Monthly Archives: November 2013

Week 18 + 1

Mon 11/18 – walking normally but allowing stairwell descents to be a bit of a spectator sport

Prying myself out of bed was not the easiest or prettiest this morning. Thankfully nothing really hurts but the quads are strung high as an assistant professor at an Ivy League institution (but let’s save that for another day). My sweet new shirt and chauffeur hat (Thank you Drs. Hill!! 🙂 from the weekend did ease the pain a bit though. Or, maybe it was the vat of Ben-Gay that I bathed in…hmmm… In related news, my office mates love me.

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Overall things are just fine. I do find the following to be helpful for speeding up recovery the first few days after a marathon, today included…

1. Make a point to keep moving to help loosen things up and prevent stiffness from setting in. Get up and move around at least every 30 min or so if you’re shackled to a desk by chains masquerading as an NIH proposal (or any other detestable pile of papers)
2. Carefully rub out sore muscles (+\- Ben-Gay as your office mates and housemates sense of humor allows) and ice swollen parts.
3. Ideally after #2, carefully stretch out the legs, arms, back and whatever other parts are being egocentric. Apply more ice as appropriate. With any luck you’ll see yourself making progress here over the course of the day.
4. Drink lots of water and snack on fruits, veggies and whole grains as hungry. I always find myself feeling dehydrated and hungry when I wake up the morning after (imagine that 😉 Taking in lots of fluids and healthy, easily converted to energy, fuel seems to alleviate some of the problems.

Tues 11/19 – walking and stairs 

See yesterday’s post above (minus the outfit…In an uncharacteristic series of moves I showered and changed clothes on a day with no running)

Wed 11/20 – rest

I’m feeling just about back to normal today (loose definition of “normal”of course) aside from the growing F32 pain in my ass…

Thurs 11/21 – writing like a mad scientist

Please refer the latter part of Wed’s post (i.e. last 4 words). Thank you Dr. B.

Fri 11/22 – writing x-(

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See former part of Thursday’s post (i.e. first 7 words and 1 number). Dr. B, you have successfully climbed to the top of my list. Congrats.

Sat 11/23 – 6 mi 🙂

Not my prettiest 6 miles, that’s for sure, but it was great to peel my ass off of my desk chair and get the legs turned over. I felt a little heavy overall but no big pains or tight spots 🙂 The lungs started their protest only a few miles in, but in their defense they are less than a week off of a pretty respectable fight and it has gotten chilly (45F) and drier. I’ll need to stay tuned into these changes as I form my winter/maintenance/building plan.

And of course, more writing…

Sun 11/24 – F32

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Total mileage =  6 mi

I’m very happy with my recovery. No injuries, not any real soreness as of Wed and a run that was (quite frankly) not much worse than many 6 milers I’ve run this season.

Ok, so what next?

Well, between now and Dec. 8th there won’t be a whole hell of a lot of time for anything besides writing this lovely wretched F32 NIH postdoctoral fellowship application that I keep referring to. I have queue of items for which I need to write posts and said fellowship has taken a number. (Hopefully I’ll get to it before I’m back here complaining about not getting it.) In short an “F32” is a funding opportunity offered by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to postdoctoral researchers in the early stages of their career. The “F” stands for fellowship (contrary to any rational line of deductive reasoning which leads to another, much more appropriate, f-type word) and the “32” is beyond my (admittedly lame) imagination. Anyway, the NIH presents this opportunity as a nearly incomprehensible mountain of “directions” with more feedback loops than a process control Ph.D. thesis. The desperate postdoc and their advisor then, to the best of their combined abilities…and multiple terminal degrees…draft, wrangle, compile and submit the ~100 documents by the deadline of that funding cycle. Deadline for this funding cycle = December 8th. When Dr. Trot was informed (by an advisor that shall remain unidentified of course) that she would be applying for this = November 18th. Aforementioned anonymous advisor has made himself very unpopular…and Dr. Trot a very ornery busy girl.

So this is the immediate next. This is also a warning that I will continue to be scarce until late in the day on December 9th or early in the day on December 10. (It just depends upon how long the hangover lasts…getting old is rough!)

