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.