Friday, September 30, 2005


So Peace Corps interview was yesterday. They have nominated me to a program in rural West Africa. Well, it's rural, and Africa, and requires French, so unless it's Madagascar, it's West Africa. Next is the health evaluation and the background check, and assuming all goes well, they will officially "invite" me to a specific country.

Only problem is, I won't leave until June.

June. That's, like, a million years from now. And, when you factor the three months of training in, that means I won't start for a year. And why am I waiting around for a year to teach English to teachers in rural West Africa, when what I *want* to do is be a journalist based in a city in Southern Africa. Actually, I'm flexible on the city/rural thing, and I'm flexible on the western/southern thing, but ultimately, I don't have a driving desire to be a teacher, as wonderful, worthyand worthwhile a job as that is.

Of course, I don't really think I have the *option* of being a journalist in Africa, in as much as I have yet to see a job posting for that, and I fear that even one finally appeared, I'd be competing with someone who was, you know, actually qualified.

This year cannNOT be about waiting to go to Africa. It either has to be about something else, while I wait, or I have to leave sooner.

So I'm running the Army 10-miiler on Sunday. My friend registered but can't run, so I'm taking her number. And I might do a century ride next weekend. I haven't ridden my bike in over a year. This is a supremely stupid idea. But I keep thinking, "how hard can it be? I'm in good shape. Bikes have wheels. If I'm tired, I can just coast for a while."

Anybody think I'm trying to cure my anxiety about the lack of foreward movement in my life by maniacally exerting myself physically? Nah. Definitely not.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Life Aquatic

Today, a woman stopped me in the hallway and asked me if I had, and I quote, “lost, like, 100 pounds!”

I’m going to file that under “is that a compliment?”

Moving right along.

Today was NS2K5: Day Two.

How do we feel about that acronym? I think I’m over it already. We’re now going to call this Operation: Aquatic. Until I change my mind.

So. Operation: Aquatic. Day Two.

I arranged to meet Coach Deux at the Y this morning. We shall call her… Korin. Or K2, Kristen being K1. We’ll see how that feels.

K2 boasts of having learned to swim before she could walk, which is both an advantage and a disadvantage when trying to teach someone else. She’s really, really good at it, but she ordinarily doesn’t think about the mechanics. But K1 had given me more than enough to think about on Tuesday, so I was mostly grateful to have her there for encouragement.

I may have to rethink that strategy.

K2 on Naomi’s swimming: “Well, you don’t look completely ridiculous. I thought I might have to pretend not to know you.”

More K2: “I’m glad I don’t have to worry about you drowning, anyway.”

And, after a reminder that she was meant to be moral support: “I told you I liked your swimsuit!”

To be fair, she did spend 45 minutes swimming at my geriatically slow pace (easy to gauge, as we were sharing the lane with actual geriatrics), offering tips and critiques, and, yes, encouragement. And her lesson on proper kicking form—“Pretend like you’re pedaling a tiny bicycle. Only remember to keep using your knees. It’s tiny, but it’s not a toe bicycle.”—just may be the best thing I’ve ever heard.

So here are the thoughts going through my mind, as I attempt to propel my body through the water:

Right arm.
Breathe. Sputter, cough. Stop, tread water, remind self: head turns, then breathe. Continue.
Right arm.
Meanwhile. Left arm.
Right arm.
Remember, stretch out whole body. Hips go with arms.
Left arm.
Right arm.
Elbows up, try to skim the water on recovery phase.
Breathe to the side, not the front.
Left arm.
Right arm.
Left arm.
Br—sputter. Oops.

I’m still using the buoy to float my legs behind me, so except for a lap or two with the kickboard, thoughts of tiny bicycles will be saved for the future.

Progress is being made, however, and I can rest easy knowing that I don’t look completely ridiculous, and I’ve already lost, like, 100 pounds.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Born Again

There is bruising and not a little bit of soreness on my ass from the kicking I have administered this week. Naomi the Triathlete is not one to be messed with.

After the 5K of near-awesomeness, I ran 10 miles of not-kidding-around-ness on Sunday. I overslept and lolled and lolly-gagged, but I eventually convinced my inner monologue that I was GOING to run, so we might as well just get it over with. And I think it was my fastest 10 miles ever. It was a tenth or two over 10 miles, according to the gmaps pedometer (I looked it up on Sunday, but the site doesn’t work on my work computer), and I ran it in 1:44, and I made it all the way up the half-mile hill of doom without stopping once.

