's 10, 4 tomorrow (only 4!!!) and then we'll try for 22 on Sunday......get ready because then it's time to sit back a bit and taper....but that means that the race is only 3 weeks from already setting in.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Do Not Rent From HAYES PROPERTIES - Part 2

Didn't catch part one? Read it here.

Three days before it's time for the lease to transfer hands, Jason a.k.a. Wonder Husband, called the Big Bad Rental Agency (Leah pretty much refused to talk to them after the makeup case incident) to find out how to get our keys back to them. Simple question equaled not such a simple answer.

They wanted Jason to get in contact with the new tenant to find a time in which the keys could be exchanged. We don't feel that this is our responsibility and so Jason tells the woman (who's name is Robin so we'll call her Bird Bitch) that we would rather just drop the keys off to them and they can deal with it since....well since they are the fucking rental agency.

Bird Bitch said, "It's too hard for us to do that, we have like 60 apartments." (so my previous value 24*$1000 can be bumped to over $60,000 a month). B.B. continued to say, "The new tenant would like to move in Saturday night so if you could get him the keys before then that would be great."

Jason said he would call back when we decided what we would do. The happy couple is heavy set on the fact that we don't own the building we shouldn't have to do their key exchanges for them. We noted that when we moved into our new apartment the building manager met us here and gave us keys, showed us the important parts of the it should be done. However, we realize that we are going to be at Wrigleyville Disaster on Saturday morning finishing moving our stuff and cleaning the place so we decide that if the new tenant would like to meet us there at 10am that would work for us.

Leah calls back and leaves a message saying that is what we will do.

About 2 minutes later our phone rings and what do you know it's Bird Bitch. She first asks for Jason and I ask who's calling and when I realize that it's the BBRA I say she can just talk to me....the following conversation ensued :

BB : It's not fair for you to just pick a time like that. What if he's working at 10 am?
Leah : It's not my problem if he's not available, that's when I'll be at the apartment.
BB : You don't understand. How am I suppose to get the keys to him. I left a message but what if he doesn't call me back?
Leah : I thought you wanted a time in which we could exchange the keys.
BB : Well you can't just pick a time!
Leah : Would you like me to be there all day Saturday and Sunday to meet up with him?
BB : You don't understand how inconvient this is for us.
Leah : I don't live there anymore. I am trying to make this easier for everyone. You told my husband that this guy wanted to move in on Saturday night anyways.
Leah : Actually you did to my husband.
Leah : How is this my problem. I am not the rental agency. I am telling you when I am going to be at the apartment finishing our move. HOW IS THIS NOT WORKING FOR YOU?
BB : You are being ridiculous. If the tenant hasn't called you yet to set up a time to exchange keys.....
Leah : Wait a minute, how is it ok for you to give our number out to random people?
BB : We aren't giving it to random people.
Leah : Well I don't know the new tenant, so yes in my book that would be a random person.
BB : Why don't you call back when you are being more rational and have calmed down.


The bitch hung up on me?!?!?!?!

Which let me say, hanging up on me (a phone in our past died becausue of this type of situation) calling me names and interrupting me does NOT GO OVER WELL.

Jason immediatly called back and asked to speak to Robin. Here is their conversation:

Jason : Hi, this is Jason you just spoke to my wife and apparently hung up on her?
Robin : Well, she was being hysterical and yelling. I could hear her the first time we talked and I could hear here yelling hysterically in the background (which Leah would like to add that she wasn't she was just talking to Jason to try and understand what they were talking about)
Jason : I don't think it's your place to tell me how my wife acts.
Robin : Couldn't you hear her talking to me. What's wrong with her?
Jason : Yes I heard her, she wasn't hysterical.
Robin : Maybe I don't know how she talks or what hysterical is.
Jason : It's not our place....
Robin : blah blah blah.
Jason : Can I finis.....
Robin : blah blah blah
Jason : Robin?
Robin : blah blah blah
Jason : Robin? Can I say....
Robin : blah blah blah
Jason : Robin, you never let anyone finish a sentance.
Robin : Well neither does your wife. (What are we 9 years old Leah asks...this woman is all about the Your wife is mean.....)
Jason : I have worked in customer service, it's your job to let me finish my sentance and not INTERRUPT ME!!! Now, what is wrong with Saturday?
Robin : Well what if he was out of town all week and got back next week on Thurday?
Jason : Um? I am guessing you would be giving him the keys at that point right?
Robin goes on and on and on and on about how hard it is for them to get the keys out and Jason could not get a sentance out to her.
Robin : Forget it, I'll just make copies and get him the keys on Friday.

