Monday, May 31, 2010

Digging for Bones & New 5K PR!!!!

I apologize for my lack of posts, but this weekend I have been trying really hard to work on my candidacy.  I have to admit that I am finding it especially hard to focus, although I do feel like I have made significant progress.  I am taking a short break from writing that in order to post a blog then go for a little break in the hot tub.

Last Thursday Caitlin and I ran 2.15 miles at an easy 11:24 pace.  Her knee was still bothering her unfortunately.

Friday was a pretty exciting day.  First let me give you a little back story.  It is known that pigs are very similar to humans in the way they decompose, and that they have skin and teeth that are very similar to humans.  For this reason, about three or four years ago, our lab buried a pig (fondly named Napoleon after the book Animal Farm) for a decomposition study.  The research for that particular decomposition study lasted I'd say about a year.  Since then, Napoleon has rested in peace.... until this past Friday.  You see, our lab is now working on another research project and those involved in the project felt it may be helpful to study Napoleon's bones. 

When I started my undergraduate degree in forensic science, I was very excited about a forensic anthropology class that was offered.  In the past, the professor of that class would bury pigs (after they were dressed up and planted with "evidence"), and the class would have to go out and look for signs of a "grave" then proceed with setting up the "crime scene" and digging for the "body".  While I realize many of you will find this completely disgusting, as a forensic science major I was really looking forward to the famous "pig dig".  Unfortunately, beginning the year that I took the class, funding was cut and we ended up digging up fake skeletons.  While it was great to not have to deal with any smells, it was also disappointing.

This is why I was excited about Friday and digging up Napoleon.  While I am not working on the new project, I was able to tag along to dig up Napoleon since I assisted in his burial a few years ago.  Caitlin (my running partner, friend, and co-worker), our adviser, an undergraduate, and I set out with shovels, bug spray, gloves, and bags.  The area where we buried Napoleon was overgrown with all types of plants including blueberries.  We initially dug in the wrong spot, but we eventually found Napoleon's grave.  After a lot of digging and laying the dirt, we eventually found our pig.  I was quite shocked that we still found skin and lots of fat (and quite a disgusting smell).  I honestly thought that the pig would have been reduced to nothing but bones by this point, especially in Florida.  We were laying on our stomachs in the dirt, pulling out bones that were rather spongy and other remains.  Luckily I was wearing gloves, when I accidentally stuck my hand into his skull.  We collected several bones, including the skull, and filled in the hole before heading back to the lab.

Caitlin and I had packed a change of clothes, but neither of us had remembered to pack the necessities for taking a shower at the gym.  We drove to a nearby Walgreens and picked up the essentials, only Walgreens happened to be sold out of towels.  We ended up purchasing $2 extra large t-shirts to act as towels.  It was actually pretty amusing.  That was about all of the excitement for Friday.

Saturday morning Chris and I woke up very early to meet with Caitlin, Ryan, and my office mate, Bala, to run The First Baptist Church Greater Oviedo 5K.  Since we signed up early, we got awesome bright red tech shirts!  This was Bala's first race, and I was excited for him.  I have not been training for speed, so earlier in the week I was pretty bummed about the idea of not setting a new PR.  That morning I was feeling especially great, had just downloaded some new songs to my iPod, and started to think that I just might be able to PR.  I knew what pace I needed to keep (my last PR had a pace of 8:53), and I kept an eye on Garmy the entire time.  Just after mile two, I was starting to pass a gentleman who clearly was having a great time and looked like a marathoner to me.  He joked around with me and was very encouraging when I told him my goal.  Sure enough, I beat my old 5K time by just over 30 seconds!  This was the same race where I got my last PR, and this year followed the same route.  This race does not use chip timing, so I am basing my times off of my Garmin.

Last year's PR:   27:37

My new 5K PR:  27:05 average pace of 8:43
Mile 1:  8:33 (there was a lot of downhill)
Mile 2:  8:52 (was fending off a small cramp)
Mile 3:  8:48
Last 0.1 (which of course is uphill):  8:02

I was soooooo excited!  I even beat Chris (only because he hasn't had much time to run)!  My new goal is to be sub 27 minutes!  Caitlin also ran a great time, and naturally her boyfriend Ryan beat us all.  He is fast!  Bala also did great!  I was really impressed with his time!  After the race Caitlin, Ryan, Chris and I went to IHOP.

Between all the digging for the pig and the race, I am feeling sore all over (and itchy from some killer bug bites).  Chris and made a trip to the hot tub yesterday, which really helped, and we are going back in a little bit.  I love hot tubs!  For the rest of the weekend, I have been working at a leisurely pace on my candidacy.  As I mentioned, I have been having issues trying to focus.  Last night we went out to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory for our friend Tonya's birthday (two years ago we went skydiving for her b-day).  After dinner, we went to see the movie Ironman 2.  I love Robert Downey Jr.  I have loved him since the movie Only You.

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!  I am afraid I am very behind on blog reading, but I plan to catch up a bit this evening when I can no longer write.

Now for some pictures (if you do not wish to see pig bones, do not scroll down):

Caitlin and I digging

I had a crappy shovel

The mandible

The skull

Jes, Caitlin, and Liz

Caitlin, Ryan being silly, Myself, and Chris

Love the pizza guy!

Caitlin, myself, Chris, and Bala
My favorite part of the race is the kids fun run!  They all wear the number 1 and get medals at the end.
Dinner at Cheesecake Factory for Tonya's Birthday
The Birthday Girl at right

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your new PR, this is an awesome time!!!!


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