Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Bodies Exhibit

Jeff made breakfast for everyone in the morning (Thanks J!). Then we dropped Brian and Jill off at the train station. We then went to the Bodies Exhibit. The exhibit was SO cool! It was all real bodies that had been dissected and preserved. Really interesting and I had my own little tour guide with me (aka- med student Jeff). We did a little stopping downtown and then went home and had some lunch. Later we went for a run in the rain (it wasn’t the nicest weather today). In the evening a bunch of my neighbors came over for appetizers for New Years Eve. It was fun to see my neighbors that I have known my whole life They were doing a progressive New Years Eve celebration so they moved on to the next house after a couple hours. Jeff and I watched a movie about this guy that had a stroke and had to communicate by blinking. It was interesting but kind of slow. We paused it at midnight and said “Happy New Year” and then continued watching: )

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snowshoeing adventure and dinner with Brian

This was a great day. I slept in and then Jeff and I drove about an hour to the mountains and went snowshoeing. We were feeling adventurous and so we veered off the trail and blazed our own trail up the side of the mountain. The whole time I was saying—umm Jeff this is fun going up this but how are we going to get down? “ Trust me girly” and so I did. I enjoyed the challenge of grabbing onto trees in order to pull myself up the mountain. When we got to a lookout we had a beautiful view. We set down a tarp and had our picnic lunch of steak sandwiches, glazed nuts, and cookies. Then we started our decent. This was not so fun! You have no grip on the front of the snow shoe so it is kind of like trying to walk down a hill with mini sleds on your feet. I would take one step and find myself amount 10 feet down the mountain holding the top of a tree for dear life, my legs dangling in mid air. We some how made it down intact with just a little snow in our shoes and down our coats. We continued hiking around this beautiful glassy lake and then headed back to the city. We stopped by Borcachini’s (Italian Specialty store) to buy some fresh pizza dough and then at the grocery store to buy some cheese and tomato sauce for dinner (we were having over one of Jeff’s friends that now lives in Oregon and his girlfriend over for dinner- my parents had dinner plans). When we got back Jeff called Brian to see when they would be arriving and we learned a new fact about Brian’s new girl friend – VEGAN and VEGITARIAN! My first reaction was not happy / disappointed because I had been visualizing a yummy CHEESY pizza with CHICKEN and veggies. However, it ended up working out great. We made one pizza a Mexican pizza with corn and beans and grilled peppers and salsa (half with cheese and half without) and the other normal with chicken, veggies, and cheese. That was probably more details that anyone wanted to know : ) We had a great time with Brian and I really liked his girlfriend Jill.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

fun with old friends

We went to breakfast with my high school best friends Ally, Caitlin (and Husband), and Pam. We went to Julia’s which is a restaurant in a really cute Victorian home. I really loved my breakfast. I got the Smoked Salmon Benedict…and I am not sure how many cups of coffee because they just kept filling it up! This was one of my highlights of my trip. It was just so fun to have breakfast with old friends and laugh and talk. After breakfast we went over to Mary and Bob’s to chat. It was fun to see them as well. Jeff left all excited to design his own back pack after seeing Bob’s hand made backpacking backpack.

After that Jeff and I went to Discovery Park and ran along the sound and through the trails. It was a great run!

That evening we had dinner with my parents and then played the board game Settlers….my dad won (I wasn’t surprised- he always wins strategically games :).

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ski day at Mount. Baker

We had Breakfast in the hotel before leaving for the Mount Baker. We got there right when it opened and made it down 23 runs- making our cost per ski run 2 dollars : ) The snow wasn’t the best- a bit icy but it was still really fun! We stopped for Pho in Bellingham for dinner.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Church and Christmas dinner

Run with Jeff
Christmas dinner with Rich and Carla...only time of the year we take out the silver and china. It was nice to see Rich and Carla and fun to talk to Rich about work because our jobs are sort of similar.

After Rich and Carla left we exchanged the last gifts. Jeff had brought some gifts for my family and I and I hadn't given him my gifts yet.
Jeff got be a beautiful necklace that had diamonds in the shape of a little sunflower. I love it! He also gave me some paint canvas and a Detroit Tiger shirt. Here is a picture of my dad and I sporting our Detroit Tiger’s shirts. Here is also a funny picture of Jeff trying to look buff in a shirt I got him.
We then left to drive to Bellingham with Dad and Jeff, hot tubbed at the hotel and then hit the sack. (picture of us having some popcorn in the hotel)

Saturday, December 26, 2009


It was finally Christmas! Melissa and Stephen came over around 9AM and we did stockings and had breakfast, and then opened presents. After that my Dad and I did our traditional run / roller blade. Then I headed to Stephens Mom’s house for there family’s Christmas party. Midway through the party I left with Melissa to pick up Jeff from the airport. The party was lots of fun. Stephen has nice friends and a family that likes to have fun.

Friday, December 25, 2009

not Christmas

(pretending today is not Christmas)

Today my mom made a really good veggie frittata for breakfast. Then we went for a short cross country ski up in the mountains. We had a nice little picnic lunch in the mountains. It was really beautiful and sunny. Later that evening my dad made fajitas and we had the Kaufman/Baren family over (they are Jewish so they weren't celebrating Christmas today either). It was nice to catch up with Zack and Laura.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Flight to Seattle went smoothly. I had some yummy home cooked lunch with my mom and had a nice run along Lake Washington while my mom went for a bike ride. We went to the Christmas Eve candle light service and then had stuffed squash for dinner. I was sad that my sister wasn’t there. She had troubles in the airport and missed her flight and the next time she could get a flight was on Christmas Evening so we will be celebrating Christmas a day late.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Blondie changed to Brownie

After work I died my hair for the first time. Six dollar kit and a couple hours later my hair was brown : ) Kind of fun for a change.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Art Museum

Today during lunch Ernie and I went to the Art Museum. Ernie has a family membership and invited me to be his daughter for the day and join him. He goes to the Art museum nearly every lunch because they have a different talk from 12-12:45 every day. Today was on Pollock. He was one of the first modern artists who did great big paintings where he dripped oil on the canvas. It was really interesting because he tried to paint “outside of his unconsciousness.” Yes I did mean to write unconsciousness and not consciousness. He believed that all societies had suppressed feeling and emotions that could only be uncovered by taking your mind out of your art. It was an interesting concept. Another interesting is that he always paints from left to right so some people consider his paintings a “calligraphy of his unconsciousness”- whatever that’s supposed to mean.

