29 December 2008

argentina, overall impressions

so far, i´m digging argentina. the food here, in my opinion, is atrocious. if you like red meat and bread and dulce de leche, it´s really fantastic. but for a vegetarian who eats mainly whole grain breads, veggies, fruits, beans, and nuts, it´s been a real challenge. i´ve had the occasional good meal.

i started my trip in salta, where i hiked, met new people, and did some pretty good thinking. i went to buenos aires for a few days, where i went to museums, parks, and met some pretty rad people. following, i went to bariloche, where i ate chocolate, explored, and rested after too much partying in buenos aires. i went to el bolson for a few days where i hiked, explored, shopped, talked, knitted, and met some pretty incredible people. back to bariloche where i met up with crista where we hiked, horseback rode, shopped (for your xmas gift maybe!), talked, and relaxed. oh yes, and ate chocolate. we flew up to iguazu where we saw the amazing iguazu falls which completely stunned me with their power and beauty. then i flew and bussed it to mar del plata. so far, i´ve struggled to find food to eat (a theme of my trip), went surfing, chilled on the beach, met some rad people, drank mate, got sunburnt. abt to head on a run now for some ice cream (the main thing i seem to be eating on this trip!), then showering, dinner, a club of some sort. should be fun. tomorrow will be beach, sea lions, and a bus ride back to buenos aires for a few final days of clubbing, meeting rad people, museums, and more. i´m learning to relax, and it´s great. i hope i can continue this amazing feeling of being chill and relaxed once i get back home. if i forget, please remind me.

traveling is about...

  • making mistakes
  • finding yourself
  • losing yourself
  • making new friends
  • meeting new people
  • learning who you really are
  • learning how others see you (and your culture)
  • new experiences
  • new adventures
  • new failures
  • new challenges
  • freezing
  • excessive heat
  • discomfort
  • comfort
  • not enough sleep
  • occasionally, enough sleep
  • new food
  • new pains and stomach troubles
  • realizing how much you miss those who aren´t with you
  • realizing how much you miss those you just met, and how strongly they impacted you despite such a short intense time period you know them in

27 December 2008

i m so sexy i dont stop traffic, i cause car wrecks

on christmas morning, crista and i decided to go for our running. in our street stopping attire of pink running shirts and black t on crista, and pink running skirt and pink running top on me, we had a driver who craned his neck to see us and ended up causing a pretty major crash.

yes, we are that sexyª

19 December 2008

chocolated out

i{m really starting to get into my trip, especially now that i feel as if it is ending (when in fact, it barely started). i was off to a rough, slow start in salta, but am glad i went since i met some amazing people, learned a lot about myself and the world. i fell in love, hard, with buenos aires, and met some amazing people. last night went out dancing and drinking caipirinhas and was not feeling sober until after 730 a.m. seriously.

now i{m in bariloche which has some of the most beautiful scenery. it{s just stunning. as i{m on only 2 hours sleep, i{m starting to feel completely out of it...i feel like i{m on drugs or something. i was invited to this party by these argentine jewelers but may need to just crash instead, esp since i plan on getting up early for a run before i head on the 11 a.m. bus to el bolson (for which i need to be there an hour early, ugh).

heading upstairs to dig through the pack. it{s the point where everything{s wrinkled and maybe even stinky but who cares? bob marley is playing in the background, rad people surrounding me, and i can{t help but smile at how lucky i am.

17 December 2008

buenos aires

really enjoying buenos aires. this city has incredible energy -- it reminds me of nyc, the intensity, but less rush-rush-rush stressfulness. it's full of fantastic fashion, great energy, and good vibes. i love it here.

went to museo del la cuidad today, and the malba, and the japanese gardens. good times. discovered an amazing vegetarian restaurant, which was outstanding. better than any steak place, in my opinion.

the running here is lovely. nice parks. i've been wandering, journaling, chatting with people, practicing my spanish. it's so wonderful not to be at work this week.

16 December 2008

salta la linda

the mountains are quite lovely in salta. i mostly relaxed, walked a lot, met some good people, saw some incan mummies, enjoyed mate and wine, and got back in touch with myself. it´s so nice not to rush-rush-rush all the time like i do in nyc. i´m sick of that rushing around and am hoping things will not be so bad...

off to buenos aires in a few hours, that cosmopolitan land of big buildings, tango, parks, and enjoyable life. looking forward to it...especially i enjoy this time alone as a time to think, relax, and get in touch with myself again.

15 December 2008

melt. down.

i have had various meltdowns while traveling. it´s usually early on, though not always. it involves me feeling overwhelmed, like i made the wrong decision to come to a certain place or to travel at all. i have memories of crying into the phone in the basement of the louvre to t, who listened, and then finally i said to him, ï´m being spoiled aren´t i? i mean, here i am at the louvre...´and he didn´t say no, but he got me to understand that i was lucky.

i had a long ass day of traveling - plane to shuttle to waiting to shuttle to waiting to another plane to another shuttle. i got to salta and everyone at my hostel seemed nice, but not ultra-friendly. i hadn´t eaten anything all day sans a clif bar and i ended up trying to find something vegetarian to eat for over an hour and a half. carnivores delight down here. i know i could never date an argentinian b-c i could never deal with all the meat eating. finally, i ended up eating some empenadas and salad (chopped lettuce, tomatoes and carrots). i had a huge migraine and went to bed at 10pm.

i felt like, ´what am i doing here in this ugly city where every man i pass must sexually harass?´yesterday involved a lot of wandering and thinking. in the afternoon, i met andy, federico, and others. we drank mate and chilled in the shade and i knitted and relaxed. maybe it was the mate, but it put me in the mood. andy made dinner for a couple of us, we had some bad wine, and hung out. it turned out to be all right after all.

so far, have done some hiking, walking around. siesta is over in a few so i´m heading out to the art museum. i´m showered and feeling good, just ate some more ¨salad¨so am feeling okay. if i lived in salta, i would weigh 88 pounds. seriously. tonight i want to head to the vegetarian restaurant for dinner so i can eat good!

tomorrow, museums in the morning, some wandering, and then an early evening flight to buenos aires. should be fun. i´m going to keep my chin up. when i get down for whatever reason, i just need to remember, i´m in argentina, i´m in vacation, i´m speaking spanish, i´m free...

12 December 2008

every sport i love seems to be in the "other sports" category of the NY Times

Running. Yoga. Surfing.

At least one of them got some good coverage recently, and about women! This women's surfing article was a breath of fresh air. I really hate the super masculinized "dude" culture of surfing.

10 December 2008

san francisco north face challenge 50 miler


sometimes, the things you want, despite being difficult or expensive, are really what you need to do in the end. i wanted so badly to do this race after meeting brad who told me about the beauty of the course, and the easy footing. i was so glad i did it.

i spent the day before the race wandering around san francisco, one of my favorite cities. i went to the knitting store to get some new knitting needles in the mission, had lunch in dolores mission park, went to city lights bookstore, picked up my race packet, carbo-loaded, and went to bed at 8:30p.m. i woke up at 2:45 to get ready for my second 50 miler.

i was freezing at the starting line, and gathered around a heat lamp with several other runners. my main goals were to finish, and to (if possible) finish with a faster time than vermont. little did i know how difficult the latter would be.

we started at 5 a.m. with headlamps. i was nervous, and went out with brad and john just behind me. we were chatting, going at an easy pace. it was pitch black, but you could see the progression of lights ahead and behind. it was really cool.

after only a few miles, the trail hit another trail, and we followed the other runners without looking -- only to have someone yell at us that we were heading the wrong way. i yelled at the runners ahead of us, and ran quickly to make up for lost time.

my headlamp began to bother me, as i was wearing a visor and to properly light the path, i had to crane my neck down. i eventually took my visor off, and began to loathe wearing my headlamp, and was glad when the sun came up.
as we ran down some amazingly beautiful trails (that were technical, incredibly steep, and i ended up losing brad and john for a few minutes as they sped ahead), a woman passed me running incredibly fast. that incorrect turn-off i had made earlier was made by her and others, and she ran an extra 40 minutes. she was upset, and ran quickly passed me. i wished her good luck.

it was a really beautiful race. i ran with brad and john, and they both knew the course incredibly well -- they told me where the ups were, where the downs were, where the tough parts are (everywhere), where the great views were. it was fantastically fun!

john hadn't been running much over the past few months (years?) but he was kicking butt on the hills. he ran ahead of brad and i as we trudged up the hills -- they were some of the hardest hills i've ever run. luckily, the views were amazing at the top.

i fueled up on strawberry banana gus (a total of 6 or maybe 7), pretzels (i ate multiple handfuls, and at aid stations, slathered peanut butter on pretzels for easily digestible and highly caloric snacks), two of my mom's monster cookies, an orange slice here and there, water between aid stations, and a cup of accelerade at each aid station. so yummy! my stomach hurt me a while after we got to the very top of this hill (which took forever, and which was incredibly windy and chilly), and then when i peed (which seemed like for abt 20 min!), my stomach felt MUCH better. don't hold your pee. unfortunately, i can't walk and pee like some people...ahem, brad...other ultrarunners....

