Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's just me, your androgenous friend

Yesterday was the big day, the day that Leah would give a talk on her research stuff. And let me just say, it went really well. She didn't sound nervous and she got a couple really nice comments during and after her talk. Go Leah! Woot!

(And the award for best contribution to science by a marathon runner goes to...)

Anyway, after the talk we went home for a little nap and then we were all set to run. And by "all set" I mean "totally uninterested in running." Getting up super early, having a stressful day, napping, and just generally being lazy sucked out all the desire to run. Add in the fact that there was a small hurricane swirling over our happy intersection and there's little incentive left to run. But, run we did ('cause that's what we do). We waited for a lull and off we went. And, let me just say, our timing was impeccable. The rain stopped just as we started running and, other than a little spitting in the middle, didn't start again. Score! It was, however, wicked humid and we were both quickly soaked through. Unscore!

And then an interesting thing happened.

But wait, before I get to that, what is up with the CTA? Why can't they run the damn trains? They keep threatening to cut service and hike rates to make ends meet. Okay, fine, but why are we the only major city that can't run a public transit system? New York has subways that run and are fairly cheap. So does DC. Hell, even the Bay Area has a transit system that's reasonably priced. All big cities with effective public transit. But Chicago? How about the fact that they considered a $7 fare for rush hour commuters? How about the fact that they considered cutting all lines but Blue and Red? That's nice, let's make the city completely inaccessible to the working class. Great. And whatever happens, they'll be raising rush hour fares drastically and cutting back tons of service. Awesome. Whatever happened to encouraging public transportation? So much for a "Green City."

Anyway, back to the "interesting thing that happened." We were doing our usual run through the neighborhood and were somewhere in Bucktown when a couple guys got out of our way as we ran by. Nothing unusual there, right? In fact, pretty polite, right? Maybe, but as we ran by, one of the guys looked me dead in the eyes and said "Afternoon, ladies." Ladies. Plural.

Now okay, I get that I could use a haircut. We all know that. And sure, I have delicate features and can't grow facial hair. Fine. And maybe I look a little bit like a lesbian. Maybe. But really, my boobs aren't particularly big and I was hardly wearing an mascara at all.

Just call me Pat.

But back to the run. We made it all nine miles, but it was a little tough. We were all over the place, starting out at a nice 8:40 clip and then jumping to an 8:16 pace (too fast). Then it was up an down as we had to stop for traffic, then sped up, the got slowed again and blah blah blah. Basically, it is pretty tough to run at 5 pm on a weekday. And the thing is, other than getting stopped for a solid minute at mile 6, we were really lucky with lights. But having to slightly slow down when approaching a little then speeding back up makes it really hard to get in a rhythm. And let me tell ya, the humidity doesn't help either.

So, I can't really say it was a good run. It wasn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't good. We might have to hit the lakefront path in the future for these mid-week long runs, I don't know. Or just deal with it. Anyway, here's the pretty graph with our spikey little run. If you'll notice, there are now lines for a 3:35 and a 3:30 marathon. How's that for optimism?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Questioning Conditioning Level?

Last night we started week one of the Pfitz marathon 18/55 plan. If you would say that there are actually 19 weeks left until the plan you would be correct. However, next week is the GMR relay and so we will miss that week of official training runs, although I do plan on doing more than the prescribed mileage.

So we had our 7 miles with 10x100m strides. We did 6 miles on the lakefront path and then headed to the track for the strides. Last time we did this I found it too difficult, and so instead of striding the straight parts of the track and walking the curved parts, we strided the straight parts, walked for half the curved part and started a slow jog for the second half. This way we were moving faster and the strides weren't coming out of basically a stand still. This worked a lot better and so we did 1.25 miles on the track giving us a total of 7.25 miles on the day.

Now then. Here's my question. We paced 8:31 for the 6 miles. It felt good, easy, I wasn't breathing hard, Jason and I were talking to each other the whole time. We took our heart rate after we finished and it was at about 145 which seems to be about where it should be (I realize this is less than accurate, but it was just to get an idea). Granted this was only a six mile run, but we have been having most of our runs faster or at the low end of where I think they should be. For example, these general aerobic runs should be between 8:43-9:13 and I didn't have one mile in that range. The long run we did on Sunday was *just* within range. The nine mile run last week was way under pace at an 8:27 average.

So my question I in better conditioning than I thought? Should I think about moving my marathon goal time down a bit? Maybe I should just keep running where I feel most comfortable and see if I can stick with these paces as the training continues. Just for a look see, I typed in a 3:30 marathon into McMillian and got these numbers :

Endurance Workouts Pace/Mile
Recovery Jogs 9:31 to 10:01
Long Runs 8:31 to 9:31
Easy Runs 8:31 to 9:01

Stamina Workouts Pace/Mile
Steady-State Runs 7:36 to 7:50
Tempo Runs 7:17 to 7:36
Tempo Intervals 7:11 to 7:26

So looking within the Endurance workouts, it looks like I am always within that prescribed range. The concern comes when I look at the Tempo Runs category. We have been adding in tempo runs into our training although they haven't been for very many miles. (we have done a two mile Lactate Threshold and a three mile). For these, the pace has been a bit higher than that range, but as Thomas mentioned in the comments last week, it is almost easier to go for longer on these because you end up finding a rhythm. I don't know if I can find a rhythm between 7:17 and 7:36...but you never know.

I think that the first LT run we have will be a nice test to see how things will go this summer and I also think I'll have a better idea of paces as the miles start to add up. I have no leg pain (a first for me for awhile) currently and I am wondering if it's because I am having fewer foot strikes and so less time out there...I don't know...maybe my sciencey self is taking over and I should just keep running comfortably and see what happens. After the first 3 weeks of the plan I will take a look at all these numbers again and see where we are and how we line up.

Any suggestions from the peanut gallery are always welcome :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What's up with our cat?

Our little kitty Dagny used to be so cute...

That's not her.

She used to be so tiny and cute with really big ears and a really skinny body...

That's not her either.

Now she's gotten all big and rolly-polly. All she does is sit around and be fat.

Nope, that's not her either. But we're getting closer.

This is Dagny

She's very lazy.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Do Not Look Ahead.

A name of the next trashy mystery book I read....or did I just type in the Pfitz/Douglas (btw why doesn't this guy ever get the credit when people talk about the plan....his name is on the book too....) marathon training program into the nifty Google Calendars. I forgot how hard some of the middle weeks of the training plan are, but I found out last year that it only makes sense to worry about what is on the schedule for that day. When I look ahead I think, "You have to be kidding me, two 12 mile runs during the of which has 7 miles at LT pace....uh.....bite me." However, one day at a time and one workout at a time and it all gets done. Worrying about what has to be done the next day is totally counter productive as I think it takes away from the quality of the workout you are currently doing.

This is officially week one of the plan (it should be next week but next week is the GMR) and we have a total of 32 mile on the schedule. From what we have doing for the past three weeks this will end up being a drop back week for us which is always a nice way to start marathon training instead of feeling behind and trying to catch up all summer. Last summer we had lots of bad work situations and some travel and it looks like that won't be happening as much this summer so the plan should be pretty smooth.

Tomorrow it's 7 mile with 10x100m. We'll run 6 and then head to the track to do 5 laps of strides. I am going to have to slow down my stride speed because last time we did this I was sore for the rest of the week.

I also realized that I was wrong about the date of the CDC matching up with the schedule. The workout I thought it lined up with is a 15mile with 12 at Marathon Race Pace. This however is the week before the race and race day calls for a simple 14 mile M-LR. It's still far in the future but I'll have to decide how to play that one.

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Nice Dozen

We just got home from our weekly long run. Our weekly mileage this week came to 37 which I am thrilled about. I was very worried that we weren't going to be ready to get on that Pfitzinger boat since the mileage is so high, but we handled this week with no problems which is always nice to see.

