Thursday, December 07, 2006

A couple BIG days!!!!

Well, a lot of things have gone on the past few weeks... I guess the biggest news is I defended my dissertation yesterday and passed. I am not technically Dr. Zack yet, but once I turn in my dissertation and get my diploma in May, then I will be Dr. Zack! :) The defnese went really well, not any questions I couldn't handle and I wasn't nearly as nervous as I was a few weeks ago when I gave a 1-hour talk at an algebra seminar.

Other big news...I had a phone interview with a couple schools and one of them liked me enough to fly me down for an on campus interview. The job process is probably the most anxious thing for me. Something new and different and something I am not used too. In a few more months though, I will hopefully have a job and not be so worried about where we might be.

One last big thing....I am running my first marathon on Saturday. Yikes! The training didn't go as well as I would have liked, so my goals changed from tying to run 3:40 to trying to run the whole thing without walking! :) (oh and breaking 4 hours). Turns out the weather isn't going to be least not raining, but pretty chilly, 30 degrees to start and in the mid to upper 40's by the end. Oh well, we'll see what happens.

After this weekend I can relax for awhile!!! Yeah!!! Happy Holidays everyone!!

Monday, November 20, 2006


My sister posted this on her blog...and while the game already happened it is all summed up how we grew up being Michigan fans and Bo fans. When I mentioned to Eric that he had passed away he asked "Who?" And I guess only those who were Michigan or Ohio State fans really knew who he was. It was quite shocking to hear the news and the fact that it happened the day before the game of all games was even more shocking. I must say that even though Michigan lost, they played a great game in one of the hardest stadiums to win at. Go Blue.

"So I know this is our baby blog, but I found it only appropriate to use it to address yesterday's sadness - the passing of Bo Schembechler. Growing up as a University of Michigan fan Bo was synonymous with Michigan football and a revered name in our household. He was a great ambassador for the Wolverines and coached the game with undeniable passion. He will be greatly missed, but as I'm sure he would say The Game must go on. GO BLUE!"-Krista Scott

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Search is On

I know, I know, it has been a while. I have been super busy with everything going on here in NC. School started up and I have a busy semester. Teaching 2 classes, taking 1 and sitting in on 2 more make my time precious. Plus, throw in trying to finish my thesis and publish a paper and now applying for jobs, oh and not to mention training for my first marathon, I am suprised I am even able to make it through the days.

The official job search started last week as I sent off my first two applications for October 1st deadlines. Now comes the steady stream of deadlines until mid January and then the interviewing process and then the actual hiring. I am not really limiting my search unless the school is somewhere Eric and I really don't want to live. Like neither him and I are too thrilled about jobs in North Dakota...too far away from our family and too cold for us (and too flat-not enough hiking).

Hopefully, once I get into the swing of this, things will calm down but right now I am just trying to stay afloat day after day and make the deadlines. Write the next cover letter, send off the right letters of recommendation, etc.

Marathon training is going alright too. I have absolutely no time to do anything else, so no swimming or biking, but my running is getting easier and so that is good. Going for a 5 mile run isn't long anymore and I actually have some speed and am running faster. I am currently running 4-5 days a week and 25-35 miles a week, this past weekend was my longest run ever of 13.1 miles (well I did do a half marathon in 1999 or 2000), and I ran it 10 min faster than my half marathon time then. So I was pretty pleased, right on target for the Boston qualifying time. I pick a boring (so people have said) extrememly flat course in Kiawah, South Carolina. Partly because it was good time, and close and flat. We also have friends that will be there so we will get to see them.

Anyway, back to work...The weather here is absolutely incredible, perfect running weather, not hot or humid, and since Halloween season is approaching, it is Candy Corn central at the house!!! Yeah!!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Last Triathlon for the year

Well, I know it has been a little while, but I have been super busy and stressed out lately. I did my last triathlon for the year a couple weeks ago up in Maryland. It was an all female race-1300 women participating in what turned out to be a pretty difficult course. Lots of hills on the bike and the run, very tough. If you care to read about the race (which I end up 11th overall and 1st in my age group), you can read my race report here

To turn things around, I officially signed up for my first ever marathon. I decided on Kiawah-December 9th. It is a bit daunting, not like training for a triathlon, since most of the triathlon races aren't long, but training for a marathon requires a lot more running. I ran 11 miles the other day and it was rough...and I still have 15 more to go! :) I'll try to update more, but now that school is back in and I am teaching two classes, taking 1, and sitting in on 2, I do not have very much time for myself-especially if you count all the time I am spending on writing cover letters, a teaching philosophy, research statement, etc, as I will be applying to jobs in the next few months...ahhhh!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Dress Shopping!

So, my friend sent me this link to another triathlete's blog about dress shopping. It is really funny, and very true. Now, I might not be as buff as this other chick, but I went dress shopping last weekend also for a dress to attend a wedding, and just about the same thing happened. I ended up buying a dress made out of strechy material, because I can't fit into anything normally...or maybe stores don't make their dresses to fit normal people! :) Anyway, here is her blog if you need some humor, since most of her blog entries are pretty funny, and she is a great writer, and here is her post if you feel like reading it:

"Shop ‘Til You Drop

This weekend, I had to go shopping for a dress to wear to a wedding in September. Now I enjoy shopping just as much as any other girl, but it’s limited to a few things; housewares, underwear, and food. All of which have nothing in common. For example, you will never find me standing in my underwear, wielding a spatula, and baking a cake. Along those same lines, you will never find me shopping for a dress. But there is a first time for everything, right?

With my mother along, I started at Ann Taylor, because according to my mother-in-law, the record-holding National Champion of Retail Shopping, it would be a good place to find a nice, sexy petite-sized dress. I must have looked clueless, helpless, and hopeless because upon entering the store, a woman I assume was the retail fashion support specialist gave me a look once up and down before pressing the secret button alerting any available personnel to call FEMA as the store had just been hit with a 5 ‘ 2” fashion disaster. Before back-up arrived, she quickly offered her assistance. Soon after, she led me into the dressing room with an assortment of dresses I would never wear but would have to wear because this was one of those kitschy weddings in San Diego.

“How about this” she says while pointing to some cute, dainty little black lace top with a wispy black skirt. I immediately think it would be perfect if my name was Holly Go Lightly and I was having breakfast at Tiffany’s, but I realize it is probably better to at least pretend to be interested, cooperative, and excited in the most fashionably feminine of ways.

“It’s a bustier” she added, as if that terminology meant anything to me, as if someone without a bust would want to happily accentuate being bustless and bony. I quickly point out that I don’t have much to bust-ee-up in a bustier. “Oh, nonsense,” she says and convinces me to give it a try. And moments later, to her dismay, I confirmed that yes you do need a bust to wear a bustier.

On to a halter style dress. In a perfect world, where I have perfect 34 C’s and perfect tiny little shoulders, this dress would have looked good. But after 4500 yards in the pool earlier that morning, I look like Brett Favre in drag. The retail fashion support specialist looks at me and makes a giant leap of logic, “You must workout.” I wonder what gives her that idea. Perhaps the fact that a winter’s worth of swimming has left me with the super-sized shoulders and the veins of an addict after a long night of fixing. “Yeah, a little,” I lie and wonder if they have a special section for those of us that workout. It seems like they have a section or store for every other type of person out there but what I haven’t seen is the section for Ironman, for women who have eaten their body weight in food for the week and walk around in cycling shorts and jog bras because their shoulders are too big or waists are too small or thighs are too swollen to fit into any normal clothes.

Next up, a classic sexy little black dress with a slip-like halter top in size 0P. Not to be confused with the cool clothing line from the 80’s (OP), a size 0P stands for zero petite. In other words, you are so small that you almost mean nothing to us but we had to make a size for you anyways so we figured we’d call you a zero to rub in the fact that you are too small to shop in an adult store or wear big girl pants so you best take your business Baby Gap. Despite feeling like a zero, a nada, a nothing, I take a few spins around and I’m quite pleased – it doesn’t make me look like I have the shoulders of a linebacker, or inverted breasts, or the arms a gorilla. Curious, and considering a purchase, I look at the pricetag. $158. Wait a minute, does it do something else? Is there an added feature that I’m missing? Was it not costly enough for me to stand in this dressing room surrounded by what feels like carnival funhouse mirrors under excessive and unflattering lighting as I tried on five dresses that reminded of the fact that I am too small in some places, too big in others, and in general too short for everything. File this one under “N” for nada or NO.

