Monday, March 31, 2008

It's opening day

Who's ready for...A RAIN OUT! Yep, Leah and I have tickets to today's game and it looks like it's going to take a few butterflies flapping their wings to swing the weather our way. Boo to that, I say. And what's really annoying is that I took one of my few personal days for this event and so, if there is a makeup day, I won't be able to take the time off to attend the makeup game. Grr.

But still, it's opening day! To get everyone in the mood, here's a little something for all the Cub fans out there.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another PR

Well a longer report in the future, but I finished the Shamrock Shuffle in 36:57 according to my watch (Jason was just a little bit behind me). Two years ago we finished in 37:39 and so about a 40 second PR which was nice to see. I keep thinking that the time we took off the past few months must have taken some of my conditioning away, but maybe it's not so bad.

ALSO....when you plug that time into the McMillian get a marathon equivalent time of 3:38.

So there's that.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Never Going to Happen

Uh. Yeah.

Nope. Not sitting in a car for 90+ minutes, sleet and snow coming down and then not have a nice glass of wine. I didn't feel great when I got home late last night anyways and so either I am going to try and hit the gym this afternoon, or we'll run when Jason gets home...OR we'll just scratch the whole thing. I would rather not cause if we do it and then of course the race we'll have not missed a workout in a full 4 weeks. But if we do miss it, 3 miles missed isn't going to kill anything.

So we have one of these twitter accounts now. I was kind of like, yeah, what's the point of that and then I realized it's for when you have those little tiny comments that probably don't warrant a full post or if you are out and about (since you can update via text messages...which granted will take Jason and I an hour since we are the suckiest at texting..but that's not the point) and having some beers and slowly come to realize that the largish guy on the bar stool next to you is sneaking peanut M&Ms out of his at a time. Like he's embarrassed to be eating them? I don't know, but it was hilarious and I so would have twittered about him and his secret M&Ms had that been up and running a week ago. So anyways, the top 5 will always be on the right hand side of this blog although with this template it looks really stupid (maybe time to upgrade the template.....which might happen this weekend) or you can head to So alright, anyways, that's the new scoop with that.

Alright, well an early morning today as we got up at 4:30 because I wanted to get to the lab early so I could get prepared for a meeting with my adviser at 8am. Yes....Preparing means blogging...right?!?!

Thursday, March 27, 2008



This is the view out of my office window....although the photobooth is not giving the BIG FUCKING FLAKES ANY JUSTICE. So much so that I don't even know why I'm putting it in here. I MEAN IT'S LIKE WINTER STORM WATCH ALL OVER AGAIN.

This is when I loathe this city. I just want springtime!

Speedy McSpeedy

Yesterday was a speed workout day with 8x400m on the table. The plan as it usually is on Wednesday is to drive home from the lab, pick Jason up downtown and drive over to the lakefront to get the workouts in. We both like doing speedwork on the lakefront path because for the obvious reasons that there is no traffic lights and traffic when just crossing regular side streets.

But then someone with short hair who is attempting to grow it out, forgot all barrettes/bandannas at home and so I had to leave work earlier, drive home (there was an accident on Rt. 59 and it took me over 30 minutes to go what usually takes about 5. I LOVE the suburbs and they're "We moved here for the traffic." Right. But let's not get into that shall we.) So right. Drove home and then picked up the JMan at the Division Blue line stop since I was so late and couldn't downtown to pick him up.

So to the lakefront path we went. We did this 2 weeks ago but had forgotten to charge the Garmin and so we had guesstimated what a 1/4 mile was. Yesterday we did a one mile warm up and then decided to do the repeats at the same place we had done them before to check ourselves. So we ended up being too long last time, but only by a couple of yards. Gotta love being able to pace out 8 min/miles. (We ran for 2 minutes at what we thought was an 8 min/mile).

So Yesterday with Garmin fully charged I set it up for Auto Lapping every 0.25 miles. The routine was do the interval for 0.25 miles, turn around, walk for 0.1, jog for 0.15 and repeat. I love the auto lap feature as it really made this so much easier. So they say to do these at your 5K pace. So I have now idea what that would be and I think I ended up thinking 7 min/mile and then each repeat should be about 1:45, but actually I think that is way too fast. Oh well. I get a number in my head and I stick with it. So here is how the 400s went :

1 - 1:36 ; 6:24 min/mile
2 - 1:43 ; 6:52 min/mile
3 - 1:43 ; 6:52 min/mile
4 - 1:40 ; 6:40 min/mile
5 - 1:42 ; 6:48 min/mile
6 - 1:43 ; 6:52 min/mile
7 - 1:42 ; 6:48 min/mile
8 - 1:40 ; 6:40 min/mile

So maybe (absolutely) too fast, but at least consistent and we were able to stick with it for the duration of the workout. We finished up with a mile cooldown (pretty slow) clocking a nice 6 miles for the night.

On the way home we stopped at Small Bar for Fat Tires and dinner....and since we have done this for the past two weeks we are saying that it's tradition now so we'll always have to treat ourselves after a good speed workout. We love Small Bar and our favorite waitress was there and so as always a good time was had there.

We got home and watched some American Idol voting off. I love dreadlocks, he's so flippin' goofy. Poor Chickeze, but I mean with that guy he was either super awesome, or super sucky. Gotta be more consistent than that.

In to the lab early today to work on some corrections for my analysis, and then same deal tomorrow but I have to make sure to get here on time because I'm meeting with my adviser earlyish. Tonight it's just 3 miles with strength. Maybe we'll really do the strength today. MAYBE. It takes like an extra 20 minutes, I don't know why I feel that it's such a hassle, I mean I'm already at the stupid gym.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Just a Run & Some Wackiness

Yesterday I commuted back to the city at about 6pm via Metra and then met Jason for the rest of the trip home on the CTA system. We got home and went right back out to get in our 4.5 mile run. I was pleasantly pleased because I was thinking that the weather was going to be a rainy disaster and instead it was beautiful, about 48 and sunny. I think I forget how to run in warm weather after the winter because I overdressed a bit.

