Category Archives: General

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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My goodness it’s been a while again! I would like to justify this by telling you about all of the great places I’ve been and all of the trotting that I’ve been doing. Unfortunately, this would just make a me a huge liar…and would probably not actually be all that great in the end as I have a rather crappy imagination. Booooo….

So what has been going on this week. Well, there has been some marathon training, we are officially in Week #1 right now. ­čÖé I ran a whole 3 miles on Tuesday morning…

and another 5 today.

So far so good (thank god)!

Last weekend a friend of Dr. Samia and I came to visit from MN. Well, Dr. Mazar is actually from the lovely Garden State originally, but is working in MN now. Anyway, Dr. Mazar is probably the coolest uncle on the planet because he came for the weekend soley to attend his niece’s 3rd birthday party! While Dr. S and I would like to think he came to visit us, his wonderful graduate school friends, deep down I think we both know better. That didn’t stop us from having a fantastic, very non-marathon training, time…


Hoika and beer...


...and pie for breakfast...


...and 1/2...


...and 2/2 home made GRILLED pizzas for dinner.

On a healthier note (kind of…and I’m really not the best at making smooth transitions out of thin air…), GRANDPA TURNED 90 THIS WEEK!! I wish I had a photo of him to post for a proper birthday shout out, but somehow I do not x-( In short, grandpa has been a lumber-jack (cutting down trees well into his eighties because no one else can do it quite right), a professional wrestler (I’d tell you to Google-search “Michigan Slim” but this was bit before Google’s time), a hunter (never mind that he shot the end of his own finger off once after it wandered its way over the end of the gun barrel…I don’t know that I’m supposed to talk about this, so shhhhhh…), a mill-er and maybe a miner as well. Anyway, the moral of the story is that Gramps was/is pretty damn cool and Dr. Trot should be ashamed of herself for not having one damn incriminating picture to post for the big 9-0. I guess that also means Gramps was/is sufficiently stealthy…not half bad for 6’4″ and NINE decades ­čśÇ

And with that — Happy Birthday niece Mazar! HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA! And happy first week of marathon training!

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Best. Roommate. Ever.

I have the very best roommate. Ever.

She is wicked smart and funny and talented and thoughtful and independent and strong and beautiful. She is the most wonderful person to call on when you are faced with a serious moving endeavor (twice), when you run your car battery bone dry by being a total idiot, when you need a morning of coffee drinking therapy or a night of on the town shinanigans. She’s the person you’d want by your side when you’re committing a felony or swimming towards a waterfall (hypothetically speaking…of course…) She’s the type of person that can see the humor of holding a wedding dress in one hand and a 50 lb puppy covered in dog shit in the other, and is game for doing what you must to sport a variety of swim suits on vacation while everyone else looks on in disgust. She’s a damn good shot with a hand gun, splits wood as well as anyone I’ve ever seen, has a hell of a garden and is a fantastic cook.

As if all of this isn’t impressive enough, 10 years, 5 apartments, 2 houses, boyfriends, husbands and 2000 miles later, she knows exactly how and when to make a persons day/week/month.

Waiting for me at home, after a Saturday at work, was this —



This = a bag of home-made chocolate chip espresso cookies, a caffeine necklace, an awesome card and the very best note on the planet.

Smadj, it’s friends like you that make the fun parts of life fun and the shitty parts bearable. Thank you for the most wonderful surprise tonight. Thank you for making my day/week/month And thank you for being the BEST DAMN ROOMMATE EVER.

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Happy Anniversary Flu!

