Ok, I’ve reframed “taper” in my mind and made it less about my legs and more about all the torn up parts of me.  It seems that, for me, taper and nesting are really damn similar.  Which is to say – this is some exhausting mental stuff ya’ll.

So… I’m teary eyed these days.  I’m watching a lot of MCM videos to see if I can desensitize myself to the helicopters and howitzer start.  It isn’t working yet.  I’m reading about the temporary nature of pain and trying to make the grand words equate to my hips.

I’m really proud of what I’ve done but with less than 10 training miles between me and race day I made the lists of things aren’t related in any way except their proximity in time.

  • The Cubs are in the World Series.
  • A nation shaping election is on the horizon
  • November 2 would be 20 years in a parallel universe.
  • November 11 will be two years without dad.

That is some sentimental stuff up there.  So.  I saw a two-second meditation video the other day, that every time I recenter my monkey brain on my breath I’ve taken a moment to meditate.

I’m doing that a lot right now.

I’m happy to have the support of those around me who are loving me while I spaz and have my back.  I feel lucky.

One breath. One step. One mile. One run at a time.

This sucks.

I know I can Beat the Bridge.  That will be ok.  After I do that I’ll have another 8 miles and … I will be covering new ground (ha!) for those miles.  It feels like a lot (in large part because it IS a lot).

Tapering is about letting my body sew strength into all those tentative connections made in the long runs of recent weeks.  What it FEELS like is a long list of grievances and heavier thighs, shins with pin pricks of sensation, a left ankle made of crumpled paper, feet … oh my feet.

Food is important, but with shorter mind clearing runs I am not “eating for tomorrow” but instead I’m “scarfing for this strange emotion I’m having RIGHT NOW.”

This is a traveling run for my whole family and so logistics need sorting but I approach them and my mind twitches because it is 10 days away.  The biggest part of a first marathon is that your brain doesn’t know that it is possible, so legs (and feet) are just a minor part of the conversation.  I’m not sure My Mind & I have ever had a conversation quite like this one.

Ten days.

Absolutely right to try.

There is a difference between pain laced with fear and anxiety about true danger and pain that is an expected experience of work.

With my shield or on it.

Holy shit I’m nervous and excited and pretty sure in this victory there will be a measure of failure as well and that is true with a lot.

I’m a mess.  This sucks.  I’m so happy right now.  Miles on miles.  The People’s Marathon in Washington DC.  I DID THIS.  I may even cross the finish line.

I’m done building single run mileage for the month.  I enter the nomadic zone of The Taper.  I don’t know, yet, how I feel about this.

I know that I’ve put in many (MANY) miles.  With the exception of something less than 50 total in the last year, those miles have included plantar fasciitis in at least one foot.  I know that right now, my biggest risk factor is my left foot which is what has made me stop in each of my last three runs.

I know that I keep learning about food and fluid but I haven’t found something that feels like a magic mixture.

Thinking about that today brought an interesting idea to the front of my mind…. it turns out that I had been waiting for this tremendous amount of work to be comfortable and pleasant.  I suppose some day that it might, that certainly became true for the 4-5 mile distance on nice days.  Still, somehow I was waiting for the addition of 4-5 miles at the END of an already long run to just be … easy.

I’d like to KNOW that I can do this, and that is unknowable at the moment.  I know that I’ve done a lot to prepare and that I’m trying to be diligent about things like food and rest and shoes.  I know that on a good day by foot can go a distance, and on a bad day it can do something else.  The fact that I didn’t train in rain AT ALL this summer was great as it happened but might not be ideal.  The day will hold what it does and I will show up as who I am.

It might work, it might not.

In the end – I’ve worked, and I’m glad for all the moments of it.  It would be neat to finish this race, and if it isn’t this one it will be the next one, or a different distance, or a different day.

I don’t get to know if I can do it – I just know that I was absolutely right to try.


