running

The Best of 2016

I started and abandoned a few posts during the year detailing some of the major things I did this year, but I still want to show them here.

January:

New Year's Eve was spent with Christina, Capri, Carmen, Ben and Martin at Artist Home's party at Conor Byrne. We pre-func'd at Capri's with some prosecco cocktails before heading over. I had an extremely bad headache, though, so I left shortly after midnight. Yay for it being walking distance from home!

I have been a Friends fan since the show started and know virtually everything about it. So, when I saw that Central Cinema was hosting a Friends trivia night, I knew I had to go and dominate. Luckily, Carly, Annie, and Kim are huge fans, too, and we even got together beforehand to prepare. Brianna joined us on the day of, and though we made some dumb mistakes, we took home the second-place prize out of 40 teams!

February:

Christina loves 80s music, and Nite Wave happened to be playing in Ballard on her actual birthday!

March:

I did a lot of running and swimming, but then got tendonitis in my ankle...

April:

After several weeks of physical therapy, I was able to finally run the Seahawks 12k! I register for the race every year, but for one reason or another have never been able to attend. I didn't really have time to train due to my injury, but at least I finished!

For Capri's bachelorette party, we went to dinner, a speakeasy and then dancing. I think it's safe to say that fulfilled my Capitol Hill quota for the year. Raj also met up with us at the very end of the night, since it wouldn't be the same without him!

May:

Obviously, the biggest thing that happened in May was heading to Spain for Capri and Sergi's wedding. I stayed with Bea in Barcelona on the first night, and then Capri reserved an apartment for the rest of the time we were in the city.

On the 30th, we left Barcelona for the vineyard house in Tordera and went to Calalla de Palafrugell for a stormy lunch on the beach.

On the 31st, we drove to France to tour some castle ruins in the Pyrenees and eat crêpes.

On the way back to Tordera, we stopped in the tiny medieval village of Besalú.

June:

At the start of June, we were still in Spain. On the 1st, Christina, Raj and I walked and drove around Costa Brava before meeting up with everyone else for dinner in Begur.

We went to a couple old villages (Peratallada and Pals) on the 2nd and perfected our selfie art.

On the 3rd, Capri and the rest of the wedding party had photos to take, so the rest of us (me, Raj, Martin and Capri's mom) went to Girona at Sergi's suggestion. I really wish we had been able to spend more time there, because it was amazing! We saw a few of the locations where they shot Game of Thrones and walked along the entire wall that runs around the city.

Capri and Sergi's wedding was on the 4th, and it was hands down the best wedding I'll ever go to. The location was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the dancing lasted until after 3am.

Missing this Tordera house!

July:

With a trip to the Enchantments coming up soon, I went on a soggy hike with Capri, Raj and Amy to Mount Defiance.

For the second year in a row, I participated in Ragnar Northwest Passage. This year I was on a different team, with Carly, Annie, Kim, Carly's stepbrother David, and his friend Katie. We had more than our fair share of issues, including a flat tire before 5am and an injured runner, but we finished!

August:

I took a day off from work so that my mom and I could watch a Seahawks practice.

And right afterwards, I went hiking to Rachel Lake with Raj and Capri!

September:

Raj won the lottery for an Enchantments permit in the Stuart Lake Zone! This meant we had to hike up Aasgard Pass to get into the core zone, and...I ended up having a panic attack as we made our way over there. I still had a good time, even though I did have to spend 6+ hours by myself waiting for the rest of the group to come back. I think I made the right decision about not going up, especially since I hadn't been training and hadn't even been running because of a stress fracture. At least I got to try out my new ultralight one-person tent!

October:

Not a very exciting month, as most of it was spent cleaning and organizing my condo. I didn't even do anything for Halloween! But I did go to the Seahawks game against the Falcons with Mariana while she was in town for less than 24 hours!

November:

When the Seahawks schedule was announced earlier this year and I saw that they were playing in Tampa after Thanksgiving, I pretty much immediately booked my trip down there. Luther's parents overlapped with me by a few days, but we all had a great time, as always! If only the Seahawks we know and love had shown up for that game, too... I didn't see any dolphins or manateezes during the trip this time, but I did see Mariana and Luther's new house! Hopefully I can visit again soon!

December:

This month flew by, and I didn't really take very many pictures, honestly. We went to see A Christmas Carol at the ACT Theatre on Mom's birthday, with dinner at Sullivan's beforehand. A few days later, we did my birthday present for her, which was to see the Theater Anonymous production of It's a Wonderful Life.

The Seahawks played on Christmas Eve, and since Mariana and Luther were in town for it and the holidays, we did a big tailgate, arriving before 9:30am. I was under-dressed and freezing for most of the day, so I don't think I'll make that mistake again. I couldn't find anyone else to go with me to the game, but luckily Mariana offered to sit with me for the second half!

Stephanie and Ryan couldn't come up for Christmas, so we Skyped with them in the morning and took a (blurry) family picture (with the dogs, too, of course).

Stephanie and Ryan actually arrived on the 29th, and we had a family dinner in Renton on the 30th with Pat, Mike and Donita.

And, I guess that's 2016! Of course, there were many more moments where photos weren't taken, as well. The year had its ups and downs, but I'm glad for the time I spent with everyone!