You know those friends who, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen each other or even┬áhad much of a conversation quite frankly (read: primary means of communication = FB chats), you can pick up with right where you left off so many days weeks months years ago? That was the story of my last weekend. An old friend, from what seems like another lifetime now, came to visit Dr. Trot for the weekend. We hadn’t seen or spoken to each other, much less seen each other, in over 5 years so while I had high hopes, the four days really could have gone any number of directions.┬áTo my delight it was immediately clear that any/all fears I had were totally unfounded. It was like those 5+ years didn’t exist. It was like we could have last seen each other yesterday. It was like we could have been staying up and going out and drinking and dancing like never-tiring, hangover-resistant early 20-somethings all this time. And so, this is exactly what we did. All. Weekend. Long. :-/

In three short days we consumed more Yuengling than I have in my entire life, de-briefed Dr. Trot on a number of music genres for which her working knowledge is slipping, walked the entire city of Philadelphia – twice (this isn’t an exageration…not at all…thanks to the good Dr.’s market finding deficiencies…), toured a prison (Eastern State Penitentiary to be exact)

(not what you do when you go on vacation? what’s wrong with you?), pretended to be Rocky, chased our favorite form of public transportation (not a week goes by without…), played board games,┬áwatched bad horror movies, hiked the Appalachian trail

(well, 10 miles of it anyway),
and gorged ourselves at (not “on”) Tortugas (which you can read all about here)

In the blink of an eye we were back to being 22 — enjoying a┬ácarefree yet exciting┬áweekend in perpetual motion.

Then, all too quickly Tuesday morning reared her head and with an equal but opposite eye blink ┬á— BAM!!!

It was back to reality.

A harsh, tired, achy, coughy, 30-something year old reality. ­čśŽ It was 4 days of playing catch-up at work (complete with plenty of fumbles), the cough turned into a sore throat and more coughing and stuffiness and sneezing, and the tiredness and achiness pretty much staying put.

So it goes.

My pre-weekend risk assessment suggested this might happen. But, sometimes you just have to go for it anyway, 22 yrs old or not.

Now, my most-definitely-NOT-22-yr-old self is wrapping up a #%@&ing  lovely Saturday at work, with a economy sized bag of cough drops

and a bottomless mug of green tea.

For those of you who have made it this far (and are wondering WTF the title and content of this post have in common) I have saved the best for last. The best part of this whole mess is that today is exactly the 1 year anniversary of my PhD defense! One year of being in the real world as a post-doc and getting my professional priorities in order and making progress towards the end game of landing a fancy, big-time, grown-up academic position…


One year seems like such a long time, but how little has actually changed (aside from the jug-handle left turns and no longer pumping my own gas).  Maybe academic careers, and the crazy people who chase them, are (for better or worse) like old friends. They are interesting, fun, challenging and exciting. Yet (at times) they can be careless, necessitating lengthy recovery regimes. Finally, changes is slow and bad old habits die hard, so when you choose to stick around, it had better be because you enjoy the ride (or are truly that bat shit crazy)

And with that, please excuse me while I go and fetch myself another celebratory mug of tea.

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Happy belated pre-Boston Marathon + Easter weekend!

I hope everyone had a lovely pre-Boston Marathon Monday + Easter weekend!!

In case anyone is dying to know, my Saturday started out with a (~10 mi) run to-n-fro work (motivated by comments made the previous evening by the one and only Dr. M).


After some shopping,


cooking and cleaning, the day ended with pho, pizza, kugel, Russian salad, ma po tofu, French chicken and potatoes, Japanese pickled pork and cabbage, sweet potatoes, pineapple stuffing, cookies, chocolates, beer and wine. Sadly I was too busy stuffing my face to take a single photograph of the spread at my beautiful Multicultural Easter Hanukkah Potluck. In retrospect, stuffing my face was hands down the right decision ­čśë

Sunday then began with a quick ~4 mi run around the neighborhood…


…followed by a shower (you’re welcome) and then round 2 of Easter festivities. This celebration was complete with adult Easter baskets,


family photos,


and post-x#-of-champaign-bottles family photos.

Over all, complete success!!

I went to sleep on Sunday with visions of Miss Kristin’s pineapple stuffing and of Speedy Shalaney having the best day of her life on Monday.

While I would have loved for Shalane’s 2:20:02 to have been the best of the XX that day, it was simply not meant to be. SF ran the race of her life, she did everything right, she did everything that she could have asked herself to do. SF’s best on Monday was simply 1 min less best than Rita Jeptoo’s best.