(Jason says: Wheeeee!)

We have our car in the city and so we drove downtown so that we could start on the lakefront path and have the joy of not dodging lights for at least 4 miles of the run, and we kept some gatorade in the car for afterwards which was a nice treat. This morning was also the annual Bike the Drive (they open Lakeshore Drive for bikes only!) and it was fun to see that road filled with bikes instead of cars. We were talking about how cool it would be if it was always biked only...or maybe like on Friday's or something.

(Jason says: Go Bikes!!)

We started at Chicago Ave and after a few back and forths decided to run south instead of north. We both like the southside of the path a little bit better and today proved no different. It's so quiet down there, and they have done a lot of work to make it really beautiful. Right about where we turned around the path jets a bit east and so when we turned around we got a *spectacular* view of the city. It was really foggy this morning and so all the tops of the buildings were in the clouds, but it's just such a freakin' beautiful city. We are one up on everyone (yes including you NYC) in my opinion. sigh. my city. heart.

(Jason says: Go Chicago!!!)

This run proved no different than any run we have done in the past. Most of the miles were where they were supposed to be, the last 4 were low but not by far. I have been trying to do the last mile at or a bit under marathon pace. I don't know if this is harmful, but I like to remind my legs what that pace feels like. If it starts to bother my weekly runs I'll cut it out, but for now I like to get the legs moving.

The run looked like this :

(Jason says: Yay Graphs!!!!)

(Jason also says: Religion is the opiate of the masses)

(No, wait, that was Karl Marx)


(Go Cubs)

(Yeah, that sounds more like Jason)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Recovery Day...again

I'm sorry, I'm not going to write about the second recovery run in four days. It's just too boring. We kicked out five miles in a 9:36 pace (give or take) which is slightly faster than we should technically run the recovery but...what else is new.

Today Leah's fun Aunt Andrea is coming over for brunch which should be fun (hence the "fun Aunt Andrea"). Leah's made one of each breakfast dish that's been invented to date, plus a few that will be invented in a couple years (keep an eye out for "Happy Egg Suprise" in 2009) and my plan is to have one of each. I love brunch.

Tomorrow we're going to have 12 miles which we'll do at the lakefront and maybe meet Mike and Barb for a special showing of Spiderman 3 (special, of course, because we'll be there). And then next week...THE FIRST OFFICIAL WEEK OF MARATHON TRAINING

exclamation point.

Go Cubs.

Friday, May 25, 2007

When Shuffling Runs is Good

Yesterday we left work a bit early because we wanted to have our car for various reasons this weekend and were planning on working home today. Leaving earlyish is good to bypass commuter traffic.

When we got home and saw the wind howlin' down our street we started to question the desire to go out and run 9 miles. We checked the weather for the following morning and found that the wind would be gone and the temperature would be down by about 30 degrees as well. Since we were working at home anyways we thought a run to start the day wouldn't hurt much and moving a run forward by 12 hours wouldn't be a huge deal.

Sometimes when you look at the weather (or whatever) and have a reason for moving a run, other than, "I don't wanna" you luck out. Usually if you don't want to do it anyways, prolonging it doesn't help (It's like how now, I have to find out why a cut in my analysis is acting funny and am prolonging that to review and reflect about my run this morning.....but that's not helping me find the problem......but lalalalala....see now it's not there). I was worried that we moved the run more because we didn't feel like it, but I was happy to wake up to nicer conditions.

And by god. That was the best run we have had yet. 9 miles in my city before it's truely moving...well at least joining the early morning commuters on their way to work, is always a favorite time of day. We ran all the way to Belmont and Southport which is almost in the haunts of our old neighborhood. At one point, I looked down and noticed someone had written 'LEAH' in the cement, which was funny to see as it's not the most common name. The streets kept effortlessly flying by. We laughed at the big giant houses on Greenview Ave and thought about what it would be like to have have enough money to even be able to own a room in a house like that. Then laughed some more when we realized we probably wouldn't ever be able to. And then laughed because we didn't care because we have grown to love our neighborhood.

And we just kept running.

And our paces stayed low low low.

We even had one mile at 8:05.

We averaged 8:27.

Do I care that this is just about 20 seconds faster than these runs should be and that only one mile is where it should have been?


I felt FANTASTIC. Here's the run in graph form.

A good way to start a Friday.

I'm off to find the problem in my code. Jason and I judge our bosses mood by how he signs his e-mails, a Cheers, Advisor is usually good; -Advisor is ....figure this out ASAP; and every once in awhile we get the dreaded Regards, Advisor. I'm in the middle now....(If Advisor is reading this...I kid of course).

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


(one of my favorite pictures I have taken)

Slow, steady, hot, and boring wins the race

Leah and I were forced to slow down for a recovery run last night and a well deserved recovery run, I might add; we've been running our asses off recently (yep, ran them right off. two butts lying on the floor. Don't see that every day). Still, as necessary/important/blah blah blah as recovery runs are, they sure do suck.

They're just so...slow. Last night we did them about as slowly as we could, pacing 10:13 minutes/mile for 5 miles (and of course, by slow, I mean relative to our optimal pace). That's the uppermost limit for our recovery runs according to McMillian, although our time was definitely padded by a few unfortunate stoplights right at the very end of our run. But as I was saying, it's annoying to have to go slower than you are capable because then the run takes so much longer. When you are running the same 5 mile loop you always run, it's really just better to get it over with. But noooooooo, we've got to run slow and save our legs. Boo.

It's like when, on our way into work, we have to slow down for the school zone outside Fermi. The speed limit drops from something like 45 all the way down to 20. This 20 mph zone is right before we get to the lab, so we can see the gates all the while we're creeping along at barely more than a walking pace. It's truly mind maddening.

Well, in the end, I think the "slow, steady, hot, and boring wins the race" part is actually pretty true. If we don't slow way down for the recovery runs, our legs won't be all juiced up for the speed work and long runs. And then we'll not be prepared for the marathon and then we'll just die. And nobody wants that. So we slow down with the hopes of a reward today when we tackle our 9 miler with fresh legs.

That's the idea anyway.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Spaceship or Old Detector?

Another Threshold in the Bank


Oh yeah.


Lactate Threshold runs suck.

Yesterday we had planned on a 6 mile run with 3 of those miles at an LT pace. We had done something similar 2 weeks ago when we did 5 miles with 2 at threshold. All of these LTs are just "bonuses" because the true marathon training program doesn't really start for a few an official LT run doesn't happen until a few weeks after that.

Look at me making excused. I'm lame.

Anyways, we started out for the LT run and felt ok. Mile 1 was good at an 8:40 pace, but as usually I got too fast too quickly. The miles broke down like this
  1. 8:40
  2. 8:19
  3. 7:30
  4. 7:45
  5. 7:51
  6. 10:29 (walked for 0.1 & stopped for water at about 0.5 miles)
I am happy that all the LT miles were under 7:55, but when I checked with McMillian I realized that these need to be between 7:28 - 7:47 so the last one was about 5 seconds slow which is frustrating. We were directly into the wind for the last two LT miles so that could have had something to do with it. I would much rather have those LT miles reversed, starting a bit slower and speeding up as the time goes by, but I would also like mile 2 to be more around the 8:40 pace. I think if I could slow that down, when I picked up the pace I would pick up the same percentage as always, but since I would be slower I would be doing the LT mile slower. Does that make any sense. When the LT miles start, I kick it faster, but if I was starting a bit slower I would kick to about a 7:40 pace I am thinking. Any-ways!

I am not worried about that last mile because I was so dehydrated so we had to stop and drink water which I didn't do the last time I did this.

