Tallyho, true believers! Can you believe that it is already August? I’m continuously and consistently surprised when one month rolls over into the next. Upon further reflection, however, July was jam-packed! It feels like a decade has passed since Independence Day, instead of a measly 27 days. Time flies when you’re having fun, on the run, or drinking rum. July, for me, was mostly filled with the first two activities.
I’m typing up this post while sipping on electrolytes and munching a banana because I’m racing tomorrow!
Last week, I signed myself up for the Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon. This race is organized by the same fine group of fanatics that put on the marathon I ran in May. I’ve participated in this event before: last year I scored a PR and 5th place in my age group. It’s a fast and beautiful course, and we get to run over Galloping Gertie. I’m feeling a little trepidation this year: July’s training was thrown for a loop, courtesy of a brush with achilles tendinitis after the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon.
I like to use the first of the month to reflect on my goals from the past lunar cycle, and set a few intentions for the weeks ahead. Before I get to gazing at my own navel, however, I just have to share a helmet-cam perspective video from a Blue Angels pilot.
This weekend is Seattle Seafair, and the planes have been buzzing around overhead practicing since Thursday. I LOVE watching the Blue Angels, and I was devastated last year when, the sky-captains were sequestered. I admit that the whole ordeal is a loud, costly, carbon-fuel guzzling, militaristic spectacle that costs taxpayers $40 million per year, but, frankly, I couldn’t care less. This is one instance where I will put my white guilt on the back burner and allow myself to enjoy the sheer awesomeness of REALLY fast machines doing REALLY cool things.
Ok. Now that we’re all invigorated, let’s review our goals. Last month I tried to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Time-focused). Let’s take a look at what I aspired to do, and what I actually did:
1) Ride the Lake Washington loop on my bike.
Alli, Sheldon, and I managed to spin around the south end of the loop, but I didn’t put in quite as many miles in the saddle as I was hoping.
One of my favorite bands, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, played at Woodland Park Zoo’s summer ZooTunes concert series.
The Chocolate Drops put on a great show, as always.
I also attended an America-themed drag, dance, and burlesque review called “Freedom Fantasia,” put on by DeLouRue Presents.
3) Make three professional connections at my conference.
DNA disneyland was AMAZING. I met so many fantastic scientists. I definitely identified and interacted with several scientists that I’d love to work with in the future. Now the onus is on me to write a few follow-up emails. Networking is not my strong suit, does anybody out there have any pointers?
4) Read one novel.
“Home” is a story of violence, identity, and acceptance told from the perspective of a Korean War veteran. Toni Morisson writes BEAUTIFULLY. Typically her stories center around women. It was intriguing to experience her giving voice to a male character. I wouldn’t recommend it to a first-time Morisson reader, as it isn’t quite as mind-blowing as her earlier works (I fell in love with Toni Morrison after reading “Beloved,” “Sula” is also just a staggeringly gorgeous book). However, the elements that make a great Morisson novel are all there: compelling characters, elegant prose, and a subtle supernatural element woven within the plot.
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” was a FUN read, especially for a smug Seattle-ite. The book is narrated by a high-school aged protagonist attempting to piece together the events leading up to her mother’s sudden and shocking disappearance. It is told through a mixture of first-person narration, and “primary source” emails, articles, and passive-agressive notes. The story is set in Seattle; Maria Semple perfectly captures and lampoons all of our city’s (and it’s residents’) quirks, charms, and cliches. Even for readers who haven’t snagged your infinity scarf on a blackberry bramble, while dodging a bike-commuting amazon.com employee at a five-way intersection on your way to Starbucks, the book is a heartfelt, hilarious, and compelling mystery story of family dynamics and outsiders trying to fit in.
5) Select a goal race for the fall, and begin a formal training program.
I have my eyes on a few fall marathons, but I haven’t formally committed to anything yet. I need to consult my social secretary and get my schedule set in stone.
OK. I did pretty good on my goals for July. There certainly was some room for improvement, but there ALWAYS is. Here’s what I’m hoping for in August:
1) Four strength-training sessions
2) Develop an assay to directly detect DNA breaks at a particular region of the chromosome.
3) Go out to dinner at two Seattle restaurants that I haven’t been to before.
4) Go to the dentist.
What are YOUR goals for August?