Saturday, January 31, 2009

Now, where is my spandex bodysuit?

So the Nordic Ski Club had a skiing potluck today. It was gorgeous and sunny and 40 degrees and it was a blast.

And I also found out that they have money for entries to the Mora Vasaloppet.

It's next weekend.

There is a 13k race, which I could totally handle, despite not really training other than skiing a few times a week for fun. But I was out skiing for two hours today over non-groomed trails and I was fine.

But really, I'm totally doing it for the t-shirt.

And perhaps for practice for this next year...

But doesn't "cross-country ski racer" just make me sound even more badass than I already am? Yeah, I thought so.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Since I read most blogs in RSS, I wanted to correct my twitter feed link here instead of the original post. I'm here! If you are on Twitter, I am always looking for more feeds to follow :-) Right now, I am so desperate, I follow Karl Rove.

Today in Links

Beard Bags for Naked Bicycle Riding! (h/t The Bloggess)

Nerdy runner, personified. Did I mention I already read Seattle newspapers?

If Steep and Cheap hasn't already bankrupted me, this will. Seriously, I'm such a sucker for a bargain.

I tweet now. I mostly started to help a friend get up to 500 followers. But as a bonus, my random tweets hopefully have scored us a 7th runner for the Wild West Relay. Yeah, Miss Allycat, I'm looking at you. Anyway, who'd have thought that I feel the need to say random things to my computer all day? My Facebook statuses stay up for like a week, so I figured I would suck at this, but in fact, I just say the things I am thinking to twitter, as opposed to my officemates who will either:

1. Acknowledge I said something before turning back to their computers with a look of "why won't she stop talking?" on their faces.

2. Actually start a conversation with me when all I really wanted to do was point out something funny I read in the roommate ads on Craig's List.

Oh yeah, so we are going to register, yay! Along with me, Joe, Lauren, Al, Caroline, and John (from the GRR team) have all agreed to send money so we can get the cheaper registration rate. So "Back off man, I'm a scientist" will return to compete in the Flatlanders Division. Good times! We need six (or five) more runners! Hint hint...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

5 isn't anywhere close to 13

Well, unless of course you are an order of magnitude kinda girl (which we fluid mechanicists typically are), in which case both are equal to 10^1.

So for like the billionth week in a row, my long run was only five miles. I have been trying not to up my distance too fast, but at some point I need to up just a little probably...

Otherwise that is going to be 13 miles of pain on March 21st...

I was going to run outside this morning but after a lovely foray into the 30s, the temps were in the negatives again so I roughed it out on the treadmill. My friend Mary happened to be on the treadmill next to me, so we made sure neither of us wussed out.

The worst part of my run? Well, I started it watching Scrubs (I heart Zach Braff - seriously I am so predictable with my crushes on nice Jewish boys - I blame it on being from Newton, home of the Fig Newton, Heartbreak Hill, and classmates who mostly went to Hebrew school instead of CCD like me).

Anyway all was fine and dandy.

Then Scrubs ended.

And "I'm gonna git you sucka" came on.

I don't like to change the TV station while running.

So I was forced to watch 20 minutes of the Wayan Brothers.

As if running on the treadmill wasn't torture enough...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Am I enjoying myself?

Swimming doesn't totally suck. I feel like I'm starting to feel a little comfortable. I'm not good or fast or anything, but I don't quite feel awkward and I am starting to enjoy my time in the pool. Whether that's because I like swimming or because I just can't do anything else, that's not for me to guess at. I am curious, though, what will happen once I have to swim without the pull buoy, since I am using it exclusively right now as I can't use my leg. I may like it less once I don't have a float keeping half of me from sinking like a rock.

Based on the last month, I have set a couple of new goals. I would like to do a triathlon in 2009 (nothing in mind yet, as scheduling is pretty fluid right now until I have a better idea of recovery times), and, assuming I don't just absolutely hate it, I would like to do this in 2010.

15 days until surgery...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

31 Degrees! That's a heat wave!

Unfortunately, as I have learned since moving to Iowa, unseasonably warm weather is almost always accompanied by massive winds.

So after a bit of a hiatus, I actually ran with my running group this morning. I dragged my butt out of bed at 7:30 and got ready to run six miles.

Except that I totally wussed out and only ran 3.5.

Great half marathon training, huh?

But those winds!

They sucked!

We went out and back and the way out I did in 17 minutes and the way back took 21. It was like running into a wall.

I also wussed out because the other slow person there was only planning on doing three and I couldn't leave him to run back alone, could I? Really, what kind of running friend would I be? John and I go way back as running buddies. Back when I was training for Grandma's, he actually did a 20 mile run with me just for kicks. So I couldn't let him run the mile and a half back by himself, could I?