On to Monday, day one of Naomi Swims 2005.

To clarify, in case anyone was confused, this triathlon plan is still in the contemplation phase. I haven’t picked an event or given myself a deadline, or come up with a training plan. First I need to learn to swim. And swimming, as I imagine you all know, is different from running. Okay, I know, that sentence is ridiculous. After all, just look at the words: Swimming. Running. Different. Brilliant.

But what I mean is this (it’s deep, so put your thinking caps on): learning to run is largely a matter of deciding “I will run”. Lo, I have decided, and I ran, and it was good. Or bad. But definitely running. No question about that.

But that doesn’t work with swimming. Lo, I have decided, and I drowned. Or, in my case, I kicked and I stroked (dirty!) and I kicked some more and lo, I have not moved.

My first lesson was meant to be on Monday, and it did not go well. I put on my brand new swim suit which is adorable (no, not adorable. Serious! Speedy! Aero (hydro?) – dynamic!) and I trucked my behind to the fabulous Y at 7 am (even though I didn’t need to report to jury duty until 10:30 am) to meet two (2) friends who have dedicated their considerable talents to NS2K5. Except that neither one made it. One had too much work to do in prep for an important interview she was filming later that day (work. Whatever.) and the other had forgotten a previous commitment with her mother (family. Double whatever).

I looked at the (crowded) pool, and I thought about it. And I went home. And watched TV until it was time to go to court. But! I rescheduled with Swim Coach Numéro Un (let’s call her… Kristen) for the following afternoon, and I took a tap class on Monday night.

Tuesday morning, despite the impending swim lesson and oversleeping a bit, I still went running, and once again, I was shockingly speedy. I have a new route around my neighborhood, and I ran the short version on Tuesday (4.1-ish miles) in 37:38.

And then. Tuesday afternoon. Swimming. It was every bit as bad as I expected, but also far, far better than I’d hoped. First of all, Kristen is a fabulous coach, and was incredibly kind as she explained how I was doing everything completely wrong. So now I know what I have to work on: my stroke, my body position, my breathing, and my kicking. But my bathing suit was perfect!

We got me a floaty buoy for my legs to keep me higher in the water, and allow me to focus on arms and breathing, and I think I’ll stick with that for a while. But I’m very excited to get back in the water and get better, and I think tomorrow will be day two in the pool.

But first there was yesterday and today. Yesterday I ran the long version of the new neighborhood route, 5+ miles, in 48 minutes. Did I mention there are a lot of hills in this route? That it goes uphill almost all the way for the first mile, and then turns, and goes uphill on a different road for the next mile? And yet? Speedy.

Today, Kristen and I met at the Y again for a spinning class. I have long been intrigued by the notion, but my old gym didn’t have spinning. And it’s a very good thing they didn’t, because if I had tried this while any less fit than I am currently, I would have died. Or, evaporated, probably, as my vital organs liquefied and were sweated out of my pores.

It was seriously hard, y’all. And I cheated. There was one part that teacher called a “hill climb” where we ratcheted up the resistance every few seconds for, like, EVER, and I kept turning it DOWN instead of up. My legs are STILL feeling it, and that can only mean that tomorrow will be worse.

So. To recap:

Saturday: 5K race
Sunday: Long run
Monday: Tap class
Tuesday: Run (am); Swim (pm)
Wednesday: Run
Thursday: Spin

Note how there is swimming, biking, AND running in that schedule. Sign me up for an Ironman already, am I right?

But, to be non-quippy for a moment (just a quick moment, promise!) I haven’t felt this motivated and excited (dare I say, invigorated?) by my workouts in ages. It might be true, that thing they tell you, about how variety is like tarragon for the soul.

For those who are curious, the trial finally ended in a hung jury, after more than two days of deliberations. It was very Twelve Angry Men, complete with racial tension and re-enactments and wild speculation about what could have happened, what might have happened, and what really happened. The alleged incident (assault on a police officer) occurred over the space of maybe two minutes. I discussed it with eleven of my peers for more than 12 hours. It was an extremely interesting process. Just not 12 hours interesting.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Now that I'm a juror, and a reformed (not by choice) wireless internet thief, I have practically NO access to the internet. Currently, I'm typing from the "business center" of my building, where they have two free computers, but this is most definitely not conducive to my creative process. Ahem.

Suffice it to say, at the race yesterday, there were cookies and fudge, a bit of running, a surprise second hill, and lots of crowds. We heard that they raised over $100,000 for the Red Cross, so that's just awesome.

There was also Jeanne who described me as just like my blog only more so, and I'm going to have to steal her words (business center=uncreative Naomi) and use them to describe her, because it's true.

We carpooled to VA (we're so eco-concious), met up with her evil pace group (one a scale of one to Supervillain, I'd say they're not quite Dr. Evil yet).

According to the press release, Tony Kornheiser was the race "starter" (Tim, who couldn't make it, was sorely disappointed to miss this chance to meet his fave ESPN er... commentator? (Tim, what does Tony Kornheiser do?)). We never saw (or heard) him, but we didn't manage to get a picture of Jeanne with James Carville.

Although this was my sixth race, this was the first time I'd be repeating a distance. Does that make any sense? I mean, I'd already run a 5K, so I had a PR to beat. Jeanne convinced me that she wouldn't mind if I ran my speediest, and so, with visions of glory, when the race began, I shot off.

If six races have taught me anything, it's to sprint like crazy until you want to die, and then shuffle painfully to the end. This is how legends are born.

Unless I'm lying.

Of course I'm lying. If six races have taught me anything, it's that I will never, ever learn, and I always start too fast. So after my initial burst of speed, I slowed down considerably, and ended up finishing around 27 ish minutes (PR: 26:39). I was fussing with the tear off part of my bib when I crossed the finish line, so I don't know exactly what my time was, but I'm guessing 27:20 or so. The final stretch was pretty traffic-y, so I didn't put on much of a final kick, but it wouldn't have shaved 30 seconds off anyway.

Oh well.

Apparently I didn't exhaust myself entirely, though, because I still had enough energy for a SPRINT to the porta-potty (if you gotta go...) and then I ran back to the finish line to look for Jeanne. The chute had backed up to about 15 feet before the finish line, and of course we hadn't discussed a place to meet if we missed each other at the finish line (we're smart like that) but a few seconds after I arrived, I saw her run in.

We wandered around looking for water (they were out) and oranges, found some shade and pretended to stretch, but mostly we chatted, and continued chatting all the way home. I bet you wouldn't guess from reading our blogs, but Jeanne and me? Not so much silent as, well, talkative, really. We have decided to run a 10K on Veteran's Day, so if anyone wants to come to the capital for the holiday weekend, we can provide chatter and good food and a 10K. It'll be fun.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for a new adventure in the athletic career of this blogger, who, in her usual dilletante manner has decided to take on a new sport: triathloning. Which is really three sports (you may have heard). I can already run (in a manner of speaking), and I feel oddly confident in my biking ability (despite not having tried it in a year), but the swimming part? That's going to be... a challenge.

For my birthday, my parents, who rock for many reasons, agreed to sponsor this new delusion, complete with a membership to the local Y (signed up yesterday) and a brand new serious person's swim suit (bought today, because frilly, flowery, girly bathing suits will NOT suffice for Naomi the Triathlete). And my work running buddy, who is far too cool to be my friend but seems not to have realized it yet, is going to teach me to swim. She swam competitively in college, and has also taught many a swim lesson, so she is quite confident that she can turn my flailing into efficient movement. Ha! She has no idea what she's getting into.

The first lesson is tomorrow morning. It's gonna be interesting.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Being a citizen

I didn’t think it was possible, but I have actually found a job that requires me to do less (and pays less) than my current job.

I am a juror.

Here’s what I pictured happening:

Previously: Naomi gets jury duty notice.
8 am: Naomi arrives at courthouse in accordance with law to perform v. important civic duty.
8:45 am: Naomi gets called for panel selection.
9:15 am: Naomi gets questioned by judge, admits to favoring the death penalty for all crimes more serious than shop-lifting, gets excused from panel.
9:18 am: Naomi returns to juror office, collects $4 travel fees, goes home.
Rest of day: Naomi enjoys sun and fun, runs errands, cooks delicious lunch and dinner, etc.
Next day: Naomi returns to work, complains (stoically) about performance of v. important civic duty.

Here’s what actually happened:

Previously: Naomi gets jury duty notice.
8 am: Naomi arrives at courthouse in accordance with law to perform v. important civic duty. On way from metro, Naomi makes friends with random girl also performing her civic duty.
8:45 am: sitting around in Juror Lounge.
9:15 am: still sitting.
9:18 am: not going anywhere.
9:45 am: Naomi gets called for panel selection. New friend is not called. New friend pretends to be sympathetic.
9:45-11:15 am: Standing with 50 other members of juror pool in hallways, waiting to be escorted to courtroom, waiting to be admitted into courtroom, being dismissed for a 10 minute break, and then waiting some more.
11:15 am-1 pm: Voirdire process. Answer questionnaire. Get questioned by judge.

This is where it started to go wrong. I knew what the wrong answers were. I knew what to say to get out of this. It wouldn’t even have been lying really. I can’t explain exactly what the questions were, because I can’t talk about the case, but… Let’s do it this way:

You know those quizzes in women’s magazines, like “Are you a neat freak or the slobbiest slob around?” and the first question is:

1) After cooking a delicious meal for you and your best boy, do you
A) Immediately wash (with boiling water) all pots, and polish them until you can see your reflection.
B) Leave them until after dinner, when the boy toy washes and you dry.
C) Leave them in the sink until the mold starts complaining that the counters are looking a little dirty.

And you know very well—even if you do sometimes leave dishes in the sink for a day or two, and there was that one plastic container that got a little moldy, but anyway it was just from a takeout place, and you threw it away, and so it didn’t really count—that you’re going to answer B, because the other answers are just wrong.

Well that’s what this voirdire was like. I couldn’t bring myself to give the wrong answers. And when they asked me if I could judge the case impartially, I had to get all cute and say, “I think so!”

Damn me for being adorable! Why couldn’t I look all strung out, like the man in front of me who got exempted?

So my fate was sealed, and I was put on the jury. And that’s all I can tell you. No really. They made me promise not to talk about it to anyone, and even though they didn’t include imaginary friends in the computer on their list, I have a feeling that posting about the case on the internet just *might* be against the rules.

In other news, I have not run all week, for no good reason. Actually, have you all read this? Because it’s utterly brilliant as well as hilarious. Suffice it to say, my S2 has been very persuasive this week.

But I’m very excited about the 5K tomorrow. And apparently I’m supposed to make truffles. Piper, help!

P.S. I have a free month of Netflix, and I'm completely paralyzed. What movies do I want them to send me? All suggestions welcome.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The gods must be crazy

I am freaking out. Seriously: Freaking. Out.

First of all, I know it's been forever and a day since I updated here, but life has been very hard lately. It turns out? I have a job. That place that I go every day, with the free high-speed internet and the paycheck? Totally an office. Who knew?

And also?

Okay, everybody has been saying this, and I usually read those posts and think, whatever, it's a blog, and I get enough heartbreak from the New York Times, so quit apologizing and just give me the usual, but it does seem a little crass operatically proclaiming the trials of my rather charmed existence when there are still people living in the Astrodome. I don't really know what to say about that, but just, I don't know, take the amount that I seem oblivious and divide it in half or something. That'd be about right.

Right. So back to my usual, I guess. I was saying:

And also? The wireless internet that I've been... erm... sharing at home has stopped working. Which seems very unfair, now that I've gotten used to checking my email every morning before running and then during breakfast.

But when I haven't been busy earning the pittance they call my salary, I've been even busier freaking out.

Today, I was waiting for the metro, and I got pre-homesick. I was listening to one of my favorite Indigo Girls songs, and I started picturing myself in some hut in Africa, lonely and sad, wallowing with my iPod and my puppy (because if I'm going to be sad and lonely in a hut in Africa, at least I should get a puppy). But the worst part is? I'm not sure I can even bring my iPod with me to the Peace Corps, because who knows if it'll be practical to recharge the battery.

Okay, that's not the worst part. The worst part is that I haven't even JOINED the Peace Corps yet, I've just scheduled an interview (big news: I have an interview with the Peace Corps!) and they haven't hired me, let alone told me where I might go, so how can I worry about whether or not I'll have my iPod to comfort me when I'm homesick, when I'm still in Washington, DC?

I'm seriously losing it. But the incident did remind me of a funny story from when I was an exchange student in high school. It was one of the first nights after I had arrived, we had finished dinner, and it was too early to go to sleep, but everybody else in the house was busy doing their own things (homework, bills, whatever) and I didn't how to fill the time until I could go to sleep. So I hid in my room, popped a Tracy Chapman CD into my Discman, and brooded about how far away from home I was. At some point, I took off my headphones (I had to go to the bathroom, maybe?) but the music kept playing. My host brother was blasting the exact same CD while he was doing his homework. Total coincidence.

Like I said. I live a charmed existence.

Meanwhile, for those of you still under the impression that this is a running blog, instead of a freaking out about my future blog (is there a blog ring for that?) let's play How Well Do you Know Me?

1) Which of these actually happened this past weekend?

A) I flaked on my TNT running buddies--with whom I had planned to run 8-10 miles on Roosevelt Island on Saturday morning.
B) In utter desperation while running on Sunday, I burst into a closed university building, where I barely made it to the Men's room (thankfully, empty, because, oh yeah, the building was closed) and snuck back out, undetected.
C) Unsatisfied with merely (merely?) running, I added skipping, stairs, laps, and running backwards to my Sunday jog.

2) Which of these will happen this weekend?

A) Inspired by the RBF-fest of love and truffles in New Haven, Jeanne and I will meet up in Alexandria to win run a 5K that was organized to benefit the Red Cross 2005 Hurricane Relief fund.
B) We will be joined by celebrities the likes of James Carville, Mary Matalin, and many, many more. Okay, like one more. But I can't remember her name from the press release.
C) You will all be extremely jealous as we enjoy the gigantor cookies Jeanne promised her friend's mom will provide for after the race. Jeanne says she was only kidding about the friend's mother, but I think there will be cookies.***

ottid (2 ;meht fo lla (1 :srewsnA

Also, check out this totally hot picture from the half-marathon. How great do we all look? (The clock shows gun time, but our chip time was actually 2:18. Yeah, I just can't let that go. Because.) Well, okay, we're not America's Next Top Models, but we look a hell of a lot better than I did crossing the finish line in Alaska.

*** Jeanne's either rolling her eyes, all "haha, Naomi, it wasn't funny the first time you made that joke", or she's really going to bring cookies. And then I will feel very guilty.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Rocking the half**

I am currently writing this entry from my office chair, which is very comfortable, but whose comforts I have no problem leaving, should the need arise. I can sit, stand, run, bend my knees and do the charleston with nary a whimper.

I’m not broken, is what I’m trying to say. And that, my friends, is a very good thing.

I can’t quite figure out where to begin this story. Should I start at 4:15 am when the alarm went off in the hotel room that Jackie, Tim, and I shared in VA beach, and Tim sprang awake, with an alacrity that should not be possible at 4:15 am, to turn on ESPN2, which was rebroadcasting the USA-Mexico World Cup qualifying game, just in time to see the US score their second goal? Or maybe I should start the day before, when we picked up our race packets and hit the beach for a few hours of splashing and sand.

I’m tempted to start even earlier, to the days leading up to the weekend, during which I was so unpanicked about the upcoming race that I failed to buy any PowerBar Gels, neglected to do laundry (I washed my running clothes at the last minute on Friday night), and slept like my beauty depended on it. Because before the marathon? Well, y’all remember.

But instead I think I’ll skip to 7 am, the moment that the race began. The national anthem had been sung, the final announcements had been made, and the gun went off.

I sat down.

What? I’d been up for almost three hours at that point, and my feet were starting to hurt. We weren’t moving anywhere. There were more than 20,000 runners registered for the VA Beach half marathon, and the race organizers had assigned everyone corrals based on projected finish time. We were in corral 18 (of 24). They were starting each corral every 45-90 seconds.

About 15 minutes into the race, we started to move forward. Four feet. And then we stopped. We inched forward for the next 10 minutes, and finally crossed the start line almost 30 minutes after the race had begun. Which I get. Because if you're fast, you don't want to have to dodge the slow 'uns. But for the sake of argument, isn't there a case for *not* giving the fastest people a 30 minute head start?

Ha! Just kidding!

This was going to be the farthest that Jackie and Tim had ever run, and they were understandably nervous about being able to complete the distance. Being far more intelligent than me, they decided that we should begin at a reasonable and sustainable pace. And then, within reason, sustain it. So off we jogged, comfortably weaving among the walkers and Abominable Slo-Men (they had t-shirts).

By the end of the first mile (10:45), we had picked up the pace a bit, and ran the next few miles at about 10:15-10:20. We basically maintained that pace the entire race, with time added for re- and un-hydrating. Around the 3rd mile, we crossed a bridge that we would cross again at about 8 miles. The winners of the race had already passed through by the time we got there, but there were still plenty of speedy and impressive runners to gawk at.

Just after the bridge, Tim asked me how I had been feeling at the same point during the marathon. Three miles in? “I was feeling amazing,” I told him. “I was having a great time, and I couldn’t believe everyone didn’t run marathons ALL the time. Oh, how little I knew.”

A fellow runner overheard me, and jumped in to ask, “What was your toughest mile?”

I thought for about half a second, and replied, “the last six” with slightly more bitterness than I’d intended. But everyone laughed, and the woman conceded that “you really do start to feel it at 20.”

Our goal was for the three of us to run the race together, and even in those crowds, it wasn’t too hard to achieve. We watched each other to make sure the pace was okay for everyone, took turns in the lead, wove through openings between slower runners, and waited for each other to catch up after slowing at a water stop or a bathroom break.

Speaking of which, is it wrong to cut in front of a little boy doing the peepee dance? Even if you’re running a race and he’s totally not? Even if his dad tells him to wait until after the runner goes? Just checking.

The last couple miles were all boardwalk, and I’ve never been a fan of dead straight, totally flat, full sunlight (I’ll take a hilly, woodsy trail, any day), but it was the home stretch, so it wasn’t too bad. Jackie kept thinking the finish line was closer than it was, and kept putting on the final kick, only to realize that we still had a ways to go. But we were still passing people throughout those last few miles, and when the finish line finally was in sight, we poured it on and sprinted across the finish line, three abreast. And, minutes after we returned our chips, collected our medals, and stretched a bit, we were back in the ocean. All races should end on the beach. Please note.

So that? Was super fun. And now I want to do another one. Who’s with me?

**Because it was a Rock n' Roll Half Marathon? Get it? Eh. That's not funny. Sorry.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

As the world turns

Once upon a time it was last year. None of you knew me then (well, except for the people who know me as more than just a blogger-to-the-stars), and this blog wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye.

Not much has changed, and everything has changed.

Last year around Labor Day weekend, there was a day that became The Day. The Decision. I was tired of making excuses and buying bigger clothes. I was going to start exercising, start eating better, and damn it, I was going to like it or die trying.

Anyway, I had nothing better to do.

Now it’s today.

The more things change: I got to the office at 7:15, ran around the Washington Monument and hit the weight room with my work-running-buddy.

The more they stay the same: I followed it up with a chocolate croissant for breakfast and Ben & Jerry’s after lunch.

But today I’m allowed. Because it’s a year since I started living healthy and almost as long since I had either a chocolate croissant or Ben & Jerry’s at all, let alone both on a single day.

Because I ran a half-marathon on Sunday (coasted through, more like, a Sunday stroll at 10:30 minutes per mile).

Because I am two sizes smaller than I was last year on this day. I’m healthier, and a lot happier.

Because on Friday I submitted my application to the Peace Corps, and who even knows where I’ll be next year on this day.

And because today I turned 24, and if your friends can’t treat you to unholy amounts of delicious calories on your birthday, well, then, I don’t want to know about it.

In the book of Naomi, twenty-three turned out to be a far more exciting chapter than anyone anticipated. I started figuring out who I wanted to be, and it turned out to be somebody pretty different than I thought. Somebody a lot more impressive, actually, and interesting. I’m pretty sure I like this person.

There’s still plenty room for improvement. There’s a line from a movie — I can’t remember what movie, but I have a terrible feeling it’s from Look Who’s Talking or some other movie starring Kirstie Alley — that keeps running through my head. The boyfriend dumps the main character over her answering machine, and he says something to the effect of, “I’m in a very self-absorbed phase right now.” He was not meant to be a sympathetic character.

Twenty-three was a very self-absorbed phase for me. I have relied on the support of my family and friends this past year — when they had every reason to dismiss my crazy schemes, they chose to believe I could and would succeed, which, it turns out, was instrumental to my eventual success. In return, I became a terrible correspondent to my friends who were far away, forgot birthdays, and generally sucked. This has been a particularly tough year for several family members, and I have hardly been a model of compassion and support.

So okay, it’s not over yet. But I’m on a roll, and I like the way I’m rolling. Let’s see what 24 can do.


Anybody want to hear about Sunday’s half-marathon?

In short, it rocked. I had been looking forward to it as a birthday celebration, of sorts, to cap off this whole Year of the Runner thing I’ve got going, and it really did feel like a celebration. Unsurprisingly, it brought back all sorts of memories from the marathon (waaaaaaaaay back from three months ago), and this weekend’s race compared favorably in pretty much all criteria.

I sprinted across the finish line in the same second as Jackie and Tim, with a grin as wide as my ears [are from each other], hardly out of breath. That, I think, tells you most of what you need to know about how the race went.

However, for those of you who want more details (and really, it wouldn’t be a running blog if I didn’t recount the entire experience in excruciating detail), I’ll post a full report tomorrow. Today I need to get some work done. And party. Because it’s my birthday. Did I mention?