Something I learned during my ultra marathon last year is that music is boring. You can’t listen to it for 8 hrs and expect it to be motivating – nothing will do that for you. Also, I entirely mismatched the beat/cadence of the song with how dead tired and exhausted I was so don’t make my mistakes kids – listen to podcasts!

I’ve listened to NPR podcasts like Radiolab and This American Life for a few years. They’re very different but if you’ve listened to any spectrum of NPR radio or podcasts you know that both of these are gold standards in editing, story telling, and in the case of Radiolab – scientifically well rounded-ish (it’s still NPR and they’re still trying to appeal to a large audience of which few are probably current phd students who play devils advocate for fun so you get what you pay for).

That being said – I found I liked the more personal ‘conversation’ style podcasts and started finding a few that lived up to the “hype”:

Dear Prudence: This podcast is relatively short, but they have longer articles on slate that have more questions than addressed in the podcast. Mallory Ortberg, the host, dishes out realistic no holds barred advice. It’s basically the advice you wish you could say and leans towards advising people to not assume offense where none is intended and to deal with the issue within yourself as much as possible and ignore the stupid and haters.

Call your girlfriend: This podcast is medium form conversation between two long distance best friends. I know it sounds like it would be full of only inside jokes and irrelevant references BUT I’ve listened to a few episodes and it’s good. They talk about everything from Beyonce to politics but it’s usually in short directed conversations with a little bit of rant but all in good form – it doesn’t drag on and they appropriately wrap up near the hour mark.

Running on Om: This podcast is lead by Julia Hanlon and it’s a bit more formal than the previous podcast I mentioned. It’s definitely interview style and often the host is exploring a new to her topic. The host is a yogi but also a running coach (I believe?) and partners with different people in small series sprinkled throughout the course of the podcast. For example, she partners with Lauren Fleshman of Picky Bars (also a fantastic 5k elite runner) in an ‘Ask Lauren Fleshman’ series where once a month Julia and Lauren answer running and life related questions. This podcast is new twice a week and it quickly becoming my favorite because of all the different characters Julia hosts. For example, i’ve followed Anton Krupicka for a while and that was one of the first podcasts I listen to from running on Om, same with Andrew Wheating and Alexi Pappas. The only critique I have is that Julia’s voice sometimes sounds like she has a stuffy nose or a cold and sometimes I forget that’s just her voice and feel bad for wondering ‘what the heck is she doing recording when she’s sick’.

I’ll leave this post with those podcasts – i’ll probably have to do a part II because I just scrolled down my list and realized I didn’t really want to write about 15-20 different podcasts all at once. PEACE.

So it’s been a while since we chatted…by ‘we’ I mean me and you, the internet. For the brave of heart I give you: the Loonies Midnight Marathon .

I ran a Boston Qualifying marathon at midnight. In July. In Tennessee. In 80 deg. weather.

I cannot TELL you how hard this was – but if I had to run another marathon with the goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon I think I would have shot myself in the face (jk..except suicide is not a laughing matter and I apologize-ish). If you’ve ever ran a marathon you understand a few things with me:
1: there will be some awful miles – I call those the ‘dog miles’, where you just want to quit but all you do is move your legs FORWARD.
2: fuel is variable because you never know how you’re gonna feel and HOW you feel changes throughout a race. You prepare for the worst, expect the best and above all be flexible. You’re the to run the race you have, not the race you WISH you were running.

