Monday, December 28, 2009

500 miles and counting

I always log my workouts to see what I did that week and I've been quite steadfast aka, obsessed, with logging my running this year - tracking mileage, pace, etc. Today I did a 6 mile run that put me over 500 miles of running for the year. So in honor of that, I thought I'd share a little on my run today.

I'm in Princeton for the holidays and typically I run on the DNR canal when I'm here. But with the crazy weather the east coast has gotten in the last week, I'm pretty sure that trail is under about a foot of water right now. So rather than ruin my lovely (stinky) shoes by pretending I'm some weird ultra trail runner, I decided to take a run through downtown Princeton. I can deal with running in the rain, but running in watery, muddy trails when I know my shoes and socks are going to get all dirty is just not cool. Not cool mother nature! No one messes with my running shoes.

So I started off my run by deciding that I would run out and past Einstein's house. So I'm running, I'm running, I'm running... I'm confused... where the heck is it? With a sort of poetic-ness that I seem to manage (a lot), I was searching for genius on the wrong street. Crap! I cut through the park, ran up to Mercer and ahhh... there it is. 112 Mercer Street.

Except it didn't really go down like that. It went "ahhhh, there it is. 152 Mercer street!" It wasn't until I got home and employed the power of google that I realized I was gawking at the wrong house.

Sigh. Well, at least now I know why I wasn't suddenly able to do long division when standing in front of 152 Mercer. No magic there - I bet Einstein, the local shoemaker, not local genius, lived in 152. How awful would that be? To share a name with a genius like Einstein and everyone gets all excited to meet you and ask what you're working on and you have to reply "well, a chap just brought in a rather wrecked pair of brown loafers that I'm trying to stitch back together..."

Hopefully there wasn't another Einstein living in Princeton during his time.

I continued my run up towards the university and passed the Center for Theological Inquiry. I wonder how often drunk college students wander in their front doors and yell out "Is there a god?!?!?!"

I also ran past the Laboratory for Integrative Genomics. I have no idea what they do there but I hope it's something to do with gnomes who are poor spellers.

(apparently not - another google search tells me that "Integrated Genomics provides a full range of products and services to support research in microbial genomics, biochemistry and gene expression. These products and services are based on ERGO™, our web-based genome analysis platform.")

Well, la di da!

I ran a total of 6 miles in about 53 minutes which works out to just under a 9 minute mile. I remember when I first starting really running last year, a 9 minute mile seemed herculean to me. Now it's my slow, comfortable, easy pace. It's amazing how much you can improve when you just work on it! Who knew??

Next year I hope to log 1000 miles!

Of course, first up on my list of things to do is to figure out which one really is Einstein's house.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oda fun

Nobunari Oda. The name means FUN! or FUNSIES!! in japanese. Maybe. My japanese isn't all that great, but if I go by instinct, then my translation is correct.

Anyone who can skate to a video game soundtrack is pretty awesome in my book. Here he is at the 2005 World Junior Championsip, which he won, skating his short program. Check out the move at 2:07 where he is playing around with choreography and then effortlessly launches into a double axel. WAY harder than it looks.


This year he's skating to an equally entertaining Charlie Chaplin inspired long program that I'm guessing is going to tear the roof off the joint in Vancouver.


But along with him being a great performer, he's also a frisky little sucker. In 2007, he was arrested for drunk driving and had to sit out the season. (not that I condone drunk driving, but you just know this guy knows how to party. Ok, but also - look at how small he is! He probably just sniffed some vodka and got hammered)

In 08, he decided that he wanted to train with Nikolai Morozov, who is one of the IT coaches for skaters right now. Only problem - his main rival, Daisuke Takahashi, was already training with Morozov. No problem. Oda showed up anyway. Takahasi took off-ahashi. He probably showed up to practice one morning, saw Oda and said OhNoda. (oh man, japanese names are way too much fun). Takahashi hit the road, leaving Oda to train with Morozov. Good thing too because Oda has flourished under Morozov.

Can't wait to see these two duke it out in Vancouver! I don't know if there's many hard feelings - apparently they're friends. But in my imaginary head land, I like to pretend they're bitter rivals with an Ice Castles type score that plays in the background of all their conversations.