Best of 2012: Running

Misszippy recently did a recap of her running year here and I thought I would follow along! 

Best race experience? My favorite was probably the Skyline 50k. I started doing trail races earlier this year and I really enjoyed the experience, but the best feeling was completing 50k in my own backyard, and only coming in seconds behind Dean Karnazes.

Best run? Most of my runs on the Bay Area Ridge Trail have been awesome. There are views of the city, redwoods, eucalyptus, rolling hills, ferns and each run is different, unique and relaxing.

Best new piece of gear? I really love the Saucony Kinvaras that I won during the Find Your Strong project. They are light and fast and comfortable and I am glad to have gotten the chance to try a low heel drop shoe.

Best piece of running advice you received? Walking up the hills during a hilly ultra will really save you a lot of energy in the long run (pun intended). 

Most inspirational runner? I love seeing people who haven't run before start running and do well. My most inspirational is Broski, who went from hardly being able to run one mile to running two half marathons in one month. Others include Suz, who ran her first marathon recently, Terzah, who went from injury to marathon in a mere matter of months and Amber, who was not a runner at all, but ran a half and a 20k this year!

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?


Best of 2012: Books

This year, I made myself a goal to read at least one book a week, or 52 books. I just barely squeaked over the wire with 57 books. Some were pretty bad and there were others that were much better. Here is a list of 10 that I would recommend.

The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton : This was a fun, easy read about a woman who goes searching for her grandmother's ancestors and finds out more than she bargained for. 

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford : This book was about a Chinese boy growing up in Seattle during WWII. He has a Japanese friend, and when she gets sent to the concentration camps, he is devastated. Not only that, but he has to deal with his father's hatred of the Japanese. 

Sarah's Key - Tatiana De Rosney : About the removal of the Jews from France during WWII during the
Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, when a little girl locks her brother into a hidden closet to hide him from the Nazis. The story is written from two points of view, the little girl and a reporter in present day France, who tries to get to the bottom of what happened back in 1942.

The Other Boleyn Girl - Phillipa Gregory : This book was about the sister of Anne Boleyn, during the reign of Henry VIII. It was a great way for me to learn more about that time period while still engaging me in an interesting story.

Tisha -  Robert Specht: A true story about a young teacher in the 1920s who gets sent to a small town in Alaska to teach. She learns quickly that the divide between the whites and Indians is deep, but somehow manages to not bend to the white men's prejudices. Her struggle is moving and her courage is inspiring.

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern: This book was not about what I thought it was going to be about. It was so much better! The characters are likeable and you never know what is going to happen next. I was highly entertained by this story.

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn: This book kept me on my toes the entire time, so much so that I read it in one day! It was about a girl that goes missing and her husband gets the blame for her murder. It kept me riveted and was a quick page turner. I disliked the characters but loved the book.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower -- Stephen Chomsky :


Nobody Wants a Partridge

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me....

You know the drill. And you have to sing it. Out loud! 

On the Twelfth day of Christmas, my sneakers gave to me...

Twelve Half Marathons!

Eleven Running Routes

Ten PRs

Nine Thousand Feet
Eight Shiny Medals

Seven Running Friends

Six 10ks

Five Golden Trail Races!!

Four Relay Legs

Three 5ks

Two Marathons

....And An Ultra in the East Bay!!!!

This year was definitely a good one, running wise. I completed 12 half marathons in the 12 in 2012 challenge, which also spurred me to do two marathons and an ultra. In between all that, it was really fun to participate in many virtual races, meet new running friends, travel to fun places in order to race and to find new, great places nearby to run!

What's next year going to bring? I am not sure. My mom asked me yesterday if I had any big events coming up, and besides the Boston Marathon and a couple of Fat Asses, I am laying low for the first few months of the year. But I am not done running! I am just doing it more on my own. We shall see how it goes though. I do enjoy the thrill of the race!

How was your year, fitness wise? Have you ever heard of a Fat Ass before?


Currently: December

Current Book - A Land More Kind Than Home. Actually to say I am "reading" it is kind of a lie; it is sitting on my bedside table though.

Current Favorite Celebrity - Brandon Flowers of The Killers. He rocks. Literally.

Current Drink - Wine. It's the holidays.  

Current Excitement - Last weekend I went to Not So Silent Night, where I saw Imagine Dragons, Grouplove, Passion Pit and more! It was really fun!  

Current fashion trend - Socks. Lately, I am loving a nice thick pair of socks.  

Current Favorite Blog/Website -  Amazon. It has what you need. Running stuff, toiletries, food, electronics... I even buy my lady supplies from there!  

Current Garden Item - Lemons! So many lemons. Do you want some? Anyone? 

Current Love - Walking. I have been taking a daily stroll around the block at lunch and it is so nice to get outside, get some fresh air, and to see parts of the city that I haven't noticed before. 

China Town  

Current Food - Cookies. I made 5 different kinds on Sunday to give away as gifts. I ate at least 2 3 4 of each to maintain proper quality control.

Currently Pondering -What kind of cookie I am going to make next. 


Current Indulgence - Brunch out on the weekends. It's not every weekend, but it's such a nice treat from time to time.  

Current Mood -  Holly and Jolly! 

Current New Find - a little dive bar across from my office that pours glasses of wine right to the tippy top. And they are only 6 bucks. It could be trouble.

Current Outfit - 
Dec Outfit  

Current Peeve - Cashews. I am not a big fan and the mixed nut can seems to be chock full of them. Why can't they put more of the good nuts, like almonds or pecans? 
Current Song -


Current Triumph - running in the dark. It's been fun actually, but getting the shoes on can be difficult
Current TV Show - Greys. I found all 9 seasons on the DVR and they have been my cookie making, Christmas Card assembling sidekick.

Current Wish-List - A Hydration Pack like this one

Currently Delaying - going to my yoga Groupon. Once it starts I have 90 days to use 10 sessions and for some reason I am procrastinating committing!

Do you like cashews (if so, want mine)? Do you use your Groupons? What's on your wishlist this month?


Then and Now: November

Okay everyone, let's say it all together now: I can't believe that November is already over! I know; you have heard it before. But yes, it's December (already). November is over. What happened? Luckily I take photos, because lately I can't remember! Due to my blogger issue with photos, I am doing this collage style this time (thanks everyone for the comments -- I am uploading to flickr and then pasting the code into the blog). So here you have it, the Who, the What and the Where of 2011 vs 2012. 

Who: Baby A (aren't crying photos the funniest? Look at that face!). 
What: Chicken Feet and Bran Flax Muffins
Where: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, San Francisco, Sierra Nevadas

Nov 2011

Who: Ladies who lunch brunch
What: Crabs, Oatmeal pumpkin cookies
Where:  Santa Rosa, Oakland, San Francisco

Nov 2012

The Extras

2011: 10 / 2012: 4

Last year in November I read 10 books. Clearly I had a little more free time than this year! This year I only read 4. Last year, many of those books were really great. The greats included The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Book Thief and The Help. This year the best of the four was

2011: 126 / 2012: 131

It's weird; I thought I ran less miles this year than last, but I beat my last year mileage by 5 miles. Who knew? 

2011: 2 / 2012: 1

Last year I ran 2 races, a half marathon and a 5k turkey trot. This year, in lieu of the turkey trot, I ran on my own, but I still completed one obstacle race instead.

Do you like crab? What's your favorite holiday treat? Did you run a turkey trot this year?