When funding for academic research dries up…

…postdocs panic!!!ūüėģ

And then, hopefully shortly there-after, come to terms with the situation and focus their efforts on selecting the best course of action to take, selecting the career move that will best position them for career growth and advancement. NBD.:-/

As you may have gathered, this has been my reality for the past few months. The storm officially began in June when, due to financial constraints (for once this is actually true, not just another use of the classic excuse), my appointment was only renewed through the end of February rather than for the next 12 months. Despite the fact that we had all (1 PI, 5x post-docs and 1 MD/PhD student) been writing grants and fellowship proposals like mad, not a single new dime had come through in the last year.

Now I want to emphasize that this really is no ones fault, no one is to blame for the situation. This is simply the unfortunate reality of being in the business of academic research right now. Funding is difficult to come by cut throat  and positions/projects are anything but guaranteed.

Ok, so the $$ train was stalled but I still had until Feb, I still had 9 months — enough time to finish and publish quality research projects and hopefully find some funds to keep the work going. And that’s exactly what I did. In the midst of marathon training, marathon running, friends wedding-ing, sister wedding-ing, friends moving, biology teaching (inside a prison…this little baby will get her own post…), and Halloween celebrating (the very best holiday of all), I finished the research project that I’d been working on over the last year, submitted the paper for publication, and re-applied for the coveted NIH F32 postdoctoral fellowship.

Phew!!

I really did absolutely everything that I could. Which, PS, feels great in the end.

PPS. Thank god for the chemicals your brain secrets during times of stress that make the crappiest of times fade away into a not-as-bad-as-it-actually-was haze.

Unfortunately, as good as it feels to do your best, sometimes your best just isn’t good enough. I was not awarded the F32 this time either, not even close. In fact, the lab landed only one single new piece of funding (a fellowship for a most talented and deserving MD/PhD studentūüôā during the rest of 2014. So, as of March 1st, my postdoc days at Princeton are coming to an end.

Ok, What next? That’s what I was seriously asking myself from mid-October until the end of December. (It was actually more like OMG!!! WHAT THE EFF AM I GOING TO DO NEXT?!?! …but never mind.) Another academic pos-doc? Another small, private university, or back to my beloved public school life? East coast or otherwise? CA? NYC? Or what about industry? Pharma? Energy? Biotech? Consulting? Big business or small start-up? I¬†clearly¬†had no freaking idea what the hell I wanted to do next wanted to keep my options openūüôā

Regardless, step 1 is to start applying, and apply I did. I applied to postdocs and industry jobs…little private ivory towers and some of the largest companies in the world…from NYC to Boston to Missouri (don’t ask) to CA…healthcare, energy, biotech, and everything in between. I got a number of interviews (and even more rejects or noreplys) and in the end was blessed with making a most difficult decision.

So when I was first applying for postdocs at the end of my PhD (when I was applying to¬†the position here at Princeton) I had fallen head-over-heals in love with this¬†one particular group at Columbia University. Everything about it was perfect, the work was super interesting: cutting edge, diverse applications, a really good fit for me…forwhat I already know how to do and what I want to learn, it was in NYC, it was at a nice¬†university and the PI was/is amazing. ¬†Now, I was going through this application process during the fall of 2012…the fall that Hurricane Sandy had her way with the east coast…had her way with the island of Manhattan…had her way with the chemical engineering labs that reside in the basement of Mud Hall on the campus of Columbia University.ūüė¶ Consequently, my application to join the Banta Group¬†stalled out indefinitely as Scott and his group had to piece their professional livelihoods (and personal lives too quite frankly) back together during the months that were most critical for my interviewing. Damn.

In the end of course, I accepted my position here at Princeton, which has been a most excellent¬†growth opportunity for me overall. I really can not complain for a second about what-I-wish-had-been (aside from Friday nights when Princeton goes to sleep at 9 pm…but never mind…) But moving back to present time, this position is ending, I need a job, and *knock-on-wood*¬†the entire east coast has not recently been nailed¬†by Mother Nature. Hello Scott Banta.