This time we also took the Garmin. We had been running so much without it, but I really like knowing what our pace and such is, so that will hopefully become a more consistent thing. Total time for the run was 39:26, with the miles breaking down like :

Mile 1 : 9:11 min/mile
Mile 2 : 8:52 min/mile
Mile 3 : 8:45 min/mile
Mile 4: 8:33 min/mile
Final 0.5 Mile : 7:56 min/mile

So again consistently hitting those mid/upper 8 minute miles comfortably....and the most important thing, really enjoying it these days. Marathon training tends to take a lot of time and work which I also like, but the runs lately haven’t been the only thing I am doing in my life which is a nice change.

Pretty quiet rest of the evening. Watched some American Idol.....who loves David Cook! I do I do. I think my top three are dreadlocks boy for pure sillyness (ok and he has really nice eyes), Australia Dude (Because after his little interview I found out how super competitive he is and sounded a bit like someone else I know...that someone might have done a “I am the winner & you are the loser” dance around a raquetball court when or he...won a game) and then David Cook for pure awesomeness. I hope he wins the whole thing.

So if you know me, you know I’m a little weird, a little different. I always tell Jason that I couldn’t have married anyone else as I am sure they would have left me as soon as some of that bubbled to the surface. So last night I was getting ready for bed and doing my Listerine rinse and I was leaning on the counter around the sink in the bathroom. I started running in place for some reason and I realized how ridiculous I must look in my (yes still wearing and loving them) Christmas pajama pants running in place while leaning on the sink, rinsing my mouth with Listerine. I heard Jason walking toward the bathroom and I started thinking, he’s going to look at me like I’m crazy. It was all I could do to keep going and not laugh before he got there. Then he ...just walked by. Didn’t say anything, didn’t stop to which point I lost it, Listerine went everywhere (good thing I was in front of the sink otherwise that would have been really *dramatic*). I was like, “Dude, nothing, no laugh, no why did I marry you? Nothing?” He laughed and said, “Yeah, you know, it doesn’t even phase me anymore.” Yep. That’s the guy I married, lucky him :-).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lazy Monday

I am so enjoying taking the train. I know I know, this is alway the attitude in the Late March - Early June phase when the commuting for 4 hours a day doesn't bother me. I am getting so much reading done and it's just so much more relaxing. With only me going to Fermilab now, the driving is really annoying and I became one of those single car drivers which of course I hate. I think this year might be different because unlike the past few summers I'm just not as busy as I had been. I'm almost at 100% of my time working on my thesis which at the moment doesn't have any deadlines (although I am really going to try and push for an August defense date, if nothing else to just let me go to whatever the next stage of my life is).

The next few weeks however are being spent putting the final touches on my analysis and giving one more presentation before sending the analysis back through the Editorial Board, this time to be approved for final publication. Oh hell yeah I did say that.

So yesterday was a stretch and strength day, which for those of you frequent readers know, we don't ever do. I know we should, but having nothing to do on a Monday evening was rather nice. So we had some dinner, watched some DVR, read a bit, Jason finished studying for his class (he's taking a class through his company) and went to bed. No noise from the maniacs upstairs, but we did have brooms ready to bang on the ceiling with.

The schedule this week is pretty mild. 4.5 miles today, 8x400m tomorrow & 3 miles + strength (maybe we'll really do the strength part!) on Thursday. Then Friday/Saturday off with the Shuffle on Sunday. Looking at the weather looks like it's going to be similar to what it was 2 years ago. Cold & Rainy. Awesome. Hello? Mother Nature...Yeah where is Spring? Oh well. It is what it is, we all made the choice to live in Chicago, so we deal.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Weekend Roundup

Well that was fun. We ended up with a super fun weekend in our backpockets.

On Friday we went to Map Room over on Armitage because well...because we wanted to. We went there many many years ago and remembered it being cool with lots of good beers. Jason's friend from work and our very own Jake and LaurA! were planning on coming out as well. The drive over there was hideous as apparently January called and said it didn't get enough snow so it was going to have to borrow some time from March and get that in. We got a call from Jake who said they wouldn't be able to make it and as Jason doesn't have any way to contact his friend we didn't think they were going to make the trek from Lincoln Park. But we stayed for a few hours and watched some basketball and drank many a strong beer.

We did however get a hold of Geoff (another friend of Jason's) and made plans to meet him at Piece in Bucktown to watch the IU game. On the walk over there we stopped at the Northside for some dinner and...well more beer of course. After dinner we walked over to Piece only to find it as ridiculous as the last time we were in there. How do you have that much space filled with so much Trixie garbage. It was just really crowded and there was no way that we were going to really be able to enjoy the game and so we decided to head to Small Bar where Dan, a Fermilab friend of ours was heading anyways.

Small Bar was spectacular as usual. Lots of delicious beer (so much high alcohol content beers) and lots of laughing among friends. An IU loss as well which sad, was not surprising. Talk of Guitar Hero started and 4 beers later were were stumbling back to our apartment for some guitaring craziness. However, on the way back someone (probably me) thought throwing snowballs would be super fun.

Yeah. Dan and I got into an *epic* snow ball fight. I am very competitive but didn't come close to winning OR giving up. I seriously think my jaw was hit along with my rib cage as they are still sore to the touch. That and the fact that I feel like I was in a car accident makes me think I not only lost, but I lost by an embarresing amount. Oh well. Last snow fall of the season I'm hoping so I'll have to work on my skills next year.

We ended going to bed at 3am....almost exactly 12 hours after getting to Map Room.

