Because I am crazy, the first thing I did after seeing this thing last night – Woman Takes Selfies of Hot Men While Running Half-Marathon – was to enter her first and last name into the results page for the NYC Half to see her time. (That’s a lie. The FIRST thing I did was this
So, weird thing out of the way first: I couldn’t find a “Kelly Roberts” in the results; I couldn’t even find a female Roberts around her age who lives in New York. But, being a crazy, I looked at her Instagram and found her bib number, which belongs to a 31-year-old named Kristen Norena – so, did she give a fake name and age to GMA? That is so weird and also it seems unnecessary? ANYWAY. She was a little more than one minute faster than me. So, fine; I don’t even know what I was looking for — that’s another lie; I was absolutely anticipating her being much slower than me and was looking forward to some righteous smugness, which I now feel a little robbed of.
But the reason that Yahoo/GMA story annoyed and distracted me last night is this: Sunday’s NYC Half is the first race I have been in that was absolutely SWIMMING IN SELFIES. I was constantly having to dodge runners who stopped dead, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE COURSE, to take a picture with their goddamn cellphone; sometimes it was even pairs or groups of people! THERE WAS EVEN A FELLOW WHO TOOK A SELFIE IN THE LAST EIGHT HUNDRED METERS OF THE RACE.
Look, I realize that NYC is a cool place and that for some people, running this half meant a trip to NYC. I get that! I’ve run races all over the world, most recently in Ireland, where I absolutely did take photos throughout the race. But here’s the thing: I PULLED OFF TO THE SIDE TO DO SO. I didn’t stop dead in my tracks in the middle of the race for other runners to trip over me! Even if you don’t stop (and it looks like this girl didn’t, and neither did the dude I saw at the end of the race) you’re distracted — add the selfie distraction to the earbud distraction and you’re in your own little oblivious tech-y world.
A story circled around last fall about the Hong Kong marathon, where a woman stopped to take a selfie just after the starting line and caused a “pile-up that resulted in battered and bruised participants,” according to a Time story from September. It looks like race officials considered banning cellphones at the race, but then considered that impractical, so they launched some sort of timid “awareness” campaign to encourage against taking selfies during the race. I can’t tell how that campaign went; there was another race in February but I haven’t seen anything written about it, and I can’t find anything about cellphones at all on the website.
But, OK. Whatever, take your selfies! Half marathons are a cool accomplishment; running one in a place like NYC is also cool, especially if you traveled a long way to get there, and I get that excitement and the impulse to share your achievement with your friends. But good god. Just, please don’t be a jerk about it, and consider the other people around you. (ALSO a fine lesson in regular life!)
I woke up a few times throughout the night on Sunday, after falling asleep at some ridiculous hour like 9 p.m. after running the NYC Half that morning. And each time I woke up, I did a sort of runners’ version of counting sheep: I decided to mentally review each mile, from 1 to 13, and try to remember something specific about every one of those miles. I never made it past mile 6 without falling back asleep. That is to say: Race recaps are so boring that even my OWN is apparently enough to put me to sleep. But I’ve been wishing lately that I kept better track of what worked, and what didn’t, in my races and training runs – so, here goes.
I had a Very Disappointing Thing happen today, dear Internet, and I’m trying to figure out the healthiest way to deal with it. Psychologists call a person’s ability to bounce back from something “resilience,” which is a word I’ve always liked; there’s something about the sound of it that makes me think that this is a word that will take whatever shitty thing you throw at it and toss it right back in your face. Anyway. I’m going to do what I usually do when I’m struggling with something, which is turn to the oracle that is Google to see what the heckfire to do about it.
Also wine. I usually do wine when I’m struggling with something, too.
1. ANYONE CAN RESILIENCE! The good news is that “bouncing back” isn’t some kind of innate ability, something you’re either born with or you’re not. It’s something you can learn!
2. YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY CAN HELP YOU RESILIENCE! Sorry, this is not the time to drink your sad bottle of wine all alone. This is the time to reach out! To human people, and cats don’t count! The American Psychological Association sez: “Relationships that create love and trust, provide role models and offer encouragement and reassurance help bolster a person’s resilience.”
