Monday, June 30, 2008

Weekend Review

A great/busy/crazy weekend. On the running front we were perfect for our weekend plans. On Saturday we did a nice easy 3 mile run around the neighborhood. After that we headed downtown to go to the Taste of Chicago. We of course had to keep buying tickets because the beer is so damn ticket heavy :-) We had a bum give us a little math puzzle and of course followed by, "If you are thinking of the number 4, and I think you are, maybe you have some tickets for me...?", so we gave him our last two tickets. From the Taste we walked to Burnham harbor and met up with the Dad and the Stepmom and their old Chicago sailing friends. From there we went back north to get our car, then drove home and hand a nice relaxing Saturday evening.

Sunday morning we got up early, I submitted the coding project I had been working on and then we dove over to the lakefront path to start our run. We did the full 9 miles even though neither of us were feeling it. Always nice to get through the runs where you don't feel so good, or more to the point not very motivated. I find it difficult to get pumped when there is no race in the future that we are training for. But either way we got through it. I don't know what's on the table for this week because we are going out of town for the holiday. I am going to try and do some runs around the lake at my Aunts house. It's nice and hilly over there so it might be more run/walking that pure running. Here's how our week ended up looking in my beautiful graph form:
After our run we headed down to Belmont/Broadway for the annual Gay Pride Parade. We ate breakfast at The Melrose diner and then to our Monsignor Murphy's, our old hangout. My Dad and Sue joined us as well as Jake and the lovely LaurA!. We had a good time as we do every year. I think everyone comes out of the woodwork for the parade and I always spend 5 minutes catching up with everyone that I haven't seen for a year.

This week should be one of the most relaxing in my life. I have *nothing* to do and so I taking the week of. I still have to write my dissertation defense talk although it's just about done and just needs to be updated a little.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Run, Projects & Taste

I have been working on a programming project since Wednesday and spent all day yesterday holed up in my apartment working on it. Needless to say I was itching to get outside for a run this morning.

I took music with which I don't do much anymore, but I do always remember how much I like the music once I have it with me. I chose some "running" mix playlist that I have. I think at one point I was very intune with picking songs that start off slow, picking up in the middle and then cooling back off in the end. True to form, I started off with some Colin Hay and hit up some California Love in the middle. I am having some shin pain which is usually a sign that my shoes are bad. These aren't that old though so I'm kind of surprised. I have been playing tennis in them though instead of keeping running shoes for running only so that might be a problem. I went about 3.9 miles and felt good otherwise throughout. I'm going to probably be short a few miles this week from my goal mileage, but that's ok.

After I got back from running, I fixed the final thing that had to be in place on the programming project I am working on. I had a flash when I was running (that happens all the time), and when I got home I tried it and lo and behold all 5 things work that needed to work. I'm pretty excited that that's done. I still have to fix how files are read in and the output and whatever, but the brunt of the project is done.

Since I am done with that for the most part, my dad and I are going to have a city day this afternoon and head downtown for the opening of the Taste and then maybe go see a movie. Tough times for my dad and his sister and well everyone in the family. My grandpa needs to move into an assisted living place and is refusing to do it. His wife has mid-stage Altzheimer's and he is 90 years old and can't really take care of her. But he's refusing to do anything about it. It got a little exciting at the beginning of the week because he was in the hospital and his wife was driving all over the place even though she shouldn't be driving anywhere. So we are all trying to deal with that the best we can.

So yes. Happy Friday all.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

They Can't All Be Perfect

Well after a few good weeks of running yesterday didn't go so well. We did 5 miles but it was really slow and pathetic. I think we will take today off and try and get in 6 tomorrow morning just to give our legs a bit of a break since they were so tired last night.

Not much else new. Just working on some work stuff and Jason is enjoying the yearly conference activities at his company and that's just about it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Late Night, Early Morning

Jason had a work function last night and so I hung out with my Dad and Sue until after the cubs game. I ended up picking Jason up at about 11:30 and we weren't in bed until about midnight. Finally got to sleep around 12:30 and up bright and early at 6:30.

For the rest of the week/weekend I am working on a little coding project, I can't have nothing to do you know. Heaven forbid I take a day off, but ah well I'd get bored anyways. Tonight we have 7 miles on the tap, but we won't be on the lakefront path and so I have to go back through all my old neighborhood routes and find a 7 mile loop.