  1.  I can’t form even a vague narrative right now.  Plainly obvious, and true.
  2. Mom and Husband sent me to Boston for the weekend for my birthday – very very awesome.  Totally delighted.
  3. Except.
  4. My great-aunt has died.  The holder of elegance in my original family and the originator of a look that would set your hair on fire.  In my mind I see her basement in Sleepy Hollow (I shall always aspire to carpet that beautiful), her dining room on Blue Jay Trail, and the beautiful mirror on her dresser.  She will always reside within a westminster chime.
  5. I’m 11 miles from my first 100 mile month, with my second 100 mile month hot on its heels. So yeah.  Running.
  6. Work is opening up a chance for me to do some great new stuff.  I feel ready.  Mostly.
  7. I need more weekend time.
  8. Also a nap
  9. A personal chef.
  10. Oh yeah, time to get a new stove.  Like.  Now.
  1.  After three years without, we now own a microwave again.  It started as an experiment when ours died.  After a couple of weeks of strangeness it was easy, and now, after three years, we have one again.  Kiddo asked me who I thought would use it most – I was teaching him how to make his own cheese quesadillas.  I have a good idea who will use it most.  😀
  2. As a subset of #1, I am strangely interested in where frozen burrito technology has gone in the last few years.
  3. With the arrival of school – the summer is over.  I feel like I missed this one.  I often do.  The definition of “summer” in my mind isn’t my youth, and isn’t my adulthood, and is influenced by advertisements.  There was plenty of ice cream but not enough water, not enough sunburns, and not enough sleeping late.  Will try again next year.
  4. I did get to see a Broadway show this year (Fun Home, closes Sept 10, should run forever, was wonderful).  AND I got to see a live Ham4Ham but didn’t win the lottery in NYC to see the show.  I’d like to say THAT is a tradition and that I’ll get back for a weekend next year.  Ideal state would be to see two shows, whatever is getting worked on at The Public (see also, Fun Home & Hamilton) and something on Broadway.  It is ok about Hamilton though, we have tickets for Chicago.
  5. I have paid a stupid amount of money for a photograph at Dragon*Con.  I am equally stupidly excited about it and I’m trying to find the exactly perfect geek girl shirt which means I’m still actually in 7th grade.
  6. It is a dense birthday time among my tribe which is FUN!
  7. My kid will be 8 in five days and I’m delighted.
  8. I learned from my sis-in-law about how to be an awesome parent-of-a-birthday kid and we are putting it into action this year.
  9. I’m running a lot, stuff hurts, it is hard work, I love it.
  10. I like the idea of stopping at #10.
  11. BUT.  I’m participating in a conference (as an intensive CEU credit garnering act, a moderator, and a panelist) in December and I am STOKED.



I am the author of my own sense of helplessness.

I heard three women talking today, they were people who were actively in the moment trying to do good things for dogs in need of adoption locally.  Coincidentally, we adopted one of our dogs from them, and I am not the biggest fan of the organization but the dog we got from them does resolutely come to cuddle the crying – and that is a good thing.

Anyway.  The three women were doing good for dog adoption and simultaneously being so hateful.  Angry at backyard breeders, angry at people who don’t know that the best language is “are those dogs for adoption” instead of “are those dogs for sale”.  Just hurt and angry and broken hearted because they love dogs and other people don’t behave the way these women know they should.

I wanted to tell facebook all about it.  I wanted to be correct and unchallenged in my opinion without triggering any change or expressing my opinion in front of someone else who might have a counter-factual.

Just like I’m sure that people know where to pee.

Just like I’m sure that Brexit is strange, and seems to have gone the wrong way.

Just like … and just like … and just like …

What was different this time is that the humans who were endangering the likelihood of finding loving homes for the three pitties they had with them (one of them white, with a brown spot over one eye and ears that did the thing that makes them 100x cuter) because anybody would have to interrupt the deluge of hatefulness to ask about the dogs were 300 yards away from me.

I will admit, I was still a little … like I get … after an exceptionally well done Vlogbrothers video.  This one to be exact.  Go ahead – I’ll wait.

Hank Green Reminds Me (lovingly) that I have agency

So yeah.  And there next to the pasta sauce I start trying out ways to say the things in my heart to the women who are doing good works for adoptable dogs.

Then the real revelation happens.

I need to do this all the time.

