Friday, June 29, 2012

Better Luck Next Time: The Solstice Run 10K (Northville, MI)

En Route to the Race

Solstice Run 10K on Saturday, June 23, 2012 in Northville, MI.

My good friend JD and I ran a summer 10K together not too long ago.  While the race itself was terrific, JD and I have some work to do in the future if we’re going to try to run another race together.  But I’ll get to that in a moment.

Early on race-day morning, I woke up easily and went through my routine: washing up, sunscreen, running clothes, you know the drill.  I ate something fast and easy for breakfast—probably toast with peanut butter and a big glass of water—and snuck outside for a few early morning photos.  JD showed up around 6:30 AM and we headed over to Northville, which is a suburb of Detroit not too far from where my brother and his family live.

(Can I just take a moment to say how I am falling more and more in love with Michigan every time I return for a visit?  I know part of it is the vacation effect because I usually take a break from my own work when I’m visiting family, but seeing Michigan through an adult’s eyes is quite different from my experience growing up in the area.  The food, the fun we can have with the kids, the gorgeous summers and spectacular fall foliage…I miss the Midwest so much sometimes.  I love Texas, especially my friends and my work, but I miss my family and sharing my days with them.  I’m sure I will touch on these feelings more on my other blog, but boy do I feel torn between people and places.  Thank goodness for plane tickets and a we-can-do-this attitude.)

JD and I arrived in Northville, and our race started promptly with three huge road hills in the first mile.  The 10K had a lot of participants, and the start of the race was really crowded.  We started out slowly, thinking that we would use the first mile to warm up, but the crowd made it difficult for us to settle into a decent warm-up pace—I felt itchy to get going, and JD and I played follow-the-leader a few times before I darted ahead of him…and that was the end of our running together.

Check Out That Hill!

A view of one of the hills in the first mile of our race.  (Photo taken on the drive home after the race.  We were not dodging cars during our 10K!)

I was certain that he was right behind me, and that I couldn’t see him through the crowd.  I ran steady, easy, 10-minute miles for the first three miles, turning around occasionally to see if I could find him and resume our run together again.  At the three-mile point, I started running sideways, very slowly, to give us a chance to find each other again…but JD was nowhere to be found.  I jogged slowly for perhaps 30 seconds or a minute, hoping to see my buddy, but no dice.  At that point, I had to decide if I was going to run the rest of the race looking for him or if I was going to race the last three miles.  To be honest, I was ready to race.  I wanted to race.  Even if my final time wouldn’t reflect a real 10K race, I wanted to feel like I was flying.  And so, I raced.  It was hard and glorious and I pushed myself to finish strong.  I clocked in at 56:09, so that meant:

3 miles at 10:00/mile

3.2 miles in 26:09 or a pace of approximately 8:11 per mile (or thereabouts.  I double-checked my math, but 8:11 still seems fast to me…)

Assuming my math is correct, I am very happy that I was able to pull off 3.2 miles at 8:11 per mile.  During my training for this 10K, I struggled to run my long runs in the Texas heat, and while I did a bit of speedwork in the week before the race, I wasn’t even planning to race the 10K.  I was supposed to be running it with JD, at a pace that worked for both of us, but well—we failed to do that.

Why did we fail?  I want to say it’s all my fault, but JD disagrees.  We had talked about pace before the race: our plan was to warm up by running the first (hilly!) mile in about 11:00, and then we would settle into a 10-minute-mile pace.  I had assumed that I would be happy to run at JD’s pace, whether that meant working hard to keep up with him or running a comfortable pace through the streets of Northville.  But then three things happened that surprised us both.

One.  We lost each other early and could not find one another again.

Two.  It turns out that on a race day, I want to race.  I feel compelled to race.

Three.  JD was more tired than he realized until we hit those hills in mile one.  He’s been running races all month, and we think that perhaps his legs were not well-rested for this race.  Sometimes you just run out of steam—that’s true in running and in life.

I have hope that JD and I can run a race together in the future.  We’ve done plenty of training runs together at a pace that felt right for both of us.  My feeling is that we might even be able to (oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m about to say this…) run our first marathons together.  It’s a distance that JD wants to run some day, and I’ve just begun thinking about whether the marathon is something I might want to do…some day.  Not now.  Not this year.  But maybe some day.