Long story short is that I finally¬†went to interview with the Banta group. (Interview = chatting with Scott for a few hrs in the morning, giving my ~1 hr research talk over lunch to his group, meeting with collaborating faculty and group members and touring the lab and other department resources in the afternoon and then wrapping up with Scott again at the end of the day.) And it was¬†AMAZING.¬†Scott, his projects, Columbia, Harlem. I¬†loved¬†it all. Walking out of the department, through campus, and then on to the streets of my favorite city that day, I had made up my mind before I’d even reached Penn Station.¬†I was¬†finally¬†moving to New York!!¬†How wonderful the way things work themselves out in the end! Right?¬†Right?¬†Right?!?!

And then I went to Exxon.

My interview with the Banta group was on a Tuesday and my interview with Exxon was on the Thursday-Friday of that same week. I had decided in my mind what I was going to do by 5 pm on Tuesday night, no questions asked. But, out of respect for my Exxon interview, I had to hold off on officially accepting the position at Columbia-Banta until after Friday. It was a done deal though, Columbia-Banta was perfect, it was just a matter of going through the motions at Exxon. Or was it.

Again, long story short is that there is actually some really exciting¬†basic science research going on in industry! The resources are wonderful and the people are nice and smart and interesting… For me personally, this is¬†such¬†a unique experience relative to everything that I’ve ever done before (which, aside from a summer internship at a small pharma company, has been confined to academic research for the last 9 years), AND¬†they (Exxon) are interested in providing me with the research/training/publication opportunities/conferences/start-up funds (potentially) that would make me a really strong faculty candidate in ~2 yrs!!! WHAT!?!?

WHAT!?!?

Thinking (out loud…doing more listening than talking…on the phone with my former PhD advisor) about this in terms of building my career was what sealed the deal for me. Making the move from Princeton (after less than 2 yrs) to Columbia would¬†require an explanation (why go from one small, private, research university to another? can’t you get along with people? can’t you adapt to new places?).¬†Although I would also be doing energy-related research at Columbia-Banta, it would be very high-risk-(high-reward)…which does have it’s perks if things work out, but may not be the smartest gamble for a second¬†postdoc position…and would¬†much farther from any real practical application. In contrast, I would be doing cutting edge basic bio research¬†at Exxon that very well shape the way energy-related processes evolve over the next 20 years. AND¬†given the current cut-throat funding climate surrounding the traditional means of supporting¬†academic research (with public $$), it sure as hell wouldn’t hurt to make friends with one of the largest energy companies in the world (and seduce them¬†into supporting the start of/collaborating with my future academic research group). IMHO, the¬†current funding structure in academia is not sustainable long-term (long-term = the length of my careers). I may as well be one of the firsts to stick my neck out there and try to blaze a new path, right?¬†Right?!:-/

Anyway…to say the¬†very least, this was¬†SO¬†not what I was expecting! I had every intention of taking the weekend to think over¬†the decision and then, first thing on Monday morning, officially accepting with Scott. Which, in the end, is SO¬†not what happened.

Exxon made me a most beautiful offer that I would have been a complete idiot to refuse. After thinking things over for about a week, I sent the most painful break-up email to my beloved Scott and then officially accepted with Exxon to start March 1st.

With that, I am now in my final month here at Princeton. (OMG!) I’m afraid these next few weeks are going to fly by as one big whirling vortex. I am wrapping up some of my projects and preparing¬†others¬†to be passed on to/finished by those who will remain in the Brynildsen group…I am looking for a new apt near Exxon…AND I am trying to apply¬†this classic (but nondescript and surprisingly unhelpful)¬†“business casual” phrase in a serious close rehabilitation effort. So far all parts are going slowly:-/ However, I think I finally have all most enough experiments planned out for the next month, I will be apt hunting this Friday and Saturday, and I have successfully determined that no, large bleach stains/holes (in just about any article of clothing) are not generally just accepted/understood.

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East Hamptons, NY 2014

Date and time: September, 2014, 8:30 am

Location: East Hampton, NY.

The Hamptons, NY

The Hamptons, NY

Starting and ending at the school with a (more or less) out and back loop east along the coast.