Jason : BUT WHAT IS WRONG WITH GIVING HIM THE KEYS ON SATURDAY MORNING? All we know at this point is that he hasn't call anyone back to let them know if that will work for them.
Leah says to Jason : Why don't you get his number and we can try and call him
Robin : She there she is again yelling and being all hysterical in the background
Jason : Why don't you give us his number and we'll see if we can get the keys to him sometime.
Robin : No I'm not going to give you his number (so it's ok for random people to have our number.....). We'll see if he calls us back..


Bitch hangs up again.

I have NEVER in my life been treated that way. EVER. I do not think that someone should be complaining to my husband about my "hysterical" behavior. When we had all the problems with Comcast last week, I called them and I admit that I got a bit agitated because I was missing days of you know what they did on the other end of the phone? Nothing. They just were quiet until I finished my tirade and then they said, "Maam, I am really sorry for your inconvenience.." Did I stop yelling? Eventually. And eventually they gave us a bunch of credits to our account. This interrupting people and calling them names and yelling at them on the phone because they aren't making your life (you the owner) easier is ridiculous. I don't own the building. I don't rent the apartments. So. Fucking. Ridiculous.

The happy couple will have lots to talk about on thier run tonight. They are guessing that the speed workout will go relatively well considering the fire that has been lit under their asses.

Thus our story time ends and the moral? STAY AWAY FROM HAYES PROPERTIES. They have awful awful customer service. (Hope no one out there just signed a lease with them)


A story of a bad rental agency.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful happy running couple by the names of Jason and Leah. After their wedding in 2004 they moved into their dream house (ok apartment) in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Wrigleyville. They were close to their beloved Cubbies, tons of bars and restaurants, the city's 18 mile running path and tons of other city spectacularness. It was perfect. sigh.

Within the first six months of their glorious wedding, they were realizing that it wasn't paradise in which they were living. Fast forward to 1 am at our New Years Eve soiree with our best man barefoot and soaking wet while he plunged...not that kind of story....our toilet. The happy couple thought that the toilet had been fixed in the previous 4 or 5 times the rental company had tried to fix it. Apparently not so, as us and our guests had to go across the hall to use the neighbor's facilities. Jason and Leah continued to have problems with the toilet.....for 18 months. Sometimes it would be fine. Other times they were forced to go stay the weekend with Leah's parents because there was no emergency number.....and zero water going down the toilet does not equal "livable". Finally the sewer men found the culprit : a makeup case was stuck down there. Leah was sure that it was not her makeup case since she had not bought that type of makeup for roughly 2 years. The Big Bad Rental Agency called Leah and told her she owed them $150.

Her eye widen as she says, "Um....well.....I don't's been broken since we moved in."

B.B.R.A. said, "Well if there was a problem, you should have called when it happened."

Leah said, "Well, I did. Don't you guys have a record of that kind of stuff? And for that matter it's not even my makeup case so why should I pay for it"

B.B.R.A. said, "Well, you just don't understand how expensive this stuff is for us."

Leah thinks, "Wait I pay about a grand a month in do the other 24 tenants of just this building....and these are the reasons that I RENT!!!" She proceeds to write a letter to the company explaining the situation and that is all that was ever heard about it.

Fast forward to July of 2006. The couple get a letter in the mail stating that their rent will be going up $25 and that we had to tell them within 2 weeks otherwise it would go up an additional $5. Jason and Leah were ready for this since they had dealt with this same issue the previous year, but had argued with B.B.R.A. to only increase the rent $10 which they had thought was fair. What is brilliant with the B.B.R.A plan is that there are no aparments available for October 1st on July 15th. So if the happy runners don't find anything they would be forced to pay the $30 instead of the meger value of $25.

After all the problems with the company, the happy couple decided to move to the Village of the Ukrainians. They found a nice 2 bedrooom apartment for $100 less than the Wrigleyville Disaster and found a nice rental agency to go along with it. They have a buildling manager that can be reached at any time if there is an emergency. And although the move in was a little shakey with some feline urinary issues, the company straightened everything out and were very nice and quick about it.

Fast forward to when it's time for the new tenant to take over the Wrigleyville Disaster, as that is when our story really gains momentum.

Stay tuned as Leah fixes the gasket she blew talking to B.B.R.A. (which is Hayes Properites if it wasn't clear from the title)

Recovery for Reals

Yesterday was a 5 mile run with 6x100m strides. We started the run from our old apartment so we would be forced to finish there so we would be forced to fill more boxes and move them. I hate this moving in town shit. When you move out of town you better have everything done on moving day. At least all of this will be over by Saturday.

The run was fine. I am having some pain in my lower left leg....don't know what that's all about. Today we have 10 miles with 4x1200m@5K pace (that's's another V02 Max). We'll run down to the track on Chicago Ave sprint it out and run back.