Other near future nexts:

1. Thanksgiving in CA! 🙂 Feast cooking + wine county touring 5 days = AWESOME
2. Queen Penny moves to NJ! Since Dr. M will be traveling back to the homeland in December, QP will be coming back to Nj with me for a vacation with her best friend Princess Pheona. They are excited.
3. Pottery class. (No, no that was not left field…)
4. The new winter training plan that will aim to build my core strength, speed and endurance while shedding some of the in-build Insulation that I brought with me from MN. Ouch. Hopefully also a 3:xx spring marathon as well. Patrick…

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Filed under Dr-ing, Marathons, Trotting, Work out

Week 18 part 2 + Philadelphia Marathon race review

Saturday 11/16 – 2 mi

Good morning marathon weekend! Dr. Annebelle and I got up early and got our 2 easy miles out-of-the-way with no problems. Thank god. Then off to Philly it was for the weekend festivities to begin!

Accommodations

We stayed at the Wyndham hotel in the Old City, 1.7 miles from the start of the race. The hotel was actually pretty perfect — located in Old Town there were great bars and cafés and restaurants and shops within walking distance and it was a cute are to walk around. Also, and maybe/probably/definitely the most important selling point, is that they extended our check out to 1 pm for no/zero/zilch additional charge and allowed us to extend it further to 5 pm for only $50. This was an absolutely beautiful luxury to have after running 13.1 or 26.2 miles.

(Note: Only the very coolest of people check into their hotel room at 9:30 am.)

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Two very cool people.

Pre-race expo:
After displaying our supreme coolness, it was off to the expo for a very crowded and moderately frustrating packet pickup.

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Drs. Marmia at race packet pick-up. (As Drs. Smaroof does not run marathons.)

The place was loaded to the gills with runners and their entire families and all of their friends… The vendors I had hoped to hit (based on the Chicago expo) weren’t there and those that were, were not giving out nearly enough free goodies. I did manage to snag a pair of sweet arm warmers for $9 though. I can’t complain about that! Also on a positive note, the venue was perfect (although a bit too full), a convention center in the heart of the city. It was a piece of cake (or two or three…but who’s counting) to get there and around the city for some sight-seeing in the afternoon.

After the expo, a walk around town, a nap back at the hotel and new arm warmer modeling…

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Superman!

…we all headed out for the classic pre-race Italian dinner at Panini’s Trattoria in the Old City.

I won’t include a full review because I was too preoccupied to pay a whole lot of attention to what the hell was going on around me. But, I will say that we had the back room more or less all to ourselves which was pretty cool and I got the lobster ravioli and it was bomb.

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Also note that this was in stark contrast to the service, which was horrific. On pre-race night though, you kinda gotta cut them some slack…kinda…

After dinner it was back to the hotel to lay out all of the vital components for a successful tomorrow and then off to bed!

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Vital components for a successful tomorrow.

Sunday 11/17 – 26.2 + 4 mi (4:01:40 + ??)

Location:

Philadelphia, PA (beginning and ending in the center of town)

Weather:

Perfect! Morning: ~50F and cloudy and calm. Afternoon: 60F and partly cloudy and calm.

4 am came damn early and it was time to rock and roll (and run). Breakfast was English muffins with peanut butter and banana and yogurt and cuties and granola bars and coffee….ahhhh….coffee…

And then it was off to the start by 5:30 to get through security…and to take photos…

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The three full marathoners!

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Drs. T & A…

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…and more T & A.

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Drs. T and S (Sorry, I can’t come up with anything trashy involving those two letters.)

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The girls…

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…and the guys.

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Maroof  the runner from Japangladesh (Not to be confused with either Dr. Aki from Japan or Dr. M from Bangladesh…)

Threads and treads:

Very cool CEMS team uniforms (see below…and above…) including Champion tank and running skirt, yellow and pink swirl Pro Compression marathon socks, and my wonderful Mizuno Wave Riders

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Our feet…

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…and the rest of us.

Field:

All kinds (~30k) of people. Not quite the elite crowd that you find at Chicago, but a nice mix of paces for both the half and full marathon.

Race start:

We got to the start area by ~5:30 (only 30 min after the requested 5 am arrival due to increased security) and had absolutely no issues. Once inside we

  1. We hit the port-a-potties (there are NEVER enough, but considering that, this was fine)
  2. Got some water (ONE water table? really? and zero coffee, Gatorade or pre-race fuel? Unimpressed. )
  3. Took a picture or two shit load of pictures
  4. Dropped our bags off at the gear check (UPS trucks organized alphabetically = smooth sailing! Nice going!)
  5. Excitedly bumbled around trying to stay warm and
  6. Headed to our start corals!