Monday, December 21, 2009

4k Cross Country Race

Today I went to Church and then went to a cross country race at noon. It was really fun. It was run by some friends of mine and it was a free event. There was a good turnout. It was cold to be running in the snow over Cricket Hill but we felt so hardcore : ) ! I also met an Olympian who was on the Olympic Team with Brian Diemer. I won the 4k race with a time of 14:40 and won a bottle of hennessy cognac : )
(below Olympian Gary Morgan and I- not the best picture of me : )

Saturday, December 19, 2009

afternoon with extended fam and movie with Pam

I met Mitch, Lee, Erika, and Jake for lunch. We went to Hannah’s Bretzels. I had gotten this suggestion from a friend. The two places that are my favorite are not open on the weekends. The food was good but they only had 4 chairs so it wasn’t the best place to sit and talk. It was nice to see everyone though. After the Erika and I met up with Aunt Lynn and Aunt Jan and Ruth and Linda and we went shopping.

I had plans to go to a Christmas Party that evening but it was the only time that I could find to get together with Pam so I decided to have a chill night with Pam instead of go to the party. We made some Milkshakes and watched a Christmas movie (Four Christmas’s). It was fun.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dinner with Grandma and Grandpa

Today after work I met Grandma and Grandpa at the Palmer House. They were staying there for Sarah D’s wedding. Their room was quite impressive. They were staying with Uncle Ed and there family. There were like three rooms all attached and a big sitting room and kitchen. We had a drink there and talked with Uncle Ed and Aunt Jan. We then took a taxi to the Frog Bar. We had a great dinner. We all really loved our food. It was really special to have Grandma and Grandpa in Chicago. After dinner I showed them my apartment and we talked for a bit. I enjoyed hearing them tell stories from when they were young.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Did some yoga today. It actually felt nice to be in a really hot room (110 and humid). They turn off the lights at the end of the workout and I almost fell asleep (I wonder if that happens alot- they put this relaxing music and then tell you to go into child’s pose and then turn the lights out).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

run with Alona

Had a nice run with Alona in the morning. I was a bit over dressed because I thought it was going to be really cold. I will have to start checking the weather the night before.

We had another work Christmas party at lunch....lot's of parties this month.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fleet Feet Christmas Party

Today was the Fleet Feet Christmas party. Everyone wore ugly Christmas sweaters and there was a contest for the worst one along with a lot of treats and snacks.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Back to Chicago

On Sunday Brent, Colleen, and I went for a run around University of Kentucky. We finished the run at Starbucks. We left for home around noon. It seemed to take along time to get back because we got a late start. Some people were up really late so slept in ridiculously long. There is nothing really exciting to share for today- we all are tired from the weekend.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Club Cross Country Nationals

Today was race day! The race wasn’t until 12:45 so we had a lot of time. I had brought breakfast food which I was happy about because the hotel breakfast was like 11 dollars for a bowl of oatmeal and fruit. Later we walked down to Starbucks to get some coffee. Compared to the Calvin girls who thought I was crazy for drinking coffee before the run these girls were having more caffeine than me. Colleen ordered this drink called black out which she told me was cappuccino with 4 shots of espresso! Claudia had 3 Red Bull before the race!

When the race started I was in shock. All I felt were people flying past me. I felt like I was going backwards but I could tell I was still going really fast. At the first turn there were so many people I had to turn so wide but then I could see in the distance that I was going to have to be on the inside of this stake. This wasn’t looking good- either I was going to plow down the stake or I was going to end up on the outside of the fence. I some how got myself over in time. I have never ran with so many fast people in my life! I did start to pick people off at this point but I realized I was in the back third of the race. The annoying part of it was that I would pass 5 people going up the hill and then about 3 of them would pass me on the down hill. It doesn’t help to be good at going up if you stink at going down! : ) I passed 4 runners in the last 50 meters so that felt great. One of the girls I passed was from Club Northwest.

Although I had a great time I ended up 84th place out of 234 racers which is the highest place that I have gotten in a race in well… least 4 years : ). I was actually happy with my time because it wasn’t too far off what I ran when I was actually training for cross country and this was without any speed training. This isn’t a fair comparison because every race is different but I looked at the 2009 D3 nationals results and my time would have put me 10th overall.

After the race we went out to lunch and then went and showered. Later we all went out and explored Kentucky’s night life which included some Kentucky whiskey and beer, some Karaoke (which we learned means ‘tone deaf’ in Japanese), some dancing, and some horse racing on TV : ). It was a good time.

Oh I did forget to write something- our spikes for the race had not arrived in Chicago before we left for Kentucky so Nike overnighted them to Kentucky and we got them about 2 hours before the race : ) I have to show you how bright my shoes were. Friends watching said they could just look for the orange feet in order to locate me in the crowd. I went through all the pictures online and thought that there was none of me but then I noticed my feet in this picture…do you see the orange feet (click on the picture)? ( I put a circle around my feet : ) Those are my feet! I love my shoes- I have a new trademark—neon feet : )