i ran downhill stronger, and felt great. at the aid station at the bottom, i celebrated with one of my favourite poses.

while the race started out chilly (in the high 40s, windy, and i wore my thin long sleeved shirt until around mile 15), it got up to the lower 60s. it was sunny, and i was mostly exposed, but there were some fantastic covered periods (including my favorite section through muir woods, which had tons of downhill and i barreled down the hills, feeling great). the downhill sections were where i felt strongest.

i thought a lot during the race. while i often ran next to or very near to brad and john, i had a lot of thinking going on. this is the toughest race i have ever run in my entire life, but i have never felt so great. i had runner's high much of the race. this race ultimately defined for me my life and my love for running.
and the incredible views caught my breath.

a woman passed us, and we slowly caught her. "get her, cherie," brad urged me, and i took off. i passed her, fast. brad and john met me at the aid station a half a mile later, and we took off before she caught up. it felt good to be competitive.

the last few miles i felt great. i ended up leaving brad and john as i struggled to try to complete the race in a personal best. i ran as fast as i could, passing runners, pushing myself as much as i could. people were running slow, struggling, and i felt so strong. i had a huge smile across my face. i couldn't believe how happy i was.

i finished just a few minutes slower than my vt50 miler. this course was WAY harder, with 20,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. i felt happy with my time, and couldn't wait to do it again. it was an amazing, fun, and beautiful race; very well-organized; great volunteers; great aid stations. i highly recommend it to any ultrarunner. i am so tempted to move out to the bay area so i can run those trails every day...

02 December 2008

just because

just because i like to dance and i like to sing and there is good music and there are cookies in the oven and there is a pile of clothes and energy gels on the floor and i don't care, i'm going to pick up that hula hoop and forget that any kind of stress every existed in my life and just be.

26 November 2008

Kerouac on Goodbyet

What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain until you see only their specks disappearing? It’s the too huge world vaulting over us, and it’s goodbye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.

- Jack Kerouac

25 November 2008

decisions...

two months ago, i saw a really great hat at brooklyn industries. it was a lovely deep maroon, velvety, with the cutest bow. i refused to buy it, believing it was too much. but i couldn't stop thinking of it. finally, one night, fifteen minutes before brooklyn industries closed, i grab my wallet, stuffed my feet into my boots, and ran out the door. i had to have that hat!

i have it and i love it. i wear it and frequently get compliments.

deciding to do the san francisco north face challenge was like the hat purchase. too expensive, i couldn't justify it. my mom, friends, family -- no one was encouraging me to do it. but i kept wanting to do it, kept talking abt it. i did a 23 mile run -- with no specific race in mind. a 50k too. i knew running is what makes me move, what makes me live, feel alive.

so i threw all my sensibility out the window, into the dirty street with rainwater and bits of jackhammered sidewalk, and booked a plane ticket for a very short weekend to san francisco where i will spend an entire day of my trip running a 50mile race. i'm a little overwhelmed b/c i have SO much to do at work and trip preparation and holiday shopping...but i'll be fine. i'll do it all. i'm so excited right now.

you know that feeling you get every so often -- the feeling you get when you are walking in the woods by yourself and everything feels electric, from the pine needles to your very breath, or when you are up way too late, fueled by tea, maybe wine, and amazing conversation and you can't believe how limiting the world can be sometime, or when you are making love or even just kissing and your knees buckle and you can't believe that everyone isn't rejoicing because such amazing emotions as these exist -- well, i am getting that feeling now about this race. i feel like i'm getting in touch with my true self, and exploring much more of the world than one could possibly think is possible in just a 50 mile race.

21 November 2008

why i travel

…the most singular experiences of travel come in not finding what you’d hoped to discover.

- Rolf Potts, “Vagabonding”

i hate hate crimes

this story has made me absolutely sick. this is how many long island boys are, and it disturbs me greatly. these boys murdered a man just because he was latino, and for sport, would go around, beating up and hurting latino men.

this quote disturbs me greatly:

They found a Hispanic man that day whom Mr. Pacheco admitted to punching and knocking out cold, Mr. Spota said. That victim has not stepped forward. Mr. Pacheco later told the police, “I don’t go out and do this very often, maybe once a week,” Mr. Spota said.

why does it disturb me? because he said, “I don’t go out and do this very often, maybe once a week."

Once a week to beat the crap out of someone is not very often?

19 November 2008

burner librarians

librarian 2.0 manifesto



i can 2.0, you baby, out in the playa! come to the librarian cocktail party next year!

16 November 2008

wagathon50k



I did the Wagathon 50k last Sunday. Exactly a week after my fastest marathon, I found myself running a fairly technical 50k. There were some carriageways (which I excel at!), brooks to trip/run over, leaves, logs to run on, and the dreaded lemon squeeze (which made my arms hurt the neck day -- imagine squeezing through rocks, climbing ladders, scrambling from rock to rock, for abt an hour after you've already run 22 miles or so). I did it with Crista (who had been planning on running just 13 miles but of course, couldn't stop!). It was a beautiful run, and I got to meet some interesting ultrarunners, learn about new races, and obviously, run!

This weekend feels kind of empty...I've done races the past two weekends, and am used to long-ass weekend runs. In fact, I'm starting to look forward to them and they even seem normal. Yesterday I ran 23 miles or so, during torrential downpours and sunshine at the end. I ran rather fast towards the beginning, but slowed up at the end (as is typical) and felt tired, but I love having a mini-adventure with every long run.

fiction

I am editing something I wrote several years ago, and am in love with this section:

I’m contemplating these things to Tiara who says, while dipping a French fry in a disgusting combination of mayo, ketchup, mustard, and hot sauce, “Well, if you’re unhappy, end it.”
“But it’s not – I’m not miserable. I’m just – I’m not ecstatic. It’s okay. It’s like – it’s like – “
“It’s like a job that’s not that great but not horrendous and pays the bills and enough for a night of drinking and it’s just easier to stay as opposed to having to update your resume and start the job hunt because, hey, the coffee’s free, the benefit are good, and you’re not ready to go postal.



i think that's part of the problem -- people let things slide too long. as le tigre says, "mediocrity rules." so many people let their jobs, lives, kids, happiness slide along because of laziness. i say, "chuck that attitude." take the other fork in the road -- sure, the journey is more arduous and you will be overwhelmed and emotional and broke, but you'll follow your heart -- and that's always worth living for in the end.

13 November 2008

this would SO not be me

if a fox were gnawing at my arm, i would not keep running with it so i could get it tested for rabies. some people are so hardcore it scares me.

11 November 2008

girl, by blake nelson

'...thinking how incredibly stupid I was if I expected life to be anything else but failed love and mindless sex and crying all night in bus stations.'

This is one of my favourite books. I've re-read this so many times, yet still adore it. In high school, it held so much meaning for me (especially as my preppy friend Darcie dissed me and I got involved in the underground culture of indie rock and riot grrrl and hardcore shows and raves (diverse, I know)). Right now if I hadn't lent it to Crista, I would re-read it. Instead, I'll know that life is beyond long plane rides, choking back tears, eating chocolate after extremely long runs, sitting in corners, wiping dust bunnies and tears away with the same hand.

29 year old crisis

I'm feeling like I'm at another turning point in my life.

I don't think I'm going to go crazy and quit my job and travel. If I had the money, I definitely would. For now, my travel involves Argentina next month and short trips throughout the country to various ultramarathons.

But I'm feeling what I felt when I had my quarter-life crisis. Laugh if you will, but in my 25th year, my unhappiness overwhelmed me (I was working at a corporate library and finishing grad school and my boyfriend had just moved out) and I realized traveling might have some answers. I do find answers when I travel, a lot more than when I'm rotating around the same cycle of Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-half-day-Friday-freedom on Saturday and Sunday, crammed with cooking, errands, running extremely long distances, seeing friends, cleaning, sleeping, farmers' market, drinks/dancing, etc. I feel so stuck right now it scares me.

I can't see my future any more. I'm sick of discussing career management and career progression. My career is moving really slow. I really do enjoy my job, but so much of the management/HR-talk really frustrates me. I like my work, but meetings, argh, meetings.

My life plan has changed so many times. If you asked me in the early summer what my plans were, I'd have a carefully crafted plan that has changed so vastly. I don't know what my plans are. I don't know who (if anyone!) I'll even end up spending my life with. That basic question has forced me to reevaluate everything. I don't know where I'll live. The more I get into ultrarunning, the more I want to live someplace else – with amazing trails, maybe some forests and mountains. I admit I do love the trails in the northeast, but not sure I want to stay around here. I do need to be close to the ocean or I'll shrivel up and die. My summertime beach addiction means I need to be by water year round, even if I only run by it in the winter – and no, rivers don't care. I need crashing waves. I need a place to surf (even if I suck at it) and to watch the mysteries that spill forth with each rolling wave.

For the longest while, I have talked about traveling extensively – doing a 1-2 year trip around Latin America, Asia, and OZ/NZ. If I want to do this trip, I need to start saving hardcore and re-organizing how I spend my money and vacation.