The next day we had a 4 mile run at pace (which in my hungover state I was thrilled about) and we also had to get our car from where we had left it the day before. So we combined the two, finishing our run right next to our car. We paced 8:17 min/mile which was perfect. We had wanted to slow those down from the 8 min/mile we had been doing, and thrilled with 8:17 after the previous evening shenanigans.

Saturday night we went with The Jayhawk Who Runs and the Guy Who Thinks He's Out of Shape Yet Is Training For An Ironman to visit other running blogger friends. We watched a lot of basketball and had a nice dinner and laughed at me and my brilliant basketball picks. As usual Georgetown is a disappointment.

Sunday we had a long run to do and then we were invited to my stepmom's family's house for Easter dinner. We got up kind of early so that we could get some laundry done before heading out to run. I don't understand. We always have dirty clothes. I feel like we could live in a room lined with washers and dryers and there would just be an unending pile of dirty clothes in the middle of it. Jason also surprised me with an Easter basket (Peeps and all!) on Sunday morning on his way back from getting some quarters to do the ever non disappearing pile of laundry.

Our run went great. We just went to the lakefront path because we were worried about how muddy and snowy the Waterfall Glenn trail would be and since we were heading back out that way for dinner we couldn't get quite organized to go run and then bring all we needed to shower at my Aunt and Uncle's house. We did try to do any hill that we saw on the path. The splits were as follows :
Mile 1 : 9:26
Mile 2 : 9:01
Mile 3 : 8:33
Mile 4 : 8:45
Mile 5 : 8:53
Mile 6 : 8:40
Mile 7 : 8:23
Mile 8 : 8:04
Mile 9 : 7:47

So another nice negative split run, which is good to see. Although not many hills on the lakefront path, there was a nice steady head wind for the last 4.5 miles. So we were happy to see our paces be low for those last 4 miles with really nice paces for the last two miles. We have the Shamrock Shuffle next weekend and then the half marathon coming up in just over a month. I don't know what my goals are for either, so that should probably be thought about over the next few days.

We had a fun time with the family, more laughing at me and my picks. Sigh. Dinner was wonderful and fun to see everyone. So a great weekend....

Although a shitty shitty night's sleep to end it all. The loud people upstairs were at it (and by it I mean really really loud sex) at about 3am waking both Jason and I up. I have no idea what to do in this situation. Post It note on the mailbox?

"Dear 2F, can you move your bedroom to the other bedroom in the apartment as we can hear every move you make Thanks! 1F"


"Dear 2F, Thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of your sex life we REALLY appreciate it. But now that you have taken many many nights of sleep away from us, how about doing your business in rooms other than the one right over our bed. Kisses! 1F"


"Dear 2F, We are so happy that you are such a sexually healthy couple. I mean really. You go. But as we don't really want to be a part of that relationship can you please SHUT THE FUCK UP? XOXO!-1F"

I don't know. Suggestions? Very annoying either way as a busy Monday will end up a sleepy Monday.

This week we will run Tuesday-Thursday and then rest up the legs for the Shuffle on Sunday. Yeah for kicking off the racing season.

And with that super long winded Weekend roundup I will let you get back to your regularly scheduled work I know everyone took the time to read all the way down here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Whaaat....Kids in the Where?

That's right...Kids in the Hall is on tour and coming to Chicago and Jason and I just picked up some tickets. We were surprised how not expensive they were....$36.50 for main floor tickets. So. Exciting!

Today is Good Friday and it's really good because as i have mentioned every day, Jason has the day off. We slept in a bit this morning and then headed to the gym. Did 3 miles on the treadmill hill program. It's nasty out ok. I don't want to run in that. Then we should do some strength....but as usual didn't feel like it, although I did about 10 minutes of core work.

Yesterday I thought I really needed a hair cut, but it was just one of those bad hair days. (I am growing my hair back out so I am thinking I'll have a lot of these). But I made an appointment anyways, hopefully my stylist is I don't really know what you want me to cut.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Then I Started Screaming

So I'm laying in bed this morning listening to Drex in the morning (he's good in the morning because he will actually talk about politics and not just whatever new sex position his listeners are trying out) and they are talking about the news and how Dick Cheney is a tool and so on. Then the news lady says, "And we have a winter storm watch coming with 6 inches possible by Friday night". So I started screaming, Jason came flying out of the bathroom and was like, what the hell happened.

Are you kidding me. Winter storm watch. Hey Mother Nature, why don't you got &%*$# yourself. Ok I don't really mean that, as I am a nature fan, but seriously....It's MARCH 20th. No more snow please.

Yesterday was a 40 minute tempo run on the schedule. We have only been doing these on the treadmill which I think is easier because obviously the belt is doing some of the work for you (yes yes I put an incline on the machine, but still, it's not the same) and when you are just running it's easier to go, ok, well that's too fast I'm tired. So we went sans Garmin, but I came up with a plan since the Lakefront path is so nicely marked in 1/2 mile increments. We would do a 1 mile warm up, then 5 1/2 mile segments speeding up so that the 4th one is the fastest, and slowing *slightly* for the 5th, then a mile cool down. I figured out the time each of the 1/2 mile segments should be done in to give an appropriate pace. My plan was this :

Goal Time 1 (0.0-0.5 mile) = 4:10 (8:20 min/mile pace)
Goal Time 2 (0.5-1.0 mile) = 4:00 (8:00 min/mile pace)
Goal Time 3 (1.0-1.5 mile) = 3:50 (7:40 min/mile pace)
Goal Time 4 (1.5-2.0 mile) = 3:40 (7:20 min/mile pace)
Goal Time 5 (2.0-2.5 mile) = 3:50 (7:40 min/mile pace)

So we started out, we did a bit more of a warmup than a mile and then we got into it. Since I still can't get Sporttracks to work (I do have a message in the forums now and not that it would matter now as I didn't use a Garmin), I'm just copying and pasting what I manually entered into the log I have going on RunningAhead (which is pretty good).