Friday, December 11, 2009

To Kentucky

Today we met at the Starbucks by Fleet Feet at 7:30am to drive to Kentucky. We didn’t actually leave until 8:30. Once on the road we had fun talking and playing card games. However, at one point I started to look for signs to see how many miles away we were. I only saw signs that said how many miles to Saint Louis. This was confusing to me so I asked the people in the Van….how many miles do you think we are? Then people started to look and we realized we were heading west instead of East. So we had been going the wrong way on the highway for quite awhile! I wonder when we would have noticed if I hadn’t said anything! We ended up getting to the hotel only a few minutes before 5 (an hour and a half later than we thought) which was when team declarations were due—phew!! That was close! We went to the course to check it out but it was getting dark so we decided after about 15 minutes that it was dumb to run in the dark on the uneven ground. We did see that there was no flat part on the course and the footing was lumpy and the turns were muddy. Good to know. We went back and changed and went to dinner at a very cute Italian place. I was surprised that most people had about 2 glasses of wine before dinner. I had a good dinner of salad, chicken, shrimp, corn bread, and sweet potatoes. We are totally in the south! Everyone has that southern twang and the southern hospitality. It was fun to get to know people better.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Feeling like a Superstar : )

Two exciting things to share. One is that I won the "Chicago's Runner of the Year" award. My inbox was flooded with congratulations which made me feel pretty special : ) Then Rob from work emailed me a link about our Corporate Team going to South Africa for the Chase Corporate Challenge which was neat

However, later in the day one of the owners found it also and was not happy because they wrote that we werre "designers" and not "engineers" so he called them to make them change it. I hadn't thought anything of it.

Besides that I finished my Christmas stopping, made dinner, talked to Jeff, watched the snow fall from my window while I ate chilli with my slippers on ....awww...good life.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

winter wonderland!!

I woke up to a lot of snow! Alona met me to run and it was so awesome! It was like large flakes coming down and it wasn't too cold. I am starting to realize that snow is actually a good thing because it tends to be a little warmer when it is snowing. When we got back she said she had something for me. She got me a mini Christmas tree!...well soon to be Christmas tree ( I have to water and it and give it some love : ).

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fleet Feet team meeting

Had our work Christmas lunch at Miller's Pub today. That was fun.
Ran with Beth E. and Beth L in the evening then worked out some logistics with Mark for this weekend (Club XC Nationals). Mark had gotten a few shirts in from Nike for us which is always exciting-- except for the fact that I realized my closet is 80% running clothes that say Fleet Feet Nike Racing on them : )

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Church and time to relax

Today we woke up at 6:40 and Kelly, Lauren, Annika, and I left. This was the easiest way to get me to the city because they were driving North to Gilberts Illinois for a race and it was only a couple minutes out of the way to drop me off at the farthest west blue line stop- Forest Park. They dropped me off and I had about an hour train ride to the loop. Not bad. I am like 2/3 through the book "Devil in the White City" from all this train time. But I would not recommend this book to anyone. It's getting more and more disturbing- the main character keeps killing women in order to sell their bodies to med schools. but the history of the world's fair and learning about the inventions of the time / architects is interesting.
I got back around 8:30 and had some breakfast and made alittle exam pack for Pam because she has finals. then I went to Church and then Church Potluck, then dropped off Pam's exam gift, and then relaxed the rest of the day. Oh I watched "Twighlight" since it is based in Forks Washington.

fun with Alona and Orland Park with Calvin Girls

Talk about a busy day! I had stayed up too late the night before but got up early today to run with Alona. I took the train and arrived in Oak Park at 8AM. We then drove a few minutes to the trail head. It was sooo fun! It kind of reminded me of Sunriver and we saw a lot of deer. At one point about 6 ran right in front of us. The trail actually goes al the way to the airport. You can kind of get a feeling of what it looked like from the picture. We went back to Alona’s afterwards and changed and went to this really trendy vegetarian brunch place. The walls were covered with individuals art that they were trying to sell but it made for a cool look because none of the pictures were similar and the walls were filled with pictures. All the chairs were painted differently. Anyway- we had a great time. We both agreed that this was the most ideal way to spend a Saturday morning- Long run in nature and then going out to brunch with a good friend. (oh and I don't have black eyes in the picture above- I wore mascara the for the party the night before and forgot to take it off : )

It took me a long time to get home because they were doing construction on the el so I had to take a shuttle bus into the loop and then take a bus. I got back at 2 and went to do some errands and got back around 4pm. Then I thought I should look at the train times because I was going to Orland Park for the evening because Kelly and Lauren were in town. I looked online and was shocked to see that the last inbound train from Orland Park was at 3:40PM…no biggy- I can spend the night and leave Sunday—no trains running on Sunday! I was a bit panicked so I called Annika and said what the deal was and she said just to hussle and make it on the 5PM train (only other outbound train was at 11pm) and then they will figure out how to get me back. So I grabbed my toothbrush and PJ’s, phone and charger and ran to the bus. I actually got there with 15 minutes to spare.

I arrived in Orland Park at 6:00 and was so excited to see Kelly and Lauren! I missed them. We hung out and Laura Jackson’s and Emily Arkus’ house for awhile and then went to Rock Bottom for dinner at 8pm. At dinner we celebrated Kristen Van Sickel’s birthday (which is tomorrow). (Oh funny thing about Van Sickel and I- we both did the Seafair Tri in 2005- and didn’t know each other). After dinner we went back and we all chipped in to buy supplies to make Grasshoppers—perhaps the most delicious alcoholic beverage (well dessert because it’s pretty much a mint milkshake : ). We made some toasts to Lauren and Kristen who got engaged and also to Annika who is leaving for Zambia on Monday.

Annika and I went over to Kristin Haugsma’ to sleep around 1pm. I hadn’t seen Kristin’s apartment before. I liked it a lot. We went right to bed though because Kelly and Lauren were going to pick us up at 7am because they are driving to Gilbert, il to do the Cross Country Extreme race….