The run:

The first half of the course was for both the full and half marathon. It weaved through town and was overall a really pleasant 13 miles. Some areas were a bit narrow for the number of people trying to charge their way through though.

The second half was tough. It was an out and back along the river, with little jogs out here and there to hit the necessary mileage. These little jogs seemed to keep fooling me – being much less little in reality than I remembered them being from the map. And then the turn-around point “must be just over this next hill.” I’m not even going to tell you how many times that thought went through my exhausted pea brain! The rolling hills would have been lovely (I’m sure ) if I wasn’t trying to get things done quickly.

I’m convinced it was a modest net elevation gain on the way out which made coming back much less of a pain in the ass and much more of a pain in the quads. Now, full disclosure, I was really hoping to be under 4 hrs for this run. The plan was to run the first 1/4 with Dr. Annebelle and then to give it a go for the next 3/4 and see what happened. I turned it up as much as I dared for miles 6-13 and then just tried to hang on for 13-20. I had started feeling my joints and then my hamstrings and then my quads moving through miles 6 to 20. The lungs were holding on (miraculously…and thank you…) so coming back on the home stretch I was hoping to able to pick it up enough to see 3:xx on the clock. I did what I could, I really did, but even with the net descent (which my quads selfishly complained about for 2 days) I just didn’t have the turn over. The last few miles were hot, sunny and I needed to be done.

In 4:01:40 I was done. Not quite what I’d hoped for, but within 1:40 of my goal and as fast as I was going to go for the day. I had negatives splits and a PR, so zero bitching allowed. (Never thought you’d hear me say that did you?!?!

More importantly, the rest of team CEMS did AMAZING. There were 3x first time half-marathoners, 3x seasoned half-marathoners, 1x full marathoner with a double-digit PR and 1x full marathoner who finished with a sprained ankle!!! Yeah, my friends are a hell of a lot tougher than I am (which explains why they can put up with me I suppose…)

Support:

There were 17 water/Gatorade stations and 3 Clif Gel Shot stations. This was just about the right amount although I would have loved an extra water stop during the last few miles. I get that they were more front loaded to accommodate all of the 1/2 marathoners that were running that part of the course with us, but would anyone have dropped dead if they put one more in the last few miles? I doubt it. The Clif Gel Shots were well spaced and were offered in all flavors. Way to go!

Post-run:

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Team CEMS after a most successful Philly Marathon!

Messages, iced ankles, showers, a relatively easy exit from central Philly, 8x delicious pizzas, yummy beers opened with the hotel room door handle and naps…

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Executive summary:

I hate to start off like an ass hole and say “it wasn’t Chicago.” But, it wasn’t Chicago. The crowds, support and course just weren’t quite up to the same bar (all of these things were ~80% of Chicago…soooo….). That being said, neither were the hotel room $$, the commute difficulties or the congestion. Overall a lovely city marathon in the northeast.

Philly is a great city on a normal day. The food, the people, the sights. Now on a beautiful day when you get to spend the morning running through the city with almost 2 hands worth of your best friends, Philly is  most excellent.

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Week 18 part 1

The marathon training season is over!! 😮

This is always a time of mixed feelings for me. On one hand, I’m one step shy of being on my knees thanking god that I don’t have to juggle the rest of my life around my stupid training runs. On the other hand, I already know that a very effed up part of me will miss the non-negotiable hour (or two or three) x4 days a week that are mine to be outside and physically active. Never mind that I’m also totally stoked about the upcoming race weekend and already think about what crazy plans to make next. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, right?

For the next 48 hours, let’s just try to enjoy the present…

Register to track your favorite runners in the Gore-Tex Philadelphia Marathon

The four easy steps to make this happen are-

  1. Click on the link above
  2. Register as directed with an email address, username and password
  3. Search for all of your favorite runners by last name
  4. Select if you want to be alerted by text message, email, Facebook (or some other form of social media that I’m too old and/or nerdy to understand) as your favorite runners kick ass on Sunday

Once you do this, you should promptly (t<0.068 seconds) receive a confirmation message that you’re all set to go.

Fun fact: avoiding the cell phone’s “silent” setting on Sunday will help facilitate timely updates.