Disgruntled, I try to abruptly take the dress off while cursing Ann Taylor, whoever she is, and her over-priced outfits and somehow in trying to get out of the dress, it spins an impenetrable web around me. This type of superpower must be why it costs $158, I thought. Trapped in its sticky hold, I make a forceful effort to wiggle my way out but the silky layers of the dress shuffle around me leaving my arms, head, and shoulders entwined with the tiny black straps for hanging, the halter straps, and the zipper.

“Liz? Where are you?” my mom calls out from the dressing room area.

“I’m in here,” I mumble in a voice muffled under layers of sheer black fabric.

Standing there, trapped and blinded with the dress half over my head, I think to myself someone PLEASE HELP because right now I am a fly trapped in a sticky, silky web scared by the thought that a spider might crawl out of these funhouse mirrors and eat me alive and even more scared that if I can’t get out of this dress I might just have to buy it at full retail price.

In effort to get my mom’s attention, I wave one foot out from under the dressing room to signal where I am trapped in this black hole of a dress. Reluctantly, she enters the dressing room probably with her eyes half covered because how forbidden if she saw me half dressed, it’s not like I passed through her vagina 31 years ago or anything, and she unzips, unravels, and dewebs me, as I stand flustered, red-faced, and hot from trying to detangle myself free.

She shakes her head and tells me to try on the next dress. I put it on and instantly I am transported back to my childhood, standing in my grandmother’s house, looking out the window. And that’s when I realize I am wearing grandma’s curtains or tablecloths or any other over-flowered, thick, tacky linen with sweeping, swirling shapes in some horribly rustic and outdated color.

“Hey mom,” I call from the dressing room.

“What,” she says with waning enthusiasm.

“When Donna Reed realized she wasn’t tall enough to hang her draperies, she decided to wear them instead,” I say modeling the latest in fine curtain-inspired apparel.

Indeed, this was going to be a very long day. And this was not nearly as fun as shopping for spatulas.

Next I find myself in Cache, one of those cool stores that you never have a reason to go into but now that I am on this mission to look sexy and oh so stunning I had a reason to go into this type of upscale, overpriced, looks are everything store. We search through the racks of strappy, sultry dresses only to find one that might possibly fit me, if the stars and heavens have aligned in the past hour. Never mind the $188 price tag, or the fact that the dress was way too long. The crux of the problem with this dress was that it was the color of soft poo. You know, the kind of poo you get after you’ve been running for 20 miles on nothing but gels and Gatorade on a hot day. But at least I liked the style.

My mom takes a look after I step out of the dressing room. “What is that for?” she says pointing to the oversized pockets of fabric centered near my chest.

“Well, I suppose that’s where breasts would go if you had them,” I explained.

She thinks out loud, “No, I think that’s the style of the dress. It’s one of those dresses where you wouldn’t need to wear a bra.”

No bra? No way. Years of running have left the twins running in completely different directions and at this point you could pave a four lane highway between my breasts and I wouldn’t know the difference because there is so much space between them. And at the very least, I would hope they put an I-Pass along that highway because it would be nice to make some extra pocket change to put into my coffee fund.

“Let’s keep looking,” I suggest.

My feet are growing weary and my head is starting to hurt, but I am determined to cross the finish line today with a dress in hand. We push on to the petite section of Nordstrom’s to find another a fine selection of dresses suitable for the small wonders like me. I grab a few dresses, not even regarding the style, color, or size, and bring them into the dressing room. I try the first one on.

“How does it look?” my mother asks with a growing and impatient curiosity.

I step out to reveal a dress that can only be described as It’s Not Easy Being Green in color and gypsy-like in style. It looks quite nice, except for the obvious color catastrophe.

“What do you even call this?” I wonder. I find the tag and notice the dress color is called ‘pesto’. “Mom, I am wearing pesto,” I say, and we both erupt in giggles. Being Italian, pesto is something you find on your dinner plate and not on your dress.

Wondering if the dress comes in another color, we approach the clerk at the counter. She informs us that it comes in a rainbow of colors, including peacock, eggplant, passionfruit, storm, and, how boring – black. I wonder if we are talking about fancy martini flavors, the latest line of Crayola crayons, or if she has confused my inquiry with a game of things you might find your pantry. Dressless and definitely not settling for wearing pesto to a wedding, we leave the store.

As a last resort, we head to Nieman Marcus – a store filled with nothing you need but everything that rich people must want. In other words, it’s mostly empty with a few exorbitantly priced items that are totally unnecessary, useless, and not even that nice. Perusing the dress section, my mom finds a black dress, “This one is nice,” she says. I agree, it is nice, it is black and small and it might be an option but right then and there I am tackled by the price tag which just jumped out and shouted $788. In my mind, I wonder why (or how) someone would pay that much for a dress when you could have 3 aero helmets, 4 new pairs of Rudy Projects, or a new front wheel from Zipp. In fact, you could race Kona and still have money left over for a new pair of Shimano carbon cycling shoes. Or you could wear this dress. I suppose it’s a choice that most women do not have to make. And with that, we made the choice to walk out.

Three hours have gone by and I feel like I’ve pushed out 300 watts uphill into the wind, with my mom on my back. I need a gel, I need a sports drink, I need a break. I am baffled how women can do this for hours each and every Saturday. Put me on a bike and point me west for 100 miles any day – as long as it’s no where near the mall. Humbled and defeated, I walk back to the car without a dress. I begin to wonder if shopping is like working out. Will my muscles have memory? Will it get easier next time? Have I built up the endurance to handle a few more hours next week? Let’s hope so, because there’s only so many more sun-dried tomato and kalamata olive colored dresses that I can try. And besides, with all of this Ironman training, I’m likely to eat a dress called pesto if you leave it in front of me for too long.

posted by Elizabeth Fedofsky @ 8:46 AM"

Friday, August 18, 2006

Back to Work

Now that we are back at home, hopefully for a good while, it is time to get back at it. School starts Wednesday, and I wish it were later. My 6 or so weeks off seem to have flown by and I am not ready to get back into school again. I have been trying to work on my thesis a bit and it is coming along. I would say over 80% done, and all the math related stuff is done. Just editing and adding some commentary here and there.

Next up on the agenda is trying to pusblish part of it. That started today in my meeting with my advisor. Just went through deciding what we wanted to take out and what we wanted to include. Now becomes the task of actually writing it. Yeah. I have also been working on lesson plans for the new class I am teaching at Meredith- Exploring with Mathematics...a crazy mix of random math stuff. So far of the lessons I have looked at we have Venn Diagrams, Inductive and Deductive arguments, and uses of percentages... :)

Well, just a few short days left of freedom and then have to get moving again.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Sad Week

I had wanted to write up a little blog on the things I would recommend and what I would not from our trip but as usual, things got super busy....

My grandfather (on my dad's side) passed away on Sunday and Eric and I drove to the funeral which was only in Boone (3 1/2 hours away) Tuesday morning and then stayed with my whole family Tuesday and Wednesday and came home last night a little after 9pm. Then Eric received word that his Great Aunt (more like his grandmother) passed away yesterday, so we will be driving up to Buffalo tomorrow for a couple days and then driving home on Tuesday evening...a much longer drive of 10+ hours.

My grandfather was no suprise, he has had alzheimers (sp) for quite some time and in the past year, he has deteriorated pretty rapidly. He has been in a nursing home for about 2 years, and apparently got pneumonia and his kidneys stopped working. While I knew this day was going to come sooner than later, it was still a very sad day, and me being a very emotional person, manage to hold it together for the majority of the event. What was so wonderful is the fact that my dad's whole family and their spouses were together. He is one of 6 siblings and they are a bunch of fun when they are all together. They had a great time laughing and telling stories and it was so nice to see them all together.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The most Beautiful Place in America

Wednesday morning we headed to Yosemite and were there until Saturday afternoon. I think we could have stayed a week longer, it was so amazing. When we got there we had a long drive into the valley so we took a detour up to Glacier Point, an overlook down to the valley. It was breathtaking. Half Dome is completely inspiring and to see it up close was absolutely amazing. We spent a little while there, taking pictures and then took a small hike (4.5 miles) to the top of Sentinel Dome where you can get a 360 degree panoramic view of Yosemite. Just beautiful. Eric said at this point that we could go home, because it couldn't get any more beautiful then where we were.

