Saturday, December 30, 2006

I am apparently on the cutting edge of fashion now.

Not being in love with the Nikes I bought in August, I took advantage of being home to go to my favorite running store and get a new pair of running shoes. After trying about ten pairs, the woman comes out with a box and says "We just got these in four hours ago - you are the first person I have tried these out on."

And I fell in love immediately with the Adidas Supernova Cushion 6:Well, I should say back in love. I used to be in love in Supernova Cushions a couple of years ago. Ran my first distance race in them. But then they changed and the relationship couldn't go on.

I have had a few romances in between, the most serious being with the Asics Nimbus, but they changed too! And so I had to move on.

And in the meantime, my lovely Supernovas had improved. And now we have reunited and all is bliss. The best part is that the Supernova is totally a cheap date in comparison to the Nimbus - $35 cheaper.

Oh and here is a Runners World story from yesterday. On my flight from Detroit to Des Moines, while my friend Chris was in the back of the plane being harassed by the old lady next to him because he made the mistake of saying he was an evolutionary biologist, I was sitting next to nice little old lady myself (one who had to be escorted in on a wheelchair).

I had taken my magazines, including RW and put them in the pocket in front of me. I was reading another magazine, and this woman apparently didn't realize that these were my magazines. Obviously bored, she reaches right in front of me and picks up my RW.

I thought she might just pick it up, flip through, and then put it back. But she didn't. She started reading. For a while there, I was concerned I might not get it back - I kept thinking "Oh no! I haven't read this one! But I would be embarassed if I took someone else's magazine without knowing, so I don't want to point out this fact!"

So I sat reading my other mags, trying to to peek to see what sort of articles an old lady in a wheelchair reads in Runner's World. Eventually just as I was beginning to accept that I might not read this issue, right before we started going down into DSM, she put it back (phew!) and we chitchatted the rest of the flight (that was my offensive tactic to ensure that the magazine stayed in my pocket until I could grab it discreetly :-)).

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas booty

(or I guess Hanukkah booty in Joe's case)

Anyone get anything good?

I got bike gloves and a trainer (amongst other smaller things), so Santa was pretty good to me.

I did not get anything that will prove useful for running (although I guess the long underwear might come in handy). But I can't run right now anyways, so that's okay :-) I asked for The Stick, but forgot to give any details about what it was, so my mom was asking salespeople at REI what this was (and none of them knew). Needless to say, I didn't get that. The Stick is one of these items that I feel like I could make on my own with a trip to Lowe's, but really, I am too lazy to do that :-) I just can't get at my hamstring with the foam roller though!

In a weird twist, I came home to Vermont and some friend of my parents are staying at our house and lo and behold, there in our living room was their Stick! So I gave my IT bands and my hamstring some good Stick lovin'. That sounds a little dirty.

I haven't done anything for a week and my hamstring has still been throbbing, I have officially declared myself as off running for five weeks, until January 21st. And I am going to try harder to see what else might be aggravating it - before I just assumed it was remnant pain, but now I am going on the offense. Do my stretches and exercises from PT every day and quit anything that makes it hurt, even if that means I sit around doing nothing for five weeks. That's my new year's resolution, dammit!

PS I have totally been living in Iowa too long. I was under the impression that a 55 mph speed limit meant that you go somewhere between 55 and 65, not 75 mph. And still get passed on both sides.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I really need to bury that last post...

Especially since the "Tuesday the 13th" in my post title sits right underneath the "Wednesday the 13th" on the date. How embarassing...

I'm at home sweet home in Massachusetts, sitting on my parents couch and letting my mom make me dinner. Life is hard. Although I am mildly overwhelmed by all the cable channels. I actually flipped by a TV show called "Bathrooms of the World."

The snack food named after my hometown.

My hamstring has been pestering me, so I decided a week off from running is in order. I did actually bring my bathing suit home, but the odds of me seeking out the local Y and going swimming are pretty slim. So instead I go to the gym at my mom's hospital.

Besides the hamstring (grumble, grumble), life is good:

1. I just found out today that NSF has decided to fund my graduate research (well they "anticipate recommeding" it for funding), which means that I might actually get out of grad school before the end the decade.

2. I just finished a great book. How can you go wrong with a book whose main character is named Hiro Protagonist?! One of his other books apparently has a "cult following amongst water pollution control engineers." How can I not read that now?

3. I am merrily throwing away all my money at Seriously, they sell some good outdoor gear, only one item at a time, for like 75% off. My only salvation from the poor house has been that I am stealing my neighbor's wireless and my internet has been iffy lately. But I already bought a rain jacket and a watch. I needed that stuff! Yeah... I keep missing the sweet Patagonia stuff - a woman can never have enough wicking clothes! And in general, I can't afford that stuff, even though I get warm fuzzies supporting a company like Patagonia that does good things for the world.

Thank goodness I am going to VT in a couple of days where there is no internet! At least where our house is... I am pretty sure somewhere in the state has the internet.

Oh, and I just saw this. I believe this is exactly what I told my advisor and exactly what will happen:

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Beware of Tuesday the 13th!

My hamstring hadn't bothered me in two weeks or so. I was doing 1 mile and 1.5 mile runs slowly. Then last night I decided to run two. And for some reason I decided I should run some of it fast (6.5 mph, which is fast for me). And today it has been aching all day. Sigh. It must be because today is Tuesday the 13th! Yes! That's it! After spending two years in the DR and my entire masters degree surrounded by South Americans, I think their unlucky day has rubbed off on me...