If you are so lucky as to be in the Philadelphia area on Sunday, come join in the fun by cheering us on and enjoying all that the after party has to offer. In particular, keep your eyes peeled for the very stylish Team CEMS…

1/4 Team CEMS

1/4 Team CEMS

Monday 11/11 – rest

Tues 11/12 – 4 mi

It’s chilly (30 F) out!! And someone wasn’t smart enough to pack appropriate attire to comfortably battle said chill. What an idiot. Although, this does lead to quick 4 mile runs…

Wed 11/13 – rest

Thurs 11/14 – 8 mi

So it’s still chilly (30 F) out but the aforementioned “someone” has learned from her mistake and dug out the right clothes for non-NJ summer running (see Tuesday 11/12…contrary to popular belief this does happen once in a while…). Threads: Insulated and “compression” Champion tights and long-sleeved shirt, awesome Arc’teryx Solano jacket

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The cool weather running clothes have made their debut in NJ…

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…on the tow path…

Thus, this someone froze her ass off significantly less than she did on Tuesday and logged a more modestly paced and beautiful final run of this training season!

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…along the canal…

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…and lake Carnagie.

Fri 11/15 – rest

Rest = transition from excited to super excited for Sunday + spend the day working hard perfecting my playlist for Sunday + packing and repacking 593x what I will actually need on Sunday after ditching out of work early leaving work at a reasonable time + anxiously waiting for Dr. Annebelle and Mike to arrive and for the weekend festivities to begin!

Total mileage =  12 mi

I’m very excited to be writing this two days before the marathon with no real irritating aches and pains much less any moderate to serious injuries. KNOCK ON WOOD! While the training schedule has been the victim of neglect over the past few weeks, I’m feeling health and ready to run. The 3x +19 mile training runs all went well enough so getting through the later stages of Sunday will largely be a mental exercise I think. Given the way my wicked long, irritating, unpredictable demanding work schedule has required serious logistical gymnastics in order to get my runs in, I feel I’m prepared to deal with this end-of-the-run stress better than ever before. That’s at least some consolation, right? I guess we’ll see on Sunday!

Now of course my overall goal is for my stylish self and friends to have a wonderful run. Following that, my more quantitative goals for the day are as follows:

  1. Negative splits
  2. PR (sub-4:10 if all goes smoothly or sub-4 if, as I get going, I feel like I could the run of my life, get greedy and am able to hold on to it)

The course is relatively flat, the fans are fun and weather is supposed to be very nice (50s F), so I think all of these are totally doable. It will just depend on what the day (and my legs and the soft tissue that I store between my ears) brings.

Happy Marathon Weekend!!

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Peace Food (NYC)

My Top Secret Accomplice Dr. Allison and Top Dog Sir Jack recently came to visit for the weekend. Unfortunately Top Dog Sir Jack was suffering from a bum hip and couldn’t strut his Top self around town as he had hoped. Fortunately (sorry Jack) this left Dr. A and I able to spend the day in The City (NYC if you somehow don’t just assume this when you hear the word “city”) relatively guilt free. While I probably should spend the post discussing the time we spent at the Science Museum – the awesome dinosaur exhibits, the whale in his great hall and the display of meteors and meteorites in the space exhibit – I will instead blabber on about the restaurant of the weekend, Peace Food. We (by “we” I mean “Dr. A”) found this perfect little joint by using our (our =her) mad Yelping skills with a focus on the upper west side. Now for me, using Yelp often ends up being a bit of a crap shoot. Allison rocked this crap shoot!

Peace Food is very much what you’d assume from its name — a hippy dippy local organic vegan vegetarian friendly bomb of a restaurant…

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There is a bakery, juice bar, sandwiches, salads, soups, take out options and tables for dining in. The staff are super friendly and cheery and, frankly, so are your fellow patrons (…albeit a bit malnourished looking in some cases…but never mind…)

The menu

We went for lunch at 2 pm or so and had a great menu to choose from. The dishes are largely familiar items but with a hint of Peace Food personalization. Frankly, everything looked great and as the tables around us got their food, the decision just got harder and harder to make.