I’ll end by saying a few words about the Solstice Run 10K as an event.  In a word, it was awesome.  It was well-organized, took us through beautiful neighborhoods, had plenty of water stations and food at the end, and cheerful spectators.  I like the 10K as a race distance and would love to do another one.  Next time, I’ll be more focused on racing the full 10K.

Onward and upward, friends!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Not-So-Great Beginnings: The Story of My First Race

I haven’t told you many stories from my college cross-country days.  Did you know I ran for four years during my undergrad days?  It was during those four years that I really became a runner, but man oh man, did I have a less-than-dazzling debut into running.

Actually, my unofficial running debut occurred years earlier.  I grew up in a neighborhood filled with kids around my age, and we used to race and chase each other around.  In particular, we would race down and up the hill in the backyard, running down the hill to the fence, turning around, and racing back up to the “finish line.”  I was a speedy little runner back then and could usually beat my brother in those foot races.

In high school, I wanted to run track, but my parents said no because they thought I was too busy with other activities to add a sport to my schedule.  I always feel a twinge of regret about not running track because I think I would have really enjoyed it.  But c’est la vie—I couldn’t run in high school, so I did the next best thing: I took it up in college.

I went to a teeny-tiny college where anyone could join the cross-country team.  And so I did.  But I shouldn’t have, because I hadn’t been running on my own.  I had been biking a lot that summer, but I basically walked on the team completely unprepared for a cross-country season.  And I paid for it dearly, in the form of shin splints and extreme soreness.  I’m really a lesson in what not to do if you want to run.

Our first race was in Holland, Michigan, hosted by Hope College, one of my school’s rivals.  The race was held in a somewhat twisty, dusty, wooded area.  I’m not sure what to call it because it wasn’t wooded enough to be a forest.  At any rate, I suited up for my first race, my very first 5K ever, the gun went off, and we were flying.

Of course I quickly fell to the back of the pack, non-runner that I really was at that time.  But I gave it my best shot.  I ran as fast as I could, even when nobody could see me because I’d lost all the other runners as they stampeded past me.  I ran along those twisty, dusty paths, breathing heavy.  I kept running, and running, and running…until I must have run into someone who deduced that I was no longer on the course.  I had taken a wrong turn and started creating my own race rather than following the 5K that someone else had laid out.  I honestly have no idea how it happened, because I don’t remember ever thinking to myself, I must be lost, until someone told me I was.  It was supremely embarrassing, as you might imagine.  It’s one thing to be a slow runner, even an inexperienced runner.  But it takes a special kind of idiot to get lost during a race.

My coaches and teammates, bless their hearts, didn’t make a big deal of it.  If they had, I’m not sure I would have had the courage to keep running that season.  I felt shy around all those fast runners, people who were obviously well-trained for cross-country running.  If they had added anything to my first-race mortification, I think I would have died.  And never run again.  But they didn’t say anything, and I went on to run more races that season.  I suffered through that season (oh shin splints, how I do not miss you at all!), but I got faster and I was determined to return the next season with a summer of running under my sneakers.  And I did—I never got lost again during a race.

Do you have a race story to rival my I-got-lost-during-my-first-5K-race story?  If so, do spill!  I’m all ears.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How to “Rest” When You Can’t Stop: Relaxing While Running

{Yesterday’s Solstice Run 10K was really fun, and I’m sure I’ll tell you all about it soon.  In the meantime, let’s talk about a challenge that plagues distance runners: how to relax your body while running miles and miles.}

I have a disclaimer to announce first.  I am vaguely uncomfortable giving anyone running advice because I have no credentials to do so beyond my own experience as a runner.  I’m not a coach, trainer, sports physician, or anything of the sort.  If you have questions about fruit fly genetics, then I can offer you advice.  But running?  Eh—not so much.

Nevertheless, I do have multiple races and seasons of training under my belt shoes.  I’ve had long stretches of solid, healthy running and I’ve nursed myself through a few injuries.  I’m no Olympian, but I’ve been able to set running goals and achieve them with lots of hard work and perseverance.  I feel like I know a little bit about running and what works for me.  So it’s from that humble position that I offer a few bits of wisdom about learning how to relax while running.