Then we headed down into the valley and checked into our hotel. Which did not have air conditioning...ummm...haven't I already mentioned the record highs??? :) Our hotel room was over 100 and there were not windows because of the bears and animals...we did have some vents and a fan that when we were in the room could open the door and bring in some of the cooler air. We found out our first night we had to be careful and two raccoons were just about to walk into our room and Eric started yelling at them to get out.

We went on a nother short (4 mile) hike up to the bottom of Upper Yosemite Falls...I wouldn't recommend this one for the weak. It was 1.5 mile up the side of a cliff! About 2 hours of stair climbing. I felt better at altitude but the hike was tough. We made it to see the falls (the 5th largest in the word), but it was another 1.5 miles straight up to the top of the falls and we were pretty tired. We came back down and got in the hotel pool to cool off and relax a bit before heading to dinner.

Our next day we woke up early (7am), and went for our longer hike up towards Half Dome. We went up past Vernal and Nevada falls and then about a mile further before turning around. Again this hike was tought. Another two hours of stair master, but so worth it. We took the Mist Trail up and the John Muir trail back down and the falls were beautiful. The Mist trail goes right up the side of the falls so you get sprayed with water from the falls, so relaxing and we got to see some rainbows. Overall, it took us 6 hours to do the 8 miles, but we stopped for lunch at the top and hung out for a while. We tooled around the valley when we got back, watch a movie on Yosemite at the Visitor Center (air condintioned!) and walked to Lower Yosemite Falls.

On our next day we headed up to Toulemme Meadows, on the way we stopped to get a campsite for the night and did a hike up to May Lake (2.4 miles). By now we were at 10000ft and the altitude change was hard again. The lake was so blue and clear and there was still snow up there even though it was 80 degrees! After the May Lake trip we continued to the Meadows and did the 4.5 mile hike to Elizabeth Lake. By far the best hike. It was absolutely beautiful the entire time. However, when we got to the lake we got eaten alive by we had to turn back sooner than we would have liked. This was the only time that the mosquitos were bad. After we got back we tooled around the meadows (FLAT and beautiful) and then headed back to camp and made some freeze dried meals and called it a day.

We woke up the next morning to 48 degree temps!! Partially because the heat wave was ending and partially because we were at 9000 feet. But it was way welcomed from the previous week of being hot. This was our last day and we went back to the meadows for a longer 7 mile hike to Cathedral Lake. This was the best place for me. The hike wasn't as beautiful as Elizabeth Lake but when we got to Cathedral lake, the scenery just blew me away. It opened up to a huge meadow and glacier rock to the side and cathedral peak in the back, just breathtaking. After our hike, we paid $4 each to shower and headed back to San Fran (took 5 hours), ate some dinner and took the red eye back home.

This was an absolutely amazing trip. Just beautiful. I don't know how we will find another place like it. It is so cool how there are so many different types of environments there, it is just unreal.

Well, this was long enough...I am happy to be home but also wished we could have spend more time.

Oh and did I mention we saw a baby black bear!!! So cool!!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

On Tuesday we headed up to the mountains. After being in the hot hot weather we welcomed the little relief from being up 7000ft. Eric really wanted to see the BIG trees so that was why we headed up there, and yes, they were BIG both very tall and very huge around. We saw a couple of the oldest trees and the biggest tree on earth-not by height but by volume-since it was so wide and tall. We also took a short hike to see some really cool waterfalls that took a lot longer than we thought. And then lastly we hiked up about 400 stairs to the top of Moro Rock that looked out onto the entire valley.

We set up camp at a nice campground and tried to sleep. It was just a bit too hot that night camping. The record heat was just brutal and I was too scared to have my screen open since I would be facing the open woods and was scared I might wake up to a bear in my face!! After a decent night we woke up and had breakfast and headed to Yosemite...the most beautiful place on Earth (at least as much of it as I have seen)!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Wineries

On Monday, we left our hotel and headed north through the traffic to Napa Valley. I had scheduled a 10:30 tour at Cakebread Cellars, a highly recommended winery. We made it up there with about 10 minutes to spare and went on the tour. We didn't go too far through the winery but the girl who gave our tour was excellent and I learned a whole lot about the entire process of making wine. I liked some of the wines here, they were very crisp, but EZ didn't really like any of them. We then headed up to Vi Sattui and walked around the grounds there and ate some lunch. We did a single wine tasting there and shared some of the wines and ended up buying a single bottle of a really sweet red wine that Eric liked the best.

We then made our way over the mountain on this crazy curvy road into Sonoma Valley and went to the last winery Kaz. Kaz is pretty different, everything is organic and they make their wine the "old" way so it is more acidic, and they specialize in reds and ports. I bought a bottle of their port and the winemaker, Kaz was there so he signed the bottle for me. Eric wasn't too into the wineries and was in a bad mood, so we didn't go to the last winery I had picked out.

We headed out on our way to Modesto and made it there right at dinner time, where we again had good ole In-N-Out!! It was super hot there, 116 was what the thermometer said, we were in the middle of a heat wave out in CA-they were having record highs and rolling blackouts from the power usage. We had a good nights sleep and headed to Sequoia National Park on Tuesday to see the BIG BIG trees!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Back from Vacation

Well, we are finally back from our over a week long vacation to California. It was a great trip. We spent the first few days in San Fran and did lots of touristy things. The first day we went into the city and it happen to be Spare the Air day-so all mass transit was FREE!!!! We wanted to take a boat ride and tour Alcatrez but the tours were booked for four days so we opted for renting big clunky mountain bikes and riding along the wharf and the across the Golden Gate Bridge, over into the cute town of Sausilito and walked around. We rode a little further before turning around and taking the ferry back to San Fran. It was a great time even though we get extremely sunburnt!

Our second day, after a long run in the heat and bright sun (even though it was 7 am), we drove around Palo Alto and walked around Standford. We only made it about an hour, since it was over 100 and it was only 10am. So we drove around the campus and the town which was really nice. Then we headed to Santa Cruz and drove up the Pacific Coast Highway 1 for the beautiful scenery. After going through the nice town of Half Moon Bay we headed back to our hotel and then went out for dinner at IN-N-OUT!! Followed by ice cream at Cold Stone, yum yum!!!!

Our third day we went back into the city and started out by walking around Golden Gate Park. Wow, it is so huge. We walked around for quite a while and then walked through the Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers. Then we ate at a great Dim Sun restaruant. I had really wanted to try Dim Sun, and we tried some really different foods, that normally I wouldn't try. My favorite: Crab Stuffed Shrimp claws. Least Fav: Fried Tofu. After lunch we headed to the where the large victorian houses and did a walking tour that was in our book. Saw some huge houses and absoultely amazing views of the bay. We headed back after a long day of walking around and went to eat at a nice mexican restaurant where we got some fish tacos (shirmp tacos for me!).

Well, that was our time in San Fran...will continue later on the rest of our journey which included the wineries and hiking in Sequoia and Yosemite

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hot and Humid

The weather lately has been absolutely dreadful. I think it would be ok if it was hot, but the humidity is just a killer. I have tried to go out and run lately and even getting up in the morning when it is cooler doesn't really help. I am pretty sure though that we still have another month or so of this hot and humid weather and then it will calm down a bit. We are headed out west on Thursday for vacation and while our plans have changed quite a bit due to ez's torn calf which has canceled our 4 day hike in Yosemite, we are now spending more time in San Fran and going to do the winery Napa Valley thing and spend a day in Kings Canyon and Sequoia so Eric can see the BIG trees! :) I am really looking forward to the trip and just the chance to get away. We have a new digital (waterproof) camera and hopefully I will post some pictures after we get back!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Triangle Triathlon

This past sunday we raced here in Raleigh for our big team race. It was nice that almost our whole team was at the race. The elite female wave was deep this time so I had no hope of actually fact I finished last out of the elite women...I don't know why I raced elite this year. I think I would have been happier had I raced age group...maybe I would be a little more confident. Actually, my swim is always at the top and my bike is usually pretty good but my running is like I can't run at all.

I have actually been feeling worse and worse when I am running and Eric and I have started to think that maybe it is from my new bike. I am set up on that bike in a much stronger position where I mainly use my quads. The problem though is that I am a quad runner. So by the time I get to the run I have already exhausted my quads quite a bit. I am going to try and start focusing more on running with my hamstrings and get them developed and hopefully next year things will be a little better. After we come back from vacation Eric is going to help me with some exercises that will hopefully help me.