So what you can see is that our intervals were fantastic! We started out exactly where we wanted to at 8:18, and then all the subsequent 1/2 mile intervals were faster than planned. It should also be noted that while we were tired, this was by no means super tough. It was pretty comfortable and we felt great at the end....although a little chilly as we still had a long walk back to the car. On the way home we stopped at Small Bar for some Fat Tire beers and cheeseburgers.

The plan this morning was to drive back to the lab and continue my tear on my thesis, but Jason didn't give me back the car key since we had them separated when we went running last night. On top of that I think I left my bus card at work....for some reason I think I emptied my change purse which is where the card lives...although I don't really remember doing that so I don't know where the card is...well at least that will make me crazy until Monday morning when I go back in. So working at home today.

Today was a 3 mile + strength but we are going to move that to tomorrow since Jason has the day off and we can go to the gym in the later morning when the gym might be a bit emptier.

Today is the start of March Madness...SO.... GO HOOSIERS!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Remembering to Recover

Yesterday was a 4 mile run. The Higdon plan doesn't really specify (or I don't think so anyways) the pace that these should be run at. When using the Pfitz plan however I think remember the run after a long run being a recovery run....or that's all garbage and I just wanted to do a recovery run yesterday. I think that we did our 8 miles on Sunday *a bit* to fast, but shit, when you are feeling strong and good it's so hard to slow down.

So we just did a common 4 mile neighborhood loop at just under a 10 min/mile pace. Although it was pretty nasty out we were still able to run in shorts which to me, means that spring is on it's way. Sure it's windy and kind of rainy...BUT it's still 42 degrees and it's not 15 degrees out and there. It's getting better.

Back at the lab today I tracked down some lost W2 forms so we can finish up our taxes. Just so you know how pitiful it is being a graduate student, Jason made $5,000 more than me in 3.5 months at his new job than I did all year. No no, I know, it's not all about the money, it's about the science and while that is little graduate students make is really driven home after looking at some W2 forms and it ends up being kind of pathetic.

Tonight is a 40 minute tempo run which we will do on the lake front path. Even with my super sticky Post It note with the word GARMIN on it stuck to my bathroom mirror, I managed to forget my Garmin at home. So we will just do the run by time (which we would have done anyways) and just make sure we start at a mile marker so we can have an idea for the distance. We are veteran enough at this point in our running careers to know if we are going too slow during the part where we should be going fast.

Tomorrow is Thursday and then Jason has Friday off. We plan on celebrating the Good Friday holiday watching college basketball. For those of you in the Charity Bracket buster, just wait till you see the last three places. I might have picked one bracket to have the 4 Big 10 teams in the Final Four. Hey, it could happen and you gotta root for your division right?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Best Bumper Sticker Ever

I'm not a huge fan of bumper stickers in general, I mean they usually make me laugh and whatever but always the same kind of humor, We get it George Bush sucks.

But today, driving into the lab there was a navy blue VW Jetta in front of me. And on the lower left there was a really small bumper sticker that said, "I guess I was punk once" I don't know, I just loved it. Jason went through a very punky stage in college (blue hair and everything!) and I wonder if he would like that bumper sticker. I thought on the back of the Jetta made it even more perfect. So if the used to be punky person driving the Jetta reads this....nice!

Yesterday I commuted back to the city via the Metra. Usually I read or shut my eyes for a few minutes, but yesterday I talked on the phone with the lovely cousin Lisa for 56 minutes. That's like way a new record for me. She is really fun to chat with on the phone (obviously).

Our workout yesterday was supposed to be stretch and strength but we realized we didn't have the car to get the gym and it was kind of nasty out so instead of lifting weights we lifted pizza into our mouths for dinner. yum!

Jason started working on our taxes and I continued to struggle with Sport Tracks. I am trying to get onto their forum to put the error, but of course you have to be approved first and so I'm waiting for that. I reinstalled Windows, with the newest version of everything with all the patches and updates and whatever the hell else is needed and no dice. Boo.

Tonight is just a 4 mile run, which I'm guess we'll take pretty easy since our legs are still a bit tired from Sunday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pace, Hills & Mud & Why I Still Hate Windows

Jason and I had another great weekend. This working hard during the week thing and really enjoying the weekends is great.

Friday night after we got home from hanging out with Jake and Laura at about one in the morning we were walking to our apartment and said, "Wow, someone is having quite the party!". Haha on us, the upstairs assholes were having some kind of giant shindig. We are pretty sure they were playing Dance Dance Revolution as they were pounding so loud that the glasses in the kitchen on our shelves were clinking. But we were exhausted and I refuse to be that old to go bitch about the party so we managed to fall asleep. We woke back up at about 3am and realized that they were having races. Running down the front stairs of the building, around the outside in the alley, then back up the back stairs. All the while some girl screaming, "GO GO GO". I LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS. So we are going to move since we are so tired of that shitty cheap apartment. We are hoping to move up slightly in price and get out that college loud riff-raff. So humbug on you and your stupid party.

Even with the late night we got up kind of early on Saturday morning. We cleaned the house and then went out for our 3 miles at race pace. I am so bad at these kinds of runs especially because I don't know what my goal pace is for this race. So we were running pretty hard I guess but comfortable and wondering why it was so difficult. When we finished, I looked at the watch stopped at 23:55 and realized why we probably felt so bad. SO I am thinking that 8min/mile is *not* going to be our pace for this race, so we really need to slow down those pace runs so that our legs will know the pace when we are racing. On Saturday night the lovely Lisa came over to play. We had dinner and then watched The Incredible's and then turned HBO on only to find that It Takes Two was on, which we proceeded to watch and laugh at.

