5 Favorite Summer Happenings

What better way to return to the DC Trifecta’s Friday 5 than posting about my Five Favorite Things I Did this Summer  (a.k.a., those things that kept me from blogging on the regular all summer)? I’m super psyched to be back on the link-up with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia.

So here they are, in no particular order:

5.  Volunteering at the US Open

Way back in February 2014, I applied to be a volunteer for the US Open at Chambers Bay. Am I golf fan? Hell no, but I figured this would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Pacific Northwest has never hosted the US Open before and the greater-Tacoma area had never hosted a national sports event. I jumped at the opportunity, applied, and was later selected from several thousand applicants to volunteer.

US Open 2015 - alsoranagain

The USGA assigned me to work in Information Services, which meant that I sat in a booth and answered guests’ questions. The most common question? “Where are the bathrooms?”

I was fortunate to be able to volunteer with my good friend Brynn, and we had a great time. In addition to working the info booths, we were able to watch the tournament.  And how about these cheesy uniforms?

US Open 2015 uniforms - alsoranagain

Who wouldn’t have a good time in those?

4. Spending QT at the movies

I’m a huge movie-buff and I saw so many fun movies this summer! Whether it was with the kids, with friends, or just flying solo, I loved spending time at my local movie theaters.

watchign magic mike xxl - alsoranagain

I was touched by “Inside Out,” and reduced to a ridiculous, giggling mess at “Magic Mike XXL.” I laughed my ass off at “Trainwreck” and was struck by the courage and drive on display in “Meru.” I kicked it old school at “Straight Outta Compton” and screamed at “Jurassic World.” For a cinephile like me, this was a fantastic summer.

3.  Reading reading reading

Okay, so I didn’t just enjoy movies—I also exercised my brain. I tried to keep up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge (30 books in 2015) and finished 5 books. goodreads capIt doesn’t sound like much, but I’m proud of that number considering I read a lot for my job and also need to make time for binge-watching series on Netflix. #priorities

I finished Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann (a–duh–memoir), NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (horror), Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (contemporary fiction), I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (thriller), and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (sci-fi). Right now I’m reading The Martian by Andy Weir (and am probably the last literate person in America who’s reading it). A diverse selection, right?

My favorite of this group has to be I Am Pilgrim, a thriller that follows a former intelligence officer hunting down a terrorist who intends to cause a pandemic. It was the perfect beach read.

2.  Returning to running

The last year has been a rocky road for me as a runner. After the 2014 Newport Marathon, I was on a high. I’d PR’ed by nearly a half-hour and qualified for the Boston Marathon. newport marathon 2014 - alsoranagainThat all came crashing down about a month later, when I started to have hip pain. The hip pain interrupted my running and prevented me from running any distance longer than 13.1 miles through the remainder of 2015.

The hip pain took several months to go away, but started to resolve in the spring of 2015 in the weeks leading up to the Eugene Marathoneugene 2015 marilyn

I was able to finish the last 8 miles of the marathon with my friend Marilyn, but my old IT band problem (which hadn’t bothered me since the summer of 2013) started flaring up again.  The word “frustration” doesn’t even begin to describe what I felt after Eugene. I started PT again and took a break from running.

In late June, however, I started slowly returning to running. I was careful not to do too much, too soon, and tested out my fragile kinetic chain with a 5K on the Fourth of July.independence 5k tacoma alsoranagain It wasn’t a PR, but I considered it a success. I had been able to run, and not slowly.

Since that race, I’ve had minor flares here and there, but I’ve kept running. I’m up to a 10-mile long run, and I’m running anywhere from 12 to 18 miles per week. I decided to train for and run the Chicago Marathon, and then recently decided to alter that plan (more on that decision in a later post).

I’m rebuilding my running foundation with the hopes of running a marathon PR in the spring of 2016. In the meantime, Nuun Hydration has selected me to join its team for Ragnar Napa Valley, which will take place October 23 and 24. team nuun - alsoranagainI am beyond excited. I’m officially training!

1.  Vacationing at Lake Chelan

Our primary getaway this summer was to Chelan, Washington, a family tradition. We always rent the same house and go with my husband’s family. The kids love spending time with their cousins and I love spending time with my in laws (who are the best in laws, period, full stop) and relaxing.lake chelan cousins - alsoranagain

This summer’s vacation on Lake Chelan was no different.

chelan nuun - alsoranagain

lake chelan party boat - alsoranagain

chelan wine rio vista winery - alsoranagain

We had a blast swimming, boating, and lazing about the lake (and wine tasting!) for five glorious days… before the wildfires started.

Watching the fires consume the areas around the lake and bear down on the city of Chelan, destroying homes and businesses in the process, was awful and pretty terrifying.  chelan butte fire 2015 - alsoranagainBut the firefighters’ assault on the fires, and the courage shown not only by those firefighters, but the people of Chelan, was truly awe-inspiring.

The fire in and around Chelan (as well as other parts of central and eastern Washington) continues to range on. Three firefighters have died, and one has suffered critical injuries. My heart pours out to them and their families, as well as to the everyday people affected by these terrible fires, and hope and pray that the fires end very, very soon.

What are some of your favorite memories from this summer? What was the best movie you watched this summer? What about the best book you read? Are you a golf fan? Are you training for any fall races?

16 thoughts on “5 Favorite Summer Happenings

  1. I loved Inside Out! We chose to see that instead of the Minion Movie. Good choice, I think. Other than that, I haven’t had a lot of time for movies because of being in school, but I can’t wait to see Trainwreck when it comes out on DVD!

    I haven’t read I Am Pilgrim. Sounds interesting. I loved The Martian, and I think they’re going to do a great job with the movie!

  2. love your list. except for the terrible fires. i was stunned to see some of the remainder of trees burned while hiking and running in leavenworth. so crazy. and sad. sigh. have a great weekend!

  3. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Wow, you have been busy!! You definitely needed a blogging break after all of that! Very cool that you are running with Nuun! I hope to someday too!

  4. This was a great list. Awful about the fires though. Best of luck with returning to running- as an injured runner right now I can’t describe how scared I am to go back too soon and injure myself even more. It looks like you’ve had a great summer- which of the books would you most recommend?

    • Thank you! I feel good right now. I’m just trying to control adding on mileage. I’d like to be able to stick to the 10% Rule, but it’s so hard!

      If you want to read a book that has an interesting, fast-paced plot, then “I Am Pilgrim” is tough to beat.

    • I love that my kids are close with their cousins. I didn’t have any cousins that lived close to me when I was a kid, so I really love seeing their friendships forged so strong, so early.

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