Jason did point out (which was also pointed out in the Pfitz book) that our weekend runs had been much faster than they normally would have been. We had three 6 mile runs, none of which were recovery, one of which was at marathon pace and the other one was below our "easy" run pace. The book warns about doing long runs too fast because you legs would be burned out for the workouts during the week. I realize that I didn't do a "long run" per say, but I still had 18 total miles, all of which were faster than I will normally do weekend runs.

So ok then.

The good news is that I'm not totally burned out today and am looking forward to our 5 mile recovery run. I am retiring my old shoes because I am also saying that dead shoes had something to do with slow legs (look at me....I just keep adding on the excused don't I) but they do have 300+ miles on them and so I think it's time to switch. New shoes are always fun and I plan to bounce my way though 5 miles on cushiony new shoes.

I don't even want to talk about American Idol. Who the fuck picked that song to be the final song? It was so geared towards Jordin's style of singing and screwed Blake. On top of that it was a crappy song anyways. blah...oh well now Blake and Chris Richardson can go on tour together and Barb and Leah can go back to their teen years and get I Heart Blake shirts and head to their concert. Oh you think I kid.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Purple at Fermilab

The Alley Behind Me is Loud

When the Advisor is in Italy you....come on this is an easy one! Work at home of course (our office is right on an alley across from the back door of a market...*lots* of deliveries....lots of noise). Not that there is any difference with him there or in Bloomington...but still. And apparently they do have technology on little islands off the coast of Italy....

Last night on the way home from work we stopped at this bar called The Black Beetle for some beers. And let me tell you...that place was so awesome I just about slipped back into 22 year old Leah...who was just about as far away from a marathon runner that one could be. After having a few Sierra Nevada's and watching some Yankee Red Sox baseball we headed to the store to get some stuff for dinner and I called my mom. When we got home I sat down in front of the computer still chatty cathy with mom and I get the bloooop of a new video conference on iChat.....and on the other end is my advisor. So I get off the phone quickly with my mom and chat with my advisor a bit about what I figured out during the day and mistakes I had made in the past. It was just very disorienting...especially after a few beers. But seriously how awesome is that guy. He's on some island in Italy and just checked it to make sure everything was going alright on this end. If there was a league of super hero physicists then my advisor should be the leader of the group.....and I do think we would all like to see physics nerds in tights.

As I work on a presentation and on a poster today on my Mac I am finding out how much more awesome they are than I had ever thought. Pages and Keynote are FANTASTIC. I don't know why everyone doesn't have Mac.

That's all from here. Hopefully our Kansas friend will be ok for some running tonight and not peeling layers of skin off. And good luck to Blake on American Idol!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Worldly Collaboration


Wow. I didn't do much of anything this past weekend. The two previous weekends had been filled with traveling and it's hard with our weekly schedule the way it is to not have a chance to refill our tanks. We more than made up for that with this past weekend.

And I have to was awesome. I do like being busy, but every once in awhile, it's nice to just enjoy our apartment and relax.

This weekend we also wanted to get in some training for the GMR that's coming up in early June. I have never done any kind of relay, or any kind of running that is back to back. I usually do all my running at about the same time so I at least have about a 24 hour recovery time. So after we realized that we didn't want to get up early on Saturday morning we decided to try the following :

6 miles Saturday evening
6 miles early Sunday morning
6 miles Sunday afternoon.

giving us 18 miles total for the weekend, but bunched up a little different than usual.

On Saturday we slept it and I made a big breakfast which is always a treat. Before the Cubs started we walked over to a Chicago Public Library branch that is only about two blocks away from us. It's super tiny, but the librarians seemed friendly enough and I actually liked it better that the bigger and newer Bucktown branch. The Bucktown branch is nice, but the entire first floor is kids books and to get to the adult fiction books, you have to go upstairs and into the quiet reading room which I think is kind of weird. There are a couple books that I found that are in the CPL system, but not at this close branch so next time I go there I am going to try and see if I can have them sent to the one by us. Then it doesn't matter how many books they have. We'll see how that goes.

After a dazzling Cubs win, we headed out for our 6 mile run. And what the ass. I don't understand why I felt so crappy. Just sluggish and blech feeling. My mind was not agreeing with my legs and we came in at 53:14 or 8:52 min/mile. I didn't take Garmin on these runs, I just ran the exact same route all three times so I could have a comparison of times that didn't depend on GPS signal. I had done this 6 mile run many times last month and so I just followed the same route. I think this was slow because Saturday is usually our recovery day and maybe our bodies were used to that kind of running instead of a bit faster.

We had an evening guessed it....laziness (by the way I think that laziness is directly proportional to how much money you have...and given that we are in a financial nightmare...kinda...we tend to be lazier at the end of the month) and watching some episodes of House that we had recorded on DVR. The guy that plays Dr. House, by the way, is SUPER British, I found some interviews with him on YouTube and it was very disorienting to hear him being all proper and well...I don't know British I guess. He also wrote a book back in 1993 or so (before he was famous) called The Gun Seller and it has pretty good reviews on Amazon so I am going to try and find it via CPL and give it a go.

Sunday morning we got up at 5:30 and were out running by 6:15 or so. The first three miles were again annoyingly slow coming in at over 9min/mile. Even without Garmin I knew were the 3 mile mark was and I was surprised that it was slower than expected. Even crazier however for this run was the fact that we finished in 51:06...averaging 8:31 min/mile meaning that the last three miles must have averaged out to about 8 min/mile. I didn't feel like we were running that fast though so I was happy to see such a nice improvement on the second half of the run.

We got back home at 7:30 or so in the morning....which is hilarious. Normally I wouldn't have even been out of bed yet. I felt like making some pancakes, but I didn't want to buy a box of Bisquick, so I found a recipe online and made my own. I added some blueberries to them and we had a nice blueberry pancake& bacon breakfast. I was excited to find that recipe because we should usually have all the stuff in the house for those pancakes no need to spend extra cash on boxes of premade mix. We spent the rest of the morning watching The Prestige, which if you haven't seen it, is a fantastic movie! Creepy creepy for sure though.

After the Cubs game (I *hate* A.J. Pierzynksi, he just looks like that kid that beat everyone up on the playground when they were the way I *heart* Michael Barrett and loved that he landed that punch last year :-) ) we did our last set of 6 miles. I couldn't believe it when we came in at 49:34. That's averaging like 8:15 min/mile. I felt really good for this last 6 miles and I am way more confident about the GMR relay now.

So now we head dangerously close to marathon training time. The slight problem is that the first week of marathon training, is the same week as the GMR. So I am going to do week one the week before, try and do about the same number of mileage during the GMR week, then week two the week after as it should have been. I would also like the first week of marathon training to be a drop back week. So we are doing 37 miles this week and then will be able to drop back to 32 miles for the first week of training. So it's looking something like this

May 21 - May 27 : 37 miles, including 12 mile long run on Sunday
May 28- June 3 : 32 miles, first week of Pfitz, deleting midweek recovery run to drop mileage
June 4- June 10 : Week of GMR, 17.7 miles GRM + 21 miles other (might cut this down a bit)
June 11 - June 17 : 36 miles, 2nd week of Pfitz.

The toughness on the schedule this week is a LT run planned for tomorrow with 6 miles, with 3 at LT pace. I like to run to music for these because I find them difficult (I don't use music for any other run) and I worked out a playlist last night. I try and have slower songs planned for the time that is planned to be warm up miles, then fast get your legs moving songs for the next three, and then slow slow songs planned for the last mile. I usually over estimate though and have more music than running time...but that's why the skip button is so nice.

I am going to work from home a few days this week since my advisor is at a conference in Italy this week. It should be a nice change of pace and I'm looking forward to sleeping in a bit for a few days.

