Monthly Archives: August 2013

Congrats Dr. Maroof!!

Last Friday my partner in crime defended his PhD 🙂

Congratulations Dr. JP!

A number of immediate perks of doing this include –

a) Dressing up in fancy clothes and talking for an hour (or however long you damn well please) about what you’ve invested the last 6 years of your life on, to an audience that is obligated to pay attention and act like they sincerely give a shit…

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b) Eating this for dinner…

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c) Spending the evening with your friends on a swanky rooftop…

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d) Having the biggest concern of your Saturday morning be whether your eggs benedict should come with salmon or crab cakes…

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Now PhD defenses always make you feel pretty special, but you know you’re really cool when have these three attendees in your audience…

Tolstoy

Tolstoy!

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The one-and-only DFR (pictured) AND Wolfie!! (The Wolf = not pictured; rather, snoozing away in the kind-of-pictured green stroller.)

The one little catch of this  situation is that after the lovely post-defense weekend it’s balls to the wall in order to —

  1. Finish paper and thesis revisions,
  2. Pass off everything to the next generation,
  3. Pack up and ship or sell everything that has been accumulated at Club 321 over the last 4 years by the end of the month and
  4. Ship off to Berkeley, CA with a few suit cases of clothes and a Penny cat.

Not that any of this is so horrible or anything…kind of like how drinking out of a fire hose can’t be that bad… Having survived the last 6 years however, I’m sure everyone will be fine.

So, CONGRATULATIONS DR. JP and best of luck with that fire hose over the next 3 days.

Has anyone shipped a shit-load of books (or stuff in general) across the country recently? Any great insight on what the cheapest options are?

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Week 6

Mon 8/19 – rest

After last week, I wasn’t about to do a damn thing today.

Tues 8/20 – 9 mi / 87:45 min

Thank you 5 am inoculation time  for forcing me to get my 9 miles in before 7 am. The bad news is that I spent >50% of the run scared (of being hit by a car and/or the boogyman that lives in the dark woods) and sporting arm warmers (PSA, it’s only August New Jersey!!!). The good news is that I felt pretty good overall (however I was moving rather slowly it turns out).

I forgot to mention this in Week 5’s post (I’m just thankful that thing made it up at all…), but as of Sunday night I’ve been rekindling my relationship with compression. I wore my beloved ProCompression marathon compression socks to bed on Sunday, to bed on Monday and then for my run this morning. Oh how I’ve missed thee… I don’t know how, but I had forgotten just how wonderful compression is during and after long runs (read: before, during and after any runs). As the weekly mileage and the long run miles continue building these pretty little things will be a regular component of the wardrobe (and as the temperatures hang out around 60F… :-/)

Wed 8/21 – rest

Thurs 8/22 – rest

Fri 8/23 – cross – 3 hrs dancing at Brothers

Sat 8/24 – cross – 1 mile (hungover) walk

Sun 8/25 – rest

Total mileage = 9 miles :-/

Hmmmmmm … what exactly does Dr. Trot have to say for herself? It was an awesome weekend and to hell with the schedule for a few days?!?! Yup. That pretty much sums it up. I brought my running gear to MN and I honest to god, cross my heart, fully intended on running 4 on Friday, 7 on Saturday and 10 on Sunday. And then none of that even came close to happening. Oh well. I’m not going to try to make up the miles (well, maybe a little) and I’m not going to try to cram in extra work outs this week. Life will go on, all fitness is not lost and Dr. Trot will just hobble back onto where she ought to be on the training schedule and shut up about it…or at least with out too much complaining (i.e. there aren’t that many people out here that feel obligated to listen to my bitching yet)

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PHL:1, EWR: negative 9 gazillion (+ please help!)