We were both actually in the mood for soups so in the end Dr. A got the leek soup while I went all in for the vegetarian chili…and then we split the Asian greens salad on the side. Now my fat self is always one to worry that I’m going to have enough to eat, and of course I was concerned that this little soup and salad wasn’t going to do the trick. Dr. Trott was wrong! (Surprising, I know.) The bowl of chili was serious and the corn bread removed any shred of doubt that I’d still be hungry. To be honest though, our salad is probably the one item that I’d recommend if I could only pick one. The greens were perfect, the cheese was fantastic the tempeh was perfectly done and the Asian dressing was equally interesting and delicious. If/when I go back, I would also like to give the juice bar a try. They had a well oiled operation going on behind the counter that I was kinda bummed about being too full to partake!

The staff

Our waiter was excellent and that really seemed to be a prerequisite for working there. Super helpful, attentive, nice, personable, talkative — but not too much. We had exactly what we needed when we needed it and could enjoy our lunch without feeling smothered. The atmosphere, with loads of positive energy, was undoubtedly a product of this. If you like good service you won’t be disappointed.

The ambiance

Peace Food has a great ambiance/atmosphere.

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The restaurant is bright and open and filled with funky decorations, cheery people and delicious smells. The staff set a great mood which, IMHO, draws in a great clientele. The dining room is high, positive energy, without being overwhelming or stifling. There is chatter and movement and commotion, but just the right amount.

$$

“Vegan, vegetarian, local, organic” (never mind “Upper West Side”) generally = three days of fasting to follow, but Peace Food was very affordably priced. Now, if you’re looking for a dollar menu this might not be the best fit for you, but we got really great food at a very reasonable price. Both the quantity and quality of all the grub we got was outstanding. <$20/person for a great lunch of familiar yet interesting dishes made from high quality ingredients in a most delightful atmosphere. I will definitely be going back, and dragging my friends with me. (Friends, consider this your warning.)

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Week 17

Mon 11/4 – rest

Rest? But I’m spending the day in heals?!!?

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And hanging out with my awesome former groupmates: (Dr. T), Patrick and Dr. Dan.

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And Patrick (again) and my new department mates: Jamie (or Patrick again…who the hell knows at this point) and Mikhail.

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Jamie and Patrick again?!?! Or Jamie and Jamie? Or Patrick and Patrick?

Tues 11/5 – a lot of standing and talk rehearsing in heals

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Audience for said talk rehearsals: beautiful, patient, roses in the hotel room. 🙂

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I’m not sure what in the hell this is quite frankly, but I thought it was a most appropriate final AICHE photo

Wed 11/6 – 2 hrs standing at a poster session in heals again…

…and a modest dinner in SF

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…with Dr. M…

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…and fresh spring rolls…

...and tofu pad thai...

…and tofu pad thai…

...and thai fried rice.

…and thai fried rice.

Thurs 10/3 – rest

Rest = all I could do to keep it together through the work day after my red-eye back last night

Fri 10/4 – rest

See Thursday’s note

Sat 10/5 – 7ish mi

Today was much better! I slept in and actually felt like a normal human being for the first time in a while. It’s gotten a bit chilly (and windy) and the 7 miles were harder than they should have been this morning, but all things considered it wasn’t too bad.

Sun 10/6 – 8ish

Today was even better! 🙂 It was day 2 of sleeping in and cranking out a relatively solid 8 miles. It felt better than yesterday which is a nice bonus.

t-minus one week to marathon time!! 😀

Total mileage =  15 mi

Yikes!! :-/ Bad girl! 

Q: Who runs 15 miles a week during the marathon training season?

A: An injured person. A perfectly healthy Dr. Trot. :-/

I have no good excuses for this aside from laziness. (Note: laziness is a very good excuse…not a very satisfying one, but it’s completely honest and explains everything.) If there has been any harm done it’ll become evident in the later half of the “race” on Sunday. Hopefully my subbornness mental strength will get me though however. One way or another, we’ll find out soon!