Friday, December 4, 2009

Engagement Party for Val

Afterwork I got dressed up and went over to Mel’s where Haugs, Annika, Val, Anne F, Arkus and Kristin V were. We were going out to celebrate Val’s engagement. We went to a several bars and to a restaurant. Val had a great time accomplishing a list of tasks that Annika had put together for her.
(I was taking the picture)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

windy city

I went to Fleet Feet to try on different cross country spikes for cross country nationals which is only like a week away!! Kentucky here we come!! I then met Heather for the windiest run of my LIFE!! We could barely move forward. When we turned around it was pushing us so hard from the back that it was almost just as hard because we had to move our legs so fast so we wouldn’t fall down! It was quite the experience. Then I tried to work out some details because a bunch of Calvin friends are coming to Chicago for the weekend.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

run with Alona and coffee with Mel

Yesterday I went for a run with Alona in the morning. We did 5, 3, 1, 3, 5 minutes hard with 1.5 minutes easy in between. It was hilarious to try to have a conversation in between reps. We had to talk really fast : ) but we could talk on the warm-up and cool down. After work I met Mel at Starbucks and then we walked down to the Zoo to go to the zoo lights. Unfortunately, the zoo was closed. So we just walked around with our lattes and talked. It was nice. On my way back I talked to Jeff. I am giving him a really hard time because I bought three books on Ipod and loved it and when he was at my apartment I told him to download them to his Ipod and now he is obsessed with listening to books. I am giving him a hard time about this because he made fun of me so much for listening to books and now he is hooked : )

Monday, November 30, 2009


Tonight I had a late soccer game. The game started at 10:15pm. We lost but it was fun to play since I hadn’t for awhile. Before soccer I worked on organizing my hall closed. I put all of my stuff for each sport in a different reusable bag so it is easy to find everything. Then I hung each of the bags- So I have a swim bag, bike bag, soccer bag, strength training bag, and a race bag. It was fun and I feel super organized.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Palos and Church

Today we went to Palos to run trails with some friends. Palos is a HUGE forest preserve. I would like to explore it but I am certain I would get lost so I guess it is a good place to run with a big group. I met some new people. Everyone was very welcoming. Most of the guys were Hispanic so I got to listen to some Spanish while we ran. We took a group picture after the run—instead of say cheese it was “Queso!” : ) We went back and had a great church service. I wished my parents had been there. It was a guest pastor and he was very dynamic and really inspiring the congregation to dream. We had a time for prayer requests / thanks and that was intense. There was first an African American man that stood up and said that some people think that he is getting supported by the church but he just wants to make it clear that he is not and wants a person in the congregation to know that he should be treated as a human and not a dog.” That kind of shocked us but Pastor Laura handled it very well and just said “Thanks” and moved on. The next lady said she had been homeless for 3 months- and her children had been taken away from her, that she had been sober for 3 years and off medication and that the government was threatening to take away her visitation rights to her children. Then the next person said that she had been taken to the hospital and was a “Jane Doe” and the doctors could do nothing for her but God saved her and the thank the lord (Jeff later said that from the things she had said he thinks it was an overdoes situation). Then a women stood up and said she has just this terrible unsettling about Rwanda and really feels a calling but doesn’t know what to do about it….these were just a few. I was in shock. After church we went and got some Mediterranean pita sandwiches and then Jeff had to head out.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday in Chicago with Jeff and Parents

Today we had breakfast at my place and then decided what we wanted to do. Originally we were going to go to the surgery museum but it was sunny and warm out so we felt like we should do something outside. We decided we would go biking. We had 2 bikes but needed to rent two more so we went to Millennium Park to rent two more bikes. However, they were closed : (. We decided we would take turns. Jeff and I went out for a 30 minute ride and while we were riding Mr. Crawford called and said he had arrived in Chicago. We were going to meet him for lunch so when we got back we had my parents ride the bikes home while we walked back looking for a place to eat. We met Mr. Crawford and he had the idea of eating at the Grand Lux. We put our name in and started walking North to meet my parents. We ran into Jeff’s mentor. That was quite a shock! We had a fun time at lunch. After that we went back to my place and played a few games and then it was time for my parents to head to the airport- sad. Jeff really needed to get some of his research done. We were planning on going running but we both didn’t feel like it. He said it was the first time I have ever said that I didn’t want to run- I must have been tired. I will have to take him to see the Zoo Lights some other time.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday after Thanksgiving

I woke up and went for a run in the morning. It was really nice to have some quiet time. When I got back and finished showering I went upstairs just in time to make it for breakfast devotions. After breakfast I went with my grandparents to Second Impressions. I got some Christmas decorations that I was really excited about. Soon after Jeff came and we had leftovers for lunch and then headed to Chicago. After we unpacked we went for a walk down Michigan Ave into the loop. We stopped at Caribou coffee to get some special drinks and then went continued the walk to Daly’s Plaza where they have a Christmas Market. After that we walked back. On our way back we ran into Critical Mass (bike group that fills the roads to protest cars). Jeff thought it was awesome and gave everyone high 5s as they passed- saying "Happy Friday". (video post soon)

We drove to Ethiopian for dinner. We had a nice time. It was nice that they weren’t busy so we could just relax and talk and not have it be too loud or feel like they wanted us to hurry so they could seat someone else.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving in Kzoo

The next morning we took the train to Kalamazoo. It was a pleasant ride. I really liked it. Usually I am sitting with strangers on the train and I don’t have anyone to talk to- this was so much nicer. My grandparents picked us up from the train and we went back to there place. Soon my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Paul and family arrived and alittle later my Aunt Lynne and Uncle Jim and family arrived. Later in the night my uncle Ed and Aunt Jan, Cousin Jimmy and Baby Eddie arrived. Eddie was the center of attention. He is just so cute! My Aunt Nancy had set up teams to play games together. My grandparents had bought a bunch of prizes for the winners of the games. It was really fun- there was wii bowling, apples to apples, shuffle board, and four corners. My little cousin Jake was determined to win and he ended up as the Champion- he chose the grand prize of 50 dollars and said he was going to go buy cables to fix his zippy swing in their yard (pretty cute if you ask me). It was fun to catch up with my cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. I have a fun family!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

parent in chi day 2

Today I went to work while my parents explored the city. It was so weird to get home from work and have people in my apartment. I liked it. We made some food to take for the Thanksgiving and my parents made dinner in my apartment. We had Adoba chicken, squash, and cranberries. After dinner we were going to go listen to the Blues and Blue Chicago but I didn’t realize that the live music started later than the bar opened so we decided to just walk around for a little bit.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Frontera Grill with Mom and Dad

This morning I went for a great run with my friend Alona. She is a really great person and I am glad we have become such great friends. We pushed the pace a bit which felt good.

