Saturday, May 26, 2018

Field Notes Vol. 1: Half Marathon, Skirts for Lucy, and More

Something New: Freshly Painted Bedroom

Two weekends ago, I finally did a project that has been on my list for months: repainting the larger bedroom in my apartment. Now I'm (mostly) moved into that room and loving the new, bright space. I chose a light shade of purple called "Lavender Cloud." Some mornings, it does feel like I'm waking up in a shimmering cloud.

Something Old: My First Half Marathon (13.1 Miles)

At the beginning of this month, I did something that I never thought I would do when I began running five years ago. I ran a half marathon! 13.1 miles without stopping!! (If I was better with timely posts about significant events, I would have made time to write about this sooner...but oh well.)
My dad came down to support me and watch the race!

Wow, it was a crazy journey. I started training in mid-February, running on the treadmill while winter was fierce and toughing out longer runs in the chilly March wind, once the snow was melted. Going from running 1-2 miles two days a week to running 3-5 miles five days a week took some adjustments. When I started training, I didn't fully realize how much time it would actually take. Or how much more I needed to eat (yay, carbs!). Or that my knees and hips would hurt every time I walked up the stairs. But after I got used to the new schedule, adjusted my diet, and accepted the fact that I am a slow runner, training went more smoothly.

And the race itself? It was amazing. Perfect weather: 60s, cloudy, no rain. As we were starting out, the course went under an overpass and everyone cheered to make it echo. That was the moment I knew it was going to be a fun day.
I'm the blurry person in the middle, wearing the pink headband.

Just before the race, my spiritual director sent me an email of encouragement with Hebrews 12:1-2: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God." 

That verse was the perfect meditation for my run. I didn't listen to music, so my mind kept coming back to different parts of this verse, especially because I was offering my run for special intentions that family, friends, and coworkers had given me.
After the race, I was overwhelmed and happy to find friends waiting for me at the finish line! (T brought me flowers!)

My finish time was 2 hours, 45 minutes. Average pace per mile: 12 minutes, 30 seconds. I ran the whole time, no walking, which I wasn't sure I could do. But I put one foot in front of the other and kept going. Thanks be to God!

Something I'm Reading: The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing by Margot Livesey

In high school, I didn't like analyzing literature. I wanted to approach each story with no expectations and get lost in it. Also, because most of the story writing I had done up to that point was based on "inspiration," I didn't understand that writing is a highly intentional act.

Now that I've grown as a writer and make my own strategic choices, I realize how helpful analyzing other writing can be. It helps to see how a story or an argument is put together. What makes it convincing? What makes it exciting? How do you express and awaken emotions?

That's why I like this book. Margot Livesey is trying to peel back some of those layers to help you read more deeply. At the same time as she analyzes well-known literature, Livesey weaves in her own experience as a writer. It's lovely.

Something I'm Thinking About: Next Big Goal

What is my next big goal going to be? (Now that I'm finished training and running a half marathon.) Some ideas:

  • Develop my sewing hobby: plan projects to work on, learn more about garment fitting, get/make a dress form, go to a sewing workshop, set up a studio space
  • Plan and save for a pilgrimage
  • Make a reading plan/goals

Something I'm Making: Skirts for Lucy + Blouse for Me

I recently finished two skirts for one of my coworkers. She gave the fabric and patterns to me back in November, but I took on too many projects at once. So didn't get around to finishing them until this week. My favorite is the pink one!

I'm also working on a blouse for myself. It's very close to completion; I should set aside an evening to finish it up. But I hate cutting bias tape. And I have to do that in order to finish the neckline. Thankfully, it's not too much bias tape. The fabric is pretty, isn't it?


  1. Wow, congratulations on the half marathon!!! We have a huge marathon event here in Oklahoma each spring in memory of those who died in the 1990s bombing, and this year, as I heard of all the people running in it, I decided that someday, I want to run a half marathon. I'm also a very slow runner (my normal mile time is 11-12 minutes), and the furthest I've ever run without stopping is 3.3ish miles. BUT, I'm thinking once I recuperate from childbirth at the end of summer/beginning of fall, it'd be nice to start running more and work towards 13.1 miles.

    1. Hey AnneMarie! Great to hear from you! (I just saw your comment today...sorry I missed it earlier.) You should go for it! I found a simple training schedule online and followed that for 12 weeks. It prepared me well! And don't worry about your mile time...I am also a slow runner. My average mile time for this half marathon was 12.5 min/mile. Not very fast at all, but I kept pace the whole time, which was the goal!