When I saw the announcement today that Liz Blackburn had won the Nobel prize in medicine, I was surprised. First, because I thought she'd already won it years ago and second, because she looked so old; then I realized that I hadn't seen her in 20 years (And she's aged better than I have. Hell, butter ages better in 20 years than I do.)
When I was a grad student, she was applying for a faculty position in the biochem department at Purdue. I was asked to interview her, because they wanted a student's perspective, because I was one of the few American students and because they knew I'd ask the questions no one else would dare ask. I asked what I was getting out of it and I was bought off with lunch; I hadn't seen a tablecloth in more than a year.
I remember telling her that, if she were hired, she'd want enough money that they'd have to make her department head and fire two faculty, that there were only two non-tenured staff and that would leave her in charge of a bunch of "the old boys;" did she really want to run a department where she couldn't hire anyone for 20 years? Then I pointed out that the only people who'd choose Purdue over Stanford were conservatives raising a family... I didn't have to ask the personal question that implied, she smiled and demurred, changing the subject. I also remember asking her what she'd study if telomeres dried up (looking for what might be a good field for my postdoctoral studies) and she suggested DNA modification, which turned out to be a pretty good idea.
I was able to go back to my major professor and say with confidence that she wasn't really interested, that it was just a ploy to get a pay raise.
I also met the other two winners, but I don't have any stories about them.
From my recent training, one can see that the idea of running a sub-5 mile is gone.
Monday: "Yasso 880's." 10 half-mile repeats, averaging 3:16, with 1:1 work to rest ratio. Bursae in back of heels hurt. Very windy.
Tuesday: 3 miles in 28. Legs fried from yesterday.
Wednesday: 10 times up and down the Brickyard hill (8 miles, 93 min., 2400 feet of climb). Ankles sore, bursa under right heel sore.
Thursday: 3 in 29. Tired. Saw a dozen bluebirds. I only see them migrate through in the spring and fall, so it's always a delight. Rainy and cold. Sore glutes from yesterday's run.
Friday: 8 in 59, plus three recovery miles, which became a death march. Became windy, then rainy during the run.
Saturday: 16.5 miles, last 9 with Greg Buse, in 2:49. Completely spent. It was like the last 10 miles of a 100 miler. Heels sore from the very start.
Sunday: 3 in 29. Very stiff. Both heels very sore. Watched the marathon, thinking I'm probably in 3:15-3:20 shape.
Total: 53 miles. Not great, not terrible. But what am I training for??? I see the AHU 135 is accepting entries now...
5 hours ago