This slight, cinewy machine of a Kenyan was absolutely unbeatable on Monday. Generally speaking, this 5’2,” 105 lb running monster may be beatable, may be, but not by SF, and not last Monday. On Monday Jeptoo also ran the race of her life, the race of the history of the Boston Marathon by over a minute. A blistering pace of <5:10 mi/mi was set (and held by SF) for as long as Jeptoo wanted the help, until she wanted to take off; and take off she did at just over 14 miles. Being able to essentially walk away from the pack (who are running a 5:08) at just over the halfway point deserves to win. Yes, 100%, absolutely.

However, with all that being said, I believe that the skinny, blond, former kamikaze’s ability to not lose her mind, to stick to her game plan and to run the solid, steady, race of her life, 1 min behind the woman she wanted so badly to smoke in her home town, after pacing her to the course record and an easy victory, also deserves a win on the day.

For completeness I feel like I should include a line or two about the XY victor, Elder Meb K. After recovering from my waves of excitement and disapproval and reservation and disbelief during miles 9-16, and the ulcers of miles 23.5-26.1, I have officially elevated The Elder to my highest mental pedestal and look forward to seeing him eat his competition for mid-race fuel in many races to come.

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Where did everyone disappear to again?

Have you all been working hard in the lab?


A little science + religion for the Easter season

Running and bike riding in the nice spring weather?


The first bike ride of 2014


Running in skimpy apparel (weather we are ready our not)!

Going to a bridal shower for one of your favorite partners in crime?


Dr. T; Dr. Partner in crime #1; Dr. Partner in crime #2



Knitting and potting with your crafty lab groupie?



I ask only because these are a few of the things that I will use in attempts to justify my absence.

There has also been some running of course. Not nearly enough considering that a beautiful, warm, fragrant, balmy spring is finally here (please don’t instantly hire a hit-man if you’re reading this from a snowbank in MN) and that marathon training will be starting up VERY soon. But, some running is better than no running, so I’ll take it.

Frankly, in VERY short order I am going to have to seriously beef up my multi-tasking + time management skills. The summer of a gazillion (think, lots of zeroes) weddings + mad work + visitors coming east + me going west + everything else that makes up a busy life is about to commence in royal fashion. While I don’t have any real serious goals for this year’s Team CEMS Marathon (aside from finishing it more quickly than I did suffer-fest-TZ 2013 and not breaking my leg…no offense Dr. S…) I would like to be comfortable at a ~4 hr pace, our team uniforms need to be cute (I’m thinking 2014 = teal and argyle, thoughts?) and I quite like being in marathon-training-shape as the summer progresses (minus the inevitable inability to zip my boots up all the way, but never mind…) My hope is that this can all come together with the following:

Tues: tempo short-mid distance
Thurs: mid-long distance
Sat: long run
Sun: mid-long distance

Given that Dr. Partner-in-crime is -3 hrs from me, my current master plan is to keep summer hours such that I can get most runs out of the way first thing in the morning, buckle down for a full day in lab and then with some quality Facetime company and heavy drinking. We will see.

For now I (like everyone else I’m sure) just need to keep my head above water long enough to keep useful info (slowly but surely) coming out of the lab and enough miles being run. (And OF COURSE passing on bits and pieces of the process being passed on to you!)

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Spring (as defined by biking)

I’m pretty sure that this weekend is actually the beginning of spring. Evidence to support this hypothesis includes:

1. I went on my first biking adventure (complete with too many ninja-potholes, construction, traffic, off-roading and a medium sized equipment failure…never mind that there was a ~100mph headwind regardless of the direction we were riding and pretty much froze our a$$es off from start to finish) of the year yesterday with Dr. S


2. Mode of transportation to work today = Miss. Celest



3. Today’s running outfit includes neither pants nor sleeves


(this may or may not be totally stupid…see #1 above)

Quite frankly it’s a bit of a relief that things are finally on the upswing here (to any Minnesotans that just read that, please don’t come here to kill me). This year’s training season for the annual Team CEMS Marathon is going to be starting up in a few short weeks and the one thing I feel NJ can afford to me is a mild training during the months of April and May. Hopefully we can see eye to eye on this. Stay tuned for this years CEMS team “race” weekend plan!

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