My local bookstore is doing a drive for LGBTQI kids, they are going to send the books to Orlando – I asked for recommendations (they had some) and then  (with their help) realized the book I just finished was a good one.  I did something.

I also have a card I intend for (but haven’t yet sent) the hospital which took many / most of the Orlando victims because the professionals who went head to head with the wrath of that man need recognition.

What if – before I let myself post / repost / like / share /❤  or whatever else … what if I DID something first.  A real thing.


I think I’m going to try it.


You never know what will stick, not really.  My mom said something to me in the middle of the night when I was in high school, I felt dramatic and wrought over a boy I adored and was ready to go all “Say Anything” over the whole thing.  She said, “It isn’t whether they say yes or no, but the asking that changes the relationship.”  I waited – then I didn’t wait anymore.

I was in college in a multi-day rage over every slight ever committed by anyone I’d ever known.  Hissing and spitting and cursing all the evils.  My mom said, “If they entire world is being an asshole – it might be you.”  This one has morphed over the years and now as a little cousin named “If they were smart and thoughtful yesterday they still are today – you just can’t hear it yet”.

There are more, there always are, and we each have our own.  I see my friends with the phrases that have gone with them through their lives, seeing the new ones get incorporated.  How we view our power, as told to us by those we keep closest.  The glee, or horror, to realize a moment’s comment has become a phrase for someone we love.

I know I can’t control what snippets of my voice my kiddo will take forward.  When he stands in the mirror evaluating his worthiness for the job, or the person, or the moment.  When he goes to bed at night after a terrible mistake, and who he’ll choose to be in the morning when he gets on his feet.

I don’t know what I would say if I WAS going to script those moments.

Although I often saw my dad enraged at power tools and lumber, I only remember him being angry with me once.  It doesn’t matter what he said (I honestly don’t remember the words) but I can see all of it.  Alternatively, I can’t remember an exact situation where he said, “atta girl” but that is what I hear when I need it.

I’m melancholy today a little, dad’s birthday is coming, and Memorial Day, and Father’s Day.  I’m thinking about the voices that linger and the messages they send.  I hope, I think, in the end, that kiddo knows that trying is worth it.



I’m a swearing parent, and as such the first time my son delivered a perfect swear (both in inflection and situational awareness) it was perfect and funny.  He was less than 2. We laughed.  He did it again.  It quickly wasn’t a rewarded behavior, but that first time – it totally paid off.

I think the reward of the dramatic and surprising is how we got to this moment in time regarding the election.  For my WHOLE LIFE we have raced away from nuanced policy discussions and towards absurd accusations, lying, and media grabbing attention.  In terms of money and access the foxes are guarding the hen house.  It feels far away and out of my control.

All I can do is vote, and that feels useless.  It feels like sand against a tsunami.

I need to do more.

If our next president is a two-term president, they will finish up as my son is 17 and preparing to register for selective service, go to college, work … the decisions that happen now will make a difference.

I need your help.

I need you to vote.  I don’t care for who, I need to understand where the nation is going and the best way to do that is for each of us to vote.  If my candidate wins, then the shape of the work of our nation looks one way.  If the other candidate wins, then the shape of the work of our nation looks different to me.

Policy over personality.  I don’t want our president to be friendly at dinner, or beer worthy, I want them to be contemplating the world and our place in it.

I won’t shout in public.  That never changed a mind, and maybe nothing will change your mind (I doubt anything would change mine) – but I need to understand WHY people in my nation are behaving the way they are, because that shapes the work for the next years.  This is more nuanced than a Twitter mic drop or a Facebook meme.  So much more important.

It is our nation.

My intention –

I will not make fun of my fellow citizens about their politics anymore than I would about their hobbies, appearances, or taste in music (which is to say – you do you man).

If I am in conversation with someone whose politics surprise me, or are in opposition to my own, I will ask a question to learn more before I do anything else.

My social media intention is to stay policy and fact driven.  Just because it is funny or sassy doesn’t mean (and in some cases expressly DOESN’T mean it adds to the conversation).

I will find a way to be active on election day to ensure that it is possible for people to vote.  I don’t know if that means election judging or driving or what – but there will be something I am ACTIVE in, that I DO to try and make it possible for every citizen to be heard.