Weather: Warm and still. ~75ish by the halfway point and sunny through the middle portion (like starting immediately after you vocalize that “this sun vs. shade situations is going to totally make or break my run today.” Oops.) And (apparently) a beautiful day for some cheer team members to survive a brief detour off course…

Hamptons Marathon-20140927-143-

Must have been rough…

 

Threads and treads: Asics tank and running skirt, swirls Pro Compression marathon socks, my favorite had-too-many-miles-on-them-a-while-ago (oops #2) Mizuno Wave Elixers.

Field: Mostly east coasters with a handful of out-of-towners in for the run and a fall weekend in the Hamptons. A smaller race with ~2500 5k runners, ~2500 half marathoners and ~500 running the full. The vast majority (read: all) of the field appeared to be long-time recreational runners and everyone was super friendly.

Support: There were 18-20 water stations or so with one Gu fueling station (that this genius missed). More water stations during the mid/end/entire/sunny part of the course would have been appreciated…but I’m afraid that is more of a personal issue as 20ish stops in 26 miles is more than reasonable.

Pre-race Expo: This was a very quaint and low-key expo. It was at held at the school gym (also the location of the race start and finish) and was basically a dozen or so folding tables around the perimeter of the gym servicing all three race distances (packet, t-shirt, bag and stocking cap…yup…that’s right…stocking cap…pickup, maps, pasta dinner (which we opted not to participate in), a (very few) vendors, etc…) Small, but suitable considering the number of entrance and the entrance $$.

Race start: The race started at 8:30 am from the school in (what I think is) the center of the East Hamptons. The marathoners and half marathoners went out first and then the 5k began shortly after. It was a very mellow start, there were a reasonable number of port-a-potties and I was lucky enough to find a lone one-off to the side with no real line, so that made everything look just a little bit more rosy meūüôā It was about 60F starting out, so arm warmers were nice to have, but not much more was necessary.

The Run: The run began by leaving the school and winding ~10 miles through the wooded, rolling hills of East Hampton, near the southern coast and out to the Eastern tip of the island. The middle ~6 miles were flat, but sunny and HOT (at least for this wuss). The final ~10 miles were back inland to the school, weaving around to get all 26.2 miles in.

I got to enjoy the first 6 miles or so with both Jen (who had an awesome first half marathon) and Martin (who had a perfect first full marathon). This was great. Jen split off with the other halfers at their mid-point leaving Martin and I to brave the warm, sunny, midsection of our course by ourselves.

The plan was to run 9:05 min/miles, a 4 hr finishing time. The idea was that if things slowed down for a few miles, there wouldn’t be THAT much catch up to do but that hopefully the pace would be ok and there would even be fuel in the tank for ramping it up at the end. Right. And in this case, right = wrong. At least for me.

By about that 10 mile mark, coming out of the rolling wooded area, I built up the never/concern to voice that “holding this pace is going to strongly depend on how much of this course is shaded. If I lose these trees, the wheels are coming off.”

And then we lost the shade.

I held on through the half way point and that was it. I was getting dizzy and metal-mouthed and I needed to slow down. (Hell, I wanted to lay down with a beer, but I don’t think that would have gone over so well with the rest of the crew.) I slowed down my pace to whatever felt ok and started walking not only through the water stops but also for a few (hundred) meters after/before.¬†I fell into a little group of women (spaced out over ~1/4 mile or so) that seemed to have the same plan as me. This was nice. There was pink t-shirt pacing/pulling me up ahead, and tape-girl behind, who had to stay behind.

Meanwhile, in Martin land, things were going great. Someone managed to hold on to those 9:05, kick it up a notch at the end for the perfect sub-4 hr finishing time for his first marathon.

Hamptons Marathon-20140927-134-

Ass hole. Just kidding…mostly…ūüėČ

I survived the second half of those hot middle miles, rather enjoyed the shaded rolling hills and the opportunity to drip sweat all over

Hamptons Marathon-20140927-140-

chit-chat with my cheer team every time I ran into their smiling faces along the course now that I had no hope of running any particular time. I was still quite irritated by the 3 or 4 course fake-outs where it seemed like we might be heading back into town for the finish only to be going out to an unshaded stretch along the coast for another mile or two instead.

