January 13 2015 // Posted in Life

2015 resolutions

Am I the last person to publish a 2015 resolutions post? Promptness has never been one of my strong suits, and I’m sure the novelty and luster of a new year has begun to wear off. Though I’m way ahead of the game if we’re going by the Lunar New Year. Getting to the point, most of these are continuations from last year, but this time with more specific methods and plans instead of just a list of vague aspirations.


Minimum of two short runs (~2 mi) per week + one 5K per month.

Last year’s half-marathons finally pushed me into a more active lifestyle where I, Couch Potato Extraordinaire, actually go run on a fairly regular basis. I’ve also finally discovered the mental benefits of running, helping me to reflect and analyze my thoughts. It’s also effective at making my brain just STFU, which is sometimes a relief. I have no plans for a running event, but this way I won’t be starting from the beginning if I sign up for another one someday. This resolution includes strength training and yoga to balance everything out; I don’t want 2016’s health goal to be “Recover from 2015 running injuries.”


Practice photography on a regular basis.

Being sure to bring my camera out with me is a start. Taking on some sort of project or challenge, e.g., photo-a-day for a month (perhaps in June or July when the days are longest). I also want to set up some sort of photo-only/textless blog to share my favorite photos with family and friends. Something more than just a personal site, but not quite as serious as a portfolio. I also want to break out of my comfort zone and take pictures of people, which I’ve always found a little awkward.

Piano: practice, practice, practice.

At one point I was a somewhat accomplished pianist, but my dreams of playing with the philharmonic are long past. However, I rediscovered the joy, inspiration, and not a small amount of satisfaction when I began playing regularly again last year. It’s a way for me to meditate and destress. This year, I’ve marked off several pieces in a few songbooks to work through. The real effort is to not fall out of the habit if life gets busier and hectic later in the year, like I did last year.


Read 30 books, not including rereads, including at least 2 French and 1 Italian.

Admittedly a fairly low number, but I think the inclusion of foreign language books makes it reasonable. Instead of following special reading challenges or making it a point to read certain types of books, I’m focusing on the ridiculously large amount of books I own that are still unread.

Get at least a 100 day streak on Duolingo.

I’m forgetting a lot of the French and Italian I spent years learning. This has been good practice and should pair well with the reading goal.

Take a course (online or off) to learn a new skill or improve on a current one.

I’ll allow myself some vagueness on this one. The thought right now is to give something like Codecademy a try, because I’d like the freedom to both design and develop my own websites again. If not, perhaps I’ll take up knitting or macrame. Or paragliding and spelunking. Or learning Korean. Who knows. I want to work on something just for the fun of it.





December 31 2014 // Posted in Life

Run Disney Coast to Coast

Here we are… the end of another year in which so much happened, many times when I thought the days and weeks dragged interminably, but now it’s all passed. I’m not sorry to see 2014 end, but I’m grateful for always having my amazing family and friends who made me laugh and kept my spirits up during the low points. And I did make some of my most amazing memories this year in Charleston and Disney World, two places I’d dreamed of visiting for years.

I’m still not a consistent blogger and not much else has been recorded. So I thought using my 2014 resolutions as a template for this post would be a good way to bookend the year.

“Complete the runDisney Coast-to-Coast Challenge.” Done! I wrote all about the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, but I never wrote anything about the Disneyland Half in August months earlier, which was great fun but not particularly noteworthy otherwise.

This resolution was part of a broader goal to improve my fitness, which was neither a complete success nor a total failure. I failed to train for both runs. Luckily I’m still young enough, healthy, and naturally have a brisk walking pace, so I was able to enjoy simply being part of the events. But something finally clicked when I returned from Florida, and I’ve finally started running on a regular basis and seen some real improvement. While I didn’t start when I should have at the beginning of the year, the Coast to Coast challenge did give me that much-needed push to a more active lifestyle.

“Cook and bake at home more.” The intent here was to learn some new recipes and improve my culinary skills. I did exactly zero baking, and my cooking skills still consists only of throwing things into a boiling pot and calling it good. But you know what? I can check off this resolution on a technicality, and sometimes technically correct is the best kind of correct.