Threads – tanks or tees (+/- arm warmers), running skirts or capris for the chilly mornings, + compression for the long runs and Mizunos (Wave Creation 11s and Wave Elixer 6s)

 

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Tortuga’s (Princeton, NJ)

Not to sound like a broken record (I can’t help it), but this post is way over due. Upon arriving at Princeton in June, one of my top orders of business was to get the scoop on the top eating (and running) and eating opportunities in town, of course. Upon my declaration of love for good authentic Mexican comida, I was directed to the wonderful Tortuga’s. This cozy little restaurant is located off the tourist (and undergrad…but never mind…) beaten path in the neighborhood on the north-west side of town. They don’t take reservations and typically have a bit (it really isn’t bad) of a wait but they start you off with bottomless and fantastic homemade salsa and chips and follow-up with dishes that are well worth any wait. They are also BYOB/BYOW, which I have come to totally love (Come on, I am picky and cheap…a most endearing combination…don’t act surprised…) Anyway, this is where I took Dr. Samia when she moved to town (town = NJ … yes, this is totally fair) and where I have been with my group mates for dinner and where I took Dr. Allison for her first dinner in town (town = Princeton … Why are you confused?) and where I will insist on going with Dr. Maroof next time he is in town (town = your definition of choice).

Tortuga’s is a locally owned and reasonably authentic (as far as this Minnesota girl … with a thing for food and other cultures … can tell) Mexican joint. The menu is big, offering something for everyone, even a diverse set of vegetarian entrees. 🙂 The dining room is often quite crowded, loudish and the service is often a bit slow. Like I said, there is a reasonable amount of authenticity to the place and with the food comes the ambiance. Enjoy it. (I’m not being a smart ass here, for once.)

The menu

La Tortuga is open for both lunch and dinner. However, I have somehow (quite unbelievably) only been there for dinner so far! The dinner menu is large and constant, and I assume the lunch menu is similar. There are a nice variety of single entree dishes (variety in terms of preparation styles – tacos, burritos, chimichangas, tomales, tostadas, soaps, ensaladas, enchiladas… – and types of protein – steaks, pork, chicken, fish, beans, etc… – as well as combination plates. A word of warning is that all of the dishes are big so bringing half home for an awesome lunch is a good mindset to have before things spiral out of control (not that I know this from personal experience or anything…)

So I’m one to enjoy trying lots of new and different food so I have always gone with some form of vegetarian combination platter. The vegetarian burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas and tomales are all fantastic. The combo platters come with both beans and rice that totally hit the spot. In contrast, my dinner dates have always gone with some kind of main meat entree – steak or chicken have been the hot choices I think. I have yet to hear a complaint from any of them.

Additionally, thanks to agreeing to participate in a game of musical tables, Dr. A and I scored free desserts on our visit. It’s probably a good thing that I hadn’t looked at the dessert menu until then because they all looked amazing! In the end we “settled” on the key lime pie and the chocolate tort (when dessert is on the house you don’t split). Damn. Both were super good – just sweet enough for a satisfying end to a rich meal, but not over the top. Again, they were both good-sized (note: this is not a complaint) so in the event of actually having to pay for your dessert splitting might be a good choice.

The staff

The staff are authentic. They are friendly enough but not the speediest. It’s part of the charm though. Your food will come out correct and hot and in the order in which it was received. (I’ve been on hold with customer service too much recently…stupid glove box…never mind.) So, there really isn’t anything to complain about, but just be warned that if you’re on a tight schedule, either let them know ahead of time (this may or may not make a damn bit of difference) or think of doing dinner after the show.

The ambiance

The ambiance is authentic, cozy and busting. Everyone is there for a nice relaxing neighborhood dinner with friends and family. Plan to Do the same next time you’re in the Garden State 🙂

$$

Very reasonable. Entrees are ~$15 and can easily be 2 meals. NOTE: Tortuga’s is cash money only! YES, CASH ONLY! Not a big deal (unless you don’t bring cash and don’t have a particular fondness for washing a restaurant dining room worth of dishes on an overfull stomach of course), just remember to grab some green as you walk out the door. (Not that green…)

Anyway, the chips and salsa to start with are a nice added bonus and the BYO policy really adds to the affordability. Sharing works well too if you’d rather not be carting left overs around. The ingredients are high quality and the preparation is mindful soooo (IMHO of course) you really would be quite stupid not to 😉

P.S. I realize a restaurant review without pictures is a bit bullshit, but lets cut me a little slack and consider this one a work in progress.

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Week 16


Mon 10/28 – rest

Thank you.

Tues 10/29 – 6ish mi 

A lovely early morning in lab lit the fire under my ass to get the run done early. The cooler weather is nice, but it does necessitate a bit more though to go into dressing and a bit more time to get the stiff joints and tight muscles all warmed up. That, and I’m old. 😦 Now I’m probably the only one saying this, and I will probably eat my words later, but it’s nice that the winters here are still rather damp. I can feel even this very modest drop in humidity (coupled with the cooler temps) through out my lungs. MN, how did I ever survive you?!