The 25 mile mark did finally come, and then the 26 mile mark, and then the school after a final 0.2 miles and one final cheer team encounterūüôā

Hamptons Marathon-20140927-122-

Note: being a small, small-town race, the course was¬†not¬†closed to traffic. Not a huge deal, but something to be aware of such that you’re not surprised when you encounter these:

And a dog in a crate.

Post-Run: I was the last one of our crew to finish:-/ (thanks for sticking it out with me guys!!) so shortly after I arrived we snagged some group photos,

Hamptons Marathon-20140927-161-

a post-race message (the first one I’ve ever gotten, and god it felt great) and headed home for showers, an AMAZING lunch spread and some solid RnR for the rest of the day. We rented a little abode not far from the start using AirBnB¬†and I would absolutely, 110% recommend doing this. We had amazing digs

Secured private entrance

secured private entrance

Hamptons Marathon-20140926-030-

living and dining

rooftop patio

rooftop patio

that were super convenient and reasonably priced with a most excellent hostess.

Executive summary: Small, low-key, friendly, pretty. Not the fastest course I’ve ever done, but certainly not the slowest — and not at all unreasonable as long as you aren’t delusional about running above your fitnessūüėČ
Beautiful.

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Long lost Dr. Trot is back!

My god! It has been a long time! To be exact, it has been since the week before the Hampton’s Marathon (which was AWESOME btw, but we will do –although delayed — justice to that in a separate post).

Things have been crazy…no, CRAZY…no, CRAZY since then. CRAZY.

Long story short, these (most of which will get their very own individual post over the next few weeks) are what have been going:

End of September: Continue reading

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Hamptons Marathon Training – Week 18

Sunday 9/14

4 mi @ ~9/mi

A nice shake out run after yesterday. It’s amazing how good you feel the day after¬†when your weekend long run is 12 milesūüôā

Monday 9/15

rest

Tuesday 9/16

3 mi @ 8:22/mi — a great feeling evening runūüôā Taper = love.

Wednesday 9/17

Rest

Thursday 9/18

4 mi @ 8:08/mi
Dr. Trot made an embarrassing, bad, rookie mistake tonightūüė¶ The noises echoing inside of her head as she started off on her little, easy, 4 mi, 5th-to-last training run sounded something like this…

“Man, the legs feel fresh tonight! Yes, yes they do, what a great feeling! And it’s so nice and cool out! Yeah, this is the best running weather ever! Feeling great and perfect weather is a rare combo to come by, but you can run so fast when it happens! I wonder how quickly I could do this little 4 mile run. I know that I’m not supposed to run hard these last few weeks, I really don’t want to injure myself for the marathon. But come on, I’ve been doing this for so long…and it’s just 4 miles…and it’s such a nice night…and I SO feel like running fast…

And so we were off…running <8 min miles like an idiot for the first two miles. And then, upon slowing at the turn around point — BAMB!!¬†

All of a sudden there was this strange, stabby pain at the inside-top of my left knee. DAMN IT!! 

The conversation in my head continued again at this point, but very little to zero of that content is approprate for this family-friendly blog so I will leave it up to you to fill in the blanks.

It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t run, but it wasn’t normal. And that in itself is bad just over one week before a marathon. Anyway, I turned around, and hobbled home at a much more reasonable pace, taking little stretch + curse-myself-out breaks along the way.

Lesson learned.

Friday 9/19

rest

The knee is still sore. Dr. Trot is an idiot.

Also, PhD defense day for my buddy Dr. First! Congrats!

image

Congats Dr. First!

Saturday 9/20

8 mi @ 9:40 /mi (with Dr. T2)

It was a pefect, cool, beautiful morning for a run with my newest running buddy. Unfortuntely, I woke up feeling like I’d been eating sand paper all night and like the temperature was fluxtuatingn +/- 5F every 10 min or so.:-/ Great, just great. First, I go and run too hard a week before the marathon like a big rookie idiot and eff up the knee that I kind of need for the race, and then I come down with a cold/virus two days later!!!