Well here we go with another Monday....and I do have a nice long list of to dos to get through.

Friday, May 18, 2007

9 easy miles

Yesterday nothing interesting happened besides running. You know what this means, don't you? I have to write about running. On a running blog. Crazy.

After another ordinary day at work, we were going to swing over to Mike and Barb's to partake in a little running fun. We were slated for 9 miles and Mike and Barb were planning on doing around 4 or 5 and then going swimming later (Mike has a Tri coming up, which is clearly insane). Anyway, we got to their place around 5:15 or so Barb!

That silly lady had gotten stuck at work. Well, since she was busy and they were going swimming later anyway, Leah and I figured we'd just head out on our own. So, in effect, we ended up just dropping our stuff off at their place and heading to the lakefront path. That's how cool those two kids are. "Hey mind if we drop our stuff off, change, hit the lakefront path, come home and leave?" "Sure, happy running."

Well, it's all fun and games now, but I'm just waiting for the day they want to reclaim their independence and we find our bags in the hallway. Ha, I kid of course, that would never happen cause MIKE AND BARB ARE THE COOLEST PEOPLE EVER.

Anyway, regarding the run, it was, in a word, awesome (I think that sentence needs another comma). We started out a little slow at a 9:22 mile but then stepped it up into the 8:30's for mile #2. From there, we maintained that pace for...a really long time. It wasn't easy, though. Or rather, it was easy for 4.5 miles while the wind was at our back but, funny thing about the lakefront path, the wind doesn't turn around when you do. So, swinging around brought the wind right into our face and things got a bit tougher. Not slower, mind you, just tougher. We maintained a strong 8:30ish pace for the last half of the run, excepting a little garminy trouble between miles 5-6 (apparently the perfectly clear skies and lack of tall buildings confused the watch). The last mile we pulled off at 8:05 for a pretty impressive finish. I don't know when we got so fast, but I'll take it.

After our run, Barb was back so we chatted for a bit and Mike showed me how to stretch my back. I've had recurrences of the back pain that sidelined me before the marathon which I've been ignoring, but I think I should try to address the problem before it actually becomes a real problem. So, if you see me using some yoga techniques, it's for my back. I'm not some kind of hippie or anything.

Damn hippies.

Alright, today's an off day (thank god) and then Saturday and Sunday are GMR practices. 6 miles Saturday morning, 6 miles Saturday night, 6 miles Sunday morning. Terrifying.

Oh, and one last thing. Last week Leah and I were both exhausted beyond exhaustion by the time Thursday rolled around. I think that was partly because of the really tough weekend but also largely because of the walking/biking downtown. The extra 6.4 miles a day were really starting to add up. However, we've cut that down to 3.4 miles a day by walking to the Kedzie stop and it's made a big difference. Our legs feel fresher and we're not always about to pass out. It makes sense as we've essentially reduced our weekly mileage by 15 miles. So, good thinking on our part.

Cubs and Sox today. Go Cubs!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What Normal People Live Like

Last night for the first time in months we didn't have anything to do (well..ok if you don't count Monday...but I'm not because it is not a normal night for us to go sit outside and have beers...but I was celebrating having a result so there).

We took the 4:54 train out of Wheaton getting us into Kedzie at about 5:45 pm. I had decided to make this meal, tacos in pasta shells...that is DELICIOUS. However, when we got to the little market by our house we found that they didn't have the big shells that we needed so it was onto plan two. The orignal plan two was to order from Penny's Noodle Shop, but then I decided that I remembered what went into a Baked Ziti that I used to make all the time. So we got those things and headed home.

I would also like to say that I love the Farmer's Market on the corner of Western & Chicago. It's tiny, but they usually have everything we need and everyone there is really really friendly. They have a butcher so you can get exactly how much meat you need for your meal. And to top all that off, everything is about 1/2 the price of the big grocery chains. So Chicago folks keep your eyes on those little markets if you are near one, it's a breath of fresh air from the land of 8 million choices that is the big chains.

Then we got home, and like normal people.....cleaned a bit, made dinner, etc. I realize that the previous sentance sounds really lame, but I am never home by 6:30 and can just whip up something to eat that's not takeout given my weekly schedule. The ziti turned out fabulously, even better that I remember it even though I was a bit short on the provalone cheese. Paired that with some broccoli and we had a nice meal. The best part of that dish is that it lasts forever. We hardly put a dent in it and should get about 4 more meals each out it. We froze about half of it so we don't get ziti-ed out over the next few days.

Tonight we got 9 miles on the schdule. My quad muscles are a bit sore I am guessing from the strides that we did on Monday, but hopefully they'll calm down a bit by the run or during the run anyways.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fun with Jayhawks

Last night we went to Mike and Barb's condo for some training, some dinner and some American Idol. All ended up being fantastic, but of course not without some drama sprinkled in.

As we were walking to the lakefront path, the rain that had subsided a bit previously, started really coming down. And of course, the wind picked up. I had forgetten my Garmin and so did some distance math, deciding that 6 miles would roughly be to the Fullerton bridge and back. We were off, making sure to note that we would be meeting back at the track on Chicago & Lakeshore Drive to do some strides. When we get onto the path, the wind and the rain were terrible. Terrible to the point that it was funny. I asked Jason if we were crossing that line that separated toughness from stupidity and as we were already soaked from head to toe, we decided it couldn't get any worse and to stick with it.

I quickly realized that I had done bad distance math and our run was going to be a little shorter than I had planned. After the turnaround I made sure to tell Mike and Barb to run all the way back to the track, (I get nutsy about getting my planned mileage and while it's only a block from the lake front to the track I figure it's still distance). About this time, I looked down at my shorts and there was some kind of suds on them. I figured that it must just be from all the rain. I looked at jason's shorts and he had the same behavior going on. I realized (after getting a wiff of Tide) that there was still soap in our clothes and that our washer must not being doing a good job with the rinse cycle, or we are using too much soap. Either way we wondered if the clothes were going to be clean after the run...I mean you had soap, water....I kid.

I cheked the run distance when we got home and it was about 5.6 miles or so. which isn't too far off from where we were supposed to be. We came in at surprisingly 47:58, which is just over 8:30 miles...go figure. I am getting used to having quick runs in the nice weather, but I was surprised to see those kind of miles in the shittyness that was the weather last night. So yay us!

We then wanted to do 8x100m strides. We do strides on this track, striding the straight parts, and walking the curved parts. 8 strides = 4 laps = 1 mile. Jason and I did one laps worth of strides when Mike showed up. The three of us did 3 laps worth of strides when Barb showed up. I think I used to think that these were easy. And they very well might be as the training continues, but the strides were difficult for me last night. I might be doing them too heart was racing a bit....but anyways, we finished up and Mike and Barb did a lap together and then Barb was on her own for 3 more laps. Another great job by the Kansas crew this week. Looking forward to seeing them push it this summer. We are going to run from ther condo on Thursday as well, as I like the lake front path...and well they live almost right on it :-).

After the run, we headed back to the condo, I jumped in their fantastic new shower to get the dirt off of me. We settled in to American Idol....I do hope Blake continues on. I loved his preformances, Jordin was also incredible. I like Melinda I guess...she's good...but I don't find her as interesting as the other two, so we'll see what happens tonight. Mike made a *fantastic* dinner of bbq chicken and rice and cauliflower. All very delicious!

As the evening came to a close I went back and forth with Barb about us taking the bus vs her giving us a ride home. I finally took her up on her offer for a ride given the weather and my exhaustion. We get into the elevator....and nothing...except a very loud alarm sounding noise. They called the woman at the front door and within 15 minutes they had us out of the small tiny confining box of death...I mean elevator. So...maybe I should have ridden the bus. Sorry guys!

