Monday, November 15, 2010

In case you don't want to read the recap post...

This crazy video Trent made should sum up my race experience...

Jean's OBX Marathon 11-14-10 from Trent Johnson on Vimeo.


Marathon Recap

Oh goodness.. what a great weekend. We headed out with our friend Alyse snuggled in between Abby and Pilot. I was worried they'd want to play the whole ride, but they quickly fell asleep. Easy drive and we made it to the house around 9pm.

The house.. was awesome. Trent coordinated a bunch of friends to stay together so we got an enormous three story beach house, complete with an elevator and 12 rooms. We were on the top floor, which was also the big living room and kitchen. The second floor was all bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, and the first floor was a smaller kitchen/living room and several more rooms.

There were three dogs total, all cute little red puppies. They had SUCH a blast playing all weekend long, Pilot was in heaven. We quickly headed out to the grocery store as folks started arriving. We ended up being about 20 people total but the house was so big it never felt crowded.

Saturday was lovely and lazy. Lots of catching up on cheezy TV, reading, lunch at a local brewery. We picked up our packets and Trent and I had fun being the resident experts on this race (this is the 4th time I have run this race, we know the area!). Home and more lounging and then everyone made their pre-race dinner. Lotsa pasta! I was pretty nervous the night before... with the injury and my busy week I had NO idea how the race would go.

Up early early early to start eating peanut butter toast and coffee. Dressed and out the door by 6:30am. We drove over with a new friend, a MD who works in infectious diseases in Durham. He did the Peace Corps and it was a nice distraction to chat with him on the way over.

And then before you know it... time to run. I had no idea what pacing I should do or was planning on doing, but then dang.. you could set a clock to my miles per hour. 8 minutes per mile, mile after mile after mile. The weather was great, I felt fast, I felt happy. I had an epic runners high at mile 14 and again at mile 20. Usually I start to fade around mile 18, but for some reason, I felt great. I was so happy to see 8:00 pop up on my watch at each mile flag.

And then, mile 23. Blargh. The only hill on the course, and then mile 24 is along a busy road. Demoralizing. But I was really proud of myself. After a little mental math, I knew exactly what I needed to do to get a qualifying time for Boston. And I wanted it. So I dug deep and put one foot in front of the other. I thought of all the wonderful people in my life who have done MUCH harder things than simply running. A girl I used to give riding lessons to decided to have deep brain stimulation to help with jerky motions. Recently she's been posting the most uplifting pictures and comments on facebook. It looks so scary, but her smile is always radiant. I thought a lot about Jana in those last miles.

And then, it was over. I even kicked in the finish! 3:37 final time. 8:17 minute miles for 26.2 miles. I felt pretty rough. Luckily I immediately ran into Alyse (who did a great job with her first half-marathon) who took care of me. I'd seen Trent several times along the course, but he couldn't make it to the finish on time. She helped me hobble along and get wrapped up in my space blanket. Soon Trent showed up and we hung out waiting for other finishers. Everyone finished the race and felt, well... as good as they could for running 26.2 miles for the first time.

Back to the house (where I was SO happy for the elevator) and a quick ice bath (oh man, I was not a happy camper) and a long hot shower. Trent picked up pizzas and we chowed down. Naps for everyone and some people took off in the afternoon. Six of us headed to a cute restaurant for celebratory beers and dinner. Quick house clean up and a great night's sleep. Trent had to be at class at 9am so up early to hit the road... I just slept (best husband ever). I hobbled around at lab for most of the day and have been enjoying the sofa for the evening.

In recap... this race was great. Maybe taking the week completely off due to my injury really helped? Maybe I am just learning how far my body can take me? I honestly enjoyed 22 miles of it. I felt so capable and strong and alive. Runner's highs are amazing, I was dancing and smiling like a fool. And then the last 4.2... they were hard. But I think that is the part of the race that really tests you, when the going isn't so easy and you have to find something inside yourself that wants it. And I was happy I could. Kinda like life, no?

Hobbling around today like crazy, but nothing too significant. Big mistake wearing new shorts for the first time to run 26.2 miles (chafe-age!!) but I should be 100% soon. And I am going to take some time off running to let my body reset itself. Though I am excited about Tobacco Trail in March....
Trent is taking a documentary film class...

So now he is making terrific, dramatic, movies of our lives.

Enjoy our anniversary trip epic preview...

Trent and Jean's Anniversary Adventure from Trent Johnson on Vimeo.

Link here: if the blog cuts off the edges.

Friday, November 12, 2010

HUGE congratulations go out to our dear friends Ben and Stacey who are expecting their first baby in April. We are thrilled for them and can't wait to see them this Christmas. Hooray Davis baby!! It is sure to have some fantastic dance moves and triathlon skills.
Whew. Yesterday was intense. But it ended up being fine. My talk went well, lots of great feedback from my science/life mentor Jean (coincidental name, eh?). It was a fun challenge to present on the fly, but I really enjoyed that I was speaking to a group of people who knew all the background and I could really dig into some data. Sat around and talked science afterward with my boss and Jean, then back to lab, quick bike ride home, grab the Mr. P and drive over to get our first fish CSA pick up.