So Dr. trot likes to think that she learns from most of her, however rare, less than genius decisions (I can image your surprise, but they do exist). Today has provided a particularly lovely example of this…

1. Decide when you “should” leave for the airport and then tack on an extra 2×30 min.
2. Print directions for the parking lot you plan to use, pull said directions up on GPS and then call said parking lot to confirm that they are in fact where aforementioned sources claim. (3 of 3 must match before proceeding.)
3. Do not, under any circumstances, go anywhere near Newark, NJ, much less the abyss known as EWR.
4. Instead, proceed to PHL for an on time (or at least well above 2 standard deviations from the mean) flight to MSP (or some other second class city if you must I suppose)
5. Wait until your ass is actually planted in your most comfortable seat and the aircraft has reached a cruising altitude before you start making claims about that being your current status
6. Fire up the MP3 player so you can curse, rather that Applause, your supposed bestie for releasing the most atrocious new single your buddy Rihanna can keep you company for the flight

And with that, my ass is firmly plated on a MSP-bound airplane for what should be a most exhausting exciting weekend back home. 🙂 I mean really, why wouldn’t one take the weekend of their partner in crime’s PhD defense and cram it full with a meeting with the former boss, a reunion of childhood friends and a wedding reception. Do the ~20 miles need to be included in that list too? I guess I just assumed that they were…well…just assumed…

As if the weekend isn’t going to be packed with enough action, I think/fear that the flight home actually be the icing on the cake. Why is this, you ask? Well, it’s because Pheona is moving to New Jersey! 🙂 Now I couldn’t be more excited to have my baby back “home” with me. (Until I buck up and at least get license plates, I think I can still use “home” instead of home. But, little Pheona has taken advantage of every possible previous opportunity to prove that she is an absolute terror when it comes to vehicle rides. As you’re assuming that I’m being dramatic/exaggerating/being a big baby, I’ll have you know that she has destroyed not one, but TWO (sorry Penny) soft-sided pet carriers and is diligently working to break down the hard sided dog carrier that she has since been chauffeured in.

The current plan of action is freshly trimmed nails, a kitty cat harness for going through security, a kitty cat dose of Benadryl (trial run tonight), and a stiff drink for mama once we are all aboard. For anyone with more experience than I with this sort if thing (that is experience > ZERO), HELP!!! Any suggestions, advise, recommended dos or do NOTs would be much much much appreciated.

And with that…please power down and stow all portable electronic devices…blablabla…and HELLO MINNEAPOLIS!! 🙂

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Week 5

So this is just a little late (see 8/18 entry and future Week 6 entries for explanation) but it’s the long story short of last week…

Mon 8/12 -13 mi / 127 min
Getting up and out of bed to start an experiment at 5 am is horrible a great way to motivate a morning run. It was cool and calm and beautiful out. And damn do I feel accomplished after getting a half marathon in before 8 am! Who needs to work for the rest of the day after that. Oh yeah…I do… :-/

Tues 8/13 – 3.9 mi / 36:40 min

I was quite worried after yesterday’s run that I’d hardly be able to put one foot in front of the other today, much less at a reasonable pace. Luckily my feeds were unfounded. I wasn’t exactly breaking any land speed records, but I felt good…legs and lungs. Coolish (high 70s) and calm

Wed 8/14 – rest

Thurs 8/15 – 9.4 mi / 86:17 min

A nice cool morning run (once I finally dragged my ass out of bed…and despite ending up on the highway for almost a mile (surprisingly NJ commuters do no appreciate this) long after I was too far out to turn around). While it is VERY annoying to not have ample lighting out on the country roads in the lovely Garden State, once the sun is up and cooperating they are really a beautiful place to run (minus aforementioned highway)

Fri 8/16 – rest (i.e. what was intended to be a very civilized Make Your Own Sushi Night)

Sat 8/17 – 14 mi / 136 min (11.25 road, 2.75 TM)

After what turned out to be one hell of a Make Your Own Sushi night / a shit load of gin drinking night at Dr. S’s, the morning 14 mile buddy run came no where close to happening. (Unless you count sleeping in until almost 11 when you set your alarm for 7:30 a 14 mile run…in which case I need to move to the universe that you live in!!) All was not lost however. In fact, Dr. Trot is quite proud of herself as she got in all 14 miles (solo) later in the day. Despite getting horribly lost (despite writing the detailed directions in sharpie on my arm…who knows…who the hell knows…)