My parents arrived in Chicago tonight! We went to Frontera Grill. I thought the presentation of the food was nice. Checkout my parents with the jicama salad and me with the Ahi Cevechi appetizer. We had a great time. It is too bad that my parents brought rain from Seattle to Chicago!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hot Yoga

Went to Hot Yoga tonight. It was really relaxing and felt good to be really hot since the weather has just started to get colder.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving at Church

Today Jeff and I ran in the morning before church. We had a great run! It was neat because it was so foggy out so you felt like you were running in a cloud. We then went to Church and after Church they had the Church Thanksgiving potluck. It was quit the feast! After Church we went and did some Christmas shopping and then I met a friend from work who gave me a ride back to Chicago.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving in Ann Arbor

Today Jeff got up early and went to play hockey. I woke up later and bummed around a bit. I wanted to go for a run because it looked beautiful but Jeff wanted me to wait for him. When he got back we went out to breakfast with his roommate and another guy that was staying with them while checking out U of M for his residency in internal medicine. I loved my breakfast. The portions were huge as you can see with the french toast : ) After that we rushed back because I really wanted to listen to the cross country nationals meet online. I hadn’t ever listened to it online before and found it a little frustrating to find out what was going on but it was exciting! The girls ended up third. After that we went over to one of Jeff’s friend’s apartment that had one of the biggest high definition TV’s I have ever seem to watch the Michigan vs. Ohio State game. The football game was close for while but then- like normal- UM lost.

After that it was 3pm and we were supposed to be at the Crawfords at 4pm. We quick ran to the store to pick up a few groceries and then went over to the Crawfords (arriving about 30 minutes late : ( . They took some family pictures and then we had thanksgiving dinner. Tracey and Dave really went all out. I thought there house was decorated really cute also. It was fun to catch up with everyone. That sums up the day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Au Bon Pain with Jessie and John!

My college roommate Jessie had some time to kill between when her train from Notre Dame to Chicago came in and when she had to leave for Ohare Airport. My second cousin John took came down and we all met in a café right next to my office for an hour. It was great to see Jessie and John. It had been over a year since I had seen Jessie!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

run with Holly

Today Holly came over after work and we went on a run together. We hadn’t talked in a month! It was great to see her.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

run with Heather

<-- This is Heather : )
Had a nice run with Heather this evening.
oh also I wanted to mention that Calah has a great Blog on her time in Vietnam. I really enjoy it since I was there for a few weeks. She is also an english major so she is a great writer!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gait Analysis

Today I had an appointment after work with Coach Leach to go over my results from the Gait Analysis. It was really cool. I have a little book with pictures of me with angles and measurements all over them : )
We watched my video that he had taken. It takes pictures every 1/30 seconds so it is easy to compute things like impulse (integral of Force divided by time). The less impulse the better- therefore the less time your foot is on the ground the better. We did this by measuring the distance of the sole of my foot that made contact with the ground and also how many frames my foot made contact on the ground. I can work on this.
Another important thing is the position of your center of gravity- you don’t want to be wasting energy propelling yourself into the air. He makes a graph of the height of your head while running. The ideal vertical is 2 inches. I was at 3 inches which is actually really good but I would like to get that down to 2 inches.
The arm angle is also important. My arms were actually at a perfect angle so I can not improve in that. By having the correct angle in your arm you propel your hips forward. By thrusting your hips forward you move your center of mass forward which moves your velocity vector more in the horizontal instead of vertical.
Then we looked at the videos of me from the back and front. This was interesting. One of my shoulders is slightly higher than the other. I didn’t know that. In addition I do a little bit of what he called a “scissors step” – the best way to describe it is if I were running on a balance board so you had to cross your feet in front of the other in order to stay on the board (that would be really exaggerated) but the scissors movement was costing me about 2 screen pictures so that is 2/30 of a second so that is 4 seconds a minute of wasted movement. This can be corrected by strengthening your hips and stabilizer muscles.
From the back my foot was very good. You should see the whole bottom of the foot and it should be completely vertical. If you kick to much you are wasting energy. Don’t kick back enough- takes more energy to pull your leg forward because the mass is lower on the lever arm.
Anyway- I guess I am boring you with the detail but this was right up my alley—combining engineering, the body, and sports! The bad news is that I have a few areas where I can improve but not drastically. My friend Heather just went did hers and her results say she can improve by 40 seconds per mile where as I am looking at 15 seconds if I can maintain perfect running form- that’s kind of a bummer. Looks like my car is efficient…but next I will find out about the motor. I am guessing the strength and power of my motor might need some help : )
How is that for an “Engineer- runner” post : )

Monday, November 16, 2009

busy busy Monday

Today was jam packed with fun. I met Beth L for a run in the morning then showered ate and went to work, then I worked, had a lunch meeting, worked, then hurried from work the Fleet Feet racing team sale which started at 5:30, and then went straight from Fleet Feet to Coach Leache’s for Peak Performance class. We really had a great time. We were laughing so hard as we tried to do all these silly exercises that looked so funny. We do a lot of hip strength exercises because women typically have week hips and adductors. We also do a lot of balance and core work. During the class I always think the drills are easy but then the next day I feel sore in weird places so I figure I am getting some sort of benefit. Plus now that this was my third time going, I feel like I know everyone pretty well so it is much more fun. Anyway- I finally get home from my day which started at 6AM at 7:30PM in which time I eat a big dinner, check my email, talk to Jeff on the phone, and then go to bed.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


