Monthly Archives: December 2021


If you’re looking for a supportive Sports Bra, Lululemon has their Enlite bra for sale more than 50% off.  It’s the most supportive sports bra I’ve ever tried.  I don’t need that kind of support normally, but it was great during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What did everyone get for Christmas?  J and I aren’t really all that into exchanging gifts, and we just do a round robin with my family.  I got a nice top from Boden, and then “santa” (aka me) gifted me some badly needed new socks and Yahtzee.  I can’t wait to play Yahtzee with the kids!  J got Battleship, and I’m looking forward to playing that as well.  What is your favorite board game to play with the kids?  I’ve really been enjoying Connect 4 with B lately.

It was 14 degrees when I woke up this morning.  It’s up to 20 and sunny, but still very cold for the Seattle area.  I’m very thankful to have reliable heat and reliable backup heat.

J, B and S got back from Houston on the 24th, and I was so happy to have them home.  It seems like travel just gets harder and harder.  Every other person I know has some kind of cold and almost none of them are getting tested.  My cousin’s daughter spent her 21st isolating in her room, as she has Covid.  My cousin has cancer, so that’s not ideal.  My other cousin’s son has Covid.  Most people I’ve heard of have mild cold symptoms or no symptoms at all.  But it’s obviously scary for anyone who is highly vulnerable for whatever reason.  I continue to worry about my parents.

One thing I find odd, though, is the fact that no one has tests.  It’s been possible, and continues to be possible, to buy Covid tests on Amazon for $9 apiece plus tax.   I’m honestly surprised that so many people have zero tests.  If you don’t have tests, buy some and stock up!  Obviously some people can’t afford it, but my friends and family can, and yet many still don’t have any tests.  It’s very handy to be able to do a quick check if you have symptoms, and if you’re planning to spend time with someone who is vulnerable for whatever reason, or going to a party or something, taking a test in advance seems like a no-brainer to me.

The other thing on my mind is the marathon.  I’m looking at four options:

1.) Houston.  Advantage: ideal course, I know people in Houston, big race with big race excitement.  And I already paid the entry fee.  Disadvantages: weather.  OMG, I had no idea Houston weather was so bad.  Distance from Seattle.  Start / finish in downtown Houston which means dealing with staying in the middle of a big city which is not my favorite.

2.) Redding.  Advantage: course is not bad.  It’s actually net downhill but includes a large uphill, so it’s not as good as Houston but not bad.  Direct flights and not too far away.  Inexpensive.  Decent weather.  Disadvantage – point-to-point course with associated logistics.  Small marathon and no idea if the organizers are competent or not.  In the middle of nowhere.

3.) Carlsbad (near San Diego).  Advantage: Mid-size race in nice location.  Decent weather.  Disadvantage: Double out and back course with a fair number of hills.  Nearest hotel to the start is a 2 mile walk away, or would have to deal with shuttles for 6:40 am start.

4.) Rock’n’Roll Phoenix.  I haven’t really looked into this one much yet.

this and that

So, within an hour of writing my last post about how booster side effects hadn’t been so bad, I started feeling worse.  MUCH worse.  In the end, I had fever and chills for about 12 hours, followed by another day of feeling moderately lousy.  I’m not sure whether to believe my immune system is super awesome and will eviscerate any Covid germs that come my way, or that clearly I’m vulnerable to Covid and will have a truly miserable experience when I contract it (it’s inevitable, right?), vaccinated or not.

The apparent ineffectiveness of the vaccine, even with a booster, is disheartening.  The prospect of getting endless boosters every six months is disheartening.  The ongoing “restrictions” at my kids’ school are disheartening.  In general, I am very disheartened by Covid.

Also, no one in my little blog reading club, nor any of hour family members have had it, right?  Given something like 50% of Americans have had it at this point, I find this interesting.  I guess we lead low risk lives.

We found out this morning that a former colleague and friend of Jonathan’s, about his age, committed suicide.  They had been close a couple decades ago when they worked a startup together.  This guy had been telling Jonathan he was having physical health problems.  This turned out not to be true.  They were mental health problems.  It seems very likely the Covid-induced isolation played a role.  He’s an engineer like J and had been working remotely since this started.  He’s unmarried and really just wasn’t seeing people.  Whatever the reason, it’s incredibly sad and depressing.  All I can say is, reach out to your friends who might be hurting.

I have been contemplating perhaps running the Houston marathon, and so I’ve been following the Houston weather.  It is truly, really, not great.  I mean – it is HOT.  80 degrees in January?  Is this normal for Houston?  I had no idea it was so hot there in the winter.


I ended up feeling better yesterday, but not 100%, and I figured as long as I’m a bit under the weather, I might as well get my booster and embrace the suck.  I’d put it off until after the marathon that didn’t happen, and then I didn’t want to get it while I was still feeling quite sick.  I got Moderna because all indications are that Moderna is the most effective, though also the choice that comes with the most side effects.

Thankfully, the side effects haven’t been nearly as bad as after my second shot.  After the second shot, I spent a few hours under the covers shaking with chills and fever, and spent about 24 hours the next day in a haze of fatigue and exhaustion.  This time, I felt maybe a touch feverish last night, but nothing major, and I’m tired and don’t feel awesome today, but I am recovering from a cold.

Have you had your booster?  How were the side effects compared to the second shot?

