All the light I cannot see..

My grandmother died last Saturday morning. She died quietly and with no one but my father near her. It felt sudden but, of course, it wasn’t.  The truth of how she was feeling had been buried under layers of fear and confusion that come with the progression of dementia. Sometimes, the physical ailments would worsen just enough to surface themselves before submerging again just as quickly with the application of interventions. Improving only enough to retreat into the deep where neither she nor we could monitor them. She no longer feels homeless- confused about where she is living and longing for what she called home. She no longer feels the coldness of children and grandchildren who could not overcome their own greed, self-indulgence, and pettiness to visit her- to love her. That is gone now. I am glad for that.

But I am sad because I miss her- I read letters she wrote over ten years ago and remember when we had deeper conversations or even trivial ones. I remember that I once was someone she talked to and not someone who reminded her that I had just stayed overnight, that I now lived in a different far away place, that she had fallen and hurt herself and now could not return home. Not someone who reminds her over and over within the same conversation. And I am angry that that I didn’t do more for her, that other people didn’t do more for her, that I didn’t find them and make them do it. And I am angry that there was actually no way to do any of those things. 

It’s been one week now. I am still crying. I feel like I should not be crying anymore. A friend once told me when I was embarrassed to be crying over a colleague who had died: “isn’t he someone worth crying for?” My grandmother was someone worth crying for. 

Aloof. Stubborn. Beautiful. Quick witted. Difficult. Graceful. Loving.

My grandmother is someone who is worth crying for. 

Recently, I have had my own health scares. Autoimmune issues that cause discomfort and inconvenience after inconvenience. I have missed races, social events, school, and work. I briefly gained control of them only to be derailed by grief. I am consumed by fatigue, GI issues, and restlessness. Nothing helps. It just is. 

32 Years!


Already there!

I turned 32 at the end of last month, quietly. Russ and I went up into Massachusetts to visit some of my favorite places:

Montague Bookmill

Montague Bookmill

New England Peace Pagoda

New England Peace Pagoda

Northampton (this is taken at LimeRed)

Northampton (this is taken at LimeRed)

This is my idea of heaven.  It’s remote (we passed a family deer of feeding in the woods on the way here).  It’s an old building.  It’s full of used books.  It’s built on a river.  They have an abundance of tea.  They have worn in (falling apart) arm chairs to sit, read, drink tea, read books and enjoy the sound of the Sawmill River rushing below.  I spent several hours here with Russ, just reading and sipping tea.




The New England Peace Pagoda is near the Bookmill and I had only been here once- in the strange twilight zone of late winter/early spring that is April in New England.  The ground was hard and brown and the trees were not sure if it was quite time to bud.  This time, it was a blazing sun but so much green and the pagoda shone so white that it was almost blinding.  The prayer flags (not shown) hung from trees near the lotus garden.  Incredible.

Northampton was once a home for me.  Now it is an excursion for bubble tea or a really good dinner at Sierra Grille.  There were no leftovers to be had from this meal- that’s how incredible it was.



This year is quieter than previous years- not because I’m maudlin about aging, I just feel like embracing the things about me that are true and letting some of the other stuff go.

I need more personal space and alone time than most of the people in my life, but I’m not going to beat myself up about that anymore and try to just accept each place and task I encounter on my own terms.

I want to stop taking on extra projects and jobs just because I feel that they need to be done so I might as well do them.  I want to focus my energy on what matters to me, what is inspiring to me and what I feel morally/ethically obligated towards- it’s hard to explain but I give up or postpone big (slightly) things I want to do and instead fill my time with small and routine tasks that are helpful but prevent me from engaging in something that really inspires me.  I need to strike a balance there.

Most of all, I want to show up to my life every day and try really hard to be present and enjoy it.  And this year, that’s totally enough for me.



Good Guide and Running Shoes: Nike vs. Mizuno and Brooks

Recently, I had to make a switch from my beloved Mizuno and Brooks running shoes.  It was a little heartbreaking to see that neither company has been reviewed by Good Guide yet and as such, I can’t be sure of what I’m buying.  What I’m contributing to with my money is more important to me than brand loyalty so when it came time to buy new shoes, I used Running World’s shoe finder tool to find some Nike running shoes.

Nike has a 6.9/10 rating by Good Guide, is easily found and within my budget. Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 8.24.38 AM

I used this shoe finder to find Nikes that were similar to my Mizuno Wave Inspire and Brooks Pure Cadence.  The shoe finder suggested the Nike Lunar Glide, Nike Lunar Eclipse and Nike flyknits Lunar.

I ordered all three pairs from the Internet (2 from Zappos, 1 from Nike) and gave them all a short treadmill trial walking and running.

Nike Lunareclipse +3

IMG_2476These felt really solid while I was running and walking, they offered a lot of support and reminded me of the Inspires in the sense that I definitely felt like my foot was being supported in the right way- I’m a bit of an overpronator. I had decided almost immediately that these were a definite competitor in my shoe-off, and I ended up keeping them as my long run/training shoe.

Nike Lunarglide+5

IMG_2477These felt good while I was walking but when I ran, they did not feel great.  I felt like they almost felt a bad way.  Also, I’m a forefoot strikers and the cushioning on the front of the shoes was not awesome for me.

Nike flyknit Lunar +5

IMG_2494These were the hands down favorites! They felt light and natural and a perfect match for what I love about the Brooks Pure Cadence.  These shoes just feel fast.  They were the automatic winners for my speedwork/race day shoe.


Always Tracking Something…


  I’m always tracking something- my weight, my calories, my mileage, but lately I’ve been tracking something a little different.


* Not my bathroom. Lovely pinterest bathroom.

Shower Time.

Being born and raised in the United States, being born and raised in a family where we were privileged enough to have seemingly unlimited access to hot water, I have never paid much attention to how much time I spend standing in the shower.  On bad days, I’ve been known to take multiple showers and to just stand there in the water, not bathing, just feeling it run down my back.  As embarrassing as it is to admit, I never gave a single thought to how much water I was using.  Until two weeks ago. 

I started tracking my showers at home and at the gym with the intent that my showers should be ideally less than 3 minutes with the exception that once a week, I could have 5 minutes if I needed to do more time consuming things like shave my legs. 

Overall, it’s been going okay- I have more trouble with keeping it under 3 minutes when I shower at home vs at the gym?  No idea why really.  Maybe because I really hate the shower curtains?  I don’t know.

I am not doing this with a fancy little shower timer.  I open up my iPhone stopwatch, then press start, and jump in hurriedly.  Also, I do not let the water warm up so to speak.  I just breathe deep and hope for the best.