We were very appreciative of the drive home because it had started raining pretty hard again. We showered and fell into bed, finished watching Jesus Camp...which I have to say is just about one of the most terrifying movies I have ever seen. Scary stuff.

We have an........shhhh....OFF day today! We walked to the Kedzie station again this morning and will walk back in the evening. Tomorrow it's 9 miles, and then a little bit of a crazy running weekend to do a trialish run for the GMR relay. Stay tuned for more details!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sometimes Physics Works!

Well Well Well.

Yesterday my analysis made a huge turn for the better. I found a small bug in my code, simplified the code and viola....I have a result type thing. I have something to work with. I haven't felt this sense of accomplishment here in grad school since...well I don't know I passed the qualifying exam all those years ago I suppose.

I read somewhere a survey on how long a thesis would have taken if everything worked on the first pass. The majority of the responses were between 3-6 months! Which I calculated is just about where I would have been.

So. Sometimes sticking with the problem is good, sometimes it works out. Maybe all the bad weeks and tears and anger will end being worth it!

I still have mounds of checks to do on the analysis, and who knows what the hell will happen with that. Regardless however, I have something to work with now.

To celebrate my awesomeness Jason took me out for beers at Small Bar. We met up with the Lovely Lisa and chatted for a few hours. I think that is the first time we have sat outside and had a beer in Chicago for ....I don't know. We lived at the lab last summer becuase of shifts and didn't get out much. In a word was ... nice. I loved it.

Tonight it's 7miles w/8x100m. Stride it out baby!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Situation resolved

Thanks for those who commented on my previous post. I've spoken with the author of the blog post that bothered me and the situation is resolved. To remove any such words from the internet-o-sphere, I've gone ahead and deleted the old post. Should anyone have linked to that post or the post that I was referencing, please remove the links to this can all fade away from the internet.

Surprise Surprise!!!

We had a fun mother's day weekend going to Fort Wayne and surprising Jason's mom. We had been in conversation with Jason's dad, Walt, and had planned on his mom, Beverly, being home between 3 and 4 pm on Saturday afternoon. We got to The Fort at about 3:15 and no one was home, so we had a beer and sat on their back deck and waited....and waited...and waited. Finally I told Jason just to call his mom and be like, "Hey whatcha doin.." (of course while he is on the phone with her their bird was squaking up something ridiculous and I was like, "GET OUT OF THE HOUSE before she hears the bird.."). We find out that she had gone to Jason's grandparent's and was on her way to the store and then she was going to head home.

We decided to try and surprise her at the grocery store because, really what would be more surprising. So we are sitting in our car looking around and ducking every time a car rolls past. A few minutes later, we see Beverly's car and stealthly (ok, two tall skinny people can't really be stealth...but we tried) waddled around the cars in the parking lot. We followed her to the bread aisle and said..."hey there!". She totally did a double take and was SO happy to see us! She couldn't believe that we were in Fort Wayne and had driven from Chicago to see them. We had a great evening chatting on their deck and grilling out.....mmmm...Cheddar brats...there is not much better.

Saturday evening, we also did some research about running paths in town. There has been a push lately to get all kinds of bike trails and whatnot put in. The idea, I think, is to have the whole town connected by the said bike trails which is a fantastic idea. It's nice to see a littleish town doing this and making an effort to get this kind of thing in place. I am so spoiled living in Chicago with the lakefront path that I forget not all places have such a thing. So we looked at the Rivergreenway path which goes along the three rivers that come into the downtown Ft. Wayne area.

We got up at about 6:45.....and I didn't move even one inch during the night. Our cat has been a handful lately and as Jason put it, "We don't have kids for a reason!", so it was nice to sleep soundly. We were out of the house by 7:15 and navigated our way over to the path area. And I must say...fantastic! I am used to running on the lakefront path in the city with tons of people and bikers and kids and rollerbladers ....which I love. This couldn't have been more different. It was mostly through wooded areas, and we didn't see another person on the path except for one bicyclist towards the end. It could have used some water fountains and bathrooms, but other than that it was a really really nice run. It was weird not seeing other people and being out of my running comfort zone because when we passed like mile three, I was wondering how in the hell we couldn't have been done already. We jokingly played I Spy..."I spy something green", "Is it a leaf" "DING DING DING It IS a leaf!" and laughed and did 10 miles.

I have to include a graph of how we did...cause I'm awesome and a numbers girl.

The pink line with the markers is our pace at each mile, the black bars are the average pace for the whole run. The two lines on top and bottom are the limits on what McMillian says my paces should be for long runs. As you can see this run was *perfect*. We started off a big slower, towards the upper part of our limit and with each mile got a bit faster. We were pretty stable in the middle and dropped low towards the end. This is also suggest by the Pfitz book, saying the beginning of your long runs should be at about 20% slower than MP and toward the end creeping up to 10% slower that MP.

Just to note that 10-20% slower range is 9:04.5 - 9:54.0 but the McMillian numbers are a little faster than this coming it at 8:43-9:43. I seem to be ok with theMcMillian range given and so will stick with that.

Our last mile was in 8:10, which is just a bit faster than our marathon pace. I have been enjoying doing the last mile or our runs at about this pace and I'm hoping to keep it up (at least the idea anyways) as the runs continue.

Tonight we are going to work out at the gym now that volleyball is over. Tomorrow is running with the Kansas kids...I think it's time to try some strides.....

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Nice Recovery...Just As It Should Be

Well that's what Jason keeps telling me. I get a little nuts on the recovery runs because it's hard to slow down. It's important I realize, but going from an 8:45 pace to a 10min pace is tough. But we did it this morning, coming in for 4 miles at 39:56. I did love this run because there isn't anything to comment about it. Just ran, felt good, felt strong, felt easy. No leg pains....just running.

I have always thought that running these recovery runs at a proper pace has made all the other runs of the week easier. It's a shakedown run, get's the crappiness out the legs and gets them ready to run long or far or whatever. Something to keep in mind for furture recovery days.

Tomorrow 10 miles.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I Think They Are Beautiful.

Even Though We Were Exhausted

Yesterday Jason and I got home from work after our bike ride and just about collapsed onto our couch. We were asking each other, "Couldn't we do this 8 mile run tomorrow!?!" We decided that although we COULD do the run tomorrow...tomorrow was Friday and we enjoy having that evening off after a long week.

So we did what we do. Laced up our shoes, and headed out. I am so flippin' impressed with us sometimes. Our schedules these days have zero extra time in them (I know this is probably boring...but I like to have what we are doing down on paper so to speak) :
  • 5:30-6:00
    • Breakfast
  • 6:00-6:30
    • Bike (or walk to train)
  • 6:30-7:15
    • Train to Wheaton
  • 7:15-7:45
    • Drive from Wheaton to the Lab, drop Jesse off at the highrise and then to our site at the lab
  • 7:45-4:15
    • Work
  • 4:15-4:45
    • Drive to Train
  • 4:45-6
    • Train to City
  • 6-6:30
    • Bike (or walk) home
  • 6:30-9
    • Reserved for running, ice baths etc
  • 9-10
    • Shower, shove dinner in belly
  • 10:30
    • Bed by Thursdays at 7pm, we are a bit on the tired side. I am amazed sometimes what the human body is capable of. We had a FANTASTIC run last night. Not so much fantastic in I wasn't tired or my legs weren't tired. But I just felt strong DESPITE the fact that I knew I was tired. We came in for 8 miles at 1:09:25 or 8:40 min/miles. A great city run, only one mile at exactly 9minutes and the rest below 9.

We came home and iced bathed and THEN I collapsed on the couch.