We got to bed around 1:30 but it was up about 8 for a run with the Running Jayhawk. She had mentioned that if we wanted to get in some hill work to go to Waterfall Glenn. So we did and we took her along with us. We picked her up around 9:15 and then headed out west. This is a forest preserve that surrounds the Argonne National Laboratory. The paths are dirt and as all the snow has just melted it was really muddy. I was so worried about this run. I was thinking that we aren't in the best shape and now we are adding in hills (even though they aren't huge they are something compared to the flat ass lake front path) and muddy conditions. But off we went. I was *so* impressed with ourselves and I feel way better about the race after these splits :

Mile 1 : 9:12
Mile 2 : 9:02
Mile 3 : 8:48
Mile 4 : 8:41
Mile 5 : 8:41
Mile 6 : 8:37
Mile 7 : 8:22
Mile 8 : 7:57

Now I realize that this was only an 8 mile run and whatever, but I was really surprised at the comfort level of those middle miles. I told Jason that I think our natural pace is probably about an 8:40 and going slower just screws with our natural stride. I think he was singing the lyrics to "Crazy Bitch" in his head. But whatever, he knows he loves me.

So we have had to put Parallels on our computer at home for some work stuff for Jason. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to then try out the Sport Tracks program that I have been drooling over in my Mac land for the last few years. So I get it all downloaded and all the additional stupid PC programs it needs fine. Then I have the Garmin plugged in and then say ok, import from device. Of course I should have remembered that PC's are dumb and of course can't just recognize the device that is plugged in and of course, it needs some kind of software or something. I have a way to get files on the Mac part so I just downloaded it there and then shared the file and then I could import from a file instead of from a device and that seemed to workout pretty well.

Then I figured out the basics for the program and as I expected I was really impressed with all the functions. So I got it to do what I needed it to do and then I turned it off to get ready for bed. Then I thought it might have been nice to have the elevation plot as well as my pace graph to put in this post so you all could tell me how incredible I am. So I went back to the stupid program, reopened it. Oh....what's this. An error reading the log file? Oh ok. Perfect. So it seems that Sport Tracks can't read the history log file that I had created. Jason and I tried a bunch of stuff to no avail. So I'm back to where I started. I can either just keep Sport Tracks open all the time but that's not too safe to do with my running data. I don't really know how to fix it at this point either. I think it must be a parallels thing and not a windows thing because it doesn't seem like an error that a user should get.

I just was noticing how much of a pain it is to do anything with Windows. I have been a strictly Mac girl for about 6 years now (aside from work stuff which is done in a Unix environment) and just trying to do one simple thing almost sent me to the crazy house.

There is the one Mac software package called TrackRunner for Garmin stuff that works pretty well. I noticed a few errors last night when I tried to revert back to that and I don't think it's up to the Sport Tracks level (from what I saw for a few minutes). Although it *mostly* works and in the end that means a lot more than prettiness.

Alright, short week here because Jason gets Good Friday off....go figure.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Getting Runs In & Multisport Training?

I seem to have failed to mention the running in yesterday’s post. So on Wednesday Jason and I went first to Fleet Feet (the new location over on Wells is so swanky!) and picked up our new Brooks Adrenalines as well as some socks for Jason and pants for me since I had misjudged the weather and was wearing shorts.

Then we headed over to the lake front path to do our 7x400m repeats. I had taken the Garmin with me in order to measure out 400m chunks, but when I turned it on I realized the batteries were low since I haven’t used it in forever. So we just jogged over to the lakefront path and then picked what we thought was roughly 1/4 mile and did the 7 repeats. Our method for this is to fun the 400 at 5K pace as the plan says, then walk for 200m, then jog for 200m, then repeat. It was really fun to run on the path and we had a really nice time. Jason had his 6 month review lunch earlier in the day for which he got rave reviews (of course!) and so we talked a lot about that. I’m so happy for him that he’s doing so well at the job.

Yesterday was 3 miles + strength, but I can’t ever seem to get up to do the strength part. The original plan was to run to the gym which is about 1.5 miles away and then workout, then run home, but we opted to just run 3 miles outside since it was so beautiful out.

Last night we went out with a grad school friend who just moved into the neighborhood. We went to The Blind Robin on Western which is about 10 steps from our front door. I think I also made plans to go out with him on St. Patricks day, which is awesome because 2 beers anymore just about lays me out so it should be interesting if that happens.

I am becoming more intrigued with the idea of mulitsport training. After reading this girls post today and this guys comment, I am wonder if we could really enjoy adding in some swimming and biking. I have no doubt that if we got nice bikes and got into biking the way we got into running (just starting out for fun and then slowing adding in more and more technical parts) that we would really enjoy it. As far as swimming, well yeah that would take more pure stubbornness as it would be more difficult as neither of us are good swimmers and I think of all three sports it is by far the most technical.

So we’ll see what happens with our taxes. We usually owe because there is no money taken out of our graduate student pay, BUT Jason took a ton out of his check so that might even out his stuff. If we have some left in our savings we might take a look at some niceish bikes. I don’t want to buy them though if we aren’t going to do it and waste that kind of money. We have big heavy clunky mountain bikes, so we might just try and ride them more and then see if we are interested in moving up in the world.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

2 Funny & Ridiculous Happenings

Ok, tired of hearing me talk about running plans, travel plans and commuting scenarios? Ok me too, so a break from that today for two funny things that happened yesterday. The first one will be especially funny to my parents (I had to actually call my mom at work) and my in-laws (I still feel bad about my clumsiness and the red wine incident).

1) I got to my office around 10am yesterday morning, took one look at the two desks I use and realized that they had to be cleaned off as the only space on them was the area in front of the keyboard and the exact cutout shape of my laptop. Mostly just papers and so I was just throwing things away. When the surfaces were all cleaned off I wheeled around to head to the kitchen where some surface cleaner lives.