Tomorrow I think I might bite the bullet and do my "long run" of a meager five miles inside on the track. 12 laps to a mile! I am pretty sure I will mess up counting and that will just throw my anal-retentive OCD brain into a complete tizzy that it can't recover from because GOD FORBID I RUN 4.92 OR 5.08 MILES INSTEAD OF EXACTLY FIVE.

My effing watch is only a 50 lap watch WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO TO ME TIMEX?????

Maybe I just need to bring a sharpie and write on my arm or something.


So in completely unrelated stuff that I meant to post around Christmas but things got busy (favorite quote of the week from my cousin "I'm glad to see your mom wore her best sweatpants to the funeral"), I actually nailed my parents Christmas present this year. It was a little pricey since I did everything last minute (who me?). My dad (who I get the anal-retentive OCD brain from) has all their early photos on slides sitting in the basement. So I got a nice digital frame and got a whole bunch of the slides converted to digital format and bam! My mom is still talking about. So anyway, I thought I would share some of my favorites (although I sorta realize now that most of the people that read this blog are my Facebook friends so they have seen them already):
My dad, who totally looks like he is posing for a magazine shoot.
I love the plaid pants/patterned sweater combo here...
My mom has a hood on her wedding dress. God bless the 70s! Oh yeah and my mom totally shared this dress with another friend who was getting married near the same time.
My parents had an Irish Setter named Barnaby that they got before they got married. Apparently he accidentally bit me in the head once when I was a baby. Oops!
I am pretty sure if I ever have kids, that I will pose them with the dog as well.
Is it any wonder that I heart big dogs? Please note the bandaids on both my knees. Once a klutz, always a klutz I guess...
Me and my little sister, who is turning 30 this year OMG WE'RE OLD.
Do you see the black socks and white sandals on me? Is it any wonder that to this day I still wear socks with sandals on occasion? Mom, I blame you for my social ostracization.
I remember very little from my childhood, but I remember these skis. I *hated* cross country skiing back then. I made my mom drag me up all the hills. I really didn't rediscover it until I moved to Iowa. Of course there is no way I could find such a rad ski suit to go skiing in.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I thought my thermometer was broken when it said -21

Before I moved to Iowa, I used to have a rule about not leaving the house when it was below zero degrees.

I gave up that rule years ago.

The only thing that is going to make me leave the house today is that I only have 15 minutes left on my battery and I am pretty sure I would die without the internet for the day.

Oh yeah and the pilot light on our furnace went out AGAIN last night.

I'm so glad I am not a homeowner and that falls squarely under NOT MY JOB.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

T-10 weeks...

...until the National Half-Marathon.

So I'm not gonna lie. I'd like to finally break 2:10 at this distance. My PR is 2:13 something. Since I have incapacitated my opposition through a conveniently placed pin to the knee on my voodoo doll, I don't have to worry about my pride.

It's ten weeks off and my "long" runs are at 5 miles. Not exactly major miles. But I have only not run two days this year so far, so I think I am building a solid base. Whether or not I can get the miles up is a totally different story.

Plus one can never underestimate the bonus of running in sissy land (DC) compared to badass land (that would be Iowa where we run in ice and snow and 10 degree weather all winter). DC in March has about 10 degrees on Iowa in March and clothes reduction always helps one's times. (Glaven, don't even go there - the chafing alone is painful to think about.)

In other news, I learned that the boat may actually have exercise machines on it.

Unless this is elaborate plan by my current advisor to humiliate me in front of my future advisor by having me show up on the boat and ask "So where are the treadmills?" I think all might not be lost in April.

Of course, my current advisor told me "Whatever you do, don't let anyone know it is your first cruise or else you are going to get hazed."

Now I have heard of being hazed when you cross the equator for the first time, or going down to the bottom of the ocean in Alvin, but no one told me I might be hazed just because! We're just going to Monterey Canyon! Nowhere near the equator! In fact I think we are going to be so close to the California coast that I'll be able smell the smoke from whatever forest fire is raging at the moment!

Not quite a fish yet, but...

I'm sort of like the opposite of this fish; I imagine my swimming looks to him like his walking would look to me. However, after the great advice everyone gave me the other day, I've been experimenting with swimming some more, and I feel like I'm getting closer to figuring it out. I think the turning point was the suggestion my M to watch the Total Immersion swimming videos on YouTube. After watching a bunch of those, I started to figure out what I was doing wrong, and was able to try to change my stroke up. I'm by no means good, but the day I swam after watching the videos, it was so much easier. I was able to swim twice as far that next day as I had been, once I streamlined my stroke and didn't have all this wasted effort and energy (it's still not very far, but much better than it was last week).

The bouy has been really interesting, too. Not using my legs at all has not only helped me concentrate on my upper body, but it helps my knee a lot; my knee hurts when it's bent (i.e. when sitting), so keeping it straight relieves the stress and gives me some release from the constant ache, which has been getting worse lately.