I had a pretty fitful nights sleep last night. Jason is giving a relatively big talk at the lab this morning and whenever we can't miss the train because of a meeting or whatever I get *very* nervous. I would say I woke up about 10 times during the night. Our cat, Dagny, was also terrorizing our apartment about 4:30am because we think there was another cat in the alley. She knocked down our blinds in our office...I mean she took them out, pulled the blinds out of the bracket, breaking one of the brackets. I love that cat...but seriously....4:30am. Give me a break.

We chose to walk to the Kedzie station this morning so cut the distance and up the sleep. It was a good walk and while I probably wouldn't leave my bike there (there are bike racks), if we do choose to walk, we will go to this station instead of downtown.

So another week down. We have a 4 mile recovery on Saturday and then 10 miles (that's right...that's double digitis) on Sunday.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Sleepwalking Once Removed

Last night the oddest thing happened. Jason and I went to bed around 10pm with our alarm set for 5:30am (coffee set as well for that time). First I woke up at about 10:45 and was upset and convinced that it was time to go to work, Jason calmed me down and was like, no no it's only 10:45.

I then woke up at 11:30 and found myself in the kitchen, pissed because the coffee hadn't started brewing again convinced that it was 5:30 and Jason must have set the timer incorrectly. So I turn it to the 'brew' setting and turn it on. Mr. Hubby yelled at me from the bedroom that it was only 11:30 and that it wasn't in fact time to get up and start drinking coffee. I was so so confused. I turned the coffee off, and back to the programmable setting and back to bed. I used to do this years ago where I would wake up in the middle of the night convinced that it was time to get up and get on it. It hasn't happened in awhile though and kinda freaked me out. A pretty typical night of sleep for the rest of the night only waking a 5am which gave me another 30 minutes before the alarm started singing...and by singing I mean screaming.

Last night we did a 4 mile recovery run which was nice and good for our legs. I remember from last summer that I always felt shitty on the recovery runs, but always happy with them when my legs felt loads better for the runs that were more important. It's important to keep the paces on these very slow even though it can be annoying. We came in at 38:46 which is a 9:42 min/mile pace. McMillian has us at 9:43-10:13 for our recovery paces and so we were on the low end of that, but having not done a ton of mileage so far this will probably end up at 10min/mile in the summer.

The bike riding is going good. My body is a bit tired though. There is another Metra station at Kedzie that I think we are going to try. This station is about 1.7 miles from our apartment compared to 3.2 for Ogilvie downtown. I am thinking that I will feel a difference cutting the bike distance by two....and I could sleep a bit later...and it won't take as long. The only problem is that I don't know if there are bike racks there to lock my bike. It's also not the *best* neighborhood, but fuck it, if the bike gets stolen or vandalized it gets stolen or vandalized. I could take the bike on the train and lock it up in Wheaton, but I believe you need bungee cords to hook the bike to the train or they won't let you on and we don't have any of those and it seems like a major pain the ass to get it all on the train hooked up off the train bleh. SO if anyone knows if there are bike racks at Kedzie let me know.....I could always just hook it to a fence or something I suppose. Alright...enough bike talk? I think so.

Tonight it's 8 miles....and's FRIDAY!!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Remembering How To Lactate

I have been worried that we aren't quite ready for the Pfitz training plan. We are getting all the miles in that we need to, but all the runs have been around the same speed and the long runs aren't quite long enough. So, we decided to turn our regularly schedule 5 miles into a 5 mile Lactate Threshold run last night.

The orignal plan was to do 5 miles with the middle mile at an LT pace and then rest at a nice easy pace. We decided to change that up and do miles 3 and 4 at an LT pace and keep the other three the same. The first LT run on the Pfitz schedule has us doing 4 miles at the fast pace and I dont' want to be too shocked when that comes down. Our miles were as follows :
  1. 8:37
  2. 8:20
  3. 7:15 (LT mile 1)
  4. 7:45 (LT mile 2)
  5. 9:21
So, our first LT mile was a bit on the fast side. I want to have these miles all be around 7:30 and 7:15 was just too fast. I had a bit of a stomach ache for mile 4, but was able to keep up with the pace anyways. So the two LT miles averaged out to a cool 7:30. McMillian has us in the range of 7:28-7:47 for these runs so that second LT mile was just on the edge of being too slow and the first LT mile was way off the mark. I am glad to be doing some of these before the official ones start so I'll have a better feel for the pace and would have gotten a few under my belt.

A BIG congrats to Barb who did her very first LT run with us last night. Her goal LT pace was 10:25-10:58 and came in at a 9:20. She did her last mile in 11 minutes so she got in two LT miles as well. I think if she slows down that 9:20 to a 10:30 or so she will have no problem doing multiple LT miles during a run.

We are going to flip our schedule a bit for the rest of the week. I had originally planned on 7 tonight, 6 tomorrow, 4 on Saturday and 9 on Sunday. In order to have this be more on plan with Pfitz I am giong to make today a recovery, increase tomorrow's run and increase Sunday's run. So, it will be 4 recovery tonight, 8 tomorrow, 4 on Saturday and 10 on Sunday. This puts us at 31 miles for the week.

In fun news....I got a pair of capri pants when I went on my trip to Florida...and they were a little on the snug side. I don't own a scale and tend to judge things by how my pants fit.....I put them on this morning....and they were a little loose. Yeah to loose pants!

We rode our bikes to the train this morning. It only took us 20 minutes, and a nice way to start the morning. We are going to be sticking to this instead of walking as it's a huge time saver and much much easier on the legs.

Alright then. Happy Wednesday all.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

In Stride

In some close games....

DoH goes down 2 games to 1. Boo to volleyball. We won the first game, we were way ahead in the second game and ended up losing and then lost the third game. One year I suppose we'll make it out of the first round of the playoffs....but this wasn't the year. The good part of this however is that I get another day off....although I am thinking about adding in weight training Mondays and Wednesdays. I know it's only two days a week, but I don't think I would be hurting anything if I added this in and hopefully I would see some benefit. We have a gym here at the lab so it would just be a few nights a week that I would be here later. Ah we'll see what happens. I might try and give it a go next Monday and slowly start adding that in.

Tonight we are running with Mike and Barb and introducing them to the ever fun Lactate Threshold runs. To just start getting into it and getting an idea of what those LT paces are like, we are going to do 5 miles with only 1 mile at the LT pace. So 2 miles at an easy pace, 1 mile at LT pace and then 2 more easy miles to end the run. I have used the McMillian calculator to determine what everyone's paces should be for each part of the run based on their goal time....I do like playing the numbers game and it's been fun helping them figure out what they think they can do. I made an iPod LT list for myself and Jason as I have found it to be extremly helpful to have music for these runs. It shouldn't be too bad, but I'm excited to remind myself what those miles feel like.

I have been playing around with this Nike training log, and found that it does pretty nice graphs (we all know how much I like graphs), so we can see how my training has been going since the first week of January where I rocked, through February where me and Chicago winter didn't get along and then back into the spring ramping back up slowly but surely for the summer training. It's a pretty good training log site, although still missing a few things that I would like to be able to see...but then again, aren't they all. But just to track paces and distance it works out pretty well, so if you are interested you can check it out at and click on the 'Training' button on the right hand side.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Indy Mini : 1

Well, that sucked

But before I get to the bad part, first let me remind you that Leah has a spectating report below with lots of nice pictures. And, more importantly, Bridgette has posted her race report. Head on over and congratulate her on a job well done.

Well, after a long, long day on Saturday, we decided to not set any alarms and sleep in on Sunday. As a result, we didn't wake up until 9:30 or so after 12 hours of sleep (yes, we went to sleep at 9:30. So what). I woke up with the horrifying realization that I would soon be expected to run 8 miles. I didn't want to run 8 miles (note: I just said that in my head with a really whiny voice. Like, "Luke Skywalker saying he wanted to go to the Tashi station to get some power converters" level of whiny). But, run it we did.