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it was a good run. It was long, but I really can’t seem surprised about that, can I? Getting out around 6 ment that I had 2 hrs of sunlight left (thank you NJ with your early setting sun and complete lack of freaking street lights) so I got just over 11 done on the road and then sucked it up and went in to finish up the remaining 2.75 on the TM. I was pleasantly surprised about how only mildly aweful this last part was. At least that’s what I keep telling myself…

Sun 8/18 – 7 mi / 66 min

I was quite worried about getting the legs to turn over (and then not losing my mind from boredom in the event that I did get going) after yesterday’s long run. But all went well! I was able to sneak the miles in during experiments in the afternoon. Cool (high 60s) and damp with a very short, light short shower.

Total mileage = 40.3

So this week was good. All of the workouts felt good: no new aches or pains and no worsening of the ones that are already here. Felt strong at the end of just about every run (this is big for Dr. Trot). Unfortunately Dr. Trot lied last week and did not find (much less engage in) her plan for strengthening her core, abs and/shoulder. Next week!

Now of ourse this weeks mileage was really way too high, but with the make up long run on Monday, the miles were at least spaced out as inch as possible by front and end loading. Fortunately, even with the excessive milage, I felt fresh at the beginning of each run and never really felt like I was running on empty by the end. Lucky? Denial? Both? That being said, I’d really like to keep the long run consistently on the weekends though in order to avoid this in the future. Good luck to me. (Likely to be explained in Week 6.)

Threads – running, skirts, shorty socks and Mizunos (Wave Creation 11s for the trails AND the Wave Elixer 6s) for the roads

And again, due to my delinquency…

Any favorite core exercises to share?

Any favorite stretches that make a huge difference for you?

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Food news

So I was hard at work today again (of course) and came across some wonderful food and running related info on Runners World that I can’t help but share…

First of all…

Eat This Now: Blueberries
In season June through August.
By Yishane Lee;
July 18, 2013

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Good for You
Nothing beats a bowl of fresh blueberries for flavor and juicy sweetness. These tiny fruits are nutritional powerhouses, delivering one of nature’s highest counts of antioxidants with just 84 calories per cup. U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers have found the berries’ antioxidants may improve cholesterol, boost cardiovascular health, and build strong bones.

Get the Best
Blueberries should be plump and firm, with a uniform blue color and powdery bloom (wild blueberries from Maine and Canada are smaller than their cultivated cousins and have a tangier taste). Avoid soft, squishy, or wrinkled berries; stained or leaking containers can indicate the fruit is old. Store blueberries for up to 10 days in the fridge. Do not wash them until ready to use.

Kitchen Simple
Appleman cooks blueberries into a sauce to intensify their flavor: In a pot, combine a handful or two of berries with a little honey. Stir over low to medium heat until they break down and become thick and syrupy, about five minutes. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and chill. Drizzle the sauce over yogurt or ice cream.

Sold! I love it when my favorite websites endorse my ~$30/month addictions…

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And then…

25 Great Snacks for Runners
Sport nutritionists recommend the best between-meal noshes.
July 31, 2013

Do you need a midnight, mid-afternoon, or mid-run snack to get through the day?

We know we do. Let’s face it: three square meals are no match for a runner’s appetite. The good news is that eating small meals throughout the day not only silences your grumbling stomach, but can also aid in weight loss. From soybeans to gummy bears, we’ve got 25 runner-friendly foods that can be eaten (in snack size) whenever hunger comes knocking.

From Eat Like a Genius: Nutrition for Runners, one of more than a dozen free training guides available from Runner’s World.

Now 25 is a big number for Dr. Trot so I have no intention of going through each and every item on this list. But, don’t worry, all is not lost. Here are a few of my favorites…

1. Bananas
Why they’re good: Bananas are chock full of good carbohydrates. They are a good source of vitamin B6 and are vital for managing protein metabolism. (Runners need more protein during and after workouts.)