“Read more.” I started out strong this year, but sometime around summer I lost steam and once I started traveling in the fall I just stopped. Oops.

“Take my favorite hobbies more seriously.” Perhaps I should’ve been a little less vague in my own wording so I would remember what my goal here actually was. But anyway, I specifically mentioned piano and photography. Piano was another thing that fell by the wayside halfway through the year when other distractions came up. My problem has always been a lack of discipline, but I’m not giving up and will work on this… starting tomorrow. As for photography, that got a big boost with two vacations, so I’m also putting this in the win column on a technicality.

“Sleep 7-8 hours at reasonable times.” Lol. Fail.

That’s about as much reflection as I can muster, and I’m ready to turn my sights onto 2015. Happy New Year!


Disney Travelogue – Wine & Dine Half Marathon


December 05 2014 // Posted in Health & Fitness


As sad I was that our park adventures were over, there was something glorious about sleeping in until lunchtime that Saturday. The BF and I indulged in a whole pizza from the hotel restaurant, which came in that adorable box above.

Since we got our race packets the previous day, all we had to do was relax until race time. One of my favorite things about Disney World is getting around the resort property on the boats, so we decided to take the boat trip to Downtown Disney. We’d done this our first night in Florida, but it was fun seeing the views of the hotels and golf courses during the daytime.

Boat Ride

Downtown Disney

We didn’t do much at Downtown Disney, opting to relax with a coffee (or 3) at Starbucks since the weather had turned quite chilly with light rain. Maybe a slight drizzle, if that, but this Southern California native is not used to wet weather. The Starbucks had a giant touch screen “chalkboard” that provided a few minutes of entertainment.

Then it was back to the hotel to get changed and onto the buses to the ESPN World of Sports Complex. Ready or (in my case) not, this race was going to happen! We took the latest bus we could, but still arrived two hours before the official start of the race, so there was a lot of waiting. The closer we got to the start time, the steadier and heavier the water fell from the sky.


With little else to do, we passed a large portion of our time in line to take pictures with Chip ‘n’ Dale.

Chip n' Dale

It was then time to head to our corrals for the last bit of waiting. It was raining pretty hard at this point, and I was beginning to look like I’d taken a fully clothed shower. Luckily, the BF’s spirits were not in the least dampened by the rain, and he promised to stick with me for the entire course. We watched the fireworks go off for each corral as we made our way to the start, and slowly but steadily, we got closer until finally it was our turn and we were off!


Here we go!

Captain Jack Sparrow

I honestly don’t remember much other than being really, really cold. But I do remember a few things, like thinking how awesome the cast members were to stand out there in the rain, keeping the course fun and our spirits up.

Hollywood Studios


I mentioned in the first day’s post that Hollywood Studios had an area decked out in Christmas lights that I’d missed. In hindsight, it turned out to be a good thing because seeing the lights for the first time during the run was a pretty awesome surprise and helped give me a jolt of much-needed energy.

Mr Incredible

Thanks for cheering us on, Mr. Incredible!

Finish Line


After multiple bathroom breaks between the two of us, and 13.1 very cold and extremely wet miles, we were done! The BF and I had accomplished something together that we’d been talking about for almost 5 years — we’d done the Coast-to-Coast!

We went to the post-race party at Epcot, taking a welcome break with our wine and beer and warming up by riding Soarin’. I still didn’t want our Disney World vacation to end, but the ride did its part to get me excited about returning home. We still wanted to make the most of our last few hours and got a couple quick bites of Canadian and Greek food. After that, though we’d changed out of our wet racing outfits and into warm-ups, we were too cold to stay out any longer.

Oh Canada!

And with that, Disney World week is done! Here’s a quick roundup of the previous travelogues: Part 1, Hollywood Studios and Epcot; Part 2, Magic Kingdom; Part 2.5, More of the Magic Kingdom; and Part 3, Final Day of Park-Hopping Fun.

It was definitely one of the best vacations I’d ever had, and I’m already looking forward to both my next Disney World vacation (hopefully someday soon) and my next runDisney event!

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