The only train out of Purdue is at 8:00AM…so it was another early morning. I guess the good thing about that is that I was able to make it to a late Church service. Later in the day I went over to Coach Leach’s for a free gait analysis. I found it really interesting. Once I get the results I will be able to tell you more about it. I ran home from Coach Leaches had some food and headed to work to finish what I couldn’t finish on Friday since I had to catch my train to Purdue. That was pretty much my Sunday.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


We woke up early and put our Calvin gear on to go watch Regional’s. Lynn made us some oatmeal and scrambled eggs for breakfast. We had about a 2.5 hour drive to the race. The coarse was beautiful and had lots of fingers so it was a good spectators coarse. We had a lot of fun running back and forth cheering. Both teams won Regionals! I hope they do well next week at Nationals. We stuck around for
awards and then headed back to Lynn’s. A bunch of Calvin fans also came back with us. We made 2 different lasagnas, garlic bread, spinach salad, and apple crisp. There were 8 of us and everyone was really helpful so we had quite the production line going. There were 3 people peeling apples for the apple crisp and 1 person on each of the Lasagnas and one person doing the salad and bread and Lynn instructing and overseeing the production : ). It was soo great to chat with everyone! After everyone left and we had cleaned up, we went and walked around Purdue’s campus and then went to the Grey House which is a coffee shop that Lynn wanted to show me. It is owned by her Church. I always love cute little coffee shops! (oh in case you don't know- you can click the pictures to make them full size)

Friday, November 13, 2009

At Purdue....and problems with the key

It was a bit stressful today trying to catch my train because we were busy at work but I got to the station just in time to make the 5:45pm. The train ride was pleasant. It went by really fast and I arrived at Purdue alittle after 10pm. Laura Jackson and her Calvin roommates picked me up from the train station and then we went to Insomnia Cookies for a treat. The cookies were good because they were still warm. I had a bit of a scare after that. They dropped me off at Lynn’s apartment and gave me the key Lynn had given them to give to me. I went to try to stick the key in the lock and it didn’t fit into the lock! I thought that maybe it was the other apartment building so I walked over to that one and tried the key. No luck. So I walked back to the one they had dropped me off at and tried to fiddle with the key. As I was fiddling I pulled back on the door and fell backwards—The door was unlocked! In fact, as I looked at the side of the door I realized that this door was never locked. I then went to her apartment and used the key on her door and got in just fine. Oop! It hadn’t occurred to me that only the rooms would be locked and anyone could get into the lobby! I guess I have been living in Chicago to long : ) Lynn was home shortly after and we went to bed because by this time it was after 1pm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dogs for lunch

Today at lunch I went out to lunch with a few friends. We all like this little hot dog place. It’s really fun because they have a hot dog style from each of the states and it’s really cheap. We normally all get a Chicago and then something else. Today I got the Chicago and the New Orleans. A New Orleans Dog has barbeque sauce, grilled sweet onions, and sliced tomatoes. I am starting to feel like quite a dog expert. What dog would you like to know about.. how about the Atlanta Dog—that’s coleslaw and chili on a dog ….oh I know… I bet you want to know what hot dog in Des Moines -------It’s the Corn Dog! So never get a dog in Des Moines Mom : )

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

run with Joko

<-- This is Joko : )
Today after work I met my friend Joko to go for a run. Joko entertained me the whole time. She recently got engaged so I was asking her about wedding planning but she isn’t your typical bride. She doesn’t want flower, brides maids, a toast, a slide show, a first dance….she just wants to invite a lot of people- have a 15 minute ceremony and then start the party! Well, I guess the wedding is supposed to reflect the Bride and Groom’s style—this would fit Joko and Lee : )

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

run with Alona

<--This is Alona : )
I met Alona for a run this morning. I was sound asleep when my alarm went off so if she wasn’t driving to meet me to run I would have gone back to sleep. Once I was up and running with her I was glad. It’s so light in the morning now with the time change. We decided to meet every Tuesday morning. So far I have been happy once I am out of bed but the initial shock of running when you are still half asleep is kind of crazy : )

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Veter Run 10k

It was 70 degrees today! So awesome! This morning I went to the last CARA race- the Veterun 10k. I really like the course. It’s has some hills which I feel is an advantage for me. I ended up third which was kind of disappointing. I won the CARA circuit from my calculations by 5 point but I have to wait until the official results come out to make sure. Although I was happy to win the circuit, I felt a little cheated that the girl that was ahead of me by one point didn’t show up. I was nervous / excited that we were going to race head to head and whoever won the race was going to be the season champ. Oh well. It was a nice day for hanging out after the race. Kind of funny because last year was really really cold so they must have anticipated that it would be the same so they had chicken noodle soup and hot chocolate for us after the race….didn’t sound so good on a 70 degree day : )

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Christmas Carol in 3d- fun with friends in Oak Park

The weather was so nice today! I went for a short run in the morning through the zoo (in shorts and a Tshirt : ) and then I went out to lunch with Pam. I then went home and went and took my bike to the bike store because I had a flat tire. I ended up needing new tires—my bike wasn’t the best purchase! But the good news was that when I got back I had an email from someone wanting to buy my rug that I have been trying to sell. I sold it for 70 dollars which paid for my new tires. I was so happy to have to out of my closet! I talked to Jeff for a little bit and then I took the train to Oak Park. I met my friend Alona and we poked around Oak Park for a bit and then met 3 of her friends for dinner at Bar Louie. After dinner we went to see The Christmas Carol in 3D. It was really cute and I always like 3D movies. After the movie we went to a cute little place that had live music and Gelato. We talked for along time. It was fun to meet Alona’s friends. One of the girls was an ME for a Nuclear plant in Illinois and did some jobs with my company. One of the other girls when to UIC and is now doing research and the dispersion patterns of seeds that fall from trees. She told us she was digging through the fallen leaves to see where the seeds had landed under this tree and one of those cheesy tour trolleys went buy and slowed down and said “ Now isn’t that the biggest squirrel you have ever seen!” and she looked up to realize she was a part of the tour jokes! I thought this story was hilarious. I spend the night with Alona at her parent’s house in Oak Park because it is close to the race we are going to tomorrow morning. It was nice to spend a night with a family in a house.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I was planning on going mountain biking with some people from work but I called around and rentals were 45 dollars and I didn’t know if I wanted to go that bad. So I looked on craigslist and there was a mountain bike for 80 dollars- pretty much new. I went to look at it after work and I almost bought it but then decided I better think about it since my other bike has given me trouble. I would have bought it by the tires were low and she didn’t have a pump. I didn’t want to buy it if it had a flat tire because tires are expensive. So I cancelled on my bike ride tomorrow. Oh well.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Best Midwest Film