Alright, well I gotta get back to work. Time it is a tickin' you know.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

5, 1, 6.

This morning Jason and I woke up with the sun and drove down to the lakefront and did a 5 mile recoveryish run.

Then my dad came downstairs and he and I played tennis for 1 hour.

Then I came home and submitted my thesis officially. 6 years of work in 208 pages.

I'm so happy. It's been a long road with a few detours, but hot damn I'M DONE! Who knows what happens next, and there were times when I was so close to throwing in the towel, but I just kept thinking about this feeling of accomplishment. It's not everyone that gets a PhD in high energy physics, gets the opportunity to work at the biggest physics lab in the world, travel overseas for conferences, travel to Washington D.C. two years in a row to represent physics graduate students to their congresspeople and all the other cool shit that goes down in a PhD program....all before their 29th year. I mean it's going to be close...but I will be done with all this before that scary fucking age hits :-). Anyways. I will defend the thesis on July 31st and then it will really be done and a new page will be turned.

Today I have some work to do on some other stuff and my Dad, stepmom and I are going to try and get tickets to the Cubs game tonight. (Jason has a fancy dinner thing for work tonight).

So yep. June 24. A good one.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Good? No Great Weekend.

So here we got with our my usual weekend roundup!

On Friday I met up with Jason for lunch as I was back from the lab early enough to make that happen. I spent the afternoon hanging around downtown and just fucking enjoying being mostly done with my thesis, which is the culmination of six years of work. I finally broke down and bought myself a pair of nice sunglasses (they are seriously awesome, I think I could work for the CIA perhaps...and if there are any CIA people reading this I'm still available for any spy work that might be needed). Following my walk I met my dad and sue at a bar near Chicago Ave and then we walked to Jake Melnicks where we met up with Jake and the lovely LaurA! and Jason. A quick dinner there and then it was off to 600 N Michigan for opening night of Get Smart. It's so funny and we all highly recommend it. Ok, well I can't talk for everyone but I highly recommend it, and it's not just because I less than three Steve Carell.

Oh yeah and on Friday afternoon the Cubs won in highly dramtic fashion with a 9th inning walkoff homerun. The Cubs ended up kicking some White Sox ass all weekend, which of course this family loved.

On Saturday Jason and I came down to the 3600 apartment and went for a quick I would say about 2.5 mile run. We hung around here, watching the Cubs and chilling at the lakefront until about 5pm when we headed back to the west side for a relaxing evening in.

Sunday morning we woke up bright and early and headed down to the lakefront at Montrose to get our weekly long run in. These have been around 6 miles for awhile. That was the plan for Sunday but we just felt so damn good we decided to go an extra mile out meaning we ended up at 8 miles. It rained like crazy in the middle of our run which was actually ok because it was still really warm out. I love running in a summer rain storm. I wore my new sunglasses and while I have tried to run in sunglasses before but they always bounced all over the place or just annoyed me, these were just great. They didn't move at all or bounce or anything, so I'm deeming them a good purchase. Now I just have to not lose them.

So ok, nerd girl that I am has a lot of graphs to show you all. Hint need a GPS program....hire me to organize the output of the data! OK, so here we go. First off, the first two on the left are the same that I showed you last week. Simply showing what mileage we planned and what mileage we actually completed and then the total yearly mileage to date, week by week. The new one on the upper right is showing each week what the difference between the Actual Distance-Planned Distance is, granted this one is kind of stupid as there isn't a lot of data right now, but I think the idea of it is good as it's much easier to see how well week by week we are doing keeping above, equal or below our planned mileage (when the bar is above zero = good). Then the final one in the lower right hand corner is showing for each day of the last week how well we did for the planned daily mileage and what we did that day. You can see last week kind of was bad on that front as only one day actually matches up. Click on it to see all the graphs in full size.

Friday, June 20, 2008


I handed Adviser the thesis this morning. All 206 pages of it. Hot Damn. Of always with this field, there are a *few* more miner things to change. I have gotten up at about 4am the last three days and worked hard on getting that done....but you know...4am is fucking early. By 10am, I've been awake for 6 hours and, in that time (today for example) drove to Batavia, printed out 206 scintillating pages of physics analysis, dropped off some paperwork at another building on the Fermilab campus, played tennis with my "coach" and by "coach" I mean my Dad who really was a tennis coach back in the day, drove to panera, ate breakfast, dropped off said scintillating pages at the hotel where Adviser is staying, back to Panera, worked on getting Dad set up with C++ compliers on his little laptop, and drove back to the city.