3. GET SOME PERSPECTIVE! Tonight might be a good night to watch something intense, like, oh, “12 Years a Slave,” to remind yourself that your problems are minuscule! Comparatively speaking!
3. MAKE A NEW PLAN, STAN! So Plan A didn’t work. There are 25 more letters in the alphabet, you silly! From the APA:
Move toward your goals. Develop some realistic goals. Do something regularly — even if it seems like a small accomplishment — that enables you to move toward your goals. Instead of focusing on tasks that seem unachievable, ask yourself, “What’s one thing I know I can accomplish today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?”
Take decisive actions. Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away.
5. MAYBE YOGA YOUR WAY TO RESILIENCY! Resiliency is all about being adaptable, and what better way to remind yourself that it is important to be figuratively flexible than to make yourself physically flexible! Yeah, that’s it!
Source: Liberally adapted from www.apa.org.
1) In one of my earliest memories, I’m around 4 years old, and I’m running around a fundraiser event thrown by my grandparents’ church. I think it was the church. It may have been the Knights of Columbus chapter my grandpa was involved in. It doesn’t matter. Anyway: One of the games was this sort of faux horse-racing event that you could bet on – it was a bunch of people on hobby horses racing about 15 feet. I remember my grandpa giving me a dollar and telling me I should go place a bet on one of the horses … and I remember folding that dollar up and carefully sticking it in my pocket. Even at 4 years old, I’d rather have the certainty of a dollar in my pocket than risk losing it, even with the potential of winning much more.
2) On New Years Day in 2011, my boyfriend and I ran the Resolution Run 5K in Seattle’s Magnuson Park. But right before the finish line, the course forks – turn right, and finish the race as usual. Turn left, and you’re committing to the “polar bear dive”: running into the freezing cold Lake Washington, dunking your head in, then running out and finishing the race. I didn’t plan on doing the polar bear thing. But when we came to the fork — I turned left. I don’t even think I consciously thought it through; I just went for it. I dove straight in and was so pumped that I went even further in than most of the other runners; my boyfriend said it looked like I was about to start swimming across the lake. I don’t know where those guts came from, and I wish I could summon them at will.
I just finished “Fangirl” (book #6 of 2014), and while I loved it, I had so many lingering questions about the story within the story. For the uninitiated (which, initiate yourself! It’s like $7 on Kindle and so worth it), the book is about this gal Cath who’s a huge Simon Snow fan - Simon Snow is sort of a Harry Potter stand in. Cath writes fanfic about Simon Snow, and she’s kind of Internet-famous for it, with tens of thousands of fans of her own. (The fanfic she writes is I think what they call slash? Love story between Simon and a character named Baz, who’s sort of a Draco Malfoy.) Anyway — Cath’s story is wrapped up nicely, but you don’t find out what happens to Simon and Baz and it’s THE WORST. I had a mini Twitter freakout over the ending immediately after finishing the book, and I actually tweeted at the author, Rainbow Rowell — and, this is what I love about Twitter: She wrote back!
So there we have it. Hoorah!
I liked keeping track of the books I read last year, so why the heck not keep it up this year?
This year, I got my act together and not only sent Christmas cards to my family and friends, but MADE said cards. They were meant to be little postcards, inspired by this Hairpin post from a couple years back, and they turned out so cute:
Making them took the better part of three nights and two bottles of wine. But apparently they’ve been falling apart in the mail! So many of my friends have called or emailed or texted to tell me they got a mysterious card from me - just a piece of canvas, or, worse, a slightly crumpled 3x5 notecard:
The friend who got that one was convinced I must’ve written a message in invisible ink or lemon juice, and said he spent kind of a long time holding the card up to a light, trying to decipher the hidden message. :|
First I was embarrassed; then, I just chalked it up to a #craftingfail. But today, I talked to my aunt, one of Earth’s Nicest Humans, who got one of the empty canvases. She said what I’d really done was sent all of my friends and family a blank canvas. Which, is kind of a lovely idea!
So now, I’m telling everyone who got blank canvases to draw something on the back, take a photo and send it back to me. This is brother’s:
It is not the idea I intended. But it’s still kind of nice!