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


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


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.


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


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


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!