P.S. By “great” I mean VERY¬†NOT COOL!!¬†:-(

Now, I wasn’t feeling bed-bound horrible so it was out the door for our 8 mi at 8 am in the beautiful fall day. I had high hopes that the workout and the elevated body temperature would actually help me head off whatever this is. (Not¬†totally¬†unreasonable…right…?) ¬†The good news is that the knee feels essentially back to normal. Yay! Thank god! The bad news however, is that I felt no better after the run and proceeded to deteriorate through out the dayūüė¶

Something has been going around at work and with my friends — a pesky little two day bug that makes you eat sand paper and enjoy irradic environmental conditions. Hopefully this little pest is all that I’m dealing with here¬†too! Either way, operation “GET BETTER NOW” has been initiated — lots of RnR, water, citrus, soup and hot tea with brandy, lemon and honey. And finger crossing.

Total:  19 miles

So. Yeah. A bad week.^2

1. Dumbass Thursday.

2. Sickward Saturday.

That being said, lets focus on the positive for now.ūüôā Which is: I’m SUPER excited about next weekendūüôā

The first out of town team member gets into town on Wed. night, which means I have effectively a 3 day week! (Don’t tell my bossūüėČ We will leave for Long Island on Friday morning/afternoon to try and make it out to the Hamptons at a reasonable time and meet up with the rest of the team. Hopefully Friday night won’t be too much of a scramble to get everything pulled together for Saturday morning. I’m actually quite interested to see how I’ll feel about this Saturday (vs. Sunday) marathon business.

Then yeah, the run is first thing on Saturday morning and then the recovery party is planned for Saturday afternoon – Sunday!ūüôā We’ll all depart Sunday afternoon, but (like the good post-doc that I am) I’ll be playing hookey on Mon and Tues, going on a post-run, 2-day, Long Island adventure with teammate M before heading back to reality.ūüôā

So, I have one week to not make any more bonehead decisions and to kick this sandpaper throat.

 

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Hamptons Marathon Training – Week 17

Sunday 9/7

6 mi @ 9:45ish
Another great early morning run with Dr. T2. In SUCH different weather though! Not that I’m complaining (no, no, not at all) but sooo much cooler and practically no humidity!! Where were you yesterday?!?! Also, it’s incredible what a difference it makes to have a buddy waiting for you to get your ass up and out the door on tired legs. I can only imagine how infinitely many more times I would have hit the snooze button if I had to get out and get the miles in alone. Thanks for making this morning happen Dr. T2!

Monday 9/8

image

Yummy!

Much needed (and deserved…IMHOūüėČ rest
+ equally important kitty cat cookie baking…

Tuesday 9/9

4.75 mi @ 8:50/mi
It’s crazy how good a <5mi run in low humidity feelsūüôā I’ll take it! Any day.

Wednesday 9/10

rest…see aboveūüôā
+ working late at home to the dismay of Princess Pheona…

image

Thursday 9/11

6 mi @ 8:49/mi
Again, such a “short” run in cool temps and dry air felt fantastic! Just call me Dr. Broken Record…

Friday 9/12

rest

Saturday 9/13

12 mi @ ~9:45ish/mi
Just to be consistent with the broken record theme…this was another fantastic cool, early morning, team-effort, stimulating-conversation-filled run with Dr. T2. It was a perfect way to start the weekend and taper!!

As I mentioned last week, you best stay tuned for the many great things to come during the adventures of Dr.T^2. I am going to¬†uncharacteristically¬†stick to my word by sharing Wait But Why¬†with you just one short week later. By the back-end of our run Dr. T2 and I had managed to blabber ourselves into a political conversation, dissecting what’s going on in the world right now (yes, we already know that we are¬†super¬†cool…but thanks for the reminder:) and Dr. T2 off-handedly mentioned “this great blog…but not a blog that I like to read…they post one really well researched/written article every Tuesday-ish on a wide variety of different topics…you should read the one from this week, it was on ISIS!!” From Muhammad to ISIS: Iraq’s Full Story¬†is the story, and it is really good! Well research and objectively written, it really helped clarify my hazy understanding of what’s going on and why in the Middle East right now. In the (not-unlikely) case that you have a better understanding of these topics than the lives-under-a-chemical-engineering-rock-sometimes-Dr.T, check out some of the other articles that are included in the archives¬†or the shed. Like I said,¬†the articles are well written and the topics are super broad — there is sure to be something there for you¬†to kill time¬†reading at workūüôā You’re welcome!