A) Pilot LOVES riding in the car. He'll get lots of practice with that today, but it is awesome, he gets all snuggled down into his seat and looks out the window, it is too cute.

B) Fish CSA's are terrific. We got 2 pounds of seafood (flounder and shrimp) that were caught yesterday, and then the girl who was running it (who is also in Trent's public health program) gave us some extra soft shell crabs! I've never cooked them before, but am looking forward to it.

Quick drive home to drop of Mr. P and the fish before booking it back to campus to go to a talk. The professor I came here for (and then realized I would not work well with at all) teaches a first year undergraduate seminar about public health, and invited a speaker from Partners in Health to give a lecture. Trent and some of his classmates came along and it was a very interesting, and very sobering, lecture. They are doing amazing work down in Haiti though, despite all the hardships.

We headed back home discussing global politics to grab Mr. P again. We headed over to Amanda and Stephen's for a lovely dinner. Stephen roasted a chicken and made a big pot of pasta to help me carbo load. Pilot and Jersey played like crazy and it was fun to be with our dear friends. They find out today about the gender of this little one, and are SO excited. I am wagering girl, Trent called boy... so one of us will be right! I can't wait to meet this little person!

Finally home and exhausted. Finally got to watch this weeks' Glee and pack for the race. My leg is feeling better, although a little touchy still. I am going to take it minute by minute. I feel like I have done a really good job preparing for this race and would be bummed if it was for nothing, but I do understand that three months of suffering while I heal is not worth three hours of running on Sunday. So we'll see... and I signed up for the Tobacco Trail Marathon in March so if I do drop out, I will have that to look forward to!!

Anyways.. we are leaving this afternoon and I am looking forward to a weekend spent with friends in a great house on the beach. I really really hope I can run (I LOVE RUNNING) but will be responsible about that decision.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. It is a blindingly perfect Fall day here today... the leaves are changing on campus, but it is still warm and crisp. Wearing my JCrew navy corduroy blazer and feeling all sorts of academic. Nerd alert. Oh well.

Here are some pictures from our anniversary trip up to Asheville!

Our hot tub in Hot Springs, North Carolina. Awesome.

Blue Ridge Mountains

Our cabin in Hot Springs. So cute... I want one.

Gorgeous fall colors on a hike

On one of our hikes we found this trickle of a waterfall to play in. I'll have to post the video of Trent getting soaked... he was brave, it was freezing!

"Look at these colors!" An example of me every 10 minutes on our hikes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


for two reasons.

1) Found out today that the talk I was 100% convinced was NEXT Thursday, where I hoped to present this new experiment I am nearly done with and get all sorts of good input from, is tomorrow. TOMORROW. I am not nervous about giving a talk (that seems to be all I am doing these days) but I am pretty bummed to have to present the same story over again. I am now planning on discussing what I am working on instead of presenting data. Maybe I will get some suggestions that will help me make this experiment even more awesome? Oye, tonight is gonna be rough.

2) My piriformis is acting up. I never get injured and now this weird nerve/muscle situation in my hip/glut is bugging me. I've emailed three awesome ladies with various amounts of physical therapy knowledge and am meeting up with a professional PT friend tomorrow, so hopefully she'll have some good suggestions. I think I'll be fine for the race (it seems to get better when I am running, and worse when I am sitting around) but am nervous about doing some real damage. Not fun... Oh yes, reminder... I am doing the OBX marathon on Sunday.

Back to work, just needed to vent for a second. Sorta glad to be getting this talk over with instead of worrying about this weekend at the beach. Busy girl!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Two things...

that are making me ridiculously happy today.

1) There is a new muppets movie in the works. With Zack Galafakakis (or however you spell his name). Oh man, if he shares any scenes with the King Prawn, my head might explode.

2) This boat. Check it... Chris Craft Constellation, perfect size, great shape, reasonable price, with a liveaboard slip in WEST LAKE UNION, which is near both downtown and The Hutch? Where do I sign. 100 bonus points for that most gorgeous PILOT HOUSE. It is meant to be...

Just, you know, have to graduate, have the husband graduate, and move across the country. No big deal. All while being really sad about leaving Carrboro and our lives here.


Enough with the caps, I know, but seriously, I am jazzed.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

hello dear friend...

The internet is an amazing thing. Thinking of my dear friend and was so happy to get to hear his voice. Even more lovely to hear him talking about his critical roles in establishing my beloved alma mater.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Slighty more grown up...

Check out my fancy new stationary Emily got us for our anniversary. Mrs. Jean Johnson. Craziness. And so pretty!

Love the fern design and our address on the envelope.

I've been trying to write more letters recently (I feel now I should say "I am trying to keep up on my correspondences), this is great motivation.

(before I am DR. Johnson and move!)

Thanks Emily!!

Friday Thought

Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it in tact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.