One of the hardest things about long runs for me is that my upper body gets tired and tense.  My arms, shoulders, and neck feel the strain of maintaining a running posture for long periods of time.  On top of that, I tend to store stress in my neck and back.  For whatever reason, my legs often handle long runs more comfortably than my upper body.  Perhaps they are stronger?  At any rate, I find that learning to “relax” during a long run is largely a function of relaxing my upper body.  Here are a few tricks I’ve learned for relaxing while on the run:

* Shake out your shoulders and arms.  Literally, drop your arms from their standard running position and just shake them out, let them hang loose for a few strides.  Drop your shoulders away from your ears, too. 

* Take a few longer-than-normal strides and swing your arms long, with unbent elbows.  This can help loosen the shoulders, too.  Changing your stride for a few steps seems to relieve some tension in the body.

* Stretch your neck by tilting your head from left to right.

* You can use your breath to encourage the body to relax.  I try to breathe more deeply and slowly, which calms my body and mind.  Of course, I have to be running slowly enough that I’m not gasping for breath, but my long runs are not done at a pace that leaves me panting.

* Finally, some hippy-dippy advice.  I literally tell my body to relax.  I think positive, soothing thoughts about being strong and capable.  So much of running is the mental game that I think it’s really, really important to stay positive during your training runs.  In my mind, running is associated with competence and happiness, and that’s a huge confidence boost.  So practice your mental running game the way you want to perform: with an I-can-do-this attitude.

Happy summer and happy running to you!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

And We’re Off!

A Beautiful Morning to Fly

Week of June 17, 2012:

Monday: Short, easy run (20 minutes of trotting around the neighborhood)

Tuesday: Bike commute to work + grocery shopping (stocking up for my return!)

Wednesday: 40 minutes total, with 3 rounds of 1 minute medium-hard speed, 1 minute hard-hard speed, and 1 minute easy recovery

It’s early Thursday morning, and I’m ready to hit the road, then the sky.  I’m flying to Michigan today to see my family and to run the 10K on Saturday with JD.  I am excited.

I have had a good but short week of work, running, and the usual chores and errands.  I always feel bittersweet about leaving home and all of its comforts.  This morning, as I wheeled my bike inside to store it while I’m gone, I felt a twinge of sadness, knowing how much I would miss riding while I’m away.  I almost—almost!—took it out for one last ride this morning, but then I thought not, just in case my transportation this morning arrives early.

You know you are a homebody when you feel sad about leaving home before you’ve even left.  Sigh.  That’s just the way it goes with me.  I’ll be happy to arrive at my destinations, and I know I will enjoy myself, but I just love my home and my routines so much.  The travel from Texas to Michigan is always daunting—about 12 hours from door to door—so I just try to stay focused on the prize.

See you soon, Michigan.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

You Know You’ve Been Running a Lot When…

…you do laundry just to wash your socks.

…taking only one shower a day feels like an unusual treat.  (Or maybe this is just me, running in the heat of a Texas evening?)

…you feel a cramp in your foot and feel panic.  Will I be able to run my race?!?

…you look at the food in front of you and think, Mmm.  Running fuel!

…you think about your upcoming 10K race and think, Why did it take me 12 years of running to sign up for a 10K?  10K is an awesome distance!  Long enough to feel like you aren’t sprinting the whole thing and short enough to feel fast.  I think I’m going to like the 10K.

…you find yourself daydreaming about your next run.  That, I think, is when you know it’s love.

How do you know when YOU have been running a lot, my fellow runners?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Free Training Advice

I mentioned in my last post that my friend Tom offered me a little training plan for this week.  He’s so sweet!  I tend to shy away from talking about running with hardcore runners because I fear they won’t respect the role that running has in my life.  Male runners in particular intimidate me, so I’m rather surprised that it’s so fun and easy to talk about running with Tom.  I’m grateful for his kindness and his friendship.

For this week, I’ve decided to take him up on his free training advice.  Here’s the plan for the rest of week:

* Monday: Easy 2-3 miles

* Tuesday: Off (I will probably bike to the grocery store.)

* Wednesday: 4 miles, with 2 miles of warming up followed by some speedwork: 3 reps of 1 minute easy, 1 minute 10K pace, 1 minute 5K pace.  Then cool down.

* Thursday: Off (I’m flying north!)

* Friday: Easy 2-3 miles to shake out the traveling kinks.

