Monday, January 30, 2012

14 miles on Saturday, but now my ankle hurts, and more shout-outs to my donors!

On Saturday, our long run was 14 miles - well, 14.55 miles to be exact.  Alan's phone tells us exactly how long it was.  But this was by far my most painful run ever.   I had been having a little bit of a feeling in my right foot lately, and on Saturday at about mile 7 it started getting much worse.  By about mile 9, I didn't think I was going to be able to finish the run, but obviously my personality wouldn't let me quit.  Luckily, Alan is such a great friend, and even though I needed to slow WAY down, he stayed with me and didn't complain, even though he really wanted to finish the run.  I'm lucky to have such a great running buddy!  I'm taking a couple of days off of running, so I'll cross train instead today and tomorrow.  Probably I'll swim or bike.  It's too bad, because the weather is really good for running today, and I'd like to be out there.  I think the problem is related to my shoes, so I'm also going to try switching back to my old shoes for a bit to see how that goes.

I would have posted a picture of my foot/ankle, but there's really nothing to see, it looks just like the other one that doesn't hurt at all.  Very strange.

Also, yesterday was our forum, and boy was it a busy day!  I started reasonably early in the morning, and was go-go-going all the way until 7pm.  It was very tiring, but it went well and I was very proud of our team.  We had hundreds of people attending the event, and I think most of them were very happy with how it went.  I got one really nice comment at the end about how this woman really appreciates that we have these events and that they're so well run, which made me feel really good.  But I'm also glad that we don't have another forum for a few months, because they're a ton of work and I am ready for a slightly more relaxed pace!

This is also my last week of classes, and I'm really glad about that.  I have one more class session on Thursday, and then I'm done for real!  Actually, if you count glass mosaics class, I'm not really done :)  I signed up for the spring semester, because apparently there's a one semester grace period where you can still get the student pricing after you're done being a student, so I thought that was a pretty good offer and signed up again.  I'm really enjoying it, and the non-student price is more than $100 more, so now seems like a good time to do it.

I'm also signed up for a glassblowing class in March, which I'm really looking forward to.  I've never tried glassblowing, but I think it's another thing that will make me the coolest person I know.  I'm enjoying having time to try things like this now that I'm done with school (or very nearly so!).

If you want to donate, I'd appreciate it!  Here's the link:

And a shout-out to my most recent donors - thanks to Jen B, Erin, Vidya, Clara, John and Sassy, Stephanie, and Tali!  You guys are so great, and I really appreciate your help at the midpoint!  Everyone else, feel free to try to be as awesome as them by donating through the link above!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Whew, just ran 5.8 miles

I was supposed to run 6, but I got confused about my route and accidentally cut off a tiny bit.  I felt ok while running, but it was snowing a little (not like it was on Saturday).  When I got back, I realized I had run a very fast pace!  But not quite as fast as I thought, since I accidentally shortened the run.  Oops!

Yesterday I started learning to read Hebrew for when we go to Israel.  There's a requirement that you spend 8 hours learning Hebrew for the program, so yesterday I had my first 4 hours.  Next week I'll have the remaining 4 hours.  Now, you might think that 8 hours is not very much to learn to read an entirely new alphabet.  Well, that's true.  The class goes very fast, and our only goal is to be able to read, not to have any idea what we're reading.  I showed Sam what I was reading last night, and he laughed.  They could make us say anything, and we wouldn't know the difference.  It turned out I was saying, "Who is large? Dad is large! Also uncle is large!"

After Hebrew, I went to work a little more on my glass mosaics, even though it wasn't class time.  I grouted my second piece, and I did a little bit of work on one that is a present for my mom.  Mom, if you're reading this, don't worry, I won't spoil what it is.  But it's not my first try, so hopefully it will be a little better :)

Then I went to yoga, which was one of the less enjoyable yoga experiences I've had.  As with almost every class, what I've realized is that it's not so much what you're doing or learning that matters, it's the instructor.  A good instructor can make a boring subject fun, and a bad instructor can make an interesting subject miserable.  And it's the same for yoga.  I realized that I've been doing yoga on and off for almost 10 years, which is very strange to realize.  Anyway, yesterday was not the best.

We're getting ready for a big forum at work, and things have been super busy this week.  I feel like I've sent approximately a million emails.  But I'm having a ton of fun getting ready for it, and I like that I get to do so many different things.  I've gotten to coordinate speakers, design the program packet, research facts, figure out logistics, and a bunch more.  It's not all that science-heavy for this particular forum, but I don't mind the change of pace. 

Ok, now my sweat is making me freezing, so I'm going to go take a hot shower.  I'll do some more shout-outs to my donors in my next post, so if you want to be one of them, here's the link: My runner is totally wearing pants now!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My runner is wearing pants!

And I'm officially registered for the Boston Marathon!  I received my confirmation email and everything!  This is getting pretty real! 

Check out my runner, who is now wearing pants:  Woohoo!  I'm 38% of the way to my goal!

