March Madness!

Holy CATS you guys! How is March over already?

It has been an action-packed month over here in marathonsam-land! I feel like I was just writing my February Flashback post five minutes ago! I am certainly not complaining: I would much rather be busy than bored! Come along with me (and Louis) as I recap all of the groovy goings on that made March magnificent!
“Silly humans, the earth keeps spinning one day at a time”

During the month of March I ran a grand total of 165 miles. 

I’m not even going to attempt to quantify how much oatmeal I ate.
WAY more than this
At work I built 16 strains. I’m really loving the direction that my projects are taking me. Right now a lot of the data is preliminary, but I think I’m finding out something really exciting. 

I took a trip to Oregon with my PhD cohorts. We baked a highly amusing cake and made friends with some elk.
If this whole PhD thing doesn’t work out…Pastry Chef
I am OBSESSED with the Snapseed App- it can put any photo on the bus.
Do something enough times and you start to get better at it
I went skiingtwice!
I got a new bicycle, named Velox. 
I hung out in the Henry Art Gallery, and I also got a chance to see a workshop presentation of Carmina Burana by Spectrum Dance Theater; their rendition was PHENOMENAL, and surprising! (The tenor was in drag). I look forward to seeing the full performance in 2015. 
In writing up a February Flashback I set myself five goals for the month of March. Let’s check in and see how I did. 
1) Make sleep and recovery a priority.

Um. I’m going to give myself a B…minus on this one. I had a lot of fun in March. 
I got a lot of work done. I trained my brains out. I stayed up past 11 o’clock far more often than I would like. I wish that there were more hours in the day…or more caffeine in coffee.
I don’t normally buy energy drinks, but I could not resist this one
2) Return to a consistent yoga practice.
I’m giving myself a B on this one as well. I made it in to my favorite yoga studio four times. 

3) Keep reading. 

I finished In the Year of the Flood by Maragaret Atwood. This book was absolutely PHENOMENAL. This is the second in Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy
The story takes place in the same world established in Oryx and Crake; the characters largely do not overlap until the very end of the novel, which made the denouement completely mind blowing, even though you already had a hint of what was coming from the previous book.The books are set in a dystopian future where corporations rule the planet, the environment is thrashed, and genetic engineering is ubiquitous. It hits uncomfortably close to home sometimes, but the writing is incredible and the plot is engrossing, thought provoking, and action-packed. I will definitely be reading the third book in the series post-haste!
I also started listening to audiobooks on some of my longer runs. This is a new strategy for me. Sometimes I like to be alone with my thoughts, and I have trouble following fiction while I’m out on the road. However, I am halfway through Bonk by Mary Roach, and thoroughly enjoying it. 

4) Do some career planning.

I did not set anything formally in motion, however, I did start to percolate some life-after-grad school plans in my brain. 
Sonicating is boring, but it is a great time to think…or take selfies.
I recently have re-discovered how much I enjoy writing. I collaborated with my old boss on a mini-review concerning the mechanisms of plasmid segregation. I also have been writing a few long form pieces right here on this blog. I am particularly proud of the post I wrote examining self-identities. I like the post I wrote about the de-extinction movement as well. 
I could see science writing and science communication as a possible career path. The next step is to figure out exactly what types of opportunities are available to me, and how I can continue to hone my writing while moving my research forward.

5) Find a 2 bedroom house in Phinney Ridge with a fenced yard.

Am I allowed to go back in time and change the rubric? I think I deserve an A+ for finding housing, even if it isn’t in the neighborhood I originally intended. Instead of Phinney Ridge, Alli and I will be living in Wedgewood. The house is perfectly suited to Alli and I’s needs. I get the keys from the owner tonight!

That is a grape vine growing over the trellis! Alli and I can become vintners, if we want!
Overall March was great! As I mentioned in my post about the Vernal Equinox, the days are starting to get longer and Seattle is absolutely breathtaking in the springtime. 

My commute takes me five extra minutes every day because the flowers are so pretty
The end of the month is a great time to set goals. Here are my intentions for having an Awesome April:
1) SERIOUSLY make sleep and recovery a priority
I am entering into my peak training phase for the Tacoma Marathon on May 4th. I am running lots of miles these days, and the last thing I want to do is sideline myself with an injury. One of my favorite mantras (that I am terrible about following) is “train hard, recover harder.” This means many different things but I am going to try to maximize sleep, minimize stress, and worship daily at the altar of nutrient-dense-carbohydrates to be sure I am primed and ready for the big event. 
Inspiration courtesy of Louis and Ralph Waldo Emerson
2) Step up my fundraising efforts. 
I am running the Tacoma Marathon as a charity athlete for the Seattle Humane Society. The Humane Society in general is a wonderful organization, and the Seattle branch in particular does FANTASTIC work (they have a 97% save rate– one of the highest in the nation). This is a cause that I really believe in, and I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends and family. That said, I have not been putting as much sweat-equity into my fundraising as I have into my training lately. During this next month I will intensify my efforts. If you are reading this and you feel compelled to donate you can find a link to my personal fundraising page here. Any amount you can give, $10, $15, $25, even $50, will be greatly appreciated and go directly towards helping animals in need. Thank you. 
3) Write. 
I mentioned that I recently have become interested in science writing and science communication. The only way to improve a skill is to practice it. I intend to write more long-form and topical pieces for this blog. I also hope to expand my horizons and explore other writing opportunities as well. With that said: I’d love both suggestions and feedback! If there is a topic in science, running, and/or life that you are curious about and want my opinion on please email or contact me rough the blog. I know quite a bit about Bacillus genetics and DNA replication; however, I also love learning new things and I am FULL of opinions! 
4) Drink more wine

This might be an odd aspiration, especially considering goal numero uno up there. However: wine has numerous purported health benefits, and I like wine.


I know that I LIKE wine, but I want to be more educated about it. I typically order a few different types that I know I like and rarely try new varieties. I want to expand my horizons beyond Albarinho, and Rioja. Heck- branching out beyond Spanish wines is probably a good goal as well. I know that Washington is a great wine state, so I want to do more exploration. 

OK- those are my goals for an Epic April. Let’s end this post with some appropriately epic music:
What are YOUR goals for this coming month?
What kind of wine do YOU like?
What topics would you like me to explore?



4 thoughts on “March Madness!

Add yours

  1. You have had more adventures in March than I had in all of 2013!

    My yoga teacher has said that yoga is the place where you put yourself back together from the other damage you do in every day life, including other sports like running and cycling. I believe a good yoga practice that includes a lot of restorative is a baseline for health, and unbelievably powerful. I hope you find that sweet spot again where you can give yourself an “A” for your practice. But considering how much went on for you in March, 4 times is not too shabby.

    Your new house looks awesome, and I am so glad you found a place you like. I am a little worried, however, about how you are going to move without Louis. Will we have to bail you out of jail for stealing your roommate's cat?

    I have had reason to read some articles written by microbiologists within the last year or so, and I can tell you firsthand that there is definitely room in the field for some writing talent.

    Thanks for the interesting and informative post. I hope that you find some rest, even if the rest you need is from having so much darn fun. Rock on!


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