In the next year, I have plans to go to Argentina (vacation: Dec-Jan), Boston (Boston Marathon: April), Big Sur (Big Sur Marathon: April), PA (Laurel Headlands 70 mile: June), maybe Hawaii (vacation: June), Vermont (VT100 miler: July), Oregon (Hood to Coast Relay: August), Burning Man (August-Sept), Vermont (VT 50 miler: September), not sure where else. Yes, it's a lot (and A LOT of running!). I need to not spend so much and try to save more.

I've gone through a lot of change the past year. Burning Man opened up a whole side of me, reminding me there is so much more to life than the everyday. Spending more time with good friends like Rosa has tapped deeper into me.

An old classmate sent me an email, telling me about the writing and traveling she has done. In the midst of deadlines and too many cc: emails and the subway never coming and heavy groceries and stained carpets and not enough sleep and expensive plane tickets and long, long runs and empty GU wrappers and backstabbing friends, I know there is so much more.

The real question is: can I tap into it and tap into myself now? Or must I exit my present situation to explore and advance?

10 November 2008

secret single habits

there's an episode of sex and the city where carrie talks abt her secret single habits. she likes to eat stacks of saltines standing up in her kitchen reading fashion magazines. i like to read natural living and vegetarian nutrition eco-friendly magazines (thanks, v, for always passing them along!) while eating dinner. i like to blast cheesy music (or sometimes not so cheesy), listening to a certain obnoxious song on repeat for hours, singing along each and every time. i like to take long baths with stacks of books next to the tub for whatever i decide to read at that moment. i like to write in my journal, propped up by enormous stacks of pillows. i like to spend weekends getting up early to run long, going to the farmers' market, making yummy breakfasts in my kitchen while reading good books and writing v letters, baking and making involved and amazing soups, drinking endless pots of tea, spending too long getting ready and meeting friends for a night of fun, drinks, dance, and whatever kind of debauchery we can engage ourselves in, coming home tipsy and sitting in bed with my cat, drinking lots of water and eating pretzels, getting crumbs everywhere, laughing, singing, so happy to be alive and free.

what are your secret single habits? you might even be partnered but the second your beloved is gone, you may find yourself eating dinner on your loveseat (which your partner hates) which is granola with yogurt in the middle of the night or neglecting to do laundry for weeks on end while wearing the same shirt. oh, it can be so fun to feel free and live your secret single life! what's your secret? what will YOU never give up?

08 November 2008

what i was doing this afternoon

hula hooping

today is one of those dreary autumn days with overcast skies, rain, mist, drizzle, pouring, ugliness outside. i was happy in a way since i didn't have any solid plans. i ran an easy 5 miles, went to the farmer's market to get some produce and fresh bread, came home, made yummy breakfast, rachelle came over and enjoyed some of my new amazing tea from my favourite tea shop in nyc and we chatted. after rachelle left, i enjoyed some alone time, have been doing some editing on my novel (that i've so neglected for way too long!) and have been hula hooping. i love the internet because whatever you're into, you can find information on it (especially if you're a librarian!). i've been watching instructional videos all day by this rad woman who i took a hula workshop with at burning man, and i'm def going to groove hoops on monday so i can improve on some of my skills.

overall, it's been relaxing. i still haven't decided on next races, next steps. i'm doing a 50k tomorrow, the wagathon, and it's funny how easy that feels/sounds..."oh just a 50k."after, i hope to see my favourite cousin jonathan.

right now, i've moved the furniture and my hoop is calling me! back to hooping!

07 November 2008

just for fun!

i am in the top 11.7% of all marathoners in sunday's nyc marathon, top 4.9% of women, and top 3.0% of those in my age group (20-29, women AND men!). yay!

nyc marathon 2008: 3:32!!!

this photo is of me after grabbing some pretzels at mile 8. yum. my tummy was a wreck before then (which is not a good thing!)

this year's new york city marathon was exciting! it always is. i felt a little nervous since i've been training for longer races (i have done three ultras since late june!), and thus, running slower, but apparently the longer races really prepped me. mentally, it was easier. after twenty minutes of running, my stomach started hurting, and i thought, "well, only about three more hours of running." ultrarunning preps you so that marathons seem like short runs. pretty crazy.

the race day started out cold. i was nervous b/c i hadn't had a BM in a few days. (does this seem like a dangerous dan entry? hah!) i wasn't feeling too hot, but was cheered by mark and shawn on the ferry. we stretched together, and then i left them as i was an orange start -- starting on the upper left of the verazzano narrows bridge (staten island).

i was hanging out with a group of australian runners (more than 50% of nyc marathon runners are from other countries), chatting about the race, about what we would drink afterwards. we all nervously chatted during the star spangeled banner (and the sound kept going in and out) and all of the sudden, the gun!

"we started?" i shrieked to the ozzies.

"i guess so!"

the start was below 40; i ran across the bridge in a thick ugly powder blue fleece. shortly after i emerged from the bridge (panting, it was pretty tough on the uphill), i tossed it to an eager spectator with outstretched arms.

brooklyn. 4th avenue. the bands. the spectators. cheering. little kids with their hands out. people already standing there with boxes of bananas (which seem revolting to me while running). my stomach started hurting, but i thought, "ah, a half hour passed, just three more hours."

there are over 2.5 million spectators in this race, so it's an absolutely amazing race for any runner to do -- whenever you feel down, there's someone yelling, "go PINK! GO PINK!" it's an absolute blast. there's the band that plays the rocky theme song repeatedly as the marathoners go by.

i saw my boss at mile 7, and then my parents and friends were at mile 8. i turned onto lafayette in fort greene, my favourite place of the race. it's early enough where you are still fresh and feeling good and pushing yourself, with tons of people, great music (an amazing african drumming group really pushed me), and oh yeah, TONS of obama fans!

turning onto bedford is always an experience. the hasidic jewish people ignoring the runners, a woman walking across the street with a stroller, acting oblivious. quickly we entered latino williamsburg (yay! always great cheering!) and then hipster williamsburg. soon, into greenpoint, MY hood! i felt great, esp when i saw rachelle.

long island city was great b/c gwendolyn was there with a hot pink sign -- lovely surprise! i was ecstatic. my stomach throughout was bothering me, but i kept forcing myself to eat and drink and take endurolytes and drink gatorade.

i felt good on the bridge. i have done hill repeats on the bridge many times, but on marathon sunday, ugh, i really felt the incline. once i got to the top, i pushed myself down.

and onto 1st avenue!

1st avenue gives you goosebumps. you'd have to be dead to not get them, so says one famous runner. there are people so thick the people in the back can't see the course, but everyone is screaming, holding signs, going nuts. bars and restaurants hold marathon brunches, people are hanging out of windows. it's amazing. my stomach really started hurting me, but i forced down another gel and pushed on.

at 90th st, i saw my coworker john who went absolutely nuts. it really cheered me up. a block later, crista and tray and my parents. i got some gummy bears, forced them down, kept going.

on the willis avenue bridge, i decided, "i will not let the bronx get me down." and i didn't. i kept pushing.

i saw sin-d walking her little dog and it totally cheered me up. i grabbed an orange from someone. i kept going.

my stomach hurt me. i ran in harlem, cheering on the obama fans, them cheering me on. great music. passed a bunch of people.

saw the fam again just before i entered central park. in the park, i really started to get emotional.

"i won't run 3:25 [my goal] but i'll def PR." i kept pushing myself.

i passed people, i soaked in the screams and the cheers.

and i finished in 3:32! i was so emotional i almost started crying. immediately, i felt dizzy and a volunteer walked with me, but soon i recovered. i downed a bottle of water, and met my mom (with a magic cookie bar; thanks, mom!) after seeing shawn. it was so great.

after, we all gathered at my apt to eat food, drink sangria, and talk running. and those are my favorite things in life.

nyc marathon 2008: 3:32!!!

05 November 2008

2009

i'm trying to figure out my 2009 racing schedule. so far i have:

boston marathon? april
big sur marathon OR avenue of the giants marathon april/may
100k (last weekend in may) in NJ
70 mile laurel headlands june
vt 100 miler
vt 50 miler
nyc marathon

is that too many races? i also want to cram in the occasional half marathon, maybe even a trail ultra in FL if i can fit it in....

i really want to do the san francisco north face challenge 50 miler next month...haven't fully decided, and need to asap!

the big o

words cannot explain the ecstasy i feel now that we have elected barack obama the president of the united states -- the first black president. i am ecstatic!

03 November 2008

voting=presents?

election day is trying to become our favorite holiday. tomorrow, you can get free vibrators at babeland, free ice cream at ben & jerry's, or free coffee at starbucks.

i'm still not sure what i'm doing on election day; i may snub all of the bar parties and do my laundry and drink excessively until election results are announced. c'mon obama!