Total:  28.75 miles

As usual I have very little to report that you will find even remotely interesting. Running felt good all week thanks to the weather and Dr. T2! As The Hampton’s Marathon gets closer I’m getting more and more excited for the race and our little runner’s club weekend reunion! I’m just keeping the fingers crossed that this continues for the next two short weeks!!ūüôā

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Hamptons Marathon Training – Week 16

Sunday 8/30

18.5 mi @ high nines + a birthday brunch at Cafe 44 and a 7 mi birthday hike at Baldplate Mountain Perserve!

Even though I got an early start it was a rough one. SOOOO humid!¬†We survived though, with visions of omelets and pancakes and coffee dancing in our heads…

If you’re even in the Pton area and hungry,¬†Cafe 44¬†is an absolute top choice place to hit!

So, after a grueling 18.5 miles and a proper face stuffing, why not go get in another 7 mile hike at¬†Baldplate Mountain Preserve? This is actually the second time I’ve been here and while it’s not the most serious hiking terrain I’ve ever seen, it is a really pleasant place to go for an interesting, yet manageable, walk. And just to make sure¬†things were interesting, the sky decided to open up on us ~0.5 miles from the car!

 

Soaked!

Soaked #1! (P.S. Why are we smiling?!?!)

The torrential downpour pulled a lot of the humidity out of the air, which was nice, but it it’d efficiently¬†deposited the majority of it right on us, which was NOT nice! (…especially with zero towels in the car and slimy leather seats for the 30 min drive home…)

Monday 9/1

rest

Tuesday 9/2

7 evening (read: “dark”) mi @ 9:23/mi

Evening but still hotter than hell and HUMID. My clothes were totally soaked through by mile 3 and I¬†don’t think I’ve¬†had leg-sweat like that all summer — and at 8 pm!!

I totally¬†didn’t¬†need a¬†mirror to do inventory when I got back as going up the stairs I ran into my neighbor and:

Dr. T: Hello!

Dr. T neighbor: Wow! Did you just get back from the pool?

Dr. T: silence 

**In both of our heads I’m absolutely convinced the following reply was playing¬†“You idiot! We live above a Papa John’s! We don’t even have a laundromat, never mind anything even loosely¬†resembling a swimming pool for miles!!”

Dr. T neighbor: Actually, never mind. Don’t fall.

(Now this raises an interesting question. Does something about me just scream that I fall a lot, even with no immediate falling threats? Or, was I really that sweaty that Mr. Neighbor was concerned that I might slip on myself and fall down the stairs?)

Soaked #2!

Soaked #2!

Wednesday 9/3

rest

Thursday 9/4

8.34 mi @ 8:43/mi

Friday 9/5

rest

Saturday 9/6

22 mi @ 9:50ish/mi with my new awesome running buddy/mathematician Dr. T2!! :-D We started off before 6 and soaked (again) through our clothes before the sun was up.

P.S Pre-sunrise start times is a great excuse to dress head to toe like a fluorescent highlighterūüôā

Safety (and style) first :-)

Safety (and style) firstūüôā

East Coast humidity can be WICKED. I brought the camel back mostly full, re-filled it at just over the half point and then emptied it again by the time I was home. Having great conversation for 3 hrs first thing on a Saturday morning while getting the longest run of the training season out-of-the-way before 10 am is a wonderful way to start the weekend!

Stay tuned as I’m sure there will be plenty more to come regarding the adventures of Drs. T^2!

Total:  55.5 miles

Today was a good week!ūüôā Last Sunday was solid, the week went well, and the long run on Saturday was the best (and the LONGEST), although challenging, all season! Let’s hope this keeps up for the last 3 weeks of Hampton’s Marathon prep!