Ok, it should be noted that when I say office I just mean cubicle office. You know...all the walls are those fake walls just to separate you from the joker next to you. Ok, so I turn around quickly, and for some reason the garbage can was in the middle of the room. I promptly trip over that and go hurling into the fake cubicle wall that is parallel with the hallway. The "wall" since it's not a real wall, of course starts to tip over when I fall into it. I start going, "NO NO NO" just hoping that no one is in the office across the hall. Of course as the wall continues to fall, I can now see over it (because I'm falling with it) and see that yes in fact there is someone in that office, and she's looking my way expecting I'm guessing to see a crazy person come flying out of the office. So I continue to fall, all the way across the aisle, the fake wall bangs into her fake wall (I am now basically on top of the fake wall) & filing cabinet. Papers & wires start falling down. A girl from down the hall comes running over thinking someone got hurt. Oh no. It's just clumsy old' Leah. I was laughing so hard, and just wishing that someone who knew me had been there to see it as it would have gotten a big laugh as the above description does not do it justice.

2) Jason and I were in bed watching Homicide (Season 3...such a good show), when all of a sudden we hear something. We hear a cough in the hallway outside our bedroom. This wasn't a hahaha, ok you heard something. I mean we *really* heard something. The cough was followed by another noise in the kitchen. So we quickly stop the DVD and turn on the lights in the bedroom. I am at this point terrified. Thinking ok, this is it. This is how I am going to die, some crazy Ukrainian has gotten into my apartment and has been waiting for us to go to bed so he (or she, I'm not gender biased) can kill us....I *might* be a little dramatic.

So Jason stands in the doorway to our room, looking down the hallways. I whisper to him, "Jason there is a little pair of scissors in the bathroom, go get those". So Jason quickly and stealthily goes and gets those scissors. Mind you they are about 2 inches long...and here's Jason, walking really slowly into our dining room with his killer scissors (like what is he going to do if he does find someone?). He slowly gets all the lights turned on and searches the entire apartment. We think that maybe someone is in the entrance hallway where we keep our bikes stealing those, but we looked there and nothing there either. He checkes the kitchen, under the bed, through the closets. All clear. We decide that it must have just been something outside or some weird kind of echoing thing or whatever. Still...I'm terrified.

So we got back to bed, turn off the DVD, I'm just falling asleep and BANG, huge noise coming from the pantry. Jason at this point has gotten a real pair of scissors (I still want to know what we thought we were going to do with scissors at this point). He throws me the phone and says, "Just in case." He goes out there and realizes that the Triscuit crackers he had put away badly earlier had fallen. So it was all a bunch of random coincidences to terrify us before going to bed.

I just love the scene of Jason, Mr. 6'3" and his 2" beard trimming scissors. Awesome.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Not Driving, Feeling Summer & More Plans

I decided to take the train home from work yesterday. Not that there was a ton of traffic or anything, actually there was absolutely no traffic going my way. However, the traffic coming in from the western suburbs was absurd. Mind you, this was at about 9:30 in the morning and the Eisenhower was backed up from where I got on at Western all the way back to I-294. I just looked at all those cars and all the single drivers in the car and I realized that now that Jason has a job I am now a single driver. I realize I am not going to save the planet or money probably by taking the train, but it sure is more pleasant.

I am sitting on the train right now writing this blog actually. Although I’ll have to copy and paste it when I get into the lab as there is no internet on the trains. I really wish they would do that, there was talk of that happening when we took the trains a couple of years ago, but big surprise that nothing came out of it.

I am really enjoying going back into the lab. I am seeing old friends and colleagues and it has really made me miss working. Sitting at home all day and working and not seeing people makes you lazy I think. I’m not talking about being a stay at home parent, but I’m just talking about myself. Staying home, waiting for Jason to get home working a bit on my thesis, but never seeing anyone was getting so old. I am a pretty social person and even though I don’t see tons of people at the lab I do see a few people. So I am going back to the lab from now on I think or at least 3 or 4 days a week.

Plus taking the train I get to commute with Jason in the mornings on the city end which is fun. After getting home last night around 5:30, we went for a run. And we went for a run in shorts (ok and long sleeve shirts...but whatever). And I felt it. You know that feeling you have in the summer, you are out running careless and fancy free. It was still light out when we went running (thank you Daylight savings time) it was warm, people were out. I love Chicagoans, it was 40 degrees out I think and there was a dude out washing his car and we smelled some folks grilling out. Even a sniff of warm weather and people are out doing summer things. It was just a nice 4 mile neighborhood run. Nothing too much to note other than the summer is just around the corner.

Looking towards the future, I am also going to give a real job a try. I was thinking maybe I could come up with my own business ideas, and I still think I can do that and that might still happen if there isn’t a job opening that I want. I’m going to apply at Jason’s company as well as for some science research positions and other general programming positions. I have worked my ass off for this PhD and not that staying home would be throwing it away, but I think I have more to offer the world...and let’s face it, two paychecks is better than one. SO that’s the plan of the week anyways. Just having the thought in my head though makes me want to get my thesis done and I haven’t actually felt that in a long time.

Alright, well all this talk about the train and single car drivers...and I’m driving home tonight. We have 7x400m run and we would like to get some new shoes as we are starting to feel the runs in our legs a bit too much. So I am going to pick Jason up from work and we’ll be all ready to run. We’ll stop into Fleet Feet over by North Ave and then just go run on the lakefront path. I even dusted off my Garmin for the occasion.