And it sucked. We were all over the map. We managed our first mile in a cool 9:49, which is plenty slow, so we picked it up to an 8:50 something which was better...and then back to a 9:54 the next mile and so on. We zig-zagged our way between sub-9 and sub-10 for the last five miles, never finding a rhythm. But, on the plus side, we were both really dehydrated and sore.

Yeah, it sucked. We spent the entire run getting stopped by lights because we left too late and were not in great running shape because of the 7 miles the day before. The only good thing is that we did it. We got out there and put in the miles despite not being at our best. It sucked (have I mentioned that yet), but it's over. Thank god.

After we finished and showered, it was time to head right back out to do my paper route. I'm starting to regret doing this paper route thing, but hopefully I'll be happy about it when I finally get paid*. We finished in about 3 hours, but it would have been faster had one of the places I delivered to not been an awesome bar. The bar, Floyd's Pub, is on Artimitage a bit East of Western and reminds me of a nicer version of our old bar, Murphy's. I wasn't all that big and it was nice and laid back and so we had a beer, some mini-cheeseburgers, and some fries and it was awesome. So, we drank our beer and then finished my paper route. At some point around that time, both Leah and I started to develop terrible headaches. Who's addicted to caffeine? We are! Since it was about 4 when we got home we didn't want to make coffee or nap, so we both suffered through some terrible headaches all night which made for a bad Sunday. My headache was finally gone when I woke up this morning. Cutting back on the coffee again might not be the worst thing.

Man, that was one exciting post, wasn't it! Check back later for more excruciating minutia in the daily lives of Jason and Leah!

(oh, and we have volleyball playoffs later today. Go D0h!)

* If you get The Heckler and read my article, please note that it has been heavily edited. In fact, they managed to edit in incomplete sentences and edit out any humor...which I think is great.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Indy Mini 2007 - Spectating Report

On Friday afternoon we headed down to Indianapolis to be able to be the spectacular spectators (say that 5 times fast) that I know we are.

On Friday night we hung out with Jason's brother Jamie and his wife Susanne and their three kids, Sammy, Claudia and Jordan. Always fun to see those guys and this night was no different. Jason is the youngest of three boys in his family and younger by 8 and 10 years. It's weird for me to be around his brothers because while they are all wildly different from each other, all thee of them will do or say things that are so similar it's kind of funny. I think that since there is such a large span in years between the boys their parents changed along with the years (as people tend to do) and so they knew different parents while they were growing up. ANYWAYS.

I employed the three girls to help me make signs to cheer on the racers the next day. Man I have GOT to get me some 9-12 year old girls....they made great (!!!) signs and all the runners appreciated it the next day.

We stayed up late chatting and so didn't get to bed until about 1am. We had gotten up at 5:30 that morning and so we were pretty beat by the time we crashed. We set about 10 alarms because I was on duty to get Bridgette and take her to the race in the early morning so that her hubby and kids could sleep in. I woke up at 4:20 with my watch alarm, which is amazing because I never hear that one. We were up and on it in about 20 minutes. We found a Steak and Shake on the way and got some coffee which was greatly needed...although it tasted like they used enough coffee to brew one pot and used a single cup of water.

We got to Bridgette's house at exactly 5:30am, she was raring to go....unfortunatly I can talk a *bit* loud and so woke Chad up (sorry Chad :-) ). We left there at about 5:45 and we were on it to the race.

We parked and walked around and warmed up a bit, ran into Josh and his friend Jay which is always funny when there are 35000 people and you run into the one person you know in the crowd. We left Bridgette in her corral and we ran out to mile 3 where we were going to cheer people. Now. I am kinda stupid. No sleeping....a few beers on Friday breakfast.....oh let's run 3 miles. I don't know why I can't learn this. If you don't treat yourself right, it's never easy. At least for me that's true. We stopped at a gas station on the way out to the mile marker to grab some breakfast...and yes Krispy Kreme doughnuts have all the vitamins and minerals you will ever need. We got to the mile marker just as the first runners were passing. After about 30 minutes or so we saw our friend Josh looking good, then about 10 minutes after that we saw the ever famous Runner Susan and 10 minutes after that Bridgette came by with a big smile on her face.

After those kids passed we ran about another 1/2 mile to get to mile 10 to wait for our runners there. We saw all three again, high fives and smiles as Josh and Susan passed us (Barb and Lisa would have been really proud of my cheering...I to-tally could have been an awesome cheerleader). We waited for Bridgette as we planned to run some of the miles from here to the end with her. She came on us and we gave her the Gu that we had been holding. By this point the sun and the heat had come out. This race has the uniqueness of being able to run around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway...which is awesome....which can also be a killer. The first time Jason and I did this race I was like, "What the ass, I have been running for ever and I am still on the mother fucking is that possible!" Mile 10 is about 1.5 miles after the speedway, so there might not have been as many smiles on Bridgette's face when we saw her at this point...but she gave us a few. We ran with her as we had to get back to the runner reunite area anways and thought it might help to get through the next tough miles. To add to the pain of the end of any race, we were running directly into the sun and the temperature had to be about 70 degrees out...which is pretty warm for race day conditions. She grinned and beared it though and we left her at about 12 to let her tackle the last 1.1 on her own.

We walked over to the runner's family reunion area and hooked up with Chad (Bridgette's hubby) and their two sons Tony and Kyle and waited for her to make it out of the finishing shoot. We found her a few minutes later and gave her big hugs and congrats. She had done her first half marathon and I was so happy for her. Congrats Girly!!!
We hung with them and they treated us to some delicious bbq food and then we headed back to our car with Bridgette to get the stuff she had given us to hold on to. Chad met us a few minutes later and we went our separate ways. And then we had to Chicago...on 3 hours of sleep...7 miles and 3 hours of spectating. Wooooooooo...ROAD TRIP!!!!!! I dozed on and off and Jason drove the whole way back...what a guy huh!

So we had a great time cheering on the racers...although I was a little jealous that I wasn't racing...although I have never liked being on the sidelines. A big congrats to all the runners and thanks to Jamie and Susanne for use of their house to sleep in before the race.

Friday, May 04, 2007

5 Miles....Uneventful

But really aren't those the best? Those runs where your legs just take you as far as you need to go and don't whine about it.

We rode our bikes home yesterday and had a lot of fun playing with the other bike traffic along the way. At one point about 8 bikes got to a stop light and they reminded me of a school of fish. They all kind of floated to the right while waiting for the light to turn and as soon as there was no traffic coming from the other way they were off. It's fun to watch all the bikes passing the cars sitting in traffic is well. By the way, that's the best part of the biking is passing hundreds of people just sitting in their cars waiting for the traffic to move.

Our legs were a lot less sore than if we had walked which was nice. Given that the bike ride is only 20 minutes and walking takes about 50 minutes we really have to do this more to gain more sleep and time where we can just SIT for a minute.

We did 5 miles in 44:04 or 8:49 min/mile. We started off very slow, I think that the first mile was somewhere around 9:30 or something. I didn't have Garmin with me, because I know the 5 mile route so well, but I do know where the one mile turns over. I think starting off slower always works better for us as we felt so comfortable and felt like we were going pretty slow and effortless for the rest of the run.

I had big plans to go to bed early last night since we took the early train this morning....but I saw 11pm turn over on my alarm clock and when I saw 5am screaming at me I wanted to scream right back. But I threw myself out of bed and headed towards where the coffee should have been perculating....but SOMEONE (and of course by someone I mean Jason) set the time for the automatic perculation......but didn't turn it on. So we were a little delayed on my morning caffine intake, but were on it and out the door in 20 minutes.