Friday it's 10 miles, then 4 on Saturday and the plan calls for 20 on Sunday but I think we'll try for 22 and see how that goes. Hopefully my lower leg agrees with all the miles....

Monday we start the taper....who's excited? ooooh me memememe!!!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Little Helper

Working from home today and only somewhat torturing kitty :

Monday, September 25, 2006

5 Paced, Phase 2, 17 LSD & I'm 27

This weeked was BUSY! On Friday night we went to our old apartment and apparently, "Jason, all we have to do is pack up a few things in the kitchen and we'll be done." was slightly exagerrated. We started opening all the cabinets and realizing how much storage space we have in that apartment compared to our new place. We packed up a box or two and then headed down the street to get some burgers and beers and then grabbed a few of the boxes and headed back to our new apartment.

I had dreams of getting up at 5:30am Saturday morning and crusing through a 9 mile pace run before going to get out Budget truck and continuing with the move for the day. Right. No. That didn't happen. I did get up at 7am however and we cruised through a 5 mile pace run. It went well, we pace 8:30 miles for the whole thing which is pretty good.

We spent the rest of the day moving our furniture to our new place. Thanks to my cousin Lisa and her fiance Evin for helping us. Our old apartment was on the third floor, so we had a nice bit of cross training. We made the first trip back to the new place with our funiture and Jason gets to tell me, "I told you so" because everything fit! I was convinced that it wouldn't but as he reminded me, we live in a 3D world :-) On the way back to the old place for another trip we realized we were starving and saw a Burger King and so for the first time in a long time we enjoyed big Whoppers with Cheese and some fries. So. Delicious. When we got back to the old place I just started throwing stuff into boxes. None of it goes together but it's all somewhere. I had one box that had some pictures in it, a fancy pillow, some CD's some books and some kitchen utensils.

Now our apartment is filled with furniture (yeah) and lots and lots of boxes (booo). We will try and get through the boxes this afternoon as this isn't quite what you would call work conducive. The best part (aside from having a couch to sit on) is that we have our bed now. No more air mattress, and wow that proved to be nice and I slept really hard on Saturday night and woke up at 5:30am Sunday morning sans alarm clock.

On Sunday morning we went out for a 17 miler. My garmin's batteries were dead, but I knew about where we should turn around. This ended up being really nice as sometimes, it's really nice to just go out and run and let the world around you pass by and not be only in tune with your watch. It was a beautiful morning along the lake front and I don't remember the last time we were up so early. It's amazing how quiet downtown bustling Chicago can be at certain times of the day. Very. Cool.

We ended up doing this run in about 2 hours and 35 minutes which is great. 2 hours and 33 minutes would have been 9 minute miles. So a good day.

Sunday was also my birthday. I'm the big 27. I don't know why I feel so old. I know 27 is not old, but I think when I was in my lower twenties, I was like 27? That's old. Sigh. Oh well, my next scary age is 44 so I got some years in between. Hopefully by my birthday next year you'll all be able to call me Dr. Leah.....that's if my advisor doesn't give me the boot first (hence I should get to work)

Jason gave me Bears tickets for my birthday!!!!! The Sunday after the marathon which should be loads of fun. This Sunday however we went out to a bar called Cans and met up with Mike and Barb, our friends Jake and Laura and Lisa stopped by for awhile as well. We had a great time and it was a perfect way to celebrate. It was hilarious because the Bears were down with 2 minutes to go and I was like, "That's just perfect, all I really wanted for my birthday was a Bears win". The next two plays......TOUCHDOWN. It's when you can win not easily that I think shows that potential of a team. So Go Bears.

Alright, it's off to work for me (now that I am working from home this just requires me opening another window...I love working at home!). Enjoy your Monday's!

Friday, September 22, 2006

It Only Took 8 Hours

And another missed day of work. Whatever, Comcast comped us and addition 25 dollars on top of the 3-4 days we had already gotten. Hopefully we won't have as many problems now.

BUT because we had to stay home all day yesterday, we had to come into work today to try and catch our advisor. This means that we won't be able to get to the old apartment early this afternoon to pack. Which means we'll be there late...which means we'll probably be skipping the 4 miles tonight. I want to have a quality 5-9 mile run tomorrow morning though so I think this will be fine.