Wed 10/30 – rest

Thurs 10/31 – 8ish mi 

There is something very satisfying about bailing out of work from 8-9:30 am to get my run in during daylight hours. Although I felt like I was working harder than I really should’ve had to, it was a beautiful morning, I didn’t get lost and I finished the run all toast warm in my ruffled skirt and tank top. Once again, my complaints are unwarrented…I suppose…

Fri 11/1 – rest

Off to AICHE for the annual (oversized) national chemical engineering conference! (And some serious mischief-making around San Francisco of course.) For example…

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…early on the first evening of the conference…

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…and a bit later in the evening. (Don’t worry, we were all seeing double at this point.)

Dr. Maroof and Queen Penny were absolutely gracious hosts for the two days that I spent in Berkeley before heading into DT SF for the conference. They made me a most fantastic dinner for me when I arrived on Friday night.

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Making

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dinner.

They also gave me a most totally perfect belated birthday gift – a purple marathon Camelbak!

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My super sweet new purple marathon Camelbak (and me on the side)

What a great way to start off my pre-conference weekend! I could get used to CA!!

Sat 11/2 – cross – 20 mi biking – HILLS!!

On Saturday morning we got up and turned dinner left overs into an awesome brunch of south Asian seasoned rice + beans and shrimp + potato + cauliflower + cheese quesadillas. We might be kinda into weird fusion foods. Maybe.

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Fusion Brunch

Then, we got all suited up

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Us…all suited up…

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…and a close-up of my new glorious compression socks from Aki. Happy Birthday to my feet!!

and took out the bikes (thank you Noem for lending yours to me, it was awesome!!) for a leisurely 10 mile ride along the north coast of the bay, 

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bike trail + SF Bay

and then a grueling 10 mile battle up to the top of Berkeley, to Tilden Park

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Tilden Park

and then back home.

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The climb up was honestly the most challenging and treacherous bike climb I think I have ever done. The perpetual gradual incline wore you down while the wicked steep sections totally blew out your quads in no time. And then the switchbacks. Ahhh yes, the switchbacks (at this point, why not?). They made everything super precarious, just to ensure you were actually being challenged.

Also, once we conveniently arrived at the farthest point from home in our route, we had an unfortunate spat between Dr. M’s ankle and his bike pedal clip.  (Apparently frantically trying to clip in before you roll backwards down the damn hill is not the safest.)

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Booboo!

Luckily there were some EMTs in the area (originally called to help with “a dog that was having a problem in the lake…” WTF?!?!…) who helped us bandage things well enough to get home. Thank god it was 5 miles DOWN the mountain to get back. :-/

So (of course) this was not the most ideal Saturday workout to do two weeks out from marathon weekend, but who is going to pass up on a day long SF Bay Area biking expedition? The only people who come to mind are total idiots and professional athletes. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t find myself fitting well into either category.

Sun 10/6 – 10 + 3 = 13ish

I started the day with a beautiful early morning run along the bay, taking the same route that we biked yesterday.

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Good morning San Francisco and SF Bay!

In case you’re interested, there is a positive correlation between ones amount of Facebook posting while running and the likelihood of appearing to be still drunk from the previous night. I may (or may not) have been both one of those…

After getting back from these first 10 miles it was time to dash off to SF for the first day of the conference. In contrast to Drs. S & M, my talk was not until Tuesday afternoon, so I did the only rational thing upon arriving at the hotel – I dashed out the door for 3 more miles through Golden Gate Park and then a 3 mile walk home. (I sadly don’t think I get to count these last three towards my daily mileage though…)

Total mileage =  27 mi

So obviously this mileage is quite low, even for the beginning of the pre-race taper. On the bright side, was able to take advantage of the northern Bay Area and get a beautiful, and extremely challenging, bike ride in (yes, I am telling myself that this counts for something) as well as my long run for the week (albeit only 12 miles and broken into 2 segments, but never mind…) On an even brighter side is that there are only two more weeks until the marathon!! (Ok, fine, there is really only one more week now that I’ve finally gotten this damn thing written x-(

Threads – tanks or tees (+/- arm warmers), running skirts or capris for the chilly mornings, + compression for the long runs and Mizunos (Wave Creation 11s and Wave Elixer 6s)

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