Yikes. So I'm just hanging out while my dad naps and wondering if he really wants me to put the Xcode tools on his laptop since it's such a big program. He doesn't have much space left because it seems that he has 10GB worth of pictures on his laptop. So as soon as he wakes up I can talk to him about what he wants to do with that. Maybe it's time those crazy sailor kids got an external harddrive.

Yesterday we ran 4 miles around the neighborhood. So the plan then for the weekend is to do some studying stuff that we have to do, play tennis early tomorrow, and get just a short 2 mile run in. Then Sunday pull out a 6 mile run...bringing us full circle to Monday. Oh...and I have to write the acknowledgments still for my thesis. Thank you to everyone for not killing me over the last 6 years? Maybe just a Fuck this shit, I'm outta here. Nah, I can be more elequent than that...I hope. I actually did start writing it but I ended up starting it and starting to talk about my adviser and how awesome he is and blah blah...and suddenly I was that creepy girl who had written two pages about one person. So I stepped away as the total length for that should be about 2 pages and I have lots of other people to thank!

Alright, so Happy Friday everyone and GO CUBS! They had a stinky series in Florida and so here's to hoping they pick up the pace against that other Chicago baseball team. Alright. LeahC needs to end this post already.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Today is Thursday

Wow. Brilliant title if I do say so myself.

But it's a big day. Well not TODAY. BUT, if today is Thursday, that means tomorrow is Friday which means the day after that is Saturday. The Adviser is going on a 3 week bike trip which starts on Saturday meaning that a final copy of my thesis has to be done by then since I have to turn it into the committee July 1st (one moth before the defense). Needless to say I have been super busy this week getting everything in order with that.

On Tuesday we went to see The Swell Season with a Fermilab friend of ours which was a really good show. We didn't get home until 11:30 or so and I ended up waking up at 3:14am. I remember because it's pi-o-clock. I feel that I frequently wake up at this time, but I think I probably don't really but rather just remember it more when it's 3:14 because I always go, "Wow, look at that, I woke up at pi-o-clock" If I were to wake up at say 3:27, I wouldn't remember because that's just a random time. Anyways. So I dozed on and off until 4am and left at 5am to go to the suburbs. I had to print out another draft of some chapters for the Adviser and then meet him to give him that. Needless to say I was a little tired and out of it yesterday.

I'm back in the burbs today to get some more marked up copies of my thesis. Probably the same deal tomorrow....BUT then...after a final read through of it myself......IT WILL BE DONE. Well that part of it will be done. The defense and the actual degree would still be to come but this is the biggest and hardest part....sorry...I gotta do it.....That's what SHE said!

Running, yes....still going. We went 6 miles again yesterday. While we were out there we ran into this boy playing catch and so chatted with him a little bit. I love living in a city of 3 million people and randomly running into friends. Felt good on the run too which is nice. Same plan tonight, but probably just about 4 miles, then maybe 2 on Saturday and then 6 on Sunday which will bring me to my planned distance for the week.

So yes. That's all from here. Happy 3 days before my thesis is done!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Yes. I ran 19.5 miles last week. You know. That rounds up to 20. Hot Damn. The woman is getting her running groove back. Hopefully anyways.

I also played tennis four times last week. Starting this week I'm going to play a bit more, doing more training with my Dad rather than just hitting it around. Hopefully I can start to keep it in the court better. Maybe the plan will be to play tennis, take a break and then run with Jason when he gets home from work. This week is also the last week I have to work on my thesis. My adviser is going out of town for three weeks starting Saturday and my thesis is due on July 1st....aka right spot on in the middle of that...meaning that my thesis needs to be done by Saturday. Awesome. It's fine though, I don't think it will be a problem. SO I'll be back at the lab from about 6:30am-2:30pm or so starting tomorrow, then back to Dad's apartment for tennis, running and general fun :-).

