Wednesday, October 31, 2007

5 Miles & the CTA

Yesterday me and my iPod went out for a nice 5 mile run around the neighborhood. My arm bad for my iPod broke in the middle of the run and so the iPod fell off which freaked me out...alright, was that not the most boring two sentences in the history of the blogging world I think it might be. Anyways, the run was good. I stopped for water about half way through like usual (it's going to be sad when the turn the fountains off) and chugged right along for the rest. I haven't been timing my runs as I'm just trying to get back into but I think it took me a bit under 45 minutes which is good.


I got an e-mail yesterday from the CTA (because I have chicago cards) with a message about the cuts coming up this weekend. My favorite sentance was :
We are asking all of our customers to avoid the rush hour whenever possible by leaving early or late. With the reduction in bus service, we anticipate greater crowds on remaining buses and trains as customers seek different ways to get to work. Customers should expect longer travel times.
It makes it sound like it's going to be an inconvenience for a week while there is some construction going on or something. Oh no. Just for the rest of your life would you mind not leaving so late or leaving work on time. Actually if you could work like 6am - 6pm that would make our lives soooo much better Thanks! OHH..yeah...and we are going to be raising the fares too. Whatever.

And this isn't even the big set of cuts they have planned for the beginning of 2008 where they are cutting so many bus lines that there will 5 (count them...5) east west bus lines between Chicago Ave and Montrose which is insane...including cutting the Addison Bus...are you fucking kidding realize there is a ball park on that street right?

Luckily I work at home now and don't have to deal with all of this, but the Man does ride the bus and after having shoved himself on a bus one too many times he has started riding his bike to work. Good job CTA....make all these cuts and continue to see people move to other modes of travel.

I love Chicago and those of you who know me, know that it takes a lot for me to say something negative about the city. BUT we look like such a trashy city when it comes to public transportation. Hopefully someone will step in before all these cuts and fare increases go into affect.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Have You People Heard of myspace!?!?

Hi.....yeah....uh... right...I created a myspace page like a year and a half ago. I had one friend. I didn't go there ever. Recently, I have been checking out some friends myspace pages, and then I would want to see pictures and it was all "You have to log in to see these". So I was like...ok, this is probably the e-mail address I used, a few more attempts at a password and I was in.

So then I looked at my inbox. Hello! I had messages from yes a bunch of random losers...but also from really old friends of mine. Including my old highschool track teammate. She sent me an e-mail like 4 months ago on there....hmm...I wonder if she still checks her page cause I finally wrote her back. I also had a message from someone *I think* I remember....but they are remembering running into me at the Indy 500...and I don't remember that...but that's probably because I had a few Budweisers at the time.

Anyways, what a strange little world we live in. Hi I would like to find a friend I knew like 10 years ago. Type in the name and there they are. Random crazy awesomeness.

Alright, I'm going to run this afternoon before Jason gets home from work. Yet again we didn't get up early to go. But tomorrow! Tomorrow people we are so on that. Just have to go to bed before the am rolls around.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Did we do something fabulous, have adventures that took us far away, end up on a ship with no socks and look forward to Gandolf's return (hello....bizarre Friends reference)?


No. We didn't do anything super fabulous, or exciting and yet...yet! was the best weekend. Friday night I hung out with Lisa and some of her librarian friends (which by the way...just as nerdy as physicists...ok...well almost) for a book club deal. We never got around to the book, but did get around to pizza and wine which is always fine by me.

Saturday morning we got up earlyish and headed south-east to see little miss jayhawk compete in her first ever 50K. We took pictures, we cheered, we took more pictures, we took pictures of #93....we laughed, we waved goodbye as she went out for her last loop. We headed to small bar for burgers and beer...home to nap. Then we watched movies and stayed up really late. By the way the original The Omen, is exactly the same as the remake...all you people that told me it was way better owe me 2 hours of my life back. And to think we could have watched Slaughterhouse High (or something like that).