That being said, I knew this would be an unusual race – it started at midnight after all! I went to work for a few hours on Friday, heading to Whole Foods to pick up lunch around 11:30am. I stuck to simple foods but I don’t usually have a finicky stomach before races so I kept the volume in line with my normal eating habits. Dan and I took off for Livingston, TN – a 3rd drive north about 2pm (a coffee stop, turn around for my credit card and a pause to download podcasts at starbucks delayed us a bit), arriving around 5/5:30. We drove the course – a 5 mile loop I would run 5 times, including portions that were largely the same as runners would be going/coming on the same road. About 6pm I had a Generation Ucan snack bar (great bar, but a little small size wise) and a yogurt + oatmeal packet. I tried to nap until about 10:15pm when I had an apple to wake up + coffee. 30 min before the race I had 2 servings of Generation Ucan fuel ~ 160 cals. I didn’t really track calories in this race – it’s something I keep an eye on but it’s not as important as when i’m doing ultra running. If it matters my shoes were Brooks Pure Cadence 5s – and yes the stupid tongue slipped to the side before the race even started.

With little ceremony, some fireworks and a ‘ready, set…GO!’ by Ms. Tennessee we were off – I started near the front of the pack with about 150-200 other runners (i’m horrible with estimating crowd sizes) and quickly fell into a 7:25-7:33 pace for the first 14 miles. I knew the first female in had won the 2015 marathon with a time of about 3:31:xx – my goals for this race indicated I had a good chance of beating that time and I wanted to run my best race so I definitely PUSHED myself the entire time.

My goals were, given the 100% humidity, the heat, my training, my tired legs from standing in a lab for weeks were:
A: Qualify for the Boston Marathon with a time better than the acceptance time (03:32:30 for my age group)
B: Break 03:30
C: Finish the damn thing.

My final time was 03:30:30 – if that’s what you were waiting for feel free to close this website..if you want the details read on!

My Garmin said I ran 26:56, which knowing how wide my turns were on some loops i’m not at all surprised I was over a full marathon. My splits were great for the first half and then declined – as did my mood.

Mile 1. 7:31
2. 7:20
3. 7:33
4. 7:40
5. 7:31
6. 7:30
7. 7:22
8. 7:33
9. 7:41
10. 7:27
11. 7:34
12. 7:42
13. 7:44
14. 7:58
15. 7:52
16. 7:50
17. 8:05
18. 8:14
19. 8:21
20. 8:16
21. 8:20
22. 8:35
23. 8:45
24. 8:53
25. 8:25
26. 8:09
0.6 7:55 (pace)

My pace goal was 7:35-7:55 so I didn’t get out of that until mile 17 – which I was proud of because it was a ROUGH race. The first part of the race was a 1.2 mi distance followed by 5 – 5mi loops. Loops 1 and 2 were fine, as expected. I took Nuun when going through the start/finish area (as I had my lovely assistant throwing me water bottles as I needed them), and starting on my 2nd loop (near mile 12) I had planned a bottle of Ucan – unfortunately it was too much liquid to drink and I knew it just wasn’t going to work. Had a few sips but wasn’t in need of fuel since I front loaded Ucan before the race. I grabbed a gel about mile 17 on my 3rd loop and held on for dear life. Those were the dog miles 16-21, they just suck. Had a 2nd gel around mile 22 and started taking water from every aid station at that point and was OVER JOYED when the paramedics (I think?) took over a couple aid stations because they were giving out ICE + water in the cups. If you haven’t had ICE + WATER then you don’t know how amazing it is in a race at 80 degrees with 100% humidity: you no longer splash liquid up your nose and it’s the most reviving combination possible. Once I had some ice (remember – I don’t stop at aid stations or slow down so I’m not entirely sure what i was missing all the miles before this) I felt better and took my music out on the last loop and played it without headphones. Music was totally reviving and prevented me from quitting – save your music for when you need it folks!

Some things I found interesting:

About mile 6 the girl who eventually won first woman was being paced by some friends and I ran next to them for a few early miles… until she looked over to her guy friend, asked the pace and then said VERY EXASPERATEDLY “I’m being PASSED” (presumably by me?). I knew this wasn’t my crowd and just settled into running my own race, knowing they were going to drop me and I wasn’t going to keep up – no prob, just a little weird.