As I've been having fun trying to figure this out for myself, and only I have 3 weeks and change until surgery, I talked to my friend who said she'd give me some advice, and we're going to wait until after the surgery, so I can just play for the next few weeks by myself.

I've either tried or been thinking about much of what you all told me when I've been in the pool this week, and it's definitely helping this whole swimming thing make sense in my head, so thanks again for all the good feedback!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Swimming Advice

Ok, to all of our loyal followers who swim, I need some advice. I am finally to the point where there's no longer any real threat of drowning, so I can concentrate on swimming a little more. The other day, I was asking the lifeguard for some advice on breathing and stuff, and one of the comments he made while watching me swim was that I use my legs a lot. I didn't think I was, but I wasn't really thinking about it much, as I was more focused on breathing air instead of water, etc.

Today, I felt comfortable enough that I could think about something other than breathing, and I realized that I was indeed using my legs a lot. I tried to use them less, and found that I got tired really quickly. My upper body is apparently weak. So, assuming I try to incorporate some gym time into my workout routine (which right now consists of swimming and watching Netflix movies from the couch), what should I concentrate on trying to strengthen to help improve swimming?

Punky Power!

So I'm like a posting machine! This is totally off topic, but I felt the need to post it because I am pretty sure my parents have had the same conversation about me as Henry and Alan have in the first few seconds...

if you replace "room" with "lab", "model car" with "dissertation", and "days" with "years"...

Courtesy of Jezebel:

Of course, if Henry knew how... well-endowed... Soleil Moonfry would turn out, he probably wouldn't worry about her finding a husband...

Also, I wonder if Larry Summers ever moonlighted as the manager of a model car race track...

And did anyone else learn that you shouldn't hide in refrigerators from Punky Brewster? That is a lesson from Cheri that I carry with me to this day...

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Two posts in a day!

So I was going to write this post some other day, but we are in the midst of a bit of an icy mess and the roads suck so I am stuck in the house on a saturday night, finding ways to kill time that don't involve drinking all the beer in the fridge and eating all the chocolate I got for Christmas.
Must. Keep. Hands. Busy.

Anway, I am someone who relishes New Years. I hate New Years Eve but I love that 1/1 is sort of a reset button. Yeah, I know one can "reset" any day of the year, but I like 1/1.

So 2009...

It is going to be a crazy one.

I have approximately three months to get two journal articles out (which will make up the results section of my dissertation). This would be easier if I actually had results. But of course, the data never looks like it should. Ironically this is one of my goals for the year:
I also have approximately three months to get my ass in gear for the National Half-Marathon in DC in March. I'm all registered, so it's official! Travelling always effs up my training, but I have no trips planned until the race, so maybe I can properly train for this thing.

So three months is my deadline because as I have mentioned before, I will be at sea for the entire month of April. On a 50 m long boat. So no running and no spring races, sadly.

Then I come back and have to go out to a big lake in northwest Iowa for two months for field work:
At the same time I actually have to get the dissertation put together in time to defend by the end of July. And then everyone will have to call me Dr. Danielle in Iowa.

I am also contemplating the Chisago Lakes Half-Ironman at the end of July. I'd really love to get a half-IM in before I leave Iowa and my training partners. But yeah, half-IM and defense in the same week? I'm not sure about that...

Then I'm free! At some point in August, I have to move my ass to Seattle. I am actually a bit excited for the road trip. I am going to go a little bit out of my way and drive through ND to Montana, just so I can cross ND off the list. Because really, when else am I ever going to get to ND? And then I have to cross the entire freakin' state of Montana. I have never been to Montana either, so I am looking forward to it. I plan on taking my time meandering through the state. I intend to move with just my station wagon with two bikes and two pairs of skis on the roof so hopefully I can take some time to enjoy the scenery:
Anyone want to road trip?

I also am finally going to take advantage of having a real job and real vacation time (instead of this weird mix of flexibility and obligation that is grad school) and go visit my sister in New Zealand and use my frequent flyer miles to go visit a friend in Colombia. I'm pretty sure it is not like Romancing the Stone anymore. That and I'll have a native tour guide.

So what does this mean for relaying? Well, I most definitely can't do anything before August. So that pretty much leaves two options - The Wild West Relay and the Ragnar DC Relay. If anyone wants to do either, let me know!

Running FAIL

Dear Resident at 1032 13th Street (and all similar offenders),

Maintaining an inch thick layer of ice on your sidewalk does not count as clearing it. Since many of your neighbors have managed to get it down to clear pavement, I presume you can do the same. Next time I fall on my ass outside your house, I'm totally suing - mostly because 13th street is a major road and wiping out there is pretty embarassing.

Love Danielle