I will post pictures of the new place soon, I have just been wanting to wait so that I have furniture in there so it doesn't look so barren. Everyone cross your fingers for our furniture fitting into the apartment (I wouldn't be me if I didn't have something to worry about)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Comcast, The Last 4 Miles and Furniture

oooooh I am livid. We had an outage all day yesterday and we just got all of our services hooked up on Monday. Not looking good for Comcast so far. I love when you call these places and they say, "Well we just know there is an outage, but we don't know what it is or when it will be turned back on" I let loose on the third lady that I talked to and actually I have to hand it to them they did give me a three day credit and told me the outage would be over at 10pm. When everything was still broken at midnight we called back. "Oh yes the outage is still happening and we don't know when it will be fixed....". When we woke up this morning and everything is still not working we call again, "Oh there is no outage now so there must be another problem so we'll send out a tech guy. But just so you know if it's not a problem with the cable we are going to charge you" They are going to see a nasty Leah runner who works from home if they charge me for anything! I guess the woman gave us another credit this morning. Grumble. Grumble. Grumble. If I miss the Grey's Anatomy premier this evening because I can't DVR it I am going to go balistic.

Alright then.

Right the 11 miles yesterday went well. We did it much slower this time coming in at about 9:30 min/mile pace.

While we were running I rememberd something that helped me get through the end of the marathon last year and I thought I would share. Last summer at the end of any run we did when there was 4 miles left I would stop talking to Jason and focus in on the distace that was left. 4 miles, 3 miles, 2 miles, 1 mile, finish. This was beyond beneficial on marathon day because when I got to 22 miles I had a surge of energy because I knew that distance. I knew exactly how much farther I had to go and I knew that I could get through 4 miles because no matter how bad I had felt during my training runs, I powered through the last 4 miles. I will start to do this again, concentrating on that exact distance. We did that last night and our last four miles were 9:05, 8:50, 8:45 and 8:41. Just a tip that helped me last year.

The rest of the week is 4 miles on Friday, 8-15K race (we aren't racing but we will run as if we were) and then 17 on Sunday. The only hitch in this plan is that we are moving all of our heavy furniture on Saturday so I am hoping that Sunday's run will go alright. We should have some help though and we are doing it in one big move instead of many many trips. I am convinced that our furniture is not going to fit into our new apartment although Jason promises me it will.....(but I have measured......I don't think so) Doors will come off, windows will come out. Dammit I am going to have a couch to sit on. If anyone is not busy on Saturday and wants to lift furniture (I know I know there isn't much else one would want to do) let me know....there will be free beer for helpers :-)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Just the Norm V02 Max

Tonight was another V02 Max workout. After last weeks 5x1000 repeats we were ready to kick some ass on 5x600 repeats.

We did the 4 miles to the track and since there aren't any markers on the track I just change the units on Garmin to meters and then set the quick workout for intervals with .6 km followed by 90 seconds of recovery. I am almost 100% sure that the track is a 400m track (I ran the 400 in high school for two years...actually I ran the open 400, the medly relay 400 and the mile relay 400 at each meet.....I know the distance well :-) ...I love the 400m race, I think it's by far the most exciting race in track and field....ok...back to todays non-400m workout shall we......alright) TODAY was 600 meters which should be 1.5 laps. I think that two of the repeats were too long since we went what seemed to be an extra 100m so those times were slow, but as far as the feeling of the repeats they all felt about the same. So a good workout. I am having some kind of pain in my lower left leg, but it goes away after running for a mile or I'm going to say I just need to stretch I should actually do that!

There was another running couple at the track and holy ass were they fast and beautiful runners. I think they were doing 800m repeats and just very very speedy. So to them, if you are reading this....and I'm sure you not.....but nice job.

This evening Jason and I went to the container store because I got tired of trying to find a butcher block/cabinet type thing for out kitchen on Craigslist. It's all still kind of expensive and I couldn't find anything that wasn't kinda crappy. So we got this cool elfa shelf thing with drawers, a cutting board on top and wheels so we can move it around the kitchen, I think it should work out well.

To our delight we ran into Barb and Mike who were buying a hamper solution thing. It was good to see them and this is the second time we have run into them outside of running, we must have some kind of couples karma :-)

Anyways, tomorow is an 11 mile medium long run which we are going to try and slow down a bit since these midweek runs have all been too fast and I think this was the problem last week on Sunday.

Happy Running Everyone!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bad Distance Runners BAD!!!

Well disappointment.

Today was a 17 with 14 at marathon pace. After all the good runs we had this week we were looking forward to it. Unfortunaly I don't think Jason and I are recovering enough and I think we are doing our midweek runs too fast. What does that mean? Dead, tired and not moving legs. We stopped several times in the first three miles for water and to stretch and after 4 miles (that's total not an additional :-( ) we stopped and stared at each other with the What The Fuck look in our eyes.