Sunday we went for a run (oh yeah we got in a whopping 12 miles last week....getting back in at the pace I like to get back in at...slow). A nice 4 miler around the neighborhood. Then we went to our old neighborhood in Lakeview east and hung out, went to our old neighborhood bar to hangout for the second half of the Bears game. The game was horrible, but it was great to be back. A lot of the people haven't changed, and are just as friendly as they have always been. We went to Borders, we drank coffee.

To round out the evening we went to the Lakeshore Theater with Mike, Barb, Mouse & Dice to see the six finalists competing for Funniest Person in Chicago. When my parents lived in Joliet, before I was born they were friends with Jill and Bill who had a kid named Danny...which apparently when my mother saw said, "That's the cutest little boy in the world...let's have a kid!" and thus I came along. Jill and Bill had another kid Robbie and when I was a kid and they were kids we all hung out and so on. I haven't seen any of these people for about 10-15 years probably and I had found out earlier in the week from Jill that Danny was one of these 6 finalists! So we headed out to see them. It was so good to see everyone, and I loved Robbie's question of, "So being an's that going?". Danny (hmm...they might go by Dan and Rob now....) got third in the competition and did a great job so congrats to him!

On the walk back to our car we realized that we would have to walk past the Weiner Circle .... which if you don't know has the best Chicago dogs (& fries!) in the city. So we stopped by and had some food...which was good as always. It was a bit strange because there was just two people sitting in there, not ordering. They said something to us like, it gets really crowded in here you know...and I was like...uh...yeah...I guess...I just want my hotdog.

And then it was home and a quick Roseanne Halloween episode on Nick and Nite and then it was off to bed.

I am meeting the Dr downtown for lunch today which should be fun as it gets me out of the house!

Friday, October 26, 2007

And So It Hits Me...

that working at home...means I am in this god awful apartment alone for 10 hours a day.


if i start thinking the cat should talk back.....then we'll know we have a problem.

Seriously...this fucking sucks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Running Fast and Fancy Free

Yesterday I went out for a 4 mile run around noon. Sunny and 50s, or really just the perfect weather for running...nice to get out of the apartment in the middle of the day as well.

With my iPod strapped to my head and a number of bobby pins securing my new short hair (I guess that's the solution for now) I went out. I ran fast. I ran slow. I walked. I sprinted. I walked some more. I felt like I was running like Pheobe. I listened to the most random arrangement of music including Jessie's Girl (shut it), I Wanna Be Sedated & American Music.

It was fun. It was the first time in a long time that I didn't care if I went too fast, or if I walked or whatever. Just nice to get a run in around the neighborhood.

The apartment people are coming to fix our bathroom today. Of course I love when people are late and this guys is continually...ok, we'll be there ins 45 minutes and 2 hours later he shows up. Yesterday he said that he would be here at 8am to start the's now 8:20. I wonder what time they'll get here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Gone Gone Gone

This morning my dad and stepmom left to go back to their boat which is Luperon, in the Dominican Republic. They have been here since the beginning of September and although our apartment is a wee bit small for 4 people it was great having them here. They were September saviors when our life was crazier than I don't know what, helping us with food and cleaning and whatever. So thanks again to them. I'll miss them but I am going to go and try and visit them in BVI and then they will be back to see my defend whenever that happens. Thanks again kids.

Speaking of my dad....he's an author! He wrote a book called The Why Book of Sailing which is now available to buy at any Borders, Barnes & Nobles or Amazon of course. For anyone out there that likes to sail and have sometimes asked, "Wait why does this work..." or any other questions you have had while out there this is the book for you. My dad was a high school physics teacher for 20+ years and has been sailing for about....I guess a bit under 10 years now. It's written in a very funny and conversationalist manner. So everyone go buy it!