When they’re good: Before, during, or after exercise. They’re great blended into a fruit smoothie. Or simply whip frozen banana chunks with milk in a blender for an awesome recovery shake.

Calories: 105 per medium-sized banana.

2. Carrots
Why they’re good: Carrots are low-calorie but filling, so they’re excellent if you’re watching your weight. They contain carotene and vitamin A, which promote eye health and strong immune function.

When they’re good: Eat them at night when you want something to munch but don’t want extra calories. Or eat them before dinner if you’re famished. This way, you won’t overindulge once you sit down for your meal.

Calories: 30 to 40 per medium-sized carrot.

NO! DON’T DO IT!! CARROTS ARE DISGUSTING!!!

11. Fruit Popsicles
Why they’re good: This refreshing low-calorie treat is loaded with vitamin C, which fortifies your immune system and helps boost iron absorption.

When they’re good: They’re great any time, but they’re best immediately after a tough, hot run.

Calories: 75 per 3-ounce frozen fruit/juice bar.

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17. Rice Cakes English Muffins with Peanut Butter
Why they’re good: Rice cakes are low in calories, most of which come from energizing carbohydrates. Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and heart-healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. It also contains vitamin E, which helps with muscle recovery.

When they’re good: A perfect stick-to-your-ribs snack for mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

Calories: 225 per one rice cake with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.

Please note, the title of #17 has been amended for my Dr. Trot’s sanity. Bastardizing the amazing substance that peanut butter is by pairing it with a rice cake is beyond my comprehension.

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22. Gummy Bears
These fun, tasty, fat-free snacks are easily digested and provide a quick hit of carbohydrates. Many runners swear by Gummy Bears when they need a quick pick-me-up on long runs or during marathons. And try a few on those afternoons when your energy sags.

Calories: 130 per 1.4-ounce packet.

Nutrition Tip: After exercise, even if you have no appetite, get something in your stomach.

Amen!

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24. Microwave Popcorn
Unbuttered or slightly buttered popcorn is low in calories (mostly from carbohydrates), yet filling. It’s perfect when you crave a salty food but don’t want many calories.

Calories: 80 to 100 calories per 2 cups (popped).

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And with that, I think I’m going to go for a run find myself something to eat!

Any other personal favorites out there that didn’t make the list?

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The Hyperloop

While hard at work today, I came across this lovely little proposal written by my buddy Elon Musk. In this he suggests an alternative to the rather disappointing mass transit rail system approved in California for connecting the cities of San Fran and LA.

In his 57 pg document, Musk starts with a very general popular science discussion of the problem at hand and his proposed solution. He then goes on to back up his suggestions with a number of diagrams and calculations (that are beyond may abilities to be at all critical about). There are, however, many people who do feel plenty qualified to take Musk’s proposal apart, throw it on the ground and stomp on it (or perhaps run it over with a train).

Do you think it could work? I have no idea, but I think it sounds AWESOME!

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Sweet deals

Check out the sweet deals on ActiveGearUp right now.

1. Loads  of Timbuk2 bags, duffles, totes, wallets, etc… are on sale for over 60% off.

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While I probably definitely shouldn’t admit this, I have three of these lovelies and absolutely adore each of them. If you need a sporty, yet stylish yet somehow professional looking and very functional (THEY ARE WATERPROOF!!) bag/wallet/whatever, these are the way to go. You can pick your style size and customize its appearance to be exactly the way you like (on the Timbuk2 website…not ActiveGearUp…but for wicked cheep, the standard ones on ActiveGearUp are fantastic)

2. Sigg bottles are on sale for over 60% off.

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These are great for the environment and for keeping hydrated. There are a bunch of different sizes and colors/patters available on ActiveGearUp right now, some for under $8! Save a fish or two and stay properly hyrdated with one (or two) of these!

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