28 October 2008

cherie needs advice: should i stay or should i run?

i'm having difficulty making a decision.

after i ran the vt 50 miler, i became addicted. that high...oh, it was amazing. (or maybe it was all the cake i consumed while running?) i want do do another 50 miler...so badly. i really want to do a 100k.

why? b/c once you do one, you crave more...even those times at the vt50 miler, when i was dealing with tummy troubles, i still was having fun.

so i want to do the san fran north face challenge...it's supposed to be a great race, lots of fun. it all comes down to money. should i spend $300 on plane fare, $100 or whatever it is on race fees, and assorted other moneys (food, etc.) to do one race? i can probably stay with an old college friend, but i also don't know how i'm getting in and out of SF to the race (which is a 30 min ride outside of the city).

i want to do another race before i go to argentina...but should i pick one more local? the only ones i can really do within driving distance are the mendoza 50k one week after the nyc marathon (ouch!) or the fells trail race on nov 29. should i save my money for doing lots of ultras next year? probably. but i can't decide...this looks so fun.

travel updates

i'm going to argentina instead of ecuador.

i will tango my way into your heart. or stumble.

i may stop at uruguay along the way. plans include patagonia, iguazu falls, buenos aires, hitting up the coast (beaches! surfing! sun!). maybe tierra del fuego instead of patagonia?

you'll miss me over the holidays, but we can eat those red & green m&ms in the new year.

i think i'm going to take up a gentler sport...like football

who knew running was a contact sport?

of all the crazy trail races i do, the time i get the most injured running is in front of a club in my neighborhood on a street i've probably run down 100 times. i was running with crista, chatting abt nyc decompression (we went on sat and had a blast -- i'll post photos soon) when suddenly, i was tripping over a piece of sticking up concrete and hit the pavement and SLID! the palms of my hands are covered in cuts and are sore (and typing is slightly painful), my right shoulder is missing a large hunk of skin, there are cuts, scrapes and bruises on my elbow and legs and knees. ow.

then, this morning, miserable rain, gale-force winds, i did my last speed run (15 min tempo at MGP, 8xaccelerations of 150-200 meters) and just as i was finishing my tempo run (which i actually planned on doing 20 min), i slid as i was pushing it across the street. luckily, there were no cars, but i completely slid into a puddle, slamming into the ground. my left knee was throbbing, my gloves and pants were soaked, and i was more miserable than i have been in a while. my palms are still smarting from sunday's smash into concrete, and my shoulder is aching and it hurts to lift my arm.

but you know what? i'm so psyched for sunday's nyc marathon!

27 October 2008

happenings: excerpts from my second grade journal

March 18, 1987
My wish would be that if Ann-Marie could be my sister. We would be sisters forever. I wish it we were sisters. Then we would get bunk beds. I would have such fun. I would love for Ann-Marie to be my sister.

April 6, 1987
Today is Monday, April 6, 1987. We have been having a lot of rain. When it rains I go downstairs and take my sister and play dress-up. I said, "I'm the mother and you're the baby." And I like to play with my hamsters. When we play dress up I put on the fanciest dress, hat, coat, and a fancy purse. And I dress up my sister too. I always have fun!
And sometimes I play school and read. I read my library books too.

May 11, 1987
Fun!
Last week was my commioun [sic]. It was fun. In the church when my brother recieved the host he put it in his pocket. I had fun on my ommoiun [sick]. At the party I got one toy. It was a little bear that said "You're tops." It was from Eryn. I ate zita and hero and salad and juice. My mom made a punch with Lemonaid, Fruit Punch and Gingeral [sic]. My aunt let the kids drink until my mom saw Erin take some. The cake was good! I had fun on my commoiun. I had to read long loines on the aulter [sic]. The lord is my shepard.
This entry has a scary picture of me standing on an alter. I mean, an aulter, with a blinking microphone. Ah, the eighties.

May 18, 1984
Today is Monday, May 18, 1984. I had fun at my cousin Michelle's party. We had fun. Kristeena brought two whooler whoops [sic]. When we ate the cake I sat next to Michelle. She was the sloopiest [sic] eater. Michelle got a kitchen set. She was only one years old! My Aunt gave us party bags. In the party bags I got a bracelet, a twinkie, a mint, and a tootsie roll pop. We had fun.
On Sunday I went over Nicole's house. First we had a swirl pop. Then the ice cream man came and we got ice cream. I had fun!
The person downstairs of Nicole's house moved! We played hide 'n seek down there. We had lemonade and heat doritos! We watched the Wizard of Oz! "Boy," did we have fun!! I had fun when my Grandma came over! I missed her. She went to Florida.

June 3, 1987
Today is Wednesday, June 3, 1987. Yesterday we went to Bethpage Village. First we took the bus on the trip. I sat with Rebecca. We talked. I brought a little game in my pocket called Ring Toss. Then we went to Bethpage and went to the gift shop. I bought a little pink china doll. I was going to buy a rabbits foot but I thought of my rabbit being killed. We ate lunch after. I sat with Ann-Marie, Theresa, and Lisa Ann. We saw a movie. It was about the olden days. It was a really good movie. I wanted to see the Village. Last we went on the bus. I sat with Rebecca again. We played Ring Toss again. We talked. We opened our gifts and played with them. I had a good time at Bethpage. We had no homework.

June 5, 1987
Summer Fun
Today is Friday, June 5, 1987. IN summer I like to go to the beach. I like to eat lunch at the beach and make sand castles and swim. I like to walk and pick up shells. I like to get a sun tan.
One time I made a sandcastle that needed water. It was close to the water. At the beach I always have fun.

23 October 2008

naomi wolf quote

the real issue has nothing to do with whether women wear makeup or don't, gain weight or lose it, have surgery or shun it, dress up or down, make out clothing and faces and bodies into works of art or ignore adornment of it altogether, the real problem is our lack of choice.

21 October 2008

happenings: excerpts from my second grade journal

Today is October 14.
The rain is wet.
But it's not dry.
I feel mad because I'm having Ann-Marie over my house today, and we will not be able to go outside.
So we will go downstairs, and my sister's friend Eryn will come over.
Well when we're in the basement, they come down and put on the record player and put on the song, Rain Rain, go away, Come again another day.
By the way my sister has the prize popple. I love my sister, but I hate, Eryn.
I like rainbows.

Today is Monday, November 24, 1986.
I feel happy because I got two gerbils on Friday, and one Saturday we got more. We have three [sick] mails.
I like them a lot.
There [sic] names are Midnight, Orange, and Da. [I don't remember these; they must not have lived long.]
They eat raisins and cherries.

December 15, 1986
Christmas is coming.
There are only ten days till Christmas. I feel good because my sister is always a chatterbox so I won't get sleep and I can see Santa Claus. I wonder what he will give my brother and my sister and me! He puts small things in your stocking. I wonder how the elves are working? I will give Santa Claus cookies and milk. I will give the raindeer [sick] carrots and cerly [sic]. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Today is January 5, 1987.
On Christmas I got a Furskin, a radio, a baton, a bookmark and the Heart Family Playhouse from Santa. I got My Child and the My Child Stroller. And Fluppy Puppy. I got Miss Piggy lip glass and Miss Piggy nail polish.
My brother wanted his prensent [sic] early. He cried. I gave it to him. So did my sister. She did no give anybody anything. My grandma got something specil [sic], her ears pearced [sick]]. I saw Mary Poppins.
Ann-Marie sleept [sic] over. We stayed in bed till 11:59. We had popcorn.

Today is Wednesday, January 7, 1987. After school I like to play with Ann-Marie. We play with our dolls, we play barbie, dress-up, and drawing.
Sometimes we watch T.V. But we say "Melissa you can't play." Then she cries. Then we play. We go outside.

17 October 2008

clavicles as a sign of beauty

In our country, thinness=beauty. It's our national obsession here in the U.S. (and in many other countries as well). I wonder if there is a correlation between the rising obesity crisis and our obsession with thinness and hating our bodies?

I am not obese. I'm actually considered thin. I like to think I'm athletic. My arms are thin (though they are growing muscles, which is very exciting), my legs are all muscle ("I want legs like yours. How can I get them?" "Run for 16 years, and focus on ultramarathons and marathons for at least 4 of those years."), but I've always had issues with my stomach. I've hated it, moaned, "I'm so fat," way too many times when I'm not. Why do I engage in this hating?

Recently, I lost a bunch of weight -- 7 or 9 pounds, which is a lot for someone my size. It become immediately noticeable, and I got a lot of comments. I was pleased, but losing weight was never my intention. (It was a combination of my stomach getting really messed up with food poisoning, followed by going to Burning Man and having no appetite, followed by a general lack of appetite. I'm eating though. I'm actually about to have a veggie burger, so don't worry about me.)

What happened when I lost weight was that I lost boob. I ended up having to buy new (padded, push-up! They were the only ones that fit!) bras.

I was staring in the mirror, moaning the loss of my boobs, when I thought, "It can never be perfect, can it? Will you ever be satisfied?"

I stared at myself, and saw my clavicles sticking out. I recalled a NYT article on how women were only considered thin enough if their clavicles were sticking out. After the article, many women began obsessing. "Is it sticking out?" I even stared in the mirror to see the protrusion of my clavicle.

