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.
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?
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.
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. It 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. That 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 Marathon.
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. 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. I 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.
This summer’s vacation on Lake Chelan was no different.
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. But 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?