--C.S. Lewis

screenprint from Etsy store Blancucha.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Life Aquatic

It is a gray, rainy, day today. This, combined with Trent sending me endless Craigslist boats in Seattle, has me dreaming of life in the Pacific Northwest.

Where I'd live on this boat...

Play this song over and over....

Wear these boots...

To my job curing cancer here....

Sounds like a plan?!

I am not a grown up (it is a good thing I am married to one)

7:21 PM me: i just took some medicine i found in my drawer
not sure what it was
7:22 PM pretty sure cold medicine
just fyi
Trent: hmok
"she took the medicine in the drawer in her biology lab that she THINKS was cold medicine"
7:25 PM me: ya, i know

just had to share that nugget. no worries, mom, I was not at lab at 7:25 pm. my google account refuses to be the correct time ever....

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Day 25

Better day. Had a lazy morning but did manage to make it to work. Got a few things done (thank goodness for my assistant Sunny, who is seriously this guy. Which makes me Jack Donaghy, which I am kind of okay with).

Feeling slightly overwhelmed with how much work I have looming ahead of me finishing up this paper, but happy about the upcoming holidays and the idea that I am actually finishing this paper!!

A few things I am thankful for today:

Getting the new XX cd in the mail from blogger Lovely Morning. Not only does she have an adorable baby, she has great taste in music and is super generous to host a giveaway for some new tunes! Thank you Kristina!!

Still amazed by my new commuter. I am now realizing how exhausting my 500 pound Pinnacle was. Plus, she is gorgeous. And that little Petey Pablo in the front is pretty darn fun to come home to.

Wearing my new birthday scarf and gorgeous copper bracelet from the Naliboffs trip to Israel. The color of the scarf could not be more me and the bracelet is just lovely. Thank you!

How Pilot enjoys watching the world walk by. He could easily jump over this gate, but much prefers to just stand up here and watch families walk by to the park. I can't believe how big he is!

A hot cup of cocoa in my awesome New Hampshire mug. Perfect post-bike ride home drink! I love thinking of the sweet potter who made this.

In hindsight...

I look less like a rockstar...

And more like a kicky, young, version of Liza Minnelli. Oh well...

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

26 day

Slightly less stellar today. And yesterday was stellar. Lots of kudos from random faculty about my talk on Friday and winning the coveted "Best Lab Buddy" award for November (our lab manager is a mom, and knows how winning candy/gift cards can be an excellent motivator for doing chores!). And I even got my first birthday present in the mail yesterday, thanks Naliboffs!!

But as the day progressed, I felt yuckier and yuckier. Went home early and slept/wandered/was restless for the rest of the evening. Finally got some cold meds and slept until 11am today. Called in sick. Boo.

But, in a positive note, taking the day off meant I got to go vote at my leisure and I even ran into our US Senate candidate, Elaine Marshall, at Weaver Street were I was getting some chicken soup.

Feels like an accomplished day. Now back to bed...

Here are some cute baby pictures from the Halloween block party for your enjoyment.

Eaden and his adorable friend. I love that guy, such a little bruiser. He was a gorilla.

Alex the treefrog. Too too too cute.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Oh my goodness... this just gave me goosebumps. Obama, Bill Nye, Science? Best birthday month present.

27 last days of 27

So, lovelies... today is the 1st of November. So I officially have 27 days left of being 27! Craziness.

I plan on embracing this and celebrating something small everyday.

For today, riding my brand new, absolutely gorgeous, bike to work. Trent bought me two frames for our anniversary, a CAAD7 to be my new road bike (since I fell in love with his CAAD9) and this awesome, handmade, MicheleAntonio frame for my new commuter. He worked hard on it all weekend at the shop (so handy!) and scrounged parts from old bikes and used parts at the shop. Today was it's inaugural ride, and it was epic! I love it.

Pictures to come soon. And I am realizing this is my 4th commuter in 4.5 years of graduate school. Definitely the best one. By far!

(and I had hot chocolate for breakfast. that is a stellar way to start the day).

Dual Lives

Friday: I give a big talk to my department and celebrate afterward with beers with my boss then dinner with some lovely lovely friends. The talk went great, I was thrilled... but exhausted!

Saturday: Bike shop most of the day. Then a whirlwind costume creation. Resulting in this madness...

We rowdy'd it up at several parties... many more pictures to come. Love that Trent is rocking my jean shorts and we switched wigs from the criminal party. I love that he is so game to dress up!

Sunday: Long run with Pilot and breakfast at Weaver with Trent. Bike shop for a bit and helped a friend pick out a new bike. Lots of bike updates to come soon... my new commuter is gorgeous!

Quick throwing together a more family appropriate costume and a dish for the pot luck and we headed over to Paul and Sheila's Halloween block party...

I am his parrot! And apparently parrots do something like this with their arms/wings. I love that I just happened to have random neon pipecleaners around and that my love of bright clothes paid off.

Such a fun weekend!! So good to see SO many friends and dress up with my favorite costume-d caper.