Anyway, if you want to read my race report you can go to and read it there. I am glad I am done racing for a while. And I am really excited about our vacation next week!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

House Shopping

So over the weekend Eric and I were kind of bored and wanted to get out of the house so we decided to go drive around and look at houses. There are a few brand new communities building in a perfect location if I end up getting a job here so we walked around in their model homes.

It was so exciting and it made both of us get really excited about buying our own house soon and it made me want to stay here in NC. I had been debating on whether or not I wanted to stay here but house shopping was lots of fun. Of course, there has to be a job here I can get, and a job I would want, and I would then have to be offered the job after applying. Then EZ reminded me that even if I get a job somewhere else we would be house shopping there too. So I guess it doesn't matter where we end up because either way we will get to have our own home soon (well, kind of soon-over a year seems soon right now).

Now Eric has been fowarding me houses he finds while he sits on the internet at work and the more I see the more I wish I just had a job already and we could find a house and start decorating it...which in my free time now that I am not working, i am addicting to HGTV and all the remodeling/decorating shows! :)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Viva La Tour!!

So yeah, the Tour DAY France started over the weekend. I have really been looking forward to it this year, no offense to Lance, but I thought it would become a great tour since he wasn't going to be there. There are some great riders and I was rooting for Ivan Basso...not just because I ride his bike now, but because I thought he could win (along with most people since he was the favorite).

On Friday I received an email from EZ stating our bikes were now worthless because Basso along with a whole lot of other great riders were being suspended for drug allogations. Really sucks. I mean this whole drug scandle that is going on is huge. Eric mentioned that a couple of the top runners are now also being linked to it as well-which if all of it turns out to be true just is a huge blow to sports in general. How can you look up to someone knowing that they are cheating. It just amazes me how many athletes might be caught up in this mess and if they did use the drugs then how disappointed it makes me (and I am sure others) feel that these top athletes can't do it on their own.

Enough of that though...still excited that the Tour is on and now that I can't root for Basso...I am rooting for good ole George Hincapie-who won the yellow jersey yesterday. I have always liked George (as long as I have been following cycling-which is only a few years), he just seems like a great person and to work so hard for Lance and now be on top is quite an accomplishment.

Should be a great few weeks of racing nontheless...I just wish Bob Roll would stop calling it the Tour Day France.... :)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Thank you Powerbar!

Being part of this triathlon team, we are sponsored by a whole bunch of different companies, one of which is powerbar. Now back when I was swimming, Powerbar only made those chewy powerbars, but now they make all sorts of different types of bars and gels and drinks. Our sponsorship allowed our team a set amount of money to spend on powerbar stuff-whether is be any of the food items, or shirts, hats, water bottles, etc. So our team split the money evenly and then we all placed an order.

Eric and I spent about half our alloted money and what we got was about 15 boxes of different powerbar bars (lots of Pria bars as those are my fav), and each box has about 15 bars in them, plus we got 3 canisters of their endurance drink mix. This is a whole lot of loot that I am sure Eric and I will go through pretty quickly. But we still have a lot money left to spend on more yummies.

I tried the Pria Strawberry Shortcake bar today and it was really good!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

YEAH!!! I am DONE!!!

I finally submitted my last set of grades today for my last class so I am officially done with summer school this summer. I don't ever want to teach 3 classes in summer school again. It was just way to exhausting, both physically and mentally. There were days that I couldn't even remember what I was talking about anymore. And it didn't help that all three of my classes were completely different-College Algebra, Calculus 3, and Statistics. I mean 3 totally different classes with 3 totally different sets of students.

I can now relax a little bit. Except for the fact that my advisor wants me to finish a part of my thesis by next week so that he can have it when he goes on vacation. Other than that I need to work on putting together my resume package for applying to schools in the fall. And in a few weeks Eric and I will be heading off to Yosemite for vacation! Yeah, I can't wait!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Kure Beach

I signed up for a triathlon that was down at the beach over the weekend. When I signed up I had no idea that I would be overly busy with school work to train all that much, but oh well. This was my first triathlon I did two years ago and I enjoyed it then, so I thought I would sign up again.

The format is crazy as it is a 375m ocean swim, followed by a 1.5 mile run, 12 mile bike, 1.5 mile run back to the beach and another 375m ocean swim. Now 2 years ago when I did this race the ocean was beautiful and calm race morning. Yesterday, we got to the beach and were welcomed by lots of wind, a little sprinkling rain and huge waves and crazy undertoe. At first I thought, no big deal about a month ago we raced surf n turf and it was pretty bad their. But after what I went through yesterday, I don't want to do another ocean swim again. I was seriously scared out of my mind.

First the buoys they anchored out (kind of past the breakers) all came undone and floated away since the surf was too much. So the race director had the lifegaurds swim out and hold the buoys in place. How they did this...who knows. We were all convinced that practically everyone swam a different swim course. After the first swim and being hammered by the waves I wanted to give up, but I fought through a painful run and a pretty great bike to not give up. On my way back on the worse run ever I did not want to get back into the ocean. And actually it was way worse the second time around. It took so much energy to get out to the lifegaurds and on the way back in a got taken under by a wave just flipping me upside down underwater. When I got up to the surface gasping for air I got swept under again and flipped around-total black and very scary just hoping that I can hold my breath long enough to resurface and get some air again. It was just horrible.

I have never been so happy to finish a race. You can read the race report if you want-over at our website link on the right.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Man Cave

The last night I was up in Michigan with the family we went over to their friends house. THey have the exact same house as my parents do except backwards (you know one of those neighborhoods where you pick the model). Well, they have remodeled their basement to be what is now called the Man Cave. My dad and a bunch of guys play poker there once a month and no joke, this place is amazing.

There is a huge bar/kitchen area with gorgeous marble countertops and they have a whole sound system set up where the computer monitor hangs on the wall and then they can choose their music (from the 12000-yes 12 thousand) songs they have on itunes. There is alos a theater room with a massaging chair which I had to test out! The theater room has two levels, so the people on the top row can see over the people on the bottom, they don't have theater sytle chairs, just nice couches and chairs-very comfortable. The projector scree is definitely the biggest I have ever seen. There is also a temperature controled wine celler (not too big but big enough). These folks are into their wines.

So while we were there they opened up some red wine. I am not a huge wine person, so instead he opens the fridge an asks me what I would like instead. My choices include just about every type of beer/malt liquor possible. So I opted for a margarita. After the first bottle of wine was consumed, they opened a second and then a third, and then a forth. I proceeded to try the peach wine cooler after the margarita. We all just hung out and talked and tried this $100 (VERY small) bottle of Cherry Balsamic Vinegar from Italy they had bought on a recent trip. The vinegar was actually really good. So 5 hours later (11:30pm), we all headed home to pack up as we had to be up at 4:30am to go to the airport.

Anyway, it we ever have a big house and a lot of money, this would definitely be a cool room/floor of the house to copy. Definitely need the massaging chair!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


So two weeks ago I flew up to Detroit for a long weekend (not the best of time since it is the middle of summer school). Eric didn't come since it was a little too expensive for both of us to fly up there for the weekend. I flew up through DC (Regan) and got I don't ever want to fly through that airpoit again, what a mess. I got in late Friday evening and my parents had the fire pit going so we sat around and drank and ate and stayed warm.

I convinced Krista to go running with me while I was there since I am in the middle of heavy training and she said sure-even though she hasn't been running hardly at all. So Saturday morning we went out for a short run (4 miles for me, a little over 3 for her) and then got ready to go see Wicked.

We were going to the afternoon show since apparently the theater is in a bad part of downtown Detroit and the Masonic Temple was beautiful!! I had tried to read the book but I just couldn't get through it...just too slow for me. I read Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and thought it was great but Wicked was just a bit slow. After seeing the play thought, I could tell that second half of the book was probably really amazing. I would highly recommend this play to anyone, it ranks right up there as one of my favorites, along with Rent (and Mamma Mia). And the music was just great. The lady who played Elphaba (The Wicked Witch) was the understudy and I think she had the best voice out of anyone on the stage (and including the recording voice on the soundtrack), it was that good. I would see it again if it ever comes to town here, but definitely want to be a little closer.