* Saturday: 10K race!

Note that this plan has me running more days than I normally do, but I also won’t have access to my bike after Wednesday.  It’s like replacing my cross-training via bike with some easy miles, which should be fine.  And I have to say, it’s both flattering and amusing that Tom has taken an interest in my training since I’m so much less serious about running than he is.  But I’m serious enough to put my money where my legs are when it comes to racing, so there’s that.

Have you ever worked with a running coach or a personal trainer?  What did you think of the experience?  Would you do it again?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ruminations on Running and Racing

Sunday Morning Clouds

Still in Love

Post-Run Breakfast

Week of June 10, 2012:

Friday: Off

Saturday: Bike ride commute to the lab and to the hippie food store for groceries

Week of June 17, 2012:

Sunday: Long, ass-kicking run!

The Solstice Run 10K is almost upon us, friends!  Now, I know that most of you are probably not running this race, but perhaps you have some empathetic excitement for me and my first 10K experience.  I know I get excited for other people when they are pumped for their race, and let me tell you: I am pumped.

You may recall that I’ve been a bit worried about my performance in this race.  It’s been hard for me to adjust to the heat and humidity of running outside during a Texas summer, and I’ve had moments of doubt about my ability to be a decent race participant.  I don’t consider myself to be a serious runner, but I do consider myself to be thoughtful about my budget, and it just doesn’t make sense to sign up for races unless you are going to do the training.  So I suppose it is by racing that I become a serious runner.  In other words, I run because I enjoy what running brings to my life, but I recognize that my love for running has peaks and valleys.  And I’m okay with that.  My approach to running has its benefits, such as my low injury rate, good performances in half-marathons in the past three years, and the way that running with JD when I’m in Michigan has given us time to spend together and brought a better sense of balance to my vacations.

Running makes me happy.  It’s that simple.

After struggling through several runs recently, my body seems to have acclimated to the weather and, for my long runs, I’m heading out earlier in the morning.  It’s still hard to run outside, but the challenge is worth it.  I just feel so good afterward.  Today I was out the door before 9 AM for 60 minutes on foot.  My friend Tom, who works in my department and used to be a personal trainer(!), offered me a little weeklong training guide for the days leading up to the race.  For today, he recommended that I do several miles of my long run, then throw in some surges to simulate a race to the finish line during the 10K.  I chose to run for 40 minutes (about four miles) then started doing 3-minute intervals of 30 seconds fast, followed by 2.5 minutes of recovery.  My fast pace was fast enough to feel speedy, but it was not an all-out sprint.  I did that five times, then finished up the final bit of my run at a slow-ish pace.  It was a great work-out, and at the end, I was really spent.  Hopefully today’s hard work-out is putting fuel in the tank for next weekend.  I feel ready for a great race.

Have a good week, my dears!  Have fun out there.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Something to Ponder

File this one under Deep Thoughts, dear readers.

I was in the grocery store the other day, flipping through a women’s magazine, when I caught a blurb from some anonymous-to-me actress who is apparently starring with Tom Cruise in a movie.  (Clearly I am extremely knowledgeable about Hollywood culture!)  Like every actress who plays Tom Cruise’s opposite, she was thin and toned and very Hollywood, for lack of a better word.  She was talking about her diet, and she said something along the lines of, “Oh, of course I don’t have an eating disorder!  I love to eat.  In fact, I love to eat so much that I eat so many vegetables until I feel like I could burst.”

Forgive me for my hazy memory, but my recollection is that all she talked about eating was vegetables.  They were her favorite food, her secret weapon, the way that she could eat as much as she wanted without (shhh…) getting fat or developing an eating disorder.

Now don’t get me wrong.  Vegetables are great.  I love them too.  But here’s the thing: I don’t eat them until I feel like I’m going to burst.  I don’t eat anything to the point of bursting.  I want to ask this actress, “Is stuffing yourself with vegetables the only way you ever feel full?”  Because if it is, I strongly suspect that she’s not eating enough fat and protein.  The science suggests that fat and protein promote feelings of satiety.  Perhaps evolution is at work here: fat and protein are building blocks in the body.  Much of our body composition is fat and protein.  These macronutrients can also be used for fuel, of course.  Carbohydrates, however, are mostly fuel, so maybe our bodies are tuned, biochemically speaking, to keep searching for food until we’ve eaten enough fat and protein to provide the body with raw materials for repair and renewal.  And remember: in simple terms of macronutrients, vegetables are mostly carbohydrates and fiber.  Maybe our bodies know they need more than vegetables.  I know I certainly need more than vegetables, even though I am delighted to have them on my plate.  They aren’t enough.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go eat breakfast.  I’ll be topping my oatmeal with peanut butter and my coffee with some full-fat coconut milk.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Sooner You Run, the Sooner You Can Drink Wine!