Generation Ucan is great fuel – I highly recommend it! For my next race i’m going to experiment with making a gel or chew/gummy from it and try that. The amount of liquid was too much in a race for me, might work for others but i’m glad I had some gels as a backup. In a marathon when you hit the wall using traditional (gel) fueling methods you typically don’t see the wall coming until you hit it…HARD. With Ucan I could definitely see the wall coming. I knew about mile 14-15 it was getting a little rough and hung in there longer than I normally would be able to in a race. Having that extra time to ‘see’ the wall and know it was coming helped me adjust how I fueled without panicking or giving up on my pace too early. I did hit a bit of a wall but it could have been worse if I didn’t take measures early.

When I knew the bad miles were knocking on my door I was able to do a few things that helped bring me out of the pit – these may not help you at all, but they work for me and that’s all that mattered.
1. Cheer on every. single. runner. – I said good job, great pace, anything positive to everyone I saw coming or going. Helping other people be positive definitely helped me run a better race and get out of my own head. If you can’t be positive to yourself be positive to others and you’ll get there soon.
2. Break up the distance – I only made myself run 0.25 miles. It was a LOT of 1/4 miles, but that’s all I ever ran from mile 15 onward. Before that I kept my head ‘in the mile’ but after 14/15 miles I broke it up and ‘stayed in the quarter mile’…yes it was tedious but I got there in the end!
3. Take the damn water. – It wasn’t my Nuun or my Generation Ucan but that damn water was amazing and I kept an eye on my stomach ‘fullness’ and electrolytes. I ended up not being dehydrated after the race and felt good aside from some sore legs/feet/hips.


After the race Dan and I sat around, drank some water/chocolate milk (which was gross after a sip or two), had some teddy grahams and enjoyed just being DONE. I took a nap at the hotel for about an hour before we realized how fucked up our sleep schedule was. I had 3 donuts for breakfast, went home, baked a pie, and went to see the Nice Guys at the dollar theater. It’s funny how momentous running a marathon is and then once it’s over you’re like…oh NBD. Over it.


Anyway…my next race is the Chicago Marathon in about 13 weeks. In the mean time i’ve been baking and developing recipes for my sister’s wedding in September! I don’t care if she uses my baking, but if she just lets me bake for HER, i’d be so happy. So far i’ve developed the perfect cake recipe, made an amazing flag cake, and now i’m working on lemon bars. This was good therapy…I need to remember writing is up there with running for mental therapy.



I came, I saw, I PR’d! 3 things to note about this race that made it above par for me:

1. I didn’t run with a phone, gps or anything more than a simple stopwatch.
2. I wasn’t interested in racing, just using this race as my 10mi long run for this week.
3. I’ve been fueling horribly and struggling with BE disordered eating so this was a victory in performing strong despite being cruel to myself.



And just to remind you that we’re all human: A picture where you can see both leg flub and muscle looking oh so very NON-attractive but me very much not caring because I was OWNING that pace for ALL 10 mi.


For this race I only fueled with a few swedish fish beforehand and 1 GU around mile 6.5, seemed to be enough. I didn’t have any idea of my exact splits but new when I came around mile 2 with 14:45 I was cruising and just decided to keep up the effort as long as possible; I ended up with a final time of 1:14:01 – over a 1 min pr from last year! This race had 2 additional miles I haven’t ran this year (my longest run since my injury was 8 mi) so I was in it for a long slow run and it ended up being a great 10mi tempo entirely based on effort. I’m pretty pleased with the effort! If I don’t jinx it I could have a half marathon PR next month at the Bridgestreet Half Marathon – my previous PR was 1:38:xx, i’m hoping with my 10mi pace I could beat that.

To celebrate I was going to buy the new Garmin Forerunner 235 running watch since mine was very out dated, doesn’t sync with any app or computer and is bulky (with a cracked screen). HOWEVER, when I tried out the watch it was equally bulky compared to my Garmin Forerunner 310 and was gigantic on my wrist. I opted to skip the higher end watch in favor of two new gadgets: a fitbit alta for fitness tracking + watch, and a Garmin Forerunner 25. The Garmin is a lower end watch but has GPS and fitness tracking – if this latest race showed me anything it’s that I don’t need anything but a simple stopwatch and maybe some splits to train. In other words: the simpler the better! Plus now that I have the alta (garmin still needs to be ordered) I can track my steps for my 10K steps a day goal EVEN WHEN I DON’T HAVE POCKETS FOR MY PHONE. Because we all know women can’t be trusted with pockets.