Why do we do this? Why can't we just love who we are? I decided I'm sick of hating, and am trying to love and enjoy my body. Smaller boobs mean less fat so maybe I'll run faster? I know that beauty comes from within, and I wouldn't someone to not love me or want me because I was too small -- how shallow, and how obviously not worth my time.

Love yourself. Run, eat cake, do whatever. Don't let the fashion industry and the media tell you you are fat.

addict

"you're an endorphin junkie. it's worse than heroin. if you don't run, you like, freak."
--patrick to me

patrick, you are so right. as i get more and more involved in the ultrarunning community, i find it more addictive. i haven't lost my zeal and lust for life otherwise -- going to visit rosa tonight (maybe hiking or apple picking or baking), nyc decompression next weekend, still working on my halloween costume, really enjoying wine lately, tea as autumn comes in. but still -- i think things like, "hmmm, the san diego 100 you say? might be a nice way to spend my 30th birthday." (on second thought, that's probably a terrible way to spend your birthday -- sweaty, stinky, hallucinating, oh joy! hahah!)

i signed up for a 100k next may the weekend before my birthday, and am seriously pondering doing the san francisco north face challenge 50 miler in dec. i've been having some good, tough, fast runners -- and have had runner's high twice this week! i don't need caffeine, i just need a good run.

it helps that most of my good friends are runners. when we do a relay, it's more like a party than anything else. i'll be hosting my second annual post-nyc-marathon potluck pigout this year (lots of running followed by lots of food -- what's better than that?). so being a runner is so natural when many of your friends are runners.

but not everyone is a runner. that's okay. i still like to drink mojitos, wear fairy wings, dance, sing, read poetry, look at art, and i can do that with you. yes, YOU!

thank you for speaking up; f* you to sarah palin

13 October 2008

life can be

full of homemade apple pies and amazing mojitos and dancing at hookah bars surrounded by smoke and egyptian boys and the italian navy and champagne-infused love speeches at wedding and long runs along the beach with good friends and dancing in high heels and it feeling normal and filling up a large tote bag at the farmer's market and smiling to your grandma,

"yeah, i'm happy."

and sometimes there are ups and sometimes there are downs but mostly, i'm running towards the rainbow.

12 October 2008

ready, set, TRAVEL!

so i bought my plane tickets to ecuador and i'm going there for three weeks! i can't wait! finally, another trip...

i plan to:
  • go on some sort of jungle tours/exploring the rain forest
  • surf
  • chill on the beach
  • hike
  • meet cool new people
  • go to the galapagos islands
  • improve my spanish
oooh and something different...crista will be with me for the latter two weeks of my trip. should be fun (and lots of running!).

races for 2009

who knew? the umstead 100 (a 100 mile race in april with a very high finishing rate) is already full! i'm really bummed b/c this is right by my little sister's house, so i could've probably conned her into pacing me (or at least crewing me). oh well, next year.

i need to start figuring out next year's racing schedule. tentatively, i'm thinking:

sarasota half marathon
april's big sur marathon
ultimate xc - jay & quebec (possibly)
vt 100 miler
vt 50 miler

other races i'm thinking of include the boulder 100, avenue of the giants marathon, costa rica challenge, hood to coast, and many others. i'm trying to find some 50ks, 50 milers, and 100 milers between now and june to prep for my first 100 miler. i'm open to any suggestions.
nyc marathon

09 October 2008

rumi poem

"The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you,
not knowing how blind that was,
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along"

Rumi (1207-1273)


06 October 2008

wouldn't it be nice if...

...life were about dancing in fake-fur costumes until 5am, under a haze of delicious drinks, followed by sleeping until you're no longer tired, long runs after the rains, and cooking complicated recipes while drinking cups of delicious english tea, eating homemade ice cream, and reading on the couch, sprawled out with a cat at your feet?

02 October 2008

register to vote, people!

mccain is scary, i think venessa is more qualified than palin for vp (she lives 2 miles from canada! she knows all abt foreign policy, right v?), so please, register to vote so we can barack the vote.

reasons:
  • you want to end this war in iraq
  • you value freedom -- freedom of choice, of voice
  • you are pro-choice and respect women
  • you realize abstinence only education does not work (palin should as well, seeing as how her teenage daughter is pregnant)
  • money for books and education, not for war and occupation!
and so many other reasons.

01 October 2008

bart yasso quote

running inspires creativity, relieves stress, and gives us insight into ourselves and the world, making the human condition more tolerable.

--bart yasso

why i love nyc

because there are signs saying "did you 'misunderestimate' your closet space?" on the subway

30 September 2008

Runners, Yeah We're Different




I was running with this guy, and we were talking about Crista's swelling fingers (more salt, baby!) and he said, "Well, make sure you're peeing enough. Have you peed yet?" No, I told him, but I would at the next aid station (mile 25). "Make sure you do," he told me. Then he said,

"You know, it's weird, but normally, you don't talk to people of the opposite sex about these sort of things."

I know exactly what he means! I was telling runners, "Yeah, my stomach has been totally wrecked, and I keep running behind a tree," and they would reply, "Oh, that sucks. Have you tried Ginger Ale?" So, all you non-runners reading this blog, runners are different. Poop and pee and whatever else, it's all part of the long run, especially for ultra-runners.

Runners. Yeah, we're different.

29 September 2008

full report: VT50 miler!

VT 50 mile overall result: 11 hours 06 minutes 33 seconds!

i was super excited for this race--my friend mason told me it was an amazing race, and reading postings on sherpa john's blog really excited me. so i decided to do it, and my fabulous friend crista decided to do it with me. yay!

i got up at ten of five, ate a bagel with pb&j, and got ready in our hotel room that was literally, right next door to the race start. we headed out the door in time for the 5:45a.m. race meeting. we all focused on success in the port-a-potties (which we all had, yay!), stretching, and getting nervous. i finally met sherpa john, and wished our good lucks to each other.

the race started at 6:45, and we started slowly and easily. crista and i started the race chatting, asking each for advice and admiring the beauty of the course. the first few miles were relatively easy, and we walked or ran slowly the hills and inclines.

we skipped the first aid station, filled up on water and ate very little at the second. at the third aid station, we saw our good friend shawn, who was there with cookies, cheer, and our drop bags. i replaced two gels that i had already eaten, and shawn told us how strong and great we looked.

we left shawn and proceeded down the road. crista was not feeling so great -- her fingers were swelling a TON and her wrist started swelling and she felt dizzy. i was asking fellow runners, and we thought it had to do with salt. i asked at the next aid station -- they had no clue. i encouraged her to eat more salt, and she tried to ignore the discomfort.

i was slightly ahead of crista at the aid station around mile 25. i ate some cake (coffee cake, yum!) and other random foods, and was taking my endurolytes every hour, at a minimum. i also peed, which was good, showing that i was drinking enough. i lost crista behind me a little.

there were a LOT of downhills between 25 and 30.2 i really hammered those hills, running fast, feeling strong. the other runners were super encouraging: "wow, you got it! you are looking strong!" i felt great.

at 30.2, i saw shawn again. i pulled some gels and gummy bears and pretzels from my drop bag, replenishing what i ate. shawn gave me some m&ms, and i ate a big handful. and i was off. shawn said i looked strong, and i felt great.

several miles later, my stomach felt a wreck. "maybe too many m&ms?" i wondered. i persevered...until i had to stop to go to the bathroom behind a bush. and again. and again. and again.

runners i had passed a while back passed me, and i struggled to keep up with them. a friendly runner saw me coming from behind a tree, and i asked her if she had anything. she sympathized, and checked but didn't have anything. i made it to the next aid station, where the volunteers didn't have anything. (note to self: always carry immodium on long runs!!!) but drank ginger ale. i never drank ginger ale in my life, but slowly sipped a can while running slowly with this other woman. "my stomach is a wreck, i can't eat anything. i'm only drinking coke!" she was awesome. i let her go ahead as i had to head behind a tree again. ugh.

i mostly ran, though found myself reduced to walking on some uphills i normally would have been able to run on without any problems. at the next aid station, i drank more ginger-ale, and took a bunch of peppermints, which slightly helped. my stomach issues continued, and i was so upset at how i felt, but knew there was nothing i could do. duck behind a tree, go, and head back out and persevere.

i saw shawn again at mile 40. despite earlier threats, crista did not drop out, and he said she wasn't so far behind me at mile 30. i was relieved, and drank more ginger ale and grabbed another large fistful of peppermints. i ran on to the next aid station -- that's how i ran this race, thinking in terms of the next aid station (especially the next ginger ale). it felt like forever. lots of ups and downs and switchbacks, and i ran alone much of the time. my stomach sent me off the trail once more, but i felt very weak. i tried to eat some pretzels and continued to take endurolytes, but felt like hell.

when i finally arrived at the final aid station, i was so drained. i drank more ginger ale and ate two large fistfuls of animal crackers, which were great. i'm going to run with them at all the ultras i do!

it began raining as i started my final section, and certain parts were incredibly muddy and so slippery. since the path was at the edge of a drop-off, i worried i'd fall off, and ran when i could, but ended up walking, as most others were doing.

seeing the 1 mile sign got me extremely emotional, and i had tears in my eyes. i tried to run as hard as i could, but felt delusional and weak. i finished strong, running down the hill, with my arms in the air. i was SO happy!

the course was absolutely beautiful. i wish i had ran with a camera. the trees were absolutely beautiful, changing. because it was a misty day, the view was gorgeous and peaks were covered with this lovely mist at the top. the weather was mid 50s-high 60s -- perfect, although it was a tad humid at times (and overwhelming almost).

i'm sore today, but okay. i think i would be worse if i had run hard during those tummy trouble miles. i also think i probably could have run 30 minutes faster if i didn't have those problems, but either way, i'm really pleased with my time of 11 hours.

the verdict? i'm an addict. i definitely want to do this race again next year. it was extremely well-organized, i had SO much fun, the bikers were super nice and added an interesting element, and i really like running for LONG periods of time.

next up: i want to find a good 100k, run some more 50 miler races. and i think a 100 miler may be in my future. i'm not sure which one, but sometime in the next year or two, i'll be looking towards a 100 miler!