My Aunt and Uncle and cousins came over for the evening and we just hung out and watch the hockey game...good times as usual. Sunday morning I convinced my sister that we could run to Jenny's Farm Stand (a little over 8 miles) and get breakfast. Actually, my mom and Ethan would drive over to the farm stand and pick us up on the way if we didn't want to go the entire time. I ran together with her for the first 4.5 miles and then I ran ahead and she ended up getting picked up while I managed to make it the whole way...this is my 3 longest run ever. My first being the half marathon I did back in 2000, my 2nd being the 10 mile run I did over a year ago...the day my knee began to this is very good for me.

We got some strawberries and sweet cream biscuits and ate "strawberry shortcake" for breakfast...and it was SOOOOOO good. Wow, those biscuits were awesome. The rest of the day consisted of running errands (twice to Costco) and lunch with my other cousin and her husband...who might be moving to Tennessee.

I will write more about the evening (the Man Cave) another day...this is long enough!

Either way...what you should learn is to go see Wicked!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sorry Monica

So I have been really slack about updating my blog...but I have very good reasons. My last blog was about a month ago, right when summer school started. I initally was teaching two summer school classes-College Algebra and Calculus 3. This was keeping me busy enough, but then a couple weeks into summer school I was asked to teach a third class-Introduction to Statistics and of course I said yes...I thought it wouldn't be too bad as I was taking over for someone. I figured, it is only a few weeks and the pay is great for summer school-it turned out that it was a lot more work than anticipated and I have been just struggling to make it. Luckily, this is the last week of summer school for all three classes, so after this week I am free for the rest of the summer! Yeah! And then I promise to keep my blog updated Monica!!!

I did a race about a month ago down at the beach and did pretty good. I was third overall and beat some really great people which was a huge confidence booster. You can read my race report here: Training has been going alright despite the fact that I hardly have any free time from the teaching. I was doing great until this past weekend and my knee has been really sore for some reason. Hopefully I didn't do anything serious to it. I have been icing and popping advil and it is slowly feeling better, but we'll see.

I will try to update more frequently-as I actually have some things to report!!


Monday, May 15, 2006

The Big Ring

I decided that I needed to have a pretty hard training week last week, so that is what I did. After taking Monday off (the day after the race), I did a couple of doubles and a miserable long run (only made it 6.5 miles so I guess is wasn't really a long run) and a hill workout on the bike.

Sunday Eric and I rode long-for us that is-40 miles, which is a decent long ride for me. It was pretty windy and I was glad that I was riding with Eric so I could sit on his wheel and not have to work as hard. Eric was going to ride the last 10K fast to simulate racing as he was going to do a hard run afterwards. Me, I was only riding but decided that I would try and ride the last 10K with him and see how long I could hold on. I was hoping just to make it about halfway but it turns out I stayed on his wheel the entire time! I was so proud of myself and didn't realize I had it in me to really go that fast (over 25mph).

This brings me to talking about the big ring. I have only ridden in my big ring once and just to test it out and see how it was, but I decided that I should get into the big ring and just push hard for those 6 miles and it was amazing. I had been talking to Eric about the race last weekend and how I felt like I could have gone so much harder. I was just spinning and spinning fast, and I know that I could have ridden harder and faster. Now that I have done this little 6 miles hard in the big ring, I have much more confidence in myself and my riding and I will be testing it out this weekend when we race again. My goal is to just hammer on the bike in the big ring and just see how it goes on the run. We'll see-there are some pretty fast cyclists racing this weekend and I am just hoping to hold them off until I get hammered on the run! :)

Monday, May 08, 2006

White Lake

We spent the weekend at White Lake for an important triathlon this past weekend. One of the races both Eric and I wanted to do well at was this one. I really enjoyed this race last year and did extremely well and Eric was aiming for the win and the chance to race at a special Best of the US race in September.

We got there early Saturday morning so we could watch the end of the Half Ironman since a few of our friends were racing. It turned out to be a great race and I enjoyed seeing them all do so well. We hung out in the afternoon, did a loop of the bike course (7 miles) and swam a little (about 500). The lake was a bit chilly when you first got in but felt alright after you swam for a bit.

Dinner as usual was a pizza/italian place. And the pizza, just like at Surf n Turf last year, was super cheesy and not a lot of sauce...but just too cheesy for me. Good thing I ordered a salad and garlic bread to go with it. We played some cards and a couple friends used our place to sleep.

I ended up doing alright at the race. I feel like I am just not that competitive with my running and cycling, and think that maybe in another year I could be pretty good, as long as I don't get injured any more! You can read my race report at

It ended up pouring rain from about noon until about 8 or 9 last night. So it was great that it held off for the race. When we got home we laid around for awhile and I graded papers. One class is done with and I give another final tomorrow-so more grading to come. It should be a pretty uneventful week as that it all I have to do before summer school starts up next Monday. AHHH! Only 6 weeks and then a break for the rest of the summer!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Catch 22

I was up at James Madison University this past weekend for a fun filled and exciting math conference. I drove up Saturday morning, bringing one of my friends who was also talking at the conference. It took about 4 and a half hours to drive up there, which is pretty quick (as I drive pretty fast) :) But I was trying to make good time, because we had to be there by noon.

We got there about 11:50 and hung out while a speaker was finishing his talk. We then went to lunch with all the people and the JMU dining hall. Wow, very nice dining facilities. It is like a food court at the mall or something. All these stations with high quality food. Very nice.

After lunch and talking with some people, we came back and I gave my talk that afternoon. It went fairly well. There was a man who asked a few questions, and while I wasn't prepared to answer them, I answered one incorrectly, and one while my answer was ok, I actually had a much better answer after thinking about it that evening. Turns out that I knew the answers but not off the top of my head, and I guess being put on the spot and not expecting it made me nervous. Oh well, as my advisor says, they don't know what I am talking about so if I said the wrong thing they wouldn't know the difference! :)

We went to dinner with the group as well and I got a chance to talk to a few difference professors at different smaller schools around here (VA, GA). Turns out what I thought about trying to get hired at these smaller schools is not true. I was under the impression that schools like JMU, Georgia State, George Mason, Virgina Commonwealth would hired recent graduates without a postdoc. But turns out even these schools want someone with a postdoc or a lot of research. The problem is that there are hardly any postdocs available for pure math. Even the George Mason guy was like, "yeah it is a catch 22 isn't it." So now I have to reevaluate my planning.

I guess it is great that I am almost done with my thesis and am already starting to work on something else. This way I can try to get something published soon and then have something to say I am working on when I am applying. It was just kind of frustrating to think that I was on the right path and was thinking if I did apply to some teaching jobs at smaller schools, then I might have a shot. It is also good that I found all this out so that I am more prepared too. Most of the people there were very impressed that I also work at Meredith as adjunct faculty.

Also makes me think that the NSA and CIA are becoming more and more appealing!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Training Week

I raced last Sunday at Miniman- 2.4 mile run, 12 mile bike, 1.2 mile run. It didn't go great, but I can't complain either. I didn't really rest at all for the race, just took the Saturday real easy, but I ran really hard Friday afternoon (although not intentionally)! This was my first duathlon and as I am not the greatest runner it was much more difficult than I had anticipated.

Usually, I get on the bike in a triathlon feeling fresh and warmed up. But hoping onto the bike after running-not nice for my legs which were already a bit tired and sore. Oh well. My ride wasn't great-it just hurt-especially the hills. With my new bike the hills are much easier but I just didn't have it in my legs to push them hard. Turns out three of the girls in front of me went off course (about 1.8 miles) on the bike so I ended up passing them and getting 4th overall. They probably all would have finished ahead of me had they not gone off course, but 4th overall isn't bad for my first duathlon.

Of course, my T2 transition was a blazing 38 seconds, the fastest out of any male or it typically is pretty fast. Eric is always amazed as this, and can't seem to figure out how I do it...I am not sure I know either-just go go go. You can view my race report (and find photos) at

This week has just been training-did a long ride Tuesday and felt great, did a brick yesterday and felt good, and swam this morning and did good too. I am going to go for a few more hard days before I take a nice rest week for the race next weekend.

I am headed up to James Madision this weekend for a math conference-yeah. I talk on Saturday afternoon on my research. Should be pretty low key, one of my friends is going and talking right after me. I tried to talk Eric into going but he didn't feel like having a stressful weekend (of driving). Maybe he will get around to reapolstering the other cushions on the couch then!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Am I really a good teacher?