I’m thinking a lot about hobbies, the modern era, and how lucky we are to be alive right now.


My son loves Minecraft.  He watches videos every chance we give him.  He talks about it and makes up worlds around it.  He imagines himself with the big Minecrafters talking as peers and friends.  He plays it, and today in the office supply store (getting a mouse to further his endeavors) he eyed the “gaming” headsets, keyboards, and mouses (yes, they are different) with awe and aspiration.  They would make him better, cooler, faster, more big league.  A tournament is starting this weekend and he’s going to participate, he has agreed to 30 minutes of practice every day while the tournament is happening.

If you substitute in the hobby of your childhood – 4H, baseball, scouts, dance – that thing you LOVED when you were seven then it sounds like a different voice than the one that says –

Screens are the enemy, when I was a kid I was dirty.

He does go outside, to have epic mental Minecraft adventures.  He does get dirty AND his imagination builds worlds.

I have engaged in seven major “fandoms”in the past few years: Vlogbrothers, Glee, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Welcome to Nightvale, Hedwig, and Hamilton.  I watch episodes, fan cuts, I read all berserk manner of fanfic, I like reading other peoples ideas and sometimes share my own.  The first time I started the list of my fandoms I started with three.  It grew from there.

For a long time I didn’t identify that as a hobby (I’m not quilting afterall) but I don’t watch ANY other television or follow any other Broadway shows in the same way (except maybe Fun House, I could get behind that pretty hard I think).

I don’t click through Netflix or Amazon, I am precision in the way I spend my media time – so maybe fandom is a hobby.

I’m not sure.

Here is what I do know.

I want my son to feel seen, and what he tells me in THESE moment of the spring of 2016 is YES. He will go outside.  YES. He will go to scouts.  YES. He will go to Canopy.  YES.   He will unload the dishwasher.  YES.  He will take his shower and rinse the soap out of his hair.

But if I want to know his soul.  IF I want to be where he is.  IF I want his eyes to sparkle, his voice to quicken, and his pulse to race then I have to know the only way to get there –

Is to ask about Minecraft.



IMG_1025.JPGDinner with my dad when mom was at work is, for the most part, an unremembered thing. We ate food flavored food and I really don’t know what it was most of the time.  What I do remember and attribute to him is the meal anchored in one plate and Ritz crackers.

So – what you do is – take a whole roll of Ritz crackers (the long ones, not those rookie “stay fresh” rolls) and rummage around in the fridge and spread out on a plate everything that makes sense to put on a cracker.

Peanut butter

Deli Meat


Liver sausage



Then you sit down and eat it until you are done.

This isn’t that — but it sort of is.  In a new day and age, my son and I wander through our normal grocery store and try cheese “washed in Merlot” with oatcakes, we already have dates at home, they have that strange fruit and nut bread that you bake at home and tastes great with butter if you can get it cooked through and not  burned.  There is left over mince paste from dinner a few days ago that would match.  My dad would eat pretty much anything we put in front of him (a lifetime of smoking pretty much did away with a nuanced palate which worked to my advantage from time to time), but I doubt that he ran into any of these things naturally.  Still, the meal will be mainly sweet and cheesy – he would approve.

As part of the Dad Series of races this year, I was scheduled to run in Cincinnati this weekend but it then life happened and it made more sense to not go.  Still,  I was trained up for a half marathon and desperate to reset my training which has struggled in recent months.  The plus side of running a half marathon is the week before and the week after you basically don’t run much and you eat a lot.  So moving the “race” forward a week seemed like a good plan.

My husband and son “crewed” for me and cheered me on in 7 different places that morning.  I took 12 minutes of my October time.  I’m recovering right now with fancy cheese and bread.

This isn’t that – but it sort of is.  Both in my actions and my husband’s there was a moment of “well, expletive.” and then moving onto new plans and adaptations.  I didn’t run in a race that I assigned to the Dad Series specifically for the words “flying pig” but instead used what I had and did what I could and loved and was loved by my favorite guys.

I’m ok with that.