We are off to Indy tonight visit the fabulous brother-in-law and family and then tomorrow it's off to spectate the Indy mini. Jason and I will be there rain or shine. We will be at the 3 mile marker right after the Gatorade stop on the right hand side of the road and then right after the 10 mile marker on the right hand side of the road, so make sure to look for us. I think that those two places are spaced out pretty well so we should be able to catch everyone running. Have fun racing everyone and good luck!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Wednesday Roundup

I wish I were as clever and funny as one Mr. Jason as his post yesterday made me lol many many times. And I loled at a physics lab...what will the people say.

But as I'm not, here we go.

Yesterday due to Jason leaving his bike keys at Mike and Barb's condo we had to walk instead of bike to the train station. The walk is very charming and beautiful and fascinating....for the first few weeks...then it turns into a too long, too hard, too far walk which is fucking ugly and annoying (the walk of course is probably somewhere between the two, but as I am one for extremes it's either one or the other on any given day). So we walked in the morning. Because we had to go to Mike and Barbs after work (to get the said bike keys) and then bus home, we decided to run at Fermilab since I was worried that we would get home, pass out and skip the run. So we carted our running gear to Fermilab for a planned 7 miles around the rings.

Sigh. It wasn't a bad run pace wise, coming in again with 8:43 miles. It was just an "ok" run. Not good. Not bad. Just ______. The first mile was a little fast coming in at 8:30 because we had the wind in our back. Running at Fermilab can be annoying as the wind can really pick up over the plains and be really strong on the rings. In the city there is a chance the wind will be blocked by the buildings and so won't be mowing you down. The miles into the wind felt like we were running underwater even though we were consistantly under 9 min/miles.

The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful as we just got our keys, jumped on the Chicago bus, got home, ordered some Penny's noodles for dinner and watched American Idol....oooh poor Chris Richardson...he's too cute to have to go home. It's a good thing he's "best friends" with Blake and they are going to go on tour together. My money's on Blake. I know most people think it's going to be Melinda...but come on! Blake is incredible! Alright don't say Blake......Blake.

This morning fully armed with bike lock keys we rode downtown. It's amazing how much shorter the distance feels when you are riding a bike. We really need to do this more often because it does take so much less time and these days we could use all the sleep that we can get.

Tonight it's 5 miles which I am hoping are event free.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Whatever, I could totally run in flip-flips

Nope, not a (bad) political joke. Just a reality.

Anyway, after a day of basking in the glow of Leah's beauteous mass plots, we headed out to Mike and Barb's for Week 2 of Coach Leah's Plan for World Domination and Sub-5 Marathons. We got there, chilled for a bit, got changed into running clothes...sort of. Sort of, you see, because I'm a bit of an idiot. I brought shorts, two shirts, and socks. Even a nifty running hat. What's missing from this?

A Garmin? No, I don't have one of those.

Speed? Nope, got plenty of that.

Tiny Monkey with Organ Grinder? Got two of those.

No, I forgot my shoes! Normally this wouldn't even be a big deal, but instead of wearing old running shoes to work today, I wore flip-flops. I was the love child of John Kerry and Mitt Romney*! (ha!'s funny because it's true). Anyway, my options were to either a) not run, just sit in Mike and Barb's apartment and root through all their stuff or b) buy shoes. So I bought shoes. We went to Fleet Feet and I got the sweet new Adrenaline 7's with new Mo Go fanciness. Not only are they shiny and new, but they're so light. They must be multiple ounces lighter as it was a noticeable difference. Leah got a pair too and, now fully shoed, we made our way to the lakefront path.

The run wasn't too eventful. Not too much wind, fairly cool, ran for 36 minutes (probably about 4 miles). Shoes felt good although my legs were still sore from Volleyball.

Oh, speaking of Volleyball, playoffs start on Monday. If we win on Monday, we get to play again the following week. If not, we'll be executed. Fingers crossed! Sadly, we'll be without our best player (and one of the best in the league), but I think we can still win the first game. The second...well, we'll see.

Anyway, after the run, we went back to Mike and Barb's and they made us some awesome pasta thing with tortellini and other stuff. It was really, really good. I lived for 8 years in Italy and never ate that good**. While eating, we watched American Idol and the dreamy Blake Lewis. His performance was so super-excellent that I think he impregnated all the females watching through the television. Luckily, we were watching on Tivo, so Leah and Barb were spared a love child. I hope everyone voted for Blake and his non-existent lips.

Then we went home, only to discover that I left my jacket at Mike and Barb's. With my keys in the pockets. Including my bike-lock keys. Damn. Thus, we walked this morning and, so we don't have to run 7 miles after walking home today, we'll be running at Fermilab. Should be fun.

Oh, I also left my hat at Mike and Barb's. So, in one day, I forgot my shoes, jacket, keys, and hat.

I did remember to wear pants, so I've got that going for me.

*Note: I actually think the whole flip-flop thing is stupid. Unless you mean the footwear, in which case I think it's spectacular.

**Note: I never actually lived in Italy.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Cartwheeling in Wheaton

1 Analysis, 2 VB Wins, 1 Bicyclist Down & 1 INDY MINI COMING

Yesterday I might have made some very good progress with my analysis! I never say that anymore because in the past I have tended to have buggy code or the fits would converge in one bin but not another. Yesterday, I added another component to the fit and it works in all the bins! I realize that that probably doesn't make a lot of sense....but it's good new which is all that really matters. I will show it all to my boss at our 12pm meeting which gives me some time to double check it.

We played 3 games of volleyball yesterday and won two which is good. We lost the last game on a stupid play. The other team served and then we just watched it hit the ground....don't know what the hell happened there, but maybe tiredness or whatever came into play. Either way we took 2/3 which was nice. I think this is the team that we will play first in the playoffs starting next week. If we win that game, we'll play again the following week. Let's hope we make it past round one this year.

On our way home we were at a light in the suburbs and it changed to green and all of a sudden there was a bicyclist in front of our car going kind of slow. I was like, oh watch out for the biker. Which we did, however Mrs. SuburbanIHaveACellPhoneInMyEarAndBehindTheWheelOfMyGiantSUV next to us wasn't paying ANY attention totally took the bike out! It was horrible. I pulled over and immediately had my phone out to call 911. The biker however was fine and got up and started walking and told us she was fine. The driver was like, "oh my god I totally didn't even see you!" (big surprise). Now being a driver and a biker (sometimes) I realize that both were probably at fault. The biker just about ran the red light, which if I am in the middle of the intersection and my light is red, I am peddling my ass off to get across the street, but this one was just slowly cruising along. We realized that she might have been drunk which is why she didn't want anyone calling the cops. So while all of that is bad and she probably should have gotten a ticket for bad biking behavior (or BBB as I am going to now call it), drivers absolutely need to pay attention to bicyclists in the summer months. As the bike was DIRECTLY in front of the car when she hit wasn't that hard to see.

Alright, tonight it's 4 miles with the Kansas consortium starting off our week of 28 miles.


Jason and I are going down to cheer on Bridgette who will be competing in her first 1/2 marathon at the Indy Mini. We are going to be meeting up at the letter 'M' in the runner meet up after the race, so if anyone is interested in meeting me (I'm fabulous you really want to do that) or Jason (he's kinda cool...not as cool as me though) or Bridgette (she's super fly...and admittedly much cooler than I) then come on by. Send me an e-mail at and I'll send along my cell phone number and can send along more details as well. We'll also be running around the course cheering. So look for RED signs on the right hand side of the course at miles 3.5ish, 9-11 (don't know where we'll be yet and the finish (left hand side here). I get very into organizing spectating, so if you are doing the race drop me a line and let me know when you think you'll be finishing so I can know to keep my eyes open for you. Good Luck to Everyone Racing! RUN FAR FAST!!! (Look I'm being cheerleadery...thanks to Barb of course)