*note: pictures to come! once shawn sends me photos, i'll post them*

i did it!

i finished the vermont 50 miler!!!!!

26 September 2008

what i did at burning man...amongst other things

i can't embed this video anymore b/c apparently it plays automatically. so if you want to see my 5 minutes of burning man fame, check this out.

25 September 2008

why i love my friends: because they say things on my voicemail like this:

"i don't know if the teased hair and the horns would work."

something that just popped into my head...

life would be easier if i didn't ask any questions. if i just glided along, accepting what i'm supposed to accept (job, relationship, marriage, children, retirement, house in the suburbs, american dream), it would be so much smoother and easier. would i be happy? no. maybe content. i would be okay. just okay. should i have done that?

asking questions is my style. complicating things is my style. it's more interesting. it helps me grow, live, explore, reach out, and be.

24 September 2008

next steps

stop trying to figure stuff out. sometimes, when you hit a downhill, you just have to go with it. slide into that downhill. move those legs faster.

you can cry. it's okay. you can shout, you can dance. you eat a hot fudge sundae. dance in your living room like a maniac. kiss your best friend and say, "that was nice." sleep with a stuffed animal. do whatever it is you aren't supposed to do. don't question. just go with it.

i'm going to buy a plane ticket. talk to boss first, make sure time off is okay. then buy a plane ticket. someplace warm with a beach, surfing, jungles, hiking, and fun. probably ecuador. or maybe panama. no, argentina. or chile.

just go with it. do what feels right. stop questioning. stop stressing. stop these "you didn't take the garbage out" stresses.

lift your hands to the sky. wear all white, or nothing at all. enjoy each and every moment.

send a chocolate bar to someone you love in the mail -- a really good, fair-trade organic bar. tell your mother you love her. take your grandmother some home-baked cookies. masturbate with the lights on. tell someone on the subway they look beautiful.

smile. live. be.

follow my own advice.

Gloria Steinem Quote

"If men could menstruate ... clearly, menstruation would become an enviable, boast-worthy, masculine event: Men would brag about how long and how much.... Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free. Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of such commercial brands as Paul Newman Tampons, Muhammed Ali’s Rope-a-Dope Pads, John Wayne Maxi Pads, and Joe Namath Jock Shields—”For Those Light Bachelor Days.”"

superchunk "throwing things"

I'm blowing up the street like a leaf
I skin my back a few times you'll see
Head over heels, my hands on my heart
I'm making a promise, and that's a start

chorus
You're leaving a trail for me
I see you up in the tallest tree
(You're) throwing things down at me
I'm starting to climb, well I'm starting on my knees

Somewhere along the way
Dusk it turns back into day
The sky is orange
The trees lie down against it

Chorus

23 September 2008

where to go next?

i want to go someplace fun. i'd like to speak spanish, hike, be in nature, be on the beach, go surf, dance, meet some rad people. i've already been to brazil and costa rica, and loved both, but want to try someplace new in latin america. i'm really leaning towards ecuador, if i can afford the flight/use my parents' frequent flyer miles (what a great holiday gift!) i'm always thinking of Nicaragua and Panama. shawn recommended Guyana, but I want to utilize my Spanish skills....

Any ideas? I want to go solo around the holidays.

my pj shirt says...


boys are stupid. throw rocks at them.

22 September 2008

fiction/not fiction

She waited until she heard his car turn down the drive before making any rash decisions. Once the sound of the car faded away, she set to work doing the things she had always wanted to do, always for the past eighteen years. She opened the blinds, wide, to let the sunlight in. (“And the heat,” he would say.) She cut a slice of apple pie she made for last night’s desert, plopped a large hunk of rice pudding on top, and ate it for breakfast. (“Dear, that is not even an acceptable dinner.”) And then she stretched out completely nude, on the sofa (“Dear, please! Dress yourself!”) and slept.


When she awoke, she knew what must be done, and decided to finally do it, with her entire heart, with her entire being, with herself for once.

6 days...

until i run the vt 50 miler!

when i'm single, i clean more

i was thinking about how i need to clean my bathtub this morning...maybe it's b/c i'm feeling the need for a little romance????





i always hate the way cleaning products are marketed towards women. it makes me ill. why is it assumed that men and children are so stupid that they are pigs and unable to clean? i don't like cleaning that much -- though i do it. but people, please use natural cleaning products b/c they're better for your health (unless, of course, you decide to use them as part of your std-prevention programs...jk, that part in the video is mad funny!)

still carrying that white privilege knapsack?

more to think about white privilege, in relation to the u.s. presidential 2008 elections. this is a must read.

21 September 2008

you know how it goes

i've been dealing with a lot of emotions flying all over the place, and it's been pretty crazy. my throat is starting to hurt and i'm worried i'm getting sick. i can't get sick; i have a 50 mile race next weekend.

this weekend, i took it easy. rosa came on friday after work, and it was fantastic to see her. i prepped an appie plate for her, followed by my homemade apple crisp. we walked to manhattan, all over the lower east side, stopping by babeland, then heading over to benny's burrito's in greenwich village, followed by cupcakes at magnolia's. get a vanilla and then your mouth will have an orgasm. it's that good. we couldn't shut up, talking nonstop. the next morning, rosa rode mabel (my purple bike) while i ran 10 miles. we made french toast, went to the farmer's market, ate more apple crisp, went to prospect park to pedal boat, then smelled the roses in the brooklyn botanic gardens, and then took a nap. we made vegetable ratatouille, and went to a party in dumbo. today i ran 7 miles, then met my mom to buy a comforter (i wanted purple but chose light blue...i know others are not so keen on purple). i want to paint my room. then we worked on my halloween costume, after brunch of course. still working on the costume, after dealing with sewing machine drama. baking bread, and the smell is making my mouth water.

so why do i blather on here? i'm feeling relaxed and normal, but also overwhelmingly sad. i either have to work things out (which hasn't seemed likely) or start going through stuff, sorting things out, "that's mine!" "i want those plates." and etcetera.

i'm lucky to have people to listen to me, and glad to have running to sustain me. 50 miles in vt next weekend...i can't wait!

18 September 2008

reach the beach


12 runners. 209 miles. 3 legs each. 28 hours. new hampshire. too much fun. too many pyramids.

last weekend, i ran with 11 friends on a 209 mile relay across the lovely, surprisingly hilly state of new hampshire. with two fabulously decorated vans (big headshots of all the runners superimposed onto elite athlete's bodies and lots of car marker) we got a fairly late start time -- 2:20 (you could start as early as 7 a.m. or as late s 4 p.m.).
kevin started, running fast! i ran the 2nd leg, which was 8.9 miles, mostly uphill. it was pretty crazy, and i'm not used to running so fast, but i pushed myself as much as i could. midway through my run, van #2 raced by me, taking photos out of the side of the van, screaming. they stopped to cheer for me. van #1 shortly followed, cheering as well. it really felt great and was motivating and pushed me along. when i finished, i passed the baton to dan, our fastest runner. he ran amazingly fast, and then emily was next. she conquered those hills, and shawn followed, then crista. crista wore the headlamp and vest, though the sun was still out. we drove ahead, being silly, eating random food in the van (cold pasta, tofu, meat, quiche -- the quiche was the best idea!). no one could really sleep -- it was too early. we mostly talked, relaxed, used the stick. we stopped at a transition zone that had food, and ate some soup. i also ate a brownie, which i'm pretty sure is superfood. during this time, van #2 -- mark, cara, mecca, michael p., mike o., and brenda -- were running. we had walkie talkies, but they didn't work much of the time, and cell phones were often dead or out of range. it was a little sad to not bond with them as much. we started up again a little after 11pm, with kevin running fast, and passing to me. i began running at midnight, and ran 7.7 miles on fairly hilly terrain in pitch black. my headlamp helped, but there were tons of potholes and i was cautious. it was super spooky (i'm a city girl!) and i ended up saying random words to freak the bears that might be lurking in the nearby woods away. "dark." "fast." "run." i finished, passing to dan, who passed to emily, and then shawn. i waited with crista for shawn to come in...hmmm, he was taking a little longer. it got to the point where we were on the verge of sending the van out to look for him when he came in. a poorly marked turn led shawn to run four extra miles. he was so pissed! crista took it to the streets, and then we drove to the next major transistion zone where kevin would run hours later.