So what the hell happened the past few months? Well the Achilles Disaster of 2008 happened. Then thesis work happened. Then severe panic attacks happened. No where in that did running happen. I had started keeping very good track of my mileage and the graphs just have a big sucky flat line in the middle of them:

But I'm getting there. The graphs are starting to turn back up and if you look carefully I ran 6 miles this morning. You know that's over 5! I know CRAZY. So I have a plan to get over 20 miles this week and of course I have started this during the busiest week of probably my life I am guessing, but cest la vie...I'm always fucking busy and running keeps me balanced so I have to try and not let that slip again. I think a lot of the problems that arose aside from being so stressed with work and trying to get a new job and blah blah blah was that I had stopped running. I didn't stop because I wanted to though but because of my Achilles and so now that seems to be better and so I'm going to try and go slowly this time. I made a mistake training for that half marathon as I wasn't ready for that kind of training because I went from zero straight into not necessarily high mileage but hard consistent work outs. And my old lady body apparently revolted. SO. Right. That's the analysis, hopefully that graph has more than 6 miles on it next week.

So ok, Happy Monday everyone. OH and congrats to everyone's favorite Kansas Fans Displaced in Chicago (:-)) for getting through their HIM. Well....yes I know, the weather didn't allow them to finish, but they were almost done with the course and they both were on the run portion of the race and so they got through those horrible sounding hills on the bike course (and of course the swim which when I think about I want to throw up a lot in my mouth). Congrats Kids.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Back to AM running!

This morning Jason and I got up at 5am with the intent to go play tennis. Actually we did that yesterday as well but someone (not me) said, "I'm just going to lay back down in bed and see what it would feel like to go back to sleep" :-). But this morning we were up and on it. Only to find drenched streets and sidewalks from storms during the night. We still headed to the courts thinking maybe they weren't too wet and we could play anyways. They were completely soaked and so we just went and ran instead. We went about 4.5 miles and I felt great. Farthest we went in awhile and pretty smooth sailing for all of it.

Yesterday my stepmom and I lucked out and got some not too pricey tickets to the Cubs game. They won in 11 innings after Reed Johnson got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. That sent their home win streak to 11. It was awesome. They could do it this year. After the game Jason came over to the Dad/Stepmom apartment and we had some pizza, watched some Law and Order and then headed back to the good old Uki-Village.

I am still waiting to get some revisions back from my adviser. I have about a week left to finish my thesis as he will be gone a bike trip the last week of June and completely out of contact. My thesis is due July 1st though so I guess I'll get extra time to make corrections even if he can't take a last look at it. So since I haven't heard from him Sue (that's my stepmom) and I are going to go downtown and hangout. Tonight we are going to hang with Jake and LaurA! to celebrate the fact that I got a job and the thesis is coming to a close. We are going to go get yummy burgers at Blackies and then go see The Incredible Hulk. I saw a preview and noticed that Tony Stark (aka Ironman) has a role it it. It makes Jason wonder if there is going to be an Avengers movie on the way. So that should be fun. Tomorrow is the Wells Street Art Fair which we are going to with Sue's sister Andrea which should be fun.

So yeah, that's all from here. Go go fun times!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Getting Closer to the Next Thing

Last night I found out that the company I interviewed with a week and half ago wants me to join their group. So hell to the hizzah on that one. I still have to find out about salary and benefits and whatnot as that is still a question. But they like me, so that's good and very exciting.

This morning I sent a full draft of my thesis to my adviser. That's right...full draft. Not a section here or there.

That's right. It's all coming to a close.

I didn't play tennis this morning because my Dad went to Florida with his sister to visit their Dad. I might play tonight with Jason though if the courts aren't too crowded. We are going to run for sure. This morning I'm going to work on helping a graduate student in Bloomington get some code to run in batch mode and then this afternoon my stepmom and I are going to go walk around the neighborhood that Jason and I want to move to and get a sense of where exactly we should want to live and were we for sure don't want to live. So that should be fun fun as it's a beautiful day in Chicago!