I wish I could show you my coffee in the morning, it probably has about 1tsp of cinnamon on top…and I put the lid on too fast and never remember to take a pic. I literally emptied the cinnamon shaker at starbucks this morning and the barista said she literally had never seen that before. THERE’S A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING BITCHES!

I say bitches about baristas facetiously and seriously…I hold both a personal grudge, against starbucks baristas in particular, and a deep love for baristas in general. Baristas I love, starbucks baristas are a love/hate. My ex was a starbucks barista at one point…and subsequently cheated on me with one so I mean, yes, that’s an extenuating circumstance but also just a disclaimer to completely take who I hate or love with a grain of salt.

This is my first year participating in March Madness people – BE EXCITED. No? Ok, neither am I. Last night I got a text reminding me to pick who I want to win for the first 4 games because they’ll be used as a tie breaker in my group. So naturally the first thing I did was send a panic text to my partner for him to pick the matches for me. #lazyass

To be honest the above was written earlier in the day today before I came home and had a case of BE-Episode and right now I just don’t feel chipper or like finishing the thoughts above. It’s just depressing right now and so i’ll leave you with a gif:

chris trager no diea


You’re welcome america.

Jk, but this pie is something i’ve been waiting for an excuse to make for a while. It’s relatively easy if you know what to look for in mixing up pies (i.e., don’t let this get clumpy while mixing) and baked with little supervision.

The recipe I used originated from Baking Bites, and the only thing I had to pick up for this recipe was a pie crust (hell no i’m not making a pie crust when I have no experience with the filling *yet*) and more shredded coconut.

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (granulated) sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted (still a little chunky), not HOT and scalding
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup milk (whole, but other could work)
1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
9-inch pie crust – Pillsbury works just fine

I mixed the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together – set it aside.
Combine the butter and sugar with the vanilla until fluffy/smooth – use a hand mixer, a simple spoon won’t cut it but a wisk would do in a pinch. Add 1/2 of your milk (just over 3/4 cup) and then slowly add the dry ingredients you mixed up first. Make sure there aren’t any lumps and it’s smooth. Add the rest of the milk and the coconut. My coconut was clumpy in the bag so make sure it’s broken up before you pour it in your pie shell (which you’ve no doubt unrolled and put in your pie tin). I used a disposable pie tin that’s about 8″, but this recipe made enough that i’m sure a 9″ pie filling would be fine. I baked this at 350 for about 50 minutes but checked it every so often after 30 min.

Note: I sprinkled coconut on top of the pie just before baking so it wasn’t thoroughly combined. I would have liked to toast the coconut and then sprinkle over the pie when the custard had just start to set but it wasn’t in the cards this round.

Note 2: The custard separates from the coconut a little bit, it’s just physics: the coconut is light and the custard is heavier. It doesn’t FULLY separate out so don’t get worried, I noticed just a little separation because the custard at the bottom was more uniformly consistent whereas on top you could tell more coconut had stayed put. If you have any ideas about how to keep it consistent let me know but i’m not entirely convinced this is a problem to even fix.

BTW, the reason I made this pie was because the night before my ultra marathon in August, 2015 I had a coconut custard pie at Black Hills Burger Co and it’s stayed with me ever since…

The below image is the only pic I thought to take..after sampling.



Everyone has some sort of soundtrack for their life – a favorite song or rift that is associated with a person or place, activity or mundane task. At work someone is CONSTANTLY singing, it’s usually a coworker and we end up with “Everything is awesome….”