Granted we know this is not good, however, we have 5 weeks to get our shit together. We have a few long runs to get in still and 5 weeks to work on sleeping and eating better. One slice of frozen pizza after the 12 miles just isn't going to cut it. I also realize that we have missed a few of our longer runs in the training schedule, so I guess we can say we are running a modified Pfitz program. Since this is only our second marathon and we have had a summer from hell I am not that worried about it. I think we have already done more total miles than the plan we followed last summer and we ran 4:20 last year. We are hoping with the additional runs (even though we have missed some) we will be able to get under 4 hours this year. That's the plan anyways.

I am very dissapointed but I am hoping that next week things will go better. We will probably get up early tomorrow and try to run 10 at a brisk pace to make up for today. Then we'll do our run on tuesday in the evening to still give us plenty of recovery time.

Dammit Dammit Dammit.

City Running, for reals

On Friday, Leah and I went for a 12 mile run throughout the city. It was quite the trek, I must say. We started on Iowa and Western (Iowa's 900 North), went East a mile to Ashland, zig-zagged around like crazy (Leah can fill in the details, but we hit Cortland, Southport, Lincoln, and a few others) all the way North to Montrose (4400 North). Given that there are 8 block to a mile, this was still almost not enough and we had to do a bit more zigging on the way home.

It's crazy, I know.

City running is so different than running on the lakefront path. For one thing, the blocks are relatively short, so a milestone is never far off. As a result, it seems like you are travelling a long ways, but the watch tells a different story. I find it takes a lot more mental discipline to run far in the city than along the lakefront. Between the difficulty in estimating distance and the lack of a well-worn route (so far, we just moved out here), the miles don't just slip way like on the lakefront path. That being said, the marathon will be run in the city, so I do believe this to be very good training for the marathon.

Finally, the real difficulty with running on the city sidewalks is the concrete. The entire 12 miles was on concrete and that was some serious pounding. I felt it all the way up into my hips and my feet got really sore. While the run was still good, I definitely felt the impact of each step more than I prefer. But, hey, high impact's good for ya. We don't want no sissy runners around here.

I'm not ragging on running in the city versus the lakefront path, mind you. I'm just noting that it's a bit harder. That being said, I really like winding my way through all the different neighborhoods and exploring new areas of the city. It's the only way to get around. Still, I'm pretty happy that the 17 milers later today will take place primarily on the lakefront path because my calves, shins and knees could really use a break.

They be achy.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Spring Break Marathon

Hey People

Jason and I are thinking about running a spring marathon. We are thinking about this one :

It's on March 4th and so perfect timing to start training after a short break after Chicago. It's much smaller, I think there were like 1700 runners last year in the inagural run.

Anyone else interested? We could start a winter training group. People might have different paces but we could try and do the same workouts each day and then after the long runs go and get breakfast or whatever. If you are interested and not in Chicago we could of course still compare training notes. I was thinking this race could be a bit more fun and just more experience in running the distance. Road trip?

PLUS this marathon is about 30 minutes away from my mom which means that everyone could meet her :-).

Let me know if you are interested.

More Working At Home

Jason and I have been throwing around the idea of working almost exclusively from home. I am not hooked up with any kind of postdoc at Fermilab so there is no one to talk to on a daily basis. And with the ease of iChat video on the Macs I can actually video conference with my advisor easier if I am at home. Plus the iMac that we have is much faster than my desktop at work so that's not an issue.

That being said....we all know that working at home turns into "working at home" frequently. We have to make sure that we get good quality work done at home to make it possible. We are thinking about giving it a two week trial period and seeing how it goes. We'll still have to go in once a week probably to meet with our advisor when he's in town, but that's really it.

So that's the idea, I am really hoping that we can make it work. On Monday, Comcast comes and puts in our new shiney services (we went for the triple play and we are getting DVR which I am super excited about) so we'll be able to start the work at home plan next week. Here's to hoping.

12 miles later today which will be more neighborhood running, hopefully I can dodge the lights a little bit better today.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Before I head off to bed

Alright, I'm wrapping up the last week of these stupid midnight-8am shifts. I did manage to sleep a couple hours before coming to work, but I'm still pretty tired so hopefully this is at least half-way coherent.

Yesterday Leah and I stayed home from work since I knew that I would be coming in for these shifts and I didn't really want to be at work for 24 hours (I love work as much as the next physicist, but...). She went to our other apartment to take advantage of our super-fast computer and I went to use the wireless at a cafe. Sadly, our favorite coffee shop, Cafe Ballou, is closed on Wednesday so I had to head over to this other place, Cafe Zori. This place couldn't possibly be more Ukraniane.