With them gone, the apartment of course feels a bit bigger...but way a lot quieter. Since I am working at home from now on mostly I am going to have to find things to do during the days so I don't go crazy stuck in this apartment. Today we'll start with a nice 4 milish run around the hood...that's right kids....getting back into the thick of it.

I am actually getting more and more upset about the marathon. At the time, I was so busy, I knew the weather was going to be bad ahead of time, but knew that in 5 days we were leaving to go to Bloomington for Jason's defense and then going to straight to Germany so I didn't really have time to worry about it.

So the question has been asked, well why not run another one soon and try and qualify before the deadline.

Because I don't fucking want to. Ok. That's too harsh. Of course I want to run another marathon. But I had put most of my summer time and energy and effort into training for THIS race and I was, I think, in the best shape of my life. I don't know how easy it's going to be to go from two weeks off back into blasting through a 22 mile run like it's nothing and get back into race shape mentally and physically. So I'm frustrated.

Qualifying in Chicago, running Boston in April of 2008 was all part of my life plan. Yes I plan too far ahead. Now I'm not old....but I'm not exactly young....and Jason have been waiting to start a family since we were married (over 3 years ago)...waiting for better jobs & insurance...waiting for me to qualify...waiting for it to be a "better time". When is it ever a perfect time. For the next 10 years of my life I can see things that will always be...well if we wait just one more year...then what..then you are just waiting another year.

I'm not saying that we are running out to have kids right now, because that's not necessarily true, but it's just been talked about more lately. I am going to start running again and see how the legs feel. We'll see. Either way, marathoning is in my life to stay and it's just a matter of how fast marathoning will become :-) Hell if things feel good and miles fall off easily I'm going to look for a race in 6 weeks (or at least right before the cutoff) to do.

Fucking 90 degree marathon. Damn.

Monday, October 22, 2007

More Pictures

I have a website setup which has pictures and stories from the trip which I have updated to include pictures from all days of the trip. I haven't updated the stories from our last few days in Hamburg, but it will be coming in the next few days.

Anyways, if you are interested in seeing pictures and reading the stories up there so far you can head to :

More news and stories and running plans to come in the next few days. In short, I am dying to get back out there and run and will probably head out tomorrow for a few miles....I need one more day to get over the jet laggyness.

In short's good to be home!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Stuck in Transit

Well well much as I love to travel....not so much the getting home.

We are currentlz waiting in a train station in Hamburg (citz of nothing to do....literallz walked from one end of town to the other todaz......the 'y' and the 'z' are flipped on the German keyboard I am using....and saw everzthing there was to see).

So we got to the train station at about 5:30pm for a 9:18 (thinking there might be somethign to do....but it's similar to the city) train back to Berlin...where we will then make our way to the airport to wait for our flight at 6:05...then a one hour flight to Amsterdam...then a 3 hour layover....then a 7 hour flight...THEN we'll be if zou were counting, we are currently about 20 hours away from Chicago.

Alright time to give the Dr. Jman a turn on the computer....a mean 90 minutes awaz from our train departure.

Leah...signing off and dreaming of dreaming.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Stories & Pics So Far

Well I got my iWeb/.mac back on and made a website to track the trip so far.

Head here :

to read stories and see lots of pictures from our first two days in Berlin..stay tuned there cause there will be more to come.

Talk is Over

My talk at the conference went well...although the first thing Jason said was that I talked really fast....he claims that he didn't say it...but whatever :-) I kid, I know that I tend to talk really fast and I go up a level when I'm really nervous. But I think it was ok. Most of the questions were not on my analysis but rather on the other analysis I presented which I don't know as much about.

We were at the conference yesterday from about 8am to 7:30pm and so haven't gotten much of a chance to explore Hamburg. We have plans to head to do the downtown area tonight and see some of the harbors. Our adviser who lived here for a summer when he was an undergrad suggested going to see that as well as heading down to the Reeperbahn, which used to be the biggest Red Light district in Europe, although we have heard that it has become a bit touristy now.