I’m not unlike the rest of you, the world, in having songs associated with people or events; I want to explain one song in particular and then for the rest of time you can refer back to this post whenever I say ‘THIS is the song for this moment/person/event’.

I have two favorite songs, everyone of my siblings knows this. They have been MY songs, not to be stolen for any great event…ever. However, I stole them from myself, I gave them away selfishly and now they’re ruined forever for me.

The first song is Canon in D by Pachabel; however cliche this is there’s 1 version that is MY song. It’s arranged by Lee Galloway, I heard it on a forewarded gif/video/whatever on my parents AOL account decades ago. I listened to it on repeat for years, finally I looked up who arranged it and sent away a very nice note asking for a copy with $20 for a copy of the sheet music. Yes, I literally ‘sent away’ for sheet music to a random dude…it made me feel like it was the 1940’s and I saw a print ad for a curl cream I MUST have and sent away my 25 cents with shipping and handling. Please, listen to the full music below. Even just linking the video and playing it in the background makes my heart just pause. I can’t explain it, I wish there was something poetic about ‘you can see the meaning in my eyes’, but there’s nothing there, it’s just my heart pausing because I know every note so well and this song knows me.

The second song is just as important to me; I first heard it when I lived in New Jersey fall of 2009. It’s the essence of driving through a long windy road with large trees on either side and the sun shining through. It doesn’t have to be a deserted road, but that’s the image I have in my head of the first time I listened to it. Of course, like any song I love I listened to it 1 million times in a row. It was my ring tone, by background music on my computer, the tune i’d hum, the only song i’d workout to and the only song I showed people on youtube. I’m OBSESSIVE about these songs.

However, this song is about relationships. I’ve tried to give this song to every boyfriend or put it as a ‘stamp’ on every relationship i’ve ever been in until my current partner. My first boyfriend, Greg, was short lived, but this song was first a happy song for us and then a comfort during my self-imposed dramatic breakup after a couple months. My next boyfriend, Ryan, was short lived and this song didn’t seem to represent us well. In true kelcy form, as with the relationship,  I still tried too hard to make it ‘fit’. It was still a comforting song, though, during the breakup, as was the song below:

I think Hey soul sister was safe from Ryan A) because it didn’t fit, and B) we didn’t have much in common. My next guy, He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (HWSNBN), had this song. We never had an official song, but like all previous relationships I wanted *THIS* song to represent us. And, guess what? It did. It totally was the song I put on that relationship. I loved it so much I walked down the aisle to it at our wedding. SURE, I wouldn’t miss Canon in D at my wedding – I arranged it so the best parts were when my bridesmaids, groomsmen and flower girls walked down the aisle (stringed quartet even, just the most beautiful sounds to reach your ears).

I stood in the atrium with my dad, his and my mom’s best friends holding the doors for us until the right moment when we would here the chorus and start our awkward aisle walk. That song makes my heart pause every. single. time. Even a single note or ukulele strum makes me pause. It’s not a dear, lovely pause as with Canon in D like above. It’s more of an ‘arrest’ than a pause. I feel like my heart just seizes and a little part of me, that part that died with that relationship, twists the little knife in its heart just a little. It’s painful, seizing, arresting and I genuinely know why. That was my love – it wasn’t in the person it’s in the song right now.

Here’s something that’s been running around in my head lately – i’ve been giving this song to every single person I can think of. It represented moments with boys, with guys, with men, with my sisters, my family, my travel, my life. I don’t think it belongs in a relationship, it’s not meant to be a brand for my latest ‘love’. It’s me, that’s MY song, that’s my brand, that’s my badge of courage. When I think of that song the first thing that comes to my mind isn’t my ex, it’s me and my dad standing behind closed doors about to walk down the aisle. It represents a moment that should have been cherished but died – a relationship that passed away.