I'm also having a lot of fun with my glass mosaics class.  It's slow going, but I think I'm going to be able to register for the class again in the spring.  Ok, back to work!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Half marathon in the snow

This was a big weekend for me.  My dad came to visit for his birthday, and I turned in my thesis on Friday, and Alan and I ran a half marathon in the snow on Saturday.  It was a lot of fun overall!  Here's a picture of us from during the run:

And here we are after the run:

We thought people wouldn't understand how hard core we were if we were smiling, so we decided to make serious faces:

Afterwards, my hands were way too cold.  Here's why: we got back, checked our distance, and realized we'd only done 12.4 miles.  I knew Alan wouldn't be happy about that, since this was supposed to be his first half marathon.  So I said if he wanted I would do the rest with him, and we went out and ran 0.7 more miles.  But by that point, my gloves were wet, and my hands got so cold!

Luckily, this time I thought of bringing warm clothes to change into afterwards.  What a difference!  I was still cold, but it was much better. 

And in bigger news, I finally turned in my thesis!!!!  I have now completed everything I need for my dual masters degrees!  Woohoo!  And I've cleaned out my office at school.  I just have 3 more sessions of the class I'm taking, and then I'll really be done!

It was really nice having my dad visit this weekend.  We had a celebratory dinner and saw a play, and my mom sent cookies for dessert. 

If you're glad you weren't out running in the snow on Saturday morning, that's a great reason to donate so that I'll do it instead of you!  Here's the link:  My runner is so close to wearing pants!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Today I filled in my Boston Marathon application

Today I got my application form for the Boston Marathon.  It asked for occupation, and I wasn't sure what to put.  I ended up putting Scientist, after debating between Student, Scientist, and Teaching/Education.  Museums weren't a choice.  This is the first time I'm not a student!  Even though I'm still a student now (for a couple more weeks, at least), the form asked for your age on the day of the marathon, so I figured it would also be fitting to put my occupation on the day of the marathon.  Maybe I should have put professional runner...

There's a number inside, but I don't think it's my bib number, just my application number.  I first thought it was my bib number and got very excited, but I think I was wrong.  Anyway, it's 4302, but we'll see if that turns out to be my bib number.  I don't think I'll know till March at the earliest.

I completed another round of edits on my thesis today, so hopefully that will be the last round.  It's supposed to be due on Friday, but my advisor said he emailed the department and we can have a few extra days if we need it.  I DON'T WANT A FEW EXTRA DAYS!!!  I just want to be done! 

I've been hard at work at the Museum of Science, and I'm feeling very productive.  I like it a lot!  There's a forum coming up on January 29 about the farm bill, and we've been very busy getting ready for it.  Over 300 people have signed up so far!

Fiona mentioned my blog on her blog, so I would like to return the favor.  If you're interested in a different take on the marathon and training, or if you want to support Community Servings, which gives healthy meals to critically ill people and their families, head on over to her blog at

And if you haven't yet donated to my marathon effort, there's no better time than the present! I'm trying to reach $2000 by February 17 (our midpoint goal), so please help me out!

Thanks to Jen B, Erin, and Vidya for your donations!  You guys are so great!

Finally, I suppose you're all waiting on the edge of your seats for a blister update.  Well, things are looking good.  I popped it as I mentioned a couple of posts ago, and now it's almost back to looking like a normal toe!  So things are good.

Monday, January 16, 2012

1/3 of the way through fundraising!

Woohoo!  Thanks to my donors!  I'm currently just over 1/3 of the way to my fundraising goal.  Today we ran 3 miles and it was supposed to be an easy run but we were a little too excited and ran a bit faster than we should have.  But I'm feeling good about my shoe situation.  If you want to help me get up to $2,000 by February 17, which is our team midpoint goal, you can donate here:

I also got some feedback on my thesis from my thesis reader, which means I have a bit more work to do writing about policy implications and recommendations.  So obviously the way I'm handling that is by procrastinating and blogging.  I also am procrastinating working on my assignments for my class that I'm taking. Ugh.

Tomorrow night I have glass mosaics class again.  Hopefully I'll remember to bring my camera and take some pictures of what I'm working on.  I'm very excited for that!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

12 miles today and shout outs to my donors!

Today we ran 12 miles at our team run.  The weather was pretty nice for January in Boston, but it was pretty windy.  I wore my cool new shoes for the whole run today, which doubled the longest distance I had ever run in them in a single run.  Here they are:

And for comparison, here's a picture of my me wearing one of my old shoes and one of my new shoes.  I tried them on at the same time today almost incidentally, while I was switching into my new shoes before the run.  It felt really weird to have them on at the same time.  You can really see how much less substantial my new shoes are.  I feel so cool when I run in them.  And so far, my calves and Achilles are holding up to it.

My friend Fiona came to run with us today.  Here we are before the run:

And I wore my new glittens which were a present from my supervisor at the museum.  They kept my hands very warm:

Here's a picture of all of the members of our team who were at the team training run today.  We sure are a reflective bunch:

And here's the three of us after the run, only a little the worse for wear:

But my blister was significantly worse for wear, at almost double its original giant size.  Check it out:

I decided to pop it, against my dad's suggestion.  But the team coach recommended popping it, and I really wanted to, so I did.  It was really fun.  Now my toe is back at the normal volume, and I have a bandaid on it.  And a note to Keith and Rebecca: I'm wearing those fuzzy warm socks you gave me!