I also am working on getting a full detailed trip report page with lots of pictures, but am thinking about the best way to do that.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

He's a Dr & Berlin Rocks

Hello from Germany!

Just a quick update that Jason is now officialy going to have to be referred to as Dr. Jason. He did great on his presentation and much fun was had in Bloomington.

Our flight to Germany on KLM airlines was *awesome*. They had FREE BOOZE, two full meals and a snack. Very good stuff, the Dutch really know how to do it.

No time for a long update, but pictures and a travel log will be following in the next few days.

Oh and we didn't bring our running more week off works for us.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Soon to be Empty Dance Card

Well these two Chicago kids have been extremely busy since the marathon. Jason of course has a real job, while I have been stressing and working on getting my analysis submitted to collaboration review. That made it through alright, now I just have to hope they approve it for the conference. I really don't see any reason why it shouldn't as it's a solid analysis.

Aside from that Jason is defending his thesis tomorrow. He's not that worried about it because he has given the talk so many times, but it's still another thing that needs to be done and something that if he won't worry about, at least I can.

THEN we leave for Germany on Saturday. So we are going to have two days in Bloomington, then it straight to Ohare, meaning anything we need will have to be packed and ready today.

Oh and I have to give a practice talk for the Germany talk tomorrow.

Just have to survive a few more days and then it's all the German beer I can drink.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The New Hotness

Alright, the marathon is head was getting that 5 year itch that it tends to get...and so it was off to the salon I went yesterday. It was time for a change and I think I'm going to love it!

I have had short hair in the past....and I love it...and then I wake up and have monster bead head and do a slight *freak* out, but this morning it was pretty smooth sailing which was good.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mike Downey is an Idiot or We Are Stupid

For those of you that caught Mike Downey's editorial in the sports of section of the Chicago Tribune probably know what I'm talking about. For those of you that have yet to see it check it out here.

I would love to write a long commentary on the poor organization of the race and how the race director keeps shooting himself in the foot......but I am uber busy with my upcoming conference presentation and getting ready to go to Germany AND getting Jason ready for his defense in 2 days. So needless to say I don't have time. My dad on the other is retired...and so does. He sent the following letter to the Chicago Tribune this morning in response to the Downey article.

Mike Downey calls everyone who ran the Chicago Marathon stupid. There are several obvious problems with this simplistic conclusion. First he claims that their were 10,000 "smart" people who didn't run but he offers no data as to how many of those didn't run because of the weather. Moreover how does this year's 10,000 compare to how many typically don't end up running the marathon for whatever reason in previous years.

Having helped Mr. Downey with his math let's get to the stupid part. A basic marathoner has trained 25 weeks after paying $110 for the privilege of running in this prestigious event. As a former runner and a close observer of my daughter and her husband's training regime I know what smart runners do. Upon seeing the weather report they instantly give up on running a personal record. My daughter knew she would not qualify for Boston (her goal) this year due to the weather. They expect to run slower and perhaps even walk some of the race. They know that they will have to take on more water (and yes perhaps splash some on their heads) than they normally do. Is it not reasonable then to expect that the race committee could also be as smart as the runners and put out 5 to 10 times more water than normal? This should have been doable for the nearly 5 million dollars collected in entry fees not to mention the support offered by the sponsors. We're talking water here not champagne.

The weather didn't get hot the day before. This weather had been predicted at least a week in advance. Indeed the race committee sent e-mails to all the competitors warning them of the weather. Here's that e-mail receive 3 days before the race.

Heat Advisory

Attention LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Participants:

The weather forecasts for race day – Sunday, October 7 – are indicating that we could have a warm and humid day with temperatures expected to be in the 82 F / 28 C range on race day (according to We recommend you stay tuned to local weather forecasts to properly prepare for the race.

Medical Director George Chiampas suggests the following preparation for race day:

* Dress appropriately – avoid cotton fabrics, long sleeves and long pants. Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics that will help to keep you cool.