Goodbye, Summer

And just like that, summer in Seattle ended. That's how it felt, at least. After months of above-normal temperatures and more 80+-degree days than ever before, something in the air changed. One day it was warm (dare I say even hot), and the next it was foggy, a bit drizzly, and easily 20 degrees colder. Afterwards, there were a couple more glimmers of the summer-that-was, but I immediately felt the shift in the seasons, and there was no going back. Out came the sweaters and sweatshirts, worn even on forecasted warm days. I started wearing socks with my shoes again, and shook the dust off my favorite fall jackets.

But even as I pack up my tees to make room for more reasonable and increasingly necessary layers, I'm remembering that this summer was one for the books, for sure. Maybe because it seemed to start so early, avoiding the typical "June gloom," but it seems like I did more this summer than I have in a long time. I already wrote long posts about a few of the most significant parts of the summer (turning 30, backpacking in the Enchantments, and Ragnar), but there were a number of other adventures, too.

The summer started with Sasquatch over Memorial Day weekend, my first time back to the Gorge in five years. There were so many good bands playing, that I couldn't pass it up. Jenny Lewis, St. Vincent, The New Pornographers, MØ, Courtney Barnett, Sylvan Esso, Modest Mouse... It only could have been better if Neko Case had been there, too. Thankfully we stayed in a big condo in a newer part of Crescent Bar rather than the campground, so we were spoiled with a pool, actual beds, fancy breakfasts, and playing cards on the back deck. We did miss quite a few bands since we were never in much of a hurry to get to the amphitheater, but I saw that ones I really liked, was a foot away from Annie Clark crowdsurfing, and met Courtney Barnett.

This summer I found that I actually really like the 10k distance for races. My first ever was the Brooks 10k at the end of May, and I exceeded my expectations, despite not getting much training in beforehand. I didn't stop at all, and finished in under an hour (barely). I had never done a race with finisher medals before, so that was an added bonus. My second race, the Snoqualmie Valley 10k, was both good and bad. The good was that I hauled on that course, finishing second in my age group and 10th overall for women. The bad was that they didn't mark the course correctly, so it was 0.2 miles short. And I felt so good, too! Oh well. The age group medal is still valid.

This was also the first summer in 15 years that I got to go boating on Lake Washington! Our family friends have a boat, and normally they take it out when I'm either busy at work or without giving much notice. While both of those were true for this day, as well, I was still able to make it! The lake water was super warm, especially for June, so we jumped off the back of the boat in between beers and glasses of wine.

The Fourth of July was spent in Capitol Hill, beginning on Christina's rooftop and ending with karaoke at Rock Box. The fare was your typical Americana: tacos, tortilla chips and margaritas. The songs were mostly those from the 80s that I had never heard before.

I think I went to four Mariners games this year, and two were back-to-back in July. The first came with a tirade by Eric about how much the Mariners suck, complete with booing the home team and cheering for the Tigers. The second came with free seats, free food, and free beer. (And I think the Mariners won that one.)

2015 was finally (FINALLY!) the year I traded in my stylin' red PT Cruiser for something that suited me a little better. The PT was actually a better car than people give it credit for, so I was very particular about what I replaced it with. I wanted a similar amount of space without it being too big, and the Subaru Crosstrek was the perfect match. I got the Limited model loaded up on features, so hopefully it will last as long as the PT did. Once I got it back from the dealership after they fixed a scratch (big drama, not going there), I decided to take it for a mini road trip up to Bellingham. I had never been on Chuckanut Drive (except one small piece in May), and this seemed like a good occasion. My car also found its name on this trip: Monica. After my huge freak out from a bit of chai latte splatter, and due to the fact that I listened to the Best of Friends podcast during the whole trip, there was no other option.

Then there were all the other things I didn't have pictures from: girls' beach day, Lynn and Tim's anniversary party, Raj's birthday, Mariana's visit, Adrian's visit, #Blessed softball games... Lots of good times with fun people, for sure. Hopefully this fall will feature more of the same! (And maybe I'll get better at documenting, seeing as how all of the photos above with friends in them were taken from others' phones.)

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

So, the very day I posted my last update about how I was getting back into running...I injured myself. I guess it was more of a gradual injury, but that was definitely the day I hit the wall with it. Apparently running over 18 miles during the week, after a fairly significant break, is not the smartest idea. For the last week and a half, I've been sidelined by my hip, which has, at times, hurt so bad I could barely walk. The other day I tried to jog across a street, and it wasn't pretty. It feels a bit better now, but I'm still not sure about running on it. My knee on the same side has also been sore and I pulled a muscle at softball, so essentially I'm just a mess. I feel like I should take another week off (at least), but I'm supposed to run the Seattle Marathon 10k in four days. I guess, at this point, it's not that likely I will attempt it. Which sucks, because I was actually training for it, and I'm so bad about that usually! I also just got some new Oiselle running clothes from their recent sale that I want to try out! Ugh...

In other news, I did go camping over the weekend with some friends, which was fun. However, I can't say I recommend Viento State Park in Oregon for any other reason than its close proximity to Hood River. That was one loud campground, sandwiched closely between a freeway and train tracks. But the local beers and company were top notch!

Fingers crossed that summer continues indefinitely, so we can keep having fun outside! And...that I can recover and be injury-free for more than two weeks at a time.