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!