* Wear sunglasses and waterproof sunscreen. With the amount of time you will be on the course, you want to be sure to protect your skin and eyes.

* Pay special attention to hydration. Drink plenty of fluids the day before and morning of the race. Drink enough fluids to maintain your baseline body weight, but be aware of overhydration. If you begin to gain weight above your baseline, you are drinking too much water and depleting your sodium level which is important to maintain.

* Be sure to stay hydrated during the race. Make note of aid stations and prepare to utilize them. You will need to drink more to compensate for the rapid depletion of your body's fluids in the heat.

* Plan to adjust your pace for the weather. The humidity and heat will require more of your body so a slower pace than planned is recommended in order to get you to the finish line without overheating.

* Most importantly: PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY DURING THE RACE. If at ANY time your body gives you signals to slow down or stop, abide by them. Be aware of your heart rate, body temperature and hydration. If you feel light-headed, dizzy or overheated or experience chest pain, visual disturbances, cramping, vomiting or headache, slow down or stop and consult the medical personnel on the course immediately.

There will be a cooling/misting tent next to the Medical Tent at the Finish Line to assist with post-race cool down.

We want everyone to enjoy race day and that means being in the best possible condition to complete the course. Take it slow, pay attention to your body's stress signals and be aware of medical staff and aid stations to help you along the way.

Notice that nowhere in here are the runners advised to skip the race altogether. They offer important and helpful advise especially the advise to take on plenty of water during the race. How can you offer this 'tip' and then not have enough water? That's a mean trick!

According to race officials, each of the aid stations was outfitted with 50,000 to 70,000 servings of water and 37,000 servings of Gatorade, said Shawn Platt, a senior vice president of LaSalle Bank. That's about one Gatorade per person and 1-2 cups of water per person. That's not exactly rallying the troops for the heat. Should have been a LOT more. Moreover, race director Carey Pinkowski, is quoted as saying that they didn't anticipate people pouring water on their heads. How can you not expect this little cooling effort on such a day. Have we not all seen runners pour water on themselves?

Marathoners sacrifice a lot for their sport. They don't go out when their friends do. They may miss some important events (Cubs game!) because their training dictates their schedule. When you've made a commitment like this to excel and to challenge yourself, it is not so easy to suddenly become "smart" and not run at all. No. The smart runner just runs a different race. Some likewise support from the race organizers and sponsors would have been much appreciated.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Chicago Marathon 2007 - Leah's Death March

**First of all if you haven't seen all the pictures from the race, head down to the previous post for a slide show of pictures. There are a few of the choice ones included below. Also, there are probably typos...the report is happening between work stuff that has to get done, i.e. quickly. **

My third marathon is over and done with. The first year we did the race it was cool and a perfect day, last year the weather at the start was in the 30s and windy, and this year as most people know the weather was record high hot with temps reaching into the high 80s. I know that some people would get to aid stations only to find that there were no more fluids left. I was lucky enough to not have had to deal with that, so I can't comment on it.

We started the day already sweating. My dad met us at our apartment and I gave him a quick instruction on the new camera and convinced him he really wanted to take it. Then he seemed more nervous than us as he was standing around and jingling the keys. We left the apartment at about 6:30am, picked up Chad and Bridgette on Chicago and Wabash and then headed south towards the start line. We jumped out of the car at Lake St. and headed to our start corral.

As usual the corrals were a bundle of nervous and excitement. We stationed ourselves with the 3:40 pacers and started chatting with some of the guys around us. One guy was from Atlanta and this was his 6th marathon and the other guy we talked to was a marathoning newbie. I was worried about this guy because he said when he drinks water or Gatorade he feels sick so he wasn't going to do that during the race.....I hope he ended up ok as the day would prove there would be no room for that kind of behavior.

The race started and I was surprised to see our first mile hit in 7:46, this is about 40 seconds too fast for a 3:40. The pacers all started yelling for the 3:40 people to slow down. We saw our full group of spectators at about mile one with my dad looking like a pro taking pictures of us. I'm such a ham for the camera! Mile 2 hit in 9:08 and we were way ahead of pacers so I know they had slowed too much. During Mile 3, they came sprinting past us like they were going to make up 50 seconds during the next mile. At that point I said forget it and we'll just do what we can on our own since the pacers seemed to be all over the place.

We saw our spectators again a little bit after mile 4 and smiled and waved and high fived. Although at this point I was already not feeling great. We were keeping up with an 8:15ish pace but just didn't feel right. You know getting into that groove didn't seem to be happening. We saw Mouse and Dice at about mile 5.5 and I tried to smile, but realizing already that there was 21 miles to go was making it a bit tough to look happy.

As we made the turn onto Addison, people were still in good spirits. Someone yelled, "Alright everyone this is as far north as we'll go!" I thought...yeah still not yet 8 miles into the race. We saw our spectators after making the turn onto Broadway and we did our best to look good. We were still on pace for a 3:40 at this point but realized there was no way it was going to happen as we were exhausted. We got to the next aid station, got some Gatorade and walked through the whole thing. Had some water, dumped some water on the head and started running again.

At this point, I was asking myself what the point was of going through a 16 mile death march and maybe we should just bail when we next saw our spectators. Jason said, maybe we should just run to the next aid station, and walk through the whole thing getting enough fluids down and cooling down a bit. I thought that was a good idea and so we aimed just to do that. When we saw our spectators at mile 13 however we were not looking our best. They said, afterwards, that we looked *horrible* at that point in the race. I think that this picture is a perfect description of the race this year. I'm about to cry and the guy next to me is already walking and looking bad.

But then we crossed 1/2 way.

And then, I heard Jason scream out in pain. I looked at him and we stopped and he said he had a horrible cramp in his leg. He stretched a bit and then we were back on it.....for a block or two when the pain came back to him. I know he was really pissed off, but as far as I was concerned, just finishing today was the goal as our original time goal was out the window. We stayed together up until a point and then I told him that I was going to go on because it was too hot for me to take longer that I needed out there.

I went ahead and met up with our spectators at the Halstead Blue line stop, just before mile 17 I think. I never stop in a race....but yesterday I did. I pulled up next to them and chatted for awhile and drank some of the water they had with them. I decided to wait on Jason because another 10 miles alone was going to be lonely and maybe we could just finish together. Plus I realized he had the 2nd Gu in his pocket that I might want. So I waited for him to come by. I told my dad to call ahead and tell our spectators not to leave that we would be there eventually. Jason continued to suffer from leg cramps and at one point said that his foot was facing in the wrong direction and that he had to stop at the next available medical tent. I told him that I was going to go ahead because the stopping to walk was making me more exhausted than just running along slowly. He said he would be fine and be careful and if he got stuck he would find a phone to call someone.

So off I went.

I didn't really have any goals at this point. I just kept doing the run to the next aid station and walk through it getting a glass of Gatorade and water down at each stop and then picking it back up to running.

I stopped and told our spectators in Chinatown what was happening with Jason and then ran into the lovely Lisa and Evin a few blocks down. I slowed down and they walked with me for about 3 blocks and said I looked great and people were just dropping left and right.

I left them and continued on. I knew that the 22 mile marker was just past this point and the last 4 miles of the marathon I'm usually pretty good with. I know there's only 4 miles to go and that I could do it. I looked at my watch and also realized that if I kept doing what I was doing and averaging just under 10 min/mile I would be faster than my slowest time which ended up being my only goal. You have to think of something while you are out there.

With over 2 miles to go we made the turn onto Michigan Ave. and it was horrible. It was about noon and there was no. shade. anywhere. No where to escape the sun, just plodding up the street. There was a hydrant open somewhere along here and I stopped and just let it soak me before I continued on. I stopped at two of the aid stations along here which I don't usually do since it's so close to the end, but I was keeping with my game plan. I kept looking at what street were on and be shocked that there was still 16 or 17 blocks to go. Finally the one mile to go sign came into view, followed by the big turn onto Roosevelt. I looked for my spectators and ran strong up the hill. I gave them a thumbs up and a fist pump and continued on.

Making the big turn onto Columbus and seeing the finish line and knowing that I was going to complete a marathon in one of the worst conditions ever made me very happy.

I crossed the line in 4:10:35 which I'm thrilled with.

Then I crossed the line and all I had been thinking of for the past 20 miles was to finish so I could get an ice cold towel in the finishing shoot. But oh no. What do they have there? The mylar blanket things they usually have to keep you warm. What the ass? How hard would have been to get big buckets of ice and put towels in them. I made my way through the shoot, and had a beer which I don't usually do. I told the woman handing them out that I could use about 12 of them. I kept seeing people with bags of ice and asked where that was. When I finally found it (at the very end of the shoot) they were all out. I asked a girl who had 4 bags of ice just sitting on the ground if she was using them all and she gave me a very snotty look and said she was...ok, glad the ground was getting a good icing.

But I headed over to Columbus and Michigan and found my Dad and Chad. I started crying because I had left Jason when he was in pain and I didn't know where he was or if he was ok. Eventually we heard that he was ok, and so we waited for him to come by. We were exhausted and sweaty and gross, but we had again completed a marathon. I was so happy that I didn't quit even though I wanted to. A sense of accomplishment, even though the goal I had worked on all summer was out the window before the race even started.

There will be other marathons, and other chances to run fast. For now I am taking a couple weeks off. With a trip to Germany coming up next week and a busy week of work with us, we don't really have time to think about our next race or to run at all...and right now, I'm really ok with that and looking forward to the break. I do love marathoning....but it's been a long hard summer and I don't want to think about the next race for awhile

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Thanks to my dad getting the first go at the new camera we got tons(!) of great pictures from the race. My stepmom also took a lot of pictures so they have been upload to picasa and reorganized for your enjoyement. So here they are...the good...the bad...and the sweaty

Four Hour Ten MInute Death March

well. we aren't dead.

ok....let's not ever run a marathon in 90 degree heat. Ok?

I never felt great in the race....but managed to pull out a 4:10 something. So it's not my worst time, god....horrible. ah...well...I'm still smiling and I finished. Stay tuned for race reports from both of us.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Wow...The Cubs are Bad...

shit man. When does my team get to win. It's not over yet....but my god they look like they should have been in the NL Central cellar.

Leah got a present today...oh yes she did...she's a little terrified of it...yes she does like to refer to herself in th 3rd person....but something she can grow into...another thing to learn.....the Canon 40D (whoo hoo to real money!) I hope to get back into a photo-a-day thing with this sucker. Also should have some good pictures of us running tomorrow because not only can it do your laundry, but when you press the shutter....the picture takes immediately! So Chicago people, be prepared to talk to me with a camera strapped to my face for awhile.

So right. The marathon.....wait let me do a weather check as I sit in a pool of my own sweat like it's the middle of fucking magical weather gnomes coming with cooler weathr. 75 degrees at the clouds. Well here's to a fun day anyways. Look for signs like these (yes...yes they were taken with the new camera) all over the course as our spectators will be along the course every 5 miles.

When I say CHICAGO you say MARATHON....When I say Chicago you say "GOING TO SWEAT MY ASS OFF"


This is probably not the race to PR. Be careful and have fun out there! It's a great race with lots to look at along the when you tell people that you ran a marathon in 88 degree temps they'll think you'll a total badass.....or a moron.

Friday, October 05, 2007

I Don't Usually Toot....

my own horn that is.


My talk today....went really well. I got a huge vote of support and a big compliment after my talk in front of the rest of the folks in the meeting from the old head of my physics group and two congratulatory emails from my advisor.