I realize why weddings and marriage seem like such strong ‘NOOOOOOOOs’ to me, because I don’t want to give this song away again. I haven’t gotten it back yet. It needs to come back to me, to find it’s way to my heart and represent new times. It’s a song that will never be forgotten and I love it as much as I fear the feelings I get when listening to it. I’m not giving this song away anymore, this is kelcy, it’s me and it represents my life and my relationship with myself – and maybe it’s not the right song for it but who the fuck cares. We don’t get to ask what our heart feels we just have to seek out if it’s true or not. This song is everything and for now I’m going to have to keep avoiding it. When it comes full circle and I can listen to it with a pause and not an arrest, then I’ll know it’s ok to let myself enjoy the thought of a wedding or marriage again. Maybe that’ll be never, maybe that will happen before the song comes back to be mine, but it seems like a good enough proxy for today.

I went to bed like stitch last night:


Feeling a little bit more like:


My thought for the day came from an email newsletter I got a couple weeks ago: cheat daily for binge prevention. I realized I don’t even know what a daily cheat would look like. I thought about all the things I tell myself ‘no’ about, what doesn’t fit my idea of health and fitness, and no matter what I thought of I realized it’s the quantity that always gets me in trouble not the item itself, which is part of the problem right?


SO this week is finding daily cheats for binge prevention (oh how I hate hate HATE the word binge). It’s an awkward song and dance and it’s embarrassing and horrific but it’s worth the effort now matter how embarrassing or awkward it feels. Mostly embarrassing.


dumbo swinging

I wish there were a way to say this easily and move on, but reality isn’t easily avoided and as I sit here trying to rationalize why I think it’s ok to eat jars of chocolate fudge topping and enormous amount of shit while guiltily counting calories, I still hope that this isn’t a problem and that tomorrow at the gym i’ll some how avoid punishing myself for every calorie consumed.

This is where I realize it’s unhealthy. This is the part where I try to say ‘you’re a runner, you were just hungry”….while still secretly avoiding all realistic versions of what that means. Ideally that would mean I have TWO servings of dinner, or a quiet bowl of cereal before bed. No, for me that means all of the above, and secretly eating everything I see with a ‘fuck it’ idea in my head, that sensible eating habits are long gone and I might as well go for broke. That’s where I realize, and not for the first time, that I made myself ok with this type of behavior because there’s always the gym at 6am just waiting for me to hate myself into a good sweat.

Maybe part of me is ok with that, maybe that’s why i’m motivated to get up in the morning even when sleeping in is the easy thing to do. My motivation isn’t enough but self loathing takes me that extra 10%, you know?


But this is why I have to have all my food made from scratch, I have to know what’s in it. I don’t binge on sweet potatoes and carrots even though I totally fucking would if they were in my way tonight. I eat until I can’t feel anything, until I hate myself that anything else going on in my life is overwhelmed by the self loathing I feel. Because somehow, that’s manageable. Somehow, hating myself is the easier path. I hate myself because that’s true and I hate myself because I made it true.

Tomorrow will come and go, this inability to consider food normally will not be gone and i’ll have a giant block of self loathing to deal with. For right now i’ll try and pretend this version of self harm is small, manageable and not a toxic portion of my life I don’t know how to deal with.

I’m homesick and i’ve been that way for a while. I could say that’s the root of my binge tonight, but it’s not that easy. I started out grocery shopping, pointedly NOT buying the flour I needed to make my mother’s cinnamon rolls, even though I felt homesick and making her cinnamon rolls always makes me feel connected to her. I could say denying myself that comfort food spiraled out of control to being surrounded by wrappers and things that should never be eaten and will cause me a lot of pain this week, but that would be too simple. That would be the convenient ‘oh this is why’ that would explain all of this behavior and make it ‘ok’. That would mean binge eating had a root in something external to me and I didn’t address it and not addressing it is what caused it. There’s no easy solution here, that fuck it attitude didn’t come from me missing my mom, it came from a place in my brain that doesn’t allow slip ups, that likes self sabotaging behavior. It’s not from the homesick corner of my heart, it’s from the endless pit of self hate that had been feeling especially neglected the past few days. You see, it’s easy to be successful when you start being successful – small success builds and if you aren’t hating yourself and tripping yourself up, why are you even doing this. Your heart says “i’m content and happy” but that pit says “feed me, you don’t deserve to be happy or content” and somehow, that pit of despair wins every damn time.