Today after work I went to see the first film of the BMF (Best Midwest Film) Festival. The film was called “The Pool.” I went with Mel. It was nice to catch up a bit since I hadn’t seen her since the marathon weekend. The BMF was really an all night ordeal. It started out with a panel of artists who talked about where film is heading. It was interesting- some of it was way over my head- like the different “languages” the films are written in…meaning programs. I did find it interesting that films are being moved away from the simple intro-climax-resolution style. A lot of movies are starting with the Climax and then letting you know the characters at the end and the plots much more complex. They also talked about making movies interactive where there are multiple solutions based on decisions the watcher makes- they said that this takes about 3 times more filming hours though because of all the additional shooting. After that they showed little clips from different films and then they started on the main film- The Pool. I really enjoyed it. This whole event went from 6-9:30! Here is the trailer if you are curious:

Monday, November 2, 2009


After work with the time change it was DARK. Sad- I will be honest that I HATE the Midwest in the winter. Nothing is worse then cold, dark, and windy every day when you get out of work. However, tonight was fun. I went to Coach Leach’s core session. It was fun because there were a lot of exercises that I had never done before and it was an active session were you would go outside every 10 minutes or so to do high knees, run around the block, or do quick feet. It was fun for a change and I met a couple nice girls that are my age.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Church, out to lunch, running in the woods, back to Chi

We went to bed extremely late last night so I was very thankful for the time change. We woke up and made some scrambled eggs with potatoes and veggies and went to Church. The Church service was good. Chris and Andrea were there so it was nice to catch up with them for a little bit after Church. Jeff and I then walked around downtown Ann Arbor and then went to Grizzle Peak for lunch. We had gone there for his birthday on Octber 2nd and they had given him a 10 dollar birthday gift car expiring one month from his birthday (November 2nd- tomorrow). We split one of the entrees which was 10.50. Our total bill with tip was 3 dollars- not to shabby for a gourmet lunch with your boyfriend : ) ! After that we went home and I wanted to go mountain biking because Jeff has been talking about mountain biking with friends and the skeptical Seattleite does not understand how he is mountain biking without mountains. He calls a few of his friends but we can’t find a bike so we decide to just go run the mountain biking course. I think it was a good thing we didn’t go mountain biking because there were a few parts that I wouldn’t have liked. It wasn’t really steep but there was one part where there was a plank across the trail and about an 8 feet whole underneath it. With all the wet leaves I would have been scared that I would have slide off the narrow board and fallen into the whole or rolled down the hill. It was pretty in the trees running and I liked running through the leaves. We lost track of time a little bit and didn’t get home until around 4:20 (my bus was at 5pm) so it was quick shower shove food in face and head to the bus.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


This morning Jeff had to go to the lab to do research so I slept in and then made scones and then walked to the hospital where I met Jeff and he showed me the lab and then we got coffee at the cafeteria.
We went home and made a list of a few things we wanted to pick up from the store. We had fun shopping together. We picked up some pumpkins at the store to carve that evening and some spray paint for Jeff’s costume.
Then we went back and Jeff spray painted his box for his Halloween costume while I made lunch. Then I helped him with his costume. He cut the holes for his arms and taped the box while I made the label that said Purell. Then we tried to put it on him. Getting it on wasn’t too hard but then we started to try to get it off. He couldn’t move his arms. I was laughing hysterically as he helplessly tried to move but then I realized this was not a laughing matter. His face showed a little bit of a panic look that I had not seen before. I took out the knife to cut the arm holes and he does not like this idea at all. I managed to make the arm whole a little bigger but he still can’t move. We some how figure out the if he positions himself with his hips and shoulders perpendicular the box makes a parallelogram instead of a square which gives him just enough room to pull his arms out! Phew!
After that we went for a run on the trails by Argo Park. It was a crisp fall day- the kind that are best for running!

When we got back it was carving time. Jeff wanted to do a bike and after some thinking I decided to do the Space Needle. It was really fun. Jeff entertained himself by taking pictures of me carving and a Grizzly Peak beer (because I was a much slower carver than him).
We made a great dinner of Chicken Tikka Marsala and rice.

Then we headed to a Halloween party. We had a good time.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Travel Day

Today was just a travel day. Very stressful at work since my bus left at 4:45 and I was tied up until after 4 in a meeting. I bought myself one of the Love’s truck stop reusable mugs for 2 dollars a few megabus rides ago and now I can get anything in the coffee machines for 50 cents. It is something to look forward to when I ride the megabus. This time I got a cinnamon cappuccino. It was delicious! We were an hour late because of traffic. Jeff looked exhausted when he picked me up. We talked a little and then he went right to sleep. I tried my best to get myself tired but I guess the cappuccino at 8pm wasn’t the best idea after all : ) !

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I had 4 reports due this week at work- very busy. So I haven’t been feeling like writing when I get home from work. The last few days have consisted of a few runs with friends, a little Christmas shopping, a few cooking experiments, and some reading. The normal. I need to think of a Halloween costume tonight.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Trick or Treat Trot

This morning we drove to Montrose to do the Trick or Treat Trot. We should have worn a costume. A lot of people ran in costume. The race was fun. I was planning on just jogging it but I ended up running faster than I thought (like a tempo pace). I got second and got a 50 dollar gift certificate to Fleet Feet. Jeff did great and we both thought he got third but it ended up there was some really fast guy that was way ahead of everyone so he got fourth. We watched the Monster Mad dash (kids run). It was pretty cute.