i dozed a little and then tried to sleep on the van floor when we got to the transition zone. i woke up and tried to sleep. i got cranky and yelled at everyone, and slept for about 20 or 30 minutes. good times. at one point, we were all cranky, and i whipped out the video camera to record us bitching. i'm sure that will be funny to watch later.

we ended up getting up, trying to eat a little, and stretching. we met the other van around 10:15 a.m., and cheered mike o. into the finish as kevin passed off. and then off to our final legs.

i ran 4.1 miles, mostly uphill, and was very proud. "i passed four runners." good job, cherie, but dangerous dan (fueled by rock star energy drink!) passed 22 runners in his 9.1 mile leg. go dan! emily, shawn, crista, and kevin all rocked it as well.

we went and got some amazing ice cream, and then went to the beach to wait for our teammates. when mike o. came in, we crossed the line, cheering -- like the true team we were.

s.s.o.r.e. = secret society of running endlessly

and having way too much fun!

i heart new york

lately, i've been pondering living other places. it might be nice to run for hours on trails that are mere minutes to run to, or to have a variety of farmer's markets, or to bike everywhere sans pollution, or to take post-dinner strolls along the dream. pipe dreams, perhaps. everyone who knows me knows i'm a new york city girl. still, i can dream....and one day, i will escape the city!

here are some reasons why i love new york:
  • i skip up wall street, listening to paul van dyk, feeling great, and i'm sure someone other than me is smiling
  • the man walking past me skipping on wall street who is in the middle of the street, waving his boxing gloves around
  • whatever you want -- english sweets, obscure running snacks, dog food bakeries -- nyc has it
  • amazing food -- cupcakes, indian food, any kind of cuisine, and often for cheap
  • walk on a new street and discover a new life
  • the attitudes. i love the ego sometimes -- i saw a man last week wearing a shirt that had an arrow pointing up to his face, saying, "THE MAN." an arrow pointing down said, "THE LEGEND." i love it.
  • my running friends. they sustain me.
  • close proximity to my fam.
  • brunch! my favorite meal of the week keeps getting better and better, esp when served with (unlimited!) mimosas!
  • not too far from the beach; not too far from the country; not too far from the suburbs
  • fantastic shopping
  • great fun free events
  • amazing djs and musicians are constantly in nyc
  • nothing like xmas in nyc!
  • the diversity of people, thought and ideas. i hated the whiteout of boulder.
one day i'll be gone, running on lovely trails and enjoying the beach daily, but until then, i'm a new york city girl.

after

i smell you everywhere

08 September 2008

in response to an email from a close, amazing friend, asking me, "am i still a traveler if i'm not traveling?"

I have a sticky note on my igoogle page that I've had up there for a while: "Never forget the things that make you alive." That's my reminder to myself to not stray far from who I am or what I love or what I do. That's why I insist upon traveling as often as I can; it reminds me of who I am and what I love.

Burning Man really re-instilled a lot of that. It woke me up. It reminded me that I'm running around too much, not doing things I place priority on (I haven't been surfing in months, which also is due to the fact that the waves have sucked or I haven't had access to a car with room for a board a lot of the times...), losing track of the important things. When I get away, I remember who I am.

I think you are still a traveler if you can keep a fresh perspective on things, and if you never stop dreaming. Right now, I'm thinking abt Dec. I have off work for two weeks, and can take additional time. I looked at plane fares to Argentina, and then gasped. 2k! I am hoping to play around with the dates and go anyway. Surf, chill, meet rad people. Tango.

Do you travel with your vacation? I do, though I lack the money. (I like my job, but nonprofits lack profit...sigh...esp for me!)

If you want to keep traveling, if you don't want to stop, you are. You are what you want to be...and more. I think you need to take that annual leave and put it to good use. Go someplace you've always dreamed of going. Meet new people. Drool after those who tell you, "I'm traveling for a year or two...until my money runs out." Re-examine your life. Put things in perspective. Keep going.

I have rent. I have bills. I have a cat, a rent-stabilized one bedroom apartment with a job and sick leave and responsibilities at work that make me a "go-to" person. I'm proud of the things I have...but I'm more proud of what I've accomplished -- my races, my stories, who I am.

If you can't go, gaze at the map. Think about the Northern Lights. Think about the South Pole. Worry about getting eating by penguins or grizzly bears. Don't stop dreaming.

Plan that next step of the journey, even if it's two years from now. Too scary and too close? How about ten years from now?

Keep going. Keep traveling. Keep moving. Keep being. Keep dreaming. Keep living your life.

07 September 2008

burning man

burning man was the best week of my life.

"it's like summer camp for adults," my little sister told me, as i shopped for practical shoes at DSW the other day. yes, indeed it is.

i went out with my friend bill, not sure what to expect, but knowing that i'd have fun. it was even better than i expected.

i can't give a play-by-play because i'd be writing for 12 hours and STILL not get all of it. i'll just give you some highlights of this amazing week that i encourage all to attend (but be prepared for harsh conditions -- just remember what doesn't kill you makes you stronger).

  • winning the black rock city 5k (and setting the record!) -- beating a naked guy! woooh!
  • going out deep into the playa, looking at amazing art, underneath SO many stars
  • tassel twirling class
  • dancing with mojitos at dementhe, an awesome camp
  • meeting tons of amazing people
  • a camp set up like a zagat-rated hotel
  • dancing at a huge club-like place, deep end
  • biking on a flame-spitting bike
  • dancing to "my adidas" during a dust storm, complete with goggles and face mask
  • running 5 miles during a dust storm
  • meeting all sorts of random people
  • big hugs from total strangers
  • hula hooping
  • making necklaces and making friends
  • librarian cocktail party
  • the "triathlon" involving swimming through dirt
  • watching the man burn
  • hitching a ride on art cars
  • yoga
  • sharing a piece of myself with so many others -- and them sharing themselves with stories, hugs, jewelry, whatever we had to offer
an amazing week. i met so many wonderful people. this week also forced me to re-think a lot of things in my life, how they are progressing...i am trying to figure things out, but it's slow-going. i feel like i'm treading water -- i want to be swimming.

42 baby!!!!

i ran 42 miles yesterday. it was not easy....towards the start, i was having a lot of difficulty with my asthma and had to stop at a mile to rest my lungs. i did not think that was a very good sign, and persevered, slowly. i continued, and ran over the 59th st bridge into central park, where a race was to begin shortly. i passed the runners warming up, and exited the park at good old 110th st. i ran through morningside park, and then cut over to riverside park, running along the park and streets until i got to the george washington bridge. on the bridge, i saw a guy with fantastic abs, feet stuck under the railing, doing stomach crunches...yes, only in new york.

in jersey, i headed to the pallisades park, and enjoyed running on some pretty trails along the hudson. i was completely alone, passing only one other runner, and almost felt scared at times. i had my mobile phone in the front pocket of my fuel vest in case i needed to call 911, and the pallisades was RIGHT there, so i'm sure it wasn't too dangerous.

hanna stayed away for most of my run, but the last hour, the rain came down strong. i was over by bloomies, crossing madison avenue, and a guy saw me and i just laughed and held up my hands. and he did the same.

i arrived home, completely soaked. i immediately stripped (ooooh!) my stinky clothes (ugh!) and showered. i made a protein smoothie (yum) and headed on the train to my mom's. i was so rushed after i didn't get a chance to pat myself on the back -- lately, it seems like no one supports my running. people are annoyed at how much time i spend running or worry about me, but i'm so proud of myself. even back in april, the thought of doing 42 miles was daunting. now, i know i can handle it.

i can't wait for the VT 50 miler!

04 September 2008

End of Paul Theroux's "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star"

"Is there hope? Yes. Most people I'd met, in chance encounters, were strangers who helped me on my way. And we lucky ghosts can travel wherever we want. The going is still good, because arrivals are still departures."

03 September 2008

the times i feel free....

when i am dancing
in the middle of nowhere
with my arms out

when i am hugging
or my eyes are closed
and spinning,
i don't know where i'll end next

or when i'm laughing, falling off the williamsburg bridge ramp,
to be mistaken for a yuppie by a hipster,
glad to have friends who make me laugh, who run, who help me feel free

Paul Theroux Travel Quote

"Travel is at its most rewarding when it ceases to be about your reaching a destination and becomes indistinguishable from living your life."

--Paul Theroux

23 August 2008

running and running and running

i did a 34 miler yesterday--ran over the 59th st bridge, around central park, along riverside park and the hudson river, up around the cloisters, then back down the hudson, and took the 7 train home. it was a pretty crazy amazing run, full of snacking on pretzels, thinking about life, love, running, amazed at how beautiful new york city can be...

but early on, the pain took forth. no, i wasn't experiencing any running-related pain other than the chafing of my fuel vest against my back. it was hot (mid-eighties) so i skipped a shirt in favor of a sports bra and feeling cooler. well, i felt pain. around mile five, i began feeling the chafing, and i tried to rearrange things but it wasn't happening. i ended up buying vaseline, but that did little to soothe my pain.

my bright idea: remove my underwear (hey, the shorts have inside underwear) and tuck it into my sports bra to provide an extra layer. while they kept moving around, i must admit, it totally made things MUCH more comfortable.