So yes. Oh...and only 30 days until the 3G iPhone is out!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tennis, Running & Thesis

Yep. That's all I have been doing. I wish I could be all, "LOOK AT ALL THE FREAKIN' COOL THINGS I AM DOING!" But I'm not so much. My day is usually getting up early, driving to my Dad's apartment and having breakfast. Then my Dad and I go across the street and play tennis for about an hour. Then I go run. I started with just going three miles (it's hard to run after crossing training...and by cross training I mean, shagging tennis balls as I don't so much hit them back). I'm up to 4 miles though and feeling better. After tennis I work on my thesis getting those last few details in place. My Dad coached tennis back in the day and so he has some tips for me. I'm getting better for sure. We are going to do more with the coaching as we are going to get a bag of balls and do more repetitive forehand/backhand/serving type things. But either way I'm getting better.

The thesis is almost done. I have to find a *few* annoying details about things which is taking all the time. But as far as the sections they are all done and written and whatever which is exciting.

Oh yeah. And Jason and I are perhaps planning on getting in line early for the new iPhone. Yes. We are just that nerdy. But whatever, we would totally have one before those who chose to not wait in line...although those smart people will probably be able to walk into the Apple store later in the day and buy one, sans sleeping on the sidewalk on Michigan Ave. As Jason said, "There will be other people in line right? Because if not, then we aren't so much wacky as homeless".

That's all from here. Things are easing back into normal, I'm getting better and starting to actually like tennis, and I'm going to Doctor Leah soon enough!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Running...and Tennis?

I LOVE to play racquetball. Well I really started to love it when I stopped losing every game 15-2. It seems that racquetball has kind of gone away in popularity as it's been tough finding gyms that have nice courts. Jason and I played 2-3 times a week in graduate school and I contend it's one of the best cross training exercises you can do. Anyways, with my dad staying in Chicago he is staying right across the street from some tennis courts and so we thought we would try. We played the last two days. As I have only played racquetball for about 10 years, I tend to try and play tennis that way and get the ball all up in my kooaid. It was a bit too windy today though, but I think I'll get there. If any Chicago people know any racquetball courts let me know in the comments! Either at a gym or if there are courts that you could just use by the hour.

I have run about 16 miles since Monday. I KNOW!!!! I have run the last three days and then on Monday as well. Today was tough as I have been running after we "played" tennis and it was about 90 degrees and it was just tough. I didn't stop though so that's good. I'm going to take tomorrow off and then possibly Sunday as well as we have a pretty packed weekend.

Alright, well all is good here. Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Longer Run

Well I'm sans Garmin, just cause I want to be for awhile not because it's broken. Jason and I did go for a longer run yesterday because we lost track of where we were. I was just looking for the next mile marker that is North of Montrose and we never saw and we were all talky talky and so we ended up way past Lawrence and who knows where we were. We never run that far north and so I don't remember where we got to. I'm guessing we went for about 4.5 ... probably more like 4 miles. I know right..funny that anything over 3 miles is an accomplishment.

My thesis work is going well. There are words for everything....whether or not Adviser thinks that the words are good or bad is still to be questioned. I am also helping a new graduate student who is at IU. I wish I was there or he was here because so many of the things he's doing is so much easier to do with someone to just go walk to and ask. Jason and I had that for all stages of our analysis and so I wish he had that. Ah well, I'm doing my best via e-mail.

My dad and I are going to go play tennis here in a bit as soon as the courts dry and the man wakes up from his little cat nap. Until then I'm going to keep plugging away at the thesis.

Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

What's New

Wow, when you get out of the habit of writing everyday it gets hard to think of what you want to say.

So yeah, things here are pretty good. My dad and I went to the Cubs game last Thursday which was just about the most exciting games I have ever seen. Over the weekend we had a wedding shower for my cousin...moved my dad into his swanky new place on Sheridan and Addison on Sunday and for the rest of the time we just relaxed. My Dad's place is right across the street from the lakefront path which is awesome. We went running Sunday and Monday...oh yeah and on Saturday days in a row. Go figure.

Yesterday I went to my Dad's in the morning and we noticed that the tennis courts by the totem pole are empty during the week in the dad and I tried to play tennis once when I was a kid and I ended up throwing the brand new racket that he had given me at his head because I got so frustrated. That is the one and only time that I have ever played. But I figured it might be fun to try again, so we bought some tennis balls and Jason has some racquets that we can use. That is on the table for tomorrow morning or Thursday morning.

I guess that's about it. I heard back from the company I interviewed with and they said that they were excited that I was interested and that I'll hear from them soon with next steps. I am excited to see what happens with that.

Alright, well that's all from here. Seems that the dark cloud is lifting.