New year, new marathon

December 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve realized that my whole life I have always been reluctant to act. My natural desire is to sit quietly, muse over things somewhat lazily, and fidget around a bit. Putzing around, always just putzing.

It’s so stupid, really. I’m doing everything I can to change that, right now. Because no one cares what a nice, wonderful person you might be if you don’t get things done. And of course I do things—I’m employed, I go to work, I run, I go out and spend time with people, but I’m wasting my potential. Time on Facebook, for example, is the dumbest waste of life. Time is precious, and if I’m not going to be productive then I could at least play some piano, or watch a movie I’ve never seen, or get some real honest rest, instead of letting my brain rot into putty before a computer screen that was meant for more meaningful uses than to see if there are any new posts about a person’s dog or random complaints about a stranger on public transit.

I want to be a do-er. Time is precious and limited.

I have so many hopes for this new year. I’m hoping for a great running season, I’m hoping for some PRs, and to train for and run Marathon No. 4. I’m hoping to be a better designer, to feel more like I know what I’m doing, to feel more confident in hat I can offer. I need to make this all happen. To waste all the opportunities and priveliges I’ve been given would be arrogant and irresponsible.

Time to recharge for tomorrow, for the week begins anew.



December 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I’ve been feeling a little uninspired design-wise lately.

I worry now and then about how much work I will be getting in the next few weeks. I haven’t really been adding much to my portfolio in the past while, and my motivation has been a little bit lackluster these days. I’m not quite sure what I need to do to fix this… But it bothers me. The point of having a creative job, I always thought, was to be able to be excited about it all the time. Instead, I’m just so tired. And generally unfocused.

What’s missing right now?

P.S. All I want to do is run. Is this a problem?

Relay Race + Impending Birthday + Schmaltzy Sentiment

December 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ran another race today—the Ekiden relay with NYC Runs. I really love these relays with my team, where it’s just a million of us in our teams of 4 or 5, varying groups of people and abilities all mashed together, all running together, with different costumes, not really caring who comes in faster or slower. Last night I was feeling a little morose, and one of the things that comforted me a little was the thought of being able to run this morning. I wanted it for the individual act of running, but being around everyone today added so much more. 

Was feeling a little glum when I got back home this afternoon, but some bourbon (Jim Beam—didn’t like it first, but I warmed up to it) and roasted butternut squash (probably too much olive oil, but delicious) and an indulgent spoonful of almond butter for good measure put me in better spirits. Today is the last day of being 26. Birthdays always feel like a privately significant moment to me. I don’t like the idea of big parties or celebrations for myself, but I prefer to really think about what’s changed in my life since the year before and what I want to make happen this next time around.

I’ve met so many good people this year. So many wonderful people, people who I can confide in, be inspired by, hug every time I see them, people who I can joke around with in the most ridiculous ways, and run with, and care about. That’s probably the most important thing to note. These people who I surround myself with, and keep in touch with, and think about… they’ll help me move forward.

Back with a bang

December 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today’s race was a really exciting one for me. Not only was it my comeback race, we were also racing Van Cortlandt Track Club for first place in the women’s B Division. We ended up in second, but the competitive spirit brought out a lot of positive energy in us. Personally, I felt pretty tired rather earlier than I would have liked, but I pushed through to the best of my ability and gave a pretty strong kick at the end, so I’m pretty satisfied. Many of my teammates are a lot more relaxed now that the intensity of the fall marathon training season is behind us, and there were others among us who were also coming back from a hiatus of some sort, and it’s great to see people bounce back strong when they do. There was a lot of support from my team along the course as per usual, and I definitely feel the love. It’s great to be back.

I should also note that another friend of mine, though not a Hellgater, who was hoping to sub 8 minute pace, ended up running a 7:25 pace. (I knew he could do it easily but he hadn’t believed me.)

The race schedule for the first three months of 2013 are up, and I’m already pretty decided on what races I will be preparing for. I’m ready to sink my teeth into this season. Next year has so much to look forward to!


November 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

This Sunday is my comeback race, a 5-mile club points race in Central Park. My runs have been going pretty well recently, so I’m feeling confident that I can give it a good, solid effort. Five miles is a perfect distance to come back on: it doesn’t need the speed of a 5k or quite the distance base of a 10k and up. I am pretty psyched to see what I can do.

