Saturday, March 31, 2012

San Diego Recap - part 1

Hello everyone!!

I have returned from sunny San Diego and I am burnt tanner than I left! The adventure started a week ago when I flew to SD. My trip was very uneventful and I got to my room at the Holiday Inn - On the Bay by about 10pm. I should have gone to sleep right away b/c I was going to be up very early in the morning but was too excited and didn't fall asleep til after 11. Boo!

My 5am wakeup call came very early and I put on all of my gear that I had laid out the night before. I took the trolley to the race start, along with many other runners. There were even a handful of them at the stop where I got on, so I knew I was in the right place!! It was still dark until just before the race.

The 5K started at 6:45 and the 15K didn't start until 7:15. The race started right on time and I was in Corral C.

The course was mostly beautiful and full of all sorts of interesting smells. From very strong flowers in people's yards to garbage/ homeless people that we ran past. Here is a view of the city at the start of the last downhill after mile 8.

The FINISH!!! 2:05:38!!

The goods that I worked for!

I was hoping/ supposed to meet up with SR and Sarah OUaL but things didn't work out and I didn't get to meet them. I was pretty bummed but this only means that I will have to go to Cali again and meet them for real!

The view from my room!

Hello giant cruise ship!

The Midway

I left the race and took the trolley back to my stop after riding it one stop in the wrong direction. No, I do not want to go to Tijuana thanks! I got back to my room all stinky and showered and went to my interview at the conference by 1pm. It was about a half hour long and went well and they want to fly me to Columbus, OH in the near future for an on-site interview!! YES!!

After the interview, I came back to the room and changed b/c I couldn't wear my neon green compression socks with my black skirt and put on comfy clothes and walked around.

Monday, I was supposed to go whale watching but due to a big storm coming in on Sunday, I rescheduled it for Wednesday.
For breakfast, I went to a Creperie in Little Italy and then my first Chipotle experience for lunch.

Lemon & sugar crepe

Chicken burrito bowl

 Instead, that afternoon I went and got my nails done with a Groupon I got for after my whale trip. I took the trolley and then a bus to get there.

The rest of Monday was spent at the conference or wandering around SD. I ended up at an Indian restaurant for dinner!!

Punjabi Saag with Naan and rice!

Galub for dessert!

That night, there was also a Grad Student/ Post Doc reception that the ACS put on and I enjoyed meeting some new to me nerds!

Tuesday, I went to the conference and listened to the PhD Comics guy give a talk and then went to a Luncheon for the Women's Chemist Committee and a prof from my school was being honored and gave a talk.

I came back to the room and changed out of my dress clothes to something more normal, took a little nap and then wandered along the water and ended up in the Gaslamp District. 

The convention center from the trolley stop

The aircraft carrier, the Midway

Petco Park

The Gaslamp District

I had some pre-dinner (froyo) and then met up with some other people for dinner at the Fish Market.

My first Pinkberry!

The menu

clam chowder

Calamari with sweet potato fries

John being frustrated with his dinner

After dinner, I was lame and went back to the room but it was about 10pm and I was tired from all of the walking. And I needed to get some rest b/c Wednesday was going to be a big day!

Have you ever been to SD? Where did you go? What did you do?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I gave it a good caulking!

Geeze people! I'm talking about my tub! Haha!! Things have definitely been crazy around here and I realized that because the Rec Center closed at 7 and I didn't get to work out as much as normal, I was crabby!

ignore the water stains... I'm working on those
I got a nice little workout in on Friday by doing 800 repeats on the middle school track that is by me. I didn't get many done (2) because it was getting dark and cold and the wind was picking up. So I took myself to Safeway in an attempt to get some $5 Friday fish (this is try #2) and again they were out! I asked the guy when I had to come to get some and he said they were out by 5pm when he got there! At this rate, I will never have $5 Friday fish!

Do you have Friday Fish Frys where you live? I grew up with them b/c we lived in a predominantly Italian Catholic community and they were year round, not just during Lent. My family isn't Catholic but it has evolved into a Friday tradition for us and I miss it b/c restaurants around here don't do it and think I'm crazy when I tell them about it. I dunno.

