Monthly Archives: March 2012

running readiness


I completed my third half marathon on Sunday.

And I wasn’t ready.

My last run was 11 miles, about a month ago.  It was a pretty crappy run, with a lot of walking.  The 10 miles before that was pretty poor, the 9 before that and the 8 before that.  I can’t even remember when the last good long run was and none of the week day training work was helping me to get it together.

The David was gone, far far away and I’d fallen into a pit of not giving a shit about anything good.

So I threw up my hands and blew off my training.  I knew I’d still do the half, but knowing that I had no hope of beating my best time – or even meeting it – took off the pressure to complete the scheduled workouts.

In my mind, it would be leisurely.  I would jog a little, walk a little.  Enjoy the festivity and the people.  I would stop and dance with the bands along the way.  I would smile and wave and high five.  It would be casual and fun.

I wasn’t nervous.  I was looking forward to it.  The start of the race was exciting.  Pressed into the throngs of people, listening to the national anthem, and then “Sexy and I Know It.”  Passing by the mayor cheering us on across the starting line.  It was awesome.

And then.

It was not awesome.

The first time I stopped jogging to walk was at the 2 mile mark.  And as much as I was willing to take this race easy, I wasn’t willing to just walk it.  So the stop and start continued.  After 5 miles, all the bits that might be hurting, were.  The hot spot I usually get on my right foot.  My feet, in general.  My hips, knees and ankles.  My legs felt like leaden lumps every plodding step.  My whole everything just felt like a squeezed out toothepaste tube.

I wished for over.

But time passes.  And it just gets done.

I didn’t have it in me to sprint, or even speed up, but I did jog through the last quarter mile and across the finish line, holding The David’s hand.

I got my medal, scarfed a quarter of a bagel, and gulped down two bottles of water.

And then we walked the mile to get home.  Srsly?  Yah.  Streets were closed all over the place for the race course, so public transportation was all weird and unfigure-out-able.

I’m definitely suffering today.  Far more than I have for the previous two races.  I have some serious aches and pains – not proper injuries, but swelling and tenderness and not ok.

One of my coworkers, who also kinda shirked his training, pulled or tweaked something in his calf at mile 7, where he was on pace for a pretty good time, then hobbled for 3 more miles and then bailed.  So I’m really grateful to have finished.

And I do really love this event.  There is just a ton of civic spirit.  People who live along the route hang out on their sidewalk and bang on drums.  A local church was outside on their front steps clapping and just calling “good morning!”  Some dudes from Raider Nation, who I will – for lack of a cleverer idea – believe were actual Oakland Raider professional football players, had a cheering station. They high fived and one of them said “You’re making Oakland proud.”

It was a huge motivator for making me think I could do this crazy thing and signing myself up for my first half marathon last year:  I wanted to be a part of this big thing in my community.

So while I’m glad that I did it, I did learn a big lesson.  13 miles is not nothing.  You can’t mess around with that business.  You can brush off your training, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to brush off the event.  Not that I would have wanted to go into it full of dread, knowing that it was going to be a heinous wretched.  But maybe I’ll remember this and won’t be so cavelier about the next one.

Because, obvi!  Who doesn’t want to do that again?!

Countdown to the Seattle Rock ‘n Roll on June 23….


Filed under Fitness and/or Fatness, Running, the bitch goddess

Little Facts (scholastic)


1.  Despite believing that I had magic powers of verbosity, I did significantly better on the math section of every standardized test I ever took.

2.  When I started college, my declared major was journalism.  Then I switched to pre-med.  Then I flunked out!  But they let me back in after some summer schooling.  And I finished with degrees in Psychology and Public Health.

3.  I have no compulsion to pursue an advanced degree, despite coming from two PhD parentals.  The idea of volunteering for years of *homework* makes me shudder and phbbbt.


Filed under Little Facts

permission to be rad

On Saturday, I attended Girl Crush San Francisco, a project dreamed up by Danielle of The Jealous Curator and hosted by the talented artist/illustrator/collector Lisa Congdon in her studio space.

I wasn’t sure what I was in for when I signed up for this, and it’s a little hard to describe what actually happened, but it was a day of loving-it.  There was something magical in the art, or the baked goods, or the people themselves, that I inhaled in happy gulps.