As usual, here's a plug for my fundraising effort.  Things are going really well so far, thanks to my donors.  I'd like to thank Keith and Rebecca, Lindsey, Sarah R, Sam N, Farah, my parents, Sally C, Sally P, Mike M, Jessica, Nancy and Mike, Debbie and Gil, Nicole, Bob, Louise and Jerry, Kirthi and Isaac, David F, Kevin M, Catey, Sarah S, Danny and Mindy, Lin, Connie, Pranay, Kathryn, Jayson, and Luvena for being so awesome and donating to my marathon fundraising effort.  You can all be expecting something in the mail soon!  Here's the link if you want to donate:  Thanks!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Today was cross-training, and I finished the edits on my thesis!

Today I swam with the masters team for my cross-training.  It gives my blister a little break :)

And in bigger news, today I also finished going through the enormous mountain of comments from my advisor on my thesis!  Which is not to say that there won't be another round of this, in fact I'm sure there will be.  But it can only be less from here!  And the whole thing is due next Friday, January 20.  Unfortunately, I got stuck taking a class this month, so I'm not going to be quite as done as I wanted on that day, but the class is pass/fail and I'm trying not to worry about it too much.  Certainly having my thesis done will be a big relief, and a big weight off. 

And hi to my friend Rebecca, who also made calzones.  I'll try to remember to take some pictures of my mosaic projects so I can post them.

That's all for tonight!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

And now, 100 miles of training complete!

Today, after a 5-mile training run, I have completed 100 miles of training!  Which leaves only 402 miles of training, plus 26 miles for the marathon itself.  So far so good, except that I've got a giant blister on my big toe on my right foot.  Check it out:

Side View

Top View
So you can see, it's pretty giant.  And since I haven't posted any food pictures in a while, or any pictures for that matter, here's a picture of what we had for dinner last night.  They're delicious homemade spinach gruyere calzones with red sauce for dipping.  So  yummy!  

Also tonight, I had my first session of Glass Mosaics class.  It was really fun!  My first project is a mirror with a mosaic border.  It's quite a lot of work, but it makes me realize that I should take some more art classes because I'm really enjoying it. 

And as usual, here's my plug for donating to my marathon fundraising effort: please do!  Here's the link:

Enjoy the oddly warm weather!

Friday, January 6, 2012

100 days till the marathon!

It seems like a lot when I put it that way, but it's coming up in just over 3 months!  Tomorrow we've got a 10 mile team run.  I'm going to run half of it in my new running shoes and half in my old running shoes.  I read the book Born To Run, and it inspired me to try the new (or old, depending on how you look at it) minimalist running.  I tried barefoot running a few times, but I don't think I'm really cut out for that, especially in Boston in the winter.  So I got some minimalist shoes, the New Balance Minimus (women's).  They look like this.

I feel very cool when I'm wearing them.  But I'm being very careful not to jump into using them all the time, because you have to reformat your running style and you can injure yourself if you go too fast.  Depending on how the switch goes, I'm considering wearing them for the marathon!

As for fundraising, I'm very proud to say that my extremely generous donors have helped push me over $1,000!  My runner almost has pants on now!  Our team goal is to have raised $2,000 each by Friday, February 17.  We're celebrating by running 17 miles the next day!

I'm also making good progress with my thesis.  It's due January 20, and I can't wait to be done!  I have most of it written, but I still have to write the second part of the abstract and my conclusion.  Other than that, it's just revisions to go.

In extremely random news, I am doing an experiment where I am trying lactaid milk.  I've been a little lactose intolerant since about sophomore year of college and I've been using soy milk on my cereal.  I tried the lactaid milk yesterday and didn't notice any problems, so I'm trying it again today.  We'll see how it goes!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

At English High School...

Last school year, the Traveling Programs went to English High School.  In October they had the Heat and Temperature program in the 9th grade.  160 students attended, and it was scholarship funded.  Here are the things the teachers had to say:

"Liked how it was very aligned with the MCAS standards for Heat and Temperature"
"[The educator] did a great job not just of demonstrating and explaining the concepts behind the demonstrations, but also of getting the students involved and managing the large group of unruly kids."

In November, they had the Motion: Speed, Velocity, and Acceleration program, again for the 9th grade, with 160 students, and again it was scholarship funded.  As one teacher said,"The content was perfect!"

As for a running update, I am happy to say that my heart is still intact after Heartbreak Hill, but I can definitely see how it's going to be quite a challenge 20 miles into the marathon!  It's not unbelievably steep, but it sure is long, and it comes after a bunch of other smaller but still intimidating hills.  Good thing we're practicing!

Also, yesterday I went running outside in conditions I would not have imagined running in, worse than in Minnesota!  It was 25 degrees with a huge amount of wind, and by the time I got back I couldn't feel my ears even though I was wearing a hat!

Ok, time to stop procrastinating on my thesis by blogging :)  It's due in 16 days!  Yikes!

By the way, here's the link to donate to my marathon effort: