35: current age

366: days I have abstained from beef

12: hotels I have stayed in this year, an average of one a month, plus some overnights at the family house in Newport Beach. Felt like I was packing us up quite a bit!

9: road races plus one Spartan (obstacle/mud run) I’ve competed in this year

15.71: miles longest run

50.72: most miles in one week

2: major regrets this year

43: times I have played “Out of the Woods” (Taylor Swift) NOT counting all the times I have played it on the CD player in the car

173: times I have played “Let it Go”

3: of all the new activities I tried, the number of those that were outside of my comfort zone

2: locked mystery rooms games played with my best friends

6: performances seen in live theater

1: concert attended

5:52: fastest flat mile on the track

MOMENTS

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Proudest moment: achieving a (just!) sub 1:30.0 at the Long Beach half marathon at 1:29.59. I had my eyes on that target and worked all year, every day to break that. Really hard. Really really hard. It was far easier for me in my first year of running to drop from a 12:00 min/mile to an 8:00 min/mile than it is to work right now at a constant shaving of time in the 6:00-7:00 min/mile range and to break my body over and over to sharpen it. In fact, this is one of the most significant moments in my life, outside of marrying my best friend and having my children. To have a very long term goal and put everything on the line for it…that’s a good kind of risk and it makes us who we are.

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Showing my people (Bill, Katie, and Eric) one of my favorite places: the Point Reyes Lighthouse, as sublime a place as any on Earth.

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Setting off fireworks for the first time on our two-week summer road trip to Oregon. Firecrackers? Fire? Pretty sparkly wonders? Happy dance! Happy 4th of July!

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Saw the redwoods for the first time. Ancient giants of the world… They struck my heart and mind so, I cried at the wonder.

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Ashland Shakespeare festival: Into the Woods and The Tempest with my girl

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My baby turned four

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My eldest turned seven (and I “Disneybounded” as Thor, her favorite and who we saw that day, with a too-short skirt that was awkward all day, but thank goodness for leggings)!

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This captures my year fairly well, and all that daily work it took to earn these (most of these are placement medals, either in division or in all women, or both).

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Celebrated eight years of marriage with my best friend

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Learned how to fly on a trapeze

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Went hardcore and did a Spartan with my friend Steve in January. (He went on to complete the trifecta and then some)!

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Wandered the Santa Monica Pier for the first time

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Cracked up at how differently my children react to pigeons on the Santa Monica Pier!

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Found a bit of myself in Portland, Oregon. You never know where you will locate a bit of that deep essence. Felt lucky to collide into it here.

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Saw Multnomah Falls for the first time

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Achieved a dream of racing in Eugene, Oregon (in the Butte to Butte on July 4th), training grounds of the great Pre and home to a collection of amazing runners.

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In March, we took a trip up to San Francisco, and I got to play the first locked mystery room game with my friends in Japantown.

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In June, we played a second and different version of the locked room game in L.A.

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This time, we made it out!

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I enjoyed running with my family and racing with my kiddos, especially. Looking forward to our Big Sur marathon relay in a few months!

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A springtime full of hikes on the Santa Rosa Plateau and in the San Jacinto mountains

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Katie, Eric, and I spent many Sundays in good weather walking to local parks and taking picnic lunches with us

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We loved a whale watching trip in January last year (although it was probably the worst experience I’ve had with seasickness, and when I finally gave in and took something, it zonked me—which is not a feeling I enjoy at all, I discovered)!

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I had much more fun motoring to Catalina Island with my parents on their boat! No seasickness on Open Gate! (Unless I go down into the cabin for any length of time while in motion).

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My favorite race of the spring season was the Hot Chocolate 15K. Super fun night in the Gaslamp prior to the race! Looking forward to running it again in a few months.

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Threw a Frozen viewing party, because…Frozen!

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Took my Katie Girl with me to Stanford’s philanthropy day in San Diego this year. Made sure to give in other ways this year, too. Wouldn’t want to legislate philanthropy, but goodness, humans taking care of humans is an important ideal to my Humanist way of looking at it. One of my goals for the new year (which I hope to write about in a few days) is to incorporate a more consistent philanthropic effort in our daily lives. Unaffiliated with institutions, I find it difficult to find opportunities at times, especially that I can do with the kiddos.

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Got to be poetic bohemian princesses with my girl in Ashland, land of literature and deer

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Spent a foggy morning in Bodega Bay on scooters and exploring desolate beaches. This picture, as I recall it, was taken about 6:00 AM.

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Took up swimming in the early mornings, at least three days a week, after training runs. Coming up on six months of commitment here. I’ve learned so much, but there is still a way to go…

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Learned how to paddleboard….then learned how to paddleboard with a child on it! (That’ll make a mother focus, let me tell you)!

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Spent Valentine’s in Idyllwild at our special spot with my loves

5 New Things Tried this Year:

1. Swimming

2. Kayaking

3. Pole dancing

4. Paddleboarding

5. Trapeze flying

5 Restaurants/Eateries I Really Enjoyed:

1. Urth (L.A.)

2. Salt and Straw (Portland)

3. Swami’s (Encinitas—the Acai bowl!)

4. Carthay Circle (Disneyland)

5. The Black Sheep (Ashland)

5 Books I Loved:

1. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Laura Hillenbrand, 2010)

2. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert Pirsig (1974)

3. Mindset by Carol Dweck (2006)

4. Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom, collected and edited by Leonard S. Marcus (1998)

5. Generosity: An Enhancement (Richard Powers, 2009)

5 Songs I Will Always Associate with this Year:

1. “The Pretender” (Foo Fighters)

“What if I say I’m not like the others?/What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays?/You’re the pretender/What if I say that I’ll never surrender?/In time or so I’m told/I’m just another soul for sale, oh well/The page is out of print, we are not permanent/We’re temporary, temporary/Same old story…”

2. “One” (Ed Sheeran)

“Take my hand and my/Heart and soul, I will/Only have these eyes for you/And you know, everything changes but/We’ll be strangers if we see this through/You could stay within these walls and bleed/Or just stay with me…”

3. “Out of the Woods” (Taylor Swift)

“The rest of the world was black and white/But we were in screaming color…”

4. “Centuries” (Fall Out Boy)

“Some legends are told/Some turn to dust or to gold/But you will remember me/Remember me for centuries/And just one mistake/Is all it will take…/And this is supposed to match/The darkness that you felt./I never meant for you to fix yourself…”

5.  “Last Midnight” (The Witch, Into the Woods)

“You’re so nice./You’re not good,/You’re not bad,/You’re just nice./I’m not good,/I’m not nice,/I’m just right./I’m the Witch./You’re the world./I’m the hitch./I’m what no one believes,/I’m the Witch./You’re all liars and theives,/Like his father,/Like his son will be, too-/Oh, why bother?/You’ll just do what you do…/It’s the last midnight./It’s the last verse./Now, before it’s past midnight,/I’m leaving you my last curse:/I’m leaving you alone./You can tend the garden, it’s yours./Separate and alone,/Everybody down on all fours…”

I’ve been giving some thoughts to goals for the coming year. Since my birthday occurs near the year’s end, I tend to think of my goal setting as a cross between birthday goals and resolutions. I am not much for making resolutions in January, but I like the idea of taking stock at the end of my personal year. Since I do usually make birthday goals (ranging from silly to serious), I have been pondering them all month. This year held some amazing moments and also a few rocky ones as I continue to figure out who I am now that I am in touch with my inner strength, my endurance, my confidence, my ideals, and my voice more closely than ever. I found that there are some who will prefer you weak and some who will prefer you strong, and some who will never prefer you at all, and some who feel like kindred no matter the time or distance between. Then I found that it doesn’t much matter as long as you are living true to your ideals and doing your best job to leave the world a better place and living with authenticity, inasmuch as that is possible.

Life is a series of phases, and I grow more aware every year that cycles by their very definition don’t necessarily mean permanent endings. The good comes back around, the bad comes back around: how we handle those transitions is the important part. I have had loss, and surprise, and joy, and guilt, and hope, and gain, and wonder, and worry, and sadness, and confusion, and clarity this year. But never defeat. Even in the worst moments, there is a way to pull up and keep going and face the sun. Most of all I have had curiosity, which I think entails a certain form of optimism: there is something worthy and valuable to be curious about. I hope most of all that I will never get to a point where I feel I know, or have seen, or have done it all.

That’s why I love to run, really: you can have a great run one day and a stiff one the next, and there is always a sense that the work never is done, that never can we rest on our laurels and call it a day. There’s always more to do, and a runner’s mindset has to be a humble, ever-ready-to-learn-and-try-harder one. We deal with moments of failure and difficulty much, much more than we ever deal with those times of fleeting success. It is daily practice for dealing with everything else and keeping perspective.

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Ready to live my 36th year with my people

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Until next time, I will keep chasing that wind…

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