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Hamptons Marathon Training – Week 15

Sunday 8/24

rest

So, as it turns out, last week’s¬†move + yesterday’s¬†~18 miles takes a lot out of a person! I totally felt like I’d been hit by a truck today so no run for Dr. Trot today. Never mind that I’m not super stoked about the cold post-run shower that’d I’d get to enjoy…

Monday 8/25

rest

Yay! We got power and gas today! To celebrate these new-found luxaries,¬†the run got skipped for unpacking and furniture moving alternatives. There were some key finds that will make the next few days go much more smoothly…

image

Unpacking treasures!

Tuesday 8/26

9.3 mi @ 9:14/mi

¬†SOOOO….someone has been on¬†very¬†bad behavior over the last few days…

image

Beetle Shaming.

This¬†someone¬†began making the most horrific of growling noises shortly before we moved (great timing of course) — as if she was having an identity crisis and putting forth her very best efforts to masquerade as a Mac truck in San Francisco. She was doing such a good job that today we finally had to make a trip to the Union Line Garage today for a consult.

(P.S. These guys are AWESOME. They will give you a ride to/from work, pick up the car from work if that’s easier for you, give you a courtesey vehicle, etc… I suggested that they give¬†massive,¬†unjustified¬†discounts to poor post-doc customers, but for some reason they weren’t super receptive to this idea. Strange, eh? This is honestly my one and only complatint though. They are seriously fantastic!)

Anyway,¬†as it turns out, this (aforementioned) poor postdoc will be shelling out (a hell of a lot more than) a pretty penny for 1) a box of new precious metals and ¬†2) a pair of new tail feathers in order to transform this tempermental beast¬†back into the sweet purring Beetle that she’s supposed to be. (And to keep from single-handedly poluting the sweet NJ air at a rate comparable to the city of Newark, but never mind…)

Damn it.

Now as bad/frustrating/expensive/inconvenient as this¬†little¬†Beetle sized predicament is going to be, it all became SO MUCH¬†¬†WORSE when¬†I got out of the car (dropped off back at work by a gentleman from the¬†ULG…of course) and realized that I had left my cell phone (GPS on, eating up my data package at 100 mb/hr :-() hooked onto the dashboard of The Beetle at the garage!

DAMN IT!!

SOOOOO, today’s run was after work and it also¬†doubled as a cell phone + courtesey vehicle retrival mission. Aside from being WAY pissed off about the whole situation, it was actually a rather nice run through country roads and rolling hills. One that I’ll have to keep in mind for future¬†out-n-backs that need to be a bit longer and for when I get (even more) sick of runnign the same loops through town (and am 99.9% less fired up about shitty life issues.)

Wednesday 8/27

rest…

…and driving around in this beast of a NJ-soccer-mom-wannabe-Exxon-stockholder-wagon…

image

The Beetle replacement! Close, right?

 Thursday 8/28

5 mi @ who knows…per the more pressing issue of the week…

Today started out damn¬†expensive for The Beetle¬†mama. (See above.) As I pulled up to the¬†ULG¬†this morning the little parasite was waiting, good as new you can be for a 13 yr old Beetle. When I went in to sell my extra kidney¬†¬†pay the bill the other patrons waiting in the office had front row seats to the following theatrical performance…

ULG: So, she’s all ready to go!

Dr. T: grumble grumble grumble

ULG: We gave her a complementary wash and wax, inflated her tires and included a complementary 36 month warantee + roadside assistance package — just call this phone number if you ever have any trouble and we’ll take care of them for you. Oh, and we left some breath mints in the car.

Dr. T:¬†Thank you and thank you and wow, that’s actually quite nice, and¬†excuse me?!?!¬†

ULG: hehehe

Dr. T: Actually, did you vaccume her too? She could really use a good vaccuming, if you didn’t notice…

ULG:¬†Honey. It’s vaccuming that thing is going to take¬†at least¬†another few $xxxx repairs!

Dr. T:ūüėģ

ULG: And your antenna is broken.

Dr. T:¬†:-oūüėģ

ULG: Have a great day!!

Friday 8/29

8.5 mi @ 9:30ish/mi

A warm afternoon run that, all things considered, felt pretty good.

Saturday 8/30

rest

Total:  22.8 miles

Not great. Nope, not at all. It’s been a rough week though. From more ends than I care to think about. So, better luck next week Dr. Trot, better luck next week.

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