It’s crippling.

Binge eating isn’t about quantity, it’s about the fact that when i’m doing so well with my goals I self sabotage in a self destructive way and it spreads outward from there. If it isn’t stopped at binge eating it’ll spread into every relationship I have. It’s a sickness that only shows itself once it’s too far gone to stop alone. I can’t be the only one that feels like this, right? I’m sorry, me. Tomorrow I’ll be better to you.

dumbo swinging


I wish for chaotic, lightning producing, strong updraft creating, single cell thunderstorm producing weather. I don’t wish for this selfishly, mind you. I wish for it because my job and boredom depend on it. Unlike a genuine student of the weather I am not easily wooed by the small frontal passage or MCS fizzling into stratiform rain that mesoscale adjacent students adore. The waxing and waning of their adoration for daily weather patterns is tiresome and somewhat boorish. These students brief weather, hoarding key details as if their private club is one you must express a baseline excitement for fickle rain patterns and CAPE values before consideration is expressed.

My research group is not one to tolerate this nonsense. YOU have a field project people, wake up! Ok, there. I’ve said my piece. Notice, though, I said YOU HAVE A FIELD PROJECT. I do not. Lightning, does not. We are field project adjacent…we only need lightning to capture data, thus, if there’s lightning we stay late. We set up shop and you cannot get rid of what you might consider to be the cockroaches of the mesoscale club. You won’t kill us, we’ve had many a night sitting up late watching storm after storm split around Huntsville, giving us only moderate stratiform precipitation and not even a lick of the good stuff.

We have, this tuesday, a chance for severe weather. You might think that in a weather focused building there might be some common knowledge shared about the timing of weather – given there’s a daily briefing to do just that. HOWEVER, our dedicated mesoscale-adjacent student is not keen on keeping her group updated. Herein lies the problem – people doing their job without being prompted, weather not cooperating, and a field project full of individuals with metaphorical ANTS IN THEIR PANTS to get the fuck out in the field. BEGIN THE HYPE MACHINE.


IT’S GONNA BE TORNADOS PEOPLE. HANG ON TO YOUR UNDERWEAR, we’re in the SPC 2 day outlook and we’re looking at a real rage here – like you’ve never even seen, just insane, you should probably begin stock piling bread. I’m talking no more bread till the end of time, learn to love it in a pb&j or sliced bread soup (i’ll give you a hint what it is: two ingredients (1) bread, (2) milk), because this weather is gonna keep you from the grocery store until your feet start getting jungle rot. It’s gonna be that long until civilization bounces back people – the heavens are gonna open up and BEWARE THE RAIN MACHINE COMETH.

jk. We’ll get some rain and probably some lightning. Which brings me to the heart of this post: what the fuck does this even mean for a grad student in lightning physics.

It certainly doesn’t mean we congregate with the other grad students in the WAR room, planning operations and watching each satellite and radar scan with an eagle eye for anything that looks like rotation (no offense if you get to do that, it’s definitely more fun and lively than the ltg group). NO. We sit across the damn street. We sit in the damn dark, in a cold cupola with a damn camera and our damn eyeballs burning from staring at a screen, watching the LMA 10 min source summary march clumps of lightning sources towards Huntsville and promptly die out before it’s in range. We watch our souls drain from our bodies as day after day of rain and no thunder haunt us. And by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’…because it’s usually 1 person in the cupola. You see, this is a sad, lonely event. At the end of a night of operations, which can run until 3am, 5am, all night even, we get to walk to our cars not even knowing if it’s raining. Because the best way to end a night of completely unsuccessful and somewhat unnecessary weather observations is with a complete soaking.