It feels good to have done so good. It's been a rare feeling these past few years. But today. Today I did good.

Uh...It's Friday

Well kids. Sunday we have this "marathon" to run.


I have been so busy with work stuff that I haven't been up to my usual 8 posts a day that usually grace this blog the week before the marathon. Good on one hand because I haven't really had time to freak out or get too worked up about it. Bad on the other since...well i haven't analyzed every step of the race :-)

Today I will be giving the biggest presentation so far in my graduate student career. I'm presenting my analysis to the entire collaboration (well...of course not all 600 people will be there, but it's available for anyone to go to). I am hoping to have it approved for the conference I am going to next week.

That's the other thing...uh yeah....Jason is defending his thesis a week from today and we leave for Germany a week from tomorrow. Right then.

I have tons of work to do for the conference, including finishing up the analysis note and working on the presentation since I have to give a practice talk by Thursday of next week. So the race is just another thing on my dance card this week.

Oh...and the weather is up to a high of 88 and mostly sunny on Sunday. Sigh. Given that it's two days away now, it's looking like it's going be a hot one. So everyone running be careful out there! I know (believe me) it's frustrating after training for 18 weeks and doing everything as right as you can only to have the only thing you can't control come and bite you in the ass.

Good Luck Everyone! Most of all HAVE FUN!!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I Just You Just Have to Laugh?

From Tom Skilling :

Well that's it kids. My favorite part is that the highs might exceed the record that has stood for 6 decades.

86 degrees....ok so say in the morning, about 10 degrees 76 degrees.

hmm...well yeah. that pretty much sucks.

My new game plan is to try and just stick with the 3:40 pacers....and see what happens. I think I am in shape for somewhere between 3:30-3:35....but not in that kind of weather. Hell, I don't actually think I trained to do a 3:40 in that weather. I'm not trying to be not positive, but realistic. That temperature is about 30 degrees too warm. Given what happened during the warm (read : fucking hotter than hell) Chicago Distance Classic 1/2 marathon, I think my fears are grounded. I'm afraid of dehydrating and ending up in the medical tent...or dead.

oh yeah...and work stuff...please. Busier than I have ever been in my life. Perfect.

***editors note...the title should have been "I Guess You Just..." ...must have been a bit out of it when I wrote it***

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Remember when I said I had Calmed....

uh that, Tom Skilling, Accuweather and Weather Underground agree on the weather for Sunday I'm back to slightly stressed....

all have predictions of 84-87 and partly cloudy for race day. That's really really warm! Still time for it to change, but the surrounding days aren't looking good anymore.

Oh well.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Calming Down



I feel way more relaxed today. At some point one has to go ... I've done what I can do, and thus that is that. I've put the training in for the race. I can't change Chicago weather but it will be what it will be and stressing about it won't change. I've worked hard on my analysis....if it doesn't get doesn't.

The talk on Friday should be ok. It's a much more main talk than the usual talks I give because it is for the whole experiment (well those who show up) and not just my little comfortable physics group.

So that's that.

Focus on a good race. I kind of have a plan for the race but I'm sure more will go into that as the days pass.

The Cubs are in the playoffs. And yes Bob....don't want to talk about the Bears. But I gotta say...anything can happen in a Bears/Packers game so I wouldn't get too comfortable up north. Maybe the Packers will do the nice choke job that your Brewers did.

6 mile recovery tonight.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Closing In On Me....

the stress that is.

The marathon is this weekend.
The race weather looks like it'll be warm and thus I worry.
I think my analysis is broken.
I leave for Europe in about 10 days.
I have a big presentation on Friday.
I am worried my analysis won't be approved by the time I leave.
I am having major attitude problems (at least I kept it away from my advisor this time).
I want to move out of our ghetto fabulous tomorrow, but then there is a thing called a "lease".

Trying. To. Breathe.