For St. Patty's Day, I spent the day working on my Introduction chapter at the good 'ole Thomas Hammer coffee shop and then let myself have some fun that evening. Erin and I went to Lewiston to go roller skating!!

Sunset on the drive down

These were not comfortable and probly older than me!

Dinner! chicken strips and sweet potato tots!

My dessert and SPD splurge. So good!

At Safeway, I got some Buitoni pasta to try out b/c I had a coupon and it was on sale. Turns out, it is AMAZING!! It's definitely pricey but sooooo good! I got the Chicken and panchetta tortellonis and the wild mushroom stuffed agnelottis. I'm fairly certain I butchered the spellings of both those pastas, but you get the point. I paired them with some Spinach and cheese sauce and enjoyed it during BL on Tuesday. Yes, I'm still watching that show b/c I love it and wouldn't know what else to do on a Tuesday night. It's bad enough that Parenthood is over but I'm kind of enjoying Fashion Star. It's like Project Runway but my version since I only have 20 channels of cable b/c I'm cheap/ poor.

Stir fry earlier in the week

Jack hanging out
Jack being lazy with me

Tuesday, while everyone at home was enjoying beautiful warmer than normal weather, this is how I got to welcome in Spring! But Heif liked it...

Thank you Palouse!
Then last night, I shot this lovely. I don't know who she thinks she's fooling but the toilet is no place to hide!


Today, I woke up with some swollen lymph nodes behind my ear. As the day went on they didn't get any better so I stopped by Student Health. It turns out that the raging zit that I have in my hair is infected and caused my lymphs to go up. This resulted in me getting a weeks worth of antibiotics. Poop!

I was planning on going to the gym, but since my recent health development, I think I'm going to stay home and chill and maybe start packing. I leave on Saturday and the big race is on Sunday!! I can't wait to meet all the famous bloggers that I love to read!!

Are you going to the Hot Chocolate race in San Diego? How about the ACS conference? I present on Thursday if anyone is still around. Email me! I love to meet new people!

What do you think of the new blog header/ picture?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dissertation Woes

I wanted to call this post Dissertation Blows Woes, but Blogger wouldn't let me use the cross out thingy in the title...

If you might have guessed from the title of my post, I have been fighting with MS Word for the last 3 hours or so to make sure the page numbers and formatting of my first few pages of the document that will be my thesis is correct for the Graduate School. Needless to say, I cursed them and Word a lot. Then I figured out that I can't just copy and paste and then format, I have to format as I go! Why did no one ever tell me this?! RAWR!!!

To add to my poopy mood, I was going to go to the gym to run but since it's Spring Break, they are only open til 7pm. It is now 5:47 and I am a 10 min walk from my car and I have to change still. I've deemed it not enough time to change, walk to my car and drive to the gym before 7pm to get enough time to get a proper workout in. I guess they will sit here until Friday b/c tomorrow is group meeting from 5-7 and Thursday, Erin and I are going to Steak Night b/c I don't have my regularly scheduled class at the Rec.

To add to my poopy mood more, it's almost double the temperature and sunny at home while it's freezing and snowing/raining/hailing/ ice balling here. Humph!

Ok. Enough grumpy... Here's what I've been up to lately...

In 11 days, I will be leaving this weather wasteland for the sunny/ warm shores of San Diego for a Nerd Conference. Not only will I be subjecting myself to the presence of other nerds (joking) but I am running the Hot Chocolate 15K on the morning of the 25th while I'm there. I'm hoping to run fast and meet up with SR and my YSU fellow alumni Sarah OUaL after. But it might have to be a quickie meet up b/c I have an interview scheduled for 1pm at the conference. An INTERVIEW!!! YAY!! Then the next day was going to be slow for me at the conference, so I bought a Groupon to go Whale watching for 3 hours for a whopping $9!! Thanks Groupon!! The rest of the week will be spent nerding it up and trying to land a job.

In 19 days, I will be participating in Run with Jess's Jelly Bean Virtual Race. I signed up to do the 10K and 5K during the week of April 1. Head over to her website and see if you can still sign up. It's free and there are lots of sponsors/ prizes!! I'm excited for this one and hoping that the weather around here is better by then!