But in other news, hell must have frozen over, because I swam two days in a row!

Five days until I go home! I have no money, but while I am home I am going to Marathon Sports in Wellesly to get another pair of sneakers. The whole alternating sneakers things has helped I think. So since I will have even less money, I will have to steal some of these ideas for gifts:

Monday, December 11, 2006

Victory is mine!

Well, ours!

After a painful morning of trying to register for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run [edited to fix URL] in April, Joe and I have been successful. Man that was a pain in the ass. The 10,000 person race fills up in a day, so we wanted to register ASAP. I registered this morning but I never got a confirmation e-mail and Joe got one immediately after getting registered (after a long time trying). So instead of studying for my geochem final tomorrow, I was registering for a race all morning. Oh well, at least I know where my priorities lie :-) And now I have my first registered race on tap for next year, w00t!

Update: These people officially suck. I am now registered twice because I never got a confirmation or a charge on my credit card so I registered again and their stupid server kept crashing so you never really knew if it was processing your registration (unless you got a confimation e-mail). They better refund me that second registration fee!

Joe takes pretty pictures

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Al is full of LIES!

You know how I always tell people I'm totally non-competitive, I don't even wear a watch when I run, I don't race often, just like to run fast?

It's a total crock. I will race you anywhere, anytime. There just probably won't be a clock there.

Today I went out for a nice bike ride up to Shoreline and the Palo Alto Baylands. About 20 miles into the 36-ish-mile ride this dude passed me. Now he was going a bit faster than I wanted to go, but I wasn't about to just let him go. So for the next few-ish (maybe 4?) miles I put the chase on and kept within about 30 yards of him. But he was a much stronger cyclist than I am. I died and he pulled away. But I died really, really badly, to the extent that I had to stop three or four times in the last 10 miles of the ride because I was getting dizzy from fatigue and was straying out of the bike lane.

Moral of the story, don't go out for rides like that before breakfast without carrying food! Moral of the story number 2: don't break your pace just because some dude passed you! Well... I can do that running, because I know my abilities well, but definitely not on the bike.

Now that wasn't embarassing or anything...

The roommate: "Please don't make those sounds in the living room. You sound like you are getting it on or something."

What was I doing in the living room?

Rolling my IT bands with the styrofoam cylinder of death. So now I have been banished from the living room. Like I am intentionally crying out in pain!

Sheesh, I need to live with another runner.

Friday, December 08, 2006

There are machinations afoot...

I am the queen of procrastination. Really, I am hard to beat. I have been up all night in my office at school writing a term paper due in 3.5 hours. And I am still not done. Yet, I am posting here. Mainly I just needed a break and there isn't anyone else around to talk to :-)

Scheme #1. Monday. 9am sharp (10am EST). Joe and I are signing up for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler in DC on April 1st. Granted, I can only run 1.5 miles right now without the hammy hurting. And my new physical therapist is torturing me (but I like her a lot better than my last one), but I better damn be able to handle a 10-mile run in April. Especially since...

Scheme #2. My next marathon. Green Bay. May. Seeing as my research life revolves around lakes, why not make my running life all about lakes too? I hit Superior with Grandma's, so now I will hit Michigan.

Plus, I have never really been to Wisconsin. Sure I have sorta been to Wisconisn. I ate lunch in Madison once and bought cheese curds near the highway. But if you count states that I have done such things in, I have been to 45 states. So I decided my criteria has to be harsher. I have to be in the state for a reason, not just driving through (although if I have stayed the night there, it counts). So by that criteria, I just have AK, MT, ND, WI, MI, WV, KY, TN, AL, MS, AR, and OK. And of those, the only ones I have never ever touched ground in are AK, ND, MI, MT, and OK. WTF! Why am I inventorying states at 6:30 in the morning when I still have a paper to finish! Back to work I go!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


So this freezing weather without the snow has got to stop. I'm a fan of winter, but only as long as there is the white fluffy stuff to play in.

One reason is that, every day, I wake up to a dilemma. There is no snow on the ground, so I really should ride my bike to school (about three miles). But ten degrees? And below zero wind chill (and note that the wind is always blowing directly at me on my way to school)? So recently I have been either "working" from home or taking the bus.

But Lisa, in all her awesomeness, has helped me to get my butt off the couch. She has knit me arm warmers for riding my bike to school. I love it when she knits me stuff. I also have a cute little hat with kitty ears and stripey socks that go well with my (excessive) Mary Jane collection, all courtesy of Lisa.

I tell ya - having friends who knit totally rocks!Oh, and simply because this photo also got uploaded off my camera when I uploaded this... gratuitous puppy shot!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Torn IT Band + Strained Hamstring = Two Superswimmers

So poor Kori is totally out of commission right now because of her IT band. She can't do anything but swim. So she has resolved to swim six days a week.

And I told her I would try and swim with her. I figure we can work on a synchronized swimming routine. But I think it would look better with these matching swimcaps.

The timing is sort of perfect. I just got a coupon in the mail for 20% off at, so combined with a sale, I just got a new suit that does not require MacGuyver like adjustments for only $30.

And I am beginning to come to grips with the fact that I think cycling irritates my hamstring as much as running (so it is looking like that duathlon probably won't be happening).

Someone mentioned this webpage a while back. It totally makes swimming more fun I think! It seems much less tedious if I have a list of drills to do as opposed to just going back and forth.

I shall conquer the pool! Well, at least after I figure out why if I swim 400 yds straight without stopping for water I get a massive pounding headache.

Oh yeah, and yay! 17 days until I go home to Boston!