Sometimes I think I am a great teacher and I think my students think that too. Then certain things happen and you wonder if you really are. I know somepeople don't care if they are or not, but to me it is important. I feel like if I am good at something then I am making a difference or something like that. So 3 years ago I was nominated for a teaching award. I then got observed by 3 different faculty members and then this committee meets and decides who is the best and they win (cash money here people). So I didn't win my first year-no big deal, there are about 15 people competing for the award and they tend to give it to the older folks. Well, you automatically qualify to be in the running the next year if you don't win. So last year I again was observed 3 times and yet again did not win. Oh well I thought. So again this year I get observed by 3 more people and I again find out I didn't win. Then I start wondering, what if I just by accident got nominated 3 years ago and now just keep getting rolled over into the next year. Who knows if I really am a effective teacher or not.

I also had decided to apply to a program called Preparing the Professoriate about a month and a half ago. I had to write up some things-a resume, teaching philosophy, etc... What happens is in the fall I would sit in on an upper level class (Abstract Algebra) and then next spring I would get to teach it. This is an area that a lot of my research is in and I really enjoy it so that is why I chose to apply. Well, I received a letter yesterday saying that I was not chosen. I can still actually sit in the class and then teach it, but again I did not get accepted into the program-meaning it won't go on my resume and I do not receive the great $2000 that goes along with it. ($2000 is a lot for someone who doesn't make hardly any $$!!!)

I was pretty upset yesterday about the whole thing. I have been thinking about applying to industry jobs, in particular the NSA and CIA (both pay really well) and this whole not getting these awards has confirmed my whole decision about that. So who knows, maybe I won't be teaching when I am done with this whole ph.d thing.

Oh-and Mom just so you know I changed the settings on my blog so you-or anyone can leave comments now. :)

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Exhausting City of DC

Eric and I spent a long weekend up in DC for Easter. It was a Christmas present from Eric's parents. We meet them and his brother and his family there for a family get together. We stayed outside DC in Crystal/Pentagon City, about a 10 min walk to the metro. The first day we were there we got up early (of course-do we ever sleep in) and went the Smithsonian. We hung out at the Natural History Museum and the American History Museum (EZ's choice). We went through them (or parts of them) pretty quick. We decided to head up to tour George Washington and then go to Georgetown. We didn't really see much of GWU-I think mainly because it is just woven into the city. We walked towards Georgetown and shopped along M Street which had tons of shops. Had to stop at the Lush store and pick up some stuff-if you like shops like Body Works and Bath and Body Shop-you might love Lush. Everything there is all natural and smells amazing. They have very unique products and their Bath Bombs and Bubble bath bars are great. Lately I have been trying their new soaps and have fell in love with 17 Cherry Tree Lane-great smelling, smooth creamy soap. You can check out their stuff at

After shopping and grabbing some crazy expensive ice cream (~$5 for a single scoop) we toured Georgetown and wow what a beautiful school. By the time we were done it was late in the afternoon and we headed back to the hotel-exhausted. We probably walked a good 4 or 5 miles that day-just on our feet all day. We meet up with Eric's family and went to dinner. Saturday we meet one of my friends for breakfast at a cute spot (Pete's Diner) on Capitol Hill. It was great catching up with you Marissa! We then headed to the art museum (my choice) and did the Cezanne exhibit. We just hung out in DC that afternoon-spent some time in Barnes and Noble and went to the Ford Theater (where Lincoln was shot) and walk around Chinatown where we had dinner with a couple of Eric's friends. After that we met up with Eric's family in the pool of our hotel and just talked.

We woke up early Sunday morning and went for a run and then we all had breakfast together and hung out before everyone left. We drove home and made great time-only took us a little under 4 hours to ge to Chapel Hill and like 4:15 to home. Eric decided we could go out and ride too so we did a 25 mile loop and worked the hills really hard. I was very impressed with my self as I was able to keep up with Eric on most of the hills.

Now it is time for another week. Just a regular week and a short duathon this week!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Red Shiny Bike

I was finally able to pick my bike up and ride it yesterday. It is really sweet. Feels really fast and is super lightweight...even lighter than my cat!! :) I rode for close to 25 miles yesterday and another 25 today. I had to switch the seat yesterday as the one I put on was not comfy. So after my 25 miles yesterday my butt is hurting pretty bad. I rode today with my saddle that I had on my original bike, and while it was better, still not great. I will have to look around for another one.

We are headed to DC this afternoon (actually in like an hour), so it should be fun. THere is a pool at the hotel, but I don't think there is a hot that would be the best!! Oh well. Not sure what we are going to do all weekend, but it hopefully will be a nice little mini vacation. Happy Easter!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Feeling Better

This being sick thing has taken its toll on me, but I am getting better. Still have a lot of congestion and coughing quite a bit but I feel a whole lot better. The weekend started out kind of dreary. I went to pick up my bike but we ended up switching some parts so it was going to take longer than expected. Once they switched out some stuff and I tested it again they finally have to glue this last part and it has to sit for a day. I actually am supposed to pick it up this afternoon for good and will be going on a ride this evening, so it should be fun.

I had a great training day yesterday-rode 22 miles plus a 4 mile run afterwards. I felt really good and then did some abs and push ups and stuff. Today I am a little sore but no big deal. I swam this morning and it could have gone worse and will hopefully feel super fast this afternoon on my bike. Other than that just relaxed this weekend. Did some research on some investment type stuff as Eric and I are trying to figure out if we want to start a Roth IRA, traditional IRA, invest in what kind of mutual funds, do we want to put our money in a money market.... There are so many things to pick and choose, it is a little overwhelming.

Just a short week this week as both Meredith and NCSU get an Easter holiday so Thursday Eric and I head up to DC for a weekend of fun with the Zack family-and to see a good friend while we are there. Hopefully it will be somewhat relaxing!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


By the way-my bike finally came and they are putting it together! I can pick it up Friday!!! That makes the feeling sick a little nicer! :)

Long and Exciting Weekend

Wow-so I got back yesterday from my 4 day "vacation" to Fayetteville. I had the best time. Thanks girls for all the fun memories. I got in Thursday night and we went out to the Piano bar-didn't stay out too late that night, just had some fun. Friday after a long run with Susie I headed up to campus to give my talk. It went really well except for the stupid sticker I left on my pants-that somehow Susie and I missed seeing even after we talked about it and looked for it. Oh well.

Friday night was the BBQ and I got to see so many old friends. We just hung out and talked and ate some good food and eventually headed back to Corey's to have some drinks before heading out. Sara and I didn't make it long that evening, and we headed home and went to bed. The rest of the girls stayed out till 2 or 3 and some of them managed to spot John Daily who was in town for a golf event. Lucky them.

Saturday day wasn't all that exciting-we hung out went to brunch, went to a few shops, then went back and napped. We are an exciting bruch-but it was all good when we went out that night and had tons of fun. After Sara had about 5 beers we went over to Irene's and watch some of the final four before heading out to get some grub. Susie and I ordered some drink that sounded good but ended up being a little more than a shot of who knows what. We headed over to a bar that had a patio and again orderd drinks that were not good. By then Sara had had about 8 beers and was still going strong. They were playing great music so we decided to start dancing-which in turn got the whole place going. Us swimmer's really know how to dance and get a party started! :) Sara left early (12:30) with Drue as they had to leave early the next day. The rest of us stayed dancing until the bar closed. I don't remember the last time I have been out that late.

Sometime in the middle of the night Sara got up from the couch and went to the bathroom to throw up. She comes out and as I ask her if she is alright she claims it must have been something she ate...hmmmmm, could it might have been the 10 beers you drank plus the dancing! But hey you could not have looked any better as my twin that night! (Or as you would say-I was your twin).

Sunday consisted of relaxing-napping, lunch, dinner, a movie and some good old Grey's Anatomy. Nice day.

Somehow I managed to get sick with some sort of cold and my head could not feel any worse, but I guess that is the price I have to pay for staying up way to late for too many nights. It was well worth it.

I miss all of you and love you guys!!!

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Yesterday, I was asked if Eric and I went out to celebrate since I passed my prelim exam. And of course we didn't, maybe because I feel like I really am nowhere near being done. Then she said, but you are ABD (all but dissertation or all but defense). And I guess that is pretty big. I didn't realize I technically could now apply for jobs and be ABD. That is kind of cool. I was telling Eric and last night with dinner he opened up some wine-very sweet of him.