I also feel pretty good about the winter in general. Ideally, the fall would have been the real start of my new running season, but due to a delayed start I had to make it last week. But no matter. I’m building back up slowly but surely, and I’ve had enough unfortunate hiatuses in my running career by now to know that I am fully capable of coming back successfully from pretty much anything. My mind is sharp and determined, and I intend to make sure my diet is as healthy as it can be, that I train and rest properly, and just be smart about it in general. I want to NY qualify this year, whether I end up deciding to run the marathon again or not. From now til May… Or else October or November, but I’d rather not procrastinate with this.

This is really good for me. I really need this to work for, and I need to be around my running friends more again. Running gives me confidence and the ability to love myself like few other things can. It reminds me what I can achieve on my own, it makes me embrace the pain of extreme effort and physical exertion, it proves to myself that I can succeed at things, that I can be healthy and fit and have a body that I love and feel comfortable in, and it just makes me feel special. I don’t know if I will be able to run all my life, but I certainly hope to. I trained for my first two marathons in response to heartbreak and was rewarded with the ability to love myself. I have run through anger and tears, struggled through depression and loneliness and self-hatred. Not every run ends in joy, and not every run ends with answers to the sadness and confusion that I hope to sort out, but it is a friend, and it is there for me.

Bear with me. I have to love something. And this Sunday will be a celebration of that.

For two weeks from now

November 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

So I’m almost 27, and I’d hoped that I might be a bit better at not caring so much what other people think about me and just being comfortable in my own skin, doing what’s important to me. I waste do much time on Facebook, trying to sculpt the image people have of me through carefully selected profile pictures and carefully worded status updates, but why? No one really cares all that much except myself, because I want to fool people into thinking that I’m hip and interesting and important. How phony, and how boring.

I was thinking the same thing about dating. How long does it generally take to decide if you want to be in a relationship with someone? How well do you generally hope to know that person before you make that first small bit of commitment? But how long does it really take to actually get to know a person? To know what they really care and think about, and not just what they want you to think they care and think about? I imagine it is pretty natural to make introducing yourself to someone new an opportunity to rebuild your image for your own sake. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but aspirations are only aspirations.

I’ve let myself become too wordy again. My main thought, I suppose, is that I want to stop trying to manipulate my image of myself and be comfortable enough to accept that I have my faults and idiosyncrasies as well as my strengths, that not everyone will love me or like me, but that I don’t need them to as long as I honor my personal values and obligations. That’s my wish for my birthday this year, and it’s my resolution for 2013. Twenty-seven somehow seems much older and urgent an age than twenty-six.


November 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

A lot of my friends are running marathons this weekend: Philly, Bucks County… The Knickerbocker 60k (yes, I know, an ultra not a marathon, but I think it’s worth noting)… and I must say that I’m a little envious. I’m getting fatter, eating more poorly, and my self confidence is quietly creeping away. I keep thinking that just maybe I’ll be able to sneak in a short easy run and have it be okay, but simply rolling over onto my stomach in bed or stretching my torso ever so slightly to yawn or loosen up my back are strict reminders that it isn’t time yet. Lymph node dissection ain’t no joke, I guess.

So I’m going to have to lift myself up by my psychological boot straps some other way. Running is my main defense against sinking spirits but it can’t be the only answer. I will not be so one-track-minded, because if anything, I am a fiercely determined person in most things.

I get to go home this weekend. There will be a magically clean house, Thanksgiving festivities, a rowing machine, and the simple comforts of having my parents around. I am hoping the relaxation will help with a speedier recovery. I don’t know. I suppose that if I really cannot race in two or even three weeks, it won’t be the end of the world. I can accept that if I need to.

I am just never more animated than when I get to talk about running. I miss the Queensboro bridge and the Central Park loop, I miss tallying up my weekly mileage and the anticipation that comes from lacing up my running shoes and knotting them with a good tug. I don’t know how much longer I will have to be out of commission… My muscles miss that comfortable and familiar motion, and my mind knows that I am missing out on this crisp autumn running weather.

But at least I can look forward to a satisfying comeback someday.