Thursday Night Red Wine

Week of June 10, 2012:

Monday: Yoga (Gentle Hatha #3)

Tuesday: Off (rained out!).  I snuck in some push-ups and crunches before bed.

Wednesday: Bike commute

Thursday: Short run (favorite 30-minute loop)

Tonight there was a clear sign that I have acclimated to Texas.  It was sunny and 90+ degrees F when I set out for my run, and as I settled into a rhythm, I thought, It’s not too hot out tonight!

Let me repeat: Sunny.  90+ degrees.  And somehow that was okay!  Amazing, I tell you.  Okay, I will confess that there was a gentle breeze and lots of shade for the first half of my run, and the shade especially was quite lovely.

Today I think I needed a run because I’m feeling a bit down and frustrated about my experimental results.  Things were going so well, but now as I am finishing up the final set of animals, the data are unraveling.  Dammit!  I’m not sure if it’s a numbers issue, if I’m just seeing outliers that are throwing off the averages and the stats, but I am not enjoying this dip in my progress.  I can feel my motivation slowly draining away as my momentum feels like it’s being halted right in its tracks.  But at least tonight I had a good run, and I ate pan-fried quesadillas and steamed kale while drinking a very tasty Malbec.  I’ve also (mostly) cleaned up the kitchen, packed my lunch, prepped for breakfast, and now I’m typing in my pajamas.  I wanted to watch a film about turtles called Turtle: The Incredible Journey, but I seem to have run out of time tonight.

Since the film is about animals, and I am a biologist, do you think it would be okay if I watched it at work tomorrow?  I mean, all the men are watching soccer games this week, so can I watch a turtle movie instead?  Yes?

Bonus photo: my encounter with a real-life turtle last year, a day before my birthday.  I caught her trying to cross the road and felt compelled to whisk her to safety.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Early to Rise, Early to Sweat

Week of June 10, 2012:

Sunday: Long run!

Friends, I did it!  This morning I climbed out of bed at 7:40 AM, and by 8:40 I was locking my door and heading out for a run.  I really wanted to get my 60-minute run done early, before the heat of the day set everything on fire, and so that I could be free to work on other things for the rest of the day.  I have a Skype tutoring session at 2 PM and a dinner guest coming over at 6, and it would be nice to get some cleaning and organizing done today.  (Oh, Chronicle, I cannot keep up with your voluminous pages filled with things I want to read.  That’s why you end up piled on my kitchen bar, waiting for me to clip the articles I want to read.)

Anyway, back to the run.  It was humid but not hot this morning.  I was dripping with sweat 20 minutes into my work-out, and it was tough to maintain a steady pace.  The end of my run was the most challenging, as I kept reminding myself to stay strong, maintain good running form, don’t fall apart, we’re almost done!  I could feel myself slipping into tired, sloppy running mode—that sense that you are slogging through the minutes and trying to forget that you are still running.  I kept calling myself back to the moment, back to the run.  I like to think that it helped me finish my task with a little more effort.

It was wonderful to be done by 10 AM today, and by 11 I was showered, eating oatmeal, and drinking coffee.  I could practically hear my muscles thanking me as I gave them carbohydrates.  You are welcome, legs!  Thanks for a good effort today.

Sunday Breakfast

June 2012 Star Chart

In other news, I’m bringing back the star chart!  I haven’t done one in about six months, but I realized that I missed my star charts.  June is off to a good start, as you can see.  I desperately need to be doing more yoga, as my back has been pretty tight from all the biking and running.  I feel like I’m in good shape, and I’m happy about that, but I also fear that I’m losing some flexibility because I have abandoned my yoga practice.  It’s time to get back on the mat.