Stay tuned tomorrow as I have more ideas (ok they’re plans shut up) about commuting as well as a running schedule for the summer. I know I are all on the EDGE of your seat.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Weather & Summer Plans

Alright, I know I know....bitch bitch bitch, moan moan moan. It's cold. We haven't seen the sun in forever. It's cold. It's snowing...again. Are we just weak Chicagoans or is something else going on. In the Chicago Tribune Metro section, on the back, there is a whole page devoted to the weather. There is also an "Ask Tom" (Tom Skilling...weatherman extraordinaire) section, where he will...go figure answer questions from readers. Today's questions was asking what the longest we've gone since December 1st without precipitation. The answer is ridiculous.

2 Days.

Which has happened three times. For the entire 101 days (Dec 1 - March 10) There have only been 22 days without rain or snow. Which I admit is confusing because if you look at the first part you would think that the answer would be ... 6 days, but whatever. 6 days. 22 days. Whatever, it's not enough. We are going to have a beautiful day today though which is exciting although I'm sure there is still lots of winter weather to come our way.

Alright, the other title of this post...plans.

I like to have them, I would say that I am definitely a planner. For the past three years the plan has been, "train for a marathon" Which is obviously something the two of us enjoy.

The plan a few months ago was to "have a baby". Yes yes, I'm putting that out there. I think it's a great time for that to happen, I am put off by the marathon after Chicago last year, but I don't intend to stop racing them. So maybe this is a good time. Get fat and pregnant, pop out baby be ready for a racing in a year. Ok so that's good. And not exactly off the table

Then yesterday I was looking at one of my pictures from St. Maarten and it made me think of the Grand Canyon (I don't know....the way the sun was shining or something I guess...I have never been to the Grand Canyon). Then I was thinking, maybe just one more vacation just Jason and I. (Not that we aren't going to go on vacation with our kids because I went on vacations when I was a kid and I see no reason to not take them with you. But whatever, I'm not going to get into the minutia of parenting in this post). But a hiking trip into the Grand Canyon would be a great adventure I think and as I don't think it would be as fun if I was 5 months pregnant, it looks like we are going to move the baby plan back about that long. This has a lot of benefits aside from a great hiking trip, we'll have all of our credit card debt paid off and I will have the opportunity to get a job without being 6 or 7 months preggers (I am thinking my thesis will be defended in the fall). We are going to do a camping/hiking trip and I think we are going to try and go to the North Rim because according to the stuff I read yesterday it's a lot less touristy. If anyone has been or lives around there and has any tips let me know. We should be there for about 5 days.

Since Jason and I are in good shape but have done no hiking in our days and aren't exactly great campers (we have problems starting a fire ok, shut it), we are going to stick with day hikes in the canyon. Even those won't be easy so I think we'll take some weekend hiking trips around the general Chicago/Midwest area (Southern Illinois & Indiana...Michigan perhaps). Granted these won't be close to the heat/steepness at the Grand Canyon (again from what I have read) but it's better than nothing. So we are still going to be off the marathoning plan this year, but we are going to get to do things other than do long runs on the weekends. We are going to do our best to stay in shape this summer because in the end I love running in the summers in Chicago. We'll try and keep things probably about 40 miles a week. BUT I am looking forward to not being crabby and bitchy and whatever if I miss out on a long run or whatever. We will also probably do a few half marathons just to keep us honest.

So that's the plan. We are looking to go to the Grand Canyon in August around our anniversary we think. I am really looking forward to this summer!

Monday, March 10, 2008

4 Days in a Row

Well on Sunday we ran 7 miles (that's right bitches...7 whole miles!) putting us at a total of just over 20 miles for the week and finishing off 4 days in a row. Due to the Blackhawks game on Wednesday we had to move the Wednesday/Thursday runs to Thursday/Friday. Both were somewhat difficult runs with Thursday being a 35 minute tempo run and then Friday was just a 3 mile run but we did it on the 'Hill' workout instead of just a constant run. We were also supposed to do strength on Friday, but then realized we didn't really want to as it was late on Friday and movies and snacks were awaiting us at home. So our legs were a bit tired on Sunday but a good run anyways.

We ended up having a pretty busy weekend. Busy in the sense that Jason had to do some studying for a class he is taking as well as finishing his self-evaluation form that was due today. On Saturday night we hung out with Jake and Laura and went to see a funny show at The Hungry Brain on Belmont. Fun times there.

On Sunday we decided to go run at the lakefront. We usually will go and park over by the Totem Pole and then run south. A few weeks ago I noticed that the parking lot by North Avenue was empty and it didn't look like anyone was in the payment booth. We decided to give that a try and what a good idea that was. Free parking (I'm guess in the winter....maybe between Labor Day & Memorial Day?) and much closer to our apartment so WAY less time driving over there. PLUS this way we get to run even farther south which is nice because we really like the south side of the lakefront path. Since the Flying Pig (we are doing the 1/2 marathon) is hilly we are trying to do any hill that we see. So even though our turn around was right before that hill just north of the Aquarium we ran down and back up it....I use the word hill loosely as it's more of just an incline rather than an actual hill. I didn't time the run, although I suppose I should start doing that again.

I am back on the cooking bandwagon making a great pork roast in the crockpot last night. I am thinking that I need some more quick 10 minute meal deals because sometimes you are tired and cranky at night and the thought of cooking isn't appealing so your place a call into your favorite Thai restaurant that you have on speed dial and get that hot pepper noodle with beef meal and spend too much money. SO the point is that I have some ravioli type things in the freezer that I could just throw in and things would be done in a few minutes instead of fancy meals that although tasty are sometimes too much to do.

Alright, and now that I have rambled on long enough. I'm going to go.



That means that although I'll still have questions from the review board and who knows what kinds of things they will ask, the main difficult part of the analysis is now done. Shit. That means I really have to write my thesis.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Quote of the Night

Dudes....Drunk Jason came out to play tonight which is always fun. From him :

"Did the parking not catch up with the hipness"

while we were driving around looking for a parking space after hanging with the uber cool Jake and Laura.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Tempoing on the Mill

Yesterday we had a 35 minute tempo run on the schedule. I got home from work at about 7:30 and we chilled, watched some American Idol and then at about 9pm headed to the gym. Similar to going early in the morning it's nice and empty at that time and so Jason and I were able to get treadmills next to each other.