17 August 2008

great quote from haruki murakami that i've thought myself multiple times....

...where did their thoughts, their hopes and dreams, disappear to? When people pass away, do their thoughts just vanish?

16 August 2008

olympics

years ago, i protested, "NO OLYMPICS IN BEIJING UNTIL TIBET IS FREE!"

tibet is not free. sadness. i still hate the chinese gov't for what they've done to the tibetan people.

however, i am (i'll guiltily admit this!) obsessively watching the olympics. right now, i'm watching the women's marathon (my favorite race, my favorite event in the entire olympics!!!) happily. deena kaster DNF'd due to injury--sadness. she was my favorite runner.

06 August 2008

song in my head

i've been listening to a lot of bob dylan lately, and "the lonesome death of hattie carroll" is one of my latest favorites. i just read this article about that song, and became even more profoundly depressed.

04 August 2008

Quote

"I always loved running..it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs."

--Jesse Owens

next steps

with 55 days until the vt 50 miler, i'm really trying to step up my mileage and strengthen myself for the challenge that lay ahead. crista and i are running it (and completing it) together. we're both quite nervous, as the time limit of 12 hours will definitely force us to work hard. we have the next two months to experiment with race day nutrition, long runs, and delirium.

at jay, i hallucinated a person reading a book on a tree stump, and then i thought a man at an aid station was wearing american flag shoes. he was wearing trail shoes. crista hallucinated once yesterday. good times. i guess we'll have to figure out how to prevent getting too slap-happy

we did a 33 miler in minnewaska state park, one of my favourite places to run. the path was rolling hills, rocks, but carriage paths. we hid a gallon of water and a small bag of food (pretzels and sliced oranges) under some bushes by the start of our loop, so every 11 miles we were able to recharge ourselves. we both learned that pretzels are a godsend for trail runners. i can't wait to get my new running vest, which hopefully has additional room for running snacks. i just checked the tracking, and it should be arriving today. hurrah!

my knees feel a little stiff and i know i need to take care of my IT band. t is going to sea for a week, so i'm going to take advantage of his absence and hit up some yoga classes, maybe punk rope at the gym, get extra sleep. i have to comb through my cookbooks and find some yummy stuff to make b/c i'm in a vegetarian rut...you know, tofu stirfry, pasta, rice & beans, veggie burgers, and repeat.

but i'm super excited abt the 50 miler, and even more thrilled we completed yesterday's run in 5:51:19. hopefully, this means that we can complete the vt 50 miler before the 12 hour cut-off. and if we can't? well, at least we had fun trying.

29 July 2008

jay ultimate xc 2008


I did this race in 2007. You’d think I would remember. No, I didn't. I didn't remember how hard, how utterly painful, how insane this race is -- yet I finished with a smile.

Crista, Brenda, Mike, Michael, Rich, Mark, Cara,
Erin, and I all have been training for this race with long trail runs almost every weekend. Shawn and Jeff were supposed to run but pulled out due to injury; Dennis had his thesis to focus on. We rented a large mansion to spend the weekend in running heaven/hell.

Saturday morning we woke up at six to focus on fueling, hydrating, and eliminating. The house was an insane buzz of, "I took care of business!" "Does anyone have any sunscreen?" "I can't find my lube."

We drove to the start, and somehow, Cara (who was taking care of business) got left behind at the house. When I realized she was not there, Trevor sprinted to his car, sped down the road until he saw Cara who was jogging/walking. “I was sticking my thumb out,” she later told me.

The start was slightly chaotic, as all races are. Running to the bathroom, last-minute gels, water, stretching. And we lined up…and we were off!

Knowing how everything is so narrow, I went out hard. Shortly after the start, there are lots of single-track trails, where it’s difficult to pass people. I had fun on the hills, pulling myself up on the rope, falling in the first few miles facedown – but pulling myself up, laughing. In the beginning, people who don’t know any better try to avoid the mud. I plowed through, knowing it would only get worse.

Early on, there was a good deal of brook running. Luckily, the brook was shallower than I remember it to be last year, and I knew how to run. I focused, looked straight ahead, and stumbled through the brook. I lost a lot of time, as usual, but tackled it in a better fashion this year.

We had to pull ourselves up into two culverts. The first was rather long, the water rushed through it and it was totally creepy. When I climbed out, I caught up with a guy ahead of me. “What a mindfuck,” we mused. The second one was really high up and it was hard to pull yourself up into it. This guy behind me said, “Want me to help you up?” but I wanted to try. I succeeded.

At aid station two, I changed my socks (dry socks felt great!), ate some food, and Trevor refilled my water bottles. I kissed him goodbye, and ran to the ski mountain that my boyfriend skied down last winter. When I got to the steep incline, I began walking with a guy who worked for Smucker’s. We joined two Jay vets and talked about how much tougher it seemed this year. It was incredibly steep and we grew out of breath just walking this hill. Towards the top, there were all these rocks we had to climb on, and I ended up having to pull myself down the last part. The aid station at the top had oatmeal cookies, and I refilled my water bottles before my descent. I ran at a good pace until I heard someone screaming and apparently I missed the turnoff. I’m good like that. I ran the 100-150 meters back and went down the steep mountain.

When we got to the bottom, we entered woods, with some crazy, windy trails and lots of mud. Good times. I fell in the mud, and was covered with mud. Pretty revolting. As I ate my sports jelly beans, I was covering them with dirt first. Mmmm.

We ran back in the brook, and again, I focused at my own pace. We went in and out of the brook multiple times during this race. When the rocks are small, it’s easier to run. When they’re big and flat, I would take my time. Sometimes I would stop, not sure where to step next, and when I lost my momentum, it made it harder to keep going. One guy told me, “Just pretend you’re a kid again,” and I tried to, but ran my race. I didn’t run faster than I felt comfortable in the brook.

I ran on various trails, meeting all sorts of different people – talked with a guy who spent some years in LI about the beach, recognized someone else I ran with last year, met other amazing people. At mile 19, I made the cut-off but by less time than I did last year. The race was tougher than I remembered. Trevor was at nineteen. “Don’t let me do this race again,” I ordered him. “Don’t!”

He laughed. “You said the same exact thing last year at this aid station!”

Hmmm. I stuffed another salted potato in my mouth, and sucked down some Gatorade. I gave him a kiss and ran off. There was a steep incline into a meadowy part, exposed to the sun. I remembered a chat I had last year during this part with a runner who told me he arranged his family vacations around his ultras; his family was shopping in Montreal while he did his ultra.

(I may be getting this slightly out of order; I apologize but my memories are foggy.)

More brook running. More suffering. But…the beaver swamp!

Last year, the swamp had high grass and some mucky ground, but nothing I remember as too horrendous. This year, the grass was high (2-3 meters high, or more) and the ground was…well, it was somewhere below water. You were walking through mucky mud, water up to your waist, sometimes even chest, pulling yourself up onto chunks of grass, running, walking in mud. Somehow I ended up passing people here; some people were really freaked out and hated it, but it was easier than the brook (no rocks). I just tried not to think about water snakes. People did see leeches, but luckily, I did not.

After I got out of the stream, I may have run more in the brook. We ended up getting to the river, which last year I swam across. This year, I was beat and pulled myself across with the rope. I stumbled out, told the guys, “I’ve never been so happy to see you.” I ran ½ mile to an aid station, meeting a lovely French Canadian woman, Mary. At the aid station, my boyfriend was there, again to fill my water bottles. I inhaled two cups of organic blueberries from the organic blueberry farm whose property we were on, changed my shoes and socks (I had at least ½ cup of dirt in each shoe), ate some pretzels, oranges, drank some Gatorade, kissed Trevor, and left.

Of course more uphills, and I slowly pulled myself up the hills. The energy was sagging in those around me. We were tired. I was glad there was no more brook running…but there was definitely more mud…lots of it.

It’s funny – the last 9 miles (from mile 24 to the end, 33) are probably the easiest. True, there’s a HUGE sand dune, lots of hills, uneven footing, bushwhacking, and there was a ridiculous amount of mud, but no brook running or mountain climbing. I ended up meeting this really rad runner from VT who highly recommended the VT 50 miler (which I’m doing next) and ran with Mary. We were all running together, and people told us about cut-off points and we were worried about friends. Suddenly, we saw the lake. “We’re almost there!” Mary took off but then yelled back at me, “We’re finishing this together!”

We finished strong, in just over 8 hours 40 minutes. I felt a little depressed at it being slower than last year, but you can’t compare, and I was happy to have finished. I was mostly sad that some of my friends didn’t make the cut-off point.

Still, it was a fun race – I had a blast. Sure it was hard, and yes, I did tell Trevor I wouldn’t run it next year…but I have this feeling like I probably will!