Tuesday, December 31, 2013


This year I set the goal of running 13 half marathons (13.1 miles) before the end of the year (2013). I picked half marathons because I like the distance and have personally felt like they were relatively easy to accomplish without too much training. What a weak way to set a goal. Once the ball got rolling in January though I realized that for this goal to really be worth it, I would have to dedicate my efforts to training properly and attempting to set a new personal record (PR) otherwise it would be a waste of time, effort, and money.

Through 13 new-to-me races a lot happened: I completed a half marathon training schedule and ran 521 miles over the course of 3 months, I ran my first ever trail half marathon, I set a new PR for the trail half (1:49), I set a new PR for a road half (1:40), I placed 2nd in my age group, I placed 3rd in the Dirt Devil half marathon challenge, I strengthened some friendships and forged many new ones, I ran with a friend to complete her first ever half marathon, I ran more miles than I ever have before (1310 from Dec 2012 to Dec 2013), I got to see some beautiful places (namely Mammoth Lakes and Crater Lake),  and I learned that if I put my mind to something I can do it.


Saturday, August 31, 2013


3 is my favorite number. And I think it is lucky, and auspicious, and amazing, and awesome. So, as I am turning 33 (two 3's - double happiness perhaps?) I figured it only makes sense to follow through with the 3's by recognizing 33 awesome birthday things. Here they are:
  1. Running with friends
  2. Rallying the troops to raise funds for Lila May
  3. Fancy new running outfit from Maria
  4. Mac & cheese pizza
  5. homemade cupcakes from Katia
  6. Helping I'd Hit That's achieve their first undefeated season! 
  7. Spending the day hanging out with Nacho and doing all of his favorite things
  8. Lobster tacos at Shore Club
  9. Green tea froyo from Yogurtland
  10. Birthday massage from Chris
  11. Handmade bed by Chris
  12. Red velvet pop-tarts
  13. A birthday box from mom with 33 birthday treats
  14. Running 187 stinking miles this month!
  15. Completed half marathon #10
  16. Running with Jhanna for her first half marathon race
  17. Visiting Crater Lake with my family
  18. Being invited to a trail FULL marathon (is this a good idea??)
  19. Getting egg tarts at SFO
  20. Trying new cupcake places
  21. Research got approved by the district! 
  22. Signed up to do a triathlon
  23. Bought a dragon
  24. Took in some amazing sunsets
  25. Started coaching cross country
  26. Ran in new places
  27. Refreshed my resume
  28. Fast & Furious marathon
  29. Got to give baby Hendrix a squeeze for the first time
  30. Enjoyed the last month off school
  31. Started my last block for my dissertation
  32. Revived the Birthday List
  33. Completed a big chunk of wedding planning
Some pretty awesome things are set to take place in this, my 33rd year, and I CANNOT wait for what the future holds!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Birthday List

From December 26th, 2010:

"Mom first introduced the idea of a birthday list to me in October 2010 after she turned 5X (50 something). She said she'd decided to make a list of 5X things she wanted to do for herself and to improve her life over the next year. After she shared with me some of the items on her list, I was taken with the idea. I usually actively work towards some self-improvement goal each year, but I liked the idea of having a great "To Do" list full of things that would potentially improve my quality of life. Over the past 2 months I have been making my list of things to do in my head - accepting that some had already been completed since my birthday in August - and getting a few new ideas from Mom here and there. With the gift of this journal for Christmas, I've decided to officially begin my list. In part due to my tendency to like writing stuff down and in part from my desire to be more self-reflective, I have decided that within these pages I will not only document my list by record my progress towards completing my tasks and my thoughts and feelings about them as they're marked off. Since its been 4 months since my birthday and the official start of my "year",  some of my tasks and reflections will be retrospect, but I will accept that and I hope you do too. Under the guidance of the madre, I've also established that the list does not need to be complete but rather be added to as I go. I can also do more than 30 things should I choose to do so. Its great when your own mother is the creator and rule maker. I wish myself luck in this endeavor and predict it will be epic."

Oh 2010 me, you are so deep! Here it is, almost 3 years later and I can tell you that I did not finish that list. I think I started a new one the next year and that one didn't get finished either (although I am not sure where the actual book went so we shall never know). However, why not try something again and expect different results? No, it is not insanity, it is tenacity! And, in order to keep myself honest and epic, I will share what was on that 2010 list and what was accomplished and what was not right here:

  • Run a marathon in Greece (I set a new PR too)
  • Date a nice boy (This wasn't originally recorded as Chris and obvi it didn't last, but he was nice enough. So I guess you could say I completed this one 2xs)
  • Community improvement project (beach clean up and Habitat for Humanity - I should get back to those...)
  • Make a significant charitable contribution (Rotary's Polio eradication project - love it)
  • Attend professional development opportunities (I cannot stop, it is a sickness)
  • Buy a surfboard and a refresher lesson (board was given not purchased but I still did it - just don't think surfing is my thing)
  • Go on a hot air balloon ride (Chris mad this happen on bday 2011 so I will count it - AMAZING!!)
  • Join a book club (I win on a technicality - I met with up some GOTR friends for a bit but it died out fast)
  • Take more walks (again I think I win on ambiguity)
  • Put jewelry up on Etsy (while I technically didn't use Etsy thanks to some helpful advice, I did sell a bunch of stuff at Mom's craft fair at work)
  • Donate blood (thought I was going to die)
  • Fall in love with Dresden and be an awesome aunt (this one was almost too easy - at least the loving part!)
  • Clean out clutter (always a work-in-progress, but I am going to count this one as a win)
  • Write a grant (Done! While I didn't get the big one ($10,000) I did get one ($1,000)!!)
  • Complete the Triple Crown Challenge (and Chris ran the last one with me ON my birthday = epic)
  • Take a new sport/class/etc (well yes, I took up softball and look where that got me!)
  • Fall whole-heartedly in love (don't let Chris see that I wrote this and published it! Eww..feelings!)
Not Completed
  • 30 random acts of kindness (this one can be argued, but only 13 were documented)
  • Establish a running routine (ha)
  • Make a "Chucks" photobook (some picks printed and matted but not finished)
  • Complete travel books (did 3 I think and have 3 more to do)
  • Get finances in order (perhaps defining "in order" would help this one be successful)
  • Do yoga weekly (I always peak in the summer then flatline during the school year)
  • Send 2 cards a month - 1 to a friend and 1 to grandma (I have plenty of cards but plenty more excuses)
  • Re-establish connection with Aussie family (no excuses here...)
  • Read for 30 minutes a day (I did learn I suck at these "daily" goals)
  • Drink more liquids (while I could say this was done, let's be honest folks)
  • Finish 2 cross-stitches from China (hahahaha - If only I had as much free time as I did then)
  • Make a Bucket-List Book (started but not completed - do we see a theme?)
  • Leave more space between me and others while driving (another work in progress??)

More completed items than non-completed items so that can also be a win. Why do I bring this all up now? Well, I think my 33rd year is going to be the best one yet, and why wouldn't it be? I have some pretty awesome things on the horizon. And, I am reviving the Birthday List. But first, I have to finish doing my 33 things of #birthdayawesomeness - and this is just one!