My Tempo run went fine. I took the same pattern as the last time I did this but bumping up the time in the tempo zone to 3.5 minutes each instead of 3 minutes. So it was like this :

Minutes 0-5 : 9:31 min/mile

Minutes 5-10 : 9:05 min/mile
Minutes 10-13.5 : 8:12 min/mile
Minutes 13.5-17 : 7:47 min/mile
Minutes 17-20.5 : 7:30 min/mile
Minutes 20.5-24 : 7:03 min/mile
Minutes 24-27.5 : 7:30 min/mile
Minutes 27.5-35 : 9:05 min/mile

I felt "ok" during the workout. I mean I got through it all ok, but the last time I did this workout I felt a bit better. Not surprising after a week in the islands and one (or five) too many Presidente beers.

Today we have a 3 mile plus strength. I think I'll do what I did for this last time as well, keep an easy pace of about 8:50 or so and then setup up the treadmill to have a hill workout. Then do some weight lifting. We are going to do this at night as well, probably around 8pm or so since the gym closes at 10pm on Fridays.

Today is my favorite day of the week. So happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 06, 2008


I know I should be a better library patron. My apartment is filled to the brim with books, and if I spent some time to calculate how much money I have spent on books I would probably want to curl up in a little ball and cry as I would see a down payment for a condo.


There is a Chicago Public Library about two blocks from my apartment. It's really small though so they don't have many books. Awhile ago I went onto the CPL site to see if I could reserve books online and found that the site pretty much blew chunks. As I was looking through today however, I noted a post that said that the CPL site has been revamped. I did some perusing and it looks great. It looks like you can put a book on hold and they will send it to your preferred library branch and when it gets in they'll send you an e-mail. Plus you can see if you have any books overdue, or what fines you have. I can't check it out for reals because I have a $0.10 fine on my card. But I'm really excited about the site. Check it out :


I forgot that Jason and I had the last game of our Holiday season ticket package for the Blackhawks game last night. That trumps running and so we will just move everything up one day. Another great game with the Hawks beating the Ducks (Stanley Cup defending champs) 3-0. Our goalie was a rookie and still didn't allow any goals which was great to see.

So then the schedule is 35 minute tempo run today. We might try and get outside to do it depending on the wind and weather...this is when I really miss living by the lakefront because Tempo runs are easy to do over there as you don't have traffic lights to worry about. In the neighborhood we have routes that are easy to dodge traffic, but still miss the path sometimes. Looks like the rest of the week will be good to go although bumping the distance to 7 (!) miles on Sunday. That used to not be a lot but I don't know the last time we ran farther than 6. Pathetic I know.

I'm heading to the lab today because I really have a lot of work to do and I need to get it done and easier to work there as there are less distractions even though I waste about 2.5 hours driving there and home.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Running Cold & Pictures

Last night Jason and I went around the neighborhood for a nice 3.5 mile run. With winds gusting to 35 mph it was a bit chilly. Ah well, we just have survive for the next few weeks and then we are going to be good and into the spring. Right? Oh no, this is Chicago, we have have many many many weeks before spring is here. Tonight is a 35 minute Tempo run which I think we'll do at the gym on the treadmill, although I hate waiting until the evening to run at the gym cause you have to go late so you have a chance of getting a treadmill.

So as is known by regular readers of my blog, I love taking pictures and took hundreds while down in the Caribbean. Below are just a few of my favorites and if you want to see all of them you can go to this :

A note about that last picture. I don't have photoshop. I did some very very slight improvements to the pictures using Aperture, but nothing that would change the colors. Yep. It really is that blue.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I'm Home!!

Well after a week of wonderful sun and laziness I'm back home in Sweet Home Chicago. I might not be warm, but always great to get home after a long trip.

I took a ton of pictures and will be going through those today and have links up to albums hopefully by tomorrow along with a full recap of the trip.

I ran about 4 times there and even did some swimming. No I still can't swim, but I think I *could* if I just practiced. I don't know if we are going to be marathoning this year which can be good because I'll be able to do other workouts other than running. I might try and do some swimming down at Ohio St. Beach because I think it stays shallow for a long time. That way, after I swim about 10 strokes and I'm dying I can stand up and breathe. We'll see. I am guessing more fun to swim in that blue Caribbean sea and not cold old Lake Michigan, but I'll take the non-salt water since I think I ended up drinking more water than breathing air.

So. That's about it. Tonight we'll run 3.5 miles and try and stay on top of our training since the Flying Pig is quickly approaching.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Almost there

For all of those who were wondering why I (Jason) haven't been posting recently (which would be a weird thing to wonder given that I hardly ever post), it's because I relapsed this last week. If you'll recall, I was all mega-sick last week, even missing a day and a half of work.

Then, Monday I was back at work. I was tired, but that was to be expected given that I had dropped Leah off at the airport that morning (at 4 am!). Then the next day I was really tired too, but maybe that was just because I wasn't caught up on my sleep yet. But then Wednesday came and I started out tired and ended up feverish. Yep, time to leave work early again. Gah! This flu is so annoying. I took Thursday off work again and today, Saturday, I am probably feeling the best I have in awhile.

The point of all this is that I've been too tired to post recently. I've really only had the energy to watch stupid TV and lay around. It's very boring and I've very sick of it and it's very much time for Leah to come home and entertain me.

Still, there is hope. Tomorrow is supposed to be a brief respite with a high of 49. I can't wait.

...and then it's back to 30's and snow. Spring? Hello? Spring?

...i miss you