I just ordered coffee to start off and the lady gave me a nice big cup, simultaneously pushing the cream and sugar in my direction. I thanked her and started grabbing for my coffee when she frowned and asked if I didn't want cream and sugar. I assured her, no, I take it black. She looked very concerned and asked if I was sure. When I assured her I was, she offered to make my coffee stronger with an extra shot of expresso. Other than the extra expresso shot, I'm fairly sure I've had the exact same conversation at Leah's Ukranian Grandmother's house. Oh those Ukranians.

(hmm, that story sounded more interesting in my head. sorry about that)

Anyway, Leah and I worked separately before combining our efforts at the Bucktown library to tackle this coding problem that was driving her crazy. Honestly, thinking about it started to make my head hurt. Eventually, though, Leah triumphed over her code and the error was discovered. Basically, the problem was that pointers are evil, and I'll leave it at that.

Code bugs vanquished and the afternoon growing late, it was time to run. We have 9 miles with 5x1000 meters at our 5 k pace. This was, to say the least, terrifying. I was honestly concerned about getting through this run.

We did the usual, running down Augusta/Chicago to the track over by Lakeshore Drive and then walked about a lap to get ready. Then we were off! The first one was kind of hard, but I think that's because we were a little fast at 4:17. Our goal was around 4:30 for each kilometer, so we agreed to slow it down for the next one (and my lungs were thankful). In the end, the splits were as follows (between each, we walked for 45 seconds and then jogged for 1:15 minutes):

1 k: 4:17
2 k: 4:30
3 k: 4:26
4 k: 4:29
5 k: 4.37

Neither of us could understand how the last one could possibly have been that much slower than the rest, but maybe we were just tired. All in all though, we were both really proud to hit the pace so well and feel that we did them about perfectly. In the end, the first and third ones were hard, but the other laps weren't so bad.

We then jogged 2.5 k back to make an even 15k, which is right around 9.3 miles. A great run, I have to say. We then stopped at a really expensive sandwich place to get a drink, hopped on the 66 bus, and were home in time to eat and fall asleep watching the Cubs play really bad baseball. And after that? Well, I'm here. Boo.

Okay, my relief should be here soon and then I'm gonna grab me some air mattress.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

ZigZaggy 8 Miles

Yesterday evening Jason and I went for an 8 mile run through the streets instead of heading down to the lake front path. This is one of the best things about Garmin for city kids, because when you miss a light you can just turn down a different street and you don't have to worry about screwing up a preplanned route. We made it almost all the way back up to our old apartment but headed back west a big south of Belmont. We got a little turned around near Diversy and Damen which is a neighborhood that you don't really want to get turned around it. Hence that miles was done in 8:18.

We finished pacing 9:02 miles (I think) which is good. I feel like our runs however are creeping towards all about the same speed. I think we could have been around 8:50 last night had it not been for lights (even though you can dodge can only run west for so long).

At the end of the run we stopped in a sandwich place on Western for a nice big Pepsi and found the guy working there to be really really nice. He looked at us and said, "Oh it must be raining out." and we said, "Actually, no it's not....we are just that sweaty". We walked back home ate some frozen pizza for dinner (I thought I couldn't get tired of frozen pizza....turns out...I can as I had 1.5 pieces).

Tonight is a V02 Max workout : 9 miles with 5x1000m at 5K pace. We'll head down to the track on Chicago again later this afternoon. If anyone else in the city is doing a speed workout there maybe we'll see you :-)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Surprise Weekend

What an awesome weekend!!!

On Saturday morning the floor guys came to fix our floors and so Jason and I were in and out all day. We went to the laundry mat, to the coffee house, to Dodo for a late breakfast, to Borders to our Old apartment to pick up some stuff. Anything to stay out of the house while they were sanding and scraping and painting. That evening we were going to a surprise birthday party for old friends of the family. So all of a sudden it was 3:30 and we had to leave for the party (we didn't want to miss the surprise part and hand to be there between 4-5). We didnt' get a run in that day because I could get into my apartment to change into running clothes and they took all day, so we decided to skip the 8-15K tune up race because got in the way.

So we head out to Brookfield for the party and I call my dad and tell him that our floors look awesome and and I am so happy with the job they did and blah blah blah. I tell him Jason and I were close to the party so I was going to let him go. We got to the house and Kay and Gary say that their son Sam for who the party was for was in the basement playing the drums and that Jason and I and Evin (my cousin's fiance) should go down and surprise him. I am a little thrown at this point because I thought it was going to be a big surprise party, but ok, I guess it's just going to be the three of us. So I head downstairs and who is behind the drum set?

MY DAD!!!!!!!

He came into town to surprise me for my birthday! He did this last year too and I totally did not see it coming. He came two weeks early so that helped keep the suprise, but oh it was just so much fun!!!!

That night we watched the end of the Notre Dame game (they could go all the way this year!!!) and hung out.