There were 12 ladies, of varying pursuits and backgrounds, but all of equal neato, plus Danielle and Lisa, and the very helpful Taylor.  There was copious coffee and scones.  And there were stories.

Lisa told us her tale of professional artist-ness… how she had other sorts of un-artsy jobs and how all the lines and dots of her universe came together, without ever having gone to art school, and formed a career that she palpably loves.  Lisa’s grin when she talks about her job is the facial equivalent of a joyful “Whoop!”  Totally infections and inspiring.

And Danielle told us about her passion for curating art and how her blog came to be.  She told us about her insecurities about her own art.  Faced with the prospect of beginning a new painting, she was afraid to mar the perfect, blank canvases she had piled up.  And then how she got herself some nice sketchbooks to use instead.  But how even their nice-ness was daunting and kept her from going.  And then how she bought an old 50¢ cookbook, painted over its pages and was free to start working.
She sweetly wanted to share this freedom to fantastically mess-up and gave everyone their own cookbooks to take home.

Faced with other people’s amazing accomplishments, I’m so often inclined towards “Oh, I could never.”  But this was a dreamy, beautiful snow globe filled with “Oh yes, you fucking could.”

We all told a bit of our own stories and shared small secrets of jealousy and hang-up.  There were whiffs of self-help wafting through at times, but in a gentle way that kept my cynicism from baring any fangs.  In fact, somehow in the spirit of the thing, I got a little bit weepy just thinking about the things I would write down to myself in defiance of my inner critic (a homework assignment for later.)  *You are a special little snowflake, Margaret Edith!*

There was a lunch of wonderful nibbles and salads and sandwiches, all full of vegetables and chick peas and quinoa.  Perfect nourishing fodder for a time of being kind and open and ready for greatness.

There was a tour of some local art galleries, where I imagined being a person who could gracefully spend a thousand dollars on a wonderful piece of art.

There was tea in a collection of fancy, floral tea cups.  There were some gifts of art from Lisa, who seems to never stop giving away something… her space, her book, her enthusiasm for what’s possible.

I am holding on to the message:  Just Try.  And Be Patient.

So I’m still figuring out what exactly it is I’m trying to do.  But I will try anyway.

If you want a prod to go try something yourself, go to Girl Crush.  They’ll be in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, Minneapolis, Austin and Philadelphia.  If you have geography in your favor (although there was a lady at ours from West Virginia!) I would insist that you go.

Or just tell me about what it is you’re afraid to try and I’ll be prod-ful.  I shouldn’t be the only one to benefit from this wave of of good.


Lisa in her studio



Filed under Up to Stuff

where the david was

The David is back home again!  He’s a little tuckered out after the 8 hour bus ride to Santiago, the red eye into Miami, the 6 hour flight to San Francisco and the 5 hour time difference.  Not to mention the billion days of hiking and camping.

Acancagua is the highest mountain outside of Asia.  The climb is not technical (so no belaying and climbing up cliff faces with ropes and harnesses and stuff), but is still highly challenging and not for everyone.  The altitude definitely contributes to the difficulty; they had to get prescription meds to combat altitude sickness.
On this trip, they went up about half way up, but had to come back down to camp at the base of the mountain for a few days due to high wind storms.  One day was spent entirely sitting inside tents.  The David described this as “not so fun.”  In fact, he dubbed the whole thing as “Type 2 Fun,” which means it was only fun in retrospect.
After waiting it out for 4 days, the winds abated and they did make the trek up to the top of the mountain, but had to extend the trip by an extra day to do so.

But home he is, and all is right in the world again.

26 days without him, most of them without any sort of contact at all, was far too many.  During all of the pathetically sad missing, I was having some very stern “Never again!” sort of thoughts.  But he’s just so pleased with having done it, the accomplishment of reaching the top of this 22,829 foot mountain, that I’m not sure I could really say no.

Now that it’s all over, I’m actually quite proud of him for doing it.  He really is pretty awesome.

On the way up.
Little orange tent and lots of mountain.
Tent near the top.
David at the top.  He got a little teary up here, a bit overwhelmed with having made it.
Back down again at the end of the trip, looking at back at Mount Acancagua.