I guess my weekend trip can be my celebration-as I have been looking forward to this for quite some time. I will get to see all of my friends I haven't seen in a while over the long weekend. I know this will be a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

1 Down and 1 to Go

I gave my prelim (oral exam) today. Actually, about an hour ago. Things went well and I passed. I didn't get asked nearly as many questions as I thought I would, so that is good. I managed to stay relatively calm. I was pretty nervous all morning and stressed out but after I got started it wasn't too bad. I think I talked to fast-typical of me-but Stitz said it was fine, and as long as no one had questions then I wasn't going that fast.

Now all I have left is my other talk at Arkansas on Friday. I keep thinking that that one won't make me as nervous, but then I will be talking in front of all my previous faculty. And this is kind of like a pitch for a possible job in a year so it does matter quite a bit. Hopefully, I can pull myself together for that one and give a great talk there.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Isn't it supposed to be warm here

I am so ready for warmer weather. We had great weather a couple weeks ago (thank god for the race day weather), but since then it has just been back to cold weather. Maybe it is cold since we had a mild Januardy and Feb, really not any snow or ice which is pretty rare. But Eric and I are both warm weather people and we can't wait for it to get nice a toasty. Yesterday we went up to the pool to swim and it turned out to be closed...oh well. Instead we went to the park and ran-5 miles for me. But it was probably the most miserable run I have had. I tend to run on the treadmill if it is raining. But yesterday in the middle of my run it started to rain-a cold rain-like a sleet, and it was windy so it was just blowing into my face. sucked. As so as my run was over, low and behold the sun is out and shining brightly. Could we have not chosen a better time.

We were going to ride today-but it just isn't warm enough for me any more-50 and windy (so really like 45) just is not fun. I will have to suck it up and get on the trainer again for the third time this week. Tomorrow it is finally supposed to start warming up again so hopefully I will get a ride outside in before I go on vacation Thursday. And hopefully the weather will not turn back to the chilly side again and we will finally have our constant 60's/70's and soon 80's! Yeah! Eric and I decided we are moving to San Diego (even though the traffic will most likely kill me, since it definitely is not the country)-then we can never complain about the weather. :)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Can we live in the Country...I mean way out in the Country

While Eric and I already live in the semi-country out in Apex, it is starting to become more and more like urban city all the time. This morning I left extra early (6:40am) to go to school as I wanted to go to the gym and workout a bit. Typically when I leave this early traffic is heavy but not stopped. However, the days that I leave at 7, traffic has started to become stopped a bit, but still managable. Leaving anywhere between 7:30 and 8:30 just makes me mad and frustrated.

This morning however was a different story. On my way, somehow just past where the exit I can get off to take the long round about way to get to school, traffice is stopped. And not stop and crawl but stopped. What in the world is going on...the news had said everything was fine. 10 minutes later while still stopped and not moving, I hear a 3 car crash has happened up ahead (a couple miles) and is blocking the lanes. Seriously, worse timing, had I left 5 min earlier, I would have missed it, had I left 5 min later I would have been able to exit and cut through town. It would be ok if there was room to get around, however since they are doing construction, there are no shoulder areas. Oh lovely.

Overall it takes me an hour to get to school, which normally takes maybe 25 minutes tops. Sucks. I get so mad because people here can't drive. How come in big cities people pull off the road so they don't block traffic, but here, we don't do that. The other week I drove home and there were 3 accidents within a quarter mile span, but since again there are no shoulders, the rest of traffic converges into one lane and passes one accident then everyone gets in the other lane to pass the next accident.

I can't stand traffic. There is no way I will survive in a city bigger than this. I want to live in the country. I don't need any of this.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dig Deep

So this past weekend, Eric and I went to VB to watch the sis complete her first (and only ever) marathon. She has been training all winter up in Michigan which is crazy to begin with. She did most of her long runs-17 and 18 miles on a treadmill. Just the fact that she can run for 3 hours on a treadmill says something about her mental strength. We spent Saturday with her and her hubby just hanging out and went to dinner and watching a little bball. Sunday morning E took her down and watched the start and then came back and the three of us went down for our trek of seeing how many times we could see her go by.

We drove down to where we thought was mile 6 and mile 8 so we could see her go by twice. However, we were not where we thought we were and were actually at mile 2 or 3. So we had missed everyone go by. But we did not realize it...we walked around aimlessly wondering where we were and what we were suppose to do. We ended up walking up to the finish (of the half marathon) and realized we were not at all close to her. Then we see the lead men run by a street over. So we head that way and start walking in the direction they are all coming from so eventually we will see my sister.

Meanwhile, as we are watching the fastest people, female #2 runs by and Eric and I look at eachother and say she looks familiar, like one of our friends from AR. Very strange, as I had a dream about them the night before. We keep walking another mile or so and decide to stop and wait. Sooner or later here she comes right with her 4 hour pacegroup looking good. She hands off her long sleeve shirt to us and keeps running. So we walk back to the car and start drving to go see her again.

We are following this road north and we come to a place where we can hop out and watch the race again, so we stop and watch the runners pass by. Not a minute after we arrived my sister runs by again...wooo hooo, wow we just barely made it!! So we get back inthe car and keep driving but find out we can't seem to get north. We spend a while trying to figure out how to get around this lake/bay, and finally make it around to the northern most part of the race-about mile 17/18. We get out and wait about 10 minutes and she runs by and says she is starting to get tired and breakdown and is ready for me to run with her.

We drive a little further down and walk up the road about 1 mile-and I keep going until I catch up with her, around mile 21 1/2 and start running with her. She is in some serious pain, her foot hurts real bad and she has kind of fallen off the 4:00 pace people. We talk a little bit and I try to encourage her, that she is doing awesome, and she is passing all these people that had been in front of her at other stops. She tells me we aren't stopping at any more aid stations as she is in a lot of pain and doesn't think she can get going again. The wind is at our back here which is nice so we don't get that added frustration of feeling like it is harder. I time our mile 22 to 23 and see 9:40, she is over 4 hour pace but she had a little cushion so we are ok. Our next mile is 10 minutes and she is starting to slow pretty bad. We pass a clock and see that we have to run a little faster than 10 minute pace to break 4 hours. I tell her that she didn't come all this way to just miss it and we start playing little games. Like lets just catch that guy in front of us, or lets just go 10 blocks, that is not that far. She starts to pick up the pace as she realized how close she is going to be.

We start haulin-and I can't believe she has got that energy in her. We keep passing people left and right and she just digs deep and puts it all on the line and runs as fast as she can the last mile to mile and a half. We cross the finish line and she shows me her watch- 3:59.31!!! Way to go! I am so proud of you! You are absolutely amazing. From the training on the treadmill to the deadication those last miles, you are my hero. She vows she will never do a marathon again and can't hardly walk. We all help her and she goes and drinks a beer. We take some pictures and then head back to the hotel.

We went to a nice rest on the beach for some good seafood and then say our goodbyes and head home. I felt like I had run a marathon on the way home-even though it had only been like 4 1/2 miles and a few miles of walking, so it was nice to get home. Great to see you guys and great job!! You are one tough cookie!!!

Oh-and that was our friend we saw running. She finished 3rd female overall!

Friday, March 17, 2006

It's Madness up in here!

I am so excited and so sad at the same time. It is finally march madness and all the fun college bball, but in just a couple weeks more there will be no more college sports (on tv) anymore until fall football season starts up. So the weeks will no longer be filled with exciting yet lazy sport watching. Then again, I have taken up watching Nascar...and that is even more lazy tv watching on the weekends.

I decided today to do a longer brick. Mainly just because I need to ride and run more so why not just put them together and do it all at the same time. My "long" ride wasn't all that long, just 25 miles, but it was windy (again) today and so it felt longer and harder than it should have. My run wasn't all that long either-just 3.5 miles and it was super slow, just glad that it was over. I have a nice easy day tomorrow of just swimming before head up to VB to watch big sis run her marathon Sunday morning.

No green beer today for me, but Happy St. Pattys anyway!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I miss my friends :(

Do you ever have a friend that you desperately feel is trying to avoid you??? Maybe she just doesn't want to be my friend anymore. But I do miss her and I wonder if I will ever hear her laugh (OVER THE PHONE) again. I mean I am going to see her in a couple weeks when I go to Arkansas-and I am even staying with her. But I feel that after you make an effort of calling someone oh about 10 times and bugging them and getting perhaps one return call-which I missed-then it makes you start to wonder...Does Corey still love me? :(

Do you want to look like Cindy Crawford??