Jason and I went back home and got up early on Sunday to get our 17 miles in. I have to say we felt pretty damn good. Even though it was raining sideways for about 16.5 miles of the run we had a really nice time out there. I talked to more people along the path which made the time go by a bit faster. We paced 9:17 miles which I can only be happy about. When we got home I called my dad and he came to the city and we spent the rest of the day hanging out in our new neighborhood and watching the Bears (sorry Bob) kick some Packer Ass. Hey Bears good did they look!!!! We have been waiting for Rex to play like that for years....let's hope he stays healthy.

I took yesterday off from work to hang out with my dad some more. He came by the apartment around 8:30 and we promptly put him to work fixing stuff around our apartment. He put dimmer switches in our dinning room, and just some other little odd jobs that we needed help with.

It was so awesome to see him and already can't wait to see him in 6 weeks for the marathon. So happy birthday to me (although it's a bit early) and thanks Dad for coming to visit. You and Jason will have to get more clever as the years go on though if you keep doing this :-)

Today is an 8 mile GA run and then...well I haven't looked at the rest of the week yet, so I don't know.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

We'll Have NEW Floors!!!

On SATURDAY morning!!!!

The contractor for the building came to look at our floors today and I'm not insane as apparently when he and Jason pulled back the plastic we had covering the spots the smell was way overpowering! The guy was like, "That's gross" and called (of course) his cousin to come out and take a look at what actually would have to be done.

After dude #2 came out they decided to rip out the old floor boards and lay down some new ones in large areas surrounding the bad floor boards in the two rooms AND they are going to sand and reseal both rooms as long as they are in there.

I am so excited and now just so much more excited about the apartment. I can't wait to move all my furniture and organize the rooms and.....well and it's just going to be so much fun!

The best part is that they are going to be there on Saturday morning so we won't be living in Stinkyville for much longer. So for the record, we like our rental agency as they got this problem taken care of in one weeks time.

11 Weekday Miles

Yesterday Jason and I did an 11 mile medium long run. I guess these paces should be around where you long run paces are. Our first 5 miles or so were probably a little too fast (9 and under) but as we were running down Chicago Ave we made every single light. For those of you city kids you know how infrequent that is. We got to the lakefront and since all of our distances are screwed up from as we knew them before we decided to shake things up a bit. Now wait for it....we get kind of crazy here.

Instead of staying on the lake front path after the aquarium, we took a left and ran out onto the point by the planitarium. This was probably at about 7:30 pm and the view of the Chicago skyline was breath taking. New don't have much on that view. Sorry. We turned around on the other side of the planitarium, stretched for about a minute and stared at the full moon with several sailboats beneath them. I would love to have a really nice digital camera where I could take long exposure pictures that would have the moon or even that night time skyline in them.

We finished the run averaging 9:14 min/miles which is perfect. We stopped at a Walgreens for some gatorade and then jumped on the Chicago bus back to western. I had worn a cotton t-shirt last night and it was soaked with sweat, so I was totally that nasty sweaty person on the bus. Oh well, I say if you don't like it.....don't take the bus.

We have a contractor coming to look at our floors today. I had to go to work today so Jason is in charge of making sure it gets taken care of. You can all imagine how much I like not being in charge, but Jason is a lot nicer than me so Mr. Contractor won't get yelled at if he thinks the floors don't need to be done....which he cannot possibly think as far as I am concerned. I am hoping that Jason can convince the guy that since he is doing a patch of the kitchen floor to do all of it because they aren't in the best shape...we'll see.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Speedy in Chicago

Last night was a speed session. 8 miles with 5x600m at a 5K pace with 90s of jogging inbetween these.

When Jason and I went running on Sunday we found a track that is on Chicago Ave and basically Lake Shore Drive. For you Chicago people it's right next door to the Museum of Contemporary Art. I was talking to my dad and I think that it used to be a part of Northwestern. It has proved to be a really nice find.

Anyways, we decided to run there from our new apartment which we have found to work out really well. We have found the best way to get over the expressway and to the lakefront is to take Augusta over it and then hang a right at Elston and take this to Chicago Ave and then Chicago Ave to the lakefront. Chicago Ave does get really crowded and lots of stopping and starting with the lights...but as dear old dad says, "that's just a problem looking for a solution". It's a little over 4 miles to the lakefront path which is a nice warm up to get ready to run.