Then, on April 22, I have the WSU 100K relay again . I am going to be leg #3 of The Nerd Herd Team 1. How awesome is it that we have enough people in the Department to make up 2 teams of 10 runners?! I have a longer leg this year of 7.9 miles and it's all downhill. Yipes! I imagine some major soreness they day after. Hello compression!!

Then, May 6th, I have what will most likely be my last Bloomsday Race. And I'm calling it my last race until I graduate. This will give me time to focus on finishing things up and moving on to my next chapter, whatever it may be (hopefully to Wisconsin).

In recent happenings, Friday night, Erin and I got our nails done. I only got my toes done and went with a sparkly purple but here are my fingers that I got done a week ago.

light pink
Then we went to Gambino's for dinner and both were good. I had an iced tea b/c I hadn't consumed enough tea for the day and a GI-Normous Italian salad with all the goodies all over some warm flatbread.

 I saved room for dessert and we had these... 

We were going to a movie but had some time to kill, so we went and walked around the mall for a bit. Then, we went to see...


It was crude, hilarious and had lots of nudity. I think Erin and I laughed out loud the whole movie but it was ok b/c there was only 1 other person in there! :) I would suggest this movie if you need a good laugh and don't mind the natural form.

Saturday, I was good and went to work in my gym clothes, worked for an hour and went to the gym. Only to find out that my instructor didn't show. I sadly went back to school and worked on finding a hoard of papers for my Introduction chapter of my thesis.

I left a bit earlier than I normally would have b/c I had to take Heif to the DIY Groomer station at Zelda's. He was a giant baby and we had to pick him up to get him on the table and in the tub but he has the down direction pretty good. I power dried him and he turned out like this!

I took a bitty nap and then got real clothes on b/c Erin and I were going out again tonight. This time, we were headed to Beasley Coliseum to watch the Rolling Hills Derby Dames Roller Derby Bout!!!

It was lots of fun and I learned about how they keep score. Erin is interested in learning the ropes and is going to their next open practice in April.

After, we went and had Cougar Country and then went out to a bar and met the girls at the after party. Erin talked to some of the girls and we left about 1am... and then DST happened! UGH!

I was good friends with my couch and in my PJs til about 5pm when I got dressed to go to Walmart for produce for the week... I guess I didn't really have to change. :)

Enough blabbering from me...

Do you have any races or fun/ exciting things coming up?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

PR in the HM

First of all, a giant thank you goes to everyone that continues to check out my blog even though my posting has significantly dwindled. I can't believe the days when I had time to blog every day or at least M-F. Now, It's after 7pm and I'm still at school and decided to blog. I will warn you, this will most likely be a long one, but that means I have lots to catch you up on. Right?!

Last time I blogged, was over a week ago, so not as bad as I had thought. I guess I'm shooting for a 1 or 2 times a week post and will feel better about things.

Way back on Feb. 25, Erin and I made our way to Spokane in a blizzard even with roads being closed. Here is the aftermath of the storm. 3 inches of snow in a matter of hours! But what a pretty sunset!

photo courtesy of Erin

We didn't end up going ice skating because of the weather, but that was only $8 of Groupon lost, so I'm ok with it. We did end up using the Groupon for the Laguna Cafe on the South Hill of Spokane. I had an amazing salad that I didn't finish and Erin had a burger, but we made sure to leave room for dessert!

chocolate death cake!

The next night, after Erin had gone snowboarding for the day, we went to a concert at school that was supposed to be a month ago but was rescheduled. We got to see Rob Schneider!! YOU CAN DO IT!!

This is a horrible picture but he really is short in person!

He was pretty funny and went on longer than I had expected. It snowed again while we were at the concert and was super icy, so Erin's car couldn't make it up my crazy hill and I had to walk up it to get home. Haha.

I worked on using some of my Amazon gift card from Mother and decided on a new dvd rack b/c my old one was filled and the dvds were piling up on the floor. While I was building it, Immy was of course playing in the box.

finished and room to spare!