I got a funny email from one of my friends that lives out in San Fran. Below is the email to give all of you some much needed insight on how you too can look like Cindy!

"so, this morning i woke up really early, earlier than i wanted to.considering it has been freezing up here, i was warm in bed and (for once)had 5 minutes to spare. i turned on the television because i was in thatweak state of not-quite-awake. this is where everything went wrong...somehow the channel was on an infomercial for some skin care line by cindycrawford. and in that brief 5 minutes, cindy and her french doctor managedto convince me that they were the key to preventing signs of aging. that inot only could but WOULD look like cindy crawford at 40 if i started usingthis stuff now. and then... they took off another 10 dollars off if icalled in the next 5 minutes!you guys, it was awful. i couldn't change the channel - i was spellbound.what has happened to me? lesson learned -- just say no to infomercials,they are evil.but, just in case i do start to look like cindy crawford, i will be sure tolet you all know...."

Trish-you crack me up!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Is Lost trying to tortue the world??

Why does Lost always seem to be repeats and then like once a month they show a new episode, it just doesn't make any sense. The more they do this the more I just don't even want to watch it any more. And I really wish they would just stop hitting the stupid button. :) I really have no desire to follow american idol anymore so that leaves me with sitting at home and doing nothing...or sitting at home and doing work...but that never happens when I get home if Eric is there. We just get too lazy and end up watching pointless crap (or Eric likes all the Discovery Channel stuff) or we play mario kart for a could couple hours. How intellectual right!

My back is getting better but I chose not to swim yesterday and today, but hopefully will be ok by tomorrow when I swim with Kate. It feels a little worse that it did yesterday...could it be that I decided instead to run almost 4 miles-since of course that would be better right?? :) I am determined to get my stuff together on this run thing so I can at least not embarrass myself at the next race-since I did choose to race elite this year...what in the world was I thinking! On my schedual was to ride today but it is a crazy windy today and not the warmest of days (especially with the wind) so i will probably end up on the trainer again-hopefully I can make it through an hour but we'll see.

Monday, March 13, 2006

My Back! My Back!

Yesterday Eric and I went for an easy 25 mile (really 23 mile) ride. About two thirds of the way through we were coming to a stop sign so I slowed down then to pick up some speed across the road I stood up on my bike to create some power and felt this horrible pain go down my back. Don't know what I did but I couldn't bend over for the rest of the day. I was walking around like I was pregnant! Eric was quite amused. I don't know if I have ever hurt so bad just lying on the couch. I took 3 advil and went to sleep and this morning it feels a bit better. Not agonizing anymore, just painful. It rules out my wanting to swim today, but I made Eric put my bike on the trainer so I can ride for like an hour this evening. I know, I know, I probably shouldn't ride at all, but if I just sit and spin for a little bit and not bend over I will be ok. :)

Sunday, March 12, 2006


They finally posted the race results from yesterday and I notice the girl who won (who passed me-and she started a good 6-7 minutes behind me) is from Colorado. Who comes all the way to Charlotte to do a race from CO?? So naturally I google her...and she is superwoman. No kidding. Not only is this woman a professional triathlete (why the hell did she not race elite, or for that matter race in a small NC race), but she is a mother of two and an ER doctor. Holy cow. When does she sleep? Other than her, I was only 3 minutes back from second, which isn't terrible. Not one of my finest, but I am happy with my swim and bike. Just need to get that run back together and I should be good. If only I could be superwoman...according to Eric I just need 10 more years and a couple kids!

Hello Newman

Friday night Eric and I went to see Jerry Seinfeld. The tickets were quite expensive, but I can honestly say it was well worth it. I have never laughed so hard for so long for an extended period of time. At one point I was laughing so hard I was crying. He has got to be one of the best comedians there are. He had an opening act that was also really good, who talked for about 15 minutes and then Jerry was on stage for about an hour. Definitely well worth it.

After the show we head to Charlotte for our race Saturday morning. Of course they had almost all of 40 shut down that evening so the drive took maybe 20 minutes more than it was supposed to which was not great but what can you do. I didn't sleep well that night, maybe got 3 hours of sleep. I just couldn't get comfortable and our air conditioner in the hotel every 30 minutes would make this horrible noise. We got up Saturday morning and head to the race. The weather turned out to be great as it was warm enough to not have to wear more than my suit. My race went well for the first 2/3 and then I just lost it on the run. You can read my race report at

I am pretty sore today, as I usually am the day after a race. The weather is suppose to be beautiful today so Eric and I are going to go on an easy 25 mile ride and maybe do something later outside like go to the driving range. Then back to school tomorrow.

Friday, March 10, 2006

These Pretzels are making me Thirsty!

So for Christmas I gave my husband tickets (for us) to go see Jerry Seinfeld perform. Then I didn't realize that this show is the night before our first triathlon. No worries...maybe it will relaxs us enough! Or maybe it will make the drive to Charlotte after the show go quicker since we will probably be talking about it. I am sure it will be fun and I am sure Eric will enjoy it...since Seinfeld is his favorite show ever.

It is pretty windy today and I went and road this morning-nice a short-only 8 miles. But the wind was crazy going out, I wanted to turn around so bad. I was in my easiest gear and having to push hard going down hill...that is never good. But once I turned around the ride back was so nice, just great spinning since the wind was at my back. It is supposed to be calm tomorrow morning but possible storms. I think I would rather ride through rain than wind, but that is just me.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


I am getting ready for my race this weekend and I was going to go for a ride today but my legs are pretty tired. I took some time off not too long ago because I was unmotivated and now that I am back in the swing of things I have tired out my legs pretty good. I am hoping that by not riding/running today and going very very easy tomorrow-I will be in good shape for Saturday morning. I just swam today-most of my workout went well, I felt good and everything. Then I go to do a simple main set that isn't too long or hard and I feel like crap. Don't know what it is, but I am hoping that by Saturday I will be feeling great. I think I might go home and take a nice bath to loosen up my legs and back...I really think that might help.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


So as my husband and I were sitting here, I thought about where we had a hotel reservation for this Friday night and I had no clue, neither did he. Wow aren't we a smart bunch to make some reservations and not write anything down! So began the search on the internet maybe to find the hotel...and my husband suggests looking up our credit card statement and we finally find it-or at least the name of the hotel so we can at least look it up and then call them to make sure we have a room. Guess we'll remember from now to write it down. :)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Spring Break

So I am on spring break this week and figured I would get a lot of work done. But really I just don't feel like doing anything at all. I guess it is ok-everyone can use a break every now and then. I don't want to overstress myself this week anyway because my first race of the year is this Saturday too. I am a bit nervous about it-I am not as prepared as I wanted to be but we'll see. I had ordered a bike back in late December and was hoping it would come in before this race, and I was told it it might be here this Thursday or Friday. I am hoping it comes in Thursday and I have a chance to ride it a couple times and see if I feel good on it. I know this bike is faster than my bike and it would definitely help me out. Well, well see.

Suprisingly, I have a busy day today without actually doing anything. I have physical therapy this morning and then am meeting my friend to swim. I have to run some errands and then I have to clean a little since my dad is coming in today around 5. So once again, won't get any work actually done, but I still have the rest of the week to work!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Long Day

So for those of you who don't know, I am trying to become a somewhat decent triathlete. I am part of a new local team that just formed last year and this will be our first year as a "team." The link is on my links. Yesterday, we threw our only fundraising event-we brought in a couple professional triathletes and did an all day thing... Ride/run in the morning, lunch at Stonewood, then clinics all afternoon. I was so tired by the end of the day-but I think it turned out very well. I was stuck for most of the afternoon in the endless pool analyzing swim strokes, so I didn't get to see what really went on. All I know is that I was happy to be done-I got home and just wanted to go to bed. Instead-we were going to hang out with some friends to watch the crazy Duke/UNC game. And what a great game...JCongrats to UNC...but what is with the UNC breaking windows on Franklin street and vandilizing downtown celebrating?? And the whole building the bonfire and seeing if you can make it across without burning yourself...just doesn't make sense...maybe I am just to old to understand.

Here we go

So I decided that maybe it would be nice to start a blog...why not, everyone else has one! :) But I really just thought it would be a cool way for my friends and family to see what was going on...and for me as a journal that will be here on the web. I have a feeling that if I write all the stuff down that I tell my husband every day-then maybe he won't get sick of me telling all my random stories!