Yesterday however we stopped before the lakefront path at the track to start our speedwork. We ended up running 4 miles before starting the speed repeats. Our goal is to do these repeats between a 6:50 min/mile pace to 7:10 min/mile. We totally started off way way too fast and we were both sucking wind severly after the first one. We didn't really know what the problem was, but we scrapped our bodies off the track and kept going. Later when looking at the repeat times I realized why we were so tired:
  1. 5:44 min/mile : 2:10.69
  2. 7:12 min/mile : 2:43.87
  3. 6:53 min/mile : 2:36.80
  4. 7:04 min/mile : 2:41.00
  5. 7:00 min/mile : 2:39.47
I think that if we had slowed the first one down we would have been able to be a bit faster on the other four. The speed workout ended up being 2.5 miles total. We ran 1.5 miles west on Chicago and jumped on the bus and rode the remaining 3 miles or so to Western and then walked the few blocks home.

While we were running these repeats there was TONS happening over by the park. There was a 16" softball game happening as well as live music coming from the MCA next door. It was a really really wonderful evening in the city and just more fuel for my "I don't want to leave Chicago" fire.

I am really enjoying doing more running in the city. When we lived in Wrigleyville we always did the same route.....waveland to the lakefront....south for x number of miles and then back north for x number of miles and then home. Not too exciting and I'm sure we'll get into similar ruts in our new place, but as of now there is tons to see and fun making new loops.

Anyone interested in going to the Ukrainian Village Festival on Sunday afternoon? This is taking place 3 blocks from our apartment and is 1-10pm on Sunday afternoon....perfect for after say a early morning long run. Beer Garden and Ukrainian food and dancers....really anything better? Let me know at

Monday, September 04, 2006

School Project Help

Hello to people out in blogland. My advisor's son is taking a statistics course and needs to get lots of people to answer some random questions. He's having some problems getting enough responses SO...

Please go here :

and answer 10 random questions. The project is due tomorrow (Sept 5th) so if you don't read this until tomorrow....don't worry about it.

Thanks everyone!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Not Far Enough

Well the weekend of moving has come to an end.

We are slowly making headway in moving the important stuff from our old apartment to our new apartment and have a solution for the cat urine stains. Jason's dad (thanks Walt!) had a good solution to try and contain the smells at least until we could talk to the apartment folks on Tuesday. We got some plastic painters floor covering and put a big rectangle over where the stains are and then sealed the edges with duct tape. I think it has helped a lot already and so hopefully the apartment will air out in the next few days and then we can deal with the stains on Tuesday (hopefully!)

What's frustrating is that they aren't my cat's stains as she always goes in her box (and let's all give Dagny a big hand as even though there are cat smells all over the new place she is dutifully using her box!).

The run today was well. crappy. after the whirlwind of the last few days I have to say I am happy that we went out at all all. We went 5 miles yesterday and then 7 today with about 3-4 more walking back to the bus stop. I am a bit dissapointed, but that's what happens when Life happens. We should get things under control today and tomorrow and get back on the schedule this week. OH AND I found a nice little track on Chicago and basically the lake front. My dad said it might have been a part of Northwestern but now it's just a track for the public. It has two softball fields in the middle of it so no need to dodge the high school kids since it's not part of a school. That's a huge find because I'll be able to do my speed workouts there.

Alright, we are currently at our old apartment getting some last minute stuff (coffe pot and pizza cutter are vital to our living) and then it's back to the new place to clean up the rooms, put clothes away, move boxes out of the room that has now been labeled the 'P' room....and probably watch some Scrubs on DVD...which by the way is the best show ever!

A big thanks goes out to Jason for being so positive about this experience. He is and always the be the best hubby a girl can have. :-)

Here's to a better week of running and living situations!!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Apartment Disaster

This has been the worst move ever. We are renting our current apartment to our friend semi-furnished for the month of september. The thinking here was that we would then not have to rent a truck and could just move things in stages. We worked from 8pm Thursday night to about 10pm last night with a 3 hour nap in between. needless to say our 12 mile run didn't happen. And? Oh we still don't have a bunch of our stuff that we our coffee pot for example. (although it's all getting there)

The big problem though is that the old tenant at our new apartment had a cat that apparently missed the fucking litter box. For 2 YEARS. The whole apartment smells like cat urine and it's all soaked up into the wood. I tried to clean it up with this extra strength cleaner, and scrub it out. Now I have just made the floors worse and the smell not better. There are two main spots, one in the kitchen and one in the second bedroom. Of course I won't be able to talk to the apartment people until Tuesday because of the holiday and I am guessing when I tell them they have to sand and resurface those two rooms (it's all hard wood) they are going to say no. and I am going to continue to have a nervous break down. I went to Home Depot and asked the guy if there was anything I could do and he said it would be such a pain in the ass and to tell the landlords they have to do it.

I am so pissed because I actually love moving and this has made the whole experience awful and depressing. Whatever.

I hope to get 5 miles in tonight and then 20 tomorrow and count going up and down three flights of stairs for 24 hours equal to 12 miles.