After Erin went to Jess's abs class, she tried her famous pb protein bars and decided to make some. I had yet to try the magical bars but Erin made some and they were amazing!! So of course, I had to make some too! I had a slight miscalculation of ingredients and ended up making a 1.5 sized batch. Just for reference, 16 oz. of honey is not one cup, it's 2!! Doh! But these bars are amazing and I have been eating them and sharing them like crazy and still have half a pan.

chia goodness
During the week, we had another crazy snow storm that seemed to just circle over Pullman and dumped a good inch or so. I was down working in the organic lab, so I had to run outside and take a picture. It was really coming down!

Since I bought new vanilla flavored protein powder, I had to try it out in my protein oats after the gym on Thursday. This is vanilla protein powder, 1/2 c. oats, spoon on pb and apricot preserves and chia seeds. It was quite yummy. I think I like the vanilla protein powder better than the chocolate. The horror! I know!

Friday was the day before my big HM #3. (Just getting to the post title, I know!) I went and got my nails done. Erin's dad was super sick and in the hospital, so she couldn't go. I was desperate and went by myself. They are now sparkly, girly pink and they look really fake b/c they are grown out a bit and you can see the tips. I'll take a picture. I promise. 

After getting my nails done, it was about 7pm and I was hungry. I decided that I was going to hit the chinese buffet to carb load. I ended up having one big plate of food and a second measly plate of fruit and little things. I used to be at least a 3 plate-er at the buffet. I guess my stomach has shrunk b/c I was almost uncomfortably full from what I did eat. I think the inner fat girl in me won on this one.

plate #1 with egg drop soup

When I got home, I was so full that I fell asleep on the couch at 8 and woke up at 10:30 to only relocate to my bed b/c the big half was in the morning. I had everything set out and washed, so I was good to go.

I wore my new running shoes and socks, my new Fila gray capris and orange waterproof jacket with my black and pink 26.2 unicorn shirt and a long sleeve tech shirt from the Akron half. I put on my glove liners too. It was a big chilly but was perfect once I got going. And then the wind started!

starting line... kind of

in a valley

see the Snake River?

The race started right at 10am and was warm for here for this time of year. It was about 50 degrees and felt lovely. The race was a down and back and on the way out there was a head and tail wind. It kept changing as the course went along. It was a beautiful race along the Snake River in the Canyon.

my view

I was feeling strong until about 8.5 miles and hit a big wall. I was using Sport Beans to fuel myself and took 2 beans every 2 miles b/c a whole pack is only 100 cals and I had brought 2 packs with me. I took a few extra at this wall and was good until about mile 10 when the wind hit me! I think I was lucky to still be moving in a forward motion it was blowing that bad. I had significantly slowed down but was running out of gas. 

The aid stations were about every 2 miles which was nice. I picked up my pace and found a new gear about mile 11 and powered through the aid station at 12. I hit another wall about 12.5 but powered through til the end. When I got to about the 13 mile marker, Jessie told me that I had about 2 minutes left to finish before the 3 hour mark, which was my ultimate goal.

I finished with a chip time of 2:59:39 and a Garmin time of 2:59:02. I was under 3 hours and about 3 minutes faster than my previous PR time of 3:02:12 that I did at my first half in Akron,OH.

Here are my splits. They aren't impressive but you can tell where I was feeling good and powering through and where I hated life.

The map

The splits

After the race, Kara drove Jessie and me to my house and I hobbled into the house. I took a shower and promptly put my recovery socks and APS compression shorts on and took a nap. Erin and I went to a boxing thing that night, followed by a giant salad and bread twist at Sella's and some froyo to cap off the day!

Sunday morning, I went to a baseball game because it was beautiful again and got to sit next to Jess and her Wive's Club of the baseball coaches/ staff. I felt like I was sitting with the important people! :)

The rest of the day was spent being a bum and trying to hobble around. By Monday, I was pretty much not sore at all. I think I am officially in love with my compression gear. Does any one make a full body suit of it? :)

I was very happy with this race and knew I would have done better had I been more on top of my longer runs, but life happens and then you power through it!!

Have you done any races lately?

Chocolate or vanilla protein powder?