Have a great week, my little speed demons!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sock It to Me, Texas

Yellow Rose

Week of June 3, 2012:

Friday: Off (hanging out with friends)

Saturday: Errands via the bike

Damn, Texas, you are HOT!  And I mean that in the worst way possible.  I like to tell people that Texas weather is really nice for eight months of the year, but those other four months are brutal.  June is one of those months.  Today I was on and off the bike as I rode around taking care of business.  I stopped by the lab to take care of two quick things, I dropped off library books, and I rode over to HEB for groceries.  The bike ride itself was pretty good—the “riding breeze” always makes summertime bike rides more pleasant—but when I got home, I was exhausted.  It took me almost an hour to get myself motivated to take a shower.  First I had to drink a big glass of water, eat a snack, play on the internet, and think about how tired I was.  But once I was in the shower…heavenly.  It was heavenly.  It’s funny to me how so much of life seems to be a matter of activation energy or the amount of effort it takes to start something.  “A body in motion tends to stay in motion” (in a frictionless universe, of course), as someone said long ago on a motivational tape of mine.

Tomorrow morning I am going to do something I never do: I am going to get up, eat a quick snack, and head out for a one-hour run.  Yes indeedy, I can do this.  I want to get 60 minutes under my feet before the day is too hot.  I also have plans with other people later in the day, and I’m worried that if I don’t run first thing, my run won’t happen.

I can do this.  (I can do this, I can do this…)

* * *

Here are a few fun posts I found today while cruising around the interwebs, all from the awesome blog (never home)maker:

* No Workout is Too Short or Too Slow.  I basically live by this mantra, and it seems to keep me in good shape and good health.  Slow walk around the block?  Let’s go!  Only 20 minutes to run today?  Hand me my sneakers!  The work-out today is a bike commute to work?  I’m ready to ride.

* How to Run Long: LSD for Beginners.  A good reminder that we become distance runners one step and one mile at a time.

* Long Run Fuel: Marathon Chunks.  I can’t wait to make these, but you can be sure there will be chocolate chips in mine.  Also, I think these bars seem like the perfect late-afternoon fuel for a marathon workday, don’t you agree?  I swear, some days my life feels like a marathon.

Happy running, my dears!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Run While the Evening is Cool

Thursday Morning Sky

Railroad Tracks with Sunflowers

Week of June 3, 2012:

Sunday: Bike commute + short run

Monday: DIY yoga

Tuesday: Bike commute

Wednesday: Bike commute + grocery shopping

Thursday: LONG RUN!  Booyah.

Yesterday we had a blissfully cool day, which was perfect because I had been worrying about when I was going to squeeze a long run into this week.  I didn’t do a long run on Sunday because I biked to campus and I didn’t think my legs were up for five miles of running on top of the biking.  Plus it was beastly hot on Sunday, which always makes running so much harder, no matter what the distance.

Last night, the evening was mild and perfect for hitting the pavement.  I ran out to my favorite park, did a few laps. and ran home for a total of 50 minutes.  The last 10-20 minutes were tough, presumably because that’s about the limit of my “comfortable” endurance these days, but I still felt pretty good for a long run.  Slow, but good.

Oh, and did you see up there that I actually did yoga this week?  YOGA!  It had been so long since I unfurled my mat, and it felt so good to work out some of the kinks in my legs and back.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


By day…

In Bright Sunlight

And by dusk.

Every Sunset is a Little Different

Week of May 27, 2012:

Tuesday: Off (drank wine on an unexpected but interesting date with a neighbor)

Wednesday: Morning run (Did you catch that?  I said morning!  Shocking, I know.)

Thursday: Bike ride commute + grocery shopping

Friday: Evening run, in the heat and sunshine

Saturday: Bike ride commute + grocery shopping

What a strange, interesting, wonderful week.  I don’t quite know what to say.  I went out three nights out of four, drank wine with two handsome men, got another bad evaluation at work, was delighted by experimental results, and felt myself tingling with possibility.  I also ran three times and biked three times, and I miss my yoga practice.  I alternate between feeling off-balance and in love with the unknown versus feeling completely focused and in control.  I don’t know what’s going on with me.  Sometimes I’m humming with happiness, and other times I’m crying over broken glass.

One way or another, it’s going to be a summer of change around here.  I think I’d better start doing yoga again so that I can keep my footing even if my world gets turned upside-down.