We got pack later than we thought so we missed church. We watched a sermon video and ate our left over Thai for lunch. We went for a nice walk outside and stopped by Ace Hardware to get Jeff’s battery in his watch changed.

Jeff had to leave around 3pm. It was nice having him in Chicago for the weekend!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday with Jeff

This morning we made pancakes for breakfast. After breakfast we figured out some logistics and then went on a short run. My second run since the marathon! We ran through the zoo stopping at the different animals. Then we ended the run at Fleet Feet to pick up our race packets for the Trick or Treat Trot. I know- I am crazy to enter a race with not running for 2 weeks but I figure I will just focus on trotting and not running : ). When we got back Jeff gave himself a haircut while I researched plane tickets for Christmas. Later we met my friend Pam for lunch. We went to a Thai place called Garlic and Chili. We had a good time and I was happy that Jeff could meet Pam. This post is getting boring so I will just list the other things we did:
-went to bike store to exchange Jeff’s bday from me
-printed pictures at Ritz Pics
-rented movie at Red Box (dollar movie vending machine)
-made quick dinner of pesto pasta and salad
-watched the movie “The Curious Life of Benjamin Button”

Nice day- lots of little things.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Jeff meets Cinnamon Stick

Today Jeff came to Chicago! It had been way to long. We had dinner together and then later Matt and Shannon came over for dessert. We had a really good time. Matt is on his surgery rotation so when Jeff called Matt to say that he had arrived in Chicago he woke Matt up from his nap. We had a great time chatting. I don’t remember all the funny things that happened but I laughed so much. Oh one not funny thing but interesting thing was that Matt had a patient with an anxiety disorder that stressed himself into a heart attack! I didn’t know that was actually possible. Jeff also talked about his homeless patient he had which was interesting. I also thought it was interesting that Matt likes his program so much that he wants to stay in Chicago for residency. Jeff said that made him more excited to do a residency in Chicago. However, Shannon really wants to move somewhere new so they probably won’t stay in Chicago. I made us Pumpkin Pie in miniature pumpkins for dessert. I think everyone really liked it- Oh that reminds me of the funniest thing of the evening. So I put cinnamon sticks as decoration on the pumpkin pies. Jeff picked the cinnamon stick up and put it in his mouth. He started chewing and we hadn’t seen him put it in our mouth and he goes “Was that long thing on the pie not edible?” We all were like “you mean the cinnamon stick”?? “You just ate the cinnamon stick??!!” He didn’t know what cinnamon sticks were. We really got to make fun of him for that one : ). It was really cute though : )

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

little things that made my day

A lot of little things that made my day- we got new chairs at work, and new phones (you get to choose your ring..there were some funny ones like a persons voice saying “Are you there? Are you there?”, drums, and techno (to name a few). Also, the CARA standings were updated and I increased my lead by 6 points. There are three races left and I am only doing one of them but I think I will keep my lead. In addition, it is like 60 degrees and sunny today. Life is good.

Only bad news- last week was the last week of the downtown farmers market. I did not know this and was planning on going to the market at lunch. I will miss going to the market during lunch on Tuesday’s for the next 7 months : (

Oh and I did yoga again tonight (I have a week trial pass). I liked this one much better- it was Core Toga instead of Hot Yoga. I describe my favorite move that we learned- first you stick your butt in the air and round your back and are on your hands and feet (like a bear), then you straighten your back and legs so you are in a plank with arms straight (like a slide) - then you lower your arms from straight until you look like a grasshopper (arms close to your side and elbows pointing to ceiling)- then you straighten your arms and tuck your butt and look at up and you look like a seal. I don’t remember the technical names but I would call it the “metamorphosis-bear-grasshopper-seal pose.” You should try it- it’s fun : )

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hot Yoga

My friend convinced me to try out Hot Yoga tonight and I figured since I am not running right now I might as well give it a try. Wow! It was quite something- 110 degrees and 95% humidity- it was like trying to do stretches in a steam room. It was a fun experience but Hot Yoga is not my thing : )

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Remlinger Farms

Today I we went to Church and then headed to the country for a bike ride went the parents. We went to Carnation. It was a fun ride (a bit smelly at times from all the horses and cows : ). We stopped at Remlinger Farms ( for some pie. That evening we went to Best for Vietnamese food.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Today I went to Café Flora with my mom and dad for breakfast. I got the harvest scramble, muffin bread, and cheesy grits. We also tried some interesting tea. My mom’s yam breakfast quesadilla was interesting also. It was dipped in egg so the outside of it was like an omelet and then the inside was the tortilla and veggies. My dad got the French Toast with sour plumb compote (and a lot of coffee obviously : ). Café Flora is my favorite breakfast place- it is an all vegetarian place in Madison Park (the place I used to say I wanted to live)- it’s a cute neighborhood right next to the arboretum and downtown Seattle (best of both worlds-city, nature, and convenience). The restaurant is cool because it is kind of like a green house- all glass with potted plants.

After that we went to this place called Banya ( It was really neat. You get yourself ridiculously hot and then ridiculously cold to clean the toxins out of your body. So first we went into this room that is 120 degrees and then when we got really hot we would go into the cold plunge. There was also the steam room, hot tub, cold showers, and salt pool. The salt pool was awesome because you could just float in it and it was a comfortable temperature. After the spa we went home and had a quick bit to eat and went to Seward Park to take a walk in the woods. I said I get into the woods since that was something I missed in Chicago. Then I went back and got ready for the wedding.

Caitlin’s wedding was very nice! I will just show some pictures because I am getting tired of writing. It was very Caitlin- reception in the country style Manor- getting sent off in a truck….very fun.