Filed under The David


I had to get headshots taken at work, since I started writing some of the blog posts there.  I guess if I say something really good, they need to have a picture ready so that you can bask in my smirk and my words of clever simultaneously.

The photos were taken my Jay Graham, a local professional photographer with breathtakingly amazing work – who also happens to be the husband of a coworker.

The photo session was pretty quick.  There were just two rounds, one looking off to the side and one looking at the camera.  In each round, I think the expression on my face just got more and more skeptical, so the first one of each batch was the best.

He was gracious enough to let me use them for my own personal plastering, hence this is now my avatar for everywhere.

And this one is just extra, with one squinty eye and one less squinty eye because that’s the best way to see you through the interwebs.


Filed under Tidbit

sunday crafternoon

On Sunday, I had a bunch of my local lady friends over for a “crafternoon.”  The intent was to give everyone a few hours to dedicate to a craft project of their choosing or to just learn something new.

As is my way, I was worried about how it would turn out, but it was great!  There was a good combination of people who just worked on their own thing, people who wanted to learn something new, and people who were both.

I had a few Smitten Kitchen nibbles prepared for the occasion.  Deb’s cheese straws get my highest encouraging recommendation for your next social occasion.

Here are some crafty visuals:

Painting wood cross-sections with chalkboard paint while wearing a necklace of felted wool beads.

Little blocks of paint and pages of text and collage-y bits culminating in adorable, whimsical little pieces of art.


Needle point.

Wrapping bangles with fabric.

I had been wanting to try out the felted beads for ages, so having an afternoon set aside for this express purpose was really satisfying.  And it’s just so much funner to try out new things with someone else, isn’t it?


Filed under Family, Friends and other Humans, Nifty things, Up to Stuff

cuffed jeans and stripey socks

In my mind, when I cuff my jeans, it’s slightly quirky and harkens to fashionable depression-era farm folk.

The stripey socks don’t harken to anything.  They’re just fun.

Remember the story of the two coats I couldn’t decide between?  The moral of that story is that I kept both and this is one.

Part of the vision includes the hip-less legs of a J.Crew model.  The reality involves what-the-heckles-ever.  Until such a time as it is appropriate to traipse around sans pants, it will not be like J.Crew catalog up in here.  But just you wait.  When the era of No Pants begins…

New watch from  I was having a long time covet of this Michael Kors tortoise shell watch and this feels like a very happy approximation for a quarter of the cost.

And then the rest of the outfit went kind gypsy.

coat – anthropologie
shoes – fluevog
socks – gap
peasant blouse – anthropologie
matchstick jeans – jcrew
vest – gap
watch – AND from
necklace – Andrea Valentini from

Photos taken by my spectacular friend and fasion blogger, Hazel.


Filed under Maggie's closet

Running: Actually, yes you can

I’ve got that half marathon coming up in a few weeks, which means I’m running a grody number of miles more often than not. So, if you’re a person who has in person conversations with me, we might have one like this:  I tell you that I ran 11 miles on Saturday and you’re all “Crazy Town!”

And then you invariably say “I could never do that.  Not even if <scary animal/menacing chaser> was chasing me.”

And I will try to convince you that you could do it.  You deny and self-deprecate.

But seriously, you can.  It’s actually not really that special at all.

Or, ok… it is special.  I’d wager that fewer than 50% of adults can actually jog a mile.  But not because they’re missing legs or because they have a disordered phobia of moving quickly by foot.  It’s just because they haven’t properly tried.  With gusto.
So, it’s special.  By default.

But it doesn’t have to be.  If you have a functional body, you can run.  Maybe not fast, or far, at first.  But you can.

You can you can you can.

You can run 10 miles, if you want to.  It was unthinkable to me, once upon a time.  Turns out, I wasn’t being very imaginative.

You can you can you can.

You can run for 60 seconds.  They might be some highly uncomfortable seconds.  But uncomfortable doesn’t mean you can’t.

You can you can you can.

You can cross a finish line.  And cry because you did it.  I know you can, because I did it.  As clichéd as it is to say, I’m saying it anyway.  If I can do it, you can do it.

I couldn’t do it, and then I could.

I can.

You can you can you can.


Filed under Fitness and/or Fatness, Running, the bitch goddess