B also had zero side effects from her second shot.  Unfortunately, since L was sick, we passed on the second shot for her and are now trying to reschedule.  And trying to get a kids’ shot in Seattle is like the Hunger Games – practically impossible.

fall day

I woke up this morning with pain and pressure in my face / sinuses again and a headache and overall feeling of malaise.  I’ve been feeling this on and off all week (but not yesterday).  L had the same cold as me and was over it in 24 hours.  B didn’t even get it.  But I can’t seem to kick it.  I guess maybe I shouldn’t have run yesterday.  I feel like all my hard-earned fitness is disappearing hand over fist.

This time of year is not my favorite.  It’s perpetually dark and gray.  We have 8 hours 40 minutes of daylight at the moment as compared to 10 hours and 20 minutes in, say, Houston, but with the rain and gloom, it feels like less.  This morning was particularly bad.  Combined with feeling ill again, I was in a foul mood driving the kids to and from school this morning.

I did spend some time playing the piano today for the first time in ages.  I’m feeling the urge to play again, try to recover some basic proficiency.  I played Chopin’s Waltz in A Minor, one of his easiest pieces, a few times, and I’m thinking about maybe trying to work on it a bit between now and Christmas.  I’m sure even half an hour of practice a day for a couple weeks would go a long way.  I’ve found recording myself playing is a good way to expose all the many faults.  I also had a very painful go at Comptine d’un autre ete, which I think is very playable with some practice.  Hopefully I can improve at that one as well.


marathon reflections

I woke up this morning feeling like crap, and I still feel like crap.  Normally, I don’t enjoy feeling this way, but it is nice to know that I made the “right” decision.

A runner I follow on Instagram with very similar stats as me who was aiming for the same time as I would have been, had I been healthy (3:50 pace group / 8:47 mpm), had a bad race, wasn’t able to stick with the pace group for long and ended up getting pulled at a med tent at the halfway mark.  I think it just goes to show that you cannot underestimate the marathon, and that going into a 26 mile race in marginal health is just not a good plan.  Finishing a marathon is always an accomplishment, and finishing on your target pace is an even bigger accomplishment.  For this of us running the race around the 4 hour mark or slower, I think this is even more true.  For an elite man running a marathon in 2 hours, it’s like a half marathon for me.  For a 4 hour or 5 hour marathoner, the marathon is like a 50 mile race for an elite – it’s an ultra, with all the complexities and uncertainties of an ultra.

I follow a lot of fast runners on Insta.  They inspire me.  On days when it’s raining or cold or I’m just feeling lazy, I know these people, who I don’t know but are nonetheless real, will be out there running.  By fast, I don’t mean elite, but you know, people aiming for a 3 hour marathon, or even a 3:30 marathon.  Faster than me (which I guess is what a lot of people call “fast” – people faster than themself.)  In any case, many of these runners do marathons quite casually.  I’ve reached a place where I can do a half marathon casually.  It’s not a big deal for me to run 13 miles, and I know that while running a half at sub-8 pace will just about kill me, running one at 9 or 10 mpm is not that big of a deal.  Many runners have reached that place for a marathon, but I am definitely not there yet.  I am in *excellent* shape (or was) to run a half, but the same cannot be said for a marathon.

There is a marathon in two weeks in Port Orc.hard called the Yu.kon Do It marathon.  On the plus side, Port Orchard is only one hour and 15 minutes away, and the race still has open slots.  There are plenty of minuses though: less than 200 runners, 1500 feet of elevation gain, and likelihood of rain high.  The last item is a sticking point for me.  I have not signed up for the race, but I went ahead and made a hotel reservation.  If the weather looks OK – say 50% chance of rain with 0.25 inch accumulation predicted, I’ll go.  If it looks bad – say 90% chance of rain and closer to an inch of accumulation predicted, I’ll pass.

Too far out to tell, but you can see what I’m dealing with in terms of PNW winter weather.  I’m also planning on traveling on my own.  While it would be nice to have Jonathan there to support me, it’s just too much trouble and stress to take the whole family in lousy winter weather.

If I decide to pass based on weather, Houston is a possibility, as well as a few options in CA.  I guess I plan to try and maintain 40ish miles per week mileage until I find a race I can actually run.

It’s hard to plan anything between Covid and small children and just the busyness of life.  I prioritized CIM pretty darn highly and imposed on my family and friends (to watch the kids), and it still didn’t work out.  But I’m sure something will.

not going

I ended up canceling my flights.  I’m not going to Sacramento.

I am VERY ambivalent about my decision.  I can never know if in my heart of hearts I’m doing it because I don’t feel like getting on an airplane.

But I’m still wheezy and snotty.  And when I ran hard while sick in high school, I ended up with pneumonia, which it took me four months to recover from.  I just don’t feel great right now.

And I still don’t have results back from the PCR test, which I took more than 24 hours ago.  Why is testing STILL so slow here?

I wanted to go to CIM so I could run a “fast” marathon, sub-4 at least.  If I can’t do that, much as I hate to say goodbye to the pricey entry fee, I’m not sure it’s worth trekking down there.  There is another marathon on a couple weeks, albeit on a hilly course.  I won’t do that one either if it’s too rainy.  (I’ll run in light rain, but I won’t run 26 miles in steady rain.  I have my limits.)  But there are several options in January, including Houston and another one in CA.   CIM is special, and I wanted to run it.  Maybe I WILL run it next year.  Maybe we’ll all be dead of some nasty Covid variant next year.  Who knows.

For now, I’ll just sulk and feel lazy.  At least I had the sense to buy changeable plane tickets and got a credit for those.